Saturday, 21 June 2014

Incredible attack on the BBC

I've only just seen this incredible story in the Mail; I thought the news feed was a parody at first.  But no.  Iain Duncan Smith is furious and has complained bitterly because the BBC led its news bulletins with the story "with more criticism of the Government’s changes to the bloated benefits system".  George Osborne is said to be miffed as well.  "Mr Duncan Smith claimed the corporation had run five negative stories this week alone about sickness and disability benefits, and ‘ignored’ a major announcement on an extension of his flagship new universal credit."  The attack goes relentlessly on.  "‘Who is the biggest opponent of welfare reform? Not a weak Labour Party, but the relentlessly negative BBC,’ he said.  We have successfully introduced the benefits cap to make sure a life on benefits must not be more attractive than working and we have achieved record employment, with more women in work than ever before.  But the BBC news appears to consistently rely on a narrow band of commentators who are overwhelmingly negative."  The DWP has lodged a formal complaint.
This is absolutely chilling.  It confirms what we knew; that the BBC has to tread gingerly because of overt threats to its funding.  But it's a direct undermining of democracy.  The state broadcaster must report only what the government wants it to report.  It must never criticise.  It must allow a minister to say whatever fiction he wants to.
Iain Duncan Smith is a very dangerous man.  He has the mindset of a dictator, delusional and unhinged, and he is being allowed to wreak havoc.  The BBC must not give in to this blackmail.

11 comments:

  1. Explains why he was on Question Time and got an easy ride. I only listen to BBC Radio 2 and the nerws reported their seems fair. Universal Credit seems to be rolling out only to single claimants and may never be extended beyond that group. I hope the BBC are villified and the truth comes out about this interference with fair reporting.

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  2. The BBC should stop capitulating. What we're seeing from Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic is when you give them an inch, they invariably take a mile. The more they give IDS an easy ride, the more he's going to feel entitled to kick up a fuss when the news isn't going his way.

    It irks me he complains about negative journalism in the fucking Daily Mail of all places, who's involvement on this topic is almost exclusively negative. Is it also not utterly comical that the best good news he can come up with is how Universal Credit has made no real progress in the types of claimants it can service but that it may be expanded to the grand total of ninety job centres? Great stuff. It's hard to see why failures in benefits for the most vulnerable in society has taken centre stage over this quantum leap forward in UC development. I plan to lodge a complaint with the BBC too, demanding a televised parade be thrown in his honour. In fact, we should make this a national holiday. Is ''National Universal Credit bungle rolled out to ninety job centres for a minority of claimants when it was supposed to be up and running and on the way to being rolled out nationally by now day'' too wordy?

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    1. Please watch your language. I haven't rejected your comment because you make some excellent points, but I won't publish any more containing obscenities.

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  3. Perhaps that explains the dearth of coverage regarding the demo in London, right on their doorstep, yesterday.

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    1. Yes. Duncan Smith is on Radio 5 Live at 10.00am this morning, Sunday. I won't be able to listen, but will get it on catch-up.

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  4. IDS won’t win with his infantile habit of chucking his toys out of his pram every time anyone criticises any of his pet projects. Most people have the maturity to see straight through his nonsense and why should I worry if his pram is minus a few of his favourite toys?

    The “news” on the Universal Cock-up is that Howard Shiplee, its latest boss, went sick over Christmas 2013 and is still off sick as far as anyone outside the upper echelons of the DWP knows. I wonder whether Shiplee might submit a claim for IDS’ new Personal Independence Payment (PIP)? Shiplee would be entitled to do so if his doctors advise that there is no likelihood that Shiplee will be able to copy Lazarus any time soon. PIP is not means-tested, so Shiplee might well be eligible for it. In March 2014, the W&P Cttee were told in formal oral evidence by a DWP Official that Shiplee had been suffering from “bronchitis” since Christmas. It seems that Shiplee has been unable to shake off his prolonged bout of bronchitis, so by now his doctors must be worrying about whether their original diagnosis was accurate.

    I personally hope/believe that Mike Penning is finally making some real progress with trying to sort out the separate fiascos into which ESA and PIP have been allowed to degenerate. Well done, IDS! Why not try to “cure” sickness/disability with Benefits that are stretcher cases themselves?

    Meanwhile, Public Interest Lawyers in Birmingham are taking Cait Riley (the face of Poundland) back to court. PIL say that IDS has breached Miss Reilly’s Human Rights by his hastily-introduced retroactive secondary legislation that was aimed at nothing except saving the govt’s own skin with its wrongful, unlawful breach of its own primary legislation.

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  5. The BBC ian duncan smith? good cop bad cop. they want people to riot hence the "Defence" of the unemployed by the BBC. do not let the BBC fool you.

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  6. IDS's behaviour might look transparently poor to many people, but the true believers in the Tory party can't get enough of him. He consistently ranks in the top three in the regular ConHome approval rating polls, and is often top.

    Raises some interesting questions, such as are Tory party members exceptionally gullible and support him because they genuinely believe he's doing a good job? Or are they as malign as IDS is himself, and are thus comfortable with the anti-democratic measures to control the media and the growing list of calamities, as at least each one generally means that 'scroungers' are, one way or another, getting a kicking?

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  7. This could be just a mock spat in order that the BBC can be claim to be impartial. They have the ex head of DWP man as their PR man and DWP now has an ex Murdoch press man as their head of PR.

    The BBC does very occasionally broadcast on radio at odd hours (small audience) programs that do honour their charter e.g 18 months ago 5 live exposed the self employed scam (still?) being worked by the Work Program agents.

    Last week on Radio Sheffield they broadcast a program about the miners complaints at how they had covered the 1984/85 strike. Somethings never change.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-27893072

    As far as I can see its not on iPlayer but a review of it was broadcast on Radio 4 pick of the week which is available for the next five days:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b047556v

    If it's not a mock spat then its the bully boys who believe attack is the best method of defense and is there anyone with any courage left in the BBC, who isn't driven by same values as IDS and Osborne, who will stand up to them?

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    1. Very much a genuine one, I suspect. IDS is, on behalf of the government, drawing lines in the sand. BBC bosses might be pusillanimous, but there are plenty of BBC journalists who are unhappy with things but lack the clout (and often the evidence, because many people are scared to speak out) to do much about it.

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  8. Well I'm sure there will be many more complaints leading up to the election. IDS's comments about a weak Labour Party certainly have me convinced this is what this is.

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