Anorak News | Understanding Auntie

Understanding Auntie

by | 30th, June 2003

‘THE BBC stands for many different things, depending on where you sit.

‘Someone get me cup of tea…in a mug! And some sweaty armpits…’

If you’re the Labour government, it’s the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation. If you’re an opposition MP, it’s the Blair Broadcasting Corporation.

And, if like Lord Tebbit you’re old enough to remember socialism, it stands for the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation.

What everyone seems to manage to agree about, however, is that the first B in BBC stands for biased – and never in their favour.

But politics makes strange fellows and, no doubt in the belief that mine enemy’s enemy is mine friend, this morning we find the aforementioned Lord Tebbit rallying to Auntie’s defence.

The former Tory chairman tells the Independent that the venom of the Government’s recent attack on the BBC over claims that its dossier on Iraqi weapons was ‘sexed up’ ‘springs not from the belief in the guilt of the BBC but from the certainty of their own self-guilt’.

Tebbit claims Downing Street is adhering to the Goebbels doctrine: ‘Never admit to a lie – simply keep repeating it.’

The Guardian says the committee investigating the allegation is likely to clear Tony Blair’s spin doctor Alastair Campbell of altering a draft of the dossier.

But the Prime Minister will be given a severe dressing-down for deliberately hampering the investigation.

However, the fall-out from the row between the Government and the BBC is likely to continue long after the event, with mixed signals being given out in this morning’s papers.

The Telegraph claims that BBC director-general Greg Dyke is staking his reputation and that of the corporation on the ‘all or nothing’ confrontation with the Government.

But the Times suggests that the BBC is to sue for peace by offering independent arbitration by a leading QC ‘to head off the damaging spectacle of a libel action against a minister funded at great expense by the licence fee payer’.

One name springs to mind – Cherie Booth QC.

Posted: 30th, June 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink