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Tuesday 5 October 2021

Nadine Dorries, The BBC, And Reality

Disagreement, a difference of opinion, is the inevitable stuff of politics. And provided that all concerned are based in reality, that is not a problem, and should never become one. The problem is when politicians fail to base themselves in reality, which brings us to (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries, now elevated to Culture Secretary.

Ms Dorries is no stranger to saying things that are blatantly untrue, and this should be borne in mind when she begins her assault on the BBC. Let’s consider her contribution to the Conservative Home website from July 2006, where she reports back on the creation of a single Liverpool-wide Conservative Association. Spot the whoppers.

Chris Grayling, Shadow Minister for Transport, and I faced the assembled members of five Liverpool Conservative associations … You simply couldn’t argue with the facts. Liverpool doesn’t have a single Conservative councillor or MP. Yet in the room with us, observing through silent eyes, hung a portrait of the assembled Liverpool City Council of 1955, every single one a Conservative”. Liverpool City Council 1955, right?

After that year’s local elections, the Tories had 53 Councillors. But Labour had 65. Moreover, “At the meeting of the City Council on 23 May 1955 the terms of office of twenty of the forty Aldermen expired and the Councillors elected twenty Aldermen to fill the vacant positions for a term of six years. Fifteen Conservative, one Independent, and two Liberal Aldermen were replaced by eighteen Labour Aldermen, allowing Labour to take control of the council for the first time”. 1955 was the first time Labour took control in Liverpool.

It’s all on record. So why lie about it? And she wasn’t finished. “There were eight Conservative Liverpool MPs at that time”. No there weren’t: Liverpool (until 1974) had nine MPs, three of whom represented Labour. For the six Tories, sectarianism, rather than affection for The Blue Team, was more of an influence. By 1964, that influence had waned to the extent that four of the six Tories lost their seats. To Labour.

So it should come as no surprise that Ms Dorries’ latest target, the BBC, is being characterised by her in terms that do not stand up to the most basic fact check. Take her assertion that the Corporation must take action over impartiality: since 2017, when the Beeb fell under Ofcom’s regulatory hand, there have been four annual reports where any breaches of the Broadcasting code on impartiality could have been raised.

Sadly for Ms Dorries, as former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has noted, Ofcom has found a total of zero breaches. He concluded “I have too much respect for [Nadine Dorries] to think she is making up her claims about such flagrant breaches of the code that the very licence fee itself is imperilled. So I hope she can produce some hard evidence”.

Meanwhile, Steven Barnett of the University of Westminster mused “I gather [Nadine Dorries] also claimed that 50% of BBC staff went to private school. Like her other prejudices about the BBC, this is entirely wrong. Actual figure is 11.5% of all staff, 17.5% of leadership (p290 of annual report). I would expect a [DCMS] SoS to get this right”.

From there we come to the merely unfortunate part of Ms Dorries’ oeuvre: Peter Walker of the Guardian observed that she “Says critics of her appointment as culture secretary were mainly people who benefited from ‘nepotism’, and that the BBC's ‘group think’ almost totally excludes working class and northern people”. Nepotism. So says a politician who has been criticised for employing two of her daughters at taxpayers’ expense.

Meanwhile, the Tory cabinet is two-thirds privately educated, the BBC’s leading news anchor (Huw Edwards) was state-educated and his parents weren’t employed by the Corporation, and its leading sports presenter (Gary Lineker) began his working life helping his late Dad Barry - who ran a fruit and veg stall on Leicester Market.

That’s the problem with telling whoppers to suit your agenda. As Gordon Brown warned Damian McBride - someone with whom Ms Dorries has clashed in the past - “Don’t. It’s the lie that gets you”. But he’s a Rotten Leftie™, so she wouldn’t listen to him.

Credibility. It’s not about education or groupthink - it’s about trying to tell the truth.

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Mr Larrington said...

Dorries and reality don’t just occupy different postcodes, they're in different time zones.

Defund the Tories said...

Any fule kno that half the BBC are Dimblebys and that everyone at Rock Ridge is a Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Dorries?...Oh poo, the woman's an empty headed fool.

The tories have no effective presence in Liverpool for well-known reasons: Their far right policies created a wave of revulsion - not just across the city, but across Merseyside. Their lying media ensured that wave will never subside. There were other demographic and sociopolitical reasons but those were the two core motives. All of this information has been available in the public domain for decades.

Actually the economic and propaganda attacks began under the Heath government in the 70s. Then accelerated when Heath government was dumped and Wilson's Labour government elected. Pre-Thatcher, a Daily Mirror op ed was even prompted to ask "What's Going On In Liverpool?" as the city suffered closures which eventually totalled well over 40,000. THAT is the root of tory liquidation on Merseyside. That, plus an organised media propaganda campaign that quite literally would not - still would not - be out of place in Nazi Germany. Even political neutrals were repelled by it.

So Labour will stay in power across Merseyside, Starmer/Blair/Brown or no Starmer/Blair/Brown. That's how deeply the tories are loathed. And it's why Bozo was run out of the city by the seat of his fat arse trousers.

The Starmer gang would do well to note this because they too would be wiped out if there was a consensus for an alternative truly radical party. They can't say they haven't been warned by political history.

Pendragon said...

So you get a job at the BBC because of nepotism. How did Lachlan Murdoch get his job? How did the present Lord Rothermere get his job?

Pendragon said...

Isn't it strange that you never here a bad word against commercial television companies in the newspapers? And isn't it strange that you never here a good word in favour of the EU in the same newspapers?

Pendragon said...

Dorries spent seven years as a nurse, including the time she spent as a trainee. At the age of 25 she became a "medical representative", which I think means she was a travelling saleswoman for a drug company.
At the young age of 26, she spent a year as head of a school in Africa. I am guessing that it was a school for the children of the employees who working in a copper mine run by her husband.

secret squirrel said...

Culture War Secretary

Anonymous said...

The thing that upsets me most is that people swallow this shite without question.

"If you repeat a lie often enough..."

Rosie said...

She is pretty dim without much work experience or educashon innit! But heh. She's the voice of Tory voters who have convinced themselves that the BBC is managed by Cambridge educated spies run by Moscow Central- and only socialists are allowed to write plays for BBC Drama and BBC Comedy, oh and News is full of soppy lib dems - they know because there are clues, like if a news presenter ever asks an impertinent question of a Tory politician instead of giving them a clear ride. But the BBC is and was mainly in the pocket of the Tories or was Tory lite under New Labour. Michael Grade for example - a rabid Tory. Or John Birt, Blair's Blue Skies man. Or even Greg Dyke. Ian Trethowan was a Tory. So was the Chairman of Governors Duke Hussey when Thatcher was around. Then there was direct interference in the BBC current Affairs and news reports by Thatcher, particularly on Northern Ireland.

Mr Larrington said...

The received wisdom in the Corridors of Power is that the BBC is populated exclusively by rabid Trots and never mind Nick Robinson, John Humphrys, Taury “Mouth Of Sauron” Kuenssberg etc and, moreover, etc. Kuenssberg actually appeared to be giving Bloody Stupid Johnson a bit of a shoeing last night although not to the extent of making the squirming, dissembling turbocunt of a so-called “Prime Minister” answer the question she'd just posed.

Anonymous said...

To 12:40.

Hugely comical to see Kuentssberg's so-obvious structured approach to propaganda.

She can pretend her "questions" are "difficult" (thus implying she's "fair") while not pressing for a genuine or truthful answer. All while she's addressed as "Laura" and he as "Prime minister". In addition to the puffed up intro, "....he's obviously enjoying this....sitting on a HUGE majority..." and other right wing absurd tabloidesque voice overs. Bought-and-paid-for drivel straight from the Fox "News" script department.

The woman is as tory-crooked as her mouth. A Yankified lying charlatan suited only for the Langley/Vauxhall Cross soap opera. An utter fraud.

Ferdy Fox said...

Fancy expecting her to tell the truth......or even back up her "facts".
And still idiots believe. But there are still those who believe in fairies....................