Saturday, 14 May 2016

Yet another cowardly Tory government funks yet another opportunity to curb the BBC

Latest member of the Cowardly Lions Club
Regular readers may have noticed that I haven't been writing much here in recent weeks (although it doesn't seem to have affected the number of page views - I haven't yet decided if those statistics are heartening or hurtful). That's because I've either been in too much pain or too woozy from prescription painkillers to write anything that isn't even more incoherent than usual. So I missed the opportunity to get all red-faced about last week's Tory White Paper on the BBC. Just as well, because it made me so angry I'd probably have had a coronary. As it was, I just popped another painkiller, turned over in bed,  and started to read yet another book about old Hollywood films (my chosen mode of escape when feeling unwell).

Tories have been complaining about the BBC for decades. In particular, Tories like John Whittingdale have been complaining about it. He was Margaret Thatcher's Political Secretary and, when he became an MP, acted as PPS to the right-wing education minister, Eric Forth. In 2013 he voted against the Same-sex Marriage Bill, and in 2014 was one of only six Tory MPs who voted against the left-wing nonsense that was the Equal Pay (Transparency) Bill. In other words, one of us - i.e. a proper right-winger. How pleased we all were when it was announced that Whittingdale - rather than some soppingly wet left-wing Tory Social Democrat - would be the Conservatives' Angel of Retribution, charged with once and for all bringing under control Europe's most powerful engine of left-wing social engineering. We imagined Whittingdale addressing the BBC top brass and bellowing : "I will do such things - what they are yet, I know not; but they shall be the terrors of the earth!"

So what terrors did our champion he unleash last week? Halve the licence fee? Force the BBC to accept adverts? Give it a decade to move to a full subscription model? Make it abandon its quotas for female, LGBT and BAME staff, while demanding it comes up with plans to increase the number of politically and socially conservative staff it employs? Force it to stop providing the sort of non-Reithian programming that our commercial broadcasters are happy to churn out, without making us pay for it? Demand that the Guardian of the Air, Newsnight, be cancelled instantly - along with Question Time and the Today Programme and anything ninvolving Eddie Mair or Nicky Campbell? Tell it to stop providing programmes aimed specifically at racial minorities, because we're all getting tired of identity politics? Make it tell us how it's going to prevent institutional prejudice for or against specific organisations, issues and groups, including climate change alarmism, the fracking industry, the EU, immigrants, Muslims and transsexuals? Introduce curbs on the BBC's craven and unquestioning support for whining public sector workers, especially if they're part of the education or health Blobs, and the self-serving causes those whingers inevitably espouse - e.g. higher pay, longer holidays, less rigorous supervision, no weekend work, no academies, no free schools and bugger the public they're paid to serve?

Of course, what Whittingdale - the latest in a long line of current Tory politicians whose vaunted right-wingery has turned out to be a gross imposture - did absolutely none of the above. He turned the money tap back on, fiddled a bit with the corporation's cosy supervisory regime and demanded even more programmes aimed at splitting Britons into smaller and smaller special interest groups based on race. In return, he asked for - and we licence-fee payers will get - Sweet Fuck All.

In an excellent article in today's Telegraph, the sainted Charles Moore (who is in particularly splendid form these days) put the government's spineless performance - in particular, its numerous U-turns over any legislation which might be remotely upsetting to left-wingers, but which would please traditional Tory voters - down to Cameron and Osbourne's determination to prevent Brexit:
In domestic politics just now, almost the entire government programme is being bartered for a Remain vote. Supposedly vital reform of benefits and the imposition of academy schools are dropped. In talks between the two parties’ chief whips, things which annoy Labour, such as the long overdue attempt to change the trade union political levy, have gone. Even the disgusting attempt to equate the police’s defeat of Arthur Scargill’s violent pickets at Orgreave with the Hillsborough disaster and hold an inquiry – fiercely advocated by Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctor Seumas Milne – is being toyed with to make the Labour leadership more pliant. 
In his article Moore cites this week's spectacularly emollient and generous BBC settlement as the latest example of this trend. Given that the BBC is this country's most powerful pro-EU propagandist, I suspect that Moore's right. But, of course, a lot of it has to do with the plain fact that Tory wets are a bunch of unprincipled, flabby-faced cowards spiritually descended from Ted Heath rather than Margaret Thatcher. I wouldn't wee on them, let alone vote for the miserable bastards. As for John Whittingdale, let's hope he gets a proper reward for becoming the latest member of the Cowardly Lions Club: I'm sure his new chums will be only too happy to organise a whip-round.


  1. Sorry to hear you're still under the weather. An excellent summary of the pathetic Whittingdale and his 'flabby faced Tory Wet' pals (a fine description).

    Shortly after Cameron's coronation, someone on a US blog described him as looking like a buttered new potato. I thought that seemed worrying true and so it turned out - about as slippery, too.

    1. But, unlike a buttered new potato, makes you feel sick after consuming.
      Thanks, GCooper - I would appear to be on the mend (but I said that two weeks' ago!)