Thursday 29 November 2018

"We really want to help you come to a view on that"

If you recall Peter Lilley's robust exchanges with Evan Davis on Monday, you'll doubtless remember that it arose as a 'right to reply' feature following a previous Evan Davis PM interview with 'impartial expert' Anand Menon. 

You can listen to the original Evan-Anand interview here (beginning 35 minutes in). It was first broadcast on 20 November, exactly a week earlier.

That began with Evan Davis saying:
Now, the core of the argument over whether the Brexit deal is a good one - and we really want to help you come to a view on that - at the core of it is an argument over whether Britain needs to sign up to some kind of customs union with the EU.
And even before Evan began talking to Professor Menon, he gave Radio 4 listeners an editorial of his own, this time regarding Peter Lilley's Today confrontation with BBC Reality-Checker-in-Chief Chris Morris. He stuck up for Chris Morris against Lord Lilley. He said:
Chris Morris was faithfully arguing what most experts and exporting businesses think. He was entirely in line with the consensus of opinion. It was that Peter Lilley thought the consensus is wrong. Chris Morris was not a Remainer. He was simply arguing the facts as most people who have thought about it do see them. 
So that was Peter Lilley told! (No wonder he wanted to have words with Evan afterwards). 

Yes, Evan evidently really wanted to 'help us come to a view' on the Chris Morris/Lord Lilley encounter too, and did so simply by telling us exactly what to think about it!

As for Anand Menon, he was then introduced as "Professor of European Politics at King's College London" and as someone who "thinks very hard about these issues". 

And after Prof. Menon had 'put Lord Lilley straight', Evan concluded the interview by again saying, "Anand Menon there hopefully clarifying it for you so you can hopefully make up your mind about the deal."

Evan Davis is clearly determined to use PM as his personal bully pulpit. 


  1. If all I have read about the forthcoming BBC 'Trilla from Treeza' is any sign, it looks pretty much like they have 'come to a view' with the PM, sacrificing all their media mates in the process, again, which is... 'brave'.

    And of course all in the chatterati from Westminster to W1A to Salford have rather forgotten the folk who actually went into the ballot for the first people's vote. Again.

    1. Yes, this unlikely alliance between a Tory PM and the BBC is fascinating. May has been so delighted to have the Beeb as an ally that she has allowed them to abandon all pretence of impartiality. That's fine for Remainer Tories at the moment, but the fun will come in the run-up to the next election when they want to get both genie and cork back in the bottle & demand impartial reporting.

    2. It is fascinating...and instructive. It shows for one thing they can turn on and off the bias tap at will. And they can run it hot or cold, at will as well.

      A shame we have no anthropologist to study how the BBC Tribe reaches its conclusions and decides things. Does the Tribal Chief send down messages, do the meetings of the tom-tom masters (editorial meetings) decide on "lines", is it what is discussed over coffee,in wine bars and over lunch that really count - how much does the great totem of the tribe, the Guardian, influence their thinking? Or is it all more random - one sheep happens to point its nose in one direction and the whole herd follows?

      I don't profess to know.

    3. I’d say it’s well organised and definitely not random. How it’s done well of course we are not allowed to know. Despite being forced to pay for it.

  2. - and we really want to help you come to a view on that - must be the new expression for 'explain', which for some reason seems to have been abandoned.

    1. To put it another way,"We think you're stupid, so we'd really like to tell you what to think."

    2. Even more succintly: "Believe this or suffer!"

  3. In what way could the BBC help the average person come to a view on a document of 585 pages (now supplemented by some further 20 or so pages) packed full of jargon, legalese and impenetrable politico-speak? They can give us THEIR view but they can't help US come to your view in any meaningful sense. Our view will be determined by a host of factors. A key one for me would be "Has May behaved in an open and honest manner since becoming PM and handling the Brexit process?" Answer: an emphatic NO - as evidenced by what her two now ex Brexit ministers have said and by the fact she never made clear that it was she and her civil servants who were negotiating Brexit, not the Brexit ministers. For me that counts for much more that what a lefty sociology prof might want me to believe.

  4. I still haven’t forgotten Evan Davies reporting events during the height of the banking crisis in tones of delight, as if the whole catastrophe was a source of enormous satisfaction. At a time when ordinary people were desperately worried about their jobs and paying the mortgage - an extremely unpleasant individual.


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