Momentum launches open letter/video to BBC demanding review of anti-Labour ‘hatchet job’ content

Letter points out journalistic and impartiality failings and demands action to prevent repeats

Labour campaign group Momentum has published an open letter pointing out the many problems with the BBC’s output, ahead of tonight’s Panorama programme, which is widely predicted to be a litany of regurgitated inaccuracies.

Condemning the documentary as a ‘hatchet job’, the letter points out the problems with the track record of its maker and calls on the BBC to take action to ensure its output meets the broadcaster’s impartiality obligations.

The letter is also accompanied by a new video detailing some of the issues:

The full letter points out:

  • Ware’s issues with the Labour left going back as far as the 1980s
  • his history of attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and false claims about the Labour leader – which the BBC itself also criticised for lacking “any attempt at a reasoned, detached, analytic or investigative programme”
  • the responsibility of supposed witnesses interviewed in the programme for huge purges of left-wing Labour members

The video also notes that the BBC had to pay damages to a Muslim organisation because of accusations Ware made in a programme condemned as “appalling journalism”.

Those wishing to add their names as signatories can do so here.

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    1. My thoughts exactly !!
      Maybe Momentum should demand a review of the hatchet job done on Chris Williamson,,, ooops forgot, Lansman was part of that hatchet job demanding Chris should go !
      Momentum could be a brilliant organisation full of very good honest Socialists , just that they are being lead by a Zionist Fraud
      .Come on Lansman put yourself up for election democratise your private company organisation because that’s what it is , either that or go!

      1. Where did Mr Landsman emerge from and how are positions selected. How did he get such an organisation emerge. I know from bitter experience that organizations are often arduous and fruitless machines to run. My main question is, how do opposition non-entities garner such loving friendships with our foes in the press and are not even given a smack on the back of the hand but are given golden, glowing reports by our enemies. What has happened to us. We whinge more about our leadership while a barracuda has slipped into the shallows. It’s great having dancing angel debates between ourselves but please choose the right time. We are about to have a vile, ungallant, obese version of the Duke of Edinburgh as our p.m. We have a strong,active and determined mass of members. No one really falls for the A/S stuff because they zone out or turn to the TV and sports sections. I have no doubt that we can win and win with a majority and that’s from talking to people, remember them. You find them everywhere. They aren’t racist, sexist, homophobic but they know that the UK must do well by them. Stuff the polls they are nearly always wrong. Don’t sneer and don’t flinch. Gloves off comrades, I don’t want to snuff it under an EU or Boris junta. X

    2. Right john Lansman has a lot to answer for and Momentum activists deserve an explanation on the direction of his private company fiefdom?

    3. What is he up to? Could he have lost some of his beliefs that JC will lose the GE, and that the party will be rebuilt in his image? Bit of fur should do it.

  1. We all know the BBC is biased against Labour and Jeremy Corbyn in particular and I don’t for one minute expect tonight’s Panorama programme to give a fair representation of our party – the BBC just don’t do fair where we are concerned.
    However I think this open letter is premature. We need to see the programme first and respond robustly to any inaccuracies or bias it contains. If the programme provides further evidence of the BBC’s anti Labour agenda we should highlight this and refer to it in every forum and at every opportunity both formally and informally.
    Furthermore the BBC is receiving approx £5 million a year in licence fees from Labour members plus hundreds of millions more from labour voters and supporters to help fund its anti Labour propaganda – it needs to be made realise that it should not bite the hand that feeds it.

    1. Whilst I appreciate the need to get in our objections to Panorama, we must see it first and then make our views clear to the BBC. We need to speak as one voice.

      1. You may think we need to watch this nasty piece of garbidge,from theBBC but unfortunately my blood pressure and sleep take priority.We suffer enough attacks daily and I refuse to put my body through anymore of the utter nonsense from the BBC.I know the enemy they have been identified and we will deal with them!in the future.The list is endless and has taken years to mature to a final battle for the soul of the Labour party.

    2. ” We need to see the programme first and respond robustly to any inaccuracies or bias it contains.”

      I agree. I’m not at all over-optimistic that the opposition will play by the rules, but I think that it’s important in the long run that rebuttal is forensic and accurate, rather than just reverse slagging.

      I also agree that the BBC is doing damage to itself. I, like many others, have given up on it as a prime source of news – but I don’t let that contaminate the wider fact that most of the rest of the output is far better than any alternative.

    3. Why do we have to be so “nice”? The BBC & the rest of the MSM doesn’t have any qualms. Neither does Twatson & his gang.

      Chris Williamson was correct. We wasted time apologising. The hardest question is defending why senior Labour personnel, & I include JC, have said that there is an AS problem in the LP.

      1. “Why do we have to be so “nice”?”

        Not a case of ‘niceness’. It’s a case of distinguishing authenticity from lying propaganda crap – it’s that distinction that ultimately gives the edge.

        I’m not naive about the shit that will be thrown – but the object is to make it rebound rather than get into a pointless argy-bargy of claim and counter-claim.

        The facts are the strong suit.

      2. And then, CW, much as I support him, rushed to apologise for something he didn’t do. Where is this tactic of appeasment going and where does that leave the rest of us?

      3. Yes. It’s sad that Williamson, having done nothing wrong, felt compelled to apologise. There is something rotten …..

    4. Smart boy
      Misinformation has been got in first and it’s highly coordinated between MSM, toilet papers and Blairites,
      The idea we are hiding behind NDA’s
      Plain truth is employees involved in criminal abuse of Data Protection Act,
      Can we find out if this breach has been reported to Commissioner as is the duty of party, or they would leave themselves open to huge fines
      Finally who prosecutes this offence

      1. The fact is Doug that until we see the programme we don’t know what it will contain and I think any premature over reaction on our part is very unwise and will make us look bad which is probably the object of the exercise.
        We have got to use our heads here- The BBC is dropping hints about the programme’s explosive content hoping to provoke such a response so lets wait and see.

        It will probably turn out to be like the rest of the guff that has been said about us -a party with at least 499,750 anti racists members ( assuming a total membership of 500,000) and whose members and supporters elect a disproportionately high number of Jewish MP, whose CLPs support their Jewish MPs in their constituency work day in day out having previously worked their socks off to get them elected and whose constitution makes anti semetism a disciplinary offence is called institutionally anti semetic because 0.001 % of the membership have made unacceptable online comments.

        As I have said previously people aren’t stupid – they know a stitch up when they see it and they really don’t like it. This is the reason 13,000,000 people voted for a Corbyn led government in 2017 despite the wall to wall demonisation of Jeremy by the BBC and the rest of the MSM, elements of the PLP and the Tories.

    5. Why is the letter premature Smartboy? It’s just drawing attention to some valid points/facts about the journalist – propagandist – and his past form. So could you explain what it is in the letter that you think is premature?

      1. We haven’t seen the programme yet Allan and we are assuming, based on the journalists past performance that that it will be anti Labour/Corbyn. That may well be the case but we can’t know this for sure until after the programme has aired.
        I think makes us look, at best, very foolish to react in this way in advance.
        As I said in another post the BBC have been dropping hints about the explosive nature of the programme probably to provoke this type of response and make us look bad.
        We mustn’t play their game. We need to wait and see what is in the programme and then respond robustly to any false or malicious content with facts figures and statistics.

      2. Smartboy. Oh, I see, so we’re never allowed to draw attention to what someone has done in the past. Give over! And where you get the “it makes us look foolish” line from is a complete mystery as it’s just pure bunkum, if you don’t mind me saying so. Were YOU aware of what John Ware has done in the past, or that he was a former Sun journalist? Maybe YOU were, but I wasnn’t, and I expect that goes for a lot of people who follow skwawkbox. I really, really can’t understand why you’re making an issue out of a complete non-issue!

      3. You’re absolutely right, Smartboy. Being sucked into playing the game on the basis of bent rules provides no long-term counter to the fabrications.

        As I’ve said elsewhere, the key starting point is getting advocates who actually put forward a rational and forceful rebuttal argument, instead of wetting themselves and apologising whilst licking the interviewer’s arse.

        After getting that basic technique right, we might meaningfully discuss other tactics.

      4. Allan we are both on the same side here. I hate the way we are portrayed and am insulted by the allegation that I am a member of an anti semetic party. It is my genuine hope that we have a Corbyn led government soon and my genuine belief that we would have had one already but for the viciousness and malice of the PLP and their friends in the BBC and the rest of the MSM.
        I deplore the fact that the BBC has commissioned someone who is apparently anti Labour/anti Corbyn to do a programme on antisemetism in our party. I am not hopeful that we will be treated fairly and I expect any inaccuracies to be robustly rebutted centrally.
        My main issue is the timing of Momentum’s letter. I think they should have waited until the programme was aired instead of anticipating a hatchet job and reacting accordingly. I think that was foolish and shortsighted. I respect your right to think otherwise – we will have to agree to differ on this one.

  2. BBC bias against the Labour Party and Corbyn yeah right and bears shit in woods……. next !

  3. Smartboy, an apology in the ‘middle pages’ of the BBC in six months wouldn’t cause a ripple.
    What would cause a storm of rogue wave proportions today would be a statement by Labour that, democracy being our most important institution, we intend to look at criminalising – possibly retrospectively the subversion of it by media bias.
    Maybe also add that there’s already an abundance of evidence.
    They’d be so shocked and appalled it would open a discussion we’ve needed to have for a hundred years.

      1. My point is that when we tell the fuckers they’re not in the win-win situation they thought they were – that we intend to hold them to account – they’ll have to either ‘lie harder’ and go for broke or become actual fucking journalists.
        ‘Do your job properly or risk jail’ isn’t much of a choice.
        The threat opens up the debate and they’re on the back foot.
        They can try to justify lying or they can stop lying.
        We have enough facts for a hundred prosecutions.

      2. I think that it’s important to actually *demonstrate* that they’re not in a win-win situation.

        … and there we have a problem, because a high percentage of those who are avowedly speaking *for* Labour are as much fucking use as an udder on a bull. Their first sentence is usually a grovel.

        We need a media campaign with the sort of discipline and punch that Campbell used to mount for Blair. Trouble is, a fair percentage of the buggers who are responsible have a foot in the other camp (I refer to the Not Entirely Convincing).

      3. This is excellent from Cook,as usual,but I am not sure what you are trying to say in the light of it.It just seems that you are are going about your usual business of demonstrating (you think)just how much cleverer you are than the rest of us plebs commenting here.That at least is the impression I get from some of your input.

      4. ‘We need a media campaign with the sort of discipline and punch that Campbell used to mount for Blair.’

        Can you give an example or two of ‘media campaigns’ that Campbell mounted for Blair, and I’m thinking specifically of media campaigns in response to Blair being smeared by whoever about whatever – ie something comparable to the onslaught against JC.

      5. RH, it wouldn’t be possible to “demonstrate” that we intend in the future to enact ex post facto criminal legislation and that guilty verdicts in future trials – on charges relating to laws not yet enacted – could result in future jail time for journalists in respect of lies told today which subvert democracy.
        Retrospective legislation has been enacted by New Labour and Tories so there’s precedent.

        The point is that individual MSM journalists, editors and owners hearing of our intentions then have to consider the risk to themselves of future trial and imprisonment when planning their next smear campaign against Labour – if that campaign should fail to secure a Tory victory.

      6. Oh – and “media campaigns” require the co-operation of the media. Blair secured that but we can’t without leverage – and we have no leverage because the Left have little to offer big business.
        All we have are threats of future sanctions.

    1. If you and I and other contributors to this site can see the bias in the BBC’s reporting why do you think others don’t see it too?
      Many people who have no affiliation to labour find their sense of fair play outraged by the way the BBC and others treat Jeremy Corbyn and some of his front bench e.g. Newsnight reporting on Jeremy’s response to the Salisbury poisonings against a background of the Kremlin and a faked photo of him wearing a Russian cap, the interview when Emily Mathis’s spin was exposed by Dennis Skinner, the deeply personal and hurtful mockery of Diane Abbott by Fiona Bruce and Bruce’s subsequent misrepresentation of Labour’s position in the opinion polls , the ” vicar” who was cheerleader for Theresa May who turned out to be an actress who was a “vicar” in some obscure American “church” which promised prosperity in exchange for donations. The list is endless. THe result is the the BBC and rest of the MSM have lost credibility with the general public.
      To attempt to criminalise such behaviour would be counterproductive in my opinion. They have damaged their reputations to the extent that most people don’t believe a word they say

      1. ‘The result is the the BBC and rest of the MSM have lost credibility with the general public.’

        They may have lost credibility with a certain percentage of the general public, but NOT the general public per se. There was a survey by one of the polling organisations that I came across about a year ago (I can’t remember when the survey was conducted), and 36% of respondents agreed that the LP had a serious problem with anti-semitism. If people get their ‘news’ from the MSM – as most people do – then the ONLY thing they’re getting is the Establishment narrative/propaganda.

      2. Smartboy, “many people” do see the truth, but clearly nowhere near enough.
        People send fortunes to ‘Nigerian Princes’, they lose huge amounts on sundry other scams, leaseholds, fake warranties, pensions, fixed odds betting terminals, cults and Tory austerity.

        If people really knew truth when they heard it the Tories couldn’t win a seat and this would be a very different society.

      1. (David McN re the subversion of democracy should be criminalised)

  4. I expect our opponents to play dirty and then to constantly repeat. Our energies should focus and be directed to what we do. It is just so tiring to claim shock with the expected.

    1. We could wait for Momentum to turn things around. Sorry, he already has.

  5. And of course, the BBC will change tack, completely.

    ‘Kinell lads & lasses; you only need to watch that ‘Newswatch’ on a Saturday morning to see the beeb’s producers & top brass think they’re a law onto themselves. They have the same sneering arrogance as rh; e.g. anyone ‘below’ their paygrade is scum, and beneath answering to.

    What needs to happen is that MP’s need briefing to (A-la Barry Gardiner) constantly and consistently challenge the narrative, the lack of questioning the opposition’s statements and the acceptance any accusations from whatever quarter as gospel… From ALL Tv stations.

    Those that don’t do it, or allow themselves to be dominated, don’t go on national Tv again for at least 12 months.

    1. Oh, and when antisemitsim’s shoehorned into the interview – as it invariably IS – MP’s should state categorically that they were brought in to be interviewed about the original matter and will not be answering questions until the individual case the interviewer wants them to discuss/comment on is resolved.

      That goes for the likes of watson, hodge, ellman, smeeth screeching etc.

    2. The Radio Times follows similar lines:

      A reader writes to say “I don’t like Suranne Jone’s outfits” so they follow this with a letter from another reader saying “Wasn’t Suranne’s outfit marvelous”. Ying & Yang. The issue is balance.

      The BBC’s world is set to rights – smug smiles all round.

    3. I don’t know that preventing MP’s accepting media invitations is even possible – and the media preferentially invite anyone who’ll criticise Corbyn anyway.
      What sanctions could we use? Withdraw the whip, expel from the Party? There are plenty who deserve it but what then?

      Is it possible that May’s calling of a snap election when she (mistakenly as it turned out) believed Labour was in disarray could have made the Labour leadership want to avoid the real disarray of a hundred MP’s quitting the party – and might that be why we’re seeing conciliation?

      Wouldn’t she or BlowJob try the same thing again with half the PLP gone and a good expectation of really winning big this time?
      Even if they only win little – it’s still another five bloody years.

  6. I got bored with the debate on the BBC(does your dog bark)..So lets talk about the constitutional crisis that will emerge when Boris Johnson decides to close parliament to push through Brexit in October..Boris will I believe use the Queen Elizabeth to use the royal prerogative to force Brexit through and ignore the wishes of parliament.?.What do the people think!All perfectly okay in a country with no constitution and an head of state that has the ultimate power to enforce any law including the death sentence and any other sanctions for high treason.and disobeying the monarchy..Democratic socialist government will the establishment and the monarchy accept the peoples wishes?,when the day of reckoning comes.Boris is just the man to ensure that we get our chance for government.

  7. Lord Falconer just now on BBC News:

    “Jeremy must get a grip on the antisemitism problem.”
    “Jeremy must not interfere in the disciplinary process.”

    What a fucking idiot.

    1. Allan, excellent link again. Those charts really show the way the media has skewed reporting of antisemitism.
      Erdogan’s media handlers would be impressed.

  8. I just did a search a bit earlier to ascertain WHO in the MSM included the LP statement in response to the claims/assertions made by Triesman and the other two peers, and who DIDN’T and, in the process, came across the following article in the Sun from August 31st last year, about Frank Field vowing ‘to drag Jeremy Corbyn through the courts to overturn his expulsion’, which I hadn’t heard about before. The sub-headline was as follows:

    ‘Disenchanted MP Frank Field has been left stunned by Labour expelling his membership after he resigned the whip’

    And later in the article it quotes Field as saying:

    “They are not applying the rules correctly. There are three peers in the House of Lords who are all crossbenchers but still Labour Party members, so why is it one rule for then and one rule for me?”

    I can’t help wondering if he was lying about the three crossbenchers – ie that it was complete fabrication – and it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if he WAS, because towards the end of the article it says, in effect, that if an MP resigns the whip, their membership is automatically terminated. And it also says that:

    ‘Mr Field also said he is considering triggering an embarrassing by-election, in which he would run against an official Labour candidate.’

    Anyway, I then did a search to see if the story had been covered elsewhere, and there was an article in the Indy about it, and here’s a couple of extracts from it:

    Mr Field said the looming legal battle meant he would not be triggering a by-election in his Birkenhead constituency.

    He said: “If this is the ruling of the Labour Party then it’s something I’m going to test to the limit [it wasn’t a “ruling” of course, but just LP rules that apply to everyone].

    “If I’ve got a huge legal battle on my hands I can’t be fighting a by-election.

    He added: “I’m now going to be involved in a legal tussle with the Labour Party and it really does mean the idea I should do a by-election is certainly pushed into the future because I’m going to have a mega fight on my hands.”


    I have little doubt that it’s all fiction and, as such, he had no intention of taking legal action, and that it was all concocted and contrived to get some extra mileage from his resignation – ie an additional story to paint JC and the LP in a negative light.

    NB And I have little doubt the the Sun also published the article in its hard-copy newspaper, and NOT just on its website.

    1. The way this tactic works is you contrive a story for media coverage, and do so knowing that no-one who read the story is going to think to themselves: “Oh, I must remember this and keep an eye on the media for any more news about it”, AND that it is soon forgotten – having made it’s impact – and no-one will ever think to themselves a year or two down the line: “Hmm, it’s odd that we never heard anything about the outcome of it”.

      And I had no doubt whatsoever at the time that the following story (from back in February) – covered by the whole of the MSM – was one of these fake stories (that has a beginning BUT no ending):

      Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman to take legal action after Twitter abuse

  9. No mention of the factional interest of Blair and the Blairites in fomenting complaints against Corbyn –
    and no mention of The Lobby.

    ‘the fuck were Labour EVER thinking to employ such blubbering snowflake whimpering, whinging wusses as those Panorama “witnesses” in a disciplinary body?

    1. “and no mention of The Lobby.”

      Well, that was a major surprise, wasn’t it?

      A prize for anyone who can recall *any* MSM item where either ‘The Lobby’, ‘Witch Hunt’, or the Peter Oborne documentary of 10 year vintage has been cited as counterbalancing evidence about the political nature of the scam.

      … then, of course, there are the host of well-qualified witnesses who will tell another story from that promulgated in the MSM.

      As to the ‘witnesses’ – if the one cited in the Groan is typical, the remarkable fact is the clear lack of the forensic ability and experiencenecessary for dealing with complaints and disci plinary issues.

  10. Of course there’s this from Mike Pomeo – “It could be that Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected,” he said on the recording. “It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

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