David Keighley’s BBC Watch: Whitewash EU extravagance and smear Farage

How biased is the BBC in favour of the EU? Off the Richter scale.

Their reaction this week to revelations about the financial incontinence of EU Commissioners showed that the Corporation will bend journalism into the furthest extremes of contortionism to defend EU bureaucrats.

And surprise, surprise they also used the story as a new opportunity to resort to their favourite EU-related blood sport: a wearyingly predictable but totally inappropriate and irrelevant attack on Nigel Farage.

Guido has detailed how the Belgian organisation Access Info Europe has forced the EU to reveal the travel expenses of its unelected Commissioners.

In fact, the profligacy in Commissioners’ expenses is the tip of an iceberg. The organisation has been fighting with the high command in Brussels for years to achieve even the most basic transparency in a number of domains. Despite this being public money from the coffers of member states, they have met with bloody-minded obstruction at every turn.

The group’s website writes of the battle:

The problems identified by Access Info include requiring requesters to provide identification before requests are processed, brusque treatment of requesters, failures to register requests, and serious delays in responding with multiple extensions applied. Refusals to provide access are often based on exceptions that are either poorly argued or misapplied, sometimes in breach of European Court of Justice jurisprudence.

Scrutiny of spending by government is one of the key litmus tests of accountability, but it is clear that Brussels does not give a damn; democracy – never an intrinsic part of the EU project - can especially go hang when the EU is pursuing its own self-interests and lax spending. Nor it seems does the BBC.

The information revealed to Access Info Europe shows that in a two month-period the Commissioners spent on their job expenses almost half a million euros –the equivalent of €297 every day by every commissioner - including a €27,000 bill for a two-day trip to Rome and €1,500 by the UK Commissioner Jonathan Hill for a two-day outing to Davos.

Justified? In the BBC report about the revelations, gone-native Brussels reporter Adam Fleming is keen to highlight the EU’s perspective.

He notes that the €27,000 Rome bill also included the fares of eight EU support officials and that there is a cap on the allowances. He adds that David Davis spent more on his expenses (£10,576) in a two-month period than Commission vice president Frans Timmermans (£6,200).

Everything in the tone of the rest of the BBC reporting also suggests that this is a storm in a teacup. Most prominent are the EU’s claims that this was all within rules, that everything of the revealed spending was scrutinised by the European Parliament, and that private jets were only hired when there was “no viable commercial plane available to fit the agenda”.

Well, of course.

And finally, in comes the sharply-aimed BBC kick at Nigel Farage. The report observes that he has described the Commission’s claims as ‘outrageous’, but also adds that ‘his own expense claims have come under scrutiny in the past’.

There is a link to a 2014 BBC website story in which these ‘claims’ – based on allegations in The Times that he wrongly used thousands of pounds of EU allowance money to run a Ukip office – are outlined in full.

Now it is true that Nigel Farage’s denial of the claims is prominently included in the BBC account. But the issues here are that Nigel Farage and Ukip have always hotly denied the claims, and no formal charges linked to Farage’s spending have ever been lodged. The timing of the story suggests it was cooked up to damage Ukip’s prospects in the 2014 European Parliamentary elections.

The question here is why the BBC thought these strongly-disputed, never-substantiated and very old allegations were relevant to a brand new story about EU Commissioners fighting tooth and nail to keep secret their expenses.

There can be only one answer to that question – it is evidence that on every occasion it can, with any flimsy pretext, BBC journalists will strain their utmost to discredit anyone and anything to do with Brexit. At the same time, it has virtually zero interest in explaining to the British people anything about the EU that is negative. It never has.

(Image: EPP)

David Keighley

  • Uusikaupunki

    If you don’t watch BBC you’re uninformed. If you watch the BBC you are misinformed….

    (Apologies to Mark Twain)

    • Journeyman

      I prefer to inform myself from other sources, not use the Brussels Bullshit Company.

  • Craig Martin

    Dear BBC, can you please ask your beloved EU to show the world it’s audited accounts.
    Thank you.

    • martianonlooker

      I was under the impression that the word audited existed only in Brexit Britain. The EU doesn’t have such a word.

      • grumpyashell

        It does but only for others like Greece.

      • Journeyman

        No, it doesn’t seem to, does it?

    • Alan Llandrindod Wells

      The Tooth Fairy, and the Mafia, have not yet finalised them.

    • Journeyman

      …and the COMPLETE audited accounts of the BBC!

    • Jesus Actionfigure

      Dear Peasant,

      No. We don’t want you to know anything like that, it’s not your business.

      Now shut up and keep paying your TV tax.

      Regards
      The BBC

    • Coniston
      • martianonlooker

        Isn’t that fullfact site a Soros funded entity to counter adverse information? A sort of propaganda machine that Goebells would envy?

        • Coniston

          Frankly, I’m not sure. I was trying to find some details of the EU Audit Committee reputedly not signing off the EU’s accounts for many years.

          • martianonlooker

            I have heard that Soros’s gopher Miller is on the board when not trying to desperately play the ‘Jess Phillips’ victim card.

        • Craig Martin

          Yup, Soros has provided funding to Fullfact.

      • Craig Martin

        Fullfact receives funding from several organisations. Open Society Foundations being one. OSF is a Soros funded (by philanthropy – apparently) trust.

        Say no more.

  • jjh

    Re earlier article, the BBC licence fee would be far better spent on the extra nurses.

    • Tom

      Disagree. I spend the BBC licence fee on myself.

      I also get to have fun baiting the BBC’s goons.

    • Sir Nigel of Brexit

      Heartless swine, what about poor Gary Lineker? He needs every single penny of his multi-million pound salary for presenting the hour long (or so) Match of the Day every week (apart from in the summer when the football season stops).

      • martianonlooker

        Haven’t seen him or his family in the Leicester food-banks this summer. Maybe they are in the Marbella ones, or, they get fed Walkers crisps in his bar over there.

      • wolfhound

        Probably to busy preparing to be a doula for his ex-wife when she has her baybeeee.

    • National Insurance….another rip-off.

    • Jesus Actionfigure

      False dichotomy. We could leave the wealth with the individuals that created it, and let them decide for themselves what it’s best spent on.

  • J M

    The comment about David Davis’s travel expenses only makes sense if we know how many times he has travelled, where and how. Without that context, the figure is meaningless.

    • Journeyman

      …and for what reason he travelled.

    • Muttley

      I don’t mind paying David Davis’s expenses. I do mind paying Junckers’.

  • Well done for reporting on this! “Progressives” are (usually) far too devious to tell bare faced lies. Their preferred M.O. is to create far more subtle (but equally deceitful) false comparisons between facts that the casual observer will not spot. Their lie is not in the actual facts but in the narrative they weave based on faulty reasoning, logical fallacy and rhetoric. It makes me sick!?

    • Emma Green

      at risk of being slightly off the subject of the BBC, we live in Sheffield which is hosting the Special Olympics. While its wonderful to see people with disabilities represented, it made us feel slightly uncomfortable, as though these people were kind of being patronised into being “normalised”. People with disabilities are different, gloriously different and we should celebrate that rather than trying to make them into “athletes” . I hope this doesn’t sound offensive, it’s certainly not meant to but it reinforces this left wing obsession with conformity and utilitarianism. It’s the same with gay marriage now called “equal” marriage.

  • Of course they won’t.
    It’s the same as Clegg’s or the Kinnock’s pensions. If you say anything against the EU you stand a good chance of losing it. As the BBC have thousands of pounds from the EU why would they say anything against it.
    Anyway it’s like Upton Sinclair’s dictum that “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

  • Tommein

    MP’s are the only ones that can scrap the TV tax, they must decriminalise not paying this tax.

  • Sir Nigel of Brexit

    I noted the same slur, and made the exactly same point on Guido. It was a snide and utterly disgraceful slur against “Sir” Nigel.

    We need to get the Government to force them to replace the “British” with “European Union”. EUBC anyone?

    It is a more accurate description for starters, Or perhaps we can retain the BBC and call it the “Brexit Bashing Cranks”?

  • geordieboy

    Nothing new here from the BBC but of course they will be in full denial like the head of BBC biased news.

  • burntshed

    The BBC…The Brexit Blocking Corporation.

    • Craig Martin

      Or Bloke Bashing Corporation

    • R.Celica

      In the light of recent broadcast material perhaps The Bu**ers Broadcasting Cooperative might be more appropriate.

  • UKCitizen

    The BBC, our CNN.

  • Nick Booth

    What really angers me is that women MEPs are fiddling their expenses at 20% less than their toxic male counterparts.

    • paul parmenter

      Give them time and I am sure they will catch up. Women are very good at copying the worst aspects of male behaviour.

      • Nick Booth

        Yes, but we have to close this shameful gender gap once and for all, so women and men can exploit the system with equal obscenity. In fact, maybe women should be able to exploit the system more, as they pay more for things. That would be fair.

  • wolfhound

    It’s obvious that the BBC identifies with the huge waste of public money that is the EU and their shared top-heavy management that is accountable to no one.

  • Andrew Mitchell

    I’ve stopped buying a TV licence some years ago, sure enough couple of years ago a man knocked on my door and said he was just here to check that I have a TV licence? I said “no, and I won’t be getting one either” “you understand that if you have a television you must by law, have a TV licence ” to cut a long one short, in the end I said “sorry pal but the BBC has over the past few years become a mouthpiece for the left, and because they are in your face bias, that’s why I refuse to get a licence, you see there’s a law in this country that states, no person can be forced into paying into an organisation that holds and promotes a political agenda, that they may not share, the BBC holds and promotes a political agenda that I don’t share and thus, I’m not willing to help fund it”, the guy looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights ” but, you have to buy one!” I explained to him that this law came into being when Thatcher was in power, she brought it in to end the unions “closed shop” situation, the man wrote all this down including my name etc, and left saying “I’ll hand this in but, I think they’ll end up taking you to court mate” that was a few years ago now, and from that day to this, I have never heard anything!

    • martianonlooker

      Should have saved your time and just shut the door.

    • Odo Saunders

      This story has made my day! Good on you.

    • Johannes Factotum

      I gave up paying seven years ago. I have had letters, threatening visits, roughly every two months, they go in the bin. The thing is, I have de-tuned BBC1 and 98% of what ‘Freeview’ offers because it is absolute tripe. I’m losing faith in Two and Four, because they are lowering content standards, and the amount of repeats is nauseating.

      The only other stations I have tuned on my TV are Film Four and Sony Movie Channel, because I enjoy films. My TV is in my study, and can not be seen from outside, or viewed or heard from the front door, so they are going to have a tough time ascertaining I have a TV.

      I’m hoping that if the ‘knock’ should come and they say no TV licence is recorded here, that I will have the presence of mind to reply, “Neither is a fishing licence, but they don’t keep pestering me to register a nil return with them”. Even if I stopped watching, or played only DVDs, I wouldn’t register – on principal, and to be bloody-minded towards them.

  • derekandclive

    The BBC – the once fine broadcasting body now riddled with liberal left diahorrea which pours from it daily in an endless torrent, sustained at a constant flow by the vast amounts of forcibly taken tax it gorges on – the only way to prevent the outpouring of infected progressive faeces is to cut off the supply of tax and within a very short space of time the appalling anti-British left wing sh@t they produce will magically dry up

    • Emma Green

      We were only saying the exact same this morning

    • Andy

      The BBC is riddled with Fascist ‘left diahorrea. . ‘ There is nothing ‘liberal’ about that lot.

  • Nockian

    I long gave up watching the BBC news. QT for entertainment value and this week are the only BBC news programmes I ever bother to watch-and I’m more likely to miss an episode than not these days as all my news is now through sites such as YouTube and vidme.

    It’s in that vein that I can’t help but feel something along the lines of ‘are they still pedalling that old muck’. The world moved on and the Beeb is becoming as irrelevant as the town crier after a night on the sauce.

    I’m now thinking its time to stop paying the license fee, or simply ditch the telly completely for a large screen display connected solely to the Internet.

    • alecto

      As long as you don’t watch ‘live’ TV nor BBCi player you don’t have to pay the licence fee anyway.

  • weirdvisions

    It’s certainly Nigel Farage today. However there is another pro Brexit rising star – Jacob Rees-Mogg – that the BBC will eventually turn it’s pro EUSSR sights on once people really star to cotton on to his message. Or as I prefer to call him, the Mogginator.

  • Andy

    It is time this Government did what should have been done long ago and broke the BBC up. There is no excuse in a democracy for one news provider, in this case the BBC, to have a near monopoly in broadcast news. If the lefties would accept it if it was Rupert Murdoch then it is equally unacceptable for their mates in the BBC to hold such a monopoly. Lets have diversity of provision.

    • springmellon

      Cameron renewed the BBC Charter for 11 more years, guaranteeing the licence fee until 2027. .

      The massive proliferation in media makes the licence fee utterly ridiculous now; continuing it until 2027 is insane

      Perhaps there is some way an application for judicial review could be made to reverse such an unreasonable and perverse decision by Cameron’s government.

      • James60498 .

        Of course he did.

        Everything mentioned in the comments as being favoured by the BBC, he too is in favour of.

        The EU
        “Gay Britannia”
        Islamisation.

        The BBC helped him to become Tory leader. It’s easy to see why.

        Presumably the 11 years was the maximum he thought his weak and pathetic MPs would allow him to get away with.

  • Hampsteadpinko

    I am sorry to say that the standard of BBC journalists is poor indeed.

    • DEvans

      Yes indeed. Recruited from a very narrow and unrepresentative section of British society. A fact that Gollum of Newsnight himself has stated on a few occasions.

  • James Chilton

    I gave up watching the BBC long ago. The last straw was when they started telling lies on the weather forecast.

    • Craig Martin

      Aye, that kicked off a storm!

  • Dr Evil

    So why didn’t Junker and his entourage go by train? Cheaper and right to the city centre in Rome. Oh, they might meet ordinary people. That simply cannot do.

    • Johannes Factotum

      My question would be was the trip necessary in the first place? What about video conferencing? Who did they meet in Turkey, a non-E.U. nation, could the Turks have not travelled to Brussels?

  • Littledave

    I never watch anything on this left wing mouthpiece. It has long since passed its purpose and should be scrapped.

  • David Kane

    And how biased are the BBC in favour of the continuing and accelerating Islamization of Britain? Again, off the Richter scale. Today the former head of MI5 says we can expect another 30 years of suicide bombing and child rape on the scale just revealed in Newcastle but what he doesn’t reveal is just where safely retired Lord Evans thinks we’ll be in 30 years time? Does he really think that the Muslims in Britain who will by then be the MAJORITY of the population (read: “2030: Your Children’s Future in Islamic Britain” by David Vincent, Amazon and Kindle) will suddenly become multicultural? Does he base this belief on 1400 years of Islamic jihad or the opinion polls that reveal EVERY TIME that more than 40% of ALL Muslims living in Britain want sharia law to replace democracy. That’s the law that allows child rape, beheading’s and stoning’s, that will abolish democracy and free speech and believes white girls are trash (and Christians and Jews). Has the establishment finally tumbled to the fact that, thanks to mass Muslim immigration, they have surrendered Britain to a pedophile death cult and that there is nothing they can do about it?

  • John Brown

    In the 3 years prior to the EU referendum, the BBC received £2m from the EU.

  • Johannes Factotum

    Of course the expenses are always ‘within the rules’, because they make the rules.The question that needs to be asked is for what the expense was incurred absolutely necessary? I would suggest a good deal of the time, no.

  • Johannes Factotum

    Will this interminable ‘Gay Brittania’ ‘celebration’ ever end? It infects all BBC output – what right have they to force so much agend-driven programming on the majority heterosexual viewing audience? This does not engender tolerance in me – quite the opposite.

    • Michael McDermott

      Also LBC per Iain Dale – latest soccer referee comes out!

  • Ralph_Baldwin

    Perhaps the service should limit itself to CBeebies it does the baby stuff really well – it really should leave adult political news and discourse to those who can cope with that level of journalistic skill.

  • ethanedwards2002

    I hope the Beebs time is coming to an end. Slowly but surely they seal their own doom.
    A proper conservative government will surely hopefully enact reforms to end the gravy train. To make them accountable to the people.

    It has to happen in my lifetime. I firmly believe that. They must not be allowed to continue to be so untruthful so biased have such anti British attitudes anti British values.

    One day oh Lord..one day.

    • Colonel Hadley

      we live in hope.

  • Ian Walker

    “Sir, there’s no commercial flights that fit the agenda? What should we do? Perhaps adjusting the agenda slightly?”
    “Don’t be stupid – there is literally nothing more important to the people of the EU than their unelected commissioners getting ferried to junkets on time. Charter a jet!”

  • PAD

    A gulag in the Hebrides for this bunch if liars..

  • Joshuaatthewalls

    I read that the Fragrant Emily Maitless is going to take over The Sunday Politics
    Her audience figures will depend on the height of her Hemline.

    • Andrew Mills

      Why do the BBC only employ attractive women on air ,they emplo plenty of ugly men on airy

  • Andrew Mills

    the BBC functionary’s do not think it is a story because they do exactly the same albeit on a smaller scale ,believe me if they could get away with flying in private jets they would

  • Fourmyle of Ceres

    dont pay the BBC TAX

  • Tethys

    NF himself voted against greater transparency in EU expenses.

  • ReefKnot

    The BBC is beyond the pale. And this Govt will do absolutely nothing about it.The next one – possibly a Corbyn Govt – will have no intention of bringing the BBC to heel since the BBC is the broadcast arm of the Guardian and the Labour Party.

    Therefore we are stuck with them as they are.
    The only recourse we have is to stop paying the licence fee.