I saw something on the BBC News Channel yesterday afternoon that made me think I was going insane.
Here’s what happened: Perching on the arm of the sofa after lunch flicking through the channels I came across an interview on the BBC News Channel between one of the BBC‘s Business Correspondents and a lady from some City brokerage firm. At the end of the interview the BBC correspondent says something like:
“I suppose we can’t end without mentioning that RATHER BORING NUMBER released by the Office for National Statistics today: the government deficit for June.”
The City brokerage lady smiles and says something like
Well, I don’t think it’s boring. In fact it’s quite ironic that public sector borrowing last month was 50 percent higher than last year. When you consider that the financial crash of 2008 was caused by too much government borrowing, and total government borrowing since then has risen by another 25 percent, then when they finally decide we have to balance the books, some future generation is really going to feel the pinch.”
YOU WHAAAAT??? I was so shocked I nearly fell off my chair. Some FUTURE generation is really going to feel the pinch? Isn’t THIS generation feeling the pinch NOW? Isn’t lowering government debt what austerity is supposed to be all about?
But the BBC interviewer gave no such reaction. Instead he laughed, like they do at the end of most news bulletins these days, before handing us back to the anchor lady who joined in with the jollity, like we’d just been watching Prince George talking goo-goo with a butterfly.
I couldn’t believe it. I needed some way of confirming what had actually happened to know whether I was going crazy or not.
If we had Sky Plus or some other gadget for replaying live TV it would have been easy, but we don’t so I had to think of something else. We do have one of those Smart TVs connected to the internet, so BBC iPlayer is only a couple of clicks away. But if you try that you’ll discover you can get almost anything on iPlayer except the news as it happened. Yes you can get the News at Six and Ten, but they’re edited highlights of the rest of the 24-hour news cycle and only available for 24 hours after they were transmitted.
Which is kindof strange when you remember that the only reason we have to pay the BBC licence fee is because the BBC is supposed to supply us with radio and TV news as a public service, like the water company supplies water. So if they were going to supply anything on BBC iPlayer you’d think their rolling 24 hour news output ought to be top of the list.
My last hope was to try typing government borrowing or deficit into the search box on the BBC website where I discovered one article, Public borrowing at £11.4bn in June, along with a picture of George Osborne, but no video clips of anything BBC TV News actually broadcast on the subject during the day.
Without access to the BBC news archives I have no way of knowing whether I’m going crazy or not. The only option left I can think of it to put out an appeal here for anybody who either saw or, better still, recorded what happened to either confirm or deny my own eye-witness account in the comment section below.