Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Please Complain about BBC and UCU bias against Craig Murray’s campaign in the Norwich North By-election – Plus contact details for volunteering

Complain about the BBC’s refusal to give Murray’s campaign any coverage

Iain Orr, who is one of the organisers for Craig Murray’s campaign as an independent in the Norwich North By- election has provided some useful information on how to get the BBC to stop refusing to provide Craig’s campaign with any in its coverage of the election.

There are only just over two weeks of campaigning left and the normal BBC complaints process takes at least ten days, so it’s better if people first phone BBC complaints on 03700100222 and complain about the Newsnight programme on 30th June which made no mention of Craig even in the list of candidates. Newsnight subsequently phoned Craig to inform him he would get no coverage except for the addition of his name to the list of candidates in their reports on the election and their Political Editor Michael Crick told the Independent on Sunday that “We're not obliged to report all the candidates. He'll have to join the queue behind the BNP and Ukip candidates to be interviewed.” So much for un-biased, neutral reporting.

When asked if you want your name included in the complaint say yes and ask for a complaint ID number. (Please don’t get angry with the complaints staff – they’re not responsible for Michael Crick’s decisions)

If you don’t have time to phone then please make an online complaint at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complaints_stage1.shtml

Next phone the BBC Trust on 02072089491 or email them on trust.enquiries@bbc.co.uk.

They’ll ask if you’ve already been through the BBC complaints system. Tell them you have. I’ll quote Iain Orr here:

“My line has been that ten working days to reply to a complaint is generally OK, but not when it concerns biased coverage of a by-election campaign only lasting 3 weeks. More generally, the BBC's bias in favour of the main parties amounts to a huge hidden subsidy for which there is no justification. It also shows lamentable political judgement (a skill for which many BBC employees are highly paid) that in the first election after the expenses scandal has revealed huge dissatisfaction with existing politicians, no attention is paid to a candidate articulating forcefully a vision of an alternative politics.”

Complain to the UCU over its refusal to allow Craig to speak in the hustings debate

Second the UCU union is organising the hustings debate on education policy for the by-election, but has informed Craig that he is not invited to the debate.

Matt Waddup of the UCU informed Craig “Lisa tells me you are enquiring about our event this Thursday. I took the decision to invite only those candidates shown by our poll to have a chance of winning the seat.”

The poll Matt refers to was held before Craig had even declared his candidacy and Matt’s argument is the same circular, flawed, politically biased one as Michael Crick’s, that candidates receiving no coverage have no chance of getting elected so should get no coverage. That’s apart from the fact that Ladbrokes gives Craig odds of 25/1 of winning compared to 33/1 for the Lib Dems, 100/1 for UKIP and 200/1 for the BNP.

If you are a UCU member it would be very helpful if you could email MWaddup@UCU.ORG.UK and UCU press officer Alex Rossiter at press@ucu.org.uk as soon as possible and let them know whether you think they’re representing your views as members properly or not.

To find out more about Craig’s campaign, turn up to public meetings or leaflet for him go to his campaign website at http://www.putanhonestman.org/index.php . Accommodation is available for anyone wanting to campaign there who doesn’t live in the area.

To hear news on the campaign also check Craig’s blog at http://www.craigmurray.co.uk

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