Friday, 3 November 2017

The BBC's former and current economics editors seem to be changing their tune on Brexit - what's going on?

I've seen two Brexit-related stories this week which have left me rubbing my eyes in disbelief. First, the current BBC Economics Editor, Kamal Ahmed, pouring scorn on the Bank of England's prediction that the City would lose 75,000 jobs post-Brexit, had this to say:
“We are a global financial centre alongside New York, Singapore, Hong Kong. Those are the competitors for Britain. And outside the European Union and outside the single market people believe Britain could do more work with territories in America, with the Middle East, with India, China, not constrained by European rules... London is a global financial centre and it is in no way suggesting that somehow we would lose that status."
You can hear these actual words...

...issuing from Ahmed's actual lips here. I was just getting over the surprise, when the former BBC Economics Editor, arch-Remainiac Robert Peston, said the following to Iain Dale on LBC: 
“When I discovered it wasn’t just me but my entire circle were out of touch with millions of people I genuinely felt ashamed… this was the only opportunity millions of people were ever going to have to say to the people who run this place ‘you’re not listening to us’, it was a massive wake up call to everybody… I take my hat off to them, they have thrown all the cards up in the air… it was the right thing to do.”
Hard to believe, I know - but you can hear these actual words issuing from Peston's actual lips here.

As with Ahmed, Peston is by no means endorsing Brexit, or claiming that it's going to be easy - but, then, most Brexiteers don't imagine it's going to be easy, and a recent poll showed that most Britons are expecting short-term economic pain. But something odd seems to be going on here. The British economy isn't doing fantastically well, and the country is being governed by a pretty shoddy outfit led by a clueless incompetent, so it seems a strange time for these Remainers to recant  - or, at least, to recalibrate - their position regarding the dire consequences of Brexit. Could it be that the lack of any genuinely terrible economic news since the Brexit vote 17 months ago, plus a growing national exasperation with the bullying tactics of the EU, has prompted genuine doubts in their minds? And, if that is indeed the case, is there any chance that the BBC will moderate its tone on Brexit in order to accommodate the doubts its economics editor and his predecessor seem to be experiencing? After all, even BBC comedians are starting to crack jokes about the EU's intransigence:

Or, when it comes to its devotion to the EU and its contempt for all Brexiteers,  is the BBC simply too prejudiced to adapt to changing realities?


  1. "..and the country is being governed by a pretty shoddy outfit led by a clueless incompetent".

    A nice example of British understatement.

    Putting any comment about Brexit to one side [ a subject that this Blog has thankfully ignored over the last month or so - after all, there must be at least 50,000 political commentators out these uselessly bloviating about it on a daily basis] can I make a comment about Tracy Ullman?

    I used to love Tracy Ullman - she was one of the funniest British comediennes [probably unacceptable, but sod it] before she decamped to America where she had a great career on TV and including a very good Woody Allen movie.

    Then she returned and made a some series for the BBC [how much, since you ask?]. They are dreadful - I watched some of them in disbelief. I watched the last one the other night and had to switch off after 5-minutes. She has developed a tin ear. She cannot tell the difference between a Jewish and a German accent ie Merkel.

    If this was a theatrical production it would be closed down after a couple of performances. As it is the BBC [who do not have to produce profit and loss accounts], Ullman has been paid some huge amount, the series has been shot [in spite of the absolute crappiness of the previous series] and they are going to force it down the throat of the BBC1 audience who are not exactly selective in their [tastes [baking, dancing, cookery etc].

    1. I agree entirely about Tracey Ullman: the price to be paid by comedians (and comediennes) for success in America is that they stop being funny. As for why the series has been recommissioned, it's probably because cancelling it would represent extreme loss of face for the BBC executives who commissioned it in the first place - and, as their comedy larder appears to be painfully empty, they've nothing to replace it with. You can tell it's a turkey by the relentless trails.