After BBC’s humiliating Diamond Jubilee coverage, not another Labour stooge!

Daily Mail Comment

18:40 EST, 5 June 2012


04:58 EST, 6 June 2012

After the BBC’s humiliatingly botched coverage of the Jubilee river pageant, it’s a wonder the corporation’s bigwigs dared show their faces in the Royal box for Monday night’s concert outside Buckingham Palace.

Yet there they sat in their privileged positions, chairman Chris Patten and director general Mark Thompson, showing not a trace of shame after the previous day’s toe-curling display of crass banality from the lightweight celebrities hired to comment on the ceremony.

The tragedy is that the Jubilee is exactly the kind of occasion that used to bring out the unbeatable best in the BBC.

Lamentable: The BBC's coverage of the Thames Jubilee pageant trivialised the occasion

Lamentable: The BBC’s coverage of the Thames Jubilee pageant trivialised the occasion

In the sure hands of a Tom Fleming or a member of the Dimbleby clan, with their informed and informative commentaries, the corporation had a gift for catching the mood of any great national event, solemn or joyous.

But today? Licence fee payers have to put up instead with the clueless wittering of a Tess Daly or an Anneka Rice – or watch in exasperation, as when the cameras cut from yesterday’s historic procession to focus on Fearne Cotton, asking pop singer Paloma Faith about commemorative Jubilee sick bags.

Meanwhile, in the name of ‘balance’, TV and radio reporters have given vastly disproportionate weight to the sneering of the few dozen anti-monarchist protesters among the loyal millions who turned out to celebrate.

Indeed, the modern BBC seems utterly unable to comprehend the public’s deep respect and affection for the Queen, rooted as those feelings are in our sense of nationhood, family and tradition.

But what can we expect from a bloated bureaucracy which, on one issue after another – from its support of mass, uncontrolled immigration to its passionate love of the EU  – has displayed lofty disdain for the values of the people who are forced to fund it?

Yet this is the source of 47 per cent of the average Briton’s news, making it by far our most powerful news organisation.

Quangocrat: Ed Richards is tipped to be the BBC's next director general

Quangocrat: Ed Richards is tipped to be the BBC’s next director general

Which brings us to a truly extraordinary development. Any day now, Lord Patten will be appointing a successor to Mr Thompson. And, incredibly, the man being tipped as the front-runner for the director generalship is an unashamed Labour supporter (he even helped write the party’s manifesto) who has never made a TV programme in his life.

Indeed, as head of the media regulator, Ofcom, the only aptitude Ed Richards has shown is for running a bloated quango, with nearly 1,000 staff, housed in magnificent offices by the Thames.

This same Mr Richards has been roundly attacked by a Commons committee for his misleading accounting methods (perhaps learned during his time working in Tony Blair’s policy unit alongside Ed Miliband and Ed Balls), his failure to control Ofcom’s exorbitant £140million budget and the lavish salaries he paid the quango’s senior commissars (including almost £400,000 for himself).

For good measure, one MP on the Public Accounts Committee tells the Mail: ‘Ed Richards treated the committee with absolute disdain and clearly felt he was above parliamentary scrutiny.

‘He was the most arrogant witness in a long time.’

How can Lord Patten, as David Cameron’s appointee – and nominally, at least, a Tory himself – so much as consider such a candidate to take over the BBC?

Like so many of his predecessors, the Prime Minister rails in private against the bureaucracy and bias of a national broadcaster increasingly out of touch with the nation.

Is it really beyond him and a Conservative-led Government to put forward a convincing candidate for director general who won’t make those twin vices ten times worse?

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts,
or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Anyone who volunteers to pay the BBC licence fee needs their tiny head examining.

Genuinely fiding myself sick to death of lefties these days.

Former policy advisor to Tony Blair – Cameron’s IDOL?? I don’t think you right-wingers have anything to worry about….

I don’t pay the licence fee, and I watch other channels!
– Truth Speaker, London, UK, 06/6/2012
I thought we paid our Licence to Recieve a TV Signal, NOT just to watch BBC ?

As a Licence Payer and, therefore, a shareholder in BBC, I think it’s time the CV of Prospective Director Generals were published and voted on by shareholders. If they are going to force money out of us, then we should decide.

I don’t pay the licence fee, and I watch other channels!
– Truth Speaker, London, UK, 06/6/2012 Its never a good idea breaking the law – now DM which Labour party are we talking about nu-labour, labour, Liberal, or the Conservative party for in my view they have all morphed into one.The BBC should be forced to state if the Director General supports the EU and if he does – NO sodding way!

Yet another useless Mr Ed……………??

Well now lets see if he fits” The Charter”. Impartial? Unbiased? Evenly Balanced.
My A–e

I don’t pay the licence fee, and I watch other channels!


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