Licence Fee Freeze Is "Like Waterboarding".

John Simpson, the BBC’s World Affairs Editor, has compared the licence fee freeze to “waterboarding”.

In a letter written to Ariel, the BBC’s own in-house newsmagazine, the BBC’s own in-house newsmagazine Mr Simpson says that only “far-right idealogues” and the “Murdoch empire” think the BBC should share the pain being endured by the rest of the public sector. It’s not fair that B-BBC doesn’t get full recognition there too.

“Our income will shrink year on year for seven long years, by amounts that are unknown because we can’t tell how high inflation will be over that period of time. It’ll be like waterboarding. As our head is pulled out of the bath, we’ll be so desperate that we can’t be certain what compromises and deals we might be tempted to make. We will be at the government’s mercy.”

Perhaps he should volunteer to be waterboarded to see if he changes his mind?

Hat-tip: Tim at ConservativeHome

I am not normally someone who fulminates about the BBC…

writes Daniel Finkelstein.

No, but we’ll listen when he does– thanks also to David Preiser who has highlighted this in the comments sections:

John Simpson hearts Mugabe

I have watched Simpson for a long time and he does seem to have a soft spot for dictators. He was once rather chummy with some of Saddam’s ministers and expressed a “sneaking regard for Saddam“.

Now he has some rather bizarre things to say about the political situation in Zimbabwe, and presents it all more as though Mugabe had won a game of chess than battered his opposition with violence.

Simpson doubtless thinks he’s being rather clever to see Mugabe’s power-politics through the haze of violence, but it comes across as apologism. One of the big things we should keep in mind regarding dictators is the mythology that surrounds them and protects them- it’s that that Mr Simpson is reporting, rather than the squalid reality. He admires Mugabe’s mythmaking, instead of reporting the reality on the ground.

Hat tip to Iain Dale too.