Sunday, 2 July 2017

Magic money trees

So good news all round, folks. It turns out there is money to spend on social priorities after all. Glossy and waving golden in the summer wind, the magic money tree has been discovered at last. But, sorry, some bad news just in - it only grows in Northern Ireland. Across the rest of the country, Tory ministers are now going against their own manifesto and openly lobbying for the magic money trees of their own. Labour is behaving as if they won the election but - just as interesting - the Tories are now behaving as if they'd lost it. With me this morning the leading Brexit campaigner who launched his own leadership campaign before being sacked by the then-triumphant Theresa May. Now she's brought Michael Gove back as Environment Secretary. Wonder if magic money trees are part of his brief? Jonathan Ashworth, Labour's health spokesman, would like to give the tree a shake - but how generous is the Corbyn team really going to be to hard-pressed public workers? And in a week when Parliament has really started to flex its muscles, two backbenchers who've been making the news - Labour's Stella Creasy and the Conservative Heidi Allen. Heidi will be reviewing the news alongside the author and anti-capitalist campaigner Naomi Klein and the pro-capitalist Tim Stanley from the Daily Telegraph. But some light relief as well. I've been talking to the creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, about his new musical version of The Wind in the Willows. All that after the news read for us this morning by Ben Thompson.
If anyone watched this morning's show, your thoughts on it are welcome below. (I'm off out now). Was Andrew Marr 'Mr Impartiality' throughout (all personal views firmly repressed)? Or not?


  1. Nice of the BBC to spend a bit of the license fee giving extreme-Left Naomi Klein a few minutes to flog her book. Being allowed to drone on and on, then prompted by Marr to continue espousing the ideology put forth in her latest. Tim Stanley is apparently too well-behaved to speak up, but I'm pretty sure he rolled his eyes at one point.

    I could say the same about Marr's interview with Stella Creasy. Remainer language of 'hard' and 'soft' used throughout as if valid and not partisan. Marr correctly pointed out to her that being out of the EU meant not in the Single Market, listing the reasons, with control over immigration coming last (and not especially emphasized). Creasy was then allowed to dismiss all of it. Bonus anti-Corbyn bias point when Marr started on the loyalty thing, Labour isn't a broad church under Corbyn.

    I normally don't watch the artist interview segment, but stayed for Julian Fellowes. Interesting how he said that, in the '90s, a show like Downton Abbey would have had a Left-wing, class war bias, with Marr nodding along as if it was fact. Which it was, but we've been told the opposite, haven't we?

    As for that Wind and the Willows musical....oh, my. If someone had shown me those clips out of context, I would have assumed it was a parody sketch from some comedy show.

    The weekly batch of complaints about anti-Corbyn bias will be as healthy as ever after Marr spent a couple minutes about how Corbyn is anti-EU, so Labour must be an anti-EU party, which is not what people voted for. The young people who voted for Labour feel they've been lied to? Really? Later on, Marr brought up the "Labour is no longer a broad church" narrative.

    Actually, the obvious anti-Brexit bias was as much Burley's fault as Marr. The issue was framed from a Remain perspective from the start. Also, the editor should have been shouting down Marr's ear when he let Naomi Klein go on and on. With Gove, emotion crept into his voice when challenging him, something that didn't happen with his two Labour guests.

    The other bias: the 'magic money tree' crap. Billions aren't magically 'found'. There's a finite amount in a given budget, and deciding to spend it on X and not Y is allocation of resources, not a one-sided conjuring trick. Marr's opening monologue and his trying that attack with Gove is not just a journalist doing his job to challenge his guest, it's evidence of a hard-Left economic ideology.

  2. PS: After signing off, the end credits rolling and the theme music playing, the audio engineer forgot mute Marr's mic, and I just barely heard him say to Gove, "That was fun." Smiles and giggles between them. It's all a charade, isn't it?

  3. Ellie Fant-Indaroom3 July 2017 at 13:45

    Thought I'd highlight this aspect of the BBC's Fake News operation...

    The following article by Pakistani journalist (and ex guerilla leader according to Wikipedia) Ahmed Rashid appears under BBC News, the World and then Asia section. Within the Asia sub-section it is referred to as a "Feature"...only in the heading is it referenced as a "Viewpoint" - but we aren't told till the end of the article that this is not a BBC Correspondent's viewpoint but rather someone who is a Chatham House regular, a longstanding opponent of American policy and uncritical resident of Pakistan.

    The article which is disguised as a kind of film review is full of opinion without evidence. For instance he states that "As with the wars in the Middle East, Afghanistan highlights the difficult political choices and counter-insurgency strategies the US has been pursuing fruitlessly since 9/11. " Fruitlessly? Afghanistan was the base from which Al Queda launched its devastating attacks on the USA. Al Queda no longer exists in Afghanistan and though the Taliban are dangerous they can't launch 9-11 style attacks on the USA. Rashid as always fails to mention that AQ's leader OBL was found and killed in Pakistan, in a military garrison town! Never mind, Rashid's endless stream of unhelpful negativity and anti-Americanism fits the BBC narrative and that's why this bit of flim-flam opinion has been inserted into what should be a news section.