Sunday 20 March 2016


Mark Mardell's The World This Weekend wasn't going to let the whole IDS thing throw it off course. It was sticking with the EU referendum.

The bit I want to highlight, bias-wise, is MM's interview with the two Northern businessmen. 

The bias came in the different ways they were questioned. The questions to the pro-Leave businessman were less helpful, less open, and more targeted (and contradicting) than those put to the pro-Remain businessman. 

Here are Mark Mardell's questions. As they say in exam papers (or used to in my day), "Compare and contrast":

Questions to the pro-Leave businessman

  • But are you worried what will happen if we leave the European Union? Will it make it more difficult for you to trade in Europe?
  • But all the products that are sitting around us that might go to Europe, you'd still have to obey all the same laws, wouldn't you?
  • (interrupting) So why leave?
  • (interrupting) Rules and regulations on your business? 
  • (interrupting) But isn't that the point? That you'd still have to do those things to your business if you want to sell in Europe?
  • So if we left, you're clearly saying from your business point of view, it wouldn't be worse. Would it actually be better do you think?

Questions to the pro-Remain businessman

  • If we left, would that be in any danger at all?
  • So, there'll be uncertainty if we left. But couldn't it be better afterwards?
  • What do you think about getting trade deals and selling to the rest of the world?
  • But does being in the European Union actually help you do what you do, help your business?


  1. Amusing, if irritating, juxtaposition of the questions. Highlights exactly what Mardell's game is. Before he became the editor of the BBC's White House propaganda department, he was the BBC Socialist Europe editor, so he has a certain, shall we say, expertise here.

    1. He's nothing if not reliable (in his bias).


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