Friday, May 11, 2007

BBC Mourns Blair.

The BBC's treatment of Blair's resignation has been verging on the hagiographic, except on Iraq. Their news coverage was one sided enough, unashamedly presenting New Labour's own narrative* as the gospel truth, for example asserting that Britain is more tolerant than ever before despite the fact that there seem to be an awful lot of arrests for thought crimes in the last ten years. The Newsnight special however hit a new low, it featured 6 guests, Michael Howard, Charles Kennedy and no less than four Labour supporters from the Blairite wing of the party, Alastair Campbell, Alan Milburn, Polly Toynbee and David Hare.

There was all sorts of rewriting of history to portray pre 1997 Britain as some kind of apocolyptic wasteland where public services were in meltdown and the economy in chaos. As Michael Howard pointed out according to the OECD public services were improving at a greater rate before 1997 than after, but facts matter for little when you are outnumberd 6 to 1 so this was ismissed. Polly Toynbee** made the bizarre claim that Labour's obsession with spin should be understood because the press is 75% Tory, which is bizarre when you consider that Labour have the support of the BBC, The Sun, the Mirror, The Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent wheras the Tories only really have the support of the Telegraph and The Daily Mail. That she was on a panel with 5 left wing members and one right, plus a host who was obviously sympathetic to Labour didn't seem to occur to her.

Poll Pot's claim was in response to the highlight of the programme where Michael Howard laid into a clearly rattled Alastair Campbell about his record of deceit, bullying and coarsening of the political culture. Like most bullies Campbell is pretty pathetic when confronted directly and spent the rest of the show acting like a brat trying to make cheap shots at Howard.

* The 'Narrative' is Labour's attempts to manipulate how the past is remembered by simply asserting a bogus version of history. If people are constantly told that before 1997 schools were crumbling and the economy was in chaos then eventually they will start to remember it that way regardless of what actually happened.

** Toynbee also made an absurd misuse of the British Crime Survey. again. I don't want to get started on that once more though.

1 comment:

Umbongo said...

I resigned almost 30 years membership of the Conservatives when Michael Howard came out in favour of ID cards. But, whatever he did or didn't do on the Conservative front bench, his filleting of Campbell - to his face - was superb: the stunned silence of the other participants in the discussion was palpable. It's rare that you see justice done on the BBC (or anywhere else in this country for that matter) but this was it.