The Curmudgeon


Friday, September 03, 2010

Making it Clear

The BBC, which gave Tony Blair such a hard time over Iraq, is planning a season of programmes about George the Progressively Regressive and his spending cuts. Accordingly, in the interests of fairness, its senior management has been hobnobbing with Daveybloke's public relations staff. Helen Boaden, the news director, has been to lunch with the noted telecommunications researcher Andy Coulson; while Mark Thompson, the director general, has met with the Google sales representative Steve Hilton, who moonlights as Daveybloke's director of strategy.

A BBC spokesbeing ground out the usual story about the Blairite bean-counter Thompson squaring up to the minions of Gideon and his little chopper and informing them in no uncertain terms that the impartiality of the BBC is paramount. This is undoubtedly true, at least in the sense in which Thompson and his ilk understand impartiality: namely, the imparting to the public of the appropriate press releases without fear or favour. Thompson also sought sympathy for the Corporation's difficulty in covering Daveybloke in opposition: "It's easier to cover opposition politics when you've got an opposition with a clear leadership and clear agenda", he said. Since the Daveybloke agenda was essentially the same as New Labour's until the second week in May, when Nick Clegg joined him in pushing it sharply to the right, the BBC must have had quite a time of it when trying to show a difference. Anyway, Thompson assures us that, since the Hutton report firmly rebuked the BBC for being too easy on the ruling class, "impartiality is going up and up the agenda"; so it is only natural and healthy that the Corporation should be asking for tips from the likes of Andy Coulson.


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