BBC Analysis and the possible exit of Greece from the Euro – a very poor programme

 

           BBC’s Analysis revisted the issue of Greece leaving the Euro zone last night. It was a topical and sensible decision to make such a programme. It is just a pity it was so poorly researched, offering so much time to people who think the exit of Greece is both illegal and likely to prove disastrous.

           The BBC implied that leaving currency unions has been very rare. Why haven’t they studied the 70 plus exits since 1945? Why didn’t they just revisit their archives and discover how common it has been? Why did they say they could only think of the split of the Czech Republic from Slovakia where they also split currencies? Why didn’t they remember the break up of  the 20 member rouble zone? Why not the successful departure of Ireland from the sterling area? Why not the general break up of the sterling and French franc areas?

          The BBC made out that it would very complicated to switch money and contracts from one currency to another. If they had studied the large number of exits from currency unions they might have thought differently. If they had  remembered that all the same complications existed when the 17 member states currencies were scrapped on entry into the Euro, yet this happened easily. I do not recall them issuing such warnings when Germany scrapped the DM and France the franc.

             They gave great air time to the notion that it would be illegal to leave the Euro. This, they argued would mean Greece would have to leave the EU, and then would find it more difficult to trade with the EU. Why should either of those two things happen? Presumably the rest of the EU would still want Greece to buy their products.  Greece and the rest of the EU would still be bound by international trading rules.

                     Why would they seek to evict Greece from the EU if all agreed she just needed to withdraw from the Euro and did not also wish to leave the Union? Why didn’t the BBC consider the proposal I have published for Greece to become an “applicant” to rejoin the Euro, but only if and when she met all the requirements in terms of state debt, inflation, currency variation and budget deficit? There are 10 EU members who are not Euro members – most are so called applicants to join. This gives plenty of legal cover. When did France and Germany last worry about the legality of mechanisms to fix the Euro? What was the legal base of the first EU bail out fund?

               The BBC’s journalists made heavy weather of the relatively straightforward idea that Greece should have her own currency back. They did cite the view that maybe Greece would export more from outside the Euro, but gave this little voice and made it sound silly because they went so heavy handed on the legalities and complexities. Time to think again, BBC. The UK public does not share your EU enthusiasms, so it is time to be more careful in your reporting – especially over the facts which you mangled last night on the break up of currency unions.

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128 Comments

  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I listened to the entire programme and I must say that I agree with your very thorough analysis.

    EU good: Eurosceptic bad.

    Afterwards, I listened to the nice little fellow’s holiday vids from the Indian Ocean. And, yes, here we are again – Global Warming is a Real Threat. Unexamined. Untrue. And, more dangerously, he actually sort of confused with overfishing which has wrecked (thank you EU) our own waters and where the EU is now doing the same for India too.

    I dread to think what, say, is being thought in the Treasury and the Foreign Office! (I already know what is being thought in the Dfe)

    • oldtimer
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Re the FO and Global Warming, be aware that from his recent remarks Mr Hague appears to believe in the CAGW hypothesis and the need to cut carbon emissions. The FO campaigns about this and encourages members of the Met Office to visit overseas countries to spread the word. I also have a suspicion that part of the reason for the proposed increase in the foreign aid budget to 0.7% of GDP (and to be written into law) was to provide funds for the same purpose.

  2. norman
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Don’t give up hope, keep at it. I see know David Cameron thinks regulations on jobs are making life too tough on employers and wants to change (I don’t think he will, just more hot air) so maybe it just takes 3 years from what is written here (amongst may other right wing site) to permeate his brain.

    Maybe in 2014 we’ll see the state banks broken up to encorage competition in banking and it’s not inconceivable that George Osborne may one day change is mind in believing that the Euro is a panacea and that one day hopes to see the UK in it (he won’t say those words but his actions suggest it).

  3. Pete the Bike
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    The BBC are a big state, pro Euro, propaganda machine. They rarely, if ever, provide a balanced program about finance, politics, climate change or the public sector. Frequently their news is regurgitated press releases from the organizations they approve of and never provides any critical analysis or even logical thought. They are a disgrace to the original idea of public service broadcasting, in short, exactly what I would expect from a corporation funded by involuntary taxation.
    Scrap the beeb.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      I agree – but I do like no TV adverts (not of course that you get no adverts on the BBC they are just all for BBC merchandise stuff, trailers, twitter, their web site and charities). It cannot be long before they launch a BBC washing powder so they can push that too.

      • Tony (Somerset)
        Posted May 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        As you say, you do get adverts on the BBC, lifelogic – expensively produced commercials regarding the tv licence; submission of income tax returns; and the like.

        All of these could be announced with a printed statement and a voice – over – but why would civil servants do that when they can have fun spending lots of taxpayers money kidding themselves that they are part of the “media” ?

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          Indeed many of the programs are just disguised adverts.

    • Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Their programmes are not better than those produced by commercial TV stations.

      • David Kelly
        Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Most of the stuff broadcast by the BBC is made by outside production companies. You only need to catch the end of the credits of a TV show/programme or the announcement at the end of a radio show. The only stuff that appears to made by the BBC is news/current affairs (which is so biased it would make Goebbels or Pravda look honest, impartial and objective) and natural history, which isn’t bad, apart from the Warmista guff they promote as gospel.

        The fact that the BBC merely broadcasts other people’s stuff means it is simply surplus to requirements.

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and I imagine the contracts with the “outside production companies” would make very interesting reading – but I do not suppose we will be allowed to. Even though the BBC are always fond of telling us it is our or “the licence payers” BBC.

    • Morvan
      Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Pete the Bike

      Agree your last sentence in spades.

      M.

  4. colliemum
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you, John, for watching this BBC piece for us, and for the recap.
    Your questions certainly demand answers, but it is no surprise that the BBC didn’t even think of asking them.

    This one however has conveniently been brushed under the carpet for some time now: “What was the legal base of the first EU bail out fund?” I recall that it was raised at the time of the first bail-out, which is now some years ago. It has conveniently been brushed under the carpet by journalists, Eurocrats and € Zone politicians: it was and is illegal under the Lisbon Treaty.

    Regarding an exit from the €: while everybody is staring at Greece, and while the € zone as well as Brussels are now increasingly talking about the possibility of a ‘Grexit’, I cannot help but suspect that Bundesbank and some in the German Finance Ministry are working on contingency plans for Germany to leave the €.

    This is just my personal impression, based on the increase in voices openly calling for Germany to leave. After all, Germany managed the re-unification, and she managed the creation of a ‘new’ currency, the DM, in circumstances in 1948 which were not exactly prosperous. Germany also coped pretty well, economically, when the DM was strong before the €. So that would be a problem which Germany would be better able to cope with than any other EU country.

    As you say: leaving the € does not mean a country has to leave the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I don’t want to go through the full rigmarole again, but on May 9th 2010 there were two Decisions, which are here:

      http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/10/st09/st09614.en10.pdf

      The first of those, the “Decision of the Representatives of the Governments of the Euro Area Member States Meeting Within the Council of the European Union” purports to authorise both the EFSM and the EFSF, but while the EFSM is based on a Council Regulation which is itself based on a gross abuse of Article 122(2) TFEU there is not even an attempt to cite a legal base for the establishment of the EFSF:

      “In addition, the representatives of the Governments of the euro area Member States commit to provide assistance through a Special Purpose Vehicle … ”

      The second Decision simply stated, also without citing any legal base in the treaties:

      “The 27 Member States agree that the Commission will be allowed to be tasked by the euro area Member States in this context.”

      meaning that Darling agreed that the Commission could be used for that unlawful purpose, without any authorisation from Parliament.

      There have been systematic attempts to muddy the waters through various statements and press releases, repeated and glossed through the media, but the reality is that there is no legal base at all in the treaties for the EFSF, and the claimed legal base for the EFSM depends upon abuse of Article 122(2) TFEU.

      This europhile lawyer in Finland was quick to question what was going on – from May 30th 2010:

      http://grahnlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/tracking-eurozone-crisis-measures_6632.html

      “The different players have issued press information about the various turns of the crisis tale, but when we looked for hard decisions in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and under preparatory acts on Eur-Lex around 19 to 21 May, we noticed the absence of official proposals and other decisions, other than Council Regulation 407/2010 and decisions by the European Central Bank (ECB).

      A clear paper trail distinguishes the rule of law from government by communiqués.”

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      When the ECB was first mooted, the Germans were utterly against it with their memories of Weimar inflation. The only way they were reassured was by a promise that the ECB would not be allowed to print money and to support other countries’ debts. And there were very strict rules put in place about going into debt.
      These were soon overridden – leading to the present crisis.
      So, your question is answered. It was not (like so much else in the EU) legal in any way.
      Perhaps the total silence of the BBC on the European Parliament in all this crisis ought to say something about the rule of law and lawmakers in the crisis too.

  5. Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    John, I agree with all of that but my understanding (and I’m happy to be corrected on this) regarding Greece leaving the EU is that they (nor anyone else) do not have an option of exiting the Euro and staying part of the EU under the current treaties. A county may leave the Euro but if it does so must also leave the EU

    Thanks.

    Reply: I have set out how Greece can leave the Euro and remain inside the EU. The Treaty does not prevent that.

  6. Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    The BBC has become a mere propaganda pawn for the EU, steadily and remorselessly throughout your years in Parliament Mr Redwood. Over the same period your own party has similarly become a pawn of that same EU institution, yet you remainyour party’s faithful servant.

    More compassion is suggested, for the unthinking or mindless BBC reporters who are in fact in exactly the same boat as yourself. You all do as the EU requires because your past decisions now offer you little other lifestyle choice. Would not a touch of truthfulness and courage be refreshing?

    Reply: I seem to recall resigning fropm the Cabinet over the EU, speaking and writing regularly against it, and voting against transfers of powers and against the last 3 Treaties. Why do you ignore all that?

    • Jon burgess
      Posted May 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Why did you vote for Maastrict?

  7. lifelogic
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Indeed – but it is exactly what one would expect of the BBC. It could have been scripted by the EU bureaucrats (perhaps it was). Everyone in the BBC seems to have pro EU undemocratic socialist super state and follow their line on the green religion and ever more regulation of everything. Often I wonder how they get (it seems) almost everyone at the BBC to follow the BBC political line? Is there some sinister brain washing machine or do they just recruit from the 10% of the population infected with this absurd “BBC think” religion. It comes out in almost every political question they ask in interviews and all the pre-framing of any debate or discussion.

    Is it perhaps that BBC journalism only appeals to members of the “BBC think” cult it seems unlikely give the very high pay, very good pensions and vast number who would like a job there?

    I quote Peter Sissons below, a BBC news and current affairs front-man for two decades who says that such bias is ‘written into its DNA’. Given the frequent family connections at the BBC perhaps it is indeed DNA.

    From the Spectator I think:-

    “By far the most popular and widely read newspapers at the BBC are The Guardian and The Independent. ­Producers refer to them routinely for the line to take on ­running stories, and for inspiration on which items to cover… the one thing guaranteed to damage your career prospects at the BBC is letting it be known that you are at odds with the prevailing and deep-rooted BBC attitude towards Life, the Universe, and Everything.

    …Whatever the United Nations is associated with is good — it is heresy to question any of its activities. The EU is also a good thing, but not quite as good as the UN. Soaking the rich is good, despite well-founded economic arguments that the more you tax, the less you get. And Government spending is a good thing, although most BBC ­people prefer to call it investment, in line with New Labour’s terminology.

    All green and environmental groups are very good things. Al Gore is a saint. George Bush was a bad thing, and thick into the bargain. Obama was not just the Democratic Party’s candidate for the White House, he was the BBC’s. Blair was good, Brown bad, but the BBC has now lost interest in both.

    Trade unions are mostly good things, especially when they are fighting BBC managers. Quangos are also mostly good, and the reports they produce are usually handled uncritically. The Royal Family is a bore. Islam must not be offended at any price, although ­Christians are fair game because they do nothing about it if they are offended.”

    If anything I think it has got even worse and is now even more absurd and out of line with common sense and the general population’s views.

    • David Kelly
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      If it’s a good thing to soak the rich, let’s start by taxing the overpaid execs and bureaucrats in the public sector. Or are they the ‘good’ rich?

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        They are certainly the bad rich. Rich on the back of tax payers. The good rich are the ones who, perhaps living fairly frugally, reinvest their money wisely in more jobs and businesses and allowing them to grow. Also the ones who keep most of it away from the government so they cannot waste it.

        Warren Buffet & Charlie Munger for a good examples.

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          The other bad rich (or even poor) are the politicians who “invest” others money in nonsense schemes. Uneconomic green tosh, the Euro structures, HS2, jumped up sports days, duff loans to the PIGIS/IMF, and badly rescued banks.

          Or the ones who distort markets and waste fortunes by trying to change to laws of human nature. This through making absurd gender equal insurance laws or by forcing no retirement laws on companies.

      • Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        They aren’t even ‘bureaucrats’ in my experience, they just live in management textbook fantasy land, endlessly running pointless consultations and shifting people from one side of the room to the other and vice-versa.

  8. Havocman
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Wonder if this might just be related to the funding that the BBC receives from the EU?

    • David Kelly
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      I’d be extremely surprised if it isn’t. It’s given us an idea of what the BBC’s coverage would be like if (big ‘if’) there’s ever an in/out referendum on EU membership.

  9. zorro
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    John, this was entirely predictable and is part of the psyops campaign to say that anything anyone else says if not BBC approved is cranky.You would think that there had been no currencies before the Euro and this was a step into the unknown. You forgot to mention the implied suggestion that Armageddon would strike and destroy the world economy too…….nothing but EU inspired propaganda.

    Zorro

  10. Sue
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    “The BBC admitted in a letter to a Tory MP that it has received nearly £3million in grant money from the European Union over the past four years”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9055183/BBC-admits-receiving-millions-in-grants-from-EU-and-councils.html

    There you go, there is your answer. It’s in the BBC’;s interest to spread EU propaganda. Nuff said!

    • sjb
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      UKIP received a EU grant of €250,000 from the EU [1].

      I do not know what European party group UKIP belongs to now, but you can see the grants awarded by party if you click here

      [1] The Times, 10 September 2005

    • uanime5
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Given over 90% of the BBC’s budget comes from the UK I doubt it is in their interest to spread EU propaganda. UK propaganda is another matter.

  11. Andrew Duffin
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Why would the bbc say all these things which are wrong or misleading?

    Because they’re part of the EU propaganda apparatus, that’s why.

  12. Richard1
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Another example of one of the BBC’s biases – denied by its apologists, the veteran reporter John Simpson being the latest. On Greece, there was a pathetically inadequate interview with Ed Balls on this am’s Today programme. Mr Balls seems to blame David Cameron for the Euro crisis. No questions from the BBC to mr Balls about where the money for the ‘stimulus’ he recommends in Greece is to come from. No questions as to whether what got Greece into the mess its in is exactly his prescription now for Britain (take advantage of low interest rates and borrow to ‘invest’), no questions as to whether ‘austerity’ actually means spending cuts and not just tax rises. Hasn’t Greece still got a 400,000 strong army?!

  13. oap
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Why? Because it is the BBC. The BBC has an agenda. The BBC has accepted money from the European Union. Time for questions in the House? How much? When? Why? What For?

  14. Richard Cavin
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Typical BBC bias. To think they squander £3.5 billion of our licence fee annually!

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      If they just squandered it then that would be one think. Worse still they use the taxes to indoctrinate the nations with the whole mad socialist, pro EU, pro green tosh, every bigger state, at every possible level.

  15. Stephen Almond
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it alarming when the media report on a subject you have real knowledge about?
    Imagine how accurate the reports are on subjects we know nothing about…

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      It is quite alarming to hear debates in Parliament or the Lords on subjects like energy production, taxation, science or employment law – subjects that I know a little about.

      The stupidity and ignorance of many of the contributions is quite stunning.

  16. lifelogic
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “Time to think again, BBC. The UK public does not share your EU enthusiasms” or indeed any of their other ones such as the “renewable” religion. Unfortunately Cameron with his appointment of Lord Patten clearly does.

    In the telegraph today:

    The Prime Minister voiced his frustration at the performance of some Whitehall departments as he attempts to implement the “radical” promises he has made in the Coalition’s first two years. He said the Civil Service faced far-reaching reform because the Government needed to be “leaner, swifter, more effective”

    Well perhaps – but if the Cameron compass is 180 degrees out, pointing in the no retirement, gender equal insurance, absurd maternity laws, fake green tosh, more tax, borrow, regulate and waste direction then is a “leaner, swifter, more effective” Whitehall what we want.

    Fix the compass first please Cameron and in action not worthless words.

    I also see he is, rather foolishly, telling the Greeks how to vote and what the vote is about – just in case they did not understand the Greek issue.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Vince Cable dismisses as “bonkers” the “no fault dismissal” plans. To me it sound like a very positive thing for both employees and employers alike. Allowing them to take people on without to much risk and getting rid of many pointless legal jobs too. A win, win you might say other than for Lawyers.

      If Cable wins the battle how many new jobs will he destroy before they are even borne.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Now I hear Vince Cable wants to consult to see if businesses, with fewer than 10 employees, are in favour of relaxations in employment laws. If he really has to ask this he is clearly unsuitable for his position. I can assure him they virtually all do (apart perhaps from the odd few the BBC drags up who are usually looking for free PR for their companies or just want to sound nice for their employees).

        It should apply to all companies and the state sector too. It is in the interest of employees to (who are often frustrated by other workers and the inability to replace them). It will make companies more efficient, happier and willing to take more people on.

        Just do it now. And it has the other huge side benefit of reducing the size of the, largely parasitic, legal employment profession.

  17. Brian A
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I am sure that you are not really surprised that the BBC has made an unbalanced programme about Greece’s possible departure from the Eurozone. The BBC is institutionally europhile and never wastes an opportunity to ignore or belittle the more sceptical views of the euro project. This programme is merely a foretaste of what to expect if we were to have a referendum on EU membership. You can easily imagine the relentless pro-EU line that would be presented by our supposedly impartial state broadcaster.

  18. stred
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    They may be unable to present intelligent programmes, but at least we now have regular pieces about pop music and an extra female presenter to help the chit chat on Saturday morning live. The One Show on radio for twittering twits.

    Presenters are paid so much that they cannot raise issues such as excess pay for the latest (CEOs-ed). At the same time, somehow, Andrew Neil hangs on and yesterday they let him savage Ed Davey about the reasons for added costs to electricity bills. Unfortunately, he is so committed to daft ideas from the DECC that he did not seem to understand that he had been savaged.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    The argument that Greece couldn’t leave the euro without also leaving the EU has been invented to frighten the Greeks.

    It’s true that Article 50 TEU now lays down a procedure for an EU member state to make a voluntary withdrawal from the EU, but the treaties provide no mechanism at all for a country to leave the euro, whether on a voluntary or compulsory basis, and whether or not it also leaves the EU at the same time.

    Such a mechanism could have been put into the treaties, and Cameron could have insisted on that as part of a quid pro quo for the radical EU treaty change demanded by Merkel and formalised through European Council Decision 2011/199/EU of March 25th 2011, but he didn’t.

    But it’s also true that there is no legal base in the EU treaties for the EFSF bailout facility, which moreover has been structured in a way which clearly contravenes the treaties, and that the legal base for the other existing bailout mechanism, the EFSM, is extremely dubious to say the very least.

    As admitted by Christine Lagarde in December 2010 when she said:

    “We violated all the rules because we wanted to close ranks and really rescue the euro zone.”

    “The Greek and Irish rescues – €110 billion and €67.5 billion, respectively – and the creation of the bailout fund were, Ms. Lagarde said, “major transgressions” of the Lisbon Treaty that is the European Union’s governing document. “The Treaty of Lisbon,” she says, “was very straightforward. No bailing out.””

    And it’s also true that there are major question marks over the legality of the proposed new bailout fund, the ESM.

    If the EU treaties can be broken as part of efforts to keep a country in the euro, they can equally be broken to allow it to leave the euro while staying in the EU.

    • sjb
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      The European Council has the power to suspend some of Greece’s rights as a Member State: see Art 7(3) TEU. That can be done under QMV.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 24, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        What, for Greece’s serious and persistent breach of the values listed in Article 2, including “democracy” and “the rule of law”?

        That would be a joke.

        Incidentally it’s only QMV under 7(3) after the country has been previously condemned under 7(2), and it would only take the representative of one other country on the European Council to have a fit of conscience and decide to block that.

  20. Lord Blagger
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The difference between most of the currency break ups you mention and Greece, is that the others were done with Agreement. eg. Czech and Slovak. That means there are not going to be immediate devaluations on the split.

    That isn’t the case with the Greeks. They know they are being shafted for the actions of political fraudsters/politicians.

    So the sensible Greek gets their money into notes or offshore asap.

    Then when it goes tits up, they carry on using Euro notes and ignore the Drachma. Cut the government out. After all if your taxes aren’t going on services, why pay taxes? It’s just like being forced to give money to a fraudster.

    Reply: Greece can only exit legally if she agrees.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      “After all if your taxes aren’t going on services, why pay taxes? It’s just like being forced to give money to a fraudster.”

      Indeed it often is just that. The only protection is a functional democratic system. Not one run by bureaucrats as we virtually have in Whitehall and at EU level.

    • stred
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Another contributor and myself suggested, independently and at the same time, that Greece could drop out and create a floating ‘Greek Euro’. This would placate the people who remember the way things were under the Drachma and allow debt to be wiped out and the deficit financed by printing, as arranged by the Treasury/BoE. Perhaps the notes could have a border picturing young Greeks dancing around the Acrololis while playing fiddles.

      The European banks could finally be compensated for being told to lend to defaulting countries, again by money creation. As pointed out above, the Greeks would also be cushoined by being able to carry on trading in the Euros they have salted away.

      The EU could always give this blog a grant if they wish to take up JR’s and other contributions, and deduct the amount from the BBC bung.

      • Mark
        Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps the new currency should be called γύροσ – at least they could eat it (it’s a well known Greek sandwich, pronounced yeeros).

        • Mark
          Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          I should have added that the usual transliteration into English in Greektown sandwich parlours is gyros, which give a nice sense of the unemployment Giro and going round in ever decreasing circles.

  21. Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I hold no brief for the BBC nor the EU, but there is no mechanism for euro-exit other than article 50 of Lisbon which takes you out of the union.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I agree, and I disagree with JR’s idea that the treaties would allow Greece to be returned to the status of a member state with a derogation.

      However nor do the treaties allow for member states to be bailed out; as Lagarde admitted, they are “very straightforward. No bailing out”.

      Reply: I seek to deal in the realities of how they use the Treaties.

      • sjb
        Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        The European Central Bank’s paper Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU: Some Reflections can be read by clicking here

        Reply: Yes, a heavily negative paper from 2009 querying whether a country can even withdraw from the EU, let alone the Euro. Events and circumstances I think mean today’s position is very different from this.

  22. Tad Davison
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    And we’re paying for this bilge from the BBC whether we like it or not!

    There’s something of Stalin about the licence fee. At least with a subscription, if the programme content is inaccurate, biased, or of poor quality, we can choose not to subscribe.

    Personally, I think this is why the left homed-in on the BBC and made it theirs, because of the way it’s funded and set up. It gave them a mechanism to promote their warped and perverted ideology to the masses, and in my experience, complaints to BBC television don’t even receive a reply, any more than it would have done an individual any good to complain to the communist hierarchy in Soviet Russia!

    And it isn’t just BBC television. I have taken local radio presenters to task on many occasions for being biased, and they know they’re on a hiding to nothing because I won’t let it go unchallenged, but at least they are accessible to a degree.

    The only way to fight against it, is to be highly accurate in our criticism, and use as many alternatives as we can to make our protestations known. Maybe on this occasion, we need to make an official complaint, or they’ll just keep getting away with it.

    How about it folks?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • APL
      Posted May 24, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Yes the BBC is despicable, but this morning I was watching SKY news.

      The editorial line ran along the lines that should Greece drop out of the Euro there will be civil unrest, rioting and poverty.

      These journalists obviously haven’t watched the last segment about civil unrest, rioting and soup kitchens now while Greece is in the Euro.

      Basically, journalism is a trade carried out by people who are too old to contribute to John Cravens Newsround.

      As to SKY news, the only thing I can say in its defense is I am not forced by the government to pay for their drivel.

  23. Mactheknife
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I didnt see the program but it sounds like the usual BBC leftwing socialist output. Director General Mark Thompson has admitted that the BBC has an inhernet pro-left bias within the organisation and as others have pointed out their reporters and correspondents are in many cases activists. One only has to read environment correspondent Richard Black’s blog to see the evidence at first hand.

    Here we have a classic case of democracy in action and of course our EU chums really dont want that. Like Ireland they will ask Greece to keep voting until the EU gets what it wants. I see no reason for the predicted mass meltdown if Greece exits the Euro. Remember the Y2K millenium bug ? Armageden was predicted across the worlds IT systems, and guess what happened…..er……nothing at all !

    It is not beyond the wit of man or markets for an orderly exit strategy to be put in place.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      “Remember the Y2K millenium bug ? Armageden was predicted across the worlds IT systems, and guess what happened…..er……nothing at all !”

      That’s because it was fixed well in advance, by companies and IT departments, uninterested in allowing uninformed theorising to jeoparise their vital interests.

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        The Y2K millenium bug was a gross exaggeration based on a small underlying truth and yet exaggerated by governments as a distraction and by business as a sales tool for new systems and software.

        Rather like global warming in fact.

        • forthurst
          Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          It was not an exaggeration at all. When the Y2K problem was addressed, whole new IT teams were set up, upgrades to systems were frozen and the issue was addressed, usually over several months. All systems had to be completely retested to prove that they could operate both before and after the year change.

          The Y2K issue consisted of numerous bugs in date processing logic which individually were comparatively trivial, but because of the sheer volume, particularly in finance, would have caused IT systems to cease operations indefinitely.

          People without experience of designing professional computer systems may be unaware of their size and complexity.

      • Mactheknife
        Posted May 22, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        I work in computer systems and I can tell you that IT departments did nothing much as nothing much was required. I’m afraid its you that is ill informed.

        • forthurst
          Posted May 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          “I work in computer systems and I can tell you that IT departments did nothing much as nothing much was required. I’m afraid its you that is ill informed.”

          There may well be IT depts using packages or creating simple data retrieval systems which have minimal date based processing; however, I think you will find that most of the Life Offices were fairy busy.

  24. Stewart Knight
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Why should the predominantly lefty and europhile BBC make it sound easy? Anybody would think they were taxpayer funded and unbiased…..

  25. alan jutson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    The BBC once had a Worldwide reputation for impartial news reporting, but that was many years ago.

    The Corporation is now but a shadow of its former self, with lazy, often one sided research, opinionated reporters with a seemingly bias towards anything socialist.

    On a completely other subject, I viewed the live coverage of the bus parade of Chelsea with the European Cup on BBC News (sad I know, but I thought it would be a bit of light entertainment)
    The coverage was shocking.
    It looked as if it had been rushed in preparation (them believing Chelsea would never win, so the Event would not take place) for nearly half and hour we had just distance aerial shots from a helicopter, no close ups of the players and staff, the reporter made so many factual mistakes it was actually laughable to listen to, most of the feed ins were negative comments on how Chelsea played on the night and would the owner now dump them, now they have won the highest trophy in European football.
    The only ground camera from which later shots were braodcast had a tree in the foreground in the middle of the screen, which obscured many players.
    In short everything seemed dummed down with a totally negative outlook.

    Can you imagine the German TV coverage which would have been broadcast if Bayern Munich had won, guarantee it would have been upbeat, best team in Europe etc, etc, etc.

    How sad that this once great broadcasting institution has dropped to such a low level of competence.

    • lojolondon
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      It is not pure incompetence, the BBC is anti-British.

  26. Str0ngh0ldBarricades
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Certainly seemed strange that the emphasis was all on a Grexit, whilst no one mentioned that if Germany left much of the structural imbalance within the Euro will fall to a much better level for the remainder.

  27. NickW
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The BBC is a corrupt organisation which has been bribed to promote a particular point of view.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9055183/BBC-admits-receiving-millions-in-grants-from-EU-and-councils.html

    From the article;

    The BBC received £3 million in grants from the EU.

    The BBC received £16 million in Grants from Councils in the UK.

    The BBC has borrowed £141 million from the European Investment Bank; £30million of which is due for repayment at the end of this month (May 2012).

    It is my personal view that the confirmation of corruption will be when the loan terms are varied in exchange for the broadcasting of EU propaganda.

    MI5 should be investigating the BBC to establish who is pulling its levers, and from where it gets its instructions.

  28. Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The BBC are merely practising for the time when Britain has a real debate and possibly a referendum on leaving the EU.
    “Illegal” is a great favourite these days, used when a country does something they don’t like, although invariably it is impossible to discover exactly what laws have been broken. A sovereign country has a right to do almost anything it wants to do, even withdraw from treaties. If it doesn’t have that right it is no longer sovereign.
    The other bogey is “Trade”. Trade will always take place, unless it is banned by a government. If you are offering a product which someone wants and the price is right, trade will take place, it’s quite simple. If we pulled out of the EU, I doubt if our trade would undergo any significant change. The EU countries would still want to sell us their cars, etc to us, and any effort to ban our goods would simply result in retaliation.
    The BBC are so pro-Europe, that they simply can’t see reality.
    Which is why I now rely on the internet for news these days, at least there I can read informed comment from various sources whilst generally knowing the writer’s political affiliation, and don’t have to listen to the constant barrage of leftist, pro-EU, pro-climate change propaganda from the BBC.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Given that if the UK left the EU it would lose 26 markets, while the EU would only lose 1 the UK would be at the mercy of the EU. Any trading with the EU would be on the EU’s terms.

      Reply: Nonsense – they sell us more than we sell them, which would restrain them, and they have to obey international trade rules.

  29. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The “Economists” at the BBC studied economics courses that apparently are no longer based on how money and banking works.

    The BBC is biased towards certain views – in this case; they are Pro-EURO. They are therefore attempting to argue the case for Greece to stay in the Union, no matter what the cost.

    If you look at explanations on basic banking models and quantitative easing, you will find that there are often errors in their understanding. I’ve highlighted a few on this site. If they have a false model of how credit and debt are created and do not seem to know where money comes from, it is understandable why they come to the wrong conclusions on what Greece should do.

    I agree with you Mr Redwood, I also have many questions on why the BBC say what they say and do what they do. It should be renamed the “British Bias Corporation”.

    They must think that they helping to reduce the TV License by spending no time on research and seem to think that it is more efficient to make up facts if they do not have time to find the real facts.

    Well done for standing up to the BBC, hopefully they will invite you on Newsnight to put them straight. Please ask them if they know how Banks work – there’s evidence to suggest that Robert Peston doesn’t and that Stephanie Flanders has just figured out that Private Banks create most of our money in her explanation of Quantitative Easing.

    Governments pass laws, if the laws are bad, then Governments – supposedly; can change bad laws and treaties, like Maastricht.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      “it is understandable why they come to the wrong conclusions on what Greece should do” I think they start with the conclusions and work back to an argument.

      • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        Posted May 22, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        We often here Politicians compare National Economies to a Domestic Household. Although a household can borrow money and generally has to keep to a budget, a Domestic Household does not have the ability to create and regulste it’s own currency, which a Government does but chooses to borrow the money instead.

        you are right, they have a model of how the economy works and then try and justify it by modelling there ill conceived ideas around it.

        David Cameron’s call for everyone to reduce their debts is a classic example showing total lack of understanding of what money is.

  30. Murdoch's ghost
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Not having been born and bred within the sound of the BBC, I don’t get this BBC thing. There seems considerable evidence that it is a partisan broadcaster, and becoming progressively more so. Yet no other broadcaster of which I am aware operates under such legally binding constraints. I don’t have all the details to hand, but the BBC is supposedly required to provide “accurate and impartial” information under sections 6 and 44 of the Framework Agreement associated with its 2006 Charter. This is an Act of Parliament, law in other words. I recall remedy under section 52 of the actual Charter being somewhat circumscribed, but still possible. It is not as if something cannot be done about BBC bias other than whinging.

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Excellent, Thanks Murdoch’s ghost.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/about/how_we_govern/agreement.pdf
      These Sections 6 & 44 “Accurate and Impartial” are key to addressing this issue.

      “information about, and increases understanding of, the world through accurate and impartial news, other information, and analysis of current events and ideas.”

      I believe it can be proved that the BBC has reneged on their Agreement as News and Information is neither accurate nor impartial.

      There is something crucial missing from this agreement, that being an attempt for News and Information to also be complete allowing a gaping door to be left wide open for cherry picking facts and stories leading to misleading News and Information. It not what the BBC reports that we should be worried about, it’s also what they do not report.

      • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        To be fair, there are herendously Biased Newspapers and other News Media other than the BBC.

        It would be interesting comparing the inaccuracies of other News sources to see whether there is any alignment.

        The Guardian Reporting of Julian Assange’s first interview on ‘Russia Today’ was extremely biased against Mr Assange.
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/17/world-tomorrow-julian-assange-wikileaks
        A piece riddled with name calling and prejudice by a (word left out-ed_ Journalist named Luke Harding.
        “The Kremlin propaganda channel Russia Today has exclusive initial rights to the show” – well Russia Today probably does have a bias to Russian Government views but at least they are not glorifying War Propaganda and hiding ‘Missing WMD’ facts about Iraq. Russia was wrong to invade Afghanistan just as America and the UK were wrong to invade Iraq.

        The only way to get an unbiased view of the World is to watch several different News channels and internet News Sources as they are all biased.

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          The newspapers don’t require payment on pain of imprisonment, nor do they have anywhere near the reach or ability to influence all age groups through ‘entertainment’.

      • sjb
        Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Conrad wrote: “I believe it can be proved that the BBC has reneged on their Agreement as News and Information is neither accurate nor impartial. ”

        That belief seems to be widely shared by other contributors and cyber warriors on other Conservative sites so why not club together, hot foot it down the Strand with your evidence, and file an application for judicial review?

        • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
          Posted May 22, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          Electro-Kevin,

          “The newspapers don’t require payment on pain of imprisonment, nor do they have anywhere near the reach or ability to influence all age groups through ‘entertainment’.”

          This is a key point and very well made. If we do not share the BBC’s view of the World (with missing information, half truths and downright lies) and do not choose to watch the BBC, we are still forced by the State to pay for it. That seems almost Communist and not democratic.

          sjb,

          There is evidence which I have pointed to on this site before with links to videos by the BBC which completely misleads people on how Banks function. The evidence is there, and that is just one subject. It is very concerning that there may be other subject areas (especially foreign news stories and programs) where there is also incorrect facts and poor research carried.

          The BBC Framework Agreement of 2006 is between the BBC and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

          Unfortunately his attentions are on other things.

          • sjb
            Posted May 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            You do not need to wait for Jeremy Hunt (or his successor) to give their attention to the matter, Conrad.

            Article 52(3) of The Charter recognises the importance of complaints.

            You may find their complaint handling process – in common with other large organisations – involves a number of stages. But this should not deter determined individuals with sufficient evidence. Article 52(5) even anticipates the possibility of a judicial review claim.

        • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
          Posted May 24, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          I have filed a complaint with the BBC and sent a request for verification about my facts to the Bank of England. My reasoning being that the Bank of England should have documents and procedures clearly showing how Banks operate and how money is created.

          I am still waiting for the BBC to investigate the matter.

          • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
            Posted May 28, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            This is an extract of what the Bank of England said in reply to my email enquiry to them:

            “Through such loans banks create what is called “broad money, the loan is an asset of the bank and has to be matched by creating a liability: the value of the loan is credited as a deposit to the customer’s account. That deposit is the commercial bank’s liability and it is those deposits that we count, amongst other things, as “broad money”.

            The commercial bank’s value in this transaction is not the face value of the loan. It is in the interest differential between what it pays on its liabilities and what it receives on its assets. It cannot simply create the face value for itself through lending, as one does with issuing a banknote. There is always a match between their assets and liabilities, and at the end of the loan the borrower has to repay the bank thereby extinguishing the asset and corresponding liability.”

  31. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Eurofanatics are in key positions everywhere – in the BBC, in the Cabinet, in the Foreign Office, in the Conservative Party, in the Lords. It’s time for a purge. You could start the ball rolling by naming and shaming the individuals that you know about and telling the Prime Minister what is expected of him.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Amen to that! I’ve been after a purge for ages! It’s the same with do-gooders who prevent the people from having their say and their way on the best and most appropriate penalties for criminals. Do-gooders have wormed their way into most of society’s most influential positions, and despite being unelected, they call the shots. Their arrogance is breathtaking!

      Maybe we need greater and more direct democracy, and in this, the electronic age, the means is now at our disposal. Except, how does one get rid of appointees via the ballot box?

      Tad

  32. Atlas
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “Expect the unexpected” – especially when there are so many free variables as in this Euro problem. No sane scientist would attempt to predict the outcome of such an ‘N variable’ problem (except the climate change luvvies of course).

    Cameron wants the Greeks to vote the way he wants – not the way they seem to want to vote. I presume that at best, this message will not be heard in Greece; at worst it will be and will just raise the hackles further of the Greek electorate – rather in the way that German comments seem to be doing.

    In Eire, the Irish are likewise being bamboozled into ratifying the Fiskaltreaty – so much for the Irish FREE State!

  33. Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    The answer to all the “why”s is that the BBC is not a news organisation and makes absolutely no attempt to report with the “due balance” its charter legally requires. (& for obvious reasons the state makes no attempt to hold them to the only legasl basis they have for demanding licence fees(.

    Yhe BBC is a totalitarian propagand instrument willing to censor any fact or indeed tell any lie to promote the cibil service agenda. Governments come and go but the bureaucracy goes on forever.

    They lie and censor to promote foreign policy – eg censoring the Dargodan massacre (words left out). They lie and censor on party isuues – eg gioving 40 times more coverage, per vote, to the ecofascist party as to UKIP.

  34. Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, that was spot on.

    What is more, I salute you for going where other politicians fear to tread. Anyone in public life risks losing influence and even part of their livelihood when speaking out against the BBC – such is the grip it has on our country.

  35. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The BBC is Arts not Science based as, increasingly, more’s the pity, is the country as a whole, so that is the way with its commentators. The EU to them is some artistic and utopian dream and never mind that it could not and does not work, at least not this side of the next thousand years. Logical scientific thinking is not something they wish or are able to mess with. Science programmes are few and far between and often patronising and shallow just as if we were children being shown pretty bawbles. Global warming is insignificant if not baloney as is the Green movement but you would never guess it from the BBC. The two cultures mentality should be thrown out. The Arts to the extent the term means much at all are a hobby not something to base the country on. Anyone can admire a good picture, proving Pythagoras is different. Been to a Pub Quiz lately? If there is one Science-based question the whole evening you are doing well and even then the question is generally treated as a joke. The BBC commentators last night strove as ever for effect not a logical analysis. I am glad I missed the programme–it would have upset me.

  36. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    The BBC at its biased best. I am waiting for them to broadcast EU speeches by Messers Hannon and Farage and their obsevations of what is wrong. I do not think the BBC will ever broadcast any of them.

    • sjb
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I would be delighted if the BBC gave much more airtime to Daniel Hannan and Nigel Farage.

      Competing interest: Pro-European.

  37. forthurst
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    JR must be wrong, surely? I have just visited a BBC website to obain its mission statement, which could not be clearer:

    “Our mission

    To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.

    Our vision

    To be the most creative organisation in the world.

    Our values

    * Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest.
    * Audiences are at the heart of everything we do.
    * We take pride in delivering quality and value for money.
    * Creativity is the lifeblood of our organisation.
    * We respect each other and celebrate our diversity so that everyone can give their best.
    * We are one BBC: great things happen when we work together.

    The Royal Charter and Agreement also sets out six public purposes for the BBC. See Public purposes.

    (‘Celebrate our diversity’ can be translated as English-hating bigotry.)

    (Allegation about a specific case of bias removed-ed)

    It is time to pull the plug on an organistion that is run by Cultural Marxists on behalf of a globalist agenda; most of its output is dire by design. The argument for controlling our own affairs needs to given at least equal weight to handing over our affairs to globalist banksters and others whose victims through the Bolsheviks were counted in the tens of millions (a history which the BBC is extremely keen to sweep under the carpet).

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 23, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      “Creativity is the lifeblood of our organisation.”

      I have a feeling they are concentrating on the “Creative” and less time on the “Factual”.

  38. James Reade
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Rich coming from the master of all facts that is an elected politician…

    One obvious difference between when countries adopted the euro, and the possibility of one leaving is the amount of preparation that went into euro adoption, and the total lack of preparation (for an obvious and good reason) for an exit. That does mean, contrary to your suggestions that all will be fine, things will be messy.

    Of course the idea of leaving is simple – many ideas are simple, but the practicalities of doing so much more tricky. One area you’re spot on is that the legality of it is neither here nor there. But that’s a minor thing at the moment.

    I enjoy how you big up the idea Greece would just export more if outside the euro – and how could that terrible liberal biased organisation the BBC not big this up too?! – because the UK has been exporting loads more since its 25% devaluation in 2008, hasn’t it? And we didn’t even have to change the currency we operate in (which, contrary to your assertions, would cause diversions from productive economic activity for many for at least a while as they re-adjust).

  39. Mactheknife
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    The blog ‘Biased BBC’ is always worth a read as they keep on top of the champagne socialists in Shepherds Bush and their ‘unbiased’ reporting..ho..hum.

    http://biased-bbc.com/

  40. Mark
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Google translate offers several alternatives for the Greek for “departure”.

    ξεκίνημα (zekinema) has the sense of launch, set off on a new journey – as in joining the Euro

    εκκίνηση (eckinaysay) implies boot up, as in lots of government spending to try to get the economy going

    παρέκκλιση (parecklisay) implies derogation or exemption – which the Greeks seem to have aplenty de facto if not de jure

    απομάκρυνση (apomakrunsay) suggests removal – perhaps where they are headed?

    αποβίωση (apoviosay) has the sense of the Norwegian Blue that is no more – decease

    ευχαριστώ (yuharisto) means “Thank you”, but split the word into ευ χαριστώ and we have indulgence.

    Finally, I note that the EEC translate to EOK, but the EU to EE!

    Spare a thought for the translators in Brussels trying to get the message across.

  41. Bob
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    Does it surprise you that the BBC are broadcasting misinformation?

    I’ve been telling you this for ages!

    If Dave Cameron was a conservative he would have made it a priority to deal with the BBC problem.

    Did you know that 94% of BBC staff advertising spending was with the Guardian?

    There is one little thing you can do Mr. Redwood, that is to include the Biased BBC Blog in your sidebar links. There is so much evidence of the (bias etc-ed) at the BBC in that blog that I cannot believe questions haven’t been raised in the house over it.

    • Bob
      Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Is it not the case that Chris Patten, the Chairman of the BBC Trust is also the beneficiary of a rather generous EU pension?

      Say no more!

  42. Phil Richmond
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    John – Most Conservative members would like something done about the BBC. Why doesnt your leadership do anything? Is it because Cameron completely agrees with the BBC Europhile stance?
    Either way your party is basically spineless and have let the BBC dictate the National agenda. On top of that your party now follows this agenda. Pathetic!

  43. FreedomLover
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    The BBC should be broken up. The only part of it that should perhaps remain is its foreign language service, though if need be that could be provided by the other, private, TV companies. This government should either scrap the annual TV licence altogether, like in other countries (eg Australia) that allow for both private & government-provided TV services for FREE, or spread the proceeds of a much cheaper licence fee between the TV companies. And at the same time, the UK government should vigorously require its broadcasting regulators to ensure that all political programmes are even-handed & unbiased. This sounds like another good item to go in a 2014/15 Tory Party Election manifesto!

  44. AJAX
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    As long as the Television Tax exists as a means of BBC funding it’ll be Statist as that’s where the money is coming from paying the staff’s bloated salaries, end of story. Asking them ‘to think again’ is laughable, abolish the tv tax to solve that problem.

    Interesting to see yet another Tory government running about doing everything it can to prop up the currently beleaguered EU, with a virtual silence of dissent to this policy in Parliament. So much for “Tory Euroscepticism”.

  45. harry
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Since the BBC have their own political agenda(we all know they have) i have long since stopped taking any of their political journalism seriously,they (the BBC) just do not do balanced reporting and may i join others in thanking you for speaking out against this report.

  46. Sue Doughty
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    It is not surprising the BBC would be pro the single currency and all things continental. Not to worry, most of us knew their programme would be like that and switched over the CSI instead – because it is made in the Anglosphere we all feel more at home with.

  47. Matthew
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    It fits, the BBC take a similar view on the budget deficit and the swingeing cuts.

  48. rd
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    The leaving the euro and not the EU question cannot be truly answered at present as no such situation has arisen. Article 150 of the Lisbon Treaty talks only of withdrawal from the EU and no Treaty mentions withdrawal from the euro. Scholars may argue that EU withdrawal follows from euro exit but the arguement has been ‘academic’ and the case has not come to court yet so to speak. As it is Brussels makes up the law as it goes along and precisely because there is a vacuum on the specifics of euro departure in the Treaties has plenty of leeway to invent some ‘memorandum’ whereby Greece will be enabled to remain in the EU. Which all goes to show why the UK should renegotiate it’s terms now.

  49. lojolondon
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    You are absolutely correct, John, but your expectations are completely wrong.

    If the BBC was a ‘news organisation’, reporting the facts to people, then your complaint would have legitimacy, but the BBC is a (partly EU-funded) propaganda organisation. Every ‘news’ article comes from the same socialist angle.

    The BBC only wants to show how devastating it would be for ‘struggling people in the UK’ if Greece defaults on it’s debts, not to admit there would be no effect.
    We know that last time Greece defaulted on it’s currency was 1936. The effect on the UK was zero, because we barely trade with Greece, it was barely even reported on.

    So there is a full-on media onslaught, with as much headline as they can spare with the ongoing Leveson enquiry, all devoted to ‘Europe faces crisis’, ‘UK economy will be devastated’ etc., etc.

    The Biased BBC is :

    Pro-Labour, Anti-Tory
    Pro-Democrat, Anti-Republican
    Pro-Palestine, Anti-Israeli
    Pro-strikers, Anti-establishment
    Pro-criminals, Anti-police
    Pro-‘global-warming-scam’, Anti-scientific debate
    Pro-terrorist, Anti-MOD
    Pro-civil servants, Anti-workers
    Pro-monopoly, Anti-Murdoch
    Pro-unemployed, Anti-worker

  50. Robert Christopher
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Nick Clegg on the EU from DER SPIEGEL (in Clegg’s second response in the interview):

    “Of course. The Conservatives don’t believe in leaving the European Union.”

    with a lot more besides, in the interview!

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/spiegel-interview-with-british-deputy-prime-minister-nick-clegg-a-834120.html

    We can discuss the finer points of EU structures, but the message from Clegg is still “the Conservatives are keeping Britain at the heart of Europe”.

    I am looking for evidence to the contrary, and cannot find any.

  51. Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    The admirable respect for law in England has devolved (circa BBC) into an obsession that everything which is common sense in all other times is now most likely “illegale”. The sort of people one could imagine wishing to enforce local speed limits at the Grand Prix. At a time when the UK permitted virtually any ambulatory being entrance the good old Gurhka was held out because it was “illegale”. Prisoners voting, etc. I wonder if the recent news that more than two-thirds of Greek olive support a truly “far right/fascist party will have any impact on the question of an “illegale” exit from the euro? Spain is next.

  52. Andrew Johnson
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I agree with your comments, alas, you are not the Prime Minister, neither do you occupy any position in cabinet. From dozens of suitable applicants your party leader Mr Cameron, appointed Lord Patten to be the chairman of the BBC. He is an ardent supporter of all things EU. This says a great deal about both Mr Cameron’s political judgement and philosophy.
    The BBC has become Statist Insitutionally left wing, blindly pro EU and pro all things Green. Far from being a cherished and much loved national treasure, there is a growing body of public opinion who greatly resent being forced by law to pay for the kind of poorly researched biased programme you write about. I have come to see that the BBC has done, and is doing, a great deal of damage to our nation.
    There is considerable evidence that the BBC does not take complaints from licence payers seriously, endlessly churning out the mantras, “We think we got it about right.” and ” we take great care to maintain balance and impartiality.”
    I live in a democracy. Why should I be forced by law to fund the BBC’s biased output? Why does a modern Western democracy need a State broadcaster? What is wrong with encouraging the widest possible ranging debate and viewpoints? Technically there is no obstacle to the BBC becoming fully subscriber funded. If the BBC and it’s supporters are so certain it is as special as they believe, then millions of subscribers will be eager to sign up to the full package won’t they?

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 22, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, the BBC is just like the Banking System – anti-free market and anti-capitalist. They believe in monopolies. If it wasn’t for the Tax payer bailouts to the BBC, the BBC would have gone out of business.

      The BBC has made some excellent programs in the past, but the vast majority of serious programs are based on subjective evidence and biased towards the program makers opinion. Channel 4 has made better programs and does not treat it’s audience as if they are twelve years old.

  53. Alan Radfield
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    But, but, John Humphries writing today assures that the Beeb is the very paragon of political balance. He must know, he’s worked there for 30 years.

    • REPay
      Posted May 22, 2012 at 1:52 am | Permalink

      It is balanced – we had evidence over the last decade between Blairites and Brownites. I still love the Beeb though…working hard to return us to 1970s!

  54. Ferdinand
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Your piece on the pr0gramme was absolutely on target but were you surprised ? I can’t think of any other stance that they could take with their track record. More pertinent is perhaps the question of how can the BBC become truthful. Any suggestions ?

  55. Electro-Kevin
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Whatever the influence of the press it is insignificant in proportion to that of the BBC which makes overtly biased political comment and is then able to reinforce it subliminally in soaps, dramas, kid’s TV, satire, comedy, educational …

  56. Peter Lloyd
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I hope you are putting these comments (perhaps expanded) into the BBC complaints system and copied to Lord Patten because on the face of it there is wilful misrepresentation and bias. It may not make much difference in the short term but it is pressure, as well as being the right thing to do.

  57. Trevor Butler
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I thought BBC stood for British Bolshevik Collective

  58. Frances Matta
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    The BBC’s Charter requires its impartiality. That the BBC receives money from the EU surely contravenes that requirement in that the EU demands no criticism from those in receipt of its money. The BBC needs to be privatized.

  59. BobE
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    We are lucky that Greece cannot accept austerity. Whatever they vote for will end in either default or the final can kick down the road. I don’t understand why John and the others can’t just see it. Greece is the first domino of the forth richt.

    Reply: I did not think I had been predicting the cohesion and success of the Euro!

  60. lara
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    i agree on a lot of stuff here in posts
    /

  61. Chris
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    The BBC will look all the more stupid when they are proved wrong.

  62. Local Tory
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    John, I agree with you on most things and on the subject of the BBC. But there is another side to this. I am sure you remember the 1998 Ruble Crisis in Russia. Where a protracted crisis ended in dramatic devaluation and default. There were market wide repercussions. Most memorably the collapse of Long Term Capital Management. The risk now is that events in Greece and possibly in one or two other eurozone states give rise to contagion fears that then lead to the future economic outlook and market risk generally being significantly re-priced. With volatility and losses that then negatively affect financial institutions. Under no circumstances should Britain join the euro. But I do think that we should work with Germany and France to try to keep the eurozone together and that includes, in my mind, Greece.

    Reply: Working together means spending UK taxpayers cash on propping up a system which cannot work for all its memebrs in the longer term. We cannot avoid Euro losses and banking problems, so take them before they get even bigger and start to sort it out.

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      “We cannot avoid Euro losses and banking problems, so take them before they get even bigger and start to sort it out. ”

      Mr Redwood,
      Have you considered promoting local currencies in communities for exchange of goods and services as well as Local Taxes? It appears that large centrally controlled currencies seem to be the problem not lack of workers or work.

      There are many examples of successful currencies organised by local communities, such as the Brixton Pound. It appears to me that the key problem is the money system and the highly inefficient means by which it is managed. Local Councils could be encouraged to accept them as well as National currencies. Surely this would help reduce the effects of a crash in the EURO?

  63. uanime5
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Fun fact: there are 6 countries that use the euro but aren’t in the EU; they are Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, and Vatican City. So technically Greece could leave the EU but still remain in the euro.

    In other news due to low growth the Work Programme, originally designed to help 2 million unemployed people get back into work, may miss its targets because not enough jobs have been created:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/9280038/Work-Programme-at-risk-as-too-few-jobs-in-UK.html

  64. merlin
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Just 2 points on the present discussion:-

    I try to avoid watching the BBC whenever possible and watch SKY more often because I know the BBC is a socialist brainwashing machine.

    Why when there is policy change in government we are not informed that it is a result of EU directive 12345 etc?

    Whatever happened to open government and transparency-are we governed by Westminister or Brussels?

  65. Derek Emery
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    The EU will do what Germany considers is the best for Germany as far as a Greek Exit is concerned. Its as simple as that.

  66. peter
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Sadly this is what we get from the BBC – it seems they have their own Pro EZ federalist agendas, did I read on this site that the BBC now receives funds from the EU? – now there’s a surprise!

    There would a lot of unpicking to do, but its nothing new, its been done in the past and no doubt will be done again soon when they pull out of the EZ. Anyone who says pulling out of the EZ means pulling out of the EU is generating propaganda – I take it the UK is not an EZ candidate state…..

  67. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Not the BBC’s fault:

    In Greece’s democracy, the Party with the largest share of the popular vote gets 50 bonus seats out of 300. So the difference between 1st and second is important. I got the following opinion poll data from the Wall Street Journal of Sunday 20th May.

    New Democracy, a conservative Party, has 24.4% of the popular vote. If they win, they would govern with the support of Pasok, a social democratic Party with 13.2% of the popular vote, and implement the austerity mesasures agreed with the EU and IMF.

    Syriza, a left wing Party, has 23.8% of the popular vote. If they win, they would govern with the support of several small parties. They would rip up the agreements with EU and IMF. They would demand to renegotiate and would rehire several thousands of civil servants. They say that would they be prepared to default on debt obligations AND remain in the Euro zone.

    Meanwhile, in spite of their problems, some 80% of Greeks wish to remain in the Euro zone.

    The rational course of action is for Greece to leave the Euro zone in an orderly manner and reinstate the drachma – best for them, best for Britain, maybe even best for Germany. Is there really nothing the British Foreign Office and Treasury can do to promote this outcome? Come on out, the water’s lovely.

  68. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Greek Local Currency in Volos:

    Here’s an example of how the BBC report News:
    They do not call it a currecny – they headline it as a Bartering System.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17680904
    A Currency called TEM is still a currency. Basrtering means exhanging Chickens for Grain or some other goods or services.
    “It works as an exchange system” – doesn’t the Pound Sterling ?

    Here’s how it should have been reported:
    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-05/D9UT615G0.htm
    “News Summary: Local currencies take root in Greece”

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      The very Name “Economic Crisis” is factually incorrect – the term more accurately related to this problem is “Monetary Crisis”.

      Local Currencies – if accepted as Taxes; could play a part in reducing Offshore Tax Evasion. Do Guernsey Banks accept Brixton Pounds of Greek Volos TEMs ?

  69. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Yet another example of how the BBC can manipulate the Facts.

    Nick Robinson –
    “Mr Blair said on the record that there was no truth in the allegation, made by the protester, that he had a paid relationship with US banking giant JP Morgan”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18228898

    On the face of it, this states that Tony Blair had NO (zero) relationship with J P Morgan.

    But what’s this?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/1575247/Tony-Blair-to-earn-2m-as-JP-Morgan-adviser.html

    The Video clarifies things slightly.
    Tony Blair actually said that there was no truth to the Allegation that he had a Paid relationship with J P Morgan RELATED to Iraq.

    He did have a paid relationship with J P Morgan – and may have one now.

    Reply: the Telegraph article reports a possible relationship and salary. It does not confirm it.

    Reply : I have deleted all the piece based on a Telegraph article about Mr Blair’s tax affairs. The Telegraph itself says Mr Blair’s tax affairs are all legal, and says it does not know how most of the money was spent. If salaries were paid for example, there would be tax paid on them as well.

  70. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Can you review my last comment please, which starts with the sentence:
    “Yet another example of how the BBC can manipulate the Facts.”

    Thank you.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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