In the House of Commons this morning, Nigel Evans, Conservative MP for Ribble Valley, asked Dr. Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, the following question: "I think that the potential for trade with Commonwealth countries is very exciting—they are growing and strong economies—but every time I open a newspaper or listen to the radio or TV, the story is presented very negatively, as though it will be almost impossible for us to do these trade deals. Does the Secretary of State feel that that is wrong, and that it undermines the work he is doing?" Continue reading
You may have heard the expression, "dog whistle politics". It's when you employ encoded language that can mean one thing to one group of people, but something completely different to another - your real target audience. You can't be accused of deliberately trying to plant a misleading idea into someone's head, but everyone knows that's what you are doing. This is exactly what two doctors at UCLA are trying to do in this article I found on Life Science Daily. I am sure it will have been reported elsewhere, too. The headline immediately draws us in: "Doctors raise vaping concerns". I wonder what those concerns are? Let's find out more. Continue reading
The Sun has reported today that a cross-party group of MPs held a meeting with James Harding, Head of BBC News, earlier this week to discuss the corporation's anti-Brexit bias. Amongst those MPs attending were Kate Hoey, Philip Davies, and Ian Paisley Jr. I looked at BBC bias in this post last week, so it is welcome news that some MPs have voiced their concern in a private meeting. It is shocking that BBC Radio 4 listeners are two and a half times more likely to hear a pro-EU speaker than an anti-EU one. The BBC has issued a statement following the meeting, saying: “BBC News listens to and reflects all points of view and remains committed to covering developments in a fair and impartial manner.” In other words, no change.
For those of you young enough not to have experienced British Rail, you won't know what it was like to sit on the most uncomfortable trains, eat the awful sandwiches, and drink the disgusting maxpax coffee. Those were the days when a train timetable was an aspiration rather than an accurate prediction of when you would arrive at your destination. When the rail unions went on strike, it affected the whole network. I remember as a child being unable to catch a train to go on holiday to Weston-super-Mare because the whole rail network was crippled. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen today. Continue reading