BBC fails to point out Leave MPs wish farmers to receive all current subsidies on exit, paid by UK governments

The Radio 4 Farming Today programme this morning spent time debating life after subsidies have been abolished in the context of exit from the EU. Whilst they said the UK could pay subsidies itself on exit, the rest of the piece left farmers with the clear impression the base case was no subsidy. This is simply false. I know of no likely post exit UK government that would remove all farming subsidies. The Leave campaign says we should just pay what is currently paid.

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170 Comments

  1. Posted February 12, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Indeed on balance the farmers would benefit significantly as the UK government would not have all the huge overheads and the endless stupidity of the EU/CAP system to comply with. The send them £1 and get just 40p back but with countless damaging strings and hypothecations attached to it. Government and subsidy would be closer to the coal face or rather closer the combine harvester or dairy in this case.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      However, as a farmer myself, it is an unfortunate fact that most farmers have good cause to trust the EU more than they trust British Governments. Successive British Governments, especially of the Labour and Lib-Dem persuasion, have treated British farmers as shabbily as all governments have treated the military. The feeling is abroad that farmers are Conservative and wealthy and do not need subsidy.

      With the militant French farmers on your side in the EU, farmers are on a much safer wicket. Nothing short of a legal Covenant by the British government will get most farmers voting Brexit, however pro-Sovereignty they are.

      By the way, it is the same with the Universities. They are another political football who fear governments after Brexit will cut back the funds. They, too, need a cast-iron Covenant to take them off the political football pitch.

      • Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        I like the “Covenant”, but I would advise against “cast-iron”.

      • Posted February 13, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Well, I do tend to think Universities need some considerable rationalisation. So many courses are of so little real value, even at the top universities. I would certainly slant the grants and funding more towards engineering, science, maths, medicine, construction, real economics and the likes and away from PPE, law, divinity, languages, social sciences, the arts and modern history, certainly if people like Cameron, Ken Clark and Osborne are the output.

        Surely the last thing we need is more lefty Oxford PPE and law graduates. There are also countless hobby subject being offered at tax payers expense. Could people not get real a job and pay for their own hobbies subjects in their spare time?

  2. Posted February 12, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Well just as we expect of the appallingly biased BBC. I wonder how they keep all their people so on message on their wrong on every issue BBC agenda.

    This on of the catastrophic warming religion, ever more tax borrow and waste and government “investment”, every more tax, ever more EU and ever more central control & government regulation of everything. This combined with a belief in magic money tree lefty economics.

    Do they have some brain washing machine at Television Centre or do they only employ dopey art graduates, recruited from those who read the Guardian and who have big, lefty chips of envy on their shoulders?

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      It makes it all the more galling that this government has completely stalled on BBC reform and that they have no fear of sanction at all. One wonders if this absence of reform activity was part of a cunning plan by the Tory hierarchy to give the BBC cart blanche in this referendum. The BBC close down all debate on the green religion, fracking, Europe, spare room subsidies basicallt anything not in line with their Guardian playbook. They are meant to be neutral, the country as a whole is right of centre and the BBC is not even in the centre ground. They have no fear of admonition or respect for differing opinions.

      I note also that this government has also, idiotically, stalled on HoC reform and that was only a proposed reduction in size of 40. Though at least it would make boundaries fairer. Osborne should spend less time attacking wealth creators, the hard working, trying to secure a doomed leadership bid and more time time dealing with the BBC and resetting 15yrs of labour boundary reform.

      Reply Wrong on both. Reducing numbers of MPs us going ahead, and the BBC review is underwat

      • Posted February 13, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        But Cameron is a “BBC think” person to his very core. He even put Lord Patten as chairman of the BBC trust.

        Cameron just like the BBC is for every bigger government, expensive religious green crap energy, every more EU, tax borrow and endless waste, a no deterrent criminal justice systems, anti car/truck, pro train/bike and for endless PC nonsense. He is a happiness index toting, full of empty PR drivel and lies and has endless token gestures serving as ministers.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      The late Michael Wharton (aka Peter Simple of the Telegraph) worked at the BBC at the time of Stalin’s death in 1953. When Stalin’s demise was announced, MW remarked to his colleagues what a relief it would be to mankind. The reaction was immediate (shock horror) and longer term in that MW’s card was now marked.

      Plus ca change….

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I hate to say this but the average arts graduate has far less opportunity then a scientist, engineer, medic or tradesperson to start their own business, be self-reliant and make something of themselves. When you’re in dependency mode with an arts degree, pillars like the BBC, civil service, quangos etc and all that go with them are the best prop.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Some truth in that and even dopes like Marr seem to get huge salaries £600K I think? just for asking questions like “What would you like to say next Mr Cameron”.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        It’s a sad fact, Joe, that, at a time when we’re unable to find a competent plumber, a carpenter or an electrician (except from Poland), we have enough unemployed — or virtually unemployed — graduates in ‘Media Studies’ or their predecessor, P.P.E., to populate Mars, if we ever get there!

        ΠΞ

        • Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          If we don’t have half of our school leavers going to university then we will be falling behind other countries, like China for example.

          It’s just a pity that unlike China too few of them are studying anything which might be of practical use, but it makes up the numbers.

          • Posted February 13, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            Well they just renamed all the Polytechnics Universities to hit their targets, why not go further and call the rather trivial now “A levels” a university degree and sixth forms universities too?

            Or perhaps teach people to do things that are actually useful and in demand for a change?

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      @Lifelogic; “Well just as we expect of the appallingly biased BBC. I wonder how they keep all their people so on message on their wrong on every issue BBC agenda.”

      Indeed Mr Lifelogic, but the answer might not be what you think nor wish it to be… Hmm 🙂

      @Joe Soap; Not everyone at the BBC is an arts graduate, well at least no more than any other UK media/broadcast professional.

      ..”…………….

      Perhaps people at the BBC were simply fearful of who would replace Stalin, always better the devil you know and all that, how many would today welcome either Kim Jong-il or his father Kim Il-sung (as bad as those two people were) instead of the current leader of N.Korea?

      Anyway, the here-say of a now deceased newspaper columnist [1] to a right-wing rather anti BBC newspaper is nothing new nor proof that the here-say is even true -your claim doesn’t seem to be of noteworthiness to be included in the chaps Wikipedia page, although he does seem to have had ‘interesting’ views on life and even capitalism…

      Etc ed

      • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Oh dear, rather strange and unwarranted censorship returns, even more so when the original comment I replied to is still extant (above) and the reference to a Wikipedia page is left in place…. Oh well!

        • Posted February 14, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          I wecome the editing.
          Your own blogsite is the proper place for airing your views and us having to endure your extensive expertise on numerous subjects Jerry.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; The feeling is mutual… 🙂

            But once again you miss the real point.

            It wasn’t the editing, it was the way it was edited that amused me (even more so as the subject of the comment is long dead), deleting my @author; “quote” but then leaving the very same comment by @alte fritz in place above, surely better to have just delayed my entire reply to @alte fritz regarding the matter if there really is an issue.

            Nor would I expect the said publication to be worried about being called right-wing nor perhaps even anti BBC, seems all very strange.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

            Busy day Jerry?

  3. Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    When you become Chancellor of the Exchequer in the post-Cameron post-Brexit Government, I’m quite certain that you’ll continue the subsidies which our farmers currently enjoy.

    Furthermore I’m sure you’ll wish to give every support to the rebuilding of our ports and fishing industry, which have suffered enormously under the EU.

    Economic policies can never be guaranteed in perpetuity but people must be reassured that existing subsidies will be continued by the newly independent UK Government post-Brexit.

  4. Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Dr JR, it seems very likely that the BBC internal business development and strategic planning group would be eyeing the Corporation’s position in the event of the ever-closer-union that will surely follow a successful Remain campaign.

    As a recipient of EU largesse, the BBC’s loyalty to the British state is already compromised, although not in its own eyes, given that the EU is seen by the Corporation as a greater good. By assuming this position of seeking a higher state of virtue, the BBC would be able to justify its pro-EU stance to itself in moral terms. It follows that minor sins of omission, such as ignoring post-Brexit assurances of continued farm subsidies, may be seen as entirely consistent with the Corporation’s over-arching responsibility to ensure the success of the Remain campaign.

    Notwithstanding the above, it is also expedient from the perspective of the Remain campaign to ignore the enormous benefit of the return of the fishing grounds that will follow Brexit. In regional Scotland, communities that lived by fishing and boat-building were decimated by the loss of the fishing grounds on EU accession, an economic wound that has greatly assisted the growth of the SNP franchise.

    It would be extremely important for the Leave campaign to highlight the benefit to Scotland of returning the fishing grounds in its Scottish campaign. Further inducements such as accelerated depreciation and/or grants towards the cost of building of new boats should also be offered.

  5. Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    The BBC is storing up real trouble for itself post Brexit. I would suggest that they are told in no uncertain terms that their future is in grave peril because there will be a price to pay for their partiality. I doubt there will be a Europhile Cameron to shield them from those who will be in power post Brexit.

    The leave campaign needs an intelligence department to counter all the black propaganda spewing forth from the BBC. In this particular case they could quickly identify every farmer and market gardener in the country via the NFU then ensure by social media and pamphleting that everyone knew what the post Brexit policy would be.
    Assuming the young conservatives are on board with Brexit, here is something for them to do, making sure the farming community knows they are safe and that what they hear on the BBC is no more than Bovine Scatology.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      ” The BBC is storing up real trouble for itself post Brexit.” I really hope you are right. However the Corporation has proved impervious to complaints of bias, on this and many others issues, even when examples of quite blatant bias on their part are drawn to their attention. Even Margaret Thatcher did not manage to rein in what she rightly described as “the lefties at the BBC”. No government so far has been willing to face down the corporation head on because all governments fear the power of the institution to present its opponents even more unfavourably. Who will bell the cat? I don’t know, but someone should. The only way to do it is to abolish the licence fee. That is what gives the BBC its dominant market position.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Mr. Matthews is right: quite apart from the undue leverage conferred upon the B.B.C. by the television tax (or ‘licence fee’, as Lord Hall-Hall would call it), it’s an incredibly inefficient means of financing public broadcasting.

        It were far better to finance the B.B.C. — along with any other such media considered worthy of public support — by means of a precept. The collection of the television tax, instituted by the Stalinist post-war government of Comrade Atlee, is incredibly inefficient and was aimed mainly — as was the Firearms Act, 1968 — at control of the population.

        ΠΞ

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      @agricola; “The BBC is storing up real trouble for itself post Brexit.”

      Really? You mean via the Farming Today programme, probably not much above the Shipping Forecast in the (general) public’s choice of Radio listening, both being somewhat near the bottom…

      “I would suggest that they are told in no uncertain terms that their future is in grave peril because there will be a price to pay for their partiality.”

      Careful, such a comment might be thrown back in the makers face, after all how many europhobes would be complaining if the BBC was constantly raving about the benefits of a Brexit, many europhobes would like such partisan content…

      I would suggest, seeing as the BBC do seem to have little to loose under this government, that if the BBC do receive such ‘threats’ they make then public PDQ, naming who made them -and if they happen to be acting in regards to the Brexit vote it will damage the Brexit side far more than the BBC. If the BBC, or any other UK broadcaster, fails to comply with election/referendum law then complain the the electoral commission. Also, what of Euronews, France24, RT, Blomberg and CNBC or even Foxnews, all available in the UK (without having to be a DVB-S reception specialist)?…

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

        As usual Jerry you list other commercial broadcasters and say what about them.
        But the BBC are different.
        Come on Jerry we all like the BBC but their news coverage, in particular, is just not balanced.

        • Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          @Edwarsd2; No the BBC is no different to other broadcasters in (or into) the UK, political bias is political bias, were ever it comes from. QED!

          You attitude on this suggest you actually like bias, just so long as it favours your point of view of course…

        • Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          @Edward; Just to add. If you think the BBC is biased, go watch your beloved publicly, sorry, commercially funded Ch4 News…

          • Posted February 13, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            I’m happy to choose from the many other commercial stations Jerry but there is a difference.
            I am forced to pay a fee to the BBC first, to be able just to watch them.

          • Posted February 13, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Just to add
            There is is difference between balance and bias.
            I was talking about balance.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

            @Edwards2; You really really do not have the first clue as to how commercial (and due-mode funded) broadcasting is funded and by whom. As for balance vs. bias, perhaps you have a point but when other broadcasters have the same problems in spadefuls you only ever rant on about the BBC.

            Also, how many times, no one is being forced to watch TV in the UK, so no need to pay the TVL fee, just like no one is forced to pay VED if they choose not to drive/use a car on the public roads, yet everyone pays for your beloved and biased commercial TV, even the totally blind.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            I do have the first clue thanks Jerry
            Just a very different one to you.
            You would defend the BBC and it’s current outdated method of funding to the bitter end whatever changes take place in the industry.
            But as things change and the BBC do not they will increasingly be left behind.
            You logic on VED and adverts is seriously flawed but I realise it’s your hard held opinion.
            Which despite its weaknesses you are entitled to hold.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Oh right so this is all actually a rant about funding, dressed up as a complaint about bias, thanks for the clarification, nothing new in brickbats being used indiscriminately, but then you don’t understand [1] how commercial TV is paid for, (you really do seem think it is all a free lunch for the consumer) with an even more regressive and out of date funding model that people (such as the blind) have little choice other than to pay.

            At least with the BBC and the TVL fee people can choose to watch TV or not, just as people are free to decide if to pay VED and thus legally use a car on the public roads, never mind that they never watch BBC… oh sorry, I mean use motorways that the VED helps fund..

            In fact I’ve known elderly ladies and gentlemen who hardly use A roads, but they still pay the full VED for the class of their car, it would have been cheaper for them to have used taxis, but like watching TV it was their choice.

            As it is, I agree that the TVL fee is outdated, but so is funding via paid for commercials, in this age of PVRs etc, people just skip them. Oh and yes, there are areas of the BBC that should go, I have long said here that I believe the BBC should have to return to a more pure and basic PSB position.

            [1] In fact Edward such is your blindness to the facts I do wonder if you have or have had direct connections to the television & radio advertising industry. Anything to declare?

          • Posted February 15, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            The r word again Jerry
            Every time someone says something you dislike you call it a rant..

          • Posted February 16, 2016 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; I note that you refused to actually answer the question is asked, and you think you complain about me answering your (and others) “Have I stopped beating my wife yet” questions.

            I will ask again, considering your defence of forcing people to pay for commercial advertising on TV (and radio) do you or have you had any professional connections with the industry? A simple yes or no will do. So far your silence on this is more telling than a denial…

          • Posted February 16, 2016 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

            I find it very irritating to have to answer this attempted slur on my integrity because you must have a very poor memory Jerry.
            You have asked this previously
            And I have answered previously
            I have spent a career in manufacturing engineering.
            I have no connection at all in any way whatsoever to any media company or any financial interest in any media business at all in any way.
            I expect you not to ask this tiresome question ever again.

  6. Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I believe this supports my opinion that I shared with my comment I made in your previous post that the MSM is not a place to find balanced, informative and truthful information. That the BBC has become a propaganda instrument like the rest of the MSM when it does not have the legal right to be so. If the BBC wants to be like the rest of the MSM then it should be allowed to do so except not at the taxpayers expense. It should be split up and sold off to the private sector then it can be as biased as much as it likes but at least all will be aware that is what they are being.

  7. Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    A farmer friend told me many years ago how he wondered why the TV had one particular programme devoted to farmers. ” I don’t have time to watch TV ” . He did not mention any radio programme dedicated to farmers. Knowing him , I very much doubt he had time for happy radio listening either.

    Farming magazines, I’ve noticed, are pro-subsidy EU. Failing to mention the fact that subsidies of some kind are bound to exist post-EU. Again, hardworking farmers haven’t got time to plough through thick magazines about their trade anymore than a factory worker has time or inclination to read ABOUT work.

    The BBC and the pro-EU lot should understand the LEAVE Campaign is about giving a free hand to people who want to actually work, who like working, enjoy working, feel good working not time-wasters and glassbacks.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Again, hardworking farmers haven’t got time to plough through thick magazines about their trade anymore than a factory worker has time or inclination to read ABOUT work.’ Wrong. Farming is about strategic planning, or working on the business as much as working in the business. A farmer is more akin to a factory owner than a factory worker. An informed view of soft commodity markets, climate trends, developments in agronomy and in plant/machinery is therefore essential.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        @Bluedog; “Again, hardworking farmers haven’t got time to plough through thick magazines about their trade”

        Of course they have! That’s why there are at least three weekly specialised commercial farming magazines [1] here in the UK, with many more websites offering targeted social media for farms and their employees etc.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Sorry. I only know farmers who work for living. Not Gentlemen Farmers who double up as DJs. I actually know farmers..many, both personally and through my various works.
        Farmers do not = Factory owners. They work.
        Whilst it may fill a dull moment to joust with fellow Commenters on here…that is not my purpose. Our Country is going down the drain. I have no time for mind-games.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      @CH; Knowing him , I very much doubt he had time for happy radio listening either.

      Very strange, considering the government (MAFF, and its replacements) have in the past specifically asked the BBC to include farming messages in programmes most likely to be heard by farmers or those with daily contact with then, the most obvious being “The Archers” (which was all-but created to be a pipeline of information for farmers), and ever wondered why Farming Today is broadcast so early in the day, or when TV actually had proper PSB programmes for Farmers and Growers the broadcast times were when it best suited the industry and not the schedulers. Your friend I would suggest, knowing farmers and those in related industries, is not typical -and certainly not related to the larger modern farms were managers are often office bound willing for the time they do get out in the fields!

      “The BBC and the pro-EU lot should understand the LEAVE Campaign is about giving a free hand to people who want to actually work, [../rant/..]”

      Farmers already know that, trouble for the Brexit campaign is, those who want to “actually work” are from Eastern European countries and not Joe Blogs from the next town, no he want to sit dressed in suit and tie at a desk doing a 9 to 5 job, not wear galoshes whilst cutting cabbages from sunrise to sunset…

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      ah, the free stuff socialists in Westminster are all set to match the free stuff handouts from the EU.

      we can all sleep better.

      Westminster or Brussels, I have a hard time seeing the difference.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        @Gary.
        When the peasants finally revolt it will be easier to lynch those that have betrayed them in Westminster than in Brussels.One good reason for exiting!

        • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          @Mitchel; So are you going to “lynch” yourself, after all politicos are only elected by the public vote, for example had we elected Labour in 1983 we would have been out of the EEC before Mrs Thatcher could have signed the Single European Act, had Labour been re-elected in 1970 it is doubtful that we would have ever joined – the peasants get what the peasants want, more or less…

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        True, but where did the EU’s “free stuff” come from in the first place?

        It’s our money!!!

        • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          @Know-Dice; “It’s our money!!!”

          Faux pas rational…

          Once you, I or the country pay our legally due taxes and charges it is no longer “our money”, title to it has moved on.

          If not, do you think if the MOD would mind me borrowing one of “my” Land Rover’s back for a week or so sometime?!…

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            It’s always our money
            Don’t be so pedantic Jerry

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Try telling that to a court of law!

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

            We elect our politicians
            They set taxes with the consent of Parliament
            We are all citizens of the UK
            We pay our taxes
            It is spent to our mutual advantage
            It is our money.

          • Posted February 15, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Nonsense, title to it has changed, even more so as we do indeed elect our politicos – if we wanted a different legal or tax system we would elect different people pledged to enact a different system.

            By your logic, if you were to buy something from a shop you do not actually own it as legal title has not changed, the shop, or more likely the manufacture still does. Taxes are legal transactions, stop thinking of them as legalised extortion, doing so says far more about you than it ever does about the tax system!

          • Posted February 15, 2016 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            I never used or implied the word extortion
            Stop making things up Jerry

          • Posted February 16, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            @Edward; Yes you did, whilst the only person making things up is you Edward. Trouble is you really do seem to believe that right-wing anti tax spiel about it still being “our money”…

          • Posted February 16, 2016 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

            What on earth is “right wing” or “anti tax” about what I a have said.
            Quite extraordinary comments from you.

  8. Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    One major fact which needs to be repeated time and again by the Leave campaign is the size of the UK’s net payments to the EU.

    For instance, it seems that the BBC do not know this figure and continually confuse gross, gross after rebate and net figures. They need to be told.

    If I have understood the House of Commons Briefing Paper Number 06091 of 19/01/2016 correctly the forecast for 2016 is for a net figure of £11 billion which equates to around £30 million per day.

    The gross figure forecast for 2016 after rebates are taken into account is £15 billion or around £41 million per day.

    With these figures there is no need for any EU subsidies to be changed on exit and in fact it should be said that it will be safer for farmers if the UK left the EU as there will be additional money available and the UK will be determining their subsidies and not the EU.

    By the way, not often mentioned, will be the return of our fishing grounds. I do not recall seeing a figure for the benefit this will bring to the UK.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      “I do not recall seeing a figure for the benefit this will bring to the UK.”

      “In 1970, 948,000 tonnes of fish were landed from British vessels; by 2008 that had dropped to 417,000 tonnes…”

      We are currently importing £2.66 billion worth of fish annually, two thirds of what we eat.

      An estimate of the total cost to us of the CFP is £2.81 billion all things considered or £3.58 per household per week.

      Information taken from the booklet “Stolen Seas” published by the EFD(D) Group in the EU parliament which unlike the ECR to which JR’s party belongs is Eurosceptic in actuality rather than in pretence.

    • Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Nor do I see it on Cameron’s list of EU reforms that he wants. Along with a lot of other things which he has not even asked for.

  9. Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    You make another important point with wider implications. There is much ignorance in the country about money spent by the EU. Many don’t realise that it is our money but someone else, over whom we have no control, is deciding how it is spent.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely, we have to keep repeating that so-called “EU money” is effectively just a part of the money we, UK taxpayers, have sent to Brussels, kindly returned to us with strings attached, until we are sick of saying it. Plainly many of the people who have become dependent on money from Brussels in various guises haven’t yet grasped this basic truth, and they fear that the funds will be cut off when we leave the EU. I can kind of understand that for the young woman in the Question Time audience last night who said that the arts centre they were in would not have been built without “EU money”, but we have academics saying the same thing about research funding when they should be intelligent enough to know better. Some of these fears may have a foundation in reality insofar as the money is being spent as the EU wants it spent rather than as we will want it spent, but I think the only safe thing to say is that all the present EU funding will just be replaced by direct UK funding until we have had time to debate it and make any necessary changes.

  10. Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    We should be thankful that Cameron hasn’t threatened the end of farm subsidies on Brexit–that would be his style of late

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Plus, outside the EU he’d be unable to stop the fields being sown with salt.

    • Posted February 13, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Cameron will doubtless do that very soon.

  11. Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    What did you expect from the BBC, this sort of thing is going to be common from them upto the vote on leaving the dreaded eu, wouldn’t surprise me if the BBC wasn’t funded in some way by the eu

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      I think the BBC gets an EU grant.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes, £ 2 millions over three years, out of an annual budget of £ 5 billions.

        • Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          @hefner; “Yes £2m

          In other words total peanuts, hardly pays for a couple or so episode of “Call the Midwife” I suspect, all counted by the time it has been broadcast.

          Anyone actually know what the BBC use(d) this money for, I do recall the BBC used to pay the EU (like any broadcaster or indi’ production company would) to use the EU’s AV studios in Brussels and Strasbourg, so perhaps the BBC was/are in effect getting free production facilities for their European Union political coverage? If so doesn’t that count as a UK ‘tax payer’ rebate! 😉

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      The grants for the BBC, CBI, Universities and other NGO’s are all on the EU website!! Straight propaganda not information.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Indeed so much of the EU (and indeed UK government) budgets seems to be spent on propaganda. Do tax payers really want to pay taxes so they can be used to try to brain wash of fool them?

        I do not think many are fooled by it.

        • Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          It happens all the time. Even our local Council which is so strapped for cash it has to cut services and keep putting up car parking charges in the town centre has a publicity dept and issues a glossy booklet each year telling us what a wonderful job they are doing. It’s a Tory Council, to boot, before anyone goes off on one about left wing profligacy.

          • Posted February 13, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            I am wondering whether this is Mr Stringer. If this is so he understands that the division between left and right in reality is very little. Policies swing like a pendulum from one side to another and the left call them right and vice versa. He will also understand what I mean about the Nurses over the years.

          • Posted February 13, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            Well the current Tories are very left wing.

  12. Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I see this half witted government has found yet another way to inconvenience, tax and render less competitive the UK’s industry. This with their bonkers reporting of the gender pay gap.

    Anyone sensible who looks as the statistics can see that the gap is entirely due to the different choices men and woman take in life, the different subject they study, the career breaks they take and the work life balance choices they make. The proposal is in essence just a way to encourage active discrimination against men. Typical of the moronic direction Cameron tends to prefer.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      The figures show that younger woman already earn nearly the same as men and woman without children already earn more. Research also show that women are less motivated by pay levels and more motivated by convenience and work life balance choices. Less likely for example to for example take shift work on an oil rig miles away from home.

      Also far less likely on average to study certain science subjects.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        And far less likely to burn the midnight oil at work.

        Men also get anal about their subject in a way that women don’t. They fixate on the tiniest detail developing a new gadget, material, method of production, sales target… almost to autistic levels of absorption.

        • Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          I agree they do seem to be more obsessive on average. How many female chess players are there in the World’s top 5000 for example.

          I do not think it is because the chess pieces are too heavy. Women are perhaps just more sensible than to devote all their time to such a goal.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Needless to say the BBC radio 4 discussion of the this gender pay gap (the enforced reporting of) just now was not:- “is this a good idea or is it just yet another way to render business in the UK even less competitive”. Nor was it:- “is there really a gender pay gap at all or is it just the professions/hours/career breaks they choose or just how the genders choose to balance work and family life”.

      Not it was all about how terrible this proposal is as it only applies to big companies so far.

      Just how much drivel, red tape, taxation, fiscal complexity and endless mugging does this socialist government think it can load on to business before they kill the cows they parasitically feed off?

  13. Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Sorry but if the programme was about EU subsidies…

    I think you might be under estimating the ability of farmers, when actually the vast majority have a better idea than average politico or civil servant, and many will be steeped in family farming history that is not only pre EEC (with all the government assistance given post war) but quite possibly even pre-mechanisation…

    ‘Farming Today’ never appears an overtly political programme, it is also one of the last programmes on the BBC that is written with the professional (farming) person in mind and not primarily as a ‘accessible’ (read as dumbed down) programme for the massed and largely ignorant population.

    One last thought, we all know what the BSE groups want, because it is the same as what the EU want. Is it not time that the Brexit group(s) published a full ‘manifesto’ of what their vision (government policies) would be like in a post Brexit era, this would include what farming subsidies would be paid -and on a wider point, perhaps things like NHS funding, transport funding, tax cuts, in fact why not just an example Budget Day speech? A Brexit is there for the loosing, without any help from the media (especially) in this age of the internet, and some things might be better said sooner rather than later.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      The point of leaving the EU is that we should be able to make our own choices which we would be free to change if we find better ways of doing things that we agree upon in Parliament, not that there is an unique set of Hobson’s choices that would be foist upon us through leaving, in contrast with situation should we remain in the EU.

  14. Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    By the time CMD has finished building houses for the rest of the world – will there be any farming land left? Presumably he will increase the amount of houses needed here yet again as Turkey is now “threatening” Europe with millions more designer clad selfie taking sunglass wearing “desperate” freeloaders, (despite their payment to stop it). Wonder whose pocket the previous load of money went in?

    The end of European civilisation is upon us. Farming will be gone, this island turned into a 3rd world seething mass of human imports. The Middle East and all its continuous fighting is now the Near East. A very sarcastic well done Ange.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      @biogneil; “will there be any farming land left?”

      People said that of the post war New Towns in 1945…

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, People said that of the post war New Towns in 1945…

        Whilst there may be land left, there won’t be any homes for all the migrants coming eventually. I am astounded at the number of homes shown on the tv that are owned by foreigners (mostly Asian) which are being let out illegally as flats with numerous families living in rooms and even in outbuildings and sheds. If we want London and our cities to look like the far east then we are going the right way about it.

        • Posted February 12, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          @fedupsoutherner; You make a good case for rent controls and other regulation of the private rental sector, with perhaps a renewed public LA housing stocks to boot!…

          The UK is not short of building land, even outside of the traditional development zones, there is a lot of land that can never be farmed but could be used for housing – the biggest problem being NIMBY’s, even some flood plains could be built on if push came to shove, providing the housing stocks were built in such a way that would still allow for flooding with minimal or no damage, such as houses built on ‘stilts’ with just storage areas under the actual living areas.

        • Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          East London already does.

          This is well known but the authorities do nothing for fear of ‘cultural sensitivities’ (not to mention the profits firms make from cheap labour).

          When a neighbour put a caravan on a piece of land he owned for his own use, the Council jumped all over him and made him dispose of it – he was told planning consent would not be forthcoming.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Big Neil

      This is indeed The End.

      Despite telling them year after year, after year that this is how it would turn out. But I think even the most sceptic of us is in denial about what’s happening.

      The BBC on farming subsidies. Well we can argue as much as we like about the detail on a blog viewed by a few thousand. The BBC have the monopoly on the broadcast message and have sent their version to millions.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        We are not in denial about what is happening – the authorities are. I doubt even JR would publish anything disobliging about foreigners or religious goings on. We have lost free speech – that is the fact of the matter.

      • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous; “The BBC have the monopoly on the broadcast message and have sent their version to millions.”

        Wow, and here I was thinking it was 2016, not 1955, you mean ITV, Ch4 & 5, National and local independent radio (Oops, I must be listening to a very early Pirate radio station as I type this…), not to mention Sky and other satellite stations, never happened?!

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Did you also note how NATO are going to the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey. Led by Germany its role is one of…………surveillance and monitoring and taking economic migrants to Greece once past the half way point. Not returning them. Meanwhile it is reported in Breitbart that the Hungarian Prime Minister Mr Oban is reporting that the Germans have agreed a secret deal with Turkey for another 500,000 economic migrants to enter the EU and be distributed by EU dictate to all comers in Schengen and eventually here once they have their shiny new passport under freedom of movement. Emergency brake puuuhhhh!
      The German Government are also printing and publishing pro migrant posters and information (propaganda).
      The msm will eventually catch up and people are realising not to trust our politicos or its msm arm of news!

  15. Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    “The truth is always the first casuality of …”

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Atlas; “The truth is always the first casuality of …”

      Whilst “Ignorance is the first beneficiary of…”

  16. Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    The BBC is one of our most corrupt and dishonest “public services”. It needs to be broken up and sold off – the sooner the better. The bias is universally well-known and any other broadcaster gives us more honest reporting than this “heavy-weight”.

    TIME TO GO ! Change is good.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      @Vanessa; “The [BBC] bias is universally well-known”

      That is why there is (documented) proof that complainants of bias are roughly equally split between those citing left-wing bias and those citing right-wing bias [1]. Something is not bias simply because the content is not to your liking.

      [1] plus a few complaining that the BBC is biased both way at the same time because centrist opinions are never heard…

      Oh and why break up and sell it off, why not just regulate it, and whilst doing so how about also regulating those ‘equally biased’ private media companies broadcasting here and into the UK (if a non UK based broadcaster will not abide by our regulation standards then Ofcom simply has their listing in the EPG removed, be that on DVB-T or DVB-S platforms)?…

      I wonder how many commenting today have ever listened to Farming Today, no doubt all will be awake, tuned to R4 (rather than R5 and their Wake up to Money programme) at 05:45 come Monday morning, just to note the pro-EU bias amongst Farmers and the BBC!

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps you should visit America if you want to see what totally privatised broadcasting is like, and I bet you’d be begging for ‘Auntie’ back again.

    • Posted February 13, 2016 at 1:17 am | Permalink

      totally agree with your comment

  17. Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Don’t expect truthful reporting from the BBC, they are very partial to the EU.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they screened a spoof documentary about the first hundred days after leaving the EU, with all the usual scaremongering ploys like illegal migrants setting up a new jungle in Kent, long queues of would be holiday makers queuing at the French embassy for visas, motorists driving ageing cars (Havana style) because European manufacturers won’t export to the UK, people being bankrupted by enormous roaming charges from their mobile phone providers and farmers queuing at food banks after losing their subsidies.

    This is the kind of abuse of power that compelled me to stop paying the BBC TV Tax many years ago.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      @Bob; “I wouldn’t be surprised if [the BBC] screened a spoof documentary about the first hundred days after leaving the EU”

      Err, it was Ch4 who screened that “UKIP: the first 100 days” nonsense, a commercialised broadcaster whose prime purpose these days is to maintain their ratings share (if not increase it) so to secure their revenue income.

      “people being bankrupted by enormous roaming charges from their mobile phone providers”

      Interesting, just how much does roaming cost for UK visitors to the USA or say Australia when they use their own mobile phones to make a call or text? Of course, upon a Brexit, such people might not be ‘bankrupted’ by European roaming charges simply because the commercial companies remove the general ability to use roaming. Do remember that the EU forced the telecoms companies to cut their roaming fees, given an opportunity do you really think any commercial company would not seek to increase their revenue from roaming customers that are (possibly) not now subject to such EU regulations, would their shareholders not expect the board to maximise profits?

      “This is the kind of abuse of power that compelled me to stop paying the BBC TV Tax many years ago.”

      ‘Farming Today’, the subject of our hosts diary entry, is a Radio programme, no one has had to “!pay the BBC tax” to listen to the radio since about 1972.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry
        1. “Farming Today”, it is paid for by Licence Fee payers, as is all of BBC’s propaganda output.
        2. I never mentioned ukip.
        3. You have completely (perhaps deliberately?) missed the point (yet again).

        • Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          @Bob; If you want to get pedantic about funding, there are no free lunches, you pay for TV and radio even if you never access it, never pay a licence fee. even more so when it’s commercial broadcaster being funded via the store checkouts – as you have been told before but don’t let the facts get in the way of your right-wing political hatred of the BBC..

          • Posted February 13, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

            Wow! another bad tempered rant from Jerry because I exposed his grossly misleading statement.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            @Bob; More filthy pots and pans attempting to call the kettle dusty…

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            This is not a fact Jerry
            This is your odd theory that buying products that are made by companies who advertise is the same as being forced to pay the BBC licence fee if you want to legally watch any broadcast TV.

          • Posted February 15, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Oh right Edward, so who does pay for it, seeing that it doesn’t come out of company profits made (ultimately) via the trade/retail checkouts. I’m all ears, I’m sure our host will indulge us again….

          • Posted February 15, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

            You have the strangest views Jerry
            Thinking a compulsory BBC TV licence is the same as me buying a packet of tea which isn’t advertised on TV
            Truly odd.

          • Posted February 16, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Oh do get a grip! The TVL fee is not compulsory, there is no law in this country that says people must watch television [1]. You might be addicted to the most recent episode of Hollyoaks (or what ever) but the majority of people are not.

            For most people the purchasing of food and other daily items that allow us to go about our modern lives means buying products that are advertised or from companies that advertise, it is how the capitalist world works – even if you buy types of products that carry own or secondary brand labelling the chances are there is still advertising that needs to be paid for, such as the parent-company or supermarket chain, this everyone pays for, not just those who chose to watch TV or even listen to the radio.

            [1] Even less in this age of the internet when one can access moving image news reports without going anywhere near a TV set, and with the ever increasing size of flat screen computer monitors or projectors taking a HDMI input there isn’t a need to have a television receiver any more these days to even watch commercial DVDs and Blu-ray media content (yes I know that the audio needs to be feed to a HiFi, as many do anyway).

          • Posted February 17, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            I will give you a true and factual example from my experience in industry Jerry.
            I knew a company that had sales of around £1.5 million per month and were long established and very profitable.
            They decided for the first time in their history to try a local radio advertising campaign to seek out new customers.
            They decided to spend approx £150k per year.
            The result was a big increase in sales to approx £2 million a month.
            This resulted in increased profits, expansion and more employees.
            Their prices were unaltered in fact as a result of this campaign resulting increased profits their next catalogue had many price reductions.
            This spoils your theory that we all pay for commercial radio and TV via higher prices.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

        How does the BBC fund radio Jerry?

        • Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          @Edaward2; How does ITV or Channel Four fund their programmes… One day you might actually find a clue, we all pay for TV and radio in the UK, at least we can choose to pay the TVL fee (no one has to watch TV) unlike the “tax on shopping” that we are forced to pay to fund commercai8l broadcasters.

          Fine, let’s make ALL broadcasting in the UK subscription only based, no listeners/viewers licences, no paid for advertising, not sure that the fully commercial or mixed-mod subscription/commercial broadcasters would wish for that though…

          • Posted February 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry
            What is you problem with commerce?
            Perhaps you would feel more at home in North Korea.

          • Posted February 13, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            How does the BBC fund radio Jerry?
            Come on answer the question for once.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

            @Edward; “How does the BBC fund radio Jerry?”

            You really do not know when you should drop a hot potato Edward! Oh well, here goes, I gave you an escape option, take care of your burnt fingers Eddie…

            BBC radio is funded via the TVL fee, which is a voluntary fee, payable only if one chooses to watch TV.

            Now care to tell us how commercial radio (and TV) is funded, no I doubt you do, as it is via a non-discretionary fee charged out by way of retail checkouts etc. that the manufactures and/or supply-chain have added to the warehouse-door or shelf-price.

            No one in the UK is being forced to fund the BBC’s radio output, unlike your beloved commercial radio (and TV). QED.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            So first you tell us its free
            Then when challenged twice you say well…it’s paid for by citizens who pay the licence fee.
            Took a while to shake the answer out of you Jerry
            But worth it to see you backtrack for once.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            @Edward; BBC Radio is free if you choose not to pay the TVL fee, which is not compulsory, no one is being forced to watch TV. The same can not be said of ILR funding, not unless one takes to the “Good Life”.

            Sorry Edward but you are either totally clueless or you are are trolling, I suspect the latter.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

            I am not clueless thank you Jerry
            You said radio is free.
            It is not
            It is paid for out of licence payers money.

          • Posted February 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; The BBC radio service is free to receive, if you do not also pay to use a TV in the UK, it really is that simple. QED, check your fact, stop wasting our hosts time!

            The Wireless (reception) licence was abolished in the early 1970s. Otherwise please do inform us from were and how we should all be purchasing our radio reception licences….

            On the other hand we all pay for ILR etc, whether we own a radio or not, and we do that via the price of products we purchase in shops etc.! It could have been called Capitalist Broadcasting juts as much as Commercial Broadcasting, as it relies on the sale to the consumer of such advertised products and services.

          • Posted February 15, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            The BBC fund radio out of the licence fee money It is not free.
            It is a simple as that Jerry
            Over 90% of people in the UK do have a TV so they pay something out of there fee for radio.
            If you are one of the very few who do not own a TV then you can listen for free as some do.
            If I buy goods not advertised on TV or radio say at a farmer’s shop then there is no way I can be said to be contributing directly to commercial broadcasters.

          • Posted February 16, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            I would just add that whilst the TVL fee collection regime has many faults (and is far to regressive in behaviour), such a regime was forced upon both HMG and the BBC simply because so many people were breaking the law by avoiding it (the sales of TV receivers proved this, unless those with legal sets really were changing their set frequently whilst living in mansions!

            I might defend the BBC, and its funding, but I’m also one of its harshest critics – based on the actual facts…

          • Posted February 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            Edward2; Repeating a fails-hood won’t make it true, you are simply 100% wrong.

            The BBC radio service requires no reception licence and thus no payment, QED. Otherwise feel free to tell us how we should buy our Radio Receiver licences, on the assumption that some will do not want nor need to watch television and thus have no need to buy a Television Receiver licence…

            On the other hand we all pay for ILR etc. regardless of our wish, or even ability, to listen to a radio broadcast, we do so via the profits commercial companies make from our purchasing habits.

          • Posted February 17, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            The BBC fund their radio service via the TV license fee
            If they did not no one would be able to listen to BBC radio.
            The radio license argument is another of your pedantic red herrings.

      • Posted February 14, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Before the EU started meddling, I dealt with roaming charges by having a dual SIM phone, so my calls were local. I used an international call forwarding service that charged much lower rates on international calls.

        Levelling roaming charges is really only of benefit to people like MEPs, who need their phones to operate in their home country, and Brussels and Strasbourg, thus needing a triple SIM phone. No wonder they have legislated to increase mobile phone charges for the rest of us, who use their phones in a different country only occasionally, or not at all.

        I do recall being charged north of $100 for an hour long landline call from the Plaza Hotel, New York to a number in Chicago.

        • Posted February 15, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          @Mark; Oh right, so travelling business people and family people do not need their phones to work from the one number, from the one SIMs?!….

          • Posted February 15, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            By your logic on commercial TV being paid for by us buying products Jerry this change to roaming is also being paid for by you and me

          • Posted February 17, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            Still silent on a list of right wing biased UK TV companies I note Jerry.

  18. Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Subsidies were being talked about last night on QT. (Waste of time) It was from Wales and someone in the audience said that funding for the devolved parliament in Wales came from the EU and what would we do without it? I was flabbergasted that not one person, even Farage, pointed out that the funding is what we put in to the EU basket case in the first place. We only get a small proportion of our contributions back and so we would be perfectly well placed to pay our own way. Just another way of scaremongering. As usual Dimbleby was preventing the panel – mainly Farage – from coming back with any sensible comments to counter the lies.

  19. Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Its the milk thing that rolls forever on. Giving extra money at the supermarkets is not really solving much. The EU is out on long lunches to be bothered with it as far as I can see.

    Big lunch next week I note….good for a nosh and nothing else…as usual!

  20. Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I was heartened to hear the Conservative spokesperson on QT actually admit that the reason our energy bills are BECOMING the highest in Europe. He told us what many of us already know, we are subsidising renewable energy because we have signed up to a ludicrous policy of carbon reduction. Our fossil fuel industries are penalised with extortionate charges now with carbon taxes. Unbelievably many of the audience and the panel then went on to endorse the tidal lagoon at Swansea which will be even more expensive than anything else!! You couldn’t make it up.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      You may be pleased to note that the government has decided to review the Swansea project and tidal energy in general:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-of-tidal-lagoons

      The review will consider:

      An assessment of whether, and in what circumstances, tidal lagoons could play a cost effective role as part of the UK energy mix;
      The potential scale of opportunity in the UK and internationally, including supply chain opportunities;
      A range of possible structures for financing tidal lagoons;
      Different sizes of projects as the first of a kind;
      Whether a competitive framework could be put in place for the delivery of tidal lagoon projects.

      It ought to fall at the first fence. There’s an excellent dissection of the Swansea project to be found at Euan Mearns’ site – search for “a trip round Swansea Bay tidal”.

      I note Lord Bourne seemed to have been involved in the cancellation of the £1bn subsidy to carbon capture projects a few months ago.

  21. Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    The BBC has been promoting several straw man arguments like the farm subsidies fantasy.

    It even devoted a whole radio programme based on the falsehood that OUTers are advocating the Norway option.

    One of the BBC’s arguments does puzzle me, though.

    The BBC made a political statement on the World at One (Radio 4, Wed 3rd February 2016) in which it stated: “repealing the 1972 European Communities Act would be a drastic step”. (I think it was James Landale who said these words on behalf of the BBC).

    Is this right?

    What is so drastic about stating that our Parliament is sovereign when it comes to law-making?

    • Posted February 13, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      @Kenneth

      “What is so drastic about stating that our Parliament is sovereign when it comes to law-making?”

      It would be as drastic as removing shackles from a slave.

      We would be free to comply with EU directives that suit the UK and ignore the ones that don’t.

  22. Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I am ashamed at the way our farmers are treated under the CAP rules. The big institutional industrial farmer plays the subsidy game, they were quite happy to fill the grain mountain.
    It is the small traditional farmer I feel sorry for. The Dairy farmer, the sheep farmer, the hill farmer, all guardians of our landscape.
    Considering that Conservative MP’s represent the rural Constituencies, I think they do a very poor job of looking after the farming community. How many dairy farms have gone to the wall since we joined CAP. CAP was never designed for the British farmer.
    Didn’t we have the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) until 2002
    The green zealots, the moonbats want to turn vast areas of the country into set-aside.
    Time to leave the EU and CAP.

    • Posted February 13, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      There are more small farmers than large. The large farms are able to make millions from arable subsidies and the land is often held by companies. Land values have become too high for traditional farmers and they often rent or manage the farm. Dairy and livestock farmers are being driven out, and work hard for little.

      The Outers should use the savings from the EU subsidies to guarantee improved prices and land maintenance payments for the small farmers over the pathetic amount delivered by the CAP. The big owners have few votes and don’t need the subsidies. The huge amounts made from windfarms needs to be cut and could be paid to keep small farmers in business too.

  23. Posted February 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    If the UK votes to stay in the eu, it will, in my opinion, largely be due to the BBC.

    However, even after such an injustice who will publicly complain? Nobody. Well, at least nobody who is in the public eye. How can they publicly complain when they rely so heavily on the BBC itself?

    Why would other journalists complain when the BBC is the only viable large employer? Why would any organisation that relies on publicity rail against the BBC?

    Look at the Spectator. It has increased its readership dramatically since the BBC has regularly invited Isabel Hardman on to the telly.

    This is good news on the face of it. However, just think of the dilemma at the Spectator. It has a proud history of pointing out the BBC’s shortcomings. Will it continue to do this, thus risking a large circulation drop should the BBC take umbrage and Hardman be dropped?

    Will Hardman be poached by the BBC itself and is she changing her style and the words she uses in order to keep her options open?

    I am not suggesting that the Spectator or Isabel Hardman will be cowed in this way, but it just illustrates the problem facing anybody who relies on publicity, whether they are politicians or journalists or anyone with a book, film, play or record to promote.

    It is said that most artists, like musicians and comedians are inherently left wing. Are they really or are they also being sucked into the BBC’s mindset?

    As MPs rely on publicity in order to get their message across and as the BBC is such a dominant player, just think where this leads. The majority of MPs, by definition, will belong to the ruling party. Thus, the government itself must go along with the BBC.

    This is why, in my humble opinion, the government will recommend an IN vote.

  24. Posted February 12, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    From the BBC Charter:

    The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows—
    (a)sustaining citizenship and civil society;
    (b)promoting education and learning;
    (c)stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;
    (d)representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities;
    (e)bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK;

    That is, their obligation is to sustain British citizenship, not that of the EU, and they are meant to represent the UK, not the EU, while informing us of the goings on in the EU and elsewhere in the world. They appear to be in several fundamental breaches of their charter obligations.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      @Mark; In your citation there is no mention of British Passport holders, just citizens, societies and communities.

      I guess you gave up reading your cut-n-pasted citation before reaching sections (d) and (e), even though you posted them!

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        I specifically alluded to d) and e) in my comment. Read it again. Moreover, the Charter begins

        1.Incorporation of the BBC
        (1) The BBC shall continue to be a body corporate by the name of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

        You might have a point were it to be renamed EuroTV.

        • Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          @Mark; Might I suggest that you re read your own citation again, you are the one who has miss read it, or at least miss understood its meaning. Oh and it is called The British Broadcasting Corporation because it is based in Britain, not because it should only ever broadcast to British people, never to broadcast news or content from other countries!

          By your logic BSkyB (now renamed back to Sky) should be called something like ‘US-Sky-Broadcasting’, considering the amount of US originated content it broadcasts, even more so considering it relays FoxNews!

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

        How pedantic can you get Jerry

        • Posted February 13, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

          @Jerry,
          Do you have a past or present occupational connection with the BBC?

          • Posted February 13, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            @Bob: No, not at all, but I have had connections to other aspect of the wider broadcasting/content creation industry.

            If you actually read what I say you will note that whilst I defend the BBC I do not claim them to be blameless. What annoys me about you and others who constantly pick upon the BBC is that you totally ignore all the other failing within the wider industry, even when they are far more biased towards the left or EU than the BBC have ever been – such as that Ch4 claptrap about a future UKIP governments first 100 days, even more so when they broadcast it only a couple of months away from the known date of the next GE – having had four and a half years to commission and broadcast such a programme even if it was a justifiable speculative political drama.

            For some the mere mention of the BBC is like a red rag to a bull, and thus reasoned thoughts fly out of the window along with their rag!

            I do not want to see any political bias on TV or radio, be it left-wing or right-wing, and that is the difference between us, people like you seem to quite like bias, just so long as it favours your arguments…

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

            Please name some UK TV stations which have a right wing bias Jerry.

          • Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

            Two questions:
            1. If the so called independent media have a left biased culture, then what is the point of the BBC?

            2. Wouldn’t you prefer the Licence Fee money were used to increase the size of the UK education budget or paying junior doctors a bit more?

        • Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          Are you sure you want to know?

  25. Posted February 12, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I was speaking to someone whose mother works as a journalist on Newsnight. When I mentioned bias at the BBC, he said she was very defensive and yet said they tried to be balanced. My guess is that there is just huge but hidden pressure from the pro-EU politically correct lobby and a tendency to classify opinions they do not agree with as ‘ideologically-driven’. ‘Right wingers’ and ‘extremists’ are a no-no even if these people actually represent the opinions of the majority of UK citizens.

    Anyone involved in the Humanities knows that the result of postmodernity is to assert that objectivity does not exist and that all viewpoints are equally valid. You only have to listen to first year undergraduates to hear language of this sort. This, however, results in a peculiar double-think whereby authenticity is valued highly but at the same time certain legal rights and liberal positions are valued even more.

    The net result of all this is that green ideas and feminism emerge as the default positions which are then foisted on others and angrily defended if they are questioned.

  26. Posted February 12, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The BBC, mouthpiece of the state, doesn’t accurately or objectively report news.
    Only people that live very sheltered lives (gullible) would willingly pay tele tax to have propaganda beamed into their homes. The dead tree press is dying for because people are waking up to it, how long before the beeb goes the same way?
    Equally gullible are the people that still believe that voting for a candidate put forward by our overlords is actually going to change something.

  27. Posted February 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Mr R,

    Many of us here agree that your blogs should be published in some wider form.

    I’d like to see a TV debate with you and a leading pro-EU person, and I’d like the other person to state every one of their arguments for staying in, such as farming subsidies, etc, and I’d like to see you calmly, soberly, and with factual evidence, refute and dismantle every single one of their points.

    That would be the most beneficial thing that could happen for the Leave campaigns.

    Reply Happy to do it. There are no current plans I know of for it.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      In a briefly posted article in the DT (it’s now been taken down), the Hansard Society offered the suggestion that Cameron and Corbyn, both pro-EU membership, should debate. There is of course little point in like minded individuals achieving furious agreement where the EU is concerned. What would be important would be to position Cameron and Corbyn on one side of a TV debate with Dr JR and AN Other (Frank Field?) on the opposing side. The juxtaposition of Cameron and Corbyn would be fatal to both.

  28. Posted February 12, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Has anything been done to correct this?

  29. Posted February 12, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been reading this article on the Conservative Home blog;

    http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2016/02/pickles-appeals-to-tory-councillors-to-support-the-remain-campaign.html

    There are comments there from people with whom I often used to cross swords, before I was banned for persistently asking whether Tory candidates actually believed in the sovereignty of the Parliament to which they aspired, and I’m rather taken aback that almost all of them are now saying that we should Leave the EU.

  30. Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I am always hearing from the Stayers that on leaving the EU ‘food in the shops will be dearer’.
    I would have thought that the CAP makes food dearer than it would be particularly with imports. – am I wrong?

    What is the truth on this?

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      You might want to have a look at “Comparative price levels of consumer goods and services” on the ec.europea.eu (Eurostat) website. The figures are of December 2015.
      Given that it compares the figures for the 28 EU countries, you might get a feeling for what might be linked to EU policies and what might be the results of UK policies.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Generally speaking food is already much more expensive in the UK. Today I bought 2.0Kg of large 3-4 inches of meat, prawns for Eu 19.90 or £15.30. When I last visited Tesco they were selling 1.0 inch excuses for prawns at around £22.00 per kilo. Additionally a whole side of Pork Ribs for Eu 4.45 or £3.42. Fresh large oranges at Eu 3.30 or £2.54 for 6.0 Kgs.. Check it out where you are.

      Outside the EU we should be able to buy food at World market prices which can be a lot cheaper than in the UK. However do not expect our supermarkets to pass on any savings which they will look upon as an enhanced profit opportunity.

      I would also add that the quality of supermarket meat is far superior to that available from supermarkets in the UK where they make a big deal of 21 day hung beef and charge extra. The Spanish would not accept the inferiority of UK supermarket meat.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      “…. hearing from the Stayers that on leaving the EU ‘food in the shops will be dearer’.”

      One of the EU initiatives still in the pipeline is harmonisation of a minimal level of VAT throughout the EU. There would be no exceptions, food and medicines would attract this harmonized VAT, just like every other commodity.
      But the receipts would not go into National treasuries, but into an EU fund to help struggling economies within the Eurozone.

  31. Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Easy but not politically convenient for the BBC to state that Swiss farm subsidies are far higher then their EU counterparts:

    http://www.thelocal.ch/20130920/swiss-farmers-milk-worlds-highest-subsidies

  32. Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Apart from its tedious left wing leaning propaganda it is by omission of information on any topic that could be dangerous to our democracy if it weren’t for the many different news outlets springing up.

    When Lord Reith, its founder, listed its aims they were to educate, inform and entertain. Part of the BBC’s Royal Charter states news coverage and political debate must be free of political bias but it has long since given up on any attempt to adhere to this and governments of the day, its Pay Master, haven’t appeared willing to address the situation.

    To expect the taxpayer to pay an annual fee for an interpretation of the news as they deem it to be with the added threat of imprisonment for failure to pay is quite ridiculous.

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, the BBC is now a political movement with its own agenda, derived from the enlightenment of the Frankfurt School. The pure genius of the situation lies in the unaccountability of the BBC’s mandatory licence fee finance. Any responsible government would cancel the licence fee and put the BBC on direct grant finance, subject to an annual vote by the Parliament. Acceptance by the BBC of grants from foreign powers, such as the EU, should be explicitly banned.

    • Posted February 13, 2016 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      Oddly I can find nothing in the current Charter about political neutrality. The closest is perhaps a “Function of the BBC Trust”:

      (d) approving guidelines designed to secure appropriate standards in the content of the BBC’s services;

      and requirements to adhere to law (including electoral law that requires impartiality during election campaigns). Perhaps that is why we are inundated with so many BBC broadcasts supporting Green Party positions beloved of some journalists in normal times.

      • Posted February 13, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Alongside the Charter there’s the Agreement:

        http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/about/how_we_govern/agreement.pdf

        Thirteen references to “impartial” but only one to “neutral”, in 44(7):

        “… the rules must, in particular, indicate that due impartiality does not require absolute neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic principles.”

      • Posted February 13, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        If the requirement for neutral unbiased programming has been taken out of the Charter, who took it out and when? Without this there is no point in complaining or making a legal challenge. The Green/Left have their own massive propaganda machine at the expense of others.

  33. Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I would have thought that as Media Studies and Business Studies are popular routes through many of our universities, it should not be too difficult to find a reasonable political spread of young exciting presenters and managers for the BBC. As most would be at the outset of their careers they would be much cheaper to employ, thereby giving the electorate who pay their salaries a much better deal than they are getting at present.

    Spread the thought about on every occasion you visit the BBC for a short term effect before Brexit.

  34. Posted February 13, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    JR, subsidies such as those to agriculture came up in a paper published by the House of Commons Library yesterday, called EU exit: impact in key UK policy areas.

    It says : “Departure from the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its subsidy and regulatory regimes would have a drastic impact… Leaving the regime would probably reduce farm incomes, as the UK Government and Devolved Administrations would be unlikely to match the current levels of subsidy…. “

    I know of no MPs nor Leave campaigns who are advocating the scrapping of subsidies in the event of Brexit. There are also other areas in the document which give concern, and it’s important not to let some erroneous ideas gain currency.

    I generally much appreciate the work of the HoC Library but in this case could you perhaps have a word in the ear?

    • Posted February 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      @TAC; Of course if you leave a club and thus stop receiving their ‘benefits of membership’ it will have a “a drastic impact” on those benefits (if you resign from a Golf club you don’t then expect to carry on using their course or club house do you?)! The real issue is what is done about it, which seems to be what the research briefing paper is about. If there is a problem (based on a quick read) it seems to be that they assume that post a Brexit the UK will still be locked into the same EU inspired environmental regime, hence the comment about future domestic farm subsidies; “or would require more ‘public goods’ in return for support, such as environmental protection”.

      Except farmers do not need to be told to care for their environment, it is after all their livelihoods, a bit like a taxi driver knowing that he has to check his engine oil regularly and have the whole car serviced properly at the prescribed times, if anything EU inspired environmental regimes have been detrimental to farms and their farm gate prices, which of course then follow on down the supply-side chain to become detrimental to the consumer at the checkout.

    • Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      This seems to be the Voice of the Civil Service. Energy too is biased EU nonesense. MPs will read and obey?

  35. Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    @Mercia; “We need to start putting pressure on BBC employees to behave fair.”

    All broadcasters [1], not just the BBC, should be reminded that they are licensed to broadcast in the UK (have a EPG listing at the very least), and if any are proven to have had serious biased in the coverage of our national democratic decision making process (be it a referendum or election) then their broadcasting licences are at serious risk of being permanently revoked.

    “One way we can all do that is send them critical tweets every time they do this, which is constantly.”

    Should we do the same when Sky News shows bias, what about the day-facto left-wing, pro-EU bias broadcast each and ever night by Ch4 News

    [1] in or into the UK

    • Posted February 13, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      The BBC is different.

      • Posted February 14, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        @Edward2; “The BBC is different.”

        As you keep repeating, without any shred of evidence.

        Bias is bias, where ever, and during an election/referendum period, illegal. Once again Edward you appear to be trying to quietly appease political bias that favours your own arguments…

        • Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          I have given you me arguments on why the BBC is a different organisation to other broadcasters but your mind us closed to the obvious reality.
          No point Jerry in repeating it again is there.

        • Posted February 14, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; “I have given you me arguments [../etc/..]”

          With respect, no you have not, at best you have given us an opinion based on gross ignorance rather than any facts. As I said, you seem to believe that some bias is OK, just so long as it’s ‘on-your-message’ of course. The BBC is a broadcaster, supposedly of facts (when it comes to news and politics), as is ITV, Ch4, Ch5, Sky News, and all the non UK based channels, there is no difference in any of their legal obligations – the BBC is not “different”.

          “No point Jerry in repeating it again is there.”

          Why not, after all you repeat your ad-hoc anti BBC rhetoric time and time again, but then even the bravest of under-dog boxers knows when to throw in the towel…

        • Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          Stop being so rude Jerry
          gross ignorance…come on its going too far.
          You have no intention of listening to any other views on the BBC
          There is no point repeating why I think you are wrong
          Just trawl back to other posts on the BBC where I have explained why the BBC is different
          Actually I think you know already.

        • Posted February 15, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; Trouble is, people seem to be “rude” to you Edward when ever anyone dares to point out that you are basically 100% wrong – you used to tell @Bazman he was being “rude” when he pointed out that you were wrong too.

          Oh and you are entitled to an opinion, anyone is, but opinion is always trumped by FACTS… Whether you believe them is up to you, but just stop arguing, start checking instead.

    • Posted February 14, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      @Mercia; All bias is subtle and insidious, that is how it works, otherwise it is called something like satire!

      Oh and as for revoking licenses, is that not what many commentators on this site (in effect) want to happen to at least some of the BBC’s channels/stations, because they perceive political biased output – except they hide it behind calls to slim the BBC down etc.

      • Posted February 15, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        @RB; What has Tony Blair got to do with this, the BBC existed before Mr Blair was even born, almost before his father was born.

      • Posted February 16, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        @RB; “I would prefer to have the 1950s version of the BBC. When everyone was Conservative.”

        So you want sycophantic bias towards your chosen political opinion, thanks, at least we have that sorted. Even if it does say rather more about you that anyone else.

        “The BBC want polite consensus.”

        Cough, sorry but that is what you want, just so long as everyone follows your narrow teachings, there is another country that is like that, it neighbours South Korea…

  36. Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    The whole point about leaving is that most subsidies become a matter of internal political debate. Vote Leave doesn’t need to have a collective view on whether or not to subsidise UK farming; all that matters is that we don’t have to subsidise continental farmers.

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    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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