Thursday, 14 November 2013

Can we really be sure BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten wasn't created by Peter Simple?

I read the article once. Then twice. Then a third time, just to make sure I hadn’t missed the joke. The snobby old quangocrat was defending the BBC against what he described as “an exceptionally ill-judged attack” by Conservative Party Chairman, Grant Shapps. In a witticism that would have had Oscar Wilde shrieking “Oh Chris - you are a one!”, he described Shapps’s intervention as a “mis-Shapp" (pause for hysterical laughter and wild applause – not a sausage). “Most sensible people,” Patten assured us, trust the BBC (by “sensible” I presume he means members of the self-regarding left-liberal elite to which he belongs):
“My friends from around the world are amazed that the BBC is in the headlines so much. They assume this must be an organisation that everybody is exceptionally proud of. Well, sensible people are.” 
He then came out with this piece of comedy gold:
“I went to a concert in Oxford on Monday. The Spanish soprano Sylvia Schwarz was saying at the supper afterwards how wonderful the BBC was. She lives in Rome most of the time and travels from opera house to opera house, always trying to get the World Service or finding out if she can get Radio 4 or 3.”
What? Not the Asian Network or Britain's Most Embarrassing Pets or The Hairy Bikers?

For someone whose job is to protect the interests of licence-fee payers to use a Spanish singer who lives in Italy as an example of the sort of “sensible” person curmudgeons such as myself should jolly well be agreeing with suggests that the Chancellor of Oxford University may not absolutely have his finger on the pulse of British public opinion (of course, I’m talking about the sort of Britons who don’t habitually attend agreeable post-concert suppers with international superstar performers).  One presumes that Senorita Schwarz doesn’t contribute any of the £3,700,000,000 a year required to keep the BBC going, and that she probably didn’t grow up watching the nation’s most notorious paedophile surrounded by children supplied by the BBC for the programmes he presented for the corporation.

I wonder if Lord Patten would be altogether surprised to learn that we humble folk really don’t give a rat’s arse what his “friends from around the world” feel about anything whatsoever.

His Lordship also complained that the BBC “gets more bashed than President Assad”.  This could have something to do with the fact that (a) we don’t live in Syria, (b) it’s the sort of conflict where it’s a pity both sides can’t lose, (c) we don’t pay Bashar al-Assad’s salary, and (d) the Syrian despot isn’t responsible for producing 70% of the radio and television programmes we consume. Glad to have cleared that up for the noble Lord, who, as I write, is probably taking tea with avant-garde artist Neville Dreadberg, immensely rich Hampstead socialist, Mrs Dutt-Paulker and, of course, Sir Jim Gastropodi, conductor of the Stretchford Municipal Symphony Orchestra. No doubt they're all telling him how simply marvellous the BBC is.


  1. Much enjoyed your post. Even as you write I suspect Yentob ["Mr Cocktail Eyes"] who has a licence to make unimaginably tedious programmes about people nobody has ever heard of is making a documentary about La Schwarz and Patten is trying to get some cheap publicity. "My friends from around the world.....!". Only dyed-in-the-wool self-abusers would use such a phrase.

    1. He does indeed look like the sort of chap who regularly bashes the bishop.

  2. Talking of the BBC, what should arrive in my inbox just now but a post on the surprisingly lively UK Constitutional Law Group blog.

    Doctor Who and the Constitution by Danni Nicol includes this:

    The question of constitutional globalisation looms large. At one stage – the late 1960s and early 1970s – Doctor Who’s writers assumed that a shift from national to supranational governance would be fundamentally progressive. Accordingly Doctor Who stories constantly denigrated the British state and upheld international endeavour as the way forward. The show deployed intergalactic law as an extended metaphor to the same effect. This position radically shifted in the post-2005 show, abandoning the knee-jerk hostility to national institutions and displaying a constitutional patriotism borne of disillusionment with supranational governance.

    and much else worth reading.

    1. Interesting article, but I watched a few episodes from the recent Matt Smith era and it still strikes me as a bastion of left-liberal internationalism.