Saturday 21 April 2018

BBC One (Monday to Friday): A Brexit Survey

As I said in the previous post, it's us who claim that the BBC is biased against Brexit who have the evidence

And here's some more...


Using TV Eyes, I've tracked every mention of Brexit on BBC One over the past week (Monday-Friday).

As TV Eyes uses the London version of BBC One, the following includes BBC London news programmes too. 

65 results came up.

And here's what BBC One has been up to...


Monday began (overnight) with two reports on a campaign by anti-Brexit campaigners to have a second referendum.

And then came a Hardtalk interview with an anti-Brexit Northern Irish politician (Monica McWilliams of the Women's Coalition (Sample - BBC interviewer: "Maybe one reason, for more than a year, it hasn't worked is because Brexit seems to be directly affecting the mood of people in Northern Ireland, because one of the biggest controversial and unknowns right now about Brexit is what it's going to do to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. How big a factor is that, do you believe?" Monica McWilliams: "Huge, and it's - you've put your finger on it, it's unknown. It's the uncertainty, it has driven us back into silos that we did not need to go back into"). 

Further repeats of both followed. 

BBC Breakfast discussed Brexit in the course of a segment on farming. The BBC interviewer's question was "And that is one element of the cost, that the weather has been so bad when there is extra bedding and feed to pay for. A lot of uncertainty as well around Brexit, which will affect what farmers invest in" and the reply came" and the reply was negative and about the problems faced because "our biggest market is Europe". No one said anything optimistic about Brexit.

A later interview with the Manic Street Preachers promised they'd be "political" about Brexit, but, oddly, they didn't mention Brexit. So that was a damp squib (probably thank goodness). 

BBC One's News at Six cryptically tied in Brexit with the Windrush controversy. (John Pienaar: "This department is under pressure. Brexit is coming and they will be watched very closely as they deal with people in this country, individuals and families, many of whom have been here for you is").

BBC London's local news programme majored on "a senior business group [the Institute of Directors]...warning there's an "information drought" on Brexit - making it hard for companies to plan ahead". A company worrying about access to the Germany market was its focus. It wants something like the Single Market we have now to continue. Opposing voices weren't featured.

Soon after the same BBC London local news programme discussed the pressure on secondary school places in London. "All this is a real headache and a constant balancing act. House prices have an effect, Brexit has an effect", we learned. Quite what effect Brexit was having wasn't explained, but it was obviously somehow adding to the "real headache".

Next came this gem from Eastenders:
How can I say it? ..a con woman. Yeah! Ye... No, it's nothing to be proud of. I've been called worse. Well, why not try to prove them wrong by boosting the local economy, providing employment during these tough Brexit times, eh? I can get you your money, Mas. All of it. In a week. 
BBC London's late night news bulletin repeated the 'worried about Brexit' company and the IoD's concerns.

A repeat of Have I Got News For You mocked David Davis over his negotiations with the EU.


And God saw that it was biased and the evening and the morning were the second day, Tuesday.

And Tuesday began with some early morning good news:"The British pound has hit its highest level against the US dollar since the Brexit referendum in June 2016".

There was nothing else Brexit-related until a Stephen Lawrence documentary that evening featured  clips of a small white supremacist group in the UK chanting for repatriation and a black man saying that "Brexit has changed the nation" and "brought back these feelings of, 'Maybe I'm not part of this community'", thus tying Brexit to racism.

That night's News at Ten had John Pienaar on again, relating Brexit to the Windrush controversy. ("More broadly, this could make harder her mission of protecting Britain's standing and influence up to Brexit and beyond. A member of the negotiating team says that Europeans may fear harsh treatment when they assert their rights to stay in the country. Ministers would deny that, as they you would expect, but this has all come with a cost in moral authority, certainly to the Government, possibly also to the country").


And God saw that it was biased and the evening and the morning were the third day, Wednesday.

Overnight came extensive clips from a parliamentary committee interview about Cambridge Analytica, Brexit, Arron Banks and Leave.EU featuring the testimony of someone highly critical of the aforementioned. 

A business interview around 5.45 featured a newspaper report saying that if we get a decent Brexit deal it could see the UK outstrip the Eurozone. The response? It's all about uncertainty. It's "difficult to predict". Will we get a decent deal? That's "the big thing here". 

For Wednesday's BBC Breakfast, the Windrush-related angle was:
Questions about the competence of the Home Office and this morning. Also questions from Brussels about what all this says about how the Government will handle the registration of EU citizens who will be staying here after Brexit.
A business guest at 6.45 am was optimistic that we will get a Brexit deal and said "that has given a short-term slight stability to the outlook for Britain versus what we've had in the past." The BBC interview (looking on the dark side!) responded, "We know how quickly that can change, so if we're looking at this and thinking we're in a good position right now, how do we make the most of it and bank that rate?" 

BBC Breakfast interview with Bill Gates about malaria saw the BBC immediately reminding him about his earlier plea that Brexit shouldn't lead to UK aid budgets to tackle malaria dealing slashed and asking him if he was "still concerned about that happening". Mr Gates refused to be drawn on that into making further derogatory remarks about Brexit.

A very brief news report then said:
British firm De La Rue has said it will not appeal against the Government's controversial decision to choose a Franco-Dutch company to make the new blue UK passports after Brexit. De La Rue, the current passport provider, said that it had "considered all the options", but would not challenge the move, which will see the half a billion pound contract handed to Gemalto, which has its headquarters in Amsterdam.
On BBC One's News at One we were being given the EU's perspective on the Windrush controversy: 
In Brussels, officials are watching with concern. The government's handling of the Windrush fiasco has not filled them with confidence about how EU nationals will be treated in the UK after Brexit.
That evening's BBC One News at Six covered the House of Lords voting down the government and demanding that the UK stay in the EU Customs Union. (The word "unelected" wasn't used). It wasn't good news for the Government and John Pienaar concluded by saying, "You may have thought the Battle of Brexit had gone quiet, but there are plenty of battles still to come. And the shape of Brexit and the authority of the government and the Prime Minister rest on the outcome". 

The same story was covered on that night's BBC One News at Ten with the same report.


And God saw that it was biased and the evening and the morning were the fourth day, Thursday.

Naturally, overnight the BBC continued reporting the pro-EU Lords' defeat of the Government over the Customs Union.

And then a BBC Click episode about automation on farms. This was classic BBC as far as language about Brexit goes - e.g. (from the BBC presenter):
  1. "Brexit threatens to cut down the number of people available to work on the land"
  2. "There are fears about the availability of migrant workers post Brexit".
Brexit also got a mention on that evening's BBC One News at Six. Kamal Ahmed has been talking to Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England:
He said why this is a big year for Brexit and that would weigh heavily on their decision-making. The big picture, for people watching, is that, yes, prepare for a few interest rate rises over the next few years.
The story that a cross-party alliance of MPs will follow the Lords in forcing a vote to make the UK stay in the EU Customs Union was also a story on BBC One News at Six.

The One Show had a Brexit-related quip:
It would be nice if it was cold during the week and hot at the weekend. We should make that a condition of the Brexit deal .
Mark Carney was a lead story on BBC One's News at Ten that Thursday:
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has told the BBC that a rise in interest rates this year is still likely, but that any increases will be gradual and will depend on progress in the Brexit negotiations. 
The phrase "Brexit uncertainty" was used repeatedly.

This Week featured Richard Madeley (of Richard and Judy fame) reviewing the week. He covered the latest calls for a second referendum and the Lords' defeat of the government over us staying in the EU Customs Union. Quite what Richard's view of Brexit it I'm not sure after this. Pro-EU Alan Johnson and anti-EU Priti Patel then debated it. (Fair enough).


And God saw that (except for This Week) it was biased and the evening and the morning were the fifth day, Friday

The early hours saw an airline business owner being asked by a BBC reporter, "How worried are you and your clients about the Brexit effect and the open skies agreement?". The businessman said his company had "prepared to switch to other countries" but his "personal opinion" was that "I don't think [the worst case scenario] will happen".

A review of parliamentary proceedings included a section beginning, "The Transport Secretary has dismissed the idea that holiday-makers could face air travel delays after Brexit". An SNP MP had raised a scare story. 

By the time of BBC One's News at One, James Lansdale was back linking Brexit to the Windrush debacle:
Theresa May had hoped to use this summit to highlight Britain's global ambitions after Brexit. But the row over Caribbean immigration has made that harder.
The same bulletin later including a segment beginning:
Newsreader: The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has warned there is still a chance that talks on Britain's withdrawal deal from the bloc could fail. Mr Barnier said that while three-quarters of the deal had been agreed, the Irish border issue remained a key stumbling block. Our correspondent Gavin Lee is in Brussels for us with the latest. Tell us more. 
Gavin Lee: This is the EU's chief negotiator for the EU making crystal clear that whilst three quarters they are pretty much in agreement on what the Brexit deal or the withdrawal agreement of both the UK and the European Parliament have to ratify by March next year, the last 25% come because of the series issues involved, said could be problematic and risks failure, he said. 
BBC One's News at Six was back at it too, linking Brexit to the Windrush debacle:
Newsreader: The meeting of the Commonwealth leaders was supposed to be a chance for Theresa May to talk about matters such as trade but instead it ended up being overshadowed by the row over the Windrush migrants.
John Pienaar: That's right. This week, the Commonwealth Summit was supposed to be a show of Britain's weight in the world. Instead, we saw the Prime Minister saying sorry for the mistreatment of Commonwealth migrants and their families by a country once known as the mother country. And not just the government, the Home Office, which Theresa May lead for years, reflecting her own unyielding approach to immigration control in a way that her successor Amber Rudd described as appalling. Mrs May was meant to be standing tall among Commonwealth leaders but we saw her saying sorry again and again to leaders of countries Britain wants to have as friends and needs as trading partners in the world beyond Brexit. 
The latest Have I Got News For You - just like the previous week's edition - made a joke at David Davis's expense, EU-negotiation-wise, and a passing quip at some comedienne insulting a pasty eater saw a comedian quip "This is how Brexit happened".

Finally, BBC One's News at Ten saw John Pienaar continuing the BBC Theme of the Week, Brexit-wise, over the Windrush affair:
Downing Street clearly wanting to be seen to be making amends. Climbing out of that hole. Maintaining Britain's influence and standing and its weight in the world with Brexit approaching, that was always a challenge, and there will be many more challenges as time draws by. But I think the Windrush scandal may just have made that mission that much harder.
Just read the language of that! I don't think Lord Adonis would mind it one bit.

Indeed, Lord Adonis has nothing to complain about as far as any of this is concerned.

That said, there's certainly been plenty of bias on display here, and it's all gone the other (anti-Brexit) way.

Seriously, can anyone read the evidence I've detailed here and still content that the BBC isn't biased in a negative way about Brexit?

I know the dangers of confirmation bias, but this is a list covering every mention of Brexit on BBC One over five days and the evidence couldn't be clearer, could it?


Despite what we heard on Feedback, the BBC still has a case to answer. 'Complaints from both sides' won't wash.

The Adonis/Campbell side has nothing substantial to go off.

This side has


  1. Brilliant analysis Craig!Thanks for that!!

    I hope some other sites with even more traffic pick up on this because it really does show how the BBC work, since your analysis picks up a lot of the "stray" comments across the full range of programmes, in documentaries, so called "comedy" panel shows and so on.

    However this analysis won't even have picked up on some of the more subtle bias that gets injected into drama, arts programmes, interviews, ...People often now use coded phrases "In these polarised times"..."This is a very divisive era..." ..."with hate crimes so much on the rise over the last couple of years" - people are so conditioned to hearing BBC reporters linking Brexit to "polarisation", "division", "hate crimes", "populism", "anti-migrant feeling" etc etc that they don't have to mention Brexit explicitly to have the desired effect.

    But leaving that aside, your analysis shows just how biased all the Brexit references are.

    It's "slam dunk", "case closed" and "incredibly guilty" all rolled into one! :)

  2. Well done in the effort putting this together. It does concern me the left leaning/Remain/metropolitan elite bias of the BBC, the right is criticised, the working class patronized or ignored (For example in the gender pay gap debate, it's all been about women who earn far more than most people whether male or female). It's like a perpetual Guardian editorial. That those voices are given air time is not a problem but there is a real lack of counterpoint.

    It's across all output, panel shows, light entertainment etc.


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