Daily archives: May 23, 2014


When I watch the news I flick from channel to channel.  At the moment, if you asked me which channel comes closest to an ideal of good quality and unbiased journalism, I would probably say none, but the best is France24.  It is always fascinating to compare and contrast all the different viewpoints and techniques of news management.

I normally hover very briefly on Fox.  But just now Fox were running an item on a New York bar that has banned weapons – which the Fox commentators thought outrageous.  First they opined gleefully that the bar would get shot up in consequence.  Then one of them said “Most mass shootings actually occur in weapons free zones like schools.” They all happily concurred that schools would be safer if firearms were allowed in.


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BBC New Labour Orgasm

The BBC is totally out of control. At 16.15, the BBC were reporting Labour net gains of 240 seats out of 3,032 declared. At 15.18 Sky were showing just 171 Labour gains out of a total of 6,137 seats declared.

The BBC are way behind in their totalizing, and cherry picking the Labour gains. The BBC have consistently been showing about 7% of all seats contested as Labour gains. Sky consistently shows under 3% of all seats contested as Labor gains.

This cannot be accidental – it has been a consistent pattern for the last sixteen hours of coverage. Of course it makes no difference to the ultimate result, but what it does is enable the BBC to slant the entire day’s news output to one of Labour success.

The BBC figure of over 7% of all seats contested as Labour gains is ludicrous. It is so far removed from reality, and they are so far behind Sky in adding up the total number of seats, that it is a statistical impossibility for this to have happened as an accident for the last sixteen hours – as impossible as your winning if you just sat in a casino for sixteen hours betting red on every single spin of the roulette wheel. This is deliberate and methodical spin by Purnell’s boys at the BBC.

Those 16.15 figures:


Lab 1461 (+240) Con 1072 (-178) Lib Dem 367 (-233) UKIP 142 (+140)


Lab 3036 (+171) Con 2200 (-167) Lib Dem 745 (-178) UKIP 156 (+140)


To spell it out further.

The BBC is showing New Labour as having a 14% increase in their number of seats.  Sky is showing New Labour as having a 5% increase in their number of seats.

The BBC is showing the Tories as having a 14% decrease in their number of seats.  Sky is showing the Tories as having a 6% decrease in their number of seats.

The BBC is showing the Lib Dems as having a 38% decrease in their number of seats.  Sky is showing the Lib Dems as having a 20% decrease in their number of seats.

This effect can only be achieved consistently by a very careful non-random selection of which seats the BBC is feeding in to their totalizer.  The final figures will prove how mendacious the BBC were – but by the time those are available the results will have slipped down the news agenda.  It is about news management.




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Labour Flunks, BBC Spins

The Labour Party has tanked in the English council elections, at a stage in the electoral cycle where every experienced person knows an opposition party would be expecting to pick up a minimum of 800 English council seat net gains. On today’s figures, they are nowhere near achieving an overall majority at Westminster, even ignoring the massive negative momentum against them. Labour have a swing of -8% against them compared to the 2012 local council elections.

Labour played the game of negative expectations in a massive way, claiming a net gain of 150 seats would be a victory for them. So far they have a net gain of just 82. But the extraordinary thing is that the BBC have, throughout the Breakfast News period – the largest TV news watch of the day – been unable to add up all the council seats yet. Sky has totaled every single one of the council seats declared overnight, while the BBC has been able to total under half – and the BBC has come up with a Labour net gain of 102. This has enabled the BBC to show a three figure Labour gain on its strapline all morning, and lead every news bulletin: “Major gains for UKIP in English local elections. Labour has also made gains. A poor night for the Conservatives and Lib Dems”.

That the BBC, which has more regional reporting staff than Sky by a factor of 30, is unable to tally the seats of all the councils declared so far, while Sky had done it all night very efficiently, is remarkable. And when Labour has made net gains of only 82 overall in the overnight declarations, to get a Labour net gain of 102 out of just over a third of the declared seats is virtually impossible for the BBC to achieve except by deliberate action. The BBC have cherry picked the very few areas where Labour has moved forward and ignored areas where they suffered losses. Precisely what one would expect from the BBC.

The fact that Labour cannot form the next government shows the people of Scotland they have a very simple choice. Tory rule or Independence. What the UKIP surge shows is that nasty xenophobia is rampant in England. The Tory party will move even further to the right to capture some of this ground – and so will New Labour. We could well see a Con/UKIP Westminster coalition after 2015.

So if you are Scottish, these are your only certain choices for the future:

Independence or Tory Rule
Independence or Leave the EU

It is as simple as that. The BBC will nevertheless try to hype the remotely vanishing possibility of a New Labour government instead, to appeal to tribal loyalty. Though why anyone would want New Labour who kick-started tuition fees, NHS privatization, academy schools and are obsessed with nuclear weapons, is beyond me. There is no choice open of a social democratic UK.

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