Threatening The Powerful 127


About 20,000 of our 80,000 DVDs have now been delivered, with startling results. People have started phoning up for posters, and coming out of their homes to shake our hands as we go past.

I have knocked on hundreds of doors personally, possibly thousands, in the last three weeks. I can report that I have detected absolutely no public enthusiasm for the Conservative Party. The media’s presumption that this is a shoo-in for Chloe Smith seems based on nothing. In fact, many more people have told me that they are voting UKIP, than have said they are voting for any other party. The large majority say they will either not vote, or will vote for an independent.

The media’s determination to hype the Greens is even weirder. At its most frenetic, the Green campaign has been invisible verging on lacklustre. They seem to think it will help them to be shrilly rude about me, while Rupert their candidate wears ties and tries to look official.

The BBC is doing everything possible to constrainn debate, and in particular to give no time to arguments against banking bailouts or aganst the Afghan War, and to corral political opinion back into the safe custody of the major political parties. Even though our campaign is the only interesting thing in Norwich, and even the Sunday Express reports today that I am “Head and shoulders above” the other candidates in debate, the BBC is excluding me from their live televised “Candidates’ Hustings” on Monday at 22.15.

They are also excluding UKIP. While I disagree with them fundamentally, they also plainly have a right to be heard. The BBC is trying to define the field of politicial debate and choice.

Guidance from the Electoral Commission clearly states that, where there is a candidates’ hustings from which any candidate is excluded, the candidates who take part must divide the cost of the hustings between them and declare it against their election expenses limit.

A BBC broadcast candidates’ debate, where the candidates’ speak for election and answer questions to voters, plainly is not BBC news and editorial content, but a hustings. That hustings reaches the voters through a broadcast, and the cost of the event is both the cost of organisation and the cost of broadcast to the voters. So the entire cost of the BBC broadcast must be divided between the candidates and declared against their election limit.

I am sure the Tories and Lib Dems at least are already over their election limit (to be disguised by false accounting on the cost of centrally printed leaflets). Each has already delivered a dozen different leaflets per voter, several of them in fake newspaper or magazine format. If the BBC hustings cost is divided between those candidates invited to take part – Con, NuLab, Lib Dem and Grren – they wil be tipped well over the limit.

I regret having to take a legalistic approach, but the BBC’s determination to exclude me from the election has to be countered.

Meantime, just as the momentum is really switching our way, we need both people here to help leaflet and canvass, and we need donations to cover the remaining materials and expenses of the campaign. Please, please come. or if you can’t please give something to help the work of those who are here.


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127 thoughts on “Threatening The Powerful

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  • Ian

    Here’s the response from the BBC to my complaint that Craig Murray was to be excluded from a special edition of Look East about the Norwich North by-election.

    Dear

    Thanks for your e-mail regarding ‘Look East’.

    I understand you felt we should have given more coverage to the Independent candidate Craig Murray on the programme.

    When there are a large number of candidates (at least 10 so far in Norwich North) the broader interests of the voters would not be served by giving equal coverage to each and every candidate, irrespective of their chances of success. So when editors are deciding how much coverage to give, relatively, to different parties and candidates in any election, one of the key factors they look for is “evidence of past and/or current electoral support” in that electoral area.

    On that basis, in Norwich there is clear evidence of support for the three main parties as well as for the Green Party and therefore those parties will be getting similar levels of coverage. Similarly, there is evidence from the recent elections that both UKIP and the BNP have some support in at least parts of the constituency and they will also, proportionately, be given an appropriate level of coverage by programmes covering the by-election.

    Other candidates, including independents, will receive at least a minimum level of coverage and may, where editorially justified, receive more coverage proportionate to the other parties – again taking some account of evidence of electoral support in the constituency.

    Of course you may still be unhappy with our coverage so I’ve registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all our programme makers including the ‘Look East’ team. It ensures that your points on the programme are circulated and considered across the BBC.

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    Regards

    Michelle Wiggins

    BBC Complaints

  • mary

    Also powerful is Common Purpose’s Julia Middleton who is extracting large sums from county and local councils, police authorities including the Met, fire services an other employers who send employees on her induction courses. which cost several £thousand a time. Prescott’s office gave 500,000 to CP.

    The BBC is also heavily involved and this is a list of those who have been on the courses. You notice a few BBC Norwich TV and radio types amongst the names.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/12750017/Common-Purpose-BBC-Names

  • Parasite

    BM: “My aren’t the hacks getting rattled? If they’re not careful their heads will explode before Thursday and THEN who will do the establishment’s dirty work?”

    Yes, we here in The Establishment (TM) are running scared of Mr Murray. If we’re not too careful he might even keep his deposit and then where will we be?

  • Liam

    It was once the case that all candidates had to be given as much equal time as ever, but Labour soon tore up the rules on that. I’ve seen the “remaining candidates” zip through the bottom of the screen at unreadable speed.

  • Jives

    Only had 8 quid in my Paypal A/C but i’ve sent it onto you…

    Have a few drams on me Craig…

    Best of luck,keep pushing…

  • JimmyGiro

    Ian @ 11:47

    “It ensures that your points on the programme are circulated and considered across the BBC.”

    So the bin-men get several chances to read it !

  • Cheryl

    Good luck Craig. I would vote for you if I lived in Norwich! I hope there are hundreds of people just like me in Norwich.

    You are the only politician I know of who has any scruples!

  • VamanosBandidos

    Yes, we here in The Establishment (TM) are running scared of Mr Murray. If we’re not too careful he might even keep his deposit and then where will we be?

    Posted by: Parasite at July 20, 2009 1:17 PM

    =====

    Yes that is why they stole my votes too, and then said so confirming it to me, just to make sure that I know who is in charge!

    Trouble with your kind of vermin is, you just cannot see there are too many incidents of little hitlers throwing their weight around, and sooner than later everyone of the plebs is going to know about it, but you hope by then the Fascio is no longer in the shadows but out in the open and all is as per the demands that are barked at the slaves.

    You never know who is posting on these boards, do you?

  • Anonymous

    Encouraging article here:

    Sunday July 19,2009

    By Ted Jeory

    LABOUR are so embarrassed by Gordon Brown that not one picture of him appears in campaign leaflets for next week’s Norwich North by-election.

    So concerned are Labour chiefs he is an electoral liability, the airbrushed Prime Minister has also failed to make any appearances on the campaign trail.

    David Cameron and Nick Clegg, meanwhile, have each visited the city four times, as Tories and Lib Dems threaten to overturn a 5,500 majority and push Labour into third place.

    Even the Green party is becoming a threat.

    The by-election was called after the resignation of Dr Ian Gibson, who quit in disgust last month at being reprimanded by Labour bosses for suggesting he had misused his second home allowances.

    It was the final act of revenge for the perennial rebel, with the Tories’ 27-year-old Chloe Smith expected to trounce Labour’s uninspiring Chris Ostrowski and become the country’s first post-sleaze MP on Thursday.

    However, a by-election in the home of Colman’s mustard that was meant to be a fresh start for politics is starting to leave a nasty taste in the mouth.

    If politics cannot change in genteel Norwich, there is no hope anywhere, one cabbie quipped last week.

    There is a joke among Sunday league footballers that Capital Canaries, the club for Norwich City’s London-based fans, are so nice that they refuse to tackle their opponents.

    Alan Partridge notwithstanding, it is a reputation well earned, for the city that spawned Nelson, Delia Smith and Sale of the Century, is one of Britain’s most civilised destinations. However, squabbling politicians are souring things.

    The Lib Dems have been accused of dirty tricks after branding the Green candidate, philosophy lecturer Rupert Read, an “extremist” and a “nutter” for saying Britain had the July 7 terror attacks “coming to us”.

    While the improbably named Lib Dem candidate, April Pond, has been irritated after revelations she lives in a house with a large moat. Unsurprisingly, voters have been turned off.

    At a hustings organised by Age Concern last Thursday, fewer than 20 turned up.

    Of those who did, the thumbs up went not to Tory Ms Smith, but to Norfolk-born Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is standing as an independent anti-sleaze candidate.

    To many, he stood head and shoulders above the others, answering questions thoughtfully instead of trotting out party-approved mantras.

    But despite spending £35,000 delivering a promotional DVD, he has struggled to attract media attention.

    He has not even invited to tomorrow’s BBC hustings event, which has room only for the three main parties and the Greens.

    “It’s a travesty of democracy,” he said. “This is an election caused by a breakdown in the system and a lack of faith in MPs and the more people hear me, the more impressed they are.”

    The cynicism of mainstream politicians was summed up last Thursday by Jan Edwards, a maternity unit manager at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

    As she showed Nick Clegg around her ward, she told the Sunday Express: “I’m not sure you can trust any of them. They make lots of promises, but never keep them.”

    Labour said Gordon Brown had “no plans” to visit Norwich North.

    A spokesman added that despite his appearance on the Glenrothes campaign trail last year, it was the “convention” that prime ministers do not campaign in by-elections.

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/114825/What-no-Brown-

  • Parasite

    VamanosBandidos: keep it up. No doubt Brown himself is delivering “the knock at your door” as we speak. And I’m told the head of MI5 posts here as “George Laird”, just to keep an eye on all you radicals. Scary uh?

    Grow up eh? Or stop eating the Stilton, it gives you nightmares.

    Of more import is Mr. Murray’s decision, as recorded at Norfolk Blogger, to keep on flyposting after he’s been told to stop, on some spurious basis that “posters on lampposts are the done thing in Scotland where I’m from, ooh but then I’m Norfolk born and bred aren’t I?”

    Don’t tell me it’s an establishment plot! They’re flyposting for Murray when his back was turned!

  • Jon

    @VamanosBandidos – I recommend you don’t feed the trolls. But do engage in constructive discussion if you see reasonable critical comments. Luke’s message above regarding the Greens I think has been answered by Craig elsewhere, but it was polite and I think it would be more productive for that to be answered instead.

    That all said, I am not trying to be the comment police. Freedom essentially reigns on this board 😉

  • Vernon

    If the BBC have sent journalists to Norwich North who have been unable to find evidence of electoral support for Mr Murray they are as stupid as they are incompetent.

    The alternative is that they are thoroughly dishonest.

  • dreoilin

    [Priceless. Every time ‘eddie’ disappears, ‘parasite’ shows up. He’s even stealing my phrases.]

    Can anyone explain to me how this could possibly make sense?

    “the broader interests of the voters would not be served by giving equal coverage to each and every candidate” –BBC complaints

    The broader interests of the voters would not be served?

  • Abe Rene

    The “broader interests of the voters” presumably includes preventing extremists gaining inflence. The trouble is, such an idea easily leads to unfair censorship, such as banning Craig from the media.

  • anticant

    What business is it of the BBC to decide what “the broader interests of the voters” are? It is the business of the BBC to present a clear and impartial account to the voters of who is standing and what their platforms are.

    The BBC will be telling us next who it is in our “broader interests” to vote for – or else.

    Shades of Ceausescu!

  • Parasite

    [dreoilin: Yep, you found me out. I’m even Craig Murray at the weekends, leafleting council estates with my massed ranks of armchair supporters cheering me at every step from the safety of their laptops]

    Of course the BBC isn’t going to give every candidate equal time. Some are serious contenders, some like the Greens are in the running to do decently with a small base in councillors, whereas others are attention-seeking one-man-band cranks on ego trips who won’t save their deposits and won’t be seen in Norwich past Friday (hello again Mr Murray)

  • David Allen

    Parasite,

    If you really believed what you are saying about Craig Murray’s chances in the election, you wouldn’t be wasting your time repeatedly posting about it!

  • sam

    What business is it of the BBC to decide what “the broader interests of the voters” are? It is the business of the BBC to present a clear and impartial account to the voters of who is standing and what their platforms are.

    The BBC will be telling us next who it is in our “broader interests” to vote for – or else.

    Shades of Ceausescu!

    Posted by: anticant at July 20, 2009 4:59 PM

    ===========

    I’m with you again, anticant. What the **** is the BBC up to these days? More to the point, who exactly is pulling their strings? Whoever it is, the Beeb is patently no longer an independent, impartial reporter. What a huge shame.

    Good luck, Craig.

  • anticant

    The aptly named parasite introduces a red herring as usual. No-one expects the BBC to give equal time to all the candidates. What licence payers have a right to expect is that the BBC makes an adequate statement – on their website if nowhere else – of who the candidates are and what they stand for.

  • eddie

    Big Girl

    You are starting to sound as paranoid as the rest of them on here. You’ll be saying that the world is run by a secret cabal of lizards next. You need to get out more.

  • Abe Rene

    The BBC is funded by the state, and so cannot be completely independent of government. But taxpayers pay for it, and we have a right to demand better service in terms of impartial coverage of events like an important by-election. It would be interesting to analyse the more indirect influence on ITV by the state.

  • David Allen

    “You are starting to sound as paranoid as the rest of them on here. You’ll be saying that the world is run by a secret cabal of lizards next. You need to get out more.”

    No Eddie, that’s just you, trolling away frantically for Labour, trying to paint a false picture of Craig’s campaign by repeatedly lying about it. You and your like are just a disgrace.

  • mary

    The Six O’Clock news on BBC 1 had an item about the Norwich North by- election by Nick Toemails Robinson. After a bit of history about uprisings 400 years ago, a radio studio was shown with some candidates having a discussion but without Craig there of course. The childlike Chloe piped up with some inane remark. Then Darling was shown with the NuLabourite and mention was made that Broon had not been to visit. Then a scene of Cameroon on a soapbox followed and we had to hear that he had been up to Norwich FIVE times. His audience of Conservative clones cheered when prompted. Rupert Read and Ms Pond also had a few words.

    The piece finished with a list of the candidates. Most unfair and very biased. Got the feeling that Toenails was pushing the Conservatives.

  • anticant

    As long as decrepit and past its use by date New Labour remains in office, this country IS being run by a secret cabal of witless reptilian scum.

  • George Laird

    Dear Eddie/parasite

    I like your name “parasite”, it fits you better.

    “And I’m told the head of MI5 posts here as “George Laird”, just to keep an eye on all you radicals. Scary uh?”

    Was it the guy in the next bed at the Loony bin?

    Not long till New Labour get wiped out in Norwich North.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • eddie

    David

    Come, come. I’ve donated £25 to Craig’s campaign. He doesn’t stand a chance but just to show there are no hard feelings. You don’t seriously think anything I do or say will make an iota of difference to his chances do you? By Look East tonight it suggests that apathy will be the winner.

  • Ruth

    What we need is to clean out the corrupt system that molds our lives.

    We need an MP who will stand up for us and challenge what the Establishment/permanent unelected government dictates to the three main parties.

    We need someone to challenge the secrecy of government; someone to ask why the results of Dr Kelly’s postmortem are hidden; someone to ask why there hasn’t been an inquiry into 7/7 when some facts given by the state are fallacious or deeply suspicious; someone to ask why the UK government is so desperate to stop the appeal into the Lockerbie bombing.

    We need someone to stand up in Parliament to ask if the government is complicit in the excise and VAT frauds in which billions of the taxpayers’ money disappears abroad.

    We need open government so that we can say we’re a democracy. When we don’t know what a political party has done, does or will do, we can’t say we make a choice.

  • George Dutton

    Jon

    Sent a small donation by paypal the other day…I have been away,just got back,checked my e-mails and found this…

    “Hello George Dutton,”

    “We’ve finished reviewing of the transaction below, determined the payment was authorised, and advised the seller to send the item(s).”

    “There might be a slight delay in your delivery due to the review time.”

    Hmmmm…I don’t like using paypal.Hope money got through?.

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