The Today programme condemns populism

I had hoped with Guest editors the Today programme would seek to reconnect for just a day or two with the taxpayers, motorists and Eurosceptics it regularly castigates the rest of the year. I should have known better. This morning they have just given an interview with an “expert” who told them that people voting for “populist” parties threatened the underpinnings of liberal democracy in Europe. So there we have it. People voting against the EU and Euro establishment in their countries are anti democratic forces. Why wasn’t the expert asked why in the EU you are only allowed to vote for what the Establishment thinks is right?  Why do voters have to vote again when they get the answer to referendums wrong according to the Establishment? What should voters do when traditional parties remain wedded to Euro austerity policies?

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254 Comments

  1. sm
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Because, I assume, only those who think ‘correctly’ about the EU would be invited to be Guest Editors of Today?

    So I recommend, John, that you don’t hold your breath waiting for your invitation…..

    • NickC
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      SM, Indeed. And that is because the BBC depends most heavily on (ex) Guardian journalists. So we get every trendy bias under the sun. The BBC is especially keen on peddling the CAGW scam, as well as being profoundly pro-EU.

      • jerry
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        @NickC; “The BBC is especially keen on peddling the CAGW scam, as well as being profoundly pro-EU.”

        If you bothered to actually check your facts you would soon see that both Sky News and Ch4 News do likewise, but never a pipsqueak or grunt from you about those commercial broadcasters is there.

        • NickC
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, That is because you don’t have to pay Sky to watch other TV legally. Duh . . .

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            @NickC, Irrelevant, I do not have to have a TVL to read what Sky news publish on their website, nor video content published on their own or others websites.

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Irrelevant, I have to pay the BBC TV Tax to watch other providers’ live TV legally.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

            @NickC, You do not have to watch broadcast TV, just as you do not have to run a car, operate a CB radio or any thing else that requires obeying the law and paying for a licence.

          • NickC
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, If the TV Tax was shared out among all broadcasters, or used for a common network, your example of the road network, etc, may be analogous. But that is not the case: the TV Tax goes only to the BBC. Therefore you are unable to justify your view that I must subsidise your preferences and bias.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “If the TV Tax was shared out among all broadcasters, or used for a common network, your example of the road network, etc”

            Indeed, and why do you think I (try to) talk about the TVL fee, and in the past PSB, not just the BBC as you and others keep doing. In another debate [1], in a reply to @ADS, I even mentioned how the BBC and TVL fee could be reformed.

            “Therefore you are unable to justify your view that I must subsidise your preferences and bias.”

            Pot, kettle, black! But nor should myself and others subsidies your preferences and bias either, and that is the point you can’t accept – I have no problem with your right to watch what ever you want, but you seem to have real problems accepting that right in others, even though they also subsidise your TV viewing habits, just by different less obvious ways though.

            [1] http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/12/30/what-a-guest-editor-of-the-today-programme-could-do-for-the-audience/#comment-910236

        • NickC
          Posted January 1, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, Irrelevant. I want to watch live TV, just not the BBC. How can I do that legally without paying for the odious BBC?

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; Far from irrelevant. You want to, you do not have to, it is a CHOICE you make. QED, life is not fair, if it was there woudl be no poverty, everyone would live in the same standard of house, etc.

          • NickC
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, It is not for you to define my choices. I do not want the BBC; therefore I should not have to pay for the BBC just to suit your prejudices. So far you have not come up with any other reason.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; Nice rant, but thanks for finally admitting that watching TV is a choice, not something mandated by the Communications Act 2003 (nor any of its predecessors).

      • Hope
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Odonis ranting resignation letter should be seen for the extremist views h e represents. So many false claims about govt position being right wing, goodness help us from deluded souls like him.

        • jerry
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          @Hope; One man’s “Freedom Fighter” is another’s “Traitor”, who is the extremist?… Goodness help us from deluded souls like you, nothing is as back or white as you believe!

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

            When you returned to this site after a lengthy absence Jerry, you started off with some very good posts and even the comments to other people’s posts were reasonable and to be frank I thought it was someone else using the same name.
            But sadly, you have over the last few days, returned to how you were before you left, with some posts like the one above to Hope.

          • Hope
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            Utter tosh.

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; What utter bilge, you simply do not like your comfort zone challenged, that is your problem not mine if you can’t stomach alternate opinions. Same applied to @Hope.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            My opinion is validated perfectly.
            Let the stroppy Jerry Show continue.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; The only person being “stroppy” is you eddie, everyone else (even @Hope) is attempting to debate the issues. When your own or others “facts” are shown to be wrong or at least questionable all you do is to cop-a-strop and accuse others of being insulting. Let it rest.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            I’m not the one posting personal attacks.
            Let it rest is a good motto for you Jerry.
            Post your own posts and avoid responding with arguments to everyone else’s posts.
            Calling people deluded souls..utter bilge..etc etc.
            One post a day is the recommended level.
            What are you now back to?
            Twenty?

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Oh yes you are posting personal attacks, in fact you are the only one who has gone out of their way to play the man and not the ball – and this always happens when you enter a debate, no one else is complaining about robust debate other than you.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        NickG,

        This is of course fully the case as we know you are not biased one way or another, but the ideal on full objectivity, well done keep it up

        • NickC
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          Hans, I have never claimed to be unbiased. Merely observed that every human being is biased. None of us is either perfect or omnipotent, so have no neutral base to judge from. And that applies to BBC journalists too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      But JR has been proved right on almost everything though not by the “BBC think” standards. He does very well for an Oxford Historian without much science or maths.

      I myself am strongly against capital punishment (as was Enoch Powell). Mainly as our courts make so many appalling mistakes (not helped when evidence is not released by the prosecution or the police are found to be “gilding the lily” or often far worse).

      Other than that there is not much he has got that wrong is there? As a politician he clearly cannot always speak his mind bluntly. One would certainly be well up, on average, betting on his general positions and guidance. But in politics being right is rarely an advantage it seems.

      More silly propaganda from BBC’s alarmist in chief Roger Harrabin (Catz English) on renewable energy in the UK again today. Surely we have suffered enough of this man.

      Reply I do have a professional qualification which requires some numeracy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Good “some numeracy”. So you are well into the elite top 10%(?) of MPs.
        So poor is the choice in term of STEM subjects and logic that the even have people who left shool with no maths o levels as chancellor and then PM. Needless to say it did not go well.

        I see that the generally sound Ann Wiiddicome was even sensible enough to vote against the climate change act. one of only 5 I think! Why is she not in the Lords? Being right never seems to help in politics.

  2. alan jutson
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I think most of us have given up hope that any broadcasting media will be neutral on political thought.

    Given that many so called experts have been so wrong so many times, on so many different topics, you would have thought by now programme producers would have understood that such expert pronouncements, should always be tempered with a conflicting point of view so that the listeners/viewers could hear a sensible debate.

    Unfortunately we are in the time where short headline announcements are the order of the day.

    • jerry
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      @alan jutson; “I think most of us have given up hope that any broadcasting media will be neutral on political thought.”

      Then make an official complaint if you think the media is being biased – or is it you who wants bias, not the neutrality of political thought we do actually get from broadcasters.

      First you, yourself, needs to be unbiased, only then can you be the judge of others!

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        On Brexit we hear doom from the broadcast media.

        Is that balance ?

        On immigration we constantly hear our opinions misrepresented on the broadcast media – we want *all* immigration stopped, apparently. We dislike foreigners, apparently.

        Is that balance ?

        I do complain btw. A pro forma dismissal has been returned in every case.

        • jerry
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          Anonymous; “I do complain btw. A pro forma dismissal has been returned in every case.”

          That might have something to do with the pro forma complaint you send … considering that they have a duty to reply, at least in the case of the BBC, how ever poorly expressed the complaint is.

          As for balance, could it be that the broadcast media simply still believe that they need to counter the printed MSM, most of which is right-wing and/or anti the EU – perhaps people need to start looking at the whole, in an unbiased way, to see the entire picture, rather than just concentrate on the parts they wish to criticise?

          • NickC
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, The BBC has no remit to “counter the printed MSM”. It has a remit to be “balanced” itself. Something it is self evidently failing to do, not least because it is impossible. Especially when staffed by Guardian journalists.

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

            @NickC,In the same way as the right wing press has no remit to attack the BBC you mean?

            Neither needs a remit, it is called journalism.

            Your last sentence says far more about you than it does the BBC, never mind Guardian journalists, why pick on them, why not the Daily Telegraph -other than the fact that they are a right wing newspaper of course…

          • NickC
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, The BBC has a remit to be balanced as the sole justification for its unique public funding model. I thought you knew that? In contrast the rest of the MSM can be as biased as it likes in its different ways.

            And if you bothered to actually read what I wrote I was not “picking” on Guardian journalists (though I’m free to do so), I picked on the BBC’s biased over extensive use of Guardian journalists. The Guardian is free to be as extreme statist as it likes – I don’t have to pay for it.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “The BBC has a remit to be balanced as the sole justification for its unique public funding model.”

            Which is it, and why you so detest it.

            “The Guardian is free to be as extreme statist as it likes – I don’t have to pay for it.”

            But you do, via paid-for advertising from big-brand companies etc…

          • NickC
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, It is plainly untrue that I must buy the Guardian when I buy the Times. It may suit your prejudices to force me to pay for the BBC that I don’t want, but is nothing other than sheer hypocrisy, especially in view of your dislike of the “right wing MSM” which you do not have to buy.

            Moreover, you have no way of proving, or even demonstrating, that the BBC is “balanced”. Indeed it is impossible for the BBC to be balanced precisely because it run by people with biases like yours. But that applies whatever prejudices are dominant. You have no honest case to maintain the BBC TV Tax, since your only defence of it is that it suits your own prejudices.

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

            @NickC; More Strew man arguments from you I see.

            Were did I say you must buy the Guardian, I merely said that you fund the newspaper via adverts, paid for from check-out receipts!

            Why should others (even the blind) subsidise your beloved TV viewing habits because of the way they are funding paid for adverts or packaged subscription channels -you do understand how subscription TV works, from the channel owners stand point that is?

            For the final time, no one is making you pay the TVL fee, it is not compulsory, you CHOOSE to do so, just as those who purchase a subscription service choose, just as you might choose run a car and thus pay the VED, even though you probably do not use4 9/10th of the UK’s road network.

      • Hope
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        JR, is Davis going to resign now Green was correctly resigned/sacked? Was this sham stance to walk away from the disaster May capitulation appearing before his eyes?

        NB: Green should never have passed vetting. Another poor judgement appointment by May. I thought she was against the old boy/establishment network? I suppose it did not apply to her when appointing an old Oxford buddy as her deputy? Did she not make a key note statement at the outset about a fair society for all whatever background blurb. You simply cannot believe a word she says.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          You simply cannot believe a word she says. That is true. Look at her statements in the referendum on “control of our borders through Schengen”. Even she cannot have believed this.

          • zorro
            Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            Particularly as we were never signatories to Schengen!!

            zorro

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            Control through not being in Schengen!

      • libertarian
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Jerry

        Happy to have the link to the programme where the BBC fielded a democracy expert who highlighted the democratic failings of the EU and who defended people voting for who they want.

        No point complaining to an organisation that ignores complaints ( see history of abuse within BBC for details)

        I gave up searching for it myself. Although Andrew Neil does tend to be the best interviewer for holding people to account

        • jerry
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; “No point complaining to an organisation that ignores complaints ( see history of abuse within BBC for details)”

          Then complain to Ofcom!

          I am somewhat surprised that for someone who claims to run a (on-line) radio station, voluntarily adhering to Ofcom rules, does not keep themselves up to date with current Ofcom responsibilities…

          • libertarian
            Posted December 29, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Ha ha ha Ofcom…. ha ha ha

            Oh I also now own an FM station too, fully under OFCOM rules, I’m fully aware of OFcoms responsibilities, and their failings. Thanks

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; But other broadcasters (very large to very small) do not have issues with Ofcom, they are happy to operate in a system designed for all, thus your comments probably say far more about you than it does Ofcom (and the DCMS)!…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          Neil is middle of the road and bright. Everyone else is way to the left of him and most are scientifically and economically illiterate & rather dim too.

          • jerry
            Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            @LL; That comment might tell us more about your own politics than it does anyone else’s, due to his past editorial positions, most would consider that the person you refer to is to the right, not “middle of the road” as you would wish people to believe.

      • NickC
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, Your self-belief that you are uniquely qualified to be neutral enough to decide on the bias of others is the ego fault which creates tyrannies. You cannot claim you are not biased yourself, since you have no ground from which to claim it. You cannot be the arbiter to declare that someone else is biased, or not.

        The conclusion is that we are all biased. Including you, Jerry. That means it is impossible for the BBC to be unbiased. Which is why its monopoly must be broken. By all means let the BBC continue. But if you like it, you must pay for it. And don’t expect me to pay for your biases – etc ed

        • jerry
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          NickC, Your self-belief that you are uniquely qualified to be neutral enough to decide on the bias of others is the ego fault which creates tyrannies.

          Your conclusion is that we are all biased. That means it is impossible for the MSM to be unbiased. Which is why its monopoly has been broken – as in fact we began to witnessed during both the Brexit referenda and the 2017 general election, with somewhat startling results!

          By all means let the MSM to continue to peddle their views. But if we like their views, we must pay for it. And don’t expect others to pay for your biases – might I thus suggest that all the MSM become subscription based publications only, fully funded by that subscription. After all advertisers already have far better ways to get their messages across to the public in this age of the internet and smart phones etc, they really do not need either the broadcast or print media, indeed some agencies no longer bother with print anyway.

          I hope you didn’t mind me turning your, rather smug, comment back upon you…

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

            Jerry said: “First you, yourself, need to be unbiased, only then can you be the judge of others!” Like you, Jerry?

            The difference is I do not claim to be unbiased. It is precisely because I recognise that everyone is biased that I advocate the BBC being pay-to-view. That way those who like the BBC bias pay for it, and no others.

            You haven’t turned my (“smug” is your opinion, and by definition biased) opinion back on me. Not all the MSM is the same, and there are alternatives to the MSM anyway, none of which you must pay for.

            You are not forced to pay for the Guardian if you want to read the Mail. Or for either, if you don’t like the MSM. You pay for only what you want. Unlike the BBC which I am forced to pay for if I want to watch another provider’s content.

            You have no rational argument to defend forcing me to pay for the BBC when I don’t want it: neither specious “unbiased” claims nor even democracy.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “The difference is I do not claim to be unbiased.”

            Exactly my point, yet you want to tell others how their lives should be affected – want to do that, stand for election like our host did, until then your opinion is no better or worse than anyone else’s.

            ” Not all the MSM is the same”

            Is that your bias opinion or an unguarded unbiased opinion, duh! Let me guess, you have no problem with the (generally accepted) right-wing MSM…

          • NickC
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, I have no idea what you mean by “right wing” in your biased view of the “right-wing MSM”. You haven’t defined your terms; not least I suspect because of your extreme statist bias.

            So far you have failed to produce a rational explanation why I must be forced to subsidise your TV choice. You’ve only tried the “BBC is unbiased” tack, but surrounded it with obfuscation, non-sequiteurs, and ad hominems.

            What I choose to watch or read is none of your business. Your opinion of your guesses as to what that might be, is worthless. In contrast, I have an interest in the BBC because uniquely within the MSM I am forced to pay for it before I choose another TV provider, even though I don’t want it.

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “So far you have failed to produce a rational explanation why I must be forced to subsidise your TV choice”

            I though we were talking about the BBC, not commercial TV and those subscription channels that carry paid for advertising?!

            At least we have a choice if to fund the BBC or not…

          • NickC
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Normally, in our society, freeloaders are frowned upon. So I am remain concerned, though not surprised, that you should consider it acceptable to demand that I should pay for your biased BBC.

            If you want to watch any particular providers’ content it is right that you (and I) should pay for it. That includes commercial TV. There is no practical difference with the BBC. It is not a 1930s monopoly anymore.

            I have no choice to avoid funding the BBC, even though I don’t want its services. That’s the whole point of this discussion.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “I have no choice to avoid funding the BBC,”

            Expect you do…

            “even though I don’t want its services.”

            That is your personal choice, for nothing other than your own (political) bias. Tell me, seeing that you want a pick-n-mix tax system, should CND members in the 1980s have been allowed to deduct from their tax bills an amount they considered was being sent to the MOD, as they requested, if not, why not?

          • NickC
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, The BBC TV Tax is not paid to government as general taxation (for which we have political control, however imperfect). The BBC is not the general monopoly supplier of broadcasting, and is not under democratic control even if it was. You analogies are false.

            The BBC is just another provider of (mainly) TV content like any other. And should be treated as such. Then the issue of the BBC’s inherent statist bias would not be in contention. You only defend the BBC because it suits your prejudices.

      • Weejonnie
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Does it matter. Any complaint to the BBC will get the usual pap followed by “consequently we think we got it about right – we came to the same decision as The Guardian anyway.”

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Jerry I think I am a middle of the road sort of guy with a balanced view on life.

        Secondary School education
        Served an indentured engineering apprenticeship.
        Union member, even a Shop Steward for a few years.
        Been made redundant 3 times when Companies moved location.
        Self employed for a number of years.
        Run my own small business for many years.
        Designed and built own house.
        Been a victim of Equitable Life, so suffered a huge personal pension loss.
        Raised a family who all work.
        Completed 27 years of unpaid voluntary work in the local community
        Now retired.
        Hardy a left or right winger, in fact my best position was inside forward or an attacking midfielder as they would describe me today.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Great post Alan.
          Your CV is something to be very proud of.

        • jerry
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          @alan jutson; I note that you gave no indication as to which newspaper you read or have read in the past. I bet it’s (not) that middle of the road news paper the Daily Maul?…

          • alan jutson
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

            Jerry

            Have read most of them in the past, even the Morning Star on very rare occasions many years ago.

            Afraid they all have an agenda of one sort or another, so only read them for mild entertainment now.

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

            @alan jutson; “Afraid [the MSM] all have an agenda of one sort or another, so only read them for mild entertainment now.”

            Indeed, and that is why I get so annoyed when some try and make out that it is all a BBC problem, be they of the right, left or centre.

            Might I also add Alan, whilst we might not always agree, you are one of the few regulars who accept that there is always at least two side to any issue.

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, The reason that the BBC TV Tax is a problem is because I am forced to pay it if I want to watch other live TV. That is not true of any other MSM – no one forces me to pay for the Express if I want the Mirror.

            That is why I get so annoyed when some try and make out that it isn’t a BBC problem, be they of the right, left or centre. Especially when they make specious claims that the BBC is “neutral”, or “unbiased”.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; How ever many times you repeat that lie it will not became the truth – you have the choice, in the same way as running a car, or river fishing, don’t want to pay the ‘tax’ then you do not have to, nothing is compulsory.

          • NickC
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, However many times you repeat that lie it will not became the truth. If I want Sky I must pay for it. That is reasonable. But I am forced to pay the BBC as well, even though I neither use nor want the BBC.

            In effect, what you demand is that I subsidise your TV viewing. Apparently for no better reason than your biases are more legitimate than mine, so you believe. Your “reasoning” is a joke.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “In effect, what you demand is that I subsidise your TV viewing.

            So you think that paid for commercial adverts and subscription packages should be banned alongside the scrapping of the TVL fee, thus all channels become PPV?

            I also take it then that you refuse all and any tax rebates or allowances etc, that you welcomed the abolition of MIRAS.- after all, why should others subsidise peoples lifestyles or what ever. You must also surely think that no company or corporation should be allowed tax rebates or allowances, after all is that not in effect one person or company subsidising another also…

          • NickC
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, The BBC is not part of monopoly government, for which we have a modicum of democratic control. There is no democratic control over the BBC. The BBC is not paid out of general taxation. The BBC TV tax goes only to the BBC. The BBC does not provide a monopoly broadcast network.

            In fact the BBC is intrinsically no different to any other of the numerous broadcast content providers. It can, and should, be treated the same way. You are a free loader – demanding that I subsidise your biased TV preferences. Apparently your hypocrisy knows no embarrassment.

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            @NickC; “The BBC TV tax goes only to the BBC.”

            Untrue, and has been for some years.

            “The BBC does not provide a monopoly broadcast network.”

            It is the only broadcaster to provide full, highly expensive, national and local PSB though…

            Also tell me who Sky share their subscription fees with, ITV, Ch4 or is it Ch5?

            “In fact the BBC is intrinsically no different to any other of the numerous broadcast content providers.”

            Oh good, so tell me what Sky channels carries the regional news/programmes for the Leeds, Scotland & Kent areas….

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        No point in complaining Jerry. My complaints have been brushed under the carpet as have many others.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      There are genuine independent and honest experts in subjects where on can be an expert such as bridge or aircraft design, medicine or similar and then there are quack “experts” who are just on the make and say whatever the people consulting them want them to say for the fee.

      It seems from recent studies that even the Diabetes type II experts had it rather wrong too. Pumping countless people with drugs when many just needed to fast periodically and eat less.

      Still more money in selling expensive drugs to them I suppose.

      Not to mention the endless totally false alarms we have had from “experts”, see the book – Scared to Death, C Booker & R North. There is a lots of money to be made in scaring people or governments!

      • jerry
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        @LL; There are genuine independent and honest experts in subjects where on can be an expert such as bridge or aircraft design, medicine or similar and then there are quack “experts”

        Indeed there are Mr Lifelogic, indeed there are (often to be found having a daily, often off-topic, rant on a politicians website)…. 🙂

        • Bob
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          @Jerry

          “(often to be found having a daily, often off-topic, rant on a politicians website”

          have a quick scan through this thread and see who is the most ranty contributor; but then, you don’t do self awareness do you Jerry?

      • Hope
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Now Green has gone perhaps May will appoint Clarke, Soubry, Adonis or Grieve as her deputy? Or perhaps any of them could replace Davis as EU capitulator when he resigns?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          Do not depress me during my holiday!

  3. Turboterrier.
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I cannot think of one good reason for anyone or anybody that they should have faith or hope in thinking that the BBC is going to change from what it has allowed to become.

    The reason that they are as they are is: The massive amounts of funding they get from the EU. There is no way they can ask for more money from the viewers in light of the rubbish and repeats they are turning out on a daily basis. Totally unfit for purpose.

    • jerry
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      @Turboterrier; “The massive amounts of funding [the BBC] get from the EU.”

      Not that old, now discredited, chestnut again… Otherwise new facts please.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Jerry – The BBC takes £145 from every tv owner in the country yet broadcasts a high percentage of repeats in its scheduling because it can no longer produce anything outside of anodyne PC strictures.

        3.5 million people have stopped paying the fee because it is no longer good value for money. Many more are going to follow.

        I do not identify with the BBC anymore. I dislike having to pay for it.

        I don’t particularly care if it changes or not – I just don’t want to pay for it, OK ?

        • hefner
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          TT, £145 from every tv-owner, yes, but what is the actual percentage of EU money in the BBC funding. Check that, and publish it, instead of repeating brainlessly what you might have heard from one of your pub pals.
          And BTW, if you don’t watch TV, there is no need to pay the tax. Be consistent.

          • Anonymous
            Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            This response makes no sense. I did not criticise EU funding and all TV owners MUST pay the BBC even if they don’t watch BBC

          • hefner
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            If you had read properly, you might have realised I was proposing not watching TV (ie not having a television set).

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; “TV owners MUST pay the BBC”

            How ever many times you keep telling the lie it will not become a fact! Stop contradicting yourself, you said yourself that “3.5 million people have stopped paying the fee because it is no longer good value for money”, see my earlier reply to you (below) for why you are wrong and why many of those 3.5m people will no doubt still legally own a TV set.

            It was also clear that @hefner was replying to @Turboterrier but his reply got misplaced under your comment.

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Every TV owner who uses their TV for its main purpose – to watch live TV – must pay the BBC.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; How many more times, owning and using a TV set is no more compulsory than owning and using a car, or anything else that is regulated by law.

            Oh, as a consumer, using shops “for their main purposes”, I have to pay for the likes of ITV, whether I own a TV or not, never mind use it, should TV adverts be scrapped to?

          • NickC
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, If the TV tax was distributed to all live TV content providers you might have a point. But it isn’t. The money goes specifically to the BBC. Yet the BBC does not provide anything unique – if the BBC disappeared tomorrow, Sky, ITV, etc would still be available.

            It’s quite simple – make the BBC pay-to-view and you can have your BBC as now. Without forcing me to subsidise your selfish viewing habit.

        • jerry
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          @Anonymous; No one is forcing you to pay a penny to the BBC, there is no law that says you have to watch broadcast TV, there is now enough entrainment available either by way of commercial DVDs (films and TV series), legally streamed content via the internet, and of course radio that has not needed a licence since 1972. One can even stream Parliamentary TV direct from the Houses of Parliament own website.

          On the other hand, unless we all become akin to Tom Good out of “The Good Life” we will all carry on funding commercial broadcasters, even those who are registered blind and thus get a free TV licence!

          • NickC
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Nevertheless if I don’t want to watch the BBC, but want to watch other live TV legally, I am forced to fund the BBC. That is unique (I don’t have to fund Sky etc). It applies to everyone, and there is no reason for it.

            Many of us do not like the obvious biases of the BBC, nor its habit of sanctimonious self-certification. That is why the BBC must become pay-to-view. Then those that like BBC bias can watch it without the embarrassment of knowing that others have been forced to subsidise them.

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; If the little old lady own a car and want to drive it on only B road, once a week to church and once a week to the supermarket she still have to pay the full VED and thus pay for the A roads never mind the Motorway network, life and ‘taxes’ are a pain at times….

            Or put it this way, I have no need to pay Sky a penny but if I want to watch the full F1 season live then not only do I have to pay for at least the Sky Sports F1 channel but also pay for the 500 odd channels I have no interest in but have to subscribe to first before I can purchase access to any Sky Sports channel, Life is a pain at times…

            How many Labour supporters do you think are paying for the right-wing bias found on Sky News, all in their opinion of course, simply because they want to watch the footy on its sister sports channels?

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, No one has to pay for Sky to watch other TV. Uniquely that is not the case for the BBC. The little old lady does not pay VED unless she chooses to own and drive a car. In contrast, I choose not to use the BBC, but I am still forced to pay for it.

            The fact is the BBC’s existing funding is indefensible. The BBC is not a natural monopoly like national defence, so cannot be excused on the grounds of democratic control; nor is the the BBC unbiased, despite your, and its, claims.

            I think you know, but dare not admit, that if the BBC was pay-to-view, the number of its payers would plummet – to probably less than half. You are comfortable with the BBC’s biases, so you irrationally defend it.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “The little old lady does not pay VED unless she chooses to own and drive a car.”

            The little old lady does not pay TVL fee unless she chooses to use a TV to receive broadcast TV, she is still legally allowed to use it to watch non time-shift content such as DVDs, she can even legally stream some continent to her modern smart TV, or she can use her non smart TV’s screen as a monitor for her computer and do the same – TV sets are no longer dumb, fitted with only a RF socket.

            “I think you know, but dare not admit, that if the BBC was pay-to-view, the number of its payers would plummet

            If more sport was ring fenced and thus shown FTV (or at least PPV) I think you know, but dare not admit, that the number of subscription payers would plummet too – you point was what exactly?

          • NickC
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, As you well know the BBC TV Tax does not pay for a sort of universal broadcast grid used by all the TV providers. Your analogy with car ownership and roads is therefore false.

            Ps, I like your idea of a little old lady who “legally streams some continent” – I guess that’s a little bit like the BBC. Or you.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            @NickC, “the BBC TV Tax does not pay for a sort of universal broadcast grid used by all the TV providers.”

            All broadcasters are in much the same boat.

            Sky Plc. do not own any satellites, for example. Astra 2F is owned and operated by SES S.A. of Luxembourg.

            The Crystal Palace Transmitter, used by most Terrestrial TV companies in the UK, is owned and operated by Arqiva.

            On the other hand both the BBC and IBA/ITV used to own their own Transmitters, and shared each others -to avoid duplication. As for technical training, along with R&D, whilst far less than in the past, the BBC still do both.

            Sorry NickC but your arguments and rational that are the joke, not mine, you obviously know nothing about how the industry is run or regulated, never mind the BBC, nor are you interested, the only thing you want is the destruction of the BBC, and after the BBC you will no doubt turn your biased agenda upon ITV & Ch4/5, especially Ch4…

          • NickC
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, You cannot evade the fact that the BBC TV Tax goes to the BBC only. Whatever arrangements broadcast businesses agree upon, it will not be done for free; it will be a choice; and if it doesn’t suit it won’t happen and payments won’t be made. So your strained analogy is false, as all your previous ones have been.

            I have no opinion as to whether the BBC should or will survive after it becomes pay-to-view. It ceases to be of any real concern to me. Just as Channel4 is of no real interest either. You obviously still don’t get it. It’s not the grotesque bias of the rotten BBC that is the issue, but the fact that uniquely I am forced to pay the BBC to access another provider’s content.

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

            @NickC; “You cannot evade the fact that the BBC TV Tax goes to the BBC only.”

            That is not true and has not been for some years now, do keep up.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Why is it a discredited chestnut? I agree however that the EU funding that the BBC receives is NOT the reason for its bias, the reason as confirmed by a former DG is that they tend to hire left wing “people like us” , that trot out the same tired old excuses every time. The once mighty BBC sadly has been vastly diminished by this and really ought to be far more diverse than it is currently

        • jerry
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; I do not believe the BBC receives any funding currently. As you say, current editorial decisions are not being compromised, if they ever were – indeed I can remember when eurocrats and europhiles used to criticise the BBC due to editorial decisions made by the production team making a (now off-air) programme called “The Record Europe”.

          • NickC
            Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, You beliefs are incorrect. The EU provides the following subsidies (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36149789):

            1. “BBC Media Action … an international development charity … received 5% of its funding from the EU, which was £2.3m”;

            2. “BBC … received [an EU] grant of £472,197” “… to help fund its research into broadcasting technology …”;

            3. “Some production companies (not in-house ones)” [ha ha] were part funded by EU grants accounting “for an average of 6% of their programme budgets.”

            The BBC protests its innocence but the fact is that if the EU funds these BBC sponsored programs the BBC does not have to. The BBC is part funded by the EU.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

            Oh dear, I though something like that would happen, let’s not allow the facts to get lost now due to poor “interpretation”…

            NickC, reading URL you supplied we see that no news, current affairs and factual programmes were affected, thus non were tainted by the EU as many try and claim, less than 2% of any broadcast content had EU funding what so ever (whilst such finding might from the EU might well be provided to independently-produced programmes supplied to other UK broadcasters), all other funding is either irrelevance or in effect industry wide as BBC R&D is (often) used industry wide.

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, You stated “I do not believe the BBC receives any funding currently.” Even the BBC link shows you are wrong. Where the EU pays, the BBC doesn’t have to. The BBC does benefit from EU funding.

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Well if you really want to bring irrelevances into this then the many political groups (of which both the Tory party and UKIP are a part) are also being funded by EU, cogitate on that little fact before heading for the moral high grounds…

            The funding that the BBC gets does not affect its editorial or policy decisions, fact, all you cited the web page yourself – did you really think that no one would bother to check the actual page, rather than just reading your “highlights”!

          • NickC
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, You were wrong. Be a man (or whatever) and admit it – the BBC is part funded by the EU. More, you have no grounds for claiming that “the funding that the BBC gets does not affect its editorial or policy decisions …”. I think it does. Its captive audience TV Tax payers, and the EU, both enable the BBC’s negligent and partisan reporting.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; Thanks for proving that you do not do facts, nor do you (fully, if at all) read the web pages you cite.

          • NickC
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, You declared that the BBC gets no funding from the EU. It does. It is you that does not do facts, even when quotes and links are provided for you.

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

            @NickC; But so do other broadcasters, but you rant not one iota about them do you. All you do is slag off the BBC for being biased towards the EU for doing what the broadcasters you worship also do. Your whole argument is that shallow. You cited an URL, to prove your point, but (obviously) either failed to read it or failed to understand it.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, how about new programmes? Repeats galore this Christmas and throughout the year. Not only funding from the EU but promoting ridiculous policies too.

  4. Mark B
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Good morning- again ☺

    The give away was the word, Liberal. It is just democracy !

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    You ask;- “Why wasn’t the expert asked why in the EU you are only allowed to vote for what the Establishment thinks is right?”

    Because the BBC agenda is exactly the same they never question their tame experts sensibly on the main issue, only ever gently around the edges. The main argument is assumed, by the BBC, to be settled. Any debate is pre-framed in this way.

    So you might get a debate on “how we should reduce C02” but never an open one on “would the vast sum spent on (actually failing) to reducing co2 be far better spent on sensible things like better health care, clean water, inoculations, malaria … or is more CO2 and a slightly warmer planet a good or a bad thing?

    The BBC are alas like the Libdims wrong on nearly every issue.

    They are pro ever more government, taxation and government “investment”, pro open door immigration (regardless of quality), pro “attempts” by law to correct the totally non existent (other than by choice) gender pay gap, pro climate alarmism, pro fake “equality”, anti-fracking, pro train/bike/bus, anti- car/van/truck/planes, pro green crap subsidies and very, very anti-landlord.

    They distort the whole of politics in the UK with these scientifically and economically illiterate policies. They really do seem to think government has a magic money tree and knows best how to spend your money!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Oh how very true LL.

  6. agricola
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    A fair question ,but then your moderation policy is not above question either. The warped utterings on the Today programme are only a symptom of the wider issue of BBC impartiality. Until you politicians have the guts or inclination to grab this nettle you will be moaning for years to come. It is just part of a rotten , liberal , metro elite that has the arrogance to think it knows best and that democracy is a mere five year placatory gesture.

    • Prigger
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      “…your moderation policy is not above question either…” I write mountains of stuff which JR does and does not publish. I do recognise “agricola” appearing here many times.

      • Hope
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Agricola you presume it is without govt connivence. No right minded person would allow this propaganda to go unchecked or not force the BBC to apply and abide by its charter. Cameron made claims he would sort it out.. but then he said a lot of guff and never followed through.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          “he said a lot of guff and never followed through” – very true. Like serving the section 50 notice letter the next day, his cast iron lie and being “a low tax at heart Conservative”!

          But we did, eventually, get the referendum out of him – albeit a referendum he tried to fix unfairly for remain.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Plus we have the totally idiotic supreme court rulings on deportations (and the gig economy and tribunal costs), as Ann Widdecombe sensibly pointed out yesterday.

    Why on earth is she doing panto in Hull(?), rather than in the Lords?

  8. am
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    with the moves for a united states of Europe growing the eu still further we will see more of the people must do as ve say from the eu establishment and its accolytes.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Another typical BBC think line might be: “If we leave the EU we will obviously suffer from a lack of much needed immigrant workers and will this damage the economy, farming and our NHS”.

    Ignoring totally the fact that all people wanted is sensible control of quality, skills and numbers of immigrants by the UK government, not its total abolition.

    • jerry
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      @LL; “Ignoring totally the fact that all people wanted is sensible control of quality, skills and numbers of immigrants by the UK government, not its total abolition.”

      But the laws and rules are sensible, it is how the UK have implemented them that is the problem, there is a problem of illegal immigration but by definition such people will arrive even after the most fundamental of WTO rules Brexit.

      Most employers I hear, and those who I have spoken to personally, do not want over burning rules, if they need 100 people to harvest their crop, make their seasonal widgets or what ever and can not obtain local UK labour they do not want to be faced with 3 months worth of temporary immigration paperwork from the Home Office!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        “But the laws and rules are sensible, it is how the UK have implemented them that is the problem … ”

        So really there was no need for David Cameron to expend time and effort and political capital on an attempted “renegotiation” of those laws and rules, all he had to do was implement them properly under domestic law …

        You may have noticed that the eurocrats have been and still are willing to risk economic disruption for the sake of preserving their quasi-religious dogma of the inseparability of the “four freedoms”.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        Jerry – then those employers want state subsidised risks with privatised profits.

        Most other countries offer a visa system for seasonal workers without risk that those workers claim ownership of the host country just because they got there.

        Farmers should be charged the anti terror costs that come with the open borders arrangements they seek.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        The problem isn’t with workers its with non workers

        You can’t have open borders and the most generous welfare system and expect it to work properly. You can’t import unlimited numbers of people when you currently have a massive housing shortage. Its not just the UK, try taking a look at the problems in Sweden and Germany

        • jerry
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          @Anonymous (above); “then those employers want state subsidised risks with privatised profits.

          It could be said that almost all employers do, not just those who employ eastern European migrants, how many offer insurance again unemployment or health care, most simply palm that off to the state (beyond employer NI and other taxes).

          @libertarian; “The problem isn’t with workers its with non workers”

          Indeed, but before you crisis the EU try actually reading the relevant laws, I think you will find that unemployed people can not legally stay in another country for more than 3 months. Don’t blame the EU if your own domestic govts are unwilling to enforce not only their own laws but the EU’s.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 29, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
          • rose
            Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

            We have just had Mrs Justice Lane ruling that unemployed homeless people from Eastern Europe may not be deported. Can you identify the EU law she used for this ruling?

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; Thanks for the URL, but it does nothing but re-enforce the fact that ultimately it is local laws that affect such benefit entitlements, sure it has to apply to all, nationals and migrants.

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Firstly it is not true that it is our “local” laws which are the problem rather than the EU’s insistence on the unrestricted movement of labour. Without the EU law there wouldn’t be a migration problem. Without our local laws there may be less of a problem (but not none), but why should we change our laws to suit the EU?

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

            @NikC; “Without the EU law there wouldn’t be a migration problem.”

            Who says! You are engaging in pure crystal ball gazing, after all between the 1990s and 2017 is not the first time this country has had to seek workers from abroad to fill jobs that the domestic employment market could not fill.

            What is more, without there being a “front door” available there might be an even worse problem from back-door illegal immigration – with many of the same problems Why do you think, only today, the Home Office suggested way to keep a check on the smaller ports of entry and air fields post Brexit?

          • NickC
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, I’ve spotted it . . . . . you craftily moved the goalposts. The issue is the massive migration of EU citizens (supposedly) seeking work in the UK, in their hundreds of thousands every year this century. Not a few bus drivers or nurses from the Caribbean/India in the 1950/60s.

            There are over 9 million UK residents not born here. The real figure is likely higher judging by the NINos. That is a massive influx, especially in so short a time as two decades, and it would not have happened without the uncontrolled movement of foreigners required by the EU’s SM.

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “craftily moved the goalposts.”

            Indeed you have, no doubt to deflect from the fact that the UK has had to ‘import’ workers because employers found that it was impossible to recruit UK nationals within certain sectors. These problem are not going to stop with Brexit, unless you are volunteering to go into schools, colleges and universities and tell people that they need to forget their high-flying dreams and then direct them were to report for work at 6am Monday morning.

          • NickC
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, I know that in the sector where I was employed, employers did claim that “it was impossible to recruit UK nationals”. I also know that it was untrue. So don’t believe everything you are told in the MSM, Jerry.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “employers did claim that “it was impossible to recruit UK nationals”. I also know that it was untrue. “

            Unless you are more specific as to why the employers chose not to employ UK nationals that is a something and nothing ‘statement of fact’.

            “So don’t believe everything you are told in the MSM, Jerry.

            Unlike you I don’t. I talked to both employer and migrants, I didn’t get to talk to the UK national would-be employees as there were non to be seen usually (employed to do the same work), and when there were they didn’t tend to stay around long – agriculture and chilled foods.

          • NickC
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Since you know nothing about the sectors I have been employed in, by your own admission, it makes your comments worthless. In a country our size there is no need to import any workers. It is usually done to avoid training, avoid commitment to an employee or because it is (supposedly) cheaper. From what I have seen it is usually a false economy because you get what you pay for, as in everything. Except of course the BBC where you have to pay for it even if you don’t want it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        The current rules are that anyone from the EU can come, pay in almost nothing, bring their children and perhaps elderly parents with health issues with them and then expect:- free schooling, health care, housing, roads, policing, defence, social services, free school meals ……. . Perhaps paying in tax circa £5K PA in tax and NI PA and getting back in benefits and direct services to his extended family £50K. Who pays for the £45K? How are these people a benefit to the county?

        Some clearly are but many are a huge liability for other to carry.

        • hefner
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          And who, over the years, have voted (or accepted) this state of affairs? Who opened to immigration from the newly Eastern European countries entering the EU when most of the other EU countries had put a five-year waiting period before accepting them?
          And why is there a need for so many “benefits” in the UK? Could it be that the balance in the relationships between employers and employees has been destroyed by so many years of “neo-liberal” politics, by both the Conservatives and Labour governments, allowing companies to export their jobs and relying more and more on pools of skill-poor workers?
          Could it be that our politicians are not as clever as they pretend to be? JR included.

          • Hope
            Posted December 29, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            Jeff, You make good points. You will also remember that the two main parties vied to be the most opposed to immigration in the sixties and early seventies before the U.K. Joined the EEC.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; No they did not!
            Certain individuals did but not at party level – I can only recall one occasion that a party came even close to playing the anti-immigration card and that was in early 1978, seven years after joining the EEC.

          • NickC
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, You must work hard at being so wrong so often. From Compas: “This opposition to the arrival of immigrants in the UK is far from new. . . . . In the mid-1960’s, opposition to immigration registered between 80% and 90% of those polled.” Moreover in 1968 the Commonwealth Immigrants Act closed the door to free movement into the UK. Of course the political parties took action.

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; The Act you cite did not stop immigration, nor did it oppose immigration, it merely placed certain controls on who could emigrate to the UK.

            https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/9/pdfs/ukpga_19680009_en.pdf

          • NickC
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, You made claims that the political parties did nothing to oppose immigration in the 1960s and 1970s. Your claims are obviously false, and I cited both opinion polls and a government Act which confirms your errors. I made no claim as to how effective the Act was, that is your own straw-man.

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            @NickC; No one was stopping nor opposing immigration, merely controlling it. Try actually reading the Act, not the abridged highlights from a website that sites your politics…

      • Weejonnie
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        The problem is that though workers work for a company from 9.00am to 5.00pm they actually live in the country from 00.01am to midnight. Which means they need housing, heating, feeding, drinking, clothing, facilities to remove their waste, educating their children, healing them when they are ill etc, etc etc. If they are low-paid immigrants then they won’t be paying taxes and the company will probably not be paying national insurance or pension contributions.

    • alte fritz
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Absolutely!

      But Remainers never let the truth get in the way of a good lie.

      • jerry
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        @alte fritz; So will that £350m per week, post Brexit, get spend by the NHS or not?….

        • NickC
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, If you can show me where on the bus the slogan specifically promised £350 million per week to the NHS before we leave, I would have to agree with you. But you can’t.

          Extra NHS spending was a suggestion – an example – by a campaign group, not a political party in line for government, with no specific amount stated. And we haven’t left the EU yet. And if Labour and the LibDems get their way we never shall. And even with Mrs May it will be a decade.

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

            @NickC, Show me were it does not say that….

            http://metro.co.uk/2016/06/27/heres-all-the-leave-campaigners-whove-backtracked-on-the-nhs-350m-promise-5969165/

            “We sent the EU £350m a week…
            let’s fund our NHS instead […] Vote Leave
            Let’s Take back control”

            “Extra NHS spending was a suggestion”

            It doesn’t read as a suggestion on that bus side, nor was it mean to, had it been a suggestion then why not add the word “Some” – Lets spend some on our NHS instead, there was room on the side of the bus, and no confusion either.

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, So you can’t then? You may believe the slogan “Let’s fund our NHS instead” is inviolable, but if you study English you will find out that it is actually an example. “Let’s go to the Hare and Hounds” is not a promise or a command – you may go to the Black Bull, or just for a walk. I think you know this.

            Actually complaining about the VoteLeave bus slogan is used by the Remains as a blatant cover-up for all the Remain lies: austerity budget; there’s no EU army; for every £1 put in we get back nearly £10; the EU is the status quo; UK can deport failed jobseekers; Leave is a leap in the dark; a recession; avg loss by pensioners – at least £18k; on and on and on.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; Stop being silly! I posted a URL with the image of the bus, I quoted what the side of the bus said, 99% of the population would read it as a pledge in the context of the referenda.

            As I said, Vote Leave could have used the words “Let’s spend some on the NHS”, no ambiguity, they chose not to.

          • NickC
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Stop being silly! VoteLeave was not the only Leave campaign by a long way. And VoteLeave in their pamphlets (where they had more space) expanded on the possible different destinations for the money not sent to the EU. And of course only when we have left.

            The Voteleave bus slogan was “Let’s fund the NHS instead” – no promise – no specific amount. There are all sorts of similar slogans by all sorts of campaign groups around every day, some not even connected to Brexit. The Remain critisism is absurd, not applied to these other examples, and a cover-up for their own campaign lies.

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; What ever, nice rant! We are talking about that bus, not the other groups or the 29 manifestos, just that bus and the message stuck on the side of it.

          • NickC
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, There were not 29 “manifestos”. None of the campaign groups, even the Remains, were running for office. There was no promise on the bus, and no specific amount stated in the suggestion, and VoteLeave is not in power, and we haven’t left the EU yet, and at the rate the LibLabCon are going it won’t be for another decade either.

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Irrelevant, I though we were talking about the message on that bus, not the manifestos. But if we are, then thanks for accepting that there is not one version of Brexit but 28, best we have that Brexit Ref2 then, asking the How and When questions. The “Norway option” anyone?….

  10. Chris S
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    We should not be surprised at all : after all it is the BBC Remain Establishment that chooses the Guest Editors.

    We did, at least hear Nigel Farage this morning alongside Labour’s Jess Phillips who rather ludicrously claimed to have had a more successful political career than Nigel !
    What planet is she living on ?

    Nigel Farage is unique in being the only politician in the 20th-21st century to have almost single-handedly successfully worked to achieve a fundamental change of direction for his country by democratic means from outside his Country’s Parliament.

    Yet still the establishment continues to deny him a peerage while apparently giving one to the utter failure that is Nick Clegg.

    The Establishment clearly remains in charge. More work to do, then.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Only the Establishment -as you call it- has the skills to govern. That fact even dawned on the Czechs etc after the fall of the Iron Curtain. All the people with government/administrative skills were (former of course) communists. The anti-establishment people were poets like Havel and so on. Decorative, interesting, simplifying but basically useless. So what did the sensible Czech people do: elect them, except the ones with clearly criminal pasts.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Rien

        If as you say the establishment has the skills to govern, how come that are so god awfully bad at it?

        • longinus
          Posted December 29, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          He means that only the EU have the skills to govern

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          Have you tried the alternative?

      • Beer Bottle
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Yes we should all model ourselves on Czechs

      • Chris S
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, Rien, I completely disagree.

        Why is it that the upper echelons of the civil service and so many MPs are the product of private schools and Oxbridge ? Not many get there by means of a scholarship, like our host.

        It is sadly a case of one generation always recruiting and promoting in their own image and then only appointing those with their own political outlook.

        Margaret Thatcher was a most notable and truly inspirational exception.
        John Major less so.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          That is a feature of the British education system. A mix between top class, expensive (or hard to get) private education “for the few” to paraphrase a Socialist with some private education and a not quite poor upbringing, and rather ordinary underfunded non-private schools for “the many”.

          That dichotomy does not exist on the continent, with as a result much more variation in top managerial and civil service backgrounds. The military is probably the most meritocratic of the lot.

          But given that reality, why would you not hire privately (plus Oxbridge and a handful of other decent universities) educated people for top positions. Contrary to what many people here seem to believe, the task of government is not easy. .

      • NickC
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        Rien, Is that a Divine right of the Establishment?

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          My only point is that the establisment (assuming we mean the same group) happens to be the place where sensible people expect to find relevant skills and expertise.

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

            Rien, No, you said: “Only the Establishment … has the skills to govern.” That statement is blatantly false. And self-serving.

    • rose
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Nigel Farage really compares with Richard Cobden. When defeated on the question of the Corn Laws, the PM, Sir Robert Peel, graciously paid tribute to him. David Cameron used to be compared to Peel sometimes, and if only he could have found it in him to offer Mr Farage the same recognition.

  11. Rien Huizer
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    The connection between populism an euroscepticism is of course not necessary. One could imagine populist themes that would be pro-EU. It just depends on what the populist’s spin advisors (or in case of a truly gifted populist, the man/women themselves) develops as a theme.

    It is a pity that the by itself, not necessarily democratic (because suggesting that more responsible, constitutionally legitimate courses of action, are against the wishes of The People -meaning one’s own following- is not consistent with parliamentary/representative democracy) populism is connected with only one target issue, which is not only contested by populist but also by legitimate politicians.

    More people should read John Lukacs’s “Democracy and Populism: fear and hatred” Surely no one doubts his impeccable conservative credentials. Populism is a tool for unscrupulous politicians who do not have the public interest in mind. I hope that is not too patronizing..

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:01 am | Permalink

      Populism is surely a rude word for conservatism, coined now that conservatism is back in fashion and needs, in the eyes of the left, to be seen off. The left, after its long march through the institutions, has a stranglehold on most things: education, local government, central government, the civil service, charities, the quangos, the law, Parliament, the media, the arts, the theatre, the cinema…

      Naturally it doesn’t want any of this undue power and influence taken away from it, and thought, in the words of Tony Blair’s propaganda unit, that it had “Liberal Democracy” sewn up and in the bag for good. The end of history, as it were.

      But what does it find? It has so over-reached itself that there is something of a reaction going on, all over the western world.

      In Poland, for example, the conservative government is trying to make a corrupt, self-appointing, communist judiciary accountable. This is in response to public pressure, as so many people have suffered at the hands of this communist oligarchy, and regard it as a mafia. So the EU and its supporters are making out that this wish to reform is “populist”, i.e. a virtuous, independent judiciary is being taken over by an authoritarian government. You can guess what the “subtext” is.

      In Hungary, the government is responding to its people’s wish not to be altered as a people by EU-enforced mass immigration from outside Europe. This is outrageous heresy in the eyes of the EU, and of the left, so the government is being made out to be dangerously on the way to a you-know-what sort of dictatorship.

      These two nations are going to be used as dark examples in the media, without anyone explaining what is actually happening. “Populist!” they will cry. That will be enough, just as “fascist” used to be. Or will it? Will people finally see through the black propaganda?

      • rose
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        How could I have left out the Church, and not just the established Church?

    • NickC
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Rien, You must have a vivid imagination. The EU is run specifically to avoid populist approval. Or populist disapproval.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        You have not read my post. IN the EU (ie the countries that constitute the European Union), a variety of political ideologies, movements and parties exist next to each other. Only a small fraction (under 20% consist of what I would consider to be “populist” in the derogatory sense of the word. And they exist on both sides of the centre. In France you have Le Pen and Melanchon. Both promise impossible futures but their followers do not seem to care about that. Fortunately, both extremes are rejected in each election that comes up.

        The Polish and Hungarian ruling/dominant parties are different. They are nationalist, using populist themes, but do not shun government responsibility, like for instance, Wilders in The Netherlands.

        What is happening in Poland is interesting but not necessarily sustainable. Hungary is ruled by a party that is not as far right as it is made to be. Let’s say that both countries like nationalist rhetoric (would not you after decades of Soviet occupation). Anyway, I recommend reading up on the distictions between populism, nationalism and patriotism..

        • NickC
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

          Rien, You stated “Populism is a tool for unscrupulous politicians who do not have the public interest in mind.” No, that is your biased opinion. The term “populism is used by the EU and people like you when you don’t like a democratic result. That’s my biased opinion. The difference is I have democracy on my side; you have the unscrupulous unelected ideologue Juncker on yours.

  12. rick hamilton
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    As a long term expat who now spends a lot of time in the UK I have to say that Radio 4 is one of my favourites, except for the predictably biased news and comment. And of course the tediously witless ‘comedy’ which amounts to nothing more than sneering at anyone whose views they don’t like, to the raptuorus applause of a carefully vetted audience.

    When it comes to watching BBC World TV news abroad, this is practically a British version of the Clinton News Network with added vitriol for Trump, Brexit, Israel, Climate Deniers and again anyone else they don’t like (ie who think for themselves and don’t live on the taxpayer). You don’t even have to watch it to know what their spin will be on every issue.

    However this is supposed to be a news service, not an opinion channel. I don’t care a damn what Sopel or Ducet or any of the others think about any issue. I just want to hear the facts presented and make up my own mind. The way they cut off an interesting speech or live coverage of something important in order to return to the studio for ‘in depth analysis’ by their own biased staff drives me up the wall. A bit late for it now but – Bah Humbug !

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Rick, you have hit the nail on the head. This is yet another reason to stop watching BBC programmes. I used to quite like Have I Got News For You and other such like programmes but lately all that they laugh about are Brexiteers, Trump, Farage and so called climate change deniers. It is truly pathetic the depths that so called comedy in this country has come to. Even stupid Miranda goes on about Brexit and Trump. It’s as if they can’t think of anything original or clever anymore.

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Their other habit is to give a long leisurely slot to a luvvie or carefully vetted “ordinary person” but interview, say, the Foreign Secretary in a few minutes flat, biting off his every sentence. I want to hear what the Foreign Secretary has to say but they make sure we don’t and then they twist and distort anything they can sift out of what remains of his thoughts.

  13. Northern mountaineer
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    John,

    You are the voice of reason and common sense.

    The BBC are not fit for purpose, except Common Purpose socialist indoctrination. Both ITV news and Sky are rapidly beating the same path.
    The only valid impartial realistic news sites left are the contrarian sites and blogs we all know so well dealing with defence, climate issues, energy policy, the EU, impartial observational politics. These sites have been described by the establishment as the lunatic fringe, “far right”, “whacky”, but it is increasingly obvious they have greater accuracy and credibility then the BBC.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I feel like some kind of subversive for trying to seek out fairly represented opinion in the broadcast media – this can only be found on blogs.

      This opinion is what you would hear from a majority of people but it is almost unavailable on TV and radio and well outnumbered where it is allowed – it comes through on phone-ins but certainly not in documentaries and where it is allowed in drama it is for the baddies.

      The weighting is well out of kilter. I had to turn off yet another BBC drama where the 1950s British were shown as nasty, racist and untrustworthy.

      These are my ancestors, whom I loved and knew well. I cannot bare to witness them slandered and history rewritten to justify the bad behaviour of those who have followed.

  14. BOF
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    If, by Populism they mean, the popular beliefs of the people, upheld by democratic elections in democratic countries, then what is the alternative?

    Are theses ‘experts’ proposing that only the will of the powerful, through the executive should be acceptable. George Orwell would, I am sure recognise this!

    Together with our host and millions of others, I too heard democracy being turned on it’s head this morning.

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Isn’t promising students to write off their debts or provide housing that bucks the market trend populism?

    All political parties pander to someone’s agenda ergo all politics is populism.

    It seems that populism is only bad when the message run contra to that which the establishment holds dear.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    3.5million have simply stopped paying the licence without consequence.

    This is going to multiply and there is nothing the BBC can do about it – especially if those take to court are crowd funded by others.

    They simply must start reflecting mainstream opinion in an even way.

    A few days ago we had a contributor here ignore the referendum totally, telling us that Redwood readers are not mainstream.

    Still, they do not get it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      If you do not need a licence you get a lot of letter to burn, it help warm the house up. Do not ring them as they start asking very impertinent questions of you that they have no right to know!

  17. dave/r
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    google the harrogate ajenda seems like a good idea to me

  18. formula57
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    And what should voters do when traditional parties remain wedded to an arrangement that obliges the law-abiding to grant the BBC the oxygen of funding even when we wish to consume only its competitors’ live broadcasts?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      define “traditional parties” What do no-traditional parties represent? Is JR not a member of a traditional party? But he is OK because he writes what you like to read?

      I’d be very curious about what a non-traditional party (say something a bit more electable than UKIP) would do about transport infrastructure, pensions, the NHS, reducing public sector borrowing, lovering taxation, providing sufficient housing, making the Navy operable, etc. Forget fringe issues like immigration, the BBC and foreign interference in UK affairs.

      • NickC
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Rien said: “Forget fringe issues like immigration, the BBC and foreign interference in UK affairs.” – if you know what’s good for you, that is! The EU and the BBC will decide what’s good for you; move along there.

  19. Epikouros
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Populists get it wrong as much as the establishment and that is pretty much most of the time. However denigrating the establishment is far more democratically healthy than denigrating populists. The former does everything it can to curb our civil liberties, freedom of expression, speech and the many other freedoms that we currently enjoy. The latter is exercising those rights to preserve those freedoms that over the centuries we have strived and sometimes shed blood to achieve.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Populists don’t get a chance to get it wrong. They are never allowed near power.

      • Epikouros
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        History tells us they do. I think it is fair to say that the majority of governments are originally created out of a populistism at least in the last couple of centuries. They may morph into anti populist ones and the establishment is born. Syriza in Greece is probably an example of example of a recent one and achieved it along the lines of the populism you are thinking of but populists come in many forms. Lenin, Hitler, Moa to name just a few that have been created by the populism of the leader and his/her ideology. Even democracy is a form of populism as one popular government is replace by a more popular one especially when it it loses it’s popular appeal.

      • hefner
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Have a look at “The Populist Explosion” by John Ludis. It looks at the question from different perspectives, historic,economic, social. You might realise that in fact there were and still are a number of populists near or in power.

  20. Kenneth
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    The look and sound of the BBC is a reflection of those it invites into the studio.

    It also makes quite a few political statements on its own (NB we would not allow other institutions to interfere in politics like this, so why?)

    The constant one-sided propaganda is unacceptable, ant-democratic and ultimately dangerously distorts politics.

    I believe one of the main reasons we have had high immigration is the BBCs decades-old campaign in favour of it and not due to popular will.

  21. adams
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    What else would you expect from the Today program ? It is mostly not worth listening to.
    Lets talk about why the Tories are not proposing to introduce a PR voting system , (as you and they care so much about democracy John ) . LOL .

    • Timaction
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Because it would give people a true democratic choice and not the best of worst options and that simply wouldn’t help……………..the unrepresentative legacies!

  22. Bert Young
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Choices and comments from the BBC continue to reflect bias for the EU ; it is guided and run by individuals who believe the EU is the be and end all of this country . Sooner or later the Government has to correct this malaise by privatising it or instituting a supervision with teeth .

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    The eurocrats seem to have become a little self-pitying about this, they think it’s quite wrong that their beloved EU should be so unfairly blamed for problems that it has not caused, so they think … this is from a year ago:

    https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/jan2017-populism.pdf

    “The EU and European integration as an easy target for populist onslaught”

    “The EU has become a popular ‘punch bag’, an easy target and prey. It is of little comfort that the EU is often not really the main concern of many of its critics …”

    Well, I don’t know; when you find that thanks to your country foolishly scrapping its national currency and joining the euro your hospitals can no longer pay for basic medical supplies, or you see hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants streaming into – even if hopefully through – your country at the unauthorised unilateral invitation of the leader of another, but more powerful, member state, then you may start to think that this new EU system of government is not quite what it was cracked up to be.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Exactly!

  24. Bob
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    The BBC will not allow presenters who do not live in the ideological bubble propagated by the followers of Gramsci. That has been the secret of their incredible success, anyone showing signs of independent thought is excluded, dissent is not tolerated.
    #28Gate

    “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”
    ― Noam Chomsky

  25. Ed Mahony
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    If we want to remain balanced, human and sane we need to stay away from the worst aspects of Brexit and Remain and keep to what is best.

    At best, Brexiters are patriots and anti self-serving bureaucrats.
    At worst, Remainers are unpatriotic, bureaucratic-loving social liberals.

    At worst, Brexiters are Little Englander, racist fantasists.
    At best, Remainers are pragmatic, open-minded realists.

    Journalists and spin doctors want to turn things black and white, and split us, turning it into us versus them. We must’t fall into this trap.

    • NickC
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Ed, I haven’t met or listened to a Remain yet who has given good reasons to be ruled by non-elected apparatchiks and 87% not elected by us politicians, from Brussels. Despite your bias, I will never accept that wanting my country to be independent is “extreme”. In my view it is the model of sanity and reasonableness.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        And it would be the height of hubris for any Brexiter to suggest that Europe will never be embroiled in any conflict again on our continent. That’s exactly what they thought in Edwardian England, thinking they had reached the heights of technology and civilisation. How wrong they were, when not far down the road came WW1. WW2, and the Holocaust (and not forgetting how the Nazis killed hundreds of thousands of our people, bombed our cities, and sent our economy into decline for years).

        And yet Brexiters are very, very quiet on European geopolitics and our role in keeping the peace.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          The UK was far from ‘independent’ then. And Germany has learnt a thing or two about the dangers of nationalism and Europe as a whole has learnt the dangers of economic stability and poverty in our continent.

          But Brexiters are very silent on this (but very vocal about the ills of the EU – a lot of which i agree with them about).

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      At worst Remainers LOATH the working class and the old, proof of which Newmania has amply supplied. (Thank yoooou Newmsie)

  26. VotedOut
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    From the Cambridge dictionary…

    Populism: noun; political ideas and activities that are intended to get the support of ordinary people by giving them what they want.

    No wonder the establishment don’t like it…

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      You may also want look at the entry in the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. A more nuanced definition than what you refer to but not exclusively the derogatory one that most people associate with the term. The trouble with populism is that Hitler gave it a bad name with his constant invoking the “will of the People” or the “healthy feelings of the People”. Just remember how he dealt with the Opposition..

      The trouble is that modern society is a pretty complex machine and people (populists) who propose simple solutions are usually charlatans. And people who are realistic are “the Establishment”.

  27. PeterL
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps abolition of the BBC licence fee – or at the very least, its decriminalisation – is the way forward. But then all those living high on the BBC hog might feel the pain. And that cannot happen: the poor must subsidise the rich, on pain of imprisonment.

  28. Peter
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Obama was saying social media is a threat.

    He claims it reinforces people’s prejudices and bypasses the establishment views put out by the main stream media.

    • rose
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      And he also said he owed his election to social media.

  29. Cobwatch
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    As Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool made clear, it is “right-wing populism” that is the problem. He was following up on recent comments by the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury. The “wrong” sort of populism is anti-Christian. I have long since given up on the Today programme and BBC news in general which is rarely more than propaganda now. Democracy only counts if it is in alignment with their views.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      And William Shakespeare (another great British Christian writer) captures the beauty of the Divine and Heaven better than anyone else when he writes, ‘the clouds methought did open up and show riches ready to drop upon me that when i wak’d I cried to dream again,’ (from the Tempest). This is what it was like when I firstly dramtically experienced the truth of Christianity and The Spirit of God.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        (and apologies for many of my comments that are arrogant and/or silly but i don’t apologise for defending Christianity and how only it can make our country great again – in the best sense of ‘great’).

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      If I remember my religious education, didn’t Jesus Christ say that ‘give unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar’ , implying that there is a separation between Church and State, a lesson the Bishop of Liverpool conveniently forgets. In addition I believe in Mathew there is a parable of the ladies with the lamps, where those who didn’t prepare were told to buy their own oil for their lamps, and in having to do so missed the boat. I suppose our socialist clergy of today would consider such lessons as extreme right wing politics.

    • rose
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      So 1997 was Christian, then? “Things can only get better.”

      Every time I hear Trump and Brexit bashed I think of what followed 1997: constitutional vandalism of our High Court and House of Lords; crazy devolution which has damaged the Union; open borders; several unjustified wars; muddling up of tax and welfare; sale of gold; erosion of Royal Prerogative; spiteful scrapping of Britannia; Treaty of Lisbon without referendum; rigging of Bank of England supervision; refusal to allow bad banks to fail; near bankrupting of the country.

      Over the other side of the Atlantic, Clinton was bad news, abusing NATO in Kosovo etc and compelling the wrong sort of borrowing which had disastrous consequences; he wasn’t exactly blameless in the “inappropriate” department either. Obama has let the Russians into the Mediterranean, let the Iranians romp all round the Near East, and allowed North Korea to simmer to boiling point. You can’t get more dangerous than turning a blind eye to the growth of two such nuclear powers can you?

      I expect I have left out things, but really, what have Nigel Farage, Silvio Berlusconi, Trump, or Brexit done to compare with all of that? And these remainiacs and lefties lived through it all!

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    A few days before Lord Macpherson of Project Fear admitted that Brexit might not be so bad after all, there was this article:

    https://capx.co/how-damaging-would-a-no-deal-brexit-be/

    “How damaging would a ‘no-deal’ Brexit be?”

    and the true answer is “probably hardly damaging at all, maybe a little beneficial”.

    But of course that is not the answer implied by the article, which merely works out that UK exports to the EU worth $47 billion a year “would face high or extreme tariffs, quotas or anti-dumping duties” and leaves it to the reader to jump to the wrong conclusion, that this would be really bad for our economy.

    Note that the $47 billion figure is just the present value of our exports which would be so affected, not any estimated consequential contraction in the volume of those exports, and nor is any mention made of a possibly greater contraction of our imports from the EU if we reacted by applying the same tariffs to their exports to the UK, and nor is any account taken of the possibility of expanding our exports to the rest of the world once we were free from EU control and could make our own trade deals.

    So in no way does that calculated $47 billion figure represent the likely overall effect on our economy, which would be only a fraction of that and quite possibly positive rather than negative, but even if it was taken as being a loss of GDP the next point to note is that UK GDP is about $2700 billion and $47 billion is only 1.7% of that.

  31. Andy
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    You make a series of incorrect and incoherent points in your post.

    Firstly, you assume a referendum in which 38% the electorate (28% of the population) vote in one direction is a ‘populist vote. Nonsense. The Leave campaign was led by millionaires Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg, James Dyson, Lord Bamford – and featured numerous former Cabinet minister and ministers from most parties including you, Iain Duncan Smith, Owen Patterson, Kate Hoey, Frank Field. I am sorry but you are not anti-establishment. You ARE the establishment. You’ve pretty much all been to private schools and / or Oxbridge – you’re mostly very rich and you have managed to con poorer people in to thinking you will make them richer by appealing to people’s fears of foreigners.

    Secondly, your party was rejected by 58% of voters at June’s election – and your wing of your party consists of just 4 or 5 dozen MPs. You are a small bit of a
    Party with minority support. You think you are popular. You’re not. Most of the country – including the vast majority of under 50s – think the Tory party is full of raging loons – and that is because it is.

    Thirdly, you really all need to stop whining. You won the referendum. Now get on and deliver on your promises. Everybody sensible knows you can’t – if you could we wouldn’t be in this mess. Brexit will inevitably be overturned because young people do not want it – but rather than bitching at everyone else your way to ensure what you want happens is to get on and deliver. If you fix all the things you claimed were wrong with the EU – and you make our country better and richer, while making nothing worse – then no one will want to overturn Brexit. This is all you need to do.

    I am proud to have voted Remain. It was the right thing to do for my country and children – and each day Brexiteers, through their raging incompetence, prove me even more right.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      “you really all need to stop whining”
      Errr…..

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Fine by the way that you voted Remain – you have a democratic right to want to be run by a cabal based overseas. You need to respect the majority, however, with more traditional ideas about how a nation should be run.

      • Andy
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:46 am | Permalink

        I do respect the fact that a small majority of those who voted (but a significant minority of both the electorate and the population) voted to Leave. I just wish they had clarified in their own minds first what they meant by leave. Because for different people leave means different things. For Chris Grayling and Liam Fox it is about creating a ‘global Britain’. For some UKIP voters it is about keeping out foreigners and repatriating immigrants. For some Labour voters it is about being able to renationalise the railways. For others it is about ‘sovereignty’ (though these people don’t seem keen on our sovereign Parliament playing by its role over Brexit). The fact is Leavers do not even agree with each other about what Leave means – is it Canada, is it Turkey, is it Switzerland, is it Norway, is it splendid isolation. Who knows. You have created a total mess.

        A mess, incidentally, for which the likes of John Redwood, Iain Duncan Smith, Bernard Jenkin etc are largely responsible. For years they have whined about the EU. But it turns out that in all that time they never came up with any better alternatives. And now they have been asked to, they can’t. They have no solution to the Ireland border, except to pretend it is not a problem. They have no solution to what happens at Dover, except concreting over half of Kent. They have no solution to Open Skies. Most of them had never heard of Euratom. This is why you see them on the TV and hear them on the radio getting more and more desperate. They know Brexit is a car crash – but they can not begin to admit they were wrong.

        You’ll notice everything is always somebody else’s fault. It is the EU being nasty. Or it is the Remoaners daring to ask hard questions. Or it is the BBC. Or the elite. Or blah blah blah blah blah. It is never their fault. They are never responsibke. They are the ultimate blame avoiders.

        Mr Redwood could admit, here and now, that Brexit is not what he hoped it would be. He could say that there are indeed issues that he’d not foreeen. Yes, Ireland’s border is an actual problem. He could admit that, yes, Brexit has clearly has divided the nation, for the worse – pitting old against young, country against city, England against Scotland. He could accept that there is simply no mandate for a complete amputation from the EU. He could choose to answer the concerns of those opposed to Brexit – rather than dismiss them all as ‘Remoaners’. I happen to love my country – I loathe the direction in which you are all taking it. Do you think calling me a traitor and telling me to ‘go and live in my beloved EU’ makes me more or less keen on Brexit?

        Seriously if you want your project to be a success you are going about it in a completely and utterly lousy way. I genuinely do no care if it fails. I want back in anyway. But I suspect you lot don’t want your names associated with a dud. If so, you majorly need to up your game in 2018. You actually need to start listening. No, Mr Redwood, you are not always right. You need to start addressing the issues rather than pretending they do not exist. And you need to start bringing the country on board – because the people you have alienated most are the young. And they need to do nothing more than wait to undo Brexit because they have time on their side and your generation does not.

        Brexit has already destroyed UKIP and now it presents the opportunity to permanently destroy the Tory right too.

        Reply Leave and individual Leave commentators and MPs have set out fixes for all the alleged problems you cite as you should well know.

        • rose
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          And Brexit is the same for all voters: national independence again for a country which was independent for about a thousand years before 1972. No contradiction at all between the groups you cite. An independent country can go socialist in one country or be liberal free trading with the world, or it can be protectionist like the EU. It is for that country to decide, by democratic vote, not by dictation from Brussels bureaucrats.

          Remainiacs seem to find it very difficult to understand what independence is, or why we want it.

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            Rose, A really excellent comment. Remains either can’t, or pretend to be unable to, understand that the direction the UK goes will be governed by how we vote in the future. The Referendum simply decided whether that future would be as a self-governing independent nation, or as a subject region of the USE.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 1, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          Andy, what Leavers are generally agreed upon is that none of them can have what they want for the future if we stay in the EU. That is why they voted to leave rather than stay and see their desires continue to be frustrated by the EU. No doubt many of them will still not get everything that they want but it will be because their fellow citizens disagree with them not because it is prevented by superior EU law – which for me is a constitutional outrage but a situation which you probably think is perfectly natural and fine, why should we expect to be an independent self-governing country? I recall years ago, perhaps before you were even born, or at least before you had even started school, discussing this in a campaign office and the view was simply that once we had left the EU “Normal politics would be resumed”, and of course we would argue about national policies just as we did before the traitor Heath dragged us into the EEC.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      Are you going with the other youngsters Hesletine, Blair, Corbyn and Clarke to the Remainers whining party ?

      I’m pleased you exercised your democratic right to vote, I’m happy you voted Remain. I’m more happy that enough people could see the future clearly and voted to move on rather than to stay stuck in a 20th century past.

      I agree that they need to deliver on a full hard Brexit , I predict that there will never be a vote to rejoin the EU ( It wont last long enough anyway ) 18% of EU citizens want more EU, 82% want less.. You’re on the wrong side of history. Its a global world

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Andy is making good points. But rest assured, the EU is not going to accept a member with opt-outs again. And the UK will be out unless something highly implausible happens: first, the UK asks to have the art 50 notice annulled (that will not be as easy as some Remainers think, too much has happened since 2016 and second, the EU27 agree upon a basis for the UK’s continued membership, without opt-outs, discounts etc. My guess is that the current EU core rather lose some troublemakers than playing the parents of the Prodigal Son. Game over. All that remains to be done is to find a way for mutually beneficial cooperation, more or less as is envisaged for Turkey and the Ukraine. Countries who will not be members but useful trade partners.

        • rose
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          Difficult to compare us to the Prodigal Son when it is we, together with Germany, doing the paying, the defending, and providing the wise advice.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            The UK would be in the position of the prodigal sun if it left the EU in a less than friendly manner and reapplied for membership later.

          • NickC
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

            Rien, It is the EU which is being unfriendly by threatening us with “punishment” of varying sorts. It is not just me saying this, even some continental politicians have said so.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      @ Andy

      I am proud to have voted Remain. It was the right thing to do for my country and children

      When will you be leaving to live over there?

      Been there and done it, got the t shirt.

      Well if you have the b****, do it. I hope you live long enough for your kids to thank you, which they won’t. Don’t condemn them to a life built on your lack of vision and belief in the country you say you are proud of. Get in the box and them try and think outside it.

    • NickC
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Big business (Sainsbury’s, Bloomberg, etc, etc), the CBI, a lot more millionaires than in Leave, the government (remember the white booklet lies?), about 480 out of 650 MPs, the Treasury (going by its Brexit economic illiteracy), the Conservatives, Labour, the LibDems, the BCC, Obama, the EU, the IMF, the MSM, the BBC, most academics I heard, on and on.

      Even most Remain commentators accept that the establishment was on the Remain side. Hence their sneers that Leave voters are thick knuckle-dragging cretins duped by lies and xenophobia. And if you too believe those Remain lies you will go on losing.

      Any figuring that you do that minimises the Leave vote, if applied equally to the Remain vote, reduces that too. You cannot get over the fact that 1,269,501 heroes provide a convincing majority. However small you attempt to make Leave, Remain is smaller. And young people will grow up and become wiser.

      We are in this mess because the government is carrying out Remain policies – keeping us in the EU for far longer than necessary. In Labour’s case keeping us in the SM and the CU for ever. Whatever else the current establishment policy is, it isn’t Leave. As you well know by the opposition to it on here.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Brexit establishment? Even for Remainers that is a pretty hard one to swallow. With the Remain camp having all main the political parties, the Civil Service, with Treasury and Foreign office playing major roles, the Judiciary , the CBI, Universities, even the MSM, how is that not the establishment? You can’t get any more establishment if you tried. Remainers even called on the German finance ministry, and the supposedly trump card Obama to come here and threaten us, and still you lost. You lost even when you had the advantage of money and incumbency. To lose when you had all those advantages makes Brexit’s 4% win , a massive win. When you dismiss the Brexit win you should remember we were taken into the EEC on 8 MP’s votes , that is little more than 1% .

      As for whining , since the referendum result we have seen a planet sized tantrum being thrown by the Remainers, Losing gracefully and with some dignity isn’t in their dictionary. What is amazing is the clam and dignity the Brexiterrs have shown when be confronted by this immature hissy fit the EU supporters have engaged in.

    • mancunius
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Arch-remainers ……………..
      Labour also ran for election on a pro-Brexit policy, supporting the democratically expressed majority will to leave the EU: as a result, 82.4% of the voters in the June election voted for pro-Brexit parties.
      The only national party that supports remaining in the EU, the LibDems, saw their percentage of the vote shrink further to 7.5%. So following your skewed anti-democratic logic, we could assert that “your (pro-EU) party was rejected by 92.5% of voters at June’s election”.

    • rose
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Andy, if we had a Brexit Cabinet and a Brexit government, we would be out by now.

      Nothing to do with party.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Out of government?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      You think you are popular, you are not:

      http://facts4eu.org/news_decb_2017.shtml#yg

      Eurofanatics like you are a small minority across the whole EU, and a very small minority, a few percent, in the UK. As we already knew from previous opinion polls going back over the years.

  32. Leave next century
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I was going to write that “It’s funny isn’t it that in the End of Year Review that the media is so fond of making, it did not feature the June 23rd referendum vote to Leave”.
    Then I realised we voted NOT this year but eighteen months ago.
    And we still have not left!
    Next time the voters elect Mrs May as MP, perhaps she could delay taking her seat for at least eighteen months…. as…. Nothing Has Changed!!!

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Rest assured, the Exit will happen. It started in 1992 with the opt-outs..

      • NickC
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Rien, Four countries have treaty opt outs, the UK being only one. Does your stricture include France’s unofficial opt out from having to modernise its farming (the origin of the Thatcher rebate)? Or Germany benefiting from the mercantilism due to the Euro? Or the EU/EZ helping out moribund economies contrary to what the treaties (originally) said (eg: ECB QE used to favour only some countries’ sovereign debt)? Don’t ask us to save you from a daft NW European ideology again. You won’t get a favourable response this time.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 1, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          None of these are formal opt outs. The most important formal ones are Denmark’s EUR opt out (but Denmark is committed to keep the DKR fixed vs the EUR and Ireland’s Schengen opt out. The remainder (eg Poland’s opt out from the Rights Charter) are merely symbolic and economically irrelevant. Of course there are a few countries who have yet to adopt the EUR despite a formal commitment to do so. The most important is Sweden. Sweden adopts the same predatory exchange rate policy as the UK but the UK is free, while Sweden has made a commitment and hides behinds public discontent. Cowardly. Governments must lead, not follow.

          The cases you mention are of course not opt outs, they are misrepresentations of actual situations.

  33. nigel seymour
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Nigel Farage is/was by no means perfect, but I can’t help going back to what he spelt out to this country and why we should leave the EU. On reflection, it’s all quite simple – TM packaged this up in her Florence speech!!!. We now await and look forward to negotiating a good workable trade deal between us and the EU. If we don’t get a good deal, then I’ll be as happy as a lark when we trade on WTO.

    • Andy
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:49 am | Permalink

      Sure you will. Until it makes you poorer and puts your kids out of work.

      • NickC
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Some of my kids were out of work – because of the EU. No country thinks that giving up its independence will make it richer. For good reason.

  34. Edward2
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Populism is simply the wishes of the majority.
    This strikes fear into the hearts of the elite.
    The establishment would like to rule us.
    They think they are always right.
    They think they know what is best for us.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Right, that is your idea. Would you prefer to be governed by (a) no one (a “majority” is a far too large group for that, they will need to delegate to someone they trust, even at the village level). Or (b) someone chosen from outside “the establishement (how would candidacy etc work without political parties or (c) someone acceptable to your “majority” (general or only a handful of issues?) and ruling without opposition or critical observers? Or simply in accordance with the laws of the UK?

      • NickC
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Rien, You’ve not heard of direct democracy then? Works pretty well for Switzerland where the people in general tell the politicians what to do. Unlike in the EU where unelected technocrats tell everyone else what to do, and how to do it.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 1, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          The Swiss system works only in Switzerland, as far as I know and that is a very small country where the citizens have no illusions whatsoever about the importance of their country.

        • rose
          Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          Except that when the Swiss voted not to be in the EU, their treacherous politicians put them in the Schengen Area – and that wasn’t all.

  35. Mister bal-ance
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    “The Today programme condemns populism”
    Maintaining balance we should expect further episodes to condemn Labourism, LibDemism etc

  36. RichardB
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    In the same vein, more excruciating bias from BBC’s Eddie Mair this evening – his question to Boris Johnson ‘What is the point of this Prime Minister?’

  37. Pragmatist
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I looked up who Andrew Adonis is. He should be allowed to stay in the UK

    • Pragmatist
      Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Update
      I have just seen Andrew Adonis being interviewed by the BBC. He should be allowed to stay only if he takes an oath to commit to democracy henceforth.

  38. Jason wells
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t every politician just love to be a populist .. think about it..JR for one if he were a populist in the real sense would not have to write this daily blog in an attempt to keep ahead..all he would have to do is make some outrageous comment from time to time to his pals in the Telegraph office or the Express and Mail so to keep well up the greasy poll..then go back to doing what he likes doing best..running down everything he can about his neighbours..it’s the old story..a little like a big fish in a small pond

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I like your newly coined phrase, “the greasy poll”! Something Disraeli didn’t have to worry about. It particularly suits our PM and her advisers.

  39. MKB
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Delighted that all the ‘Little Englanders’ will be starting the New Year with hypertension.

    • longinus
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      ‘Little Englanders’ doesn’t mean what you think it does.

  40. Pragmatist
    Posted December 29, 2017 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    New Years Honours List

    I feel sorry for them. The rest of us were paid a salary and sometimes with overtime and bonus payments for our work.

  41. Ed Mahony
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    @Nick,

    And look at how well Europe has worked well over the centuries:

    – Hanseatic League (proto European single market)
    – Cultural exchanges (all the great European composers, artists and writers are indebted to each other)
    – Educational exchanges (Oxford and Cambridge were very dependent on the universities of Europe in the earlier part of their histories)
    – Military alliances – to defeat Napoleon’s forces, Hitler’s forces (and let’s not forget why these ‘forces’ grew to prominence – because of excessive nationalism).

    Of course, things can go the other way. And there are many problems with the EU. And our world is not Utopia. Nevertheless, we must focus on the good, and not just the bad, and try and keep a sense of balance. Our economy and civilisation is very finely tuned. If we upset it too much, political, social and economic chaos can easily ensue (history shows us that time and time and time again).

    Regards

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Dear Ed

      Many people argue that the EU is the heir to Napoleon and Hitler. Others that it is the heir to the USSR. Either way, we shouldn’t be enabling it.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Also, I agree with a lot of what Brexiters say. EU politicians do need to be held to account and political systems need to be tested all the time. But that doesn’t mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater when we find bad.

        Anyway, without the power of God, ALL political systems are ultimately futile – any political system in a fully independent country or a country dependent on others like the EU. And history proves me right when we see politicians and political leaders making the same mistakes again and again and again over the centuries (and consider how many people grow disillusioned with politicians and politics as they grow older – well, i think politics is a great profession and i refuse to grow disillusioned with it as long as people remember that it is God who is – or should – ultimately be in charge, not man. And with God’s power and imagination, amazing things are possible!).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          ‘politics is a great profession’ – potentially not necessarily

      • hefner
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Some people might argue that. One could as well think the EU is the heir to the Roman Empire, or to the Holy Roman Empire.
        Your comments simply reflect your way of thinking. Why should I consider them better than Ed’s?

        • rose
          Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          I expect Napoleon and Hitler thought they were recreating the old Roman Empire. Maybe the Vatican and the HRE did too. Some people say the Vatican empire is the remnant of the old Roman Empire. They still dress like Roman nobles after all.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Where are your “many people”?

  42. Bob
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Just caught the tail end of “The World this Weekend” on R4.

    The not so subliminal message seems to be that based with the (unwelcome) rise of populism, democracy has run it’s coarse and it’s time to look at alternatives.

    They cited some quote, attributed to Churchill:

    “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

    “The best argument against Democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”

    You can see where this is going, can’t you?

  43. Juiliet
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Populism is being blamed for Trumpism and Brexit, the democrats and the anti-Brexit blairite factions are doing the rounds and condemning Populist as negative and bad because people want to maintain their culture and identity, fed up not being listened to, there life as they know it is disappearing, day after day shady liberal economist peddle radical models to convince people that open borders & global free movement is good for us. This greedy advocates are lying about their true intentions forcing third world people onto the western population so-called think tanks with main focus on immigration globalisation claims “free migration would create massive poverty reduction while helping to improve the lives of most of the native born, and that any adverse consequences could be made up for with “keyhole solutions” that leave massive migration flows intact while tweaking policy to deal with specific consequences” its total lie to convince us that the migrant crisis nonsense of late was thought through and we should accept it and accept movement of increase number of immigrants that cannot afford visas or add little value to our economy

    Populism is for the ordinary people on the street saying enough is enough

  • 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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