Labour Flunks, BBC Spins 96


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.


96 thoughts on “Labour Flunks, BBC Spins

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  • TonyF12

    Good analysis.

    Writing off all those who voted UKIP as xenophobes seems a step too far for me. Some certainly are, but there are plenty of xenophobes in the Conservative and for that matter Labour parties. Name-calling of UKIP did not serve the Conservatives, LibDems and Labour. The daily onslaught of stories about UKIP eating hamsters did not work for the established parties last night, nor will commentaries labeling them universally as xenophobes.

    My impression from here in the London area is that voting UKIP yesterday was seen as a perfect opportunity to tell Westminster that their cosy assumptions of unqualified support were unfounded whatever the Maria Millers got up to, or whatever blind support Westminster nods through from Brussels or Washington in respect of Ukraine, Libya, Syria or the Bedroom Tax. The bigger question has to be whether UKIP can consolidate their appeal in the General Election. It will all depend on how many insults UKIP supporters will put up with, and my impression is that they are enjoying the insults because they see them for what they are.

    The last time the UK media were totally united in a cause – whether The Sun, The Telegraph, Hello or the Beano – was the run-up to the Iraq War. It worked then, but it did not work yesterday. Instead it poured petrol on the flames.

  • craig Post author

    TonyF12

    I live in Ramsgate, one of their strongest areas and the seat which Farage is targeting to stand. I see them very close up. Xenophobia is beyond doubt their most striking characteristic.

  • Daniel

    I’m a Londoner soon to be working at the Commonwealth Games. I hope not to return. I really hope the Scots vote ‘yes’.

  • Richard

    Well, that’s the B.B.C. for you!

    I don’t quite get this xenophobic England tripe though.

    Firstly, Britain in general and England in particular has a very high level of immigration despite having a small land area (the whole British Isles including the Irish Republic is just under half the size of Texas) and a very high population density.

    Secondly, separatism in a British context is petty and parochial. There is a contradiction somewhere in suggesting that Unionism is somehow associated with xenophobia while separatism is supposed to be compatible with progression to some high-minded, liberal and inclusive Utopia.

    It is also a little bit rich if I may say so, for people whose positions are reasonably secure to continue to launch into the knee-jerk reaction of attributing the lowest motivations to those who are prepared to vote U.K.I.P.

    Thirdly, there are plenty of people who are dissatisfied with what Britain has become. The answer is to reform Britain, not trash it.

    Fourthly, in practical terms there can be no real separatism. We are all living under the severe geographical constraint mentioned above. All we are going to achieve through the mis-named “Independence” is create even more useless, parasitic politicians to drain the taxes of people who work and produce.

    It would be more sensitive (and sensible) to consider this:

    There is a constituency in this country for whom even the so-called “good times” were never that wonderful. In those days they did real, hard work in factories and mines for the kind of wages that their contemporary critics wouldn’t get out of bed for. Now most of the decent jobs are gone, the education system they could once have relied upon to lift their expectations has been deliberately trashed, they have to compete with recent immigrants for the few jobs which remain and for low wages, they have seen their communities transformed and, if they raise complaint, have to suffer insults from the mouths of those few at the top of the pyramid who benefit from their misfortune.

    The surprise isn’t that they don’t like it, the surprise is that the perpetrators of this crime aren’t hanging from the lamp-posts.

    Far from Craig’s description of England as ‘xenophobic’, the stoicism and tolerance of the British working classes amazes me.

  • AdrianD

    On the Today programme, the BBC were making a big deal about Ukip not doing so well in London – something, it was suggested, that was associated with the voters there being younger and more intelligent (didn’t stop them voting for Boris though did it?).

    As you say Craig, this can only help the Scotish independence vote. As a Green voter from Sussex, I think that this can only be a good thing.

  • TonyF12

    I do know what you mean, Craig. In our village all the xenophobes have been squawking about UKIP being the answer to their dreams. In their case all it means is a switch from BNP to UKIP, and yesterday’s figures represent swings greater than those from BNP to UKIP.

    I still contend that the bulk of the new support for UKIP came from those who feel disenfranchised because of Westminster’s detachment from their needs and feelings. Issues like HS2 and Heathrow extension are not being handled democratically around here in any sense. Someone in Westminster nods these schemes though and we are not even informed fully let alone consulted or considered. When it comes to the big decisions Westminster is driven by Brussels or Washington, and we pick up the bill and bury the dead, while the MPs worry about second homes and their pension funds. Mistakenly quite possibly, UKIP looks different without being barking mad. Yesterday was a vote to knee the status quo in the groin, which it achieved.

    The established parties need to learn two things – to listen, not hector – to do their jobs and define the differences between them. Being afraid of the unknown in UKIP is fair enough. The ‘known’ is that we have had recent governments doing very bad things in foreign policy, and UKIP has yet to define its ideas. Maybe it has nothing new to say, but we can judge that when we hear it.

  • craig Post author

    “Far from Craig’s description of England as ‘xenophobic’, the stoicism and tolerance of the British working classes amazes me.”

    Typical middle class socialist who almost never actually socializes with working class people. Try talking to people in a Ramsgate pub, then come back and tell me how amazed you are by their tolerance.

  • Anon

    “What the UKIP surge shows is that nasty xenophobia is rampant in England.”

    LOL. You never miss a chance, do you Craig? I can’t recall you putting up an argument for why it is in Britain’s interests to remain in the EU – and to give Farage his due he has been arguing why it is not for years and particularly tirelessly so in the past few months.

    No, instead you just shriek “horrid, horrid, waycists” and hope they will go away. You’re a bit like the BBC in that regard!

  • Anon

    “It will all depend on how many insults UKIP supporters will put up with, and my impression is that they are enjoying the insults because they see them for what they are.”

    Yup. Pay attention Craig!

    🙂

  • AdrianD

    I’m not sure I’d be completely happy with extrapolating from a Ramsgate boozer to the rest of England (for a reasons of geography and economy they’re at a sharper end than most when it comes to Ukips special brand of xenophobia), but even here in Hove I’ve seen and heard enough of their xenophobic claptrap from their purported voters to know it’s a major part of their appeal.

  • Barkbat

    A labour/libdem coalition looks the most likely Government from these results.

  • DougtheDug

    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 BBC have pushed UKIP and Farage heavily on programmes like Question Time. The aim is to split the Tory vote and let Labour back in at the next General Election.

    Unfortunately for the BBC it appears that UKIP are also eating into the Labour vote.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Gissajob)

    “Typical middle class socialist who almost never actually socializes with working class people. Try talking to people in a Ramsgate pub, then come back and tell me how amazed you are by their tolerance.”

    I tried that.

    Me: Hello, working-class chappie.
    WCC: Oright.
    Me: What are your views on xenophobia?
    Wcc: You what?
    Me: I mean, how do you feel about immigration?
    WCC: Is fine, mate, just don’t let bloody Litvaks into Szczecin.
    Me: Sorry?
    WCC; I live Szczecin. You want new bathroom? I fix.

  • Anon

    “The BBC have pushed UKIP and Farage heavily on programmes like Question Time.”

    They get a kipper on the panel and every panellist and the bussed in Labour audience gang up on them. You can tell that UKIP have a point about the main three because they put aside their miniscule differences for an hour and join up to give the kipper a good kicking amid rapturous applause from the audience. I wouldn’t call it promoting UKIP if that’s what you meant.

    The BBC was hoping the continual cries of waycism from the Labour and Lib Dem plants in the audience would stick but they haven’t.

  • Phil

    “Try talking to people in a Ramsgate pub, then come back and tell me how amazed you are by their tolerance.”

    The support for UKIP does not show the English working class are xenphobic.

    I sometimes go to wine bars and talk to the middle classes where I hear far more small minded bigotry than I do in working class pubs.

    You are a bigot yourself to sneer at the English working class as if they are worse than the Scottish working class or the middle classes.

    Most working class communities are integrated with the minorities you only see when you pay them for doing your cleaning. It is not a matter of choice. That’s how it is. Sure the BBC will find one or two to say something racist to help you sneer so. Sure people are unclear who the enemy is and do worry about immigration when they cannot get a job. You should talk to many of my neighbours, in their 40s/50s and most likely never going to get a job again. They get angry, disillusioned and say stupid shit to self-righteous, politically correct, middle class wankers. Hey I’m sure these types were even in the Ramsgate pub you visited.

  • larry Levin

    BBC covered up paedophile scandal. and Hillsborough. whenever innocent people/children are hurt BBC covers it up including Palestinians, we need a referendum on whether we should continue to fund the bastard BBC paedophiles.

    Ignorance is Knowledge

  • nevermind

    Norwich will not start counting until lunchtime and most of the results, so handy to have all weekend for machinating,won’t be available until tommorrow.

    next year will be interersting indeed, with Lib dems fighting for their existence, too busy to make coalition plans as they might not be able to honour them, be replaced by UKIP. So, what of a UKIP Tory coalition next year?

    That prospect alone should encourage all in Scotland to vote for Independence.

  • craig Post author

    Phil

    I have spent a very great deal of my life with both the Scottish and the English working classes. The English working classes are, on the whole, much more xenophobic and have a much narrower knowledge of the world. Like all generalisations, many exceptions.

    Nobody ever called me politically correct before. And I don’t ever lecture people about their politics in pubs. I can however listen and observe.

    “Most working class communities are integrated with the minorities you only see when you pay them from doing your cleaning”. You have a completely false view of both my background and my income. And an even more false view of working class communities.

    In Blackburn there are state schools which are 97% Asian and schools which are 97% white within three hundred yards of each other. Working class communities integrated? You are an extremely ignorant man. Your idea of multi-cultural harmony among the very working class communities of Margate and Ramsgate with the large ethnic minority community here is cloud cuckoo land. UKIP will get about 50% of votes here in Thanet. From those working classes. It is a direct expression of dislike of foreigners. The fact that doesn’t fit with the theoretical class solidarity model of an intellectual fuckwit like Phil is unfortunate.

    So if the English working class are so racially tolerant, who are all these UKIP voters, Phil? All upper class? In Hull. Yarmouth and Rotherham? You are so ideologically blinkered your brain has atrophied.

  • John Goss

    Like Farage with the immigration figures Anon is full of shit. When I challenged him yesterday over the racist labelling of blacks as ‘niggers’ and ‘nig nogs’ by his leader, and to find where he could justify his comment that I was a racist, he shut up shop.

  • cearc

    Daniel,

    So get yourself on the electoral roll as soon as you have an address.

  • A Node

    The BBC and the rest of our MSM have conducted a skillful campaign to portray UKIP as plucky victims of bullying. If the MSM reallydidn’t want UKIP to be successful, they would ignore them.

    It would be interesting to know the airtime Farage has had in the last 2 months in comparison to the other party leaders.

  • Anon

    “I have spent a very great deal of my life with both the Scottish and the English working classes. The English working classes are, on the whole, much more xenophobic and have a much narrower knowledge of the world. Like all generalisations, many exceptions.”

    Not my experience. I’ve seen a great deal of tolerance from the English working classes towards immigrants. There comes a point, though, when whole swathes of our towns and cities no longer resemble England, when jobs, houses, school places and health services are all in short supply, that enough is enough, but it should always be the politicians who are held accountable – not the immigrants themselves – and thankfully this is what I see happening.

    “UKIP will get about 50% of votes here in Thanet. From those working classes. It is a direct expression of dislike of foreigners.”

    Really? Nothing to do with the mass influx of immigrants over which they were never consulted? How long are fuckwits* like you going to take to realise that oposition to mass-immigration is not “racist”?

    *Only kidding, sort of.

  • Anon

    John,

    You’ve made a few fruity comments about the Joos for which you have been pulled up on more than one occasion, so let’s leave it there.

    Re Farage using the N word. It was alleged he said it in a pub by one man who has a vendetta against UKIP. There is no evidence he ever did, which is why not even the BBC bothers with that particular slur.

  • Anon

    “The BBC and the rest of our MSM have conducted a skillful campaign to portray UKIP as plucky victims of bullying.”

    Do you really, honestly , believe this Node?

  • craig Post author

    Anon

    Opposition to immigration is racist. The best news for ages was the net immigration of 250,000 odd in the last twelve months. We need a lot more workers to pay the future pensions of our ageing populations.

  • Geoffrey

    Don’t you think immigrants have dependants of their own?and that they have already brought them or will bring them?.The immigration figures I believe are based only on those who have obtained N.I. nos,so presumably exclude dependants.
    There may be short term economic benefits from mass immigration,especially for the middle class,in the long run it’s likely to be very expensive.

  • Ba'al Zevul (In Haste)

    We need a lot more cheapworkers to pay the future pensions of international hedge fund managers

    FIFY.

    Sorry, but you’re supporting the international marketisation of labour; its treatment as a commodity, subject to the ‘pile it high and sell it cheap’ Woolworth ethic. The challenge should be to train the guys who are here already to do work which earns money – and I do not mean bankers. There’s a huge pool of unemployed and marginally employed without importing even cheaper labour to ensure they remain unemployed. The fact is that immigration – even as Cameron desperately searches for ways to reduce it enough to get UKIP off his back – primarily benefits employers in search of robots. Robots ignorant of the idea of a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. Pensions? I think that’s naive. Pension funds mostly rely on the bubble economy, not on productive labour, to fund themselves. I don’t think the pensions argument has any traction at all when you look at it. Though it might, in a saner world.

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