Kamal Ahmed To BBC Correspondents: Brexit is “Rubbish”

Outgoing BBC Economics Editor and former Observer Political Editor, Kamal Ahmed, emailed all BBC correspondents last week to encourage them to report contentious Treasury and Bank of England forecasts as definitive. The email, leaked to Guido, states with confidence that economically, Brexit is “a bit rubbish.”

“On the Brexit economic forecasts if we leave the impression “well it might be right, it might be wrong” we would be doing a disservice to our audiences. On economics (and of course there are many other ways to judge Brexit, politically, culturally) the evidence from expert modellers who know what they are talking about (unlike many non-economist politicians) is clear – it’s a bit rubbish.”

Ignoring other expert analysis and the glaring truth that the pre-referendum forecasts were wrong, not a little wrong, not a rounding error wrong, not within the fan tail, not within the margin of error, just completely wrong. Predictions of recession, surging unemployment and collapsing inward investment, all turned out to be totally wrong. The economy grew, employment increased, inward investment grew. Ahmed makes a half-baked defence of the half-baked predictions in the run up to the referendum. The experts – including the BBC – were quite simply very wrong about the future direction of the economy.

“Forecasts by their nature are not “wrong”. If you had two dice, a forecast central tendency on the most likely number thrown would be 7. If you threw a 12 it would not make the forecast wrong, just an outlying possibility had come to pass. “12” is on the distribution.”

The “distribution” will, on past performance, have to be much wider than it was in 2016 if they want to cover the right outcome. In reality most viewers will take the forecast central tendency as the forecast. Kamal, who is being promoted to become the BBC’s Editorial Director, should know that and the BBC should qualify it’s reports “well it might be right, it might be wrong” because that’s the truth about forecasts.

Read his full letter below…

Continue reading

Small Victory for Guido’s Think Tank Transparency Campaign

Followers of Guido on Twitter will be aware of his long-running campaign against the BBC prefixing introductions that frame the think tank guest for the listener or viewer. It always seems to Guido that centrist think tanks are described as “respected” as in “the respected IFS”, right-of-centre think tanks are described as “right-wing” [boo, hiss], left-wing think tanks tend to get no framing.

So it was this morning as the news presenter on Radio 4 reported on a press release from the think tank run by Ed Miliband’s former policy adviser:

Then as if by magic in the next news bulletin;


Victory! They suffixed the Resolution Foundation as “left-leaning”.

The serious point is that this framing by the BBC is uneven. The BBC clearly thinks that viewers and listeners are too stupid to know where guests are coming from politically. Guido thinks they should let the audience judge for themselves and so long as there are guests from across the spectrum, balance will be maintained. If they won’t do that perhaps they should let guests self-identify…

Who’s In The Final Running To Be New BBC News Director

Guido can disclose who’s in the final running to become the new Director of BBC News, replacing James Harding. It’s understood the appointment could be announced as soon as this afternoon. Here are the names in the frame…

  • Fran Unsworth: Thought to be favourite. Director of the World Service, with strong grasp of the impartiality rules, she is also Director of News and Current Affairs and sits on the BBC’s Executive Team. Safe pair of hands…

  • Jonathan Munro: Currently Head of Newsgathering and former ITV man. Was in charge of the infamous BBC election debate dubbed as having had ‘the most left-wing audience ever’ – even by lefties…

  • Kamal Ahmed: The BBC’s Economics Editor is a wildcard with no management experience. A big hand in yesterday’s project fear Rand Corporation story…

  • Gavin Allen: Currently overseeing Today and the Ten and the World At One. Popular among the troops…

Not long to wait…

Another Hard-Left Agitator Tricks BBC News

On last night’s BBC Six O’Clock News, Kamal Ahmed presented a package on the Taylor Report which included an interview with one Felicity Flynn. Flynn was introduced by name only and captioned as a “former zero hours worker”. She had clearly been invited to Millbank studios to tape just a few seconds of her condemning “insecure work“. Yet Felicity Flynn is not your average “former zero hours contract worker”…

She is in fact the Vice Chair of South Norwood Labour Party. She describes herself in her Twitter bio as a “socialist”, and her social media is awash with pictures of her campaigning for Labour at the general election. Moreover, she’s a rep for the PCS union, which might have been important to mention given the topic of the report. This came on the same day that the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme introduced a Corbynista union activist as a “Deliveroo rider“, also in its Taylor Report coverage. This keeps happening. Either the Beeb is getting taken in by these hard-left agitators – which is incompetence – or they are complicit, which is worse…

New Entry to BBC Pol Ed Runners

Buy shares in Kamal Ahmed according to well sourced summer party chatter.

The BBC’s Business Editor is suddenly tipped to be the next Political Editor.

As former Observer Pol Ed, he has the necessary credentials.

Luckily for James Lansdale, the BBC are set to make a quick decision on the job, leaving him free to jump to ITV should he be overlooked by Aunty.

Sorry ladies…

Seen Elsewhere

Tip offs: 020 7193 4041

Quote of the Day

Appearing on BBC Radio West Midlands this morning, the Prime Minister was asked: “What are you getting Carrie for Christmas?”

Boris: “I’m going to get Brexit done”


Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.