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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Ultra-conservative BBC doesn't like "reform"

It seems the BBC is bowing to Ed Miliband-type demands.

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago Miliband got a bit angry about the BBC describing the coalition government as...well, a "coalition government".

Now the BBC is getting its knickers in a twist about electoral reform. Apparently, reforming an electoral system shouldn't be described as "electoral reform" because - you wouldn't believe it - the word reform is seen as "too positive"!

How ridiculous. Frankly, I can't believe my TV licence money goes to an organisation that gets so hot under the collar about the use of words - especially when this is the word that most adequately describes what is on the table. Surely the BBC doesn't understand the meaning of the word "reform" so I'm taking the liberty to educate them.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines reform as "to make an improvement". Which is what the "Yes" camp believe they are promoting. Where's the controversy? Surely a belief in changing for the better is integral to the "Yes" campaign's arguments, and therefore something the BBC should be projecting in its supposedly unbiased reporting?

Suggesting that the AV referendum isn't about electoral reform would come as a bit of a surprise to the Electoral Reform Society which is fronting the "Yes" campaign!

Jonathan Bartley, from the Yes to Fairer Votes Council, said: "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it's a duck. The BBC was bullied into this position by the old guard rallying behind the old politics - a deliberate attempt by a cynical elite to confuse the voters with misleading and inappropriate language. All we're asking for is a fair debate - the status quo vs reform. That doesn't seem like too much to ask does it?

"But we're not surprised - this is exactly the sort of thing we expected from the No Campaign. They know they don't have a serious argument for opposing change - so all they're left with is the same old dirty tricks and the Westminster games that got us into this mess."

Yes, we need a fair debate. So let's keep to calling things what they actually are, shall we? We don't need or want the BBC behaving like this. An organisation with the BBC's reputation should be responsible for using appropriate and informative language, not pandering to those who are opposed to change. We need a BBC whose reporting is balanced and fair - it can't be allowed to be cynically maipulated by the "No" campaign.

Whatever you're political persuasion, I know fellow Scots always like to call a spade a spade. Please add your name to this letter to the BBC, asking them to reverse the guidance that discourgaes the use of the word "reform" and urging them not to "hamper free and fair debate": BBC Letter

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I see fellow blogger Caron has used an extended definition of reform:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/carons-musings/the-bbc-fairer-votes-and-reform/186806054686104