Is there a news black out on the BBC about the EU?

 

            The debate we held on Wednesday evening was a crucial one. It was about the EU’s plan for a complete change to our Corporation Tax system. We widened the debate into one about sovereignty and why the government does n to simply say “no” to radical tax changes. I heard no mention of the proposals or the debate on the media.

            There was one bit of good news yesterday. Newsnight did run a debate on the Euro criss, and George Osborne did seem to rule out the UK making any contribution to a further Greek bail out, which was excellent news.

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53 Comments

  1. Johnj
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Because in all but name It is the ‘EUBC’ John!.

  2. lifelogic
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Yes there clearly must be. I assume Lord Patten was put there, by Cameron, just to make sure this continued. Mind you Osborne did not mention that he can do little about the mad employment laws due to the EU. So his review will be largely a pointless waste of public money, without any EU reform, I would predict.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 13, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      You say “George Osborne did seem to rule out the UK making any contribution to a further Greek bail”.

      Yes but Liberals did seem to promise an EU referendum and Cameron seemed to too and gave a cast iron guarantee of something I recall.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 13, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      How exactly does the BBC keep all their programs and staff so on message politically do they all have electric shock dog collars if they move off message. Surely there must be internal document we can get hold of under the “freedom of information act” that explains how this pro green, pro EU big government line is maintained with such ruthless efficiency.

      It is also always amusing to watch how they seem to arrange things for the screen too and questions/discussions. A female engineer/scientist here – tick, someone in a turban there tick – some one in a wheel chair there tick, now where has that Muslim woman gone and rich white uncaring businessman here for them all to hiss at.

      The way any discussion on Newsnight is also pre-framed before any free discussion by the “BBC think” is allowed is totally absurd.

      Reply: The Today programme this morning cancelled an item they wanted me to help with, and put in an interview on nations reclaiming their borders from EU control- the BBC questions came from the viewpoint that this would cause chaos and trouble, not that it was a welcome small move towards greater national democratic control of an important issue.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        I imagine that the over payment and pensioning of the top BBC staff by a factor of about 4 relative to market rates helps to keep them all in line politically.

      • Kenneth
        Posted May 14, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        I don’t think it is a conspiracy. That would be fairly simple to deal with.

        I think it is much worse than that. It is a mindset. It is a culture. Recruitment practice must have something to do with it but, like any workplace, it is very hard not to be overwhelmed by the general culture of the place. It is easier to ‘fit in’ than to rebel.

        That said, it was rather sinister to see that today’s Rally Against Debt has hardly been covered at all by the BBC when the rally against cuts a few weeks ago was not just extensively covered, it was actually promoted beforehand with the BBC news web page telling people which tube stations to meet at!

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        To the reply:

        No the BBC attacks almost every political or news issue from totally the wrong, Guardian type direction. Even when they do have someone from the sensible side of an argument they tend to choose someone a bit extreme in order to give an easy target to the 2 or 3 Guardian/BBC viewpoint others to attack.

        The Desert Island pod cast archives are very good though – but even there you get the big government, anti science, pro EU, equality/discrimination, green agenda coming through strongly.

        • Simon
          Posted May 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          I tried to engage some of the people making comments on the Guardian website .

          Turned out to be a waste of time . What surprised me the most is their attitude towards democracy – they really do want a single party system !

          They have their viewpoint and don’t care for it to be challenged .

          Cannot say that the paper isn’t giving their customers exactly what they want even if by doing so it has reduced itself to the level of the Daily Mail .

          There are left wing intellectuals in the UK but that is clearly not the audience the Guardian is catering for .

          • lifelogic
            Posted May 18, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            No they cater for a very few young lefty students who have a chip on their shoulders.

    • Simon
      Posted May 13, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Am I the only one who finds it a patronising that we are having employment laws reviewed by someone who has never had to get a proper job or recruit anyone for one ?

      Surely there must be one person in the cabinet qualified to carry out this review ?

  3. NickW
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The interesting question for the whole of Europe is whether or not Ireland and Portugal will be forced to contribute to Greece’s bailout.

    If they are, it may prove the last straw for the people of Ireland, Portugal and perhaps Finland; if they aren’t, it may prove the last straw for the people of Germany, for whom the penny must soon drop that the last man standing bails everyone else out.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 13, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      A very pertinent observation which had not occured to me. If I may, well thought out!

  4. Robert Eve
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    John – what do you expect from the BBC?

  5. Damien
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    However George Osborne was quite clear that the UK was signed up by Labour to the EU Financial rescue mechanism used to bailout Portugal and Ireland. The new terms for Greece with another £25 billions will mean that Portugal and Ireland will expect further advances to their original ‘down payment’ from the EU finance package.

    The coalition is implementing billions of pounds savings which are/have been diverted to the above profligate countries and will continue unless the the Chancellor comes out now in advance and makes it clear that Ireland and Portugal can expect no further UK cash transfers.

    Today brent crude is again over £114 and this persistently high price is taking it toll, a tax if you will on individuals and industry in the UK.

  6. English Pensioner
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Because, as you say, there is rarely any mention of EU matters on the BBC or in the newspapers, I have now given up buying a newspaper on a daily basis, and rarely watch the BBC for anything other than the latest headlines.
    I now prefer reading blogs on the web which provide more information about what is happening than the old fashioned media. Yes, I know most bloggers are biased, but at least one knows their bias, unlike the BBC which is clearly biased, but insists it is impartial.
    With no news form the BBC, it is people like yourself, Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan who are now my preferred sources for information as to what is happening in the EU. Don’t give up!

    • Norman Dee
      Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes Carswell and Hannan are good sources of information, but be assured it is only one way. when seriously questioned on real action, they lose interest quickly and you will find your question ignored or receive a flippant reply, I am afraid these guys just enjoy the attention, and you are pandering to their egos when you write to them, and if you praise them then their day is made, but do anything ? risk the job pay and perks? forget it, you’re on your own.

  7. David Williams
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    There is saturation European coverage on BBC this week! #eurovision #weep #bread&circus

  8. oldtimer
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I am not surprised. I now find that there are better places to discover what is happening in the world than the version of events selected by the BBC. Sky News is better on business news and the Euro debt crisis (it gets a regular airing on Geoff Randall Live) and has been informative on the Middle East. AlJazeera offers varied insights and opinions on ME developments and does a good roundup of international stories. When returning from these and other satellite broadcasters to the BBC, the latter offers a very parochial and limited perspective.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    “Is there a news black out on the BBC about the EU”

    Only if it concerns people trying to do something about reducing their powers and getting some control back into UK hands.

    Selective reporting/non reporting again, with a Socialist agenda.

    Sadly it is not only the BBCat fault.

  10. Sue
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The BBC is very PRO-EU and never transmits anything to do with a negative response unless it has to!

  11. EJT
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Call me a cynic, but. “Seemed to rule out” . Politician speak for wanting to appear to say X, whilst actually meaning .not.X ?

  12. forthurst
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    “Is there a news black out on the BBC?” The purpose of the Ministry of Truth is to ensure that only information thought beneficial to the public good is released into the public domain. The Memory Hole exists to swallow reports of disturbing or contradictory information to ensure a consistent narrative of progress concerning our benefactors in Brussels, the never-to-end War on Terror, the enrichment of our country and, of course, saving the planet.

  13. Javelin
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Politically biased BBC … “Tax=Good, Cut=bad”

  14. Coney Island
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Well, with the Schengen agreement being torn up by the French and voted down by 15 member states, it seems the EU is in trouble. Then there’s Greece. Ah yes; that poor little country that won the lottery…err, was given entry to the EU and went on a spending spree it couldn’t afford. Maybe the EU, like the Berlin wall, will just be taken down one day and we can all go back to enjoying cheap holidays in the sun.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      If the French can tear up Schengen, you would think we could tear up some of the more nonsensical stuff

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Like membership for example.

    • APL
      Posted May 14, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Coney Island: “[Greece] .. went on a spending spree it couldn’t afford”

      There is much to suggest that Greek politicians knew they couldn’t afford and were not only not satisfied with the extra money they got from the EU, but colluded with certain well known international financial organization to hide their excessive spending through much financial trickery.

  15. Martin
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    As you implied Newsnight was a bit better than usual until that silly personality stuff at the end of the piece. I do wish however the media in general was not so superficial.

  16. Bob
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Are the BBC receiving any financial assistance from the EU which would act as an incentive for them to cover up any negative EU related issues?

    If so, I think we should be told.

  17. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I hope he rules out bail outs altogether. It is a mystery why Osborne did not refuse to endorse Darling’s agreeing to the Eurofund when he effectively was out of office. There should be an inquiry or impeachment to determine the full story behind this because it is a very serious issue that seems to have been swept under the Westminster carpet to the detriment of the British taxpayers for years to come.

  18. Michael McGrath
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Could you please outline the substance of the proposed changes?

  19. Tim
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    The BBC never reports or criticises its much loved EU as they are full members of the left leaning Guardianistas. The first thing is this loathsome corporation should be privatised and then if people want to listen to the left view they can pay for it. We shouldn’t have to pay the License tax.
    The EU costs us £10 billion net each year and a further £9 billion to administer its laws and directives. We had a trade deficit of £42 billions last year and £262 billion over the last 10 years. It has destroyed our fishing industry and we subsidise foreign farmers through the CAP which vastly inflates our food prices. This all supports our competitors through English taxation. Appalling. We should be given a vote to leave this abominal undemocratic organisation……….then there’s the £9 billion foreign aid budget. When are our leaders going to look after OUR National interest.

  20. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    The euro is facing melt down in Greece. Occasionally pictures like Syria or Libya come to the paper or blogs from Athens. Even the BBC showed one yesterday.
    But you are so right. The EU is mostly never mentioned. Is this because a secret government gag is in force? Is it because the people at the top of the BBC are hoping to get something out of their silence. I am baffled.

  21. John Wilkinson
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes Euromillions pour into the BBC each year as the licence fee isn’t enough to cover their profligacy.

    • sm
      Posted May 14, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Please tell us more if you the details to hand?

    • sjb
      Posted May 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      John Wilkinson asserts “Euromillions pour into the BBC each year”, but I could find nothing to support this claim in the BBC’s most recent audited Financial Statement.

      For 2009/10, licence fee income was £3.4 billion. Other income of £1.3 billion came from the following: goods (e.g. magazines, books, dvds); rights licensing; royalties; rental income; grants from government such as funding for the monitoring service at Caversham (e.g. during the Cold War when Radio Moscow switched from scheduled programmes to broadcasting solemn music it was a good sign that their leader had died … Brehznev … Andropov … Chernenko).
      http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/annualreport/pdf/bbc_ar_online_2009_10.pdf
      (see pages 11 & 18)

  22. Woodsy42
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Yes – unless it’s pro EU propaganda.

  23. REPay
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I was expecting Today in Parliament to cover this but no!

    The BBC spent a whole day on reporting the non-government policy of “allowing the rich to buy university places”…which was the Guardian’s editorialization of a remark by Willetts rather than an actual policy submission. I love the BBC but its political bias gets ever worse…

  24. lojolondon
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    One of the areas where David Cameron could have made an immediate impact on democracy in the UK is in the BBC.
    The BBC is pro-Labour, pro-Global Warming scam and pro-EU. The messages are repeated every where without respite, from the loaded rent-a-crowd at Question Time to the subjects that are covered and the small jokes they crack in the One Show.
    Dave is missing a great opportunity to re-focus the BBC, cancel the outrageously expensive ‘move to the North’ (which is a massive attempt to ensure that the BBC is even more Labour, forever) and make the BBC an honest, independent supplier of news.
    The BBC has lost it’s reputation for honesty, and the best thing that can happen is to cancel the licence fee and make the BBC earn it’s way in the real world.

  25. Kenneth
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    GOVERNORS’ REPORT ON BBC NEWS COVERAGE OF THE EU, January 2005

    BBC Response

    “We are pleased that the group has concluded that there is no deliberate bias in our reporting of the European Union.

    However, we need to consider carefully their view that ‘there is a perception of cultural and unintentional bias’ in some of our coverage.

    We agree that the subject of Europe is extremely complex and challenging and one where we need to review any weaknesses and develop a stronger creative response.”

    Six years hence and we are still waiting for the BBC to implement the remedies and recommendations from this report.

  26. electro-kevin
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    “George Osborne did seem to rule out the UK making any contribution to a further Greek bail out, which was excellent news.”

    This commitment from the Chancellor is the most important part of this story. I’m as keen as you are to have it reported somewhere.

    Regardless of our opt outs we are in the EU so we shall pay.

  27. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    You wrote too soon, today the BBC has been full of the growth figures from the Eurozone countries and contrasting them to those of the UK.

  28. Jon Burgess
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    ‘did seem to rule out the UK making any contribution to a further Greek bail out’

    Hmmn, we’ll just see what actually happens then, but don’t be surprised if this turns out not to be the case…

    Do you honestly believe him then?

    Reply: I have no reason to disbelieve him, but I also know that the UK governemnt is not in sole charge of its own destiny on these European matters.

    • A David H
      Posted May 15, 2011 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      Could you explain why the UK government is not in control of these matters affecting the UK and who is and why, please?

  29. Norman Dee
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    John, you responded on your recent “Euro Crisis” blog to a question from me about the potential for all the 40 known sceptics, combined with any other willing MP’s to threaten a government majority on a vote. Your response was to say that you have voted against the government on EU matters and lost, I don’t know if you saw it but I did post a response to your response, and I copy it here,

    “No John you miss the point, if all the 40 and a few Nationalists, and other parties, and some Lib dems were to vote down ANY government bill not necessarily a EU bill. You have to fight dirty, you are up against a very dirty opposition in Europe.
    You have to do it on bills you know you can vote the government down, there’s no rules here, it’s our survival as a nation we cannot afford to “play the game”.”

    As we are discussing the EU again could you respond this time to my follow up.

    Reply: Such a coalition may arise on a non EU Bill, but it will be interpeted as a defeat for that Bill and lead to changes to that Bill, not changes to the EU policy. After all, in such a coalition most of those voting against the governemnt want more EU and would vote accordingly.

    • Norman Dee
      Posted May 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      No it wouldn’t be interpreted as anything other than the group using the ability to vote down the bill as a threat to the PM. It’s a clear concept,” if you don’t give us the promised referendum you will lose the bill and it will lead to a confidence vote which you may also lose, if, if we don’t get our way on Europe”

  30. Alte Fritz
    Posted May 14, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Thirty five years ago a Labour supporting friend called it the B*gg*r Britain Conspiracy. The missing word is not ‘Bigger’.

  31. rose
    Posted May 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I heard some news about the EU on BBC radio 4 yesterday: it was that countries in the Eurozone had better growth rates than we had and were pulling out of the recession, unlike beleaguered us. One had to listen quite carefully to deduce it was less-indebted Germany they meant.

    • sjb
      Posted May 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Comparing Q1 2011 with Q4 2010, eight Eurozone countries had higher growth rates than the UK: Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece (surprised me, too), Netherlands, and Slovakia.

      Comparing the situation with a year ago (viz. Q1 2011 with Q1 2010), seven Eurozone countries had higher growth rates than the UK: Austria (4%), Belgium (3%), Finland (5.2%), France (2.2%), Germany (4.8%), Netherlands (3.2%), and Slovakia (3.6%). Please note that Estonia (8%) has been omitted from the list because it only joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2011.
      http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/2-13052011-AP/EN/2-13052011-AP-EN.PDF

      • rose
        Posted May 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        So the BBC implies it is membership of the Euro which is the common denominator here, and makes that the headline.

  32. Bazman
    Posted May 15, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    A collection of satisfied SKY subscribers who are happy with their ‘choice’.

  33. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    The really good news would have been if George Osborne had urged Greece to leave the Euro zone. The BBC would have reported that!

  • 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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