I was a bit irritated when I saw this story on the BBC London News front page yesterday. It was apparently the second most important London story yesterday. I wrote a formal complaint that they had failed to correctly identify James Mills, the front man of the Save EMA campaign, as a researcher for Labour MP John Robertson whose salary is paid with public funds. I was pleased when they wrote last night to say that they had updated the story.
The BBC’s standfirst is:
Hundreds of students have gathered outside a Conservative conference in London to protest at the scrapping of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
But the photos show maybe 50 middle-aged people protesting about a local planning issue and local cuts. There are a handful of EMA placards and very few obviously young people. There are many more SWP placards and the youngest people seem to be protesting the planning issue. The BBC’s standfirst is an out and out lie. There were not even 100 people there. They were clearly not students. I have complained again.
James Mills is at the left of this group of “students”.
Panning right slightly we see Hammersmith MP Andrew Slaughter at the centre listening to Hammersmith and Fulham Labour group leader, Stephen Cowan.
Panning right a bit more we see this group of “students” concerned about a local planning issue.
These three photos are screengrabs taken from contributor Sinister Pictures at demotix.com, see here. I checked the price for these images and as it was zero felt able to reproduce them here.