BBC and Brexit

I signed the letter about BBC coverage of Brexit which was published today. On Radio 4 there is a never ending repeat of the same tired old story that some people think Brexit will damage the economy sometime soon, whilst ignoring all the evidence that the economy has been quite unaffected by the Brexit vote so far. There are all too many pieces trying to whip up criticism of possible changes post Brexit, and practically nothing on what are all the opportunities for improvement once we take control of our own money and law making.

I look forward to a few months when they explore the upsides as thoroughly as they have explored the downsides. Is the BBC really happy with the way EU tariffs discriminate against the agricultural products from poorer countries outside the Customs Union? Do they think the Common Fishing Policy has been a commercial success and an environmental triumph? I would be happy to offer some balance to their coverage, if only they would let me make the case for the things we can change for the better once we are out.

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136 Comments

  1. sm
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I have some contacts with people in the media, so my comment is meant to be taken seriously: conflict is the prime driver in selling TV, radio and print content.

    Overall, programmes about how a project developed smoothly or about the positive possibilities of a new system of government or diplomatic status would be regarded as boring (apparently) by viewers who have been conditioned to accept a diet of glittering candy floss. That is the judgement of the Tristrams who have the ultimate say, and that is why they always ‘run out of time’ when you, John, start to explain the background to a major issue!

    • Jerry
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      @sm; Indeed, which is why an impartial and regulated but independant PSB sector is important, and why, as the only national PSB provider in the UK now, the BBC should stop being driven by ratings, or even the ill-defined need to be “accessible” or “relevant”.

    • Kenneth
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      But it is not working.

      Talking heads are boring. An opinionated BBC brings trouble on itself.

      Why not get rid of the journalism and the “correspondents” and have more news reporting?

      Surely with more action and less talk they may even get more viewers and listeners.

      • APL
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Kenneth: “Talking heads are boring”

        Yes, when they each approach a topic from the same left of centre perspective. That, is almost all you can expect on the BBC.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes, nowadays a newspaper article or TV programme about a British success is much less interesting to journalists than one about something going wrong.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Well the BBC could have a field day about the maladministration of the EU if it was so inclined.

      • APL
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Anon: “the BBC could have a field day about the maladministration of the EU if it was so inclined.”

        But it won’t do that because to do so would risk loss of all the EU soft loans .

        • Jerry
          Posted March 25, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          @APL; Please cite these “soft loans” that you say the BBC gets.

          Oh and how do you explain that even if the BBC doesn’t ‘tell the truth’ about the EU, nor does any other UK broadcaster either, are they all getting these “soft loans” too?…

          • APL
            Posted March 25, 2017 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “Please cite these “soft loans” .. ”

            Do your own research Jerry. I’m not doing it for you any more.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 26, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            @APL; No, you are the one making the accusations against the BBC, you prove your accusations or retract. Ever wondered why, in a court of law, the prosecution puts the case against the defendant first and the defence follows…

            You might also like to answer the other question I asked, that is explain why other broadcasters do not ‘tell the truth’ about the EU.

            Put up or shut up.

          • APL
            Posted March 28, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “Put up or shut up.”

            This has been thrashed out ad nauseam on this very blog. I’m not going to jump through your hoops simply because you’re (a) too lazy to use the search facility on this blog. (b) use google.

            Jerry: “You might also like to answer the other question I asked,”

            Refer you back to my first answer.

            Jerry: “Put up or shut up.”

            A two part clause. I’ve done the first, now I politely invite you, do the second.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 29, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

            @APL; So still no citation then, you do understand what a citation is @APL, it is not merely anti BBC here-say – how ever many time those with a phobia to the BBC repeat it.

            You either have the proof, and if you do then why have you not a bookmrked URL, even more so if you think this issue gets thrashed out ad-nausea on this very blog. You also did not answer my other question, as to why other UK broadcasters do not ‘tell the truth’ about the EU, after all what is to stop them, unless you are going to start making similar accusations against them too…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      It would help a lot if they looked at all the very many opportunities as we move to Brexit which far out way the negatives. As Patrick Minford and other have pointed out. Cheaper imports, being far more nimble, deregulating, taking only the best of immigration, cheaper non green religion energy, rid of the absurd fishing and farming policies ……

      The BBC is just not interest in it at all but then T May is not really either.

    • getahead
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      It’s not just that sm. The BBC has permanent political lean to the left.

      Its selection of audiences on discussion programmes, the selection of participants, the way the host constantly interrupts when someone considered to be right wing is speaking. The BBC is no more than a socialist propaganda outlet.
      The BBC needs to become a commercial operation so that you don’t have to pay for it if you don’t watch it.
      It is typical that Cameron renewed the BBC’s charter for another 10 years.

  2. LondonBob
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Channel 4 is arguably even worse and they are still publicly owned. Very disappointed that nothing has been done to at least cut the tv licence fee. The left is playing dirty and for keeps, the right seems to think politics is some sort of gentlemanly game of no import.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Dream on!

    The BBC is a propaganda organisation serving its own agenda for its own self interested purposes. That guides the subjects it chooses to cover and how it frames their discussion. This involves careful selection of who is given airtime, how they are questioned and challenged (if at all) and how they are edited (if it is not a live broadcast). The idea that the BBC is neutral is laughable.

    • eeyore
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      The BBC was anxious this morning to tell us what a devoted family man Martin McGuinness was. Apparently he was also charming, highly intelligent and, if I did not mishear, much like Nelson Mandela.

      Lest any should still be in doubt of the great man’s appeal, they even added a clip of him roguishly bandying civilities with the Queen.

      No doubt about it: when it comes to impartiality between good and evil we can rely on the BBC.

      • rose
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        The Queen reminded us all what he was by saying, very loudly and clearly, “I’m still alive.”

  4. Bert Young
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I’ve practically stopped watching the BBC . Apart from University Challenge and Mastermind there is little in the programme content anyway to interest me . As for its news and other presentations , its bias and “remoaning” annoy me . In my youth – a long time ago , the BBC was a respected source of opinion ; the news at 6 o’clock was a ritual in my family and we all stayed quiet to attend to it . What a contrast today !! . Its , so-called “liberalism” is a farce .

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Dear Bert–I am much the same–If one does find oneself listening one soon starts to wonder whether even the 1 o’clock news is satire. A couple of days ago there was great stress on how bad it was that the rate of increase of salaries had declined as if this was an intrinsically big worrying deal–the newscaster (such as he was) polished off his bias and ignorance by doubly stressing that wages were now “only” increasing by 2.3%. Good news or at worst neutral became per the BBC bad. Bit like the House of Lords–used to be respected but not any more.

  5. Prigger
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    You are right to point it out JR.
    I feel it would be good long-term to allow the BBC to be the BBC minus the licence fee.

    There is nothing necessarily wrong with bias, as in branded newspapers. There is something wrong, in my book, with the notion that a continuous coverage can achieve any sort of meaningful balance.
    Joe and Josie Everyperson do not sit down purposely at set times of the day and listen to an entirety of any piece so they’ll get “a balanced view” even if that were possible.
    Besides, ones perceived social position in the world does slightly alter unintentional tonal emphasis. Take the automatic licence fee away and their accent may change but not necessarily in a balanced way.
    The BBC was very biased against Leave. It still is. Any change to the contrary will show a subliminal affectedness beyond the individual presenters control. They are not Oscar winners. Just very ordinary folk paid far too much.Like many of their station ( or channel )

  6. Bob
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Abolition of the TV Licence
    I trust that you have cleared your diary for the debate on 8th May in the HoC, and have prepared the evidence dossier that will lead to an end to TV Licensing.

    Two years of Brexit negetiations with backgound music from the BBC would not be in the best interests of the UK. We already have Jon Snow & Matt Frei on C4 acting as cheerleaders for the EU, so the BBC’s input would be surplus to requirements and an expensive counterproductive use of taxpayers money.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      @Bob; See my reply to @sm above. What you suggest as a solution will only make things worse, neither ITV, Sky nor Ch4 are particularly right wing, and I’m sure you remember when owner of the The Sun backed New Labour and Mr Blair in 1997 rather than the political right, never mind the eurosceptics – be careful of unintended consequences, the knee-jerk solution that appeals today might be the like choice of your devil tomorrow!

      • libertarian
        Posted March 23, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Jerry

        You are right, it would be nice if we had a media outlet which was NOT biased but reported stories from a fact checked balanced point of view.

        One of the brilliant things about the BBC is that is exactly what they did…. until they also became politicised and sadly they are now as biased as the other news and media outlets and that is the reason they should no longer be tax payer funded.

        Either they give up the tax or they give up the bias simple really

        • Jerry
          Posted March 25, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          @libertarian; Which is why I want to see far greater regulation of the BBC (no shame in Lord Reith’s ideals, as set out in the original BBC Charter [1]) , not for it to be abolished or worse still sold off to become just another commercial or subscription broadcaster chasing the same and now ever diminishing revenue stream, that would simply compound the problems ten-fold and would leave UK democracy worse off.

          The current wording of the BBC Charter should be withdrawn, being nothing more than political mumbo-jumbo with little actual guidance!

          [1] to inform, educate and entertain. Being written in that order intentionally

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Well done, but nothing will change. It will still be about 5 to 1 on Any Question,, Question Time or political discussions and reporting in general. The interviewers and chairmen will still indicate their political stance by the lefty pro EU line of their questioning.

    They also have a massive bias on climate alarmism, trains, bikes, electric cars, renewable energy, wanting evermore government “investment”, evermore taxes and more regulation of everything. They think landlords and businessmen are evil, they even think there is a gender pay gap (beyond that produced by the choices the different genders make. They even thing that the reason so few women study Physics, Engineering and Computer Studies is due to discrimination within society and not choice.

    Essentially the BBC is staffed by art lefty graduates with insufferable PC views and a belief in green lunacy & magic money tree economics. Dire lefties, people even worse that Cameron, Osborne (has he gone yet?), Blair, Kinnock, Major, Brown, Lords Hall, Britton and Patton and Theresa May.

    Look at all the Newsnight and political presenters for example. Andrew Neil is sensible middle ground yet every one else at the BBC is way to the left of him. Does anyone ever attack the lefty very May Government from the right on the BBC?

  8. Know-dice
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget to remind those that voted remain, that they voted for:

    More EU.
    An EU Army commanded by Brussels.
    The UK as a “region” of the United States of EU Land.
    All tax rates set by Brussels.
    The UK ultimately joining the Euro.

    Anything else?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      The end of any real democracy!

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes, massive uncontrolled immigration.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    If Brexit fails we should just blame the BBC (and the Remainers who hobbled it.) They are emboldening the EU negotiators with every report.

    We are directed to this particular petition to have a debate on the BBC licence abolition because of the corporation’s bias and failure to stick to its charter:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/179823

    I have seen ones with far higher numbers which seem to disappear. Perhaps most of the populace are not so irked.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      I’m happy to sign that, even though I think privatisation may not be the answer.

    • Michael Wood
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Well, I’ve signed anyway. I will sign any petition to get rid of the BBC.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Hideously full of Libdim, PC, left wing, greencrap pushing, magic money tree, second rate art grads and luvvies. Like Trump we should cut funding for “the arts” and make them and the BBC respond to market demand and the paying public. We have had enough of this daft propaganda.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      ‘Like Trump we should cut funding for “the arts”

      – IF Tory leaders listened to comments like this, the Conservative party would do less well at general elections (remember how the Conservatives lost – Labour didn’t win – the general elections to ‘New Labour’ – and the price our country paid for this).

      Forgetting that, i can’t understand why you would go out of your way to make comments about why the Tories should be a bit more scrooge-like about things like the arts, making the UK that bit more soulless, when arts also play an important role in patriotism / love of country – a key Conservative virtue.

      I’m sorry but your comment here really doesn’t represent Conservatism, at all, but philistinism, i strongly reject it.

      • libertarian
        Posted March 23, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Ed M

        And why exactly should we give two hoots about the Conservative Party or what you laughingly think is Conservatism?

        You seem to think that Conservatism equals spending taxpayers hard earned money on vain glorious projects….er thats socialism….. I strongly reject it

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted March 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian

          You just misrepresented my position plus i just think you’re being a bit manichean and OTT.

          Plus, i think the Tories wouldn’t have lost in 1997 if they’d listened to more to Tories such as me than others who put the party out of touch with the electorate. And thanks to those Tories we got Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

          • libertarian
            Posted March 26, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            Ed M

            Er you still dont get it. Who cares about the Conservatives ( apart from you ? )

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      99% of my friends and family are Tory voters (in fact, i can’t think of anyone who votes Labour or Liberal). And practically everyone i know says that Trump (as President) is ‘ghastly’ or ‘bonkers’ to ‘beneath the dignity of the Presidency of the USA.’

      I think you’re not just out of touch with most voters in this country, but certainly with a lot of Tories.

  11. Richard1
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    With the possible exception of Andrew Neil (who’s views we don’t know), the BBC is unlikely to have a single journalist who is sympathetic to Brexit. Amongst the managers and producers we also can’t say, but there must be a huge Remain majority within the organisation. It is of course wrong, but probably inevitable, that this is reflected in coverage.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Well I think you can judge interviewers by their line of questioning. Neil is bright, fair & fairly middle of the road in my judgement, everyone else at the BBC is way to the greencrap, luvvy, left of him.

      All the Newsnight presenters seem to be PC, chip on the shoulder lefties.

  12. David Price
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Thank you for signing the letter which is a useful first step.

    I am afraid the bond of trust with the “impartial” BBC is totally broken as far as I am concerned and I have no interest in this bastion of imposed liberal morality surviving.

    Stop trying to reform the BBC, it clearly can’t be done so the best thing would be to remove it from it’s privileged position entirely, cease it’s public funding and the TV licence.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      ‘Stop trying to reform the BBC, it clearly can’t be done so the best thing would be to remove it from it’s privileged position entirely, cease it’s public funding and the TV licence’

      – I agree, the lefty/liberal side BBC journalism needs to be challenged. But the BBC is so much more than news/journalism. It’s also about arts, documentaries, film, children’s programmes, comedy etc … Things that make our country and people more interesting, have more soul. And unite our country together more. And an important part of patriotism.

      I find it extremely myopic, defeatist, and unimaginative when people want to throw the baby out with the bathwater regarding the BBC. The best Conservatives over the centuries have always been strong supporters of the arts. And should couldn’t to do so with the BBC. We just need to work harder at finding the right people to run the BBC, focusing on what the BBC is really about: making original and great TV/radio.

      • Bob
        Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        @Ed Mahony

        ” It’s also about arts, documentaries, film, children’s programmes, comedy etc”

        all of the BBC program types you mention are laced with political propaganda.

        The so called comedy quiz shows are full of it (and not very funny to boot) and just pour scorn on their ideological opponents, while puffing up their lefty idols.

        It’s beyond redemption.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted March 22, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          @Bob,

          As said before, i agree with commentators here about left-wing/liberal bias in BBC journalism that needs to be challenged (although Paxman and Neil are both from the right).

          However, i really think you’re going over the top in your comments about arts … documentaries etc being politically biased. Plus, we should arise to the occasion (in this case challenge the BBC in a positive way) not give up and throw the baby out with the bathwater (e.g. get rid of the BBC).

          The BBC isn’t just about creating great content like the 1995 film production of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (with Jane Austen and her background and novels being a perfect example of British Conservatism in my view) but also about creating a sense of unity and patriotism, as well as feeding the private sector with highly-trained and experienced creative professionals.

          Regards

      • David Price
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        You vastly overrate the importance and contribution of the biased BBC, they do not speak for me nor represent my interests, quite the opposite.

        Demote it from being representative of this country, remove the telly tax and government funding then make it a subscription service so I and others don’t have to fund your taste in arts, comedy etc then I don’t care.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted March 22, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

          This is the UK. Government has always contributed to arts in some shape / form. Unless you propose get rid of all contributions to arts?

          But it’s not just about arts for enjoyment. It’s also about transforming people. Making them less dysfunctional. Which in turn reduces crimes, ill-health and all kinds of things that cost the tax-payer. So you’re saving money indirectly.

          Lastly, it’s not that much (unless you’re poor). I don’t see what the fuss is all about. Life’s too short, surely?

      • libertarian
        Posted March 23, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Ed M

        Have you missed all the other channels that cover arts, documentaries , dramas etc. Do you live in a cave?

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted March 23, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian

          You mean it’s SOME Tories who want to return us to the cave by getting rid to an important source of arts in our country: the BBC (and yes, it could do a lot better but let’s challenge them). Thankfully there are other Tories who support the BBC from the POV of arts etc ..

          (I mean we’ve had some – glad to say just a few – Tories supporting Trump’s recent cut backs on the arts in the US). Shameful (and embarrassing).

          • libertarian
            Posted March 26, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            Ed M

            Do you have trouble reading? Its you who live in a cave. You think that the BBC is the only outlet for culture , arts and documentaries when in fact there are whole channels dedicated to such things on other stations/platforms

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Cameron appointed Lord Patten, that is reinforcing not reform! May/Hammond seems to be BBC think to her very core to me.

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Don’t be surprised to receive a reply that your criticisms are unfounded. In my experience of complaining to BBC on many issues I can think of no occasion where they accept or agree with criticism of their output. They are not alone in their anti-Brexit bias. All the broadcasting media share the same partiality and regularly infringe the broadcasting code of accuracy and impartiality with impunity. I complained to Ofcom on one occasion about ITV News at Ten lack of impartiality – they never even replied.

  14. Jerry
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    In this multi channel, adversing funded, country we now live in can you now please send a similar letter to all other broadcasters…

  15. Graham
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The BBC has for many years been a political party in its own right just without any supervision or controls – or any moral compunction.

    It’s the politicians that have given it that unfettered role and still allow it today.

  16. Jack snell
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The BBC is not the only news outlet in the country..some people watch sky and other news channels..some of the younger ones use facebook and other means to inform themselves so i think there is too much emphasis placed on what BBC says or doesn’t say. The reality is that the economy is going to take a hit post brexit..how sharp or severe this is going to be no one knows yet but what is certain is that things will not be the same again.. not for retail, not for finance, not for ease of travel.. there is every possibility that the configuration of the UK itself will be changed..so we have to ask..where is the good news going to come from..i still don’t see Liam fox coming up yet with any ideas for new trade deals from overseas nor has David davis reported on bilateral progress made with other european countries. Headlines like ‘taking back control of our finances’ and ‘making our own laws’ is just the very same as 350 on the side of a bus, and is all pie in the sky cliche rhetoric for most people and in the end will not have any real longterm benifits for the average Joe.. i’m afraid!

  17. Ian Wragg
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    The BBC is the remainiacs headquarters. That is why Cameron failed to reform it. He encouraged them to act as the Remainiacs mouthpiece and they are continuing as the unofficial opposition. It is another institution dominated by the left wing chatterati that’s why Purnell was appointed.
    You are wasting your time. The sooner the compulsory tax is stopped the better.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg, You obviously do not dare read the Guardian if you truly believe that the BBC is the HQ of those who wish the UK had remained in the EU, understandable I suppose as it would leave you a nervous wreck.

      • APL
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Jerry: “You obviously do not dare read the Guardian if you truly believe that the BBC ”

        And why should he care to read the Guardian?

        But at least even if he doesn’t read it he isn’t compelled to pay for it.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 25, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          @APL; I did not say he should read the Guardian, I said that if he did he would not consider that the “BBC is the HQ of those who wish the UK had remained in the EU”. As I implied, it is quite understandable why some people choose not read the said publication, still less their sister publication “The New European” (even I draw the line at that)!

          As for your last sentence, please cite the law that forces people to watch TV in the UK and thus pay the TVL fee, radio broadcasts require no reception licence, nor does the viewer of commercially purchased DVD’s etc need a licence to view. On the other hand, do you buy any of the products advertised in the Guardian, if so are you not being compelled to pay for it?…

          • libertarian
            Posted March 26, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            Jerry using the same logic

            Its like If I should choose to read the Telegraph but forced to also pay for the Guardian

            What if I want to watch TV but not the BBC ? I pay a subscription to Sky ( choice), yet I have to pay the BBC if I want it or not

          • Jerry
            Posted March 27, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; You choose to watch TV, that is the actual choice you make, what you watch or how often is irrelevant to the basic decision you make, and when you make that choice the law states you need a TVL. Just as you make a choice to use a motor vehicle on the public roads, what roads or how frequently you drive is irrelevant to the basic decision you make, and when you make that choice the law states you need to pay the VED.

            Having chosen to watch TV if you then choose not to watch the BBC that is a further choice, just as it might be a further choice to never use the motorway network.

            Oh and what of all the programmes and channels that you are forced to pay for via that Sky subscription, channels and programmes you do not watch, even worse, have no intention of ever watching. Do you stamp you feet at Sky, like you do the BBC, demanding that Sky only charge you for what you actually do watch or might wish to watch, if not, why not… Seems to me that you are demanding one set of rules for the BBC but another for your beloved subscription TV providers.

            I have no problem with media companies being funding via advertising or subscriptions, just as I don’t the TVL, but then I accept that life is unfair at times and that we all have to pay for things that we do not use ourselves or would prefer not to pay for.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Cameron did not try to reform it, quite the reverse he put Lord Patton of all people as Chair of the trustees.

  18. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The letter is welcome and let us hope there are consequences for the BBC and whole Leftist establishment. It is however naive to imagine the BBC is capable of lasting change. It is incapable of internal reform as too many people in it are fierce adherents of its politics.

    The BBC subverts not only Brexit but whole areas of our society and traditional beliefs, and has been doing so for years.

    The only solution is to break it up. Far too extreme an idea for most, but to shirk it it is to admit defeat.

  19. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I utterly support Article 50.
    My question is this: why are we leaving the EEA?
    On March 29th 2019 we will be a Third Country. If people do not understand that, they have not done their homework.
    If we join EFTA, however the following things are free:
    1. Leaving the ECJ.
    2. Freedom to negotiate trade deals with the world and with standardisation organisations.
    3. Freedom, like Liechtenstein, to negotiate our immigration and to control our borders.
    4. Freedom to leave the CAP.
    5. Freedom to leave the CFP.
    6. Freedom to decide how much we care to give out in overseas aid, and freedom to join things like Erasmus and interpol.
    Third countries cannot trade with the EU. Full stop.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Were you aware that on leaving the EU we would become a “third country”, before you read that on a certain blog quite recently?

      I’ve been aware of it for quite a long time, and I’m also aware that each of the EFTA states is also categorised as a “third country”.

      For example:

      http://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/pet-movement/eu-legislation/non-commercial-non-eu/listing_en

      “List of territories and third countries referred to in Article 13(1) of Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 – Part 1 of Annex II to Implementing Regulation (EU) No 577/2013”

      “ISO code Territory or third country

      AD Andorra
      CH Switzerland
      FO Faroe Islands
      GI Gibraltar
      GL Greenland
      IS Iceland
      LI Liechtenstein
      MC Monaco
      NO Norway
      SM San Marino
      VA Vatican City State”

      If you didn’t know that then obviously you haven’t done your own homework, you’ve just copied somebody else’s homework … naughty boy!

      Here’s Merkel speaking about the position of one such “third country”, Norway, shortly after the referendum:

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/28/brussels-eu-summit-leaders-push-quick-divorce-cameron-germany-brexit

      “Norway, for instance, is not a member of the European Union but has access to the single market because it accepts open migration from the European Union.”

      My observation is that most of those who press for continued EEA membership are either unconcerned, or positively enthusiastic, about that “open”, uncontrolled and unlimited, immigration from the rest of the EU, but it is clear that it is not what the great majority of UK citizens want – if fact, even many of those who voted to stay in the EU nevertheless want immigration drastically reduced.

      • Chris
        Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        Agree entirely, DC. The RN solution would, I believe, represent electoral suicide as it does not address the problems with uncontrolled mass immigration which are key to so many of the Brexit voters. The problem is that R North does not accept that uncontrolled mass immigration was key to voters.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Mike. We are leaving the EU and we don’t want free movement or ECJ oversight.
      Please stop banging RN,s increasingly redundant drum.

      • Simon
        Posted March 24, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Simple, plain and boring repetition does not make your case any more coherent. What we are leaving is said to be easily stated and frequently is. Not least by the Prime Minister and indeed John Redwood ! What we are joining (if anything) or the structure and framework of any new relationship is much less clear. Unfortunately in this as in many internet controversies the least informed are often the most vociferous.

        Let’s take a simple case. A UK company sells a huge consignment of goods to an EU country somewhere. Lets us imagine the buyer does not pay for the goods. Now which court can the seller sue in to recover his money ?

        When we pose this type of simple micro question to Brexit Ultras they invariably have no answer even conceptually, instead they resort immediately to generalisation, bluff and insult.

        • anon
          Posted March 25, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          For the rare times this may happen.
          The applicable legal jurisdiction will be stated in the contract.

          It is not uncommon for UK law to be stated as the applicable law in cases of international dispute.

          Ultimately, its willing buyers and sellers.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      So the USA and Japan who aren’t in the EEA can’t trade with the EU ?

      • Simon
        Posted March 24, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Do you have any idea how many trade agreements those countries both have with the EU ? Or what those agreements cover ? And why they are necessary ? Or how long they took to negotiate ?

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Mike, you’ve not said what the downside is?
      What is the cost?
      Does it tie us into trade rules with other Worldwide Countries?
      Does it tie us into EU VAT rates, taxes, transfers?
      Would it still enable us to control immigration and automatic benefits eg. NHS, Housing Benefit, disability claims etc. Don’t some of the Countries have to have free movement from Europe?

      Most ‘leavers’ I know don’t want to deter immigration for areas of need ie skilled workers, but we do want to see teenage boys and girls trained in the UK for example as nurses (perhaps this will need a title change to attract more boys into the job).

    • zorro
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Is that why USA, Japan, China and South Korea cannot trade (buy/sell) with the EU and we only have EU made phones and no iphones or samsung phones ??

      zorro

    • getahead
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Is not America a “third country”?

    • Chris
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      I fully concur, MS, with Denis Cooper’s argument. R North has never apparently been that concerned about immigration and has repeatedly stated that it is not of primary importance to voters. However, he must have been unaware of Arron Banks’s specially commissioned poll of 50,000 people, apparently, during the Referendum campaign, which demonstrated exactly the enormous significance of mass immigration to people and their voting inclination. Hence Leave.eu’s emphasis on having controls on immigration and a points system. The problem with RN’s blog is that no one any more bothers to voice any arguments against the author, as so many have received what amounts to downright rudeness/abuse. So, the followers of RN keep repeating the same mantras and complaints about Theresa May and those in government, and I do not believe that leads to healthy debate at all.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      Remaining in or joining the EEA is RN’s ploy for the UK to remain under EU control despite Brexit and with the aim for uncontrolled immigration to continue for the benefit of corporates.

  20. TL
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    John,

    In my opinion, the BBC is waiting for EU state broadcaster designation.

    Welcome to EUTV.

  21. Yossarion
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    The trailer they are running for BBC Breakfast mentions the fuel increase, its still at least 32p a liter cheaper than it was around four years ago, they just want to talk the economy down to try and get to their aim of reversing the referendum.

  22. formula57
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    But the good news is that if we want to consume other news organizations’ TV broadcast output, we have to make a payment to the BBC. Why does the government demand this?

  23. alan jutson
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Typical of BBC think.

    Last weekends offering on Countryfile pushed the view that since Brexit all farmers are concerned about having no immigrant/seasonal labour available to pick their crops, so many farmers will go bust !.

    To the best of my knowledge not a single politician has suggested we stop all immigration full stop, but have simply said we only want to allow in whom we choose to let in on the basis of need, or who already have jobs to come to.

    Given it would appear that the majority of farmers we are told voted for Brexit, the BBC Countryfile view would seem a very odd position to take.

    Not a word on Countrfile about farmers being guaranteed the present EU subsidy payments by the UK Government until at least 2020.

    Seems almost anything that happens is the fault of Brexit, unless of course it is good news.

    Not much coverage on the big investment in the UK by Toyota on the BBC last week.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Correct. They continue to misrepresent the Brexit position.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I play a game watching Countryfile to see how soon Matt Baker mentions Climate Change and how many times.
      The record is 12 seconds and 27 times.
      Propaganda or what.
      I did write about the wind turbine in the trailer which was always stationary. It has since varnished.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      What happens to the farm workers now at the end of the season? Do they return to their Country of origin? Why wouldn’t we give time-limited visas for this work?

  24. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning John

    I understand that a debate is to be held in the Commons (re. the abolition of the BBC licence fee) in the second week of May as a consequence of a public petition.

    I certainly hope that you will speak in that debate and do so in favour of abolition.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I wonder how Labour will vote on that, they have complained that Corbyn gets bad coverage from them, true I think, the BBC are Blairite Labour.

  25. bigneil
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Report from the working class correspondent. Things are getting grimmer oop ere. There is a flat cap shortage and we can’t afford to feed the whippet ( luckily no-one has noticed yet )
    “The BBC oop ere in t’North have a wonderful presenter on Radio Sheffield. I have heard him call Brexit voters “SHEEP” on air. He has cut people off when on the phone-in section if he doesn’t agree with their comments. Mass immigration is wonderful as they pay “All those lovely taxes”. When it was pointed out the 6000 East European travellers there cost us millions each year his only comment was “No proof of that”. He even implied ( didn’t say it directly) that there would be increased Fibromyalgia after Brexit. A few days ago he asked listeners “What small thing would transform your life”. . someone sent him a text which he read out, ” What would transform my life? You getting sacked”. It honestly wasn’t me . . only because the other person beat me to it.

    He gets paid to do this from our TV tax. It is about time the Brussels Broadcasting Company was made to look after itself instead of existing on a tax that still has to be paid if you want to watch tv, even if you never watch the BBC. I know the TV tax is for “receiving broadcasts” but the BBC is a sole recipient as far as I know.

  26. Antisthenes
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    The BBC journalists are like all journalists everywhere biased so slant and distort news and the narrative to best promote that bias. An unfortunate trait but generally accepted as being the way of the world. Accepted because we know journalist belong institutions or groups that do not hide that they are biased so the beholder can make a judgement on what they are told in that knowledge.

    The BBC is unique in that it purports to harbour no bias as it’s charter specifies it is a public information services that must be apolitical and favour no one opinion over another. It blatantly and cynically disregards that legal requirement and indulges in undisguised propaganda which is particularly insidious as it is presented as being impartial and balanced. The BBC is no longer an institution that it was created to be and as such no longer fit for purpose So should be stripped of it’s special status and made to finance itself in the same way that other commercial similar organisations are forced to do. As they act no differently except in the BBC’s case we have to pay for the privilege of being told how to think.

  27. Jim
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Good luck, but I don’t think you’ll get far. I’ve always supported the BBC against this type of criticism, but coverage of Brexit on Newsnight and Today is shocking. The PM programme is not so bad. The BBC’s coverage during the ref campaign was very good, but then went rapidly downhill, presumably because the vote went against the expectations of the beeb.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    We’re heading towards a big row over money right at the start of exit negotiations, which could even become the end of negotiations, and which side will the BBC take? We can be pretty sure that they will take the EU’s side against that of the UK, and therefore that of the UK residents who have to pay to keep the BBC going. However, so will Sky, and ITV, and Channel 4, their staff are just as lacking in basic patriotism as the BBC journalists and editors.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Well if Sky, ITV and Channel 4 news do take this irresponsible narrative the public can switch off watching, reduce their viewing figures and stop advertising revenue around the news programs and this is what complainants should do immediately, just switch off, how this information is collected as the truth for the advertisers purposes I’m not sure I’ve never been asked what I watch nor anyone I’ve just asked at work.

    • ChrisS
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree with you, Denis.

      I can’t see the negotiations lasting more than an hour if they are foolish enough to present us with a massive bill and then insist we agree to pay before anything else is discussed.

      No British Prime Minister could survive in office if they agreed to pay anything like the sums being bandied about. Insisting on £10-£50bn will turn millions of those who voted remain into ardent Brexiteers.

      I hear rumours of £3bn being described as an “acceptable” figure but whatever figure is agreed it will need to be a demonstrably fair contributions for the cost of running the services that we agree to remain members off.

      That means no more than than 1/28th of the overall cost of each service.

      Otherwise we should walk away.

      Given their trade surplus with us, Germany and France and probably most of the other 25 will come back to do a tariff free deal with us, even if it is just for cars and agricultural products. Tariffs on most other things are negligible anyway.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Didn’t Cllr Merkel tell Pres Trump that the WTO tariff on vehicles was only 2.5% anyway last week?

  29. Kenneth
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Before the eu referendum it was rare to hear eu-sceptics on the BBC. During the referendum they were allowed to appear due to the regulations the BBC had to abide by.

    Since the referendum we are back as we were before with the eu sceptics mainly kept off of the airwaves.

    If the BBC can comply with the law during an election/referendum period (which I believe it did), then it can surely do this all of the time.

    I propose a change to the law where the broadcasting rules applying to an election are applied all of the time instead of a limited period.

    • Horatio
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, it will come as no surprise that Adam Bolton is married to Angie Hunter. Sky is almost as bad as bbc these days.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      It was hugely biased even during the referendum period in my judgement. Andrew Neil perhaps the sole exception.

  30. John Probert
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I agree that general reporting is negative and not balanced. The facts are not
    reported they are distorted and loaded.

  31. Doug Powell
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Well done for signing the letter, JR. A pity more MPs couldn’t find the courage to step up to the plate.

    Without doubt the BBC has a policy to subvert Democracy. It is not prepared to accept the will of the people and is engaged in Anti Brexit and therefore anti UK propaganda. Their presenters, newsreaders, and the tame economists and journalists continue to trot out propaganda just like EU equivalents of Lord Haw-Haw!

    Not a day goes by without the BBC denigrating Brexit and its supporters – ignorant – racist- populist! It is insulting and verges on hate speak. If immigrants were subjected to such abuse, there would be an orchestrated campaign to get as many as possible to report it, then the BBC would come out with the headline XXX% increase in reported hate crime! As all MPs know, pressure groups send out thousands of pro forma protest letters, which are worthless because they require no thought, just the ability to enter a name, then press the forward button. An honest news network would not use ‘reported’ as gospel, but do research to find out how many reports were ‘substantiated’! Alas, lazy journalism goes hand in hand with bias.

    Then, we come to Trump, a self-confessed supporter of Brexit. His election was like a godsend to the BBC. There have been incessant attacks on the President since his election. The BBC’s thinking being that by discrediting Trump, they will by association discredit Brexit! Likewise the recent SNP nonsense – another godsend for the BBC to put the boot into Brexit.

    It is time the BBC accepted Brexit, were patriotic and promoted information that is in the National Interest! But it won’t happen.

    However, we can do something, i.e., work for the Licence Fee to be withdrawn. The BBC is clearly abusing the Charter by peddling biased information! Let the BBC stand on its own feet and earn its money by selling its product in the market place on subscription! Any takers?

    • Doug Powell
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Addition – Another thing that makes my blood boil is that during every Brexit programme there is the backdrop of that bloody obnoxious EU flag! Subliminal messaging! – Must be the last refuge of traitors!

  32. Eh?
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the BBC should use a little judgement and instead of lamely reporting “Baby Teeth removals up 24% in a decade “and blaming it primarily on increased sugar intake, should delve very much deeper. Anecdotal evidence and supermarket cash tills suggest more sugar free and reduced sugar items being bought over the last decade than ever in our history ( they just did not exist ) plus customer awareness of the sugar problem at an all time height.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39327425

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      This is probably more to do with the privatisation of much of the NHS dentistry and parents don’t go so don’t take their infants to ensure correct teeth brushing is taking place.

  33. MikeP
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    If you ever catch a glimpse of BBC South Today (our/your constituency’s region), you’ll see a similar fixation with “Cuts”. There must be an “Editor for Cuts” who trawls the region each day longing for there to be some hard luck story of an enterprise or a family suffering hardship because of the “Cuts”. Rarely if ever does BBC South today allow the flip side to be presented, either of people doing well because they’ve innovated ways to streamline their finances to cope with the present economic challenges, or a taxpayer saying we have to live within our means so supporting the Treasury’s position. Even the NIC “U-turn” is endlessly presented as a debacle when in fact more balanced coverage would mention the new benefits awarded to self-employed workers (eg pension rights) to set against the increase in NICs. Shame that Philip Hammond didn’t pitch it more forcefully this way. To be fair the BBC’s “Reality Check” does attempt to even out the coverage but how many check this?

  34. MikeP
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    There seems to be a set position at the BBC about food prices rising after we leave the EU. Spokespeople are never challenged on this. Personally I’m looking forward to buying food and wine direct from South Africa, Australia and the Caribbean that won’t be subject to the EU’s tariffs.

    • Horatio
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes they never talk honestly. There was a sky interview the other day where the expert contradicted the presenter Sarah Jane mee and told her that food prices were actually lower now than pre referendum. The other commentator was then allowed a free ride carping on about how expensive food was even though she had just been informed this was not true.

      On the BBC there is never any discussion of the positive affects of current tarrifs and CAP on French wine. It is currently comparable in price to Aussie wine. If you take a £5 bottle and add a 30% tarrif and minus the benefit of the UK £6bn contribution to CAP it will certainly be at least 1.50 more expensive, £6.50, if not more. If you minus the current 30% external tarrifs on Aussie wine it drops to £3.50. Who would buy frog wine thereafter? One example of many

  35. HappyDays
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I sometimes wonder about your thought processes.
    There was a blog from you a while back saying they invited Vince Cable but not me or some such.
    They don’t invite you because you have to be kept off at all costs.
    You can logically demolish the opposition and have the persona/personality whatever the word is that comes over as /is honest.

  36. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I expect that if a reply is made it’ll be about the wonder of the BBC’s service to the world. Its a long list of nonsense really. Some say…a real beauty?

  37. ChrisS
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Please switch this comment to this more appropriate blog entry :

    Congrats for signing the letter to the BBC this morning.

    The timing was right : the BBC is no longer an unbiased neutral reporter of matters such as Brexit ( or political events in France or the USA for that matter ).

    Instead of automatically turning to bbc.co.uk for in-depth coverage of news, I now go straight to the websites of the three leading UK newspapers, plotting a course between the views expressed in the Times, Telegraph and Guardian.

    Laura Kuenssberg’s deeply disrespectful question to President Trump was a perfect example of an attempt at political point scoring and when one reads articles by Paul Mason in the Guardian these days, it beggars belief that he was ever considered suitable to be economics editor of Newsnight.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      It’s the sour look on Laura Kuenssberg’s face when discussing Brexit. She’s not even trying to hide her distaste for it.

      This is about setting agendas, not reporting news.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      ‘Laura Kuenssberg’s deeply disrespectful question to President Trump’

      – I agree, at the time, is was disrespectful. But Trump claiming our intelligence services spied for Obama isn’t just an insult to the position he holds as President, and so to the American people, but also to our country for making such a ridiculous claim, which David Cameron quite rightly mocked recently.

      I fear that if SOME Tories (e.g. SOME of those on the right – as opposed to the centre right – of the party) cosy up to Mr Trump too much, this could cost us at the polling booths come the next general election.

  38. Dioclese
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    A friend of mine runs a site called “Biased BBC” devoted to all thing biased in BC coverage.
    If you’ve not read it, then I commend it to you. It’s been running for years.

    Just google it and you’ll find it.
    (This isn’t meant to be spam incidentally!)

  39. Anonymous
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    According to the Ceefax obituary Martin McGuinness was a man of peace – not a ‘divisive’ person when they reported the death of Margaret Thatcher.

  40. Brigham
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I look forward to a few months when they explore the upsides as thoroughly as they have explored the downsides.
    Don’t hold your breath John.

  41. Jason wells
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I notice that all of your diaries followers are of the same mind..almost all are very anti BBC..and was wondering how the whole of the media, it seems, including the BBC could be so out of step?

    • pleb
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      You need to get reading Jase.

  42. NHSGP
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Another example of BBC bias.

    They will go on about how much the UK has to pay the EU for Eurocrat pensions. The EU having spent all their worker’s contributions.

    First observation, why should the UK pay twice?

    Second, where’s the talk about how much the EU pays the UK for the EU’s assets?

  43. Freeborn John
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    The BBC should be told that if there is no improvement in their EU reporting BBC news will be taken off air. The complaints system at the BBC is totally broken with them being judge in a cases to which they are a party. They never find against themselves.

    On a related matter I hope you will take the government to task to prevent the vastly increased foreign aid budget announced in the budget being diverted to the EU as a hidden form of ongoing contributions to the EU budget. There must be no one-off or ongoing payments to the EU once we have left.

  44. Mark B
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon.

    BREXIT has not happened. All that has happened is that we have indicated our desire to leave the EU. We are still paying vast sums into the EU budget and will continue to do so until we leave the Stupid Club.

    Once out of the EU and depending on what deal is done, we then only know how well the UK will do. Until then all is guess work.

    Off topic.

    My I express my support for Lord and Lady Tebbit and all those who have suffered at the hands of terrorism.

  45. forthurst
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    On behalf of those who have not read the letter, it can be summarised as, “The BBC is Fake News, please stop undermining the government’s efforts to forge a new relationship with the EU and the rest of the world”.

    Unfortunately, the head of fake news at the BBC is rather more concerned with the ‘overrepresentation’ of Englishmen as presenters than with what the presenters actually have put in their mouths by someone like himself who is not in point of fact English and keeps his loyalty to this country, as opposed to another, well hidden.

    Does Lord Hall control the head of fake news? Very unlikely.

  46. Joe Ellis
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Excellent response John Redwood MP

  47. a-tracy
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    You’ve only to see how much air time Nick Clegg and Tim Farron are given compared to representatives from other parties speaking about Brexit and the EU. They only elected 1/73 MEPs; 9/650 MPs; and 1820/20830 councillors!

    How many pro-brexit northern MPs;MEPs; or councillors do we get to hear or watch?

  48. BobE
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I think the BBC receives money from the EU. Hopefully this will stop after Brexit.

  49. BOF
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Well done for signing the letter to the BBBC this morning. Can we dream that one day the BBC licence fee/poll tax will be abolished?

  50. Little Englander
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I was stationed in the port city of Khorramshahr, Iran in 1978 I can remember well that every evening after Prayers all you could hear from the roof tops of the houses was the Persian/Farsi Service of the BBC. Iranians in this small place (and I imagine elsewhere throughout the country) listened intently to the BBC because, as so many of them told me, that THAT was the only ‘trusted’ (yes trusted) credible, factual and totally non-political source of information regarding what was going on in their country but importantly outside with regard to Khomeini at that time sitting in Paris. Marshal Law had been enforced in Iran and there was NO NEWS. Later after Khomeini arrived in the Country the roof tops of this small city were silent with the BBC being listened to inside the houses. The BBC was impartial and factual in those days as is exampled here and people did listen because they trusted the British Broadcasting Corporation. WHERE has it all gone wrong

    • rose
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 12:43 am | Permalink

      I am sorry to disagree with you: the BBC in the seventies and eighties was just as biased as now. Horribly pro-IRA and anti the government who eventually had to pass legislation to stop the BBC puffing the IRA with interviews. Whereupon the BBC continued interviewing the IRA but used actors to recite the answers.

      They were useful idiots to the Soviets too, spouting all their propaganda, so much so, that people behind the iron curtain thought the Greenham Common camp was a KGB fiction.

      The most virulent BBC bias was reserved for Mrs Thatcher, but unlike today’s politicians, she rose above it, never trimmed, and somehow managed to appeal to the public over the BBC’s heads. No nonsense about occupying the centre ground.

      • rose
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 1:25 am | Permalink

        By today’s politicians I don’t mean the ones protesting at BBC bias but the ones who bend to it.

    • leave won
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Interesting post. Thankyou.

      • leave won
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        That was a reply to Little Englander

  51. norman
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    The academic world, and media and arts world, network widely, and are ‘liberal’ by definition. This also reflects the loss of a legitimate national identity enjoyed in the past – that perhaps was biased in a different way! We probably have to settle for this, as a ‘conservative’ bias would always be ‘suspect’. If you read the comments threads on right-wing media outlets, they are quite rabid – the far-left would be the same. Perhaps we should be thankful the BBC, though predictable, isn’t as extreme as it might be. It isn’t a perfect world, but we can always buck the trend, by contributing something better, when opportunity arises – I have done quite a few radio and TV interviews in the past. Feedback indicated that listeners/viewers can easily discern the genuine from the false. Also, as hinted above, ‘no news is good news’, and vice versa.

  52. Oliver
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    The Ashcroft Polls showed that ABC1’s and Graduates voted roughly 60/40 in favour of “Remain”.

    Fair enough… Richer people may have perceived a risk to asset values they preferred to avoid (wrongly as it turned out), and also recognised the potential nightmare of releasing the chains we’ve been shackled with.

    But why is it that 99% of Academia, and Broadcasters fall into the 60% majority of the intellectual “elite”?

    This is a massive problem.

  53. matthu
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    I see that the Minster for Education is writing to universities ordering them to protect the concept of freedom of speech.

    Universities will no longer be able to block public speakers from appearing on campus.

    Does this mean that people who are sceptical about the primacy of man-made climate change would also be assured of an equal platform? Thought not.

    Does this new-found heralding of free speech extend to people invited to address MPs? Oh no, doubtless that would be too much freedom!

    Another government policy not properly thought through?

  54. Ed Mahony
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    You’re a great politician with a tonne of talent. But please don’t listen to some/many of the right-wing – as opposed to centre-right Conservative – comments here (especially those that are Trump supporters). They’re out of touch with most voters. If Tory leaders took/take them seriously, Labour / Liberals could easily get into power (like they did in 1997). That would be terrible for this country. And end up with a lot of wasted talent from Conservative MPs in parliament.

  55. Original Richard
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    The BBC should be forced to read out a declaration at the beginning of all Brexit/EU reports that the BBC receives money from the EU.

  56. norman
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Since my earlier comment, some BBC items I’ve just seen in passing were very obviously biased – pathologically so! They do, indeed, seem to be giving voice to the anti-Brexit Europhile camp, with little or no balance. And I also certainly know of their liberal-left bias in other areas. So I think I was a bit too forgiving – it really is quite shocking. So I am on-side re the letter.

  57. rose
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    All the cleverest academics I know voted for Brexit. It was the second raters who voted for the EU. I think part of the problem arose when John Major and Tony Blair wanted everyone to go to university and some very dim people then went. We had a bit of that in seventies too, after Harold Wilson had suddenly doubled the number of universities and there weren’t enough clever people to staff them.

    With these people and the broadcasters there is also the problem of group think. It just isn’t nice to say certain things. So they know they must care about the environment, but they don’t care enough to save it from the influx of tens of millions of extra people over a lifetime. They know they must care about African farmers, but they don’t care enough to criticise the EU’s CAP. The EU and out of control immigration they just know they must never question. In the same way that they know they must support womens rights, but not to the extent of criticising contemporary Islam.

    This is as you say a massive problem but we have undergone a cultural revolution and it will be a massive job getting back to the days when there was such a thing as nation and the national interest, and when we had a responsibility to hand the country on in a fit state and debt free for future generations.

    • rose
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      This was meant in reply to Oliver.

  58. willliam
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    So, when we have left the EU and as seems increasingly likely, have to trade under WTO rules you will be expecting the BBC to report positively about the one or two successes in equal measure to the disasters, job losses, etcetera.

    Think on this – IF leaving turns out to be a great success, but there are one or two bad news stories resulting from leaving, will you be asking the BBC to report these with equal emphasis? Of course not. The BBC cannot magically brush under the carpet what other EU leaders say about us leaving, they have a duty to report it. Clearly there is no bias, unless all the other news media are in on a massive conspiracy since the bad news stories about Brexit appear in multiple sources.

  59. Des
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Sorry a bit late and someone may already have suggested:
    BBC
    Brussels Broadcasting Corporation

  60. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    The thing about Brexit that the BBC and many others fail to highlight is that the sooner it happens the better. Only then will we be able to implement trade deals with he US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India etc that can be negotiated quickly.

    Patrick Minford (and yourself?) have got the future of the UK economy right – maximise free trade, minimise immigration and maximise technology – and the IMF and all the other international busybodies have got it wrong.

    We should offer an exit payment to the EC only if we are allowed to leave early.

  • About John Redwood


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

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