The 2019 General Election - Campaign Debate and Discussion

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AlterEgo

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Now suggestions that Laura K of the BBC has potentially committed an electoral offence by revealing postal vote results before the close of the poll. This evening the Electoral Commission conveniently tweeted this after she said live on national television postal results for labour were ‘dire’.


https://twitter.com/electoralcommuk/status/1204790546675437573

I genuinely think the story of this election should be just how much the critical thinking of once respected journalists has seemingly disappeared, all in an attempt to be the first to get the ‘hot exclusive’ out before anyone else.

Simply reporting unconfirmed and unsubstantiated facts of random ‘sources’ is not journalism!
This has been a terrible election for the journalism trade, you’re right. The punch that wasn’t was absolutely the worst fake news of the lot. The thing is, all of it is getting debunked so quickly that the losers aren’t the politicians but the journalism profession itself. Another blow to civil society.
 
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JamesT

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This latest stuff about Laura Kuensberg and the postal votes is probably nonsense. For years parties have looked at the the postal votes and made predictions based on that with no suggestions of foul play. It's been a standard part of journalism to report on what the parties say in this regard. But some people have an axe to grind with Laura and take any hint of impropriety as evidence of bias.
 

bramling

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This latest stuff about Laura Kuensberg and the postal votes is probably nonsense. For years parties have looked at the the postal votes and made predictions based on that with no suggestions of foul play. It's been a standard part of journalism to report on what the parties say in this regard. But some people have an axe to grind with Laura and take any hint of impropriety as evidence of bias.
The gist of what she said does tie in with feedback I’ve had from friends “up north”. One who frequents a WMC in Grimsby says that “everyone hates Corbyn, almost no one is going to vote for him, many love Boris and the rest just won’t be voting as they can’t stomach Corbyn”.

*If* this holds true then Labour are clearly going to have a problem, and the question is what will happen in the London area. Will people get to the peace, privacy and tranquility of the polling booth and think of their tax bill and what might happen if Corbyn gets in, and decide to play it safe?

I suspect middle England is going to make or break this election, the vibe I’m picking up is similar to before the referendum - polls are suggesting caution for the Conservatives, like they did for Brexit, but the mood in middle England hints differently. The actual result will no doubt be determined by how all these factors interact.
 

Tetchytyke

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But some people have an axe to grind with Laura and take any hint of impropriety as evidence of bias.
Just as you can't show exit polls until after 10pm, you can't do this sort of thing either. It's not about bias, it's about the fact the BBC's political editor has blatantly flouted electoral law. Add it to the other things she's done in the last couple of years, and you have to question how a "journalist" with such stratospherically bad judgment is still in her job.
 

Tetchytyke

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The gist of what she said does tie in with feedback I’ve had from friends “up north”.
It's similiar to what I hear too, to be honest. "Get Brexit Done" is a soundbite which is resounding with people in northern towns like Grimsby and Stockton.

Brexit is, and always has been, a proxy vote about the poverty and lack of opportunities in these towns. What I can't understand- and I guess I never will- is how people look at the party that trashed the northern economy and think they're the ones to fix it.

That said, those in the Nottinghamshire coalfield have always been a funny sort, as we saw in the miners' strikes.

As for not stomaching Corbyn, these people hated Blair for being too right-wing and hate Corbyn for being too left-wing. I think the real issue is they think the world is leaving them behind and so progressive politics get the blame for it. The Tory tropes are emotionally very powerful.

Get Brexit done and the foreigners and the shirt lifters and the women will all know their place once more. It's why the racism and the homophobia doesn't dent Johnson.
 
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bramling

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It's similiar to what I hear too, to be honest. "Get Brexit Done" is a soundbite which is resounding with people in northern towns like Grimsby and Stockton.

Brexit is, and always has been, a proxy vote about the poverty and lack of opportunities in these towns. What I can't understand- and I guess I never will- is how people look at the party that trashed the northern economy and think they're the ones to fix it.

That said, those in the Nottinghamshire coalfield have always been a funny sort, as we saw in the miners' strikes.

As for not stomaching Corbyn, these people hated Blair for being too right-wing and hate Corbyn for being too left-wing. I think the real issue is they think the world is leaving them behind and so progressive politics get the blame for it. The Tory tropes are emotionally very powerful.

Get Brexit done and the foreigners and the shirt lifters and the women will all know their place once more. It's why the racism and the homophobia doesn't dent Johnson.
I suspect the answer to the question of why people might be content to vote Conservative, is that they will think “what did Labour do for us between 1997 and 2010?”, and perhaps more damagingly “what will Corbyn do for us when he’s too busy bumbling on about Palestine?”.

Fact is the Conservatives are reflecting the mood, whilst all Labour are appearing to reflect is London, which is becoming increasingly aloof to the rest of England, which I think is at least partly due to high levels of immigration over the last decade or two.
 

thejuggler

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This latest stuff about Laura Kuensberg and the postal votes is probably nonsense. For years parties have looked at the the postal votes and made predictions based on that with no suggestions of foul play. It's been a standard part of journalism to report on what the parties say in this regard. But some people have an axe to grind with Laura and take any hint of impropriety as evidence of bias.
As Chief political editor of BBC and supposedly on top of all this, after she 'reported' this 'fact' she should also have added the rider that it is impossible to know how well parties are doing from postal vote returns until the count. That's the problem, her knowledge of UK election law is severely lacking, a problem for a BBC expert.
 

Snow1964

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As Chief political editor of BBC and supposedly on top of all this, after she 'reported' this 'fact' she should also have added the rider that it is impossible to know how well parties are doing from postal vote returns until the count. That's the problem, her knowledge of UK election law is severely lacking, a problem for a BBC expert.
For the naive like me, is a postal vote return, a volume count of sealed envelopes, or is it opened envelopes and votes noted. Quite a difference if the sealed envelopes are taken to the counts and only opened after 10pm this evening.
 

bussnapperwm

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For the naive like me, is a postal vote return, a volume count of sealed envelopes, or is it opened envelopes and votes noted. Quite a difference if the sealed envelopes are taken to the counts and only opened after 10pm this evening.
The envelopes are opened to ensure the paperwork is completed properly and is legitimate. The votes are kept so the X in the box is facing the table (so all is seen on the ballot sheet is the ballot paper number on the rear which ties up with the declaration number.)

They're then put in a sealed ballot box with usually at least 1 person from one of the parties observing.

(SOURCE - one of my work colleagues did it a couple of years ago in the locals)
 

DarloRich

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This latest stuff about Laura Kuensberg and the postal votes is probably nonsense. For years parties have looked at the the postal votes and made predictions based on that with no suggestions of foul play. It's been a standard part of journalism to report on what the parties say in this regard. But some people have an axe to grind with Laura and take any hint of impropriety as evidence of bias.
agreed - it was a poor worded report but the response from the usual Corbyn fans on social media has been predictably boring.
 

Darandio

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Lots of reports of large queues at polling stations in locations where it hasn't really been seen before and in many cases it appears to be young people. It could get quite interesting.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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This latest stuff about Laura Kuensberg and the postal votes is probably nonsense.
I note you have used the word "probably" above, but that remains a large step away from certainty. Kuemsberg has set her stall out to be deliberately provocative in her manner, so she should expect to be treated in the same way she treats others.
 

DarloRich

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Kuemsberg has set her stall out to be deliberately provocative in her manner, so she should expect to be treated in the same way she treats others.
i don't agree. The way media is with constant rolling news reporters are desperate to be first. That culture is the problem not the people. The BBC aren't biased. Kunesberg isnt biased they are desperate to be first.

Further I suspect that the way Labour manage media is also part of the problem. They don't seem to have decent back channels with media people to deliver stories. The Tories do. Labour were expert at this under Campbell yet they seem to have lost this skill.
 

Tetchytyke

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it was a poor worded report
It wasn't poorly worded at all. She said what she meant to say. Just like she said what she meant to say earlier this week when she was tweeting lies fed to her by Matt Hancock.

I don't know if she's biased or not, but she shows an alarming lack of judgement for the most senior political journalist at the national state broadcaster. This sort of thing might be acceptable at NBC but it shouldn't be acceptable at the BBC.
 

Tetchytyke

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The BBC aren't biased.
The BBC undoubtedly are biased- their trustee board has a revolving door with the Conservative benches in the House of Lords. Of course they're biased; they're a state funded broadcaster. If they don't toe the line their funding will get cut.

Anywhere else in the world "state television" is used as shorthand for "government mouthpiece". What makes the BBC any different?

Johnson is likely to win, so if they don't blow smoke up his bum they'll be at risk of funding getting turned off. If Labour were likely to win you'd see the opposite, as we saw in the mid-90s when the BBC turned on John Major's zombie government.
 

DarloRich

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I don't know if she's biased or not, but she shows an alarming lack of judgement for the most senior political journalist at the national state broadcaster. This sort of thing might be acceptable at NBC but it shouldn't be acceptable at the BBC.
i agree - however it is a symptom of our media. They HAVE to be first with the news. I also think Labour are very poor at media management ( i know a couple of regional reporters who say this) and understanding how to deliver stories
 

DarloRich

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The BBC undoubtedly are biased- their trustee board has a revolving door with the Conservative benches in the House of Lords. Of course they're biased; they're a state funded broadcaster. If they don't toe the line their funding will get cut.

Anywhere else in the world "state television" is used as shorthand for "government mouthpiece". What makes the BBC any different?
really? This is very close to tin foilery.

Were they biased when Labour was in power?
 

Domh245

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Lots of reports of large queues at polling stations in locations where it hasn't really been seen before and in many cases it appears to be young people. It could get quite interesting.
Indeed. Went to vote just now and it was fairly busy with plenty of students out as well. It was interesting to see, especially with the weather being a bit miserable.
 

DerekC

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i don't agree. The way media is with constant rolling news reporters are desperate to be first. That culture is the problem not the people. The BBC aren't biased. Kunesberg isnt biased they are desperate to be first.
I agree with that - and be very careful. Boris and his Brexiteer circus have their eye on the BBC. If they can find a way to abolish the political balance requirement and replace it by a Fox News equivalent without losing votes, that's what they will do. Long term rubbishing of the BBC is a way to get there.
 

Tetchytyke

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They HAVE to be first with the news.
Do they? Really? Is that journalism, or is that just egotism?

It's mad isn't it, a reporter on a local newspaper in Yorkshire checks and double-checks his story before publishing, like a proper journalist. The most senior journalist at the BBC, meanwhile, just tweets any old nonsense, and then doubles down on it when it's shown to be a lie.

Were they biased when Labour was in power?
Yes, they probably were. John Birt went to work for Blair after he left the BBC.

The BBC suck up to the government. Always have done. Doesn't matter which flavour government. And when the wind changes, they suck up to the upcoming power.
 

Tetchytyke

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I agree with that - and be very careful. Boris and his Brexiteer circus have their eye on the BBC.
And that's going to be the BBC's undoing. Sucking up to narcissists doesn't work. And by climving so far up Johnson's fundament, nobody on the left is going to defend them when the right finally get their wish to privatise the BBC.
 

DarloRich

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Do they? Really? Is that journalism, or is that just egotism?

It's mad isn't it, a reporter on a local newspaper in Yorkshire checks and double-checks his story before publishing, like a proper journalist. The most senior journalist at the BBC, meanwhile, just tweets any old nonsense, and then doubles down on it when it's shown to be a lie.
Come on. You are comparing a live 24 hour news operation with a once a day printed format. The latter offers much more time to check and reflect and isnt subject to the same pressure to be first.

It isnt right that the key driver for "live" news is being first rather than right. I simply try to explain why it happens. I don't see a conspiracy when a cock up or cultural failure is more likely. You are welcome to disagree.
 

DerekC

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The BBC undoubtedly are biased- their trustee board has a revolving door with the Conservative benches in the House of Lords. Of course they're biased; they're a state funded broadcaster. If they don't toe the line their funding will get cut.

Anywhere else in the world "state television" is used as shorthand for "government mouthpiece". What makes the BBC any different?.
I think you should go and check your facts before this sort of rant. The BBC Trust doesn't exist any more - it was abolished in 2017. The BBC Board has just two members who are also Lords. Tony Hall doesn't take his seat as far as I can see. Tanni Grey-Thompson is a crossbencher who campaigns on behalf of the disabled and athletics. The BBC's charter and funding mechanism makes it as independent as it can be from government. It's not perfect, but its independence is more valuable than ever now, in my opinion. Of course you won't believe any of this, but others might be interested in reality rather than illusion.
 

Busaholic

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I'm disappointed when the BBC can, on several occasions, report that Iain Duncan Smith could lose the Chingford and Wood Green seat: not disappointed at the thought, because I'd be beyond delight, but the seat is Chingford and Woodford Green. If Wood Green was incorporated, he'd never have been their MP in the first place. Incidentally, a certain Winston S. Churchill was MP for Woodford once.

On the Kuinsberg matter, this 'evidence' of so-called bias is non-existent to my eyes, and I follow these things as avidly as anyone, not having to work anymore. Much of it is sexist, unlike the backlash against Swinson which is because she is useless, as a leader anyway, but then she shares common ground with the other national parties.
 
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I just cast my vote. I was literally the only person there apart from the staff. Then again I live in a quiet neighbourhood, it's usually empty at midday. It was during the last election.
 
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