Saturday 25 May 2019


Following on from the previous post, and as MB outlines elsewhere, note how Emily Maitlis (on last night's Newsnight) misrepresents what Mark Francois said when she recalls the interview later in the programme. The early exchange went as follows:
Emily Maitlis: He says he is. So he has your vote. You know that there is, erm, Steve Baker, Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, all pretty much from the same wing of the party on this one, but you would choose him over Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab? 
Mark Francois: There is a slight difference which is, on the third meaningful vote, the crunch one, Steve still voted against the withdrawal agreement, as did I, and Boris and Dominic folded.  
Emily MaitlisSo he's the purer...he's the pure one there? You wouldn't back somebody who folded?  
Mark FrancoisI would argue he was the more consistent
As you'll see, it was Emily who brought in the words 'purer' and 'pure' with Mark Francois then refusing to use her form of words and choosing 'more consistent' instead. Yet later Emily said this:
When she took on that job, we were just discussing, we thought before the referendum that, you know, being a member of the EU or not was a technical choice. It was about negotiations and trade deals. And now it has become identity-defining. It's become about moral values, about the purity...we heard Mark Francois talking about whether Steve Baker was more pure than Boris Johnson. It has become so defining. 
No we didn't Emily. We heard you taking about purity, not him.

And then Jenni Russell of the Times took up her misrepresentation and ran with it:
We are just about to get a lot further into the mire. We we watch Mark Francois just now talking about purity, you're back to issues of faith and identity and religion, and the people that I talk to have become so categoric about where they belong, either as Remainers or Leavers. It has caused all kinds of splits between families and between friends. I think these identities are running horribly deep. 
MB's closing question surely gets to the crux of the matter here:
Re Maitlis - is it no longer important if a BBC presenter (a) knowingly lies about something saidabout 15 mins earlier or (b) is so incompetent that she forgets what a guest said on a matter of crucial national importance in direct response to her question just 15 mins earlier?


  1. Give her a break. She obviously forgot to write 'consistent' on her little pad in which she frequently and frantically jots during interviews....
    ....although, come to think of it, it's never the other way round is it.

    1. Yes, it's like those mysterious communication failures on the line which always seem to happen with Farage, not Yvette Cooper.

  2. The case beautifully made and illustrated in pure blue. There's no getting out of that one.

    She may have been casting around for an alternative to calling Leavers extreme or hardline or something similar but although the word may change (and be falsely attributed to someone else) it's still the same old game being played. Same old biased perspective and the same old smears.

    1. They follow each other like a flock of sheep going around in circles. I was just reading Matthew Parris in the Spectator who was similarly mocking the alleged "purity" of Brexiters.

      This latest obsession of the increasingly nutty Remainers with the alleged "purity" is as absurd as all the others. It's a kind of projection really.

      Brexiters are not looking for some sort of impossible purity. We simply wish to take ourselves out of the EU. As pointed out by nearly all Remainers and also nearly all Leavers during the campaign, this means leaving the Single Market and leaving the Customs Union. That's not "purity", that's just what the Referendum was all about. Brexiters have no problem with a mutually beneficial free trade deal - that's what Davis thought he was negotiating to begin with. But if the EU won't play ball then of course it has to be no deal.

      In order to bolster his argument Parris deploys dishonest techniques, trying to downplay the scale of the coming Brexit Party victory by dubious statistics (basically assumming that everyone who doesn't vote for Farage or UKIP opposes no deal in all circumstances).


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