Saturday 13 January 2018

We can't all be perfect

One way of putting the BBC’s political bias into perspective is to compare the BBC’s overt Obama worship with the BBC’s wall-to-wall anti-Trump narrative, which replaced it even before The Donald had won the presidency. I accept that a modicum of cynicism crept in towards the end of Obama’s second term, so it’s possible that the more knee-jerk excesses of the BBC’s Trump-bashing will abate one day.

Such hidebound attitudes obscure sensible reporting. It was bizarre to watch an Iranian delivering some home-truths on the state of his country, while the panel of western left-liberal commentators allowed their Trump-bashing to lead them up the cul de sac to a dead end which entails defending the Ayatollahs (Dateline) The ordinary Iranian-on-the-Tehran-omnibus, said he, has no beef with America or Israel. In other words, topple the theocracy and make Iran great again. Anyway, I’m no expert on Iran’s internal dynamics so I’ll leave it at that.

Over at The Conservative Woman (or ‘Con Wom’) Kathy Gyngell has written a fine piece about one of Trump’s recent effronteries; cancelling his trip to London. 

Who can blame someone for not going where they’re not wanted? The BBC had been wasting its time trying to tease out the ‘real reason’ behind Trump’s decision when another bombshell hit the fan in the name of shit-hole. The new outrage subsumed the old outrage. Snub v shit-hole. Which is more Trumpish?

 Although it has been mildly amusing waiting to hear which BBC anchor would repeat the offending word - bonkers when you consider the language that’s now virtually common currency on TV - this shit-storm, and the Toby Young one, forces one to ask oneself whether we really do need our leaders to occupy a particular sort of holy pedestal. It’s bit like the Queen going to the toilet lavatory. She must, but we’d rather she didn’t. 

We want our leaders to be better than us, but at the same time we want them to be the same. There’s a worthwhile debate between Brendan O’Neil and the Guardian’s Dawn Foster about this topic, and this time I have to say that both of them made a good case. I’m with Brendan, but Dawn was good too.

If you haven't come across Dawn Foster (despite the fact that she’s on TV a lot) let me tell you that she has transformed herself from - let’s be brutal - an overweight, bespectacled, far-left, fast-talking plain-Jane with a lisp,  to a far-left, fast-talking slimmed down, lilac haired, pouting seductress whose lisp no longer matters. I don’t share her views, but I respect her quick witted intelligence. She does spend a helluva lot of time on Twitter in a slightly more narcissistic manner than average. I don’t tweet so I claim the moral high ground.

Back to Kathy Gyngell, who calls Theresa May ‘priggish’. That sums it up. Even the P.M.'s rebukes are priggish. In a nutshell, Donald Trump is so obnoxious, his appearance is so weird, his personal fragility is so visible and his conduct is so unconventional that in some ways he’s got nothing to lose. He may as well say what he thinks and offend whom he pleases. 

Theresa May, on the other hand, is all tied up. Hidebound by political correctness and priggishness, she tries to please everyone and ends up pleasing no-one. She’ll never woo the Corbynistas, and she’s all but lost the “true Conservatives”. 

Prepare for a Labour government. Steel yourselves. 


There’s something truly bonkers going on at the BBC. Here we have Carrie Gracie, having secured both a pay rise and a ‘desk job’ working beside the beleaguered John Humphrys, who is proud to admit that he earns shedloads. Many times more than the women on the staff. You may well disagree, but I don’t think Carrie Gracie is very suited to the radio. Her voice is more querulous (or do I mean quavery) than mellifluous, and when she’s on with Nick Robinson -  that makes a pair. 

The latest hullabaloo about Humphrys and Sopel is, if you like that sort of thing, 'popcorn time'. Consider Kathy Gyngell’s colourful description of mummy’s boy Private Pike, aka:
 “the incontinent North America correspondent himself, Jon Sopel. Yes, the man at the heart of the bias and venom, the reporter who’d displayed his prejudice against ‘the populist’ Trump at every opportunity, even at the White House and to Mr Trump’s face, in swaggering displays of hubris. 

I stumbled across an earlier (pre Graciegate) example of unintended self denunciation by Humph, through Sarah Montague’s Twitter. For a reputed salary of around £600,000 “I wouldn’t want to be a politician because I wouldn’t want to work that hard.”

Doesn’t look good, John. We don’t want our presenters to be greedy or self-important. We want them to be humble and modest and they must never be caught with their trousers down.

The BBC is reporting the protest against a 'puffed up pompous popinjay' whose speech at the Fabian Society revealed an astounding lack of self-awareness.

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