BBC Hits New Low 95

The promotion of independent thinking, and of scepticism about what “news” you are told, is the primary purpose of this blog. So I cannot complain when people extend that scepticism towards me, too.

A gentleman from Fife has written to tell me that he was not inclined to believe my statement that the BBC have agreed that, when Theresa May appears on the special edition of Question Time that will “replace” the leaders’ debate, the questions to May will be pre-approved by her staff and May will know the questions in advance. He therefore contacted the BBC for confirmation.

He has now received a reply from the BBC, that Question Time is bought by the BBC from an independent private production company, so the BBC are not responsible for the arrangements.

I am happy to report he believes me now.

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95 thoughts on “BBC Hits New Low

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  • John Spencer-Davis

    Splendid chap for not simply taking your word but looking into the matter for himself. If everyone was taught to do that then Theresa May and her lying colleagues wouldn’t last five minutes. J

  • reel guid

    The truth about BBC bias – which the Yes movement has been aware of for years – is now dawning on many more people.

    Brilliant satirical cartoon about Theresa May by Chris Cairns on Wings Over Scotland.

    • MJ

      It appears to have dawned on the people of the UK as a whole a bit before you. We had all that stuff with the EU referendum but we ignored it (Scotland excepted of course).

      • JOML

        We did ignore the £350m for the NHS on the side of a bus, that’s for sure. Although it was project fear Vs project pish. ?

  • Dave

    May is promoting a presidential election, but doesn’t want a presidential debate.

  • Gerry

    Regardless of outside independents being used by the BBC, (which I am surprised to learn of) this does not alleviate them of their responsibilities with respect to their charter, and indeed their responsibility to be accountable.
    I take their response to mean “we don’t want to answer this”. Disgraceful unaccountable arrogant broadcaster.

  • Manda

    So this is how BBC squirms out of it’s public duty as an ‘unbiased’ public service provider funded by the public? I suppose details of ‘arrangements’ are conveniently secret under the legal agreement the private company has with the BBC?

  • reel guid

    Craig did you catch the report about Birmingham Yardley on Newsnight last night?

    Jess Phillips got exactly two minutes airtime, which included her speaking to voters on the doorsteps and then giving full answers to questions. She was shown in her election HQ with lots of busy Labour activists beavering away behind her. Reporter Emily Maitlis even chummily called her Jess when she was asking a question.

    By contrast John Hemming got an 18 second soundbite standing on his own facing a stony faced Maitlis.

    • reel guid

      Actually it was a 9 second soundbite since half of it was taken up with Maitlis’s voiceover.

    • Flaminius

      No doubt Phillips die-hard anti-Corbynism has nothing to do with the nicely nicely treatment. Delegitimising Corbyn is he issue and the essence of conservative establishment strategy. Without that, Labour would wallop the Tories in this election.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        I wonder if it has occurred to the powerful brain of Jess Phillips that it is not up to her, but up to a majority of Labour members and supporters whether or not they wish Jeremy Corbyn to continue as leader, whether or not Labour wins the general election? Of course he should not resign. He should wait for the party electorate to have an opportunity to get rid of him or not. And you know what? They won’t.

        • Manda

          I expect the plotters are intending to ramp up their attacks and try other ways to oust Corbyn. Phillips is a core plotter and even if she is nice in person, all I can say is, so apparently is Blair… if Corbyn is ousted, there will not be another chance for a more left wing leader or platform for at least a generation, the plotters have learned a lesson they will not forget, no left candidates on future leadership ballots if they remain in control.

          I too am confident Labour members are in for the long haul and it is a good feeling.

        • Resident Dissident

          We can see from Momentum and the likes of John Spencer Davis (see his previous posts here and his Twitter account if you need evidence) that their main preoccupation is not trying to promote the Labour Party and all its candidates (including Gareth Thomas the sitting Labour MP in his own marginal constituency) but the gutless positioning of Corbyn and his hard left supporters after the election. They don’t care about beating the Tories (or even reducing their majority) or limiting their continued assault on ordinary working people the real goal is an ideologically pure hard left Labour Party from which those with more social democratic political thinking are purged.

          • D_Majestic

            You mean from which the Neocons are purged. That would be nearer to the reality. I watched people I knew gradually realise that the Labour party had been covertly hijacked after ’95. Activists with 30 or 40 years loyal service left the party and grew vegetables or indulged in some other hobby. They never came back. So don’t give me your hogwash.

          • Laguerre

            Unconvincing, RD. Corbyn spoke very well at Chatham House, not the speech of the hard left, or Trots, or whatever you like to call these unicorns.

      • Sarz

        “Phillips is already calling for Corbyn to resign if Labour lose the election… no surprise to hear BBC are giving her a boost.”

        She’s not the only one, did you see Paul Routledge’s hideous article in the Mirror the other day?! An entire article tearing Corbyn down for not resigning after losing an election that hasn’t even taken place yet!
        Bizarrely, he claimed that he was still going to vote Labour anyway, to support the ‘candidate in Keighley, West Yorkshire’, even though he lives in a neighbouring constituency which is a Tory safe seat…? Perhaps he feels that readers will be more sympathetic to his abhorrent views of they think he lives in a working class town rather than the posher one up the road…

        • Manda

          “She’s not the only one, did you see Paul Routledge’s hideous article in the Mirror the other day?! ”

          No I didn’t. I only read the odd article from MSM via links these days. Routledge is not campaigning to be re-elected as a Labour MP and supposedly for a Labour government though is he? I have no doubt MSM is full of Corbyn bashing, lies, overt and covert slander and smears. I rarely read any main stream UK press or watch TV political shows or news any more, I cannot stomach any of them. Luckily, there are those who are willing to jump into the sewer of British main stream political punditry and gossip to debunk it, so I follow them instead, following the odd link into the toxic slime mainly to check on my view of the debunker! A once removed approach is far more healthy for me personally.

  • Flaminius

    Barry Gardiner has done an excellent job in two recent encounters in exposing and defying the BBC bias. Arguably, the most important lesson of Trump presidency is the extent to which people are wise to MSM bias and have blocked it out. I dare say, however, that the Bubba vote in America is able to outweigh the philistine mainstream ‘right thinking’ majority more readily in this very, very conservative country.

    • theresa's eu pawn

      From your link
      ‘Perhaps it is simply the cynical realities behind tv production? Invite an audience and pepper it with extremists, it just makes for better telly? Is that what’s going on here?’

      This is exactly it, politics is being pepped up to become infotainment, taking out as many critical questions as possible but keeping a few extremist/NGO/pressure group representatives in the loop as an excuse as much as to encourage a jeremy Kyle type situation, tabloid TV.

      All QT questions are sifted before being used, I have seen it with my own eyes at the Magdalen Street studio in Norwich. I shan’t attend this fake political program anymore as it is stage managed and not worth the label ‘ critical political public interchange’ or the position it holds as the public amplifier of all our political views.

      QT has been produced privately for years, but its controlled confrontational style holds the BBC bias well, that’s why they are buying programs from the Dimbledynasty.

    • Sharp Ears

      The audience in Edinburgh on Thursday were not having any. Ben Wallace ‘Security Minister’ at the Home Office was given a hard time. Dimblebore ‘just about managed’ to keep control. LOL.

      Wallace was a company commander in the Scots Guards and then did a stint at QuinetiQ where he was overseas business directors. At 00.20 that evening, his Wikipedia entry was altered.

      In 2003 Ben Wallace joined British aerospace company, [[QinetiQ]] as their overseas business development director. During his employment he worked with a number of overseas Government security agencies.

      From 2003 to 2005 he was overseas director of [[QinetiQ]], the UK’s part-privatised National Defence Laboratory

      You can only laugh. ‘They’ think we are stupid and laugh in our faces.

  • Peter Beswick

    The BBC is a political tool paid for by the licence fee and grants.

    It undermines democracy tust by betraying the people that fund them.

    When the World Trade Centre Building #7 collapsed the BBC knew it would.

    When Dr David Kelly died the BBC knew he was dead before the body was found. The Head of News at the BBC knew painkillers were involved in the death several hours before the blister packs of Co-proximal were discovered on the body by the forensic team. And all this whilst a news blackout was thrown around the scene where Kelly’s body was discovered.

    I guess the BBC just gets lucky sometimes when the political will is there.

    Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph;

    “I still remember, of course, how I heard about David Kelly’s death. It started with an early-morning phone call from my friend Mick Smith, then defence correspondent of The Daily Telegraph. Dr Kelly had gone missing, and the police were looking for a body.
    Even then, I couldn’t really believe that he had died. Surely it was some sort of misunderstanding? Perhaps he’d just decided to go off for a few days and would turn up in some hotel, à la Stephen Fry? As soon as I got to the BBC, the director of news, Richard Sambrook, called me to his office. While I had been on the way in, he said, not sounding like he believed it himself, Dr Kelly’s body had been found, and it looked like suicide. He’d taken painkilling tablets and slashed one of his wrists.”

    Dave Bartlett, paramediic

    “Mr Bartlett also said that after the body was found the police threw a ‘blackout’ around the scene – even banning him from speaking to his control room by radio. He says this is the only time it has happened in his long career.”

    • Ian

      the BBC had inside info on the WTC? Haha, no need to involve them in your conspiracy theories. They are doing fine without your help in shooting themsleves in the foot.

      • Peter Beswick

        Over 20 minutes before WTC 7 fell, the BBC report the incident on live TV, unfortunately for the BBC the presenter reporting the “news” in some detail does not realise that the building is still standing and can clearly be seen, behind her, in the live news stream footage.

        So yes Ha ha if that’s where your humour takes you

      • BJ

        Well, I watched the events unfold live on TV and saw the BBC News presenter describe the building coming down with it clearly visible, still standing next to the smoking remains of the Twin Towers of the WTC.
        There’s no conspiracy involved there, a BBC employee described a situation that hadn’t happened but within 20 minutes did.

  • reel guid

    Rev Stu on WIngs posted on Thursday to show that BBC Scotland blatantly broke Ofcom rules about election reporting.

    Former BBC journalist and Liberal Democrat candidate for Edinburgh West Christine Jardine had joined a studio discussion by link and during it was specifically asked by the presenter about her chances in the EW seat. Jardine then went on at some length about the Lib Dem campaign there and how she was finding a movement against the SNP.

    Ofcom rules state clearly that if a candidate takes part in an item about their constituency during a campaign then the broadcaster has to offer the other major candidates the chance to take part.

    As with the Phillips boost on Newsnight, the BBC are regularly and blatantly giving preferential treatment – even against the rules – to particular candidates they clearly want to see win.

  • K Crosby

    I wish that you didn’t ape the most craptastic American neologisms. You can’t approve something afterwards; the words are “approve” or “approval”.

  • Alex tervit

    Best thing to do is for us all to switch of from BBC and especially this stage managed fiasco then we will have to listen to her lies as like the Tory party the BBC do not want to take responsibility for their content

  • Ian

    That is a thoroughly dishonest answer from some apparatchik at the BBC. It is irrelevant who hires the crew, sorts out the arrangements and is responsible for the technical delivery of the show. The only thing that matters is who has editorial control. And the answer is the BBC. Trying to avoid responsibility, which they well know they have, is really cheap of them. Clearly somebody realises the fundamental inappropriate nature of this programme and its breaking of the BBC’s commitment to fairness and impartiality, and has attempted to palm off this political blunder on to an independent company. This company is charged with delivering a programme which the BBC has commissioned and, whatever they say, has their editorial control and input. They clearly have no idea of their own stated charter and commitment to fairness. A classic example just last week was the abysmal PR exercise by the snake Crosby in engineering the dismal advert for the Prime Minister on The One Show – an appearance which clearly broke all the electioneering guidelines, and was utterly feeble in confronting the political questions around her soft soap interview.

    • Squonk

      Question Time – Executive Producer bio from Sharp Ears link upthread.

      Nicolai Gentchev is Director of Current Affairs for Mentorn Media, a role which sees him developing and executive producing a range of current affairs programmes as well as being Executive Producer of BBC One’s premier political debate programme, Question Time.

      Previously he was Editor of Question Time for five-and-a-half years. During this time he also edited the EU Referendum specials for BBC One, BBC Scotland’s ‘Referendum Debates’ series in 2014 and has been executive producer on various one-off programmes, including the ‘Big, Big Debate’ at the Hydro, which was nominated for a BAFTA and won the RTS Scotland Award for Best Referendum Programme.

      Before joining Mentorn Scotland as Editor of Question Time, Gentchev was Editor of ‘Good Morning Scotland’, BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship news programme, in the build up to the 2010 General Election. Previous to that, he has been an output editor on Radio 4’s Today programme, and before that worked for several years as a business reporter and producer for the BBC and Bloomberg News.

  • Republicofscotland

    The Torkip party (Tory+Ukip as there’s now no real difference between them) have the full confidence of the BBC.

    No matter how preposterous the proposition is regarding Therasa May and her refusal to debate with other party leaders, the BBC, will always come up with an alternative to suit the Torkip leader.

    Although I’m no fan of Labour, it has to be said that the BBC, are quite openly denigrating Jeremy Corbyn at every turn, whilst giving the Torkip PM, an easy time of it.

    Incidently did anyway watch the BBC’s parliamentary channel today? David Cameron was out and about in Nantwich, to bolster a Torkip candidates chances of getting elected.

    The BBC cameraman was very careful not to show (too often) his entourage of bodyguards and armed police officers, following his every move.

    One young fellow, in a adidas jumper, after disagreeing with David Cameron was quickly moved aside by his burly security team. In my opinion the jaunt by the ex-PM was a staged managed event, it felt very unnatural.

    • reel guid


      Seeing as you mentioned David Cameron and unnatural in the same post. Did he pass a pork butchers?

      • Republicofscotland

        Nice one reel guid, infact David Cameron did enter a butchers shop. I thought I saw him ogling up a pigs head in the display counter. He in my opinion then went all shifty, and blurted out I’ll have five barbacue ribs for Mrs Cameron. ?

    • Harry Vimes

      Typical everyday example.

      Friday 12th May Radio 4 news 16:00 hours. To paraphrase:

      The Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking in X said Z. Meanwhile the Prime Minister speaking in Y said W. Cue audio clip of Prime Minister speaking. No audio of the main opposition leader.

      If this was somewhere like North Korea, Iran or another “official enemy” of the feudal British and US establishments the usual Jim Breaks tag team of forelock tuggesr and cap doffers would be slavering all over it like the Uriah Heep’s they are.

  • Dave

    I have always felt Labour support for mass-immigration and trigger happy accusations of “racism” was anti-British. New Labour recognised this perception (and although they continued with mass-immigration) tried to counter this perception by waving the Union Flag outside No.10 with Mandelson walking a Bulldog! This was part of their unprincipled behaviour for which they were generally loathed, but for a while, aided and abetted by MSM, it worked.

    Corbyn needs to do something similar, but in a principled way, to counter the perception he is an Irish Republican Socialist. Which he probably was, but now to be British PM he needs to show some affection for the red, white and blue and Her Majesty. If anyone from his campaign office is reading, I suggest he visit the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and wear the RAF uniform.

      • Dave

        Policies matter, but most people vote according to perception rather than from reading the manifestos. Following A review of their defeat in 2010 Labour found they were perceived to be a party for immigrants and benefit scroungers. Or as Jon Cruddas would say, losing touch with their traditional working class base. It was easy for the MSM to cast Corbyn as “anti-British” because of his republican sympathies, hence why, whatever the truth, it was damaging to be seen, not, singing the national anthem when first elected leader and of course this perception matters when seeking to be British PM.

        Unlike New Labour he doesn’t have to be a “flag-waver” (bad) but a calm patriot (good) in a way that reflects his character. Wearing a RAF flying jacket at Imperial War Museum would be a patriot image in a understated way that would be convincing, and not be complicated by the “Troubles” which is mostly associated with the Army.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          I don’t think that would be a very good idea at all – it would be a gift to the anti-Corbyn media, they would immediately seize the opportunity to jeer at him as a hypocrite, highlight that he had never served in the Forces (if he hasn’t – I don’t think he has), and bring up his alleged anti-British attitudes all over again.

          I don’t know if you remember Michael Heseltine in a flak jacket. He looked bloody ridiculous.

          • Dave

            Let them jeer, it would just highlight their bias, because why jeer at someone wearing a RAF flying jacket. People may think it a compromise to win, but a compromise in the right direction. And certain dress suits Corbyn. He looks revolutionary in his Breton cap and would probably look quite adventurous in a flying jacket.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            He would probably look a right berk. Most people do who wear military uniform when they are not in the military.

            Why jeer at somebody wearing an RAF flying jacket? Because he’s not in the RAF and never was. There would be some justification for such jeering. George W Bush took a lot of stick for buggering about in army jackets and the like when he had never seen combat. Perfectly understandable.

  • Paul jones

    Just proves what everyone knows the BBC and question time is a big part of the official propaganda machine of the Tory party and we the licence payers pay for the privilege

  • Sharp Ears

    Read about the forces, the big money from Lord Sainsbury and others that has been deployed against Jeremy by the Progress crowd. A nest of vipers. Our old friend Tristram Hunt gets a mention and at the end a snippet about Labour Friends of Israel. Jeremy for all his political life has been a supporter of the Palestinians of course.

    The billionaire Blairite funding Progress, the “party within a party” behind the plot to break Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party
    July 2nd 2016

  • Ianmc

    That is an unbelievable statement in itself. Are the BBC really saying that they have NO editorial responsibility or control for this program or any other programming from an external production company?

    Absolute nonesense.

  • Robert Campbell

    Iam sorry to say that this situation has been going on for years but because we have a state owned Media then it will never be reported, and that is what any Free thinking person would wish i can’t ask for anything more.

    But i do live in hope

  • Chris Collins

    What is the company name? I really think this ought to be public knowledge.

  • Chris Collins

    What is the company name? I really think this ought to be in the public domain.

  • mark doran

    Dear all,

    I hope Craig doesn’t mind me appending my own postings to his; but I myself am attempting to chart some of the BBC’s recent ‘new lows’…

    If only I could keep up! (There seems to be a new low point reached every 20 minutes or so…)

    — If this is not allowed, Craig or his moderator can of course delete this message, and no hard feelings.


  • Taraneh Ahmadi-Parker

    I am an avid supporter of BBC … recently I see a big change in reporting and covering the election. BBC is so obviously on the side of the Tories and So hard on labour. It’s not only me who says that BBC has changed and is biased in their reporting. Tories have enough media on their side. Really need BBC for fair and true reporting. Have the BBC been abducted by the right winged and the tories. We the public pay licence fee we deserve the truth.

  • gloria harkin

    BBC are full of bull. Question Time has always been a BBC program. Could they please tell us who this : PRODUCTION COMPANY: is and who owns it.

  • Ade Boyne

    Knowing the way things go, the private production company responsible for BBC’S Question Time with Prime Minister will have at least one cabinet member or links to at least one, on their directorship or major share holders.

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