A sterile debate

The media and the Remain MPs are stuck in their own rhetorical canyon, ignoring the wider public and trying to prevent intelligent debate about the opportunities for the UK once liberated from the EU. The BBC is particularly bad. Either it does not invite someone on who wants to put a positive case for the decision of the voters on the EU, or it interrupts and hectors us  around the tired and extreme language of the Remain campaign. Voters did not believe  the idea of the cliff edge or the cataclysm, and  rejected the forecasts of the economic damage Remain wrongly put out  3 years ago. Despite this the media and their chosen MPs and business interlocutors go on as if it were true and as if they did not lose the vote on his topic. The shambles of a Conservative  leadership debate they created has been roundly condemned. The BBC has yet to explain its excessive puffing of Mr Stewart’s candidature who came well below three of the other candidates in each round he fought and was never going to get many MP votes given his absurd position on the EU issue. Why did the BBC suggest he was the likely opponent of Boris when he ended with just 27 votes out of a maximum 313.

I have never once heard a BBC interviewer ask a Remain MP or advocate why they want to giveaway £39bn we do not owe. It is a rare interview indeed which asks anyone about how we might spend all that money if we do not send it to the EU. The topic on our borders is always threats to EU citizens living in the UK where the government has always been clear they can stay. Rarely are we asked about what a globally fair UK migration policy would look like. Interviews are conducted on trade and tariffs without any understanding that the UK will decide how big a tariff to impose on imports, and with no knowledge that the UK has already set out a low tariff schedule for exit. There are no interviews with farmers to explore how much more of our food we can grow at home if tariffs are placed  on to continental produce. There are no explorations of what joining the TPP free trade area might mean for the UK. We are told that any trade deal with the US would mean compulsory eating of chlorine washed chicken, as if we had to agree to its entry and then had to buy it! There is no mention of chlorine in our domestic water  or chlorine washed EU salads.

Meanwhile the Leave majority just shouts back “Get on with it.” The media who seek to thwart us will lose more audience as a result of their craven servitude to the EU government. The more they shove out the Remain and EU spin lines, the more many voters think they do not speak for them. If they want to show they are better edited and disciplined than social media, they need to return to being fair and balanced, and to accept there are many sensible people saying there  is a great future for the UK outside the EU, as we voted for.


  1. Tory in Cumbria
    June 21, 2019

    You are right to note that “Voters did not believe the idea of the cliff edge or the catacylsm, and rejected the forecasts of the economic damage”. But three years have proved that everything Remain predicted in the event of a leave vote has come true – the EU has been united while the UK squabbles, the EU holds all the cards, inward investment is declining and there are no new UK trade deals with the rest of the world. Voters now know the truth. And voters should be given a second chance, as democracy dictates.

    Reply There are trade deals, there is plenty of inward investment and the economy has continued to grow despite a big fiscal and money squeeze from the Treasury and Bank who clearly want the economy to do badly.

    1. agricola
      June 21, 2019

      Hate to see my old stamping ground of Cumbria imbued with so many negative vibes.

      The UK squabbling is called the democratic process. Unedifying though it is at times. Unity within the EU I see as herded sheep. For the moment they accept being told what to do. Wait until they realise that EU intransigence is going to bare down on their bottom line, because they have to compete with the rest of the World for our custom.

      What I have said does not even touch on the growing political dissention within the EU.

      1. margaret howard
        June 21, 2019


        “Unity within the EU I see as herded sheep.”

        So you are saying that people in this country for nearly 50 years of EU membership have been behaving like herded sheep and they accepted being told what to do?

        Sheep for 50 Years?

        Shows you don’t think much of your fellow countrymen.

        1. Tad Davison
          June 22, 2019

          You need to read your history.

          The analogy was a good one. The hapless people of the United Kingdom have been conned every inch of the way by unscrupulous politicians into accepting more EU integration without the chance to do much about it, just like sheep being herded into pens before their inevitable slaughter.

          The 2016 referendum punched a hole in the sides, and that gave the lively sheep the chance to get out, which they took. Only the really stupid ones who couldn’t see what was happening remained penned in.

    2. Tad Davison
      June 21, 2019

      I could almost believe such tripe was written by another Tory from Cumbria. The one who did so badly in the recent Conservative Party leadership election.

    3. Richard1
      June 21, 2019

      Clearly false. Project fear predicted an increase of 1/2m or more in unemployment and a recession. The opposite has happened. Roll-over of current EU agreements on trade now covers over 60% of the relevant trade. Clear openness of the US, TPP and Australia-NZ to a UK deal once free to do so. No good arguing using obvious falsehoods.

    4. Hope
      June 21, 2019

      The flaw with the notion of any renegotiation taking place is that the terms of Mayhabs extension forbids it. It was granted to get her Servitude plan through.

    5. Sir Joe Soap
      June 21, 2019

      Didn’t know Mrs May had decamped to Cumbria. As the EU were handed all the cards, of course they had them.

    6. Narrow Shoulders
      June 21, 2019

      who clearly want the economy to do badly

      That is a claim I would expect from a few of your contributors not from a member of the government. Do you stand by it and are you accusing Mr Hammond and Mr Carney of subterfuge to hamper our leaving the EU?

      1. Fred H
        June 21, 2019

        whether they want it or not, they certainly have caused it.

    7. L Jones
      June 21, 2019

      I don’t believe you’re in Cumbria. You sound as though you must be in a different universe!

      I think you probably only read Remain websites (are there that many?) or the Remain element of Facebook (I’m told it’s particularly virulent and foul-mouthed against Leavers, with a lack of discussion as to WHY the EU is so great, or reasons why the UK is better off in).

      Conclusion: best not read too much Facebook, it’s clouding your judgement.

    8. NickC
      June 21, 2019

      Tory in Cumbria, Are you really a Tory? I have not seen you endorse Tory principles yet. And do you really write from Cumbria? Moreover none of what Remain predicted has come true. Come on let’s hear your script, and see if it adds up.

  2. Dougal Hamer
    June 21, 2019

    You say we’ve set a low tariff schedule, yet in the same breath you say UK farmers are going to be protected by tariffs! You aren’t even bothering to hide the contradictions and untruths of Brexit any more. You really are rattled, sir! No wonder, truth will out.

    Reply Yes, both statements are true. Our tariff schedule will be lower than the EU one we currently impose but will still have some ag tariffs which will protect us for the first time against EU exports.

    1. Know-Dice
      June 21, 2019

      And don’t forget that 80% of tariffs currently collected from imports outside of the EU gets paid to the EU; that’s over £4 Billion per year.

      It would be up to the UK Government what it does in future with tariffs obtained from EU imports, ideally fed back to industries and areas that may be disadvantaged by this change.

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      June 21, 2019

      Re reply This is an important point. Spanish tomatoes, cucumbers and other produce we can grow here will become more competitive if we can add a few percentage point tariffs onto the EU goods.

      Conversely the tariffs on produce from outside the EU will reduce so competition will drive down prices so in either scenario we will have sufficient produce at reasonable prices.

    3. NickC
      June 21, 2019

      Dougal Hamer, If we set car tariffs at 5%, instead of the EU’s 10%, we can import cars from the rest of the world 5% cheaper, whilst EU cars are 5% dearer. That means we will import fewer EU cars, yet people will not be taxed any more overall. Our tariffs being lower than the EU will hurt the EU more than us. What’s not to like?

  3. Pominoz
    June 21, 2019

    Sir John,

    Well, you have your preferred choice as the two final contenders for PM and I hope the successful one sorts out the BBC as a priority. What a shame it is over four weeks before ‘’er indoors’, isn’t.

    The fact that the UK population has been ‘sold down the river’ by the underhanded scheming of duplicitous MPs for the past fifty years is despicable and the future should ensure that such treachery and undermining of British sovereignty can never again occur.

    A most interesting and thought-provoking article by David Scullion, Deputy Editor of Brexit Central entitled “The next Prime Minister should write a constitution to protect our sovereignty” appeared yesterday on the brexitcentral.com website and suggests a way of preventing a repeat of the downward spiral initially permitted (encouraged?) by Edward Heath. I urge all to read it, including the two Prime Ministerial candidates.

    Great Britain has, over the centuries, without question, demonstrated across the globe that the ‘G’ word was justified. The new PM has the opportunity to remind the world what a positive force our Nation can be, once unshackled from the inhibiting bonds of the inward-looking EU.

    Boris or Jeremy, please do not delay in making our Nation ‘Great’ once again. A good start would be for the two of you to agree now to get rid of Hammond immediately. After all, ‘no Chancellor is better than a bad Chancellor’. (And a good one awaits)

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      June 21, 2019

      We absolutely do not want anyone to attempt to draw up a codified Constitution to replace our Glorious written Constitution which took 800 years of effort to obtain! All we need is a Treason Act against the use of the Royal Prorogative to destroy the Royal Prorogative, and a Constitutional Court (maybe the Law Lords) to do HM’s job which she has pointedly refuse to do i.e. using the Royal Assent ensure that any change to a Constitutional Statute is explicitly repealed and by 66% of the House of Commons. The Lords have long since left their House and the doors to that place should be closed for good, all titles unless hereditary, repealed.

    2. Tad Davison
      June 21, 2019

      Good post. I’ve been after a written constitution since the 2005 leadership contest and I dare say others have been angling for one for longer still.

      1. Sharon Jagger
        June 21, 2019

        I also think a Parliamentary code of conduct wouldn’t go amiss either. For example, when an MP is de-selected they should have to call a bi-election or be no longer an MP. This should be for all parties. In the case of Bercow’s role, he is clearly biased, and so there should be a way for him to be removed.

        Any MP found to be knowingly cheating the system – such as fiddling their expenses….should automatically lose their job.

    3. Hope
      June 21, 2019

      Interesting how remain MPs cry wolf for proroguing parliament but happy for Bercow, Letwin and co to flout constitution and convention! Sorry me old son can’t have it both ways. Shut down the swamp, general election and oust the slime that infests the swamp.

    4. Iain Moore
      June 21, 2019

      We do, its goes something along the lines of …..’No foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate, hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, pre-eminence or authority ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm’ …. which should have protected our sovereignty , but it didn’t. Laws and constitutions are only as good as the establishment who wants to protect them, unfortunately the British establishment have been too decedent to lift a finger in defense of ours.

    5. Suzanne
      June 22, 2019

      Brilliant comment – totally agree!

  4. Ian wragg
    June 21, 2019

    Is Boris up to it.
    He should win by a country mile but I fear he will go native.
    This really is the last chance saloon for the Tory Party and Nigel is perched like a parrot on your shoulders.

    1. Mike Stallard
      June 21, 2019

      Boris is a smart operator and a ruthless one too. Will he call a sudden unexpected General Election so that the country chooses, not just a couple of party activists (cp the EU choosing the new President and the Commission)?

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        June 21, 2019

        He can’t! 66% of MPs have to agree to a premature GE under the Fixed Term Parliament Act and there are more than 66% of all MPs who will lose their seats – so no go! The only ones likely to vote for a GE are the Lib Dem’s but they have just a handful of MPs.

      2. Dave Andrews
        June 21, 2019

        I hope not. The end of October will come on us very soon, and government really needs to get its head down in preparing to leave the EU. I get the impression that over the last 3 years since the referendum very little preparation has been done, because all the focus has been on getting an agreement that effectively keeps us in the EU.
        Select committees need to examine ministers and civil servants on the state of their preparations, and not rely on an extension the EU may not be willing to give (although I expect they will, and that is what will happen).

      3. matthu
        June 21, 2019

        He can’t do that without cooperation from Labour i.e. a no confidence debate.

      4. NickC
        June 21, 2019

        Mike Stallard, The UK House of Commons is elected by the UK electorate. The UK HoC is the seat of law making within the UK. The EU Commission is not elected by the EU’s electorate. The EU Commission is the seat of lawmaking within the EU. See the difference?

      5. Richard Evans
        June 21, 2019

        Ian and Mike.
        Agreed , Boris should win by a mile but people are very fickle. Will Boris go native, possibly as he will have the FULL force of the Fake News MSM and the Deep State Establishment against him. He is no Donald Trump and unlike The Donald he has no support from “within the system”.
        I just want OUT. NO DEALS then we take it from there. It might be a bumpy ride initially but we will survive. Where is the resolve these days?
        Unfortunately Cameron introduced fixed term 5 year limits and to call a GE needs two thirds majority of MP votes. So no chance there.
        (as an aside, Theresa the Appeaser did NOT resign over the Brexit)

    2. Fred H
      June 21, 2019

      Ian……I think you mean Nigel is perched like a vulture…..

  5. Mark B
    June 21, 2019

    Good morning

    I agree with our kind host. We should have the full picture so that we can make informed decisions. All this nonsense and censorship by omission, be it on the MSM or the internet, much like here, we need to hear and read various views even from those we may not agree with.

    I saw sometime ago, and I think I mentioned it here before so apologies if I have, of an interview after the referendum in 1975. It is still on YOUtube. It was between Enoch Powell, Jim Prior and later joined by Willie Whitelaw. It was a polite and jovial affair between political opponents. The interviewer did not interupt and try to be the centre of attention. It serves as a perfect example of how to conduct an interview.

    Time does not always yield progress.

    1. Alan Jutson
      June 21, 2019

      Mark B

      Yes have seen it, how times have changed, for the worse !

  6. Peter
    June 21, 2019

    The BBC are gaining enemies by the day. Abolishing free licences for over 75s, failure to vet questioners on important TV debates, conduct of such debates, loss of major sports coverage the list goes on.

    Time to abolish a licence fee that has no place in today’s UK.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 21, 2019

      Indeed plus their endless climate alarmist exaggerations and their calls for more enforced equality, more taxes, more regulation of everything, more money to augment the feckless, more active anti-white man discrimination ……

    2. Hope
      June 21, 2019

      It should be boycotted. The smear campaign set up the other day with remainer Maitless was disgusting.

    3. Doug Powell
      June 21, 2019

      In fact, MORE than time to abolish the licence fee! AND, make sure there is no sleight of hand, or smoke and mirrors skulduggery to replace the fee with tax payers money by another name!

      Let the BBC stand or fall by the quality of its output!

      1. Atlas
        June 21, 2019


        Off topic but on a BBC hobby horse “Climate Change”:

        I read that as a parting gift May is going to lumber us all with horrific costs because of an imagined future. I trust Sir J. that you will write upon the error of this plan soon.

  7. /IKH
    June 21, 2019

    Hi Sir John,

    You might also like to add to your argument that chlorine washed foods only contain a trace amount of the wash, most of it having been rinsed off. But people are happy to swim in chlorinated water at swimming pools.


    1. Lynn Atkinson
      June 21, 2019

      Also that 33,000 people in the EU die of food poisoning every year .. dirty water and dirty food!

    2. Shirley
      June 21, 2019

      Likewise, the Brits have been eating bleached tripe for decades. Suddenly, because it’s American, chlorine washing is bad. I think it is more due to EU propaganda than fact, and even the EU have said it is safe but keep very quiet about it.

      1. Steve
        June 21, 2019


        And also down to ‘activists’….like the unwashed stupid oxygen wasting idiot who’s just got a minister suspended.

        I’ve seen the footage, she was asked multiple times to leave.

    3. Jiminyjim
      June 21, 2019

      Chlorine washed chicken has become ‘chlorinated’ chicken, thanks to the BBC. Deliberate twisting of language by the MSM

      1. Ignoramus
        June 21, 2019

        Michael Gove said he would ban chlorinated chicken. Shows he either doesn’t know what he is talking about or does and wanted to make a vanity/electoral point.

      2. Mark
        June 21, 2019

        The EU is in the midst of negotiating a trade deal with Brazil, which exports more than twice as much frozen chicken to the rest of the world as does the US. I wonder what the phytosanitary arrangements are.

  8. Lifelogic
    June 21, 2019

    Indeed, the BBC are absolutely appalling with endless interviews with Heseltine, Ken Clark and others with similar remainer views. Plus their cupboard full of “BBC think experts” and BBC editors and ex-editors brought back to talk lefty, pro EU drivel. The only balanced and competent BBC inverviewer is Andrew Neil. Even he is only middle of the road politically and he now seems to be being sidelined. All the rest are way to the left of him.

    The BBC seems quite wrongly to assume that that we will be far worse off if we leave which is totally wrong. After some adjustment we will be far better off. Without the fee, without all the EU red tape, expensive energy, big anti-democratic EU government and huge fee. We will have nimble and democratic government and will be able to compete far better with lower taxes, cheaper energy, less red tape and similar.

    Hammond last night still coming out with his usual drivel. He said what a good job (project fear and regulated to death) Carney had done (now finally going than goodness). How he deterred him from leaving twice – why on earth would anyone do that?

    1. J Bush
      June 21, 2019

      The BBC get EU funding (which is against their own Charter) and probably helps explain why they are so pro-EU.

      Having lost a fair amount of revenue as more and more people refuse to pay the TV tax, they are possibly getting a tad concerned they will also lose their EU funding when we Leave the EU?

      Existential panic might explain their overdrive into irrational.

      1. jane4brexit
        June 21, 2019

        If the BBC want to keep their EU money then I have a solution, the BBC and their employees can all move to the EU and take on the more appropriate name of the EUBC, after all the BBC told us continuously that companies would move to the EU if we Brexited so let them keep to it.

        Many in the UK would love them to move and when Boris does call or force an election, then a promise to take public funding away and make each household more than £150 a year better off will I suspect tempt millions more to vote for it and him.

    2. Steve
      June 21, 2019


      The anti English BBC’s days are numbered. If Farage doesn’t disinfect them somebody will.

  9. sm
    June 21, 2019

    1. Very glad to see that the final round of the Leadership contest is between Johnson and Hunt – I do not agree with the latter’s standpoint, but he has some dignity.

    2. The MSM have completely surrendered to the need for a ‘clickbait’ approach – only by shrieking hysterically of Death, Doom and Destruction will they attract viewers, apparently. Thus rational and informative discussion has gradually been obliterated.

    3. Should Mr Johnson become PM, I – along with many others – sincerely hope you, Sir John, are appointed as Chancellor; I believe it would offer a great deal of reassurance nationally and internationally that the UK’s interests would be properly guarded and nurtured.

    1. Mark B
      June 21, 2019

      I too hope our kind host gets a Cabinet position. Transport would be good.

    2. Simeon
      June 21, 2019

      I think you’re right about Hunt. Personally, despite his Brexit policy, given the alternative is likely no better and the prospect of the Conservative party delivering a proper Brexit fanciful, if I had a vote in this, it would go to Hunt. I should emphasise that I value self-determination as highly as it is possible to do. But Johnson’s deficiencies, which are well-documented, and in fact mostly self-advertised ought to disqualify him from any public office. That our good host and others have voted for him is as clear an indication as any of the dire and desperate position their party is in.


    3. Lynn Atkinson
      June 21, 2019

      I think we should have a campaign. I have written to Boris as has my husband and I have asked every MP (with whom I remain on speaking terms) to do same. It’s for our sakes not for Sir John’s sake!

    4. hefner
      June 21, 2019

      SM, ever considered the “click bait” approach of a certain Sir John, to which most people here are only too glad to bite with gluttony ?

      1. sm
        June 21, 2019

        What material gains/benefits does our host here receive from your allegation about his approach, unlike the MSM?

        I’ve listened to (and been impressed by) Sir John’s intellectual capacity and intelligence since the beginnings of the Maastricht debacle, and I’ve been reading this blog for years to get clear explanations of what is going on in the political as well as the EU world. There are some UK issues that I don’t particularly agree with him about, but unlike some posters here, I don’t feel the need to abuse him about them.

      2. NickC
        June 21, 2019

        Hefner, “Click bait” is not a synonym for “agreeing with”. Duh . . .

    5. SecretPeople
      June 21, 2019

      MSM is pushing hard for Javid or Truss to become Chancellor, in that way they have of asserting something and hoping that means it will come true.

      However, in a Telegraph article yesterday, or, rather, in the comments below, Sir John’s name was put forward more than any other and had the largest number of upvotes. JRM came a close second.

    6. Alan Jutson
      June 21, 2019


      3. agreed.

    7. Narrow Shoulders
      June 21, 2019

      As Sir John was not part of either candidates’ campaign teams nor did he put himself forward as a candidate he will not be offered a major role in any new administration.

      Those roles are not doled out based on talent and ability they assuage factionalism.

      At least whichever candidate loses the ballot can be given the Foreign Office and hit the ground running.

    8. Steve
      June 21, 2019


      Yes but watch them select unt, a remainer, at the last round. That’s how they will do it.

  10. agricola
    June 21, 2019

    The question is not how biased the BBC and Channel 4 are, they being the worst examples, but what is a new government prepared to do to them to rectify the situation.

    Persuasion and logic have little or no effect so I would
    advocate selling off news and current affairs to the private sector. There they can sink or swim. The alternative is to envelope them in operational rules that force balance upon them. In simplistic terms equality of black and white. If they fail to get the message then their whole organisation should be forced down the commercial route and their tax collecting role should cease. Sad but they have created the very situation that is the cause of their own demise.

    1. Dominic
      June 21, 2019

      It’s important to understand the almost incestuous relationship between Labour, the BBC and Channel 4. It is this a new government needs to target and target it ruthlessly. You do this by removing funding from the taxpayer and obliterating the BBC’s structure

      Locate and destroy all the cunning methods by which Labour and the left feed off the taxpayer to fund their activities

      Abolish the Opt-in system in the public sector to cut off Labour’s funding. Let them seek their funding in the private sector

      The left at both local and national level need to targeted. Take no prisoners, destroy their funding

    2. jerry
      June 21, 2019

      @agricola; If [the BBC] fail to get the message then their whole organisation should be forced down the commercial route.

      But Ch4 is already operating in the commercial sector, and is even more biased than the BBC!

      Sky (News) has always been in the private sector, but is just as biased as both the BBC and Ch4 put together – and has always been so, first it was biased against the left but has more recently become biased against the right/Brexit.

      Bias (one sided debate) within the BBC has become far more of a problem because the BBC has been forced to embrace the commercial world since the 1980s, success being measured via audience ratings figures, having to apply both internal and external free-market thinking when sourcing content etc. The BBC needs to forced to revert back to its Reithian roots, not be forced to further copy the like of Ch4 or Sky…

  11. formula57
    June 21, 2019

    “The BBC is particularly bad.” – agreed. The rot set in years ago, certainly during the 1980’s, such that now it is likely beyond redemption.

    No chance of the government doing anything in response to the BBC’s demise I suppose?

    1. NickC
      June 21, 2019

      Formula57, I realised how bad the BBC was when a work colleague – a Trotskyist shop steward – was portrayed by the BBC as “an ordinary Midlands working man”. That was in the mid 1970s!

  12. Simeon
    June 21, 2019

    Your points about the MSM are legitimate. Even those print titles one might have higher hopes for are generally inadequate in terms of enlightening political discourse. But I would suggest that the political class (with precious few honourable exceptions) are complicit in this. Indeed, the PM elect is himself steeped in this tradition! But this is a democracy, and only the people themselves can make the choice to seek their information elsewhere. Some manage to do so, but there are others who, for entirely understandable and legitimate reasons, cannot or do not. Perhaps the present state of affairs is inevitable. Perhaps democracy and the dumbing down of political discourse go hand in hand.

    1. Norman
      June 21, 2019

      The once great BBC started with high ideals. It’s fall from grace reflects a trend in wider society, and epitomizes the default reaction to ‘conservatism’ – in essence, the old value system, that Reith* exemplified, and upon which Britain’s former greatness was founded. Modern conservatism is, sadly, at best a reactionary brake on the rampant apostasy now loosely identified as modern ‘liberalism’: it too has the potential to be dangerous, if pursued without deference to the Source of all good counsel.
      *The Latin inscription in the entrance hall of Broadcasting House translates: “This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director-General. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.”
      Apparently, Sir John Reith approved of the sentiment, though he wasn’t sure if the BBC could live up to it. He was unhappy with the inclusion of his name and asked if it could be removed. His misgivings concerning vain human nature were well-founded!

  13. Mike Stallard
    June 21, 2019

    The big question:
    If we just walk out on October 31st what will happen to the economy?
    This is simply not being discussed as far as I can see. There are snidey remarks about chickens and President Trump and a few clever dick comments about “the farmers”.
    Also endless bickering about tariffs.
    What is not being discussed is the big picture: can we survive?

    1. outsider
      June 21, 2019

      Yes Mike, We can survive. There will be short-term issues but nothing like the three-day week, if you are old enough to remember that. There will be extra costs that will probably absorb the savings from EU contributions for several years. There will be gainers and losers but we shall hear only about the losers, the costs and the inconveniences.
      The issue is whether we can re-motor the economy to longer-term prosperity instead of managing accelerating decline by pretending that we can continue to spend 4 per cent a year more than we produce indefinitely. That pretence is a fraud on the next generation.
      Making a success of life outside the EU depends on having a government that believes that those now being born can have a better future, that develops a constantly evolving plan and actively co-operates with business to take every new opportunity that would then be open to us.

      1. Mark B
        June 22, 2019

        Good post and one that reflects my views.

        Life in or out o of the EU will never be easy but, out of the EU we will be the masters of our destiny, and to me that is the key point.

  14. Andy
    June 21, 2019

    We would like intelligent debate.

    It is just not possible to have it with most Brexiteers anymore.

    You deny facts.

    You reject expertise.

    Many repeatedly lie. GATT 24 anyone?

    There are few credible Brexiteers left.

    Even so they are invited on TV and radio regularly anyway – where they are usually given free rein to spout falsehoods.

    Brexit has exposed huge failings in our broadcast news media.

    TV and radio are required to be impartial – to give each side a fair say.

    This has always assumed that both sides have an argument with equal merit.

    We now have one side which just lies, they think with impunity. So the system does not work.

    We have to make sure that those who have lied are ultimately held to account and brought to justice.

    That’ll wipe the smug smiles off their faces.

    1. NickC
      June 22, 2019


      We Leaves would like intelligent debate.

      It is just not possible to have it with Remains anymore.

      You deny facts.

      You reject expertise.

      Many repeatedly lie. GATT 24 anyone?

      There are no credible Remains left.

      Even so they are invited on TV and radio regularly anyway – where they are usually given free rein to spout falsehoods.

      Brexit has exposed huge failings in our broadcast news media.

      The BBC are required to be impartial – to give each side a fair say.

      This has always assumed that both sides have an argument with equal merit.

      We now have one side which just lies, they think with impunity. So the system does not work.

      We have to make sure that those who have lied are ultimately held to account and brought to justice.

      That’ll wipe the smug smiles off their faces.

  15. J Bush
    June 21, 2019

    MSM journalists behave the way they do, and I specifically refer to the BBC and Ch4, because of the EU ‘funding’ they receive.

    The same principle can be applied to many of the UK ‘politicians’. Their conflict of interest should have been declared a long time ago and automatically excluded them from any participation in the debate/vote. This principle should also apply to politicians who regularly attend Bilderberg meetings and will not supply agenda or minutes data. Afterall, if there is nothing insidious being decided in these meetings, why withhold it?

    A similar debate exclusion should be applied to quangos in receipt of EU funding, such as the CBI.

    It is no use them complaining, it won’t wash. They are the cause of the lack of Trust.

  16. David in Kent
    June 21, 2019

    While I agree with our hosts’ position it should be said that I hear tales of the Home Office treating EU residents who want to stay badly, giving them a hard time with lots of paperwork to fill in. One friend and his wife, married, 2 PhDs and 4 degrees between them, speak excellent English, culturally assimilated. Regarded as unskilled because they are young and so don’t earn enough.

  17. Roy Grainger
    June 21, 2019

    When Rory Stewart actually lost votes and was eliminated in the previous round he said it was because he was so popular and his campaign had been picking up momentum. Work that one out. Honestly, the media fall for snake-oil salesmen like him and Blair hook line and sinker – for a while at least.

  18. agricola
    June 21, 2019

    Now we have only two candidates for PM will we get the opportunity to hear what each really believes in. The Conservative Party at large really needs to know to enable them to come to a decision.

    Will they be allowed to develope their policy and direction or will they be drowned out by self promoting interviewers more interested in controversy and sound bites. I would question whether the decision making process actually benefits from the intervention of these left wing inquisators, because the arguement is within the party, a mere 160, 000 members. Why bother allowing the media at all the constituency meetings where their aim is to cause controversy and obtain an irrelevant headline. I hope the party members give the media who step out of line a difficult time.

    A suggestion for clarity in this diary at least. Why not invite each candidate to submit a piece on how we should leave the EU and the future of our relationship with it. This way the feedback might act as a weather vane on their direction minus the carping of the largely left wing media.

  19. Lifelogic
    June 21, 2019

    Alistair Burt on Newsnight last night (suppporting Hunt of course) objected to being called “a remainer” insisting on “a former remainer”. Could someone explain to him that May’s putrid W/A is not leaving in any real sense at all and Hunt will clearly not leave? As a lawyer he surely should be able to see that but perhaps he has not read it?

    I see that Hunt was head boy at school (as indeed was A Burt). I am always slightly suspicous of the people who seek or attain such positions – but perhaps that is just my experience at school. They usually go on to read PPE, Law or similar then perhaps into politics (or religion sometimes), rather than something perhaps sounder and like physics, medicine, maths or engineering.

    Hunt is called the NHS WRECKER on the front page of the Mirror today. Hardly, the NHS dire state monopoly was appalling & broken when he took over. But in five years he did not do anything significant to sort of the dire state monopoly and give people freedom and choice. All he did was to endless appologise for its general incompetence (he did this quite well).

    What is needed ugently is some sensible tax breaks to get people to insure and/or go privately so as to lighten the load on the NHS and to bring more money into healthcare in general. Plus address the lunacy of Hammond pension tax cap that makes people retire or not work and his 12% tax on medical insurance. 20% up recently. Thank goodness May and Hammond will finally be gone soon.

  20. jerry
    June 21, 2019

    Funny how the BBC, reinvented by Thatcherites (post Milne’s time as DG), has become the thorn in the side of Thatcherites, nice own goal, a dumbed down, utterly PC, leftist BBC…

  21. Everhopeful
    June 21, 2019

    The BBC ..a malign force forever.
    Basically a cultural Marxist outfit which has worked tirelessly to convince the English that they are worthless.
    Very early on “Watch with Mother” and the like…hiving children off from their culture.
    Later on “Top of the Pops” etc.
    Every sit com aimed at undermining us…which it has done very effectively.
    Every damaging state project hammered home relentlessly.
    (And yes, I know every lefty argument against this viewpoint).
    The television was always used as a state tool. Why would the BBC suddenly undergo a change with regard to Brexit? It has always been anti nation state and pro The Project.

  22. Kenneth
    June 21, 2019

    The BBC bizarrely treats its news output like it is a newspaper complete with an “angle” and plenty of its own opinions.

    Unfortunately for the BBC, its political position is not just in the minority. Much worse than that, it is in the hold of a narrow sect of borderless-world weirdoes that are a cross between 6th form dreamers and new Marxists.

    How did this sect get control of powerful transmitters and loads of our money?

    1. David Maples
      June 21, 2019


      Because once there are enough of them on the payroll, they begin to colonise the interview panels, shred the CV’s of people they don’t like the look of, and then ask bear trap questions of the applicants, such as, “How would you account for consensus politics in Britain shifting to the left since 1997?” And, hey presto, you have the BBC equivalent of Pravda and Izvestia!

  23. Everhopeful
    June 21, 2019

    Remain MPs want to give away £39bn they neither owe..
    NOR OWN!

  24. Kevin
    June 21, 2019

    The term “elite” has been thrown around a lot to describe those who have been
    obstructing Brexit. “Elite”, however, implies possession of some ability. What is
    most clear is that the current Parliament is incapable of managing the
    mandated change. BBC has been criticised for its hosting of Tuesday’s debate,
    yet, unlike Mr. Farage on Marr, no candidate took control of the situation.

  25. Alan Jutson
    June 21, 2019

    Agree with your post today John, quite honestly there has been little or no real debate at all, it has all just been scare and denial, people have had to rely upon outside sources to try and get some facts themselves.
    Hence the reason why your site has grown in popularity.

    1. Fed up with the bull
      June 21, 2019

      Agree Alan. I have learnt more from this site both from John’s entries and that of the contributors than I have from watching the news or reading the papers. I look at this site everyday..

      I too think John would make a great chancellor. I hope Boris gets it right and realises that the future of the Tory party lies in his hands now.

  26. Bryan Harris
    June 21, 2019

    How much more evidence is required of the anti-UK BBC’s bias – They were acting to their own agenda… but this is how they attempt to indoctrinate us at all times – They think viewers are stupid and need to be told what to think – They are a disgrace… as are the other media.

    Talking about indoctrination – that advert by a well known bank – Starts with ‘H’ – that tells us that it’s: ‘not time for putting down the shutters’ should not be allowed. Clearly it tries to influence weak minds to stay hooked up to the EU, because the bank likes it. Shouldn’t the cost of that advert be counted against the ‘STAY’ campaign, because it has absolutely nothing to do with banking facilities.

  27. George Brooks
    June 21, 2019

    Tory in Cumbria’s comment has to have been written by Rory Stewart. Absolute rubbish and totally defeatist.

    The BBC is constantly trying to inflict damage on our country in a vane attempt to stop it’s audience shrinking. If the news and current affairs department was put ( I can’t say sold, as I can’t think who would want to buy it except the EU until we are out) in the private sector it would go bust in a very short space of time.

    The Mansion House incident is a classic example. The BBC is making a meal of it because it was a government minister involved. If it been an ordinary member of the public removing the protester it would have got 2 to 3 minutes of coverage but now, it will be stirred up and run until they have run out ideas and avenues.

    Sir Peter Bottomley has asked the BBC to run the clip from 1988 when a protester came into a BBC studio during a live broadcast. Ten hours later and nothing has been shown, but if it had supported their story they would have found it minutes.

  28. Richard1
    June 21, 2019

    Need to sort out what the answer is on GATT 24. It’s become one of those issues where people interpret it according to what they want it to say – remain people say it doesn’t apply and leave says it allows zero tariffs on WTO brexit. Perhaps we will only find out when we get there. To my eyes it seems to say if you are in principle in discussion on an FTA it applies & there will therefore be a legal mechanism for continued zero tariffs with the EU – assuming of course that the EU wants that.

  29. Newmania
    June 21, 2019

    Why not take the BBC under the control of the Brexit State ( when you have got rid of Parliament might be a good time ) .Better still get rid of it entirely . I will not miss the wall to wall Nigel Farrage , the necessity of treating morons as if they were not morons and thinly disguised BNP mob bawling gibberish on Question Time
    If you want a Channel for Sun Readers then you can pay for it
    PS -Alternatively it might be financed by adverts for Stair Lifts, Bungalows and revolting porcelain depictions of 18th century village life.

    1. Arthur Wrightiss
      June 21, 2019

      Blimey !
      You need a holiday in somewhere suitable for your tastes.
      I’m told Venezuela is nice at this time of year.

    2. L Jones
      June 21, 2019

      Sneering snobbery is a very unattractive trait. Can’t you recognise it in yourself?

    3. Tad Davison
      June 21, 2019

      I really don’t get these apologists for the BBC. The state broadcaster has an ideal opportunity to produce the finest and most evenly-balanced subjective political coverage anywhere, and free from advertisements, yet it has allowed itself to degenerate into an arrogant sneering ‘we know best’ mouthpiece for the liberal left.

      It just needs to be even-handed, but were it so, the luvvies who now run it would be thrown into contortions and derision. And listening to the comments made by other broadcasters who do more for less, the BBC is hopelessly bloated and overstaffed and does not therefore give value for money.

      I often recall the job advertisement for a managerial assistant at an inflated salary of many tens of thousands of pounds per annum, and the job description read, ‘to assist the manager in making their decisions’. I always thought that the job of a manager was to make decisions on their own initiative hence the word ‘manager’, and if they couldn’t, then they weren’t suitable in the first place!

      1. Fred H
        June 21, 2019

        TAD….you missed the point. The ad was for someone to the job, while the Manager could play with influencing everything from eco to natural disasters, leftie dimwit ideology to private education, poverty to multimillionaires, religion to white supremacy.

    4. BillM
      June 21, 2019

      Better still, why not just commercialise the BBC? Let’s stop them robbing the poor and the unemployed of £154 per year and rising. We no longer need a TV licence which is mere cover for funding the BBC with £3.5 Billions per year.

      1. graham1946
        June 21, 2019

        Trouble is, future commercialisations will not be on the old ITV model of adverts paying for the service, but on the Sky model where you pay a much higher subscription fee and still have to sit through five minutes of adverts every quarter of an hour. If it were done on a cost only basis involving adverts between programmes and with product placements it would work well, but would inevitably rob ITV of some of its revenue.

  30. William Long
    June 21, 2019

    Perhaps Mr Hammond fancies the job of Chairman of the BBC – he would fit in well!

  31. hans christian ivers
    June 21, 2019

    Sir JR,

    There are some interesting considerations in your piece but I believe these issues are rather minor to the fact, that this quarter we will have no growth and it looks very like we will have no growth in the third quarter as well, which will put us in recession. For the sake of the prosperity of our population and future, this becomes much more important than a tiring debate, which we have all hard enough about.

    1. L Jones
      June 21, 2019

      It is always disappointing when someone who obviously reveres the EU doesn’t balance their put-down or criticism of the UK – or doom-mongering – with a follow-up paragraph…
      ”Whereas, in the European Union….. ”

    2. NickC
      June 21, 2019

      Hans, I have not noticed you “debating” anything worthwhile. Your forte is to wag your finger, like any pompous official, at commenters without citing facts, or developing a rational argument. Then when you get your compliment returned you wail foul. And that is all typical of Remain. You obviously do have an emotional commitment to your rotten EU empire, you just cannot articulate any reasons for it.

    3. Dennis
      June 21, 2019

      If only – negative growth would of course be better – a grossly overpopulated country wanting growth to further deplete the environment/resources shows it’s death wish.

  32. Tweeter_L
    June 21, 2019

    Similarly, after the usual “leaving without a deal would be catastrophic” remark, I have never heard an interviewer ask the follow-up questions as to exactly how and why, they just leave it at that. And anyway one would think by now that serious interviewers would stop using or allowing the term “deal” for the Withdrawal Agreement or treaty: it’s disingenuous as the term “deal” implies a much more comprehensive and mutually beneficial arrangement than it is.

    1. Doug Powell
      June 21, 2019

      The Remoaners ‘on-message’ expression for leaving the EU seems to be: “…CRASH out of the EU!”

  33. hardlymatters
    June 21, 2019

    Same old nonsense- why they want to give away 39 Billion we do not owe

    Am saving these old clips so that I can stick them up your nose in six months time- idiot

  34. Christine
    June 21, 2019

    The continuity candidate Hunt = the demise of the Conservative party. The more radical candidate Boris = a chance your party will survive. I’m sure party members will see this and vote accordingly. Both candidates need to take control of the debate and be allowed to set out their vision for the future of our country. This means boycotting the BBC and C4 who have proved their inadequacies. Use media outlets like LBC with great interviewers like Iain Dale and Nick Ferrari. Is Boris up to it and will he deliver? This all depends who he picks to serve in his cabinet. He needs to clear out most of the current cabinet and replace with MPs who have a vision of the benefits Brexit can bring. Next he needs to turn to the next election. To win this he needs to be bold and do a deal with The Brexit Party. Tactical voting is the only way to keep Corbyn out.

  35. BillM
    June 21, 2019

    Nobody has ever asked the BBC the question “Why”? Why do they always adopt such a contrary position to that of the majority? Why do they so manipulate debates in order to get the biggest coverage for the left wingers? Why never provide a balanced opinion?
    The way they have conducted themselves over the past years, even past decades, displays a media outlet more in keeping with the old USSR TV and Radio controller, Gosteleradio, who as the State controller of USSR broadcasting, dictated the stories and arranged the interviews. And we can all see just how impartial they would have been.
    Just who actually runs and controls our own State Radio and TV broadcaster?

  36. Foodie
    June 21, 2019

    There is never any mention of why an American institution and others would after receiving in an ongoing way from professionals in the field of medicine, healthcare, and consumer safety choose deliberately in continuing the chlorination of certain foods.

    1. NickC
      June 21, 2019

      Foodie, Fog in the Atlantic, America cut off??

  37. David Maples
    June 21, 2019

    At the risk of repeating myself, all those economically illiterate, remainer arguments for staying in the EU, are a red herring. The real reason they do not want to leave is, as Tom Watson let slip the other day, because they believe Brussels is a vehicle for guaranteeing their human(and invariably minority)rights. They are convinced that having left, Parliament will be taken over by the Right, to the legislative disadvantage of those approving the social revolution inspired by Roy Jenkins in the 60’s and 70’s. Essentially, they have more faith in the Commission and Council than in than in the ‘Mother of Parliaments’….very foolish.
    Regrettably, the standard of education, knowledge of history and political economy, and general level of, and commitment to, a library of knowledge acquired by systematic reading, is shockingly inadequate in these latter days.

  38. BR
    June 21, 2019

    Hear! Hear!

    I’ve stopped watching BBC news and stopped reading their website since Brexit. Why am I paying a licence fee? Enforced subscription.

    I have actually given up trying to find a balanced outlet – even Reuters uses terms such as ‘crashing out’. So I gave in and read the Express and Mail online with an eye on your web site and Guido, which perform an essential public service.

    I also gave up on Conservative Home is over-moderated in all the wrong ways.

    Are there any other outlets for news that are worthy of the name?

    1. jane4brexit
      June 21, 2019

      The Conservative Woman which points out it supports the philosophy not the party, it has lots of male readers and excellent commentators too, and Breitbart London are the two I enjoy as well as those you listed.

  39. BR
    June 21, 2019

    By the way, anyone who’s ever complained to the BBC will have heard that they no longer have editors doing… well, editing, they have an ‘editorial policy’.

    This seems to be at the root of all their problems. How can you check if someone is being balanced across all the articles they write, or if the corporation is balanced as a whole across its coverage, let alone the neutrality of an individual article… if all you do is produce a document and ask people to follow the rules without checking?

    Ofcom are seriously unfit for purpose (rather like the Electoral Commission, which I understand is stuffed with Labourites).

  40. Gareth Warren
    June 21, 2019

    I have long since given up on the BBC and would dearly be allowed to own a tv without requiring to pay them a significant sum of money.

    There seems to me a significant amount of time between now and 31st October that needs to be filled, so this issue should be addressed. I would also like to see some free speech laws passed to cover social media. This would have the benefit of lowering the workload for the police and encouraging people to debate online more freely. A side benefit is we get to know reprehensible people, as the BBC debate had two such characters (their views were utterly vile, but the vBBC was happy for them to speak on their channel!), and keep them away from responsible positions.

    I do think the whole topic of tariffs has been ignored, I read we paid £3.4 billion last year, assuming this was the net figure then we paid £2.7 billion additional to the EU. Noting western Europe was the worst performing continent apart from Antarctica I’d love to hear a remainer explain why this payment is good value. If we ceased EU, import tariff give aways and needless foreign aid we would be a much more prosperous country.

    I note also that the official reason we block chlorine washed chicken is because “it encourages low food safety standards”. By the same logic we should ban seat belts on cars as they encourage crashes…

    Here I am a little careful on which FTA’s we sign, historically they often impose requirements on us and the EU as an FTA is an example of going far to far to the point of inflicting harm. I do not know much about the TPP, but if it imposes controls on us I’d rather avoid it for now – the pain of the EU is fresh!

    I think there is a case for tariffs to be made, they are never good, but taxes must be raised and sometimes I would argue a tariff is the least worse choice. They also encourage others to sign FTA’s to open up their markets.

    I hope your advice (and indeed person) is clearly heeded at the treasury, if he fill up the parliamentary timetable between now and October freeing people from BBC tax and giving freedom of speech on social media we will give no time to the remainer obstructions to brexit.

    Lastly, another piece of legislation that would garner cross party support is a bill to force MPs who switch parties (including being ejected) to face a by election. This party has several rather despicable MPs who I would argue no longer represent their constituencies.

  41. forthurst
    June 21, 2019

    Were it only “craven servitude”; those who wish us to be incorporated into the EU superstate espouse the same lack of patriotism and respect for our interests as a nation that motivated those in previous generations who believed that we should be incorporated into the Bolshevik Empire and worked towards that end. The parallels between the two regimes are far stronger than the divergences and one suspects so with the adherents. Sovereignty cannot be pooled; it simply disappears into the clutches of the unelected with a talent for malefaction.

  42. Dominic
    June 21, 2019

    Douglas Murray writes that he believes the BBC is deliberately encouraging violence, fear and intimidation. He is correct in that assertion

    The BBC is culpable

    We need a PM that crushes this organisation into the dirt, privatises it and neutralises its poisonous effect

    Under commercial restrictions it can then do what it likes, say what it likes.

  43. Heather Phillips
    June 21, 2019

    You make a very valid point about chlorine in the water supply. For a number of years we have bought bottled water to drink with our meals. This is not because we object to tap water per se, but we prefer not to consume water, the odour of which resembles the contents of a swimming pool! The smell of chlorine from the tap is very noticeable indeed.

  44. Paul McGreevy
    June 23, 2019

    Sir John, If the BBC are behaving in this way why the hell aren’t you and your fellow MP’s getting very vocal about it and tackling the broadcasting authority and promising to address this partisan unfair behaviour. The BBC is state owned, force it to report in a balanced way and stop moving the political discourse further to the left and driving us mad with political correctness. Conservatives are too scared to hold Conservative views any more. Zero emissions garbage is going to bankrupt us. Why the hell are you all standing by and letting this happen.

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