Over the past few years the quality of journalistic standards at the BBC has come under scrutiny. The corporation’s obsession with ‘balance’ is just once example. The Beeb gives far too much credence and easy passes to tinfoil hatters and shady lobby groups like the Taxpayers Alliance and the Institute of Economic Affairs without once asking “who funds you and sets your agenda”?
It’s the same with their flagship programmes like ‘Question Time’ where the audience is routinely packed with so many right-wing plants the programme really should be hosted by a presenter from ‘Gardeners World’. Balanced it ain’t.
Today, this tweet appeared from the BBC in the North-West.
Really? The entirety of the House of Lords wants a ‘rethink’ of HS2? No. It’s complete bollocks. Ignoring for a minute there’s not even a link to a story, just a tweet that has no context or content and this isn’t even ‘news’. Let’s have a look at what the BBC didn’t say.
Twelve days ago the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee (which is made up of just 13 out of the 800 members of the Lords) delivered a report which was critical of Hs2 – although it did not call for its scrapping. The report was widely criticised around the regions for its laxity and the fact it ignored large chunks of the country and the positive impact Hs2 would have on them.
The Committee is hardly representative of the Lords as a whole. When they voted on the Hs2 phase 1 bill the Lords passed it by 386 votes to 26, giving the project a massive majority of 360. Funnily enough the BBC neglected to mention any of this in their tweet, so forget the Reithian values that the BBC should “educate and inform”. The BBC’s tweet is nothing but spin.
It’s desperately sad to see the national broadcaster brought down to these levels, but that’s a sad reflection of the sorry state much of the media is in now. Nowadays, facts are what you make up. On seeing this tweet, Nigel Harris of RAIL magazine was moved to say this in response to Railway Magazine Editor Chris Milner.
Guess who hasn’t responded to any of this? The BBC. I’m writing this at 21:13 and the tweet’s still on their website.