With Theresa May on the ropes, the BBC took its pro-government Brexit propaganda beyond satire on 22 March.
Bear in mind that:
- May had to ask the EU for an extension at the 11th hour.
- 90% of the public agree May’s negotiations have been a “national humiliation”, according to a Sky data poll.
- May suffered two of the greatest parliamentary defeats of all-time.
Still, the BBC claimed:
Brexit: EU wins itself some breathing space https://t.co/35TpdeTnYR
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 22, 2019
The BBC declined The Canary‘s offer to comment on its headline.
It’s seemingly irrelevant for the BBC that we are in this mess largely because of May’s strategy. The prime minister took executive control over the negotiations. She sidelined parliament at every stage, resulting in MPs finding May’s administration in contempt of parliament in a historic first. And ultimately, May chose to agree a withdrawal agreement with 27 other nations before even beginning to build a consensus at home first.
Only after MPs defeated May’s deal by the greatest margin ever in January did the prime minister invite opposition leaders for talks. And she only phoned the leaders of the two largest unions a week before. That’s almost two years since parliament triggered Article 50 – the process for leaving the EU. And May still seems committed to her red lines and the ‘no-deal’ threat. That means a compromise remains very difficult.
BBC shields the government
Throughout the process, the BBC and the rest of the corporate media have failed to hold the government to account. For instance, in 19 episodes, BBC Sunday Politics brought on pundits to the right of the political spectrum on every show. By contrast, the BBC included people who support Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour only three times. That leaves 84% of episodes without a meaningful anti-establishment viewpoint from any of the three guests. This is despite Labour receiving 40% of the vote in the 2017 election.
Such coverage means that often nobody is in the BBC studio to properly criticise the government. It seems that, for the BBC, the Brexit process has largely been a damage limitation exercise. And its latest headline claiming it’s the EU that needs “breathing space” rather than the UK under May, is astonishingly ludicrous.
Featured image via Flickr/ Missrogue
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