Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Blair vs BBC

Like Leeds v Arsenal, you want both sides to lose. But Melanie Phillips has some wise words on the Beeb,

"What's happened at the BBC is a bit like what's happened in our schools and universities -- a pervasive corruption of the culture and the erosion of its founding values. I don't want to destroy public service broadcasting any more than I want to destroy our schools and universities. But how can one change the culture and restore it to its founding values? How does one cleanse the Augean stables?

..... the criticism made elsewhere that it is wrong for the governors simultaneously to be defenders of the BBC and its regulators -- although correct -- opens up the possibility of putting the BBC under the control of the meddlesome, bureaucratic monstrosity that is Ofcom, which would destroy it."

and on the Tories opportunism over Kelly and Hutton.

" ... by deciding that Blair was the villain of the piece, the Tories were effectively siding with the BBC, when it was obvious to anyone with half a brain that the BBC was entirely in the wrong, that its position was utterly indefensible -- and that in the long run, it is the BBC, not the Labour party, that is actually the Tory party's biggest enemy because of the role it plays week in, week out in subverting the values of this country and the nature of truth itself.

But the Tories simply would not listen ..... because they were transfixed by the mantra of 'Blair the liar' which they have elevated to their main plank of opposition. Now they have been well and truly caught out on the wrong side. The roar of derision from the Labour benches that greeted Howard's feeble and glancing nod towards Hutton's demolition of the BBC was well deserved."

UPDATE - Norman Geras isn't too impressed with the Blessed Michael either. Nor is Stephen Pollard. Still, as Greg Dyke would doubtless say, we all make mistakes.

UPDATE 2 - DumbJon isn't too happy either.

"Howard's position was so blatantly opportunistic and cynical that it achieved the almost impossible: it made Blair look principled."

"Just when we were getting ready to enjoy the Beeb catching a full load of consequences, up pops Howard to stand shoulder to shoulder with the self-same people who are normally employed trying to convince the public that he eats babies. Absolutely brilliant."

I wonder if anyone thinks Howard did well or rightly. Out in the big wide world Dyke, Gilligan and co are getting the kicks, but in this corner of the blogosphere there's only one villain. A week is a long time in blog politics.

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