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Myths vs. Facts – clarifying BBC Question Time 10/01/13

The Commentator team picks apart the myths and presents the facts from BBC Question Time

by COMMENTATOR FACT CHECK on 10 January 2013 23:42

The most interesting part of the BBC’s ‘flagship’ Question Time programme this week was probably when John Prescott told the world he spared us all the pleasure of watching him eat a sheep’s testicle.

The rest of the time, if you were unlucky enough to watch this celebro-Marxist brawl, you’d have had to listen to contrived debates about ‘strivers and skivers’ or months old issues like Nadine Dorries’s decision to appear on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here – an issue we dealt with back when.

Still, it was worth watching to hear possible the soundest thing John Prescott’s ever said, when he snorted (yes, he snorted) and blurted out, “Did you see Galloway?” with reference to when gorgeous George took to Celebrity Big Brother.

But what a shame Prescott can’t admit to basic statistical facts, such as the fact that unemployment in the UK continues to fall, and that the government is not actually cutting the National Health Service (no matter how much we would like such things).

But the shibboleth that the NHS is not safe in Tory hands is perhaps one of the most oft-repeated mantras of the Left. Despite our belief that ring-fencing any budgets is a terrible idea, we at least can objectively ascertain the facts. We wrote in December 2012:

“…the 2010/11 budget that fell in real terms by 0.84 percent, a cut which the New Statesman has called 'significant' - was likely set by the last Labour government. Since financial years run from April - March and the General Election was not until May 2010 - the cut is almost certainly a result of Labour's spending plans, rather than that of the Conservatives.”

On the question of whether or not the United States should be heeded in lecturing us about the European Union, we reported this morning: “Anti-democratic practices from Brussels are bad enough without Americans encouraging the eurocrats' worst instincts.” It is fundamentally in Britain's interest to have a referendum on Britain’s role in Europe. The public knows it, the politicians know it, and judging by BBC Question Time tonight – even John Bird knows it.  

Note: Prescott used Kyoto as an example as to why we should position ourselves within the EU – who’s going to tell him that whole thing fell apart too?

Read more on: john bird, uk statistics authority, bbc question time, andrew dilnot, Nadine Dorries, john prescott, the NHS, Kyoto, and EU referendum
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