Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Conservatives And The BBC

Conservative Party activists rarely have a good word to say about the BBC. They obviously feel the BBC is a centre-left dominated media organisation which has got it in them. But even the Tories can't complain about the coverage they've had this week.

The animosity goes back as far I can remember and probably a great deal longer. The Conservative Party has never forgiven the BBC for some of its Falklands coverage, including the infamous line commenting on a government briefing that started "The British government, if it is to be believed...". There were many other regular run-ins in the Thatcher and Major era, including a decision not to show a drama documentary about the Falklands because it showed Mrs Thatcher in too favourable a light and numerous allegations of giving too much prominence to sleaze in the mid-90s. When I was involved in party politics I was a fully paid-up member of the BBC Hate Club but since packing it up 15 years ago I've seen them in a slightly different (but not always favourable) light for the line it takes.

The Tory Party journeyed to Blackpool fully expecting what would be, in their eyes, another hatchet job. News of splits and rows, loads of coverage to the right-wing dissidents and more anti-Cameron propaganda than you could shake a stick at. What's come about is very different.

The Conservatives are widely accepted to have had a very good conference, and the BBC haven't been slow to say so. The party has come across as a united bunch, all aching to get stuck into Gordon Brown. The key-note speakers have, pretty much to a man, had good reports. And when Brown went to Iraq earlier in the week the BBC's main slant was not the reduction in troop numbers but more the Tory party's furious reaction to the way Brown announced it.

The BBC, as do all media organisations, have an impossible job in keeping every political party happy. But they may have gone some way this week to repairing some the long-done damage in its relationship with Conservative Central Office (or whatever it's called now).

Has the coverage been good enough to dissuade GB from calling an election ? I doubt it. I expect a polling date of 8th November. You heard it here, ooh, about 12,031st.

No comments: