CBI/BBC

The BBC headline today says the CBI thinks we are past the worst of the recession.,
I thought this unlikely so I read their press release.
Its headline states “UK manufacturers suffer worst fall in demand”. It went on to say they “expect the pace of decline to moderate slightly”.
The other words were in there, but set in the context that the CBI thinks the recession will get worse, with further falls in output and jobs. What spin!

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23 Comments

  1. Waramess
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Well, the budget says it all really, doesn’t it?

    When (if) the Tories take power they willl have to CUT the size of government, and drastically, and make it quite clear there will be no more bank bailouts, under any circumstances.

    Funny how good common sense eventually comes to prevail. isn’t it?

  2. a-tracy
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t be pleased about this if I were in the CBI because they must realise it looks badly on them for the BBC to misrepresent the situation businesses are in presently.

  3. mikestallard
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Generally speaking the Labour party seems to think that things will, as they say, only get better. They will return to “normal” very soon, just in time for the election.
    The Conservatives, on the other hand, can see only doom and gloom.
    And, actually, there are very good reasons for all this. If just one nationalised bank collapses, as our host said…..
    If the Conservatives are going to win the next election, however, they must present themselves as the party of hope.
    This could be difficult. But without it, they will face another defeat.

    • Emil
      Posted April 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      I’d say the Conservatives are displaying realism, whilst Darling is living on fantasy island, but not surprised you’ve swallowed the government sponsored media line.

      Had the Tories completely broken TWO manifesto pledges (referendum and higher rate tax) the MSM would be in full throttle attack mode, instead of the tumbleweed, mixed with pollyanna, reporting.

  4. Stuart Fairney
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    A fair point well-made.

    Is anyone surprised as to the hopelessly partisan nature of the news coverage?

    Without wishing to sound like a broken record, you have to privatise them.

    Why fund your enemies?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 24, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Because the privately owned media offer impartial and accurate reports?

      I’d be content if the BBC just complied with the terms of its Charter, which I suspect may be even legally enforceable if there was any organisation with the resources to chase them up over their constant breaches.

      • adam
        Posted April 25, 2009 at 1:59 am | Permalink

        There is no such thing as impartial.
        BBC news offers nothing than sky does not. They use the same press agencies and wires for their news.

        Its an outrage the way the system works now. we need a William Wilberforce to fee us from the shackles of the socialist ‘tv licence’

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted April 25, 2009 at 5:16 am | Permalink

        No, not at all. I just choose which one I pay for, or not.

        Unlike the BBC

  5. Bernard Dugdale
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    John, if you’ll forgive a bit of slightly juicy language, an old colleague once said to me “Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by cock-up”.

    Most commentators on our news broadcasters show no understanding of numbers at all, that’s even more true of statistics, and if they have a a couple of conflicting indicators to wrestle with, well frankly it might as well be in Bulgarian.

    I suspect the person who wrote the article simply didn’t understand the nuance of what the CBI said.

    I hope I’m right, I’d hate to think it was deliberate!

  6. Cliff.
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    John:

    Would you kindly explain to us all, what the difference is between spin and lies, because in my view, the two words appear to be interchangable in relation to Labour and the BBC.

    • figurewizard
      Posted April 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      This government considers the UK’s cashflow crisis to be so bad that it justifys implementing a 50% tax rate on high earners, in clear breach of a manifesto pledge. Is it now equally justifiable for an enterprising MP to introduce a private member’s bill to the House for a similar tax on liars?

    • Adrian Peirson
      Posted April 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Lying is when you or I use ‘spin’ when we have been found out Lying,

      Spin is when Politicians get caught Lying.

      It’s very similar to sleaze, when you or I get caught involved in Fraud, it’s Fraud, when a Politician does it they give it a word that doesn’t sound as bad, or as criminal, like sleaze, sounds a bit dishonest but doesn’t sound Criminally fraudulent.

      Somethings like the 1.2 million Iraqi’s dead since we invaded are so Horrible that the Psyops people advising on Govt ‘spin’ have decided that it is best not to mention the figures at all, which is why the BBC just say the words ‘thousands’ or tens of thousands.

      The Use of Language is very important to Government and the BBC. it’s use can shape or at least temper / modify our perceived reality.

      There are Some very clever people working behind the scenes in Whitehall and in the Media.

  7. Adrian Peirson
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    By Controlling the Language, you can shape peoples preception of the reality around them, yes it’s spin.

  8. David Burch
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is so desparate to ensure the successful return of a Labour government they get a bit over obvious at times.

    That was one of their gaffs, however the most obvious is the one where they only mention the upcoming General Election in passing where as in the past they have nearly forced the PM to declare an election before they were ready.

    They know this time Brown is doomed so the One Show has articles on the rise of socialism and the BBC news tries to link the word “cuts” to the word “Conservative” again.

    A prime case for privatisation, but keep it quiet!

  9. Peter Turner
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Bernard Dugdale

    I don’t think it was a cock-up. I think it was deliberate and typical of the BBC. Do not forget, the BBC employs far too many staff for them all to be ignorant.

    • Neil Craig
      Posted April 24, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      I think you are wrong Bernard. Had it been purely ignorance the newswriter would just have reused the headline. In fact what they did required them to have read the full article to find a line which could be semi-credibly twisted.

      In this case they, went over the line & were also factually wrong but quite often you will see words used which are clearly misleading but factually not quite wrong & in such cases innocent error is not credible. The other thing is that errors are, by theor nature, relatively random & we should thus see the BBC mistakenly saying nice things about the Conservatives, Serbs. nuclear engineers, global warming sceptics etc as about the other side.

  10. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    The BBC trying to make things look better for Labour, Nothing new there then.

  11. Jason
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I think the 1.9% drop in GDP will put to rest any claims to seeing green shoots. Coupled with the recent 4 point drop in gilts – signaling higher interest rates in the future, and the ridiculous spending commitments of these lunatics who sit in power which mean higher taxes, already and in the future – lead me to believe that any green shoots that do emerge will be overrun by weeds of critical errors being made now and starved of the oxygen and water they need to breathe and grow.

  12. alan
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood.

    I hope your experiences of the BBC and their continual ‘grilling’ of Tory spokespeople and the smooth dealings with Government Ministers etc. Plus, of course, anything said by Saint Vince of Cable Street! Will, hopefully, ensure that the BBC is culled by the Tory Administration, when elected.

    They are all paid far too much. The only article missing from women newsreaders(that is all the do…read…) these days is a tiara! They all need to be reminded that they are journalists and not ‘stars’

    Your job will be made far more difficult with the BBC, as they are today and the large number of quango’s etc filled by Labour placemen and women. You have to get the long knives out for these people.

    The Tories will have to be absolutely ruthless and objective. The NHS and the plethora of quango’s and administrators should be the first to feel the heat.

    I wish you every success.

  13. Graham Eardley
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Like the people when the First World War started who said “it will all be over by Christmas”. What they meant was Christmas in four years time.

    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose

  14. oldrightie
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Without The BBC propaganda and Murdoch’s support, Labour would havel lost in 2005. Without that support now their poll rating would be below 20%. That it is as low as 27% shows the strength of feeling against them.

  15. sm
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    A relatively painless £4bn, compared to other areas nurses etc, to help pay just the ”interest” on the financial blackhole.

    Achieved by a move to encryption and subscription for those that choose, perhaps a small subsidy for public obligations put out to tender or similar.

  16. Grant
    Posted April 25, 2009 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Typical lying by the BBC desperate to keep this lousy government in power. I hope the next Conservative government will scrap the TV licence fee and flog off the beeb, if it is not already past its sell-by date.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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