Sunday, 4 March 2018

Mr. Mardell Goes to Rome

I see Mark Mardell has been living la dolce vita again.

This time he managed to wangle a working holiday in Rome from his BBC bosses, despite the BBC having a Europe editor (Katya Adler) and a Rome correspondent (James Reynolds) and another Rome correspondent (David Willey) already in place there for the Italian election.

Nice work if you can get it!

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how Mark is one of the few BBC journalists to get regular compliments from left-wing, pro-EU members of the Twitter fraternity, so it wasn't surprising to see this tweet today from one such individual: 

Nor was it surprising to see this criticism from someone on the anti-EU Right:

As you'll have spotted, Paul from the pro-EU Left admired Mark's "hatchet job" of Silvio Berlusconi while Adel from the anti-EU Right disliked his "character-assassinating" of Silvio Berlusconi. The only thing uniting them was their feeling that Mark Mardell wasn't engaging in a fair, measured piece about Snr Berlusconi (though one was happy with that lack of fairness and the other was unhappy with it). 

The thing that struck me about Mark Mardell's piece from Italy, as highlighted by the contribution of its two dominant talking heads, was its main message - and, yes, it did have a message. 

Both the novelist/journalist Carlo Bonini and the professor Giovanni Orsini, were basically saying much the same thing: Beware of anti-politician populists, for such 'devils' undermine democracy. 

No wonder Denis MacShane has tweeted his appreciation yet again:


  1. Il Mardello has at least two fanatical followers ready to raise their arms in salute. Il Mardello can look down on their fawning with satisfaction has he crosses his arms dramatically on the podium before turning to his next subject - maybe UKIP or Trump or social divisiveness or egregious inequality or the wonderful cultural benefits of the Sharia religion and mass immigration.

  2. Mardell gives buffon's a bad name. Everytime I hear that he has been dragged from his colouring in book to present World at One, I feel a little more of civilization draining through the money making machines of the BBC.

  3. Should that be "buffoons"?