Monday, 17 February 2014

The BBC blew it - again

BBC Newsnight tonight announces an item on "sanctions", so I watch with interest.  It goes to a food bank in Accrington (I think) and its manager talks eloquently about the hardships people are suffering.  A few people are singled out; a 61-year-old man who had worked all his life until made redundant two years ago; a young man with learning difficulties; both punished for not applying for enough jobs.  Back to the studio, and Victoria Derbyshire conducts an interview with two MPs; Debbie Abrahams (Labour), who is on the Work & Pensions select committee, and Nadhim Zahawi (Tory).  It's a sorry spectacle.  Abrahams tries to bring out the reality of sanctions, Zahawi parrots the familiar lies, and is allowed to talk over her and dominate the "discussion".  Just when you think the BBC might be finding its backbone, it caves in.


  1. Sounds very much like the "denate" on Channel Four after last nights "Benefit Street". It was pointed out that over fifty per cent of the benefits budget is paid as pensions yet the five programmes mainly concentrated on about six people.

  2. Instead of all these lightweight presenters and reporters who seem to have no idea or really care what they are investigating can we have someone like Mark Thomas.

    1. That's the problem - folk don't want to acknowledge there is a problem with sanctions and a decline in the standard of living because it would undermine their cosy, wholly imaginary perception of Britain as some kind pastoral utopia where everyone has a £50k job, is married to a supermodel with two brainy kids, has £400k to blow on an six bedroom converted barn in the country, is a permanent member of the local lawn tennis club and owns an Aga, when in reality it is a country and economy in decline that cannot pay its way and is solely dependent on the myth that owning your own home is the pathway to fulfilment.


  3. Nadhim Zahawi , the Tory MP who brazenly claimed £5,822 of taxpayers' money to heat his mansion and stables! And he has the brass neck to lecture others on the benefits system?

    The man is shameless. One would have thought that having been forced to apologise for yet another expenses scandal, Zahawi would have kept his head down. But no. It seems he went to the same charm school as the irrelevant Katie Hopkins. Where the more you shout and the more 'controversial' you are, the more you are, the more airtime you're given. Shame on today's media.

    And shame on today's political system and indeed the electorate when the likes of Zahawi can enter parliament.


Keep it clean, please. No abusive comments will be approved, so don't indulge in insults. If you wish to contact me, post a comment beginning with "not for publication".