Video: BBC DP’s biased notes for Labour democracy interview?


Left-wing commentator Ellie-Mae O’Hagan appeared on today’s edition of the BBC’s Daily Politics programme to discuss Labour’s possible new rules for the democratisation of the party.

These have already been screamingly misrepresented by the Murdoch press and others as:

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The Times: Labour hard left ‘tightening its grip’

Ms O’Hagan was taken to task by a Labour baroness during the discussion for smiling off-camera when the baroness was saying how inappropriate it would be to let Labour members decide who should be in a party leadership contest or who should represent the party as a council leader – but it wasn’t the affronted peer’s strange idea of ‘democracy’ that she had found amusing:

O’Hagan tweeted the real reason after her appearance:

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This raises obvious questions about the programme’s impartiality – certainly enough to raise a smile for Ms O’Hagan.

However, just as interesting was the claimed mystification of Labour peer Baroness Prosser about how giving members a say in choosing leaders and preventing hard-right ‘moderates’ from blocking members’ preferred candidates is advancing democracy.

It was an interesting insight into the mentality of those within the centrist ‘bubble’ – as was her equal mystification about Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal on the same programme:

It was also interesting to hear that MPs and councillors have some special expertise in knowing who should represent us as party or council leaders. After all, so-called ‘moderates’ spent a year and a half telling anyone who’d listen – especially mainstream media – that Jeremy Corbyn was unelectable and Labour was on course for a disaster last June.

The end-result of that was a lot of faces like this on TV:

mod faces

Bet on members’ ideas and instincts any time above those of ‘bubblistas’.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted the BBC for comment on the questions the situation raises. The broadcaster pointed to a response by presenter Jo Coburn to Ellie Mae O’Hagan’s tweet and declined to provide any further comment:

I always have notes for interviews. Those words were part of a question. Other phrases in the notes were “empowering the membership” and “transformation of the Labour Party”.

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  1. It is becoming a regular feature of this pgm to bring in 2 different sides of the Labour Party to argue amongst themselves. I wonder why?

    1. Especially since one side,the far right of the party have little support among party members Geioff.But I think we both know why the BBC is doing it,and why the editors choose an ignorant and arrogant right wing employee like Coburn or Kuennsberg to do it.

  2. BBC caught in the act (wondered why John Lennon referred to them in ‘Just Give Me Some Truth’) then Labour bloody Baroness virtually saying like some Right Wing Labour Council Leaders – Labour members (children) should be seen but seldom heard.
    Just leave it to us (the adults) and ‘Great Men and Women of History’ (without original ideas in their heads?), in fact that is what worries them they would have to win a majority in a town or city to their ideas, vision and passion for the area DEMOCRATICALLY, they would have to win the many not the few!
    Perhaps they would prefer the old bourgeois wheeling and dealing of the Labour Group – the paternalists fail to recognise historical change which could actually free them from their self-created bourgeois chains (playing the old tedious wheeling and dealing games) because of their lack of imagination?
    A lot of exciting ideas in Labour’s Democracy Review for 21stC left wing democratic socialists.

  3. I notice that the Baroness was a leading Trade Unionist from the late 1970’s until the late 1990’s . During that time TU membership went in to an almost in to terminal decline and fell from over 12 million to around 7 million. Having allowed Blair to considerably weaken the influence of her own Trade Union movement within the Labour Party and empower the membership she (like Blair and the rest) doesn’t seem to like the direction in which a mass membership is now taking the party.
    You know despite her Trade Union credentials and of course her ennoblement I don’t think that this lady is as clued up in reality of working class politics as she imagines herself to be. Maybe she expected all those empowered members just to cough up their subscriptions and do what they were told.

  4. My individual view as a Councillor since 1984, is that there is a lot of kneejerking about possible proposals for debate. I’m not going to get excited and will wait to see what transpires.

    In some areas with elected Mayors, any proposals would be null and void. Similarly, other councils may have constitutions that specifically debar anyone but Councillors voting on positions. It is also the fact that a leader of a council has to have he confidence of his or her colleagues who have o work under that leader 24//7/52

    That said, it is crucial that Labour Groups on local councils have close and enduring ties to the local party. After all, these members selected by and campaigned for you, doing the less than glamorous jobs of leafleting or door to door canvasing. They should have an input into how Party groups operate. This isn’t just a Labour Party issue – the same will apply to the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

    Its worth saying that the root causes of strife on local council is almost always when local party members (of whatever party) find themselves cold shouldered by their so-called party colleagues elected to a council.

    So a debate is needed.

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