Reading this analysis by Stephanie “Two Eds” Flanders it appears that Christine LaGarde and the IMF have discredited themselves by….agreeing with the Coalition. Not even a HINT of bias there, no way. Remember, read what Stephanie says and then…Vote Labour.

Hat tip to the eagle eyed B-BBC reader who sent me this!

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36 Responses to STEPHANOMICS – updated

  1. chrisH says:

    Given Stoopid Flanders track record, safe to say that the Tories are doing just fine in this one small and irrelevant section of their Godawful government.


  2. George R says:

    At one point, in her vague, speculative, anti-Osborne article Ms FLANDERS says:

    …” Madame Lagarde does not want to do anything to make life difficult for her friend George.”

    Given the pro-Labour, pro-Ed Balls tone of her own article, Ms Flanders should have added:-

    ..’.Madame Flanders does not want to do anything to make life difficult for her friend Ed.’


    • George R says:


      “Stephanie Flanders: budgets, banks and dating Ed Balls”
      (-interview by Zoe Williams).



      “I ask her whether it’s true that she went out with Ed Balls and Ed Miliband. This she doesn’t think is funny at all. ‘It was so much less interesting than people think, even at the time, let alone now.’ ”


      “I’m reading some not-very-deeply-buried subtext here, that we can’t complain about female representation on Newsnight one minute and then ask who’s got the biggest tackle between Balls and Miliband the next. ”


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘she prizes her impartiality the way others might prize their political faith’
      What, like Helen Boaden? Like saying it enough that someone else may get convinced by attrition?
      I’m afraid that much may have been lost in the…ahem.. translation.
      Back to those ratings..
      15. Alan
      22ND MAY 2012 – 16:49

      What is it with the BBC you and Nick can only find negative things to say and you seem dissapointed that the IMF supported the Government. Need balanced and accurate reporting not political views.


  3. Reed says:

    Related to the IMF report – posted on the open thread…


  4. Dickmart says:

    The BBC in heavy ideological mode have been spinning this all day,conveniently overlooking the fact that basically the IMF are supportive of Government policy, while giving Balls the opportunity to spout his usual b….cks, and burying the good news that inflation has come down.


  5. alan says:

    Pretty disgraceful shilling for Labour….you might say ‘unbelievable’ but not on Flander’s previous.

    And what about this:
    ‘However, the IMF’s managing director does not think things are bad enough for tax cuts yet.

    Why? One answer, which she gave to me in her press conference, is that the government has already loosened policy, in some respects, in response to slower growth. We just don’t call it Plan B, because it was incorporated in the government’s original framework.’

    ‘… incorporated in the government’s original framework.’!!!

    Hmm….as we already know(reported often enough by more honest reporters), or could have guessed, there always was a fallback plan (B) if the economy didn’t pick up as predicted.

    In other words all of Flander’s rhetoric about her ex boyfriend’s ‘Plan B’ was total hogwash.

    Flander’s is like so many other BBC journalists, completely untrustworthy in her reporting.


  6. Harry says:

    Has anybody else noticed how the BBC used it’s subheadings to try and set the tone of the story. In this case “Extra borrowing” was used (straight out of Ed Balls’ rhetoric) to show how the Plan A isn’t working. Furthermore, “Good friend” insinuates that Lagarde was supporting Osbourne because of friendship, not economic common sense.

    This is similar to the article B-BBC ran yesterday, about the omission of info in the story of the murder of that young lad outside the pub:

    “Rowdy and nasty”, in this case, portrays a scene of football yobs probably drunk and getting in a scrap that went wrong for them.

    Another one on the March for England parade where Communists assaulted women and children:
    “Nazi salute”


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘Has anybody else noticed how the BBC used its subheadings to try and set the tone of the story.’
      Yes, but despite being as pervasive as it is unsubtle it is very hard to prove.
      In fact, it has a double benefit to the BBC.
      Beyond dripping out a constant narrative that skews the story, if any are moved to complain they can deploy their full ‘we’ve decided we’re comfortable we’re still right’ troops and use this, in turn, to put a big black mark in their precious little notebook against any withe the temerity to raise a concern.
      They tell you they think they right enough times, and they can then escalate another critic out of the stadium.
      Their problem will come if there are more fans in the naughty box in the carpark than watching the rigged game, and they start comparing notes…


      • Doyle says:

        Does anybody remember those mock stories in Viz which had nonsensical subheadings that followed a theme like ‘bitter’, ‘mild’, ‘stout’ or ‘baps’, ‘jugs’ and ‘melons’. Sometimes the subheadings were just swearwords and it got me thinking; since Flanders reports are as much bollocks as those Viz stories wouldn’t it be apt if the subheadings were words like ‘shite’, ‘cack’ and ‘crap’ or even more appropriately, ‘balls’, ‘bollocks’, ‘gonads’ and ‘testes’?


  7. Umbongo says:

    One thing Steph didn’t think to mention is that – for Lagarde – the UK economy is a sideshow. The big deal is saving the euro. Lagarde is French and a euro and EU nutter to her well-trimmed fingertips. The resources of the IMF – a world body – are being marshalled to save the euro.
    Naturally, Steph also wants to save the euro at almost any cost. She’s as much a euronutter as everybody else at the BBC but, far more important to her, is the failure of the UK government and the failure of the UK economy. The worst outcome for Steph – and the BBC – would be the crashing and burning of the euro and a relatively benign outcome for the UK economy and sterling.
    Lagarde’s tactics are very straightforward. She wants to keep Osborne onside. It’s not a matter of being “friends with George”. It’s keeping the UK – a major player in the IMF believe it or not – sweet while Lagarde tries to pull the EU’s chestnuts out of the fire. Steph is not only a crap economist, she’s a crap journalist whose pathetically obvious prejudices blind her to what’s going on here. All she can see is that someone outside the metropolitan lefty clique she ornaments is being (ostensibly) friendly to someone she viscerally loaths. Hence the incomprehension and bitchy prose. It’s just the signature BBC crap journalism of the worst kind: dull, uninformative and biased.


  8. MD says:

    It’s at least gratifying to read the highest rated comments. They almost universally condemn her and the BBC for the bias.


  9. David Preiser (USA) says:

    “Two Eds” is livid. What an absolute joke this well-credentialed economics wonk is. How interesting that the BBC is happy to let her impugn the credibility of the head of the IMF by saying that Lagarde is twisting policy recommendations for personal reasons.

    Lagarde’s concern about the chance that the UK economy might head further south couldn’t possibly have something to do with how it might affect Europe and the world economy, could it, Ms. Flanders?


  10. Chris says:

    Not shaping up well for the BBC on the message board linked to this article. Many, many comments complaining about the biased slant of the article.


    • Roland Deschain says:

      No, no, no. I’m sure if you ask, they’ll confirm they got it about right.

      So everyone else is wrong.


    • wayne X says:

      It is in fact much more interesting to read the comments to her article than to read the article itself. Most of them are interesting and put forward sensible comments without bias. The sad thing is that wonky Steph and the other financial incompetent, spluttering Peston have lost touch with reality. They honestly think that free enterprise is dead, cash can just be printed as required and is best spent by those in the socialist party of inspired incompetence.

      As for the phrase ‘growth or austerity’, it was invented by a fool and is repeated by fools. Something the BBC seems to have an excess of.


  11. George R says:

    BBC-EU is now pushing propaganda for reducing UK interest rate, from its 0.5%!, without indicating the strong economic case for not doing this – which can be found, in among other places, here:

    “Our dangerous addiction to low interest rates”

    BBC-EU misses all that out here:-


  12. JaneTracy says:

    Does Stephanie Flanders still think that “Greece and Ireland will get nowhere near default?”

    Could anyone other than a fool have given a blog post this title a year ago?

    “Why the Greek bail-out has worked”


  13. Fred Bloggs says:

    Wasn’t Brown after the job that Lagarde finally got. I am sure his verdict of the UK would be as impartial as Flanders.


  14. Merlin says:

    Off topic: Does the BBC recognize that racism cuts both ways? Or (in their eyes) is it still just one-way traffic? ….


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘Does the BBC recognize that racism cuts both ways? ‘
      Only at Our Lady of Jo Brand Secondary Modern, Islington


  15. I have to admit watching Newnight last night when I saw Maitliss lay into Rachael Reeve on this subject. Reeve tried to trot out the Labour line but for me Maitliss was having a real dig at Labour when she she said “So the IMF have got it wrong have they?” She asked her this several times.

    The other thing Reeve got pushed on was the 50p higher rate of tax which she said Labour wouldn’t have dropped. Surprisingly Maitliss pushed her on this as well by asking Reeve if it would go back in under a Labour govt. Reeve had to squirm on that for a good few reasks on that one.

    The whole thing made a pleasant surprise. What didn’t however was when Chloe Smith and the tories handed the advantage back to Labour when she was introduced as “not being willing to debate directly”.

    Good ole tories – never pass up an opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot.


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘the tories handed the advantage back to Labour when she was introduced as “not being willing to debate directly”.
      The Tories get what they deserve, but I wonder at whether there is a back story to this?
      Considering the BBC control every aspect of ‘debate’, from guests to questions to camera angles to post-edits to favour, if not at the instruction of Labour SpaDs, when the ‘debate’ is clearly not going to go the usual easy ride way for Labour, trotting out the old ‘we demanded they attend but they told us to stuff off’ can easily be twisted to make things look bad.
      One our local rags tried this once, but having foolishly enabled a twitter page at least online got a slew of ‘why would/should a busy person bother with your punk publication?’ comments that must have stung, even though none made it to the ‘reader’s comments’ in the hard copy next week. Oddly.
      The BBC is bigger, but it has no more right to expect a guest to fit their rigged system than anyone else.


    • #88 says:

      RB – You’re wrong re Chloe Smith’s desire not to debate directly. She was spot on given who she was sharing the studio with

      Rachel Reeves has a track record on ‘Newsnight’ of being given the opportunity to interrupt, dominate the interview and not allow the other side to make their case. She briefly tried it last night. I’m not totally sure but I think that Gavin Esler was in the chair last time she utterly drowned out (or should that be droned out) and interupted and obstructed the discussion and was allowed her to get away with it. She is an overbearing, domineering bore who likes the sound of her own voice (a bit like her boss, Balls).

      Good tactic I say – but Maitliss got her dig in about ‘not wanting to debate’ as well as addressing Reeves as ‘Rachel’, Smith as ‘Chloe Smith’ and Madame Lagarde as ‘Lagarde’. An echo of her disrespectfully introducing the PM as ‘Cameron’ as he was about to make a speech some months back.

      And as a footnote to the Flanders, ” Madame Lagarde does not want to do anything to make life difficult for her friend George.” jibe, all of this was conducted against a Christine and George (Leo and Kate) Titanic lovers backdrop.

      Oh the symbolism


  16. Beness says:

    Seems like the BBc wonks have gone to work. All negative comments about Flanders and the BBc are now going into negative votes.


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘All negative comments about Flanders and the BBc are now going into negative votes.’
      With a BBC intranet, I am only surprised it isn’t 20,000 up by now.
      Get enough and we’ll have a ‘What the people of the UK are saying’ headline once they think it’s safe.


  17. Guest Who says:

    Amazingly, the ‘we’ve called ourselves The Independent so that’s obviously what we must be’ has a view erring on that from Ms. ‘Who I am ideologically bedded with should not matter in assessing my reporting in their favour’ Flanders..
    Not sure many are buying it there either…
    ‘Nice try at rewriting what Lagarde actually said. Did Ballsup dictate this to you?’
    This ‘tell a lie often enough’ thing: are they getting so desperate, or arrogant, that they don’t think folk can see through blatant misrepresentation for tribal reasons?
    For a medium who credibility is on the line… not too smart.


  18. Beness says:

    We’re having some problems rating this comment at the moment. Sorry. We’re doing our best to fix it.

    From the Flanders thread.


  19. George R says:

    BBC-NUJ’s top story still today for its pro-Islamic propaganda is Egypt, not this:-

    “Britain’s austerity drive praised by OECD as it warns that eurozone risks ‘severe recession’ that could spill over into global economy.”

    Read more:


  20. chrisH says:

    Listened to Christine Lagarde talking to Humphrys this morning after the 7am news.
    Now I would have thought that he`d have asked her something about the UK economy…wouldn`t you?
    After all, if we`re “cutting too far, too fast.” need of a “growth package” and a “Plan B”…surely this was the very occassion to get Balls backed up by the progressive world money wonks like Lagarde, wouldn`t it?
    Yet all we got from Humphrys was worries about Greece.
    Ever get the feeling that the UK economy discussions were cut out for fear of making the Tories look right?…either that or it was all too sad for the BBC to have the deficit reduction plan backed by the IMF, so they couldn`t bring themselves to ask her about it all.
    Or maybe , it was dealt with elsewhere…but I doubt it!


  21. zemplar says:

    It’s always amused me how Flanders missed the biggest story of her career while on maternity leave. She must have been beside herself watching her underling, peston, ceaselessly riding the airwaves.

    Whatever we think of Gramscian Marxist peston, at least he delivers it with a funny voice…