Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeNewsNick Booth: The BBC has become Her Majesty’s Opposition

Nick Booth: The BBC has become Her Majesty’s Opposition


On TV this week, our glorious leader Laura Perrins was being lectured by Owen from The Tweenies about women’s pay and women’s choices (which some might think is a bloody cheek) when the conversation turned to whether we wanted more state intervention. Which was when the State intervened, in the shape of the BBC’s Jo Coburn.

Coburn had been interrupting on Owen’s behalf from the outset of the debate. In doing so, she paid Laura a massive compliment. The BBC presenter clearly had no confidence in Owen Jones getting his point over on his own, so she felt she had to join in.

I wonder if either Jones or Coburn realise what negative messages they send out to the public with their behaviour? I don’t know what loses them more votes, a patronising shouty youth or a dodgy referee.

The other thing you notice is that the BBC seems to think it’s the Official Opposition these days. If so, shouldn’t they be holding elections? After all, we all have to pay our £145 subs to the party; shouldn’t we get a say in how it’s run?

I’d like to see some of declarations of members’ interests. What is Gary Lineker, the member for Match of the Day Central, doing lecturing us about the safety of children when he accepts huge amounts of money to promote Walkers Crisps to kids? There’s a potential obesity crisis in every packet – and he doesn’t need the money – so I think he should explain why he’s pushing these crispy carcinogens.

Staying with sports, will there still be all women shortlists for all the sports presenter jobs? One of the Beeb’s main policies is to encourage more women into social engineering positions.

I wonder if the Right Honourable Member for Despite Brexit (North London) Laura Kuenssberg would be able to hold onto her seat. It would have seemed unimaginable 12 months ago, but Kuenssberg has come under fire recently for being a ‘Red Tory’ for some terrible faux pas, such as reporting an inconvenient truth or trying to be seen to be impartial.

Meanwhile, Newsnight has a far safer clutch of constituencies. These are essential rotten boroughs, as the audience is rapidly moving out of the area, but the incumbent seat holders, such as Evan Davis, face no real challenge.

In fact, some BBC constituencies have become so fetid and stagnant that even the entrenched rulers have made noises about getting some fresh blood. David Baddiel, an ‘independent’ with strong affiliations to the BBC, recently said that comedy was so one-sided on the BBC that for balance there should be a ‘right-wing comedy hour’. So, in effect, he proposes a sort of apartheid for comedy – Haha-Theid.

But what do we mean by ‘right wing’. A Newsnight investigation, in collaboration with a team of TV detector vans, has identified a disturbing group emerging outside London. They’re calling it the It’s precisely these ‘general public’ types – hitherto unknown to the BBC – that Baddiel might give their own weekly ‘right-wing’ comedy hour, in which people will be allowed to make jokes about absolutely everything – not just the narrow horizons of left-wing ‘satire’. Just as long, mind you, as editor Sandi Toksvig doesn’t judge them to be sexist, Cis-gen or supremacist.

That’ll soon win the over! Go back to The Groucho Club and prepare for Government!

(Image: Herry Lawford)

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Nick Booth
Nick Booth
Nick Booth is a freelance writer.

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