Sunday 22 December 2019

Lauragate (Episode 329)

Oh my! 

Following on from yesterday's snappily-titled post Laura K sees the Winter Solstice light after the Christmas election I see that the bit where I wrote "The extreme wing of the Remain movement on Twitter is not at all happy with her. To put it mildly. (And many of them are not putting it mildly)" marked only the early stages of yet another Twitter onslaught against the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg.

Jolyon Maughan QC is quoting BBC editorial guidelines at her. Pascal Jacquemain is calling her a "Boris Johnson fan" and a "proud employee of the Brexit Broadcasting Conservatives". Dr Louise Raw is pulling rank, "I’m a historian, @bbclaurak. And I have bad news for you". Another historian, Daniel Edwards, is complaining, "What history will actually condemn is journalists who did away impartiality and thoroughness at a time when they were so desperately needed". Richard Corbett MEP is fuming, "No, @bbclaurak, history will vindicate those who: questioned the lies on which Brexit was based, recalled that Leave broke campaign rules, argued that the public shld not be denied a say on the actual outcome that is so different to what was promised". And, yes, plenty of them are linking to The Express.

It's got so bad that the BBC's very own Robocop has been activated:
Emma Burnell: I ’ve had my criticisms of Laura K over this election. But she definitely didn’t say what the Express are reporting. I listened to the segment on Brexitcast. I understood what she was saying and as a remain campaigner I think it was actually fair and useful if uncomfortable.
Rob Burley: Yep. Laura’s analysis was cut short and ripped out of context by the Express. They fade the audio away as she moves on to ”legitimate reasons” of those who campaigned for a second referendum. Utterly brazen. Bizarre for people who normally hate the Express to take it as gospel.
Well, the Express's transcript was pretty accurate and - unlike their audio - included the bit about "legitimate reasons" (as you can see from my post yesterday), plus you can check the Brexitcast  segment for yourselves - from 43m25s here. The Express said
BBC's Kuenssberg says history will question Remainers who tried to 'undo Brexit'. The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg took a rare swipe at Remainers and MPs who spent three years trying to "undo" Brexit as she warned them that history will question their attempts to overturn the referendum vote.
Look again at what Laura said (in a new, improved ITBB transcript). Is what the Express said wrong? 
From a historical point of view, when people look back at this period and they look at the extent of the Labour defeat, was it Corbyn or Brexit, or all the rest of it, I think - first draft of history and all that - I think that people will look back and think, "Hang on a minute - people voted for something in 2016 and then lots of people in the political establishment in Westminster spent a lot of time trying to undo that. [Incredulously] What?"
In the 2016 referendum campain politicians on both sides, including the then-Prime Minister, stood on platforms and said things like, 'If you vote this way, this will happen. There will be no going back, this is not a vote where you get to have a second opinion'. 
And, lo and behold, now, three years later, people are scratching their heads in the Labour Party, and saying 'oh, do you think maybe it was a bit of problem that we were trying to undo something that people voted for?' 
But there are obviously legitimate reasons, perfectly legitimate to campaign for another referendum, but I always felt, covering it as a story, it's like 'People voted for that. It’s not your job then to undo it!' 
 And she's still right.

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