PM Runners and Riders

Radio 4’s closest thing to drive time, PM, is without a presenter with stalwart Eddie Mair departing for the bright lights of commercial radio at LBC, where he will displace Iain Dale in the drive time prime slot. The BBC’s bitter ongoing gender pay row is said to be a factor in Mair, who was said to be unwilling to take a gender based pay-cut, going. Additional controversy over gender balance among the top presenting slots is an additional headache for the Beeb. Guido takes a look at the names doing the rounds at Broadcasting House…

Emma Barnett – Headline maker fast becoming a household name thanks to her fearless Brillo-style grilling of politicians. There would be push back from 5Live who want to keep her. Strong contender…

Carolyn Quinn – Already Mair’s deputy at PM with lots of relief presenting experience on the show. A move could perhaps free up the Westminster Hour for one of the other political correspondents. Would be a direct and predictable step up the ladder. Safe option…

Mishal Husain – Established presenter with internal reputation for even-handedness. With the Today programme said to be in turmoil, it is rumored numerous presenters are open to jumping ship. Logical move…

Martha Kearney – Huge experience of Radio 4‘s daytime news output over 11 years on The World At One. Top flight political experience at Newsnight, too. The WATO production team is shared with PM. Another who might be looking for a way out of the troubled Today programme…

Laura Kuenssberg – A huge boon for Radio 4 if Laura K were to spend more time on the station; would be an opportunity to walk straight onto a big show as the main presenter if the BBC’s Political Editor wanted to move from reporting to presenting. No sign of that yet though…

Robert Peston – Famous for his on air ‘banter’ clashes with Mair, Peston was a longtime contributor to PM before he defected to ITV and is said to love the programme. His Peston on Sunday show has been bumped to Wedenesday nights after ITV News at Ten. Time for a return to Auntie? 

Vicky Young – Chief Political Correspondent who could move from reporting to full time presenting. Lots of experience on the BBC News channel.

– the ubiquitous media editor can never be ruled out of any BBC presenter role.

The pressure is on to make the optics right around the appointment – remember the Question Time gig is also up for grabs, which may dissuade some.

British Virgin Islands Accuse Hypocritical Hodge of “Colonialism”

Tax hypocrite Margaret Hodge took a kicking from Lorna Smith of British Virgin Islands Finance on the Today programme this morning, who accused the Labour grandee of “colonialism” for attempting to force them to introduce public ownership registers. Hodge’s amendment, backed by Corbyn, is in the Commons today. Well worth a listen to hear Hodge skewered…

As Guido has chronicled, Hodge had a £1.5 million shareholding in 0.01% tax rate-paying Stemcor. 96,000 Stemcor shares awarded to Hodge in 2011 came from the tax haven of Lichtenstein. Now she is attempting to enforce “colonialist” tax avoidance measures on the British Virgin Islands. You don’t get more hypocritical than that…

Corbyn Supporters Want to Nationalise and Expropriate Pensioners Without Compensation


Corbynista Cat Hobbs, founder and director of We Own It, a left-wing group which campaigns for state ownership, has revealed how Labour could enact its plan to nationalise utilities if Corbyn took office. Hobbs told Stephanie Flanders on the Today Programme that expropriation of shareholders in utility and transport firms was necessary in order to redress perceived historical wrongs on the part of firms. Hobbs said:

“Do these shareholders really deserve the market value… you’d compensate the shareholders for the money that they’ve put in, but the market value of the shares is much higher… so you’d compensate them for the money that they’ve put in and that’s fair, but what you wouldn’t do is compensate them for the full market value.”

Cat Hobbs called Labour’s manifesto commitment to nationalisation “fantastic”. Corbynistas are so dogmatically hell-bent on nationalisation they will happily rob pensioners in ordinary retirement schemes…

Rees-Mogg vs Chapman

James Chapman, the former pol-ed, turned SpAd turned lobbyist putting the potti into Bell Pottinger, claims that the Tories will never win an election again and that Cabinet ministers sympathise with setting up a new centre party, “the Democrats”Chappers sounding crackers

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…

Listen: Spreadsh*t Phil

This one is going to stick…

Multi-Millionairess Polly Toynbee Calls For Property Tax

Guido enjoyed listening to three home-owning multi-millionairess Polly Toynbee rail against inequality and demand a US-style property tax this morning. Six-figure salaried Polly also wants a new levy on “the wealth of the very old, very rich to pay for a care system”. Wealthy socialists are of course free to voluntarily pay more tax if they feel so strongly about it. Bad news for the kids’ inheritance if mum’s assets are whacked with new taxes, though at least she sent two of them to private school so they can still check their privilege. The Italian property transfer tax means selling her Umbria villa will have stung too…

BBC: Thatcher Most Influential Woman of Last 70 Years

Maggie Thatcher will top the Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List today, a roll of honour that “celebrates the seven women who’ve made the biggest impact on women’s lives over the past seven decades”. Awkward for Auntie, who broke its own golden rule of news writing – always put the most important line first – to bury Thatcher’s victory in the fourth paragraph of an online piece. Instead they led with Bridget Jones, who came sixth out of seven on the list. Meanwhile, from The Guardian:

One panel member, Ayesha Hazarika, a former adviser to the Labour MP Harriet Harman, said she felt “uncomfortable” with the choice of Thatcher, but said the list was about celebrating impact “both positive and negative”.

As the Mrs T once said: “I owe nothing to Women’s Lib”…

Quentin Upsets BBC’s Greens

quentin-thought-crime

Quentin Letts has really upset the Climate Alarmism lobby, chief among them Dick Black, the former BBC science and environment correspondent who now works for the grandly styled Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit – a propaganda website funded by rich Green philanthropists. According to Dick Black’s inevitable “why-oh-why” Guardian article, Quentin’s worst crime was laughing at the Met Office in breach of BBC guidelines…

Quentin’s crime was exacerbated because it was a programme he made for BBC Radio 4, “What’s the point of the… Met Office? which gently criticised the Met Office for lobbying MPs on Climate Change. The twitter lynch mob seems to have been led by Roger Harrabin, Dick Black’s successor as the BBC’s climate alarm correspondent.

As a result of Harrabin and friends causing a stink, there will now be an internal BBC “Feedback” inquest into Quentin’s programme. Quentin is away on holiday, so sadly can not take part, but his cardinal sin appears to have been failing to show proper belief in Climate Change. One of the voices he used was Piers Corbyn (brother of Jeremy), who is sceptical about the outlandish claims of the “we’re all going to die” lobby. Others were Peter Lilley and Graham Stringer. Guido suspects the Feedback process will be like a show trial from the Maoist China days but all this kerfuffle will only serve to highlight that the Met Office has been getting distinctly political, lobbying MPs and pushing the Climate Change orthodoxy. This may catch the eye of the minister responsibe for the Met Office and its fat-cat executives – Sajid Javid. Should Saj not now look at the future of the Met Office and see if its budgets can be trimmed so that it returns to the core mission of predicting the weather rather than political lobbying? 



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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn told by veteran Jewish MP Margaret Hodge…

“You’re a f***ing anti-aemite and a racist”

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