Sunday 24 November 2019

Fairness at 'Broadcasting House'

In a post last Sunday, we discussed the decision by Radio 4's Broadcasting House to choose a former advisor to Boris Johnson, the second a former advisor to Jeremy Corbyn and the third a former advisor to Nick Clegg - i.e. a Conservative, a Labour supporter and a Liberal Democrat supporter - to be their 'special advisors' throughout the general election. and wondered how fair that was (i.e. did it overpromote the Lib Dems?). 

There's another problem. It turns out, as revealed this morning (out of her own mouth), that the former advisor to Boris Johnson (Jo Tanner) is not a Conservative at all. She said she'd never been in the party and tended to take a "neutral" position on things like manifestos. She then poured a huge bucket cold water over the manifesto of "the Tories", and Paddy then noted her as describing herself as "not a natural Conservative".  The former advisor to Jeremy Corbyn (Simon Fletcher), in contrast, is a Labour Party member on the far-left of the party and close to Mr Corbyn, so guess what? Yes, he pronounced his party's manifesto "a big success" and praised Jeremy Corbyn. Is that fair?

Is Broadcasting House going to keep Jo Tanner for the duration of the election, knowing what they now know (if they didn't already know)? Shouldn't they replace her with a Conservative supporter?


  1. Not only is she not a Conservative, she voted for Tony Blair! :)

    "When I went for my interview they asked if I was a Tory voter. I replied that I had voted for Blair in 1997, which made a few jaws drop!"

    Can't see the BBC ever allowing the same latitude for a "Labour" figurehead.

  2. It’s stuff like this that make you think they were out to deceive all along and that they knew exactly what they were doing with those choices. I’m sure the producer was well aware that the supposed evenhandedness was a clever sham.

    They are a super funded political organisation and everything they do should be viewed through that lens.

  3. That programme has had a longstanding line of highlighting and promoting the bringing of refugees to the UK and they were at it again this morning about groups who have been finding homes and sponsors to enable children to be brought from Syria. The thing I find odd about it is that they haven't named any of these groups or given any sort of information about them. Going by past experience of the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015 and subsequently, it would be usual for a broadcaster to do so and even for the groups to name themselves. Some of them were very prominent in the media. Now they are suddenly shy and as far as I can tell totally invisible. The BBC BH is still promoting but now isn't telling who they are.

    1. Newsnight used to specialise in "refugees" settling in to UK life...all very positive until one of the teenagers among the "refugee family" was accused, and found guilty I think, of a serious assault. The series was abruptly brought to halt. Clearly because it did not fit the narrative which has to be relentlessly positive.

  4. I used to listen to BH
    but about 4 years ago it became unbearable
    I had to appeal to Paddy himself to remove me from the mailing list
    which he or an underling did, ta.


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