Thursday, 30 June 2011

BBC coverage of Save our Pubs

I suppose it was as much as we could expect from the BBC. It reports on a Cross-Party group that wants to see an amendment to the smoking ban.

Andrew Neil reading from a Department of Health briefing as if it were a credible source of facts, and a list of what has damaged the licensed trade other than the smoking ban, more or less claiming that pubs have their day and the smoking ban is irrelevant. John Hemming arguing for a change principally to stop the mess and inconvenience of going through groups of smokers on the way in and out of the pub. Hilary Benn MP apparently oblivious to the pubs throughout the country that don't have gardens (is he still Labour?).

Nothing to challenge the underlying justification for the ban ... only arguments along the lines of 'the ban is very well meaning but not very well thought out'. And the only convert on the issue, Nick Herbert MP (Conservative), who has decided that the health of bar staff might cause him to rethink his opposition to the ban, should another opportunity arise to vote on the issue. And it won't, of course.

Thanks, Aunty Beeb.


JJ said...

I saw this interview Belinda, and was very irritated by it, not by Neil or Benn because a decent person in command of the issue and giving a solid concise and robust response could have pulled apart their comments with absolute ease.

No, I was irritated by the ineffectiveness of John Hemming MP. He had only one tool in his bag, which was about having to go into a pub garden with inadequate facilities. He repeated this argument twice.

Don’t blame the Beeb for a lousy defence and inarticulate effort from someone who lacked a grasp about the issue.

I would like if ever possible to audition as a spokesman concerning the ban. I believe I could give a robust performance. I think Forest should hold such auditons and invite people to take part.

The witch from Essex said...

In the interview even the M.P. who voted strongly against the ban like Conservative MP Nick Herbert now states that they would vote FOR the ban if ever asked !!!

Belinda said...

JJ, you saw through me, I was blaming the BBC for the coverage when what I should have been doing was criticising the case put forward because it seemed ... how shall I say ... not at all likely to carry any weight.

I have never seen anyone but Simon Clark interviewed for Forest. I have no idea whether volunteers are used for this but you could do worse than to ask.

Smoking Hot said...

That was poor beyond belief.