Sunday, June 24, 2007

Labour Profit From Blanket Media Coverage

On the BBC Politics page at the moment there are 31 stories which talk about the Labour Party. There are only 8 which relate to other political stories. So when you wonder why Labour are doing quite well in a MORI poll, you should take this sort of thing into account. And in case you think I am making it up, here they are...

Harman wins deputy leader contest
Labour must have soul, says Brown
Focus on the party, says Prescott
Blair 'made plans to axe Brown'
EU treaty good for UK, says Blair
Attorney general to leave office
Blair talks with Pope in Vatican
Lord Falconer gets his own troupe of morris dancers
Surprise win What message does Labour deputy result send Gordon Brown?
Legal departure Lord Goldsmith's exit means another top table change
How to be an ex-PM £300,000 a year, faith foundations, lectures - what is next for Blair?
Gordon Brown's plan for a 'better Britain'
Brown becomes Labour leader
Harman wins deputy contest
Focus on party, says Prescott
In depth: The Blair Years
Who's who: Cabinet
Tributes at Blair's last Cabinet
Brown defends broad Cabinet
Sarwar plans to stand down as MP
Prescott accountant jailed again
Polls close in Labour deputy race
Brown pledge to cut state control
Cherie to challenge smoking ban
Lib Dem anger over Brown 'tricks'
US 'wants Blair' for Mid-East job
Brown: New broom or business as usual... the interview
EU treaty good for UK, says Blair
Brown pledge to cut state control
Brown offered Ashdown Cabinet job
Patients and staff give their opinion on the NHS under Blair


Obviously you expect media organisations to increase the coverage of a party when they have a leadership election change of leader, but I do think this is a bit OTT. I have had loads of press releases from the Tories and LibDems over the last two days, but not a single one of their announcements have made it onto BBC News Online so far as I can see.


I don't actually think this is an example of pro Labour bias, but it certainly gives ammunition to those who will. Are there really no other political stories around at the moment?

72 comments:

The Hitch said...

What the hitch loved was this line fron channel four news

"Gordon brown has promised to put the sole back into the Labour party"

I thought that the labour party was already full of ***soles

(yes I can spell soul but it ruins the feeble joke)

black day for democracy said...

It's like living in a one party state (a coup followed by a coronation )

Daily Referendum said...

Where is Dave? it looks like William Hague is running the Party.

wrinkled weasel said...

Well yes. Matthew (pretty boy) Amroliwala is still using the BBC "we" when covering Labour functions, such as this afternoon's do. The level of detachment from this, and from Glasto, which is now a BBC event declares to all the world that dear old Auntie is as liberal as a recycled green lentil.

Of course, when the Tories actually start being a force to be reckoned with, sans Cameron, you might get better coverage.

Anonymous said...

Labour are running the country!!! - get over it.

tim said...

Many of thos stories you mention are negative,dirty tricks Jailed accountant etc.

Just realis Iain that the publice are seeing through the lightweight leader you have.

a very british coup? said...

I found today's coronation extremely distasteful and inappropriate. Brown's word is now law and he hasn't even faced an election or at the least an interrogative interview. He has no mandate and the press are happy to cheerlead, weird.

GS said...

The BBC's Robin Brant has just spouted the Labour Party line on how fresh and appealing H.Harman waill be to the public at large. No analysis, no assessment.

gordon has no authority said...

Brown has been crowned without anyone having voted for him, he can't survive without a mandate for long, and the press can't ignore this affront to democracy forever. People won't stand for having such an unpopular and unsuitable man imposed upon them.

Anonymous said...

If Cameron had anything interesting to say then there would be more tory stories.

The fact is they are a busted flush. They went for style over substance and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

you gotta be kidding? said...

Matthew (pretty boy) Amroliwala was overcome by the "huge" applause Brown received from a hand picked crowd of party loyalists. Oh man these keen journalistic minds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So hard to pull the wool over their eyes!

tapestry said...

alan johnson reported as victor on politicalbetting.com
i'm getting confused

paradox machine said...

Shouldn't the BBC be providing disinterested analysis? Their febrile teen magazine coverage of Brown's coronation was juvenile and gushingly embarrassing. When reporters start repeating politician's lines as gospel truths we should all be very very concerned!

tapestry said...

daily referendum. see the observer which shows how much Rupert Murdoch is behind the negotiations for the Constitution (page 35). If Cameron shows a strong opposition personally to the constitution, he will be burned by Murdoch Press. Hague's willing to sacrfice himself for this cause, maybe.

I've interpreted the Observer article in typically unbiased fashion on
www.the-tap.blogspot.com

sorted for e and wizz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Oh, for heaven's sake, Iain!

How often does the UK get a new Prime Minister?

Brown will be the fourth in the last 28 years. It's a big event, whether you like him, the process etc or not.

That answers your question.

Only a complete moron would think this had anything to do with Labour bias. I am sure there was a similar amount of coverage of Cameron - even though he wasn't about to become Prime Minister.

You seem to think that there mere issuing of a press release by other parties means they should be covered by the BBC and other media outlets. That's not how it works!

Richard Havers said...

I don't see what all the fuss is about. The Labour handover is the biggest story around and anything that is attached to it will get the oxygen of publicity.

You'd think we were in the middle of an election campaign. Then again, I wonder if he'll chance his arm? I doubt it. He wants the taste of power to linger on his lips awhile, without the possibility of losing what he's craved for all these years.

Daily Referendum said...

Tapestry,

I hope you are wrong. Cameron should be shouting for the Treaty (Constitution) referendum that the people deserve, and sod Murdoch.

dearieme said...

What happens now if someone assassinates Brown? Presumably that deadbeat becomes PM? Golly.

tim said...

Straw will Deputy PM

one party state said...

Oh Iain he's wanted the job for so long and he's plotted and agonised sooooo much who really cares if no-one voted for him and if he didn't subject himself to so much as one difficult interview? Not the BBC. More Balloons oooohhh! Pretty!

Liam Murray said...

Hate to say it Iain but this is a faintly ridiculous post.

I'm sure there was a comparable lack of balance when Cameron took over (perhaps even Ming) and neither of them where about to assume the premiership, let alone being part of a generational change in the governing party.

Granted you've personally disassociated yourself from the 'Labour bias' charge but isn't the very post itself about little else than fuelling precisely that?

shock! said...

What other nuggets of journalisti gold will the intrepid and investigative journalistic minds of the BBC uncover for us today? Hand picked Labour loyalists give Gordon warm round of applause shock, completely rebuffing public concerns regarding his lack of a democratic mandate ? Hold the front pages for more of this fatuous guff reported without any examination or analysis....

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced by your argument that a story like 'Blair wanted to axe Brown' is leading to a boost in their standing now that, er, Blair is to be replaced by, ahem, Brown.

And for you, of all people, to be complaining about the BBC's impartiality when you don't even make a pretence at it yourself is really rather trite.

If the Tories want a better press, they had better get off their fat, lazy arses and do something about it instead of 'shooting the messenger' when Basher Davis screws up his 'team building' skills.

triumph of gordon's will said...

The BBC reporters do seem inordinately impressed and enthused by a bit of razzmatazz don't they? Bryan Ferry syndrome.

mandate deficit disorder said...

No one voted for Gordon, have the BBC noticed yet? Not Woodward and Bernstein stuff is it? I know the rallies must be very impressive and stuff but ...

Another Ed said...

Liam; I think Iain's post isn't so much complaining about the blanket coverage - which I agree is totally understandable - but rather reminding us that the general public are exceptionally stupid, and will report their voting intention to opinion pollsters based on what they've seen on the "telly" that day.

Yet another reason why I think that all voters should have to complete a verbal reasoning test (and/or asked if they have ever watched Big Brother or read 'Heat' magazine) before being allowed into the polling booth.

Honestly, it just feels like the British general public is fat, ugly and stupid these days.

Ed (in a bad mood - can you tell?)

forensic questioning said...

Gordon your campaign has all the momentum of a runaway truck, why are you so popular?

Jeremy Jacobs said...

black day for democracy said

"It's like living in a one party state (a coup followed by a coronation )" You've got your one-party state now. LIB/LAB/CON - all want central rule from Brussels

Chris Paul said...

Do the pollsters only contact BBC Website addicts?

Did you do the same exercise for the Tory leadership contest, or the Lib Dems?

Clearly as anonymous said the party of government and/or the government do tend to get more coverage than a party that is history as outlined by a Mr Portillo in the ST.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Look for the stories the Govt is burying this week end. More news on prisoner releases, for example.

HMRC said...

Never mind, kids, it looks like Prezza will be able to stay on in Admiralty Arch while he finds alternative accomodation.

I wonder:

(a) what rent or additional tax he will be paying, since as an ordinary MP, he doesn't really need a grace and favour apartment?

(b) how long it takes to find an apartment in London these days? My guess is "until the next election" when the fat buffoon retires from parliament.

Sleazy to the end - sleazy even after it's ended...

Anonymous said...

Lord Falconer gets own troop of Morris Dancers - Hmm.. yes, I can just see Dave Cameron emulating that little vote winner..

Grow up..

Anonymous said...

Oh come on. I hate the BBC as much as the next person, but you are changing Prime Ministers.

You look petty with the entry.

BJ said...

"Governing party undergoing leadership election is talked about by state broadcaster"

Golly Iain, how incisive! I love the way you stick in a quick "I don't think this is BBC bias" (getting in the phrase "BBC bias"). Presumably this is so you can sit back and watch your hit-counter go mental? I admire your crafty capitalism!

Iain Dale's Rabbit said...

Awww, it's just not fair is it.

commodity trader said...

The fake honeymoon period will come to a resounding crash before the autumn with the arrival of the next two interest rate rises. The housing market is heading for meltdown and the blame will be pinned on Brown which is why he's deperately looking round for scapegoats at the moment.

It's a recession we're heading for.

Hughes Views said...

Hmmm, I'm old enough to recall that the equally “unelected” John Major got quite a bit of coverage when he took over from Mrs T although I don't think that transition could ever have been described as "smooth". Never fret Iain, the Tories will get plenty of coverage when they start tearing themselves to shreds about Europe or whose turn it is now to be leader as one day soon they surely will...

Josh said...

I don't think Iain was saying something was fishy with the BBC about all this coverage of Labour. It's just that given the coverage has happened, it goes some way to explaining why they have had a poll boost.

Iain Dale said...

Josh, hallelujah, someone who actually read the headline and read the post. Go to the top of the class.

Geezer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geezer said...

The BBC has always had a "Brown is wonderful" approach, They have barely uttered one word of criticism against Brown in the last ten years, do you think they are going to start now? There is an important part of the electorate that, will be swayed by the type of news coverage that they see on TV. The BBC's policy for the last ten years, has been to only mention the Conservatives when they have an opportunity to slag them off, as with Grammar schools, or just ignore them. They repeat the government line on almost all domestic issues. The BBC has dumbed down the content of it's TV news bulletins, to a point where they spend very little time on domestic political issues (NHS, education, economy etc.) and spend a lot more time on de-politicised subject matter, foreign news (mudslide somewhere or other), or Anti-Israeli/pro-islamofascist propaganda. The upshot being, that bad-news is hidden for Labour and a negative public perception is kept to a minimum. Contrast this type of coverage with how the BBC covered the last Conservative government.

The problem for Cameron, is that, he has very few friends in the MSM, nobody is backing him. The BBC's Brownite toadying will continue for as long as Brown is leader of the Labour party and then they will toady-up to his successor and so-on and there seems to be a general conspiracy within the MSM to keep Gordon as PM for as long as possible. But, then someone with his personality flaws, would probably seem appealing to your average journo!

Anonymous said...

Ignore the BBC's fawning over Brown and the IM poll, Iain. Cheer yourself up by reading the following BBC Have Your Say topic responses:

What does the future hold for Labour?
What changes can we expect from the new-look Labour Party? Gordon Brown is set to be confirmed as the new leader of the Labour Party at a special conference in Manchester... What effect will these changes have on the Labour Party? What changes would you like to see? Do you support the new Labour leader?


Over 90% of posters write of Brown with contempt.

The top four most recommended posts:

"The only thing I see is more of the same but worse. We now have a thief at the controls of government and the only thing he seems to understand is tax rises and plundering pension funds. We are in for hard times ahead, roll on the General Election."

"what would I like Gordon Brown to deliver? His resignation to the palace and notice of a general election."

"Give England its own Parliament and exclude all those voting for changes thay will never be affected by...Such as Scottish MPs"

"No change whatsoever. Just more sleaze and lies"


Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

As far as the media are concerned Cameron is already a dead duck. The media already know the Tory right are planning their coup, the IDS fate awaits Dave, any time soon. Murdoch has already accepted a fourth Labour victory, this autumn is a certainty. So its goodby Dave, hello David, Davis that is.

Anonymous said...

is it just me or am I alone in the whole wide universe in thinking the EU debacle is more important?

Roger Thornhill said...

"Blair says EU Treaty good for the UK"...and? And? What about saying "No it isn't you fascist turd"?

The BBC are such a joke. Marr especially, the lickspittle!

Cameron could go AWOL on Jul4 and deny Bogey his first PMQ's haha and have Harperson up there to represent the new regime...

Johnny Douchbag said...

You are being silly.

Labour are in the news because they have done something.

They have the advantage of being in government, but you would not relinquish that advantage if the roles were reversed.

The fact is that Labour are far more newsworthy than your lot and have been for years.

Tories? Why don't I care?

Look at the leaders, honey.

Chatterbox said...

It may have been blanket coverage, but was the public watching or listening on a Sunday afternoon?
I had to search for coverage on the radio while in the car, and everyone and their dog seemed to be out shopping or eating today. Funny day to choose if you want to make an impact.....

can't type for shit said...

And while you're about it, make that Douchebag.

Anonymous said...

Cameron has had his turn in the spotlight, he's ridden his bike, patted a baby seal,hugged a hoodie.Now it's time for real politics...

Anonymous said...

One can only hope that the recent polls will encourage the snot eater to call an aerly election.

Anonymous said...

Cameron should stridently demand a referendum on the subject of political union with the EU. That might get his ratings up.

The trouble is that the tories don't have a good track record when it comes to Europe. Between Heath and Major they've done us up like a kipper.

Anonymous said...

At least Brown resisted the pressure to ditch the pound.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Daily Referendum said...
"Where is Dave? it looks like William Hague is running the Party"


thank goodness for that

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

About 3 days after becoming PM, Brown will announce a "withdrawal from Iraq" and "a review of the situation in Afghanistan"

The MSM will then pronounce "another Bank of England" moment and immediately disappear so far up Brown's arse you will only be able to see Adam Bolton and Andrew Muir's Big Toes.


For the next 5 years, non-believers will be described as "extremists", "old fashion", "lost it", "dinosaurs", "neo fascist", "crypto fascist", "bullies",

... fill in as appropraite.

What is going to happen to us?

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Shortly after the "withdrawal from Iraq" announcement, Brown will announce a "Great Britain day" Bank Holiday, maybe even on September 15th (for the first year).

Even the Associated Newspapers Group will be fooled. Until, too late, that they realise that "Great Britain day" from 2009, will be held on Mandela's birthday, together with very extensive Britishness (diversity) training for all School children and non-public sector workers.

Diablo said...

Sorry to be so late in responding to all you NuLab attack dogs but some of us have real work to do.

Remember that Brown is culpable for any and all of the disastrous decisions that Labour has made and cannot crawl out from under his stone and say "it wasn't me guv!"

You csn use all the usual spin, lies, disinformation you like. You're weakness is that you think you are starting from a position of strength and all you have to do is mock David Cameron and the Tories. But your dream world is about to become a nightmare. You are going to have face a new sort of reality - Brown will now start to move further right because Cameron has forced him to.

There's been a step change, boys, and you are going to have to start thinking how you respond rather than repeat the same silly mantras that Tony taught you.

Are you up for it?

Chris Paul said...

Diablo - yes we're up for it. Whereas Tories seem to be up only for whining about life's unfairness and for internecine struggle.

A number of stories in Iain's list are unfavourable or include a balance and whereas the Lib Dems are referenced the Tories are not.

Iain is right that his point about the poll bounce shot right over the heads of most of his sock poodles for four extras but the poll bounce IS NOT based on positive incumbency or on the inevitable news domination of incumbents.

It is based on change vs conservatism or back tracking. And to an extent it is based on approval for continued illiberalism on Terror, Immigration and Crime for example - not where my own head and heart are - and on the opposition parties making it obvious with every breath they take that they're in no shape to govern.

The fact that so many loyal readers were confused and deflected could reflect their grasp of reality or it could mean IDD did not communicate clearly.

Anonymous said...

Its brilliant, the coverage might actually convince Brown to hold an early election. The british people are not stupid and will vote this horrible, vile, corrupt party out of office the first chance they get.

They know bliar was a disgraceful PM and brown will be no better, the public will not fall for this rubbish again.

Bring it on gordo.......

Anonymous said...

Iain, if the official opposition were worth more than a bag of chips might not all this attention on Labour pull them down?
Seriousy, what HAS David Cameron got to say on anything that is either consistent or of any genuine value?

Anonymous said...

I am afraid that for Tories to be welcoming an early election is whistling in the wind, like talking about West Ham winning something.
Our Party is in no shape to challenge Brown. He has the patronage, he can cast money to the crowds just before an election, increase nurses pay, promise imminent withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, release some carefully selected statistics. What will we offer? - please vote for us as we are Greener and our leadership is just a teeny bit Eurosceptic - we are against uncontrolled immigration but only of the illegal sort well, kind of -we may or may not be in favour of or violently opposed to grammar schools but we think Blair did a marvellous job with City academies and it doesn't matter that they do not improve results much. And Gordon cannot ride a bike. So, vote Blue get Green.
Get real folks, we need a massive shift in popular mood to avoid another 5 years in the wilderness and 3 more leaders.

Victor

Kafka said...

I'm with Iain on this. The BBC is supposed to be even-handed in its political coverage. The last month or so have been beyond belief. Both Blair & Brown have had a constant stream of uncritical praise. We, the whole electorate, have had the Labour Deputy Leader contest rammed down our throats, including two (count 'em) BBC News programmes devoting special editions to this non-event. Sick making! And finally folks, to cap it all, we had the AM programme yesterday. Sycophancy taken to the next level, until next week of course, when another "exclusive" interview with GB is due.

No surprise in the MORI poll really.

Tear said...

I’ve long sought to analyse what is exactly wrong with the Conservative Party and how it appears to the general public. What we have endured with Cameron is a string of half-wit policies that nobody takes seriously and an equal number of lightweight publicity stunts which have, for the most part backfired! Trying to ape nu-Lab is not going to work and it should be coming clear to even the less astute that gaining the middle-England vote from the Brownies is going to be an uphill struggle. I really don’t believe we are approaching the whole business of party renewal and winning the next election in the correct way. The truth is that Conservatives have become desperate people after suffering several election defeats and desperation nearly always inspires hasty and bad decisions. Fact is, that apart from Europe, none of the Conservative policies were far away from the ideals of the masses and didn’t need renewing. The cause of recent Conservative failure was the apparent economic successes of NuLab giving most people the feel-good factor, albeit dropping the economy into the deepest pit for which we will never recover. The Conservatives absolutely failed to put across the shambles of Brown as chancellor during the last 10 years and why taxes will now have to be heavily increased to pay for the high living. Just take a look at our Balance of Payment figures at the Office of National Statistics as a starting point. The “prudent” Brown is a myth which should have been exposed years ago. So where are we today? Do we now have a Conservative leader who is fit-for purpose with a good CV, demonstrating experience and leadership qualities with a sound business background? The answer sadly is a definite “No”. David Cameron maybe a nice guy, but he has none of these qualities to win against a tough Brown. We have to stop pussyfooting around this subject and get it sorted sooner rather than later. It’s OK to talk about party loyalty and support, but I have seldom witnessed a man with such obvious failings.

Johnny Douchebag said...

I do love posts that are longer than the article itself.

I don't know what "uncritical praise" might be, but if criticism is needed, perhaps Her Majesty's Opposition might like to provide some?

Who knows, if it is done well, it might even get reported.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Anti-Grammar school Mr Cameroon was on R4's Today programme at 7.30, describing Brighton's proposed allocation of secondary school places via a lottery system as "unfair".

hu?

Not as unfair as the lottery that appoints Torry party leaders then?

Anonymous said...

The Hitch said...

What the hitch loved.

Go back down the sewer where you belong.

Labour are us. said...

You need to get your man back in the news.Nice pic of him on his bike should do it.

Anonymous said...

Johnny Douchebag said...

I do love posts that are longer than the article itself.

Your on the right blog then.Just wait until Verity wakes up,now that one can post very,very long posts.And don't get me onto boring.

Man in a shed said...

Its not like they don't have previous form - see here for screen shot.

Anonymous said...

Don't panic, Captain Mannering. Brown is not news. We've had 10 years of his incompetence. Remember, whenever he runs into something scary, he runs and hides. As PM, he will have to appear to think on his feet, unless he reduces PMQs to an annual event. Even the BBC Taliban will find that curious.

Anonymous said...

"Brown has been crowned without anyone having voted for him, he can't survive without a mandate for long, and the press can't ignore this affront to democracy forever"

Wy not? Major had two years without a namdate to be PM from the elctorate

Votedave said...

We're all getting a bit too excited with this short-term honeymoon. Let things calm down a bit and we'll be back to Labour getting Michael Foot-style ratings again, as we did before Tony said he was going.