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Maiden Aunts were always interesting.  Your parents would pack you off to them, with the parting admonition don’t upset auntie, for a few days during the summer holidays, and you would have a great time – most of which was conducted under censorship administered with a finger to the lips accompanied by whatever you do, don’t tell your Mum. They always sent you a card on your birthday or at Christmas with ‘a little something’ inside, and you always sent them a postcard selected by your parents with a boring view of whatever Godforsaken coastal village you happened to be staying at that year.

Then came adolescence and the personal selection of a saucy holiday postcard about an actress and a bishop, followed by the frosty reception you received from her at the next family gathering months later.  Well, if your parents had spoken about her once being an actress and the young admirer whose parents considered her ‘below them’ who became a bishop, you would have known not to send that particular card, wouldn’t you?
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BBC Statistics

It is difficult to understand how a media organisation that, over the last few years, has consistently failed to correctly predict major election results can believe it retains any credibility.  Yet that’s what we have from a BBC statistics department that now has to go into full spin mode to cover its embarrassment even during a live results programme.

Such was the case on Sunday when it became immediately obvious that the Brexit Party were absolutely creaming the opposition, as if that hadn’t been widely predicted from the point, just six weeks ago, when Nigel Farage launched it.   But this article is not about the politics of these elections, it’s about whether our national broadcaster is fit for purpose in the field of political analysis.

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“It’s all gone a bit flat here.”   These were the words of BBC 5-Live’s chief football correspondent George Riley in his report from Rio this morning, following England’s rapid exit from the World Cup at the hands, or should that be feet, of Costa Rica – before we had even played them!  As might be expected, his report was heavily cliché-ridden, focussing particularly on the need for facing uncomfortable Truths.

World Cup

Last night’s message from the Costa Rica fans

He was making his comments from the comfort of the massive World Cup Media Centre in Rio de Janeiro, but was he reflecting the mood of England fans in Brazil, or the atmosphere among the thousands of two-bit Fleet Street hacks whose long summer holiday watching the Girl from Ipanema had just been cut drastically short?  Because the greatest Truth to be faced here is that, were world cup success for our soccer team measured purely in back-page column-inches, then we would have won more trophies than Brazil and Germany put together. Continue Reading