Friday 31 July 2020

BBC guidelines? What are those things of which you speak?

You know that thing where BBC journalists aren't supposed to betray BBC impartiality by expressing points of views on matters of political controversy on Twitter and that other thing where lots of them are happily doing just that, well, here's a collection of Newsnight policy editor Lewis Goodall's tweet on one such matter - the composition and existence of the House of Lords. 

I think it's safe to say that he doesn't even attempt to hide what he thinks - and his behaviour hasn't changed since he's joined the BBC, despite BBC guidelines:

Tweeted after joining the BBC
  • Jul 31,2020: 12 places in the legislature for life for former MPs whose services were either dispensed with by the electorate or who decided they didn’t wish to win a place in the legislature by election a further time. And so the House of Lords continues to swell and swell.
  • Jul 31,2020: Latest honours list announced. Place in the legislature for life for the PM’s brother and a knighthood for the former PM’s husband.
  • Jul 18, 2020: Here we have a front page effectively saying that political allies of the prime minister and others he just quite likes will have seats in the legislature for the rest of their lives. All PMs do the same. And as a result our Parliament has fewer elected members than non-elected.   
  • Jan 18, 2020: Of course, we shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger long standing story- our political leaders can give their friends and allies seats in our legislature for life. That’s...pretty odd.
  • Jan 18, 2020: E-petition written by Goldsmith in 2014: “Genuine Recall would empower voters, increase accountability and improve the relationship between people and power.” As opposed to his new place in the legislature, where there is no relationship between the people and his power at all.
  • Jan 13, 2020: 2014: Zac Goldsmith MP insists that the right of recall is necessary for the members of the lower (democratic) house so that “voters could hold us to account”. 2020: Lord Zac Goldsmith accepts a place in the upper (undemocratic) house for life. Hmm. 🤔
Tweeted before joining the BBC:
  • Dec 19, 2019: This appointment is darkly ironic given Zac Goldsmith was the man who campaigned endlessly for recall for MPs. He’s now just been given a place in the legislature for the rest of his life, where he will be accountable to no-one and where he cannot be removed.
  • Dec 19, 2019: Only in Britain could you be denied your place in the legislature for a fixed term by the electorate only to be put back in it only days later by the government for life.
  • Apr 4, 2019: Viscount Ridley, a man with a seat in our legislature only because of his birth, is rallying against the “despotic majority” of the democratically elected House of Commons.
  • May 10, 2018: They could be Solon-like in quality but I don't think it matters. I just can't see any moral justification for election to the legislature where birthright is required to be a candidate.
And just as I'm about to post this, guess what? Fresh in:

🤔 indeed.

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