Tuesday 11 September 2018

Mark Carney, the BBC and Sky

It's very striking, on comparing the BBC News and Sky News websites' respective reports on the extension of Mark Carney's term as Governor of the Bank of England, that the BBC report features nothing but praise for Mr Carney while Sky paints a more mixed picture.  

I think it's worth copy-and-pasting them both in their entirety for posterity's sake. 

A spot of colouring, highlighting reactions (positive and negative) towards the news, will hopefully help make the differences even clearer, but the actual reports need reading in full to get the full sense of how close the BBC comes to hagiography here - in contrast to Sky:  

Sky News
Chancellor Philip Hammond says he is "delighted" at the decision "to support a smooth exit from the EU".

By Aubrey Allegretti, political reporter
Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney will remain in post longer after Brexit to "support continuity" in the economy.
The Canadian economist had been due to step down in June 2019, but will now stay on until 31 January 2020.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the news on Tuesday, saying Mr Carney had agreed to the extension "despite various personal pressures".
He added he was "delighted" that Mr Carney would serve seven more months "to support a smooth exit from the EU and provide vital stability for our economy".
In his acceptance letter, the Bank of England governor wrote: "I recognise that during this critical period, it is important that everyone does everything they can to support a smooth and successful Brexit.
"Accordingly, I am willing to do whatever I can in order to promote both a successful Brexit and an effective transition at the Bank of England and I can confirm that I would be honoured to extend my term to January 2020.
"I deeply appreciate your support and that of the Prime Minister.
"It is a privilege to serve as governor at the Bank and I look forward to continuing to work with my exceptional colleagues at the bank as we promote the good of the people of the UK by maintaining monetary and financial stability."
Sir Jon Cunliffe, the deputy governor with responsibility for financial stability, has also been re-appointed.
Mr Carney has been attacked by leading Brexiteers for his forecasts and interventions on Brexit.
Last month he warned that the risk of a "no deal" divorce with the EU was "uncomfortably high" and "highly undesirable".
Critics have accused him of contributing to "Project Fear".
Responding to the extension, fierce Eurosceptic Jacob Ress-Mogg said: "I think it's a pity that he's played ducks and drakes with his appointment.
"It was meant to be eight years, he said for family reasons he could only do five years, then he extended it and now he's extended it again.
"The governorship of the Bank of England is too important a post to have been politicised as, sadly, he has done or to be muddled about with in this way.
"I think it's very undignified and reflects poorly on him."
Wes Streeting, a Labour MP and supporter of the pro-EU People's Vote campaign, said: "The news that the Governor of the Bank of England is staying on until January 2020 will provide some stability and certainty.
"But it is also a damning indictment of the government's Brexit policy that the chancellor believes that such an extension is needed to see us through 'turbulence'."

BBC News
Mark Carney will remain Bank of England governor until the end of January 2020, Chancellor Philip Hammond has told MPs.
Mr Hammond said the seven-month extension would "support a smooth exit" from the European Union.
The extension was agreed in an exchange of letters between the governor and the chancellor published on Wednesday.
Mr Carney said he was "willing to do whatever I can in order to promote both a successful Brexit and an effective transition at the Bank of England".
It is the second extension of his tenure as governor. When Mr Carney took over from Mervyn King in 2013, he agreed a five-year term with the option of a further three.
The typical term for the position has been eight years.
In October 2016, Mr Carney said he would staying on for an extra year, until June 2019, after his initial five-year term ended in 2018.
'Much-needed stability'
Mr Hammond told the Commons that the early part of summer 2019 "could be quite a turbulent period for our economy" following the UK's scheduled departure from the EU on 29 March.
Mr Carney had agreed "despite various personal pressures" to stay on until January 2020 to "help support continuity in our economy during this period", the chancellor said.
The extension will give the government more time to recruit his successor, amid concern that few candidates would want to take on the role during an unpredictable stage in the Brexit process.
Sir Jon Cunliffe, Bank of England deputy governor with responsibility for financial stability, has also been re-appointed for a second five-year term that will last until October 2023.
Bradley Fried, chair of the Bank's Court of Directors, welcomed their decisions to stay on: "Continuity in the outstanding leadership they provide will help the Bank succeed in our crucial work."
Nicky Morgan, chair of the Commons Treasury Committee, said the announcement provided "much-needed stability and clarity".
"The government should now use the extra seven months to continue its succession planning. It should identify a candidate in good time for the Treasury Committee to scrutinise the appointment," she added.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell welcomed the move. "I have a good working relationship with Mark Carney. We meet on a regular basis and I have a lot of confidence in him, so I'm pleased this will give us a bit of stability."
The Canadian was the first non-Briton to be appointed governor in the Bank's 300-year history and had previously run the Bank of Canada for five and a half years from February 2008.
In March 2008, just a month after his appointment, Mr Carney cut Canadian interest rates amid the financial crisis. That move, along with other measures, was considered to have boosted investor confidence, enabling Canada to recover more quickly than some other countries.
He had a commercial banking background, as well as experience in the public sector - unlike his two most recent predecessors who had spent their careers within the Bank of England and academia.
Mr Carney worked for investment banking giant Goldman Sachs in New York before returning home to work for Canada's Department of Finance.
Born in March 1965 in Fort Smith in Canada's Northwest Territories, he graduated from Harvard University in 1988 and then earned a doctorate in economics at Oxford University in 1995.
That year he married economist Diana Fox, whom he met at Oxford, and the couple now have four children.


  1. The BBC is becoming emboldened in its bias...they feel now they are untouchable, with the cosy Ofcom set-up in place (criticising purely from the left) and with a PM who is only too happy for them to lay into the Brexit cause. The innovation of a "columnist" segment on Newsnight (first on last night: Rachel Sylvester probably the most vehement Boris-hater in the business, and that's saying something) is a transparent device to get unfiltered bias through to the viewer by featuring columnists with very BBC views.

    1. Yes, that new Newsnight feature needs watching very carefully. Rachel Sylvester's hate-filled language about Boris Johnson was so insulting and offensive that I hope she - and Newsnight - get reported to Big Brother Billings.

    2. I expect the Rev. Canon Dr. Police Commissioner BBC Presenter (take your pick) would soon have you Gulaged for that hateful hope, if he could.


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