Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Mark Easton's Hunger Games: yet more left-wing, anti-government proganda from BBC News

I try to avoid BBC News as much as possible these days. The left-wingers who use it to pump out anti-UKIP and anti-Tory propaganda appear to have thrown caution to the wind, apparently gambling on Labour somehow managing to win the next election despite being led by an idiot – and knowing that, even if they win next year, the Tories will be far too cowardly to punish them. Last week the comrades at the Beeb were given a petulant reprimand by George Osborne after assistant political editor Norman Smith responded to the Chancellor’s rather anodyne Autumn Statement by raving about government spending returning to pre-war levels, which – if I followed Smith’s argument correctly – meant the whole country would end up wearing flat caps and being six inches shorter and that everyone would be white. Or something. I could barely understand what he was on about.

The thing that never seemed to occur for a single instant to Smith was that most sensible people – including most middle-class taxpayers – would be absolutely delighted to see the proportion of GDP spent by the government drop to 20% (roughly half the current level), let alone the rather lavish 35% being proposed by the Tories. Any move that means the self-important little twats at Westminster squandering less of our hard-earned money on pointless infrastructure projects, doomed computer systems, the EU, and their ever-expanding list of pet victim groups is to be rapturously applauded.

Smith’s outburst was followed up yesterday by the corporation’s Home Affairs Editor, Mark Easton, working himself into a right old lather about some silly all-party report on the spread of food banks which seemed to conclude that vast numbers of people are starving because they’ve had their benefits cut or because we throw away too much food, or maybe both - I don't know.  Anyway, the report has the Archbishop of Canterbury's support, so it must be accurate.

Because it was an all-party report and because the Tories involved signed it, Mark Easton took the opportunity to come out with both barrels blazing. Here are some highlights from the script for the news package I caught late last night:
Britain is one of the richest countries in the world [odd sort of wealth - thanks to the last Labour government’s ludicrously high spending levels, we are in debt to the tune of 1.45 trillion pounds]. National wealth has more than doubled in 30 years [as has the proportion of debt to GDP]. We have so much food we literally throw away hundreds of thousands of tons of what’s called ‘surplus’ every year [yes, most Western countries have more food than they need – it’s because most Western countries don’t have socialist governments]. 
And yet… and yet a report signed by parliamentarians from all parties finds a Britain where hunger stalks the land [yes, it’s just like Ethiopia, Mark]. People scavenging. Four million at risk of simply not having enough to eat [just as we’re all at risk of contracting ebola or of being killed by a freak tsunami]. The UK’s poorest have fared less well than those in many developed western countries hit by the rising cost of essentials [this bizarre claim is backed up by a graphic comparing us unfavourably with Germany – which, until very recently, had the strongest economy in the EU]. 
Just a short walk away from the gold and ermine opulence of the palace of Westminster [i.e. priviledged Tory scum!] is… a food bank - one of hundreds attempting to lift citizens free of hunger in what the report calls a social Dunkirk [I didn’t know whether to cry or throw up at this unappetising mixture of sentimental nonsense and deranged hyperbole – I’d just eaten].
Then there was Labour MP Frank Field being outraged, followed by some frizzy-haired leftie female from the Trussell Trust. Easton did a piece to camera, brandishing the Report of Shame outside the Department of Work and Pensions. Apparently, the starving multitudes have no idea that emergency payments are available to them (which I really doubt). “Ministers are... being pressed to introduce a living wage and fairer energy prices for the poorest households,” Mark assured us – in other words, Tory ministers are being asked to indulge in Soviet-style intervention on a massive scale, and to spend yet more billions we haven’t got, which, because lefties don’t like means-testing, will benefit hundreds of thousands of people who don’t need any help whatsoever, and which will mean yet more power over people’s lives being ceded to petty bureaucrats and politicians.

David Cameron came on and said something or other, followed by a swipe at a Tory peer who had sensibly pointed out that many poor people don’t know how to cook. For some odd reason, she had subsequently apologised for this remark, even though everyone knows that too many poor people squander their limited resources on ready-made food, which is more expensive and less nutritious than the stuff you buy and cook yourself.

Easton ended by calling his fellow citizens to wage war on hunger:
The report though is not a criticism of government [funny, because you certainly made it sound as if it was], but rather a call to arms for us all [what did I do wrong?]. The terrifying idea that hunger is here to stay, it [the report] says, requires everyone to take their responses to a new level [no, that really is just nonsense - I mean, if I ate everything on my plate, I'd be as big as a house!]
This wasn’t journalism (if your don't believe me, licence-payers can watch it here). It was mindless, unquestioning, unsceptical leftist propaganda. There’ll be a lot more TV news reports like this between now and the general election – which is why I’ll be avoiding BBC News like the plague until May.


  1. Thank you for this fine post, Scott. The BBC's appetite for dulcet illusions seems limitless.

    The leftist media frequently makes mention of Government "austerity".

    If a reduction in borrowing from one pound out of five to one pound out of six of Government spending can be described as fiscal austerity then ,as usual, the Marxmanship of the media remains unaffected by observed reality.

    1. The reason the left liberal media no longer use Sweden as a stick with which to beat conservative politicians here is that Sweden, under a centre-right coalition, has been practicing eye-watering austerity for the past eight years or so. Naturally the silly sods just voted the left back in - you'll be surprised to hear they've promised to end austerity - so expect to see Sweden back on BBC News some time soon.

  2. Easton has been leading the comrades for a few years now - undoubtedly one of the BBC's worst offenders (which is saying something!).

    As I have remarked elsewhere, the food bank phenomenon has a direct parallel in the 'cardboard cities' which sprang up during the late Thatcher, early Major era and then vanished in the night the moment Blair conned his way to power.

    The Left has mastered the art of spreading memes - the BBC in particular - and the food bank nonsense is the latest example. Should the Marxists win the next election, expect food banks to become a distant memory within a year.

    1. A former BBC News colleague of mine - a conservative Catholic - set up a food bank in Oxford and got stores to contribute food they were going to throw away. He's just written an article in the Mail entitled " Don't let the Left ruin our crusade." He writes: "There’s a regrettable tendency in Britain that whenever something good is brought about by the energies of private individuals, the cry goes up for the State to get involved.
      Food banks are the latest example. They are one of the great success stories of the voluntary sector in the past few years, and now the Archbishop of Canterbury wants to stuff their pockets with public money...Food banks are a marvellous example of how the best instincts of society can be harnessed into voluntary, grassroots action to help people who are most in need. Far from helping, I think state involvement would be toxic." (Full article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2864820/Don-t-let-Left-ruin-crusade-writes-food-bank-pioneer-ROBIN-AITKEN.html)

      What do you think the chances are of someone like Mark Easton interviewing someone like Robin Aitken who actually has something interesting to say, has actually got off his arse to do something useful, and who isn't left-wing. Zero, of course - he doesn't conform to the meme.