Thursday 22 November 2018

Hard lines, Norman!

Norman and friend

Just following up a point from Monkey Brains on the Open Thread about how the BBC talks of "hardline Brexiteers" but very rarely of "hardline Remainers" ....

A survey of BBC Radio 4's output so far this month (using TV Eyes) reveals 23 uses of "hardline" in connection to groups of people and Brexit - and, yes, all of them refer to pro-Brexit people and none to anti-Brexit people. 

The 23 uses here specifically refer to BBC reporters, presenters and newsreaders using the term themselves. It doesn't include non-BBC guests or quotes from newspapers. So it's all authentic BBC usage. 

Here are the phrases used, and the number of times they've been used:

hardline Brexiteers - 12
hardline Tory Brexiteers - 3
hardline Eurosceptics - 2
hardline pro-Brexit members of Mrs May's Conservative party - 2
Mrs May's hardline Brexit critics - 1
hardline Leavers - 1
hardline Brexit supporters within the Conservative party - 1
Conservative hardline Eurosceptic Brexiteers - 1

And, of course:

hardline Remainers (and variants) - 0

As for the people using those phrases, one was Steve Richards, whilst presenting The Week at Westminster. He presents a BBC programme but isn't a BBC journalist, of course. The others, however, are. And here's their roll call:

Norman Smith - 9
John Pienaar- 5
Nick Robinson - 2
BBC newsreaders - 2
Justin Webb - 1
Razia Iqbal - 1
Luke Jones - 1
Paul Moss - 1

That Our Norm is the most hardline BBC journalist here doesn't surprise me one bit. He's always been a particularly hardline BBC hardliner when it comes to slinging labels around.

Update: With thanks to Peter, here's Terence Trent D'Arby's famed 1980s album in its latest re-issue:


  1. Norman...aahh dontcha luv 'im...don't you want to tickle his ears... don't you want to hug him close to your chest and say...


    Thanks Craig for your diligent research, confirming yet again that our rational suppositions are borne out by the facts. The BBC is over-the-top biased in all the Guardian compass-point directions you can imagine. Locked in a self-referencing metro-elite bubble.

    But don't fear BBC! Now the Mail and Express have finally converted to nutjob PC Remainism you can rest easy... Just go after the 75s - pursue them to the grave for their unconscionable Euroscepticism.

    1. Rory Stewart admitting that there is a Canada style on offer from the EU. This is what David Davis wants. This is what I want. This is what most people who voted Brexit wanted I think. We can definitely get Canada Plus with agreement on a range of other elements.


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