Video: BBC News breaching impartiality with excuses for Hammond #Budget2017

BBC News appears to be getting excuses in early on behalf of hapless, heartless Chancellor Phillip Hammond, by breaching impartiality and indulging in ‘expectation management’ on behalf of the government.

This morning, Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith gave a round-up of Hammond’s budget circumstances. The political summary – that many senior Tories would be happy for Hammond to fail – was reasonably uncontentious. However, in his financial summary Smith simply treated the Tories’ political narrative as fact:

“There is no money’. ‘Fact’, supposedly. But this ignores not only monetary theory but recent historical precedent – on more than one occasion over the last ten years or so, the government has simply created money out of thin air via ‘quantitative easing’.

There can be debate about whether it’s wise at a given moment to create money – but to say there is none is simply false, so a flat statement agreeing that there is none is anything but impartial, especially when many leading economists agree increased spending is the way to improve the economy and austerity has made the recovery far slower than it needed to be.

Not only that, but in Labour the UK now has an opposition – one polling ahead of the government – that states that austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity. Labour’s narrative has become so popular and compelling that even some Tories are arguing for spending increases.

The SKWAWKBOX pointed out the breach to Mr Smith within a minute or so of him saying it:

Smith may have got the message, as his comments just now were more qualified – however, the rest of the BBC News machine is still pushing similar lines in its Budget segments.

‘Spreadsheet Phil’s Budget is almost certain to be a damp-squib-cum-non-event that contains nothing of substance but more cash for corporations – but the BBC already appears to be doing its best to control the narrative.

If not to protect Hammond personally, then to shore up the Tory economic narrative.

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  1. The whole austerity narrative of “there is no money” has never stood up to scrutiny anyway because it implies the government is unable to increase its income from tax revenues, which is obviously tosh.

    So why do BBC News reporters continually run with this purely political Tory slogan?

    Are they stupid? Obviously not.

    So are they ingrained in their fealty and obsequiousness to whatever their Tory masters spout to such an extent that they instinctively do not question Tory sloganeering?

    That is a much more serious failing.

    1. …and the BBC, having broadcast Hammond’s repetition in his speech of the well-known falsehood that it was “Labour’s” economic crash, failed to correct it afterwards and let it stand!

  2. “There is no money” is fake news. UK is a sovereign currency issuer. Of course there is always money for (private) bank bailouts, corporate welfare, tax breaks for the wealthiest and nukes, bombs, bombs and more bombs to drop on men, women and children in ‘target’ countries… for profit and geostrategic positioning.
    We must ‘get the deficit down’ is also fake news. I repost this short explanation of deficit/surplus to again expose either ignorance or deceit of this government and longstanding Tory mantra that MSM have slavishly helped push into the public consciousness for decades. Tory/neoliberal economics is based on fundamental falsehoods.

    In the meantime the public debt, that is a loadstone round the necks of future generations, increases hugely.

  3. Same old Tories same old myths. Government, spending stimulates the economy. Austerity as no record of working. So whats the point?

    1. My very basic understanding is, the point of austerity appears to be part of a wealth and ownership consolidation grab. A siphoning of public wealth and assets into wealthy private pockets, monopolies and Rentiers who extract rent from accumulated ownership of property and ‘rights’.
      Under neoliberalism the economy and public services are being re structured into rent seeking corporate model entities and the social contract is being broken, making tapping into the squeezed safety net and public systems an onerous, profit driven, punishment regime. Some call it a kind of neo feudalism where an increasingly small percentage of wealthyindividuals and entities own the right to extract fees, charges, rents etc, and a larger percentage of personal income is taken up paying out just to live and work. Private debt reliance then increases which extracts compound interest (rent) on top of other structural ‘expenses’ which are still being built into the increasingly privatised and corproatized system.

      At some point the majority will have so little disposible income they are unable to consume and financialized Capitaism will grind to a halt. The big question is, is there a plan for this and if there is, what is that plan? I don’t like to think about it myself unless the current vicious, idology is overthrown.

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