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Osborne partied and dined with Mandelson. He then blabbed and Mandy, a brilliant operator, got his revenge. The Conservatives have reported Peston to the financial authorities.

Gideon is out of his depth. He can and his apologists can dish it out but cannot take the consequences. Grow up children!

'Online readers slam BBC coverage of Osborne' - so what? 'Online readers of CH' are notoriously liable to slam Cameron, Osborne, et-mod-cetera. God knows, if there's one thing we can all agree on, posts left on threads tell us very, very little. Mind you, here's a positive thing: when the BBC has, for it, an inconvenient online response, it at least publishes the gory details. Which sadly isn't, infamously, something CH can claim for itself, and its 'surveys'.

Can anyone answer my question who may know the answer, rather than opinion - why are enclaves of the Tory elite against privatising/"releasing" the BBC? It is clearly harmful to the Conservative Party but suffers no repercussions.

Will the Tories dismantle the BBC or not? If not, why not?

You do not mention Peston's background. Peston is a supporter of Brown, he wrote his biography with help from Brownites. He is also the son of a Labour peer.

Why are we continuing to fan the flames?

I think the BBC will have got the point by now -let the story go. Otherwise, we simply rick undermining Osborne further...

Use the energy to focus on the economic failings on the current government.

Dont be surprised, the BBC are working for McLabour afterall.

BBC, guilty as charged. The coverage was exessive.

However there would have been no story at all if Osborne had stuck to his brief of shadow chancellor instead of dabbling in cheap political point scoring.

This scandal will blow over, but Osborne will still be the wrong choice of Shadow Chancellor.

Libertarian, that completely misses the point of the article. The BBC shouldn't be partisan - we all fund it after all. Peston and Robinson need to get back to balanced reporting.

By all means they should attack Osborne. But they should be attacking the Dark Lord equally (or more, since he has actually broken convention).

By all means attack the Tories at every turn. But they should be attacking Labour equally (or more, since they have done more wrong in the eyes of the country who fund the BBC).

Even on the Editor's Blog, Mahwhinney put up an 'explanation' which also has been torn to shreds in the comments.

In Robinson's blog and Peston's I'd say it's 95:5 in terms of accusations of bias over the last three days and some very fair questions being asked in terms of not seeing both sides to the story.

I guess Mandelson didn't factor that into his jolly japes.

Steve, cut it out with the constant "McLabour" references. It's just tiresome and brings the quality of debate down.

Have you tried therapy to deal with the problems you are obviously suffering? I presume you were sexually abused by a Scot or something and that's why you carry on with these silly comments.


I'm a staunch Conservative and I LOVE the BBC. So please don't assume the "BBC haters" represent us all.

Sure, they can be bias. Thats the human effect of individual journalists for you. Frankly, I really hate it when journalists try so hard to be neutral that they make the story mindlessly bland.

I've seen *plenty* of BBC reports and programs which I felt were fair, and plenty more I felt cast Tories is a good light.

In My Opinion, The BBC is the single greatest broadcasting organisation in the world. If the tories did away with it, I'd be mortified. I certainly hope we never consider doing anything so utterly petty and stupid. I'd be at the front of the campaign against it, even if that meant standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Labour or LibDems.

I agree that usually comments on threads must not be taken too seriously, but as I said here yesterday the response to the BBC apologia was so extreme that in the first 4 hours there were 66 posts of which 65 excoriated the BBC with few words minced.

Forget the BBC's so called poll today which has virtually no validity at all. All the questions but one were clearly controlled by the Don't Know Party. The only one with a clear answer was that the "respondents" (not a 'sample'] thought Brown was wrong to bring Mandelson back.

"The BBC apparently remains keen to keep the story going, publishing today an opinion poll it commissioned assessing how the public views the Shadow Chancellor - with mixed feelings revealed."

I was pretty gobsmacked to read that last bit of your article Tim. That is surely the biggest example yet of the BBC not only having crossed the line on fair and balanced political reporting, but arrogantly doing a lap of honour!

I queried the worsening relationship between the Conservative party and the BBC on PB.com a couple of days ago. I thought the Alan Duncan interview on 5 live was very revealing, although it lost in the frenzy that the BBC went into over George Osborne.

Party politics aside, Robert Peston is a quite appalling communicator.

All those 'errrss' and 'ummmmms', all those singing intonations and glottal stops.

And we are paying for him.

David Hughes article on the Three Line Whip is worth a read, especially the last bit.

The BBC defends its hounding of George Osborne
"A call to the Electoral Commission would have ascertained that. Why didn't the BBC make that call? Perhaps they did - and that's even more worrying."

That is the question that really needs to be asked of the BBC.

Mandelson has more to hide than Osborn and that will eventually come out, although not because of any investigation the BBC undertakes. My suspicion is that both Mandelson and Deripaska are smart enough to cover any tracks, so only innuendo will ever emerge. If not, third time unlucky for Peter…

Nat Rothschild may well regret going nuclear. Not just if there is something unseemly that emerges from any investigation, but if I were one of Rothchild’s investors, I would be keen he was looking at the markets a good deal more than scoring points with the fag end of a Labour government. Watch for further withdrawals from his hedge funds, which are already down 50% on the year.

Posted by: HF | October 24, 2008 at 13:04

You do not mention Peston's background. Peston is a supporter of Brown, he wrote his biography with help from Brownites. He is also the son of a Labour peer.

Nick Robinson is the former national chairman of the Young Conservatives. So what?

I like the bias in Brillo's poll questions:

Should GO resign?
Should Mandy have been brought back?

Not, Should Mandy resign? He's proved to have lied about his meetings with Deripaska.

Or indeed: Badger has the judgement necessary to be the Chancellor. Yay or Nay?

As I realised and blogged yesterday the licence fee is now classed as a tax meaning it is under government and not parliament's control since 2004.
So they can't really be that impartial, and is in their interest to be nice to labour and nasty to conservatives (who have members who want to cut the bbc down)

A Heathite wet passing leftie.

ACT @ 12.55 - 'Mind you here's a positive thing: when the BBC has for the BBC has, forit, an inconvenient online response, it at least publishes the gory details....'

ACTually, that is a very recent phenomenon. The BBC is notoriously bad at taking any criticism, however valid! And I would guess that the only reason they have changed - a bit - and on-line, is because they know that it is more likely to gets 'hits', than endless positive praise - which they prefer!

‘Nick Robinson is the former national chairman of the Young Conservatives. So what?’

Posted by: resident leftie | October 24, 2008 at 14:23

Granted, but he hardly bigs this up, does he? See his blog CV. He doesn't even mention his Tory provenance. Wonder why?

Back with Peston. Why…..can…HE noT…form…errr…sentences…properly without…hanging every….sy..lla….ble…?

He sounds like someone burping the alphabet.

The reason that Robinson hides his former connection to the Tories is that he would never have been employed by the Brown Broadcasting Company if he had not recanted
It's strictly Labour luvvies only

My licence fee is on the verge of being cancelled and my telly is on the verge of being ripped out of the wall to be replaced with a big screen PC and video's of Britain before a Labour government came to power.

If and when the Tories get in I excuse all other things except a failure to rid my country of these BBC leeches.

Again, whilst I'm on here, why does the BBC always have TWO presenters, a weather 'person', a political correspondent, a business correspondent and another outside parliament, all talking complete garbage to each other, not a politician in sight unless it's Labour or Vince Cable, or am I the only one receiving these signals ???

Peston - Please Go away !

Cassius also notes that far from providing a balanced defence of his reporters actions, Mawhinney enflamed the situation and made further completely unfounded allegations in his blog entry yesterday:-


Below is a random list of employees of a well known public service braodcaster. Please have a wild guess as to how many of them vote Conservative.

1. Jim 'When We Win' Naughtie
2. Melvyn Bragg
3. Andrew Marr
4. Robert 'err, umm' Peston
4. Kirsty Wark
5. Nicky Campbell
6. Simon Mayo
7. Martha Kearney
8. Eddie Mair
9. Ed Stourton
10.Justin Obama Webb
11. Rageh Omar
12. Orla 'Yassir' Guerin


I have just remembered that the BBC's Melvyn Bragg is not allowed to vote Conservative.

He is a Labour peer.

"If the tories did away with it, I'd be mortified."

You want it, you pay for it.

London Tory - you missed out Stephanie Flanders, whose on maternity leave.

Remember he keen interest in economic questions for the Cameron interview ....

I remember Guido had a link to an article suggesting that the BBC was trying to recruit a few non-socialists to give it some cover for the horror of a Conservative govt.

We all know what this means, its simple, the BBC has to go.

There's no need to tell them before the election - just store up your memories of what they've done and who they are then split up and sell them off.

Remember softly softly catchy commie.

Yeah, but Stephanie Flanders looks damn hot in those boots!

A worthy point to make on BBC bias, but isn't it too late? Jeff Randall once again makes the unanswerable point today that the only enquiry should be the one into the state of British finances, but just as cogently mentioned that GO's reputation has been Mandelised. To put that into perspective, we have just had two weeks where the Chancellor has first been spared by only having to face criticism from his opposite number that had all the force of a slap with a wet fish, and has then had the undeserved benefit of a smokescreen courtesy of Mandy and the BBC albeit with GO partly being the author of his own misfortune. We deserve better opposition here.


Something that has struck me in recent days is the way what one might call the 'new Tory establishment' has closed ranks around Osborne. By which I obviously mean the likes of Cameron, Vaizey and Gove, but also Tim Montgomerie, Fraser Nelson, Matthew d'Ancona, Danny Finkelstein etc.

We are often told that Osborne is a 'master strategist'[on very flimsy, Westminster village evidence], yet this has not been demonstrated for weeks now during his woefully underpowered response to the financial crash. I am less concerned with his choice of yacht companions than his outclassing at the hands of Vince Cable, for gods sake.

Iain Martin also made a very good point in the Telegraph- one always glossed over on Con Home- that our front bench needs to start looking a lot more 'normal', and not just a political extension of 'Bullers' .

I would strongly agree with the last point. We need to look more balanced - nothing wrong with going to a public school and getting a good education but there are very capable people who have more modest backgrounds. This Bullingdon thing could really stick in the throat of the electorate - if it looks like an inward looking private members (male) club at the top of the party...

Either the Conservatives destroy the BBC's News and Current Affairs department or it will destroy them.The removal of the licence fee at the earliest opportunity is the first step.Let those who want the drivel pay for it.

I get fed up with reading this drivel about the BBC.
Why give them a story then?

Osborne has done serious damage at a time when we want the support of the country when people are facing real problems.
He is also dragging his colleagues into trouble defending it.

He should stand down, so we can put someone else in place well before the election.

The comment on dealing with the BBC is part of the way to making the most important point.

It isn't so much the damage the BBC does to the Conservative Party (though this is not mirrored in its treatment of, in particular, the Labour Party) as the damage it is doing to the country, broadcasting standards, and its own and our nation's reputation -- all at public expense (most of which it is not entitled to do, according to its Charter).

It is now a toxic organisation, and has to be dealt with decisively and permanently. There is no longer any alternative to this, and they have only themselves to blame. No-one else in the entire Universe put them in that position: they did it all themselves.

ConservativeHome could perform a truly valuable service by providing a site for licence fee 'refusniks'to register. Many of us have tried as individuals to refuse to pay,but are finally worn down by the phone calls/letters/threats.

The BBC has lost itscredibility as an objective News organisation and 'Little Dorrit' will not make up for it.

You've got to remember that there are more fence-sitters out there than there are hardliners for any party. A host of you lot in power worries me to a certain extent, that you will try and steer the BBC round to your point of view rather than genuinely try to eliminate bias.

I sympathise with the idea of ending the license fee, but not so the Brown Broadcasting Corporation ends up as the British Broadcasting Cameron.

The coverage has swung back a bit to Mandelson but both he and Osborne have cases to answer. Just because the Tories had a year of free publicity with 20%+ poll leads and didn't do anything with it doesn't mean you should all eviscerate the BBC every time it publishes a story you don't like.

There's a lot of people even out there in my safe Tory area (never mind the marginals) who want a Conservative government they can trust to be competent in office. Defending Osborne is beginning to look silly to them, and I can no longer try it with anyone.

There are bigger issues out there regarding the security of the last election result but since you seem quite happy to rant and rave about non-existent BBC bias giving sauce to both the goose and gander, then you don't deserve to know what I've found out.

Rod - simple - don't have a TV. I tried it at university and I quite enjoyed it.

Louise - Who needs a TV at University anyway ? Wall to wall socialising allows no time.

It is obvious that Osborne needs a maturity check and should be told by Cameron in no uncertain manner that seeking access to Nat Rothschild and his millionaires club is not on, and that his political life is now at serious risk.

As for Mandy he has his own inbuilt self-destruct mechanism, and hopefully when he goes he does not take good people with him.

Rothschild is also an obviously immature person with a vengeful nasty nature, and it begs the question who would invest in this boy's schemes when he is so obviously a loose cannon?

So, it seems agreed across a broad spectrum that "Yacht-gate" was substantially about Mandelson getting his own back.

Peston drove the story - he must have been on either radio or TV twenty times doing just that.

The consistent facts joining the two above are that Peston is a Labour patsy and that the BBC News is a convenient vehicle for political manipulation.

If anyone can link the facts up in a different way, I would be interested to know how. Meanwhile, it is impossible to trust BBC News output on any story with the remotest political angle. The oppotunity for the story to be adjusted, the keenness of the Labour Party to do so and the willingness of the BBC to let it happen were laid finally and totally clear by what happened on Tuesday.

I was a bit suprised as to why Peston was commenting on this when he's the Business reporter.

sensational story about Osborne in the NOTW today

not good that he's picture enjoying the company of hookers


The story in today's NOTW about Osbourne have finished him off as a serious political figure who can command respect.

There is nothing that will lead to any legal action, but he has now become a figure of ridicule.

Time for someone to give him a 'nudge'?

There is absolutely no doubt that for the greater good of the Conservative party Osborne should now resign. He is a boy among men. His obvious immaturity and lack of political acumen has made him just one great embarrassment. The party has far too many overgrown and over-promoted young men and women like him still wet behind their ears with no real political weight in positions of importance. To balance his own lack of experience and short political history Cameron should at least immediately replace Osborne with Redwood and also find a way to bring back Clarke to the front bench as a start and then look around for other heavyweights to come back such as Howard.

Another none story dug up by the News of the World but this will seep through to voters...It just looks cheap and vulgar...

I really can't see how Osborne can say anything of substance about the economy with this circus in the background....

I think Hague must take over the portfolio and quickly...

My worry is that all the way to the election the media is going to drip feed these allegations of dabbling with drugs and "laddish" behaviour...

We are perilous economic times and we just cannot afford for this trash to get in the way.

I don't think the life before politics argument is going to wash...

Isn't it clear that the whole osborne thing was a fit up to destroy the tories just before the next general election?

After laying a long trail of false circumstantial evidence - If the daf donation had been accepted last month (unbeknown to osborne - having already said no) - when news leaked out (it wouldn't have been till just before the next election) with a donation in the bank, noone would have beleived any protestation of innocence.

Our country would have been hijacked...

And you can be sure Murdoch has dirt on other Bullingdon members, too, if he fancies bringing them down.

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