With perhaps wearying predictability, another major Europhile is firmly in the frame to become the successor to Lord Patten as BBC chairman.
It’s rumoured that she is Diana Coyle, the current deputy chairman, an economist who has written books on the topic and also worked on The Independent newspaper as a commentator. Interviews for the job take place next month.
Ms Coyle is married to Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s staid technology editor, and her career over the past decade has been as a quango queen. Like so many of these figures, she also serves – without a breath of irony – on the Competition Commission.
Few people will have heard of Ms Coyle, but she has been a BBC governor since 2006 and, according to The Guardian, has become a strong favourite to become chairman because David Cameron wants a woman in the role and also because she is seen as a safe pair of hands.
Could the real reason be, however, that he actually wants someone who will be totally on his side in his stated position that membership of the EU is good for the UK?
Certainly, Ms Coyle avidly shares Lord Patten’s enthusiasm for the EU. She wrote in The Independent when Blair-Brown battle about the UK’s euro membership was at its height:
“The defenders of sterling are, in the main, a group of elderly men with more stake in their past than in our future. They clothe their gut anti-Europeanism and Little Englandism in the language of rational economic argument.”
The following year, Ms Coyle was equally vehement in her dismissal of the idea that an inflationary boom in Ireland was caused by the euro. She maintained that it was only Eurosceptics who supported such views.
It may therefore be assumed, that, as a Europhile, like Lord Patten, she supports the EU in its climate change alarmism policies. This is evident in a book she wrote in 2011, The Economics of Enough. This is an account of an interview she gave about her work:
“Diane Coyle, author of The Economics of Enough, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future and the ideas in her book. Coyle argues that the financial crisis, the entitlement crisis, and climate change all reflect a failure to deal with the future appropriately. The conversation ranges across a wide range of issues including debt, the financial sector, and the demographic challenges of an ageing population that is promised generous retirement and health benefits. Coyle argues for better measurement of the government budget and suggests ways that the political process might be made more effective.”
What is also striking is that Ms Coyle, alongside Lord Patten, an advisor to EDF Energy, which like other energy companies, is perpetuating climate change alarmism so that it can line its pockets with green energy and renewable government subsidies.
That, of course, chimes with the BBC’s own agenda. Her long-time BBC Trust colleague is Alison Hastings, who has decreed that the promulgation of climate change alarmism is compulsory for all BBC journalists.
One thing is certain about Ms Coyle if she does land the chairman’s role. She won’t be pressing for any significant changes in the BBC’s journalism. She has already declared:
“I’ve always valued the BBC, not least as the best provider of news coverage in the world. Its impartiality and comprehensive coverage underpin its vital civic role.”
Given that the BBC Trustees are supposed also to be watchdogs in terms of standards, that’s a terrifying expression of complacency.