Will Hutton, economist
Jan 4, 2007
Bishop Hill

Over my shoulder, as I write, the BBC is showing a programme hosted by Peter Snow and his son Dan (can't he get a job off his own back?) about the UK economy. In a section on foreign ownership of the utilities (part of our heritage according to Dan!) we were told that opinion was divided on whether it mattered that foreigners owned so many of the utilities. Digby Jones was interviewed and spoke in favour. Peter and Dan, being good BBC types, clearly felt they needed a big gun for the case against, and decided to get an economist.

Unfortunately, and not entirely unexpectedly, they don't seem to have been able to find one who agreed with the case against. So what did they do? They got Will Hutton, a left-wing journalist and former stockbroker, and put up a caption describing him as an economist. Later in the show they interviewed him again, and described him as heading an economic think tank called the Work Foundation. Its website is here. And whoops! They've been misleading us again! The Work Foundation combines roles as an HR consultancy with research into the workplace and "the knowledge economy". There are no economists on its board, or among the executive directors,  and it doesn't seem to have published anything on the economics.

This will be no surprise to anyone who follows BBC matters. If the truth doesn't fit the agenda, just lie. Nobody will notice.  


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