Posted by: John | October 16, 2009

Bedford and Carlile: I despair of the BBC

Yet another complaint is winging its way to the BBC. It’s clear in my mind that they have a narrative `the Conservatives are winging their way into Downing Street` and nothing’s going to stop that.

So, we have the Lib Dems WINNING in a `middle england` town in the near-south of England against the Tory tide (their candidate chosen by open primary) and how many seconds of coverage do we get? Zilch. Nil. Nada.

People on these blogs complain that it might be `because we don’t have a narrative` or `we’re not competing with the other parties` or `we’re not distinctive` – `if only`, they declare, `we were more distinctive, bolder, vocal we’d get the coverage`. Well, the proof is in the eating – and when it comes down to political parties it’s not JUST the competing messages that should be put forward – it’s also the fact that you win a big election.

If this doesn’t persuade people of the inherent bias in the system nothing will. This week we’ve had the Trafigura affair and the Jan Moir affair where those who see themselves as `societies betters` had to grovel to public pressure. Surely, it’s not too much to ask of us that we also complain vigorously at what can reasonably be assumed, to put it politely, rebuffs.

Let’s put it bluntly – Bedford didn’t follow the media narrative – first the Tories didn’t win, second it wasn’t a ding-dong battle with Labour and thirdly the open primary candidate didn’t win.

As for Lord Carlile – what the hell is he doing as a Liberal Democrat Peer? Or rather what the hell are we doing allowing the BBC to call him a Liberal Democrat Peer right before he shoots his mouth off as the Independent reviewer of British anti-terrorist laws . Key word there: Independent – ie NOT Liberal Democrat.

So, two complaints fired off  – anyone care to join me or are we all more scared than my feisty cat Dimara?



  1. The LibDems are losing the battle of the narratives.
    First they seem to spend most of their time and dialogue in attacking the Conservatives (as for the last 14 years) giving people the impression that in a hung parliament they will support this incompetent government that the people want to get rid of, as in 1996.
    Secondly they do not seem to have the strength in talent to form a critical mass in politics. They rely on the same mature chestnuts who due to the pressure on them to perform, have proven very fallible.
    Thirdly you have a leader who is proving immature in his rhetoric, including asking for the Legg enquiry to be broadened – did he have some opposition suspects in mind? If he did he certainly was obvious in it. Is this what we need in a leader – I think not.

  2. I take it that’s why at local by-elections the Lib Dems are 15 seats up and we won the Bedford Mayoralty. Don’t you think the latter should have been given at least a little airtime or does it go against your agenda?

    We seem to be doing alright by being OURSELVES without resorting to pre-election wheeler-dealing.

    I suppose there’s another question: Should the Conservatives not reach the required amount for a majority would they do a deal with the Liberal Democrats?

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