Somebody Doesn’t Like the BBC

Last month, B-BBC reader La Cumparista made the following comment on David Vance’s post about a BBC interview with a Man Booker Prize nominee:

I would really like Howard Jacobson to win the Man Booker prize this year. Has he had much publicity on the BBC?

Jacobson is listed with the others on BBC news briefs about the authors on the short list, but only Peter Carey got a special feature, presumably because he had won twice before. I don’t recall Jacobson getting the attention of the other authors by the BBC when they did their special report from the black-tie gala event of the announcement.

In any case, I now have a copy of Jacobson’s winning book, The Finkler Question, in my hand. The story opens up with a passage that is very relevant to this blog. The BBC studiously avoided mentioning this in either of their brief interviews of him as one of those on the short list.

The relevant passage begins on Page 6, when Treslove, the non-Jewish character (one of the trio of friends around whom the book is focused), is mugged while walking home one night. It describes the incident which launches the book’s journey to explore what it means to be Jewish in England today:

He passed the BBC, an institution for which he had once worked and cherished idealistic hopes but which he now hated to an irrational degree. Had it been rational he would have taken steps not to pass the building as often as he did. Under his breath he cursed it feebly – ‘Shitheap,’ he said.

A nursery malediction.

That was exactly what he hated about the BBC: it had infantilised him. ‘Auntie’, the nation called the Corporation, fondly. But aunties are equivocal figures of affection, wicked and unreliable, pretending to love only so long as they are short of love themselves, and then off. The BBC, Treslove believed, made addicts of those who listened to it, reducing them to a state of inane dependence. As it did those it employed. Only worse in the case of those employed – handcuffing them in promotions and conceit, disabling them from any other life. Treslove himself a case in point. Though not promoted, only disabled.

Indeed.

Exit Stage Leftie

I’m sure you’ll all be sorry to hear that our old friend Scott Matthewman of luvvie paper The Stage has just about had enough of us:


Well Scott, nutty as it can sometimes get here, at least we don’t look at Islamofascist terrorists and think, “Hmm, fancy a bit of that!”

“Do me like I’m hundreds of innocent New York civilians, Faisal. And then cut my throat like the bitch I am.”

Shame they arrested him eh Scott? Still, there’s always Greg Gutfeld’s bar to look forward to.

Still Undecided?

Let these recent observations from some BBC regulars guide you.

Mr Hardy also thinks it’s OK to “lie about Tories because there is a higher truth: they’re cunts.” Such wit – I bet the BBC has already drawn up the contract for a new series of “Jeremy Hardy Speaks To The Nation”.

I wasn’t going to vote Conservative but the outside chance of making Jeremy Hardy’s life a misery is too good to miss. Join me. Piss off a BBC luvvie – Vote Tory.

Has anybody else noticed…

…that the UK’s tweet-happy left-wing comedy establishment (see BBC and Channel 4 listings for details) appears to have opted for a Twitter silence on the subject of South Park’s censorship?

Update. From The Simpsons episode broadcast in America last night:

STARS FOR THE BBC…

I see the luvvies have come out in defence of the State Broadcaster..

Harry Enfield, Jo Brand, Eddie Izzard (who has publicly supported the Labour Party) and former Dr Who star David Tennant are among almost 50 signatories to a letter in the Observer newspaper accusing the Tories of “attacking the BBC to serve the interests of its commercial rivals”.

Sunday Mornings on Five Live

A couple of weeks ago Heat magazine editor Sam Delaney appeared on Kate Silverton’s radio show as her sidekick for the day, and he left listeners in no doubt about his political leanings with a rant about Cameron and the Tories. I assumed at the time that Silverton would have a different “studio friend” each week, reflecting a broad spectrum of political opinion. That was pretty stupid of me, this being the BBC (and Radio Five Live in particular). As part of the station’s new year shake-up Delaney’s role on the show is actually permanent. No surprises, then, to read this in Monday’s Guardian:

Sam Delaney… was once a researcher for Harriet Harman and Gordon Brown…
In the 1990s, as a self-confessed “19-year-old stonehead”, he was passionately into Labour politics and one of his jobs as Harman’s researcher was to deliver her tuna sandwiches when she was in shadow cabinet meetings. His boss at Millbank was Ed Miliband. “Most of the people who were part of the research group, and would have a pint with each other or lunch in the canteen, are now cabinet ministers, whereas I am editor of Heat.”

Having listened to the mockney tones of the former Labour researcher, one can stay tuned for 7 Day Sunday, presented by Tory-hating Chris Addison. The Independent’s radio reviewer wasn’t impressed with the first programme:

Chris Addison, the comedian who plays the weedy Ollie Reeder in The Thick of It, has been given his own topical news show 7 Day Sunday.
As usual, there is a certain amount of “category error” in this choice. As Ollie in The Thick of It, Addison is hilariously funny, but this is because his lines are written by the comic genius Armando Iannucci. On 7 Day Sunday, however, Addison is writing his own lines, assisted by a studio gang who would laugh at a pig’s bladder on a stick. On The Thick of It there is snappy dialogue at a thousand miles an hour, but if you talk like that on radio without enough jokes or substance then the listener’s mind skitters all over the place trying to concentrate, before giving up. The show’s brief was to “pull apart the week’s big news stories”, but in the event the only news covered was snow. Weirdly for someone who made his name in a political satire there wasn’t any. Why not? The Gordon Brown coup should have provided acres of material, but it took ages to get round to, and then got a paltry two minutes.

This reluctance to make fun of the Labour government contrasts sharply with Addison’s attitude to the Tories. This week he joked about dancing on Margaret Thatcher’s grave. Classy.

Radio Five Live. Gearing up for the general election.

Update. In the comments Ryan reproduces an email from R5L controller Adrian Van Klaveren re Delaney.

Another Labour Luvvie

The BBC began election year with a new topical comedy show hosted by a Tory-hating Labour supporter. What next, Labour luvvie Dermot O’Leary presenting election coverage? Actually, yes:

X Factor host Dermot O’Leary told of his “excitement” at the prospect of fronting a political show in the run-up to the general election.
The 36-year-old told the Radio Times he is obsessed with politics – but said the show would not be “particularly serious”.
The magazine said O’Leary is in talks with the BBC about presenting a political programme.
O’Leary said: “I won’t be the man with the swingometer, but politics is a huge obsession with me, so I’m incredibly excited about it.

Here’s O’Leary talking to the Guardian in 2003:

Labour, Tory, Liberal or Socialist Workers?

I suspect that these days I’m politically closest to the Socialist Workers, but they’d take all my money so it’s still Labour.

And from an article in the Independent in May 2005:

Shortly before the general election, O’Leary was branded a Labour luvvie after inadvertently suggesting at a Make Poverty History rally that Tony Blair should become head of state.

That rally, which took place during the 2005 election campaign, was covered by Ben MacIntyre in The Times:

OH, LUVVIE, I can’t tell you how marvellous it was; truly, darling, an unforgettable performance. There we were at the Old Vic Theatre — just twelve hundred of Labour’s closest friends — waiting for Tony and Gordon to do their matinee double act, when the whispered word went round the audience that the greatest political performer of our times would be making a cameo appearance — none other than old blue eyes, schmoozer in chief, the trouser president: Bill Clinton himself, via live satellite link.

The occasion was a rally — the biggest of the campaign so far — to mark World Poverty Day and held by the Make Poverty History coalition. Everybody who was anybody was there, le tout Labour: there was Dermot O’Leary, Big Brother presenter, and Alastair Campbell, Big Brother enforcer, and June Sarpong, the Channel 4 presenter.

The announcement of Ms Sarpong’s addition to the BBC election team can only be a matter of time.

BBC Luvvies For Labour

The BBC is going big on “Doctor Who star David Tennant ‘backs Gordon Brown’“. Tennant, a Scot recently replaced by a younger man, is quoted:

“Clearly, the Labour Party is not without some issues right now and I do get frustrated. They need to sort some stuff out, but they are still a better bet than the Tories.”

Meanwhile, election year sees the start of a new topical comedy show on Radio Five Live presented by Chris Addison, the only person who comes anywhere near to matching Tennant’s recent levels of BBC ubiquity. So, will Addison’s new programme offer a fresh perspective on current affairs, or will it be the same tiresome worldview from the BBC’s left-wing comedy establishment? Addison’s opinions on the Conservative Party could give a clue:

“It’s very difficult, if you were brought up as a child during Thatcher’s period, to ever contemplate being a Tory. There is no way I can physically bring myself to vote Tory. That will stay with me till I die.”

On Twitter a couple of days ago he was asked what he thought about the current government and responded:

“Better than the alternative.”

A little later he tweeted:

“My political leanings are decidedly liberal.”

Which, coincidentally, is the first box you have to tick if you want to present a Sunday morning programme on Radio Five Live.

Update 5.05pm. Perhaps we’ll be treated to some of Addison’s views on Europe. From an interview with him on the BBC’s comedy website:

I am fiercely pro-European. I would very much have liked to see this country join the Euro a few years back. Not least because it would greatly annoy the kind of people that I don’t generally like.

I’m fiercely pro-European as well (OK, maybe not “fiercely”), but I don’t buy into the anti-democratic EU project.