Monday 27 June 2016

James Naughtie isn't taking the EU referendum result very well

There's a telling piece on the BBC News website at the moment by James Naughtie headlined Lessons from history for Europe's future

It probably sums up (in an over-elaborate way) how many other BBC reporters are feeling at the moment too.

I read it as one long, sad, bewildered sigh.


He doesn't exactly disguise his feelings. For him, the "world" has "turned upside down", thanks to the EU referendum result.

Presently in France, he's therefore seeking the consolations of history through reading a magisterial study of the Hundred Years War. 

After comparing the upcoming post-referendum EU summit to a "post-war" peace conference" (some sense of perspective please, Jim?), the former Today presenter goes on to write, "It seems natural to turn to chaotic times [i.e. the Hundred Years War] to feel at home".

(The world turning upside down? Chaos?  A post-war-like summit? Get a grip, Jim!)

He thinks about how if Henry V had just lived a little longer "fate" and "chance" would have seen England and France united, and England playing the role of "a moon" to Paris's "bigger planet". But "fate" and "chance" intervened, and Jim goes on to draw a contemporary parallel...:
Chance. The throw of the dice. The fate of countries that turns on the instant. 
Fearsome mortality, a battle. Or a vote.
Was this vote, when well over 17 million people voted to leave the EU, really a case of 'chance' or 'a throw of the dice'? Isn't that a very dismissive way of alluding to a clear democratic choice? 

"No one...knows where we're heading", he then intones, and despite thinking of Henry V, it doesn't "seem" to him "the moment for the St Crispin's Day speech" (a famous piece of English patriotism). 

And, worse, Marine le Pen is smiling "a lot", so Jim, in Paris, changes the subject with his Parisian friends to football instead.

Fate. Chance. The Somme, And...

...yes, one final, very telling sigh:
But, in Picardy, I might have time to read some more history. 
Funnily enough, there is something about the 15th century that is rather appealing just now.
That's the longest, saddest, most bewildered sigh of all. 

He's not one bit happy about the result of the EU referendum, is he? 


  1. The Beeboids are stuck in the anger and denial phase of grief, and I don't see them getting past it for quite some time. Despite all the denials, they really do believe they can - should, when necessary - direct the course of public opinion. We have so many admissions to that effect, from Mark Easton and Justin Webb to Today producers and the descriptions in various BBC job postings.

    This must feel like a personal rebuke. Screw 'em. It's been quite a spectacle since Thursday evening. The mask is off, and everyone is noticing.

    1. You are absolutely right. I think that they were particularly hard-hit this time because they were still licking their wounds after the General Election. They had put a great deal of effort into getting Miliband elected, so this time, they pulled out all the stops... and still we refused to toe the Beeb line!
      You're right about the spectacle- hilarious! I am, nonetheless,worried about the example they are setting for the young: don't like the result of the ballot? -Demand another one!

    2. Have to say the elevation of Ed to sage and elder statesman and wise counsel to Jeremy Corbyn today has been... bloody funny.

  2. it might just be me but there does seem to be more Union Jacks on the website pictures than I can remember - strange when the content is so negative.

    Yesterday I was watching the stock market and the BBC reluctance to change the % drops claimed after they change and still report the bigger % is shocking. The words used are also dangerous a 2% drop can be reported as a "Plunge" but a 2% gain is reported as stable.

    1. Yes! They've just done it again: FTSE rises 2.64%='Markets stable!' ( 6pm news)

  3. During an interview withe George Osborne on “Today” this morning it became clear that the BBC position was that the referendum was “unnecessary”. Please forgive me for being simplistic but the referendum would only have been unnecessary if the result had been Remain. Apparently it was necessary. But of course this is all part of the BBC propaganda drive to portray the whole thing as a spat between factions in the Tory Party - nothing to do with what the public wanted.

  4. It was, of course, necessary because it was promised in the manifesto on which the present government was elected. But that has to do with democracy of which the BBC has no understanding.

  5. I no longer trust the BBC. Their reporting over the last few days has reached new lows. Actually it isn't reporting because they have clearly lost the ability to report in an unbiased objective neutral way. The good news is that, as someone has already mentioned, we are all watching and noticing, and BBC will be broken up sooner rather than later. How dare they spend taxpayers money, my money, peddling their own minority view.

  6. Today, at around 11.00 a.m., the BBC ran a 'post referendam' business feature, framing it as a horror show. It had creepy music, Halloween screams and captions written in 'blood'. It was truly staggering in its presentation.

  7. Why are these protests in london not being reported as protests against democracy? I don't understand?, can someone from the remain side explain this to me.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.