“The BBC was meant to be politically neutral, but …”

Alex Deane, former aide to David Cameron, at the Social Affairs Unit blog, on a little vignette in a Telegraph Joan Bakewell interview.

(For post-diluvian readers, Joan Bakewell was the Kirsty Wark of her late-Sixties to mid-Eighties day, popping up all over the BBC either as presenter or pundit. Famously described by Frank Muir as ‘the thinking man’s crumpet’).

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16 Responses to “The BBC was meant to be politically neutral, but …”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of what Annita Annand said on Radio 5 in the run up to the last election….

    They were talking about Tory support, and how it seemed to be falling…..and she said words to the effect of…

    ‘Yes, I think Tory support is very low right accross the board, you would be hard pressed to find ANYONE in the BBC cantine that supports the Conservatives…”…..


    They are such liars when they say they are impartial…….just utter liars….and justice is coming their way…….in a perverse Twist, Tony Blair has nailed the coffin lid shut…the BBC is a disgraced organisation, with viewers and listeners turning away in their millions……


  2. gordon-bennett says:

    Joan Bakewell:
    Mrs Thatcher… she was so callous and ruthless, though in person charming and courteous. Her hand in the miner’s strike was vicious. I remember I was at Newsnight at the time. The BBC was meant to be politically neutral, but someone on the team came in selling batches of mugs in support of the miners.

    My emphasis added.

    We know, of course, that the miners’ strike was engineered by arthur scargill.

    I once suggested to labour councillors that scargill should have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine because by starting the strike which led to the wholesale closure of coal mines, he had saved generations of miners from getting fatal lung diseases.

    They didn’t agree.


  3. Chuffer says:

    Hold on, wasn’t she “the thinking man’s tart”…..as in Bakewell Tart? Geddit? Crumpet doesn’t work.


  4. AntiCitizenOne says:

    It just shows the economic illiteracy at the BBC. The extra tax that went towards funding the loss-making pits (it cost uk taxpayers money for every bit of coal extracted) destroyed more jobs throughout the economy than were employed in the mine.


  5. FTP says:

    I think history will remember Thatcher well. In a couple generations time there won’t be anyone saying “she destroyed my dad’s income” and people will be able to look at her more logically.

    I think the same goes for the British Empire and the American “Empire”. The Romans weren’t exactly saints but all we talk about is the technology they brought us.


  6. Umbongo says:

    Far be it from me to blow my own trumpet (but, hell, why not?) but if you look at this thread on B-BBC you’ll see a comment at 10:23 am on 25 November on Ms Bakewell’s revelation. I would only add that it surprises me that anyone (still) in the “Conservative” Party is upset (let alone surprised) by Ms Bakewell’s admission. Surely the Bakewell/BBC mindset is identical to the one necessary to be part of the Cameron project to “modernise” the Tories.


  7. knacker says:

    En passant, re the new ‘improved’ Reith — the jocular hint-of-the-public-bar and man-of-the-people aw-shucks-been-there-done-that Reith: You are now, and always have been, part of the problem. Do you really expect folks to forget and forgive? Dream on, dear.


  8. Chuffer says:

    Fascinating (not)piece by James (“when we win the election”)Naughtie, in the Times today, on enjoying the best luxury ski resorts. How VERY New Labour.


  9. Robin says:

    I listened to the Now show 18.30 yesterday.The BBC call it a satirical show , but they ought to say a satirical show from a left wing perspective.There were three jibes about George Bush and his visit to Vietnam, I bet they had been storing those “laughs” for ages.
    Its the jibes against the CBI are found intriguing. I have no time for this organisation, but the BBC makes it seem as though this is the voice for all businesses in Britain.Remember when they use to say that “British businessmen want a positive role for the UK in Europe” “Business leaders urge the government to join the EUro ” and all the other pro EU statements that came from this asinine organisation.
    The Now show poked fun at the CBI, not for advising governments to do the wrong thing, like join the ERM or allow open borders into the UK, but by saying they were fat cats,some of whom were afraid of extradition for questionable business probity.
    The BBC think the CBI is British business,and the Now show strongly implies they have low ethics .
    Cant get much more Marxist than that.


  10. Anon says:

    “In fact, as I understand it, there is a world oil market, so talk of either buyers or sellers boycotting specific countries is all a bit of a joke. You can either sell the stuff or leave it in the ground: those are the only real choices.”

    The arab oil emabrgo was all a bit of a joke as well then I suppose. Oh yes, oil is a fungible resource and all that, but to assume that nations cannot co-operate to target other nations with embargos is naive not to say historically innacurate. The basic premise of your argument is that if the if venezuela were not to sell its oil to the US, then market price for oil would go up for everyone due to a rise in demand for the worlds oil supply (minus chavez’s). When the arabs decided not to sell their oil to us, funnily enough the price of oil in the Eastern Bloc did not rise to reflect this. As a libertarian surely you should be aware more than most of the distorting effect that governments have on markets. According to this theory there is no need at all to keep the Saudis sweet yet US foreign policy doesn’t reflect that.

    That said, yes chavez is dependant on the US and they are dependant on him. Currently the US has available and appropriate spare refining capacity but Chavez would dearly love to sell his oil to China instead and is already trying to acheive this.


  11. Jon says:

    Anon – so its “his oil” is it – that says a lot.


  12. Lurker says:

    Chuffer, it definately was ‘crumpet’. Furthermore Frank Muir would not have stooped to the crudeness of the word ‘tart’ in this context.


  13. TPO says:

    ‘The arab oil emabrgo was all a bit of a joke as well then I suppose.’

    Well, yes it was.
    Every bit of storage capacity in this country was utilised. Milford Haven had a queue of tankers waiting to get in.
    Oh, and being in Saudi at the time and knowing what went on, do you really think the US would allow a raghead to control the taps filling the tankers at Darhran?
    Supply and demand.


  14. beachhutman says:

    The thinking man’s crumpet had a voice that redirected your blood to a normally flaccid organ. I remember the effect from my world service days – OK, from my “General Overseas Service of the BBC” days.


  15. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    Lurker: in that case, Frank Muir lost a fabulous chance.


  16. Rueful Red says:

    Well, she’d already copped off with Harold Pinter. He wrote a play about it. Immortality of a sort, provided people keep performing it.