The BBC’s latest dodgy headline leaves a lot to be desired

The BBC News logo and a bin lorry
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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.

Read on...

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Enter the BBC

Campaigning lawyer Peter Stefanovic tweeted that:

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:

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.

Featured image via David Holt – Wikimedia and Pixy with additional reporting by PA

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  • Show Comments
    1. We know all what the BBC stands for: the Establishment. But in this case, I think that the problem is so many years of neoliberalism very well supported by EU which mantra has been “movement of people, movement of money”, has left many countries with a working class who is lacked of training and to get specialized jobs. Why? because is cheaper to have a high number of people competing for the same jobs, this keep low wages while the State doesn’t have to spend money on training its own people and give them an opportunity to grow. Now there is a problem with test tubes, thanks to globalization again. How is it possible that a country like this, does not make test tubes, like many other things as it used to be. I do not think that this is only a problem that affects the UK, many countries thanks to globalization have lost industries and make their working class more vulnerable and rely only on benefits. This is only to keep them standstill without a way out. The EU is not better than the IMF.

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