You can always rely on the BBC to manipulate a story to keep the establishment happy. And once again it’s done this – now, regarding Brexit and bin lorry drivers.
Brexit rubbish chaos
PA reported that councils across the UK are facing bin lorry driver shortages. At least 18 local authorities are having problems. PA detailed that these include three councils in Devon which have staff shortages; Basildon council which has suspended rubbish collections, and Exeter council which was warning residents of possible delays. The problems have happened because of what PA described as an “exodus” of UK drivers originally from EU countries who returned to the continent during the coronavirus pandemic and stayed there.
Three Devon councillors wrote to home secretary Priti Patel. PA reported they said that:
At the time of writing, North Devon Council are attempting to fill seven vacancies, Torbay Council eight vacancies, and Teignbridge Council 10 vacancies.
This equates to approximately 20% of the HGV workforce in driver vacancies and it is proving very challenging to fill this resourcing gap given the dynamics of this labour market.
We therefore believe that HGV drivers should be recognised as an important shortage occupation with a two-year derogation to the points-based immigration rules for trained HGV drivers – allowing councils, as well as others across the economy, sufficient access to a wider pool of drivers while we recruit and train the next generation of HGV drivers.
As BBC News reported, Wales is having similar problems. Except in its headline, the BBC seemed to downplay the part Brexit is playing in this story.
Enter the BBC
Campaigning lawyer Peter Stefanovic tweeted that:
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) September 3, 2021
Yes, that’s right. The BBC did make it clear at the start of the article that:
Delays in collecting people’s household waste has been blamed on Covid, Brexit and a shortage of lorry drivers.
It reported that four Welsh councils were “facing delays or expected further delays” in rubbish collections:
Residents said their household or garden waste had been left on the kerbside for weeks.
So it’s not clear why it would omit something so important – Brexit – from its headline.
BBC: true to form
As one person sarcastically said on Twitter:
Ah, so it's COVID that is responsible for the absence of 100,000 wagon drives and the 20k who moved back to the EU.
Nothing at all to do with Brexit. Ooo no, nothing… pic.twitter.com/vGRs6rFxEd
— Ivor Bolakov (@dib50511659) September 3, 2021
For the BBC‘s headline not to mention Brexit at all is disingenuous at best. Not that this is new. Because the BBC has form on manipulating stories for government agendas. For example, back in May 2020 The Canary reported on the public service broadcaster’s spin regarding coronavirus (Covid-19) death tolls in Europe. The BBC switched its comparisons between Europe (the continent) and the EU (the political/trade bloc). This meant that at the time, it seemed to intentionally muddle the readers as to how bad the UK’s death toll was.
The BBC‘s coverage of the pandemic was continuously marred by dodgy reporting. Now, it appears to be using ‘bias by omission’ tactics in a headline over Brexit. Luckily, people like Stefanovic are quick to spot it.
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