The disconnect between Parliament and the people is exacerbated by BBC pro-Remain bias

The disconnect between Parliament and the people is exacerbated by BBC pro-Remain bias

The British public are increasingly fed up with a news agenda that is saturated with pro-EU bias. For nearly three years we’ve been force fed a diet of fear: fear that economic Armageddon is imminent, panic that planes are set to become inexplicably grounded and a fixation with the idea that any positive news story is (you’ve guessed it) “despite Brexit”.

This should, in particular, worry the top brass of the BBC because it leads to serious questions about their partiality as a public broadcaster. Polling commissioned by Leave Means Leave, and released by ComRes, shows that a staggering 42% of the country see the BBC as a perpetrator of a pro-Remain news schedule. This is compared to just 25% who disagree with the notion.

And it is with good reason that the public feel this way. When was the last time that the BBC sought to explore the opportunities available to a post-Brexit Britain? Little is made of what a truly global trade policy could do for this country’s businesses. Nor do the benefits of a tailor-made regulatory policy even enter into the equation when the day’s news cycle is decided. As for the idea of a truly independent foreign policy, it’s given zero coverage.

Instead, producers opt for an agenda of bleak pessimism best suited to the narrative of the People’s Vote campaign. It is one we’re now all too familiar with; one of a disaster being mitigated as best it can be. One of a managed decline that is not in the interests of the country but must be overcome because the pesky electorate voted for it.

Take, for example, the news last week that Toyota is set to build its new hybrid car at its Derbyshire plant – good news that will lead to greater skilled training for the workforce and prepare the plant to remain competitive in the future, as well as dispelling the myth that Brexit will lead to a manufacturing exodus. On the BBC website, however, such news was curtailed by the old reports from February about Nissan’s decision to move its production to Japan. Rather than allow a good news story to go untrammelled, the chance to include news which dampens the positivity surrounding post-Brexit Britain was too irresistible.

By alienating the public in this way, the BBC risks irreparably trampling the symbiotic relationship that exists between the 24-hour news cycle and its viewers. These polling numbers show that the country no longer see the BBC as a benign provider of factual information, but instead detect a heavy dollop of editorial bias – something which will not serve the Corporation well in the long term.

This trend fits in with a general sense that the people are up against the establishment in the battle over Brexit. The same sentiment was echoed when people were asked their view of our current crop of MPs. 55% of those polled believe that Parliament is determined not to implement the 2016 referendum result – this includes 38% of Remain voters. Just 19% feel that the Commons is doing a good job of honouring the vote.

The disconnect between the political class and the people has never been wider. The largest democratic mandate was handed to parliamentarians who have subsequently made a pig’s ear of the process. The factional in-fighting, the heel-dragging and the incessant desire to undermine Brexit at every turn has been played out on media platforms, such as the BBC.

The fact that two in five Leave voters would consider never voting again is testament to how powerless this sordid process has left people feeling. The 2016 vote was seen as a chance to really bring about change, to shake up the system and to bring about a positive future for the UK. Instead, Leave voters have been forced to watch the whole thing being diluted in front of their very eyes without the slightest chance of having their voice listened to.

ComRes interviewed 2,030 GB adults online between 22nd and 24th March 2019. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults by age, gender, region and social grade. Voting intention questions were also weighted by past vote recall and likelihood to vote and all other questions also weighted by 2016 EU Referendum results. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.