This week's Newswatch featured a couple of complaints about a post-Budget item on BBC TV featuring Reeta Chakrabarti, who went down to the beach in Bournemouth to canvas various vox populi. Her report began:
Summer, of course, is all about sea, sand - and sticks of rock. And we've got our own to test out what people thought of the Budget. We've got 'Budget Winners' and 'Budget Losers'. Let's see which ones people pick. These sixth-formers all decided they were 'Losers'. Their Living Cost Grant will be scrapped next year and they'll have to borrow the money instead.
Here were the complaints to Newswatch:
Sticks of rock to discuss the Budget? How incredibly patronising to our intelligence. Please stop dumbing down the news to infant school level. You do not have to illustrate every item with pathetic visual analogies.
Can BBC News get any more gimmicky? Sticks on rock on Budget Day - this is what our licence fee goes on.
Indeed. Given how much it must have cost them to buy all those sticks of rock and print all those BBC labels for them (and wrap them), the BBC may still have some way to go vis a vis entering the spirit of austerity.