Member of BBC Election Night Team Writes Crude Anti-Sturgeon Slogan 89

“Professor” Rob Ford of the University of Manchester was a member of Professor John Curtice’s election night results team at the BBC. But he is also a very active anti-Corbyn and anti-SNP propagandist.

Indeed just the day before the election, which he was covering for the BBC as a “neutral and independent psephological expert”, Ford posted this nasty attack on Nicola Sturgeon. Please note that this is not a retweet – the slogan “All Hail Supreme Dear Leader, Daughter of Great Helmsman Sal-Mon” is all Ford’s own brilliant witticism.

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It is of course a free country, and if this puerile behaviour makes Ford happy it is his business. If the BBC want to interview him as a right wing Labour man that is also their business. But for the BBC to employ him as an “independent expert”, to interpret the electoral results for us, is beyond a joke. Many of us already do not trust Curtice. That the right hand man on his BBC team is this anti-SNP and anti-Corbyn bigot is an outrage.

I had never heard of Ford until he foolishly decided to attack me on twitter over my coverage of the fake Nuneaton research designed to rubbish Corbyn. Ford had lovingly tweeted the details of this fake research, and retweeted uber-Blairite John Rentoul’s vicious article based on it. Ford suggested I criticised it because I am a conspiracy theorist who believes in lizard people and the Illuminati. (He has since asked me to clarify that this was a “joke”. He must be great company).

Ford rejected angrily the argument that the Nuneaton “research” was orchestrated anti-Corbyn spin prepared by the Blairites. It was legitimate and ethical focus group research, he said, rather heatedly. His refutation of accusation of disingenuous PR spin was, I felt, perhaps slightly undermined by the fact that he chose as his own twitter profile photo a picture of himself with Peter Mandelson! I think that probably says all you need to know about him.

Except that by attacking me on twitter he inadvertently caused me to notice something else extremely important. I had published that the Nuneaton “research” that made front page news, stating that voters found Corbyn “scruffy and old-fashioned”, was based on interviews with just 16 people. Those people were all Tory voters. There were no gays, no unemployed, no retired people, no tenants, nobody under thirty, no singles and no ethnic minorities. None of the media coverage – including the New Statesman article by the report authors – made those parameters clear. What is more they distorted the views of the respondents and did not make plain that 2 of the 16 said they will vote Labour next time.

The simultaneous publication in the Blairite outlets of this fake Nuneaton research – Guardian, New Statesman, and John Rentoul in the Independent – was plainly coordinated by the Blairite lobby in anticipation of Labour losing Nuneaton. (In the event to the bitter disappointment of the Blairites, Labour held the council). And here is the new information – looking through Ford’s twitter stream, I found tweets by BBC political correspondent Norman Smith. On results day, out of scores of councils contested, Smith had tweeted about only one single council – Nuneaton. And what he tweeted was specifically “Corbyn critics flagging up swing in key Middle England seat of Nuneaton.” So the day before the co-ordinated publication of this fake “academic research” in Blairite media, “Corbyn critics” were pointing out Nuneaton and only Nuneaton to the BBC.

It stinks to high heaven. What stinks still more is the refusal to state who paid the extremely expensive Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the research. And why.

Oh, and the BBC employing Ford as a neutral expert. If they had any political credibility left, that would destroy it.

UPDATE This excellent comment was posted below. I thought it worth highlighting.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner doesn’t just do research. It helps you spin it:

On its website, it says:

For over three decades, we have used sophisticated polling and opinion research to help leading candidates, parties, government leaders, corporations, and advocacy groups across the United States and around the world. Whether you want to win your election, govern your country, raise your profitability, or change the world, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has the research and strategies to help you succeed.

IOW, if I were looking for independent neutral research, I’d go somewhere else. For the dirt on my opponentst, I’d go to GQR.

Who paid for this?

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89 thoughts on “Member of BBC Election Night Team Writes Crude Anti-Sturgeon Slogan

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  • lysias

    Instead of reconsidering Sanders, now that he is doing so much better than Hillary in one-on-one polls with Trump and Hillary is starting to fall behind in such polls, Democratic Party strategists continue in their blind confidence that Hillary will win. The Hill: Dems brush off polls showing close Clinton-Trump race:

    Democrats on Tuesday brushed off polls showing Hillary Clinton in a dead-heat with Donald Trump across three crucial general-election states.

    Most Democratic strategists insist that it is very difficult to see a path to the White House for Trump, given his low approval ratings with a number of crucial groups, particularly Hispanics. They also cast a skeptical eye on polls conducted at this point in the election cycle.

    I have the impression that they would prefer a Trump victory to a Sanders victory, like the Blairites with Corbyn.

  • wiliam michael

    Isnt this image anti-semitic its clearly inspired by the Nazi image of Hitler as a standard bearer, all very alarming.

  • FranzB

    In Mr. Rentoul’s article on the Nuneaton focus group he was unable to find the space to mention that the make up of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council is:-

    Labour – 28 (seats), Conservative – 3, Green – 2, Independent – 1

    And they seem to have won a shedful of seats in the council elections just gone. So I don’t think it was a case that Labour ‘retained’ Nuneaton in these elections. Why did these Blairite numpties choose this solid Labour area for their post election pop at Corbyn?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    During the Scotland Independence referendum, we saw the crudest anti-Scottish propaganda and grossly inaccurate caricatures of Nicola Sturgeon. And that was deemed fine by the MSM, who happily propagated it all. Nicola Sturgeon and the supporters of the ‘Yes’ campaign largely were humourous or philosophical about it all. Stuff about removing the hair from ‘Barbie’ (actually it was Cindy) dolls and so on. So there was sexism involved too in these slurs. The ‘Yes’ campaign turned the slurs and smears back on themselves, which illustrated the absurdity.

    Note the completely different approach by the MSM to the current furore about the BBC’s Political Correspondent.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Generally speaking, I have no objection to cartoons and mocking and caricature, Suhayl, I think it would be most dangerous to start getting uptight about that sort of thing. Humour is one of the most effective ways to speak truth to power.

      However, this Rob Ford is presented by the BBC as an independent expert. If so, he should behave like an independent expert, in my opinion.

      I am employed to support people with dementia. I don’t put gross dementia jokes up on my Facebook or Twitter accounts even though I would be perfectly entitled to in a free country. I treat my clientele with respect.

      • Suhayl Saadi

        I agree, John. I was pointing out something completely differnet, which was the double standard wrt accusations of sexism vis a vis these two public figures, a double standard which of course is politically-driven.

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