BBC’s shameless presentation of IFS analysis of Labour and Tory manifestos exposed by IFS director’s own comments during interview
A BBC Radio 4 interview on the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) assessment of the manifestos of the UK’s two main parties has turned into a classic example of the way in which the BBC’s bias toward the Tories is often expressed in false equivalence of the performance of the Labour and Conservative parties.
A similar example occurred last week when, as Jeremy Corbyn was assessed by the public as the emphatic winner of the BBC’s Question Time leaders’ special, the Corporation’s next-day reporting of the event focused on the leaders being asked hard questions – and not on how well the leaders performed in answering them.
In today’s World at One programme on Radio 4, the BBC was determined to present an evaluation of the IFS’ evaluation of the Labour and Tory manifestos as being equally critical.
But the interview that it then played, in which IFS director Paul Johnson gave details of his actual assessment of the manifestos, there was nothing remotely approaching equivalence.
Of Labour’s manifesto, Johnson’s main comment was that it was radical in terms of redressing the imbalance of a decade of deep Tory spending cuts – but that Labour’s tax and spending plans would do nothing more than bring the UK into line with the average for western European nations in terms of spending and the scale of the state.
But of the Tory version, Johnson pointed out not only that it contained numerous uncosted promises, but also that it basically did nothing to major issues in spite of years of broken promises and inaction – and would result in austerity being ‘baked in’ to the UK’s social structures.
Not remotely equivalent at all – and yet the BBC presenter segued between the two by repeating that the IFS was ‘equally critical’ of both and that it was ‘a plague on both their houses’:
As an example of the BBC’s consistent ‘bias-in-disguise’, it was perfect.
But the reality is that the Tory manifesto is a cross between cloud-cuckoo land and ‘more of the blighted same’.
By contrast, Labour’s fully-costed manifesto, which will transform the UK, is entirely credible – and is not remotely outlandish but will simply restore the UK to its rightful status as a civilised nation after years of savage and unnecessary Tory cuts.
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