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BBC drama

I am just watching the evening news that reverberates with the release of the Hutton report . It exonerates the government of lying about their 45-minute claim and pretty much damns the BBC.

  1. Editorial system at BBC was defective in allowing Mr Gilligan’s report to go to air without editors seeing a script
  2. BBC management failed to make an examination of Mr Gilligan’s notes of the interview with Dr Kelly
  3. There was a defect in the BBC’s management system relating to the way complaints were investigated
  4. BBC governors failed to investigate Mr Gilligan’s actions properly

Channel 4 were gloating relishing that the BBC is in “disarray”, “deep crisis” and words to that effect. They read extracts from the letter by the BBC Chairman who acknowledged that the trust the viewers had in the BBC had been undermined. I’d say! And add that it is not due to the Hutton report but by institutionally engrained bias and arrogance that one comes to expect from public institutions with no accountability. The BBC governors are admitting that the ‘procedure failed’ and are considering resigning en masse. Oh, the Chairman has already resigned. I think we will get over it.

Now Andrew Neil a BBC presenter, is complaining that Lord Hutton is an anti-journalist judge. Oh yes, the BBC never errs. And the government is not right either – look they still haven’t found any WMD!!!! The report favour the establisment, he keeps mumbling. I expect any minute they are going to lead him out to meet nice men with a lovely long-sleeved jacket.

The political impact of publicly unveiling just how political and biased the BBC is will be considerable. I am not sure that the result will be to our liking. The government is not going to disband the BBC but will call for a full-scale regulation and the license fee will become an even less conspicous form of taxation.

Update: This is such major news that I have been wondering whether any other news have been ‘buried’ today. I think I found it.

19 comments to BBC drama

  • mad dog

    “government enquiry clears government of wrong doing…”

    plus ca change? Deep down, didn’t we know the government was right all along? We love Big Brother…

  • I think the major outcome will be the further erosion of the BBC’s reputation as a reliable news source, and greater worldwide understanding that it does not stand for the views of the British people or our government.

    Whether this will lead to it being gradually downsized because voters simply do not want to pay a license fee to a state TV channel that has its own unrepresentative agenda, or whether the supporters of the BBC will successfully re-entrench against change in the short term, I don’t know.

  • To be fair, the Hutton eqnuiry wasn’t about whether the government’s entire case for war was strong. Seeing as the case for war the Government used rested on the claim that Iraq possessed WMD’s, and yet none have been found, the government’s case for war is in tatters. In fact, the recent public enquiry on the justification for war carried out in the US has concluded that US intelligence regarding the WMDs, as well as that of the UK, and, in fact, France and Germany – who both accepted that Iraq possessed WMDs but didn’t think war was the correct way to deal with this – was in fact wrong.

    Dissident Frogman’s banners saying “No WMDs? They don’t care” may be true, but they make a different case for war than the one our governments gave us. The case for war was not that Saddam was evil, but that he was a threat. Maybe it should have been that he was evil, but it wasn’t. And now the case the government decided to use is very much weakened.

  • Jade D

    The outcome of the Hutton Inquiry is exactly as you would expect it to be, when the terms of reference are defined by the perpetrators.

  • Eric

    Yes, agree. The BBC establishment are a pompous self-satisfied bunch, who needed taking down a peg or two. But seeing Blair & particularly Campbell’s nauseating triumphalism after the the event I found a lot of my natural Beeb-sympathies returning. Hutton is clearly an honest man, but not over-blessed with imagination. Just ’cause he’s ‘Lord’ and a judge doesn’t make him all-seeing or all-knowing, and he had his terms of reference to constrain him. Blair selected him, and set those terms of reference. QED! No! It’s still Tony B-liar so far as I’m concerned. As for Campbell! Mustn’t say what I think! No obscenities on the forum please! [Though I’m tempted!] I’m ashamed even to mention the name; I feel like Harry Potter saying ‘Voldemort’!

    No love! That was the real problem. No understanding, no forgiveness, no humanity, no humility, no personal concern, no forbearance, no forgiveness. Everyone caring like hell about their own aims and beliefs, their own reputation, their own *rs*s, and not about anything or anyone else at all. For Blair in particular, the ‘committed Christian’, that’s a pretty damning indictment, IMHO.

  • It was kind of a win-win situation for libertarians. Either Hutton ruled against the government, and Blair got his face smeared brutally in the dirt, or he ruled against the beeb, and the state run media monopoly gets a kick in the ass. Either out come is pretty good.

  • Jeff B.

    Richard Garner: perfect.

    Nothing more need be said. The perfect summary of how libertarians feel.

  • Richard Garner and Jeff B,

    Bingo! Exactly how I feel. Two factions of the same enemy ripping each other to shreds. What’s not to love?

    Sit back and enjoy the show.

  • Guy Herbert

    Not sure it counts as a win-win, however much one dislikes the BBC’s political culture. It is no surprise the government won–they had won as soon as they got the inquiry appointed. My enemy’s enemy is my friend, and the government is a greater enemy than the BBC.

    What is a bit shocking is the way liberty loses on both sides. Hutton finds reporters guilty of not drafting reports like lawyers, and their employers for supporting them. Meanwhile what the government does is blameless as long as it follows bureaucratically correct procedures.

    Note Blair’s crowing about not deliberately misleading parliament with false facts. Even that statement is carefully drafted to be strictly true, but misleading: the dossier deliberately misled parliament by the way it presented the information available.

    Hutton permits that; parliament shouldn’t. But as usual it is succumbing to misdirection. Look forward to a yet more supine parliament, and a BBC that (if not strictly a state propaganda arm) only reports what it has checked the government likes.

  • Patrick W

    Jeremy Clarkson for BBC Governor!

  • Actually, my post was about how the result is a lose-lose situation. The BBC gets criticised and then regulated and the British population taxed explicitly, by virtue of the ‘TV license’ being in government’s hands. If the BBC did not get criticised, its institutional bias and culture would have entrenched itself even more. Neither seems attractive to me.

    Also, seeing Alaister Campbell gloating on TV is excrutiating – righteousness does not become him…

  • S. Weasel

    As far as I’m concerned, the use of “unnamed sources” and the journalistic tradition of protecting those sources at all costs equals a license to make stuff up and lie your ass off. This whole episode has confirmed that one more time.

    As if 2003 needed more examples of journalistic malfeasance. Think of all the uninformed rubbish attributed to “sources at the Pentagon” last year!

  • Dyke has gone. How many more skittles will tumble?


    Anthing bad for the BBC is good for Britain.

    This organisation has done terrible damage to this country with 30 years of Left wing nonesense dressed up as news and current events.

    These Guardianistas got a slap in the face, good, but with £3billion to spend on Liberal causes every year, I doubt it will have much effect.

  • R. C. Dean

    I just love this hot establishment-on-establishment action! The Hutton inquiry was guaranteed to leave a big old bruise on either the Beeb or Blair. They both need a bruising, so I say woo-hoo!

    You just watch, though – it won’t be long before someone gets her shirt torn, what with all the hair-pulling and tussling, and then next thing you know it will be all sloppy kisses and groping between the lefties at the Beeb and the lefties at 10 Downing Street.

    Still, like all cat-fights, enjoy it while it lasts!

  • This is a lose-lose situation. Blair has been ‘officially’ vindicated but politically damaged by the Hutton Report. However, his tarnished reputation can accept the rise in public distrust since he still looks forward to a third electoral victory.

    He is now able to dominate a supine BBC that unofficially will henceforth act as a state-mandated broadcaster. And who controls the state? Why, the left-wing Guardianistas!

    More worryingly this gives Blair the opportunity to institutionalise that dominance when the BBC’s Charter comes up for renewal.

    More bad than good has come out of this Report.

  • Cobden Bright

    I’m sure I could get off a charge of fraud and deception if I got to appoint the judge myself.

  • Jewel Crowns

    Only three short months in power, and the ugly face of scandal and corruption raises it head. The honorable Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin is on the hotseat about 130 million dollars donated to his company C.S.L. Canadaian Steamship Lines. In the early nineties he sold one of it`s assets a bus company and left the workers pensions short by 30% Where did the money go? If the Canadian public taxpayers are to have this wretch as a P.M. for the next four years CITIZEN BEWARE your in for a real joyride Open up your eyes or be ready to pay the price THE HONORABLE P.M. PAUL MARTIN? Whats honorable about a thief who steals your money? signed ashamed to be a Canadian