Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections

Language Battles: BBC

I have commented previously about this Government’s strategy of fighting the language battle before introducing political change (Language Battles) and predicted that the next battle-grounds over areas to be “softened up” were likely to be Europe, Migration and the NHS. Listening to Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (Wednesday 9 October 2013), I think I may have missed a target.

Hansard shows three references to a pet-hate of the “Tories”:

The Prime Minister: … Now even the BBC disagrees with that.

col 153

The Prime Minister: When I woke up this morning and heard that the BBC was reporting that you can cut public spending and make public services better, I thought I had died and gone to heaven for a moment.

but the BBC—let us praise the BBC for once—

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This last reference was accompanied on the BBC TV coverage by a shocked look on the face of the Leader of the Opposition.

Is this “tone” the beginning of a “softening up process” prior to some major change, to be justified in the light of recent stories about inept management at the BBC, or is it a bit of “roughing up” to try to ensure more favourable coverage in the approach to the General Election?

It is curious that as complaints or comments by the Tories almost inevitably cast the BBC as “left-wing”, it becomes essential (what-ever the rightness of any Tory complaint) that the Labour party should complain about anti-Labour bias in order to redress the balance.

Watch and Listen!


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