At one time, BBC Question Time was the most rigged, distorted Lefty promo on BBC tv. chaired by David Dimbleby. No longer. The crown for distortion has passed to Tim Donovan and his London section on the BBC Sunday Politics show.
David Dimbleby does make a decent shot at pretending to be impartial, in spite of the obviously rigged audience, all primed with leading questions, baying for Tory or UKIP blood. Tim Donovan doesn’t even pretend.
Nobody minds if an interviewer criticises the Mayor, that is their job. Boris Johnson is capable of seeing off the toughest interviewer, as are his aides. The problem is the way Donovan distorts the facts.
Any truthful interviewer would reveal that the roots of the housing shortage lie in the past. In thirteen years of Blair/Brown rule, less affordable homes were built than in one year of Thatcher government. Ken Livingstone built 26,000 homes in his first term, while Boris Johnson has built 56,000, a record. Boris has already built more homes now than Ken in two Mayoralties. Because we need investment, it’s much harder to build affordable homes now than before.
Ken Livingstone and Blair/Brown were in power during a time of plenty, so they have no excuse. Boris has been Mayor in a punishing credit crunch, but when London needed, he went out and got! He responded by going out and getting in billions in foreign investment. Ken also went on trade missions, but brought back zero. (Boris has personally raised £100M in funding. Like investment Ken raised zero funding.) At the moment, we need foreign investment, although the homes bought by absent foreign investors are only about 6% of the market.
Allister Heath on CityAM says foreign investment saved this city. Wouldn’t it be fair to mention this massive achievement at least once? And as Boris explained at the O2 last week, we need foreign money, because to put it in ultra simple terms, there isn’t enough British money. The answer to the question “Is big, bad, Boris selling off London to absent foreign investors?” is, according to the Holy Grail, BBC Factcheck, a resounding NO!
Because it is the credit crunch, foreign investment has been so desperately needed, that raising it has rightly been a major priority, (my personal assessment), but still Boris Johnson has exceeded Ken’s housing achievement. Without foreign investment, Boris couldn’t have saved Battersea Power Station for example.
Re. Tim Donovan’s slanted rap on water cannon, three polls show Londoners are behind Boris, 90%, (YouGov), 72%(BBC poll) and a huge City Hall poll of over 4,000, 68%.
What Tim Donovan is doing on BBC Sunday Politics show is morally wrong. The truth is powerful, and in politics, there is deep cynicism because of the prevalence of lying. It is damaging to public trust to distort facts as badly as Donovan does. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” said Keats. There is no merit or beauty in what Donovan does, only a deep abiding shame.