The phoney war is over and the BBC’s pretence of maintaining a neutral stance on the EU referendum is over. That pretence of neutrality was always straining for credibility even before Cameron’s ‘win’ as the BBC managed to fill the airwaves with people who ‘just happened’ to support staying in the EU. Now however the gloves really are off and the BBC discussions that are supposed to inform us and bring both sides of the story to us are stage managed to appear to discuss the issues but remarkably end up with the conclusion that staying in the EU is the safest bet….and the BBC’s frontpage headlining story?…from a Michael Fallon interview…given prime spot on the Today programme at 08:10….
Strange how soon the BBC forgets that Cameron was described as a diplomatic irrelevance in regard to pressurising Russia over Ukraine….and it wasn’t ‘Europe’ that put that pressure on Putin but France and Germany.
David is right about the immediate attack on Boris, presaged of course by Nick Robinson’s attack on him on the Marr show. Boris is being set up as a calculating, unprincipled man out to further his own career…based on what evidence? And why look so closely at Boris’ motivations when others like Cameron get off scot free?
5Live brought on Sonia Purnell (at around 12:10), a former colleague and biographer of Boris…..apparently Boris and Purnell do not get on….but you weren’t told that by the BBC who presented her somewhat poisonous comments as gospel…….she claimed Boris was a fraud, secretly wanting to stay in the EU and his 30 years of writing Euro-sceptic columns was all a front….this is all about being PM she suggested.
Some comments about her biography which might indicate she is no friend of Boris….
Sonia Purnell’s Just Boris is an indispensable examination into the mind, ambitions and deep insecurities of London’s mayor; Boris hates it because she dares speak truth to power.’
(Nicholas Lezard Guardian – Best of 2012)
‘Through fast prose and a vast array of interviews, Purnell … portrays better than any predecessor the arrogance, opportunism, and irresistible buffoonery of our most celebrated politician.’
(Independent on Sunday)
No wonder the BBC chose her…..as did the Guardian for numerous hatchet jobs on Boris and the Tories.
Looks like she is pro-EU as well……
@soniapurnell 5 hours ago
I do think this piece by William Hague is significant for all sorts of reasons http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12167610/David-Cameron-has-beaten-Europe-at-its-own-game.-That-makes-it-worth-staying.html …
Later on on 5Live we had a discussion about security (9 mins 30 secs) asking would we be more or less secure if we left the EU? We had on the ‘independent’ think tank Chatham House.…independent but of course not necessarily without its own ideas and indeed what we got was an assessment that we would be safer to stay in Europe…no one put up to oppose that view as it was given. I can’t see too much, if any, pro-Brexit comment on the Chatham House site and indeed here is the head of Chatham House, Robin Niblett, giving his own editorial comment which is pro-staying in Europe…as this line makes clear…
The risks to Britain’s position in Europe and, therefore, to its international influence are inescapable in the next parliament, irrespective of who wins the election.
Other comment from the Labour party on the site is clear on which direction we should go…
Hilary Benn will make present an internationalist case for Britain remaining in the European Union. Drawing on his experience in government, he will contend that being in Europe strengthens the UK’s voice on major international challenges such as regional conflict and climate change.
Alan Johnson MP, leader of the Labour In For Britain campaign, will set out why in an increasingly interconnected world, Britain is stronger as part of Europe.
Chatham House may be ‘independent’ of government or any other vested interest but it looks like it has a line to take and that is to stay in Europe so for the BBC to present it as completely neutral is not entirely true and adds to all those other commentators the BBC drags in that are supposedly neutral but turn out, funnily enough, to support the EU.
The same 5Live programme (15 mins) went to some length to dismiss a claim by hairdressers on a previous 5Live programme that their businesses were being effected by EU regulations on the power of hairdryers…..the BBC told us this was rubbish….not having heard the hairdresser’s original claim I can’t comment on the reasons for them but it is interesting the lengths the BBC go to to try and undermine criticism of the EU and bolster its reputation by disproving ‘myths’.
Trouble is the EU may not have actually banned such hairdryers at present but it really did want to ban such high power machines, and will no doubt try to in future...as the BBC once told us…
High-powered hairdryers are on a list of household electrical items the EU is considering banning in an attempt to curb energy consumption.
A study, commissioned by the European Commission, has identified up to 30 appliances including toasters and kettles which could be restricted.
The study forms part of the EU’s energy efficiency directive aimed at helping to tackle climate change.
The power of hairdryers could be reduced by as much as 30 per cent in order to be more eco-friendly, a draft study commissioned by Brussels suggests, threatening many of the models favoured by hairdressers and consumers for speedy blow-dries.
Günther Oettinger, the German EU energy commissioner, said that legislation preventing consumers from buying high-wattage appliances was necessary to fight climate change.
“We haven’t got round to these devices yet, we want curb power consumption,” he told Bild newspaper. “All EU countries agree that energy efficiency is the most effective method to reduce energy consumption and dependence on imports and to improve the climate. Therefore there needs to be mandatory consumption limits for small electrical appliances.”
Celebrity colourist and NHF past president Mark Coray, who uses a 2,100-watt dryer in his Cardiff salon, warned the plans could be deeply damaging to the UK industry: “You have a salon environment and somebody in their lunch-break wanting to have their hair done; you have time constraints,” he says. “The more powerful, the faster the blow dry – it’s as simple as that.”
All of which goes to show that the EU does want to ban such products and that such bans would have an effect on hairdresser businesses….so not so laughable after all.