Analysis News

Video: a ‘VoxPop’ the BBC didn’t cherry-pick says volumes about what working-class people really think about Johnson

BBC often criticised for apparent selectivity in political street interviews – but north-east local station piece tells very different story from usual

The BBC is often rightly attacked for clearly-skewed selectivity when it comes to the members of the public it shows in Vox Pops – supposedly candid and random short interviews with members of the public, usually on political topics.

If the topic at all involves Jeremy Corbyn or the government, those shown will almost invariably be against the former and for the latter, usually in the strongest terms.

But local BBC stations can often be very different – and on Wednesday BBC Newcastle went to the former mining town of Ashington, to ask residents for their views on Boris Johnson after the Tory PM was found by the Supreme Court to have acted unlawfully, telling the Queen he needed to suspend Parliament when the court said he had no reason, let alone a good one.

The results were illuminating – and very different from what the national BBC often presents. Not a single person interviewed in this overwhelmingly leave-voting town spoke positively about Johnson – and some had lost a previous soft spot for the supposedly-affable Tory:

For those with difficulty hearing – or understanding the north-east accents – a version with subtitles is below:


The Establishment wants us to believe that Boris Johnson’s behaviour endears him to working-class leave voters – but in Ashington at least, they’re not fooled.

They see right through him.

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  1. I never realised they were such big royalists in the NE – Kvetch that I am, I’m wondering if the recording is yet another example of the BBC storyboarding the news again and making sure their material reflectss their storyboard. As you point out Skwawkie, vox pox are used by the BBC, the way opinion polls are used by Polling companies – to shape and manage opinion, not to uncover it (I just don’t trust the BBC any more).

    But they’re right – if he lies to the head of state, he’d lie to anybody and everybody. He’s a liability.

    1. Qert boI. ,, He didn’t con an innocent old lady.Thats propoganda of the Royals.Johnson’s and that bunch are all part of the Rotten system that live off the backs of the working class.She met with her privy council in secret with Johnson’s pals and cooked up a deal….Sorry but HRH collaboration with people of her own class based society doesn’t surprise anyone,but I am sure that even on squawk box their will be rallying to the Royalty and the establishment…very sad but true!

    2. Rather naïve of Skwawkbox to imagine that in this instance the BBC wasn’t still selectively presenting those vox pop interviews to match it’s agenda too ! The BBC is entirely packed out with a caste of wealthy family and background inter-related journalists and management who are ALL rabidly pro remain. The Brexit issue reflects a profound strategic division in the UK ruling class – and Boris’s US-oriented globalist hedge-fund captured spiv Crash-out faction are in a clear minority in that profound ruling class ‘direction of travel’ dispute. So the BBC is actually reflecting the majority ruling class pro EU membership position in its blatant selection of vox pop interviews in the Leaver area of Ashington. As are those entirely ruling class member judges in the Supreme Court – who simply made up entirely new case law to rule Johnson’s prorogation ‘illegal and void’.

      All good fun for Skwawkbox – but yet again helping to fool Labour party members as to the looming electoral wipeout in our heartlands – compounded by that naive virtue signalling , but electorally suicidal, fifth form debating society-type nonsense motion passed by Conference to support UNLIMITED open border immigration ! Totally open borders ? Has the old socialist understanding of the need for state-led interventionist economic planning and national sovereignty to resist the chaotic, entirely profit maximising, global capitalist market forces, of which population size and labour supply has to be a component part, now completely disappeared from what passes for the UK ‘Left’ ?

      1. Just quickly checked again, and there’s another poll result been added since earlier conducted on the 25th, which puts the Tories three points ahead.

      2. Don’t bother with the individual polls – it’s the moving average that gives some indication of what’s happening. The down side is that there’s a time lag – by definition.

      3. I penny my son would agree with you and I take on board a lot of what you say,and its well argued,and theirs always the BUT so I will stick with the conference fudge and I will stick with Corbyn despite is capitulation to the AS scam and despite the blatent ignoring of a democratic vote,despite all of that l have faith in Corbyn and a socialist revival to deliver a socialist Labour party government in my liftime.And the Labour party have already calculated that their are millions like me who know that we have sacrificed our beliefs for a Labour government.But again what choice do we have but to support an imperfect leader and an imperfect Labour party,or do we let a resurgent fascists regime already in government or do we get wiped out by the principles we die with.Do we allow a socialist government to slip away,or is it already too late…Roll the dice

  2. When a prime minister of the ruling class starts to use a shady democratic vote to undermine democracy we need to rise up or his class will destroy the very foundation of a just and free society. We all need to be aware that capitalism is in a profound crises and that the ruling class is divided in not knowing what to do, We the people have an opportunity to resist this folly of fools and take power through the election of a Labour Government.. We also need to change the system not just the actor who is drunk on power and oligarchic possibilities.

  3. I understand that them good people in the NEast have been subjected to influence of the classed based society that the Royalty represent.The Whole country have been subjected to the propoganda from a very young age at the local state schools.The picture of the the Queen ..The union jack.The swearing of allegiance to the House of Windsor by anyone in a strategic position.The whole rotten and corrupt system of the Honours,the House of lords and even parliament itself that can be dismissed and restored by the unelected Royals and their lordships in the courts.!Very much time for a democratic rethink and removal of the enemys of the people!

    1. My grandfather was a Labour councilor for Ashington in the late 70s/early 80s. Just before it was decimated by Thatcher. A once thriving, beautiful town with beautiful people, the absolute model of a Labour heartland has been totally destroyed over 40 years. There’s now no jobs, no money, no hope.
      Not sure where I’m going with this comment, but these are the votes that Labour needs to get back. They voted leave and would feel even more betrayed if that doesn’t happen.

      1. Their feeling that they’ve been betrayed is perfectly sane – what’s beyond the pale is that they believe Garbage’s bollocks about the EU being to blame – rather than the blindingly bleedin’ obvious fact that it’s down to Thatcher, Blair and all the other Tory priests of the Church of The Free Market.
        Neoliberalism is as much a religion as any other – it just has a very different idea of morality.
        It believes in heaven now – and to keep the riff raff out St. Peter only takes Amex Platinum.

      2. That’s precisely it. They now have a second layer of betrayal from establishment Big Money as they buy into the promises of its con-job press about leaving the EU – and then find that it impoverishes the country still further, and nothing changes for the better.

        … and, I’m afraid, just blaming a BBC narrative for vox pops that give a picture of the political tensions and contradictions in the country is just a comfort blanket. ‘Left behind’ areas are not the monolithic places of caricature where everyone holds the same views. Nor are working class voters the caricature of legend – they are as likely to support the Conservatives as they are Labour. And more likely to have voted ‘Remain’ if the latter. That’s the reality.

    2. They are very busy consoling prince2. He has been treated terribly just because of a few ill-chosen holidays. I think I know how he feels. I should be enjoying my package holiday to Greece courtesy of Thomas Cook.

  4. Having provided subtitles for those who cannot understand pitmatic can we now have them for Tom Watson because I hear the words coming out of his mouth but when I subsequently see his actions I realise I must have misheard him.

    1. He’s mumbling, ” I’m the real deal, me. Everybody loves me and know that I’m a deep thinker, like my hero, Judas”. Or something like that. Regards.

  5. How a story is framed by editors and producers is key to the responses you are going to get,
    Anyone quoting the polls is on shaky ground,
    Any comparison of Local/EU Elections to GE is pointless
    There was no demand for referendum by any sensible measurement
    Scotland can be won back by simply setting a 60% limit for another referendum, in addition to further devolution
    SNP then becomes irrelevant
    Finally in response to videos one with subtitles in case you cannot understand our accent, theres a letter in the post to Skwawky from my solicitors Hadaway & Schite

    1. Doug… Wouldn’t it be Awfully nice to have subtitles for them Awfully wonderful upper class royals and toffs.. I have never been able to understand them and I realy don’t want to!

      1. They did one episode of Rab C Nesbit in Queens English with subtitles in Glaswegian
        We laugh but this next GE will come down to who represents Ashington,
        Methinks we should go shit or bust on the next Industrial/Green revolution, real jobs for real money
        Dont forget Johnsons spivs and thieves have £8 billion on No Deal

      2. They did one episode of Rab C Nesbit in Queens English with subtitles in Glaswegian

        It was a scene from the episode ‘offski’ (I’m a bit of an afficinado of ‘Rab’ , ‘Naked video’ and ‘Still Game’ )

      3. With an Irishman, Scotsman, Mickey Mouser and member of the Jordi tribe of Northumbria in this thread,
        Methinks its time to raise merry hell 😈

    2. “Scotland can be won back by simply setting a 60% limit for another referendum,”

      … which should have been the case for the Brexit referendum, too – again, time for another.

      1. RH
        Agreed and you will have another referendum I just dont see you winning it

      2. Indeed, Doug, it’s perfectly possible that the country and the poor will lose out again.

        … but I wouldn’t still be in the Labour Party if I just gave up on the sensible option when we lost an election

      3. RH……Do you think we should have the Irish model?Best out of 3 Referendums till they get it right? and thats in a country that has visibly benefited from being in the EU better than most.Sometimes a bit of democracy works as well.Will we be recommending a60% threshold for a General election?

      4. You are not alone, Joseph, in being totally confused about elections and referendums.

        If you hadn’t noticed, we do have repeat elections. If you want a lasting constitutional change, then other criteria should apply.

        Otherwise it’s time for a re-vote.

        As for the Irish, they do seem a bit more adult at the moment

    3. I trust every poll that I read. This is the U.K where we are only ever told the truth. All those past polls were, err, taken out of context. Brexit, the GE, councils, leadership coup and chicken coup were just blips. I am only pointing out that we should get on the knock and get the truth. Yeah, its gonna be a dirty, messy, affair with the beeb as cavalry.

    1. The historical queue of comparisons is very lengthy, too.

      My litmus test is always when anyone uses the phrase ‘Peeple Swill’. or such like. A sure indicator of a con artist – or one of their dupes.

      Anyone who talks of ‘The People’ as an undifferentiated mass is an enemy of all individual people.

      1. Nail on head time. Just wonder how many people realise that we have been in EU for donkeys and most of us are buggered. Look around and this is going on while we are members. More rubbish includes that every southerner voted in and every northerner out. I don’t know many remainers but in the wealthy parts it’s remain. Scarborough could go either way. We have a good, active and varied party up here so there is a outside chance that we will have a Labour M.P but it’s going to be a nail biter involving groups supporting parties that they loathe. By the way which seat will helium head be standing for? By the time of GE will Chukkah say, ” I’m off to my spiritual home, the Tories.” Cheers.

  6. To try and re focus people on looking behind the Parliamentary/media soap opera curtain…

    “Talking of dangerous precedents: talk of a Constitution with no reference to the Magna Carta is a huge Constitutional obfuscation. All our rights – including the Bill of Rights – are founded on the Great Charter. It entails our Common Law jurisprudence – trial by jury; etc – to which all subsequent Statute Law is inferior. But the greatest enshrined principle is the Sovereignty of the People. If we cede that sovereignty to Parliamentarian tyranny we are done.”

    Above quote from BigB @ Sep 25, 2019 2:33 PM

    I highly recommend open minded people read all BigB’s comments on this thread. I also recommend watching UK Column News tomorrow at 1pm. Somehow we all have to see through the bluster, hysteria and incitement of divisions to work out what is really going on behind the scenes and what we might lose.
    I don’t claim to have a grasp on these matters but I do know that we are being distracted in order for fundamental and constitutional changes to take place that I am sure wont be to our benefit. I am asking people to stop, be open to other perspectives and think. Wish to carry on arguing acrimoniously about Brexit/Remain that’s your choice but at least look more widely than LP, Cons, Johnson and Parliament.

    1. I’m no expert, but I do know eough to diagnose thet your quoted citation is ahistorical bollox, Maria.

      Of course Magna Carta was part of the sequential development of the tattered ragbag that is the UK constitution. But anyone who is deluded enough to think it contained the “greatest enshrined principle is the Sovereignty of the People ” is living in a parallel universe.

      It was a document drawn up by and for the small land-owning elite as protection against the predations of the monarch. The ‘people’ in any real sense didn’t get a look in.

      Since then, a lot of things have happened – including the notion of the separation of powers, the sovereignty invested in parliament and the rule of law.

      ‘Sovereignty of the people’ is meaningless bullshit unless it specifies the way in which it is determined – and half-baked majoritarian referendums aren’t anywhere in any constitutional process.

      1. RH my reading of the magna Carta was the settlement of ownership issues between the king and the Catholic Bishops who were at that time vitualy Nobility and the peasentry were totally irrelevant to the power brokers of an ancient time.A written constitution is needed and total separation of Church and state and that includes the head of state and the church of England,or any other church…especially a broad church?

      2. Joseph – Totally agree with the need for a new constitutional settlement. It’s been obvious for a long time. The practical problem is that we need an informed debate in the formation of any such constitution – and of that we have nil chance with a press that is the disgrace of the western world and with that the gradual creation of a large lumpen portion within the electorate by the Tories over time

        One could say ”twas always thus. But I’ve just been again dipping into the Putney Debates. Although many of the demands of the Agitators and the various radical groupings of the time were frustrated by the property holders, the level of debate from ordinary members of the Army is astounding in comparison with what we get today. And that was against the background of centuries of control by the monarch and the gentry.

        As to the specifics : I reckon that most of us can agree on the separation of Church and State. That one’s a bit easy peasy. The revolt against the papacy was a great step forward, but handing the authority to the crown wasn’t exactly to advantage.

        ‘Broad church’ ?- I wouldn’t hand power to any political Party no matter how representative it *claimed* to be unless it was moderated by counterbalancing conditions : and that’s what the constitution is about essentially, and where the rule of law comes in. It’s hardly a novel thought that all power (and parties) tend to corruption – and again, that’s the central point.

        Head of State? That’s not as easy a one as at first sight. The US model doesn’t fill anyone with admiration. And, actually the limited ceremonial function of some European countries does less harm. Who wants a different mafia representative like Putin? How you arrive at a representative of the country who is apart from the plain corruption inherent in any political process is a difficult one. Actually, there are times when Eire hasn’t done badly.

        HoL? Well – we can all agree on the dismantling of the present farce. But the idea of more than one chamber is a pretty good one.

        Then we get to the administrative divisions, devolution and electoral process …. errr …???

        So easy to agree on the need, but from where the country is at present, the practical way forward presents real problems.

        As a final point – Magna Carta was actually about sorting the division of the spoils of the Norman invasion – and is at the root of the present issue of land ownership nearly a millennium on! The one thing it wasn’t about was the rights of the ordinary Joe.

  7. In the words of Jo Cox
    There is more that unites us than divides us
    Evolution or Revolution
    I dont see anything that hasn’t gone before, I think we are better off since 1989 and 2007 showed us how not to do things,
    Other countries seem to toddle along quite nicely, so why cant we,
    Dismantle class system, voting system and financial system, replace with what works
    If it’s a natural monopoly then it needs to be in the public sector, if it’s the product of an entrepreneur then it belongs in the private sector,
    Everything else comes down to regulation, when fuckwits get greedy

      1. Alexandescotish…You are maybe referring to macron and the french republic…Macron is and always has been a plant by the banking lobby.He’s an admirer of the American finance system and big oil and pharma….The french are weary of his so called modernization and many others have told me that he is anothr Tony Blair…in a insulting way.Macrons on his way out ,He’s tarnished now by having an English grandfather and has made veiled attacks on the republic.We can do better but a republic not a federal system would be a good template.And monarchy Strictly for tourism and no hangers on or relatives on benefits regards comrade

    1. “…better off since 1989…” ABSOLUTELY NOT.
      My parents in 1955 were able to get a mortgage on a brand new 3 bed terrace on my father’s (a little above average) wage alone.
      In 1977/8 (?) with house prices skyrocketing my then-wife and I were able to buy a house half the size of one we could have bought a month earlier on our joint incomes, before the ‘gazumping’ started.
      In 2019 young couples with above average salaries but no parental backing are finding it difficult to get on the housing ladder at all.

      The only gains we’ve made are technological.
      Societally the world is going backwards.

  8. I see mouthpiece philips was at it again today. From the harridan who’d openly ‘stab him (Corbyn) in the front’. to harp on about language ‘designed to inflame division and hatred’ gives me homicidal tendencies at the state of the self-pitying hypocrite.

    I dislike maria milller MOST intensely but I have NO reason to doubt her version that philips was the loudest in that chamber yesterday. I’ll bet philips’ wailings weren’t pleasantries, neither….Unless of course she was blowing kisses to ‘jakey’.

    And I’m not arsed that someone banged on her constituency window and shouted ‘fascist’. Had he not been nicked my guess the ‘assailant’ would’ve been a Corbyn supporter.

    jess philips, f**k off.

  9. Compared to Pantomime Dame calling JC a fucking anti semite and a racist, plus 200 vexatious claims of AS
    Looks like a race to the bottom, whose winning ?

  10. Same old claims..same old group.IT worked quite well against Labour,so now its time for the clowns regime.Makes a change from attacking the Labour party.I see coopers family getting in on the act.When does the AS scam start,they might as well give piffel the whole routine including pantomime Dame effing and blinding like an old fishwife.Do somthing for Labour for a change and nail the real fascists ..Torys

    1. Joseph
      I’m from a quaint little village at the head of the River Tyne called North Shields, a drinking town with a fishing problem,
      Some of the finest people I know are fish wives, not that they would ever need the likes of me to stand up for them

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