By 8.20am at the start of the week, the BBC‘s Laura Kuenssberg had already spouted Tory propaganda. With a public broadcaster like this, the incumbent government doesn’t need its own spin machine. And her shocker of a statement has already led to calls for her resignation, suspension or downright firing.
@bbclaurak That the political editor of the BBC could tweet this without any consequences says much about the state of the corporation
— Andy Birss (@1957AJB) April 24, 2017
Theresa May couldn’t give a shit about people
As The Guardian pointed out, the Prime Minister has decided she won’t bother campaigning on 24 April. Even though we’re only one week into the general election campaign. And the window of time for her to get out the vote is a mere 44 days. In contrast, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is up in Scotland trying to win back voters; and Lib Dem Tim Farron is campaigning in Vauxhall.
But how did Kuenssberg explain May’s arrogant and disrespectful treatment of the voters? She, of course, blamed Corbyn:
Corbyn in Scotland today, May not on the stump – seems tory strategy this morn to let labour stew in its own juice
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) April 24, 2017
So according to the BBC‘s Political Editor, May is ignoring the general public as part of her party’s “strategy”. And Kuenssberg suggests that May’s game plan is in response to Labour’s actions. Or, more specifically, the actions of its leader.
What Kuenssberg refers to as Labour’s “juice” is Corbyn’s comments on The Andrew Marr Show. On the programme, the Labour leader hesitated to champion drone strikes; because, he asserted, they are notoriously inaccurate and kill innocent civilians. And he’s right. In one five-month period of a US operation in Afghanistan, for example, almost nine out of ten people killed in the air strikes were not the actual target.
Furthermore, Corbyn suggested the UK should adhere to its commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) when considering the renewal of Trident. And he said that the use of nuclear weapons would be “a disaster for the whole world”.
That’s the “juice” Kuenssberg is referencing in her defence of May’s contempt.
Grow some ethics, Kuenssberg
Kuenssberg’s assessment, however, didn’t go down well with those that witnessed it:
@bbclaurak A more fearless reporter might point out that our Prime Minister is avoiding contact with real people – the public.
— Eoin Clarke (@LabourEoin) April 24, 2017
— Robert Ronsson (@RobRonsson) April 24, 2017
@bbclaurak "This statement was brought to you by the Conservative Party"
— Sean (@shornKOOMINS) April 24, 2017
And some tried to correct Kuenssberg, by listing the real reason May might be ducking out of the campaign trail:
— J-P. Janson De Couët (@jpjanson) April 24, 2017
— BuddhistSab ?️ (@0Calamity) April 24, 2017
@bbclaurak Theresa May is being hidden away because Lynton is even more risk averse when ahead in the polls, and his candidate is a liability.
— Matt Zarb-Cousin (@mattzarb) April 24, 2017
— Mikebythemoor (@Mikeofthemoor) April 24, 2017
In just a few unwitting characters, Kuenssberg revealed how wedded she is to the Conservative Party; and, like May, how small an obligation she feels to the public in her position at the BBC. But this appears to reflect the position of the BBC as a whole.
This spin, however, went down like a lead balloon with people who saw it. Because licence payers expect at least a degree of impartiality from the public broadcaster. And it’s about time the BBC lived up to that.
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Featured image via Policy Exchange/Flickr