Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Favoured by Who?

Look what those evil Tories are planning now…

Cities in northern England such as Liverpool, Sunderland and Bradford are “beyond revival” and residents should move south, a think tank has argued.

So who is suggesting that the cattle trucks be readied? Policy Exchange. Now I haven’t read the report yet, but it appears to boil down to the conclusion that throwing taxpayers’ millions at run-down areas isn’t the silver bullet that some might think. Whatever, it’s is clearly deemed by some at our esteemed state broadcaster to be good for a bad headline about the Tories.

Listen to the BBC radio bulletins (Radio 2 at 7 and 7:30 this morning) and the headline is “A think tank favoured by the Conservatives has suggested …”, or as at 8am “David Cameron’s favourite think tank”. The fact that the Party has pointed out this is not party policy is relegated to an afterthought at the end of the short piece.

That the Policy Exchange is a centre-right think tank is undisputed – however, as is often the case on the BBC, if a report comes out from a left-wing think tank, the political qualifier is rarely used. When was the last time a report from, say, Demos or the Joseph Rowntree foundation was presented as a think tank or organisation favoured by Labour or the Lib Dems? Perhaps it’s just that the ideas that such bodies come up with are, in the eyes of the average BBC hack, so eminently sensible that they need never be the subject of a slanted bad headline.

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