London’s occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, who to no surprise at all is not paying any attention to events in the capital right now, is devoting his time to a book tour, and has fetched up in Australia, no doubt to the thought entering with some of the locals that they would rather the UK had not given this one-man human shambles an exit visa.
And Bozza has wasted no time telling anyone there who will listen that their mate Rupe is getting an unreasonably hard time from the dastardly BBC. And after all those things he’s done for us – satellite TV (which we could have got from another provider, thanks), cornering a large part of the newspaper market, Page Three, and of course dragging journalism into the gutter with phone hacking.
At which point it does not need saying to most Bozza watchers that this assault on the Corporation is not a coincidence. Since the news earlier this month that, in a 12 month period, around 165,000 licence fee evaders had been prosecuted, and that magistrates are floating the suggestion that such matters be decriminalised, the Beeb bashers have had a new focus.
And that focus, to no surprise at all, is at the paper that pays Bozza £5,000 a pop in “chicken feed” for his stream of consciousness columns, rustled up while awaiting Sunday luncheon at the house of whichever acquaintance has drawn the short straw of inviting him round. The Maily Telegraph first carried the BBC bashing in its blogs, with Janet Daley leading the way after the CPS released its report on bias.
Sadly, as I subsequently pointed out, the CPS report wasanother steaming pile of poo, no matter how ideologically pure. But the marker had been put down, and soon there was another instalment of bile from Cristina Odone, forgetting for a moment the oxygen of publicity that the Corporation gives her from her appearances on shows such as Question Time.
These two pundits, of course, are serial Beeb kickers, but this time it was organised, with a Telegraph editorial this morning describing the licence fee as “A criminal waste of taxpayers’ money”. There were so many more channels nowadays, you see. Then backup came from Graeme Archer, who just happens to be a leader writer for the paper, declaring “we must abolish the hated BBC poll tax”.
Hated? I hadn’t noticed, thanks, but then, letting the cat out of the bag, came occasional Tory MP Douglas “Kamikaze” Carswell telling that “The BBC’s mid-twentieth Century TV poll tax should be consigned to the history books”. So the agreed line is that it’s a “poll tax”. Good of the Tel to let us all know, for when the characterisation gets used again – as it inevitably will.
It gets the hacks nowhere, but beats doing real journalism, so that’s all right, then.