Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.

I've said before that BBC bias often doesn't take the form of actual political cheerleading so much as the adoption of a set of attitudes towards wider social and cultural issues. Try this for a perfect example of that.

Talk about a straw man. No one doubts there are plenty of places at Loser St Primary. It the desperate battle parents face to get their kids into a school where the staff are sober more than 50% of the time that's the problem. The whole thrust of the Beeb's article is so asinine that I cannot believe it can be the result of an honest mistake. Like many people, I often talk about BBC bias being the natural, unconcious effect of having a news organisation that is a political monoculture. But this time we should not be so kind: there is simply no way this article represents an attempt to do any more than throw sand in the public's face. Even the Beeb must recognise this, hence this attempt at plausible deniability at the end of the article:

This also highlights the dispute over the so-called "surplus places rule".

This is the notion that popular schools are not allowed to expand if there is spare capacity in other schools locally - which parents say forces their children into schools they do not want.

The Conservatives once again promised to abolish this restriction this week. But the government says no such rule exists.

Education Minister Stephen Twigg has said that schools are already able to expand.

"We have provided the opportunity for the most successful schools to expand where such potential exists".

But when pressed on which schools had done so, Mr Miliband named just four: two in Bury, one in Bristol and one in Wokingham.

Notion ? It should be easy enough to determine whether good schools are expanding or not - particularly for a £2.5 billion news organisation. Of course, the Beeb knows full well that they aren't, just as they surely know that vast majority of allegedly surplus places are in supposed schools that are nothing of the kind. Only a group of people that exist in a never-never land, far away from the realities of business life, could possibly see any paradox in a policy of wanting to close failed schools while expanding successful ones.

No comments: