BBC should correct the Today programme inflation coverage

The ONS today announced a fall in the UK inflation rate in June. That came as no surprise to me, as the main upwards driver of the inflation rate has been oil and commodity prices, and they have weakened a bit recently. The BBC thinks our inflation rate has risen owing to a decline in the pound – a decline which started in the summer of 2015, not with the Brexit vote.

The ONS now confirms in their analysis that the UK inflation rate has risen and now fallen a bit in line with other countries – e.g. US and Euro area – owing to movements in commodity prices. Time for the BBC to catch up with reality.


  1. Duncan
    July 18, 2017

    ‘Time for the BBC to catch up with reality. ‘

    Or, time for the BBC licence tax to be decriminalised, then abolished and finally privatise this poisonous entity whose activities have now strayed way outside its remit

    To all intents and purposes it has become a propaganda for the illiberal left

    Moreover, it’s time for the Tories to grow some and do the decent thing and put this organisation to the sword

    1. Yossarion
      July 18, 2017

      Watch Katz’s piece on Newsnight last night, obviously He cant get his staff to do his propaganda, so has now undertaken it on himself etc.

    2. APL
      July 18, 2017

      Duncan: “time for the BBC licence tax to be decriminalised, then abolished and finally privatise this poisonous entity whose activities have now strayed way outside its remit”

      Don’t expect the Tories to do anything about the BBC, they’ve had seven years and done nought.

    3. Amanda
      July 18, 2017

      Well said.

    4. Caterpillar
      July 18, 2017

      Yes BBC licence must go. Why we cannot choose to buy or not, as we do from other providers, is beyond me.

      If the BBC were able to demonstrate decent behaviour and reasoned (polite) debate perhaps it may have a purpose, but as is it is a troublemaking embarrassment.

  2. Lifelogic
    July 18, 2017

    Indeed but you can say that about nearly every report the BBC do. They are divorced from reality on all their agendas:- climate alarmism, wanting an ever larger state, the dire NHS, wanting ever more taxes and regulation, their childish gender politics, their endless attacks on Trump, the USA right, the rich or landlords and above all their endless remoaner agenda. They are essentially pro state group thing and anti the private sector. Also hugely in favour of the system that means they get loads of tax payers money to provided unfair completion for any other providers.

    They even like the absurd system that is the NHS

  3. Epikouros
    July 18, 2017

    Reality is in short supply. If it was not then fantastical ideologies political and religious would not have the relevance and the considerable power to influence that they so enjoy and use very much to our detriment. The BBC worshipping at the alter of the progressive left of course promulgate it’s doctrine zealously so will not let truth or facts impede their spreading of their particular socialist gospel.

  4. Bert Young
    July 18, 2017

    Who’s surprised !. The BBC are gloomongerers .

  5. alan jutson
    July 18, 2017

    I certainly agree the BBC need to be rather more factual than opinionated in its News coverage.

    Its gone from being a News Reporting Broadcaster, to a News Forecaster.

  6. Richard1
    July 18, 2017

    I caught the back end of a discussions with Andrew Sentance who was sensibly, but in a mild-mannered way, arguing for normalisation of interest rates and the ubiquitous BBC economics favourite of a few years ago, Danny Blanchflower. mr Blachflower was as bombastic and dismissive of opposing views as ever. Fortunately for him he was not challenged or reminded of his absurd forecast that if the coalition government didn’t follow his leftist-inspired ‘Keynesian’ prescription for a borrowing binge there would be ‘5 million unemployed’. The coalition government sensibly ignored blanchflower and the Labour Party, as a result of which the deficit is more or less under control and confidence has been restored.

  7. Beecee
    July 18, 2017

    Where is the political will to make them compete in the market place for their income?

    They continue to be a law unto themselves and under no pressure to change.

    If Trump were PM he would probably ban Ministers etc from appearing on their programmes until they became more even-handed, and they would be excluded from press briefings

  8. Eh?
    July 18, 2017

    Inflation or no, my shopping gets progressively cheaper. Online grocers are now offering 8% and 10% reductions even 15% from one company on “the whole order” with zero delivery costs. I have no idea what on earth the media and Labour Party is talking about. If they give me 5% I’ll do their online shop for them.

    1. Caterpillar
      July 18, 2017

      Remember after 2007/8 when the inferior food products went up on price and the normal/luxury dropped as available income fell – that’s what the groceries look like to me at the moment. I think there is a differential effect on who is feeling price changes.

  9. Denis Cooper
    July 18, 2017

    Nevertheless the CBI is still desperately worried about Brexit …

    1. ian wragg
      July 18, 2017

      That will be the hand full of multi nationals which have a ready supply of cheap labour subsidised by the taxpayer.

  10. Dennis Zoff
    July 18, 2017

    How can the BBC catch up, when they clearly have an alternative agenda/canted narrative that is designed with one single purpose in mind “mendacious obfuscation”

    No disrespect to you John, but in general the BBC have not been taken seriously for a number of years. Listening to any political argument that emanates from the BBC is met with disdain and in some cases anger! I believe I am not alone in this view?

    …and as for the ONS’s financial “fiddlers elbow”….let’s not go there!

  11. Go look
    July 18, 2017

    Recently via a national newspaper ( no purchase necessary )not generally unfriendly to the Tories, I got 300 flower bulbs for the price of the postage. ( a few quid ) I checked out the proper prices from multiple suppliers. They were selling for “£150+..and were popular.
    I assure you I am not a fanatical online shopper but my personal “inflation” figures are more than minus 10% over the last year. I guess that means I’m suffering a kind of deflation. I’m trying to re-inflate myself with “offer” prices on gassy homebrew.

  12. Tad Davison
    July 18, 2017

    Won’t happen. This is the BBC we’re talking about.

    Tad Davison


  13. Kenneth
    July 18, 2017

    I would ask that you suggest in Parliament that part of the BBC licence fee and part of OfCom’s budget should be diverted into a function that monitors the BBC’s output for the kinds of inaccuracies and ongoing bias that you and others have identified.

    There is plenty of unofficial monitoring of the BBC going on now but it would be good to have a source of information where the criteria for monitoring, detecting and flagging such failures were carried out using an openly published set of definitions, criteria and procedures.

    I would not trust the BBC or OfCom to carry out this work and so I would suggest a Parliamentary committee (not the government) is tasked with employing a business (perhaps a polling company) to carry out this work.

    I think this company should produce a monthly report and the BBC be required to respond with its action points in writing.

    I know this suggestion has many pitfalls but I cannot think of any better way of systematically exposing the BBC to its own shortcomings.

    Before the last general election I believe the Labour Party, and Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott in particular were treated unfairly by the BBC and so this is not a one-way street. Perhaps for the first time some on the Left became aware of the BBC’s political activism, something that those on the Right have known for some time. As such, you may have support from the Left as well as the Right for such an idea.

  14. zorro
    July 18, 2017

    We await the legendary…. ‘inflation rate drops from 2.9% to 2.6% despite Brexit’….


  15. MickN
    July 18, 2017

    Perhaps it is time that MPs clipped the BBC wings – we can’t do it short of breaking the law and leaving us liable to fines or incarceration. I read today that even the Proms has gone unashamedly anti Brexit. I am sick of it.

    1. stred
      July 19, 2017

      When I was a teenager I heard Elgar’s 2nd symphony on the radio with The BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted, I think, by Colin Davis. It has been my favourite piece of music since then. I recorded it and played it to friends, who thought I was weird, as they preferred the Beatles. When I heard that Daniel Barenboim had gone to the proms when young, I wondered whether he had heard the same brilliant performance and discovered Elgar. I have his recording and looked forward to hearing his performance with the Berlin orchestra this weekend. It lived up to expectations and they played putting new depths to the piece. I didn’t mind them giving their version of the last night too- they were such brilliant performers.

      The Daniel decided to give us his political opinions. An American woman conductor had set a precedent a few years back and had received criticism. Some in the audience cheered but I am sure there would have been many, like me, who thought he was talking through his backside. How ridiculous to suggest that we would lose our culture if no educated about other countries. Does he think his orchestra will not be welcome after leaving the EU and does he know the difference between the EU and Europe. We are more likely to lose our love of classical music if Europe loses its identity, as per the plans of the UN, EU and multinational banks.

      Like our future king, he should learn to keep his opinions to himself or lose support from people who disagree with him.

  16. Gary C
    July 18, 2017

    Re: Time for the BBC to catch up with reality.

    That time has long passed, nowadays they prefer sensationalism and bias !

  17. Denis Cooper
    July 18, 2017

    Oh dear …

    “Dutch seeking UK citizenship will lose passports”

    “The prime minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, warned the roughly 100,000 Dutch citizens living in the UK that if they take up British citizenship after Brexit, to avoid having to leave the country, they risk losing their Dutch passports. “Countering dual nationality remains one of this cabinet’s policies,” he said on Monday. EU nationals living in Britain face uncertainty after March 2019 when the UK leaves the EU.”

    Well, I agree with their opposition to dual or multiple nationality, which has become far too common, and I reckon the answer may be to resurrect something like the old legal status of “denizen”:

    “According to the English law, denizen is a person who is in an intermediate position between being an alien and a natural born or naturalized subject. Denization is the act of making a person a denizen.”

    1. sm
      July 18, 2017

      Will this denial of dual Dutch citizenship be applied to, say, the Dutch citizens I know who live in Sth Africa and are married to SA citizens, or only to those in the UK?

  18. iain
    July 18, 2017

    Presume you have taken this up with the BBC. If so what was their response.

    1. sm
      July 18, 2017

      “We have carefully examined your complaint, but after a full review have decided that no fault could be found with our correspondent’s report”.

  19. What are flies for?
    July 18, 2017

    Bad news for the BoE. Just when Mr Carney for his umpteenth time ( surely a record! ) said there would be an imminent interest rate rise as being “absolutely necessary” ( a day before his Canadian former collegues did it in Canada ) Yellen said “maybe not yet.”
    Now the BoE is, according to the BBC, is “thinking again abour NOT raising rates”
    Anyone would think the BoE was not doing any analysis or thinking at all but merely following like a toddler hanging on to its mummy’s skirt trails: Yellen of the USA. Like flies, what is the Bank of England for?

  20. The Prangwizard
    July 18, 2017

    You are far too easy on them. They and their kind will ignore these mild words, they cut no ice. You will need to use words like distortion, deliberate, subversive and such before they and journalists reading your views will take any significant notice.

  21. Denis Cooper
    July 18, 2017

    Another ……… traitor:

    “Article 50 author says country ‘needs to think again’ about Brexit”

    “He urged for a “UK-wide debate about calling a halt to the process” and said it was possible for voters to “think again” about whether they wanted to leave.”

    This is the kind of person who is allowed to become an unelected legislator-for-life.

  22. English Pensioner
    July 18, 2017

    Nor has the BBC noticed that the pound has risen against the dollar compared with earlier this year. They did notice when it fell, but not now it’s on the way up.

    1. English Pensioner
      July 18, 2017

      I see tonight that the BBC’s web page notes that the pound has fallen due to inflation being lower. We never have any good news, it always has some bad consequences if the BBC is to be believed.

  23. Sean
    July 18, 2017

    I’m sick of the BBC sleaze channel.

    We must petition to close it down, as being force to buy something we don’t want or watch is against our Human rights.

  24. HenryS
    July 18, 2017

    We should leave the BbC alone .. in my opinion they are doing a superb job all against the odds…and especially since there is no coherant direction coming from government.

    We can see from Turkey for instance how politicians like to play down the press when they don’t like the message- but shooting the messanger never helped. i hope we are not proposing on to do the same here? BBC has been sround for decades and long before the present crisis.. i bet they’ll be here for generatons to come.

    1. rose
      July 19, 2017

      “We can see from Turkey for instance how politicians like to play down the press when they don’t like the message- but shooting the messanger never helped. i hope we are not proposing on to do the same here?”

      It is not politicians who wish to reform the BBC but the listening public. There is a difference, you know. As with mass immigration, the establishment is happy to allow something damaging to the country’s interest to continue, while the public is very unhappy with it and unable to do anything aobut it.

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    July 18, 2017

    Could it not be that both the fall in sterling and the inflation are due to the Bank of England’s QE and ultra low interest rates? The USA has stopped QE and is slowly hardening interest rates. Why aren’t we?

  26. Roy Grainger
    July 18, 2017

    I expect the BBC will have their hands full tomorrow when we see salary details of all staff who are paid more than £150k. It really is an extraordinary organisation, up until recently it had ten layers of management – when I worked for a massive multinational company, one of the biggest in the world, we had less than that.

  27. Terry
    July 18, 2017

    The BBC mis-reporting (deliberate?) has become less of a joke and more of a worrisome feature of our National Broadcaster.
    For a Corporation that receives £3.7 BILLIONS in UK License fees , we, their paymasters, should demand they act like our employees as professionals and not as arrogant con-men.

    Is there anyway they can be punished for false reporting? Are they actually accountable and responsible to OFCOM? Or do they control that org too?

  28. Iain Gill
    July 18, 2017

    You will be asking them to report the reality of dirt, waits, poor treatment, and poor service in the NHS next, and just how little say the poor patients get.

  29. ThouperPerthon
    July 18, 2017

    The BBC today with a straight face and its tongue in the usual position is discussing “gender -stereotyping” in adverts. The time has surely arrived for this 1960s “institution” to be dismantled.

    1. Mitchel
      July 19, 2017

      If the ASA stuck to its founding brief rather than meddling in the politics of social engineering,there would be nothing to discuss.Likewise many of the quangos whose agendas frequently provide copy for the BBC.

  30. Javelin
    July 19, 2017

    Why are politicians scared to cut back the BBC or scrap the license fee?

  31. agricola
    July 19, 2017

    The reporting on the BBC was factual. The Pound slid in anticipation of Brexit and making a profit, ergo imports became more expensive. hence the 2.9% inflation. Fuel prices in dollar reduced sufficient to bring the latest inflation percentage down, but food remains higher in price. I did not find their reporting of this contentious. let’s see what the next six months brings.

    Reply THe ONS have rightly now pointed out UK inflation rose and is now falling like US inflation mainly owing to commodity prices, not the value of the pound

    1. agricola
      July 19, 2017

      But surely commodity prices in currency other than Sterling will increase in Sterling terms if Sterling falls in value in relation to those other currencies. I would have thought that businesses trading with the EU on a regular basis would have covered themselves at least six months ahead by buying Euros. If you really investigated what has happened with food prices I would not be surprised if the supermarket prices were opportunistic. The price of sprouts always went up around three weeks before Christmas using the annual frost excuse.

  32. hans chr iversen
    July 19, 2017

    why? do my comments get deleted as part of the debate?

    Reply They are deleted if they are silly falsehoods which I do not have time to rebut

  33. John Finn
    July 19, 2017

    Looking at the actual CPI data it’s possible the inflation rate has now peaked. The CPI numbers were the same for May and June (2017) while the corresponding months in 2016 showed an increase between May and June – hence the year-on-year comparison shows the June 2017 rate lower compared to May 2017.

    This month on month increase in 2016 continues so if price increases remain relatively flat for the rest of 2017 it’s possible inflation will be as low as 2% by the end of the year. Of course there could be other shocks along the way but I’d have thought any effect from the falling pound would have been pretty much played out by then.

  34. BBC gender?
    July 19, 2017

    The BBC staff who earn over £150,000 per year are said to suffer too from gender imbalance. It appears only a third of those staff are female. Well, there should not be above three people working for the BBC earning £150,000 anyway ( if they sweep up and hoover their office after normal working hours each day ). So it should be difficult to equalise the genders. Employ one more female then there is only one man. The solution is to sack one of the two men. Perfect. But they should not get a pay rise for the next thirty years.

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