Just over two weeks after creating my 38 Degrees 'BBC NEWS: STOP THIS MEDIA BLACKOUT OF THE GREEN PARTY' petition the number of signatories had reached nearly 50,000 and it was decided now would be a good time to deliver the petition to the BBC itself.
When I arrived at Broadcasting House, myself, Andy (a fellow petitioner, accusing the BBC of bias towards UKIP), and our wonderful supporters were met by barricades, a host of BBC security staff, and several police officers. We were told we were not allowed on BBC property and would not be permitted to enter the building to deliver our petitions, instead a member of staff was sent out to collect them. Surrounded on all sides by security and police she ensured us the petitions would go straight to 'the D.G. (Director General)', and then proceeded to instruct us to open our envelopes so she could look inside, I presume this was because she expected an explosive to be hidden away in an A5 envelope. I know I probably shouldn't have been, but I was shocked. The BBC is essentially owned by the public and as a member of the public, representing a further 50,000 licence fee payers, I did not expect to be treated as a potent ial terrorist. I wonder what it is about the Green Party that frightens the BBC so much..?
Our hand-in at BBC Parliament was much less eventful, we managed to walk straight in and deliver the petitions at the front desk with zero hassle. The receptionist did a bit of a double-take when I mentioned the number of signatures my petition had received and assured me Nick Robinson and Sue Inglish would definitely receive it either 'this afternoon or tomorrow morning'. I am dubious as to whether I'll get a direct response, even though I requested one, but I can assure you I will be following this up with a series of phonecalls and emails until I do.
As a side note, whilst we were waiting outside BBC Parliament David Davies, Tory MP, walked passed, tapped my petition box and announced he agrees that the BBC is unfairly 'biased against your party', this, along with David Cameron's comment that any Leader's Debate featuring UKIP should also feature the Greens, is rather encouraging. Perhaps things are going to change after all. I will certainly do all I can to ensure they do.
I have yet to recieve a response from any of the people the petition is addressed to, if you would like to email them personally with a link to the petition then please do so. They may not reply but the greater the number of emails they receive, the more likely they are to pay attention, even if they don't openly acknowledge it. Here are their email addresses:
Thank you so much for all your help. I assure you I will continue to pester the BBC for a response and will be keeping a watchful eye to see if this 'blackout' continues in the lead-up to, during, and after the General Election. In the interest if democracy this blatant bias must not be allowed to continue.