Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Truth Before The Star Chamber

Tomorrow the BBC Trust will meet to discuss my appeal against a decision made by the Complaints Director Andrew Bell to only consider 11 examples of problems with the BBC programme The Future State Of Welfare With John Humphrys as specific points of complaint, rather than my complaint as a whole. My complaint as a whole was that the programme lacked factual rigour and the standards of research and fact-checking fall way short of what the public should expect from a public service broadcaster. This programme did not serve the public; it served a singular political viewpoint which was obvious to many who watched it, many who were well-informed of the issues surrounding welfare and led them to complain about bias in the programme.

Whilst I too witnessed both overt and more slippery bias, my complaint was specifically in regards to the attitude the programme makers showed towards the Truth. Rather than shine a light, the programme consistently misled the audience. Anyone not already informed of the issues it covered would believe much of the programme's suggestive content and aspersions, as well as the outright falsehoods.

I have been shown a copy of what the trustees will see tomorrow and been permitted to comment on it to correct any inaccuracy and I most certainly did so. Had I left my response any later than I did(in between double-checking my correspondence with the BBC and struggling to manage at being alive), then the Trust would have read immediately at the top of the page a complete misrepresentation of my position, without context or qualifiers. I feel I have been as reasonable as I can be and yet had nothing but polite bad faith in return. No matter how well-mannered, it's still wrong and even at this level, it has not stopped. Tomorrow they will read my reasons and an accurate descriptive history of my correspondence with the BBC, then they will discuss it and make a decision. That decision will be ratified more than a month later on May 3rd 2012.

If this decision finds in my favour, Andrew Bell must either investigate within the parameters of my original complaint or come up with a different reason for why he should not. If it finds against my appeal, I expect to be given clear and sensible reasons why not and if that is the case then this case will have just one more piece left: my long and tedious work on a scene-by-scene rebuttal of The Future State Of Welfare With John Humphrys, pointing out factual errors, misrepresentations and misleading sign-posting. I will ask everyone who has campaigned on disability and welfare issues in the last two years to make sure that rebuttal is disseminated as widely as possible, so that the BBC or the programme makers are forced to answer for it.

If they find in my favour and Andrew Bell conducts a proper and thorough investigation that concludes the programme should not have been broadcast as it was and a full retraction is given; the rebuttal will be a formality which will signal an end to this matter and an end to what has now become case file #3. The implications however, will live on and will be doggedly pursued to the ends of the Earth by an Autistic Sauron death-glare. The investigation is always ongoing.


  1. Well done to get this far, I sincerely hope they find in your favour but I can imagine a scenario where they investigate and do virtually nothing.

  2. On the trail of the benefit recipients(it is all fraud really isn't it)

  3. Note they cover themselves with explanatory notes in tiny writing at the bottom,that the fact that someone has the gall to "sun themselves"whilst receiving benefits/allowances in a hot climate may not necessarilly mean they are criminals.IDS getting brave or careless the press release is the Daily Mail.

  4. Why can't benefit/allowance recipients behave as they should and at least pretend they are helpless and deserving and eternally grateful?