A few days back we posted a transcript of John Simpson's Today interview where he discussed with Nick Robinson why he thinks the year since the Brexit vote last June has been "the worst year for Britain in (his) lifetime".
In the course of the interview, John Simpson insisted on his BBC impartiality, asserting "Well, I don’t think anybody would know whether I was a Brexiteer or, or not", and claiming that he "can see both sides of the coin" on the Brexit issue...
...despite everything he'd said in that interview being negative about Brexit and despite telling the Huffington Post last year that the BBC "let (its) viewers and listeners down" during the EU referendum by not telling them the "facts" and that if the BBC had told them the "facts" then "the outcome would have been a bit different, yes".
Well now the BBC's World Editor has expanded on his thoughts over at the New Statesman.and, frankly, my feeling that he's a heavily biased 'hardline Remoaner' has not been dispelled after reading his piece.
Take the following passage for example:
The period of the Heath government had awful moments: 1972, the year of Bloody Sunday and IRA attacks, was especially bad. Yet there was nothing like the appalling Grenfell Tower fire to divide the nation. And 1974 was humiliating for the government, but our membership of the European Economic Community offered a certain stability.
Or take this later passage about how "what was until recently the world’s fifth-largest economy has suddenly found itself on the edge of a trapdoor in the dark":
Even Brexiteers who feel liberated and excited at the prospect of getting out of the EU can’t know if it’s going to work. Friends of mine who voted Leave because they were fed up with David Cameron or thought things needed a shake-up now show a degree of buyer’s remorse. Perhaps, like Boris Johnson in the BBC2 drama Theresa vs Boris, they thought the country was so stable that nothing bad would actually happen.
... and that despite the polls showing no 'buyer's remorse' whatsoever among Leave voters on the whole...nearly all of whom, it seems, must be outside John's circle of friends.
There's nothing whatsoever 'counter-balancing' to be found in the BBC man's piece about the failings of Remain voters or even about the large tranche of Remain voters who now, according to the polls, accept that Brexit is happening and that we should just get on with it (something that's been much-reported but which doesn't appear to have impinged on Mr Simpson's mind that much).
Now, the article as a whole is far from uninteresting and I agree with and like parts of it, but John Simpson really ought to try to vigorously shake himself out of the daft idea that he's an impartial observer speaking utterly uncontroversial truths to the nation (and reading this article it's clear to me that he actually does believe that, bizarre as that might seem).
That he can't see that he's actually deeply biased on the subject of Britain's membership of the EU is probably one for psychologists rather than bloggers like me.
He risks becoming like one of those comedy stock characters who everyone else can see is biased but who can't see it himself (with hilarious consequences for the audience) - a fate I hope he avoids for old association's sake.