Analysis comment

BBC refuses to say why programme showing Kuenssberg’s advance knowledge of postal votes still missing from iPlayer

11 December episode conscpicuous by absence from programme’s catch-up home-page

The day before polling took place in the general election, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg created a storm when she casually threw details into a video call on the Politics Live programme details of what she claimed she had been told about the results of postal votes:

This was a problem on at least two counts. Electoral law forbids the counting of postal votes before polling stations close on election day. It similarly forbids any reporting of indication about how postal votes might be going, as either might influence the turnout or votes of those casting their ballots on polling day itself.

In spite of widespread outrage, the BBC at first hesitated to comment on the breach – and then when it did, the broadcaster said it didn’t think either it or Ms Kuenssberg had breached electoral law.

But it seemed that the BBC was not as confident of this as it claimed. While such BBC broadcasts are normally available on the Corporation’s ‘iPlayer’ catch-up service within an hour or two of their live transmission, the 11 December episode is still missing today:

And the BBC is refusing to explain why this programme, of all its December episodes, missing.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted the BBC’s Domestic Current Affairs press office to ask for an explanation of the absence. When no response had been received an hour after deadline a follow-up call was made and a spokesperson said:

We’ll be declining to comment on that.

Since the election, Royal Mail workers have claimed to have seen ‘huge’ racks of postal votes standing undelivered on polling day in at least one major sorting office, while two of the companies contracted to run the postal vote process were dissolved shortly after the count.

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    1. So this conspiraloon nonsense , ie, of massive postal vote fraud to specifically assist the Tories (though how delaying the issue or receipt back at the local returning officers would actually assist the Tories – given the well-documented preponderance of older, Tory voters, amongst postal voters, is rather unclear), is the Labour Corbynista Left’s desperate distraction from the real reasons for us losing the election – and also the possibility, probably forever, of a future Labour government of any political complexion whatsoever .

      Get real: we lost this election because:

      The Labour Right, at PLP and local levels actively worked hand in glove with the mass media, Tory and Guardianista press and TV since 2015 to personally discredit Jeremy, and all of our highly popular Leftish reforming policies

      Lansman and his tiny circle of power-hungry, opportunist, old Labour Lefts sabotaged the development of Momentum into a genuine radical Leftish ( I hesitate to say ‘socialist’) , democratic, politically educated, ginger group within our Party, which at CLP level could, with direction and coordination have deselected scores of the Labour Right fifth column – particularly if the Corbyn circle had had the guts to back mandatory re-selection. .

      The Corbynista Leadership circle spent no time whatsoever to develop a specifically socialist understanding of the nature of capitalism, or specifically the totally neoliberal role of the EU, amongst even its activist ‘Corbynista’ members – leaving them as entranced by the simplistic middle class Left-Liberal identity politics with which most joined Momentum and our Party as the day our Party was crushed in the 12th December General Election.

      Our largely middle class, Left-Liberal activist membership actively colluded with the Labour Right to tear up our electorally successful 2017 Manifesto commitment to ‘Respect the Referendum outcome’, and landed our 2019 Manifesto with the suicidal , in all but name, second referendum and Remain policy – that obviously secured the Remainer seats of so many key Shadow Cabinet members – but lost us our disproportionately vital Labour heartland Leave-supporting seats – and probably forever our generations long old Labour heartland working class voters.

      So forget your daft conspiraloon theories folks – most of the Party activist membership and MPs , from Right to Left, need to own this disaster. Get all excited for a while as to whether the useless Rebecca Long-Bailey, or the old dodgy ex NUM boss , Ian Lavery, can see off all those ghastly open or covert Right wingers , from Thornberry, to Philips, to Cooper, et al, to lead a now electorally broken Labour Party forward after Corbynism’s brief bright posturing flurry of faux radicalism . But some serious self criticism and recognition of what has happened to the old mass social democratic parties across Europe over the last ten years of disaster should tell those capable of doing some analysis that for Labour, the game is finally up. Labour on the 12th December had it’s very own ‘PASOK Moment ‘ – destroyed by its internal divisions, disproportionately middle class membership, and crap non-socialist politics across all factions in the Party , as a viable future mass Party ‘vehicle’ for Left advance.

      Bazza and other solid socialist comrades will no doubt complain that this is just pessimism. Yep it’s bloody pessimistic – but for how much longer will even serous Left-Liberals, never mind the ever-shrinking bands of actual socialists, waste their time trying to keep the life support system, of new young Left activist lifeblood and time, pumping round the rotting corpse of the now zombified Labour Party. Four years of ‘Corbynism’ surely tested the ancient Left hope of ‘capturing Labour for socialism’ to destruction. It failed. We failed. Time surely to write off the utterly corrupt Labour Party as a possible vehicle for socialist advance. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. And Labour today is some rotten, corrupted, manky old sow’s ear !

      1. I actually agree about the conspiracy stuff around postal votes. 600+ returning officers keeping schtum? That’s some conspiracy!

        But as to the analysis of the real reasons for defeat – it’s crap.

        Occam assists again. It was obvious – a large, gullible, lumpen electorate led by the nose by a highly consistent blanket propaganda campaign that focused on Corbyn and made him a figure of ridicule and hate.

        It’s the elephant in the room that the vast majority of the political class are not mentioning in a way that actually further emphasises its massive presence. I think that many of us who are quite aware of the propagandised media were surprised at the degree of control.

        The Brexit vote was the prototype, not the cause.

      2. The use of neologisms(conspiraloon, Corbynista), is often a sign of incipient schizophrenia.
        Might be worth getting yourself checked out?

      3. As an addition to what I’ve just written : I’ve just re-read RLB’s punt for the leadership.

        Not a single word about that overarching issue – the propaganda campaign.

        Now I know such pieces will always be full of generalised rhetoric and flowery phrases – but somewhere there has to be contact with reality, and the means of cutting through the media wall has to be at the top of the list of real issues.

        As I see it, there is only one possible way – and that entails real, consistent and constant organisation on the ground in every constituency.

      4. The two pathetic ‘responses’ to my long post so far – from that full time paid troll, RH, and Ceredig (blatant misdirection and simpleton empty abuse respectively ) merely serve to prove my point that neither the Right or self-identifying ‘Left’ in our party are capable of any serious analysis of our historic electoral defeat at all. Tragic responses guys. Try a little harder please.

        Mind you, why should a couple of tiresome serial posters on Skwawkbox be any better at analysing our terminal defeat than the equally laughable main article writers on the likes of The ‘Left’ blogs, like The Clarion or Novara Media ! The entire Labour ‘Left’ has fallen into a confused , shell-shocked, state of utter denial. It’s apparently everyone’s fault but their arrogant middle class, identity politics-infested, selves !

      5. “full time paid troll, RH”

        As usual, ha’Penny – wrong about even the most obvious facts.

        Who did your brain transplant? You should sue.

      6. jpenney 31/12 at 20:33 & 01/01 at 12:04
        ” Time surely to write off the utterly corrupt Labour Party as a possible vehicle for socialist advance. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. And Labour today is some rotten, corrupted, manky old sow’s ear !”
        jpenny does this mean that you and your mate Bazza will be scuttling off back to that well known centre of political dynamism and electoral success ‘Left Unity’.

        ” The entire Labour ‘Left’ has fallen into a confused , shell-shocked, state of utter denial. It’s apparently everyone’s fault but their arrogant middle class, identity politics-infested, selves !”
        That’s a bit rich coming from someone like yourself who has been wallowing in identity politics for at least the last ¼ of a century

      7. Pseudo-Marxist poseurs like ha’Penny serve the Tories well by providing evidence that the ‘left’ (that they actually don’t represent) is one big joke.

        Ha’Penny’s posts ar what monkeys might come up with after randomly bashing a generic lefty typewriter for a few millenia : insightful stuff like ‘Middle Class – BAD; Working Class – GOOD. Me – SOCIALIST’. You know – incredible political and social insight suited to a fag packet.

        Meanwhile, the world turns, totally impervious to the assaults of this Pointlessly Irrelevant Party who would give the healthy and harmless pursuit of self-pleasuring a bad name if they were dismissed as ‘Wankers’.

        [Disclaimer : I received no coin for this free statement of the bleedin’ obvious 🙂 ]

  1. Since the election, Royal Mail workers have claimed to have seen ‘huge’ racks of postal votes standing undelivered on polling day in at least one major sorting office, while two of the companies contracted to run the postal vote process were dissolved shortly after the count.

    This is particularly worrying, it undermines the integrity of our electoral processes. What has happened to these undelivered votes, have they just ‘vanished’?

    1. I DID actually comment on a post shortly after the election that there was evidence of massive voter fraud that my contacts had sent me and after that posted a link to politics home where a Conservative MP had also posted about hearing many complaints from his constituents of postal votes being forcibly taken and people turning up to vote only to be told that “they had already done so and their names had been crossed through on the list.
      This is how the Conservatives have been rigging elections in the past and this is one of the reasons why Johnson wants to introduce voter ID. Its because he doesn’t want anybody to use their own tactics against them in future elections. I have a feeling they have been defrauding the vote for many years with the help of their friends in the masonic lodges. I would also wager that those postal votes stuck at the post office would have ‘mysteriously disappeared’ thanks to our security services.

      You have to think deviously to deal with the conservatives. They don’t do honest at all.

      1. Conservatives were so absolutely desperate to win that they didn’t mind breaking the law openly this time as they knew that the establishment would help them and cover it all up, kick it into the long grass. It was worth having people ask a few awkward questions.
        Also nobody thought about the amazingly short time it took them to “count the votes”. In every previous election it took well into the next day. This time however it was all done and dusted by 7:00 a.m. in the morning the following day. Even one of my politically ignorant mates noticed that and said so to his wife.

      2. Aidey Aitchdee 31/12/2019 at 5:48 pm

        I remember your comment. Why don’t you send any evidence you have to Steve at SB you can email him at

  2. And given she claimed (in a tweet) that TWO sources had informed her a LP activist had punched an adviser to Matt Hancock in the face as he left Leeds General Infirmary, and given that it didn’t happen so how could anyone have informed her that it had, she should be made to say who these two sources were, cos either THEY were lying OR *SHE* is lying and, as such, they don’t actually exist.

    It was HER tweet that led to it being reported all over the MSM:

    NB And I have to say that the guy who was heckling Hancock as he left the hospital – as per the video – didn’t quite strike me as the real deal, and it seemed to me that he was WOTT, and specifically him shouting “We do not want you in this country”. I mean what a totally weird thing to say. Hmm, and he just HAPPENED to be passing on his bicycle at the moment Hancock and his aid were leaving the hospital, having just finished work down the road apparently. How very fortuitous all round, and perish the thought that it was all staged to divert attention away from the four year old kiddie OR Boris Johnson putting the reporters smartphone in his pocket etc.

  3. I know I’ve posted this before (at least once), but here it is again for anyone that hasn’t read it – ie Ken Livingstone’s resignation statement in full, reproduced by JVL on their website. The following is a clip from JVLs introduction AND a couple of clips from his statement. And it’s well worth taking the time to read it if you haven’t done so before:

    JVL was saddened to hear of Ken Livingstone’s resignation from the Labour Party. We deplore his hounding and the trial by media that he has been subjected to over two years and more. We can find no evidence of antisemitism in any of the statements for which he has been attacked.


    I have been subject to numerous and hurtful smears and lies over the years. As Mr Justice Andrew Collins stated, in his judgement in the 2006 High Court of Justice case between myself and The Adjudication Panel for England,: ‘It could not sensibly be suggested that he [Ken Livingstone] is or ever has been antisemitic. He has not approved of some of the activities of the State of Israel and has made his views about that clear. But that has nothing to do with antisemitism.’

    My interview by the Labour Party Disputes and Disciplinary Panel was delayed by seven weeks thus preventing me standing for the NEC.

    I handed evidence to the chair which showed what I said was true, but she replied she was not interested in history, and was determined to avoid what I said and whether it was true. In their report to the NEC there was no reference to the claim that ‘Hitler was a Zionist’ nor did it admit what I had said was true. It was suggested I considered Zionism was equivalent to Nazism and that I ‘raised Hitler as a defence’ – all entirely untrue. That this malign report was submitted to the NEC without my being allowed to see it and challenge it is a violation of justice.

  4. I think there needs to be a full enquiry into potential electoral fraud and into where Laura Keussenbergs got her information from. It is quite clear that the information she received was obtained illegally. The BBC is notorious for refusing to acknowledge wrongdoing so I think it is time the party involved the police and the electoral commission to look into matters and prosecute where appropriate

  5. We need an inquiry into this and also why the names and personal data of people receiving honours were posted on the cabinet Office web. thee is either unbelievable incompetence or unbelievable dishonesty at the heart of government, or perhaps both

  6. We can Pi55 in the wind for an inquiry but obviously thats a lost cause of loosing the election.Much more will be on the cards with election rigging,gerrymandered boundrys,voter ID,age of voting,Qualifications for voting such as property ownership and restricted voter participation will be first on the list of securing permanent Tory rule.Thats what happens when the peasentry vote for Torys …God help the people because no one else can.

  7. There is a general belief amongst Labour Party members that Laura Kuenssberg is unashamedly biased against Corbyn and the current Labour Party. We should pursue the BBC on this point relentlessly.
    But can we please, please, please, stay away from the deranged conspiracy theories.
    If there were piles of undelivered postal votes, it had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with postal workers being impossibly overworked.
    As for the rest…….I can’t be arsed to get involved, I’ve got a class war to fight.

  8. Whatever happened to ‘Glasnost & Perestroika?’ There is no honesty nor openness & transparency in the Labour Party. Everything is ‘Secretive’ & all accusations remain anonymous. No-one knows who is making a complaint nor what that complaint is………belongs in an Orwellian novel.

  9. I think the Courts might be the last hope for honesty in government, given that the MSM are the Tories’ poodles.
    Misleading of the public by commercial entities is routinely prosecuted by government bodies, so the principle is already enshrined in law.
    Ample evidence exists that Tory and New Labour governments’ lies have caused far greater public harm than Trading Standards has ever prevented.
    A government arguing that it can’t be held to the same standards of honesty it demands of commerce and industry will hopefully ring false to the people, if not the lawyers.

    A Labour demand for a publicly funded body, accountable to the Courts instead of governments, charged only with discovering and prosecuting dishonesty in all aspects of politics and the reporting of politics – will be difficult to argue against.
    Of course the Tories will argue that the press needs to be free from interference and that we already have the best of all possible systems, while continuing to press for regulation of the internet to keep it honest.

    Force the Tories to argue first that the Courts are not competent to rule. When they lose that argument their next will be that politicians are ‘excused honesty’ – that their right to lie to the electorate is legitimised by custom or justified by expediency (get brexit done) and maybe the electorate will get a little wiser.
    “National Security,” a catch-all whose most recent abuse was “keep the traitor Corbyn out of Number 10,” will continue to trump honesty in government – but once the Courts have ruled that National Security is the only valid justification for misleading the public, the Tories are done for.

    Off topic alert…
    “Preloved” clothing is in the news as a green novelty.
    Any time now I expect the fashion industry to demand VAT on secondhand clothes – not to protect their businesses of course, but because cheap recycled clothes could leave poor people in Bangladesh no sweatshops to work in.

    Boris Johnson promises today to “govern for everyone.”
    Thank fuck for that – I’ve been wondering why we bother with opposition parties.

  10. jpenney. the replies you have received do not prove what you claim they do, they show that your comments frustrate and anger people

    It is not, inn my opinion clear what you are , or are trying t say. It is not clear whose party you consider to be our party, or what kind f party you think it is or should be. It is not clear whether you believe it is the party for the working class (who ever they are) or the party for the many not the few. If you want a debate let us have one with your assertions backed by evidence or reasoned argument.

  11. What this clearly shows is that exposing the BBC’s malfeasance does make a difference. Of course, they don’t tell you that it has. Why would they?

    1. Tony – I’m not sure it’s much of a difference. They realise that Kuenssberg’s comments raised issues – but they also know that she herself has committed no offense (she’s just leaked others’ malfeasance – if it was based on anything other than somebody’s kite flying). So the awkward bit of reporting is simply removed from sight.

      The problem with BBC bias is that it isn’t simply about supporting the Tories. It’s much more about an inbuilt, subconscious narrative that belongs to the establishment and its networks.

      When Huw Edwards or Tony Hall defend the BBC’s ‘impartiality’, they are being genuine – they simply can’t step outside the preconceived framework that shapes their taken-for-granted view of things.

      The Beeb has always been an establishment body : Tom Mills’s book ‘The BBC – The Myth of a Public Service ‘ is worth a read as a history of this.

      1. I agree with much of what you say.

        But it is also true that even a small difference can be crucial.

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