Yesterday I blogged about James Bartholomew and his bullshit performance on 5live's morning phone in. I didn't mention that he was opposed in that discussion by Polly Toynbee, who many see as a voice of the left - a 'guardianista'. This is because she was useless, conceding way too much and providing bugger all authoritative opposition to the flurry of unchecked right wing histrionics.
However at that point I had not listened to the entire discussion. Later, at about the 50 minute mark (after the umpteenth travel and weather update) the final three callers were brought on, together. Eileen called in from the Benefit Justice campaign, Jason called in as the voice of entrepreneurs from, of all places, the south of France, and Francine, a small business owning bigot, came on and spoke first.
What she said was some of the most disgusting bigotry I have ever heard. Using the term 'benefit breeders' this ignorant bigot proceeded into a lunatic tirade against feral kids, antisocial behaviour and large families. When corrected by Eileen she couldn't even keep quiet, again another right winger so programmed, so on edge, that she had to release that tension by huffing and tutting and sighing audibly.
Throughout her tirade Nicky Campbell did nothing to correct her or moderate her appalling bigotry. Of course had she made equal comments about race, gender, sexuality or even age, you can be 100% sure he would have stepped in. Yet, and more proof of the BBC's disgraceful bias, when Eileen made a broad point about big business evading tax, he stepped in to 'correct her' articulating an apparent, yet hypocritical, need for accuracy.
Ok, the point about taxes may have been slightly off topic (though not really) and it may be, technically, a bit of a generalisation to say they all pay zero percent tax, but really that's the part you decide to correct? That's the comment that warrants an intervention? This is the problem with the BBC; the left is at a huge disadadvantage because of the prevailing media message, yet is never given a proper platform on an equal footing accordingly.
I tweeted Nicky Campbell about this. To his credit he did respond, but only to say that 'it wasn't an interview it was a discussion', and that 'lots of callers corrected her'. They didn't, those three were the last to phone in; besides it's the job of the chair of a discussion - in my view - to maintain objectivity and correct false information and prejudice. Not so with Auntie.