Sunday, 21 March 2010

Yet another BBC complaint sent

Further to this response and having heard Nick interviewed on Today, I was able to write this:

I complained about an interview with David Cameron you conducted on the 7th January where he was not asked once about a hung parliament. As this is an issue that equally affects all parties, I drew comparison with how you treat interviews with Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats. These interviews are dominated with questions about hung parliaments at the expense of being informing (one of your missions!) about policy.

You replied:

"As regards to the questions put to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, this isn't something we're able to respond to without reference to a specific interview you heard on 'Today' or another of our broadcasts"

Not having the resources of the BBC to call on, I couldn't immediately lay my hands on chapter and verse for you but last Saturday (13/03/2010) you interviewed Nick Clegg on the Today Programme and the interview was dominated by questions about Hung parliaments.

Now, you have a comparison I look forward to hearing from you with a real response. Also I hope that in the future when you interview David Cameron or Gordon Brown that you ask them repeatedly about what they would do in a hung parliament including whether they would consider working with each other.

We'll see what happens. If any of you want to complain about the interview last Saturday then you can use Cameron's interview of 7th January as a comparator!

Another BBC complaint sent

After this post yesterday, I have now followed up with a complaint to the BBC:

On the 9am news you reported that David Cameron had announced that he wants to introduce a levy on the banks and that Labour support a similar scheme but only with international agreement.
The Liberal Democrats were not mentioned in this comparison despite having had, very publicly, supported a banking levy for some time.

Then on the 10am news you repeated the above but we got a snippet of a speech from David Cameron which was basically a word for word copy of a speech made previously by Nick Clegg. Still no mention of the pre-existing Liberal Democrat policy.

On the 12pm news, a bit about the Liberal Democrats wanting to break up the banks was added to the end but you didn't mention that they supported a banking levy too. Since it was by means of comparison this omission was actively misleading.

"Conservatives support a bank levy, Labour also supports a bank levy whereas the Liberal Democrats want to break up the banks" suggests strongly that the Liberal Democrats don't support a bank levy.

So I am complaining about the blatant bias by omissions (which I can only suspect were deliberate) and of the continuing misleading reports even when you added a bit in about the Liberal Democrats (I assume after complaints).

Let's see what they say...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Cameron copies another LibDem policy - where are our press team?

So, I hear on the Radio 4 news at 9am that David Cameron has announces that he wants to introduce a levy on the banks and apparently Labour would support a similar scheme but only with international agreement. Hmm, I'm sure we've been calling for something similar for a long time.

Then at 10am, we not only get the same headline but also a snippet of a speech by Dave saying how the taxpayers should get something back for bailing out the banks. No that sounds really familiar, almost word for word one might say.

And here is the BBC's online version in which there is no mention of us.

Where is our press team springing into action and informing the BBC of the ommisions they are making this close to a general election? Do they not work at weekends?

I'm hoping I'm wrong and the party is working hard as we speak to rectify these omissions from the supposedly impartial BBC. Well are we?

UPDATE: Well on the 12pm news they mentioned that we want to break up the banks but didn't mention that we also support a levy which suggests that we don't by omission.

More success with the online article (thanks John)which has been updates with a good Vince quote:

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat economics spokesman Vince Cable said: "The other parties seem to be moving on to ground the Liberal Democrats have occupied for some time: banks must pay for the protection they enjoy from the taxpayer."
Mr Cable said his party had been "very specific about how this crucial issue should be tackled, after extensive discussion with the City and others".
He said it was "seriously worrying that both the Conservatives and the government still do not seem to have worked out a specific proposal".

Thursday, 18 March 2010

6Music strikes back?

Just now on Radio 4, we've had "6Music from the North" broadcast instead across half the news and some of The Archers! It thought it may have been a local pirate station before they announced themselves.

It's gone back to normal now. Considering that 6Music is a digital only station that's quite a cock-up!
Unless it was the deliberate act of 6Music staff raging against the dying of their station. (although more likely it's yet another result of the BBC's disastrous technical outsourcing to Siemens!)

UPDATE: Seems it was a mistake (so they say...)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Tory MEP uses McMillian-Scott's grandparents against him!

Wow! The nasty party really can't hide their true nature for long!
I followed the iPlayer link in Liberal England's posting pointing us towards an interview with our new defector and Nick on the Yorkshire and Lincolnshre Politics Show. It was a good interview but can we not brief our defectors a bit better (if they are amenable) so instead of:

Q: Which LibDem policy are you proud to have on the doorstep that you didn't have in your previous party
A: Well, it's all about Europe really...

It should have more like:
A: Well, under the LibDems no-one will pay tax on their first £10k...

but, I digress, what I really wanted to point out was that after this interview they talked to Tory MEP Roger Helmer (after CCO refused to put anyone up) and in comparing the grandfathers of the Michal Kaminski and McMillan-Scott (at about 58:20) said and I quote:

"You might like to be aware that [during the second world war], Edward McMillan-Scott's grandparents were interned in Britain because they were prominent members of the British Union of Fascists."

The interviewer was slightly shocker by this tactic and said:

"Well, Edward McMillan-Scott admits that openly so thank you for mentioning it"

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

"Independent" Guido dances to the tune of the dead tree press and repeats their lies

Despite Guido's history with the so-called dead-tree press and particularly the Telegraph, he seems to be lapping up their lies and insinuations, by regurgitating their non-story about Jo Swinson's non-existent cosmetic expenses.

As any fule kno the weasel worded Telegraph article insinuated that Jo Swinson claimed for cosmetics without actually saying that she did because she didn't. One of many stories they made up about LibDem MPs as we clearly didn't have enough (clearly there was some!) bad stuff (well, not compared to the Tories, their "parent party").

Come on Mr Fawkes, I expected better (well actually I didn't really!)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

CCHQ approves dog whistle

Looks like the clamour of tory activists to return to form has been approved. Details here.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Iain Dale - lying tonight!

Sigh, I know pointing out cheap party-political falsehoods in Iain Dale's postings could be very time-consuming but I'll make an quick exception for this one, Why Don't the LibDems Select BME Candidates in Winable Seats?

Iain claims that after the election that we will have no BME MPs.

Wait, what's this? My all-of-three-seconds spent at google turns up this, Operation Black Vote saying that the LibDems are on track to have between 1-3 BME MPs after the election.

He then finished his post with a flourish:

"Nick Clegg has been leader of the LibDems for two years now. Is it too much to ask why he hasn't made a single speech on what he intends to do about making the LibDems elected politicians reflect the society they purport to represent?"

Oh, wait, that same short google session has turned up something else, it's Nick Clegg giving a speech on what he intends to do about making the LibDems elected politicians reflect the society they purport to represent!

Will Lord Ashcroft's friend (look a cheap party political point! See, it's quite easy to do! I feel dirty now though...)  update his posting accordingly? I wait with baited breath.

UPDATE: Well, he has updated it with a mealy-mouthed explanation but still has not addressed the flat-out contradiction about no speeches having been made.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

LibDems go all "New Labour" on copyright ISP takedowns! Why?

The Register has the worrying story here.

Apparently our shadow culture minister in the Lords, Lord Howard has tabled an amendment to the Copyright Bill giving grerater powers to the courts to grant takedown injunctions to ISPs.

To be fair, The Register admits the move is "well-intentioned" and it seems that this is to replace the current proposal to give unlimited power to Lord Mandelson but shouldn't we be fighting against any such powers that are open to abuse by big players (witness DMCA-takedowns in America)?

Having said all this, maybe I'm missing a subtlety?

UPDATE: Apparently I'm missing a fairly big subtlety, Lord Howard is a Tory! Thanks to The Bureau of Sabotage (in the comments) for doing the fact checking I failed to do...
 Hopefully The Register will now update it's story. Maybe the party could send them a nice statement of our position?

UPDATE 2: Er, looking at the text of the amendment (120A), it seems that this was put forward by Lord Howard and Lord Clement-Jones (one of ours). So the story stands (but with the wrong name). Or am I reading it wrong?

UPDATE 3: The Register have updated their story and LibDemVoice has Lord Clement-Jones's explanation.

Monday, 1 March 2010

"Lord" Ashcroft admits he's a non-dom

The BBC has the story here.

Interestingly, he says being resident for tax purposes was "not a condition" of his peerage! So can we find out the precise conditions and who let it through?