What a Guest editor of the Today programme could do for the audience

Prince Harry did well setting out his causes and campaigns as Guest editor of the Today programme.  He made good use of his slot.

The choice of some of the other Guest editors has left a feeling that the whole week is yet again unbalanced, and designed to prevent any Guest Editor being appointed who might try to shine light on topics and viewpoints the BBC prefers to ignore or criticise.

Here’s a few that might make for good radio.

  1. A piece on why and how the economic establishments of the Treasury, IMF, World Bank and others could be so wrong in their economic forecasts of the consequences of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the big build up of credit and derivatives prior to 2008, and the short term impact of the Brexit vote on the UK economy. This could include interviews with representatives of  the  handful of experts who did get all three of these big issues right.
  2. A piece on security and price of energy, and the impact EU and UK policies have had on both this century. Can the needs of plentiful and cheap energy to deal with fuel poverty, keep people warm and ensure a decent manufacturing  base be reconciled with other policy objectives? Is current US or EU energy policy more helpful to the world economy?
  3. A piece on whether the Trump Administration is serious about promoting peace by means other than constant military interventions in the Middle East, and whether the consequences of less military involvement over the last year have been better or worse than the Bush/Obama wars
  4. A piece on the damage high taxes can do, and an examination of when and how revenue increases when rates are cut
  5. A piece on what is a reasonable rate of migration to allow the provision of decent accommodation, school places, health  care and the rest to the new arrivals and the settled communities they join.


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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Indeed and a piece on why the NHS can never work well as currently structured and funded and why school vouchers for education would be so much better that these are your options take it or leave it or pay twice.

    Why a state sector of the current size is so damaging to living standards.

    Still no Dukedom for Farage I see. Yet loads of dross are honoured.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Also why are our schools and universities so full of lefty drivel, greencrap, Pc drivel indoctrination and pointless degree courses.

      • Hope
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        May’s key note maiden speech about fairness to all no matter what your background- 40 percent of honours went to MPs! FFS there are far more worthy people than these. Look at supercilious Adonis. What did he ever do to get enobled and a govt quango job that Cameron promised to Reduce in number. Infrastructure goes hand in hand with Javid’s department. No need of the quango scrap it and good riddance to Adonis.

        The hideous Trump bashing is not deserved and is being conducted on behalf of the EU fanatics to limit the U.K. Options for trade. Trump is delivering on what he pledged unlike politicos here. The March for change in politico representation continues. May’s undeserved cronyism will serve to discredit her and her party further. Does she not have any vision or strategic savvy?

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

          Hope, the answer to your final question is quite simply, NO.

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

          Indeed. Adonis suggests that May is the voice of UKIP. Hardly, what plannet is this man on? She is more like a Libdim.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink


          “From 1987 until 1991 Adonis was an Oxford City Councillor for the Social Democratic Party and later the Liberal Democrats, representing the North Ward. This remains the only elected position Adonis has ever held.”

          Yet as an unelected legislator-for-life he feels that he has the right to try to frustrate the will of 34 million ordinary citizens as expressed in the EU referendum, and he is by no means the only member of that anachronistic house who adopts that arrogant attitude. He even has the brass neck to claim that the government is seeking to undermine our democracy and present himself as its staunch defender …

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

            @Denis Cooper; “Yet as an unelected legislator-for-life he feels that he has the right to try to frustrate the will of 34 million ordinary citizens as expressed in the EU referendum”

            He is entitled to an opinion, who ever he is, what ever his job (unless the reigning Monarch, at least in public) just as you or any of us are.

            Also is it not a bit rich for you to pull the democracy card, after all as you seem unable to support calls for a Brexit Ref2 on the How and When questions of leaving the EU are you not also frustrating not only the will of all those who do not want Brexit but many of those who do but do not share your ideals?

            If decent, nor opinion, is not going to be allowed, the UK is not heading for Brexit, just dictatorship…

          • bratwurst
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

            Not 34 million – it was 17.410742 million. 29.089259 million did not vote leave.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

            Your figure include babies, toddlers, junior school children, those under 18, those in prison, those living here yet not actual uk passport holders, oh and those who although allowed to vote, failed to vote.
            Should day old babies be able to vote?
            Your statistics are ridiculous bratwurst.

          • bratwurst
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            Edward2. No, those numbers refer to the electorate. Try adding them together and you may realise they are far less than the total population of this country.
            Only 17.4 votedto leave – which was, of course, enough to win the referendum. My point was that it was not the will of 34 million.

          • bratwurst
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            Edward2. Also, those who chose not to vote self evidently did not vote to leave (whatever their view was).

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Your statistics are ridiculous bratwurst.

            Still unable to grasp the detail I see Eddie, only the carelessly phrased sound-bite.

            Lord Adonis was not trying to frustrate the will of “34 million ordinary citizens as expressed in the EU referendum” as Denis suggested, he is not even trying to frustrate the will of all the 17.4m who did vote for Brexit because with 28 different Brexit manifestos (ranging from the hard-left to the hard-right) it is clearly daft to suggest all voted for the same exit plan.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

            He is entitled to his personal opinion, and he was entitled to his vote in the referendum so he could express that opinion alongside the 34 million others who expressed their opinion, but a vote in the legislature is another matter.

            And I’ve said in the past more than once that in principle I would support putting a final treaty with the EU to the whole electorate in a referendum but I don’t see how that would work given the withdrawal procedure laid down in Article 50 TEU – what do you suppose would happen if the answer was “No”? – and therefore I have argued for MPs to be much more closely involved in the ongoing negotiations.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            bratwurst, 34 million voters came to a collective decision. Others did not participate in the referendum for various reasons, but 34 million did take trouble to vote in it and now we have unelected legislators-for-life like Adonis assuming they have the right to set aside the decision which was made. Apparently you think this is fine, it’s how “democracy” works in your eyes.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

            Here you go, jerry, from June:


            “Effective democratic control is needed now”

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            The point is the vote was the biggest vote in UK history.
            Every government ever elected had a minority of the total electorate.
            If you can’t be bothered to vote that’s not my fault.
            Remainer referendum arguments are futile.
            The vote was open to all those who were allowed to vote just as in a general election.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          I agree. Was T May (quite rightly) not rather critical of Cameron’s dreadful resignation honours list (resigning without even sending the section 50 letter next day as he promised. Nor even making proper provision for the leave vote all the relevant top civil service should have been fired for that too.

          Is this the same T May?

          Sir Nick Clegg, for what? Trying to kick voters in the teeth, defy the referendum and decimating his “wrong on every issue” Libdim party?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink


      Agreed – a look at different healt h systems around the world.

      Education examination could compare university systems around the world e.g. Germany being nearly fee free, but with lower proportion attending and less mollycoddling. Also education could look at origin of the students in many colleges around the UK. And one more, sometimes related, faith schools and the teaching of maths/science in some communities.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      The “Honours” system became pure Gilbert and Sullivan long ago. If it has to continue it needs to be out of the hands of the PM. There are several policies that could rocket Corbyn into No.10 and I believe the abolition of this practice and making HoL elected or non existent are two.

    • MKB
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Why on earth should Nigel Farage be honoured?

      • getahead
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        The answer to your question would need a certain amount of intelligence to be understood so there is no point in responding.

        • MKB
          Posted January 4, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          The people with the LEAST intelligence voted to leave the EU!!

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:09 am | Permalink

        Because most of the people who bother to vote when it counts want him to be.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted January 1, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          Given the appauling state of the latter (minority support governments amongst the lowest levels in the G20 and the largest unelected legislating chamber in the westetn world), the end of the latter (and replacement with modern 21st century democratic structures) is very appealing.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            (This is in response to Anonymous’ comment about Brexit or the Commons/Lords.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Brexit or the end of Commons/Lords ?

      One of the two will ensue.

  2. Mark B
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Yes but these are, Populist issues ! Aparently we do not like Populist issues as they lead to nationalism and war. So say our betters. Better to talk about non-issues like climate change and pay gaps.

    As someone yesterday pointed out. When you limit the subjects that are to talked about, you can better control the population.

    • DaveM
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Except of course the Brexit vote and the election of Trump etc etc shows that it doesn’t work!

    • Hope
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Populist is a sinister label created by extreme EU fanatics like Adonis. I think the Adonis EU type fanatic mean they do not like the electorate voting against their elite self serving judgement i. e. Democracy. Guido has written some excellent fact finding how remain bent all the rules and still lost! Worth a read JR as it links to your points above. It will cone back to bite your party as well as phone calls were coordinating activity between remain groups. Under May’s snooper charter the calls can be linked back to the co ordintaors. Undoubtedly she will want to make use of her own intrusive powers to bring those to justice for breaking the law no matter who they are or any political party they belong to. Worth a BBC investigate piece as well.

  3. am
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    all big issues avoided by the national broadcaster from a neutral point of view.

  4. Oldwulf
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    A piece on whether the BBC has outlived its usefulness as a publicly funded broadcaster.

    • jerry
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      @Oldwulf; Indeed, but it would have to be a “Fair and Balanced” piece, it would have to investigate if other funding methods have also outlived their usefulness or ability to offer a full and rounded output (sport and children’s TV for example), how do the various methods of current funding serve the public, does it cause damaging exclusions, what might replace one or all, should we move to a Pay-Per-View model for all channels rather than the packaged models we currently have, along with their delivery methods?

      • libertarian
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink


        I agree that would make a good debate

        Plus adding are Ofcom fit for purpose or are they just stifling innovation in support of the BBC

        • jerry
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; The BBC, nor Ofcom (& predecessors), stifle anything, in the case of the BBC quite the opposite in fact – see below.

          It is the cut-throat commercial competition that is stifling innovation in the over commercialised broadcast industry (especially TV) due to the advertising pot being more or less a fixed size but with more competition than ever for the available income – and now there is the threat that advertising budgets will be diverted to internet based services.

          Once upon a time when we had just four TV channels ITV had thriving innovative sectors servicing the children’s, news & current affair’s genres, since the advent of multi-channel TV broadcasters innovation has been replaced by more risk adverse programming policies.

          Indeed only today the govt. announced a 60m fund to promote innovation and commissioning of UK made children’s TV programming by or for ITV and Ch4 – paid for from top slicing of the TVL fee.


          • libertarian
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink


            Ofcom is stifling innovation because it only allows for two types of revenue model , it is totally in the pocket of the BBC. Its licensing model is 30 years out of date and its restrictions on local community stations are just plain bizarre. For instance BBC local radio is no longer remotely local. Yet commercial and community stations are ordered to have a certain amount of local content. Ofcom has been fooled by the BBC into promoting the ridiculous DAB format, when internet radio (which ofcom and the BBC can’t control) is far better and is taking revenue from conventional radio.

            My internet stations revenues are growing 15% per year my FM station is going down by roughly the same amount. There are far more revenue models available to radio than ofcom could ever dream of.

            TV ad revenues have been hit by better routes to market ( the internet) and by government restrictions on certain product advertising. Why on earth should taxpayers fund childrens TV? My children and grandchildren hardly ever watch TV anyhow, they spend far more time on youtube

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “[Ofcom’s] licensing model is 30 years out of date and its restrictions on local community stations are just plain bizarre.”

            Ofcom is not stifling innovation, there is plenty of innovation, probably more so than ever before what with ultra local, so called ‘pop-up’ stations and those that obtain RSL’s. The only thing Ofcom are stifling is an utter free-for-all, like there is in the USA, airwaves full of fake non news & ‘shock-jocks’…

            “Ofcom has been fooled by the BBC into promoting the ridiculous DAB format”

            LOL You obviously know nothing about DAB, that for sure! If there has been any shenanigans then it was Ofcom who fooled the BBC – in fact it was Govt and Ofcom, they mandated that the BBC had to use the TVL fee to promote DAB as the Govt had agreed with the ITU to introduce DAB (and DVB-T) as part of the ITU’s long term management of the worlds RF spectrum.

            “My internet stations revenues are growing 15% per year my FM station is going down by roughly the same amount.”

            That is a international trend, not a problem caused by Ofcom, or any regulator, such as the FCC in the USA.

            As for the TVL fee being used to fund children’s TV [1], if you do not want your grandchildren to watch such programming that is fine, but other people do and I have already told you why commercial broadcasters can no longer commission or themselves make quality children’s programming, and you have agreed with me the reason, the loss of paid adversing income to the internet.

            [1] which, if a quality product, is not just entrainment but educational.

          • APL
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 6:05 am | Permalink

            libertarian: “Why on earth should taxpayers fund childrens TV?”

            Simples! Get ’em young with the propaganda, you condition tomorrow’s voters to the left, at their parents expense.

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

            @APL; As if the right-wing and/or capitalist TV programme maker could not do the same; Get ’em young with the propaganda, you condition tomorrow’s voters to the right, at their parents expense – for example, so when their parents would otherwise have received well funded NHS care in older age they now have to dip into their life savings or even sell their homes (or hand title over to the state, as was suggested back in June 2017) to fund care in a ‘for-profit’ care system.

            But thanks for proving once again that you know nothing about the regulations that stop such abuses, regulation that some on the right wish to see removed. wonder why….

          • APL
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “so when their parents would otherwise have received well funded NHS care in older age they now have to dip into their life savings or even sell their homes”

            An adult, should make the best provision for his or her old age he or she can manage.

            ‘dipping’ into their savings, is the responsible and independent thing to do.

            ‘Savings’ are there to allow an individual to make provision for the unexpected. Or make provision for the anticipated.

            That’s what savings are for.

            And assets ( a home ) likewise. My only objection to the sale of an asset to provide for health care, is that the local authority or the government can compel a body to do so.

            Jerry: “wonder why….” Don’t bother Jerry, the concept is too big, too high and too broad for you to comprehend.

          • libertarian
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink


            1) Ofcom IS stifling innovation, there is NOTHING innovative about more RSL’s

            2) Thats funny because Ofcom doesn’t seem too worried about fake news on the BBC. Ofcom has completely ignored fake news in lots of “mainstream” media . What right they have to arbitrate on what they or you think is acceptable is an affront to free speech.

            3) DAB is crap , end of… Oh and it was an EU research project begun back in the 1980’s

            4) The revenue trends in FM/DAB stations which are heading south are entirely caused by the outdate geographic nature of radio licensing by Ofcom

            5) I still can’t find where you tell us the source of your self proclaimed expertise.

            Seeing as you aren’t prepared to tell us I will just assume you are fake..

          • jerry
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

            @Libby; Thank you for your OPINIONS.

            As for DAB, ask anyone (large or small) who actually runs a DAB station or mini-mux, you will find that they see many advantages. Yes there are issues about bit rates but who cares other than those who are audiophiles (and I do not mean audio recording professionals), the average listener cares not one jot as the benefits out-weigh the disadvantages, as you would know if you knew anything about either subject.

            If you understood anything about analogue or digital broadcasting you woudl know that it is transmitter locations, likelihood of co-channel interference etc. and ITU regulations that affects the geographic nature of radio licensing – more so for analogue broadcasting, hence the more to digital.

            Libby, I still can’t find where you tell us the source of your self proclaimed expertise, I have never suggested that I own or run a radio station after all. Seeing as you are not prepared to tell us all anyone can assume is that you are fake, after all if you really do run a FM radio station you would have no problem in posting your real name (or some other way of authenticating), Ofcom licence & station name. Over to you…

      • NickC
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, That’s only “Fair and Balanced” in your view, not in mine. What about letting content providers provide their content how they want whilst letting customers decide what they want to buy for themselves? Rather than your endlessly prescriptive controls by people who supposedly know better, like yourself.

        • jerry
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          @NickC; I would have though you of all people; would have grasp my reference to “Fair and Balanced”, it wasn’t Ofcom nor the BBC who pulled that channel off air was it?!…

          • Anonymous
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:44 am | Permalink

            Put simply – the BBC is no longer good value for money.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          Indeed Nick
          I am always suspicious of people who claim to be completely moderate or totally unbiased.
          They usually are the most convinced their own opinions are perfect and will never accept any others opinions might have validity.

      • getahead
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, we are talking about the BBC . What other funding methods are compulsory?

        • jerry
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

          @getahead; Try watching any half decent live sport on TV and you’ll soon find that subscriptions become compulsory.

          Try watching any commercial TV, whilst living an average modern consumer lifestyle, without funding commercial broadcasters – what is more you will carry on funding commercial broadcasters even if you have no TV set. Try telling the retailers that you will not be paying all your shopping bill because you object to funding commercial TV….

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            Out of the millions of products and services available for sale only a very small percentage advertise on TV.
            And like your continued claim that you are not forced to watch TV, you are not forced to buy products advertised on TV either.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Tell me what products are not funding TV advertising and I would buy them. The problem being, just because one product is not being advertised it doesn’t mean that profits from its sale is not promoting another product.

          • APL
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “Tell me what products are not funding TV advertising and I would buy them. ”

            As usual, you are trying to get somebody else to do your work for you.

            No. Go and do your own research.

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            APL; “No. Go and do your own research.”

            That is the point, we can’t because such information is commercas8ily coincidental. Duh….

          • APL
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            jerry: “That is the point, we can’t ”

            You can, but can’t be bothered to, and try to get others to do you homework for you.

            jerry: “such information is commercas8ily coincidental.”

            What does that mean?

          • jerry
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            @APL; Sorry for the typo. But do you really need to be told the definition of commercial confidentiality?

          • APL
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “commercas8ily

            That was a typo., which is fine. It happens.

            Jerry: “coincidental.>/b>”

            That was a completely different word which in the context you used it, was meaningless.

            Jerry: “But do you really need to be told the definition of commercial confidentiality?”

            No, but your assertion is risible on its face. Something [ an advertisement ] a company puts in the public domain, actively drawing the public’s attention to, is confidential?

            Poor lad, let me know when you’ve emerged from Topsy Turvey world, and we can talk again.

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            @APL; Not the products that are advertised but the ones that are not, but whose profits pay for those that are. Sometimes such products do not even carry the same brand or even company name.

            Try actually reading what I’ve said, not just respond to abstract words that you have skim-read!

          • APL
            Posted January 5, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

            jerry: “Not the products that are advertised but the ones that are not, but whose profits pay for those that are.”

            That’s where you need to run along and do your homework. It is another facile assertion to suggest it’s not possible to track down the manufacturer of a product just because it’s a no brand name.

            jerry: “Try actually reading what I’ve said, ”

            Try using:
            (i) the correct words.
            (ii) the correct context.

            .. whatever it is you do scribble, might make sense.

            jerry: “not just respond to abstract words that you have skim-read!”

            When you manage to write a coherent sentence, with words that taken together mean a thing, I’ll perhaps pay a little more attention to your scribblings.

            Until then, no.

          • jerry
            Posted January 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            @APL; Ignoring your personal abuse. You are still wrong, yes one could track down who owns a non-branded product, that is easy, finding out if the profits from that product are then used to advertise another product is not.

      • libertarian
        Posted January 4, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink


        Thanks for displaying your stuck in a rut views

        DAB doesn’t actually work in parts of the country.

        You continually fail to see the FUTURE of radio , you must work in the public sector. If you knew anything about modern radio you would know that more and more listeners are moving to the net. Even my little FM station has more online listeners than conventional wireless .

        Ofcom and its FM/ DAB setup is another example of rent seekers, corporatists and the state trying to prevent innovative small start ups destabilising the dull, boring and stale offerings of the BBC and big corporates

        You just dont get it do you. The OLD & OUTDATED radio network and broadcast technology is passed its sell by date, we have lots of innovative new things happening outside of this tired old setup. The future of radio is very bright , it doesn’t feature FM, DAB or Ofcom

        I own two Internet radio stations

        I own an FM Station

        I have presented radio programmes on the BBC and Commercial radio. I have no reason to tell you the name of my stations or who I am.

        YOU on the other hand lack the courage to even tell us the source of your laughable so called “expertise” YOU are frightened to tell us what you actually do for a living.

        I have skin in the game. You’re a windbag

  5. ferdinand
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    A piece on how Governments have been able to frustrate the will of the nation, from gerrymandering to using political offices to squash the views of the electorate

    • Bundle
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      “…gerrymandering…” ? As far as I am aware, the boundary change suggestions are made by an independent body.
      One of my local MPs did make a very poor case of why ones affecting my area are unfair. But the only seeming “unfairness” was that Labour MPs would be less likely to get elected..not unfair to voters..just unfair on their pay-packets.

      • jerry
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        @Bundle; “As far as I am aware, the boundary change suggestions are made by an independent body.”

        Indeed they are, but the boundary review plus term of reference are set by the government of the day.

        Boundary reviews only need to be carried out when there has been substantive demographic changes, I am not convinced that such changes have taken place since the last review to justify the proposed review.

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

          I would suggest that if the number of MPs is a problem that does not need a boundary review but some honest debate on the future of the Houses of Westminster. Even with a full restoration, 600 MPs and half the numbers of Peers it is still likely to be an outdated design. We need to change how we do politics, not who does the politics.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink


            Agree, we need to change how we do democracy.

        • ferdinand
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          In fact the changes have been enormous in the North West which is why Labour are opposing the changes. They could lose up to 15 seats if fairer representation was agreed.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          Not correct
          There are many straightforward rules the boundary commission follow.
          The main one concerns the number of voters in a particular constituency.
          Their research shows some now need adjustment due to either rapid growth or reduction in population.

          • jerry
            Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Indeed you are not correct.

            There has been no meaningful changes in the population demographics since the last review, the rational being put forward for the need to have the review is that there needs to be a reduction in the number of MPs.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

            You are wrong Jerry
            Read the actual report by the Boundary Commission.
            There are many constituencies where there have been big changes in population.
            They need adjusting in size.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; What do you not understand the about the fact that it is the Govt. of the day who sets the terms of reference to any boundary review?

            A Conservative government will
            ensure every vote will have equal value by
            introducing ‘fair vote’ reforms to equalise the
            size of constituency electorates, and conduct a
            boundary review to implement these changes
            within five years.

            We will continue with the current boundary review, enshrining the principle of equal seats, while reducing the number of MPs to 600

            Those are two citations from (top) page 67 of the 2010, and (bottom) page 42 of the 2017, Conservative manifesto. If the Boundary Commission had a totally free and independent hand no political party would be able to include those sorts of pledges.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            The elected Government are always in charge and will set the terms of reference.
            The point remains that the Boundary Commission are there to advise Parliament on the need for changes to constituencies size and numbers.
            It’s up to Parliament to vote on the advice.

          • jerry
            Posted January 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Thank you for finally admitting that the Boundary Commission and their reviews are not independent from the influence of party politics.

            There has been no substantive demographic changes sine the last boundary review between 2005 and 2010 [1], that is why the idea was dropped by the 2015 GE -the phrase nor words “boundary review” appear once in the 2015 manifesto, then in 2017 the idea reappears on cost grounds – and some people wonder why others smell a stink emanating from (a now minority) govt.

            It’s it not even as though the previous boundary review got things badly wrong, after all the Conservatives managed to become the largest party in 2010 and gain a working majority in 2015, it’s not the number and location of seats that’s the Conservatives problems but their popularity, their choice of policies in other words – Canterbury constituency anyone…

            [1] England, Wales and NI

      • rose
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        The gerrymandering consists in not implementing the recommendations of the independent body. This is long overdue because the Liberals blocked it out of pique when they lost the AV referendum. Now the socialists want to do likewise.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        The boundary commission is given its terms of reference by the government of the day, which also provides its own input, recommendations and suggestions.

        There are plenty of studies out there which show that how you draw the boundaries fundamentally affects the outcome under First Past The Post with a given set of voters voting a given way. All the parties provides “recommendations” to the process which are, in reality, designed to gerrymander in their own interests (irrespective of how they justify them). It will remain that way until the UK moves on from its current, archaic 19th century systems and becomes a modern, 21st century democracy.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

          You would still have to address the matter of constituency sizes due to population changes under a proportional representational voting system.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

            Yes you would, but under PR it would be a case of gains offsetting losses. Under FPTP you get votes and wards shifted from safe seats to marginals in order to try and help a particular party, thus potential gains without losses.

          • rose
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            “Under FPTP you get votes and wards shifted from safe seats to marginals in order to try and help a particular party, thus potential gains without losses.”

            For some reason people have been moving out of Labour wards and seats and into Conservative ones for decades. This means over time that Conservative voters are under represented. The Boundaries are usually corrected ten years in arrears, so Labour are always ahead. Conservatives never catch up. It is worse than ever at the moment because the other parties have delayed the correction for so long.

            Is this what you mean by helping a particular party?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink


      Agreed, including how the coalition government would only offer the transferable vote and not other alternatives. Also a look at single chamber systems from around the world.

  6. jerry
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I’ve never been a fan of these “Guest Editors”, who ever they pick simply use them to push their own agendas with little or no real balance, even their HRH’s (that’s me off to the Tower now….). Actually might I suggest to the BBC that the Today Programme simply takes a holiday between Christmas and New Year in the future.

    But on to our hosts list;

    1/. & 2/. These to slots would also have to look at the damage done by market speculators, and with energy how profit motives affect decision making.

    4/. Surely a dangerous subject to air, after all the slot would have to be balanced, thus it would also have to explain how low taxes can damaging be too! Or does accusations of bias only matter when being sinned against, not when one wishes to be the sinner…

    5/. Indeed, but again for balance, the other side of the argument would have to be put too, and how we coped with immigration in the past.

    Actually both 4/. and 5/. could be combined, after all many of the problems caused by immigration are a direct result of low tax rates and thus low govt. spending in the past on essential areas such as health, housing, education and transport etc.

  7. Nig l
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    You might like to add political cronyism buying people off with honours despite regularly saying that you won’t do it.

    Farage getting nothing whilst any number of ‘nonentities’ did is vicious and contemptible.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Nig 1

      I see a certain Adonis is making a fool of himself on the radio this morning.

      How on earth can a person so biased and divorced from reality have had such a lofty position in Politics, where his ideas are guiding a Nations policies.

      More fool those who placed him this position and took notice of his ramblings.

      • jerry
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        @alan jutson; “How on earth can a person so biased and divorced from reality have had such a lofty position in Politics”

        You have condemned at least 75% of all politicians there, from all parties,, not just the one person you were aiming at!

    • Bob
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the honours system and peerages for cash or favours is disreputable beyond words.

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Yes, she has sucked up to people who will never vote for her and further enraged millions who might. This has been her method, ever since she called her party the nasty party.

      • getahead
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Cutting Rose, but true.

    • jerry
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      @Nig 1; Remind us what Mr Farage did that would warrant an honour, assuming that he would accept one that is.

      The only thing Mr Farage is remembered for by most, other than being awfully rude to EU officialdom, is the number of times he stood for the Westminster parliament but then failed to get elected – if the latter is the reason then there would have to be an honour given to the leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party first!

      During the Brexit referenda UKIP, with their ill timed & silly PR stunts, did more to keep us in the EU that the LibDems did.

      • rose
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        The Conservatives made far too much effort in trying to prevent him from being elected to Parliament. They should have concentrated on the real enemy. He is always blamed for the failed outcomes but on the whole, if a party throws everything it has at a contest, it wins. Ask the Liberals.

        Having done all that, they are very unlikely to give him an honour. It is their loss and their shame. They should show the spirit of generosity that Peel did to Cobden.

        • jerry
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          @rose; Forgive me, I thought the Conservatives did concentrated on “the real enemy”, hence why we had the Brexit referenda!

          For some years now, and nothing UKIP did during the Brexit referenda convinced me otherwise, in the end UKIP did not actually want the UK to leave the EU, their power base was always going to be in the EP, not Westminster, the AV referenda of 2011 spelt the end of any hope for them – having achieved their stated goal (Brexit) their voters simply went home to their old parties. Not sure what you mean by the LDs, they simply got lucky in 2010.

          • Bob
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

            Nigel is the only person to lead a party other than the Lab or Tories to win a national election.

            It’s also a fact that David Cameron would never have offered a referendum with the threat that UKIP posed to the Tories.

            Labour and the Tories have shamefully colluded to prevent ukip getting any representation at Westminster and the Establishment have deliberately attempted to close down ukip through the Electoral Commission.

            See Nigel’s article in theTelegraph on 31/12

            “Establishment targeted Leave campaign donors after attempting to put UKIP out of business”

          • jerry
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; What national election, Mr Farage has never served in any UK parliament. If you mean European elections and thus the EP, neither he nor UKIP won there either!

            The group that UKIP is aligned to (the EFDD) only obtained 48 seats in the 2014 elections [1], the largest group was the the EPP followed by the S&D group.

            If you understood anything about how the EP actually works you would understand why this is so important [2] and why consequently UKIP have been singly ineffective. Sure UKIP boasted, and the eurosceptic MSM gilded the UKIP lilly somewhat, but both their 2009 & 2014 celebrations were meaningless hyperbole.

            [1] in 2009 UKIP was a aligned to the EFD group, they gained a mere 31 seats

            [2] and why some believed that Mr Cameron having his Conservative MEPs walk away from the -as was- EPP-ED (now EPP) group was damaging to the UK interests, including any Brexit.

          • Bob
            Posted January 2, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

            National elections Jerry.
            The had more MEPs than Labour or Tories.

          • jerry
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; But UKIP are less effective at the EP level than Plaid Cymru with their single MEP!

          • Bob
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            We’re leaving the EU Jerry, that’s effective!

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; Yet more hyperbole from UKIP-Bob!

            “We’re leaving the EU”

            Indeed,. but no thanks to UKIP nor Mr Farage, indeed in spit of them and their PR stunts.

            It was due to Mr Cameron and peop0el such as our host not Mr Farage that there was the Brexit Ref, otherwise do feel free to tell us how Mr Farage was able to introduce a Bill into the UK parliament, steering it through to become law and then call the date for the ref – you can’t as he did not, could not, UKIP at the time had no Westminster MPs.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The BBC is an utter disgrace.
    You can judge the BBC’s attitude to viewers – its captive audience, by looking at the garbage it provided in the way of entertainment over the Christmas period – never mind it’s bias and its pc credentials – It failed miserably to entertain … with so many repeats it should be called the RBC … or better still abolished!

    The only program that wasn’t a repeat, at family time – Dr Who – has also become a shambles of miserable repeated ideas and nonsense.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      I don’t mind Dr Who being PC and it’s about time we had a lady. What I dislike is the director’s opinion that we Brexiters wouldn’t be able to get our heads around it.

      Well he should get his head around this. In quantum theory everything happens in the Many Worlds scenario – including Remain winning the referendum. Maybe Time Lord Adonis would be happier knowing what I do too – alas he is only an ordinary Lord.

      • APL
        Posted January 1, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Anonymous: ” and it’s about time we had a lady. ”

        Time Lords, as is well documented, regenerate rather engage in sexual reproduction. Thus presumably have only one sex, therefore a ‘lady’ Timelord ( lordette ) is rather a nonsense.

        Granted, the other sex may not be Male, but then there is no reason non sexual organism would exhibit sexual dimorphism at all.

  9. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The BBC is a national institution, envied and emulated across the globe. I might not agree with all the positions that they take on the great issues of the day, but they do educate and inform me. The BBC produces some excellent programming including drama, investigative journalism, political comment, children’s entertainment, really good wildlife series, news 24/7 etc etc that is not interrupted by irritating commercial breaks

    We cannot re-fight the political battles of the past any more than we could rebuild the lost British manufacturing industries – the ERM fiasco is history. Why rake over the embers again?

    What a lot of you object to with the BBC is that you cannot control their editorial and you resent their excellence. Why knock a superb public broadcaster? I hate the commercial breaks every ten minutes on the other channels

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Sakara Gold,

      There are other providers without breaks that we can choose to pay for. The great BBC should be good enough to compete without a mandatory license fee. I wouldn’t wish to stop you subscribing, but why you want to make me subscribe is what I don’t understand.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      I resent paying for something that continually insults me and my ancestors.

      • jerry
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        I thought Fox News had been dropped from the Sky Bundle?!…

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:14 am | Permalink

          I don’t pay for Fox or Sky. I have to pay for the BBC by British law. Plus it has the unearned reputation of being independent.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; But you do pay for Sky (and you also paid for Fox News too when it was available) because it carries paid for adverts that you contribute to via you retail purchases – when you buy from that well known internet retailer (beginning with the letter A, not E) were do you think the TV advertising budget comes from, profits or the CEOs personal back-pocket?

            Nor is anyone being forced to watch broadcast TV, so paying the TVL fee is not compulsory under UK law.

            Do feel free to find a clue as to how the broadcast industry works before trying to cite the facts, never mind the law of the land.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink


            Do feel free to provide some evidence about why YOU think you know about the broadcast industry.

            You are perfectly free to NOT purchase things advertised on TV

            Its a choice, its a choice whether you choose to subscribe to a sports package such as Sky or BT Sport, the BBC isn’t a choice and that is the difference

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            @Libby, after you, Ofcom radio licence number perhaps?…

            But you are right, it is a choice, don’t want to pay VED, you don’t run a car, don’t want to pay the TVL, don’t watch broadcast TV.

    • Peter
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      What I object to is that just because I own a TV I am forced to pay for the BBC. Many people watch other channels most of the time.

      The BBC has already lost a lot of the sports events like the Ryder Cup that I used to enjoy.

      It has always been an establishment propaganda channel. In the past it has been more subtle in its approach.

      • jerry
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        @Peter; “The BBC has already lost a lot of the sports events like the Ryder Cup that I used to enjoy.”

        But whose fault is that, not the BBC’s, nor the TVL fee, unless you think the TVL fee should be the £480 pa you need to spend with a subscription broadcaster.

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:16 am | Permalink

          Jerry – more and more people are realising that there is less and less reason to pay for it.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; Indeed more and more people are deciding to stop paying for subscription TV, and a few also stop paying the TVL fee too, preferring to stream legal content or buy DVD/Bluray boxed sets. News is obtained via social media, radio or news websites – and of course some persist with print media.

        • Peter
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:46 am | Permalink

          It is the BBC’s fault. They have chosen not to compete for sport broadcasting but are happy to pay huge salaries to mediocre chat show hosts etc.

          They have a choice on how they spend their TV money. Owners of TV sets do not have a similar choice to avoid the licence fee

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            @Peter; Try actually reading my comment(s) before responding with the usual anti BBC chants. As I said, I’m sure that if the TVL fee was £480 pa the BBC would compete for such sports rights, and much more besides, such as first-run films!

            You also seem to forget that the BBC is highly regulated, before it can do anything else it has a legal duty to offer regional radio & regional TV (just to name two areas), both highly expensive. It also has to cope with having the TVL fee “top sliced”, first to fund certain issues with the digital switch over, now that top slicing is being used to subsidise other areas such, as UK made children’s TV.

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      The BBC has introduced commercial breaks and maddening electronic noise, presumably to make people think they are listening to a commercial station. This dates from the days when their main rival was ITV and most people had that on as a default position, even though they weren’t particualrly listening to it. As the independent TV researchers used to say at that time, people are very fussy about what they sit with their backs to.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Indeed endless add on the BBC for charities, phone voting lines, bbc products some programmes are little more than adverts anyway.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:19 am | Permalink

        The BBC is a major advertisor. Particularly for West End shows, Hollywood celebs, chosen artistes (Coldplay/Queen/Roxy Music/U2…)and politicians.

    • longinus
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      If the BBC is so great then introduce pay-to-view and let the consumer choose which propaganda they wish to watch.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Sakara, The BBC is rotten with bias. Your claim is incorrect: I have no wish to control its editorial at all. The BBC can continue to exist, but if you like it, you pay for it. All I want is you to stop making me subsidise your own biases.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:22 am | Permalink

        Yes. Let the BBC exist as it is but on a fully commercial basis.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      You must be watching a different BBC than the one I used to watch.
      Country file can’t go 5 minutes without mentioning climate change and now repeated references to farmers not being able to pick crops. They want taxpayer subsidised labour.
      Now we are continually being told how Brexit will destroy the economy although the stock market is at a record level.
      Having to listen to the non entity Adonis slagging off the voters over Brexit I think it’s time for the BBC to become a subscription channel.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I totally disagree with that – the whole institution has become utterly politically correct, to the point that every ‘nature’ program has to tell us how we are bad people for ruining the planet.

      Even history programs put a slant on the view backwards, imposing the now liberal conditioning on things that happened in bringing us up to this point…

      The over-payed ‘stars’ also fit into a mold – it is no longer entertainment we get – it’s the BBC’s version of 1984.

    • getahead
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      “What a lot of you object to with the BBC is that you cannot control their editorial and you resent their excellence.”
      No Sakara, what I resent is the BBC’s continual propaganda output. What I also object to, is having to pay for it.

  10. am
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink


    ‘a war being waged against freedom of speech on university campus’ is a quote from the above link which the bbc could consider.

  11. Cobwatch
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I propose an item about the benefits of The 1922 Committee…a Knighthood is a certainty if you can worm your way towards the top. You will not need long service or a worthy body of work.

  12. Duncan
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The most pertinent question as we move forward is obvious to me. What is the point of the Conservative Party?

    Why has this party betrayed so many of its supporters with its subtle shift to the left? Its embrace of race, gender and misandrist obsessions?

    If May is the leader of my party going into the next election I will abstain

    I want my party back where it belongs. Take it back from the lefty cranks or else you will get destroyed at the next GE

    • jerry
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      @Duncan; “Why has [the Conservative] party betrayed so many of its supporters with its subtle shift to the left?

      Because it would have betrayed even more of its members and, more importantly, would be voters had it not! The way some talk one might be mistaken that the Tory party only existed since 11 February 1975…

    • libertarian
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink


      The Tory party has been like this for some time now, just another statist social democracy party . Sadly they won’t get destroyed at the next election as their whole strategy rests on not being Corbyn.

      The Conservative party needs to do the following things

      1) Return power to local/grassroots

      2) NOT lurch to UKIP right

      3) Innovate in an entirely new way, engaging people with iDemocracy and localism and supporting free markets and aspiration/wealth creation for all

      Sadly they all live in a bubble so they never think about innovation, leadership, the future or re-inventing themselves

      Our democracy needs a major overhaul too

      When an unelected man with questionable views ed)like Andrew Adonis is a leading member of the ruling chambers its time to rethink the whole thing

    • MKB
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Where have you been? The Conservative party has moved to the Far Right, making in almost the same as UKIP !!

      • hefner
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        No, not true. There still are moderate Conservatives and moderate Labour members and MPs in both parties.
        Do not take the bunch of (contributors ed)of this blog as true representatives of the Conservative Party. They are a sizeable fraction, but a faction all the same.
        The present FPTP encourages a two-party Parliament, therefore there is a wide range of opinions and ideas in both the Conservative and Labour parties. For me what is required is a change in both the voting system and the creation of a true multi-party system. Obviously the MPs, specially those of the old school who have benefitted for years from the system, will fight any such change.
        And with such a new system it would very likely require proper discussions between parties to form coalition to govern. But it would get rid of the present type of within-party fights, and would certainly make things clearer for the electorate.

      • Longinus
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Great parody account MKB.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        Sure May is just as much of a PC, climate alarmist, high tax, lefty loon economically as “save the world” Gordon Brown. True she mutters about grammar schools and fox hunting but knows full well she cannot deliver these. Her agenda in interventionist, high tax, green crap socialism.

      • APL
        Posted January 5, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        MKB: “making in [ Tories ] almost the same as UKIP”

        That’s quite amusing. At the last election [ I think ] the decline in the UKIP party vote share nationally, almost exactly mimiced the rise in the Labour vote.

        Suggesting that it’s Labour that is more like UKIP than the Tories.

        Although I don’t consider the Tories a right of centre party, either.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Good points

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:51 am | Permalink

      You can blame Mr Heseltine for that.

      I respect his opinion but it should have been opined for the Liberal Democrats, not the Tories.

      He brought us Blairism and the destruction of the Tories.

  13. Iain Moore
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    The questions that have been around for years, that will never be debated because it would be a heresy to do so.

    1/ The costs of mass immigration.

    2/ The disastrous concept of identity politics and multiculturalism.

    3/The failure of Aid.

    • jerry
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      @Iain Moore; All three issues have been aired regularly, it’s just that some will never accept anything other than their own opinions as the true facts and thus claim that the issues are never properly debated. It’s not even a Right-wing thing, those on the Left and Centre do just the same.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        No , they have said we can debate the issues, but they rarely if ever get beyond that, and never get beyond the superficial.

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      The President of Ghana has just lectured the President of France on number 3. You might enjoy the clip which you can find on Youtube.

  14. majorfrustration
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Point taken but you must realise that the BBC finds it difficult to deal with the real world.

  15. Robin Brooke-Smith
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Here here. And an exploration why a return to National sovereignty is a critical turning point in our long history and that leaving the EU will make us freer with once again an accountable government so we can return to being proper Europeans in the widest and truest sense. And more prosperous.

    • MKB
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Are you saying that we don’t have ‘ accountable government now’ ?
      That we are not ‘proper Europeans now’ ?
      How can leaving the World’s greatest trading group of countries make you personally more prosperous ?

      • Original Richard
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 4:04 am | Permalink

        Everyone in the UK will be better off when the UK leaves the EU’s SM/CU because :

        1) It is so unbalanced/rigged against us that we import £100bn/year more than we export.

        2) We subsidise inefficient EU farmers and then still pay more for our imported food than we would by buying from the rest of the world on WTO terms outside of the EU’s protectionist CU.

        3) We had to agree to give away our assets such as our fishing grounds so that any EU country can fish in our waters even using the controversial and damaging pulse method of fishing.

        4) We must accept free movement of people which has resulted in massive net immigration causing shortages of housing, schools, health care, prisons and infrastructure and has been driven by our generous non-contributory health and welfare and by the UKtaxpayers subsidising the low wages paid by corporates.

        A shortage of labour would force the corporates to invest in machinery and training thus raising the UK’s poor productivity. At the moment the corporates have an unlimited supply of cheap subsidised labour.

        • rose
          Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          5) It doesn’t even give us the customer protection from infection and contamination in food that people think it does.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink


        Of course we are Europeans, you can’t change geography

        There are 51 countries in Europe only 27 are in the EU. An EU that is diminishing and offers no new market growth unlike markets in USA, China, India, Brazil etc etc

        The EU is stuck in the 1960’s.

    • LenD
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Am afraid Robin Brooke-Smith is a long way wide of the mark..as regards government and sovereignty here nothing will change when we leave..the only thing noticable is that we will not have the european dimension. We won’t be any freer, in fact we’ll become more restricted in our movements since holiday travel to european destinations will likely become more difficult..our currency will not match up either..but theres always Blackpool and Brighton. Please note Governments by their nature are never accountable..they always get away with whatever failures and misery they bring down on us..people in this country are like sheep they will vote tge same no matter what. Lastly we will never be europeans in any sense because we are too inward looking..and here i’m talking about the English..the Scots are more liberated in their thinking..always were..hence i can see the eventual break up of the UK itself. Prosperity ..i just don’t see it..not with this back to the future road we have decided on..time to look for my new EU passport.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Don’t forget to hand in your British passport on the way out.

  16. BOF
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Ah yes, but knowing the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, even if some of these very valid topics were discussed, we can be confident that guests will be carefully selected to reflect liberal, left and socialist views i.e. establishment stooges will be given all the airtime they want.

    Witness Lord Adonis this very morning.

    • jerry
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      @BOF; “Biased Broadcasting Corporation”

      I’m sure similar “bias joke” styled acronyms could be invented for all broadcasters – and many are, far to scandalous to be published here I suspect!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Let’s just take one sentence from his letter:


      “The European Union Withdrawal Bill is the worst legislation of my lifetime.”

      His lifetime started in 1963, so there’s actually an awful lot of legislation which could be considered and compared to the EU withdrawal Bill according to each individual’s preoccupations. But needless to say personally I would single out one particular piece of legislation passed in 1972 which transferred wide law making powers from our national Parliament, which he claims to support as the centre of our national democracy, and our national government, to foreign dominated institutions located on the continent. If he worries about Henry VIII powers, well, there they are and worse in that 1972 Act. I suppose one could also give some other Acts a very high ranking for undesirability, for example those which approved later treaties which abolished the vetoes we were promised we would always have in the 1975 referendum, but they were just natural developments of the original act of treachery when Parliament passed the 1972 Act. And, incidentally, while Edward Heath had some difficulty getting the Bill for that through the Commons it barely touched the sides as it went through the second, unelected, chamber of which this ……. anti-democratic “Lord” Adonis is now a member.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      And it they do choose a representitive from the right side of any argument they tend to choose (on purpose I assume) rather a poor or extreme one. One who makes the case poorly and can thus be more easily ridiculed by the other three say (plus presenter of course).

  17. Kenneth
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I’d prefer to the BBC to get out of politics altogether.

    If the management, editors, correspondents etc want to influence politics they should write to their MP or stand for office.

    The BBC should prune back to a reporting service. Stop inviting guests and chairing meetings and cover existing debates in political chambers.

    The running order should decided by an algorithm rather than the whim of an editor.

    The BBC should stop trying to be a newspaper with an angle and be a passive reporter of events. It may then become a beacon of truth having rid itself of expensive opinionated journalists.

    We would then have a far more valuable news service, free of propaganda and at a fraction at the current cost.

  18. alan jutson
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The honours system !

    Is it worthy of its name any more!

    Should all political appointments be excluded.

  19. A different Simon
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    John ,

    You are missing an elephant in the room .

    6. Why the television license fee ought to be scrapped .

    The item could explore alternative funding methods for the BBC such as subscriptions and advertising .

    A case might be made that the BBC has several what are effectively monopolies and should perhaps be broken up to make competition fairer .

    • jerry
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      @ADS; The TVL fee should not be scrapped, but that is not to say the fee can not be top- sliced or that BBC should do far less far better. Does it need 9 national radio stations, does it need 7 national TV (or IPTV) channels, should it provide such an all encompassing website etc. The BBC should innovate, as they did with Bake-off and Strictly for example, and provide what other broadcasters can’t or won’t, you or I might not want to watch such content but it should still be made and broadcast, even prime-time, all the same – for commercial broadcasters to do so would likely be commercial suicide.

      Care to tell us what you believe are effectively BBC monopolies, but in doing so also explain why other broadcasters can not compete. You might also try and answer why the BBC nor ITV & Ch4/5 can no longer compete themselves in certain areas, such as live sports, are the subscription broadcasters not also becoming to strong and thus monopolies, should they be broken up too?

      The problem is not just BBC deep, it is industry wide, good, you have spotted the elephant called BBC, now try spotting those called ITV, Ch4, Sky and BTTV etc.

  20. Steptoe Government
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    “A piece on the damage high taxes can do, and an examination of when and how revenue increases when rates are cut”
    Including a sober assessment of if personal taxation is actually necessary at all.The government already burgles your home, your neighbourhood and even steals stuff from your wheelie-bin if it can sell it for scrap. It even insists you sort out the swag for it.

  21. Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I’d suggest a piece on whether we should continue with the present honours system.
    Do we give honours to people who deserve them or to people who are just doing the job that they are being paid to do? I fail to see why an MP should be more worthy of an honour than an airline pilot flying for an airline. Both are doing well paid jobs that many others are also doing. Why should an NHS administrator get an honour when its the doctors and surgeons who save the lives?
    As far as I’m concerned the system is now totally meaningless.

  22. VotedOut
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    The BBC is funded by a blanket license fee on all citizens. It therefore must maintain balance to retain credibility.

    Unfortunately, this is not understood by employees of the organisation because they are not accountable for their actions in any meaningful way.

    In fact, nobody is truly accountable and that is the root of the problem. Hence the pay scales are way beyond the private sector and it is a borderline closed shop for any new talent.

    It needs several layers of management removed and replaced – that is the only solution

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      No ! It needs to be exposed to market forces. If they are unable to give what the consumer wants for what they they are prepared to pay, then we should be free to go elsewhere. What makes them so special ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:52 am | Permalink

        Nearly four million have stopped paying without personal consequence.

  23. Chris S
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The best way of achieving these objectives would be for a certain J. Redwood to be invited to be a guest editor.

    We all know it will never happen, of course.

  24. 100% tax in Heaven
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “A piece on why and how the economic establishments of the Treasury, IMF, World Bank and others could be so wrong in their economic forecasts”
    The IMF is funded mainly by the USA. So the present administration in America and the persons left in charge by the last one have by far the biggest shout on which countries are doing stuff right. Japan, Germany and France come 2nd,3rd and 4th. I guess the World Bank is similarly funded and controlled. Our Treasury coincidentally agrees with the present Chancellor as does the BoE.
    So, we have a set of politicians writing the Ten Financial Commandments
    1/I am the Expert
    2/ I am the Deputy Expert
    3/I am right
    4/ I could have been wrong once, theoretically,but am right now.
    5/ It is the rest of the world, not me that is wrong
    6/ I take some your money because I wish to help you
    7/ I take more of your money when you buy things, to help you
    8/ When you make me take less money, it hurts you
    9/ I always have enough money for the next war.
    10/The Economy is always in trouble needing more tax collection. It is your fault.

  25. Epikouros
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I believe your list could be added to ad infinitum. Although the BBC is a major institution that prides itself on keeping off the airways any debate that may prejudice it’s own left wing, climate change and progressive opinions and views it is by no means the only one. It is probably just the most influential which it should not be. Unfortunately there appears insufficient appetite to correct that situation. Which is tragic although it is acceptable that all special interest groups will strive to mute opposition to them as that is part of the game of words. However it is not for the BBC as it was founded as a public information service, has a charter that states it’s output should be impartial and balanced, is paid for by mandatory public subscription but has now become some special interest groups propaganda tool.

  26. alte fritz
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    How about a piece on why the public release of government documents from the National Archives protects the establishment.

    Also, how could the BBC’s news website yesterday report the Thatcher/Major meeting in 1991 and almost manage to avoid mentioning the ERM?

    • alte fritz
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      should have said ‘failure to release’

  27. Bob
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    @Mr Redwood

    I would add the Department for International Development to the list.
    A huge fortune has been squandered over the years trying to solve problems of the third world to no avail.

    The third world’s problems are largely due to governance issues, so pouring in free stuff and cash handouts is not the solution but actually perpetuates the problems; they need to sort themselves out.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      I am of the opinion that the so called, International Development Aid is nothing more that reparations for Empire and slavery. The government cannot call it such, but in my view, it is !

      • rose
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        EU Aid, paid for by us, but not attributed, is to offset the impoverishing effects of EU protectionism. But of course it doesn’t. So we pay billions to stop people coming to Europe and still they come. We are going to be made to pay yet more for all of that even when we are “out”.

      • Bob
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B
        If so then it isn’t working; time to cut the welfare and allow those countries to stand on their own feet.

  28. Andy
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Strange – but I have heard / read all of those on the BBC in recent months. I’m afraid you lot just choose to ignore arguments you don’t like.

    The great Andrew Adonis is right. You lot are a nationalist spasm. He is wrong, however, to call you populist. You are a minority of the electorate and a small minority of the population.

    • DaveM
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      17.4 million a small minority of the electorate? I think not. Even if it was a minority, those who voted to Remain are an even smaller minority.

      Engage brain before typing crap.

      • jerry
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        @DaveM; “17.4 million a small minority of the electorate? I think not.”

        But the vast majority wanted a “Norway” style of Brexit, only the .4 want a WTO Brexit – go on, prove me wrong….

        “Engage brain before typing crap.”

        Indeed, take you own advice Sir!

      • Andy
        Posted December 30, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        In June 2016 the UK electorate was 46.5 million. How badly you do maths that makes 17.4m a minority.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:54 am | Permalink

      A spasm against Lord Adonis (and the like.)

      Don’t you get it ???

  29. Peejos
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    How about a dissection of tertiary education? Examine the costs of ex students not paying their debts, the costs of running aspirational courses, the costs of staff pensions. Then investigate the career paths of a representative group to establish the true benefit to the individual and society at large.

  30. rose
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Number 1 would suit HM the Queen.
    Number 2 would suit Nigel Lawson.
    Number 3 would suit Taki.
    Number 4 would be for JR who should be Chancellor.
    Number 5 Nigel Farage.

    1 would never do it and 2-5 would never be asked.

  31. ian
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    The media selective censorship and extreme bias, information is power so the ability to harness that and control the information is probably the greatest weapon ever created/ when you hear something repeated over and over again, you are being programmed.
    The best one to date is climate change, it has the ability to destroy all manufacturing in the uk in favour of importing people to uses what power there is.

  32. Martin
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Not just radio, but television too. Panorama programmes made inside the MOD, Department of Education, the Foreign Office, etc, would enlighten an ill-informed public.

  33. miami.mode
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Today is a rather niche programme and those that listen to it are generally clued up with regards to its attitudes and it is therefore somewhat irrelevant. To a large extent it is preaching to the converted, but it should, of course, take a more balanced view in accordance with the BBC charter.

    What is of more concern is BBC television, including the News, which is viewed by a much greater number of people. Some posters here have said they prefer it due to the lack of advert breaks, but the BBC people know this and obviously take advantage of it.

  34. DaveM
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I could list 100 things I like and dislike about the BBC. The one thing that tips the balance though is the excessive and incorrect use of the word “briton”. The word “English” is avoided like the plague unless it is describing negative behaviour (eg football violence). Just because someone has a UK passport it does not make them a Briton. And will someone please explain that someone from England is English. There seems to be no such confusion with regards to people from Wales or Scotland.

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Here’s an interesting item the Today programme could discuss:


    “United States of Europe dream CRUMBLES – polls show no Euro nation wants it”

    “Martin Schulz’s dream of a United States of Europe is crumbling before his eyes after a shock series of polls revealed no-one wants the controversial super-bloc.”

    “YouGov asked: “Martin Schulz, head of the Social Democratic Party in Germany (SPD), spoke at the SPD party conference about his vision to transform the EU into the United States of Europe by 2025 – with a common constitutional treaty.

    “EU members who do not agree with this federal constitution would then have to leave the EU. Do you support or reject this vision of the United States of Europe?””

    “The UK unsurprisingly saw the lowest support for the seemingly-doomed project at just 10 per cent with 43 per cent disapproving.”

    To be honest I’m surprised that even 10% of UK respondents said that they supported this vision, but then of course we are leaving so we would not be part of it, and some of those who said they favoured it could be hoping that it would be the last straw which broke the camel’s back and caused the EU to break up – which it likely would.

    This is just the kind of thing that the Remain camp falsely swore would never happen, any such idea was just a paranoid Leave fantasy …

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


      Two things.

      1) When have you known the EU to listen to the will of the people ?

      2) I actually hope that the EU indeed does become a nation as its founding fathers intended. Why ? Because by then there will be no way back into the Stupid Club and, quite frankly, I think many countries with in the EU would be better for it.

    • Longinus
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      You don’t understand Denis, we’re living in a post-democratic age.

  36. Posted December 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    A fantastic discussion would be how Japan for the last 30 years has completely destroyed any economic theory that comes out of life logics head.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      An economic theory that, if it has not made Japan wealthy, certainly has made LL.

      But I will let him tell you if I am right or not.


  37. MKB
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    The BBC/ Today programme could also do an article on Ireland/ Irish history as having clearly the Brexiteers don’t have a clue.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Sweeping statement that.

      Let’s ask arch-BREXITEER and eminate historian, Sir David Starkey ?

    • Longinus
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      No-one would believe it.

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    As well the New Year’s Honours we should have the New Year’s Dishonours so the public can vote to strip honours away from those who have shown that they don’t deserve them. For a start, any member of the House of Lords who is set upon defying not just the government and not just the elected Commons but also the mass of people who voted in a referendum which the Lords had agreed should take place. Who do they think they are?

  39. Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    A discussion on Japan would declare fiscal Conservatism finished. It was always gold standard nonsense anyways.

    The fiscal conservatives who have been totally blindsided by developments in Japan for the last 20 years have started to introduce a new spin to regain credibility.

    They now claim that there are no incentives for the government to engage in ‘necessary’ fiscal austerity and as a result Japan will go bankrupt more quickly than they predicted – forgetting to mention they have been predicting bankruptcy for 20 or more years.

    Let me summarise the reality:

    1. The Japanese government can never run out of money (yen). It is impossible. Therefore it can never become bankrupted.

    2. The Bank of Japan can maintain yields on JGBs at whatever level it chooses, at whatever maturity range it targets, and for as long as it likes. The bond market investors are incidental to that capacity and are supplicants rather than drivers.

    3. The size of the Bank of Japan’s balance sheet (monetary base) has no relationship with the inflation rate.

    4. If the Bid-to-Cover ratio fell to zero – that is, private bond dealers offered no bids for an auction – then the government could simply instruct the Bank of Japan to buy the issue. A simpler accounting device would be to stop issuing JGBs altogether and j
    just instruct the Bank to credit relevant bank accounts to facilitate the spending desires of the Ministry of Finance.

    5. If private investors choose to buy other assets once the risk in international markets subsides then the Japanese government (the consolidated central bank and treasury) could just buy more of its own debt – to near infinity. End of discussion.

    Further, to refresh your understanding – the requirements for a sovereign currency-issuer with no default-risk are:

    1. Issues its own currency.

    2. Floats it on international markets – no pegs, etc.

    3. Doesn’t borrow in any other currency.

    4. Doesn’t offer any guarantees of convertibility to another currency.

    Japn has a debt to GDP ratio of 250% and a budget deficit of 4.5% with an inflation rate of 0.6%. Fiscal conservatives still trot our gold standard nonsense even after all these years.

    No point having brexit at all if the fiscal conservatives still think we are on a gold standard and that taxes fund government spending. There is no such thing as tax revenue. Taxes and bond sales detroy high powered money.

  40. Dave , Shinfield
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Serious question here. If you really feel that such issues need airing, why don’t you do what Ed Milliband did and start your own podcast?

    You don’t have to do it alone – there must be some like minded journalist out there that would assist and enable you to raise matters that you want to raise, interview those you think would contribute and provoke thought/discussion etc and so forth.

  41. nigel seymour
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    J, If it’s you actually writing your blog (?) on this one then jolly well done. Adonis now thinks it’s his time to leap into the limelight and make a name for himself…he can attend the HOL on £300 a day to show complete and utter contempt for 17.4m voters for many months too come. Good work if you can get it. Clegg will no doubt use his new found fame and join Adonis to maximise this contempt and will be further arousing Heseltine and Blair and Clarke and Morgan and Soubry and Hammond and Hobhouse and SNP and PC and the Green waste of space blah blah blah…………

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 30, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      Nigel, don’t forget Gina Miller!

  42. Andy
    Posted December 30, 2017 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    The real irony here is that, I’d wager, many of you get “free” TV licences anyway. So when you claim ‘we pay for it’ you likely mean someone else pays for it for you. That someone else would be someone like me. I also pay for your bus passes, winter fuel payments and other perks you get just for being old. You could choose to be grateful for our generosity.

    For me old age perks should be the first thing we axe. You’ve had your entire lives to save for your retirements – if you haven’t that shows you are irresponsible. We should help our young instead.

    • rose
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      The biggest loss to the older generation has been in interest rates. So any money they managed to save when they were paying mortgages at 15% and faced real inflation without the top up benefits working people get today, has been in effect confiscated from them and transferred to the younger generation in zero rate loans. A huge capital transfer if you think about it.

      Notwithstanding all of that, the older generation is very generous to the younger, helping financially and practically, especially with free childcare so the young women can go and earn the sort of money older women couldn’t.

      The old age pension is not a perk but an entitlement, paid for over a lifetime’s hard work, and I doubt many young people could live on it. The bus pass is in everyone’s interest: it is a health and safety measure, not a welfare one. It keeps old people active and independent for longer; it gets old people out of their cars, so less danger and congestion for everyone else. It also keeps the buses going. It recognizes that old people aren’t as fit and able bodied as younger people, so can’t walk the distances they used to, and it also recognizes that old age is difficult and needs help, just as maternity is.

      Pitting one generation against another is as destructive of society as pitting the sexes and races against each other.

      • rose
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        PS you have to be very old, not just retired, to get a free television licence. But it is still the collective “we” paying for it which isn’t the case with other broadcasters.

      • Andy
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Brexit pits old against young. I am merely suggesting the young fight back by threatening to take away pensioner perks. While some pensioners at poor, many are rich – they should be forced to sell their homes to fund their lives if they run out of money. Scrap the universal state pension and all other old age perks – make it a level playing field.

        • Prigger
          Posted January 1, 2018 at 2:46 am | Permalink

          “Brexit pits old against young” I think many young people have too much money. I think they should sell their smartphones, tee-shirts, Beano annuals, dolls and collected trainspotting numbers and give the money to the poor.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 1, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Well said Rose.
        Excellent post.
        PS I don’t have a free TV license.

  43. agricola
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    When do seven entries become multiple and one entry become so contentious it is unpublishable, just asking.

  44. Adam
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    When do I get a refund on all the licence fees I’ve paid for the general bias instead of professional objectivity.

  • 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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