FT and BBC reporting: I like but I don't like!


A few days ago I splashed out on a FT subscription. Having read a few excellent freebies published by the FT, I was tired of seeing all these juicy articles on Brexit that I couldn't read because I didn't subscribe ... so I took the plunge. The latest one I read was titled " Brexit and Britain’s two-faced ruling class ". I found myself thinking about BBC and FT and trying to decide which camp they fell into, Brexit or remain. I know they, and many others, claim they are impartial but then I realized two things. Firstly I was conflating Brexit and political (party) bias and secondly, my personal failing of not giving sufficient attention first-time round to details. For example, a most-telling interview on CNN by Christiane Amanpour of a Russian, I had a devil of a time going back to find the name of the interviewee because I didn't pay enough attention in the first place. Similarly, where I accept this or that article as being published by the BBC, I often forget that there are a lot more than one writer/ pundit/ contributor/ journalist.


And so I find myself trying to guess which way the wind is blowing when watching a BBC current affairs or reading the FT. I mentioned that I was lumping the Brexit tendency of reporters to the political bias. In fact the bias I detect isn't so much directed towards a political party, but towards a person. I find a strong anti-Corbyn undercurrent running through many BBC journalist reports. From the vehemence with which they attack trivial things like not singing the national anthem, to more serious topics like antisemitism. They also take pot shots at him for things like being anti-nuclear and, unlike Trump, showing a marked reluctance to press the nuclear button. This makes trying to guess the bias of an article difficult, because on the one hand the Tories are getting ever-more hard-line Brexit while on the other Labour are moving in the other direction. From the reporter's point of view, I imagine, it is like that old joke. Definition of mixed feelings: watching the mother-in-law reverse over a cliff in your brand new Jaguar!


I want to conclude this blog by block quoting the article I read with the title a" Brexit and Britain’s two-faced ruling class ":


***

Brexit has created a two-faced ruling class in London too. Very few British politicians, civil servants, business leaders or even many Brexit cheer-leading journalists believe the official state ideology of Brexit. They just mouth the slogans. The populist policy of Brexit has made the populist claim come true: Britain’s elite lies. And this will worsen after Brexit.


It wasn’t so bad at first. After Brits voted for Brexit in 2016, many establishment Remainers thought: “Well, it’s what the people want and maybe they’re right. I’ll try to make it work.” The elite at that point had lost confidence in its own instincts. Why not pursue global trade deals, cut immigration and fund the NHS instead of Brussels? People like Theresa May did their best to love Big Brother. But after 21 months of attempting Brexit, they have given up. May never says she would vote for Brexit now. Asked recently if Brexit was worth it, she waffled. Singling her out is unfair. Most senior Conservative and Labour politicians are biting their tongues. To make things worse, most also can’t admit they oppose their own party leaders.


Only a few powerless rebels such as Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna are free to live in truth. Even many Brexiters believe their own ideology in theory but not in detail. Brexit hasn’t unfolded as they expected. When Daniel Hannan said during the referendum campaign that obviously Brexit Britain would stay in the single market, and Michael Gove that it would “hold all the cards” in negotiations, they probably believed it. Now they are stuck.


These people aren’t naive. They are the educated elite, merely masquerading as anti-expert populists. I suspect they quietly believe the Treasury’s assessment that global trade won’t replace lost European trade. Caught between fantasy and reality, Brexiters become tempted to deceive. In December, Brexit minister David Davis suggested a freshly agreed divorce deal with the EU wasn’t “legally enforceable”. That reduced European trust, already strained daily by Boris Johnson. The old saying “An Englishman’s word is his bond” is becoming hilarious.


Meanwhile, I’ve yet to meet a civil servant who admits to believing in the biggest project of their careers. One diplomat told me years ago that the one thing that could ever get him to resign from public service was Brexit. Today he is helping drive it. It used to be said British diplomats were sent to lie abroad for their country. Now they lie for Conservative party unity.


Many business leaders fear that a hard Brexit will damage their companies but keep quiet to avoid upsetting ministers or consumers. Paul Drechsler, president of the Confederation of British Industry, recently implored them: “Tell your story. The real risk is to say nothing — and reap the blame later for our silence now.”


In the media, the BBC curtails the instincts of its mostly Remainer journalists. A colleague at one big Brexit-supporting newspaper told me “95 per cent” of its journalists oppose Brexit. Another friend puts the figure at his pro-Brexit paper at “80 to 90 per cent”. He tries to switch his mind off Brexit. At least Remoaners like me believe the stuff we write, pointless as it is. If Brexit ever happens, and British officials start chasing trade deals, the dissembling will get worse.


We’ll then mostly be courting autocrats: Gulf states, China, Russia. Trade isn’t their priority, but they like other British assets: the “light-touch regulation” City of London (meaning a laundry for dirty money); the British-gentleman fantasy (starting with a place at boarding school); Britain’s ruling party (the wife of one of Putin’s former ministers paid the Tories £160,000 to play a tennis match with Johnson and David Cameron); elections (as well as Cambridge Analytica, many foreign outfits want to meddle); and media (the UK’s loud global voice is worth buying).


For universities losing European research grants, autocrat donors stand ready. Oxford already has the Blavatnik School of Government, funded by the Ukraine-born tycoon who is Britain’s richest man (and a Trump donor). Gulf money finances Islamic studies at several universities. Foreigners have learnt the UK is for sale. Britain’s ruling class hasn’t prepared the population for pain from Brexit, notes Alan Finlayson of the University of East Anglia. Any hardship will further dent trust in government. The backlash could be either extreme nationalist or extreme left, while the ruling class whines: “But we never believed the silly idea to start with!”


***

___________________________________________

SIGN OUR PETITION TO GET YOUR VOTE BACK!

https://t.co/Wo8DgvjjYN

Since you are here, perhaps you would consider signing the petition to return the final vote on Brexit to the people. We need a lot of votes, so if you agree help pass the message around. Whatever side of the Brexit fence your on, it can't hurt.

We now know that nobody can negotiate a decent Brexit! It is an impossibility ... and so what I am suggesting is to put the question back to the people in the form of a final vote on the Brexit deal. Not a necessarily a referendum, because many believe that is a binary tool (actually they are wrong) and this is a non-binary problem. What I am proposing is a vote. To be held in Early November latest, with a three-way question.

  1. Accept whatever deal is being proposed and leave in an orderly manner

  2. Reject the deal and simply leave, opting for the NO DEAL option

  3. Accepting that any Brexit is too detrimental, therefore choosing cancelling Brexit

Consider what could happen. If the vote shows a 50% majority for anybody then the question is settled. If you believe in British democracy, just take the winner, but if you are a true democrat then opt for a second round, just like the rest of the civilized world.

Likely it would not and then, just like the elections in many countries, it goes to a second round, with only the top two options going forward. If the two options don't include staying in the EU then the choice will simply be between hard - soft Brexit (or whatever is your preferred nomenclature for the options.)

Most likely, the result will include staying in the EU and one other. If the other is a hard Brexit, then those who voted 'soft' will be obliged to decide in the second round, either 'stay' in the EU or accept crashing out (a 'hard' Brexit). If on the other hand it is the hard Brexiteers that lose out on the first round they will either have to accept an orderly 'soft' Brexit or 'stay' in the EU. In this way nobody can say this is undemocratic or that they don't have a chance at a Brexit of their choice.

All those who still insist the people have already spoken are doing nothing but risking the entire future of the United Kingdom, from Ireland to Scotland and Gibraltar, from Tory to Labour.

_________________________________________________

The man in the photo is Lord Kerr. He wrote the Article 50, never once thinking it was his own team that would invoke it. Lord Kerr, a former UK ambassador to the E.U; said Brexiteers in May’s cabinet were suggesting Brexit was irreversible and thereby misleading the public.

This former diplomat says the UK could opt to reverse Brexit up to the moment it leaves, even if a date for the country’s departure from European Union were added to the withdrawal bill, as Theresa May plans.

This is the only way to truly know what the people want and to unite the country again. Everybody, knowing the consequences, takes an informed decision. These are the options, this is the price! - DECIDE -.

Ask yourselves, do you really trust a politician, some of whom take donations from the Russians, to take what is almost certainly the most important decision of your and YOUR CHILDREN'S lives for you?

Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your fellow students. This sale is only on until March 29th, 2019. (Actually, if a transition period is negotiated it could be longer but I wouldn't risk it). Before Mar 29th 2019, even the EU can't stop a reversal. After that who knows) Vote the way you think and then its in the lap of the gods!

Sign Petition:

https://t.co/Wo8DgvjjYN


14 views
Visits

© 2018 by The Brexit Lemon Grove. Proudly created with Wix.com