Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Statements of the bleeding obvious

What did you think of Theresa May’s speech, then? 

Of the ‘early responders’, one of the first off the blocks was Guido. When I quickly looked on his website there were but a few dozen comments from the below-the-line reception class .They were mostly enthusiastic. 

Peter Walker in the Guardian said:
“The more vehement Brexiteers are, as you might expect, generally very happy with May’s speech”.

(therefore Guardian / BBC probably not)

The pundits kept referring to the ‘meat’ and ‘flesh’ in the speech, but I’m afraid I can’t for the life of me see anything particularly new or unexpected in there, apart from the slightly worrying promise that MPs will have a chance to scupper the deal by voting on the final terms, once they have been reached. 

Most of her carefully worded speech sounded somewhat motherhood-and-apple-pie. I mean it’s all very nice setting out what ‘we’ want, but surely the bottom line will depend on what “they” want.

The BBC had Tim Farron on, as they would. Poor Tim looked even more woebegone than ever, and completely taken by surprise that Brexit means Brexit.

Norman Smith must have missed the bit where she said  - for obvious reasons - she was not prepared to give a blow-by-blow account of the negotiating strategy, because he was still complaining that she hadn’t set it out. That’s quite annoying.

Anyway,  She did have a dig at the remoaners, and perhaps the press.

“ this is not a game or a time for opposition for opposition’s sake.” 
“…………….Because it is not my job to fill column inches with daily updates, but to get the right deal for Britain. And that is what I intend to do.”

By jove I think she’s got it.

It’s a bit too soon to get a full picture of the BBC’s reaction. Craig? What do you think?  Anyway, let's see how things pan out.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. One of the commenters at order-order criticised Theresa May’s appearance, saying “At least she could have brushed her hair” 

What rubbish! She’s going to be in Vogue! It looked to me as though the image-tweakers and right-on hairdressers had already been busy - creating a flattering tousled look.  It was a good hair day, and I thought she looked great, even though she had that old Black-Watch tartan pants suit on again; the white open-necked shirt looked fine, especially without any of those burdensome clumpy necklaces. 


  1. My feeling is that both the Guardian and the BBC (which we know follows the Guardian) have been more respectful of the Brexit position since the New Year, well certainly on Newsnight which I watch regularly, masochist that I am. This probably just reflects the waves of reality breaking on the media shore: economic news good rather than dire (cf Haldane's Confession about how the economists got it wrong), readjustments of predictions by IMF and BoE, Labour not doing much to stop Brexit, signs of weakness on the EU side and now the big punch of May's speech.

    I'm glad the BBC are adjusting to reality but in a sense that just makes me more angry about the preceding appalling levels of pro-Remain bias. That reminds me must take a look at "Reality Check" and see what's the latest fatuous nonsense they've got up there.

  2. Once Ken has scrubbed up enough in the Green room, I await the BBC wheeling him across all outlets to off his expert analysis.

  3. I'm a lot less skeptical than I was, which is saying something. Norman Smith on Today early in the morning said pretty much the same thing, even before the speech, so his mind was already made up having read the leaked text. He's pathetic, though, for acting as if it's all superficial simply because May didn't spell out every last detail of what the end result would be, as nobody can say whether any deal will be done or it's WTO rules or what. She couldn't have given more major clues about the desired result. It's just more of the same Remainiac narrative that you can't vote Brexit because nobody has explained what Brexit will look like, and keep moving the goal posts every time a new detail becomes clear.

    Remoaners on the rest of the programme were allowed to go on and on without much challenge or interruption, pro-Brexit voices were challenged as usual.

  4. From BBC's wonderful now permanent Remainiac/Anti-Trump/Pro-Starmer propaganda service "Reality Check" (that's "Check" as in "Please stop it"):

    "The claim: The UK could negotiate an agreement that gives some of the benefits of customs union membership while still allowing other trade deals to be negotiated. (The layout makes clear this is May's claim they are looking at.)

    Reality Check verdict: Turkey has a deal for partial membership of the customs union so it is possible, but the terms are not favourable to Turkey. The prime minister says she does not want to replicate any existing agreements. There is a limit to what the government will be able to achieve in the negotiations if it is not prepared to impose the EU's tariffs on non-EU countries."

    What a pointless waste of licence fee payers' money!

    They admit that May's claim "is possible". So stop right there! That's the reality. The rest is their OPINION of how good a deal can be negotiated and their presumption appears to be that the closer it is to a customs union, the more will have been "achieved" which is not what May claimed at all.

    Always biased, always pointless: the BBC.

  5. Yes, after fighting their 6 month-long rearguard action in the belief that they were really going to win in the end, it's finally sunk in that they've really lost & they're desperate - hence Laura K's petulant squawk that May can't start negotiating with other countries before we've left the EU, "it's not ALLOWED!" So what are they going to do, expel us from the EU?

    1. "So what are they going to do, expel us from the EU?"

      If only!

    2. Surely the rules are about not negotiating while being in the EU are meant to be about countries not doing special side deals. This is preparation for being Out, which isn't what the rules are about.

  6. The "journalists" on the BBC have got so exited about finally seeing some detail about the "single market", the Customs Union and "hard" Brexit that they've missed the main point of Theresa May's speech. Theresa May was talking to the world saying that the UK is open for business and wants a free trade deal with the EU. Also migrants in the UK should be able to stay. This puts the EU on the back foot because anything less will be seen as the EU being petty and protectionist.
    Never mind about the speech, it's far more important to ask Damien Green if he's changed his mind about Brexit.

  7. Have a wonder over to the Guardian BTL if you are brave enough.

    The number wishing Global Britain to fail, and implying that all Leave voters were old and/or thick is truly depressing.

    Although todays reporting of the pound to dollar conversion rate, after yesterday's horror stories has been rather amusing!

    1. Tomorrow's headlines on the BBC - after even more spin,

  8. In Laura K's piece on the BBC News website today, 'The most important words..." Laura tries to roll up Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher into a convenient package of 'news' - with something to do with the location of the speech with its chandeliers? Why would she do that? Well - She probably has the BBC's unique interpretation of history to inform her.

    One of the foundations of the liberal left BBC Editors is a hatred of how Thatcher 'destroyed communities - set family against family - crushed the miners at the battle of Orgreave etc etc'. Laura thinks - 'if I can make this association between Thatcher and May stick, I can tap into that venomous streak of hatred - I can develop the BBC fake news perception of splits in the Tory Party and then - who knows? We might derail Brexit yet!'

    1. Or is she just trying to annoy the pro-Brexit Corbynistas (keep up at the back there - Corbynistas are pro-Brexit) by associating their pro-Brexit cause with Fatcher!!!

    2. Laura K likes to 'report' news. Apparently.

      Just read on her twitter that HSBC amy be moving a few staff around in a few years, which cancels Brexit.

      But to be safe she made it a question, so it may not happen or be important.

    3. Banks make their money by gambling on outcomes. It's ridiculous to second guess what they may do in a few years' time - even with a question mark after it.

    4. I wonder if there isn't a little Robert Peston in Laura, trying to put herself in front of the news agenda by pulling these little stunts.

    5. There seems to be more of a question mark after Laura's 'reporting' as time progresses.

  9. More appalling bias on BBC Radio this morning.

    Latest BBC meme: "May must call an election now or it proves she's frit and the public are really pro-Remain, which is why she's afraid to call an election." Came out of nowhere. There's clearly no public appetite for an election. But there is clearly an appetite within the BBC editorial conference for using this as a stick with which to beat May and the Leavers. Remember the Tory 2015 manifesto stated clearly a Referendum would be held and the people's decision whether Remain or Leave would be implemented. That was also underlined by the HM Government leaflet to every household. So absolutely no need for an election except in the BBC's dark imagination.

    Other bias: according to the BBC, anyone going to the Trump inaugaration is a criminal pariah fascist and must be driven out of public life.

    BTW Radio 5's Emma Barnett appeares on Sky's discussion programme so we know all about her political views which of course are pure official BBC "soggy leftism"*. She's stated quite clearly she hates Trump but is still considered to be capable of "impartially" conducting a debate on the man.

    Soggy leftism is the same as most other forms of modern leftism except it stipulates nothing must be done which affects your personal fortune or wellbeing as an individual (hence their opposition to Corbyn and the associated Trots who genuinely do wish to take an axe to excessive personal wealth and their disinclination to share second homes with undocumented migrants).

    1. If they had no problem with Cast Iron Dave putting off the referendum until his phony negotiation charade was done, they can't complain that May doesn't want to hold an even bigger vote before negotiations have even started.

      The Beeboids better be careful what they wish for, though. Corbyn's Labour isn't going to win any time soon, so they probably wouldn't like the result if May held a snap election in a few months. Nobody wants to see the parade of long faces and quiet sobbing from Beeboids again so soon.

    2. DP - you do know the BBC are anti-Corbyn? They would like an election now because (a) it would unsettle the Brexit process (b) it would boost the Lib Dems (the "second referendum" party) and (b) it would remove Corbyn who would lose spectacularly to May and offer the chance of him being replaced by a soggy left MP of their liking e.g. Starmer, who they would then big-up enormously.

    3. Only a couple segments of BBC staff are anti-Corbyn: upper management, high-profile, upper-band salary on-air talent (e.g. Andrew Marr, Stage Performer Maitlis, Laura Kuenssberg, Huw Edwards) who understand that Corbyn will keep Labour in the wilderness for another election cycle. There are plenty of lower-level and radio Beeboids, along with the usual 'edgy' pet comedians who share Corbyn's values, and are not at all happy when the others are obviously trying to trip him up or give a harder time to his team than they do other Labour figures.

      I've said before that I suspect Marr dialing it down a few notches against Corbyn was more due to internal heat than in reaction to viewer complaints. It's an internal conflict at the BBC, and I'm sure one that would be fun to watch from the inside.

  10. Clockwork Orange refers us to the Guardian's venomous BTL comments - the BBC'S been doing quite well too. This morning, the News Channel had Norman Smith complaining that David Davis was 'oozing confidence,' now, the thing about oozing is that it's essentially a slow and silent process, but Norman's delivery managed to make the word sound positively onomatopoeic - something to do, perhaps, with the fact that his features were twisted with, only-just, contained rage. No doubt there would have been more of this throughout the day, but by this afternoon the Beeb had found a new target: Boris. I can't judge whether Boris ' s comments were ill - judged or not, because the BBC didn't show us what he was responding to, but as far as I can tell, for the moment, the French media have not thought the matter worth reporting. Never mind, BBC, keep it up long enough and I expect they will...