On 27 March, LBC‘s James O’Brien invited listeners to call him with their views about the first EU debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage. In a two hour segment he received a number of calls from across the nation. However, every caller that self-identified as a UKIP supporter either lied about the ‘evidence’ they claimed that led them to support Farage’s party or had views that were based on misinformation.
Audio © LBC97.3
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts”
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
I have written elsewhere on this blog about why I consider O’Brien to be one of the best broadcast journalists in the UK and if you take the time to listen to this clip of the UKIP supporters’ calls into his show I expect that you will come to the same conclusion.
Facts are important and we should make decisions based on evidence not ideology. O’Brien succeeds where others fail because he acquaints himself with the details of an argument and therefore can expose the fallacious logic of the weak minded and wilfully ignorant with apparent ease.
If you would like to acquaint yourself with some facts about the EU rather than the dishonest claims of UKIP and the vehemently pro-EU lobby you should download the Regents report. If you want to have an opinion on the EU debate (and you really should do) then argue from a position of knowledge.
You can download the Regents report here: The UK & Europe: Costs, Benefits, Options Regents Report 2013. this is what The Observer said about the report back in November:
Subtitled The Regent’s Report 2013, the 237-page document is going to be useful to all sides if we do have to go through what I myself regard as an unnecessary and time-wasting referendum on our membership of the European Union.
For a group of authors who are largely pro-European – and some, even now, pro-eurozone – they have produced a remarkably balanced document, with the emphasis on – wait for it – facts. There is plenty of acknowledgement of the tiresome aspects of the EU, and among a plethora of statistics, some obvious ones stand out.
These will not be new to students of the EU, but you can be sure they will not be highlighted by the anti-Europe brigade – many of whom have very nice houses in France, Spain, Italy and other parts of the EU. Suffice it to repeat here that, for all the fuss made by the anti-European press and Ukip, the entire “Brussels budget” amounts to 1% of EU gross domestic product.
Confusion can be worse confounded when it comes to facts. With economic statistics, we are often talking about estimates rather than facts. I have never found any evidence that Keynes made the remark often attributed to him: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
The explanation is simple: Keynes was far too intelligent to believe that facts could change. Facts are facts. Circumstances can change, and new information or more refined calculation can alter previous estimates.
[Authors note: Vimeo 91498460]
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