Saturday 21 November 2020

Go-to people


Nine long months ago, before the days of lockdown, we looked at Lewis Goodall's intriguing propensity for using the Institute for Government in his Newsnight reports on UK politics/government. 

Over four such Newsnight reports in a row Lewis had included four 'talking heads' from the Institute for Government, and that seemed a lot. 

I wrote:

This is one to watch, perhaps. Maybe they're just absolutely fantastic and fabulously independent-minded, but the Institute for Government is one of those 'respected', 'independent' think tanks that came across as anti-Brexit over the past few years.

It was founded by strongly pro-EU Labour peer Lord Sainsbury, and its board is striking in its centre-left-leaning, Europhile composition with four parliamentarians past and present belonging to Blairite Labour, one to the Lib Dems, and one to the Conservative Party (David Lidington, who resigned in anticipation of Boris Johnson becoming PM).

It sounds a very BBC outfit, doesn't it? 

I'm intrigued to see if Lewis Goodall keeps up this heavy involvement with the Institute for Government over time. What will it mean if he does?

As our eye then went ,massively off the ball, I didn't follow through on our intention of seeing if this was significant or not, and - for a long while - tried to completely ignore Lewis Goodall. 

Re-entering the fray, I saw my first Lewis Goodall report in a while last week. It was on UK politics/government and featured Georgina Wright from the Institute for Government. I rolled my eyes.

Last night's Newsnight also featured a report on UK politics/government and featured Catherine Haddon from, yes, the Institute for Government. I rolled my eyes again.

If Lewis goes on like this, my eyes could roll so much that they'd fall out of their sockets.

The issue remains: Is this significant? Does it matter if Lewis relies on the Institute for Government so much?

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