BBC Desperately Tries to Re-Assert Old Political Spectrum 257

SECOND UPDATE The BBC has celebrated the lifting of election fair reporting restrictions by giving us a full morning of broadcasting that genuinely is 85% Tory. I find this astonishing. Following the Tory commentariat conversation that opened the show (see below), Andrew Neil has now done long individual interviews with three Tory MPs in a row – the Chair of the 1922 Committee, Anna Soubry and the smarmy Dominic Raab.


The BBC is institutionally incapable of reacting to the shift in the political spectrum revealed by the last election.

Astonishingly on Marr the papers are being reviewed by Toby Young (far right), George Osborne (right) and Polly Toynbee (Blairite right ). The old politico/commentariat bubble is entirely intact as far as the BBC is concerned. We are going to have Michael Fallon in a minute.

Finally, Jeremy Corbyn will be invited on. He is the one person who articulates what half the country believes, and whose existence the BBC cannot entirely ignore. But the straining and stressing as the BBC try to heave the Overton window back into place is palpable.


Wow the BBC is really going for broke now with The Daily Politics and a review of events between “independent” commentators Andrew Neil (Tory) Julia Hartley Brewer (Tory) Tom Newton Dunn (Tory, Political Editor of Murdoch’s Sun) and Steve Richards (Blairite). Followed by an interview with a member of the Tory 1922 Committee. Followed by another Tory MP!

The Guardian/Observer on the other hand might be struggling to come up with some sort of readjustment towards the views of its readership and away from the worst of the truly obnoxious overpaid right-wingers who dominate the paper. They are, in their Sunday guise of the Observer, carrying another barking mad article from Nick Cohen attacking Jeremy Corbyn. Cohen of course to this day maintains the Iraq War was a good thing and is horrified anybody should prosper who does not agree with him. But, given the extraordinary amounts of money they pay him for these witterings, they are peculiarly hiding it. Their star columnist’s new column today appears nowhere at all on their massive website front page. It did fleetingly, but has been well and truly buried.

(I do realise you can’t read that. I just posted it to show I had looked through the entire thing).

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257 thoughts on “BBC Desperately Tries to Re-Assert Old Political Spectrum

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  • John Spencer-Davis

    Imagine the media reaction if the guest list comprised John McDonnell, Craig Murray, Owen Jones, Tom Watson and Amber Rudd.

    • Pyewacket

      John, or perhaps, someone from Sinn Fein to give their opinion on the proposed Tory/DUP alliance.

      • harrylaw

        Perhaps if working people in Northern ireland had the vote i.e, the opportunity to vote for the only progressive and major party of the UK with a chance to form a government ‘The Labour Party’, then an alliance with the DUP may not have been neccessary, don’t forget if you cannot vote for a major party that aspires to govern you [The Labour Party] you essentially have no vote. The Labour Party until very recently have refused to allow socialists and other Trade Unionists [the majority of whom are in British based Unions] to become individual members of the party, now they are, but the party will not allow them to organiize and contest elections in any of the NI constituencies in the Province [contary to its own rule book] This is a glaring democratic deficit. People may criticize the DUP, but the British Labour Party is more to blame for excluding NI workers from any input on Labour Party policy in NI and at Westminster. [Tax rates, Defence, NHS and all non devolved mattters]. Why should the DUP be criticized when the Labour Party refuses to challenge the sectarian tribal politics of the DUP and other NI parties and consigns the NI electorate to a future of sectarianism.

        • Jo

          NI also has SDLP and Alliance Parties. Never forget the role the SDLP played in the peace process either.

          • harrylaw

            The SDLP are a Nationalist Party, the Alliance Party don’t have much support. Neither of these Provincial parties aspire to govern the UK as a whole at Westminster, where power actually resides, the SDLP were just wiped out at the General election.
            The electorate in NI cannot vote for the UK Labour Party, which many people would regard as their natural choice, instead they are forced to choose between various Nationalist Parties or Unionist Parties both of whom draw their support from Catholic or Protestant communities respectively. In order to break this sectarian log jam they should be given a non sectarian choice. Here in Liverpool we had Catholic and Protestant Parties with the accompanying violence to go with them, it was only in the 1970’s with the growth of a strong Liverpool Labour Party that workers were able to put aside their religious differences and come together to further their class interests on a non sectarian basis within the LP. Similarly Glasgow and other parts of Scotland experienced sectarianism [although on a smaller scale].

        • frankywiggles

          NI was created for no other reason than to be a sectarian Orange statelet, separated from the rest of Ireland in laughably undemocratic circumstances less than a hundred years ago. Contrary to what was intended in 1921, an ever-growing proportion of its population regards itself (correctly) to be Irish, not British. They don’t want ‘Britishness’ further normalized in the 6 counties by a belated introduction of political parties from across the water. The demographic trajectory is relentlessly back towards a united Ireland, not towards deeper integration with the British state. If democracy is allowed to prevail there in the coming decades, the future of the 6 counties is not with Britain.

          • harrylaw

            You are completly wrong……. A major survey by Northern Ireland’s two universities has found support for a united Ireland at an all-time low.
            The DUP has welcomed the findings of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey which reported that just 16% were in favour of unification.
            The survey, which was conducted between October and December last year, found just 33% of Catholics wanted Irish unity on the long term. More than half of Catholics said they would prefer to stay in the UK, a view shared by 90% of Protestants.
            In another report…Author Dr Paul Nolan said: “Under the age of 35, the majority population is already Catholic. Over the age of 35, the majority population continues to be Protestant but the direction is clear.”
            However, he believes that increasing affluence has made middle-class Catholics more content with the status quo.
            “They are doing better at school, they are getting better qualifications, they are the majority in the universities and the civil service and there is no sign that this will translate into votes for a united Ireland in a referendum” he said.
            He quotes, and largely accepts, last year’s Life and Times Survey which showed 52% of Catholics respondents saying they would prefer to stay in the UK but hardly any prepared to vote for a unionist party.
            Note young Catholic students are not prepared to vote for the provincial Unionist parties, if they accept staying in the UK, it makes sense to let them vote for the non sectarian UK Labour Party.

          • frankywiggles

            If young people in the 6 counties identified with the British Labour party they’d affiliate with its sister party, the SDLP. Instead they’re voting in record numbers for Sinn Fein, a republican party committed above all else to uniting Ireland. It suggests to me that were they ever to be presented with the opportunity, in the privacy of a polling booth, to finally end British rule in Ireland their choice would likely not be the one you’d want.

          • harrylaw

            As I have already pointed out the SDLP is a Nationalist Party, then you say “Instead they’re voting in record numbers for Sinn Fein, a republican party committed above all else to uniting Ireland. It suggests to me that were they ever to be presented with the opportunity, in the privacy of a polling booth, to finally end British rule in Ireland their choice would likely not be the one you’d want” They have already been presented with that opportunity…… Back in 1973 a border poll in NI found that 98.9% of the electorate prefered NI to remain part of the UK, whereas 1.1% prefered a United Ireland. Many opinion polls indicate that most Catholics prefer to be part of the UK, provided no one tries to wrap a Union JacK around them, I have proven with my previous comments on this thread that those opinion polls are legitimate and correct.

          • frankywiggles

            Well, there’s little logical consistency between what pollsters claim people are telling them on the unity question and the ever-increasing vote share of Sinn Fein.

            As to Labour standing in the 6 counties, there’s simply no popular demand for it. Because actually there isn’t an equivalence between religious sectarianism in Liverpool or Glasgow and the situation in Ireland. Those cities are in Britain, so affiliation with British political parties was natural. Irish Catholics living in Ireland don’t regard themselves as British, and don’t identify with political parties from Britain. Those in the north have come to identify overwhelmingly with a party that they know won’t even take up its seats at Westminster.

  • Ian

    While the other two have some reason to be heard, whatever you think of their politics, what on earth is the nonentity Toby Young doing on this programme? A complete buffoonish idiot. Obviously someone on the left should have taken his place. Tariq Ali was very eloquent and interesting on the radio the other day.

    • Simo Duckett

      Couldn’t agree more. Toby Young – I just want to get all DUP on his arse! 🙂

    • craig Post author

      Ian, I have no objection to their being heard. But the journalistic commentators they interview are always this right wing. They need to be balanced with others.

      • Ian

        Not disagreeing at all. Just saying that particular trio could have been right, centre and left with the inclusion of someone like Ali. The Westminster/BBC consensus means that they don’t understand your point. Because they all talk to each other, they can’t help forming a collective opinion which is the product of their privileged positions, and which they mistakenly assume represents the variety of opinion within the country. Like the university debating societies from which most of them come, they think that debate within those cloistered confines is representative of the country as a whole. What is interesting is how quickly they are regrouping and redefining the result in a way compatible with their comfy and cosy groupthink.
        I notice not one single interviewer has asked the tories why they need to do a backstairs deal with the neanderthals, instead of fashioning policies for which a majority of the Commons would vote, thus reflecting a true consensus of voters. In other words, a democratic debating chamber. As far as the disaster which is Brexit goes, there should be a cross party process to arrive at a decision which the vast majority of the country can agree with. i think that was Nicola Sturgeon’s point about making the best of a bad job, but again there is no real talk of the most eminently sensible and fair outcome being the obvious consequence of the Maybot disaster.
        Using the DUP as camouflage for carrying on as before is the worst kind of cynical, opportunistic, undemocratic politics, all of which is entirely predictable and unsurprising from the tory party.

    • Sharp Ears

      He was the first to set up a free school under Agent Cameron’s scheme,

      Not doing so well.

      Academies came from BLiar/Blunkett/Adonis of course.

      It is difficult to find out how many of our £billions have gone into what are essentially private hands. Little oversight or accountability either.

  • Richard Turner

    I think the BBC political journos probably feel no desire to change, not failing to catch up: they are refusing.

  • Sergio Lopez

    Watching BBQT and HIGNFY the BEEB, and some of the electorate, seem quite unaware or in denial of what has happened. Is this what happens – the commentariat bleet on in the same way because it’s all they know

    • Simon Duckett

      Yes. Psychologically they cannot accept what has just happened – so they pretend that it hasn’t. PTSD or something 🙂

  • Grady Johnson

    The BBC’s reputation is ‘shot’ now for generations. They’ve been politcally ‘cowed’, by the aftermath of Blair’s ‘dodgy dossier’ and the threats and imprecations of Cameron and Osborne. To people on the outside of their ‘chosen constituency’, their output looks like shameless whoring – as it does for the Guardian – and this impression will take a long time for them to shake-off.

    • K Crosby

      COMMERCIALbbc is an overflowing toilet; people really shouldn’t keep it in their living room.

  • Becky Cohen

    “They are, in their Sunday guise of the Observer, carrying another barking mad article from Nick Cohen attacking Jeremy Cohen.”

    Who’s Jeremy Cohen? Must confess I’ve never heard of him before now, Craig.

    • Ian

      Nick Cohen should have been out to grass years ago. Still flying his neocon, Blairite flag, with incoherent, ranting columns which nearly always regurgitate the same outmoded line about the left and Islam etc etc. Dull, dull, dull. Why newspapers pay colossal amounts of money to columnists who have been rendered redundant by far superior bloggers, who are mostly unpaid but much smarter, is one of the mysteries of the newspaper scene. At a time when budgets are shrinking, surely one of the biggest wastes of money. It is a complete folly to think that people buy newspapers or read them online because of their columnists. However, like the BBC, they consider themselves, ludicrously, as possessing some kind of insight into a society which is utterly transformed from when they formed their political views decades ago. And thus an established media consensus is formed, and shown to be completely out of touch with how the country has changed.
      FWIW John Harris is excellent.

      • Shatnersrug

        Nick Cohen Buys his carrots from my Sainsbury’s – I worry about him – they’re the essential line – he looks tired all the time. I wanted to confront him but I actually found myself feeling sorry for him. He looks lonely.

      • Makropulos

        “Why newspapers pay colossal amounts of money to columnists who have been rendered redundant by far superior bloggers, who are mostly unpaid but much smarter, is one of the mysteries of the newspaper scene.”

        Hardly a mystery. Being smart and telling the truth is not what columnists are paid for. They are paid for constantly plugging the propaganda that the ruling class want to hear, no matter how stupid it is, no matter how many have seen through it etc. It’s a case of hoping that a pile of crap will stick through constant repetition.

  • Ball

    Marr = 4 Conservatives to 1 Labour politician

    Daily politics = 3 Conservatives to 1 Labour politician.

    Every Sunday morning is the same ‘balanced’ coverage. Its fucking horrendous stuff. North Korea, envious, is trying to make contact with the Conservatives for advice on maintaining such control.

    Searching for that Cohan piece Craig referred to in the Guardian I see Jess Philip also has an article too. I wonder did he read it or if he wanted to keep the breakfast down this morning?

  • reel guid

    Indicative of how self absorbed and self important the BBC is. At the end of their election coverage at midday on Friday the finished with one of those two or three minute montages of the election night. Instead of being taken up with images and sounds of the candidates, their leaders and supporters at the counts it was dominated with clips from the studio of Dimbleby, Jeremy Vine and Emily Maitlis and things they’d said during the night. It’s now a very sad little organisation.

  • David Holbrook

    This is so true Craig – exactly what I have been fuming to myself about for 48 hours.
    Virtually every ‘commentator’ employed by MSM is demonstrably discredited by their failure to ‘analyse’ anything correctly for the last two years, yet, we continue to be subjected to their so-called informed, expert views.
    Well said, but, please please, change your photo on FB as it makes you look so arrogant … and clearly you are not!

    • Shatnersrug

      Yes it’s not a flattering picture! I think the one one looking all jolly from the free speech convention is much nicer. The profile picture looks like you’re trying to be cool 😉

  • Michael McNulty

    If they continue inviting right wingers after the next election which Jeremy is likely to win they’d be bringing on a load of losers. They’ll be forced to go for a bit of balance then but only then it seems. It’s the playground politics of children.

  • Aim Here

    I wouldn’t worry too hard, the MSM and the entire political punditocracy just handed Labour the next election. Going back to the media strategy that failed the first time round isn’t likely to help with that!

    For the last two years, one of their main talking points was the unelectability of Corbyn and Corbyn’s Labour – and so there must have been a pile of people who weren’t paying TOO much attention in the runup to the election who still bought that lie on election day, and were deterred from voting for a lost cause and voted someone else.

    Now that the result has put the lie to that, there is already at least a couple of percentage pointsworth of electors out there who woke up on Friday, having just been given permission by the actual result to vote Labour. If this precarious alliance falls apart anytime soon (and it’s far from unlikely), Labour already has a head start on the Tories in an early election.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      I agree with you. In my opinion there are a lot of people out there who will simply have not bothered to vote, or have voted for other parties, in the expectation that Labour would be beaten like a gong as predicted. That has not happened, and there will be better cause for optimism next time around. Those people are waiting to be picked up.

      On the other hand, there may well have been people who did not bother to turn out and vote Conservative for the same reason. My sense is that there are less of them, but without question there will be some. J

      • Aim Here

        Thing is, what are the Tories going to do to inspire those stay-at-home voters to turn up next time round? Corbyn has a hopey-changey aura about him and is appealing to young, enthusiastic people, and if you check out the numbers, Labour was definitely getting the benefit of the increased turnout. What have the Tories got? The people who were fired up and enthusiastic about Brexit voted for UKIP in 2015, and switched to Tory on Thursday – they’re already there; there aren’t many more of those to plunder.

        Unless the Tories put Jacob Rees-Mogg in charge for the comedy value, I can’t see a leadership change to one of the other dismal contenders having much effect on turnout either – May was already the least horrendous out of an utter shitpile of candidates – I can’t see pulling Michael ‘Pob’ Gove or Andrea ‘Evil Vera Lynn’ Leadsom out of the bag doing them any good with the electorate, though I’m sure that the Tory MPs are planning a rematch right this minute.

        And it’s not as if they can put through anything exciting in the Commons to enthuse the voters with; the DUP have sensibly declined a coalition so now the Tories are only able to do whatever one or other minor parties let them do, and that’s assuming they manage to keep unity in their own Party.

    • David Penn

      I am still waiting to witness the long queue of people in the public eye – MPs, journalists and so on – lining up to apologise and offer a reasonable guess as to the number of labour votes they have robbed us of because of their contributions over the year to the anti-Corbyn agenda. I mean really deep, grovelling apologies.

    • Jiusito

      I’m anxious, tho, about the Tories pushing through the boundary changes, so giving them an ?18- seat advantage at the next election. Can anything prevent that?

  • Republicofscotland

    The BBC are so outlandishly biased, that it’s now considered the norm. It truly is a state propaganda machine, it will continue to pump out its mantra, as I type this the BBC are getting the opinions of David Torrance and Severin Carrell, both are having a go at the SNP and Corbyn.

    Add in that we’re forced by law to pay for a tv licence, on the threat of prosecution by the courts. So in reality we’re screwed no matter which way we turn.

    Only independence will reform the BBC in Scotland, the rest of the UK, I see no exit at all.

    • MJ

      Get rid of your TV and stop paying the licence fee. It’s easy and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it years ago.

      • Clark

        Seconded. If you really need to watch something, you can usually do so at a friend’s place.

        “It [the BBC] truly is a state propaganda machine”

        I’d say that the media and the government are both corporate sock puppets, hence the convergence. The BBC is just another commercial entity now. Heard of the BBC department called BBC Advertising? They have their own subdomain and YouTube channel. Here they are, gloating of their assistance to a massive and highly corrupt international finance company:

        I know it’s a shame to miss out on BBC drama and education, but ultimately it’s only bait.

      • Republicofscotland


        As far as I’m aware, you still need a tv licence if you have a mobile phone, tablet or laptop, the Ministry of Truth have all the angles covered.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          That’s only true if you do something about watching the telly on such devices. Otherwise, you do not need a TV licence.

          “A TV Licence is a legal permission to install or use television receiving equipment to watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, and to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer. This could be on any device, including TVs, desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, games consoles, digital boxes, DVD, Blu-ray and VHS recorders. This applies regardless of which television channels a person receives or how those channels are received.”

          I own a television and it’s in my cupboard, unused. I have a laptop, desktop, and iPhone. I do not have a TV licence. It means I can’t watch iPlayer. Is that a terrible hardship? No.

        • MJ

          No, only if you access TV output online. The easy way round that is not to bother.

      • Percy

        Fully agree. I did it two years ago. No more TV. Books instead. And a diverse feed of traditional and new media filtered through facebook.

        I will NEVER let myself get plugged into the brainwashing machine again.

        At some point in the future, people will look back at this period and the system of thought herding, and scratch their heads as to how we could have been so dumb as to fall for it.

    • reel guid


      Wasn’t BBC Scotland’s ‘election cafe’ ridiculous? The chatterati all talking to themselves while the viewers went to make cups of tea. Tom Harris sitting on a sofa looking glum. Of course he was glum. The Tories were losing their majority.

      • Republicofscotland

        reel guid yes it was, what’s even more pathetic is, that if you asked voters what Ruth Davidson’s branch office stands for just about everyone would answer the union. Ask again what Davidson’s policies are, and few would be able to answer.

        • reel guid


          It’s all about the packaging and presentation. The media’s not interested in policies.

        • Republicofscotland

          Id like to add that the other die-hard unionist party in Scotland, who voted tactically for the Tories, Labour, (no reflection on Corbyns Labour ) only gained seats in Scotland because of the Corbyn bounce down south.

          As for the Libdems in Scotland, the mentality of re-electing a self confessed liar to Orkney and Shetland by the electorate, says it all really.

    • Hazel

      I’m hoping Scotland’s independence will *conclude* the presence of BBC in Scotland. We can buy in their best documentaries and dramas as other nations do and run our own broadcasting company come the day. Some good talent in among the dross (esp. thinking Out of Doors contributors etc on R Scotland ). They can be employed freelance. I continue to dream.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford


    Perhaps UDA chief Arlene Foster can get UDA boss Jackie McDonald to get rid of Tory dissidents like ithe UDA got rid of dissident Colin Horner at Bangor at the first of this month.Could help make for a nice conservative family.

    • IrishU

      Did Jackie McDonald have any involvement in the Olaf Palme Assassination? The people need to know.

  • Muscleguy

    It’s the same way that BBC Scotland has failed to update to reality. They are still treating SNP politicians as strange insurgents beyond the pale despite their having been in government here since 2007.

    They still cover the antics of seek comment from the increasingly minor party the FibDems. The Greens have had many more MSPs than them at Holyrood but you still see Wee Willie Rennie and assorted animals far more than you see Patrick Harvie.

    They must think all this reality is merely a temporary aberration. 10 years with four more to go is not temporary.

    Just one reason why I have ceased to watch BBC News. Still, my laptop is about to get a new battery so I’ll be able to have it in the kitchen with STV2 news on since Virgin are still refusing to give us access despite living in an STV2 area.

  • Dave

    As a Leave voter it was a very good result, because Brexit remains secure due to Corbyn Left Labour support and because ironically the mad right economic policies will be curtailed due to the deal with DUP who are socially conservative but more economically socialist than Labour and because the pro-war crash civil liberties agenda of the deep state/neo-cons has been curtailed too, despite their staged events during the campaign that clearly backfired.

    • MJ

      Yes, Labour’s was very much a post-Brexit manifesto, dependent upon Brexit for it to be realiseable.

  • laguerre

    I should think the reason the Nick Cohen article disappeared was that it was exceptionally poor. I did read it, and it was just a repeat of the old stuff.

  • Dave

    You malign the DUP but welcome the prospect of Sinn Fein taking their seats in Westminster, although I would point out they do take all monies associated with Westminster representation!

  • Grafter

    Stop funding the corrupt BBC. Why continue to whine and complain about their puerile propaganda ? Nothing will change. Let them know where you stand.

    • Clark

      Unless the licensing collections company can actually see your telly, all license prosecutions rely upon confessions. So far as I know, they haven’t started waterboarding. Yet.

      • glenn_uk

        They certainly liked prosecuting impoverished students in digs when I was in college. There had to be one full licence per room, or else. They pretended they had the right to demand entry. If they spotted a TV, a summons was issued – I don’t know anyone who got away with a simple denial. They even demanded to look in cupboards, just in case there was a set there.

        When they came a-visiting, I slammed my door shut, told them to take a hike, and would call the police if they tried to force entry. That worked. They liked to employ burly, aggressive “officers” too.

  • Bruce Moglia

    It should not be allowed to prevail, but how could that happen? The current situation sees the BBC Charter lie in tatters. A new government of a different hue could weild a long knife but in so doing it could totally destroy any shred of independence the Beeb has left, There would be a strong temptation to make it more representative of the new politics leading to a situation of plus ca change. The new director of BBC Scotland stated recently that she could see no sign of the so obvious bias emanating from her fortress by the Clyde. The only answer I can see is to have a Scottish broadcaster totally independent of government, but could that happen? We’ll need independence before there’s even a possibility of that. London won’t change.

  • N_

    So they’re not making the obvious point on the BBC that

    (main DUP policy: free trade in Ireland) + (main Tory policy: hard Brexit)
    = (united Ireland)

    ? 🙂

    And they’re not making the followup point, which is that Irish reunification would require referendums on both sides of the Irish border, and the result in at least one would probably be NO.

    The only reasonable conclusion is that the Tories should leave office and hand over to Jeremy Corbyn.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the feeling in the Tory gentlemen’s clubs and City boardrooms is precisely that it would be good for their party to go into “opposition”. The question is whether they should call another election. Possibly they will. After all, with a few more bombs and knife attacks, possibly a chemical attack, or whatever else the Saudis can help them with (it’ll only be British pleb bodies on the streets, maybe some tourists’ bodies too) they might feel they can even defeat Labour. In reality that’s unlikely. The Tory press and Tory pro-Ulster loyalist MI5 did their utmost to beat Labour already, and they’ve probably run out of ammunition.

    We are watching a monumental fuck-up, by this Tory “government”, of British foreign and defence policy: anti-EU, pro-NATO, pro-Saudi, pro-Israeli. The corruption and incompetence dwarfs Suez in scale.

    We are also watching the Tories cling to power with domestic polices that are highly unpopular: pro-low tax for the rich, pro-high debt for most people, pro-ascendant landlordism, anti-elderly, anti-youth.

    if the Tories do get their arses into opposition, either with or without an election, we can be sure that finance capital will try to wreck this country even further. Let’s see that as an opportunity to go out all out to build a genuinely social and pro-community movement to support a Labour government (or Lab-SNP coalition) and to pressurise it where necessary to keep it radical.

    Could it possibly be that at long last, having been played for fools for so long on the immigration issue, British people are finally waking up?

    • harrylaw

      “And they’re not making the followup point, which is that Irish reunification would require referendums on both sides of the Irish border, and the result in at least one would probably be NO”.
      That’s true, but I don’t think attitudes will have changed much since the last referendums on the subject. Back in 1973 a border poll in NI found that 98.9% of the electorate prefered NI to remain part of the UK, whereas 1.1% prefered a United Ireland. A referendum was held in the Irish Republic to change articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution [which claimed sovereignty over the whole of Ireland and its territorial waters] the result 94.39% to change it, 5.6% to keep it. All perfectly democratic, there can be no change in the constitutional position of NI within the UK without the consent of a majority vote in NI approving it.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        Any referendum on whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom should be held over the whole of the United Kingdom. The answer would then be no, I believe.

        • fred

          Then any referendum on whether Scotland remained part of the United Kingdom would have to be held over the whole of the United Kingdom.

        • harrylaw

          The good Friday agreement was predicated on the consent of the electorate of Northern Ireland, if the UK state tried to force over one and a half million people into a united Ireland against their will, something even a banana Republic would not do, then the last thing there would be, would be a united Ireland, the UK even at the height of its imperial grandeur balked at doing such a thing nearly a century ago. No, John Spencer-Davis, your proposal would probably be rejected by the UK electorate in any case, in the unlikely event your proposal succeeded British troops would be required to force both Catholic and Protestant citizens into a United Ireland against their will, ensuring a civil war in both parts of Ireland.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            I didn’t say anything about forcing Ireland together. I said there should be a referendum on whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom. If the answer was no, then it would be up to Eire and Northern Ireland to what arrangement they chose to come. Perhaps Northern Ireland would choose to remain an independent state.

            My own understanding is that historically a majority of the whole of the UK fairly consistently supported the reunification of Ireland as against the retention of Northern Ireland in the UK until 2008, when for the first time a majority of the UK was in favour of the retention of Northern Ireland. So you might be right, and you might not be.

            If the whole of the UK was in favour of Northern Ireland no longer remaining part of the UK, it does not seem to me acceptable that the UK should be blackmailed into a different arrangement by the threat of violence. However, there seems to me no reason why British troops would need to be used in such circumstances – if you are right, which seems to me to be highly debatable, then perhaps a neutral peacekeeping force would be necessary. J

        • JOML

          I disagree. Using that logic, all 28 EU countries should have voted on whether the UK could leave the EU.

    • K Crosby

      One side of the Irish border is the UK but the English never get a vote on dumping the Irish appendix; same with Scotland. We get held to ransom by piddling little minorities. That isn’t democratic.

  • Malcolm Lang

    Totally agree if I hear Andrew Neill say “but they’ve lost three election in a row” one more time my ears will bleed

  • Dave

    A border poll should include the prospect of the Republic re-joining the UK to achieve a United Ireland within a United Kingdom. A new British and Irish Unionism for the 21st Century.

    • N_

      That would be better if it were a united Ireland within a united British and Irish Republic.

      • Dave

        I understand as a first step there have been discussions about the Republic joining the Commonwealth!

        • harrylaw

          I would like to sum up some of the previous comments.
          1/ Do people in Northern Ireland have the right to self determination?
          Both parts of Ireland have said they do recognize the right of the Northern Irish to self determination in referenda conducted on both sides of the border, that determination was that so long as there was a majority in NI to stay part of the UK, that they could do so [see comments above].
          That being the case the NI electorate have the right to organize in political parties of their choice to recognize that fact.
          Because NI will remain part of the UK for the forseeable future, it is logical that the people should have the right to vote for the parties that goven them at Westminster [Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem].
          If not allowed self determination, then others have the right to take that decision, and since both parts of Ireland have already voted for self determination for the Northern Irish, it would be illogical for GB to do other than accept that decision. They could do however, but what it would mean or could lead to is GB expelling NI from the UK against the will of the electorates of both parts of Ireland, as I have already said, even a banana republic would not do such a thing and could lead to civil war in both parts of Ireland.

  • Leonard

    Add to the list Tom Bradbury of ITV, who claims to be apolitical, but trod the usual Tory path – Sherbourne School, married the daughter of
    Vice-Admiral Hon. Sir Nicholas John Hill-Norton, and is a former royal correspondent (you couldn’t make it up!). Then there is every single Sky News journalist, huge coverage in the form of commentaries from Iain Dale, and the wheeling in of assorted Blairites and the disgusting Alistair Campbell with multiple appearances all over the media including question time.

    Meanwhile for opera lovers, here’s a delightful diversion for you:

  • Adrian Evitts

    Whilst I agree that there is insufficient balance in the BBC’s coverage of the election fallout, it has been hilarious observing George Osborne exact revenge on the woman who sacked him. It has certainly been far more compelling seeing a Tory wield the knife against her than some rabid lefty!

    • Jo

      Campbell was bearable. The real snarling, bitching, toxic hateful and vicious bile came from the deplorable Isabel Oakshotte. This vile creature needs to stop calling herself a journalist and just admit to being a full time Tory.

      • Flaminius

        Absolutely right about that bitch of bile. But it was rather amusing to watch her. She was just sOOOOOOOOOOOOOO angry.

        • Jo

          Absolutely! She was RAGING wasn’t she? And ultra sensitive about any reference to the Daily Mail, her old paper. I mean what right did she have to object to it’s appalling coverage being used as an example of all that’s wrong about the British press? Her own conduct only proved the point! She is normally vicious but on Friday night her rage over Theresa’s disaster made her even worse. What a nasty piece of work she is.

  • jeannette

    is there a point in establishing a mass boycott of license payments … I know many individuals have done this but mass action is more effective

  • David Penn

    Thanks, Craig, for alerting us to this. It has prompted me to send in a complaint to the BBC; how much difference will it make?

    In case you’re interested, the text of the complaint is:

    This first weekend, after a general election, which has changed everything regarding political balance, the BBC entrenches its right wing establishment position. Question Time, Friday, on Radio 4 was overwhelmingly right wing, and nearly all interviewees on Sunday Politics, BBC1, apart from Jeremy Corbyn, were Tories. With the number of votes for left wing values nearly as many as for the right, why did you not reflect that change? Are you trying to pretend that the left don’t exist? What this election was about more than anything else was the overwhelming assertion for left values, against the overweening establishment. Once again, the BBC demonstrates its abiding right-wing position. It must change, now, and radically.

  • Sharp Ears

    Little different on ITV and Sky.

    There has been NO discussion with or questioning of the Tory types on foreign policy and how Teresa’s wars are going, even though the execrable Fallon was in one of Marr’s chairs.


    I have just heard Olga Guerin wiping the floor on Gaddafi’s son released from prison and that he is safely out of the reach of ICC. Just like Blair, Brown, Hoon and Straw and their successors, Cameron, May, Fallon, Hammond and Johnson, then. Have I missed any warmongers out?

  • J Galt

    The Tories will be on the look out for their “Hopey/Changey”, “soft” demagogue of their own to rival Corbyn.

    Preferably female, what about oor very own Ruthie?

    Mind you they’d have to install her in a safe Tory English seat pronto (watch your back Ken!).

    Another one to watch is Heidi Allen.

    • Michael McNulty

      I thought they might get another woman in to remove Theresa instead of sticking a knife into her. The Night of the Long Fingernails.

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