The Labour Leader’s ex-Moll Flanders makes a desperate attempt to make a case against Tory George Osborne……she asks him three questions and claims he would only answer one…shock horror…politician evades answering questions!….except, if she read her own piece, she would see that he did answer all three questions….just not giving the answer that Flander’s obviously wants.


Question 1:

I asked George Osborne three questions this morning, minutes after the latest GDP figures came out. He only answered one of them.

He made clear that there would be no change to the government’s strategy in response to this news. Quite the opposite.

“We can run away from our problems or we can confront them – and we’re going to confront them.”

That was the question he answered.

One answered.


Question 2:

In response to my second question, he did not take the opportunity to agree with Nick Clegg’s recent suggestion that the coalition (and Labour) had cut capital spending too fast in the early part of the austerity programme.

Mr Osborne did agree that capital investment was important, noting the extra capital spending that had been put back into the budget since 2011. But, he said, restoring confidence in 2010 was important too. In other words, he deflected the question.


Deflected the question?  No…he answered it…he told you that they cut capital spending at the given rate in order to restore confidence in the economy.

Two answered.


Question 3:

But his failure to answer my last question did surprise me.

I asked him whether he was going to follow the advice that the IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, had given, in a BBC interview with Simon Jack – to use the Budget to rethink at least some of the austerity planned for this year.

Privately, Mr Osborne’s advisors insist that “the IMF’s advice for the UK has not changed”. That’s true. The Fund says that too. Their broad support for the government’s approach still stands.


Well, she answers her own question there….but Osborne had already made it plain in his earlier answer….his policy would remain unchanged.

Three answered.


There are quite a few questions Flanders needs to answer herself.


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  1. Billy Blofeld says:

    Good post Alan


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Osborne did dodge the last question. On the second question, he didn’t so much deflect it as not give the answer in the fashion Flanders wanted. Instead of just saying, “I was wrong”, he reframed Clegg’s statement in a way that let him say he agreed with the principle of increasing capital spending. Flanders wanted a gotcha moment, and didn’t quite get it. She could have asked it in a different way and then nailed Osborne on it, but instead asked an obvious attack question which Osborne saw coming a mile away.


    • Guest Who says:

      Tend to agree.
      ‘In response to my second question, he did not take the opportunity to agree’
      Struggling to see a question at all in there.
      She seems to have conflated not agreeing with what she wanted with not answering a question.
      Putting, or trying to put BBC-framed words in people’s mouths seems a BBC meme at the moment, from CECUTT ‘what you are saying’ blatant question dodging of their own, to editorial tricks which, even when they fail, they press on and claim anyway.
      Hardly accurate or objective.
      So, no change there, trust them.


  3. AsISeeIt says:

    Typically for the BBC, although she is nominally an economics correspondent, Ms Flanders is actually far more interested in politics, in fact her interest is most piqued by the scoring of political points.

    cf. The recent I-pad waving incident at Davos. Economics questions for the PM? No, political points.


    • #88 says:

      I saw the I-pad incident in a main news bulletin, thinking it odd that the BBC would show Cameron’s reaction to Flanders introduction rather than just the question and only a few words of his answer (which, in full, was very good indeed and something far beyond the capabilities of Flanders’ ex, Ed Muddleband).

      Not strange really, though! Clearly the BBC had made an editorial decision to send a message to the viewers – not unlike, if you remember, Craig Oliver’s confrontation with Norman Smith, which mysteriously got into the public domain.


  4. Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

    Floor opened for scott, nick, dez, jimdandy,colditz, melvin ayyb.


    • noggin says:

      for once a bit of cold hard reality … for the nikki
      panto 5live roadshow, “your call” check it out
      48 mins in .. sadly no link yet
      straight away … we have al bbc the microphone fairy to hand. to whisk him away, and whisk in in some SWP dunce , to bleat a drone about imperialism, the crusades … no less … radio gold 😀


  5. Despairing of England says:

    “just not giving the answer that Flander’s obviously wants.” That is the whole process of bBBC interviewing and one of the main issues with bBBC bias. “Only trying to get the answers the interviewer wants.” They are only interested in answers which match their leftist or metropolitan liberal agenda. That is how I see the bias coming out in many cases.


    • John Anderson says:

      Evan Davis is wholly guilty of chasing interviewees to get the answer he, Davis wants or expects. If there is any sign of the interviewee not giving the “yes I admit” answer, Davis interrupts or contradicts.

      Davis is an appalling interviewer. His utter bias on so many issues prevents many “wrong-headed” interviewees stating their view clearly and fully. But if he is interviewing someone who toes the BBC/Davis line, all is sweetness and light, no interviewing – just fawning.

      Which is why I seldom listen to the Today programme any more. Davis is utterly biased – and has an unpleasant manner, Justin Webb is an amateur, John Humphrys is mostly over the hill these days, often does not brief himself properly beforehand.


  6. lojolondon says:

    Isn’t it annoying how soon the BBC always cuts comments off? I guess with Flounders and Harrabin they must get sick of deleting all the negative ones…


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘Isn’t it annoying how soon the BBC always cuts comments off?’
      They have explained it, if not to the satisfaction of all, here:
      38. Nick Reynolds
      28TH JANUARY 2013 – 12:39
      Just in case you don’t know I am the Public Accountability Executive for BBC Online and previously the Editor of the Internet blog.
      Regarding opening times for comments these are different in different parts of BBC Online. Most comments in BBC News are closed after one day. Up to now on the Internet blog comments were normally open for three months. In the absence of the “Topical posts on this blog” feature we have reduced this to one week (with exceptions).If we can get a replacement for this feature we will open comments for longer.


  7. Deborah says:

    I find Naughtie on Today one of the most irritating of interviewers – his questions are so long and laced with his own opinion I could quite understand if the interviewed forgot what the question is.


    • Old Goat says:

      He’s a boring old fart. These days, when I have the patience to tune into Today, I play a little game – I count the number of times Naughtie says “it’s interesting…”, how many sentences begin with “Absolutely” or “I mean”, how many times the word “fantastic” is uttered, and how often the word “unique” is unnecessarily qualified, and to round it off, how many times, collectively, the presenters say “Um” (that in itself is an eye-opener…).

      Today, for me, is THAT riveting.


  8. George R says:

    Meanwhile, in ‘Socialist’ FRANCE:-

    “France is ‘totally bankrupt’, jobs minister admits as concerns grow over Hollande’s tax-and-spend policies”



    • Herbert says:

      I hope when the SHTF I’m as far away from everyone else on this planet.
      Anyone with a brain in their will do the same thing.
      Socialism responsible for at least 150 million deaths in the 20th century.
      The way things are going it will kill most of the people on this planet in the 21st century.