Ah. Restrictions imposed, introduced by yourself, not letting cameras into meetings. I think I heard your Labour, or the Labour leader, there now say
s something they felt should happen a lot, and had complained to the Conservatives about it.
Oh, that was a long, long time ago...
2003, I believe...
Well, can I say to him my experience is rather different...
Your experience is that w
re actually in government or run the council then we
don’t want them in but when you’
re in opposition and there are lots of protesters outside then you do want them to come in...
What I certainly never did, which is what happened to me a few weeks ago, I tried to take a photograph, not to film but to take a photograph of the planning decision to kno
ck down the 760 of my residents’
homes when the Planning Committee was voting to do that and two burly security guards tried to confiscate my phone and throw me
out so I think the view you’
re getting from Hammersmith Council was probably pre-arranged for the day, for the BBC, to show you h
ow open they are. Normally they’
re a lot more testy.
And they say they’
re going to review these restrictions that were put in place by one Mr Slaughter. At last, let transparency reign at Hammersmith.
The answer is, social media, we’
re in a completely different world now. I think
s waking up to the fact that the more you resist
the public knowing what’
s going on, whethe
r the public wants to know what’
s going on is another matter...
The discussion then moved to other, unrelated points. BBC London have told us that they believe that the claim that you were responsible for restrictions being introduced was attributed to the Conservatives as an allegation for you to respond to and that this was, if you like, part of the rough and tumble of party politics. However, I am afraid that I cannot agree with this. Firstly, nowhere in the filmed report do
any of the words “allege” “allegation” or “claim”
or anything similar actually appear. Rather, the viewer was told that the Conservat
ives were “quick to point out” that you were responsible for the restrictions. To “point out” means to dra
w attention to and carries a quite
different meaning to “allege” or “claim”. In the normal meaning it suggests drawing attention
to something that has a basis in fact. Likewise,
s questions when the item moved back to the studio did not once mention a Conservative allegation or claim and seemed to me unequivocally to endorse what had just been said as a factual statement, not a mere allegation. Furthermore, the presenter then used it as the basis for a suggestion of double standards on your part. In relation to accuracy, then,
I think we’re dealing with a claim to the effect that you were
responsible for the original introduction of restrictions on cameras in meetings, and that your complaint stands or falls according to whether or not that
claim is true. As you’re aware, the
programme-makers took the view that the information they were given in exchanges with the