Sunday 6 September 2020



Money Box presenter Paul Lewis isn't happy with people criticising the BBC's comedy output:

When will these numbnuts realise that comedy and satire mocks people in power. It is not about left or right it is about power. Similarly as a journalist I criticise and hold to account the Govt not because it is Conservative but because it is the Govt.

Maybe he should take it up with Tim Davie?


P.S. I think Paul Lewis is wrong, by the way. 

My memory of BBC comedy programmes like Have I Got News For You in the thirteen years of Labour rule was that they mocked the firmly out-of-power Tory opposition more than they went after the Labour government. 

I thought I'd just test that though. 

There aren't many full episodes on YouTube, but the first one I found - first broadcast in 1999, two years into Tony Blair's first government - strongly suggests that my memory hasn't been playing tricks on me. 

(Link here)

I rest my case frankly: 

At the height of New Labour's early pomp, Paul, Ian and Angus went in hard against (a) Conservative Geoffrey Archer, (b) Conservative Lord Ashcroft, and (c) Conservative Jonathan Aitken. There also had digs at (d) Conservative Michael Portillo. 

The Labour Government of the day got off scot free, with no savage satire about it whatsoever. 

I kid you not here, as you'll see if you watch it for yourself. (It features Anna Ford and Alex Salmond as guests).The main Labour 'bit' was about the announcement of Cherie Blair's pregnancy, and the only mockery of Tony Blair was over a terrible poem he read out at the TUC conference!

So Paul Lewis is talking rubbish.

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