5 Live and Brexit

On Brexit night  I spent 10pm  to 11.30pm  on  5 Live

Their idea of balance was to have reporters in Parliament Square (pro Brexit) balanced by the Scottish SNP Remain  demonstration in Glasgow (anti Brexit) and a protest on the Irish border (anti Brexit) where no-one was around at the protest for the programme! So it was designed to be two against one  as if Remain had won. It is also questionable whether you need to balance Remain and Leave now as if there were still a referendum under way, when the public have endorsed Leave again in a General election and it is now government policy. The official Labour Opposition was not out and about complaining  on exit night  about Brexit so there was no official party source to voice opposition to this national event.

They took pro and anti Brexit calls in turn. They failed to understand the pro Brexit callers who largely took the view that they had voted to belong to an independent democratic country and who instead were treated to detailed points about trade issues on various questionable forecasts and told they would be worse off. Although I gave them positives for Brexit and suggested they put those to the Remain  callers they did not  do so. I asked them to join me in discussing the advantages of Brexit which they promised to do but did not do. They seemed unhappy when I started to reel off a few of the potential wins  we have once we are free.

It is most difficult to hold a sensible public debate when leading broadcast organisations cannot understand either what Leave means or understand why people wish to live in a  free democratic and independent country. As I explained we can be better  off once out properly, but that will depend on how we use our freedoms. I expect this government to help us be better off, but if any future UK government fails  then the joy of democracy is they can be removed and  replaced by a government that does know how to make us better off. This is something we were never able to do to the makers of EU policies like the ERM which did so much damage to our prosperity.

When as a young man I was on the losing side of the EEC referendum I accepted the democratic verdict. I did not object to the issue of a celebratory coin nor to the entirely pro EEC bias of the media after the result. Then the establishment regarded the policy and its endorsement as a matter for national rejoicing, not to provide an opportunity for the losing side to go on and on about why we were right all along. No-one suggested we might like a second go because the winning side had not stressed  the truth about how this was something much more than a common market, when they assured us our sovereignty was not at risk. No-one asked us to explain how we felt about it all.

I have received complaints about the BBC Brexit night coverage. I  expect the government to propose decriminalising non payment of the licence fee soon.

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213 Comments

  1. GilesB
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    The Cultural Marxists have taken over all of the pillars of the British establishment: the media, schools, the church, the civil service, universities, and the great charities like the National Trust, the Scouts, Oxfam.

    All of them are obsessed with identity politics, globalisation, and equality of outcome.

    Democratic values of liberty, individualism, and equality of opportunity face existential threats.

    The BBC licence fee is a minor distraction: a boil on the backside of the beast.

    We need a new Bill of Rights that enshrines freedom of speech and banishes hate speech. And a cull of the Boards of Management of ALL of the above institutions not just the BBC

    • DOMINIC
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. An article in today’s Con-Woman shows the disturbing influence of some of these groups and how they are influencing State regulations in education and social policy

      How has it come to this when even a cursory discussion of these most important issues is defined as a criminal offence?

      We look to the Tory party to instill common-sense and decency into public life. Your party has failed the silent public and you have climbed into bed with the liberal left to protect the Tory party

      • Man of Kent
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Absolutely !
        +1

        • Chris
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Totally agree, Dominic.

      • Atlas
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Agreed.

        Why is it that I have to subsidise the BBC, with its consistent bias, in a way that I do not have to do for print newspapers? One does not have to pay for a Guardian if one wants to read any other newspaper.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Who are this “we” that “need” these totalitarian dictatorial measures, in the style of Erdogan’s Turkey?

      What is the central command, which would come into say, a northern city council over the heads of the democratically-elected councillors, to decide that the staff that they had selected should be dismissed?

      Or that the Welsh and Scottish Assemblies should have all their autonomy removed?

      Normal people take note. The poster above is entirely serious.

      • SM
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Since when do councillors ‘select’ Borough employees? Isn’t that what a Council Chief Executive is for?

      • NickC
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Who are these supposedly “normal people” that “need” these totalitarian dictatorial measures from Remain and the EU?

        What is the central command, which would come into say, a northern city council over the heads of the democratically-elected councillors? Or that the UK Parliament should have all its autonomy removed at the whim of EU ideologists?

        It is of course it is the EU empire. Real normal people take note. The commenter above is entirely serious. We have had a very narrow escape from the clutches of EU totalitarianism.

    • turboterrier
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Giles B

      Yotally agree with you.

      • turboterrier
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Should have read I totally.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I thought that you were a Frank Ifield fan for a moment.

    • Chris
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Well said, GilesB.

    • BOF
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Good comment GilesB.

      Beware the hate speech. It is a great excuse to tie up police, with many sitting comfortably trawling the internet in search of ‘thought crime’ instead of fighting real crime. There was always law to cover those crimes and hate speech was simply a great excuse for politicians to add yet more reims of virtue signalling legislation.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        It’s interesting, that of crime, just ONE category, fraud, is estimated to cost the UK about £183 billion a year, or around eight percent of GDP, according to a recent study based on research by University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, Europe’s premier research centre concerning fraud.

        That’s over ten times as much as overseas aid costs each year, and more than the TOTAL contributions to the European Union since we joined, and yet you never hear about that on the BBC.

        Have you ever wondered why?

        You and your mind are just playthings to the Establishment.

        • NickC
          Posted February 4, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          Martin, That is whataboutery. There are already laws against fraud. Up until now there has not been any laws against the EU.

    • Stephen
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      “…enshrines freedom of speech and banishes hate speech.”
      Please explain.

      • matthu
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps he means “banishes the concept of hate speech”?

    • agricola
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      100% correct. These cultural Marxists have also created Political Correctness to ensure that you cannot argue against anything they have created. They know that satire could devastate them so through their arm of propaganda the BBC they have banned it. Our politicians are also terrified of putting their voices above the parapet lest they suffer the vile dishonest fate of Enoch Powell who history has proved correct but understated.

    • jerry
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      @GilesB; “We need a new Bill of Rights that enshrines freedom of speech and banishes hate speech.”

      Free speech, but at the same time not free speech….

    • Everhopeful
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      How on earth can you have “freedom of speech” and banish “hate speech”.
      So called “hate speech” is just a totally subjective way of controlling one’s political opponents and imposing a particular dogma. It is an arbitrary recalibration morality in favour of the regime.
      The decision to outlaw particular words can not live alongside “freedom of speech”.
      You either have complete freedom of speech or you don’t.
      No halfway house!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        *of morality.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Well, libel and defamation laws protect individuals, but there is not a similar law for whole categories of people such as races, religions, those of varying political views etc.

        It’s only fair that they should be protected from those trying to spread lies about them too, in order to encourage others to hate them.

        You are still allowed to tell the truth, so I don’t see what the beef is.

        Most of the silliness is down to individual police misapplying the law, not the law.

        • jerry
          Posted February 4, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          @MiC; The problem is anything can be defined as “Hate” speech, there can be no real test of facts, just opinion, unlike say libel and defamation laws. Something said as a joke can be taken as such by everyone else present bar one thus the joke becomes a crime.

          “Most of the silliness is down to individual police misapplying the law, not the law.”

          But the police can’;t do anything else, so much have the police become politicised, and made far worse now we have elected police Commissioners. The silliness comes from politicians bowing to minorities unnecessarily.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            Could you quote an instance of anyone being prosecuted for saying something which is factually true, and which does not incite or threaten a crime either?

          • jerry
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

            @MiC; Yes I could, with the permission of our host, but yet again you totally miss the real issues, hence why you tried to switch the debate to Incitement rather than Hate.

            Why should someone have a right to feel, or even be, offended by mere words or an otherwise non-violent remote actions, such as in a internet video?

            In one 2002 case I could cite the defendant appears to have been expressing his (no doubt deeply held) religious beliefs by peacefully holding up a placard in the street, some passers-by became angry and caused the actual disturbance by attacking the said defendant, yet it was the placard holder who was arrested, charged and found guilty of a “Hate” crime.

    • glen cullen
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Your words have my full support

    • BJC
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Well said, GilesB. The EU allocate an obscene budget for their slick propaganda and have used it throughout Europe for the implementation of the Marxist policy of “the long march through the institutions”. It’s been hugely successful as they’ve infiltrated every corner of our society through indoctrination in our schools, universities, think-tanks, media etc and many now have an unquestioning belief that the EU has the answer to every question. The EU should be likened to a cult because it’s just as dangerous.

      • Chris
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, BJC.

    • forthurst
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry but JR is only offering to make us better off and if in future there is failure on that score, we the electorate will be allowed to play musical chairs with the LibLabCon Party: which head of this Gorgon believes in free speech?

      Give us a fair democratic system in which votes equal seats and the English would take back their birthright of speaking freely in short order and that is what the malevolent men hiding behind the curtain most fear: populist government.

    • Leaver
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I agree. We must ban the Remainer hate speech.

      • Leaver
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Though there is always the risk of Remainer judges letting the Remainers off.

        • Fred H
          Posted February 4, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          a risk, or certainty?

    • Matt
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      John. We don’t need to scrap the BBC, nor do we need to ‘decriminalise non payment’ of the TV license. All we need to do is pin the license squarely and solely onto the BBC. Remove the ‘all live TV broadcasts’ bit from the law (as it stands) and make the television license applicable only to people who are watching the BBC. It has exactly the same outcome as the other options with none of the hassle. Think about it.

    • Matt
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      You concentrate on the ‘freedom to’ and ignore the ‘freedom from’. A bill of rights is exactly the kind of ‘freedom to’ that the cultural Marxists crave, it won’t take long for them to be adding ‘amendments’ – see America for examples. It’s want freedom from government in most aspects of my life. This ‘bill of rights’ should simply contain areas that government are not allowed to legislate on. Ever.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    We live in a new century where independent, unbiased news reporting and factual discussion is dead. Even the one news organisation that trumpets independence as its main strength is deluding itself. The BBC should be privatised and made to live off its product, the same as every other news/entertainment organisation.

    I see the Channel Islands are taking back control of their fishing grounds, how are we assisting them?

    Mrs Von der Layen talks about a ‘level playing field’. I take that as meaning our schedule of duties, tariffs, quotas and any other impediment to our imports, will be the same for the EU as for all other nations. People trade, politicians frustrate trade. We will no doubt find goods cheaper from non EU suppliers.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      The battle is not yet over with the ‘remainers’! We may have legally left, but it is hard to believe that watching TV debates etc.

      And yes, coverage of Brexit day night was appalling! I found some good coverage on Saturday morning…Sky News Australia! The rest of the world are clearly pleased for us, we just need to rid us of the miserable Remainer mindset on TV!

      And I agree wholeheartedly with Giles B about the Cultural Marxism and their grip on our country! We do need a new Bill of Rights and to withdraw from the European Court if Human Rights! A most absurd organisation for a country such as ours with Rights aplenty! It seems to have the opposite affect most of the time, giving rights to criminals and not the majority of law abiding citizens.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Sky News Australia are a breath of fresh air
        Dr Kevin Donnelly has written a book about how Political Correctness is destroying our society
        It’s published in Australia but I might have to resort to ordering it from there

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Why are you still obsessing about the European Union?

      This country has left. It has no MEPs, Commissioner, Ministers, nor a seat in the European Council any longer. The people of this country can no longer propose their own laws via its Citizens’ Initiative – you’d never even heard of that, had you, I suspect?

      I doubt that any official there cares much what English MPs such as John think any longer.

      The wonderful thing is, that The Brexit Party etc. will lose twenty to thirty million euros or so over the term, in salaries and in expenses, from the good people of the European Union, however.

      • NickC
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Martin, So why are you still obsessing about the EU empire?

        • Fred H
          Posted February 4, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          who cares anyway, has to fill his day somehow.

      • Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        M-in-C – as discourteous and spiteful as ever. I do wonder why our host allows so many of his posts to pass moderation. Sometimes he says something sensible and worth considering – but most times it is just an excuse to spout patronising bile. As above.

        This is a pity, Sir John – his remarks do little to provoke argument, and a lot to provoke anger against shallow-minded remainers such as he.

    • agricola
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      I always understood that the Channel Islands and the France had an agreement on who could fish where, how, when and for what. One assumes that this will continue. Perhaps someone close to fishing in the islands could inform us of the real situation. Looking at the Channel chart the islands are not within UK territorial waters. Nor is their currency, while looking like ours, readily exchageable with ours. Never in all the times I have sailed there has there been any problem in spending my pounds.

  3. Andy
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    And then they came for the media.

    And the experts. And the judges. And then the civil service. And so begins the formation of every regime.

    For the 40 years we were in the EU I noticed you on TV and radio regularly. And Iain Duncan Smith. And Jenkin. And Cash. Question Time was a second home for Farage – a man noted for repeated electoral failure in Westminster.

    By your reckoning there was no need to have any of you on, ever. The questions of our membership of the EU and its predecessors settled in a referendum and NINE subsequent general elections. All overwhelmingly in favour of membership.

    I do not doubt this Tory regime will try to go for the BBC and Channel 4. Already we have seen Cummings bypass journalists – as all regimes do – by taking their propaganda direct to the people. The people are clever enough to know what is happening and will stop you.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      The experts on Bristol Council who predicted civil unrest when we left Andy ?

    • mickc
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Pleased you now accept that the people are wise enough to make proper decisions….

    • agricola
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Para 1. Only the BBC and its funding ,to return it to its Reithian principals, or let its Guardianista tendencies thrive in the commercial world.
      Para 2. Experts should be subjected to expert scrutiny. Judges should judge according to the law, not make it up to suit themselves. Civil servants should be servants to the government of the day and the people. They should never aspire to be a political force.
      Para 3. Question Time was invariably run on a 5 to 1 basis including the chairperson in the 5. They also had a habit of slanting audiences. Farage a man of integrity whose strength gave us the 2016 referendum, and then overwhelmingly voiced the British disquiet at the direction of and lack of democracy within the EU.
      Para 4. It was dear Nigel whose persistence woke us to the iniquities of the EU and produced the verdict of 2016.
      Para 5. For once you might be inadvertently right. The people are on red alert for any deviation of direction or dilution of our departure from the EU. Such would be an open door for Nigel to draw attention to any wavering. Sit back Andy and enjoy the ride, we are on our way.

      • agricola
        Posted February 4, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        Someone has to take on the trolls. If you won’t, moderate those who will.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Since the Brexit Party MEPs and the likes of Hannan no longer represent anyone, there is not the flimsiest pretext for giving them these unchallenged platforms to spout their distortions, Andy.

      Do you think that we’ve seen the last of them on the BBC though?

      • Richard1
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        What an extraordinary post. We see and hear from all sorts of people who aren’t MPs or MEPs.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          OK, why should we not hear more from Dominic Grieve, say, then?

          After all, he has held high public office as Attorney General and been an elected MP to the UK Parliament, unlike Nigel Farage, hasn’t he?

      • agricola
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        To your last question , no. I detect that the BBC have already begun to smell what is cooking in the kitchen ,even if they find it indigestible. However I hope they will be forced to cook their own gruel.

      • jerry
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        @MiC; Same applies to all ex MEPs, and all ex MPs for that matter, so why did the ex LD leader get an interview, and why have I seen ex Green MEPs, even a never elected ex Downing Street press secretary being interviewed on the media giving their pro-EU opinions? Could it be such people offer a little expertise to the otherwise dire and continuous pontifications from the MSM.

        Very few are asking for people to be banned from the airwaves, all we’re asking for is balance.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Yes, but the point is that Farage appeared more on the BBC than any other politician pre referendum, and now some people are aggrieved that it does not continue, laughably.

          That is not “balance”.

          • jerry
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

            @MiC; I note what you did there, switch to the pre-referendum period, nice try but it failed.

            Care to tell us who got the majority of the airtime since the referendum, Leave or Remain voices?…

          • Fred H
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            try tuning to a different channel from BBC – now we understand why you are so obsessed.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Support for de-criminalising the license fee is running at c. 80%. A mandatory poll tax to fund a tendentious campaigning media organisation is a democratic outrage.

      It’s only left wing activists and that small snarling minority of continuity Remain types who are desperate to see Brexit fail who think it’s justifiable to have this extraordinarily in-built bias on such a major issue.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        All poll taxes, such as the Tory Council Tax still is in essence, are an outrage.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          I suggest you brief yourself on the Council Tax before you make such an idiotic comment, MiC

        • steve
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          MiC

          Have to agree with that one.

          Perhaps it would be fairer, if for example, you were dissatisfied with the service you receive for the money….you couldn’t be forced to pay for it, same as with any other service you have to pay money for.

          Local authorities would have to buck their ideas up or not get paid.

          Though by all accounts this is the fate that awaits the BBC, and not before time.

          • Fred H
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            Small Claims Court? You did not receive the services promised either at all, or of a satisfactory standard. Go for it.

    • JimS
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Remind me again, which major party stood on an anti-EU platform during those nine elections? Wasn’t it a choice of Blue-EU, Red-EU or Yellow-EU?

      Funnily enough I can’t recall the programmes where Redwood, Duncan Smith, Jenkin and Cash sat on the panel against the lone voice of Clarke yet we never saw any attempt to even achieve parity of opinion before or indeed after the referendum.

      Surely one must also question the motives of the BBC in decking out its Newsnight ‘brexit’ programme studio in blue and gold?

      • Andy
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Your point? If there had been mass demands to leave the EU a party would have stood on that platform. And none ever did.

        I remember regularly hearing from the Eurosceptics during that time. They have not got any less boring or are not any less wrong than they have always been.

        • NickC
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          Andy, There was a mass demand to leave the EU. On 23 June 2016. No UK party has managed more “mass” than the 17.4 million. Ever.

        • steve
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          Well you are in the company of eurosceptics here, so if you find us boring why not consider doing something better with your time ?

          Amateur rocketry perhaps.

          • Fred H
            Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

            or boatbuilding to escape England on the high seas of the channel?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        Ukip was going since 1993.

        It used to poll what it rightly deserved, until the US-owned and offshore billionaire-owned UK press etc. threw its billions behind a campaign of grotesque anti-European Union distortions.

        • NickC
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          Martin, What anti-EU distortions are they? Where are these £billions? Evidence, not opinions please. UKIP won the EU elections in 2014, and its successor the Brexit party won in 2019. And Leave won the 2016 Referendum. Isn’t it about time you came out of the denial stage?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            JimS’s claim was that there was no anti-European Party for which he could vote for much of the UK’s membership.

            Prior to ukip there was the Referendum Party too.

            He is wrong, therefore.

            You want to discuss an invented topic unrelated to that.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Dear Andy, Newmania, Maggs and Martin

      You have all been consistently wrong about everything, its about time you went quiet and reflected about your utter detachment from reality

      What was it you told us about the car industry?

      Nissan’s reported Brexit contingency plan:
      ▪️Cease manufacturing in France
      ▪️Close its Barcelona factory
      ▪️Move production of the Micra from France to the UK
      ▪️Maintain its Sunderland plant where the Japanese car maker employs 6,000 people

      The City still seems to be here too

      ps Andy in the 21st century the news channels are no longer controlled by media organisations, hence we know whats happening in France, Sweden, Belgium etc even though none of the TV media have reported it

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      You ignore the fact that we won by the ballot box and the BBC still refuses to accept it.

      Left wing commenters appear as guests and are allowed freedom to speak uninterrupted. Commenters such as the capable historian Peter Hitchens appear and they must be escorted on the sofa by the BBC’s John Snow ( who told his daughters “Women engaged in dogfights in Spitfires in WW2”) who hectors him throughout his interview to provide ‘facts’ ‘for balance’.

      The Tories must rid us of a biased, propagandist, tax-funded *state* broadcaster and cut them loose to fund themselves.

      What’s wrong with that ? The BBC can still exist. It’s just got to stop being a *state* broadcaster. It has abused its rights.

      Totally the opposite of what you suggest, as usual.

      180 degrees Andy.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Odd version of a “regime” andy, when we the voters have given the Conservatives a huge majority of 80 MPs

      But of course your concept of democracy is different to other peoples.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        “We the voters” haven’t, the unrepresentative system did. 43.6% does not represent a majority.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          The Conservatives would still have s majority under any PR system you care to want imposed Peter.
          Under most PR elections the winning party has less than 43.6%

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            If that is the case, please provide specific examples to support your assertion. Where PR systems are used in the UK, the evidence shows that what you claim is wrong. For example, the Holyrood Parliament where the SNP got 46.5% of the vote in the last elections and do not have a majority.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

            You are the one posting endlessly on here about PR
            You do the research.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            I have, but it is not up to me to support your arguments if you can’t back them up yourself.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        My concept of democracy is one where every vote counts equally and every voter has an equal stake in determining the outcome of a general election.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          Like my vote under a PR system where I vote for one party because I like their main policies yet after the election they drop most of them to gain power and a few odd or extreme parties with a few MPs get a few of their policies shoe horned in.
          Yeah that great democratic system.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            It’s a grown up concept called compromise. It’s a natural part of life and negotiations (in business and in politics). If one party isn’t capable of getting the support of the majority of those who vote, they don’t merit being able to govern alone and should expect to work with others to implement common policies which did command the support of the majority.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            Depends how you define majority.
            I like the winner to be the one with the most votes.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            I define a majority to be a majority of the people.

            No majority of the people = no right to govern alone because you don’t command the support of the majority.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            So 10 parties take part in an election and you add up all the votes for the nine and say they won because they got a total of more votes than the winning party,
            Hilarious logic.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted February 5, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            Yes, because those 9 combined represent the majority. Equally, there would be nothing to stop the largest (I don’t equate “largest” with “winning” – to win outright they should secure a majority of the votes) party joining with any of those 9 to form a government. In either case, you now have a government which represents the majority of the votes.

            I don’t consider it democratic that a “majority” government can get its mandate from little more than a third of the votes, as happened in 2005 and 2015, meaning nearly twice as many voters voted for the opposition.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 5, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

            So in a horse race the winner isn’t the winner but all the other horses won.

            In our system we have opposition MPs and they get involved in the workings of Parliament and sit on important committees which affect legislation and policy.
            And then there is the next election looming which makes governments, even ones with large majorities, realise they have to carefully consider views of voters who did not vote for them as well as maintain the support of those who did.
            You like PR
            I don’t

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted February 5, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            Elections aren’t horse races, they are (or should be) about the people electing their representatives.

            I believe those representatives should be representative of the wishes of the people. You, clearly do not.

            Winning the most votes doesn’t guarantee winning elections, even under First Past The Post. Just ask Hilary Clinton.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        So how “huge” was Labour’s majority in 1997* then, Edward?

        I don’t recall anyone saying that the Tories were finished on the BBC back then, though, do you?

        *They had four hundred and eighteen MPs

        That’s well into a three-figure majority. And we’ll be back too.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          Which Labour won on a lower share of the vote than Johnson got in 2019, which just goes to reinforce the fact that, in the UK, whether your vote has any value or not is dependent entirely on where you live.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            People vote the way they do knowing the rules.
            A safe seat is one where a large majority like a particular party.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I agree.

            However, I was addressing the claim often being made, and on the BBC, that losing by eighty seats means that a party is “finished”.

            They never said that when the Tories did far worse in 1997.

            It’s a digression.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          I never said Labour are finished Martin
          What are you talking about?
          You have got “too many posts in a day syndrome”

    • Martyn G
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      …..bypass journalists – as all regimes do – by taking their propaganda direct to the people. The reason for that Andy was and still is that the BBC in particular and MSM in general effectively try to shut out those who aligned themselves with the idea of national sovereignty e.g. the disgraceful, disrespectful way the BBC refused to broadcast the PM’s speech to the nation at the time of implementing Brexit.

      • Andy
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Johnson did not make a speech on Brexit night. If he had done it would have been broadcast in full. Instead broadcasters and journalists were refused entry. Johnson’s team recorded their own video and posted it on social media. None of the TV news broadcasters ever show more than short clips of such propaganda videos – whichever party leader it is that makes them.

        Today Johnson did make a speech, broadcasters and journalists were invited and the BBC showed all of it on the news channel. I watched it all. And then this afternoon the regime decided to exclude selected journalists. They all walked out in protests.

        This government doesn’t like journalists because it can’t answer questions. And it can’t answers questions because its policies are ridiculous. It would be better for the country if all of you realised the threat that this poses to our democracy – but, instead, you’ll now doubt choose to believe the fake news you read on Facebook.

        • Richard1
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          I watched his speech also. It was rather good. And there were plenty of journalists there. Apparently some briefing had been arranged later for a group of journalists and some others blagged their way into No 10, uninvited. So they were asked to leave. What do you suppose would have happened to someone doing that eg in the Elysée Palace? You lot really are getting desperate.

    • NickC
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Andy, The UK has been in the EU (EEC?EC) for 47 years, not 40 as you claim. Farage was on QT often as a lone voice; other Leave politicians seldom got the chance. Even after the Leave win, QT was heavily biased toward Remain.

      General elections are not normally indicative for a specific policy – people vote for the parties for a variety of reasons and policies. The latest GE was slightly different in that the main policy of the Tory winners was the unmistakeable “Get Brexit done!”. Remarkably, Labour voters switched because of that clarity.

      No one is “coming for” the media, the experts, the judges, or the civil service. They will still be there at the end of this government; and you merely look silly claiming otherwise.

      If by “the media” you mean the BBC then, given its bias in favour of Remain (which you confirm) it is little wonder that Boris bypasses it. You don’t accept what Mahyar Tousi says, so there is no reason for Boris to accede to the BBC world view either. It’s a free country again, even though you don’t understand.

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      I assume Andy supports this pronunciamiento from El Presidente this morning (according to the Telegraph) though:

      “Diesel and petrol cars to be banned five years earlier than expected”

      (2035 vs 2040)

    • steve
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      “For the 40 years we were in the EU”

      Incorrect.

      Try again, and if you get it right you might begin to understand why people voted to leave.

  4. Shirley
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Why are so many organisations, especially the main stream media, against us being a sovereign self governing nation? The ‘reasons’ given do not hold water, but yet they dominate every aspect of our lives.

    One thing the EU is very good at, and that is creating some sort of religious fervour (or maybe making an individuals personal finances more ‘comfortable?) that convinces some people that being in the EU is the ONLY way to exist.

    We need to start educating people about the benefits of sovereignty and that means stopping all the the pro-EU garbage pushed onto school children and students by teachers, lecturers and professors. The EU is getting very close to Orwells groupthink.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Shirley

      “The EU is getting very close to Orwells groupthink.”

      Reading one or two reader comments on this thread proves that! Some of the rhetoric is completely illogical and untrue.

      • agricola
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Yes Sharon. From a European’s stance their relatively short experience of democracy allows the EU to sell them a very dishonest version of it. The ruling classes of Europe have a history of contempt for democracy having seen it working in the UK and USA, but having largely disdained it before 1945 in many cases, and even later for Eastern Europe. I do not include Greece who invented it.

        • Mitchel
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17/18th centuries had a far more liberal/democratic constitution than England at the time -elected King,wider voting base and extensive right of veto over decisions of either king or Sejm(parliament).Unfortunately,it led to the “Polish Anarchy”,which destroyed the state and Polish independence.

          I can see a vague connection between the Polish Anarchy and what has been going on in UK in recent times!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Shirley, “balance” is not the allowing of one utter fallacy to be stated alongside every fact unchallenged.

      Sadly, the BBC allowed exactly that prior to the referendum.

      It was rightly condemned, but too late.

      For instance, that “the people only voted on a Common Market in 1975”. That is utter rubbish. The pamphlet sent to every single address explained the EC’s aims, and they are those to which John objected at the time, and described in his recent post.

      Reply The whole 1975 debate was framed by the statement that we were just in a common market and that our sovereignty would not be affected!

      • Edward2
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        I’ve seen that pamflet.
        It never said our aim is the United States or Europe with over 30 members.
        Nor did it mention the ambition for an army, embassies,an anthem a flag, five unelected Presidents.and huge law making powers.
        We were lied to back then.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        So did someone post a pamphlet saying that to every single electoral address, John? They did not, did they? No, quite the reverse, and you objected by voting against those clearly expressed EC intentions at the time, as you kindly describe a few posts ago.

        I’ll give you ERG types this – you do have some neck.

        Reply The whole debate and media content was to reassure we would not lose sovereignty and would always have a veto.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          Haha! Well, we’ve certainly given up the latter now eh, John?

          European Union military here we come!

          And jolly good too.

        • James Snell
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Why can’t you just forget about the EU- we have left

        • Andy
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          We didn’t lose sovereignty and we did have a veto.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply. Exactly right John. I remember it well thinking that it couldn’t be a bad move when we were only talking about trade and not moving towards a single state. Great news about Nissan and cars for the UK.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Sunderland will indeed be fortunate if that proposal comes to be.

          It will be an economic lifesaver for the city, quite literally.

          Pity that the Ford workers at Bridgend won’t be so lucky, along with thousands more.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

            They make combustion engines there mainly.
            You being a green lefty should be in favour of it closing martin.

      • NickC
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Martin, I have a copy of the 1975 government pamphlet, signed by Harold Wilson. It did not “explain the EC’s aims” as the EU has developed since then at all. You are making it up, and not for the first time. Quite the contrary the leaflet sought to allay fears for example by calling the EC the “common market” all the way through, and by stating: “Britain can veto any proposal” which is a startling lie given QMV.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted February 4, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Read it again then.

  5. DOMINIC
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Hear, hear. Confront the Remain vested interest that’s infected many aspects of the State and associated organisations, expose their strategy and then pass laws to neuter them.

    Decriminalization of non-payment of the BBC tax is well overdue but more needs to be done to dilute their power to pump out propaganda. The BBC must be dismantled and rebuilt with a much reduced remit.

    Those so called progressive forces that have captured the BBC have also captured many areas of public life and government departments.

    • cynic
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      I have never understood why the BBC was created in the first place. Why does a democratic country have a state owned broadcaster ( which used to have a monopoly)?

      • Bob
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        @cynic
        When TVs were first invented there was no content to watch, so the govt invented the BBC and the TV Licence to fund it. In latter years the Frankfurt School Long Marchers infiltrated and captured the corporation to turn it into a propaganda outlet thereby using the Licence Fee money to fund their activity and at the same create and enrich “celebrities” that pushed their agenda and support failing pseudo liberal newspapers like the Guardian. Anyone who spoke against their objectives would be smeared and/or demonised; the customary Marxist technique.

      • graham1946
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        It was a different era. There was no money to be made, only huge costs and many held that t.v. was a fad which would pass. Had it been left to the market, t.v. and broadcasting in general would never have taken off. It was originally designed to educate (impartially) and entertain, but this noble aim has been subverted over the years to what we have now, mostly run by uni types who bring all the left wing bias they have been educated with.

  6. Norman
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The BBC has so many strengths and talents – such a pity their bias is now so blatant and entrenched. But thank you, Sir John for taking them on!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      The few strengths they do have are are alas totally out weighed by their absurd bias on politics, economics, climate alarmism, the PC/Woke agenda, their economic agenda, there anti US and Trump slant, and their anti-democratic, pro EU agenda. Completely wrong and deluded on everyone one these issues. During the election they even discussed the Mc Donnall economic agenda as if it were remotely sensible rather then impossible economic lunacy.

      Listen to their political programmes, the news slant and so called comedy programmes for some of the most absurd bias.

    • dixie
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      I agree there are some areas of the BBC that might be worth saving. But it has been ruined by the political and progressive filth that have exploited it’s special position and corrupted it’s role thinking they are untouchable.

      Time to reach out and touch, demonstrate they are neither untouchable nor invulnerable, de-criminalise the licence fee before removing it entirely and replacing it with subscription based services. All existing material is to be transferred to a trust for free access by UK citizens.

    • Fred H
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      many strengths and talents. Really? name them!
      Oh of course. Its a finely tuned propaganda machine – only Putin would consider an equal.

      • Norman
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        I agree with all the above objections – I do a weekly 3 hour journey twice a week for the past two years and listen to the news bulletins and a few other programmes, plus the computer ‘News’ bulletin morning and evening, which is full of so-called ‘progressive liberal propaganda’ of the most pernicious kind. I find it quite sickening – even the Archers!
        But the technical talent is there – albeit sadly high-jacked. For an example of excellent journalism, I would cite Quentin Somerville, for his reporting of the humanitarian aspects of the conflict in Syria. I think it important to acknowledge those who are who are trying to hold the line from within an organisation that has seen better days.

      • Dennis
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps curate’s eggs but what about, R3, World Service, R4, BBC 4?

        • Bob
          Posted February 5, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          If it’s any good then people will subscribe to it voluntarily.

  7. Mark B
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill. The argument to Leave the EU is over. The battle to actually Leave the EU has now begun.

    Proposing to decriminalise is not the same as shall be when it comes to the TV Tax. And what does it propose to replace it with ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      What do you propose?

      Cutting through the bedrock, attaching buoyancy, and towing the UK to the middle of the Pacific?

      Because nothing else will change the proximity impact of the world’s richest market.

  8. agricola
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    The problem is not with Leave or Remain, there always being two sides to any argument/debate until it is put to the vote and a way forward decided upon. The problem is with the media. Some forms, such as newspapers, with their own tale to tell are acceptable. There is no compulsion to buy or read, you can indulge in the whole gamut of opinion and make up your own mind.

    The case is entirely different with the broadcast media. Yes you can watch Sky, ITV, Channel 4, or the BBC, but everyone is forced to buy into the BBC. It is like being forced to buy and support the Guardian before being allowed to read read any other publication. That the BBC is a left wing liberal propagandist that slants everything in its news output and its debate programmes to support that narrow view is not in question or a problem. The problem is that we are taxed to support it, and it has been allowed to grow from being the national and world broadcaster whose integrety could be trusted into what it is today. It has happened, because like the EU , it has suited the purpose of the establishment. The establishment have been called to account over their support of the EU. It is now time to call them to account over their propaganda arm the BBC. Its news and current affairs arm must be forced to become self funding, just like the Guardian. The rest of it, which exposes its political bias at times should be put out to subscription and or advertising. If viewers record what they wish to watch the tedium of advertising can be skipped through .

    PC is yet another arm of those who would control the way we think. It has killed satire, the humourus way in which the establishment is held to account. Think Yes Minister and TWTWTW. The PC cuffs need to be removed from satire and anyone who disagrees with the society we have had forced upon us by unscrupulous politicians.

    Lets debate the above and subject it to the opinions of the electorate.

    • agricola
      Posted February 4, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      This form of moderation censoship is not becoming, when you consider much of the troll crap you publish.

  9. mickc
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    The MSM is dying, happily. Less and less notice is taken of it. The future is with direct communication of ideas via the internet and social media, without the message being distorted by “journalists” with their own agenda.

  10. Alan Jutson
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    BBC1 was also dire, focussing on exactly the same, but with the Studio decked out in Blue and Gold with an EU Star as the backdrop.

    Little shown of the celebrations in Parliament Square, no speeches covered, just a very short part clip of Farage singing the the National Anthem with gusto, and probably after the Producer got fed up with that, they cut back with lots of reports about possible problems during the next stage of talks, majoring on the uncertainty of the outcome of the trade talks which have not even started !

    Channel 4 was equally as dire with pathetic school kid type humour, but I suppose at least I did not have to pay for it.

    Agree with Brexit or not, it was a key moment in our history which deserved better coverage than it got, be it a serious discussion with facts and interviews, or simply coverage of what was happening in Parliament Square at the time.

    Eventually had to go onto the internet to see and hear Boris Speech.

    “Self opinionated presenters and so called experts” are the problem, along with producers and media companies who promote them.

    The Brussels Broadcasting Company was in full swing again on the night, as usual.

  11. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    When the BBC choose to they can still produce great programmes. Lately though many are turning into left wing thinking drivel. We are bombarded with anti Brexit propaganda even after we are out, there is virtually zero coverage on the riots in France or the economies of our European neighbours. Just a constant attack on democracy and Britain. People are sick of the brainwashing everytime they switch on. I am disgusted in the content shown so early in the evenings of programmes such as Eastenders – complete drivel but wonder about the effect on young people and the standards it sets. The bbc needs reigning in and the licence fee scrapped. It has outgrown it’s usefulness.

  12. Jiminyjim
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The MSM has thrown ALL common sense to the wind and has been unhinged by the sensible decision of the People.
    I recently heard a Remain politician explain away the fact that post referendum forecasts were wrong, by saying that the Bank of England had taken action to prevent any downturn. So it’s perfectly normal to produce forecasts that assume the authorities will see the economy deteriorate and yet do absolutely nothing.
    The problem is that there is not one single MSM outlet that presents a more balanced approach.

  13. Ian Wilson
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    BBC bias is a disgrace and an overhaul of funding overdue.

    Conservative Woman has a disturbing piece about the BBC teaming up with Greenpeace to interfere in the work of UK Export Finance. The government need to stamp on this fast.

    I lodged a complaint with the BBC over their prominent reporting last week about melting of Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier which not once mentioned nearby volcanic activity and thus rendered the story meaningless. I suggested, tongue-in-cheek as it won’t happen, they redress the balance by giving similar prominence to the story that 13 out of 13 reporting stations on the Antarctic Peninsular show falling temperatures over the last 21 years. Could it be climate has started COOLING?

    • rose
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Next ice age due in under three thousand years. When it comes, we won’t be able to stop it. We should make the most of this benign period we are in – they only last about 15 thousand years.

  14. Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    De criminalise but that still means it will be a civil debt. Get ready for them going through the small claims courts spending our money, no doubt to be added to any judgement followed by ratcheting up of the amount owed and then potentially bailiffs, attachments etc not forgetting a ruined credit history.

    Ok. No criminal record but is the above what you want as an alternative? Doesn’t seem much of a loss to the Beeb?

    Ps any news of a fire service budget? Do you think it exists?

    Reply Still waiting for it

    • Pete S
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      You got it in one, scap the license is the only option.

  15. Garland
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    There you go again, banging on about the past. You won the referendum OK, stop complaining. It seems you always want to play the victim. Try doing something constructive, like trying to do a deal with some of the countries we had a free trade agreement with until last Friday

    Reply We are still under EU trade rules and agreements. The UK government has arranged for the roll over of FTAs from the EU to us when we leave the customs union at the end of 2020

    • Paulus
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Scandalously untrue!, The UK governemt has been told, eg by Japan and Canada, that the deals will NOT be rolled over, and the UK has no chance of getting as good a deal as the EU

      • NickC
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Paulus, No they haven’t. There are, naturally, claims and jockeying for the 2020 negotiations on both sides. We cannot be “told” as an independent nation. This isn’t the EU any more, you know. At least Japan and Canada don’t aim to rule us like the EU continues to want to do. And don’t forget (#remainthick) any new trade deal cannot take effect until 1 Jan 2020.

  16. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    There is more money and viewing figures in misery than in pragmatism Sir John.

    The media knows that viewers will listen in to find more information on how we will deal with a problem than business continuing.

    Add to that the populist portrayal of leavers as narrow minded bigots and those ivory towered, wanna-be samaritans in the media can only bring themselves to side with the “single market” and homogenisation.

  17. steadyeddie
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Can we please move on. I voted remain but now accept that we have left, so why are you even asking questions about balance. It seems to me that Leavers have to keep bleating because they are not confident that the result will benefit the UK in the long run.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Rubbish !
      We Leavers were denied our Celebration ,which is not triumphalism, of an historic event .
      What is wrong with that ?

      The media only allowed us to Commiserate with Remainers ,the poor dears who lost and still do not accept the result.

      I have every confidence that our politics will become more responsive over time as our lawmakers can no longer blame the EU for poor decisions .Yes this will take time but I am confident that gradually we will learn again to think for ourselves .
      Thank goodness!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Nothing whatsoever stopped you from coming together, as did a million pro-Europeans to march on London, for instance.

        It’s just that you couldn’t organise a shoe fight at a jumble sale, nor much else.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          We didn’t need to.
          It was all sorted by the Government.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted February 4, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            What, they arranged a knees-up and drinks for seventeen million?

            When was that?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 5, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

            No
            Demonstrations work when a group is protesting against something.
            The Government is leaving the EU so there is no demand or desire for a million to march in London.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      The BBC have not moved on all. Still just the same bias and not just on HS2. Stuffed with daft innumerate Liberal Arts graduates with zero grasp of science pushing lefty climate alarmism, pro EU and PC drivel even now every single day.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Not just on the “EU” I meant! Though mostly the BBC does seem to foolishly support HS2 too. As did all four of the people on Question Time the other day. This despite the fact that almost none of the public do. The economic and environmental case for it is absurd. Even the usually sensible John now Baron Mann.

    • NickC
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Steadyeddie, Sly, ain’tcha? If you want to move on you need to have a word with the usual EU ideologues on here and in the media. Unlike 2016, this time we Leaves are not going to trust the job is done until we are really fully separated from the EU empire, and seen to be.

  18. villaking
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Has it not occurred to you that balance might be defined by regional balance? You may not be aware but the UK and England are not the same thing! I suppose the title of this blog is a bit of a giveaway but for your information, the BBC also has to consider these things. And if you think the media should not give attention to views of those who do not adhere to government policy then what sort of democracy is this? Farage had plenty of air time when Brexit was not government policy, was the BBC biased against remain in those days?

    • NickC
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Villaking, Farage is not the only Leave politician by a long way. Where were all the others? About 84% of the UK’s population lives in England. Maybe the BBC, and you, should consider these things.

      Bias is in the eye of the beholder. That’s why the BBC must become independent so that those who want the BBC pay for it, and don’t expect viewers of other TV channels to subsidise them.

  19. Alec
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    It is outrageous that an extremely leftist propaganda organisation has the power to extract money from people under the threat of kidnap in any country. I continually receive threatening letters despite the fact that I do not watch television and haven’t for more than a decade and a half. If a private company did so I would have taken legal action against them many years ago. I suspect that when the BBC’s threats are no longer backed up by government thugs they will have a massve funding crisis. I can’t wait.

  20. Alison
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The BBC’s news and comment output is extremely worrying, both in bias and selectivity. It does seem to me that some of its programmes are aiming to do our country down – indeed, that they are doing PR for the EU.
    Up in Scotland most people I know, in particular Brexiteers, chose to rejoice and celebrate quietly at home, away from botheration. There was a good gathering in George Square, very close to the pro-Remain ‘vigil’ on Buchanan Street in Glasgow. I don’t suppose 5Live ventured to George Square.

    • NickC
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Alison, A lot of us went to pubs or private parties.

  21. Everhopeful
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Very much afraid that we are reaping the very bitter harvest of a Marxist education system.
    The children who were indoctrinated with hatred of their country ( and that is a very fearsome thing to witness) and who were taught that they were European first and that the EU was the epicentre of moral rectitude……those children are now in charge of everything.
    All this has been allowed by successive govts.
    A huge amount to unravel.
    Neutralise the BBC pdq.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Someone (Iain Dale I think) mentioned some new BBC horrible history programme in relation to this indoctrination and questioned why on earth the BBC were doing this.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Good to see Nick Ferrari’s campaign to change the laws to deal properly with deluded organisations like Extinction Rebellion. Surely the criminal law need to deal with them properly. Perhaps make them pay for the £20 ? millions they have wasted on the policing of their activities.

    At least the terrorist in Streatham did not bring a plane down with 300 people on it or something similar. Are the government going to keep releasing these people and just accept the stabbings and any deaths as unfortunate collateral damage?

    • rose
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Does the law need changing or do the judges need changing? There is a double standard in the way the police and judges apply the existing law. The discrepancy between how Tommy was treated on the one hand, and how Antifa, the MB, Hezbollah, the gang rapists, and Exctinction Rebellion are treated on the other, lead me to believe there is intimidation of the forces of law and order, and only unthreatening people get it in the neck. Applying the law equally to all must come back but it is going to be a big and dangerous task.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        I tend to agree. The idea that people can get off crimes like damaging crops or committing other criminal damage using the argument that they are flighting for a higher cause is absurd. In the way someone might justify breaking into a building to put a fire out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Over £40 million it seems.

  23. Roger Phillips
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Both the BBC and Sky news coverage on Brexit night was appalling and we switched off in favour of Ruptly tv live from Parliament square which simply focused on the celebrations. The BBC has sunk to an all time low with the British public and should be forced to adopt a subscription model rather than the current draconian license fee. On another subject Sir John could you please clarify exactly how much we have agreed to pay the EU for our “Divorce” settlement? There seems to be very little information available to us on this important subject other than pure speculation in the media.

    • Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      The website facts4eu.org (the link above, as given by our host) supplies a lot of these facts that you won’t find elsewhere.

  24. Robert McDonald
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Stage one of making the establishment accountable, decriminalising the BBC tax payments, and making civil servants responsible for their failures would be a suitable second move.

  25. ian terry
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    We often hear” When in a hole stop digging”

    The BBC have not dug a hole, they have dug their own grave.

    The sooner it is laid to rest the better for everyone. No flowers please.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Good post Ian

  26. Kevin
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    “I asked them to join me in discussing the advantages of Brexit which they promised to do but did not do.”

    Is there anything to be gained from appearing on such programmes?

    P.S.: 333 days till the Conservatives’ gift to the EU of legislative power over the UK expires;
    or,
    1,063 days, if Boris offers it the three-year, “premium vassalage”, upgrade.

  27. Annette
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    The tantrum throwing BBC (& it’s been a LONG tantrum), with its obsessive mantra of “EU good, UK independence bad” coverage coupled with its seemingly deliberate omission of newsworthy events in EU countries (e.g. France, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy & Spain to name a few) and domestic events has had one outcome. Nobody believes them any more, and that’s no longer confined to just this country. If the BBC told me that the sky was blue today, I would have to go outside & check for myself. They are simply no longer trusted.

    It’s been most frustrating. I ‘expected’, after the referendum result, to see debates & analysis on our way forward, the negotiations & challenges to Ministers & MPs on what the details & implications of ‘that’ Withdrawal Treaty really meant. THAT is informing the Public. Instead we have had 3 and a half years of a kindergarden tantrum, in an attempt to tell us that we were all wrong with massive airtime to those trying to overturn a democratic mandate &, when a pro-leave person was on, cutting them short & attempting to denigrate them. What did we learn from them about leaving in this time? Nothing, as they were just rerunning the remain campaign & even continuing to use ‘facts’ that had long been debunked.

    As I understand it, for I was in Parliament Square, the BBC wouldn’t show the PM’s statement to the country, but instead had someone reading the words – similar to when the IRA were banned from our screens. What an absolute disgrace.

    Just like any relationship where trust has been broken, there comes a point when that trust can never return. The BBC has passed that point. I regard it as any other state propaganda broadcaster now, except in the BBC’s case it considers the EU to be the Government.
    Decriminalising the licence fee is not enough. This will also leave many people, often the less able or knowledgable, open to civil debt recovery, bailiffs & potential impacts on their credit scores. It might create greater problems for the less legally minded.

    Burying the charge in general taxation will not prevent the growing resentment of having to pay for what is now widely regarded as just globalist propaganda.
    IF the BBC is as good as it thinks & says it currently is, it will have no problem in being a subscription service as people would be willing to pay.

  28. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Waiting until they have to report Nissan, for example, looking at increasing its UK presence specifically because we are outside the EU Blob. Our problem is more going to be organising the investment influx appropriately than not having it.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      We really need to up the education and training direction and investment to indigenous folk to cope with the deluge of incoming jobs!
      Let’s discuss that!

    • Bob
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      “Nissan’s contingency plans for Brexit feature a sizable investment in the UK should a hard exit materialise”


      Daily Telegraph

      If the plan had been the other way around the BBC would have given it wall to wall coverage for weeks, but because it doesn’t fit their Project Fear theme the BBC have chosen to ignore it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        The BBC buried nearly every trace of England’s defeat to France in the Six Nations yesterday.

        I trust that you approve of that?

        • Fred H
          Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          where was that? – Dunkirk? – Dover? Six Nations fighting, who were the other four?

  29. Iain Moore
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    It was pretty much the same on BBC TV, where they thought an important voice at the celebrations was Vince Cable, numerous trips up to Scotland to see the rag bag Nats demonstration, get Iain Blackford on to spread his misery, trips to the Irish border, and perhaps most symbolic of all the BBC coverage was their reporter who asked some ladies celebrating our Brexit in Parliament square to comment on why there were so many white people there. Oh and they also refused to broadcast Boris’s Brexit message in full.

  30. Edwardm
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The BBC and other broadcasters are ever more blatantly anti-British, with the BBC now conditioning children against their own country.
    The BBC has forfeited its claim to its charter and to the licence fee. The organisation needs breaking up and rebuilt in reduced form and a reduced remit, financed by voluntary means.

    Any broadcaster who sneers and denigrates our country and distorts its history and outputs one-sided coverage (eg on climate change) should have their licence to broadcast removed.
    Why we have got such awful media and why we put up with it I don’t know. Time for change.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      What the equal pay agenda at the BBC has shown us is how grossly over paid and pensioned they nearly all are at the BBC – be they male or female.

  31. jerry
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The Andrew Marr show on Sunday was just as bad, if not worse, given the people interviewed, two major EU politicians plus the Labour shadow chancellor (all Remain) with just one Government minister (Leave), yes they wheeled out Mr Farage too but ‘reviewing’ the papers is hardly balancing the pro EU stance of the programme – this on an extended programme.

    I’m sorry to say but I’m not even sure the BBC is capable of understanding the problem so many people now have with the Corporation. Decriminalisation of the TVL fee is not going to change anything much, the BBC will still be able to hound those who do not have a TV or those who do not wish to use the non core PSB services. Radical reform is the only answer.

    • Stred
      Posted February 4, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      My Mrs has noticed that her debit for the TV license has been twice a year six months apart. She went back nine years and is owed £900 or more. They will not repay unless she sends her statements. The licences were in the same name and to the same address. I wonder how many other license payers have been double charged and am amazed that their system allows the same name and address to be charged more than once.

  32. ChrisS
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    The only way to make this Remoaner bias go away is for us to make an unqualified success of our return to being an independent sovereign country. However, for the next 11 months we will have to suffer constant bias from the BBC as we get through the trade negotiations.

    I suspect the initial negotiations might well last a much shorter time than everyone expects: no doubt Barnier will want to repeat his trick of demanding the “phasing” of the negotiations, to ensure that the interests of the EU are agreed up front. We know that accepting phasing is what doomed May’s efforts to failure from the very start.

    Although Boris has surprisingly made the same mistake as May in putting a civil servant in charge of the negotiations, he is never going to make the fatal mistake of agreeing to phasing. If Barnier again insists upon it, we will have to walk away until industrial and political pressures are applied across Europe to bring the EU back to the table with a more realistic attitude.

  33. Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I am right with you on the licence fee. Couldn’t come soon enough.

    I think this goes a long way to explaining the radio and t.v.’s bias:
    If – if – your Mum and Dad had scraped enough to send you to an independent school instead of the dreaded local Comp and you had then got into university in the 1990s, or if you had been one of the very few people in the local Comp who had worked very hard amidst the noise, the violence and the swearing and scraped a place in a University, wouldn’t you, too , have looked down on people who had never had that kind of upbringing, or that determination?
    “Stupid, idle, unpleasant people from the Comp!” you would think as you burnished your “working class” credentials in the studio. Now they have all voted idiotically too! We must see both sides and keep the flag of common sense flying – it happens to be blue with gold stars…

  34. Lifelogic
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    This BBC bias is however not just at the BBC, only about 50 people in the Lords supported Brexit, most of academia and state sector workers too tend to take the BBC line on the EU, climate alarmism, open door immigration and the general left wing, PC agenda. The Supreme Court seems to be unanimous in being pro EU. Even inventing new laws to try to stop Brexit. But then. ever since the dire Ted Heath virtually all the UK governments have been left wing, tax increasing and pro subsuming the UK deeper into the anti-democratic EU. It is they who have largely appointed these people. Cameron even put Lord Patton in to chair the BBC trustees as clear proof that he was another pro EU lefty and not the Cast Iron, low tax at heart EUsceptic he had claimed to be.

    I watched the other day Peter Shore in the Oxford Union EU debate on the referendum with Ted Heath and others. Why on earth were the people then so foolish as to vote to remain in the EU given the power of the arguments he and others advanced? Tricked into thinking it was just about free trade by the Heathites. Even Thatcher went along with it burying us more and more deeply in this socialist, anti-democratic mess. I suppose, in a way, we have to be grateful for the total (and predictable) disaster of John Major’s ERM (supported by the vast majority of the BBC and the establishment) for keeping us out of the EURO and helping the vote to leave.

  35. Ian @Barkham
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Like me, you grew up in a World were the definition of democracy and sovereignty meant something different. Although it was never fully achieved then it was a good way towards it.

    Most of the MsM pundits, presenters, producers have only ever experienced democracy and sovereignty in the way it has been force fed on them by some Dictating Overlord that interprets these things to ensure their own absolute power. Given that democracy is said to be ‘Government by the People for the People’ – in every way this is not permitted in the EU

    The MsM also loves to pitch their agenda as that in not wanting to belong to this Overlord Controlling Club, we the peoples of the UK are somehow against the people of the EU. Yet forgetting the People of the EU are not and don’t have any say or control of those that control their day-to-day lives. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

    The EU States are seemingly controlled by those that have arisen to power as all the other despots throughout history. ‘The People Love me’ as I let them appoint me.

    While we did in fact get to vote on joining the European Economic Community (EEC), that is all we voted for being part of a mutual trading block. It is what came next that no one in the UK voted for. It is the assumption of those in Parliament that they in fact no best that has corrupted our political system to take on all that is bad in the way the EU is Governed or should we say Ruled.

    I note the BBC is still smarting and becoming bitter and twisted that the People of the UK didn’t bend to their mantra. How many more votes do they need before they realize they are digging themselves into a hole with a no return ticket.

  36. a-tracy
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The BBC is not as blatant as C4 News I thought it would be safe to resume watching – no – the news anchor was saying on behalf of the British public did the German he was interviewing think Brexit was because the British don’t like Germans! I thought what the hell – you don’t speak for us if that is your view, Matt Frei, you should be presenting news not making it up yourself. So no more watching tv news again.

    To all the remain posters above telling JR to move on, he can’t move on because of the total fearmongering of the dedicated remain voters not moving on.

    • NickC
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      A-tracy, It seems the Remains want us to down tools as we did after the 2016 Referendum when we thought: ‘job done’. Once bit, twice shy – it’s not going to happen this time.

  37. ukretired123
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Whilst the Brexit Train has left the station ….

    The BBC is still behind the curve and not behind the country.

    For 50 years I never wanted to contribute to a corrupt EU.
    For the last 20 years I never wanted to contribute to its political arm, the BBC.

    Freedom of Choice please as we are not in a totalitarian state!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Me too.

  38. Doug Powell
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Right across the spectrum of BBC Television and Radio, the notion of impartiality stinks!

    On the very same 5Live, 2 presenters were saying they were going to Brussels on Brexit +1. One of them wondered light-heartedly, if their passports would be honoured? The other said, “Well, I also have an Irish Passport,” whereupon the first presenter, said “I also have an Irish Passport!” – Boy! Did they snigger, sneer and guffaw!

    This brings us to the question of dual or multiple citizenships? If British citizenship is not enough for someone, then it should be taken away from them. They should then have to apply for a work permit if they wish to remain here!

    “Who will rid us of this meddlesome broadcaster?”

  39. agricola
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant inspiring speech from Boris this morning laying out the principals involved in us becoming an independant sovereign state. The devil will be in the detail this time next year.

    By contrast Michael Barnier was headmasterly and pretty dull. I think his problem is that he is a dyed in the wool bureaucrat, bogged in detail, but little overall vision. The question for him is, can he be imbued with vision ranging beyond the protectionist constraints of the current EU.

    Watch this space.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      No, unlike Johnson he knows that his facts have to bear scrutiny. Nor can he propose anything which would threaten the Treaties.

      You evidently couldn’t care less what silly claims our PM makes, rather, the more fanciful they are the more overt your sycophancy.

    • rose
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Barnier is just the front man. Is Sabine Weyand still behind him? I think I spotted her in Downing St when Ursula von der Leyen came.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      It had some good points, but he was full of insane carbon neutral green crap (which means expensive energy, freezing pensioners and exporting jobs and whole industries to no carbon advantage in world terms). Also much talk of high standards in employment etc. which means expensive and uncompetitive red tape and lots of non jobs for parasitic workers lawyers, bureaucrats and the likes. Also nothing on the absurdly high tax levels, the bloated largely incompetent state sector or the dire and still declining public services. The appalling, virtual monopoly, NHS for example.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Or indeed the absurd joke of a criminal justice system that very nearly killed three people this morning.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Boris also lauded the minimum wage insanity that makes it illegal for people to work or even learn how to work (even if they want to) for less than £x per hour. What complete and utter lunacy.

    • WatchThisSpace
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Is that what you think this is- a popularity contest?

    • steve
      Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      agricola

      See your point, but from what I have seen Mr Barnier is acting in the interests of France alone. I suspect he and his kind will eventually fall foul of Germany’s outrage when she becomes the one nation expected to fund the whole caboodle now that we are out.

      Germany will soon wake up to the fact that the commission is french led and has been for decades. Barnier is a Gaullist without the griz nez, and no match for Mrs Merkel.

  40. formula57
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    “I expect the government to propose decriminalising non payment of the licence fee soon” – an overdue measure but very proper and welcome. This Government really is on the side of the people!

    Can we also put a stop to the monthly threat-o-grams and the powers to conduct a search of a non-licence holder’s home?

  41. David Maples
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    What was wrong with my comment re Remain and Bonaparte? You appear to have binned it.

  42. Chris S
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Listening to the World at One today, a UK chemical manufacturer was interviewed who said that 60% of his exports went to the EU. The questioning inevitably turned to the extra costs he will incur because of the Government’s determination not to follow EU rules and our trade to be managed with the ECJ as the final arbiter.

    Of course, the businessman went on about extra admin costs of about £1000 per product he exports to the EU that might be incurred but, strangely, neither the BBC interviewer or he mentioned the fact that his business has already benefited to a 15% improvement in the exchange rate since the referendum !

    That has already given him a massive improvement in profitability on the total value of his exports to the EU that is not available to his EU competitors.

  43. miami.mode
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    …..leading broadcast organisations cannot understand either what Leave means…..

    You can’t put it where it won’t go.

    Such is their slavish devotion that EU advocates will continually say how much better off we would have been in it and will blame every bit of bad news on our lack of membership.

  44. Jan Hoggarth
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Dear John,

    Decriminalisation of the licence fee is not the answer. I don’t object to a licence fee for a public broadcaster, indeed if it was doing its job properly the fee would be good value. In Norway the fee is just under £400 p.a., and it’s payable just for having a TV regardless of what you watch on it.

    What the government needs to do is to take steps to ensure that the BBC is a true public broadcaster, without bias, and presenting news, topical discussion and other services in a neutral way. Asking questions of the government of the day is part of this, but must be balanced by looking at all sides of the debate.

    What we need is News not Views. Once the BBC is free of EU funding they should be leading the way, and Ofcom should have responsibility for ensuring that all broadcasters follow suit. When I watch David Attenborough I’m happy to have a segment at the end showing us how the programme was made, or highlighting real issues such as plastic waste in the oceans. Now that it’s strayed into lecturing us on the ‘climate emergency’, when it’s disingenuous to claim that the science is settled or that there is a ‘consensus’, I’m inclined to switch off before it’s finished. If I listen to LBC for example, I am very clear that the presenter is putting forward their own views. The BBC makes a pretence of being neutral, when it is not.

    If this can be sorted out, complaints about the licence fee will reduce.

  45. Iain Moore
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Boris made a great speech today on trade, its rare that a British PM gets up and gives us some vision stuff, Boris also neatly turned the tables on the EU where he said he wouldn’t be demanding the EU meet us on our higher standards .

    But to bring it back to the subject here, in the questions afterwards it was noticeable how low on the media rankings Boris had put the BBC . First he called SKY, then Channel 4 , and after the Express, Sun etc, he then asked if there were any other question, only then were the BBC called. They had been reduced to ‘any other questions’. Its clear the BBC is not in the Boris team’s good books, and the BBC, rather than finding ways to improve relations have set out to dig themselves a deeper hole, with Nick Robinson bleating about not getting a minister on the Today programme, the disgraceful Horrible Histories, and not playing Boris’s Brexit message in full, in fact I have been told there were instances where they weren’t playing anything, but doing voice overs of it, which is how we sought to treat IRA terrorists, but the media disagreed and thought they should be heard. .

  46. Sea Warrior
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    The BBC must be sold off, Sir John. The de-criminalising non-payment of the licence fee is just an example of the government not doing enough to solve a problem.

  47. margaret howard
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    “Political reporters stage mass walkout from Downing Street Brexit briefing in protest at No10 trying to pick and choose who attends”

    And so it begins.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 4, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      I realise you love a good conspiracy theory Margaret but you are making far more of this than meets your eye.
      And I know you will refuse to accept Guido Fawkes but the site has an article on this subject worth reading.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 5, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Maggs

      Its the 21st century, we dont need biased, opinionated media to filtre our news, politicians can interact directly with the public, stop living in 1973 and join us in the real world

  48. Ex-Tory
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    The BBC still haven’t given up. Have you heard the anti-Brexit programme they broadcast on Radio 4 at 11 o’clock this morning? I’m appalled that I must contribute to their presenters’ salaries, and that if I don’t I’m committing a criminal offence. You really must do something about this, Sir John.

  49. Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I am not paying the BBC tax anymore. I refuse to fund the anti-British propaganda that demoralises the British people. The BBC is in contravention of its Charter. I will argue that case in Court in my own Defence if necessary, but it would be more edifying if the Govt. dealt with this decisively.

  50. steve
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    A well written article Mr Redwood, as always, and resonating with my sentiments.

    However I have arrived at the conclusion that the anti Brexit ‘side’ are sore losers, to be honest.

    Our PM has rightly and graciously asked that the nation reconcile. I’m sorry to say it doesn’t look like it will happen, we try our best to help these people understand that by working together we could make this country a great nation. Unfortunately they’re having none of it and instead acting like a bunch of spoilt crybabies.

    I say in that case it will be down to the rest of us who believe in our country to get the job done. Though I would add that when we do make something of this country, those who tried to destroy it should not have any of the benefits.

    As for the TV licence fee, I just heard on the news that government has approved a rise in the fee. I do hope that Boris is harbouring agenda to decriminalise it.

    Indeed media coverage of Brexit has been disgustingly biased. A damn good shake up is due.
    Starting with a complete purge of the state broadcaster, or achieve the same result by starving them of revenue via decriminalisation.

    We need to return the media and civil service to political neutrality.

  51. Helen Smith
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Not broadcasting the PMs speech about Brexit on Brexit night to the nation out of pique was quite shocking yet quite expected.

    I gave up the licence a year ago. I don’t regret that but it riles me that you can’t watch ITV live without paying the BBC and look to this government to stop that ASAP.

  52. Beecee
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    In questions after his speech this morning Ms Kuenssberg asked a typical BBC doom and gloom anti Brexit question which the PM rightly debunked.

    The BBC response?

    They relegated the PM’s speech the the second half of their 6 pm news bulletin.

    I do not think that the BBC fully understands that sometimes you have to stop digging!

  53. Fred H
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    OMG …..Sir John you said you would not publish should too many be provided.
    Then how come tonight I look through this subject to find possibly the most ever from Martin and Andy who I suspect are unemployed judging by the time they spend reading/writing their stuff.

  54. Pud
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    One of the excuses for the BBC being allowed to mug anyone watching TV is that the unique way it is funded means it can make programmes that wouldn’t be made by a commercial station. This doesn’t of course explain why some presenters are paid ludicrously high sums, e.g. Gary Lineker’s annual £1.75 million. This is over 10 times more than the Prime Minister is paid and I suggest most people would agree that running a country is a tad more difficult than being a football pundit. 11,327 licence payers’ contributions are required to fund Mr Lineker.

  55. Jasper
    Posted February 3, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    The Government should not just decriminalise non payment but the public should be given the choice if they want to subscribe to the BBC or not – the world has moved on and so should the BBC!!
    On another note, I was absolutely appalled by the coverage from the BBC Sky etc on Friday night – to the point I turned off and just read and contributed to all the positive comments on the telegraph! Listening to Alistair Campbell bleating on and on and the woman saying she was sad for her children because they couldn’t travel in Europe after we left really did finish me off! What on earth is wrong with these people??!!!!

  56. Mike Wilson
    Posted February 4, 2020 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Abolish the licence. Let those who want to watch BBC content pay for it It is outrageous that you need a licence to watch output from other content providers. It is an anachronism. Abolish it and put an end to the gravy train.

  57. Posted February 4, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I stopped paying the BBC tax last year, appalled that I was supporting such a biased and bloated beast. You can fill in an online declaration that you’re not going to watch live TV any more, or iplayer. They send you a refund for tax you’ve already paid in advance.

    There are a lot of horror stories of harassment from the T V licence people; so far I’ve had none, but in fear of such action I not only removed my TV aerial but also, with regret, got rid of my T V ( which I had intended to use to watch Netflix). It had BBC iplayer factory-installed on it, which you couldn’t delete. As far as I know, all modern TVs are the same.

    So decriminalisation (if it just means non-payment becomes a civil offence rather than a criminal one) needs to be introduced with official guidance on how to legally stop paying the unfair tax while still being able to watch subscription services on your TV. Also it is absurd that you have to pay the BBC tax in order to watch any live TV…even foreign broadcasters (even on your computer). The government must take responsibility for showing people how to legally avoid the BBC tax, because you can be sure the BBC won’t do it.

  • About John Redwood


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

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