There is one attribute applying to journalists reporting as part of the Lobby which many out there in the real world fail to understand, and that is the Lobby mentality. Lobby correspondents talk to other Lobby correspondents. They often agree to define reality in similar ways. Sometimes they listen to that reality, rather than first checking it against the outside world. Which brings us to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.
Ms K has occasionally exhibited maybe not bias, but certainly a lack of awareness, when covering Labour and its recent travails. The engineered on-air resignation of a junior shadow minister in February last year, seemingly less than impartial coverage of local elections, and the legitimising of the Sun’s totally untrue “QUEEN BACKS BREXIT” rubbish showcased this. And to point it out was, sorry folks, NOT sexist.
So it was that Ms K jotted down her thoughts on the General Election so far in a Tweet. “Both main party leaders so far have done invite only events + a bit of public access”. This effectively equated what Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had done with Theresa May’s grand progress among her subjects. The result of demonstrating this singular lack of awareness was incredulity and annoyance from Labour supporters.
This post will not be dwelling on the detail of that incredulity and annoyance - those who wish to peruse the aftermath of Ms Kuenssberg’s Tweet can do so HERE - but to equate the Corbyn and May campaigns thus far is just plain flat wrong. Consider the Prime Minister’s trips - where the transport itself has seen her sealed off from the public, whether using road, or sometimes air, travel. Let’s start with Scotland.
A meeting at a church hall several miles west of Aberdeen, which was definitely not booked as such, and was open only to vetted and invited Tories. No public access there. During her visit to Cornwall, journalists were locked in a room and kept well away from Ms May. Another invite-only event, because it was in a Labour-held constituency, was advertised as “taking the fight to Labour”, but no members of the public featured.
True, there was a belated if heavily policed walkabout during that Cornwall visit, but the contrast with Jezza could not be more stark: when the Labour leader visited the North West, he travelled by train, sitting in Standard Class and yes, interacting with anyone and everyone who wanted to stop by and chat. He was heckled outside M&S in Crewe - no chance of keeping the ordinary public away there.
The idea that Corbyn, whatever his faults and weaknesses, has had his campaign subjected to the same secure and closed-off environment as Theresa May’s does not stand the most basic of scrutiny. Yet anyone reading Laura Kuenssberg’s thoughts would be led to believe exactly that. And once again, that’s not good enough.
Situation normal for the BBC is to have both left and right heaping criticism on the Corporation. It should be instructive that almost all the response to Ms Kuenssberg’s observation has been from one side of the political spectrum. I’ll just leave that one there.
I emailed the BBC last week over another of LK's assertions. On the 10pm news she stated that: 'Theresa May was under no obligation to call a general election' No mention of tory election fraud and all its implications. Her bias is becoming too obvious for the BBC to continue ignoring.
Nothing on Diane Abbott's 'Car crash' interview from the usual media suspects.
When Ms Bennett did it the words car crash and interview were all over the news.
Still, I suppose the words Diane and car crash are a sore point for some.
How do you complain to the BBC these days? I used to phone years ago just to get the complaint registered. What do you do now?
Tory 'election fraud' has no legs at the moment. The CPS are still investigating and any reporting apart from that is #fakenews. Tim knows my views. The standard of proof needed to convict is extremely high. It's not just signing an incorrect certificate that is unlawful. It must be done with intention to deceive.
"The standard of proof needed to convict is extremely high."
The cynic in me I suggests the standard of proof might correlate to the expected pay rise of the various police forces involved. As Yates formerly of the Yard might have said "If you have connections in high places......" Even better if you can afford an army of private detective to provide "dirt" on your opponents (cf NewsCorps safe full of dossiers and the reason for Leveson 1).
The money laundering should be more straightforward? Or was that a slip of the pen?
Big deals done bigly. By "big" people with "big" connections.
This from the Davis Green might make you less cynical. Clearly examining the true legal issues don't. http://blogs.ft.com/david-allen-green/2016/06/08/the-law-and-politics-of-the-conservative-election-expense-allegations/
By the way, Rob it's nothing to do with the police. They simply gather evidence. The CPS decide whether there's a case according to statutory guidelines
If you Google Abbott car crash interview every single media outlet has an article on it. Here are just two:
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