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Friday 23 November 2018

Brillo Twitter Wobble Strikes Again

[Update at end of post]

The BBC has let it be known that “Andrew [Neil] and his editor have … discussed the social media guidance that all staff should follow and that will guide his Tweeting in the future”. This sounds reassuring, except for one problem: whatever was said to The Great Man appears to have had little effect, as his latest Twitter meltdown shows.
Neil was criticised by Laleh Khalili, snapped back in response, and thereby triggered a singularly unfortunate reaction which once again calls into question not merely his temperament, but also that the Beeb appears unable to exercise any control over him.
Helen Goodman MP - threatened

It really is disgusting that @afneil and @AndrewMarr9 have such utterly fragile masculinities and such deep insecurities that when an intelligent woman explains something to them they feel ‘patronised’ (ironically, note the gendered etymology of that word)!” told Ms Khalili. Marr did not, it seems, reply. Neil did. “So bored being femsplained by people like you. You’re blocked”. Sensitive, much?
The ridicule was not long in coming, and perhaps this contributed to Neil becoming unsettled. “Andrew pricksplaining his blocking” quipped one Tweeter. Nicola Adkins added a reminder: “Have you apologised to @carolecadwalla yet?” QTWTAIN.
Then Labour MP Helen Goodman, who represents Bishop Auckland, tipped him over the edge. “We do not pay our licence fee to give you a platform to abuse the women of this country” she admonished him. From a woman? A Labour MP? He wasn’t having that. “If you spread little lies about me I might have to tell the truth about you. You’re tweet is offensive and delusional”. Ey up, it’s another one bringing us THE TRUTH!
Ms Goodman treated this outburst - which is still there on Twitter, and for which Neil has not yet seen fit to apologise (again) - with the disdain it deserved. “LOL get a grip man!” Paul Heard, though, took it  more seriously. “Didn't I see you tweet recently that award winning journalist Carole Cadwalladr was a ‘mad cat woman’ and called her ‘carole codswallop’ like some thick child would do? I think Helen Goodman has a point, Mr publicly funded”. At which point, Ms Cadwalladr entered the fray.
You abused me, @afneil. And now you're threatening a female MP. Do you think it's possible you might be the one who's ‘offensive and delusional?” she asked. And after noting the response to Ms Khalili, she added “This is all in last few hours. And is *after* BBC claims they've talked to him about BBC guidelines on social media posting”. Whatever was discussed, it doesn’t seem to have sunk in.
This latest outburst will only deepen the suspicion that Andrew Neil is a loose cannon whom BBC management are loath to control - for reasons best known to themselves. As I pointed out recently, if he was told to say sorry and refused, that can be interpreted as gross misconduct. For which he can be sent Down The Road in short order.
Carole Cadwalladr - hasn't received an apology

Now that The Great Man has threatened a sitting MP, it only makes the situation worse. The time is fast approaching for the Beeb to choose whether they keep on someone who turns 70 next birthday, or make way for someone younger who will behave themselves.

Will be BBC choose wisely, or choose poorly? Don’t hold your breath.
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[UPDATE 1855 hours: at long last, Andrew Neil has said sorry. Perhaps realising that his response to Helen Goodman looked like a threat, he has now recanted.
"I was so taken aback by your tweet about abusing women that my robust response has been taken as a threat. It was never meant to be taken seriously. Apologies" he told her.

However, he has still not apologised to Carole Cadwalladr. Why that might be I will leave for others to decide]


Mark said...

I think he's a stooge planted at the beeb by the government and SIS. It's the only reason I can think of that he's still in a job

Unknown said...

They will keep him because his politics are of the right .

Anonymous said...

Nah, he's got blackmail material on the chair of the BBC that he acquired in his newspaper days and is threatening to make public in the event of... Well, you get the picture.

Arnold said...

Robust response? Isn't the correct apology for a sexist comment supposed to call it just banter?

Anonymous said...

All wrong.

Neil's the way he is because he's a tory meff.

No big deal.