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May 16, 2016

Comments

Guille

Mr. Dillow,

What do you reckon of Tony Norfield's opinion that the interest of the City is in Britain staying in the EU (Michael Roberts mentions it in his review of his latest book: https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/british-imperialism-the-city-of-london-and-brexit/) ? How do you think it fits with this BBC bias towards Brexit?

gastro george

Equally, I'd like to know what human rights they want to repeal.

Andrewd

Gastro george, as I understand the ECHR, and I am not a lawyer, only one clause does not have exceptions or escape clauses built in and that is the Torture clause which is absolute. Does that answer your question?

gastro george

That's not the point. I want to hear the specifics of what the Brexiters want to do.

Churm Rincewind

A group of “business leaders” writes to the Telegraph: "Britain’s competitiveness is being undermined by our membership of a failing EU…Brussels’ red tape stifles every one of Britain’s 5.4 million businesses. The BBC gave uncritical coverage to this claim."

Well, it's true that the BBC reported this letter impartially, so I can accept that their reporting was "uncritical". Which is what we want them to do - yes? So I'm not sure how this amounts to "bias".

A biased report might, for example, put quotation marks around the term "business leaders" in an vague attempt to slur the signatories.

Deviation From The Mean

First class. This is why the left need a few city boy tossers on their side.

Though I suspect you will be executed on day one come the revolution. Which makes your efforts all the more poignant.

Matt Moore

'- If it is membership of the EU which is undermining competitiveness, why is it that Germany is doing so much better at exporting to China than the UK?'

Because their currency is massively undervalued?

Ralph Musgrave

Re the pro-Remain letter from 200 economists, I'm sure I could find 200 economists who vote Tory, or Labour, or who want to ban fox hunting - you name it. The views of a random sample of economists would be more interesting.

Antoni Jaume

"Because their currency is massively undervalued? "

What is stopping the UK to print GBP until it devaluates?

chris

@ Guille - yes, the City thinks its interests lie in the EU. This is consistent with it being in workers' interests too: not everything is a zero-sum game.
I'm not sure the BBC has a pro-Brexit bias. My problem is that it lacks judgment, and is too deferential to the wrong people; if City types articulated their interest, the BBC would probably cover it uncritically. It's this institutional stupidity rather than conscious bias that makes it appear pro-Brexit.

From Arse To Elbow

The BBC has a pro-newspaper bias, which has led it to give undue prominence to strongly-voiced opinion relative to facts. This has been exacerbated by social media, which the BBC treats as a form of opinion poll and therefore inherently "balanced", even though much of it is sculpted by newspapers.

This bias has two major causes. The politicisation of the structural antagonism between print and screen since the 80s has caused the Beeb to be cautious in criticising newspapers. Compare and contrast its hesitancy over phone-hacking (waiting till others broke the story) with the papers' hounding of the Corporation over Savile.

The second cause was the Birt reforms of the 90s, which led to an increase in personnel crossovers from print to screen and back again. BBC "lifers" are almost extinct, hence the reverence for David Attenborough, while TV journalists know that their career prospects require them to maintain friendly relations with newspapers (and other media).

I'd suggest that there is a degree of conscious (if reluctant) bias in the Beeb's approach, and not just institutional stupidity.

chris

FATE - yes. Another issue is the relationship between journos generally and PR (both in-house and specialist PR firms). Coz journos are often paid less than PRs, many want to keep the PRs onside as they might want a job with them in future. This generates a deference to vested interests and loud voices generally.

Theophrastus

"If it is membership of the EU which is undermining competitiveness, why is it that Germany is doing so much better at exporting to China than the UK?"

In part, because Germany lobbies very hard for the regulations that suit its manufacturing industries in order to prevent new entrants. Also, as Matt Moore observes, Germany has a massively undervalued currency relative to its economic base, And, more generally, Germany has more of what China wants to buy.

TowerBridge

Gastro George:

The ECHR is different to EU.

Brexit does not mean an exit to the ECHR - it is a different treaty (and a different court). The Tories want to get rid of human rights but that is a different issue.

Keith

" If it is membership of the EU which is undermining competitiveness, why is it that Germany is doing so much better at exporting to China than the UK?"

Because the UK has an incompetent corrupt ruling class. They screw up society and blame everyone else such as Johnny foreigner. As well as making things and exporting things the Hun has a better welfare state as well. But the right in Germany have tried hard to weaken it. So far the German workers have avoided the worst that could happen, namely becoming a quasi natzi cheap slave labour nation like the UK. Not having crippling debts on graduation is a big plus for German youth for one!

Keith

oh and as for the EU being like Hitler's Reich, I suspect the average small town burgomaster would be a better UK PM than BOJO and the other far right freaks who pass for politicians in the UK. And the Tories want to abolish Human Rights so who is closer to Hitler?

Igor Belanov

@ TowerBridge

"Brexit does not mean an exit to the ECHR - it is a different treaty (and a different court). The Tories want to get rid of human rights but that is a different issue."

That's true, but the Leave campaign effectively link the two, confirming that their objection is to 'Europe' rather than just the institutions of the EU. Even 'Remain' Tories have been known to refer to the ECHR in these terms in the past, which has not helped their current campaigning strategy, if 'strategy' is the appropriate word.

MacG

'A biased report might, for example, put quotation marks around the term "business leaders" in an vague attempt to slur the signatories.'

Surely Chris's quotation marks signify not a slur, but a quotation of the BBC's (not his) description of the signatories as "business leaders" and "company bosses". That description, uncritically accepted in the BBC's report, may be rather misleading: see 'Who are these business leaders?' in https://www.byline.com/column/11/article/1046

Nicholas Shaxson

I'd agree with the general thrust of this, but you need to define what 'competitiveness' is and defend the idea that it's a concept that can be applied to a country, or to "Britain." Unpacking that can of worms would have been a better angle of attack, in fact.
http://foolsgold.international/does-france-have-a-more-competitive-economy-than-britain/

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