Marr spares Boris the facts

As I await delayed responses to previous complaints, today’s Andrew Marr Show suggested the need for another. Do follow me if you can.

I wrote minutes ago to complain:

On the 29th November, Andrew Marr confronted the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, using data from weeks 43 to 46 only to suggest: ‘The data does (sic) not really back you up. In terms of death rates over the over the last four weeks, Covid-19 on the death certificate, figures from the ONS and the National Records of Scotland, on every week, Scottish death rates are considerable worse than the English death rates, week after week.’ Today on the 3rd January, Marr interviewed the Prime Minister against the background of recent ONS/NRS data showing the death rate in England to be twice that in Scotland and the infection rate to be more than twice as high. Notably the rates had begun to diverge in the same week of the interview with the First Minister. 12 weeks later the rates for England have climbed and those for Scotland have fallen. It is clear that the Scottish Government has been able to control the pandemic and the UK Government has not. Why was the PM not confronted with these disturbing indicators of the performance of his government?

17 thoughts on “Marr spares Boris the facts

  1. You are right to complain. However, I think we can work out what the answer will be. Marr sees his job as to give the Westminster Government a platform to present its case, not to hold it to account. If he were to do the latter, he would get his jotters.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Probable BBC response: “Listen you stuck-up annoying little Sweaty; we have spent years knocking the Scottishness out of Marr, so that he now thinks like an Englishman – even if he still cannot do the accent.

    “Mr Marr is now 61 – closer to the end of his media career than to the beginning. He’s got health issues and his gong to protect, so, going easy on Boris might make the difference between an OBE,a CBE, or even a K.

    “Don’t expect a level playing field for you Jocks – SNP Baaaddd!!!

    Thank you for your interest, now, foxtrot oscar.”


  3. Thank you for writing this. I have been fuming about Andrew Marr since he did it. He seems to have been handed orders from the Ministry of Truth and is following them to the letter. A lost soul.


  4. Expecting the BBC to hold the Greater England government to account would be like RT attacking Putin….never going to happen for obvious reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good on you John, I admire your persistence. We’ll see what fairy tale they can conjure up in support of Marr.
    By the way I like the way you make a point of correcting their grammar too.
    ..and I like Mullwharchar too!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The “Boris Broadcasting to Colonies” Corp.

    He wasnt asked about the Tory government offering a second EU referendum to Labour in 2019. And Sir Keir agitating for one.
    He wasnt asked about recognising Irish (North and South) “Right to self-determination” (jus cogens) through the Downing Street Declaration.
    He wasnt asked about Northern Ireland having the legal right to a unification referendum if a majority of people are in favour. Belfast Agreement.
    He wasnt asked about ruling Scotland for 40 years without the consent of the majority population.
    He wasnt asked if he considers Scotland a colony.
    He wasnt asked why Ruthie and Hi Jack both stated a majority in May constituted a mandate, then both went back on their word.

    Nope, he wasnt asked anything really.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Arty, sometimes screaming into the void is good therapy.
        Sometimes a Wee Goldie helps—but i limit myself these days.

        But I would LOVE to interview “Boris”, and wipe the eternal smirk of his smug face.


  7. Thanks due to gavinochiltree for the list of questions. I got me thinking and delving.

    Mr Johnson’s answer to Andrew Marr’s (good) question – (in terms) what democratic route is available to voters in Scotland over having a second independence referendum – was notable.

    Firstly, and unsurprisingly, the PM failed to answer the substantive element in the question. Mr Marr must have recognised the “democratic route’ point to be the crucial one: he should (could) have pushed much, much more strongly for a direct answer!

    Secondly, amongst all the usual bluster, the PM in terms argued that the key factor in determining the case for a further referendum on an issue was the passage of time since the last one. He used as his example the passage of time between the first referendum on Europe in 1975 and the Brexit vote in 2016.

    Surely someone in Mr Marr’s profession and with his experience knows about the ‘seven years’ clause regarding the frequency of NI border polls that is embedded in the Good Friday Agreement? (Although to be candid, I do feel that Scottish Government ministers also seem to have a blind spot when it comes to this.)

    But notwithstanding this point, Mr Johnson’s emphasis on the passage of time is ‘rich’ coming from a Tory. As gavinochiltree notes, there have been multiple examples post-1975 of Tory (and also Lib Dem and Labour) politicians arguing for and in the case of the Tory/Lib Dems coalition government legislating for referendums on European matters whenever constitutionally significant changes were being considered.

    In all these instances, for the proponents of a referendum, a change in circumstance was the basis of the case for holding a further referendum: the elapse time since the last one never featured.

    This from the BBC in 2015 shows that calls for and commitments to further referenda on Europe were a recurring feature of Westminster politics.

    The House of Commons Library Research paper 10/79 (2 December, 2010) explains the Coaltion Government’s European Union Bill. It explains what the Tories termed a ‘referendum lock’.

    ‘The Conservative election manifesto in 2010 pledged to “restore democratic control” in the UK’s relations with the European Union by means of a “referendum lock”, a mechanism by which a referendum would have to be held before certain competences or powers could be transferred from the UK to the EU.’

    The parties to the coalition agreed that: “.. ANY proposed future Treaty that transferred power or competences from Westminster to the EU would be subject to a referendum on that Treaty.’ (my emphasis)

    I searched in vain for something that imposed – or even implied – the condition of an elapse time or frequency: the only criterion (rightly) was that a change of constitutional importance was being introduced.

    And this approach seems to have had Mr Johnson’s support many years before. In the Hansard record for 25 February, 2003 we learn of him asking this question of the Labour minister for Europe at the time, Denis MacShane:

    Johnson: “Given the FAR-REACHING CHANGES envisaged in the constitution, to which my right hon. Friend the Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory) alluded, will the Minister explain whether the Government intend to put the matter not only to Parliament, but to the people in a referendum—and if not, why not?” (my emphasis)

    Is Scotland now facing FAR-REACHING CHANGES? Have circumstances for Scotland changed since 2014? Has the Scottish Government a democratic mandate/s for taking action in the light of these changes? Would the democratic support in Scotland for a second independence referendum in 2021 satisfy the test in the Good Friday Agreement for a border poll on NI leaving the UK? Is the Earth round?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. REALLY interesting stuff, Stewartb.
      It shows up our media for the belly crawling poltroons they are.

      Now I have some sympathy for journalists with the endless threat of redundancy–but I was made redundant more than once, and never received the pay-offs BBC staff are reputed as having been given.


  8. ‘Scottish death rates are considerable worse than the English death rates, week after week’
    Then they answer the complaint (the original one) by saying that Marr wasn’t talking about the whole time period. Umm yes he did, right there plus in his terrible intro.
    This is classic disinformation. Zoom in to avoid the big picture and when it suits the pre-built narrative zoom out to avoid the details (week after week being the zoom out mode, the chart they showed being the cherry picked zoom in)
    Our complaints are being answered by the Artful Dodger’s genetically modified son.
    Is there a secret university course in lying that we don’t know about? Ahh yes of course, there is it is called MI5.

    Fine by me, the more they lie, the more No to Yes.
    They haven’t figured it out, sshh don’t tell them.


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