“The devolutionaries”, the BBC and some difficult questions


You can rely on the BBC to side with the Lib Dems against England. Sure enough they are advertising a programme to chart the support they detect  for devolution of power to some great English cities. This betrays a lack of  understanding of why we need English votes for English issues now – the devolution of Income Tax to  Scotland.

If the purpose of more devolution is to create a better governed UK where people are happier being in the UK as a whole, then surely the place to give devolution to cities a trial is Glasgow. We know that Glasgow is the one city in the UK where a majority want to leave our country. Surely that would be the place to test out this devolution to cities? Why does the BBC only ever want to split up England, and never examines the case for splitting up Scotland?

Under the Lib Dem/BBC cities model there are two particularly hard questions for them to answer. The first is why only big cities? Why Newcastle and not Sunderland, or why Sunderland but not Reading, or why Reading but not Wokingham? Why no rural areas? Are people only capable of more self government if they chose to live in large urban areas?

The second is how many different rates of Income Tax do they want? If they want all in England to have the same rate, as they clearly want all in Scotland to have the same rate, why can’t England have a devolved system for deciding its rate of Income Tax as Scotland will have?



  1. Lifelogic
    October 10, 2014

    Well that is the BBC. It is what we expect: pro EU, anti English, high tax, big government, green crap to the core. But then Cameron clearly likes this or why else would he have appointed Lord Patten? Cameron is essentially a LibDem BBC think person just like Patten and Ken Clarke pretending (near elections) not to be.

    The BBC (and perhaps JR?) approach on Clacton/UKIP seems to be largely to ignore it. Or to say UKIP voters are just a protest vote, socially conservative, largely white (BBC code for racist), without a university education (BBC code for dim) and old (BBC code for irrelevant).

    The disconnect between the voters of Clacton and the “BBC think” Question Time panel & audience last night (BBC favourite Jeanette Winterson + LibLabCon) was huge. How do the BBC arrange such blatant bias?

    Voters want selective immigration, lower taxes, cheap non green energy, far less EU, far less government and more freedom – is this not clear enough to the BBC and LibLabCon? It seems not. Cameron just seem to want to lose on May 7th.

    Reply I thought the idea last night was to hold Question Time in Clacton and to let UKIP voters from Clacton make their points – at one stage Mr D was begging UKIP audience members to participate for that reason. The fact they went to Clacton, not to Heywood and Middleton, shows the BBC did want to give the UKIP phenomenon a good airing. The programme was largely about UKIP and there was a UKIP spokesman on the panel!

    1. Lifelogic
      October 10, 2014

      Where were the 60% of UKIP voters represented in the audience they could only find about 1?

      The panel was 3 lefty LibLabCon + lefty J Winterton all against UKIP. I agree Mr D (on this program) was fairer & rather less “BBC think” than he usually is. But how is the audience and panel selected to give such a huge imbalance?

      1. Cheshire Girl
        October 10, 2014

        Personally i was astonished that they could only find one UKIP supporter in the Question Time audience. I suspect there were more but they didnt dare say so.
        Jeanette Winterson is a well known ‘lefty’. I suspect she is not terribly well known to the Clacton audience, even though she has written some books.

        I cant honestly say that I thought the audience there was a cross section of the community. I have suspected this at other times while watching Question Time.

      2. Fred Finger
        October 10, 2014

        The BBC claim that their audience is representative. Well the BBC are huge liars, not only is the selected audience picked in a biased manner. How do I know, just view them and their reactions, not difficult to see their sympathies. This rarely reflects the likely political disposition of the location they are currently in. The second thing is the volume of applause of the lefties, they always sound louder yet seems to be out of all proportion to the overall audience.

      3. Robert Taggart
        October 10, 2014

        Oneself has applied twice in last eighteen years to join the QT audience.
        Both times the process involved filling in a form (a proper paper one) asking us about our previous and future voting.
        All the questions were answered honestly – BIG MISTAKE ! – they all pointed to a right of centre bias on our part.
        Result ? – no invitation to ‘come along’ – wonder why ? !!

        1. matthu
          October 10, 2014

          My most charitable interpretation is that the BBC is weighting the audience according to the last GE national split rather than updating the percentages according to the latest opinion polls … and certainly not by taking into account the current locality of QT.

        2. Robert Taggart
          October 13, 2014

          Correction – thrice – our number of applications.

      4. Sir Graphus
        October 10, 2014

        Agreed. Astonishing audience last night.

    2. Peter Davies
      October 10, 2014

      One outgunned UKIP spokesman, though I think Eric Pickles seems a decent chap.

      Unless you were blind the audience looked to me like a x lab/lib dem one – I would love to see the process of applying to get on the program. Do they weed out most so called right of centre supporters leaving the token one in?

  2. Margaret Brandreth-J
    October 10, 2014

    I am glad that Clacton won. I am sorry that UKIP did not take Heywood as the two tier socialism s rife here.’ I can wear slippers in this establishment , but you have to wear those shoes which demonstrate I can do as I want and you cannot.’

    1. Margaret Brandreth-J
      October 10, 2014

      It looks as though I have entered the comment box to post the above. There is not an appearance reality gap in this respect.

      1. Margaret Brandreth-J
        October 10, 2014

        ‘wrong comment box’.computer keeps jumping!

  3. Old Albion
    October 10, 2014

    I gave up on ‘Question time’ a couple of years ago. The audience is not representative but loaded with loud lefties. rather like the BBC actually.

    1. Peter Davies
      October 10, 2014

      they certainly were last night. Apart from one or two the whole audience looked like Lid Dems and Labour supporters who won how much in Clacton?

  4. Doublethinker
    October 10, 2014

    The BBC has long been the most powerful anti democratic institution in Britain. Its left leaning Anglophobia is palpable in all it does. The cause of freedom and democracy would be best served by its immediate abolition.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 10, 2014

      Indeed they distort what little is left of UK democracy hugely.

  5. alan jutson
    October 10, 2014

    John, the BBC simply do not understand, or want to understand.

    They simply want to push their own agenda.

    Your recent correspondence with the BBC shown on this site recently, shows how completely out of touch they are with their thoughts and thinking.

    Too many people in too many cosy positions, time to cut the funding me thinks.

  6. FCA
    October 10, 2014

    HMRC cannot cope with the existing tax rates let alone differing ones for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Glasgow, Birmingham et al. The BBC will presumably promote a tax free zone for Salford.

  7. Peter Davies
    October 10, 2014

    Here’s a manifesto idea

    Given the BBC are supposed to be public servants, why don’t the govt introduce a system whereby the BBC is run by a board of commissioners which have a direct impact to media content and news agendas that is voted in every 5 or 10 years so the public get the broadcaster they want? We have elected Police Commissioners so not give the public a say and have elected BBC Commissioners?

    You can take or throw commercial media depending on your leanings, but we are stuck with being fed by whatever the BBC want us to know whether we like it or not.

    Another requirement I would say that should be in the Royal Charter (if it is not currently) is that the BBC should be not allowed any sort of business/funding relationship with anyone apart from the License Payer and selling of commercial programmes to avoid any accusations of conflict of interest.

  8. Richard1
    October 10, 2014

    The response of the left to English votes for English issues is to avoid tackling the issue head on, since that would be an electoral disaster with c 90% support for Justice for England. Instead they seek to obfuscate by reviving the idea of balkanising England. We must resist. If there’s more devolution – and even more money – for Scotland, we need Justice for England also.

  9. Peter
    October 10, 2014

    Cons losing to an exceptional constituency MP in Clacton, unsurprising. Labour winning but such a short margin was. QT shouldve been in Heywood. I’ve spent some time in Clacton and nearby Frinton, just one look at the voting shows that the audience was about as representative as a room full of BBC journalists!

    As for balkanization and the BBCi what’s the answer? Every interview has to be turned to EVEL regardless of the topic and by all Tories. The BBC is subverting the political process and attacking MPS like yourself in a manner akin to Pravda. Its anti english at home, anti Britain abroad approach myst stop. It’s outrageous.

  10. Lindsay McDougall
    October 11, 2014

    Your post just shows how destabilising devolution is – and DevoMax will maximally destabilise. How many more times do forces on the Left need to be told that devolution within England has no popular support?

    Returning to the vexed topic of THE VOW, David Cameron did not seek a mandate from Conservative members in the country, nor from Conservative MPs nor from the Cabinet. And because he didn’t seek a mandate, HE HASN’T GOT ONE.

  11. James Matthews
    October 13, 2014

    Yes. Another example of the BBC selectively publicising causes with which its Guardian reading staff sympathise and ignoring those with which they do not. I wonder if any government will ever dare to take on the over mighty broadcaster.

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