Wednesday 25 March 2015

Here's to Andrew Neil, the last surviving right-winger at the BBC!

A recurring joke in the old days at the Biased BBC blog - a joke which, strangely enough, was (by and large) 'funny because it's true' - was that left-wing defenders of the BBC only ever used one argument to counter our charge that the BBC is left-biased: "Yeah, but what about Jeremy Clarkson, Nick Robinson and Andrew Neil?"

It was as if the mere ritual recital of that unholy trinity of BBC names was enough to disprove all of our evidence that the vast majority of BBC staff leaned leftwards rather than rightwards.

The evidence for that assertion (of ours) included (among other things) quotes from prominent BBC types confirming the fact; an internal BBC survey which showed an overwhelming majority of BBC staff identifying themselves as 'liberal' rather than 'conservative'; those figures showing a vastly disproportionate number of BBC purchases of the Guardian compared to other newspapers; those seemingly endless one-sided tweets and re-tweets from BBC reporters; plus, of course, the mass of evidence that we ourselves found in support of that contention.

That was then and this is now though. Jeremy Clarkson is gone (and he's never been a BBC News man anyhow, any more than Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel or Marcus Brigstocke have ever been). And Nick Robinson is sadly indisposed. So that just leaves Brillo - the last remaining right-winger at the BBC.

Ah yes, but things have moved on and those old-time left-wing defenders of the BBC might now say, "Yeah, but what about Craig Oliver, who worked at the BBC and then became David Cameron's spokesman? What about Jeremy Paxman who outed himself as a one-nation Tory after leaving the BBC? What about Fat Peng? And what about Gobby, who ran off to UKIP?"... which the obvious reply would be (if you don't consider this a straw man argument on my part): Yes, but they've all gone too. So, as I say, that just leaves Brillo as the sole remaining right-winger in the BBC village.

Of course, that 'only rightie in the BBC village' crack implies that there are more right-wingers in the BBC village. It would be highly unlikely if there weren't.

Who though? 

Rod Liddle suspects John Humphrys might be - though he thinks he's very good at hiding it if he is. (Rumour has long had it that there is one Tory on the 'Today' rota. John? Justin?) Deputy political editor James Landale has also been mooted as a Tory. [No one at the BBC - except the late Sir Patrick Moore (and, now, the differently-'late' Gobby) - ever seems to get mooted as a Ukipper though.]

Anyone else?


  1. I have had a tiny suspicion about Landale, based on little more than a couple of tweets and reports. Whoever else it may be, they have to keep their head down and not speak their mind, and may possibly have been forced to do something by a biased editor against their better judgment. When they leave and come out to the public, there's an obligatory, "we didn't know his political beliefs, he kept quiet about them" disclaimer from somebody (Robinson last time), which we never see when a Beeboid quits to run as a Labour candidate or joins/returns to the Guardian or C4 or similar.

    And didn't Gobby try the Conservatives first and only went to UKIP because he was turned down? Paxman is a Boris Johnson Conservative, which isn't saying much these days.

  2. Andrew Neil may or may not be "right wing". However, he is one of the few - or maybe the only - BBC commentator who is prepared to ask questions from the "right" or from outside the cosy space occupied by the political class. As can be heard on Today most mornings the questions, the "some say" meme, the guests, the "experts" are overwhelmingly those with an acceptable "centre-left" view or from the wilder extremes of lefty comment. The frequent appearances of representatives from the Tax "Justice" Network as supposedly disinterested experts on tax affairs is just one example. IIRC I can only recall one programme where the TJN "expert" was not the sole interviewee and, even then, the topic discussed was the (agreed by the participants) "crime" of tax minimisation which was fought on the TJN ground of eliding the difference between (legal) tax avoidance and (illegal) tax evasion by dealing with both under the heading of tax "dodging".
    Rarely does criticism from the right get a look-in. Yes, Andrew Green is occasionally allowed near the microphone a few times a year. However he is usually opposed by a studio guest from the "charity" and/or Labour sector and is rarely given an opportunity to make an uninterrupted coherent point. Mind you, why Green should be thought of as "right wing" is interesting in itself. After all he's only shining a light on matters which are or should be of interest to everyone in the UK: matters which, BTW, have been excluded from public debate for half a century. Discussions on immigration are not necessarily right or left but are certainly in the public interest. Solutions to a problem with immigration, if one exists, may be right or left but it is a topic which requires public consideration. The BBC is in the vanguard of those who have suppressed that consideration and should be damned accordingly.
    Coming back to Neil: he is the almost unique example of a BBC employee seeking to discover the strength or otherwise of a political position by deploying all the weapons at his disposal. Such weapons include what are now called - or rather, demonised as - "right wing" arguments. Given a choice, the rest of the BBC commentariat would rather let a political assertion (particularly currently a Labour Party assertion) go by default than criticise it - or, worse, debuk it - from a non-left perspective.

    1. Agreed. Most issues are approached from the Left by the rest of them, regardless of who's in the studio. It's why we see the same angle on an issue or story spread across the spectrum of BBC output. Neil told Matthew Hancock today that he was "fed up asking" how the Tories were going to pay for their claimed 12 billion pound reduction, with a very noticeable tone. And that was his first question. Hancock couldn't answer, and gave an expectedly pathetic performance, and Neil made clear his distaste. He does the exact same thing when Natalie Bennett raves and lies, or when he nails Diane Abbott on something. No other Beeboid really approaches that. Not Paxman, not for years.

  3. or even debunk it

  4. Here we go, the BBC busted for their outright stupidity in kowtowing to Islam and sucking up to Muslims whatever they do....@ "Abase Hussen said: "We cannot stop crying. Don't go to Syria." -

    And yet at 4:50 in this violent radical Islamist video in London featuring the most extreme Muslims in Britain, who do we see, but Abase Hussen himself, joining in with a pure hatred for this Country...

    I'm sick of this I really am....Everyone else must do the BBCs digging for their alleged reporters, and if it's not "on politically correct message" they'll simply ignore it anyway..


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