Saturday 18 January 2020

Lewis Goodall v Robbie Gibb

A thread from Newnight's new policy editor on Sajid Javid's interview with the FT...
Lewis Goodall: Two points:
-final acceptance that referendum promise that we’d have exactly the same benefits of the single market was false.
-pledging to double economic growth at the same time as leaving world‘s biggest trade bloc seems, erm, ambitious.
Alternative trade deals won’t come online for years (if earlier it’s probably a sign they’re v basic) and as studies show, benefits of FTAs are pretty modest. Civil service estimates suggest that the biggest one, a US deal, will boost UK GDP by only 0.2% *after 15 years*.
Mr Javid was once rather more alive to these concerns:
Mr Javid was right then. It is difficult to imagine how an economy can undertake runaway growth whilst erecting significant trade barriers with its closest and most significant trading partner. Unless of course, they have some drastic plans on labour laws, regulation...And even that prob wouldn’t be enough. After all, cuts to domestic regulation in some areas will be matched by increases in the regulatory burden on business that divergence will inevitably bring.
...brought a response from former senior BBC editor turned Theresa May communications director Robbie Gibb:
Robbie Gibb: Applying my impartiality check to this twitter thread it fails on 1,2,3,6,8,9 and 15. Apart from that it’s great.
The rules in question, with Robbie alleges Lewis broke, are:
1) Always make impartiality the number one priority or it will take second place to other considerations.
2) On social media and broadcast it should not be possible to work out any journalist’s political views.
3) On Twitter look at your tweets in the round, check they don’t all point in one direction.
6) You can’t be both an impartial journalist and commentator - choose one or the other.
8) Don’t pretend you can predict the future - you can’t and your guess isn’t news.
9) Show some humility - you probably don’t know as much as the person you are criticising.
15) Avoid loaded language, it gives away your bias.
An unfriendly exchange then ensued:
Lewis Goodall: Thanks for this Robbie. Maybe one day, if I’m as impartial as you, I can get a knighthood too.
Robbie Gibb: My advice to you is listen to constructive criticism and try and improve. 


  1. Newsnight presenters and many at the BBC in general know that unless they make their political views crystal clear they would not be hired in the first place.

    Once in BBC employment, continuous virtue-signalling via Twitter is mandatory for them to keep the job.

    That’s how it works.

    1. That's definitely a key factor in the whole toxic nature of the BBC - it reinforces groupthink. It's only when people retire they sometimes begin telling the truth.

  2. My thoughts:

    "final acceptance that referendum promise that we’d have exactly the same benefits of the single market was false." I don't recall that being said by an official Vote Leave spokesperson. Can Lewis

    Don't believe me Lewis? - take a look at the BBC's Reality Checkon the Vote Leave publicity.

    The only claim made by Vote Leave was that you don't have to be an EU member to trade with it. Switzerland was given as an example. But one could equally have mentioned China.

    Nowhere was it stated that we could enjoy the "same" benefits re trade after exiting the EU. In fact it downplays the importance of our export trade to the EU.

    You can argue whether the Swiss example was a good one - we shall see. But Goodall's claim is not borne out.

    FTAs not motors of prosperity? Well that seems to be challenging a longstanding article of faith of globalism. I have certainly read studies that claim much greater benefits for FTAs. Is Lewis a secret Trumpist?

    Is Lewis an economist? No. He has no claim to special insight into our future economic development.

    We might become big agricultural exporters like the Dutch. We might raise GDP significantly in the North and make the whole country more prosperous. We might
    open up huge export markets in Africa as its population expands towards 4 billion. We could take the lead in developing highly automated robotised manufacturing allowing us to revive our industries. Or our finance sector may continue to expand relentlessly, serving the rest of the world. Who knows? Certainly not Lewis!

  3. This catfight demonstrates that those within the BBC/Westminster bubble fail to realise that the 2019 General Election represented a sea-change in the way that these activists are viewed by the public. Twitter seems to have spiralled downwards so that insults and slurs are the only means of communication - and the more barbed the insult, the more smug the sender becomes.

    When viewed from outside the bubble, all that can be discerned is the equivalent of gesticulation and arm waving. The content hardly matters as long as one twitterer can claim victory over another - however smug and temporary that is.

    1. There have been quite a few internecine wars breaking out in the lib-left bubble!

      Paul Mason came out with some strident criticism of Corbyn (after telling us for the last few years what a brilliant political leader he is) and has been roundly attacked by the Corbynistas.

      There is a blame game going on between the GNUs who thought Corbyn should have stood down, to allow formation of a Government of National Unity and those who blame Swinson for collapsing the previous Parliament and triggering the election, thus enabling Brexit to go ahead.

      Brendan Cox has, weirdly, come out in favour of migration controls, thus inviting a lot of Far Left opprobrium.

      Labour are of course divided over the extent of Corbyn's responsibility for the recent election disaster and who to choose as next Leader.

      All good stuff! But in the bigger picture, it doesn't alter the fundamentals, the danger of our further abandoning democracy (free speech is pretty much gone now) and drifting towards a Far Left dictatorship state. Think about the 2019 General Election, Labour, led by a Far Left figurehead (someone who had consorted with terrorists and many of the UK's worst enemies), running on a Far Left programme of nationalisation, and committed to an increase in non-borders mass immigration won just under one third of the votes cast! (32%).

      There's no reason why Labour might not score 40% with the right leader and propitious circumstances e.g. an economic downturn or an international crisis.

      With the influence of PC Globalism, Leftism and the Islamic lobby increasing through academia, the media (BBC to the fore of course), think tanks, publishers, the Police, corporate practice and so on, I can't see how the drift towards the final triumph of Globalist PC pro-Islamic Leftism can be prevented unless someone takes it on directly. Yes, it's obvious that at a fundamental level the ideologies of Globalism, Socialism and Islam are opposed but working together they are very, very powerful.

      It will take a genuine populist movement to turn the tide.

    2. The threat of Labour seizing power has as its base the London Labour MPs and Momentum (PLP by its other name). That is why the 2019 GE was so important as it showed that it is only London and the big the city areas that are in support of the Labour manifesto. Starmer is a London MP, and RLB has a seat in the newly created London of the North, Salford. It's no accident that the BBC head for Labour-voting areas Salford and Glasgow for their tightly controlled Labour-rich outposts.


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