Sunday, February 14, 2010

Media Bias

I have never complained about media bias in my life - mainly because I believe people watching are not daft, and can usually see through it. And anyway, if you have a policy of never complaining, you win some and lose some. Personally, I've always done OK. I have watched a couple of examples recently of reporting which outrageously favoured my main opponent in Montgomeryshire - but I just grit my teeth and get on with it. Its a bit like the issue of a Lib Dem newspaper that is currently being delivered to every household in Montgomeryshire. It makes ludicrous claims about the MP and AM's achievements - but I just shrug my shoulders. People are not stupid. They just don't believe them.

But back to real media bias. Just watch this interview on Sky News featuring Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne. The interviewer is someone named Tim Marshall, whose shameful bias is such that he should never be allowed to interview anyone again. He's a disgrace. The interesting bit is about 3 minutes in. But the upshot of Marshall's biased behaviour, and the little tricks employed by Sky News to put the interviewee in a poor light, finished up helping George Osborne. While Tim Marshall was sniggering on the phone to Kevin Maguire (OK so I made that up) about his 'clever dick stitch-up', most viewers will have been deeply impressed by how George Osborne kept his cool, and poked him in the eye over Lord Ashcroft's tax status. And in truth, in respect of this issue, the BBC and others are no better than Marshall. Every Conservative seems to be asked about Lord Ashcroft, while Labour politicians are never asked about Lord Paul. And if Guido has his way, and he often does, this blatant bias is going to come back to bite their backsides before too long.

UPDATE - If you want to know more about how Lord Paul made his money, go read Guido's blog - especially if you have any concern for employee's rights.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is a basic difference between Lord Paul and Lord Ashcroft. However unsavoury Lord Paul's business record may be (and it is)his donations are legal.

Although he has non-dom tax status there is no doubt that the companies who make the donations are legitimate UK trading companies. Like it or not, the donations are therefore legal.

That isn't the case with Lord Ashcroft's company "Bearwood Corporate Services" which appears to be a "front company". If that is the case and if Lord Ashcroft is a non-dom then his donations are illegal.

Lord Paul doesn't disguise the fact he is a non-dom. Why does Lord Ashcroft? There's only one reason I can think of.

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - I would be very surprised to learn that anything asociated with Lord Ashcroft was 'illegal'. I know of no grounds, except politicaly motivated rumour which can have instigated such a remark. You really should be more careful what you write - but then we all note that you prefer to remain anonymous.

Stephen Byers said...

"Every Conservative seems to be asked about Lord Ashcroft"

I think that’s a fair point Glyn but I would suggest it is continuing to be an issue largely because the Tories have never really addressed the issue with a legitimate answer. Until they do I imagine the press will continue to chase it?

glynbeddau said...

As a matter of interest and I am sure you would like to clarify the issue. Has Ashcroft donated any money to your campaign in Montgomery? One of the major complaints is that he has donated large amounts to marginal constituencies. Which many would argue is an affront to Democracy. No one should be able to buy a seat particularly a tax exile.

Anonymous said...

I don't know,all this talk of Ashcroft and Paul,even insinuations the you are being richly supported. Next we'll be hearing that Russian oil interests are funding the Montgomery LibDems - now that would be stretching credulity too far, wouldn't it.

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

I agree with Anomymous! There's no way there would be any truth in Russian oligarchs investing in Montgomeryshire LibDems. Those Russians are smart investors and wouldn't waste their money on a lost cause.

Anonymous said...

Hmm.

Roman - I'm glad you can be so sure - if sure is the right word.

Glyn Davies said...

Stephen - OK, but I really would have thought the media would also take an interest in Labour's biggest private funder.

glynbaddau - Its difficult for me to answer questions about funding. Its a matter for constituency association officers, and I have had no involvement whatsoever until recent months. All I can say is that since I have been involved in fundraising (because of decisions relating to the approaching election) there has been no external funding of any sort at all. I know that malicious rumours have been put about that the excellent glossy leaflet we are currently distributing has been paid for by central funds or externally donations, but its yet another malicious lie. We had Welshpool Printing Group print it and we paid for it, and we are paying for every aspect of our election campaign with money we have raised ourselves - here in Montgomeryshire.

Anon 2 and Roman - Tell me, what do you know?

Helen said...

Well done you Glyn for supporting a local business by paying them to do your printing,unlike the Lib Dems, who for some reason rather use printers from Peterborough? So much for cutting down on carbon footprint!

Anonymous said...

On Feb 2nd Lembit Opik in his Register of Interests at the House of Commons declared a donation to his constituency party of £2,500 from a company called 'Corporate Technology & Investments Ltd'. Your followers might like to look up the ownership of this organisation. I have.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/lembit_opik/montgomeryshire#register

I am not suggesting any impropriety, for all I know they were seduced by his gravitas, but in these days of 'transparency', I am not familiar enough with the rules, some clarification is surely warranted.

Anonymous said...

I think you are naive in claiming that the people of Mont see through the deceptive tactics of the Lib Dems. I think there are a fair few who are taken in by that shameful pretend newspaper they put out. Ditto the County Times. Such is the apalling reporting of Lembit Opik and Mick Bates' "good deeds" on that paper, that people will buy in to it. It's akin to brainwashing and one has to wonder what on earth is going on with the County Times? Like everyone else, the editor must be aware of the free cruises, the greedy expense claims, the lifestyle issues etc etc, and yet he insists on coming down heavily on LO's side. A bit of a lost cause, since, like most local people, I'm fully aware of how he behaves when in the area. I was also well aware of MB and several drink induced "incidents" locally. Why on earth would an editor, from outside the locality, want to promote these two fools? Perhaps said editor should look at his circulation figures and make the connection between falling sales and the dreadful pravda paper he puts together. I have gone from having a healthy dose of cynicism about your chances of winning Montgomery to a conviction that it is now doable, despite the weekly whitewash from the County Times. Mich Bates has done what all of Lembit Opik's show off charades, egotistical bombast and downright idiocies have failed to do. He's made local people question the Lib Dems and the sort of people they are happy to have representing Mid Wales. The mask is now slipping.......

Glyn Davies said...

Helen - we prefer to use local printers whenaver we can. But we'll have to use national printers for our main election leaflet, simply because the cost works out so much cheaper because the print run is hundreds of thousands.

Anon - I've never heard of Corporate and Technology and Investments Ltd. Not Russian is it? Probably a grand and respectable organisation.

Anon 2 - I cannot allow you to criticise at present. I've never criticised the County Times. The paper has always given me good coverage when I've delivered a good story. Must admit that I was surprised that the free cruise was not hammered locally. Personally I thought it was absolutely outrageous, and a massive insult to the people of Montgomeryshire. But I accept that I'm biased and not a journalist.

Anonymous said...

Yes Glyn,

CI&T is Russian!

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - Interesting! Anything else to tell. Is it a company that invests in companies that make Segways? Only joking.

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

Perhaps its part of a giant Russian plan to build a device to prevent meteor impacts, and they need a UK spokesman?

Anonymous said...

No Glyn, CT&I is a legal consultancy apparently owned and run by a Russian national, specialising in legal issues, including acquisitions & mergers, surrounding the oil and gas industries in what we used to call the Eastern bloc.

How this relates to LibDems in Newtown - I haven't a clue. £2,500 is a significant injection of funds especially just prior to an election. I repeat, I know of no wrongdoing but surely this donation is strange enough to warrant some explanation.

Your opponents follow this blog - I call on them to please clarify.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Warren Gatland has dropped Andy Powell from the Welsh squad becsue of his "unacceptable behaviour" I wonder whether Kirsty Williams will have the guts to also assert her authority and insist Mick Bates resigns?? After all, what he has done is far, far worse and if he is allowed to carry on with just a slap on the wrist - what kind of message would that give out to other drunken yobs?

Anonymous said...

I too think that Mick Bates should be made to resign, he's much too arrogant to do it of his own accord.
He seems to think that a bump on the head is an excuse for anything,the fact of the matter is, his behaviour prior to that happening had warrented him being thrown out of a restraunt. What kind of behaviour is this for a man of his age and position, and what kind of message does it send out to the younger generation. Respect is something you earn, I have none whatsoever for this man, and was amazed to read in the County Times that he claims he's had many messages of support?!
I think Warren Gatland was quite right in his decision.

Glyn Davies said...

All - I've just had to draw the line on anti Mick and Lembit comments - though the Russian link sounds interesting. They do it their way, and I do it mine - and I prefer this blog to be about issues worth debating - not the irrelevant stuff that seems to follow these two.

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

I have been alerted to a new website which has recently launched called NastyLib Dems.org, which aims, in its own words, to "reveal to voters and the media the extent to which the Lib Dems engage in dirty tricks and negative campaigning".

www.nastylibdems.org/