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Monday 18 June 2012

The No Culture Forum

Yesterday’s assault on the BBC by Dirty Des’ finest at the Express has clearly spurred the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre into action: today has brought yet another attack on Ed Richards, the head man at regulator Ofcom, who looks like he may be about to get the Director General’s job when Mark Thompson departs at the end of the year.

No I haven't scored a f***ing own goal, c***

Sadly, though, this attempt to smear Richards with the title of “pornographer” – a Dacre favourite, and one already dumped (rightly) on Dirty Des – is utterly lame, with the piece by Paul Scott (who was behind the equally lame attack on the Middleton family which I discussed recently) effectively admitting that the pre-watershed “porn” is just adverts for a channel that does not start broadcasting until 2200 hours.

But the Dacre hackery has opened another front in its Beeb bashing campaign, as it has unearthed a “report” by an “independent think tank” called the New Culture Forum (NCF). Who they? Well, independent they may be, but politically neutral they are not. Welcome to another in the family of right leaning Astroturf lobby groups, featuring some of your favourite righty-soap characters.

First, though, the usual false assumption. “In the last quarter of the 20th century, the Right decisively won the important economic arguments” says the NCF site, before following with this corker: “If the right won the economic argument, in Culture Wars the left dominates. The New Culture Forum has been created to challenge the dogma and relativism of the establishment and redefine the parameters of the cultural and political debate”. And that’s not all.

There is also strawman deployment: “Too often our enemies and our opinion formers appear to agree that Western culture is an indefensible horror”. The strawman can then be triumphantly flattened: “This is nonsense. The West is in fact a unique bastion of reasoned freedom”. And so it goes on.

So who is on board? Matthew “Gromit” Elliott, shining light of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance and Tim Montgomerie of ConHome for two. The obligatory MP is Michael “Oiky” Gove, and the advisory board includes such luminaries as Phil Hendren of DizzyThinks fame, who is described as a “Technologist”, which means he has worked in IT. And a sample of speakers at their events?

Andrew Green of MigrationWatch, Gove (again), James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole and Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips have all featured. Yes, it’s just another part of the extended right-wing circle jerk. The only service the Mail piece has done is to show that, in six years’ existence, the NCF has effectively fallen flat on its face.

Because next to nobody is listening to them. Never mind, mustn’t grumble, eh?

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