Hi folks! Been away for a short while but am b-b-back! Now then, I know today was Budget Day and wondered what you reckoned to BBC coverage. Personally, I found it hard to distinguish between the line taken by Ed Miliband and that retailed by Stephanie Flanders! I feel sorry for Osborne – the ONLY way the BBC was going to give him good coverage was it it started adopting the fiscal recklessness of Brown and Balls!

Oh and the BBC non biased headline? “Osborne – stick with us despite the gloom!”

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53 Responses to BUDGET OPEN THREAD

  1. colditz says:

    So the BBC had to report but not ask questions despite the huge cut in growth predictions and the drop in PAyE receipts. We have a flat lining economy so of course any reputable journalist will pose Q. To do so they’ll ask why the Govt hasn’t followed an alternative path. That’s what all journalists do. Question

    If you had heard Eddie Mair roasting all the spokesmen tonight any charges of bias are utterly preposterous.


    • johnnythefish says:

      That would almost be a first for Mair, then, though I did rate the coverage on the BBC 10 o’ clock news – however only as a fair critique of the government. Any examination of Labour’s policies was sorely lacking, in fact non-existent.

      When the Tories were in opposition they were constantly challenged with ‘Well it’s easy enough to criticise the government, but what would YOU do about it’ – time after time after time on both TV and radio. If you don’t remember that, you weren’t there.

      As for ‘alternative path’, you must have missed the bits about cutting company taxes, upping the personal tax allowance yet again, £2.5 billion for infrastructure spending, loans for house deposits scheme, more tax being taken from the wealthy and handed back to the less well-off than at any time under Labour, scrapping Labour’s tax escalators etc etc.

      But of course, if you would like to enlighten us on Balls’ cunning plan for growth, please go ahead – the floor, as ever, is yours……


  2. George R says:

    Beeboid Hampstead HARRABIN and his political chums are “dismayed” at the Budget.

    “Green campaigners dismayed by Budget”

    – and I, Harrabin, am particularly “dismayed”.


    In Harrabin’s habitual role as political propagandist, at our expense, for costly ‘greenies’ at Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, he is so saddened by that horrible Mr Osborne wanting to assist shale gas development in Britain.


    • lojolondon says:

      Yep, and don’t forget the nuclear!! – just in time (I hope!)


    • johnnythefish says:

      That the BBC allows Harrabin to spout his fantasy spending demands for the environment when the country has been teetering on the brink of ruin for the last 5 years speaks volumes.


  3. Alan says:

    Heard Nick Robinson this morning saying that Balls, Cable and many economists want Osborne to change tack.

    What did he miss out? That far more want him to stay the course (with various tweaks)…..every phone in I hear businessmen supporting Osborne, the same with financial analysts and economists….on ‘Wake Up to Money’ it’s very rare to get someone to agree with the presenter that a policy change is needed.

    Moody’s downgrade of the credit rating was about the high level of debt not his policies…they still wanted Osborne to consolidate…and fast.

    The BBC’s stance is odd….never mind the bias….they moan about short term outlooks of the politicians but when one sticks to his policies despite increasing unpopularity and undoubtedly losing mid term votes they attack him and demand short term crowd pleasing changes.

    It does seem that the BBC wants to attack Osborne regardless of what he actually does…he’s not ‘Labour’ so he’s got to go.


  4. Alex says:

    That raging lefty, Kevin Macguire, was given complete free reign to spout his extremist socialist views on BBC News 24, today… It was unbearably biased with absolutely no interjection by Hugh Edwards; The BBC’s darling boy, good ol’ Chukka, was also everywhere to be seen, giving out the same ol’ rubbish which the BBC promote as economic wisdom.
    The Left will DO ANYTHING to get back into power, no matter the consequences; and with the BBC proselytizing for them, that horror could become reality in 2015. I despair and worry for my country, I really do.


    • Ian Hills says:

      The left is still in power, but being the ConDems, it isn’t the right left.


    • Doublethinker says:

      The problem that contributors to this site have is that the BBC is stuffed full of employees with a liberal/left view of the world and that because there is no centre right counter weight in side the BBC their view determines how the BBC goes about its business.
      Their own prejudices become a collective BBC bias which gives open door to causes they agree with, eg state spending , global warming and multiculturalism, but firmly shut doors to causes they don’t agree with ,eg less state spending, anti global warmering and people who don’t want alien cultures foisted on them.
      Now if the BBC was a commercial operation such a bias would be fine but of course it isn’t and it ought not to promote some views and oppose others.
      So powerful is the BBC, due to its enormous tax based funding, that it is changing the political outlook of the British people by this never ending all pervasive bias. Even if the BBC was abiding by its Charter and being scrupulously impartial it would be dangerous for so much power to be in the hands of one organisation, which is of course why the BBC opposes Murdoch. But to have the BBC supporting one side of political argument and opposing the other is undermining democracy in Britain.
      The fact that the BBC is staffed almost exclusively by people from the liberal left means that it cannot be reformed unless very large numbers of people are got rid of. This is not a practical proposition and so the BBC in its present form must be got rid of if democracy is to survive in Britain.


  5. #88 says:

    Was Oakshott the official Liberal budget spokesperson? Twice on the BBC this afternoon, taking credit for the basic rate personal allowance, he then outrageously disowned the rest of the budget and his coalition partners.

    It must have been the gift that the BBC wanted, when prompted, to hear him say he would prefer to be in coalition with Labour, but then the BBC choose their contributors carefully. Oakshott has always been the ‘go to’ dissenter, the person who could always be relied upon to provide the BBC with the wedge to drive into the coalition.


    • johnnythefish says:

      Agreed. Oakshott’s semi-permanent residence at the BBC as their Tory-basher-in-chief shrieks bias.


  6. MD says:

    Peter Oborne in the Telegraph says:

    “New Labour racheted up spending by half in a decade, and nobody thought anything of it. By contrast, David Cameron’s Coalition has had the audacity to slice back a measly 2.7 per cent of that, and its members get lampooned as a bunch of sadists.”

    The BBC should be held responsible for the lack of serious debate over the the UK’s serious overspending. Currently running at 120bn per year. And yet the BBC routinely presents the cuts as savage and titles it’s budget piece today “Osborne: Stick with us despite gloom”. The use of ‘gloom’ sounds like a piece of editorial comment, not news!
    According to the BBC we can’t engage in serious debate about spending £120bn a year too much and the only credible alternative endorsed by the BBC is Labour’s plan to overspend even more.
    Unfortunately it’s clear that the Conservatives should have taken the fight to the BBC and continued to champion the cause of cutting the deficit. Attack is the best form of self defence and this strategy would have served them well. As it is they’ve been able to set the agenda and now 2.7 per cent is a nasty ‘Tory cut’.


    • Joshaw says:

      The Coalition has, IMO, failed to convince people of the nature and the seriousness of the problem.

      The debt currently stands at over £1 trillion and we’re still adding to it; it hasn’t come down at all. That means we’re paying debt interest on a debt of £18k for every person in the country (or those we know about).

      The Government is trying to reduce the deficit, the rate at which we add to the debt, but that’s the best it can do. The debt is still going up.

      There’s no money, and there hasn’t been for some time, but you won’t hear this on the BBC.


      • MD says:

        Because the BBC are such a malevolent force the Conservatives need to really attack the subject of cuts. They have been letting the BBC set the terms of the debate for too long.


      • johnnythefish says:

        Balls on ‘Today’ this morning telling us how the government ‘needs to get people spending again’.

        No challenge forthcoming on that’s partly how we got into this mess in the first place. Personal debt went platinum under Labour in a very, very short time, rising from £600 billion in 2002 to £1.4 trillion in 2008. You know, 125% mortgages from those unregulated banks so you could buy the house, kitchen and 4 x 4 of your dreams, take out as many credit cards as you like and load them all to the hilt so you can have those exotic holidays and replace your personal wardrobe every year because, after all, it was the end of boom and bust wasn’t it?

        Still, like the Left keep on telling us, it’s all the fault of the Baby Boomers – had it all, haven’t they?


  7. Jack De says:

    the delivery of failure
    • The responsibility for putting Britain
    into a high-debt, low-growth trap
    lies firmly with the 1997-2010
    Labour administration. ‘Team Brown’
    bungled the reform of the financial
    regulatory system, mistook the
    ensuing property-driven bubble for
    real growth, irresponsibly ramped
    up public spending to unaffordable
    levels, and throughout remained
    blithely ignorant of its mistakes.
    • By pursuing policies based on
    selective moral absolutism and
    spurious notions of ‘fairness’,
    the Labour government created
    a psychology of individual and
    collective entitlement which is the
    biggest single obstacle on the route
    to economic viability.


    • Jack De says:

      With apologies ..clicked the submit before my reply was complete.. The above comes from the Tim Morgan report
      “Thinking the Unthinkable” and it goes on to say ..
      The real tragedy at the heart of
      Labour’s disastrous conduct of the
      British economy was that Brown and
      his Treasury team remained in denial
      even after the myth of their economic
      genius had exploded. Perhaps
      intoxicated by the concept of “neoendogenous
      growth theory”, and even
      with the economy crashing around his
      ears, Brown continued to believe that
      there had been “no return to” boom
      and bust. Throughout his tenure at the
      Treasury, Brown continued to preach
      “prudence” and “golden rules” even as
      he was creating the largest deficit in
      British peace-time history. When the
      banking crisis impacted in 2008, he
      continued to insist, ludicrously, that
      Britain was “best placed” to weather
      the storm. Ministers seem to have been forbidden to refer to the financial
      crisis without the obligatory word
      “global” being tacked on to it.
      The scale of the deficit, and Britain’s
      consequent inability to use stimulus
      to good effect, apparently had nothing
      whatsoever to do with Team Brown’s
      reckless expansion of public spending
      since 2000. The crisis in the British
      public finances, it seemed, was entirely
      of foreign origin, and the genius which
      had made Britain best placed in the
      global economy could now be applied
      to “saving the world”.
      This is not simply a chapter of
      historical regret, because one of the
      most striking features of the current
      economic and fiscal mess is a national
      state of extreme denial over the
      severity of the problems facing the UK.

      How the two Ed’s have the chutzpah to even utter one word of criticism is beyond..and as for the the BBC..what can one say?


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        No, according to the BBC, 2010 is Year Zero, economically. Any economic difficulties experienced during the Brown regime can be dismissed by generous use of the phrase “global economic crisis” and chanting “It all started in America”.


      • Deborah says:

        The oft-repeated phrase used by the BBC is that the financial crisis was caused by the banks – no mention of overspending by a Labour government.


  8. JaneTracy says:

    It seems that a revolution may be brewing on Stephanie Flanders blog as more and more see through her spin and waffle. Take a look at this.

    20th March 2013 – 18:53
    We need to remember these are the “economists” Flanders and Sw sorry Peston that utterly failed to see flaws in the Cyprus bailout.Amazes me!

    Feel free to give it an up vote, I did…


  9. Fred Bloggs says:

    The article is interesting, on it is a comment from a certain Mr Andrew Neill. I assume it is the same Mr Neill as on the bBC. His reply is illuminating so I have copied it below.
    Essentially he accuses Liebore of having destroyed the economy, carrting out a scored earth economic policy so that the next (not Liebore) gov would fail.


    Dear Fraser…

    You’re right, Gideon (who is massively unloveable) did indeed get it wrong, but only in terms of selling a coalition reaction response to high. Yes, they should have cut spending further and quicker, but it’s not their fault that spending was so ludicrously high. As I am sure you know there are always pitfalls in spending cuts, purely due to legislature that exists in terms of chopping loose fat and the costs associated. You know plenty of people in whitehall, therefore I’m sure you know how hard it is to cut public funded jobs (legally, financially and politically).

    The problem here is that we’re still suffering from the actions of the last government. The decisions taken to increase public sector employment (and salaries within), the decisions taken to further human rights and the decisions taken in the last 12 months of office to scorch the earth… Ensuring the current government never really had a choice, the ridiculous contracts, the increased spends, the commitments to Europe. All have (basically) led to this government being stitched up, add to that the mess of the Euro and we’ve got a situation that whoever had control of the ship would have been in this position now. Precious few could have avoided it, certainly not labour. Without coalition a conservative government would have had more chance but (as ALL the political sooth sayers predicted at the time [including Mervyn King]) this tenure was always going to be a poison chalice.

    Do you not think you (I mean personally, well, in the sense the magazine you edit) are hurting the country more by attacking the Conservative party so much at this point. There isn’t long left in this electoral period, not long before the polls are opened to see what choice we make (one which we’re now legally abided) to for a further 5 years. George isn’t setting the world alight, Dave is having the odd moment or two that work, the odd that don’t. But frankly we’re bette off with these guys than we would be going back to Labour and MilliEd.

    I implore you consider this in terms of future editorial, a return to labour is not what we need. The right leaning press continually beating up on the right leaning parties is the last thing the country needs right now. I believe that we should be overly critical of ourselves, but think you’re approach to the reality of the situation is naive. There was never a way to win this hand, it was always damage limitation…. Right now all you’re doing (day in day out) is giving the opposition an easier way back in.


    • Fred Bloggs says:

      I have just spotted that the name Neill is different, so it is not the bBC pundit. However, I agree with his thinking.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        For future reference, that Andrew Neil is Fraser Nelson’s boss, and supposedly the hands-off kind. If only Neil had any editorial control at the BBC….


    • Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

      And talking of Labour ruining the economy and setting political traps for their successors, remember that they introduced the 50% top rate of tax in the 2010 budget, a month before they left office. They had managed all 13 years of their three terms in office without it, but just announced it as a political trap for the Conservatives.
      But now it’s all that Miliband and Balls can talk about, the centrepiece of their ‘One Nation’ class-warfare.


  10. colditz says:

    What we need is quite simple. Growth. and nothing in the budget indicates that the Coalition can see a way out other than cuts. But they aren’t working and the job creation is mostly low paid jobs that generate little tax and for whom the Govt has to subsidise in housing benefit.

    This is a downward spiral at present. Stating that is not bias but what everyone can see. Noone however seems to have a Plan B that’s creditable. It’s not bias to look at alternatives


    • ltwf1964 says:

      hey you

      I’m after you…….I find details of who you are and where you live,your ass is grass and court is the mower


      • Dez says:

        ltwf1964, you are an idiot.
        You can’t be libelled if you’re anonymous. Or is “ltwf1964” your real name? ROTFLMAO!!


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Which is why you, too, post anonymously, right, Dez?


          • ltwf1964 says:


            the way to sort out gutter filth like dez is ban the use of proxy IP’s


            • David Preiser (USA) says:

              No, because that would ban me sometimes as well. Nothing inherently sinister about proxy IPs. The only way to really curtail this would be to ban anyone who doesn’t use their real name or use a real email address.


              • ltwf1964 says:

                that leaves it open to the likes of colditz to make scurrilous accusations like he already has…….

                not a very good situation


                • Guest Who says:

                  ‘not a very good situation’
                  On top of some posters possibly not always being who their name says they are, no.


        • wallygreeninker says:

          So your anonymity allows you to accuse people on this site of being barefaced liars,
          you freedom hating slimeball.


        • ltwf1964 says:

          beeboid scumbag hiding behind his proxy

          another billy big bollocks

          I get hold of mr colditz IP address,he’s f*cked


          • Dez says:

            ltwf1964, you’ve completely misunderstood. This is because you are an idiot.
            You’re accusing colditz of libelling you, but he can’t libel you because YOU are anonymous. His identity is completely irrelevant. Got it yet?


            • David Preiser (USA) says:

              And you, Dez, can at the same time call people liars and racists while hiding safely behind your own anonymity.


        • ltwf1964 says:


          you’re not anonymous if you use your real IP address

          scummy cowardly bastards like you always talks bollocks when you’re anonymous…….isn’t that right?


    • johnnythefish says:


      I asked you above about your/Eded’s plan for growth and I’m still waiting. Or are you just like Eded, full of empty mantras?


  11. Dali Kman says:

    Colditz, you are quite right mate – growth really is the only thing that we are in need of. But growth is a rather elusive commodity in these penny pinching times, and private sector growth has never really been a strongpoint of the Labour party (new or old) has it ? Ever.
    Furthermore, doesn’t it ever puzzle you exactly why “no-one seems to have a Plan B that’s creditable” ? It’s simply because there isn’t one. Given how much debt we’re all in for (Govt, Corp, Personal), it really is a big sh*t sandwich that we’ve all got to take a bite of.
    Personally, I believe that if Labour were still in government [shudders], they would not be indulging in the levels of public spending that they can happily promise whilst in Opposition. I feel sure that even they would have realised by now that the only way to cut debt is not to keep spending. Wouldn’t they……?


    • Kyoto says:

      Sorry Dali Kman there is a Plan ‘B’. We just go and shake the magic money tree. But the evil Tories have locked it away, and hidden the Golden Key. Boo Hiss!


  12. Roland Deschain says:

    Sorry if someone’s already posted this, as the volume of comments these days makes it easy to miss some.

    Guido reports that BBC weather has been hacked.

    “Saudi weather station down due to head-on colision with camel”


  13. chrisH says:

    Heard Evan Davis reprise his squabbling with George Osborne to nobodys interest but that of the political class at the BBC…and, of course, Ed Balls and the wrecking crew from 1997-2010.
    Then I heard Davis go on about the option for second home owners being able to jump the queue and get a cheap mortgage.
    Heard the same tonight, only this was described as the “Labour sez” Thought For the Day this time.#I`d love to know if the BBC followed Labour….or Labour are trilling up now that the BBC have given them this canard to kick about until somebody cites it as a reason not to vote Tory.
    Utterly cynical crap-typical Labour?BBC nexus of weeds and lies.
    Heard Ed Balls getting his nose wiped by Nanny Montague before hand…no stutter problem today of course!
    Just love the fact that Balls is the go-to guy to tell the Tories how to run an economy.
    Maybe Harold Shipman could use Savile to channel how best to help the NHS do a bit better with the old`uns…and surely Ian Brady is just the bloke to advise us all about SureStart.
    Ed Balls…just a Firestarter!


    • johnnythefish says:

      Balls’ faltering, rambling reprise of his ‘growth’ gretaest hits mantras was virtually a monologue. Spending promise after spending promise was allowed to pass without the simplest challenge of ‘where will you get the money from?’ What was truly shocking though (not the BBC bias, that’s taken as read) was the lack of belief or authority in his delivery – it was very shaky indeed. He’s winging it just to get back into power. And if and when he does, run to the effing hills.

      Labour and the BBC, working in perfect country-wrecking harmony.


  14. Dr Foster says:

    There is surely only one viable approach to this debt crisis. Slash personal and corporate taxes, reduce public spending drastically and stop trying to support an unnatural asset bubble. Let insolvent businesses, including banks, go bust naturally rather than prop them up, and let the market pick up the pieces as it has many times in the past. I’d love to hear this view articulated a bit more often.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Good luck with that, Dr. F. The BBC’s well-credentialed economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, described Paul Ryan as “extreme” because of his budget proposal along the lines you’ve laid out.

      The BBC is not required to give a platform for extremist voices, so your viewpoint is unlikely to get a fair hearing.


      • JaneTracy says:

        By well credentialed I think you mean well-connected Stephanie Flanders…..


  15. noggin says:

    wait a minute … i thought the jooos were nazis?
    i couldn t find anything on bbc news about it either?
    obama visit and all that?

    i wonder if 5lives “panto” cambell, could get the UAF back on his “fascism” show to explain this?

    Swastikas and “death to Jews” spray-painted on Jewish homes in Tel Aviv.
    or … how about celebrating obamas visit with ……
    yep! … swastikas!


  16. Guest Who says:

    Who the BBC selects and presents as ‘speaking for the nation’ without possibly relevant context is a long, ignoble and expanding list.
    ‘Think tanks’ whose thoughts are backed from rather singular political views.
    ‘Research’ by ‘scientists who say’ things more based on social engineering tick-box criteria than science.
    ‘Mums’ who are in fact Guardian management royalty.
    Press ‘commentators’ who seem chosen mostly by how few actual ABC ratings their publications represent.
    Ex-politicians more chosen for their colourful backgrounds as much as the colour of their rosette.
    And people in the street who appear more based on their already being in a BBC producer’s iPhone already.
    It is hard to see such selection as representative and therefore of coherent value other than as propaganda over education or information.
    Not really what we are supposed to be compelled to uniquely fund.