This is relentless checking, tailored for television. You watch videos of ministers or their opponents reciting a fib, cross-cutting back and forth: then you find the true figuring laid out clear as day. No ducking or weaving. It’s a regular, biting reproach to the phoney £350m challenge, one the BBC could provide in a trice (if rigorous public service and hard facts really go together, that is).
But see, then, how one pristine thing gets in the way of another. Sarah Wollaston MP, the health committee chair who was a Leaver till the rubbish about that £350m turned her stomach, made the point openly on the Today show. She’d long protested to Leave campaigners that the figure was a dud, but they’d told her that was fine by them: peddling calculated garbage got you an extra BBC slot for rebuttal under fairness and balance rules.
I don’t think we do want the state broadcaster being the decision maker over what is the truth, do we?
For it rather runs into the problem of “whose truth?”
Minimum wages raise or lower employment, climate change is an immediate threat, solar is economic, the EU is good for us the wheat harvest will be terrific and tractor production is up.