Sunday, 15 May 2016

Hearts v heads

And that Boris report from Ben Wright on tonight's BBC One early evening news bulletin ended with this take-away line:
The Leave campaign knows many big economic voices are sceptical of their case. But this referendum is about hearts as much as heads.
i.e. hearts = Leave, heads = Remain?


  1. The old hearts and heads meme. First voiced by whom?- David Cameron - just happens to be the political leader of the Remain campaign, but subsequently amplified by Nick Robinson. Like the "boring" meme, this is one meant to deliver more Remain votes.

  2. "World on the Move" - just another of those news innovations that happen to be happening in the middle of the Referendum campaign...hmmm... An unprecedented allocation of broadcasting time to essentially push the views of a number of self-interested charities which in many respects contradict the wishes of democratically elected governments around the world.

    But its broader purpose? I suspect this was all conceived some months ago in a blind panic when the BBC folk realised that the Referendum campaign was going to be taking place in the middle of a huge migrant crisis in Europe. The feeling was probably that "we need a big push to set the migrant debate in a humanitarian context".

    Of course events have moved on so the BBC reporters are a bit stuck now. From what I have heard, on the one hand they want to keep saying the Greek islands crisis is over guys, you can relax and vote Remain. But on the other they want to carry on pumping out the basic meme:

    1. Mass movement of people across the globe is inevitable and is in any case not a cause for anxiety in any rational person.

    2. All migrants who say they are refugees are genuine refugees.

    3. All migrants benefit host countries' economies.

    4. No migrants import bad cultural ideas or milk the welfare system.

    5. All migrants can be integrated successfully if enough resources are devoted to their welfare.

    In pushing this script, they are of course also helpfully muddying the waters by :

    (a) suggesting this is a hugely complex area of policy facing governments(whereas the experience of Japan, China and Australia suggests it is not);

    (b) for some reason heading to Vietnam, a country about which we really know very little (but what little we do know suggests Vietnamese criminal gangs run migration like a racket - something I didn't hear the BBC mention in the segment I heard);

    (c) not looking at the cause of problems with migration from Libya and Syria - namely foreign policy meddling by the EU and the USA (partly encouraged by cheerleading from the Western media, notably the BBC itself);

    (d) treating migrants as an undifferentiated mass with no cultural differences in their attitude to our values; and

    (e) focussing on internal migration in places like China which is really neither here nor there, again, I think to normalise the huge and unprecedented mass immigration into Europe.

    My prediction. There will little room for the following viewpoints:

    1. Most migrants to the EU are economic migrants, whatever their initial impulse for fleeing their country of origin.

    2. Lengthy offshore processing of asylum seekers virtually eliminates mass immigration (Australia's experience).

    3. Our citizens have a right not have their neighbourhoods and schools overwhelmed by migrants whose language and culture is radically different from theirs.

    4. Although most migrants want to work, they are not necessarily having a beneficial economic effect. They tend to get sucked into the service sector and become a drag on the overall productivity of the economy. Also, you cannot isolate migration from the post migration effects e.g. in the UK huge and unprecedented population growth as migrants begin families or such phenomena as the advance of Sharia or growth in very serious terrorism.

    1. I should have said re Australia "virtually eliminates ILLEGAL mass immigration".

  3. I'm sure Ben Wright's heart is in the right place. Too bad his head is situated a couple of feet below it...

  4. The theme 'hearts versus heads' is fairly apt to Monday's Newsnight. I had to kill time watching files move to an external drive, hoping the original doesn't fail first, so put on Newsnight. The false premise: the EU essentially exists to distribute money to farmers and poor countries. Fair enough smacking Carswell around on that 350 million claim. He couldn't even back it up, and moved the goal posts. It's one of the worst aspects of the Leave campaign. Let Remain and Cameron tell all the lies. Evan Davis could have been a bit less smug, but whatever. The two film segments were fairly done, I have to say. Yet Davis was mainly focused on arguing against Leave points, and trying to tease pro-Remain points from the other side. He let the panelists criticize the Remainiac points, but he himself went after Leave points. He kept asking Rudd what are the benefits of being in the EU. In addition, naturally, to the lovely farmers' subsidies. All she could say - because this is all they have, really - is that every problem mentioned is a price well worth paying to be part of the sainted Single Market. What is the benefit of being in the Single Market? Davis then literally fed Rudd her line on what the benefits are.

    First question to the rigged audience: Who would like to signal their virtue on how wonderful it is that the EU helps poor countries? I paraphrase slightly. We've heard this Remainiac talking point a few times now: the moral responsibility of being in the EU. In fact, Davis used that more than once during the preceding discussion as part of defining what the EU is for. It's an emotional opinion, pure value judgment without any factual basis. He can ask if that's the case, but he should not be stating it as a known truth. Hearts versus heads, was it? Which side is which, really? Utter bias, can't even watch the rest, especially John Sweeney.