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Last night's Six O'Clock News

Nick Robinson | 14:44 UK time, Thursday, 21 October 2010

If you were watching the 6 O'Clock News last night, you may have seen a "Troops Out" sign on a large pole being waved behind my head.

Nick Robinson on the BBC Six O'Clock News

I have a confession. After the news was over, I grabbed the sign and ripped it up - apparently you can watch video of my sign rage in full glorious technicolour on the web. I lost my temper and I regret that. However, as I explained afterwards to the protesters who disrupted my broadcast, there are many opportunities to debate whether the troops should be out of Afghanistan without the need to stick a sign on a long pole and wave it in front of a camera.

I am a great believer in free speech but I also care passionately about being able to do my job reporting and analysing one of the most important political stories for years.


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Don't apologise! A little emotional outburst does us all good at times!

    We are all old enough to make our own minds up :-)

  • Comment number 2.

    News is so one dimensional in its presentation.
    Remember.... there is no connection between the stories.

  • Comment number 3.

    Ah, bless.

  • Comment number 4.

    Well at least you recognise it was unacceptable, and completely unprofessional - maybe you need to contact the organisers of the demo and make a personal apology to them. So maybe it was annoying - but you had no right to do what you did, and thankfully the demonstrator had better control of his emotions than you did. He had a valid point, given the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how poor and disadvantaged people here are now paying, yet again, for that - it's a pity you didn't stop and talk to him and find out why he was there, instead of treating him in the way you did.

  • Comment number 5.

    It looked like the whole situation at Parliament was getting a bit out of control yesterday. I see one of the protestors was actually up on the scaffolding filming you as well!

    As you say, you did lose your temper. But I'm sure there's a lot more to it than those protestors have posted on the internet, and in fairness they did get to wave their placard in front of the national news for a few minutes, which was I would hope what they were trying to do, rather than just pick a fight. At least they didn't make any spelling mistakes.

  • Comment number 6.

    As much as I applaud peoples right to free speech, there are times when they take it a bit too far. I personally get extremely annoyed when I am trying to concentrate on what a TV reporter, such as yourself, is saying, and all I can see is some stupid prat in the background, waving a sign.

    They were not invited onto the programme, instead they chose to gatecrash it. Therefore you did the right thing Nick and you have nothing to apologise for.

  • Comment number 7.


    No need to apologize, sir. As surely disruptive and irritating as you find it we who watch your broadcasts or indeed *any* such broadcasts find such hooliganism less than enjoyable. Thank you for dedication and professionalism. Would it were that Journalists in my own country were such paragons.


  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    Don't be disingenuous Nick.

    The film goes on to show you talking to the protesters, saying you have nothing to apologise for. Parliament Square isn't your private studio.

  • Comment number 10.

    You know what really pleases me. That you did this after the camera had stopped rolling. You were intensely frustrated by an idiot trying to stop you from doing your job and you carried on doing it anyway and only did anything daft once you'd finished. I know it's a strange concept but that's a thing called "professionalism" and it used to be valued by presenters of TV shows. Well done.

  • Comment number 11.

    8. At 3:11pm on 21 Oct 2010, folic86 wrote:
    I think what you mean to say Nick was that you were afraid it was damaging your beloved Tory party, and your partial and biased support of their policies.


    You're new round here aren't you?

    Haven't heard that old chestnut for months!

  • Comment number 12.

    It would have been a lot funnier if you had ripped up a placard protesting against the cuts.

  • Comment number 13.

    Seriously I am surprised it does not happen more often - I wonder how Adam Boulton will top that?

    I hope the thought police have not insisted on this latest post, in terms of losing it it is quite mild.

  • Comment number 14.

    I applaud your response. Completely professional on air and then responding as anyone would, and should in my opinion, off air.
    That said, the BBC could do with stopping all the open air stuff as it is becoming increasingly annoying to have mindless morons shouting over reporters like yourself who are just trying to do your job and inform the rest of us.
    I've seen the video and the guy who mad it is nothing more than an idiot who couldn't care less who he puts out in order to do what he wants. Little does he realise that this is what others believe Tony Blair did in taking us to war. Oh the irony of hypocrisy!

  • Comment number 15.

    completely understand your fustration nick!! There is a time and a place for protest! Mind you, by the sounds of it, your 'interviewer' sounded very intelligent. Probably shows the sorts that do this!!!

    Keep up your good reporting!

  • Comment number 16.

    Don't worry Nick, if anything it makes you appear more human! If only you'd showed the same passion on the Top Gear test track you might have gotten a better time :)

    P.S. Thanks a lot also to the mods for closing the previous blog whilst I was in the middle of replying as well. Hopefully when the BBC cuts come you'll all get replaced by some software that works ten times as fast with far more common sense.

  • Comment number 17.

    Nothing to apologise for Nick - it's heartening to see someone have some passion about his job. Let's get back to politics - there is plenty to blog about.

  • Comment number 18.

    I can see why he did it, it's understandable. It's also nice to see Nick apologising here.

    Though I agree with Justin at #9. If he's going to report in public spaces then he should expect people to take advantage of the coverage - particularly a political protester. If Nick doesn't want to be interupted then he should report from the studio.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Well done Nick for destroying that sign. I agree that expressing your views is what we want and it has been stifled over the last few years with all the anti terror legislation but really these people. Time and place!
    I would have done the same.
    For what it's worth I am not happy about what is happening in Afghanistan or Iraq.

  • Comment number 21.

    Nick I think you had an Andrew Marr moment (see comments on bloggers)! You also assaulted the banner carrier and damaged his property and you are admitting in in writing on this your blog. Sounds like 'bang-to-rights' m' lud! It is community service for you my son!

    But you did show regret and remorse so you know that you should not have acted in that way. Ask yourself the question about what if the banner said something else such as 'Bring Back Oliver Cromwell' or 'Remember Magna Carta' or 'More Pay for BBC Staff' - if you would have been so annoyed and taken such reckless and violent action?

    Might I suggest that the next time you could try humour rather than violence and that might have worked better. Try turning round and dancing with the banner waver perhaps. When you are performing in public you are in the same position as doing stand-up comedy and you might try some of their tricks! Do not take yourself too seriously!

  • Comment number 22.

  • Comment number 23.

    By the way why were there two BBC news teams at Nottingham today - getting in each others way?

    Is one from the Red Corner and the other from the Blue Corner? We expect to see a clean fight when the bell rights! No head butting or gouging!

  • Comment number 24.


  • Comment number 25.

    Rather gentle compared to J Prescott's impression of a prize fighter. Clearly cuts at the BBC must have prevented you having a well trained minder?

  • Comment number 26.

    I understand you have to apologise Nick, but they were being prats. I agree that we should be bringing the troops home but hijacking or disrupting a broadcast is a futile waste of time, its on the par with the fools who phone home to say they are on telly in the background.

  • Comment number 27.

    Why not use the BBC's Westminster studio instead of this open air temporary one? No protesters and saves license payers' money.

  • Comment number 28.

    Nick...If doing something makes you feel good and you are not some sort of wierdo (which you are not) then, it is 99% certain that it was a good and right thing to do. It also gave pleasure to the viewers who saw you rip up that idiot's banner.Well done.

  • Comment number 29.

    I reserved judgement until i saw the footage which was suprisingly hard to find.

    I dont have a problem with someone losing their temper after a hard and stressful day, we all have bad days, but i most definitely have a problem with you thinking you had done nothing wrong and in the footage you quite clearly state that!

    Since the government has banned legitimate protest in many areas around number 10 Parliament Square has become a regular place of protest of any kind and since the media rarely report on these protests with any regularity or detail people will use opportunities where they can find them to announce their cause.

    Parliament square does not belong to you, it does not belong to the BBC and quite honestly if you cant cope with someone waving a banner BEHIND you when broadcasting i dont know how you cope with the stress of a broadcasting job, he wasnt in your way and TV has a long history of people interrupting broadcasts.

    You came across as extremely arrogant, take your political broadcasting elswhere if you cannot cope with dealing with the public in a very public place, we dont need outside broadcasts anyway. Isnt destroying someones property an offence?

    If you want to be completeley up front publish the footage of what you did.

  • Comment number 30.

    Good luck to you Nick.

    As far as I'm concerned, no problem.

    There is a total lack of manners in the disunited kingdom and if this individual wants to conduct himself that way then I have no problem with you responding in similar style.

    I think a good many of us would like a just a few moments of natural reaction every now and then.

    (Totally leaving aside the issue of whether anyone should be risking their lives in support of this regime so they can be made redundant when they get back - that is not the issue here)

  • Comment number 31.

    Sorry Nick, not good enough. Destroying other people's property and saying sorry would not suffice in a court of law and besides is not good manners. With all your years of training you should be able to ignore hecklers and diversions - stand-up comedians and teachers do it all the time.

    The demonstrators were trying to get publicity and you certainly gave them that so thank you for that. And incidentally you confirmed that you have an unpleasant side, which is a shame.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    I agree with the political point the protestors were making.

    However, I also think that Nick has the right to get on with his work without his report being hijacked.

    To those who think he did wrong, I'd ask this: If he'd done the same thing to a placard which promoted racism, would you be rushing to condemn him?

  • Comment number 34.


    You have something of a reputation of being biased in favour of the Conservatives. No idea if it is a natural bias and I'm sure you don't do it deliberately with any view to using your position to further their party. However, it often comes across as a feeling when you are passing free comment (rather than reporting facts). I have always assumed it is just your personal opinions emerging (and I am 110% sure that were I to try and explain an independent view my own opinions would be blatantly clear to everybody - so I would do a far worse job than you in terms of personal bias).

  • Comment number 35.

    So it appears that the BBC are censoring mild criticism about your actions Nick, funny that.

    I think you were wrong and your apology disingenuous.

    Is that mild enough?

  • Comment number 36.

    Have to agree with the other people pointing it out - if you report from a public place then expect to actually have the public there. Doing whatever they're legally allowed to do in that public place.

    To put it on the other foot, how would you and your team have felt if after you broadcast someone came up and ripped the camera out of the cameraman's hands, smashed it on the ground, all in a rage because you were in his way as he wanted to walk across the public space?

    Other than the difference in price between a cardboard sign and a TV camera, that is exactly what you did in saying that your use of the public space was more valid and deserved more consideration than theirs.

    Yes, it's irritating when someone hijacks your broadcast (although they could have been far more intrusive), but if you honestly wanted an uninterrupted broadcast, you could have done it somewhere where you had full control of the environment... like one of the many studios I'm sure the BBC has.

    Pointless "on the scene" coverage is about as irritating as someone waving a placard IMO.

  • Comment number 37.

    34. At 4:27pm on 21 Oct 2010, DeimosL wrote:

    You have something of a reputation of being biased in favour of the Conservatives. No idea if it is a natural bias and I'm sure you don't do it deliberately with any view to using your position to further their party. However, it often comes across as a feeling when you are passing free comment (rather than reporting facts). I have always assumed it is just your personal opinions emerging (and I am 110% sure that were I to try and explain an independent view my own opinions would be blatantly clear to everybody - so I would do a far worse job than you in terms of personal bias).


    Actually if anything, Nick has a reputation (prior to the previous election) of being hard on the conservatives in this blog and ignoring anything unpleasent involving New Labour. It was a major discussion point for several months as to what Conservative issue the next blog was going to be about no matter what was going on at the time in government.

    Perhaps you'd like to explain where you think this reputation comes from rather than just making such claims. Actually don't tell me, its got something to do with the young conservatives.

    Also, surely a protest against the afgan situation is a protest against the actions of our previous government not the conservatives? Or, like the economy, have we decided to blame that on the tories too?

  • Comment number 38.

    Do these kind of broadcasts indoors?

  • Comment number 39.

    I don't post very often and do not get to see BBC news as often as I would like but Nick Robinson or any BBC political commentator biased in favour of the Conservatives - come on! Who are you kidding?

    The protestor last night had the right to protest (presumably) but did he/she have the right to interfere with an important broadcast, I would strongly suggest not.

    Anyway, do you not think that this is a 'storm in a teacup' and only serves to distract from the important story - the 'cuts' and at the same time gives the oxygen of publicity to this protestor.

    Why not close this message stream and get back to discussing the 'cuts'?

  • Comment number 40.

    It's no big deal - Don't forget what Malcolm Tucker said of himself... "I am not the story"!

    Anyway, you were kind enough to let me interview you at the Lib Dem Conference when you were in a rush, so you're a good egg in my book!

  • Comment number 41.

    I'm pretty certain there's more to this than we've seen either on the news or in the (heavily edited) youtube clip. As I said earlier, there was a protester on the scaffolding with a high quality camera who is the one we hear speaking on the footage. I'm thinking that there was quite a lot of provocation that went on before the newscast. I wonder whether the BBC have any footage of that to show? In any case we don't have anywhere the full story.

    I do agree that this would be a good point to re-evaluate if we really need to have so many news presenters stood outside.

  • Comment number 42.

    Evil Mole, promoting racism in this country is illegal, standing behind a braodcaster with a placard about the war is not - get a better argument.

  • Comment number 43.

    So free speech is only to be condoned if it doesn't interfere with the agenda of the BBC ? Much as I abhor the idiots who march around waving banners, not because they have great principles but because they have nothing better to do , it is not within your or the BBC's remit to deny them that right.

  • Comment number 44.

    Back to the 'cuts'.

    A way to save more money? Why not pay the redundancy pay for those workers that do lose their job, in line with the statutory minimum laid down by the government?

    Time was, public sector workers were lower paid. So, they were granted sweetheart pension deals (low employee contributions, early retirement, inflation proofing, final salary scheme) and generous redundancy packages.

    Then, time moved on and these folks had to be paid 'market wages' to attract the 'best' (no pun intended). However, when these rates were set they were not equalised with the private sector, where inflation proofed pensions are as rare as Labour's humility and redundancy tends to stick to government minimums.

    No these folks kept those perks and took the ever increasing dollops of cash that Gordon & Co took from our tax paying pockets (by the way how does spending ever larger amounts of money on wages equal 'investment in the public sector'?)

    So, Osbourne made a start with the pension contribution ( a start, no more!) now let's get real on redundancy payments - no more three years (yes 36 months) salary plus pension contributions made up for that period.

    More to follow

  • Comment number 45.

    It is in moments such as this that the 'impartial and balanced' facade drops and something closer to Nick's true views emerge. No bad thing in itself but do not then pretend that from now what we are getting from Robinson is fair and accurate reporting of political issues. He not only favours the established channels of communication and those who use them, he takes exception to those using other legitimate means of communication. Not what you would call a strength for a journalist.

  • Comment number 46.

    Good for you Nick. There is a time & place for everything. The people who constantly disrupt broadcasts by shouting, chanting or waving banners are only out to publicise themselves - "Look ma, I got on TV"

    If they want to make a point about war or anything else, do it correctly, after all, you do not walk up to them and wave your script in their face do you?

    Well done sir, and no need to apologise. They had it coming.

  • Comment number 47.

    Not very tolerant Nick. Hope you have re-imbursed the owner of the sign.

  • Comment number 48.

    Nick was directed to write this blog by BBC management

  • Comment number 49.

    Oh, you mean. YouTube - Nick Robinson looses it.

    That has to be the most mild "looses it" ever.

    It was a "looses it" that Alan Partridge would be proud of.

  • Comment number 50.

    Back to the cuts, again.

    Nick, I think we can all benefit if you tackle the Government on the settlement for the devolved assemblies. Why such small cuts? When Osbourne said he was going to squeeze the rich as well, did he only mean the English? Surely some of the folks in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have non-public sector jobs and can contribute? Don't they?

    Osbourne can't surely be doing it for votes! These Celts have been too long sucking at the government's teat to vote for anything that might dry up the milk and honey. So can you ask why? If Alex and Co. get their wish, they will one day have to stand on their own feet, so better they learn some economic realities now. Don't you think?

  • Comment number 51.

    @Neal C - can you define "legitimate means of communication" and how it relates to this incident.

    How about if it were for a cause you vehemently disagreed with?

  • Comment number 52.

    I suspect that what had really upset Nick was that his beloved Manchester United are now obviously in decline.

  • Comment number 53.

    "47. At 5:03pm on 21 Oct 2010, amiilldoctor wrote:
    Not very tolerant Nick. Hope you have re-imbursed the owner of the sign."

    Bamboo pole, bit of cardbaord and a chubby crayon ought to be enough to reimburse him.

    How about a BBC Appeal Day to raise the funds?

  • Comment number 54.

    Isn't this normal Bullingdon Club behaviour from what I have heard? They like to smash things up especially restaurant windows and fellow students rooms! You, Dave and Boris just have to relive your student days sometimes like the rest of us. Most however were probably better behaved than Bullingdon boys (aka ''Posh Hoodies?'')

  • Comment number 55.

    Bring the troops home NOW!

  • Comment number 56.


  • Comment number 57.

    The protestors sign behind Nick appears to say "British troops home now".

    As our troops have been in Germany since the end of WWII, it is indeed time for them to come home.

    Furthermore, it might be appropriate to withdraw them from other places aroud the world, especially where they are not welcome.

    Many years ago, we used to say "Make love, not war".

    It is still a good idea.

  • Comment number 58.

    Don't send Nick to report from France!

  • Comment number 59.

    Oh and bring the troops home now...

  • Comment number 60.

    Shows Nick is not as important as Simon Cowell, or is it a sign of the cuts at the BBC? Where were those overweight balding men who don't know how to smile?

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    Aww Nick, did the nasty man ruin your shot with his peaceful and valid political protest? It's awful when free speech disrupts the news isn't it? That's going too far if you ask me. If the BBC and other news gathering organisations don't want to risk those who aren't supported by a broadcaster, arrogantly hijacking a national broadcast to mediate their own message, then perhaps they should confine their analysis to the safe and closeted environs of the telly studio, rather than risking college green on a day when only a fool would imagine that people wouldn't be gathering to protest.

    The thing is Nick, this isn't about your ego, it's about the legitimate right of people who don't enjoy your direct link with the nation, making their voice heard. He wasn't shouting you down or holding up a silly or salacious message. What you did was arrogant and imbecilic. One might infer, based on this incident and your ill-advised intervention into your colleague's proposed protest over pension cuts that, gasp, might have disrupted the BBC's political coverage, that you care more about yourself than the political issues you're paid to analyse. In that event, I suggest you should make way for someone who's more interested in the story itself, rather than simply being a peripheral part of it.

    That man, though no doubt irritating, uneducated and senseless to you, deserves an on air apology. I wonder if you've got the integrity to do it.

  • Comment number 63.

    Could it be that your Tory a sympathies are coming to the fore Nick, afterall wasn't you the chairman of The Young Tories once?!

  • Comment number 64.

    Legendary performance Nick, great stuff.

  • Comment number 65.

    Normally I would not mind someone losing it, we all do, even Adam Bolton did it once, and I admired him for it. However in this instance, the banner was doing very little harm and those who are against the war, all too often, are denied a voice. Therefore I believe you were in the wrong. People in Britain are taking cuts to accommodate the cost of this war, therefore the subject of the banner was relevant to what you yourself were talking about. I would have thought better of you, if you had somehow incorporated the end the war campaign into what you were saying about cuts.

    Remember, the public may have spending cuts that effect their lives in some ways, but troops are dying for nothing a long way from home. This is far more important than anything you would be talking about.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    61 - This isn't a tax discussion forum so this is my last post on the subject as I answered your questions and it is clear you just aren't following.

    I guess it's you wanting to use the scheme, you sly thing you.....

    Best consult your own accountant. It's quite a common scheme. Fees about £25k upwards.

    I already said it works best for those paying 50% tax so clearly wouldn't be appropriate for someone earning £150k. Do please pay attention.

    "most tax is deducted by employers". Well, yes, on salaries tax is deducted but I explained that it was a loan from the EBT. Which isn't salary. So no tax is deducted at source. I did explain. The way you're carrying on anyone would think the subject was complicated and I actually was worth my salary.

    Hang about though.......... maybe you're trying to get as much information as possible so you could try and 'shop' the scheme to HMRC or write to your MP or something equally tedious.

    Go ahead, be a nice way for you to waste your time. HMRC are aware of the scheme and accept that it works. They only get antsy if you try and get a CT deduction but I've already said the way my firm runs the scheme we don't claim the CT deduction.

    If you google 'employee benefit trust' you get over 3 million hits. It's hardly exotic.

  • Comment number 68.

    Personally I prefer the Michael Crick one from Newsnight a few months ago...

  • Comment number 69.

    Well done Nick!

    If people have the 'right' to protest, other people must surely have the right to protest at their protest.

  • Comment number 70.

    When are the troops coming home, Nick, do you know?

  • Comment number 71.

    "If you were watching the 6 O'Clock News last night, you may have seen a "Troops Out" sign on a large pole being waved behind my head."

    Except it didn't say that, did it? It read 'CUT THE WAR, NOT THE POOR'.

    A thoughtful, timely protest about what we and others are reluctantly paying for.

  • Comment number 72.

    DistantTraveller - not if at the time they are on the clock in a proffessional capacity in a job where not reacting or showing bias is at a premium, i work for local government, if i had done this to someone working on a market i run i would have been suspended awaiting investigation.

  • Comment number 73.

    30. jon112dk wrote:
    '(Totally leaving aside the issue of whether anyone should be risking their lives in support of this regime so they can be made redundant when they get back - that is not the issue here)'

    They're actually keeping terror off our streets jon, nothing to do with supporting this government. At least I think that was the last message your lot and this current mob were peddling. Or is it still al Qaeda? Democracy for Afghanistan? More schools? Destroy the Poppy fields? Keep Karzai in a job?

    Cost so far: £11.1bn.
    Cost this year: ±£3bn
    Afghani deaths: projected ±100,000 (Oct 2010)

    Could have paid for the two floating white elephants your man signed off on. The ones no-one outside of Fife wanted. With change spare to make a dent in the deficit. Saved jobs. And lives.

  • Comment number 74.

    "Except it didn't say that, did it? It read 'CUT THE WAR, NOT THE POOR'.

    A thoughtful, timely protest about what we and others are reluctantly paying for."

    I wonder if anyone's got any old "JOBS NOT BOMBS" placards from the early 80's lying around in their shed. Saga? Could be time to dust them off and start waving them again.

  • Comment number 75.

    Censorship of criticism. You people at the BBC should be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves. Cowardly and deceitful.

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.


    There is no need to apologise, either here or anywhere else. I applaud your restraint. In your place I would have returned the yob's sign to him in such a way as to ensure that he stood and walked completely upright for some considerable time.

  • Comment number 78.

    # 71 Centumvir

    If you look at the longer version, you will see the placard said "Bring our troops home now". The reverse side said 'Cut the war, not the poor'. Actually irrelevant either way.

    # 72 mellie

    Don't agree I'm afraid. It's nothing to do with 'not showing bias'. Nick Robinson was trying to do his job and these 'protesters' were causing a disruption.

    The war / the cuts etc are a matter for the government, which is where the protesters should direct their comments - not the BBC. The protesters were simply trying to disrupt the programme.

  • Comment number 79.

    I wonder if you would have apologised on your Blog if your rage hadn't been captured on video?
    Only you can answer that Nick?

  • Comment number 80.

    Ponder this Nick ..........

    It is the soldier, not the reporter
    Who has given us freedom of the press.
    ...........[remainder removed for brevity] ....

    (Lines written by Father Dennis Edward O’Brien
    United States Marine Corps)

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    You don't have anything to apologise for Nick, I can well imagine how annoying those protesters can be when you deal with them day in and day out. Their juvenile protests would test anyones patience. Seems as if they only believe in free speech when they're the ones doing the speaking!

  • Comment number 83.

    Nick , the protestors did not disrupt your broadcast, you disrupted their legitimate street demonstration. Your commentary is disingenuous, you were the one in front of a camera, you can say what you like but if you want to control the background in which you appear then film in a studio, not in a shared space like the street.

  • Comment number 84.

    Good for you. Nothing to be ashamed about. However worthy the cause, waved placards behind reporters are an unwanted distraction. Perhaps the BBC needs to start doing pieces to camera from the roof of 4 Millbank, or something? Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 85.

    The protestors sign behind Nick appears to say "British troops home now".

    But the question must be asked, do they want to come home from their cosy barracks in Germany to some of the appalling military accomodation that we have seen in the media.

    A couple of decades ago, when this blogger was involved with the military, there was an unspoken thing called the 'Military Covenant', which Government was honour bound to obey and it basically meant doing the right thing by 'our lads'.

    Even back then, it seemed a bit frayed around the edges but today one might easily conclude that the covenant has been completely broken by disreputable politicians and their proxies in the MoD.

  • Comment number 86.

    Don't think you're going to get away with it that easily Nick.

    Another case of TV egos being exposed for their pompousity and general disconnect from real life.

    You do not have a divine right to broadcast where you want without the public being free to express themselves how they want within the law. Go somewhere private if necessary.

    You are offically in the Kay Burley and Adam Boulton club of media divas. Can you tell what all these "broadcasters" have in common?

  • Comment number 87.

    79. celticnightjar

    BBC Democracy in action. If you don't like it - destroy it.

  • Comment number 88.

    Protesters trying to disrupt a TV broadcast (even in a studio) is nothing new.

    Remember how Sue Lawley handled it on the Six o'clock News in 1988...

    Perhaps those criticising Nick Robinson believe that anyone with a point to make should be allowed to disrupt a broadcast in the name of free speech... But protesters cannot expect freedom to be a one way street. Licence fee payers also have rights, in this case to watch the news without interruption.

  • Comment number 89.

    #65 Susan Croft (and others!)

    I think you’ll find that the majority of cost of the war is coming out of the defence budget.

    That is why the Armed Forces have problems now, no real additional funding was provided, so the money came out of defence pot. First things to go were housing and building repairs, entitlements were cut, training was cut. Next, the Armed Forces started to withdraw equipment, men, ships, tanks, aircraft, that kind of thing. OK short term, but not manageable over a period of, lets say 1998 –2010. I remember being told to “provide engineering solutions to supply problems”. Work that one out, if you can.

    Finally, that expensively educated PM of ours kicked them in the gonads and has just stripped them of an additional load of equipment. I hope you don’t find yourself needing SAR assets on the high seas, or even the mountains of Britain. Very soon, you won’t have any available. Bit of a problem if you’re bleeding to death on a hillside. Bit of a problem if you’re a pregnant woman stuck in some farmhouse out in the sticks midwinter, and you need Hospital treatment.

    Air power – massively reduced.
    Airborne anti-submarine capability – nil!
    Ship-borne strike / attack ability – soon to be nil.
    Airborne reconnaissance capability - soon to be reduced to next to nothing.
    There’s more, and it’s bad – very bad!

    I haven’t looked fully into the RN and British Army cuts yet, but the consequences will be just as bad. I’ll let you know when I have.

    As for the men and women who have put up with this constant rate of cutting. Well, there’re just sticking their necks out so the man can wave his banner on Parliament Square, or you can post quite freely on here! Some are killed, more are injured, often very badly. Good job Joe Public is charitable, eh, Haig Fund, Help for Heroes, Leonard Cheshire Homes, BLESSMA, St Dunstans, ABF, RAFBF, and quite a few more, yet practically nothing from the Government, neither this one nor the last.

    Oh, and they’ve had their wages frozen to boot, well, those of them that have got boots!

    Still, wait until you next need MACC, MACP or MACD. Be a different matter then, won’t it?

  • Comment number 90.

    67. andyc5555
    'shop' the scheme to HMRC or write to your MP.
    ----------------- andy. thats not my style at all. just interseted as its a v small part of something ive been asked to do.

  • Comment number 91.


    I've just seen the video of your close encounter with the democratic protester, and quite frankly you look ridiculous !

    You'd finished the broadcast, the background was otherwise an unlit view of some buildings in the dark. So what if a protester was waving a placard behind you ? This type of thing goes with the territory I'm afraid ....

  • Comment number 92.

    I totally back up what you did and you should be able to report on what is a very important time and not be interrupted whilst giving that report at such an important time. I find your reports both informative and very well presented and I was put off during this one, maybe you can donate the wood to George Osborne so he can pass it onto the poor so they can heat their homes this winter.

  • Comment number 93.

    Indoor studios were invented to allow journalists to
    "do my job reporting and analysing one of the most important political stories for years."
    If you had actually wanted to report the story that is what you would used, outdoor filming was just show-business.

  • Comment number 94.

    I only wished Nick Robinson had done it early as it disrupted the broadcast. Just because the protester put a remotely political point on it does not mean that he has a right to disrupt someone else's work. The anti-war demonstrations get routinely reported on in the news. I take it that people who support the protester also believe that all other disruptions to outside broadcasts such as people saying "hello mum" should be allowed in the name of free speech?

    Perhaps Nick Robinson should disrupt the anti-war marches in the name of free speech. I bet the protesters wouldn't like that.

    I agree with Nick. Give that protester an ASBO!

  • Comment number 95.

    Sounds a bit of a fiddle to me, Andy. Surprised you get away with that.

  • Comment number 96.

    I agree with the protestor. British troops should come home now.

    I also agree with Nick. There was no need to disrupt his live broadcast, on one of the biggest stories in years.

    So we know what happened to the sign, thanks to Nicks confession...
    But I wonder what happened to the pole...?

  • Comment number 97.

    It would appear our intrepid Reporter has gone Gonzo; next stop France.

  • Comment number 98.

    "maybe you can donate the wood to George Osborne so he can pass it onto the poor so they can heat their homes this winter" @ 92

    Mmm. He'd do it too. Anything to grow his profile ... the "GO" brand. A cult of personality is developing around Osborne, I fear, and it's not healthy.

  • Comment number 99.

    I think you did the right thing. I couldn't even concentrate on your report because of the idiot with the sign in the background.

    It is a shame the 'protestor' has nothing better to do with his life (no job? no family? no friends?) than camp outside parliament for years and years pretending he gives a damn about our brave troops. He's only interested in raising his own profile.

  • Comment number 100.

    I have never liked the phrase 'I have a job to do'. It has been used too many times in the past to do nasty things and even to glory in doing them. A job should never be more important than other human beings. Having said that, the situation could open up a number of philosophical debates. Were you right to damage his property? Had he already damaged your (the BBC's and our)property? Was that not real live television - even live news that people tried hard to capture?


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