When Impartial Experts Aren’t

If you tuned in to today’s ‘More or Less’ looking for an impartial broadcast spiced with facts then you had more chance of being run over by a yak. Radio 4 gave over the first ten minutes of the program to the subject of EU withdrawl. One of the main points we were asked to take away was an apparent validation of Clegg’s claim of 3 million job losses if we leave. Podcast

The unchallenged ‘impartial expert’ they used to assess the pros and cons of withdrawal and the accuracy of the figures was Professor Iain Begg of the LSE European Institute. The same Begg who is stridently pro-EU and sits on the advisory council of The Federal Trust for Education and Research which campaigns for the UK to be part of a federal Europe. Who wrote a paper for the LSE in 2009 stating that the economic crisis created compelling reasons for the UK to join the EU single currency [how’s that theory working out for you, eh?]

This wasn’t pointed out or his impartiality challenged as a single contributor. Of course this happens all of the time these days and this is merely another example. But as Scottish and EU referendums draw nearer we need to know more than ever who is paying the wages of the so-called “impartial experts” on our screens.



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33 Responses to When Impartial Experts Aren’t

  1. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Rule #1 still in effect.


  2. stuart says:

    remember this name,joseph harker of the filthy left wing guardian newspaper, he is the biggest black racist white hater i have ever heard in my life,listen to stephen nolans show last night on at 10pm and the debate about muslim peadophile gangs grooming white children for sex,this racist bastard did not care about these white victims of these muslim paedophiles and spent all his time defending there crimes and slagging off white people,what i heard was just horrific from this guardian bastard joseph harker,if there was any doubt about how sick the left are,just listen to this racist black white hater defending these muslim paedophiles,joseph harker,you are a black racist peice of vermin.


    • Alan says:

      Yes we had a look at Harker recently:

      Culture Of Denial

      He is completely wrong (even the BBC today admitted there were ‘cultural implications’) and is trying to scare off any critics of Islam with cries of racism or islamophobia.

      The same cries that allowed those girls to be abused for so long.


      • Beness says:

        Harker once penned an article in the guardian about mothers day.
        He whined that he could not get a card with the picture of a black woman on the front.
        It was pointed out to him by numerous posters, that Mothers day cards dont have pictures of “ANY” women on the front.


        • Mice Height says:

          Just imagine the confusion in ‘Da Community’ on Father’s day then!


      • Andrew says:

        I never listen to the Nolan show but if what Stuart says is true, Harker must be close to breaking the law on inciting hatred. No need to imagine what would happen if Nicholas Griffin had said anything comparable …


        • Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

          Would that be the same Nicholas Griffin who was warning about the paedo grooming gangs 10 years ago?


  3. Miv Tucker says:

    Switched this off after just a few minutes, as I could see _exactly_ which way the wind was blowing.
    Ever since the local election results the BBC has gone into full attack mode re the EU, eg there was quite a long discussion on the EU funding of science on the World Tonight (I think it was) a couple of nights ago, and somewhere else I heard a not very convincing analysis of Clegg’s 3 million jobs lost claim. Why does no one ever point out that the EU countries which trade with us now would presumably still want the same goods from us in future? Or that we might generate MORE trade by being outside the EU protected market?
    I also heard Clegg claiming on some news prog. that the EU was valuable because of the co-operation it engendered in tracking down criminal gangs, etc., but I waited in vain for the interviewer to point out that there is similar co-operation with (eg) the U.S., though without any accompanying single currency or customs union.


    • Amounderness Lad says:

      Yes, I listened to The News Quiz on Radio 4 at tea time. A great chunk of the programme was devoted specifically to pouring orchestrated scorn and abuse on Farage and UKIP. The Beeboids really are in a tizzy over the recent election results.


      • Andrew says:

        There was another reference to the female sex organ, following on from the “man who put the ‘n’ into cuts” episode a while ago. We were told the Thai word for this organ was ‘Faraj’ or some such, which the audience loved.

        Hardy bashed UKIP and people who talk posh, in his usual tiresome, infantile way. The earlier editions in this series had, IMO, been refreshingly more balanced than the previous one, but this last half-hour was an unwelcome return to form. Perhaps senior BBC figures, anxious about a listener backlash, told Toksvig and Co to hold the dogs off, until today, when normal service was resumed as the word had come down to trash Farage and UKIP as they were clearly a serious threat to the cosy status quo.


      • Phil Ford says:

        The BBC’s undisguised hatred for UKIP is very apparent, it seems, to everyone but themselves. This is not unsurprising, since it is ‘The Corporation’ we are talking about here – and you’ll never find a more incestuous, self-regarding, patronising group of political dogmatists.

        We can see their clearly partisan bile directed at UKIP manifesting itself in everything from its current affairs output to its tired, blatantly leftwing one-note comedy. None of it is disguised, and none of it is subtle. The BBC will do all it can, as often as it can, whenever it can, to keep pumping out the approved pro-EU propaganda ad infinitum. The BBC has its metaphoric fingers jammed in both ears whilst singing ‘La, la, la…We can’t hear you..’ to its many critics.

        We will hear the same tired lies and deceptions about UKIP repeated over-and-over by this discredited publicly funded Corporation – and perhaps their unalloyed pro-EU sloganeering will grow even more shrill (or desperate?) as we approach the next round of MEP elections in 2014.

        The BBC’s mission is to turn public opinion against any idea of UKIP as a viable – and respectable – political alternative in a western democratic society; in short, they wish to demonise the party to the point of extinction. UKIP are unique in so much as they remain, in British politics, the sole political party prepared to take a well-amplified and principled political stand against the economic and political madness of both the EU federalist project and the socialist Trojan Horse of so-called ‘man-made climate change’ as well as the troubled matter of immigration (a subject which, itself, reduces all three of the main political parties to pathetic, jibbering fools).

        All these are good reasons why the BBC will keep right on attacking UKIP. They are also good reasons why we should not them get away with it.


        • Edited Highlights says:

          For the BBC UKIP has now served its purpose and split the vote on the right. The BBC up to this point have given UKIP enough coverage to damage the Tories so their party of choice Labour can benefit.

          The BBC are now worried following the local election results that UKIP will not only take votes from their enemy the Tories but also from their beloved Labour Party. It’s about to get very rough indeed for UKIP as a result. From now until the next election the word smear will be reinvented.

          As UKIP polls currently 3rd in the country they should get the coverage to reflect that but of course the BBC know how damaging that could be to their cause. For example UKIP should now have a permanent seat on Question Time, at least 25% of the political air time, and the respect afforded to a major party who 1 in 4 of the people of this country just voted for.

          But it won’t happen.


  4. scoobywho says:

    When it comes to our media organizations an expert is anyone who knows more about a subject than themselves. So when the BBC want an expert, all they have to do is shake the trees and take the first person to fall out.


    • pah says:

      Your second sentence is completely and utterly wrong. If that was the case then there would be the possibility that some real experts may turn up; just by the Law of Averages.

      No, the BBC PICK their experts with great care to ensure that they are on the same page as their Labour masters.


  5. Alan says:

    BBC Watch has a piece on Alastair Crooke…long time Hamas/Hezbollah fan and promoter…but you wouldn’t know it from the BBC itself:


    Crooke by name…..


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Hmm. No journalists or Scotsmen or vegetable-themed commenters in sight. Curious.


  6. k920 says:

    radio 4s any questions anti ukip left wing clapometer was on overdriive last night again,where exactly do they pick there audiences from,the local branch of the socalist workers party ?


    • Andrew says:

      Almost every time that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown spoke, she got a big round of applause from the (presumably largely student) audience. Meanwhile, Christine Hamilton performed well and made some valid points, but got little praise; at one point she talked about police crime figures among the Romanians already here, and the audience tried to howl her down. I thought Jonathan Dimbleby actually chaired the discussion quite well, seeming almost Right-wing by comparison with the audience and Yasmin A-B, though that didn’t take much, admittedly. In general, the applause spoils these programmes and wastes valuable time, as well as raising suspicions about the criteria for audience selection.


    • Dezz says:

      “…where exactly do they pick there audiences from…”
      Agreed. It’s very strange how the majority of the audience didn’t support UKIP when polls show that UKIP are supported by 17% of the population.
      It’s almost as if the BBC purposefully stuffed the audience full of the other 83% who don’t support UKIP.
      Devious so and so’s…


      • Wild says:

        A characteristically disingenuous response from Dez.

        The people who work themselves up into a frenzy of hatred for the UKIP (as opposed to indifference or mere disapproval) are middle class Leftists such as yourself i.e. people who read The Guardian and The Independent and find BBC Newsnight an insightful analysis of contemporary politics.

        Add up the circulation figures of those newspapers, throw in the entire nightly viewing figures of Newsnight, and compare those figures to the rest of the population.

        It is you who lives in a bubble. Most people in this country think that the EU is an anti-democratic gravy train for useless and selfish public sector workers such as yourself


      • Old Timer says:

        I have done the math.
        The actual percentage the brand new shiny & bright UKIP Party actually got was 24%, not 17%.
        However I am happy to live with a 7% error. Therefore UKIP got 31% and the Labour party got 3.5% of 2.4% of bugger all, which equals at the next election an overall majority for UKIP of 177.7%.
        This is what is called in socialist bi-circles as Dezzing up the figures a bit.
        Something old Blair and the mad Alex Campbell spinning chap were so good at it cost a couple of hundred thousand lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what’s a few numbers between friends.


    • uncle bup says:

      Almost every time that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown spoke, she got a big round of applause from the (presumably largely student) audience.

      YAB: I’m an immigrant get me out of here

      Braindead Pretrendy Leftie Audience: Hahahahahaha, clap, roar, corpse, cheer, hoot, yell, whoop, rinse, repeat.

      YAB – the braindead pretrendy leftie’s braindead pretrendy leftie.


  7. Dezz says:

    All Seeing Eye,
    “One of the main points we were asked to take away was an apparent validation of Clegg’s claim of 3 million job losses if we leave.
    Iain Begg’s closing statement; “…the idea that these [3 million] jobs would be lost is far fetched.”
    That’s your definition of a “validation”?


    • Michele says:

      One swallow does not a summer make – Dez with the extra ‘z’


    • All Seeing Eye says:

      Aha! I spy a selected quote taken out of context by a Beeb apologist!

      In other news, Fernando Alonso complains about the lack of charm in modern F1 and Brian Blessed calls for everyone to quiet down.


    • Neil Miller says:

      I heard it live and thought what he said was odd.
      I’ve listened to it again and at 6:50 says:

      “I think as an order of magnitude the 3 to 3.5 million jobs is reasonable. I’m sure somebody could dispute a particular element of my calculation, but it’s not an unreasonable assumption. But the idea that these jobs would be lost is far-fetched.”

      So he appears to be contradicting himself!


  8. colditz says:

    There was no attempt whatsoever to disguise Begg’s views. Even said he was responsible for the Clegg quote. He also made it very clear that any figure anybody dredged up was based on assumptions only. So in effect UKIP can come up with the most bonkers figures which based on one set of assumptions may be true. Or not.

    More or Less is a brilliant program which regularly blows holes in a vast range of stats. Anyone regularly listening will know that it is very objective. Except when it doesn’t support your own bias!


    • Demon says:

      More or Less is a brilliant program which regularly blows holes in a vast range of stats. Anyone regularly listening will know that it is very objective. Except when it doesn’t support your own bias!

      It is clear from the above that you admit it supports your own bias. And that is exactly the problem, it shouldn’t support any bias whatever.


      • chrisH says:

        I think that it has gone downhill demon.
        It is certainly better than other BBC vehicles, but has been compromised a bit of late.
        It has looked into contentious areas before, but seems less inclined so to do anymore.
        Would you not have thought that the 3M jobs lost if we get out of the EU would be taken apart?…that Muslim men are significantly more prone to abusing white teenage girls “in care”…that reporting of crime has gone down rather than crime rates themselves?..etc, etc.
        I only name these three cases because they are ones where good independent and verifiable statistical techniques could give us the truth(or otherwise) for these assertions.
        A fearless More Or Less would do this-one somewhat neutered by the BBC hive keepers would prefer to look st Thatchers record on NHS spending( she didn`t cut it…see, the BBC is NOT all out to piss on her grave, being the message!).
        Probably worth a programme to be devoted to the controversy of More or Less features being seen to be diminished with every passing series.
        I`m sure we could prove it!