Burgon Claims Questioning Labour’s £58 Billion WASPI Payout is ‘Cheap Politics’


Guido readers will be delighted to know Richard Burgon had another media round this morning. When questioned by Nick Robinson as to why Labour have a WASPI pension policy to give people like Theresa May, Dianne Abbott and Harriet Harman £20,000, Burgon hit back saying it was a cheap argument.

Robinson had to remind the esteemed former-solicitor that £58 billion isn’t, in fact, cheap…

mdi-timer 27th November 2019 @ 9:04 am 27th Nov 2019 @ 9:04 am mdi-comment Comments
UnFacts: Pro-Remain “Fact-Based” Website Keeps Getting It Wrong

Readers will remember InFacts, the unfortunately-named “fact-based” anti-Brexit website which was repeatedly slapped down by the press regulator for talking rubbish. InFacts‘ latest target is the BBC, which it reckons gives Brexiters an easy ride (yes, really). They have published a blog post castigating Nick Robinson for letting comments by Jeremy Hunt during a Today programme interview “pass unchallenged”. They say Robbo is “usually robust” but accuse him of “clearly wanting to talk about the NHS and Tory rebellion in parliament, rather than go over old ground”. They rule that Nick failed to “find a way to stamp on inaccurate or misleading statements”. Just one problem: Nick Robinson had nothing to do with the interview. It was conducted by Justin Webb.

Then InFacts‘ swivel-eyed founder Hugo Dixon accused Theresa May of failing to call out the threats against MPs. Except she did the day before Dixon’s tweet, and he was forced to issue a correction:

If you are going to call your website InFacts and boast about how you are a “journalistic enterprise making the fact-based case against Brexit”, you should probably make sure you get your basic facts right. Guido has seen supposedly respectable people like the Centre for European Reform’s Charles Grant promote InFacts recently – an error of judgment on his part. InFacts are cranks, but worse than that, they just aren’t very good…

mdi-timer 18th December 2017 @ 11:29 am 18th Dec 2017 @ 11:29 am mdi-comment Comments
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…

mdi-timer 13th September 2017 @ 1:05 pm 13th Sep 2017 @ 1:05 pm mdi-comment Comments
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…

mdi-timer 22nd May 2017 @ 1:31 pm 22nd May 2017 @ 1:31 pm mdi-comment Comments
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…

mdi-timer 4th April 2017 @ 11:39 am 4th Apr 2017 @ 11:39 am mdi-comment Comments
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.

mdi-timer 4th April 2017 @ 8:33 am 4th Apr 2017 @ 8:33 am mdi-comment Comments
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