I did something last night that I never normally do: I listened for a couple of hours online to the BBC Radio 4 coverage of the EU election results. So I won’t be too surprised if I get a letter later this morning demanding I pay the £155 licence fee us Brits have to pay for the privilege of watching any BBC TV, and most likely listening to any BBC radio, and probably also using the letters BBC™ in blogs/emails/correspondence. It only applies to Brits: anyone else can watch and listen for free.
I was only listening because I wanted to hear live coverage of the election results, and Radio 4 seemed the obvious place to go.
It was an odd experience. For all the world you would have thought that the Lib Dems and the Greens had actually won the election. They had people from the Lib Dems and Greens talking animatedly and excitedly about how well they’d done. They even had a Danish woman who might have been the leader of some Danish Lib Dem or Green party saying the same sort of thing. Most remarkably they had former Conservative grandee Michael Heseltine telling people how he’d voted Lib Dem. And I learned that Tony Blair’s former press secretary Alastair Campbell had also voted Lib Dem. Everyone was voting Lib Dem or Green.
The only fly in the ointment was that there was some other party (the Accidental Party? The Brackish Party?) that seemed to be doing quite well. But they didn’t have anyone from that party on the show, and didn’t want anyone, although they did broadcast a fragment of the victory speech of its shadowy leader (Nigel Fridge? Ann Wiccan?) when he was re-elected as an MEP.
The entire coverage was suffused with a gushing enthusiasm for the EU and all things progressive and enlightened and trendy. One of the Lib Dems was at pains to point out that most people hadn’t voted for the Accidental party, and it was really just an unfortunate accident that it had won a few seats, and it would never happen again. He assured us that when most people’s voices finally got heard, Britain would remain in the EU, and it was astonishing that anyone ever thought it might leave.
Anyway that was the gist of the news from Radio 4 last night: the Lib Dems and the Greens had done absolutely brilliantly in the EU elections, while Conservatives and Labour had done shockingly badly. Even the leader of UKIP had lost his seat in the European parliament. And if there was a General Election anytime soon, we’d obviously have a Lib Dem – Green coalition government with Michael Heseltine as its Minister of Climate Catastrophe, and Alastair Campbell as its Minister of Online Internets, and Britain would embark on a crash windmill construction program. And it would be Goodbye Mr Fridge.
Or that’s what the BBC wanted me to believe. But somehow or other I don’t think that was quite what the whole story really was last night.
I wasn’t the only one who saw it this way:
BBC BIAS: Viewers slam Beeb’s European election coverage after it ignores Brexit Party success to focus on Remainer Lib Dems and Greens