David Keighley’s BBC Watch: Kuenssberg fires first shot in air war to down Brexit talks

Britain’s Biggest Deal, BBC2’s programme about the triggering of the Brexit process, had a prime time slot, and was presented by the Corporation’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg. It was thus a shop-window effort.

Impartial, in line with the BBC’s Charter requirements?  No. It was a no-holds-barred attempt to put across how nightmarish the exit process will be.

Since June 24, as News-watch’s report on the Brexit Collection showed, the Corporation has been on a flat-out mission to convey how stupid the British people were in voting ‘out’.

With Article 50 due to be triggered this week, Britain’s Biggest Deal can be seen as a culmination and a summation of those efforts. It ominously presages that for the next two years, as the negotiations unfold, the Corporation – led by Kuenssberg – will be cheering on every effort to undermine them.

Element one was a gross imbalance of speakers who wanted to rake up every conceivable obstacle to the UK departure. Kuenssberg assembled a diverse and impressive cast-list: Tony Blair bellyaching about how important high volume immigration is to the UK economy; Sadiq Khan warning about the dire consequences of leaving the single market; Remainer William (now Lord) Hague intoning that this was the most complex diplomatic task ever undertaken; a West Country baker fearing  major negative impact on his business; EU figures warning of dire consequences, of hard choices, and UK civil servants echoing the same.

Basic programme statistics confirm this gross structural bias. Fifteen of the programme contributors were Remainers, were pro-EU or thought that leaving could not be achieved in the allotted two years. Pitched against them were only five guests who believed otherwise.

In other words, 3:1 in favour of the Remain camp. And no-one from Ukip. Slowly but surely, the party is being air-brushed out.

Remainers spoke 3,700 words; those who were in favour of Brexit only 2,300. That’s a 3:2 imbalance.

Far more important in the equation, however, were the 3,000 or so words spoken by Kuenssberg, her handling of the programme guests, and her decisions on the programme structure.

‘Double, double toil and trouble’ …. springs to mind, and (for once) is here perhaps totally appropriate. No eye of newt and toe of frog in the programme brew, maybe, but a modern-day equivalent: first of all, the Tory Remainer from hell, Anna Soubry; then Blair, Sturgeon and Farron in full anti-Brexit cry, along with EU harpies such as Karel de Grucht and Donald Tusk – and finally, an EU law ‘expert’ from Clifford Chance, one of the few legal practices to come out overtly (and aggressively) in favour of Remain (referred to here by Open Europe – link to pay-walled FT article) .

Their combined oracle-reading was spine-chilling indeed.

Striking, too, throughout was Kuenssberg’s use of language to describe the Brexit process. It was, she posited at the outset, ‘a diplomatic mission from hell, a nightmare’, with political danger ‘all around from Westminster to Scotland’ (on high Dunsinane Hill?).

Then, as the programme unfolded, there was what amounted to a torrent of negative observations and questions:  were we, she pondered, ‘hurtling along a collision course?’; there was ‘a lot more to worry about than herring or cod’; ‘divorce was messy, breaking up is hard to do’; ‘could the whole deal be derailed before it’s even begun?’; and of course:

‘But as everyone knows, divorce isn’t only about cold, hard cash. Even if the money is settled, the deal means disentangling ourselves from the hidden ways that we are bound together.’

Followed soon afterwards by:

‘The lights in Whitehall are burning later than usual, with two new departments to cope. Government lawyers are right now trawling thousands of pieces of legislation to work out what’s next. Enough to make even the most brilliant minds boggle.’

And that was only in the first five minutes.

Also true, it must be acknowledged, is that Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Davis and Iain Duncan Smith were included in the programme mix, and between them made some strong points about positive outcomes.

But here, too, as Craig Byers notes in his blog on the programme, another type of bias was on display: Kuenssberg posed much tougher and adversarial questions to them than to the Remain contributors. She suggested, for example, to Lord Hague that this was a diplomatic nightmare. His answer simply and obligingly confirmed it.

In sharp contrast, Brexit minister David Davis was dealing with that ‘nightmare’ and there was hard-edged steeliness from Kuenssberg about looming ‘cliff edges’.

Perhaps the most blatantly biased aspect of the whole farrago was the sight of Kuenssberg brandishing to shoppers a giant cheque for £50 billion, which, she repeatedly posited, could be the cost of Brexit. Rather predictably, they were horrified at the idea, and said so.

The programme can be viewed here. The transcript is on the News-watch website here.

(Image: Cicero Group)

Apply for tickets to our TCW Dinner with David Keighley and former Culture Secretary Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP where they will be considering whether we need to banish the BBC.

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David Keighley

  • Why do you keep telling lies about the BBC? It only makes you look stupid.

    • mrdavidjohnson

      So, instead of making a childish ad hominem attack on the writer of the article, would you care to explain why this programme was not biased, De Couet.

    • Reborn

      Your comments are incredible.
      The BBC is very much a supporter of the UK’s membership of/subject region of the EU
      and has never denied the fact.
      When we were give a chance to vote in/out of the relatively innocuous Common
      Market, the BBC was overtly pro remain & since most newspapers were the same,
      the result was a forgone conclusion.
      As a well educated leftist, I naturally voted out.
      Now, as an even better educated conservative, I see my fears fully justified.

    • David Keighley

      To which alleged ‘lies’ do you refer? I am happy to respond to any well-founded points.

      • simonstephenson

        I suspect that the only lie around here is the one claiming that you have told them.

        But this of course is how the Left works – to them it’s all about scoring points, and eventually, winning, and it is laughable to think even for one moment that they would allow intellectual integrity to get in the way of any of this.

    • Kevin Holdridge

      JP Janson De Couët is just a pretentiously named Momentum troll. His/her/their contributions include posting a change.org petition “Any Labour MP using anti-Semitism as a political tool should be suspended” which got a massive 28 votes. That says all you need to know about their views, political intelligence, and irrelevance. Best to ignore the bait from such nomarks.

      • Blowmedown

        Just laugh at whoever posts that sort of rubbish.

    • Blowmedown

      ha ha ha.

    • Little Black Censored

      Are you the chap who was famous for saying, “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better”?

    • morbidfascination


  • Fubar2

    Hardly surprising…..

  • Colkitto03

    You would have hoped the BBC would have mentioned the following :- The UK faces the potential impact of £5.2 billion in tariffs on goods being sold to the EU. The very worst case estimate is £7.9 billion,
    That said, EU exporters will also face £12.9 billion in tariffs on goods coming to the UK.
    They call it the ‘free’ market, but the £11 billion net we pay (not that free is it?) to be in it saves us ,er ,er nothing.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      We should charge them for the privilege of selling their cars, wine, pasta, rafia donkeys to us.

  • BigMach

    The good news is that the proletariat are no longer getting their information from the BBC or the MSM in general. Many on the left went into journalism, not to report the news but to drive the agenda. The power to do so is seeping away from them and they are terrified.

    • noobsy6

      As Trump understood.

    • James Chilton

      I’d like to believe your “good news”, but I don’t.

    • simonstephenson

      Many on the left went into journalism, not to report the news but to drive the agenda.

      Yes. Also into education, the law, and many other institutions – all for the same reason.

      The power to do so is seeping away from them and they are terrified.

      Let’s hope you are right, although I have my doubts. I fear they are so deeply entrenched, and so determined to prevail in what they consider to be a pure and uncompromising way, that it may take a civil war before they are brought back to heel. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not confident of this. They’re the political descendents of the Jacobin/Bolshevist school of thought, and we all know what this led to, and what was necessary to remove it from power.

      • James Chilton

        In his book The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker discusses how different intellectual conceptions of human nature translate into political ideologies ranging from the far Left to the far Right.

        In other words, if a perennial connection exists between a philosophical conception of human nature and a political affiliation, then a permanent victory over Jacobinism isn’t going to transpire.

        • simonstephenson

          Thanks James. I’ve put in a request to the county library network for The Blank State, and it should be ready for me to collect on Thursday.

          • James Chilton

            I often think it’s comical
            How nature always does contrive
            That every boy and every gal,
            That’s born into the world alive,
            Is either a little Liberal,
            Or else a little Conservative!

            From Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe

            Pinker quotes this comic song at the beginning of Chapter 16 which is on Politics, and from which I lifted the stuff about conceptions of human nature.

            I learned a lot from The Blank Slate.

    • John Smith

      Many are in ‘Common Purpose’ and been to the indoctrination

  • noobsy6

    Whether they are right or wrong…I happen to think wrong……..do they have to be so “gloaty”? If we are going to go down like the Titanic….they will go down too. Better to get hold of a bucket and start scooping if they think we are sinking, or likely to.

    • Blowmedown

      You are right in as much if they thought we were sinking, they would be bailing out too. They are not of course as they’re still trying to knock a hole in the bottom of the ship.

      • Little Black Censored

        You are underestimating the single-mindedness of the Guardianistas. They really want us to fail, and the prospect gives them nothing but pleasure.

        • simonstephenson

          Yes. The combination of this underestimation, and the taking of the Left at its word, is a big part of the problem, and a big part of the reason why the Left is seemingly able to run rings around us with such impunity.

          The reality is that the Left are our enemies, they’re not allies fighting for the same cause who just happen to have a different political outlook. Their outlook is centred round the belief that capitalism is an evil that must be so totally destroyed that it can never be resurrected, and that however harmful and damaging to existing UK citizens this might be, whatever best brings about this destruction of capitalism is what Leftists will strive to bring about.

          This is why, if you look at any political situation, and consider what would be really bad choices for the UK to make, one of these choices will be what Jeremy Corbyn and his entourage will be supporting. They’re not supporting it because they’ve miscalculated what will be to our benefit, they’re supporting it because they know it will be to our detriment, and because they believe it’s very likely to contribute to our ruination.

  • A real liberal

    The BBC will do what the BBC will do. And so will the EU. I’m increasingly of the view that Mrs May should therefore do what she did to the Single Market debate – remember the days when we all agonised about in or out or in-and-out or neither-in-nor-out. She should kill the issue stone dead. Notify under Article 50 and tell the EU at the same time that we will take the two years establishing a new market position under WTO rules. There won’t be much the BBC or the EU can do about that. And certainly little that their habitual, self-centred, deviousness would allow. At the least it would put the chassure on the other foot.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      She could stop the money going to Brussels.
      That would bring a little reality in the mix.
      Job done.
      What can the EU do, as the euro collapses and German auto industry CEOs run for the airport for a plane for London?

  • Andrew Briggs

    This business about a £50bn bill for leaving ? I don’t believe it. Why ? Because if it were true how come remainers and Eurocrats weren’t shouting it from the rooftops BEFORE the
    referendum ? If true – and documented somewhere within an EU document – it would be quite a big deal so why did they not mention it then ?
    The obvious answer is that it’s a big fib that they’ve only just thought of.

    • simonstephenson

      Yes. Just the latest of a long line of big fibs though, and doubtless there are plenty more waiting at the end of the production line, to be deployed as and when they feel that their propaganda campaign requires a bit of invigoration.

  • Nockian

    It’s worth understanding the nature of those who obtain value by deception through Government largesse, in regard of the BBC.

    No crony vested interest will welcome a move away from protectionism and towards competition. Parasites don’t fair well when the host begins a move towards an environment in which they become exposed.

    It is well known that, as vampires know only too well, sunlight is the best disinfectant. The BBC prefers the country to remain shuttered in order that it continues to thrive at the hosts expense, but once those shutters are opened it knows it will be subject to the kind of pain which will dislodge it permanently.

  • ReefKnot

    What else do you expect from the BBC ?
    They have been churning out their poisoned bias for yeas now and no Government of any colour has done anything about it. The BBC therefore just carry on safe in the knowledge that they are untouchable.
    I don’t expect this Government will do anything either.

  • CheshireRed

    Pro-EU shill and an idiot to boot. History won’t be kind to her or her BBC lackey bosses. Am I bothered? No, **** em.

  • Lagopus scotica

    Project Fear round 2, do they not realise how the first version has been comprehensively disproved by events?

  • Sgt_Bilko

    It’s time the BBC was disbanded for failing to comply with their charter commitments for impartiality. Why does a Conservative government allow this to continue? Because it is only Conservative in name. In practice it’s just New Blue Labour.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Disband it yourself.
      Stop paying the TV tax.
      You really don’t have to.
      Get all the facts here – http://www.bbctvlicence.com/

  • Frank

    It is so lucky we have brave Karen Bradley (the “Culture” Secretary) and the OFCOM Content Board to protect us from this kind of deeply biased programme!

    • Blowmedown

      I love sarcasm.

  • Blowmedown

    I seldom watch the BBC now because of their bias and anti-British/Western political propaganda. There are still lots of people who only get their news from the BBC and of course those for whom the BBC and left wing media generally are the vanguard of their movements. However I do wonder how much notice is taken of these propagandists, given that 17m+ people voted for leaving the EU even before projects fear 1/2/3 got underway.

  • AnusRodendum

    Sadiq Khan has been revealed to be a pathological liar. He’s broken more election promises than any other politician on record. But the BBC loves him. Why?

    • Blowmedown

      Lying to non-believers is acceptable. As is raiding their caravans and stealing from them, killing non-believers and subjugating women. What’s the problem?

    • TheRightToArmBears

      When Muslims are a minority they demand minority rights.
      When Muslims are a majority there are no minority rights.
      Happy countries do not have Muslims.

    • blingmun

      Same reason they love Shami Chakrabarti and loved Kids Club crook Batmanghelidjh until she became an undeniable embarrassment. Effnick equality innit.

    • morbidfascination

      He represents the favoured religion.

  • Greychatter

    I don’t watch BBC news or current affairs my wife can’t stand Laura K, and it doesn’t sound like a good old British name anyway. What’s the amount of cash the BBC gets from the EU?, understand this is around 33 Million a year so stands to reason they would have bias toward the EU just like the ex EU employees in the Lords. It’s probably more about loosing their cash if they don’t support the EU than a concern for the best outcome for Britain and the majority of voters who want OUT.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      EU money does not have to accounted for.
      The EU money the BBC gets is obviously in readies and splashed about among the congnoscenti.
      No wonder they love the EU.

    • freedom

      33 million of OUR dosh. How much did we pay the EU to get that back.

  • Let them keep on with these silly tricks while we quietly get on with leaving the EU. Saddos.

  • rat_catcher

    Thank you for watching this vile, left wing, publicly funded propaganda so I didn’t have to.
    I hope your counselling sessions are soon.

  • Charlie F

    In years to come, dictionaries will have the following entry:
    Smug – see Laura Kuenssberg

  • David

    The BBC is now openly nothing but a private propaganda machine for the liberal-left financed by public taxation. The fact that the last Conservative government granted it another ten year tenure for its anti-British destructive campaigns shows just how very non-conservative the so called Conservative Party truly is.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Find out how to avoid, not evade, paying the TV tax.

    • ratcatcher11

      Also finaced by Brussels.

      • David

        Indeed !

  • choccycobnobs

    Kuenssberg…. are you sure you have the spelling right?? Just asking?

    • gelert

      It’s how the Scots spell it.

  • Stuart

    EU funding applied for/received by BBC -Several million: BBC impartiality: 0

  • Richie P

    Can’t watch any of this stuff as I haven’t contributed to the BBC Extortion Fund for the last 16 years, but I did hear John Pienaar on Radio 5’s Sunday ‘Penis Politics’ programme asking Liam Fox some tough (pre-recorded) questions on Brexit which he answered steadily enough, despite Peenie’s habit of impatiently going “Mnuuuurrrh, mnuuuuurrrh” as soon as anyone starts to say something he doesn’t like, before moving on to the next crisis question. Having dispensed with the Fox interview he turned to his very balanced studio trio of newly elected LibDem MP Sarah Olney, ‘The Mirror’s’ Toilets McGuire and raving Euroloon AC “I take comfort that there was no majority for Leave” Grayling, and proceeded to have a comfortable and exceedingly unenlightening little giggle with them on the subject, with the awful iniquities of grammar schools thrown in as a sub-topic for good measure. Peenie and Kuentsberg should get together, it seems. Made for each other, you might say.

  • Benthic

    BBC, gad fly, lickspittles. I dont bother with them.

  • gelert

    I never watched it because I knew what it would be like. The Beeb campaigned like this before the Referendum and still lost. Many former Remainers now just want to get it over with.

    Cameron bottled his chance to do something about the BBC’s horrendous bias and AGW/PC obsession.

    • Burkeian

      Not quite ‘bottled’ . He very deliberately altered plans to change the TV licence impost which would have brought the BBC down to earth. As a bribe for their support for Remain he not only left it in place but guaranteed them annual increases for ‘n’ years. The damage that man has done almost rivals Blair’s.carnage

      • simonstephenson

        Yes, though if there had been no Blair there would have been no Cameron. Blair’s transformation of politics into a highly professional and deceitful marketing operation has poisoned, for at least another 15 years, any chance of having either a decent, effective government, or a reasoned, moderately well-informed electorate. The intellectually destructive cultural change that Blair brought to the UK is so deep that it’s just not possible to reverse it until a new generation has come along which hasn’t been tainted by having lived through it – and which therefore hasn’t embraced it as normal, proper procedure in the way that the majority of older people, with their deferential-to-existing-authority mindsets, have done.

  • Ravenscar

    This is a bubble thing.

    Other than themselves: who are the beeboids really talking to?

    It is a preposterous leap and total claptrap, by the left wing mulch who run the idiots lantern Marxist services and inclusive of ITV and Faisal Islam’s band on Sky – to believe that by somehow and a great miracle [cultural Marxists – do they believe in such?] that they could change anyone’s mind on Leaving the Berlin Empire – delusional just doesn’t explain it.

    Fish head wee Krankie has tried to throw a spanner in the works too and yes lets have another referendum – where the whole country votes on Scotland’s independence.

    On the other thing, the UK voted for out and out it will bloody well be, Wales will come with us and NI can please itself – if they join the Republic – the Westminster money tap will be turned off and that sum dwarfs what puny subsidy they squeeze out of the UK taxpayer via the Brussels turnip fund – ala Scotland.

    Good Lord, It’s way past time for a large dollop of reality to be served: at the beeb and ineffably – in the fringes.

    • Renwick

      Spot on and well said

  • Odo Saunders

    Does anyone still bother to sit down and view the BBC’s news or current affairs programmes? I gave up watching them over a decade ago!

  • Wally-Jumblatt

    Lord Hague thinks it’s all too difficult?
    Did he ever work in the real world?
    No, management consultancy doesn’t count.

    Although the British are the worst in the world at negotiating anything (because the Home Counties always look down with sympathy on Jonny Foreigner), this one is very simple.

    You set your terms for everything, and leave.
    If we don’t know what our position was on every single European agreement or policy at the time they were updated, then we should fire every civil servant involved.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Just stop the money for Brussels.
      Job done.

  • ratcatcher11

    The BBC are really only preaching to the converted and there aren’t too many of them left. Those that voted for Brexit and most of those that voted Remain simply want the Prime Minister to stop faffing about and GET ON WITH IT YOU BUNCH OF IDIOTS. As for the BBC its about time Britain was rid of this bunch of overpaid leftist vipers.

  • Rebecca Rose

    I do not watch the bbc. I refuse to pay the license tax. First time ever in my life. I’ll abide by the law, I find other ways to watch programmes rather than live. I absolutely refuse to fund a propaganda outfit that takes every opportunity it can to a. demonise me & b. shape the news to fit its extreme left wing narrative. I will not pay for someone to insult me. Likewise I have an ever growing quilsing list of companies, “celebrities” “politicians” who seek to overturn democracy and decry ordinary people with smear tactics and foul name calling. Have a different opinion thats what democracy is but do not seek to bully and often use violence on those who do not have the same opinion. That is fascism. The bbc would not know what impartial meant if it hit them square between the eyes. They will pay for their disdain because millions feel as I do and soon their gravy train will be at an end and they only have themselves to blame.

    • simonstephenson

      Well said, Rebecca Rose. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were not a bit like me in that one can put up with ignorance/stupidity and one can put up with arrogance, but what one cannot put up with is when people embrace both at the same time. The BBC exhibits this joint embrace, in spades, and it’s getting worse all the time.

      • Rebecca Rose

        You are right, ignorance is a thing that everyone has about some subject or other but the bbc are wilfully committing themselves to propaganda and brainwashing the UK public. I will not pay them or any “celebrity” any of my cash. I would be paying for people to insult me. The politicians we have at the moment of any party lack a spine to call them to account. The bbc has no future as it is which is why they employ thugs to bully people into paying even those who do not have to. Its criminal. Until we have strong patriotic politicians not like the appeasers in place at the moment, MP’s who realise they serve at the will of the public nothing will change. The tiny echo chamber of the bbc in its arrogance will continue. But it will not be funded by me. People have to make a choice a. pay the illegal tax or b. choose freedom from insults and brainwashing

  • ratcatcher11

    Simply scrap the requirement for a TV licence, it’s not rocket science but of course there are too many skeletons in politician’s cupboards that are known to the BBC,.

  • ratcatcher11

    £50 billion pounds for leaving is fake news, already dismissed in law by the House of Lords.

    • thamesmud

      And it’s only enough to fund the bloated broadcasting corpse for 10 years! Licence fee and commercial income now 5 billion a year!

  • King Arfur 1st

    Don’t just talk about taking the BBC down. DO IT!

  • John Smith

    just dont pay the BBC TAX theres nothing they can do

    if we get to 20% itll collapse

  • Politically__Incorrect

    I believe many people are “wising-up” to the BBC these days. They see it as the mono-cultural left-wing dinosaur it really is. True, there will be some unyielding devotees who will always sing its praises. Well let them, and Kuensberg, who are about to end up on the wrong side of history, wallow in their pessimism, disdain, and defeatism while the rest of us get on and make a success of the sovereignty that is returning to us.

  • 300 Spartans

    Wasnt it that John Whittingdale OBE MP who was instrumental in keeping the licence tax safe for Loonsberg and comrades.
    If he was my MP I wouldn’t ever vote for him again. And I would email him at length telling him that.

  • 300 Spartans

    I’m glad I was down the pub and missed this. Wouldn’t have watched it anyway, though.
    I think the sight of the milk-curdling Loonsberg running about dementedly waving that fake cheque, shrieking at shoppers etc trying to get them to say “we have made a horrible mistake,” might have made me lose a good dinner.
    I’m still not over the cringing embarrassment of that press conference when Mrs T went to see President Trump, and that cattle-hexing crone from al bbcra implied in front of the President of the United States that she was speaking for me with her insulting barrage of ‘questions’.
    Beneath contempt, the entire British Bolshevik Corporation.

  • hobspawn

    Cancel your licence fee payment today.

    You do not have to pay for the paedobeeb’s poisonous and pervasive propaganda.

    Never give them any information at all.

    Never let Crapita goons into your home.

    Call the police if they harrass you.

    Do not allow yourself to be filmed watchting TV at home.

    Do not pay the license fee.