Is Andrew Marr pandering to the Prime Minister and his pro-Europe stance or has Marr just lost his cutting edge as a journalist?
Watching Marr this morning and you have to ask why the BBC put up Nick Robinson against the pro-Britain Kate Hoey…is Nick pro-Europe then as he seemed to be putting the case for the Inners?
Here we have a rather patronising piece from Robinson in which he tells us how important the referendum is for us…really?…He comes up with a clever ‘Heads I win, tails you lose’ scenario as he explains the referendum to us…
There won’t, of course, be any space on the ballot paper to say, “I’d like to stay if only there was less interference from Brussels or bureaucracy or immigration, or if only there was more democracy”.
There won’t be an opportunity to say “I’d like to leave if I could be sure the EU won’t make it harder or more expensive to sell our goods, or force us to allow Europe’s people to move here freely if we want our goods and services and money to move freely there”.
One choice he gives us is for staying, the other is disaster if we leave…..both lean towards staying…..Robinson says the choice is black and white…out or in…Boris thinks not…
‘…significantly he suggested that a no vote might not necessarily result in the UK pulling out of the EU altogether instead, creating a “new relationship based upon trade and cooperation”.
Curiously, or not as the BBC always does it despite allegedly hating the Mail, Robinson chose to concentrate on the Mail’s frontpage claiming to have exposed a secret plot between Boris and Gove….why not concentrate on Boris’ ‘secret’ plot with Cameron which was on the frontpage of the Times as Robinson actually noted in passing?
Why has Boris not declared his position on Europe yet? Robinson has worked it all out He asks if it is due to a process of careful consideration, or one of pathetic procrastination, or one of cynical calculation as many Tories Robinson says he knows have told him?
Hmmm….’pathetic procrastination’? Very perjorative comment. As for those Tories feeding Robinson the anti-Boris poison…any chance they are from the pro-Europe camp?….Robinson didn’t bother to reveal his sources.
Hoey said that Boris was touring the UK visiting constituencies talking to the locals…Robinson decided that this showed Boris was more interested in currying favour for his leadership bid…coldly calculating…..never mind contradicting that immediately by quoting Boris himself saying he was ‘veering all over the place like a shopping trolley’ in regards to his decision….doesn’t really sound like a cold, calculated process does it? That is backed up by his announcement that he is on the ‘Out’ side in which he said it had been an ‘agonisingly difficult’ decision to make and one made with a ‘huge amount of heartache’. [Just heard Pienaar say Johnson not a man for detail …(isn’t that just a well known public persona?)…and this is all about Johnson’s bid for party leadership….not going to credit him with making an informed and reasoned decison then.]
We heard that the core of the referendum would be about ‘control’ or sovereignty…oddly Marr finished off by then interpreting this as the Brexit campaign being based on a ‘visceral, emotional appeal’. No…This time it is a cold, practical calculation…people want to take control of their country and lives back from the faceless bureaucracy that is Europe.
Marr went on to interview Farage who pretty much wiped the floor with him as Marr kept coming up with inaccurate claims about Europe and what would happen on Brexit. Marr then moved on to interview Cameron and told us that Cameron had been doing ‘important work’ as he negotiated with the EU monolith. That’s of course not the view of most people from Corbyn, to Sturgeon, to Farage, to Gove, to Boris, to, well to many many people. Cameron was engaged in smoke and mirrors negotiating about very little but trying to generate as many headlines as possible giving the impression he was bravely battling the EU bureaucracy. The real issues such as immigration and control were left unresolved.
Most of the interview was pretty anodyne with Cameron allowed a free run as he claimed Britain would fall apart economically, that we would not get cooperation on crime and terrorism from Europe, and our firms would suffer discrimination if we left Europe…no challenge from Marr at all.
Marr then came up with this ...’David Cameron may go down in history as the man who saved Britain’s membership of Europe…..’
Really? Saved us from leaving the EU?
Marr told us that Cameron had busted a gut on these negotiations, he’d worked very, very hard on them….Marr asked if the PM felt that he was being stabbed in the back, betrayed by a very carefully coordinated Brexit campaign out to get him?
No taking sides there then…curious how the Brexit campaign is now a ‘carefully coordinated’ one when the BBC spent the weeks before the EU negotiations painting the campaign as a disorganised rabble ….’rats in a sack’ I think was the actual phrase.
Watch the news clip on Marr and note how the Brexit ministers are described as ‘slipping out the back of No 10 and heading immediately to banks of phones at the Brexit campaign HQ’…..no sly dig there then?
So now the Brexit campaign is some slippery, sinister operation out to do down the heroic PM who ‘bust a gut’ for the UK?
Marr asks what if Brexit happens, these are dangerous times economically and otherwise, what will happen to Europe?
A leading question feeding the PM the chance to paint a bleak picture of a Europe in ruins with the UK not being there to stabilise the emotional, hotblooded Continentals.
He finishes with a pro-EU note….’Let’s take us back to the unhappy prospect of Britain leaving Europe and everything is on a knife edge…..’
So to wrap up…Marr thinks Cameron could ‘save us from leaving Europe, an unhappy prospect which would lead to dangerous times and a Europe in ruins.’
No bias there then.