Why, so many observers ponder, has the BBC made so many mis-steps recently, and yet still refuses to accept that there is genuine disquiet about the Corporation’s behaviour, especially in the field of news and current affairs? Who, or what, has driven the organisation’s culture to such a point? Why did the Beeb fail to call out the lawbreaking of the Leave campaigns and put the Cambridge Analytica scandal front and centre?
Le BBC, c'était moi
We may be closer to seeing why this has happened after seeing the thoughts of Robbie Gibb, former head of BBC Westminster, who has been invited to write for the Daily Mail - not exactly a haven of even-handedness - and has shown us why the BBC was so soft on the ability of Vote Leave and Leave EU to be economical with the actualité.
Before the General Election, he inadvisedly Tweeted out a video by the Twitter account @milkmedianewyor - a propaganda-pushing anti-Labour account which appears to be linked to the Stop Funding Fake News site, an outfit that does not want to stop the production of Fake News, rather than put advertisers off sites they don’t like.
The firm smack of even-handedness
Also before the election, he Tweeted out blatantly pro-Tory propaganda, balancing it with bashing Labour while claiming “This is genuinely not a purely party political point”. Except it was. And as recently as the 2017 General Election, he was in post at the Beeb.
They're wrong, I'm right
Having excoriated Channel 4 News and used his Mail column to put the boot into the Radio 4 Today Programme - how convenient for someone given a knighthood by The Tories - we get to see what Gibb really thinks, and get an essential insight into why the BBC coverage during the EU referendum and after was so lame.
You missed out "screwed up by Myself"
Gibb asks “Once the UK has left the EU is it realistic any major party would propose rejoining? The pitch would be: - An end to the control of our borders - Pay a net £10bn a year (or probably more) - Meaning we’d have to make cuts to public spending or raise taxes”. One, we have never NOT had control of our borders. Two, we may still be paying into the EU even after Brexit, especially if it’s a soft Brexit.
Moreover, Gibb fails - as do all other ardent Brexiteers - to address the benefits of EU membership. No benefit/cost analysis is done, or will be done. And Three, there is no evidence whatsoever that there would have to spending cuts or tax rises. This is cheap and crude Europhobic propaganda. From a recently senior BBC executive.
... and again
It got worse: “Hand over control of our fishing to the EU - Hand law making powers to unelected officials in the EU - Maybe have to join the euro - Be part of ever closer union”. Four, being part of a club in which all members make decisions is not “handing over power”. Five, those making decisions in the EU are NOT “unelected” - the final say on laws rests with the European Parliament, a democratically elected body.
Six, that depends on the universal defeatist fallacy - that the UK is not as good as Germany, or indeed several other Eurozone countries. Even Greece does not want to ditch the Euro. And Seven, “Ever closer union” was in the Treaty of Rome. In 1957.
But good of Robbie Gibb to show why the Beeb is screwed. It is still struggling to extract itself from his straitjacket. Now he’s on the team urging its breakup. No surprise there.
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