Sunday, 25 March 2012

BBC QT censors NHS - and can't even read a complaint right

Warning - the level of childish sarcasm in the following few paragraphs is exceeded only by the scorn I have for the BBC in not even being able to read my complaint right.
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Last week's BBC Question Time seemed to be broadcast, not from Grimsby, as advertised, but from some sunny, utopian world where the only major news was the possibility of the privatisation of roads, localised salaries, and whether or not we need a queen (this latter was surely a rhetorical question, right?). In this world, there was obviously no reform to the NHS - no grubby-handed, money-grabbing, mealy-mouthed, lying elitists had pushed through the decision for England's Health Service to transform from an institution based on need to one fuelled by greed. Of course not, because if it had, surely that would have been important enough to be allowed on to this 'topical debate' show?

It would appear the BBC didn't deem that little snippet of 'news' (if you really can call the monumental and wanton destruction of a national institution that ensures no-one has to worry about how much they can pay if they ever need something like, ah, I don't know, medication, or maybe one of those life-saving operations the NHS in its old form was just too poor at providing without resorting to those kind-hearted private contractors 'news' - obviously the BBC doesn't) worthy of note. So they omitted to make any mention of it whatsoever.

After the show, I made a complaint to the BBC to this effect (unfortunately, considering their stupid and pointless reply, I didn't keep a copy), asking why they did not consider it important to bring up for discussion the passage of a bill with such wide-reaching and potentially devastating effects for the majority of the UK.

Their reply below. Implying that I complained that they did not allow the voice of dissent towards the bill to be heard. Which is not at all what I said. I have no idea if this was done through wilful ignorance, or idiotic incompetence. Whatever, the below is what they had to say.

This is where you too can complain (though I feel they will deliberately frustrate you so as to get less complaints in the future (I guess I did have an idea after all)): www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

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bbc_complaints_website@bbc.co.uk bbc_complaints_website@bbc.co.uk

Dear Ms Daniju

Reference CAS-1364403-BPD3BV

Thanks for contacting about BBC One's 'Question Time', broadcast on 22 March 2012.

I understand you feel there has been insufficient coverage of the opposition to the NHS Health and Social Care Bill on the programme.

We recognise that the NHS Health and Social Care Bill is a controversial issue, that its repercussions may be of significant importance to our viewers and listeners, and that some opponents of the legislation feel passionately in their opposition to it. While it is not always possible or practical to reflect all the different opinions on this subject within individual programmes, editors are charged to ensure that over a reasonable period they reflect the range of significant strands of thought on the issue. We don't seek to denigrate any view, or to promote any view. We seek rather to identify all significant views, and to test them rigorously and fairly on behalf of the audience.

Since the first discussions about the reforms, to the most recent developments in the House of Commons, we have provided coverage of critical voices, from unions such as the British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing, to medical health professionals, patients groups as well as from the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties.

Below are a selection of articles about the legislation available on our website, and which include a range of views on it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17224889

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17370686

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17354481

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17351686

That said, noting your strength of feeling, all of your comments have been registered on our audience log. Audience reaction is crucial to the BBC and this log is an internal report of feedback which we compile daily and make available to all BBC News channel executives, including the BBC Executive board.

I can assure you that we do take our complaints seriously and the logs are seen as important documents whereby our audience can help shape decisions about the future of our programming and content.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to us and bringing your feelings on this matter to our attention.

Kind Regards

Suzanne Crawford

BBC Complaints

www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.

The BBC Trust is proposing some changes to the complaints service. Have your say at: http://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/bbc/complaints_framework

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