Wednesday, 20 May 2009

BBC censorship of Speaker's criticism

Sometimes I cannot help thinking that the BBC’s reputation for objectivity, neutrality and high journalistic standards is more a myth than reality. Particularly when it comes to criticism of the Scottish Labour party. In Spain everyone if full of how great the BBC is and how it should be a model for all public broadcasters. I used to agree. Now, after living in the UK for over 10 years, I am not sure. Myth, perception and reality intermingle.

Yesterday, I posted the below text in the Blether with Brian blog.
To my amazement, it has been removed as it apparently breaks the house rules on defamation.

Can anyone let me know what is in this post that is defamatory?

I have posted it again with a toned-down version, let’s see if it makes the cut…


The Speaker of the House is not a mere class rep.
The Speaker is supposed to lead.

If the less-than-honourable members have been up to no good, it is the Speaker’s job to tick them off.

Michael Martin was an awful speaker: inarticulate, mumbling, discourteous and with a tendency to gag people down. Nothing to do with class or background or accent: all to do with competence.

Michael Martin committed far too many errors to deserve any sympathy:

1) He was the main force behind the push for exemption from the FoI Act. He wanted the expenses system to be kept secret and wasted thousands of our tax money on legal fees.

2) When it was clear that this was going to come out, instead of saying sorry, instead of showing contrition or remorse, he calls in the Police to investigate the leak.

3) When a couple of backbenchers raise the issue, he shuts them down in the most childish and discourteous manner. (Hoey)

4) When another backbencher raises the issue of the no-confidence motion, again the mumbles, fumbles and shows why he should have never been the Speaker in the first place.

All this after having had a number of years to do something about this mess.
So, you understand that most of us have no sympathy for the shop steward that became one of them. Good riddance.


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