A new blog has been launched today called The Conservative Woman and it has hit the ground running with an amusing piece by Kathy Gyngell about BBC bias - specifically what she sees as Farming Today's attempts at pushing a feminist agenda over the course of the past week:
Saturday’s programme, it turned out, was the culmination of a week-long campaign by the Beeb’s gender warriors to track down the oppressed of the farming industry. No, they were not seeking out migrant labourers at the mercy of gangmasters or poor peasants drowning on the Somerset levels, but women farmers. A barrage of emails during the week complaining that the BBC was making a fuss about nothing had not stopped them.
Britain’s women farmers, Farming Today was confident, would be found to be still in the grip of patriarchal oppression and prejudice. All it needed was to track them down. The only trouble was, having been lined up for interview, that Britain’s female farmers, from the Welsh uplands to the Scottish Highlands, refused to play ball. They were either bemused or having none of it.
The harder Charlotte Smith, the programme’s presenter and intrepid reporter, tried to make these women’s gender an issue, the more they refused to concede anything.
The interviews Kathy describes sound hilarious, and they reminded me of a piece I wrote last December about an otherwise fascinating episode of On Your Farm:
OK, there was a measure of classic BBC 'ism'-hunting in this programme, as presenter Charlotte Smith tried (and tried) to tempt the female farmers of Higher Melcombe Farm in Dorchester (very Thomas Hardy!) to complain about sexism in the farming industry, though they themselves mostly put the resistance they were getting (from some quarters) more to the youth and initial inexperience of the family's chief farmer, Harriet, than to the fact that she's a woman, but still...
...which all goes to suggest that there are few things in the world more relentless than a biased BBC reporter on a mission!