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@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Did Prof Tilley have full editorial control of this programme? The reason I ask is that there is an extraordinary lack of balance in the way he presents Leave & Remain voters, and so one could be forgiven for perceiving a bias against Remain voters.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 For example, prior to the #EURef, and persisting today, was the belief amongst #Leave voters (encouraged by Leave politicians) that the UK would be forced to join an #EUarmy.

In fact, it's constitutionally impossible for this to occur. UK has a double protection.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 This double protection against the formation of an EU Army (let alone being forced to join one) is that
(a) the decision must be unanimous per Art. 42(2) of the European Union Treaty and
(b) any move to downgrade "unanimous" to QMV must be approved unanimously!

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Yet still the conspiracy persists. Similarly, before the #EUref there was "THE TURKS ARE COMING" conspiracy, inflamed by MPs like Penny Mordaunt going on the #Marr show and saying so, and also from Leave leaflets like this delivered to every home:


@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 If people had researched EU-Turkish relations they would have discovered that
a) Turkey joined the CU in 1999 & began accession talks that year
b) Of the 34 chapters of accession talks, only 1 has been completed (2 more have been opened, but suspended)

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 In other words, at the rate of progress, it would take ~500yrs for Turkey to join, if it still wanted to by then.

The Armenian Holocaust is another huge obstacle to Turkish membership.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Turkey denies the Armenian Genocide, but France & other EU member states have passed laws recognising it, so they are implacably opposed to Turkey ever joining.

Ironically Turkey's greatest ally in joining the EU was the UK ... 🙄

Probability of Turkey joining? 0-5%?

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 One could also say that Nigel Farage standing beside a poster of male refugees in Slovenia (the women & children had been separated into another line) that evoked a Nazi propaganda poster, with the inference they were all headed to the UK, was another #Leave conspiracy.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 The UK never lost control of its borders (try crossing one without a passport & you'll see).

There were control mechanisms for #FreeMovement which the UK, unlike other EU countries, didn't implement.

UK has always had full control of non-EU immigration, i.e. 2/3 of total.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Even if you're one of those who has bought into the tabloid depiction of immigration as a bad thing, knowing the above facts, would you say the problem is the EU or rather an ineffective UK Home Office and Home Secretary?

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Turning to current #Leave conspiracies, the #LisbonTreatyHoax has gone viral in Leave FB forums.

In essence, it's a fake report about a putative "Lisbon Treaty 2022" (no such Treaty is in the works) with daft claims like #EUarmy, UK to join € & adopt EU flag by 2022.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 The person who is credited with writing it (an ex-Serviceman, popular in Leave circles) has denied all knowledge of it.

The #LisbonTreatyHoax persists, despite being comprehensively debunked by Law Professor Steve Peers:

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Yet still this "Lisbon Treaty 2022" conspiracy theory persists.

Did Prof. James Tilley mention any of this? Nope. Not a word about #Leave conspiracies.

Instead he claimed Remainers believing the economy was going badly post-Ref was a "conspiracy theory". 🤔

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 While Tilley's guest conceded the £ tanked, there was a tacit assumption that thinking the economy was doing badly was wrong and therefore a conspiracy.

Pre-ref we were on track for 2.5% GDP growth, but that has fallen by 1%/yr since.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Since #EURef
-UK was 5th largest economy, now 6th
-UK was fastest growing economy in EU & G7, now last
-Treasury GDP forecasts < 2% for every year in 5yr-period for 1st time ever
-UK workers experienced 12mth wage squeeze
-UK families £1500 worse off

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 If you've been on the sharp end of any of the above-mentioned losses, is it a "conspiracy theory" to believe the UK economy is doing badly?

Is it not rather the case that Prof. Tilley is playing semantics without informing the audience (badly vs "not as good")?

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Either way it is extraordinary to me that Prof. Tilley would present his glib assumption that the economy is not doing badly as fact and a contrary opinion as a conspiracy theory!

Academically, that's sloppy and not up to the rigorous standards I expect of Oxford Uni.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Then there was the assertion that Russia's interference in #EURef was a "conspiracy theory".

In Dec-2017, then ForeignSec Boris Johnson clashed with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, over Russia's interference in #EURef - as reported by our newspaper of record The Times.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Indeed, in November 2017 Theresa May made a speech at the Mansion House in which she attacked Russia's attempts to undermine our democracy through cyber warfare.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 This prompted a question from Liz Saville Roberts MP, in response to which junior minister Caroline Noakes later wrote: "Russia makes aggressive use of cyber capability to mount sustained campaigns of espionage and disruption."

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 As part of its investigation into Russian influence in the US presidential elections, a US Senate Committee found:

"The Russian government has sought to influence democracy in the United Kingdom through disinformation, cyber hacking, and corruption."

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 July 2018: the House of Commons Culture, Media & Sport SelectCom released an interim report on 'Disinformation & #FakeNews, stating Russia had engaged in "unconventional warfare" thru Twitter & other platforms against the UK to amplify support for a #Leave vote in #Brexit.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 The investigation is ongoing, with evidence mounting daily - although so far there has been no testimony from psychological experts (as opposed to IT & info experts who can't be expected to know) as to the likely impact of the #FakeNews onslaught.

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 LeaveEU's Comms Director, Andy Wigmore boasted that the #Leave campaign was a “petri dish” for the Trump campaign. “We shared a lot of information because what they were trying to do and what we were trying to do had massive parallels.” (Guardian 14 May 2017)

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 Given all of the above, is it really a "conspiracy theory" to suspect Russia interfered in the #EURef? Is it not rather being wilfully blind to the evidence to assert otherwise?

@Politics_Oxford @BBCRadio4 TL:dr I am disappointed by the lack of balance, sloppy assumptions & what appears to be little more than an exercise in "Remainer-bashing" in Prof. Tilley's broadcast.

I expect better from Oxford Uni, but after disinviting MEP @catherinemep from a debate, I'm not hopeful.

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