The continuing bias of the Today programme?

To show how unbiased they wish to  be the Today programme had an item  dealing  with criticisms that they are biased. The item failed to grasp why so many of us think there is bias in much of what they do. They are  so keen to run anti Brexit material that they come across as an institution with a strong view more than independent journalists trying to tease out the different beliefs and views of the audience they serve. They do not seem to know all the positives that led us to vote for Brexit. They also repeat daily the same climate change issue with a series of repetitious stories to the exclusion of other major problems and preoccupations of listeners.

Their one sided approach is reflected in  their use of so called experts. These people usually  share a similar economic, political and scientific world view. The bias of the experts is never explored. They are not usually asked about their past failures in predicting and forecasting and never asked who they vote for or which philosophy or other influences most weigh with them. Most accept, for example, that Brexit will cause economic damage. They are inclined to say leaving without a deal is “falling off a cliff” or is “disastrous”. They may tell us trade will be  disrupted or even  imply it may in many cases be badly damaged if we dare to leave under WTO terms. The economists  if they are old enough would likely have recommended the Exchange Rate Mechanism which gave us a nasty recession, and would have supported the Bank of England’s actions which helped bring the commercial banks down in 2007-9.

They rarely interview people who believe that Brexit is a good economic opportunity which can make us better off. They never wish to remember that some of us correctly predicted the ERM disaster and warned against the chosen Bank and government action in 2007-9. They will not explore the role of the Maastricht criteria in recent austerity economics . Their few interviews with possible Bank of England Governor candidates in the run up to the selection of the new Governor were pathetic, with no attempt to understand the many mistakes the Bank has made in recent years or to ask candidates how they might improve or change it.

When I have been invited on it is usually to fill some special political slot for a Eurosceptic, rather than to have a sensible interview on  the state of the economy and the policy options facing a country soon to be independent. I am treated to the usual barrage of Remain  questions which become as repetitious as most of them are silly to provide “balance”. Yet the many more numerous Remain interviewees are usually spared having to answer all the questions I would wish to ask them about their past false forecasts and their present misunderstandings  of what is happening in our economy whilst still fully in the EU.

I guess the journalists cannot accept  that Brexit is a great idea of the people who just ask that the Establishment does their job. We want government to  show how the freedoms and the extra money can be used to improve lives and our country’s standing and prosperity which is why the Conservatives have just won a majority. The Leave voter listeners who are still tuning in just want to know why the BBC seems to have such a down on the abilities and prospects for our country outside the EU. They should know the case that says we will be better off with Brexit and give it equal prominence to the negative Remain forecasts.

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  1. Jiminyjim
    Posted January 4, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I started listening to the Today programme every day in 1971. I gave up completely in 2007. It was always biased. But on the subject of Brexit it was hopelessly, completely and irretrievably unbalanced. The BBC cannot grasp how much damage it has inflicted on itself. Like the EU, it’s only a matter of time before it disappears completely

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      What John is saying, I think, is that for every unfavourable thing which is said about leaving the European Union, someone else should be allowed to say something good, whether or not there were no evidence for it, or even if it were a whopping lie.

      Well, that is exactly for what the BBC has been so sternly criticised by attentive listeners over the last few years, so if you ask me, John should be delighted with it.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        What Sir John is saying I believe is that the Today programme is unbalanced. The fact that the BBC does not recognise this (and neither do you, I assume MiC), simply means that they are sowing the seeds of their own destruction by refusing to face the truth – just like the Labour party in fact. Once any organisation loses the ability to criticise its own situation and recognise the truth when it’s staring them in the face, it’s game over.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          Balance is NOT giving the same airtime and absence of challenge to rubbish, as might be given to self-evident truth, e.g. that peace is better than war, friendship better than enmity and so on.

          Many leavers apparently claim that it is.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            I haven’t heard any leave supporters say those two things Martin.
            Are you making things up again?

      • steve
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


        “…..whether or not there were no evidence for it, or even if it were a whopping lie.”

        So Project fear is not lies then ?

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:41 pm | Permalink


      Well it can’t be that influential if it didn’t manage to persuade voters that Brexit was going to be a disaster.

      But seeing that you stopped listening to the programme in 2007 how do you know it was biased against Brexit, an event that happened more than 10 years later?

  2. ukretired123
    Posted January 4, 2020 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    The today programme is full of windbags and it’s own self importance.
    It sadly needs closing as it’s past its sell-by date.
    The writing has been in the wall but they are out of touch.
    BBC rip.
    Waste of money.

  3. turboterrier
    Posted January 4, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    It is the arrogance of the organisation fueled and driven by ignorance that really is so pathetic, especially in these days of easy access to information.

  4. Peter
    Posted January 4, 2020 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I suspect the BBC will hunker and continue to claim it is impartial.

    People have always known it took an establishment view but Brexit seems to have been the issue that caused many to question why this has been allowed to continue for so long.

    There are other concerns too. The politically correct programming, the revision of classic stories to promote a particular agenda, the costs, the payments to ‘stars’ of questionable talent, the multitude of radio stations, the tiresome talent contests, cookery programmes etc..

  5. Alan Jutson
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    They have got a similar problem to the Labour and Libdems, they only ever want to speak to people of like minds, and want to close down anyone or anything that goes against their group think ideas and conversations.

    Just like the Westminster bubble really, they still cannot believe the real reasons why people voted for Brexit or the Conservatives.

    Until they open their eyes and minds, they will become less and less relevant.

    They simply do not understand or even realise that they are totally out of touch with what’s really going on !.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    On climate change the BBC/cliamte alarmists/green loon solutions of wind, solar, electric cars, cycling, tidal, more public transport and the likes do not even really work in CO2 or economic terms. Even if you do fully accept the bogus CO2 “pollution” religion.

    Perhaps Dominic Cummings can get some sensible scientist to point out reality on climate and energy.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Dominic Cummings is studying physics to degree level, being self-taught likewise in maths. He’s an arts grad, from Oxford, in history.

      I don’t think that you will find him sympathetic to your views, as anyone who properly understands the absorption spectrum of carbon dioxide, methane etc., and black body radiation would not be.

      • Czerwonadupa
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        I remember seeing Alan Titmarsh standing on an ice sheet & telling me Birmingham was 5 miles under his feet. Later he went to Trafalger Square & showed a lion walking through the square with palm trees. All this before human intervention.
        I also remember constantly seeing an economic “expert” one Danny Blanchflower who was predicting 5 million unemployed if we voted to leave in 2016. He must have been one of George Osborne’s experts who produced the steroid induced “Project Fear” a £9M pamphlet sent to every household in the country. The BBC have never held Osborne to account for his fantasies. And why don’t we hear of the continuing yellow vest demos in France? Doesn’t fit their agenda?

        • Richard1
          Posted January 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Indeed we should not forget Mr blanchflower and his forecast of 5m unemployed. In fact I think it was his prediction of the consequences of the coalition govts austerity programme, rather than Brexit. But he was v much the go-to economist for the BBC – and the Today programme- in the years before it became clear what nonsense he was talking.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        No one disputes that atmospheric CO2 can trap some infra red but it is far, far less important than water vapour. It is a question of how sensitive the climate is to C02. Also and millions of other variables also have effects. CO2 also has many positive effects.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 5, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          Go and read some sensible physicists (not the ones not seeking government grants) people like William Happer, Richard Lindzen, Freeman Dyson there is no shortage or honest impartial scientists if you look for them.

          All the evidence so far suggest a huge degree of exaggeration by the alarmists. All their predictions have been way out in the same direction. No significant warming still since 1998 despite the higher CO2 atmospheric levels.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

            Carbon dioxide is essential to all life on the planet. So is water.

            That does not mean that you want your house flooded or your continent ablaze, as is Australia right now after three straight years of drought and record-upon-record-breaking temperatures.

            Less of the Infantile Absolutism please.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    BBC staff often claim to think that the BBC is “accountable” to viewers and belongs to licence fee payers!

    These people have no choice, no ownership and no real say at all!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      The BBC are also biased against the US, Trump, landlords, businesses in general, insufferably PC, endlessly for “positive” discrimination (which is of course negative discrimination for others), absurdly biased on the non existent (other by reason of gender choice) gender pay gap. They nearly always advocate more red tape, more identity politics, more employee protections, more red tape everywhere, more government, higher taxes and a higher TV licence poll tax.

      Nearly all BBC presenters and employees are lefty, PC art graduates with little if any understanding of science, economics, logic, energy or maths in them. They live in a group think box meeting nearly only people like themselves. Many are hugely overpaid and pensioned too.

      • steve
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink


        You’re right. In fact if you regularly monitor the BBC website you will always spot numerous grammatical and spelling errors.

        Indicative of it’s recruitment criteria which is as based as it’s programming.

  8. Frances Truscott
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Media reports very little about the Eu. It never reports on the decimation of the med countries or the burden placed on the northern countries. It never reports on the heinous youth unemployment of young people in the med countries. It has not reported on the bullying of the Swiss. They found that free movement undermined local wages . The Eu banned them from Eu financial markets. The Swiss responded by insisting their biggest companies are only traded on the Swiss market. People don’t get news that would help them form their opinions or force the Eu to change. There is almost a news black out. It would make China blush.

    • Andy
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      This is not true. There are plenty of media reports on all of these things if you choose to look for them. Which you obviously don’t.

      The lack of news – as you see it – is not sinister. It is because local issues are always more important. The London Evening Standard rarely carries stories about Hull – but I can assure you that is not a conspiracy. The LA Times is not the best place to read news about Milwaukee. And Brexit – believe it or not – often barely gets a mention in Le Monde or Der Spiegel.

      Whilst it is nice that you feel outraged on behalf of unemployed young people in Southern Europe I can assure you that few of them blame the EU or want to leave it.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        a majority of young people in Italy – yes young people – are now opposed to EU membership.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense, a lot of them rightly blame the EU and want to leave it.

      • steve
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink


        “And Brexit – believe it or not – often barely gets a mention in Le Monde or Der Spiegel.”

        Why do you suppose that is ?

        If you can work that out, you must be dumber than we thought.

    • turboterrier
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      It hardly ever reports in a constructive way about the ever growing problem and pressures on the NHS due to obesity and the change in our life styles and practices.
      Low fat high carbohydrate diets are the basis diets but no one ever is reporting that native populations have severe health problems when introduced to our western style of living, fast and convenience food.
      It is now being reported with the data to back it up that high fat low carbs are the more than healthier option.. Past generations grew up on meat and three veg with plenty of exercise albeit through manual work. Try reading The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz who spent 9 years fighting the system of food , health and medical professionals made deeply damaging mistakes as quoted by the British Medical Journal. The government should invest in an independent report to determine if our present life styles and diet are the real cause of obesity, diabetes and heart disease..Start off in schools and colleges and just maybe you could end up saving the NHS billions. Sadly the congregation of the Church of Veganism will be taking to the streets should the real truth came out!!!

      • Tweeter_L
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Well said Turboterrier. Low fat/ high carb is another of those accepted dogmas that goes unchallenged in all sorts of media. As someone who has tried just about every “diet” over my lifetime, I finally found out in my 60s how to control my weight with ease. (To me this is the ultimate “evidence-based research”!)
        As the late, great Barry Groves wrote: “There are three macronutrients in our diet: fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Only two are essential and carbohydrate isn’t one of them.” But try telling anyone to just consider that the current dietary advice might possibly be wrong … you get those pitying looks reserved for cranks.

  9. Shirley
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    We have become accustomed to Brexiters being outnumbered on every occasion. We have become accustomed to the bias on BBC, etc. We have become accustomed to Remainers never (ever!) being challenged on their claims, while Brexiters are hardly allowed to speak. We have become accustomed to having to lie about ‘gender’ in order to retain jobs. We have become accustomed to the lie that CO2 is a pollutant. Basically, we now have groupthink and newspeak, instead of truth and integrity. Orwell had great vision.

    Thank heavens for the sense of ordinary people, because the ‘elite’ and the MSM are turning this country into a madhouse with their hate speech laws, silencing of the masses, prevention of speaking the truth as we must obey certain ideologies, de-platforming, tyranny of the majority by a vocal minority, laws that give minorities enormous powers over everyone, changing our laws to suit minority religions that are totally incompatible with Western ethics and morals. The West is being destroyed, deliberately, by the left, and successive governments of all colours appear to aid and abet this destruction.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Another great post Shirley. The latest ruling in the courts about vegan ism will cause all kinds of problems in the workplace. We are truly led by donkeys.

      • Shirley
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. It is good to know I am not the only one who sees this idiocy being forced upon us.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Worse than donkeys, as they would be right 50% of the time.

  10. Mark B
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again.

    I am past caring. Many here have written endless pages on what to do, and all to no avail. We now have a majority government that, in line with all the others, will not do a thing. May I remind our kind host, that there are those amongst us who would not hesitate to do that which is necessary with regards to the BBC. Alas we do not have the authority / power to do such, we rely on people such as your goodself. So when pray, will the government do something ?

    And while we are on about it, would it be too much to ask when we are going to get English Votes for English Laws ? Only, it has been a while now 😉

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      I would like this new government to have a website with a section on what we have achieved this month. Perhaps in a blog format.

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Stop the licence fee and let them sink or swim.
    Then they will show balance.

    • Peter
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I informed the licensing authorities that I will no longer be watching live TV or using the BBC iplayer.

      Therefore I do not require a TV licence.

      I was mostly watching reruns of old shows and football highlights anyway. Football highlights are available on the internet before Match of the Day and without annoying pundits. Old TV shows are similarly available elsewhere. The catchup services for ITV etc are still available without a licence. The news and current affairs have long been a waste of time on TV. Popular BBC shows are often screened on Netflix, Amazon etc and require no licence.

      Entertainment content with no adverts is available for a fraction of the TV licence via services such as Netflix.

    • jerry
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; You think ITV, Ch4, Ch5 and Sky show balance?…

      Would it not be better to make it easier, and more acceptable, for right wing competition to access UK main stream free to view TV broadcast spectrum, along with an updated election laws, it is daft that a broadcaster can not report certain things on election day but other now commonly accessed media outlets have little or no restrictions (such as social media).

      I could never understood why it’s management though best to hide FoxNews behind a paywall when it used to be broadcast on the BSkyB Platform!

      Oh and before some have palpitations. Yes I know and understand the ‘Controversies’ surrounding the channel, although it’s strange how the same people here in the UK are not up in arms about the outright lies and bias from RT or even the inherent political imbalance of Euronews…

      • jane4brexit
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        I am sure I recall it being our own government at the time who told Murdoch he had to take Fox News off free tv, as he otherwise had too much influence (ridiculous of course). I haven’t time to check online at the moment, but details must be there somewhere…unless hidden by some search engines!

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        At least we don’t have to pay for them. That’s the difference.

  12. Nig l
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Please cancel the license fee and make it subscription based. I am fed up with being taxed for something I do not use.

    • Andy
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Half of my taxes go on your pensions and perks for old people. This is something I do not use – I am fed up of paying for all of you. And, no, I am not paying for the future me – as we all known pretty much all pensioner perks will have been scrapped by then.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        I shall have to remember to say a word of thanks Andy every time I check my state pension has arrived in the bank.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      I do use it and get some value from it (mainly radio three but even that is going down hill) but I am sick to death of the endless political bias, climate alarmist lunacy and other absurd PC lefty, anti-UK and pro EU propaganda.

  13. Andy
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Brexiteers mistake scrutiny for bias.

    The fact is that Eurosceptics spent more than 30 years never having to justify their ideas.

    You had plenty of airtime, of course, but it didn’t really matter what you said.

    Now you are running the show. What you all say matters.

    So your ideas are forensically dissected – scrutinised – in a way they never were before.

    And at every step the top journalists find pretty much all of you wanting.

    It is – more or less – a ritual humiliation every time a top Brexiteer appears on radio or TV.

    To such an extent that most now don’t bother. They know they’ll end up looking silly so they decline interview requests.

    This is one of the reasons why you get such a comparably small number of Brexit backing voices on. The other is that there are few Brexiteers in credible positions anyway.

    To Brexiteers this is an outrage – proof of a conspiracy.

    To Remainers it demonstrates that Brexit itself is a failed project. Because all you ever have to do is answer the questions and give a credible answer. And we all wonder why none of you ever can.

    • Oggy
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink


      • Fred H
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Oggy – your comment saves me the chore of reading it.

        Sir John – would you kindly delay the Andy contributions and later add a similar critique as Oggy’s immediately following when you publish?
        It would save many of us wasting our time?

    • Shirley
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Double standards Andy? Let’s start with Remainers explaining how they got Project Fear so wrong? How about Remainers explaining why many EU economies are in such dire straits, and with high unemployment. Explain why there are civilian protests in many EU countries. Then we can have a debate based on facts, rather than fantasy.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink


        Why don’t you make a start and explain any of your claims rather than spout Daily Mail style statistics?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

          Are you claiming Shirley’s statements are wrong Margaret?
          Just invoking the Daily Mail as you often do to avoid facing the reality of the debate fails.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Thank you Andy for your patient, comprehensive analysis.

      It seems to me that the Leaver’s position is often one of a quasi-religious faith, and that they demand that those whom they meet in the media should either share it or accept their right to believe without challenge.

      There’s an assertion that it is only a lack of such faith which stops the country from metaphorically walking on water.

      Well, we had a thing called the Enlightenment in Europe, which dispelled such mumbo-jumbo, thank goodness.

      However, reading some of the comments here, you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

      I don’t rely on the BBC for a complete picture however – it still slides seamlessly into propaganda mode at crucial moments.

      • mickc
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t the Enlightenment come from mainly Scottish thinkers…

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          From many European countries, yes, though there’s some doubt about England.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Just alter the words “leaver’s position” to read “remainer’s position” and it makes much better sense.

    • jerry
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      @Andy; Nonsense, Europhiles mistake bias for scrutiny.

      If the article is lopsided it is biased, if Europhiles (in effect) get an open microphone for 10 minute’s then Eurosceptics should also get an open microphone for 10 minute’s too, but they don’t – more often than not they are constantly interrupted with “Whataboutery”, something Europhiles are not…

      • Andy
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        It is called power. When you are in charge – and Brexiteers are in charge – then you face significantly more scrutiny than when you are not. This is how it has always been.

        It does not matter what Europhiles say. We are not running the show. You are – and the Brexiteers are doing a particularly lousy job of it. The amusing thing is what comes next. You get blamed for everything that goes wrong and get no credit for the things which go right. This is what we faced for decades. Welcome to your future!

        • jerry
          Posted January 5, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          @Andy; Your rant might have held more water had you not tried to pull the lie that the MSM (especially broadcast media) had given the europhiles “significantly more scrutiny” between 1997-2010 when they were in charge, when it did “not matter what” Eurosceptics said.

          Bias is bias…

    • Richard1
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      While in the real world both sterling and the stock market have seen a Boris bounce. The early signs are of a significant increase in business confidence. 2020 will no doubt see strong progress on trade deals including I suspect after a lot of huffing and puffing, with the EU. Meanwhile the eurozone remains the most sclerotic and slow growing area of the world, excluding the obvious socialist basket cases.

      You’re likely in for a very frustrating few years as the good news comes through!

      • Andy
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        I doubt it. I’ve said all along there will be a trade deal with the EU. Whether it comes this year or next or somewhere thereafter is irrelevant. What matters is not the timing but the content and there is zero doubt that any deal we sign with the EU will be significantly worse than what we have now. It will also lack any sort of mandate from the public. Which is why we will ultimately undo it.

        • Richard1
          Posted January 5, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          I cannot think of a policy proposal in my lifetime for which a govt has had a stronger mandate than Boris Johnson’s for Brexit. It really couldn’t have been clearer – indeed it was difficult to discern any other Conservative policy during the election other than Brexit and agree a comprehensive FTA with the EU.

          Of course we will have to see how it goes. In 2024 UK post-brexit independence will most likely be seen as work in progress, and the Labour party will probably still be in hoc to the far left. So the next seriously contested election should be 2029. For rejoin to be on the table at that time two things will have to be clear: 1) brexit has failed to deliver its claimed advantages – an independent trade policy etc and 2) the EU, with its further integration, will have to be seen as a clear success, and a better option than go it alone for the UK – rather as was the case in 1975.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Seems the Boris bounce will see house prices rise by 2%. So yet again we are expected to regard an economy willing to rely on property prices as an economic success story.

        Such good news for all those young people trying to get on the property ladder as a result of which owner occupation has dropped by over 20% in the last decade.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

          It is a market Margaret.
          The fact we avoided a potentially disastrous Corbyn government will have an effect on future confidence but the main reason for house price increases is an excess of demand versus supply.

    • ukretired123
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Boring propaganda as befits a BBC staffer or EU agent of both.
      You repeat ad nauseum. So why bother?I
      Life is too short and you can wrap all you said in one sentence, not a life sentence pls.

      • Andy
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        I like the idea of being an EU agent.

        007.5 – licence to annoy angry pensioners.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      The Today program should give Sir John his format then Andy. What harm could one show with his suggestions be for them?

    • Edward2
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Did you miss the result of the recent election Andy?

      • Andy
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        The one where 57% did not vote Tory – and consequently voted against just getting Brexit done. No, I don’t think I did miss it. Did you?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          Yes you missed the one where Labour failed and the only real remain party the Lib Dems did badly including losing their leader.
          A huge majority for getting Brexit done.

          As usual Andy you twist election results here claiming anyone who didn’t vote or didn’t vote Conservative is a remain supporter.
          Only the Green MP and the Lib Dems promised that.

      • bill brown
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        Why don’t undertake a dialogue with Andy with some content, with statistics that proves he is wrong, your contribution does not have any value on its own. Andy, can be provocative and so can you but at least , he get you out of bed every day

        • Edward2
          Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for your continued input bill.
          Might I suggest you take your own advice on your own posts.

  14. Ian Wilson
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I am unqualified to analyse political bias but what is glaringly clear to me is the BBC’s deplorably one-sided reporting on climate.

    Last September 500 professional scientists of the Climate Intelligence Foundation presented their letter stating, inter alia, there is no climate emergency and rising CO2 is beneficial in raising plant growth. There was not a mention on Today or elsewhere on the BBC. A month later another group of so-called scientists including Professor Mickey Mouse, specialists in improbable subjects like snake preservation but not a climate professional to be seen, came up with prophesies of doom which the BBC gleefully quoted as lead story over many bulletins.

    Today give Greta Thumberg and Extinction Rebellion any amount of air time but refuse to invite opinions from respected figures like Lord Lawson who might dissent from the BBC line, surely breaking their Charter. Charles Moore as guest editor of Today reported that the editors put every conceivable obstacle in his way when he sought to include a dissenting view.

    By chance I heard the end of a BBC feed-back in which someone had asked why they rarely allowed scientists on air. The BBC response was they had recently included a scientist, Greta Thumberg. Since when has this schoolgirl held any scientific qualification? Perhaps if she spent more time in school she might gain one.

  15. Kevin
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    prospects for our country outside the EU

    If we are soon to resume discussing how best to commemorate our (as yet elusive) “independence”, I would like to make a suggestion. We could update some of our most well-known patriotic quotes, giving due credit to the provisions of the Conservative Party’s Withdrawal Agreement by which our new status will be achieved. Here are a few possibilities with which to get started:

    England expects that every man will contribute to EU pension payments. (Art. 142)
    There is plenty of time to win this game of bowls, because we have transferred control of our foreign policy to the Spaniards. (Art. 129(6))
    If I should die think only this of me: that there’s some court in a foreign field that is forever judging England. (Art. 174)
    We don’t want to threaten, “No trade deal”, (Art. 184)
    but by Jingo if we do,
    you’ve got our laws, (Art. 127)
    you’ve got our courts, (Art. 4)
    you’ve got our money too (Arts. 136, 160 and 150)

    • Fred H
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      well done Kevin.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant and we are agreeing to pay the pensions of not only UK/ EU Staff (about 7%) but an average of the pension payments we make in our last years as a member, which is expected to come out at a figure around 25% of all EU pensions paid.
      Complete madness especially as staff have had deductions of up to 13.75% taken from their salaries in the past, then put into an EU Pension Fund which we have not requested a refund from and of course the UK has no legal obligation to another entities pensions anyway!
      Meanwhile pensioners here are waiting longer and longer to receive pensions, in many cases without notice.

  16. steadyeddie
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    This comes across as an evidence free rant. No specific interview or viewpoint identified as biased. I listened to Charles Moore and Matt Ridley last week and both are strong voices on Brexit and sceptical on climate change. I have no connection to the BBC other than as a listener/viewer who likes to hear a range of views. The fact that the number of complaints from right and left, about the Beeb election coverage bias, were roughly equal proves the point. Concentrate on the issues not criticising the messenger- you have other broadcasting options to listen to or watch, alternatively read the Telegraph, Mail, Express or Sun.

  17. Richard1
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    It has become a very boring programme now govt ministers don’t appear. I was interested to see Charles Moore’s report on the efforts he had to make as a guest editor (the only guest editor who wasn’t an obvious leftist). He was only allowed a climate sceptic (Lord Ridley) on the programme if a climate scientist was subsequently invited to refute what he had said. Lord king therefore got a slot – but what he said was of course not questioned or challenged. Mr Harrabin the BBCs environmental correspondent apparently refused even to interview a sceptical scientist, prof Kelly.

    On Brexit we seem never to hear from those economists or business people who think there are positive opportunities. Occasionally a eurosceptic MP such as JR is allowed on but is always heavily outnumbered, and subjected to a hectoring and tedious interviewing style which isn’t applied on the other side.

    Of course the programme is biased. It’s also now inane and boring so I’ve largely given up with it.

    I see there’s near 80% public support for de-criminalising the license fee, so that’s obvious low hanging political fruit. The BBC should move to a subscription model as fast as possible. I would also suggest the immediate privatisation by auction of C4, which is perhaps even more biased to the left (not that I ever watch it). There is no case at all in the modern media landscape for the state to own a commercial broadcaster.

  18. jerry
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    It’s not just the Today programme nor just Brexit, it is the entire BBC, and to some extent it is the entire MSM, the problem is the dumbing down of the UK media industry – yes news needs to be made ‘accessible’ (to all) but can we not educate-up rather than taking everything to a lower level, mainstream news today is less critical than BBC’s Newsround used to be in the 1970s!

    Examine how the MSM has acted in the last couple of days, far to often any article or interview ostensibly about what occurred in Iraq (and the wider middle east) very quickly gets turned into a let’s bash President Trump, Corbyn or who/what ever rant rather than any serious examination of the facts. The Australian Bush fires have been used as a platform to push the anti CO² mantra etc, despite the scientific facts of wild fires…

    Whilst I accept that the BBC needs to be reformed (perhaps even all but abolished) so does the rest of the MSM to, light touch & deregulation/self-regulation etc. has failed when it comes to News and Current affairs.

  19. Fred H
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Don’t listen or watch it and Question Time. Outrageous bias, everybody tells me, so refuse to waste my time.

    Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Johnson knows what he needs to do. We are peed off with this organisation slandering this country’s 92% by accusing them of racism, xenophobia, hate and any other appalling criminal and political slander that comes to mind. Moreover, the criminal law forces us to finance this political process of slander of ourselves.

    This organisation is out of control. It is a left wing, pro-EU, Labour propaganda platform. Your party is now in government with a majority in Parliament. We expect you to purge and dismantle this organisation and rebuild it in a different form

    You would think the Brand and Lammy events would incite anger in the Tory party but you seem to accept it with good grace. You never kick back.

    Stop the prevarication. Stop the dithering. Grow some balls, and smash Labour’s client state before it forces us all into slavery

    Stop talking, we are sick of talking, we want action against this London leftist cabal that’s taken over our nation.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      From where do you get ninety-two percent, even if your extraordinary accusation were true?

      About twenty-six per cent of the population voted Leave, and about twenty percent of it voted for the Tories in the last election.

      Clearly, the proportions of the electorate alone would be higher, but then only stand at well under half for each.

      Do you read back before posting?

      • Edward2
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        If your percentages keep falling at the rate they are Martin soon you will be telling us remain won the referendum and that Labour won the election.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          Seventeen million people voted Leave.

          Fourteen million voted Tory.

          There are sixty-seven million people in the country.

          Surely even you can work out those percentages?

          Children and non-voters are people too, and therefore equal in law.

          • Ted Treen
            Posted January 7, 2020 at 1:31 am | Permalink

            Someone appears to have a degree in sophistry.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:43 pm | Permalink


      Absurd rant.

  21. gyges01
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Rather than doing them the favour of supplying critical analysis, either through yourself or the comments pages of your blog, I would suggest that you encourage people to simply stop listening to them. By persisting you are behaving like a teenager who is being bullied on social media and trying to fight it on social media. Simply walk away. If asked, refuse to give them interviews, there are alternatives. If you did so, you would be doing what the vast majority of people are doing anyway. Have you looked at the audience figures of the BBC? No one is interested in what they have to say except as an indicator of the opinion of a part of the Establishment and then only to laugh at them. The next step is to look at their monopoly of the airwaves particularly on local radio …

  22. acorn
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    How about a private member’s Bill to privatize the BBC JR? It spends about £3.8 billion a year and gets circa £3.3 billion from those that actually pay the licence fee. Should be a doddle to get that through parliament.

    Additionally, the one thing I agreed with Farage about was to make “health” (the COFOG 7 bit that costs £152 billion) a state insurance based system with a small percentage patient contribution that could be capped. A patient contribution would enable a customer price to be discovered that free-at-the-point-of-use can’t do.

    The UK is going to be a one party state for the next ten years, thanks to the Fixed Term Parliament Act and FPTP voting. So there is no excuse for Brexiteers not to put their money where their mouths have been for the last four years.

  23. Doug Powell
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    ‘They do not seem to know all the positives that led us to vote for Brexit… Have to correct you here, SJ… The truth is that ‘They DON’T want to know ANY positives that led us to vote for Brexit.’

    We all have alternative titles for BBC, may I suggest one of the more pertinent is:
    ‘Biased Brussels Corporation.’ – Bring on the end of the Television Tax! And let’s hope Boris makes a start by making good his promise to remove the TT from over 75s.

    The BBC and the Labour leadership contenders will only ever say that Brexit was part of the reason for Labour’s disaster at the GE! Why won’t they understand that if a voter wanted Brexit, there was only one party where that option was readily available?

  24. BJC
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    BBC bias is legendary and Brexit brought it into sharp focus, especially on panels where the pack mentality of the majority Remainers has been very effectively used to shut down the token Brexiter. Job done without direct BBC involvement in the questioning. Their questioning is often concentrated on specific past behaviours/performances, etc, (very Labour!) a past that cannot be changed, of course, and bears little relevance to present or future circumstances. Things evolve as must our responses to them.

    Overall, the BBC has a fundamental duty to seek out varied opinions from different sources because no single view will ever be wholly right or wholly wrong, but simply provides different outcomes. “Different” doesn’t automatically equate to “catastrophe” or “cliff-edge”.

  25. old salt
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    When/if we leave the EU with a clean break will the situation change as EU funding, from our taxes, from the EU will presumably cease, whereas to date “he who pays the piper calls the tune.”

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      The BBC gets about £700,000 a year from the European Union, mainly for decentralisation, about 0.015% of its income.

      The brexit party MEPs on the other hand cost us several million a year, courtesy of the European Union, and that’s most of their income.

      So they should be thousands of times more pro-European than the BBC by your what-passes-for-reasoning.

      Why don’t you do even the most basic of research?

      • Edward2
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Silly comparison martin.
        MEP’s get elected by voters and they get a salary as agreed by the EU.
        The BBC is a UK public body funded by UK licence payers.
        It has a charter requirement to remain independent.

        I could just see you getting very cross if it accepted similar amounts of money from the USA government for example.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        marty – – the BBC has funds of £5bn per annum, the licence fees being almost £4bn. Why should the EU contribute anything? Is the news THAT bad from other sources that from 27 OTHER countries they want to assist the dreadful BBC?

      • old salt
        Posted January 5, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Look up EDM 791 “EU FUNDING OF THE BBC …payments amounting to 258 million euros…”

        Express 7 Feb 2017 “Brussels Broadcasting Corporation?” “The EU millions being banked by the impartial BBC”

        Telegraph 18 Dec 2015 “BBC has received £2m in EU funding in run up to referendum, fueling accusations of bias ”

        Spectator 28 Feb 2014 “The millions in EU funding the BBC tried to hide”

        Enough research for you Martin? This and much more puts your MEP costs in the shade.

  26. Stred
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    This will continue until the licence is replaced with subscription. The BBC could be split into news and documentaries, light entertainment tripe and a channel for drama, music and documentary, perhaps joining with the Arte channel to share and cut costs. Not many would choose to pay for biased greencrap and EU propaganda.
    But the metro Liberals running the show will not change anything. That might spoil their dinner parties.

    Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is biased. That debate is over. Today’s debate is about its dismantling and in what form that should take.

    This political organisation has been co-opted by the left and Labour. This must end and it is this government’s responsibility to obliterate all that the BBC has become

  28. John S
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t heard Patrick Minford on the radio for some time.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      He doesn’t want to answer many questions these days, I’d assume.

  29. villaking
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, I think you only hear what you want to hear and it is at least refreshing that accusations of BBC bias are also made by the Left. Perhaps Auntie isn’t so bad after all. Brexit is often the lead story because of its huge impact in the UK, not because of bias. I hear remain and leave sides whenever the topic is on Today. Always, without exception. Mark Carney was directly asked in the autumn as to why BoE forecasts were wrong. He replied that the forecast was that in the event of a leave outcome to the referendum, there would be a fall in the pound, rising inflation and slower growth, all of which were correct. Perhaps you missed that interview. Climate change is also a subject of grave concern to the majority of people and almost all scientific opinion (except Lifelogic and Donald Trump) considers the rise in CO2 emissions to be a matter for urgent action. Given the overwhelming view on this matter, it is not bias for the matter to be discussed in this way. There is a small contingent of people that deny the holocaust – should they be given the same amount of airtime as the vast majority who do not?

    Reply Of course I dont to wish to hear holocaust deniers. The Bank and Treasury forecast a big increase in unemployment, a fall in house prices and a recession immediately after a Leave vote. This is not put to Remain reps from the main institutions. Nor are they reminded of their backing for the disastrous ERM, or the role of the Maastricht debt criteria in our economic policy. etc

  30. Irene
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I listened to the Today programme too. To be fair, the item was not as you describe it, JR It was about Sir Alan Moses’ tenure of IPSO (the Independent Press Standards Organisation) rather than “dealing with criticisms that they (the BBC) are biased”. BBC bias, perceived or otherwise, was not the reason for the item, and was not the focal point of the item.

    For very obvious reasons, discussion of the BBC formed only a very minor part of thatToday programme. Sir Alan Moses did say, in connection with the criticism of the BBC after the GE, ““My view is that you’re far too wet about it. I think you ought to be far more stringent in striking back at the attacks.” Is that what you objected to? He also mentioned senior BBC stafff writing in the press and said that they should be “tougher”.

    You yourself favour bias in your writings. Why on earth should others be deprived of that same opportunity? Members of Parliament receive their salaries from a public purse. Whether you watch any programme on ITV, for example, or not, you are paying for it every time you shop.

    It could be argued that some people are still striving to find “all the positives that led us to vote for Brexit” that you write about. Surely you aren’t trying to influence the thinking of your readers with everything you write, are you? “Brexit is a great idea of the people who just ask that the Establishment does their job.” I disagree with you when you claim that Brexit was an “idea of the people”. It was not.

    ” .. if we don’t look after democracy, then democracy won’t look after us. ” I can’t argue with that.

    • BillM
      Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Duh! We elect our MPs but have absolutely no say who is running the BBC. So where is the democracy there?

      The BBC is financed by taxpayers AND non taxpayers. Even people who cannot afford to heat their homes but they are deemed criminals if they do not pay the TV license. And this is democratic?

      • Irene
        Posted January 6, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Doh!!! You have a say in who is running ITV or Channel 4 etc? Tell me more about how you have input into the selection of who runs those.

        You may need to do a little research into the history of TV licences and moreover into funding via the TV licence to other broadcasters. While you’re at it, check out Ofcom’s role.

  31. Fred H
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, There have been many times contributors query why you have not included their comments. You have included in your responses that too many are offered. Increasingly the numbers of entries from our favourite pair of patriots far exceed anybody else. Do you also delete even more entries from them? Seems like a personal crusade – are we witnessing a Russian, or similar bot at work – the contents are basically the same words rehashed!

  32. BillM
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    At lease in the USSR, the State Radio supported the policies of their rulers. The BBC seem to think they determine what is good or bad in this country. Why are they allowed such flexibility? Especially when it runs against the democratic decision of the people that pay their salaries?

  33. Tweeter_L
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I used to be happy to say I was a real fan of BBC Radio 4. I used to have R4 on in the background for much of the day- part of its appeal was the excellent mixture of documentaries, drama, current affairs, arts programmes etc. Now, because I’ve got so sick if the bias and what I take to be predictable “wokeness” I simply don’t have the radio on routinely any more (my husband is delighted.) I do listen to a lot of Radio 4 and 4Extra’s output via BBC Sounds, ie some comedy, some radio drama, dramatised classic novels, “old fashioned” crime series like Wimsey and Paul Temple, many documentaries and podcasts. I love the BBC coverage of Wimbledon and I think the BBC Proms are wonderful. I am very happy to pay for all of these, but I do not need the BBC “interpreting” the news for me – and it does this rather a lot. What a waste of our money is 24hr rolling BBC news: I can get news and analysis etc in many places whenever I want these days. The BBC should stick to those things it has historically done so well (see above) and just give us a basic news bulletin now and then. I think the BBC (R4 in particular) has become so obsessed with wooing a young audience it has started to lose its existing faithful listeners – so one might say it is losing a real bird in the hand in the hope of gaining some probably illusory birds in the bush.
    If the BBC returned to what it does best, and re-invested in the World Service it could still be “the envy of the world”– but it shouldn’t leave it too long.

  34. ChrisS
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is a lost cause.

    I was one of the 12,000 who complained about Andrew Marr’s disgraceful treatment of Boris Johnson.

    The standard response sent to everyone made it very clear that they could not care less about our opinion as they failed to address any of the problems with the interview.

    I followed this with a further complaint about their response but that was treated with even more disdain.

    Clearly BBC management are totally ignorant of the requirements of their own charter which says ( I quote )

    “We must always scrutinise arguments, question consensus and hold power to account with consistency and due impartiality”.

    Either they are ignorant or they choose to ignore their own Charter.

  35. margaret
    Posted January 5, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why you listen to it. In itself it isn’t terribly influential and in the 21 st century . Switch off or over ; put a bid in for your own programme . I love the BBC , but much prefer the science programmes , world news and in particular Radio 3.

  • 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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