Thursday 13 November 2008

Nick Robinson plays to a very special gallery

So the BBC Political Editor, Nick Robinson, has chosen this morning to answer the hundreds of critics who accused him of shameless bias following his attempt to defend Gordon Brown and impugn the motives of David Cameron on the Daily Politics Show yesterday.

The undignified scenes in Parliament visibly shocked the Daily Politics Panel - including Minister John Cruddas who had no hesitation in supporting Cameron's line of questioning, with the notable exception of Nick Robinson who seemed indignant that PMQ's had not followed the course he had anticipated in his morning blog - a weird inversion of the days economic news which appeared to suggest that the worst collapse in growth and employment figures in living memory were somehow bad news for the opposition.

In the style we have come to expect from the beeb, the news reports were massaged yesterday afternoon as never before - with video clips cut to protect Gordon Brown, headlines re-arranged, and up to twelve versions of the key story appearing (at one stage) to airbrush the Cruddas comments from history whilst Ed Balls frantically put out an announcement which - thankfully - saw the Government caving in and taking the action Cameron had demanded.

We have had to wait until this morning to get a clear picture of the drivers behind this behaviour at the bbc. In his loathsome attempt at self-justification Robinson refers to "some [unamed observers] who were watching in the Gallery" - implying that the man in the street took a dim view of Cameron's performance.

Labour's John Cruddas and the Lib Dems' Charles Kennedy - who were in the studio with me - agreed. Interestingly, some who were watching in the Commons gallery did not. They thought the Tory leader's visible loss of temper showed him in a very poor light

So who were these independent arbiters? Shocked members of the public? US tourists spending the pounds they can now get free with their cornflakes? Or is somebody more sinister feeding Nick Robinson his topics for the day, and sundry quotes to back up his pathetic apologies for Brown?
Depressingly, we may already have our answer, courtesy of this morning's Times political sketch

Up in the gallery, Lord Mandelson watched impassively. He had come to hear Gordon on the economy but he was seeing something else entirely.

How long is it going to be before the country at large take the BBC to task for wasting precious resources developing a sinister and arrogant mouthpiece for a discredited Government?


Span Ows said...

Good post Cassius except you need to mention after the quoted piece where NR claims Kennedy and Cruddas agreed with him...this is a gross misrepresentation AT BEST, in reality it is a downright lie by Robinson whom is fast becoming a laughing stock (albeit for toeing the party (BBC) line).

Anonymous said...

U-turns seem to be in fashion with NuLabor as with the P tragedy and the Post Office.
Tonight on the 5pm show we heard a remarkable interview with Eddie Maer diligently questioning the Pensions Minister Hutton as it should be done for all party representatives.
A master class to the Toady Programme.
Of course the follow up R4 news broadcasts showed Hutton doing his usual mantra in a good light.

Anonymous said...

The BBC collude daily with the Labour Party with total disregard to assuring "accuracy and impartiality to sustain public trust."
Editorial control is now the plaything of a sectional political elite within the BBC and they are beyond criticism and management control.
Apart from the propagandist effect, the air-time value of this coverage would cost many millions of pounds to an advertiser in the commercial sector.
Labour gets the best of both worlds,for nothing.

Savonarola said...

In his own way, Nick Robinson is as obscene as Ross in his corruption of his role.
I find his conversion to reporting through the NuLab prism interesting if not disturbing. When reporting for ITN, I would watch their news simply to watch Robinson who reported robustly and objectively unlike others at Sky and BBC.
Since joining BBC he has changed. Is this due to his going native or has Campbell-Mandelson some influence which is below our radar?