Brexit Twitter Sentiment Analysis: Robbo Not Neutral

Data Guido has been hidden away in a dark room, crunching the numbers to see whether our top broadcast journalists really are impartial on Brexit. Yesterday we analysed Robert Peston’s relentlessly negative Twitter feed, categorising his tweets as having either a positive sentiment about Brexit (not many), a negative sentiment about Brexit (82%), or being neutral. Today it’s the turn of the BBC’s Nick Robinson…

  • Robbo has sent 157 tweets about Brexit since 24 June 2016.
  • 3 tweets had a positive sentiment, that’s just 2% of his total tweets.
  • 65 tweets were neutral, that’s 41%.
  • 89 tweets were negative, that is 57% of his total Brexit tweets having a negative sentiment.

You’d surely expect a Beeb man to be neutral, yet only 41% of Robbo’s Brexit tweets have a neutral sentiment. The overwhelming majority of Robbo’s tweets about Brexit – 57% – had a negative sentiment. As you can see above it is the stories and quotes he chooses to report that give the game away – negative quote after negative quote from France, Brussels, George Osborne and other Remainers. By contrast he has sent only three tweets with a positive Brexit sentiment since the referendum. Nothing listeners of the Today programme didn’t know already. Stay tuned for more Brexit Twitter sentiment analysis tomorrow…

Hunt on Care Cap Last Week: “We’re Dropping It”

Theresa May is insisting that “nothing has changed” and that the social care cap is not a departure from the manifesto. Really? On Thursday Jeremy Hunt explicitly said on the Today programme that the cap was being dropped:

“If you have that cap that was his proposal [Andrew Dilnot]… and we couldn’t be being clearer because… not only are we dropping it, but we’re dropping it ahead of a General Election and we’re being completely explicit in our manifesto that we’re dropping it, and we’re dropping it because we’ve looked again at this proposal and we don’t think it’s fair.”

Four days later and the cap is back. Looks like a change to Guido…

Over the weekend Number 10 sent out Damian Green and David Gauke to forcefully defend the policy – Green point blank insisted there would be no u-turn:

Dacre and the Daily Mail also went out on a limb to defend it, as did Leo McKinstey in the Express. Now they’ve all been made to look like chumps by Downing Street…

BBC’s Softball Brexit Questions Prove Robbo’s Point


Nick Robinson’s comment in the Radio Times that “the referendum is over. The duty we broadcasters had to ‘broadly balance’ the views of the two sides is at an end” revealed much about the Today programme’s attitude to covering Brexit. Take a look at Mishal Husain’s line of questioning during her interview with Sadiq Khan this morning. This was her cringingly deferential first question:

“You’ve talked at length about how concerned you are to protect London as a global financial centre after Brexit. How much assurance have you been given, and what could the government say that might stop jobs moving out of London in a way that we’re already seeing, from banks, from people like Goldman Sachs,  Lloyd’s of London is opening up a Brussels office. The movement is already happening.”

Completely softball, no scrutiny of Khan’s position, simply inviting him to speak without challenge. Husain also repeats the Remain spin about Lloyd’s (who actually say London will remain their major financial sector). Her final statement that “the movement is already happening” is overt Remain topspin to the point of being untrue.

Husain’s next question simply invited Khan to explain his new “flexible immigration” policy, again with no scrutiny. The job of interviewers is to probe, scrutinise and hold politicians to account, not repeat their spin and invite them to talk about how brilliant they are…

Robbo on Brexit & BBC Impartiality

Nick Robinson on BBC’s lack of Brexit balance…

“Enough! Leave it out. Remain calm, the referendum is over. The duty we broadcasters had to ‘broadly balance’ the views of the two sides is at an end. Why? Because there are no longer two sides, two campaigns, two rival sets of spokespeople reading out those focus-grouped slogans.

Listen: Spreadsh*t Phil

This one is going to stick…

Corbyn Mocks Today’s Pretensions

Jeremy Corbyn tells Nick Robinson why he doesn’t appear on the Today programme…

“With the deepest and greatest respect to the Today programme, I know it is the most important radio programme on the whole planet… it is not the only radio programme on the whole planet. We will be reaching out to all forms of communication. It’s not the only radio programme. We’ve done lots of radio programmes, lots of TV programmes, lots of social media.”

Amber Warning: Rudd’s Russia Dud

Osborne ally Amber Rudd is increasingly used as a telly spokesman on energy and Europe – she should know her stuff since her brother is Remain spinmeister Roland. Though speaking to Justin Webb on the Today Programme, Amber did Remain no favours:

JW: “Why is Vladimir Putin still a problem for us if we leave the EU?”

AR: “Because Russia exports a lot of gas to the rest of Europe, we access our gas through Europe and by 2030-“

JW: “Through Norway, most of it”

AR: “Yes, well Norway is in Europe…”

JW: “But it’s outside the European Union”

AR: “But inside the internal energy market…”

The UK is 49.5% sufficient in natural gas with Norway supplying 55% of imported gas. Russia of course provides a nominal proportion of UK energy…

Rudd went on to claim Brexit would cause a “massive electric shock” and then weaponised the spectre of Fukushima:

“The thing about the gas market is you don’t know what shocks and what changes there can be to it. In Japan, after the Fukushima incident the LNG market for gas went through the roof, because all had to go to Japan. You don’t know what shocks there are…”

Remain weaponises a second human tragedy in as many days…

Robbo to Present Today

Major media news from the Beeb this evening:

Nick Robinson is to present BBC Radio 4’s Today programme from the autumn, following ten years as the BBC’s Political Editor.

Nick replaces Jim Naughtie as part of the core presenting team on BBC Radio 4’s agenda-setting flagship news and current affairs programme, joining John Humphrys, Sarah Montague, Mishal Husain and Justin Webb. He will also report and present across television and radio for BBC News and Current Affairs…

After the coverage of this week’s Budget Nick is taking some time off to complete his recovery from the surgery he had in March which successfully removed a Neuro-Endocrine Tumour from his lung. He is still undergoing a course of chemotherapy.

Robinson says:

“I will miss my privileged perch inside Parliament and outside Downing Street but after a decade as Political Editor I’m looking forward to hearing someone else’s analysis of what our politicians are up to.”

A new Political Editor will be appointed in due course…

Robbo Finally Confirms Baldwin Briefed “Milly Dowler Moment”

After Nick Robinson reported that “The Labour leader’s aides say that he sees this as another Milly Dowler moment”. There was a storm and it was a contentious front page news story about which he tweeted:

This was somewhat of a misdirection. In his new memoir he writes:

 Lunch with Tom Baldwin. The Labour spin doctor is still buzzing after PMQs. This moment, he tells me, is like the moment when the story broke about the hacking of the murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone. He means they are both balance-tipping moments, the point where an issue that hasn’t previously excited most people – in one case phone- hacking within the Murdoch empire, in the other tax avoidance – suddenly galvanizes the public. This is a moment when Ed can show he’s standing up to the rich and powerful.

It is worth looking back on how partisan the response was to this storm, many tried to make out that Nick Robinson was the original author of the phrase:

Guido reported at the time that the “… tasteless metaphor sounds like Tom Baldwin…” 

Nick Robinson: Election Notebook: The Inside Story Of The Battle Over Britain’s Future And My Personal Battle To Report It £16.59

Rich’s Monday Morning View

unnamed

‘“If Tom Baldwin didn’t have at least one enemy in every newspaper office, he could have called in some favours,” fumes a close colleague.’

 

Miliband Thinks Fink Tax Issue “Milly Dowler Moment”

miliband-robinson

Nick Robinson is reporting that over Lord Fink’s taxes “The Labour leader’s aides say that he sees this as another Milly Dowler moment”. That would be the apocryphal Milly Dowler moment for which the Guardian apologised and of which Mr Justice Saunders said they were “wrong and they have accepted that”. It is also a pretty tasteless metaphor (sounds like Tom Baldwin, at a guess, is the source).

In addition to this being a beltway thing of interest only to broadsheet readers, this may not go as they think…

UPDATE: A Labour spokesman denies this is Miliband’s view:

“Ed is not comparing this to a Milly Dowler moment. This is about standing up for what is right, not making comparisons.”

So who briefed it?

Twitter Bitch Fight: Broadcaster Bun Fight!

Guido understands the ladies of the Lobby are not happy with Nick Robinson. Tom Bradby got an on camera line out of David Cameron about not doing the TV debates unless the Greens were included.

Nick does have some form for what would be called in print “byline banditry”.

Here’s a flavour of the outrage….

Ladies, ladies…

Nick Robinson Accidentally Tweets His Own Mobile Number

Oops!

Robbo and Dave’s Data Protection Blooper

Kind, caring Dave showed his soft side on the News at Ten last night, letting the cameras into No. 10 to film him responding to a letter from a little girl. Of course Nick Robinson and the PM will have got permission to run the letter, name and home address of the girl in full (obscured by Guido above) to their two million viewers, making sure they didn’t blatantly breach the Data Protection Act. Right?

PICTURE: Nick Robinson's Tribute to Bob Crow

BBC's Gucci Wearing Nick Robinson Snaps

Sellotape it Nick, no one will notice…

Robinson's Lobby Colleagues Fed Up With Him Lifting Stories

Nick Robinson was the focus of ridicule among his Lobby colleagues last night after he yet again lifted a newspaper journalist’s story and claimed it as his own. “BREAKING”, he tweeted, the three major parties would reject a currency union with an independent Scotland, “the BBC has learned”. Just one problem, Nick Watt at the Guardian had broken the story some 21 hours earlier. 

Several Lobby journalists have since been in touch with MediaGuido to express their increasing frustration at Robinson claiming stories broken elsewhere as his own, attributing them instead to “BBC sources”. It is a running joke that BBC news broadcasts consistently refuse to credit other news organisations – putting up  ‘Breaking News – the BBC has learned’ graphics half an hour after it was on Sky – but Robinson telling readers that this story was his own has crossed the line. One hack notes his regular surprise to see lines from government or opposition press releases (emailed out to every Westminster journalist at the same time) reported as “a Tory/Labour source tells me” on the News at Ten. The fact he is “never around” is hardly helping his popularity either. BBC head of news James Harding is cracking the whip demanding exclusives from his political team, Robbo seems to be feeling the pressure.

When MediaGuido spoke to Nick Watt last night, he wanted to stress that “I hold Nick in the highest regard” and suggested we take a look at the high volume of critical tweets from Lobby journalists to gauge how other hacks feel. Despite Robinson confessing to reading the Guardian story first, last night’s News at Ten again fibbed “our political editor Nick Robinson broke the story”Tut tut…

 

Nick Robinson Brings Fat Bottomed Girls Onto Daily Politics

PM's Official Spokesman Misled Lobby About Guido Story Damian McBride Confirms Truth of "Second Email" Scoop

Back in January 2007 around the time police were arresting Blair’s Downing Street aides over “Loans for Lordships”, Guido ran a story about a secret second unofficial email system in Downing Street used to discuss the sleazy trade in honours. The Lobby pack were very excited by this and followed it up by asking Tom Kelly the then Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) about it at the morning Lobby briefing on Friday, January 26. Tom Kelly explicitly denied the story:

Asked if there was any secret e-mail system in the Prime Minister’s Office, the PMOS said, as we had said last night, there was no secret e-mail system, there was full cooperation with the police, there was no e-mail as described on ITV news last night, and as we had said, the police had not asked us about any of these matters. Asked why the PMOS was now commenting on this investigation, the PMOS said this was so wrong it would have been totally misleading not to comment.

Asked if there had been any arrests of people in Downing Street, the PMOS said no. Asked if there were a separate e-mail address such as some using the letter X and some not, the PMOS said no. Asked if people had ‘Hotmail’ accounts at Downing Street, the PMOS said because of security access to such e-mails accounts was not allowed. The police had had full access to everything they wanted. The fallacy was that in someway Downing Street had not cooperated with the police, that was not true.

The following day Guido ran a follow-up disputing the Lobby briefing in no uncertain terms. Guido knew that Downing Street staffers had access to web based accounts from inside No. 10 because they were using them to leak to the blog – Guido had (to confirm authenticity) tracked the emails back to a source which matched the Internet Protocol address for Downing Street. The Lobby was divided as to whether to believe Guido’s story or the PMOS.

At the next Lobby briefing on Monday, January 29 the Lobby again questioned the PMOS on the matter at length:

Put that we had “rubbished” any idea of alternative computer networks, but the Mail on Saturday and “Guido Fawkes” website had both claimed that they had evidence of alternative email networks in No10 that linked up to the Labour Party, the PMOS said that we stood by what we said to ITN. There was only one email system at No 10.

Asked if it would be possible for someone to “hop on” using a No 10 computer onto the Labour Party network, the PMOS said again that there was only one email system at No 10.

Asked further questions about the possibility of an external server, or the possibilities of sending Labour Party emails, and did only one system allow for more than one email address, the PMOS repeated that there was only one email system in No 10. As the PMOS said on Friday, people in No. 10 could not access hotmail, gmail etc because of security reasons, and he was not aware of anyone who had more than one email address.

Asked if people could send political emails from the No. 10 account, the PMOS replied that he was not going to get into the details of the system. The claim that was put to us was that there was more than one system, and there is not. There is only one, and the police have had access to everything that went through the system.

An absolutely explicit denial that there was any access to webmail or a second email system. After this Guido seems to recall a broadcast by the BBC’s Nick Robinson – at his most patronising – rubbishing Guido’s story as a crazy conspiracy theory. Guido demanded that the PMOS correct himself at the next Lobby briefing. No correction or apology was forthcoming.

This morning Damian McBride, a former Downing Street head of communications for the PM, recalled his first day moving into No. 10:

In hushed tones, I was shown the ‘stand-alone computer’ through which No10 staff could use personal email accounts which were otherwise blocked by the Downing Street servers. “We don’t discuss this publicly,” I was told, “we don’t want people going on about ‘second Downing Street email systems’”.

Never believe anything until it is officially denied…

An Obvious BBC Cut

It’s hard being Nick Robinson. Instead of queueing with the rest of the  media for Murdoch’s 11am appearance in front of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, he had a proxy waiting outside the committee room. It seems your licence money is now paying for Soviet Union style proxy queuers.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Len McCluskey speaks from the Corbynista alternative universe:

“To the whingers and whiners who say we didn’t win, I say this. We did win.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Labour to Ignore Brexit at Conference Labour to Ignore Brexit at Conference
“Brexit is Racist” March Kicks Off Labour Conference “Brexit is Racist” March Kicks Off Labour Conference
Hammond Overspending by Just £10 Million an Hour Hammond Overspending by Just £10 Million an Hour
Momentum Soft Smut Snapper Rejected as Labour Candidate Momentum Soft Smut Snapper Rejected as Labour Candidate
All Smiles After Cabinet All Smiles After Cabinet
Who’s The Eye’s Telegraph Mole? Who’s The Eye’s Telegraph Mole?
UK Green Lobby Funded by Anti-Immigrant Multi-Millionaire UK Green Lobby Funded by Anti-Immigrant Multi-Millionaire
Tory Glasto Hosted by Multi-Millionaire Gambling Magnate Tory Glasto Hosted by Multi-Millionaire Gambling Magnate
Hammond and Treasury “On Manoeuvres” Against Brexit Hammond and Treasury “On Manoeuvres” Against Brexit
Osborne Lands Job Number Seven Osborne Lands Job Number Seven
Civil Service ‘Not Really Preparing’ For No Deal Civil Service ‘Not Really Preparing’ For No Deal
Osborne’s Latest Duff Analysis Osborne’s Latest Duff Analysis
Corbynista Journo Banned from Conference Corbynista Journo Banned from Conference
Sheerman’s Shameless Shilling Sheerman’s Shameless Shilling
Carwyn Jones Picks a Winner Carwyn Jones Picks a Winner
Red Robbins: May’s Brexit Supremo is Soviet Sympathiser Red Robbins: May’s Brexit Supremo is Soviet Sympathiser
Owen Goes Full Brent Owen Goes Full Brent
What Caused Rachel Sylvester’s Volte Face? What Caused Rachel Sylvester’s Volte Face?
Labour Moderates Screwed Labour Moderates Screwed