back to article BBC tells Conservative Party to remove edited Facebook ad featuring its reporters

The BBC has complained to the Conservative Party over a Facebook advert that features video clips of news reporters Laura Kuenssberg and Huw Edwards. The ad starts with Kuenssberg, in her natty jacket, saying "pointless delay to Brexit" followed by Edwards saying "another Brexit delay" with shaky shots of the House of Commons …

  1. EvilDrSmith

    The BBC? Impartial?

    1. Andre Carneiro
      1. John Robson Silver badge

        So why do they repeatedly invite farage onto shows when he isn't standing for parliament, the party he purports to represent isn't running in nearly half the seats, and he has no MPs - and yet haven't found time for any of the 'minor' parties who *do* have MPs.

        They keep making "mistakes" which must take a serious amount of work (dragging up three year old footage of events rather than the content shot in a given week for example).

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          John Robson,

          Farage gets invites because his party won the last UK nationwide election. By more than 10% too - although came top in would be a better way of expressing it. You might not like it, but nonetheless for the BBC to be impartial they do need to represent that 30% of the people who voted in the European Parliamentary elections.

          Admittedly turnout is pretty low in those, and the Brexit Party aren't looking to do too well in the currrent general election - at which point his coverage will drop. According to a Question Time producer I heard on Radio 4's Media Show most of his QT appearances were after UKIP did well in previous European elections.

          Obviously it's a judgement call, because the Brexit Party are now down to 3-4% in the polls - but Nicola Sturgeon has taken part in national leaders debates and she's also not standing to be an MP - and her party don't even stand in most constituencies. Admittedly Brexit are only in about half now - but that's stiill more than the SNP. To ignore Farage him would be a gross display of bias I'm afraid, and that's why the Beeb don't do it.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            I wouldn't normally complain, but 8 downvotes so far and yet not a single one of you able to summon an argument for why my post is wrong.

            You might not like Farage, I certainly don't, but if you believe in democracy then there can be no argument. He has a right to speak, and has got enough people to vote for him repeatedly over the years that should guarantee his party, and him, a platform on our national broadcaster. Anything else would be blatant censorship.

            Both his parties being effectively one man bands, does mean we end up with just him and nobody else for variety though. Which is admittedly annoying.

            1. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

              I'm not one of the downvotes (only just read the article), but the simple explanation of Farage is he's a media personality.

              Back in the days before anyone took him seriously, he got more BBC airtime than any (other) politician, even media-loving then-prime-minister Blair. And for the first decade or so, Farage's airtime was uncritical - lacking the probing questions journos ask of serious politicians. That's where he got his momentum from. And still has much of it, even since the journos started treating him like a real politician and asking the questions he doesn't want to answer.

              Oh, and talking of blatant censorship, there's certainly precedent. UKIP's working-class predecessors the National Front and BNP never had airtime even when they had electoral success. The difference with UKIP is that an era of white immigration enabled them to detach their agenda from the "racist" label that had successfully marginalised earlier nationalists when the immigration they opposed was non-white.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "if you believe in democracy then there can be no argument."

              There certainly can.

              In the UK, we don't have democracy. We have a first past the post system. Which is explicitly designed to neuter democracy.

              You are arguing that Farage won the vote. Whilst that is true, it doesn't matter. So their argument is - why should he have airtime with no MPs?

              The turkeys really don't want proportional voting. Most of them don't even want to represent their constituents. You know, the people responsible for their top 5% salaries :(

            3. hammarbtyp

              "yet not a single one of you able to summon an argument for why my post is wrong."

              Well, here's one argument. When UKIP was minority party in the European parliament and had no sitting MPs, he was invited consistently, while no other Euro MPs were invited onto the show.

              However this is because QT a long time ago stopped become a forum for serious debate and became a mixture of the Jerry Springer show and the Daily Express, where people were invited not so much for there political discourse but as shock jocks. Even the audience is now invited based on not so much a selection of the country, but on who will give the best 1 minute tag line which is why it largely consists of red face 50 year old white blokes complaining about immigrants cluttering up their golf courses

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                So I went and looked up Question Time online - and the mighty Wikipedia came up. As all the rest of the first page of searches were to articles complaining about him getting so much airtime, I took it.

                According to their list of episodes Farage has the 11th most appearances on the show (34). Which he's managed over 19 years (from first appearance in 2000) at an average of 1.7 appearances a year.

                Which is not unreasonable for the leader of 2 parties that have consistently been able to poll between 5-15% for the last 10 years - and done considerably better in European elections.

                Although that 1.7 a year is higher than anyone else the top 10 - with the top 3 all managing 1.6 a year.

                Above him on that list are 2 Tories (Ken Clark and Michael Heseltine), 2 Labour (Roy Hattersley and Harriet Harman), 4 Lib Dems and Shirley Williams (who appeared as Labour a couple of times then became SDP then Lib Dem).

                The preponderence of Lib Dems is a similar reason to Farage being on a lot, there are fewer of them, though they've been invited to most episodes since the 80s. Hence all the senior ones with long careers being at the top. UKIP had few other senior people, so we got lots of Farage. The Brexit Party is even more of a one-man band.

                Then the 4 Labour and Conservatives were all senior ministers / shadow ministers with long careers - the two Labour ones having been deputy leaders of the party.

                So Farage's appearance rate really isn't unusual. He became a European MP in 99 and has been on QT from 2000-2019 less than twice a year since - while he's been UKIP leader since 2009 - and is now Brexit Party leader.

          2. John Robson Silver badge

            "his party won the last UK nationwide election"

            No they didn't... They might have managed to get more seats than any other individual party, but they didn't "win" anything.

            The company should not be given the time of day on the BC, let alone the excessive coverage he has.

        2. Alex Brett

          > and yet haven't found time for any of the 'minor' parties who *do* have MPs

          Sorry to be pedantic, but at the moment there are *no* MPs from any party, as parliament has been dissolved...

          1. DJV Silver badge

            "parliament has been dissolved"

            The acid used to dissolve them wasn't strong enough - the buggers are still around hoping we'll vote for them yet again!

          2. Handlebars

            You're not sorry though. I can hear your evil chuckling from the next town.

          3. John Robson Silver badge

            Pedantry approved of...

            I should have said - Who *have had* MPs - quite a few in fact...

        3. TheVogon

          Because he is a party leader.

          1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

            Brexit Party Limited Company number 11694875

            Company type: Private limited Company

            Not a real party.

    2. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Compared to the people they're reporting on they are calm, impartial and level headed!

      It's all relative!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The problem the BBC has is they haven't noticed that this 'truth thing is so old-fashioned. Not that I am surprised, this is after all an organisation that spent decades with a so-called 'globe' as its logo, without ever allowing the flat-earth society a right of rebuttal.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          They noticed the truth didn’t matter from 2010 onwards with high level roles being filled with Cameron appointees and Conservative party members. It is now just a branch of FactCheckUK, errr I mean CCHQ.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It is now just a branch of FactCheckUK, errr I mean CCHQ.

            Funny, seems more like a fully paid-up LibDem PR organization to me.

            1. Dr. Mouse

              And here we get to the core.

              Right wingers say the BBC is biased towards the Left, and Left wingers that it's biased towards the Right.

              There is some bias in the BBC, but IMHO it's nowhere near what people make out. Mostly, people just shout "bias" every time the BBC report something they don't like.

              1. phuzz Silver badge
                Thumb Up

                ^^^ This.

                And of course, over it's multiple TV channels and radio stations*, there's a big variety in viewpoints and biases, so it's easy to cherry pick a particular program which confirms or denies one's bias. (Do you think David Attenborough and Jeremy Clarkson both have the same views on climate change?)

                At the end of the day, don't rely on any one source for your news, use your brain and look around to see what different people/entities are saying.

                * I'm not even sure how many tbh

                1. MJI Silver badge

                  Attenborough and Clarkson

                  Probably nearer than farther.

                  Clarkson has seen what happens and is now worried.

                  He is also anti plastic waste.

                2. MonkeyBob

                  Do you think David Attenborough and Jeremy Clarkson both have the same views on climate change?

                  It does appear that hell might be starting to freeze over:


                  1. phuzz Silver badge

                    Re: Do you think David Attenborough and Jeremy Clarkson both have the same views on climate change?

                    Yeah, my timing on that comment was a few weeks too late, but I couldn't think of another example off the top of my head.

        2. KittenHuffer Silver badge

          Disclaimer: I am NOT a flat earther!

          But within limits the Earth is flat! The curvature is of the order of 1 in 8000 over a mile. So the Earth is flat +/-0.000126%!

          If the walls of your house were curved to the same extent you'd quite happily look at them and call them flat.

          Edit: It's just occured to me that BOTH sides will be downvoting me for this post!!! Still I have plenty of karma to burn!

          1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

            No it's not. The Earth is a sphere. Not a perfect sphere, but a sphere none-the-less.

            Anyone claiming otherwise is just being contrary to seek or gain some attention. That, or they are a genuine fu**ing idiot.

            1. Oh Matron!

              The earth is a middle aged sphere, as it bulges around the middle.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                I'm not fat - I'm an oblate spheroid

              2. KittenHuffer Silver badge

                Not gonna disagree. Just gonna point out that the bulge is a smidgeon over 0.2% greater than the average radius of the Earth. If you had a pool ball that was an EXACT scaled down copy of the Earth (mountains, sea trenches, warts and all) then you'd happily play a game of pool with it and probably never notice that it's not a smooth sphere. In fact by my calculation it would just sneak inside the tolerance allowed by the World Pool Association!

            2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

              Re: No it's not. The Earth is a sphere.

              Sure, it can be approximated to a sphere.

              At the same time, over short distances (a few hundred metres) relative height change due to curvature is so small it could be considered locally flat within a small tolerance.

              Of course the Earth isn't flat. Except where it is. Tolerance is a funny thing.


              1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

                Re: No it's not. The Earth is a sphere.

                Decided to withdraw my reply to Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse. As yours was far better than mine. Thank you and have a beer --->

              2. quxinot Silver badge

                Re: No it's not. The Earth is a sphere.

                I believe then that we must all agree that the Earth is in fact, cow-shaped.

                1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

                  Re: No it's not. The Earth is a sphere.

                  Only if the cow is in a vacuum!

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: No it's not. The Earth is a sphere.

                    Good description of Jo Swinson there.

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              This is easily settled. Cows are spherical. If the earth was spherical it would look like a cow however it looks nothing like a cow therefore it is not spherical and I'll argue that point till the cows come home unless there is some udder point you wish to raise? If you think I'm milking this point that's fine, I don't have any beef with you.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                >Cows are spherical

                Cows aren't spherical they are toroidal = they have a hole through the middle

            5. 's water music

              I did nazi that coming...

              Reg downvote inferno for a rebuttal to a 'flat earth' post. Truly we must be entering the end times

              1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

                Re: I did nazi that coming...

                I think the downvote inferno of the rebuttal of a 'flat earth' post is actually because it's not a 'flat earth' post! A fact that I'd say seems to be clear to most commentards as it has 60+ upvotes, and no downvotes. Yet it was attacked quite offensively, which I believe is the cause of the inferno.

                Declaration: The not a 'flat earth' post was mine.

            6. Swashbuckled

              BBC tells Conservative Party to remove etc

              The Earth is something called an oblate spheroid. That’s a sphere which bulges slightly at the equatorial point. As for the BBC’s anxieties about bias, of course it’s bloody biased. Nearly all its Board members were put there by David Cameron, and I don’t recall him being politically neutral. As one example, and there are hundreds to choose from, the BBC stopped reporting on the Gilets Jaunes protests in France, after about three days. The daily protests carried on, bringing many major towns and cities to a standstill, for more than six weeks. Not a peep from the BBC. No reporting AT ALL of the many, many thousands of veterans who marched in protest at the Government’s decision to prosecute an elderly, unwell ex-soldier alleged to have killed two civilians during the Bloody Sunday riots - in 1972. Yes, 1972. Nearly 50 years ago. The veterans brought the M1 to a standstill by riding thousands of motor bikes at walking pace to London. Three thousand of those marching sang the National Anthem outside Buckingham Palace. Nope. Nothing on the BBC news.

              You’re welcome.

        3. Rich 11 Silver badge

          this is after all an organisation that spent decades with a so-called 'globe' as its logo, without ever allowing the flat-earth society a right of rebuttal.

          I would expect flat-earthers to be overjoyed at seeing a 2D 'globe' on their television screen. Their only complaint would be that it wasn't accelerating upwards at 9.81m/s.

        4. MOV r0,r0

          That stupid globe got people thinking somehow the BBC is an international player à la CNN. It's not, it's a national state broadcaster - albeit a four-thousand-five-hundred-million-pounds-a-year state broadcaster (so in that respect there's nothing else like it in the world!).

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            MOV r0,r0,

            The BBC used to have something like 450 foreign correspondents - which was more than any other broadcast news organisation in the world. AP and Reuters may have had more I don't know... That's probably dropped with recent cuts - but nonetheless it's a massive global news organisation that broadcasts in something like 60 languages.

            And globally has one of the highest reputations as well. You may not listen to the BBC World Service, but an awful lot of people do.

            CNN captured the headlines by being new and the first to do 24 hour TV news. But even now I bet more people globally get their news from radio than telly.

            1. Imhotep Silver badge

              BBC news is generally carried by the local PBS stations in the US, so watched by quite a few here.

            2. TheVogon

              BBC World Service has a TV news channel too.

          2. TheVogon

            Perhaps you are not aware of the BBC world service.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        It's all relative! - yes its the Mother of bias.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          The BBC is closer to impartial than most, if you look objectively.

          A lot of people complain that the BBC is running a story they don't like and because they don't like it, they claim it's bias. If they took seconds to check, they would find the same story came out of Reuters and is being run by all the news outlets.

          The problem is that bias is in the eye of the beholder.

          A while back the BBC ran a political news story, and a producer showed the complaints they received. There were equal numbers of complaints between between accusations of bias to left, and accusations of bias to the right.

          1. hellsatan

            Running the same biased or inaccurate story as every other major news outlet is not an indicator of impartiality, it's merely that they are biased in much the same way as every other major news outlet

          2. John Mangan


            Agreed. I've lost track of the number of Remainer calling it the 'British Brexit Corporation' and the number of Leavers saying it is completely Remain-biased (I don't think they've come up with a 'clever' acronym).

            I take the view that nothing is perfect (e.g. letting woo-woo practitioners 'balance' sound scientific evidence) but when two sides of an argument both consider one particular source to be biased against them I think that's reasonable marker that the source is:

            a: trying to be balanced

            b: not so far off balanced you need a compass to find your way back.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "(I don't think they've come up with a 'clever' acronym)"

              Not really an acronym but they call it the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation.

              1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                Dear Sir,

                That's clearly demonstrating a bias in favour of brassicas.

                Yours sincerely,

                Mr Potatohead

            2. anonymous noel coward~

              It depends where they're looking. It's not hard to spot the personal biases of people like Kuenssberg or Marr in their content. Meanwhile a lot of the BBC entertainment programmes like HIGNFY or Daily Mash have a strong liberal / anti-brexit vibe.

              The BBC as a whole produces so much content that it's possible for both sides to be proven correct.

              1. rcw88

                But HIGNFY isn't editorial content - its supposed to be funny, except it isn't any more. Like all real time television, stopped watching a long time ago. Don't have terrestrial TV or Radio - no signal - and its SO liberating not even thinking about the garbage on the news channels and the perpetual misinformation represented as fact.

                1. David Nash


                  Since you stopped watching it a long time ago, how do you know it's not funny any more?

                  Not being funny when you stopped watching (whenever that was) doesn't mean it isn't sometimes or regularly funny.

            3. Eeep !

              Guessing your problem is tracking the the occurences of the phrase is really with the number 0 - because your mention of this term is the first time it's been mentioned in any conversation (directly or overheard), radio broasdcast, TV, or web article or discussion, since the referendum.

            4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              I take the view that nothing is perfect (e.g. letting woo-woo practitioners 'balance' sound scientific evidence) but when two sides of an argument both consider one particular source to be biased against them I think that's reasonable marker that the source is:

              But that perhaps confirms your own bias. I assume by 'woo-woo', you're referring to the climate change debate, which is one of those areas where the BBC has taken a very strong stance. If you looked closer at that debate, you'll see there's sound scientific evidence that challenges the BBC's editorial position, especially when it comes to thorny topics like climate models, where simulation trumps observation. That's then translated into public policy, ie 'renewables', which the BBC again has a rather biased view. Yet wind generation's varied +/-1GW so far today, and the forecast is for cold weather & low wind. If you're say, Matt McGrath with his 100K prize for climate reporting, paying for heating won't be a challenge.

              Brexit's a similar controversial subject given the BBC's rarely had a positive thing to say about it. But then perhaps it's still smarting over misreading the public sentiment and being suprised when the pesky public voted to leave. But Brexit's one of those areas where it may be conflcted, ie leaving the EU would mean the BBC becomes a foreign state broadcaster and subject to more regulation.

              But such is politics. The BBC's always had the challenge of being the State Broadcaster, it's commercial interests, and convincing the public that it's worth the subscription fee demanded. Perceptions of bias just makes it's future less certain.

              1. MJI Silver badge

                Brexit's a similar controversial subject given the BBC's rarely had a positive thing to say about it.

                That is because there is nothing positive about it.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            There were equal numbers of complaints between between accusations of bias to left, and accusations of bias to the right.

            Which could mean that they are right in the centre, which is a bias in itself.

            They aren't supposed to editorialize the news, just to report it.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Sure, but someone will always accuse something of bias if it says something they disagree with. Even if no opinions are stated at all, which isn't really possible to obtain, bias can exist or be alleged to exist just in which facts are stated. I don't think you can find me a news outlet without many accusations of bias, unless nobody's reading it.

              Given that, you have three logical approaches to try to deal with bias:

              1. Read everything from everybody and work out the bias yourself. It's excellent if you have great mechanisms for dealing with incorrect statements or far too much opinion and have enough time to read everything.

              2. Try to minimize the reports of bias per reader in the hopes that the thing people complain about least will be the most honest. However, I bet the ones you find are those things so ridiculously biased that nobody who doesn't already agree bothers reading it.

              3. Try to balance the reports of bias so you can stick to outlets that are likely to be near the middle. Similar to the first option, you have to work out the bias yourself and decide where your filters lie, but you can do that in less time. Even with that, it's best to have at least a few media organizations rather than one.

              For the record, I'm not in the U.K. and can't comment with much precision on the bias or lack thereof of the BBC. All my comments are meant generally.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              What's the median?

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It is a medium. I.e. in the middle of the source and reciever.

            In the middle.

            Therefore a filter.

            Start your reading off with Bad News from the glasgow uni media group and follow through to Chomsky and beyond.

            Yes. Mainstream media is biased and worse, keeps your agenda set.



            1. Danny 2 Silver badge

              I'm no Media Studies expert but it seems to me that the BBC is biased towards whichever party is in power.

              Stirling Uni Media Studies analysed TV news coverage in the run up to the Iraq war. Sky TV news had 60% pro-war opinion, 40% anti-war. The BBC News had 80% pro-war opinion, 20% anti-war.

              As a pro-independence Scot it was at least as bad in the run up to IndyRef, though I haven't seen any media studies on it. If you are English then you probably don't notice how much of BBC news is English sports coverage including frigging cricket.

              James Robertson's 'The news where you are'

          5. Allan George Dyer

            @werdsmith - "There were equal numbers of complaints between between accusations of bias to left, and accusations of bias to the right."

            <indignation>But half of them were WRONG!!!</indignation>

          6. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

            Hmm, that is pretty crude analysis. E.g. a complaint from a "right winger" that Jordan Peterson was introduced as an "alt-right" thinker is not the same as a left-winger complaining that Jordan Peterson was given any kind of platform at all.

    3. Anonymous Coward
    4. TheVogon

      Lol @ the BBC being impartial. Don't they only advertise their jobs in that socialist newspaper "The Guardian"?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You can't Blame Diane Abbott for everything...

      It used to be when I was young, maybe when George Orwell was on their Radio Shows.

      Since the Invasion(s) its been a cesspool.

  2. iron Silver badge

    > You can drill into the details yourself on Facebook here.

    No, I can't. For a start I get this message:

    "Facebook's advertising tools might not work as expected when an ad blocker is enabled in a web browser. Turn off the ad blocker or add this web page's URL as an exception so you can create ads without any problems. After you turn off the ad blocker, you'll need to refresh your screen."

    Since Stalkerbook is one of the reasons I run a tracking blocker I'm not about to disable it and with it enabled that page is blank apart from a login button. Which brings me to my next issue... A lack of any FB account to log in with.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. MJI Silver badge

        On the paper

        That is nasty!

      2. defiler

        Yeah - that's pretty bad.

        1. David Hicklin

          and that was just the number of 3rd party sites that you have to enable in No-Script just to see it !

    2. Fred Dibnah

      I can’t get to it either. Instead, I get a strange website with no content called localhost :-)

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge

        localhost, that's for localpeople.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I'll be damned if I'm going to go to FaceBook to get information on anything.

  3. Andytug

    Impartial? Question Time anyone?

    Same people in the audience over and over again, with ties to parties (activists etc)?

    Not sure there has been any genuine impartial media in this country for a long time.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Impartial? Question Time anyone?

      Who else would turn up as a Question Time audience?

      If you had a genuinely representative QT audience the only question from "the member of the public" would be to all the panel and be "why don't you all fsck off?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Impartial? Question Time anyone?

        Unfortunately anecdotal evidence suggests that you are unlikely to make it into the QT audience unless you are sympathetic to the politics of a certain "swivel-eyed loon", or the current gammon-in-chief. Lefties need not apply

      2. FlossyThePig

        Re: Impartial? Question Time anyone?

        You can't just turn up but have to apply for a ticket for QT, When QT was to be broadcast near me I thought I would apply. You have to enter a "question from the audience" as part of the application, so I didn't bother. You can add an additional question on arrival at the venue to cater for any new event.

        I would suggest that the questions are "magicians choice" rather than drawn at random.

        Icon because it's Friday

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Impartial? Question Time anyone?

      That's false equivalence. You might disagree with the editorial line, and I do think there is a lot to disagree with (focussing on niche issues, value signalling, guilt pedalling, etc.), but the reporting is on the whole properly researched and presented. This is certainly not the case with the political advert that, in that form, would not tolerated as a pary political broadcast.

    3. pakman

      Re: Impartial? Question Time anyone?

      I gave up watching QT some time ago - it has turned into a circus of grandstanding politicians and hobby-horse activists whose sloganeering doesn't have much connection with the real world any longer. I find Any Questions on Friday evenings a lot better, even if that does make me an old-school fogey whose bias is towards the wireless.

      1. MOV r0,r0

        Re: Impartial? Question Time anyone?

        Nope, niche content is in! The under 20's do unicast and multicast but seemingly have no interest in broadcast content nor want to be subject to the hypothecated, regressive tax that majority-funds the 'Boomer Broadcasting Corp' and is therefore a demographic accident waiting to happen. Even the acronym "BBC" means something quite different to them...

    4. MOV r0,r0

      Re: Impartial? Question Time anyone?

      The BBC claim the tickets are issued by the venue thus neatly side-stepping the issue of impartiality. The choice of venue is entirely the down to the BBC though and they'll give you a list of 'practicalities' as long as your arm as to why some venues are chosen over others, funny how it's almost always a liberal/left leaning organisation's venue.

      I note also the BBC are not claiming impartiality in the FB story, only a 'perception of impartiality' - the organisation might be but it allows it's presenters and producers to be anything but. It's the same fancy legal footwork that has them claiming never to have criminalised anyone for non-payment of the Licence Fee, apparently transgressors are prosecuted for criminal contempt by the court for non-payment of the BBC's initial civil non-payment fine.

      When criticising the BBC you must get the accusation right as they have entire departments dedicated to Orwellian-ing themselves beyond fault.

      1. headrush

        Re: Impartial? Question Time anyone?

        Re: criminalisation of licence fee non-payment.

        This is not relevant to the topic of the bbc but where I live there are signs along the beach that state that no dogs are allowed on the beach between may and September. The sign goes on to state that it is a criminal offence to ignore the sign.

        The result is that there is the potential to spend time in prison for a pifflingly insignificant civil offence instantiated by a local council.

        This appears to be an end run around the principles of civil and criminal responsibility which no-one would generally be aware of.

        I doubt that brexit, remain or the EU are interested in this subtle creeping change in civil liberties.

        Maybe when they start applying the same rule for parking offences, more people will start to notice.

  4. Paul Greavy

    Clip 'could damage perceptions of our impartiality',

    That ship sailed long ago.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Clip 'could damage perceptions of our impartiality',

      The BBC's problem is that it tries too hard to be "impartial".

      If you watch news on ITV, you'll find the presenters are significantly more scathing and dismissive of party politics and politicians. As are reporters on Channel 4 news (also produced by ITN). The BBC feels it needs to represent all sides of the argument - however fatuous they might be, so it ends up giving credulity to otherwise specious arguments.

      It's interesting that ITV News is seldom challenged. There's a reason for that: ITV, as a whole, is seen as being salt-of-the-earth proletarian, whereas the BBC and Channel 4 are perceived as outposts of liberal elitism (and of course public corporations). There's no political mileage to be made in attacking ITV, even though its editorial line is very little different to that of Channel 4.

      The BBC needs to be less timid, and might as well be, because the conservative elite will try to close it down regardless.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Clip 'could damage perceptions of our impartiality',

        You'd think they'd have had enough time to shut down the beeb already having been the government for 40 out of the last 74 years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Clip 'could damage perceptions of our impartiality',

          They've cut the BBC budget hugely over those years. Part of this is by making it legally required to do things and refusing to pay for them, part by forcing it to pay Channel 4 and ITV. Only a small part by headline budget cuts and caps.

          The Conservatives cut NHS, mental health, police, council and education funding in similar ways. Yes, more cash, but also required to do far, far more.

  5. Gonzo wizard

    "could damage perceptions of our impartiality"

    None left in news and current affairs mate, and for quite some time. To the point that John Sweeney raised a complaint with OFCOM after he left their employment, listing all the issues he witnessed. You can read his full letter of complaint at

  6. <script>alert('the register');</script>

    Said without a hint of irony.

    1. Imhotep Silver badge

      Who Is The Boss

      Question: Can the BBC actually tell the party what to do? It seems that this ad would fall under what I believe is called "Fair Use" in the US. I realise that the content would have been only an extract, but if it is what was actually said over the public airways for public consumption.....

      1. LadyK

        Re: Who Is The Boss

        A) it's the UK so I think our copyright may be slightly different to the US's and

        B) As someone commented below, everyone else gets chased and fined/prisoned/threatened with court for the crime of showing Beeb content without permission.

        Also from the horse's mouth so to speak

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who Is The Boss

          Comparing the UK and US is a bit unfair.

          Since the US deliberately ignored all copyright until they had anything of their own to protect.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who Is The Boss

        We don't have "fair use" in the UK, but "fair dealing" under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act.

        There's a provision for news reporting, which I assume the Conservatives would invoke (although if they've edited it "creatively", that'd make it a derivative work and therefore unlikely to be able to claim that)

      3. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

        Re: Who Is The Boss

        Fair use is about copyright: what/how much of someone else's material you can quote/reuse.

        AIUI this case is not about copyright, it's about misrepresentation. Fair use is not a relevant concept.

        1. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

          Re: Who Is The Boss

          This morning's news on BBC radio, facebook have taken it down over copyright. So I was, erm, wrong.

          This morning's commentary on that news: facebook were asked to take it down not over copyright but over misrepresentation and fake news. So I was, erm, right.

          The more disreputable elements of the Tories[1] now crying unfair over being singled out. If this gets taken down over copyright - as opposed to fake news - then why doesn't every other use of BBC material get taken down for the same reason? Technically they would appear to be right, at least while facebook hold on to that copyright story.

          [1] Not a tautology. They may all be thoroughly disreputable since the Stalinist purge of the moderates, but some are still more disreputable than others.

  7. SVV

    Parliament now holds the prime minister prisoner

    Well, that is kind of parliament's job, seeing as electing members to it is the way our democracy works. It is not there just to rubber stamp laws made by an almighty prime minister, although in a few weeks time it probably will be, as the current PM has insisted on his party's candidates literally signing pledges of personal loyalty to himself before being approved. Seeing how much loyalty he himself showed to prime ministers before he became one should say all it needs to about that.

    And today they have been threatening Channel 4 with their braoadcasting licence, after the PM's no show at a debate last night meant he was replaced with some ice, and the emperor feels offended.Still, the social media "scandals" and stories about refusing to attend debates are working as a distraction as to what voting for anybody actually means in policy terms, which seems to be the desired result. Dismal business all round, can't see anything at all appealing in any of the campaigns, but then they've all sussed long ago that people like me are unimportant in order to win elections.

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Re: Parliament now holds the prime minister prisoner

      I was looking at the fuss caused by a couple of people not turning up and wondered how much better it would have been if only none of them had bothered. Perhaps we coud have had re-runs of Tom & Jerry cartoons instead so people could make complaints about violence and racial steroetypes and how the early Fred Quimby ones were so much better than the wierd 60's style versions

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Parliament now holds the prime minister prisoner

        > Perhaps we coud have had re-runs of Tom & Jerry cartoons instead...

        Who's downvoting original Tom&Jerry?

        You MONSTERS!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Parliament now holds the prime minister prisoner

      Add the Tory threats to remove the power of the courts to "interfere in political decisions" and it's hard not to see an attempt to remove all checks&balances in the system. That ends with dictatorship and has Cummings smell all over it.

    3. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Parliament now holds the prime minister prisoner

      @SVV - Unfortunately I agree, self restraint & respect for voter intelligence amongst our political parties is at an all time low. The culture of soundbite reporting and a 'stock' answer (blaming the other side) to any question has reduced any serious political debate to mud throwing and occasional not very subtle threats.

      Channel 4 only exhibited some artistic license in pre-preparing ice blocks for an environment question session, it's no worse than the tub of lard that replaced Roy Hattersley years ago on a BBC show. The beeb & C4 news is as non-partisan as its possible to get given that every political party thinks (and always has) they are giving biased coverage towards the others.

      After all is said & done, come Friday 13th only about fifty or so seats (it's rare to get anywhere near 100 out of the 650 changing) will have changed hands and unless you're one of the 100,000 (ish) floating voters needed to do this, you, me & most of the other 30 odd million voters really don't make a lot of difference. I'm a floating voter myself but in a constituency where the MP habitually gains over 50% of the vote it's irrelevant.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Parliament now holds the prime minister prisoner

        I am in the middle on the C4 thing last night.

        I would actually have liked to have heard Goves thoughts as he does seem to be more knowleagable than Johnson about climate, and would have been a much better choice anyway.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Parliament now holds the prime minister prisoner

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Parliament now holds the prime minister prisoner

        Ok, It turns out I was way off the mark with that last comment!

        The 2019 election just removed a big wedge of sitting Labour MPs to match their 1983 debacle.

        The look on the TV commentators faces when the exit poll was announced was priceless. All their prepared hung parliament speil vapourising in a second.

  8. charlieboywoof


    The most terrifying blatant anti democracy anti British anti family organisation.That,now, we willnot fund.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Impartial????


      Oh wait, you were serious?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Impartial????

      I can feel the flecks of mouth foam from here!

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Impartial????

      >The most terrifying blatant anti democracy anti British anti family organisation

      We still talking about the government ?

  9. codejunky Silver badge


    Adding to the comments complaining about a lack of impartiality. The BBC happily reported 'green' propaganda about wind farms providing loads of wonderful energy and yet on the factual side they eventually reported a pretty skinny article stating the wind farms were providing nothing like the bogus claims.

    The one that really made me laugh was when they reported on some heartless hunter killing a magnificent stag (the heartless bastard) and leaving the corpse. Without pointing out the edits the article changed a number of times in the day until it eventually read that it was legal. intentional for the survival of the deer population and the corpse was taken away.

    In both cases (and usual reporting) it would be nice for them to drop having an opinion and instead reporting the facts.

    1. LadyK

      Re: Ha

      I think it has been proven that a large majority of the British population have no interest in the facts nowadays, hence why the Daily Fail is still in operation and has fairly high readership numbers according to them.

      I tend to skim my news from local rags these days, at least you can have a laugh at some of the majorily miserable bar stewards telling everyone the world/area/suburb is a sh*t hole, kids are rabid, feral little monsters and we're all going to hell whether we stay or leave the United States of Europa

    2. BigSLitleP

      Re: Ha

      Evidence of stated "facts" or GTFO

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Ha


        This happened somewhere in the last 19 years, maybe narrowed down to the last 15? Fairly sure it was during the labour gov but may have been later. If you think I am gonna search an entire forum history of that length you are kidding. Hell it might even have been back when the BBC allowed decent sized comments on their HYS.

        If you fancy trawling through my post history you may be able to find the links, I think I might have posted them on here griping about the BBC.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Ha

          UK power source is available here >

          Currently less wind generation than being imported from French nuclear.

          No idea about the stag.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: Ha

            Right now wind is 1.73GW and the French interconnect is 2GW. However, if you hover over the wind dial you will find out that this is not the only wind generation, same as solar. Solar reads at 0GW all the time, because there is no metered solar. Add 30% to obtain an estimate of total wind generation, so it's higher than the interconnect.

        2. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: Ha

          codejunk> If you fancy trawling through my post history you may be able to find the links, I think I might have posted them on here griping about the BBC.

          Is it before or after your posts about hordes of Turkish immigrants flooding into the UK using visa free travel?

          It's always heartening to see the extremists on either side of the political spectrum go into apoplexy about the BBC. Good to know it still manages to challenge the nutjobs, charlatans and liars even when it hamstrings itself by insisting on giving them equal footing.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Ha


            "Is it before or after your posts about hordes of Turkish immigrants flooding into the UK using visa free travel?"

            It was before the EU was panicking about Turkey and fearing the country held the EU over a barrel. Thinking about it @BigSLitleP you should ask @Dr_N, I dunno if he has trawled through my posts before his infatuation with me but there is a fair chance.

            1. Dr_N Silver badge

              Re: Ha

              When you post so much FUD it's difficult to keep the lies straight in your head, is it codejunkie?

              Try some good old fashioned truth. It's easier to keep your story straight.

      2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        GTFO : Get the funk out?

        Love that guitar solo.

  10. Snowy


    Are they going to get a fine for pirating BBC content, given so many have seen it a very large one too :)

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: When

      Are they going to get a fine for pirating BBC content,...

      I'm not sure why you put a "Joke Alert" icon on that because the point is perfectly reasonable. BBC material is, I assume, protected by Copyright Law and by using it the way they (CCHQ) did by editing the material to fit a party political narrative would seem to be inviolation of that Copyright... but then IANAL.

      After last week's debacle over the "Fact Checker" (or whatever it was called) I would have thought that the tossers in CCHQ who run the social media campaign would have told in no uncertain terms to stop being too - clever - by - half and to rein it in. Perhaps they were told but didn't understand.

      I thought it was generally accepted that by and large the electorate hold politics and politicians in very low regard and stunts like this one will only make the situation worse, not better.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: When

        It's generally accepted by everyone But the politicos who think they know better than us.

      2. FrogsAndChips

        Re: When

        I would have thought that the tossers in CCHQ who run the social media campaign would have told in no uncertain terms to stop being too - clever - by - half and to rein it in.

        Since disinformation in all its forms (from fake news to outdated or out-of-context quotes) is now part of the campaign tactics of all parties (and the Tories happen to be very good at it), I'd rather expect them to have received a nice tap on the shoulder.

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: When

          Since disinformation in all its forms <snip> is now part of the campaign tactics of all parties...

          That may well be true but multiple wrongs do not make a right.

          Perhaps politicians simply don't care that the electorate regards them as shysters. It may be an old - fashioned view but IMHO the electorate deserves better.

          1. FrogsAndChips

            Re: When

            No one here said it was right. I was mostly reacting to the OP's expectations that the "fact checkers" staff would have been told no to do it again, which I found quite unlikely.

  11. JimC

    So the company responsible for Panorama,

    Notorious users of selectively edited footage that they are, are complaining about someone else selectively editing film. [FX: snigger]

  12. tip pc Silver badge

    I just watched it and don’t see the problem

    Words that where spoken by bbc correspondents commenting on Brexit, non of it supportive of any parties Brexit agenda, Bercow screaming order etc, any party could have put vote for me at the end.

    I honestly don’t see what the fuss is about. If you don’t know that Brexit has been delayed since early 2018 and cost TM her job then you wouldn’t understand what the video related to.

    Either vote for a Brexit supporting party, a Brexit cancelling party or a party that will offer both those options.

    If that isn’t clear then god help you.

  13. razorfishsl

    They don't like it when others do it to them.....

  14. Danny 2 Silver badge

    QT impartiality failure

    I'm afraid the BBC don't even have the basic maths and common sense to provide impartiality, and here is a juicy and clear example.

    Question Time audiences have to be constructed to reflect current UK polling. If Labour have 30% of the polling numbers then 30% of the audience should have claimed to be Labour voters.

    Now in Scotland there are next to no UKIP (or now Brexit Party) voters, yet when QT is filmed in Scotland the audience has to have an audience that reflects the British number of UKIP/Brexit Party voters.

    That has led to one far-right numpty, Billy Mitchell, being on QT four times, always in an orange tracksuit, and each time he has been allowed to ask the panel a question. Not only that bias, the BBC actually asked him onto the audience three times because they couldn't find anyone else who admitted voting for that extreme.

    He wears an orange tracksuit because he is a sectarian protestant in the "Livingston True Blues Flute Band". This is trivial dig but none of the "Livingston True Blues Flute Band" live in Livingston or can play a flute - Billy is frae Motherwell. Yet due to BBC sifting this numpty fraud has had more BBC TV time than any other 'ordinary' Scot.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: QT impartiality failure

      Would the person who downvoted me care to explain what I said provoked that, and maybe even debate me on it?

      I get downvoted often here and never take offence, mostly I get it. This one time you don't get it.

  15. tip pc Silver badge

    Have a read of some of the deleted BBC hys comments to understand their bias

    Some Momentum comments are deleted purely because they call them out for being left wing Which they freely admit they are.

  16. Tom 7 Silver badge

    There are so many reports out indicating BBC bias

    it would take the BBC news dept to deny them.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given the British public fund the BBC it should be free to use any BBC produced and copyrighted content the bloody hell way they choose.

    1. BrownishMonstr
      Thumb Down

      Not if they're editing the content to construe a different message to what the producers intended.

      Regarding the British public funding the BBC, not all of us pay the TV license since we neither watch live TV nor iPlayer.

  18. Danny 2 Silver badge

    I call shenanigans

    The Tory party just threatened to do away with state funding for Ch4 because their Leader's debate on the environment didn't include Boris Johnson, because he refused to turn up. All the party leaders had agreed to be interviewed by Andrew Neill, who they rate as the toughest interviewer. Boris backed out again, and then demanded to be let on the Andrew Marr show, with Marr being a wet sponge. The BBC said he had to be interviewed by Neill first, and then backed down citing the two dead in the London Bridge stabbings.

    Stabbings have risen since the tories cut 20,000 police, cut social services and imposed extreme poverty on the already poorest. Using these two additional deaths to justify more of the same is clear cut political bias by the BBC. Andrew Marr is the sound of one hand clapping Johnson's fat back.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: I call shenanigans

      I need to add that Andrew Marr eviscerated Johnson today. He obviously took umbrage (US English: was butt-hurt) at the suggestion he is softer than Andrew Neil.

      This is The Least Worst Election. We're all looking for the least worst candidate, the least worst party. I wasn't even going to vote, I ignored five letters from the electoral commission asking me to register to vote but they sent me a voting card anyway.

      I've decided to vote Labour for the first time this century. Because I got a nice email from Hilary Benn tonight. My vote won't affect my local SNP shoo-in getting in, but it will add to the (un)popular vote.

  19. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Just not doing their job

    Setting aside the questions of partiality, and Kuensberg's doe-eyed looks of adoration whenever she sees her beloved Boris...

    There are many, searching questions that I would like to ask all politicians - of all parties. I am unable to do that in person, so I expect political journalists to do it for me. They should not be allowing some of the politicians an easy ride and a chance for a free party political broadcast, with their claims and lies unquestioned.

    I expect our publicly-funded journalists to challenge every claim made by every politician. To raise their record when they make promises.

    Impartiality means challenging every lie, not ignoring them all equally (or unequally)

    That's why I'm pissed off with the BBC

  20. MrReal

    The BBC was always the voce of the establishment

    Ever since the BBC kept Prince Charles's friend Jimmy safe and wealthy I've not really trusted them.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: The BBC was always the voce of the establishment

      There was a Belgian paedophile police infiltrator in the Scottish peace movement. When I exposed him my family was subject to a dozen police 'visits'. He is now very rich, was supposedly very poor back then. I was in touch with one of Scotland's best legal minds back then, and he was blunt but not very helpful. Words to the effect, 'Ah, you've run into the establishment paedo consipracy, you're effed'.

      I love how Prince Andrew thought his interview with Emily Maitlis went well. Now he is Andrew mate-less.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I wrote to the electoral commission to complain about content posted by political parties pretending to be each other. Leaflets spouting political propaganda have to have identifying marks so you can see the author of a given poster - this prevents the tories from posing as labour for example. if they do not, they can be hauled in front of the electoral commission for fraud. The commission went onto explain in their reply to me that there is no such equivalent law online, therefore no laws had been broken. They had urged the incumbent government to change the law in this regard; but they have of course done bugger all. They also encouraged writing to the actual author of said online content to complain about their campaigning tactics.

    If my Facebook feed is anything to go by (bad statistical experiment, a very loaded poll!) one blue coloured party in particular has no qualms in posing as its opponents to spew garbage. Websites, adverts, videos. You might not like what the opposition represent, but behaving as a tinpot dictatorship is a worse fate. Sadly first past the post also means that tactical voting is a necessary evil, for one has to consider who to vote against, NOT what policies one wishes to vote for. And some poor buggers get no representation at all. The system is broken and needs changing.

  22. john the fatbloke

    What, cynical about the Boris Broadcasting corporation ?

    No, never..........

  23. Petronius

    Funny, I thought the BBC «» the Conservative Party ?

  24. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Yeah, mustn’t damage the perception...

  25. 0laf Silver badge

    They really all are a nasty shower of shits in this election.

    I really don't believe any of them are either competent or trustworthy in any capacity and I happily lump in all of the significant parties into my generalisation.

    I lament the lack of a Monster Raving Loony or a None-of-the-Above candidate, even an indpendent. They'd have my vote.

  26. JDX Gold badge

    I happened to see the ad on Youtube and one can hardly say it portrays the BBC as being pro-Brexit. It's clearly a bunch of tiny clips edited to form actually quite an effective ad. If Labour ran one to highlight their points I'd be fine with that too.

  27. applebyJedi

    You're having a laugh!

    BBC Impartiality is an oxymoron.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Brexit Bothering Commentariat

  29. Julia E Dubose

    The BBC is requesting the Conservatives bring down Facebook adverts highlighting film of its columnists Laura Kuenssberg and Huw Edwards, contending that their incorporation could harm impression of the company's unprejudiced nature.

    The paid-for advert utilizes film of the BBC's political proofreader and the News at Ten host to contend that turbulent discussions over Brexit can be stayed away from if individuals vote Conservative.

    The short clasp starts with Kuenssberg saying the words "silly postponement to Brexit", in film taken from a file news communicate. In spite of the fact that the clasp gives the impression it was the BBC political editorial manager conveying that judgment, it shows up she was really citing Boris Johnson's remarks from September when he dismissed a further augmentation to article 50.

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