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Saturday, 25 November 2017

Brillo Loses His Cool COMPLETELY

The end of a week to forget for Andrew Neil, host of the BBC’s Daily Politics and This Week, as well as chairman of Press Holdings, which oversees publications including the Spectator magazine and its Australian counterpart, came yesterday with yet another very public meltdown. It brought to an end an ignominious series of Twitter mis-steps and more or less guaranteed him a few paragraphs in the next edition of Private Eye.
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For someone whose University degree was an MA in Political Economy and Political Science, Neil’s spat earlier in the week with both his former BBC colleague Stephanie Flanders, and Jonathan Portes of King’s College London, was mystifying. Ms Flanders had described the UK as a “small open economy”. The Wikipedia explainer is useful here.

This tells “A small open economy, abbreviated to SOE, is an economy that participates in international trade, but is small enough compared to its trading partners that its policies do not alter world prices, interest rates, or incomes. Thus, the countries with small open economies are price takers”. Neil had, for some reason, not grasped this concept.
Define small, given UK 5/6th largest economy in world. What does that make 7th downwards?” he snapped. Portes observed “If @afneil knew any economics (or indeed could use wikipedia) then he'd know @MyStephanomics was using - correctly and appropriately - the standard definition of ‘small open economy’”. Ouch!

But then it got worse: Neil waded into the aftermath of the German elections, where the Free Democrats had walked out of coalition talks, calling it the country’s “biggest political crisis since late 1940s. Bigger even than UK’s current ongoing political crisis”. Jon Worth, a Brit in Berlin who knows his German politics, poured cold water on that idea. Neil tried to remain aloof. He did not succeed. And then came the Spectator Australia débàcle.
The magazine, which enjoys a circulation of just 8,000, has just been forced to settle a defamation case by paying out the equivalent of £327,000 in damages. With legal fees, this may well top £500,000. It has been asserted by a number (plural) of reliable media sources that the magazine may be in doubt as a result of this action.

So Zelo Street covered the story yesterday. This did not go down at all well with The Great Man, who quoted my Tweet but did not reply directly to it, thus demonstrating that he is of less than perfect courage. “Blocked for spreading not just fake news but downright lies. Spectator Australia just finished its most profitable year ever. Expansion plans for 2018. Bye, liar” he spluttered. But there are a few problems with this line.
One, my post cited a report in the Guardian which is still live, and which told that Spectator Australia would be “deeply wounded” by the payout - it’s not Fake News. Two, if Neil believes he’s been defamed, he knows what to do - and thus far, no threat of legal action has been received. And three, a magazine with an 8,000 circulation ain’t going to be profitable if it has to shell out those kinds of payments.

Anyone might form the impression that Andrew Neil was going through some kind of personal crisis right now. Or perhaps it’s just another in his long and less than illustrious line of getting things terribly wrong. Sad, really.

4 comments:

Arnold said...

£500,000. Circulation 8,000. That's £62.50 per customer a year.

Anonymous said...

Somethings never change.

For instance, Neil has always been a far right shouty gobshite subsidised by the capitalist state.

Now he's entered old age he's likely only to get more hysterical in the same context.

You'll find most of that ilk will behave the same way as the truth begins to dawn on the electorate that they've been swindled for decades. After which fruitcakes like Neil can rant as much as they want but it won't change the trend.

In five years time Neil will be found sitting on a pavement while shouting at passing buses and throwing orange peel at passers by.

Oscar James said...

I attended the launch of The Spectator at the Sydney Conservatory of Music and was able to witness the Great Man in person and thus that Brillo effect hair. He was most rude when asked a question and the attendees really were the dregs of right wing loonies. Barry Humphries (who has always loved the Right) son Oscar was the original editor but I think he got so bored he threw the towel in.
There seems no point to an Oz Spectator as Rupert has that market well & truly sown up.

Matt said...

I think Brillo has spent too many late nights at Lulu's during his extended break during parliament's recess.

I don't want to sound ranty but the whole BBC politacal editorial team spanning all platforms and channels stinks. From the front men to the background men in dark suits it's all too contrived and manipulative. I've noticed Brillo haranguing both Alex Salmond and the guy from going underground for fronting programs on a Russian state backed broadcaster seemingly unaware that he is working for a UK state backed broadcaster whose purpose is to telli us what they want us to know.