Tagged: BBC

Andrew Neil

This (now deleted) tweet was sent by Andrew Neil presumably in response to the news that Carole Cadwalladr had just won the Stieg Larsson Prize 2018 for “her courageous and unremitting efforts to reveal operators trying to undermine democratic processes in Britain and the United States. All in the spirit of Stieg Larsson”:

Nothing compared with having to deal with mad cat woman from Simpson’s, Karol Kodswallop.

I’m sure the BBC is aware of Neil’s views.

Later:  Ah, yes.  Aware of his views enough to send this tweet:

Hello Carole. Andrew has deleted what he recognises was an inappropriate tweet.

and this (which Neil generously retweeted):

There has been some discussion on here regarding a tweet from Andrew Neil about Carole Cadwalladr. He has deleted the tweet and recognises it was inappropriate.

afneil‘s above an apology, of course.

This is a good question:

Not quite sure why the BBC is running interference on neil’s private twitter feed where he regularly publishes Spectator stuff – do they work for him now?

And so is this:

So Andrew Neil joins the Russian Embassy, Arron Banks, Guido Fawkes and Julian Assange in smearing – for her prize winning scoops this year. By doing so he openly aligns himself with the forces trying to repress one of the scandals of the century. But why?

For anyone who needs reminding, this is the Simpsons cat lady.  Not perhaps the first image an award winning investigative journalist brings to mind.  Unless you’re concerned about what she’s investigating, of course.

dr9iw-vx0aadak5

 

 

TaxPayers’ Alliance concedes it launched smears against Brexit whistleblower

The Guardian:

The rightwing pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance has conceded that it illegally sacked the whistleblower Shahmir Sanni for revealing unlawful overspending in the Brexit referendum campaign, in a case that could have a major impact on how lobbyists are described in the media.

In a development that lawyers have described as “almost unprecedented”, the group has also conceded that it illegally vilified Sanni on the BBC in coordination with a network of other “linked” organisations.

The alliance has accepted all the allegations Sanni made during his action claiming unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, direct discrimination and “dismissal by reason of a philosophical belief in the sanctity of British democracy”.

Significantly, it has also conceded that it is liable for what Sanni’s lawyer, Peter Daly of Bindmans, describes as “extreme public vilification”. Sanni had claimed that it was responsible for a smear attack published by the website Brexit Central, and that it coordinated “derogatory statements” made by the head of Vote Leave, Matthew Elliott, to the BBC – calling Sanni a “Walter Mitty fantasist” and “so-called whistleblower” and claiming that he was guilty of “completely lying” – before an official finding by the Electoral Commission into the conduct of the Brexit referendum.

The disclosure is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the way that broadcasters describe lobby groups. The uncontested claim has stated that the TaxPayers’ Alliance is responsible for Elliott’s Brexit Central website as part of nine “linked” high-profile rightwing “thinktanks” that operate in and around offices at 55 Tufton Street in Westminster and coordinate media and other strategy.

Details of the alliance’s relationship with Downing Street and the role of Stephen Parkinson, Theresa May’s political secretary, will now not be heard in court. A separate claim by Sanni against Downing Street is still ongoing. Sanni, who received an award from Gay Times last week, said: “It has proved that the TaxPayers’ Alliance sacked me for speaking the truth. And that there has been a coordinated effort by the Conservative establishment, including the government, to shut me down.

Details of the alliance’s relationship with Downing Street and the role of Stephen Parkinson, Theresa May’s political secretary, will now not be heard in court. A separate claim by Sanni against Downing Street is still ongoing. Sanni, who received an award from Gay Times last week, said: “It has proved that the TaxPayers’ Alliance sacked me for speaking the truth. And that there has been a coordinated effort by the Conservative establishment, including the government, to shut me down.

Chris Milsom, a barrister who specialises in whistleblowing cases, said: “It is incredibly unusual for a respondent to make a complete concession on liability as the respondent has here. To wave a white flag to avoid disclosing documents and giving evidence in court is really unusual. They conceded everything. How does an ostensibly private company come to be working with Downing Street? What is their relationship? Who are their funders?

“If this had been fully ventilated in a public trial we could have found these things out. The effect of these admissions, however, is that Mr Sanni was dismissed both because he blew the whistle on electoral crimes and because of his philosophical belief in the sanctity of democracy. We must now ask: is that an entity that is fit to be on the BBC ostensibly speaking on behalf of all ‘taxpayers’?”

Well, well, well.

 

BBC Newsnight

Tweet:

Last night, an expert on ‘ finances was introduced on as”Remain supporter” Iain Campbell. News to me. I know him as a forensic accountant. I am curious . Is this a new policy? In which case, can we now look forward to “Leave supporter Andrew Neil”?

BBC Newsnight on 8 November 2016.  04:49 in, “We asked accountant Iain Campbell, who’s a remainer, what he thought”.

BBC criticised over Arron Banks slot on Andrew Marr show

The Guardian:

The BBC has been criticised for booking Arron Banks, the pro-Brexit billionaire who is the subject of a criminal investigation, to appear on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday.

Banks is being investigated by the National Crime Agency (NCA) after his case was referred to it by the Electoral Commission, which said there were reasonable grounds to suspect Banks was “not the true source” of £8m given to the Leave.EU campaign.

The BBC’s decision provoked widespread condemnation from politicians, lawyers and activists.

Andrew Adonis, a leading remain campaigner, said in a letter to the BBC that Banks’s expected appearance was the result of “a very serious editorial misjudgment, influenced by a culture of accommodation to extreme Brexiteers now deeply embedded within the BBC”.

Tweet:

“A man under criminal investigation would like to come on and do some spin” “Book him” “Why?” “Literally haven’t got a single fucking justification for this one, just do me a favour and book the possibly criminal prick”

Of course, Marr has form – remember the absurd pairing of Isabel Oakeshott and Carole Cadwalladr?  Cadwalladr has done serious investigative journalism on foreign influence in Brexit …and Oakeshott hasn’t.  And then there’s Oakshott’s puzzling behaviour described in Cadwalladr’s tweet:

Flashback! Watching ? Remember when they invited on to attack my investigation? Turns out she KNEW then about ‘ Russian connections. Had known for MONTHS…

 

 

Russian intervention in Brexit

This tweet, noted this exchange (4 mins in) from 21 March 2018 with Senator Mark Warner, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee in which he says:

Not only Russian attempted interventions in our elections but attempted Russian interventions in the French elections, observations they intervened in the Spanish Catalan elections, the British have come and visited us now because they’ve seen Russian intervention in terms of the Brexit vote.  We in western democracies have to be on our guard.

My emphasis.  Again, perhaps something for the BBC to follow up on?

 

Will Banks’ investigation affect Brexit?

Laura Kuenssberg in a :

Banks probe unlikely to affect Brexit process.

But allegations against Aaron Banks may well increase bitterness in debate that long ago turned sour.

Nick Cohen observes in a  Tweet:

What has been so disgraceful about the BBC’s treatment of the alleged corruption of the Brexit referendum is that it puts journalism last.

Instead of using its resources — which are far larger than any other news organisation — to report and investigate, its reporters and editors pontificate about the consequences of the journalism of others.

Here opines about that the National Crime Agency investigation into is “unlikely now to have a material effect”. It’s not just that she has no possible way of knowing this — BBC journalists can no more see the future than you or I can.

Proper journalists put the story first and worry about the consequences last – if at all. The BBC won’t use its vast resources to cover the Brexit story because all it thinks about is consequences.

 

 

There is a Brexit deal the country can live with, but the government cannot

Simon Wren-Lewis:

Finally there are two interesting asides from this basic argument worth making. I talked to a very well known BBC presenter last week who was convinced that Brexit was nothing to do with the BBC. They are wrong on the economic costs, because the BBC did not regularly say that the overwhelming view of academic and business economists was that Brexit would do economic harm. Too often they assumed that this was self evident because all the major institutions (OECD, IMF etc) said this, but the ‘anti elite’ theme of Leave was designed to counter that, and giving equal time to both sides without any context (and of course constant newspaper propaganda) allowed Leavers to believe they would be better off.
But my criticism of the BBC is not just about the economic costs. One of the Leave messages that was attractive to many people was being able to do trade deals with other countries. I do not remember constant reminders from journalists saying that this was incompatible with membership of the SM, and so we had to choose between frictionless trade with the EU or doing these new deals. This statement is not controversial but a simple fact. It is also a fact that anything short of a CU and SM for goods will require a hard Irish border. This was the kind of basic information that the public craved for, and the BBC did not give it because their priority was not to upset either side. It is academic how important this all was to the final vote: the fundamental point is the BBC departed from its mandate to educate and inform at just the point the public needed and wanted it most..

John Humphrys and Brexit (again)

Tweet:

John Humphrys’ first question to Kier Starmer was wouldn’t the patriotic thing be for Labour to support Theresa May on Brexit. Patriotic?? What’s patriotism got to do with any of this? #r4today

2:14:01 in on BBC Radio Four Today 15 October 2018.

Tweet:

John Humphrys at his scintillating best on #r4today

Humphrys: “You haven’t mentioned a People’s Vote in this interview so far”
Starmer: “You haven’t asked me about it”
Humphrys: “Well I am now”
Starmer: “What’s the question?”

2:21:25 in on BBC Radio Four Today 15 October 2018.

BBC Question Time and UKIP

Via this tweet:

do50__-w0aal5bi

I expect the BBC explanation will be that as UKIP is without MPs, the only source of UKIP performers is MEPs.  But that ignores the corrosive effect of only picking people who by definition denigrate the European Parliament to represent it.  It also ignores the booster effect of featuring the same faces repeatedly.  The BBC’s just out of its depth on this.

Later:  As expected.

US groups raise millions to support rightwing UK thinktanks

The Guardian:

Millions of dollars has been raised from anonymous US donors to support British rightwing thinktanks that are among the most prominent in the Brexit debate.

American donors are giving money to US fundraising bodies that pass the donations to four thinktanks in Britain. A Guardian analysis has established that $5.6m (£4.3m) has been donated to these US entities since 2008.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the Adam Smith Institute, Policy Exchange and the Legatum Institute have all received financial support from US backers via this route.

The disclosure leaves the thinktanks facing questions as to whether wealthy Americans have undue influence in British politics, particularly over the form Brexit takes.

The UK thinktanks are some of strongest proponents of radical free trade deals with reduced regulation – positions likely to benefit big American businesses, which have opposed Europe’s tighter regulations since the 2008 financial crash.

They have a policy of not disclosing their donors, arguing they respect their backers’ right to privacy unless the backers wish otherwise. Critics say the lack of transparency allows unseen donors to influence political debate.

The charitable status of the thinktanks requires them to remain non-partisan, and they all insist they have not taken a line as institutions on whether the UK should leave the EU.

However, they have published or contributed to policy papers that advocate a Brexit deal that makes a clean break from European regulations.

This really does sound like an ideal topic to explore on BBC Panorama, BBC Newsnight or BBC Radio 4 Today.