Thursday 8 August 2013

Why Nigel Farage is no fan of 'Today'

Talking about UKIP, here's an extract from an interview Nigel Farage gave to Public Service Europe. I think it's fair to say he's not a great fan of the Today programme. 

In terms of media appearances, you have appeared on the BBC's Question Time more than anybody else in recent times. So what in your view is the explanation for this phenomenon – do you have some sort of special relationship with the producers? 
"No, I mean the BBC has to provide an alternative view. When you have three political parties in England, all of whom believe in EU membership and support mass immigration as well as wanting wind turbines to spoil our uplands and sea-scapes while opposing the grammar schools which worked for centuries – I could go on – they need another voice. So the BBC only has two choices, it's us or a commentator from one of the newspapers. And as we are elected, they tend to use us."
Yes but it always seems to be you rather than another representative from UKIP? 
"No, I wouldn't say that is true. Paul Nuttall has been on twice. Diane James has been on twice. Patrick Moore even appeared once years ago. So they are using other people too. I think the BBC has to provide balance and it has to provide an argument and among elected politicians in Britain, it is only UKIP offering that.
"In terms of recognising UKIP's role, there has been a great improvement. In terms of overall BBC bias, on The Today Programme there has been no improvement at all. They need to sack everybody and start again. The Today Programme still thinks that the UK Chancellor is cutting public expenditure. Need I say more?"
Can you expand upon that allegation and give me other examples of bias?
"I'm in the car and the programme is on and I hear climate change for the fifth time that morning and I just scream. I'm afraid that there are many things that The Today Programme takes to be givens that I think ought to be debated. But, I am being praiseworthy in some senses, by saying that the BBC as an organisation has recognised that British politics has changed and its attitude towards us at by-elections and everything else has changed dramatically and that I welcome."
So are you getting a fair ride from the rest of the British media now, have things changed across the board? 
"Yes, I do think so. Things have changed an awful lot."

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