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Showing posts with label Vince Cable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vince Cable. Show all posts

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Vince Cable, Fergus Ewing and Good Morning Scotland

Good Morning Scotland and Gary Robertson are usually fair but hard-hitting over the independence debate. But this interview fell short, and the failure I suspect was in editorial decision. At every stage this morning at various times, GMS delivered airtime to Vince Cable's claims virtually unchallenged but attacked the SNP rebuttal in a simplistic and inappropriate manner

When Cable was interviewed he was allowed to make his claims without being asked to justify them in any way. In marked contrast, Fergus Ewing – in marked contrast - was repeatedly asked for the exact cost of regulation in an independent Scotland, with Gary Robertson using the interview technique of the 'broken record', repeated question. Now this approach is valid if the interviewee is evading an answer, but consider the timescale and dynamics of this situation -

1. Regulation at every level in UK has failed spectacularly since the millennium - in banking, in the Press, police regulation, child abuse, NHS Trusts, Parliamentary expenses, etc. Major regulatory bodies have either been replaced completely or their heads forced to resign. This was virtually ignored.

2. Vince Cable is a Government Minister with all the current facts and costs of regulation, and a full knowledge of its failure. He was asked about none of these things.

3. Fergus Ewing is a Minister in a devolved government, over 14 months away from a referendum and the commencement of an 18 month complex negotiation on every aspect of government and the break-up of the UK. Scotland will achieve its independence in March of 2016, more than two and a half years from now on the conclusion of these negotiations. The SNP then has to prepare a manifesto for government and fight an election, together with all the other Scottish parties.

To ask Fergus Ewing to predict the exact cost of regulation under these circumstance is asinine and beggars belief, and Good Morning Scotland, Gary Robertson and the BBC should know better.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Particles, LibDems, urine and media-speak


The mysterious Clegg boson particle, the one that scientists think may be responsible for keeping the Tories alive, was detected in Westminster today. It bears a little understood relationship to the Cable particle, which was once thought to have certain characteristic principles. This hypothesis is now believed to be in doubt. Scientist are now looking at the older Ashdown particle to see if this offers any new insights. The Kennedy particle, a pale red shadow of its former self, can be found on media chat show studio sofas all over Britain, but it is no longer believed to have any momentum or significance, and accelerating it has proved an intractable problem.


Research into deliberate urine retention, as practised by the Prime Minister, David Cameron to sustain concentration in important meetings has now shown that the practice actually increases the possibility of serious mistakes of judgement, and induces a craven submission to expediency in the face of vociferous minorities. This may go some way to explaining recent unfortunate events in Europe. Being bitten by a British Bulldog while practising urine retention will produce completely foreseeable, unpleasant and damaging consequences.


Media journalists and presenters may be professional communicators but are frequently deficient in their grasp of English.

They may be paid to choose their words imaginatively and carefully but they are locked into tired, repetitive phraseology.

They may be political reporters and commentators but they are as cliché-ridden as sports journalists.

They may have the infinite richness of  English grammar, syntax and vocabulary from which to craft their introductions but are reduced to constant tedious use of the may be – but formulation.

I may be a “grumpy old git with a blog” – a recent and accurate description of me on Twitter – but I could avoid the repetitive and usually inaccurate use of may be –but quite easily if I had to write a few paragraphs on The English Language in media-speak

Wait a bloody minute – has the verbal plague begun to affect me to?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Banks and the FSA's Adventures in Wonderland - UK Establishment smoke and mirrors

The UK Financial Establishment switches on the smoke machine.

FSA: "We won't publish our findings ..." Cries of outrage. "OK we will, then - but only part of them, and not until March ..."

Nobody is to blame, nobody is held accountable, nobody will be prosecuted, nobody can be sued, but "lessons will be learned ..."

Oh, yeah? Until the next time, when they do it all over again. Are these people beyond the law? Are they beyond shame?

The Americans showed no such mercy to their errant bankers - at least some of them got their just deserts. The US still has some remnants of an accountable democracy and a free press, unlike the crumbling and corrupt United Kingdom.