BBC Blasted for “Fairytale” Remain Spin in ‘State of Chaos’

Last night the BBC aired the final part of its “State of Chaos” series on the government collapse last year, with a focus on the infamous Truss-Kwarteng mini-Budget. It was a mostly routine BBC affair: conventional production values, a few decent soundbites from former advisers… and a sense viewers were being instructed to shake their heads solemnly at the Tories.  This morning, however, Trussites across the Commons and Lords are on the offensive…

Multiple MPs have blasted the BBC for ” regurgitating the Labour Party lines” and “ignoring” the role of the Bank of England in the last ten years. Craig Mackinlay told Guido this morning:

“When is anyone going to ask the Bank of England about their decision to fix interest rates at artificially low levels and the effective printing of £900bn of new money over the last ten years?  […] We have structural weaknesses within increasingly powerful and untouchable economic bodies yet in the simplistic BBC world all look to a political fall guy (or girl) to blame.”

Greg Smith added:

“I know it’s compelling viewing to tell these sorts of stories, but BBC viewers and license fee payers deserve something a little more in depth. The Bank of England chose to become the world’s first central bank to engage in quantitative tightening – selling government debt back into the market – just days before the mini budget, and it decided not to raise interest rates as decisively as the US Federal Reserve […] It’s a shame this isn’t being looked at by the BBC.”

Pauline Latham, meanwhile, fumed that there was “very little mention of the Bank of England’s record in failing to raise interest rates as decisively as in the US“, while a Tory peer tells Guido this morning “I hope the BBC can apply just as much rigour and enthusiasm to telling the story about the Bank of England’s record, as Laura does about the role of politicians.” One particular moment that’s agitated the Tory benches is this absolute howler from ex-Foreign Office Permanent Secretary Simon McDonald… 

The “British system” was able to “deal with” Prime Ministers who were “out of sympathy” with the public. According to whom? Simon McDonald? The same Simon McDonald who told his own Civil Servants he’d voted remain…

mdi-timer 26 September 2023 @ 10:31 26 Sep 2023 @ 10:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
NHS Cult Now Want to Know Tory MPs’ Private Medical Details

Forget committing the cardinal sin of questioning the NHS’s budget, it now seems followers of the UK’s largest religion are intent on prying into Tory MPs’ medical affairs. Browsing WhatDoTheyKnow – a database of public FoI requests and answers – Guido spots ‘Save Our NHS in Kent’ have developed a concern that Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay might be daring to not use our National Health Service. Surely a resigning matter…

Mackinlay says he is more than aware of the Carly Jeffrey in question, who was the agent for his Labour opponent in 2019, and whose local party branch have become obsessed with this conspiracy. The Thanet MP tells Guido that he’s surprised by Jeffrey’s claims of his medical arrangements given she’d only know with access to the records of the accountancy firm in question; he is willing to “save her the trouble” of any further investigating into the theory, specifying “this is categorically not the case”. God forbid any Tories dare have private health arrangements outside the scope of our beloved NHS…

mdi-timer 5 April 2022 @ 16:05 5 Apr 2022 @ 16:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government’s Oil & Gas Authority Orders Abandonment of 37.6 Trillion Cubic Metres of Onshore Gas

Robert Conquest’s Third Law of Politics is that “the simplest way to explain the behaviour of any bureaucratic organisation is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies”. When it comes to the government’s Oil & Gas Authority quango the axiom’s truth is clear. The quango has ordered Cuadrilla to permanently seal the two shale gas wells drilled at the Lancashire shale exploration site, with the result that the 37.6 trillion cubic metres of gas located in the northern Bowland Shale gas formation will continue to sit unused – when just 10% of this volume could meet UK gas needs for 50 years.  UK imports of Natural Gas are expected to skyrocket to over 80% by 2050.

According to Cuadrilla’s CEO, Francis Egan:

“Cuadrilla has spent hundreds of millions of pounds establishing the viability of the Bowland Shale as a high-quality gas deposit. Shale gas from the North of England has the potential to meet the UK’s energy needs for decades to come, yet ministers have chosen now, at the height of an energy crisis, to take us to this point.

Once these wells are filled with cement and abandoned it will be incredibly costly and difficult to rectify this mistake at the PNR site. Safe shale gas offers us a chance to combat the cost-of living crisis, create 75,000 jobs and deliver on the ‘levelling up agenda’ in Red Wall areas, in addition to reducing our reliance on imported gas so that Britain becomes more energy secure. What’s more ridiculous is that leaving our own shale gas in the ground will make reducing global emissions even harder.  Emissions from importing gas are far higher than those from home-produced shale gas.  I don’t think that this has been properly thought through.”

Craig Mackinlay, the MP who chairs the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, is livid:

“Following last week’s hike in gas prices, my constituents are concerned about one thing: the cost-of-living crisis. If this government really wants to deliver on the people’s priorities, help them through the crisis and level up it should not be depriving the country of access to cheap and reliable energy sources. Doing this at the height of an energy crisis is utter madness.  What’s more, if the Government wants to achieve Net Zero by 2050, this move will make it impossible.  It will force us to import more gas instead, when UKOOG and the Climate Change Committee have already told us that the carbon footprint of imported gas is so much higher than homegrown shale gas.

Steve Baker also tells Guido, “By abandoning our shale gas industry, we will inflict more costs on our constituents and make Net Zero even more difficult to deliver given that importing gas is more carbon intensive than producing it at home.” Also given the geo-political situation it is bad from an energy security point of view, see how Putin has Germany over a barrel…

Andy Samuel will be stepping down as CEO of the Oil & Gas Authority in the summer. During his tenure the organisation has become more aligned with the fashionable Net Zero goals of Extinction Rebellion than the needs of Britain’s hard pressed energy consumers facing ever-rising energy bills. Boris and Kwasi need to ensure that the new leadership of this quango is focused on securing cheap energy resources, onshore and offshore, including abundant cheap shale, rather than closing down energy sources.

mdi-timer 10 February 2022 @ 09:53 10 Feb 2022 @ 09:53 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Benn’s DExEU Committee Mutiny

Hilary Benn faced a point of order from Tory MP Craig Mackinlay during his DExEU committee’s questioning of Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay this morning. Mackinlay pointed out that Benn had hogged 20 minutes of questions, without giving the dozen other committee members any time to speak.

“I’m just wondering what we’re doing here. You’ve had the floor now for 20 minutes, I doubt there is any other member of this committee who will have the floor for 20 minutes during this discussion this morning, and I would welcome an opportunity for others to speak.”

Brexit Hero Andrea Jenkyns then chipped in calling in to question Benn’s suitability to chair the session at all.

“And you, with respect, are rather biased because you were pushing the Benn Act through, so I would personally like to see the Chair resign.”

All of which Benn promptly ignored and ploughed on with his questions…

mdi-timer 16 October 2019 @ 10:45 16 Oct 2019 @ 10:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Electoral Commission Grilled Over Darren Grimes Cock-Up

The Electoral Commission had to face two Parliamentary Select Committees today after their humiliating defeat in court by Darren Grimes last Friday. Craig Mackinlay – who knows Electoral Commission incompetence only too well, took Chief Executive Bob Posner to task over their decision to relentlessly pursue Grimes while failing to fully investigate Remain campaign spending irregularities. Posner mumbles something about following those “strands” and “maybe” fining a couple of groups. They did nothing of the sort

Instead Posner makes clear that the Electoral Commission are still considering appealing against the Darren Grimes judgement despite having already spent half a million of taxpayers’ cash on the case, although Posner points out that part of that was on the Vote Leave aspects of the case. The High Court having previously found that the Electoral Commission caused the problem in the first place by giving Vote Leave incorrect legal advice

It’s worth looking at the specifics of the Grimes case. Guido was in the courtroom:

  • The Commission’s case against Grimes himself was nothing to do with the spending limit issue around Vote Leave. So they went after him on a technicality instead…
  • The Commission’s first charge was that he had not filled a form in correctly to register as an ‘unincorporated association’ rather than an individual. An issue they didn’t flag at all in their first two investigations into Grimes – which found nothing.
  • They then slapped a second offence notice on him for subsequently submitting an “over-complete” spending return. Kafka-esque.
  • The judge found their form itself was highly confusing and that Grimes had filled out the majority correctly, and to the extent he hadn’t it didn’t matter. The dispute centred around a single box…
  • The judge also found that the Commission had essentially constructed their case the wrong way round. In effect they assumed Grimes’s guilt first and then challenged him to prove his innocence beyond reasonable doubt.
  • This led them to exclude a large amount of evidence in Grimes’ favour. Precisely the opposite of how the law is meant to work.
  • The judge also ruled that even if they hadn’t been wrong on the offences themselves, the maximum £20,000 fine was still disproportionate. It was vexatious.

The full judgment is yet to be published, but the outcome of the case was clear. The Electoral Commission weren’t just defeated, their whole case against Grimes was thoroughly debunked. Their QC James Eadie didn’t even bother to turn up to hear the judgment. The fact that their apparatchiks are now considering dragging it out and blowing even more taxpayers’ money just to try to save face is beyond belief…

mdi-timer 23 July 2019 @ 19:10 23 Jul 2019 @ 19:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Corbyn Accused of Misleading Parliament Over Ferries Claim

Much to everyone’s surprise, Jeremy Corbyn actually asked a vaguely coherent set of questions on a big issue of the day at PMQs today, going on the attack over Seaborne Freight. However, in his excitement it appears that Corbyn may have actually got his facts seriously wrong, with Craig Mackinlay writing to Corbyn to challenge him over whether he misled the House with his claim that the Government’s decision had increased Thanet Council’s budget deficit by “nearly two million pounds”.

Bizarrely, the Mirror decided to make an underwhelming ‘Thug Life’ meme purely on the basis of Corbyn’s facial reaction when Mackinlay challenged him at PMQs. Funnily enough they didn’t make one when Corbyn had a similar reaction to Ben Bradshaw’s second referendum suggestion yesterday. Corbyn may well be ending up with egg on his face rather than a pair of photoshopped sunglasses…

mdi-timer 13 February 2019 @ 17:40 13 Feb 2019 @ 17:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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