Monday 4 October 2021

Nadine Dorries on the BBC [among other things]

Here are some quotes, with my reactions in parentheses, to Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries's appearance at the Conservatory Party Conference, in an event with the Torygraph's Christopher Chopper: 
  • In an organisation like the BBC - which I think is a beacon, for the world actually, not just the UK, but in all that it does, in its drama, in its news reporting, in everything that it does [ed - the BBC will love that] - they have focused on...They have a kind of groupthink and their groupthink excludes working class backgrounds. [ed - She's focusing heavily on class.]
  • North-West, North-East, Yorkshire. If you've got a regional accent in the BBC it doesn't go down particularly well. They talk about lots to do with diversity but they don't talk about kids from working-class backgrounds. And that's got to change. I want to see from organisations like the BBC what they're going to do to change. It's not about quotas. It's just about having a more fair approach and a less elitist and a less snobbish approach as to who works for you. [ed - She's still focusing heavily on class. She has a point, but just recruiting more working class people who think like the BBC and don't think like the bulk of the working class public - as the BBC has been doing - doesn't really help.] 
  • I've seen that written a lot in the newspapers, and I don't want to go to war with anybody. I really don't want to go to war. But where it's quoted is with my relationship with the BBC, that I'm going to go to war with the BBC and have a culture war with the BBC. And that's not the case. I'm not going to go to war. But what I want to do is to have constructive dialogue with the BBC. How are you going to change? I don't want to go to war with you. Come and tell me how are you going to change.
  • We're having a discussion about how the BBC can become more representative of the people. It's the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation. How it can be more representative of the people who pay the licence fee, and how it can be more accessible to people from all backgrounds, not just from people whose mum and dad worked there, and how it can become once again that beacon for everybody. [ ed - She's still focusing heavily on class. Is she doing it because it's part of her 'brand'? To be 'about' the working class?]. It's about impartiality, and it's about access, and it's about groupthink. And those things need to change. [ed - I'm wanting to hear much more about the groupthink. She's not spelling out how the groupthink manifests itself. It's the publicly-funded groupthink that's the problem].
  • I think even the BBC have admitted themselves that they've got an impartiality problem. [ed - though, on the rare occasions they've admitted it, they've almost always placed it firmly in the past].
  • Well, people say Jess Brammar's 'head of news'. She's actually quite a way down the chain. [ed- That will be music to Tim Davie and Richard Sharpe's ears as that's precisely what they said to the Commons Culture committee recently]. 
  • I keep using the words 'groupthink'. It's like this...It just is. It's just the way...I suppose when people have come up through the BBC, they all come from a similar background, they all are of a certain political biofield [ed - hard to decipher], they all think the same and talk the same, and that's what's got to be changed. [ed - She's still focusing heavily on class. The problem is that many of the working class voices being added hold the same views that the elite sons and daughters of Mummy and Daddy at the BBC hold.]
  • [ed- while initially dodging the question of whether she'd pay the licence fee if it was voluntary.] I'm trying to remember when I last watched a BBC programme. I've got young adults in my house who now watch Netflix and Amazon Prime, and the BBC is also now in a very much more competitive environment, so how it operates and who it broadcasts to has changed. And so, if not for any other reason, the BBC needs to change because the environment it's working in is changing rapidly. So I'm trying to think when was the last time we watched a main news channel in our house, and it was actually Strictly on Saturday night. So it's just come to me. And I love a bit of Corrie. So, you know, ITV. But I'm trying to think when, I watched the BBC on Saturday night, so I would yeah [ed - i.e. pay the licence fee if it was voluntary. Chopper asked her then if she'd pay the licence fee for Strictly and she replied 'Yeah'. So she's one of those people who'd gladly pay the licence fee 'because of Strictly'. This will delight the BBC. It will be tango music to their ears.] 

And asked to choose between the BBC and ITV she begged not to be asked to chose, but when asked to choose between GB News and GBBO [Great British Bake Off] she unflinchingly chose GBBO over GB News.

And she praised Tim Davie and Richard Sharpe's behaviour.

I think the BBC can rest easy. 


Update: It was a little joke of mine above to call the Telegraph's Christopher Hope 'Christopher Chopper', give that his nickname is 'Chopper'. 

So I laughed even more on reading the BBC News website's take on this tonight:  

The under-researching BBC journalist behind that piece seems to have confused journalist Christopher Hope with veteran Christchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope

It's what you pay your licence fee for.


Further Update: And it's interesting that Nadine Dorries is referred to throughout that BBC News website piece as 'Dorries', as if she's a convicted criminal - even after all the nice things she said about them.

Turn to another report on the BBC News website today about Rishi Sunak and Rishi is referred to as 'Mr Sunak' throughout. And, turning to the very next thing I clicked on, there's Laura K referring to Sir Keir Starmer as 'Sir Keir' rather than 'Starmer' in her report

In fact, being curious and checking other recent BBC reports about the present Labour leader, the very next on I clicked on by BBC political correspondent Justin Parkinson also called Sir Keir 'Sir Keir' - as did another BBC political correspondent Jonathan Blake in his inserted 'Analysis'. 

So the Labour leader is 'Sir Keir' but the Tory Culture Secretary is 'Dorries'.

I'm getting intrigued now, and thought I'd try how one of the senior Labour figures Nadine Dorries - 'Dorries' to the BBC - was described last week, namely Ms Angela Rayner. And, yes, on instant sampling, Ms Rayner wasn't called 'Rayner' but 'Ms Rayner' by the BBC scum. 


'Scum' is not offensive, apparently. As Angela says, it's a term we Northerners use affectionately all the time.

I remember a huge argument at a drunken barbeque in Morecambe 25 years ago - my first ever BBQ. It happened on a balmy late summer afternoon just beyond the shadow of our wonderful Iron Age barrow in Torrisholme, and two tribes of local middle-class Labour lefties went to war on whether you should or shouldn't label people 'scum' while I [the working class, right-wing exception] sat happily drinking overly-strong cider, which I wasn't at all used to, in the benign Morecambe sun. 

It wasn't about Tories back then, but about benefit scroungers. A Blairite wing, being suddenly tough on scrounging and the causes of scrounging after some 'scrote' had very aggressively tried to scrounge from one of them on the streets of Morecambe, got into conflict with some posher, far more hardcore leftists who felt that 'scum' was a word that should never, ever be used and that anyone using the word 'scum' was using right-wing language and absolutely beyond the pale.

It went on for hours. When we adjourned to a Lancaster pub, it still went on, getting angrier and angrier. I don't think they ever spoke to each other ever again after that. 

I sat it all out, getting ever more drunk, uncomfortably enjoying it all and hoping we could all get along, and saying absolutely nothing.

Those were the days. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.