Last week there was a break through. I was phoned by a Dail Mail journalist. He had read my website and wanted to write a piece about the overall increases in public spending in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
He wanted to know where he could verify my statement about the government’s own figures. I told him they were all in Table 1.1 of the OBR 2012 Report, p11. ( as well as elsewhere) He looked it up and expressed surprise that it was so close to the front and so prominent. I suggested it showed that most media commentators and journalists do not read the original documents. He duly wrote the piece, and the Mail on Saturday included comment on it in their leader, saying spending is too high.
At 10.35pm last night (11.35 adjusted) the BBC rang and asked me if I could appear to review the papers on the Marr show. I said I was committed in the constituency on Sunday morning so that was not possible. They said they wanted me to be able to repeat that spending is going up, in my view. I said the point it is it has been going up according to the government, so all they had to do was read it out and apologise for consistently implying that overall current spending was being cut. They said they were interviewing Danny Alexander in the morning. I bet they did not put to him that spending was going up – they still can bring themselves to admit what is obvious and fully reflected in the official documents. I would be interested to hear from anyone who saw their show.
They do not report news. The report spin, or the world as they imagine it to be.