Britology Watch: Deconstructing \’British Values\’

29 June 2009

The BBC gets it right: perhaps the nagging is working!

Filed under: BBC,Britain,devolution,England,Gordon Brown,politics,say England — David @ 10.22 am

Just spotted this on the BBC news website, writing about Brown’s ‘Building England’s Britain’s Future’ vision statement that is due to be inflicted on us this afternoon:

“The policy document being unveiled by Mr Brown in the House of Commons at 1530 BST is called ‘Building Britain’s future’ – although many of the proposals are thought to relate to England only as a result of devolution in areas such as health and education.”

By Jove, I think they’ve got it! Perhaps all the nagging is finally paying off. But mustn’t speak too soon: let’s see how the TV and radio cover it later on.



  1. From the BBC ‘s annual report last year:

    Nations’ impartiality review

    A recurring message from our public meetings and audience research, and from our work with BBC Audience Councils in the four nations, has been concern about the perceived lack of representation of the nations in network programmes and insufficient focus on the devolved nations in network news.

    We therefore decided that the first impartiality review we commissioned should “assess whether the BBC’s network news and current affairs output was impartial, accurate and clear as to which facts and views applied to the individual nations and to consider if the nations’ policies were properly reflected and explained.

    The BBC received a bit of a slap on the wrist under the review and are still on probation (a follow-up review is in the pipeline) so I’m not surprised they are more responsive than the London print media. I can’t imagine the BBC (a la The Times) conducting a survey on Scottish devolution and the prospect of an English Parliament on an England/Wales basis!

    Comment by Hendre — 29 June 2009 @ 12.42 pm | Reply

    • Yes, but a phrase such as that I quoted is still surprising in its explicitness. Often, they now preface a news item by saying ‘in England’ at the beginning, where appropriate; but then the rest of the article or any more in-depth discussion ignores the English dimension, saying ‘the country’ or even ‘Britain’ instead. Perhaps they now realise that this is not enough.

      Comment by David — 30 June 2009 @ 4.50 am | Reply

  2. They’ve got it! Today anyway.

    How long till Brown and Cameron get it and call England – England?

    Don’t hold your breath.

    Comment by Wyrdtimes — 29 June 2009 @ 9.19 pm | Reply

  3. I can’t say I’ve noticed any examples of ‘slippage’ from England to Britain on news bulletins (much of which would be tightly scripted) nor in more general discussions. While BBC coverage is far from perfect I’d still argue that it’s much better than the London print media.

    I’ve mentioned the bizarre decision by The Times to completely ignore Welsh devolution in its ‘Devolution 10 years on’ coverage. The Independent is still sulking over devolution and refuses to report it properly. The Telegraph has a Scottish editor squawking away once a week but little general coverage of Wales and North Ireland. The Daily Mail isn’t much interested unless it involves ‘health apartheid’ and the Barnett formula. The political editor of The Observer thinks they have free prescriptions in Scotland. The Guardian tries to make an effort now and again but lapses.

    As for Gordon Brown – what can you say – pathetic.

    Comment by Hendre — 30 June 2009 @ 9.50 am | Reply

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