Realising that the Labour manifesto is breaking through, BBC Question Time (BBCQT) went into anti-Labour overdrive on 21 November.
The manifesto unveiled a raft of policies that are highly popular with the UK public. For instance, the vast majority support nationalising essential industries (77% energy, 76% railways and 83% water), which Labour has pledged to do.
Labour’s manifesto also promises to only tax the top 5% of earners, meaning the establishment and BBC executives are in the crosshairs.
BBCQT didn’t waste a moment attacking the document:
Bolton is a swing constituency between Labour and the Tories.
How on earth can SEVEN #bbcqt audience members be allowed to spout anti-Labour drivel in a row.
If this was a truly balanced audience, the odds on this happening are as close to zero as you can get.
— Evolve Politics (@evolvepolitics) November 21, 2019
The audience may submit questions, but the BBC selects them. And people think the fact that the first eight questions were attacks on Labour demonstrates serious bias at the broadcaster:
First EIGHT audience members called on #BBCQT made attacks on Labour. Remember audience asked to submit written questions in advance, BBC do know views of individual audience members.
Then the BBC tweet out without correction this man telling straight lies on income distribution. https://t.co/75JxkERuZC
— Craig Murray (@CraigMurrayOrg) November 22, 2019
Others took issue with the contributions themselves:
Why are these people pretending Labour caused the 2008 financial crash.
Sorry! Did Labour balloon the subprime mortgage market in America and run Lehman bros?#bbcqt
— Femi – REGISTER TO VOTE TODAY! (@Femi_Sorry) November 21, 2019
And others slammed the BBC‘s coverage throughout 21 November:
How anyone can still argue that the BBC is impartial today is beyond comprehension.
— Mountain (@sharpeleven) November 22, 2019
Not out of character
The BBC is often accused of anti-Labour bias. The broadcaster appears to be fending off the threat Corbyn poses through:
- Stacking panels and pundits full of anti-Corbyn talking heads. In 19 episodes of Sunday Politics, for instance, right-wingers dominated every show. True left-wingers, meanwhile, appeared on three of those episodes.
- Misrepresenting information concerning Labour, such as selectively editing emails, broadcasting factual inaccuracies, and making images showing Corbyn next to Osama Bin Laden or on the Kremlin skyline.
A real shame
It’s a shame because the Labour manifesto is full of fabulous policies, such as:
- Working to replace the House of Lords with a Senate of the Nations and Regions, and votes at 16.
- Mass investment in green energy, including 90% of electricity via renewables and low-carbon sources by 2030.
- Build 100,000 “social rent” homes per year, alongside a second homes tax.
And as economist Mariana Mazzucato points out, the ‘spending’ (investment) level isn’t even high in comparison to other countries:
“Even if you just look at the total amount that Labour currently wants to increase the spending, it would basically bring us still to levels that are lower than France, Norway, and Sweden.”
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) November 21, 2019
The BBC‘s assault on the Labour manifesto is frankly depressing. Because it’s a modern vision for Britain that deserves a fair hearing.
Featured image via BBCiplayer
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.