Sunday, 4 November 2018


Here's another factoid about this morning's The Andrew Marr Show: The Arron Banks interview in the middle of the programme lasted 15m 37s while the interview with government minister James Brokenshire at the end of the programme lasted 7m 01s - i.e. less than half the time. 

Poor Mr Brokenshire!

And to add insult to injury, Andrew did that thing BBC interviewers keep doing - making sure they get the last word:

AM: A bit of a row at the moment between the BBC and the government over Budget coverage. Can I ask you directly: In terms of the poorest people in the country, the bottom 10%, and the richest people in the country, the top 10%, who is getting the most cash benefit from the Budget?
JB: Well, proportionately those...
AM: (interrupting) Cash benefit?
JB: ...proportionately those on the lower end have actually gained the most from this Budget in terms of lowering thresholds over taxation but also...
AM: (interrupting) And in cash terms?
JB: ...increasing the actual numbers that are there in terms of, for example, the national living wag. So the benefit proportionately is very firmly there.
AM: Proportionately. But in cash terms?
JB: I don't think you actually measure this in cash terms...
AM: (interrupting) Well, the IFS has. The IFS, unimpeachable, not a left-wing source or anything like that, says "Our estimate is that the poorest 10% of people gained £50 per annum from this Budget while the richest 10% gained £280 from the Budget. So in cash terms, the richest 10% do get more than the poorest 10%.
JB: But that's why...
AM: (interrupting) By quite a large margin.
JB: That's why I come back to the point about proportion, the different proportions in terms of where you start off, and, therefore, the benefit and impact of what people receive, which is why I do make the point as to how this was a Budget for those on low incomes, the benefit that will provide and, actually, the real support through taxation, through the national living wage and, therefore, this very firmly being a Budget for those on low incomes.
AM: The British people are less concerned with proportions than cash I suspect James Brokenshire. But thank you very much indeed for talking to us. 

Incidentally, following on from yesterday's post quoting Charles Moore slamming the BBC for treating the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) as if it was wholly free from bias and "the court of final appeal as to whether this is a good or bad Budget", did you spot Andrew Marr there calling the IFS "unimpeachable"?


  1. Wasn't the figure of £800+ bandied about in the media for the gains of the top tier? Interesting it's now come down to £280. I wonder how that happened and if anybody in the media has apologised for creating a wrong impression, if not fake news, in the first place.

  2. Yes, Evan Davis is a master of that "last word" trick:

    "I get you're saying you didn't really mean that, you were wrong to make the claim and you're a bit of a tosspot when all's said and done. Sadly that's all we've got time for...Tomorrow we're in Belfast..."