Saturday 8 October 2016

Living for 'Today'

It's not often that I get to hear all of the Today programme (or even very much of it). I heard nearly all of it yesterday and most of it today though and I can now see why some people claim that listening to it gives them a feeling of anti-Brexit indigestion. The diet of anti-Brexit material is quite something when you hear how it's force-fed Radio 4 listeners over the course of many hours.

This morning's edition wasn't too bad - at least compared to yesterday's eye-opener. 

It had a negative Brexit story as its second headline (a complaint from the LSE that some of its foreign advisors have been barred from advising the government over Brexit) but focused much more throughout the programme on two other negative Brexit stories: (a) a open letter from the CBI pretty much calling for a 'soft Brexit' and (b) that 'flash crash' of the pound yesterday.

The former were said to be "genuinely nervous" about not having full access to the Single Market" and to have "fears" about not being consulted over Brexit while the latter was put down to "uncertainly" over a government statement about going for a 'hard Brexit'.

We heard from the head of the Confederation of British Industry (Carolyn Fairbairn) on the former and the head of the Confederation of Small Businesses (Mike Cherry) on the latter, along with the BBC's former chief business correspondent Linda Yueh.

Ms Fairburn has long been negative on Brexit. Mr Cherry has always tried to be studiously neutral. Ms Yueh is a former BBC correspondent (and sounded like it). 

It could have been worse.

And on Friday's edition it was worse. 

The early business spot (6.15) was being like force-fed negative stuff about Brexit. Tanya Beckett talked Brexit and Brexit-related doom and gloom for a full quarter of an hour beginning with a "lament" about Brexit from the former head of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet (uninterrupted and unchallenged). Then came Jane Foley of Rabobank on the dangers of a 'hard Brexit'. Then came French businessman Olivier Brousse of John Laing, who found the present situation "worrying".

At 6.48 came a segment on worried British expats (a popular Remain/BBC theme during the referendum) and an interview with Wynne Edwards, an expat leader launching a legal challenge against Jean-Claude Juncker over his refusal to allow Brexit talks before Article 50 is triggered. Mr Edwards is doing that from an anti-Brexit position (being one of those people who'd like to reverse the result of the June 23 vote).

At 7.13 came an interview about Transparency International's concerns about EU referendum donations. John Humphrys interviewed Will Straw, former leader of the Remain campaign. Mr Straw got away, with surprisingly little challenge, in trying to locate the bulk of the problem with lack of transparency on his opponents, the Leave campaign.

At 7.52 came an interview about black representation in British films where actor David Harewood complained that Britain has become more racist since the Brexit vote, and he was 'led' into that my a question from Sarah Montague: "David Oyelowo says that he - at least his family - has noticed a change in the last few months since the referendum result, that they've actually noted comments, the sort of 'go home' comment". 

There was a UKIP guest though (Roger Helmer) but he was on to talk about internal party matters. His only comment about Brexit was to condemn Theresa May's government for being too extreme on immigration. (If UKIP had done what the Tories proposing, he said, they'd have been condemned as racists). 

Are these two editions untypical? All I can say is when I'm driving to work and hearing the business news I keep hearing this sort of thing (especially from Dominic O'Connell). I hear little positive about Brexit. 

Such 'snapshots' are open to easy dismissal by the BBC of course, but Today - one small part of the BBC's vast output - is a huge enterprise (17 hours of broadcasting each week). It would take a lot of time and energy to monitor it closely enough to prove that this is typical. Is anyone up to that?


  1. If you repeat something often enough it becomes true - at least in the eyes of the BBC;

    1) Increase in hate crime? I'm yet to see proof in actual convicted crime statistics rather than people thinking / reporting a "hate" crime.
    2) Trump is an evil idiot - most who think this base their opinions on what the MSM has told them and have never actually listened to him.
    3) Leave voters were conned and lied to - with no reference to the equal amount of bollocks fed to us by Remain.
    4) Leave voters were old and uneducated - which has been proven by the polling companies who also got the election wrong? Give me a break nobody actually knows.

    Etc etc have all become accepted "truth" for probably 48% of the population. It's the fact that nobody calls them out on any of this, that proves all the MSM is biased.

  2. Have some LSE people actually been "barred" from advising the Government, or is it that the just aren't all being brought in to guide Theresa May, and only some are on the team for various pragmatic reasons?

    1. They should all be banned, along with all of the Chatham House nest of vipers.

      Personally I would rely entirely on the Civil Service - much maligned I know, but given the right leadership I think they understand what their duty is and they are not lacking in the skills.

  3. I usually listen to 45 minutes of Today and yes it is relentlessly anti-Brexit. I believe this has to be coordinated and planned.

  4. No thanks - the BBC's irredeemable bias was proved long ago by you, Craig, and others. Any fair minded person can see they are incredibly biased against Brexit, against socially conservative beliefs, and against all politics outside their soggy left consensus.

    We need now to campaign for licence fee payers to vote in the management annually. "Democtratic control" should be the chosen dagger to thrust into the side of the PC BBC.


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