If Boris Johnson or Priti Patel were listening to the news bulletin on today's The World This Weekend I suspect they might not have enjoyed it very much.
The main angle - repeated at the end of the programme - was Labour's 'warning' about their law & order plans, and the way the BBC newsreader read out "a growing culture of insolence among thugs" made me chuckle for the sheer extravagance of the shift in his tone of voice to signal his (and the BBC's) distance from the non-u word "thugs".
It was yer actual report that really stood out though.
I know colouring things in make a blog look untidy, but I think it helps show the balance of a report. Here the bit in blue won't have ruined Boris and Priti's Sunday lunches but the bits in red might very well have done:
Newsreader: Labour has warned that government plans to combat crime, including the extension of stop and search powers, could lead to social unrest. Boris Johnson, who also plans to create 10,000 new prison places, says he wants to "counter the impression of a growing culture of insolence amongst thugs". Here is our political correspondent Mark Lobel:
Mark Lobel: Boris Johnson says "the time has come to take a stand against violent crime" with more police, harsher sentencing and more prison places, but the Government's now coming under pressure to answer detailed questions about the proposals. Kit Malthouse, the minister tasked with overseeing the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers, admitted on Sky this morning that he has yet to work out what the first wave - which will start to be recruited in a few weeks - will actually be doing. The policy of stop and search has in the past led to accusations of racial profiling and resentment in some communities. Some question whether it helps to cut crime at all. Number 10 has admitted to the BBC that today's extension of the tactic is based only on initial feedback from trials around the country, described as "very positive", rather than a full report which there are still awaiting. Labour say fewer police officers are being pledged that have been cut in recent years. And it's not clear how new these policies are either, with 10,000 prison places pledged back in 2016.
The bits in red are (I think) telling us:
- (a) that the Government has failed to answer detailed questions about the proposals;
- (b) that Kit Malthouse has 'fessed up that the Government doesn't know what the new police officers will be doing;
- (c) that stop-and-search "has led to accusations" of racism and caused social cohesion problems;
- (d) that "some question" whether it does any good whatsoever;
- (e) that the Government has 'fessed up to basing its extension of stop-and-search "only" on incomplete evidence;
- (f) that "Labour say" that Tory cuts make a nonsense of the plans; and
- (g) that "it's not clear" (to Mark?) that these plans aren't just rehashed old pledges.
Whether extending stop-and-search is a good thing or not, this report is surely biased, don't you think, against the Johnsonian Government's plans?