Saturday 24 June 2017


A couple of mornings ago Today sent a reporter to a fruit farm in Godalming and brought back a large punnet of Brexit-related gloom. (The edition in question isn't available on the iPlayer for some reason). Nick Robinson introduced the report with these words:
There's a warning today from Britain's berry growers that Brexit could crush the industry.
Zoe Conway's report included various hard-working, efficient migrant workers (as she portrayed them) worried about their future, plus farm managers fearing the collapse of their business. One farm owner was asked if he regretted his Leave vote, especially if it leads to what Zoe called a "hard Brexit". No contrasting views featured in Zoe's report.

That's par for the course, of course. But tied in with that piece was the reporting that very same morning of the results of a survey among soft berry producers - a survey the BBC itself had commissioned (for reasons known only to itself but guessable by others). 

The main BBC News website report on the survey (by Emma Simpson) is striking for the way it tries to spin its own findings. The BBC's spin is deeply negative about Brexit and conducive to advancing arguments in favour of retaining free-movement:
UK summer fruit and salad growers are having difficulty recruiting pickers, with more than half saying they don't know if they will have enough migrant workers to harvest their crops. 
Many growers blame the weak pound which has reduced their workers' earning power, as well as uncertainty over Brexit, according to a BBC survey.
The results themselves, cited later in the article, are strikingly at odds with the mood music of the report as a whole:

These results say to me that only 3% of the surveyed farmers are seriously alarmed about "migrant labour shortages'. Another 18% are a bit worried. And what the other 79% (though the figures don't actually add up to 100%)? Well, they either say they have have enough seasonal workers or aren't sure if they've got enough. In other words, that 79% don't sound alarmed about the situation, despite the BBC's alarmist headline.  

I think this is a clear case of BBC bias (conscious or unconscious).

And it's far from being the first time that the BBC has spun its own surveys in a favoured direction.

Who can forget the particularly blatant way the BBC spun its own survey on the attitudes of British Muslims back in 2015? While many other media outlets led with the astonishing finding that 27% of British Muslims expressed  some sympathy with those who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre the BBC heavily pushed the "Most British Muslims 'oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals'" angle. 

Plus there was some very dodgy reporting by the BBC's News at Six and the BBC website into young people's concerns, also in 2015, where both the TV bulletin and the website article omitted all mention of the third biggest concern of the polled young people - immigration. And it was another BBC poll to boot.

And there was Newsnight and the BBC website's blatant attempts to rig the debate before freedom of movement was granted to Romanians and Bulgarians back in 2013, where the BBC twisted its own survey by pushing the 'Few planning to migrate to UK' angle. Others quickly pointed out that the BBC's own figures actually suggested a massive influx of Romanians and Bulgarians was coming. 

As you'll note, all of the above have immigration as a running theme, whether directly or indirectly. And all of them were spun by the BBC in the same way - the pro-immigration way. 

The BBC is not to be trusted with reporting its own poll findings.


  1. But why does the BBC even do polls and surveys? Mission creep to create its own News.

    I also imagine the BBC polls as being a fresh graduate asking 100 people leaving the BBC building their view.

  2. Last year we had the Marmite crisis and were told food prices were going to rocket immediately "Because of Brexit". They haven't - they are stable. Heard that on BBC's You and Yours, but not heard it on their mainstream news programmes.

    Now this migrant labour nonsense. Why should there be fewer labourers if we are still in the EU? Because of BBC Fake News "Hate Crime" propaganda? But as you make clear, the survey results state the exact opposite of the BBC's interpretation.

    The BBC are in the grip of insane impulses: to eliminate our borders, to welcome adult "refugees" of unknown status who pretend to be children, to degenderise men and women, to pretend all cultures are of equal worth and have equal outcomes, to overturn a democratic referendum result, to pretend people are equally interested women's rugby as much as men's... it goes on and on.

    In as much as its staff actually believe in the insanity they disqualify themselves from being journalists. In as much as its staff don't believe in it, then they are cowardly hypocrites.

    1. I'm with you on the women's rugby. It just isn't that newsworthy or as interesting to watch as the men's game, - but in the BBC world of equality we are presumed sexist if we don't 'engage fully' and treat it as being on an equal footing to the men's game.

  3. And the 'Here Come the Poles' episode of the infamous 'White Series' handily explained why only foreigners can work in the fields. Very tidy narrative.


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