On the day when the New Statesman re-printed an interview with Director General Mark Thompson admitting 'massive left-wing bias' at the BBC, I can report that such bias is not just historic but alive, well and being vigorously defended by none other than the offending Newsnight presenter, Gavin Esler.
An apparent consequence of yesterday's monthly inflation figures from the ONS, was that annual rail fare increases based on the formula used by all governments from the mid 1990's onwards, RPI + 3%, and due next January, are likely to be pretty steep - that is, if the Coalition decides not to lower the current rate, an assumption the BBC is always prepared to make.
Accordingly, they invited Angela Eagle on to the program to give us Labour's view of the consequences of such a move - as if exactly the same annual process never happened under thirteen years of a Labour government. Unfortunately, nobody appeared on the program to give the Coalition's perspective. As Gavin Esler explained, the program tried to contact the government but no one was available to appear. So rather than offer the views of opposing backbenchers, past transport secretary's, or an historical analysis of how fare increases have varied with inflation, or some other non-politically biased perspective, the program continued to broadcast a blatantly left wing interview without riposte. As I tweeted at the time, 'Maria Eagle giving uncontested Labour party broadcast on #newsnight - no political bias by BBC there then..'
And the reply I got from Gavin Esler? '@polittiscribe government were asked to take part. They didn't. Their choice. If you think they should, please let them know. #newsnight'
So there you have it. If you can't get a Coalition transport spokesperson to appear, you can use tax payers money to broadcast a blatantly biased political interview with equanimity. No attempt to present the subject in an unbiased way. No attempt even to suggest it wasn't biased - indeed, by trying to blame the government's no-show, Gavin Esler admitted that it was biased..
Same old BBC. Same old left wing bias.