ATTACK!

Anyone catch this verbal assault on Francis Maude this morning? I note that Evan Davies picks up where he left off the other day insisting that it is wrong to say that public sector pension are “unaffordable”. Basically Davies acts as a sounding board for Mark Serwotka and I believe this is a classic beating up of a Conservative. Give it a listen and let me know what you think?

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24 Responses to ATTACK!

  1. Scoobywho says:

    “Serwotka and Maude clash over strikes”

    Perhaps it should have been headed Serwotka and Evans tag team clash with Francis Maude”…just a thought

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  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Maude did very well.  It’s a brilliant stroke to drive a wedge between the unions the way he did.  Davies had no idea how to handle it.  All he could do is continue the line he started with in his first question to Serwotka: you should go on strike at some point, but you shouldn’t have done it yet.  He had to come back to it, and it sounded very much like someone who supports the unions but thinks they’re doing it wrong and wants to help them.

    Davies also essentially called Maude a liar over the pension pot going bust.  And he took a very dishonest tack with the deal that pension expense is going down in GDP, which isn’t the point, and tried to pin Maude on a lie when it’s really not even the same thing he was talking about.

    Also, it’s probably a bit embarrassing for an “impartial” broadcaster to hear Serwotka cheering Davies on at one point.  Oops.

    PS: “Ctl-F key search”. Didn’t he say the exact same thing yesterday?  What’s up with that?

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    • Roland Deschain says:

      I don’t agree that Maude did well.  He was doing well until the point about pension costs having peaked was raised, but (as I’ve commented on the Unaffordable and Untenable thread) he didn’t seem to have any good counter to that argument.  He damn well should have been ready for that one after the Justine Greening interview the day before.

      Just because costs might be lower tomorrow doesn’t suddenly render them affordable.  It’s a non sequitur and this should have been pointed out.  I can’t decide if it’s Tory stupidity or a wish not to seem like the Nasty Party.  Probably both.

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      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        I thought his point was that the cost to the taxpayer was rising, which should be more important than the percentage of GDP.  Davies simply didn’t want to hear it.

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      • Millie Tant says:

        True, it doesn’t mean they’re affordable – it is assumed on Serotka’s and Davis’s part that the percentage of GDP that the cost is currently at, is where it should be at. But imagine how it would be spun against the evil Tories if Maude had also explicitly challenged that rather than very reasonably pointing out that the cost is rising and the cost to the working population is rising.

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      • Billy-no-mates says:

        Agree, Maude started well but failed to nail the affordable jibe. Anything is affordable is some mug (taxpayer) will pay. Also, he failed to put to bed this ridulous arguament that the teachers pensions are self-funding and explaining the Hutton graph.

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  3. My Site (click to edit) says:

    Feel the *love*

    xtophercook Chris Cook You know who teachers *love* today? @EvanHD.

    Now, what does one do to get such an accolade from certain quarters?

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      This guy is seriously biased.  He’d be perfect for the BBC.

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      • My Site (click to edit) says:

        Also, it’s probably a bit embarrassing for an “impartial” broadcaster to hear ….cheering Davies on at one point.  Oops.’

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  4. Millie Tant says:

    It wasn’t a pleasant experience but I listened to the clip. There’s no doubt that was a mugging by Evan Davis. As soon as Maude challenged the Serotka on his credibility at 750 into the interview, Davis got all animated and launched his attack at 7 55 on “your credibility”, as he put it to the Minister. He then proceeded, in effect, to take up the cudgels for the Serotka side of this very political case (which is based on sleight of hand and smoke and mirrors as regards cost – trying to make out that if the percentage of GDP is down or decreasing, that means that the cost is down or the cost on the working population is down, ergo affordable, and so the Tories are making things up.)

     Davis made a fool of himself getting all excited and revealing that he was  ferreting around in the Hutton report for words such as untenable and unaffordable - in order, we know, to score a point against the evil Tories. Naturally, the point is, according to Serotka, Tory toffs sitting in privilege and wanting to squeeze the poor.

    Why couldn’t Davis allow Serotka to argue the case against?
    Davis should sit in the middle holding the ring between them and questioning both sides, shouldn’t he?

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    • Millie Tant says:

      Oops! Sorry, I misspelt Serwotka.

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    • Grant says:

      The thought of Evan Davis “getting all excited”  and “ferreting around “  makes me feel uncomfortable.  Call me old-fashioned ….

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  5. D B says:

    I agree the interview was unbalanced – bit like the referee in a boxing bout pushing a crap fighter aside so he could start throwing punches himself – but Maude wasn’t good. He’s all wrong to be spokesman on this any way – something oily about him, like Blair without the estuary.

    It really shouldn’t be such a difficult message to get across:

    “The changes are necessary to ensure that public sector pensions remain affordable in the face of increasing longevity. Up until now, these employees have enjoyed a bargain. The cost of pension benefits to public sector workers has increased by almost a third since 1999.
    Last year the bill for these employees was a massive £32 billion. Contribution levels vary between the many different public sector schemes but are nowhere near paying for the benefits received. Most of the cost of public sector pensions is funded by the taxpayer.”

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  6. Roland Deschain says:

    I see Nick Robinson has weighed in to the debate. 

    And there are a lot of comments – too many to wade through on the abortion of a system the BBC uses these days.  Must be a lot of BBC followers with extra time on their hands today for some reason.

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      This argument about share of the GDP is moronic.  If the burden of public sector unions is still too high, it’s still too high.  This is what happens when you count government spending as part of GDP.

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    • Grant says:

      Roland,
      Sadly they are not on strike !

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    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      ‘I see Nick Robinson has weighed in to the debate.   
      And there are a lot of comments – too many to wade through on the abortion of a system the BBC uses these days.’

      Noting that he has updated his blog… about 40 mins after it got closed, having opened and shut, as you point out, when those not on strike are working to earn enough to keep the public sector in pensions they have become accustomed to. Including the not at all conflicted, empathetic BBC and its employees.

      Thing is, is ‘adding’ to a closed blog simply another ‘unique’ piece of BBC narrative manipulation one needs to expect in future?

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  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    If nothing else, Maude seems to have given the BBC a nice strawman to toss at the various union bosses.

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  8. D B says:

    Listening to Lesley Ashmall’s reports from the London protests on R5L today I’m at a loss to think how an actual union rep could have done a better propganda job. She was so loved-up for the cause it was at times quite embarrassing. I would say she had “gone native” but in reality I doubt there was much “going” required.

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  9. Si says:

    Why was Maude sent to do this interview? He’s not a conservative

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  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Uh, oh, the BBC News Channel is talking to pensions expert Malcolm Maclean right now who was asked what the real difference is between private and public sector pensions.  First words out of his mouth:  “There’s a pension apartheid” because the type of pensions enjoyed in the public sector practically don’t exist anymore in the private sector.  He then went on to explain that the demands of the union mouthpieces pretty much are or will be unaffordable, and something must be done.  Unions have to suck it up at some point.

    Good thing everyone had already switched the News off, having been bored to tears by Kate and Wils’ Canadian Extravaganza.  He will never be heard from again, nor will this viewpoint.

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  11. Phil says:

    Something being affordable is one thing.

    Wanting to buy it another.

    Evan Davis has not really asked if we all want to buy ultra-generous pensions for public sector workers. He won’t either. Among the people who matter to the BBC there is a consensus of opinion that we should buy them, and the BBC is keen to educate anyone stupid enough to have a wrong opinion.

    Hardly surprising, as the BBC is a public sector organistaion, with ultra-generous pensions.

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  12. RCE says:

    Maude was completely useless and Davies couldn’t resist such an easy target.

    I hate them all.

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  13. noggin says:

     its not only maude, blustering & floundering

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9525000/9525635.stm

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