Thursday 15 May 2014

The BBC, UKIP and the SDP

Nick Robinson

Does the Telegraph's Peter Oborne have a multiple-personality complex? Or is there a 'with drink' PO and a 'without drink' PO?

How can someone who writes so much obnoxious rubbish about Israel and the 'Israel Lobby', or who can gushingly compare Mandela to Jesus Christ, also succeed in writing so acutely about British politics? 

Here he is today, observing BBC bias in action over the long term and making sense:
For many years, the Ukip leader was ignored by the mainstream media. In the 2004 European elections, Ukip marked its first major breakthrough, winning 16 per cent of the seats. However, the BBC marked the party down as “other” in its news report the following day.
Now that Mr Farage can no longer be ignored, he is sneered at instead. Even so, it looks possible that next week he will come top in the national vote. This will be a truly astounding achievement. No political party in modern history – not even Neil Kinnock’s Labour in 1987 – has come under such sustained attack and misrepresentation. Mr Kinnock at least had The Guardian and the Daily Mirror; Mr Farage cannot boast a single national title, and several papers are running vendettas against him. Mr Kinnock was treated reasonably fairly by the broadcast media. This is not the case with Mr Farage: consider the lacerating contempt shown towards him by Channel 4 News and its chief presenter, Jon Snow. Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, has also abandoned his usual fairness when dealing with the party.
Consider the way Mr Robinson covered Ukip’s campaign launch three weeks ago. He did not seriously attempt to address its policies, as might have been expected. Instead, he tackled Mr Farage about the fact that he employed his German wife as his secretary. This was surely a story that Mr Robinson could and would have left to a junior reporter if he had been dealing with any other party.
It is instructive to compare Ukip to the Social Democratic Party, the last new force to challenge mainstream political control. The SDP could rely on support from the media – much of it fanatical. The BBC provided the platform (the Dimbleby Lecture) for the speech by Roy Jenkins that signalled the launch of the new party, with most of its top brass present. Ukip, by contrast, has risen despite the media. I would guess that this remorseless perseverance against hostile attack will help make the party more robust now that it has broken through.
Incidentally, in finding a picture of the BBC's Nick Robinson to put at the top of this post it looks as if another Nick Robinson has sent him tumbling down the 'Google Images' search results faster than you can say, er, 'Nick Robinson'. 

Apparently, there's a young American actor who's popular with the girls called Nick Robinson. The original Nick Robinson seems to have less pulling power with internet-savy women. 

It's probably the glasses. 


  1. Got it in one about old Oborne.
    Like you , I too reckon its booze induced polarity sometimes.
    He has one hell of a blond spot about all things Islamic-a constant suck up to the likes of Turkey and Afghanistan as far as I remember....and then skewers the lying political classes here at home as well as the best of `em!
    Very strange...maybe if we take his best stuff on British politics with the best of Nick Cohen re Islam and Socialist quislings that hoover THAT up for a quiet life...then we haver ourselves a decent composite of liberal thinking that we can respect enough to read and argue with.
    And-unlike the flat-pack lefties of the broadsheets, unions, public sector, charities, academe and-but of course-the BBC and Channel 4-these two at least have a fine mind of their own on a couple of important issues to us here on Planet Sense.

  2. Blond spot?....channelling my inner Boris there...I meant "blind" of course


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