Just under a week ago, a question...
...led me to half-complete a post.
It originally ran as follows:
Hmm. Checking TV Eyes for Radio 4 from 6-9am that morning [i.e. 24 September] and listing all the mentions of "referendum" by BBC reporters and presenters found the following:
"another referendum" - 6"a second referendum" - 3"a further referendum" - 3"a new referendum" - 2
So that's 3 uses of "second referendum" compared to 11 uses of the (non 'People's Vote') alternatives to "second referendum". Two of the uses of "a second referendum" came in a single sentence by Nick Robinson.
Well, maybe I should have finished it as it turns out that, yes, there really is a BBC editorial policy about it and, yes, "second referendum" genuinely is deliberately being sidelined as a term by the BBC.
It’s not just Labour and the Tories who are tying themselves in knots over a “people’s vote” — the BBC has joined in, too. Its presenters and news reporters have been ordered to stop referring to a “second referendum” on the grounds that it annoys people who think we’ve already had one.
“Some people regard 1975 as the first referendum,” says a memo from Ric Bailey, the BBC’s chief political adviser. “Others insist that, even if 2016 was the first vote, calls for another referendum now would be asking a very different question and therefore should not be described as the second.” The accepted terms are “further referendum” or “another referendum”.
A BBC radio source seethes: “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”It's also absolutely typical of the BBC.