1. Exquisite Tweets from @DuncanWeldon

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    Mini thread... prompted by the return of the "£350m a week" and reflecting on what I learned at the BBC.

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon

    Yes, it's a shame that the BBC calls the figure "disputed" rather than simply "wrong or incorrect". But it's part of a bigger problem.

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon

    And that problem is that our political norms have shifted.

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon

    Actual, outright, open lying about evidence suddenly seems "ok behaviour" for politicians. And broadcasters struggle with that.

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon

    Sure, politicians have always been selective with evidence and spun numbers but I think open dishonesty is a newer thing.

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon

    And how I broadcasters deal with "balance" relies on the norms of an earlier, more straightforward era.

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon

    I mean - we can have a legitimate debate as to whether a 50p top rate of tax will raise or lower revenues. A case can be made for either...

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon

    ... and the parties (and their experts) can present their case and the BBC (for example) can be balanced in presenting that argument.

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon

    But when one side is actually just lying that approach doesn't work. But broadcasters still stuck in that mode of operation.

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon

    Bonus point: it's another reminder of how much of our system depends on norms of behaviour.

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    DuncanWeldon

    Duncan Weldon