There seems to be no shame about anything in the BBC. They twist and misrepresent, take their orders from the government and are quite shameless even when exposed.
The stupidities of fiddling Blue Peter, and similar p;etty deceits are dreadful but they pale into insignificance compared to their ma nipulation of our democracy. The BBC as it is should be abolished and nobody who has worked in any capacity in the BBC?s News & Current Affairs should be allowed in any position of influence in its successor.
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 19.8.07
The same old song from the BBC
By John Redwood
It isn't easy trying to initiate an informed public debate about important matters in Labour's Britain. So many journalists are conditioned to ask questions based on elementary Labour misconceptions, because they have heard them repeated so many times, and have been pressurised by forceful spin doctors.
Today we have a Labour government that may be no good at running a child support system, is unable to keep a grip on the costs of the Olympics and is in denial about the impact tax and regulation have had on our pension funds, but it still does a mean job when it comes to controlling the news agenda.
I spent the past week presenting some of the ideas from the Conservatives' Economic Policy Review.
We decided to release stories ahead of the complete document, as the report contained so many different issues and recommendations. We reminded journalists a week ago of the analysis of what we think is wrong and the areas we would cover: from transport and pensions to energy and taxation.
Last week The Sunday Telegraph gave prominent coverage to one of the 10 chapters of the report, dealing with proposals to cut the costs of regulation.
Labour began their super spin response. They decided it was a "lurch to the Right", and a reaction by the leadership to the weaker polls of the last few weeks.
The BBC at the beginning tended to see the report through these eyes.
I explained that this is a serious long-term review. It is not an ephemeral response to the day-by-day political news. A second's thought by any journalist would have told them two things were wrong with Labour's response. Firstly, how could Labour judge the overall balance and tenor of the report when they had not seen it?
Secondly, how could it be a lurch based on recent polls, when I had been asked to write it 18 months ago and had finished it before Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister?
When Labour saw their first attack was starting to backfire with the newspapers, they changed it. They decided the report was dangerously Eurosceptic. I was promptly invited onto the BBC's World Tonight: the entire interview was about our relationship with Brussels.
I had no objections, although the professorial interview that prefaced my appearance was presumably designed to give weight to a different view from mine in the hope that I would come across as ill-informed in contrast. The BBC did not mention that I also have been a professor and have led a university seminar series on the EU constitution as a fellow of an Oxford college.
I was delighted that halfway through the week Helen Boaden, a senior manager at the BBC, graciously admitted it had been wrong to run footage of me singing, from 14 years ago, as their lead-in to their first report. I am the only politician who has regularly been given eternal youth by the BBC in this way.
I do not recall, every time Neil Kinnock made a statement as EU Commissioner, the BBC running the clip of him slipping on the beach. Gordon Brown's statements are not introduced by running the recent pictures of him picking his nose on the front bench. I look forward to fairer treatment in future.
As the week wore on newspapers did take a serious interest in some of the ideas we are proposing for a better Britain.
The radio and television remained unmoved by proposals to help people save and buy their first home, to create more jobs, revitalise Britain's infrastructure, increase the number of trains, give people more flexibility with their pensions, and raise more endowment money for our leading universities.
Labour politicians will doubtless sit down and read the report - or researchers' summaries - now it is published.
My guess is they will adopt some of the recommendations, because they are commonsense proposals to tackle problems the Government itself has identified. Meanwhile the Chancellor of the Exchequer has betrayed a shocking ignorance of economics by saying that the Conservative proposals mean taking £21 billion away from the economy - his view of what happens to money allowed to remain with the people and companies that earned it instead of it being taken by the taxman!
He was, of course, allowed to get away with this howler. It clearly does not occur to him that people use it to invest, to create new jobs, to save and to provide for their families.
Labour has persuaded many that if you want lower tax rates you must cut public spending - and of course you would cut teachers and nurses in their parallel universe, rather than management consultants, bureaucracy and publicity.
I have gone hoarse explaining that Ireland cut tax rates on business, and lowered capital taxes, and enjoyed a large surge in revenue from the extra growth it generated. Ireland shows you can have it all - much lower tax rates, and more revenue and public spending per head. After I explain this, I am normally asked again how many teachers I want to sack to pay for the cuts!
As a democrat I relish strong argument. As someone who wants to bring people back into politics and get them interested again I am frustrated that some of my political opponents just go in for mud slinging and slogans rather than engaging in a debate about what might work.
If television and radio want to rebuild audiences for politics, following every one of the silliest slurs is not the best way to do that.