We have a free press and The Guardian take advantage of that to adopt a distinctive, left wing, editorial stance with which we are familiar. We also have a system of public service broadcasting including requirements of political impartiality which the BBC routinely disregards with a mindset much the same as The Guardian. (Not that the BBC is unique. The TV news coverage with the most consistent and outrageous left wing bias is Jon Snow's Channel 4 News.)
The odd thing is given that The Guardian is perfectly entitled to have a left wing allegiance, while the BBC isn't, is that often The Guardian takes more trouble to give Conservatives fair treatment than the BBC. Of course given the great volume of coverage this can only be the most sweeping generalisations.
But one small example over the last 24 hours from my own council of Hammersmith and Fulham backs the thesis. We are changing our "service provider" for providing caring for carers. After due professional rigour of tendering process a decision has been made that the service could be improved by changing those providing it. The decision was that those who have been providing it hitherto are not up to scratch. The service will continue. The budget is not being cut. Of course I can understand how an organisation who loses a contract are angry as it means a loss of job. But the point is not to provide a job creation scheme. It is to provide the most effective back up possible for the carers in our borough.
The Guardian ran a naturally hostile piece. But it did at least acknowledge (for those who kept going to the seventh paragraph) that it was an issue of who should provide the service – not whetherthe service should be provided. It included the key point that previously only 1,000 of the 11,500 carers in our borough were getting help. We are determined to extend and broaden the service – not cut it.
By contrast the BBC ran an item last night on their BBC London Tonight programme which was straightforwardly dishonest – claiming the "service was being cut."
This BBC falsehood was not inadvertent. Strenuous efforts had been made to ensure the BBC's team were made aware of the facts. These were disregarded. The viewers were lied to. They were particularly despicable lies as some vulnerable viewers in my borough will have been scared by the claim that no alternative provision was being made available. London Tonight's Political Editor Tim Donovan never makes much effort to hide his allegiances. An item praising Newham on free school meals gave the sequence the feel of a Labour Party Political Broadcast. The BBC are able to get away with this. So they do it.