Thursday 22 June 2017

"Well, I don’t think anybody would know whether I was a Brexiteer or, or not"

Here's a transcript (via News-watch) of Nick Robinson's interview with John Simpson on this morning where he defended his claim that this past year has been "the worst year for Britain is (his) lifetime".

It was a remarkable interview on many levels, not least for the complete lack of self-awareness on display as regards bias. 

I had to smile after reading Alan at Biased BBC saying that the BBC "never lets a day go by without some snide passing comment about the Mail" and then hearing Nick Robinson snidely saying to John Simpson, "I can hear someone at the Daily Mail being commissioned now to say, ‘BBC Remoaner John Simpson whinges about Brexit instead of saying what a great dawn, a new dawn it is’".

And I smiled even more broadly after hearing John Simpson insist "Well, I don’t think anybody would know whether I was a Brexiteer or, or not. And, actually, to be really honest, Nick, and I bet it’s the same with you, I can see both sides of the coin" despite everything else he said in that interview (all negative about Brexit) and his previous expressions of opinion of the matter, not least this from 2016 about the EU referendum:

I'm afraid, John, that even if we don't know if you were a Brexiteer or not, we can made a very informed guess that you very, very probably weren't - or you would surely never have expressed yourself in such a way in public. 

Anyhow, here's the transcript:

NICK ROBINSON: Now, John Simpson has just taken up tweeting and he tweeted, 'It was the worst year for Britain in my lifetime', and it produced quite a reaction. So John has been writing a little bit more about that, and he joins us on the line from Oxford........Now, talking of terrible days, you wrote this phrase ‘The worst year for Britain in my lifetime’. I think quite a lot of people then responded to you, and said, ‘Come off it, Simpson! You know, what about ’72? What about ’74? What about the Suez Crisis of 66 (sic)? Why this year do you say it’s the worst?
JOHN SIMPSON: I have to say, only, only a few did, and there’s always somebody that, you know, wants to know better. Erm, but er, if you look back at it, I mean, 1944, the year of my birth, was pretty terrible, V1, V2 rockets crashing down on British cities, but erm, you know, there was real hope, people knew the war was...was over. 1956 was a bad year in many ways, the year of Suez, the year in which Britain really ceased to be a world power. Erm, but there was Harold Macmillan, full of rather phony self-confidence to tell is that it was all going to be well and soon telling us we’d never had it so good.  1972 was a particularly bad year, with Bloody Sunday and the IRA attacks and so on, ’74, when we didn’t seem to have proper government...
NICK ROBINSON(speaking over) Well you’re, you’re reminding us how grim it all was, so why are you saying that...
JOHN SIMPSON(speaking over) But...
NICK ROBINSON...2017 is worse?
JOHN SIMPSONBecause this is a real all-round kind of storm. We’ve got everything, we’ve got utterly weak government, we have got a time when the...Governor of the Bank of England is warning that Brexit is gonna make us poorer, erm, we don’t know where we’re going to be in a year, two years’ time. And, and on top of all that, we have these dreadful incidents, the bombings sure, but that doesn’t send to shake us so much, but . . . 
JOHN SIMPSON... there’s the terrible business of the Grenfell flats . . . 
NICK ROBINSON(interrupting) Indeed, you’re used to this John, but I might as well ask you, give you a chance to get yer retaliation in first.  I can hear someone at the Daily Mail being commissioned now to say, ‘BBC Remoaner John Simpson whinges about Brexit instead of saying what a great dawn, a new dawn it is.’
JOHN SIMPSONWell, I don’t think anybody would know whether I was a Brexiteer or, or not. And, actually, to be really honest, Nick, and I bet it’s the same with you, I can see both sides of the coin. Erm, but the fact is we don’t know where we’re going to be, and it’s that uncertainty, regarding that maybe, there may be wonderful sunny uplands just ahead of others, but at the moment it’s a bad time, and it was ushered in by the dreadful murder of Jo Cox with that awful man shouting out ‘This is for Britain, Britain will always come first’...
JOHN SIMPSON...and it’s come right through, and do you know...
NICK ROBINSON(speaking over) We’ve got to leave it there, I’m afraid. You have stimulated, I think, a national conversation. Perhaps will pursue it, and with two other rather famous Johns here of a certain age, we might be...might be able to do it on another day...
JOHN HUMPHRYS: (speaking over) We must rapidly move on, I think, from that (moves on to next story).


  1. I don't buy this 'referendum lies from both sides' nonsense, that is being 'balanced' after the event. We all know he's talking about 'the bus' which the BBC still won't let go of and still happily allows people to link to Nigel Farrage which is a lie.
    More important surely is the 40 plus years of lies by ommission about the EEC/EU from the BBC. Virtually no reporting whatsover unless the UK was on the naughty step. That probably goes some way to explaining why most of our MPs have no idea what the EU does and what is allowed. To take a recent example the Green and Labour party calls to nationalise the railways; transport is an EU 'competence' and nationalisation is a 'no can do', fact!
    Our John should take some comfort from Mrs May not getting a 100 seat majority but that assumes we don't know his political views. Are bears catholic? Does the pope dump in the woods?

  2. This is outrageous really. BBC people enjoying a tax-funded whinge and trying to overturn a democratic referendum result!

    But I also take issue with Simpson's concept of "moderation". Our population increase is out of control. Today it was announced it was over 500,000 in one year. That's the equivalent of Liverpool being wiped out by a comet and having to be rebuilt in one year, from scratch. This population has been entirely driven by mass immigration. Simpson's concept of "moderation" consider this disastrous mass immigration policy to be a positive boon. Worse, Simpsonian moderation demands that the few border controls we do have be completely abandoned and we allow in any bogus refugee who wants to get here.

  3. ...and I bet it’s the same with you, I can see both sides of the coin.

    I wouldn't ever have to hear him mention it to know Simpson is a Remoaner. As for Robinson....

    But Simpson's answer is actual intellectually dishonest, perhaps deliberately so. Being able to see both sides of the coin certainly doesn't mean you haven't chosen sides. The point is, does the fact that he has taken sides come through in his broadcasting.

    With Nick Robinson, it was astonishingly obvious on the night of the referendum vote. Not quite as obvious as Laura Kuenssberg all red in the eyes and voice near breaking, but patently obvious all the same. It's also been fairly obvious from his broadcasting before and since.

    As for Simpson blaming everything on that lunatic who killed Jo Cox - including terrorist attacks - just saying that and citing that quote is prima facie evidence that he has taken sides on Brexit.

  4. The BBC has learned than BBC editors scramble quickly to 'manage' (BBC 'quotes') the fall out when BBC editors commit Twitter howlers that mere mortals would be lampooned mercilessly for.

    Pretty certain this one will get a pass from HIGNFY too.

    They are either venal or idiots.

    I am erring on both.

    Especially the latter, if they think the cosy exchange above would not be seen for what it is by anyone outside the circle of jerks they inhabit.

    Moving rapidly on...

    "Daily Mail Readers !!!!!!!!"


  5. Why should anyone care about John Simpson's views on Brexit or anything else? Why should anyone care about Jeremy Bowen's views on the ME history?

    They were supposed to be reporters of events. Pandering by the BBC has over-inflated their egos and the importance of their opinions. I honestly think my opinions are more informed, but I'm not interviewed on the BBC - how come?

    In a commercial network their tedious virtue-signaling would have had them out the door a long time ago and replaced with fresh ideas.


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