Sunday 19 August 2018

We're on the Road to Nowhere

...where a strong anti-Brexit angle would open the programme then, after the news, a string of anti-Brexit experts would appear making a damning case against Brexit and, finally, a pro-Brexit interviewee would appear to answer all the charges (often with Mark interrupting). still in regular use. 

Today's edition was nothing new under the sun in this respect, except that Matthew Price was in the chair instead of Mark Mardell.

The strong anti-Brexit angle which opened the programme was that the UK's road haulage industry would be very badly hit by a no deal Brexit. The string of anti-Brexit experts (with Matthew explicitly describing his first guest as "an expert") did indeed make a damning case against Brexit, and the final pro-Brexit interviewee - here Andrew Bridgen MP - duly appeared to answer all the charges and got interrupted. 

From the end of the news bulletin, the build-up to the interview with Mr Bridgen lasted nine minutes, the interview with Mr Bridgen four minutes. (I've heard worse, balance-wise). But the interruptions had me laughing, as Matthew first interrupted the Tory backbencher three seconds into his first answer, interrupted him again four seconds into his second answer and interrupted him five seconds into his third answer. 

Maybe he deserved it. The BBC's transport correspondent, listening, says the MP got his facts wrong:

The pro-EU #FBPE community was again pleasantly surprised:

  • Great (for once) item on R4 World this Weekend, interview with Kevin Hopper, haulier re Brexit. Tory MP  in response had no clue. #PeoplesVote
  • I thought @BBCMatthewPrice did a fine job here. But sad that it stands out as unusual re-the beeb and Brexit interrogation.
  • Good #wato
  • Remarkable performance wasn’t it? The presenter tried (much better from the BBC) but was so exasperated he could barely conceal his despair.

They are having a good day, Radio 4-wise.

P.S. I'm sure the BBC's Tom Burridge wouldn't demur from the following explainer, which I've just seen on Twitter:
Why can’t people understand motorways?! 
Left lane - lorries/anxious people
Middle lane - middle lane hoggers
Right lane - people going at 90+ 
It’s not difficult. 


  1. Oh right, so it's now OK for BBC correspondents to start getting involved in political controversies, slagging off MPs and telling them they got it wrong.

    Making allowance for live radio, I think Bridgen's point was perfectly valid and didn't need to be "fact checked" by some pokey-nosed BBC busybody. Even the most ardent Remainiac like Matthew Price or Tom Burridge doesn't claim the channel tunnel is going to be closed after Brexit, even though some come close to claiming that...The issue was disruption and Bridgen core point, which I think most of the audience would have understood, was what although there was disruption to channel tunnel traffic during the heatwave it didn't lead to empty shelves in the supermarkets or societal breakdown.

    1. Does anyone really believe that the supply chain - growers, importers, haulage companies, wholesalers, distributors and retailers are going to allow their business to collapse. A few days or even weeks of disruption will give way to practical solutions to the problems.

      A small price to pay for freedom.

    2. Given Andrew Bridgen's keen interest in questions of BBC bias, BBC correspondents who stray into opining on matters of political controversy INVOLVING HIM might be considered very brave (in the Yes, Minister sense)!

  2. Sir Topham Hatt - Quite: I don't for one moment think that experienced people like Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, George Soros, Kemal Ahmad, CBI directors, Tom Burridge, Andrew Marr, or whoever is involved in the Remain campaign, really think there would be anything other than very short term disruption before things settled down. That's why the Remain campaign is so really a deception campaign. They are conflating several different issues in an effort to confuse and alarm the public.


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