Monday 13 April 2015

More election coverage

I only caught a little of the election coverage today. 

Ed launched his big manifesto and made a big speech to match. Dead Ringers have emailed me this parody, which I'll quote in full:
"Britain can do better. I am ready, ready to put an end to the tired old idea that as long as we look after the rich and powerful we will all be OK.
"Ready to build a Britain that works for ordinary, hard-working, vulnerable families and people once again. 
"Ready to put into practice the truth that it is only when ordinary, hard-working families and people succeed that Britain succeeds.
"If you elect me your Prime Minister in just over three weeks’ time I will work for that goal, I will fight for that goal. Every single day, in every breath I take, in everything I do, in every decision I make, I'll be watching you.
"Our opponents will tell you this is as good as it gets for Britain. It isn’t. I know Britain can be better.The British people know Britain can be better.
"I say, Britain, Britain, Britain. 
"Let’s make it happen together."
The BBC's News at Six saw BBC deputy political editor James Landale call it a strong speech. However, nearly all of the vox pops in his - and Lucy Manning's subsequent report from marginal Bury North - saw 'ordinary, hard-working people' en masse expressing almost total scepticism about it and Labour. As a selection of vox populi, that was a surprisingly unfavourable one for Labour. (James and Lucy will doubtless be called 'Tory stooges' on Twitter as a result).

Robert Peston was on too, being surprisingly sceptical too (even citing the IFS against Labour). Plus, Nick Robinson returned, which was nice.

Still, the BBC's News at Six wasn't the thing that stood out for me. That was Eddie Mair on Radio 4's PM giving Labour's boring, snoring Rachel Reeves (h/t Ian Katz of Newsnight) a right old going-over. He interrupted her 33 times. (Obviously, I counted). Yes, 33 times. (And yet she still barely seemed to wake up.) 

Eddie's questions were deeply unhelpful to Labour. He pressed them especially over their failure to match the Tories' pledge to throw billions at the NHS (which, he repeatedly said, Labour supporters would expect them to do), over whether they'd reverse damaging Tory cuts to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in order to stop tax dodging, and over whether Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy was wrong to promise no Labour cuts in Scotland. Pretty much every question, interruption and heckle was critical - and an attack from the Left. Remarkable stuff.

Eddie Mair has long positioned himself, in such interviews, as the BBC interviewer who makes Paxo and Andrew Neil look like complete wimps - quieter, but far, far more deadly. Tomorrow, he'll have a Tory in his sights. Gawd 'elp that Tory! And any Ukippers should write their wills before appearing.


  1. If the BBC can't find enough vox pops enthusiastic about the speech, you know things are bad.

    Your depiction of Mair's performance confirms the impression I've been getting of a lot of Beeboids seriously disappointed at Labour's poor showing. Not just Miliband and Reeves, it seems like they're all performing really badly when defending or explaining Labour policies on air. Yet the polls still show them neck and neck with the Tories, or even up a couple points. Not enough to get a majority, and they all know the Scots are going to vote SNP as a referendum proxy. The fear at the BBC is palpable. They must be eating their collective livers over beloved Labour's inability to take their rightful place at the top of the polls.

  2. What I'm noticing is that a lot of bias is getting in under the radar - fact checking, comedy progs (like tonight Election Helpline - really crap but allowing people like Jeremy Hardy access to the campaign), personal assessments.

    1. The number of #1degreeofseparation means to skew perceptions are vast and effective if used by unscrupulous media. Those you describe just a few. And very hard to tabulate in terms of 'balance' should they make the plea it's what everyone does and legitimate satire or commentary.

      Not if it's skewed in who invited on, and then fed through the edit suite it isn't.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.