The established media peddle plenty of alternative facts

It is fascinating to see the traditional media wrestling with other ways of looking at the world. They dont seem to like competitive opinions. It is high time some of their own alternative facts were exposed to criticism.

The media regularly tells us that the Conservatives in government cut public spending. If you look at the figures you find that it climbed in real terms from £249bn to £292 bn under Mr heath, from £326 bn to £437 bn under Mrs Thatcher and Sir John Major, and has risen again under Mr Cameron. (2011-12 constant price basis). The OBR forecasts further real growth this Parliament. The media instead usually takes a figure about the proportion of National Income, so that if the private sector grows faster than the state sector they can call this a cut! They never use the cash figures because these have surged.

The media also regularly tells us Sir John Major’s government fell because the party was split on Europe. If you look at the polls you see the Conservative ratings plunged when the economic damage of the European Exchange Mechanism became clear when we were forced to abandon that crazy policy and never picked up. All the rows over Maastricht and the Euro made no difference to the poll ratings.

The media often present Treasury and Other consensus economic forecasts as if they were reality. They rarely ask why these bodies failed to forecast the Exchange Rate Mechanism recession, the Banking Crash recession or the Euro crisis. Now they should ask why these bodies did forecast a 2016-17 recession for the UK which visibly is not happening.

The media love running Big business threatens to pull out stories about their presence in the UK if we resist features of the EU. They ran these stories when we decided to stay out of the Euro and were wrong then. Now they run them about leaving the EU, and were wrong about the short term impact and will doubtless be wrong about the long term as well.

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70 Comments

  1. Duyfken
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Media – singular or plural?

    In any case, JR, I suggest it is only some parts of the media (notably the BBC of course) which offend in this way.

    • Bob
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      If Liz Truss is trying to find ways to relieve pressure on prisons, then I would suggest decriminalising watching telly without a licence.

      Also, deport non British national convicts upon release, before they have a chance to re-offend.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Aye.

        The BBC also advertises plenty of films and chosen celebrities. My wife insisted on listening to R2 on a long journey today and I placed a sporting bet with her that four artistes would be featured before our journey was up:

        Queen
        David Bowie
        Roxie Music
        Elton John

        Within two hours of listening we had a full house.

        I also heard effusive reports on La La Land “Have you seen it yet ?” dropped casually in conversation between DJs. (The Same with Trainspotting 2 can be heard on its youth orientated channels.)

        The BBC isn’t just failing in impartiality, I also believe it to be advertising on the sly too.

        It is soft on drugs, soft on prison – except when it comes to enforcement of the licence fee, of which take up 10% of magistrate court cases.

        • APL
          Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          Anon: “The BBC isn’t just failing in impartiality, I also believe it to be advertising on the sly too.”

          Has been for years.

    • forthurst
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      According to the DT, it is not the unpopularity of the established policical parties in the EU that threaten their electoral chances next year, but Vladimir Putin and his fake news, so count in JR’s post yeaterday, presumably: fake news of one sort and another is everywhere in the MSM without exception.

    • Duyfken
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      To “Bob” and to “forthurst”: you have both latched on to my original comment but without making any relevant contribution to my own, this albeit less than particularly insightful. May I suggest that if you wish to appear near the top of JR’s comment list, just do not use me as your crutch please.

    • Bob
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Abolish the tv licence, it shouldn’t be a legal requirement.
      https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/170931/signatures/new

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Indeed. We should of course cut public expenditure as a percentage of GDP hugely and even in cash terms. So much of what is spent is pointless, misdirected or actively damaging. Particularly the taxpayer funded pressure groups. Groups that push for endless lunacies such as climate alarmism and Osborne’s sugar tax.

    John Major clearly destroyed the Conservatives relative reputation for economic competence with the entirely predictable disaster of the ERM. This killed the Tory party for three plus terms. It destroyed businesses, had countless homes repossessed, jobs, marriages, families and lives destroyed. If it isn’t hurting it isn’t working ,,,,,,,,,,, if we come out of the ERM interest rates will have to go up …….. were the messages from government!

    Then when it fell apart the Man failed even apologise for the damage done. Tory MPs further failed even to kick the dreadful man out. Even now Major has learned nothing from the experience.

  3. Mick
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/766461/Brexit-outrage-peers-stall-Theresa-May-European-Union-exit-bill-Article-50
    If the unelected house goes against the elected house and the will of the people on the biggest issue to be debated for decades, then they will be committing political suicide, and they will be removed from there cussy £300 a day jobs

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Major does have the excuse of not being very bright. Cameron, May, Hammond and Osborne have no such excuse.

    So is the May government going to cut the state down to size (which would clearly boost jobs and the economy hugely), 0r is she (as she clearly seems to be the case) going the other way which will not work?

    Is May yet another fake Tory as she seems to be? It she an ever bigger state pushing, BBC think, workers on company boards, gender pay reporting, red tape pushing, while elephant building, vanity project pushing, greencrap promoting, tax increasing, central pay controlling, nanny state pushing, tax, borrow, print and piss down the drain lefty interventionist? One doomed to failure like Heath, Major & Cameron? It is her choice.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Channel 4, and the BBC keep saying Marine Le Pen is far right. That certainly is
      a big alternative to reality.

  5. mickc
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    The MSM are only reliable in reporting facts, such as a plane crash, about which there can be no dispute. All matters of opinion are given “spin” in order to influence the public perception of events. Thus, UKIP was “far right” and a joke, Remain would win, Trump was a joke candidate….the list is endless.

    Happily, the “wisdom of the crowd” eventually triumphs….but only after much damage has been done.

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      The current favourite is putative Russian interference in the forthcoming elections in Europe;there have been numerous articles including a breathless “Special Report:Putin’s fake news and cyber attack drive to rig three major European elections”in today’s Telegraph.

      A pre-emptive strike to de-legitimize the results of said elections should they not be to the liking of the liberal internationalist order.As Putin himself said regarding the same accusation in the US election – “What are they, banana republics?”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Indeed and Marine Le Pen and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party are/were “extreme right wing” to the BBC and Channel 4.

      • hefner
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        So, what were/are they?

        • Mitchel
          Posted February 15, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          They are nationalist,bourgeois socialists (as Trotsky might have described them)as opposed to internationalist,proletarian,bolshevik/spartacist style socialists.

  6. Iain Gill
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Didn’t you forget that they continually tell us how good for us mass immigration is?

    When the entire decent population including the immigrants thinks otherwise

  7. Misery Nincompoop
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Please would some very kind person explain to me how the Conservative Government plans to deal with the European Common Aviation Area after March 31st 2019? When they have done that, please would they then explain how they intend to approach Regulation (EU) 2016/429 (or preceding legislation) which affects Road Transport. Who, from the HMRC will be handling the negotiations on the Irish border?
    Oh dear! We don;t know yet. And Article 50 is due to be handed in in a few weeks!
    But – hey! it will all be all right because we are British!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry so much, Mike, I’m sure politicians and civil servants read the same blog as you do, and if these matters aren’t already in hand then they soon will be.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Dear MN

      The fact that you dont understand the process, haven’t read any of the governments pronouncements on this, have completely ignored what is going on leads me to believe that you aren’t very bright, sorry to be so blunt about it, but do keep up !!

    • Jon Davies
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      It will be a matter for negotiation with our European friends over the next 2 years. If you have some expertise in this area maybe you can suggest the best option for UK citizens in this area? It’s now down to all of us to make sure we get the right overall result for the country; I hope everyone embraces the opportunity.

    • Tom William
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Probably in the same way as Norway, which is a member of the ECAA and can fly form any EU country to anywhere it likes, such as the USA.

      Most of “former Yugoslavia” also belongs to the ECAA.

      Problem?

    • rose
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      The first Minister of Gibraltar has all these matters at his fingertips. He should be in the Brexit Dept.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Ask Dr.North

      😉

  8. alan jutson
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    If finances are as you outline John, they why has the government allowed such biased news to go unchallenged.
    Simply release the correct figures as proof of the governments policy and position.

    Seems so very simple, unless of course that would have meant that the government had to admit it failed to control spending as it had promised, or had changed its policy to allow spending to rise.

    So which is fact, you cannot have it both ways.!

    • hefner
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Seconded. May be not an alternative fact, but certainly a nicely biased analysis. But what can you expect of politicians, that’s the air they breathe.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Dear Alan Jutson & Hefner

      Try reading the ONS website where the government do exactly as you say you want them too and publish the figures.

      I had an online spat with an NHS Dr yesterday who wrote a newspaper article that was published by a news organisation in which she stated that NHS spending was below the level of the 1950’s One glance at the data on ONS showed that in the 1950’s 5% of GDP spent on NHS in 2015 it was 7%

      hefner I suggest you withdraw your rather stupid remark about JR as he’s obviously right and you’re obviously wrong , as usual

      This is the problem with the media and the left, its all emotion and opinion and not remotely bothering to actually fact check anything

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Looking for something else yesterday I happened across this from last May, issued under the joint names of Cameron and Osborne, now archived:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/britain-to-enter-recession-with-500000-uk-jobs-lost-if-it-left-eu-new-treasury-analysis-shows

    “New Treasury analysis shows a vote to leave the EU would tip Britain’s economy into a year-long recession.”

    “Speaking at B&Q in Eastleigh, Hampshire, the Prime Minister and Chancellor set out the Treasury’s analysis of the impact on the nation’s economy over the immediate period of two years following a vote to leave.

    This analysis shows that such a decision would cause an immediate and profound economic shock across the country, creating instability and uncertainty which would be made worse by the complex negotiations that would follow to agree the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU and its new relationship with the rest of Europe.”

    I know that even now we should be saying that it’s still too early to say how Brexit will work out because it hasn’t happened yet, but this publication referred specifically to the predicted consequences immediately after the vote itself.

    • Bob
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper

      I distrusted everything that emitted from the mouths of Cameron, Clegg & Osborne.

  10. turboterrier
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    It has always been a recognised fact that “good stories” do not sell newspapers or make dynamic viewing.

    So the standard of the whole media industry flows and ebbs along in the gutter to ensure survival.

  11. agricola
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Fair comment. It is why we had every daily newspaper available in the school library to better make up our own minds.

    Politically bigger than Brexit is the state of the NHS. Our love of the service transcends political parties. It is battling against circumstances not wholly in it’s control. Population explosion, staff shortages etc. Within it’s control is purchasing which I instinctively feel could offer great savings if run professionally.

    Possibly it’s biggest problem is bed blocking due to lack of facilities in the community to care for elderly post operative patients. Local councils cannot afford it without massive hikes in council tax. At this point I become radical. From the age of 35 I chose to become self employed. In practice I had to cater for both my and my staffs pension requirements with no back up should I fail. I made it work despite governments frequent raids on the end result.

    I therefore ask why are councils providing around 33% of their rate income to cover the cost of employees pensions. I contend that public sector workers should along with all other workers be providing for their own pension needs from income. They should not get a free ride from ratepayers, many of whom like me have to provide for their own pensions. That 33% could provide adequate post operative and end of life provision for the elderly.

    • agricola
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      So when will it be moderated.

  12. ferdinand
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Your comments about growing expenditure applies to councils as well. They readily tell the public that they have made major savings yet the council bill rises. When I asked a local Councillor where his massive savings were lodged he replied that other departments had spent them !

  13. Iain Moore
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    The problem with the traditional media isn’t just with the facts they misrepresent, it is also with the questions they refuse to ask. So they don’t accurately represent the politics they dislike, while also failing to scrutinise the politics they do like.

    • rose
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      One good example of not asking questions of the politics they like is that they never question the EU or the powerful leaders within it, like Angela Merkel.

      They, could for example, have been questioning the EU and Frau Merkel about the status and rights of British residents within the EU continental countries, and why the EU and Frau Merkel have vetoed discussions.

      They could be asking the EU for their “plans” for Brexit, and their negotiating hand as they continually do of the PM here.

      They could be asking about mass immigration from outside the EU.

      They could be asking the EU why they are undermining NATO and what are their exact plans on defence.

      English is now the lingua franca on the Continent, so they have no excuse for not going there. They could be quizzing the extablished politicians about the rise of more popular politicians with more popular policies. But they aren’t.

    • hefner
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Seconded, but I’ll replace “traditional media” with “politicians”.

    • Kenneth
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Bias by ommission

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The established media peddle plenty of alternative facts – indeed to at the doctored temperature records that the BBC and their staff keep using and the way any weather event is used to promote climate alarmism.

  15. Amanda
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Your fogot ‘the Russians did it’ Mr Redwood !! Every time I hear the term ‘fake news’, I think Project Fear – it was a first class example of it. This all just feels like another ‘plot’ to move towards officially sancitioned news sources: another step towards totalitarianism and shutting down democracy.

    Democracy, requires a wide range of news souces , and a variety of opinions. Educated to think critically, to read widely, to understand the lessons of history, people are perfectly capable of working things out for themselves and debating ideas, which is where creative solutions are made.

    Leave the media to the market, and ‘The People’ will sort out the wheat from the chaff – as we already do; which is why the MSM is suffering, and the channels of news are opening up. Technology companies should provide technology, not enter the world of politics !! (NB please either deal with the BBC, or take away their guaranteed funding and let the market deal with them.)

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Boris is getting a £700m “empowerment fund” carved out of the Foreign Aid budget to counter Russian and Islamic State “propaganda”,according to the Telegraph(reporting on an article in The Sun) today.Hmmmm.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The broadcasting media have become propagandists rather than purveyors of news presented accurately and impartially as is their duty under broadcasting code. Complaints to Ofcom about this seem to be just ignored.

  17. WingsOverTheWorld
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    …Which is why there is a populist undercurrent who are switching off from mainstream media news. People are learning to be sceptical, to see beyond the story and understand there is an agenda or narrative being peddled. Conservative values are returning in the form of alternative media, which is much harder to control. Witness the rise of sites like Infowars, Breitbart, or Canada’s Rebel MediaTV, which unabashedly push a right wing agenda. New abrasive, deliberately-un-PC personalities are on the rise, like Milo Yiannopoulos and Paul Joesph Watson, who are appealing to a new generation of teenagers and young adults who have known nothing except a left-wing, PC straight-jacket their whole lives. In an effort not to lose out, certain mainstream media is having to hire such established libertarian voices as Katie Hopkins and Nigel Farage to try to capitalise on a market who are tired of virtue-signalling, tired of seeing the same left-leaning narratives and faux outrage to non-politically-correct thoughtcrime.

    The people want discussion. They want to be able to say things – sometimes provocative things – without them being ripped out of context and used to shut down the debate. They want the whole story and not to find out post-fact that the media had lied by omission. They want a country where it is accepted that free speech means that sometimes people are going to be offended – and that in a robust democracy, it is not just okay, but defended.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    News of celebrities and their happenings seems to be the focus of the media ; I find this disturbing – irritating to say the least . The BBC are no longer an impartial source of information , it has become a system of expression of their management .

    Any suggestion of increased government borrowing is also bad news to me ; the extreme wastage that we all know that exists in the management of our affairs is shameful . I wish we had more business experience behind the direction of how we prioritise things ; if we did we would not be in such a mess .

  19. margaret
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Oh John .It is not solely the media . The lies and inconsistencies I come up with daily are more than frustrating. They put their own slant on it purely for power however far removed from the facts or actual history they are. ‘If we all say this we can get what we want mode’ goes on every day . ‘If I put this lot down , I will get promotion’ is a daily part of our amoral existence now.’ If I take 40 years work and knowledge and make it look as my own and put them down , my boss will love me and give me the job’ is a daily trip. If I go to court and the facts do not add up to a conclusion of error or crime , then the prosecution will find another angle to veneer their mistake and dismiss their wrong doing by letting the culprits go … It is corrupt out there.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      I think an important part to the deterioration of truth in our society in general is people falling away from belief in God – in traditional Christianity. Where God is Truth, Goodness and Beauty (the three transcendentals of Plato and Christianity).
      ‘Goodness’ just as there are more lies, so there is more evil
      ‘Beauty’ just as there is more evil, so there is more ugliness (in people’s natures, manners, art and so on).
      I am quietly confident, that the more people return to traditional Christianity, the more happy people will be, and the more peace, truth, goodness, beauty, and love there will be, and the better our country will be overall.

  20. Kenneth
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Most people in public life are reluctant to call out the BBC’s bias explicitly.

    It’s understandable as, by definition, if you make a living by being known – whether that is to sell a book, promote a film or a politician needing to reach their electorate, you need to be on the ‘right side’ of the BBC.

    The only person who can do this without suffering these consequences is the Prime Minister.

    She should take a leaf out of Mr Trump’s book and call out the bias – especially on the BBC, citing actual examples.

    I would hope that she invites the BBC to interview her live (so no-one can edit it) and uses this interview to push this issue (not easy with a combative interviewer I know).

    That is the only way imho this problem will cut through to the public.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Bit May seem to be lefty, big government, climate alarmist, “BBC think” to her very core!

  21. The Prangwizard
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Ministers and others, with a few honourable exceptions appear to be afraid of the broadcast media. They are rarely robust in challenging aggressive interviewers nor do they refute unfair accusations with vigour. They always seem on the defensive having caved to loaded questions and onslaughts. It’s time they grew some, but then they must always show how ever so reasonable they are mustn’t they?

    This needs to change; the broadcast media has taken a blatant political stance especially about Brexit.

  22. Antisthenes
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Bias, self interest and lazy and myopic thought has to be what drives the majority of journalistic output. That can be the only reason for so much suppressed, fake and badly researched news and opinion that is churned out by the media. The left wing media are the worse but even the right wing press has been infected by this progressive mediocrity. Including of course the BBC whose charter demands it’s impartiality which it ignores seemingly with impunity.

    We are being subjected to 24/7 propaganda by the media and political correctness by social justice pressure groups all aimed at bolstering progressive ideology. An ideology that demands the same commitment that all ideologies do that are faith and not evidence based. Somewhere in the last 100 years or so Western civilisation took the wrong path and abandoned values, standards and traditions that although not without flaws was working well in improving our well being. A well being that is now under threat by over socialisation that is leading to a society whose cohesion can only be maintained by force.

  23. Horatio McSherry
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    John,

    An excellent post as ever. Perhaps with the pro-EU Commons as it is, should there be a snap election, a Conservative pledge to de-criminalise the TV Tax would win very many a vote. The BBC is nothing more than a protection racket,(qwords left out ed). They offer a service, and whether you want it or not, you have to pay, otherwise they exercise their right to (prosecute ed).

  24. Prigger
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    “Alternative facts” are not lies. They are alternative facts. WE put plastic bags in the North Sea. Alternative fact=No we don’t, WE put them in our wheelie bins.
    The “facts” you cite of the media may well be lies.

    • Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Alternative facts are the facts the media omit in order to slant their story.

  25. E.S Tablishment
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    The EU Commission according to Sky News today has reduced/downgraded UK GDP growth to 1.5. I am shocked.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Upgraded from 1%!

  26. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    One notable one is that for years we were told by the Labour party that the Conservatives were “hopelessly divided on Europe” …. let’s check the A50 voting record from the other day ….

  27. Horatio
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Just seen on sky news at 12:46. The number of Britons not having cosmetic surgery is down due to uncertainty over brexit! An expert valiantly tried to suggest that the proliferation of cheaper more readily available treatment on the high street, such as fillers and botox, could be the reason and the actual segment was relatively fair but the headline and introduction trumpeted the malign effect of Brexit despite no factual evidence!!!

    Reaching??

  28. Mark B
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon

    The media, especially Auntie, is more interested in making the news rather than reporting it.

    It is, as a result, becoming increasingly irrelevant.

  29. ian
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Form 2010 to 2017 taxes up 178 billions spending up 110 billions of taxes income tax and capital taxes up 48 billion, NIs up 30 billion, indirect tax up 95 billion and companies tax up 5 billion, spending, pension up 41 billions, NHS up 26 billion education down 3.3 billion, defence up 3 billion, social security up 2.4 billion, state protection down 5 billion, transport up 5 billion, government down 1 billion, other public spending up 24 billion, and debt interest up 18 billion, so as you can see the most spending is going on old people like your selves with the NHS other public spending which overseas aid, eu and councils plus what ever like bid business and debt interest with education down with state protection.

    Now if government would give the people total breakdown of public spending which will never happen, you would be able to see all of the waste

  30. Beecee
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The BBC seems to have taken on the mantle of HM Opposition!

    The main news today consisted of a ‘BBC Investigation’ into the Prison Service, to be shown later on Panorama. This followed recent ‘investigations’ into the NHS, Bed Blocking. A&E, Social Care etc. all with BBC interpretations so that we understood the message and all shown as news on the main news.

    Even Tesco came in for a ‘smack’ today after an investigation into out-of-date offer pricing.

    The BBC South East version is similar with focus on either the NHS or Southern Rail or both. All slanted to give the Government a gentle but bloody nose.

    The Licence Fee now appears to be an enforced ‘political’ donation!

  31. norman
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Enemy subversion necessarily infiltrates, first, the media; next, the education system; and finally government, the public services and even (or perhaps especially) the ‘visible’ Church. Sadly, when a population chooses to be deceived, only calamity can awaken it to the truth.
    If you think about it, recent political events are quite remarkable, and beyond what anyone predicted. It could be that the English-speaking world is being given one last chance to wake up before its too late. Our freedom, and so much else we take for granted, is truly at stake.

  32. Proud-to-be-a-toerag
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink
  33. Family Fortunes
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Liz Truss is learning fast. Longer sentences for serious crimes! She will find in the course of time that the longer prisoners stay behind bars: the less times they re-offend.
    Someone has told her that criminals once released will be better rehabilitated in the loving embrace of their families.She has never met whole families of criminals. Like intelligence, wealth, politics and STDs,- in families they often run.

  34. hefner
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Questions:
    1/ is the alt-right version of the world the new truth?
    2/ should the so-called Fourth Estate be made to disappear?
    3/ should one take one’s daily dose of news from a particular group of “channels”?
    4/ how can one be sure of not just reading items reinforcing one’s own biases?
    5/ how can I be certain that I am right and unbiased?
    6/ is (trying to) be{ing} unbiased something worth working on? or is it now irrelevant?

    • libertarian
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      hefner

      1) The alt-right is a construct invented by the left. It has no truth to impart it doesn’t exist

      2) The fourth estate isn’t being made to do anything, it failed to adapt & killed itself

      3) Echo chambers and bubble filters are the bane of political discourse

      4)see item 3

      5) None of us are right , situations change , facts change with new events. We are all biased to some extent, we just need to be open about our own world view

      6) It is very worth trying to be as open minded as possible and to look at as many alternatives as possible. The NHS is a good example there seems to be only 2 possible views ever considered, carry on and throw more money at it or privatise it. Odd seeing as there are 17 better healthcare systems in the world that could all be considered

  35. Original Richard
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Both sides of the referendum campaign said that if we voted to leave it would mean leaving the Single Market and the remain campaign, both from UK and non-UK advocates, made it very clear that leaving the EU would bring economic ruin to the UK.

    So for the UK broadcast media now to keep saying that leavers did not know that we would be leaving the Single Market and they did not vote for poverty is another example of “alternative facts”.

  36. rick hamilton
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Just like the EU, the BBC needs a massive kick up the backside. I believe it will come as a huge shock from a licence payers’ revolt just like Brexit. People have far more sources of information than ever before and they can see the BBC for the nest of biased lefties that it really is.

    In my decades as an expat I saw no other national broadcaster which specialised in criticising, blaming, even mocking and sneering at the country whose name it bears.

  37. APL
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    JR: “The media regularly tells us that the Conservatives in government cut public spending. ”

    Many of your Tory and Conservative rank and file or supporters but not affiliated to the Tory party, would think that a good thing.

    When you haven’t delivered responsible reductions in public spending, then your natural supporters, those that by and large are the fuel of the economy, they have become disillusioned with the Tory party.

    By the way, what does “constant price basis” mean?

    Is that a way to say that public spending actually went down in real terms under Cameron?

    Reply No, it means it went up in real terms

    • APL
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      JR: “No, it means it went up in real terms”

      So why is that a boast for the Tory party?

      Why, for example, aren’t you advocating greater efficiency.

      Or a reduction in inflation – so we can stop talking about ‘real terms’.

      When you talk about ‘real terms’ or ‘constant price basis’ what’s the difference? and why the new and unusual terminology. Another attempt to confuse?

      Reply MY comment was factual, and did not comment on the wisdom and success of real increases.

  38. Margaret
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Hope you are well. This is the first time in many years that you have not published an article.14/02/2017.

  39. Guy Grandison
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Many people & parties claim to be Progressive not least the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Scottish Nationalist Parties, traditionally Progressives are identifying with standing up for minorities. However, that has changed over recent years.
    Traditionally the definition of someone who is a Progressive would defend someone’s right to say something regardless of if they agreed with it or not.

    Not anymore.

    Look at the furore about the President Trump coming to the United Kingdom where Parliamentary time has been devoted as to whether he should be prevented from entering the country. Alternatively, from those on the Remain side who are arguing that there should be a second referendum, as the people did not understand what they were doing.

    Universities, traditionally the bedrock of freethinking have student’s unions that are banning newspapers, blocking speakers from speaking in case they say something that offends someone, How is that acceptable in a free society? To prevent someone from speaking if they disagree with you.

    This is not a “Progressive” ideal. That is an authoritarian ideal.

    The “Outrage” against the BNP winning in the 2009 European Elections and the subsequent appearance on Question Time is the prime example of what should be done in a Free Society, expose the ideas and challenge them.
    The Protests outside the venue did nothing, it was the cross examination by the rest of the panel that did it.
    Allow people to make a decision on their own merits as opposed to being told what to think by someone who claiming to be Progressive is offended by your freethinking.

    Outrage has replaced Honesty and the Battle of Ideas has been replaced by a battle of Feelings.
    Diversity reigns supreme on the Progressive Left, just as long as it is not the diversity of thought.

    If you voted to leave the European Union, a supporter of the union in Scotland or a moderate socialist in the Labour, party then you are no longer welcome to be a part of “Polite Society” according to the massed ranks of the so-called progressive parties.
    The Liberal Democrats are on a righteous campaign to prevent Brexit, if they are so democratic they why are they trying to veto the voice of over 17 million people. The same of the SNP attempting to engineer another independence referendum despite the fact that more people voted to remain in the United Kingdom than remain in the EU.

    The rights of Free Speech have now become a Conservative Ideal where even if we disagree with what is being said the right of those to say it must be defended, the rights of the individual have been a corner stone of British society since the Magna Carta.
    It must continue to be so; Conservatives must battle against this change from ideas to feelings and as always think with the head and not the heart because thinking based upon the heart and in the name of progress is leading us slowly to authoritarianism.

  • 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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