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Monday 8 June 2020

New BBC DG’s Tory Connections

The BBC has a new Director General: Tim Davie, who has led BBC Studios, but who has never actually made a programme, will succeed Lord Hall-Hall at the start of September. He is being characterised as a Corporation insider, but his CV also contains an item which those looking to the Beeb to maintain its impartiality in the face of Government hostility might find worrying: he is a former local Tory party deputy chairman.
Tim Davie

Moreover, the local party of which he was deputy chairman in the 1990s was none other than that in Hammersmith and Fulham. Putting the 90s, that local party, and the Tories together is, for many observers of London politics, a loud and clear sign of the New Conservatism, small staters with few principles, except for having eyes on the prize.

So how close was the BBC’s new head man to all of that? Where was he, for instance, when then party leader William ‘Ague ordered a racism inquiry? As the Guardian reported at the time, “Conservative Central Office confirmed yesterday that it has opened an inquiry following a complaint from the Commission for Racial Equality about the Fulham Homes for Fulham People campaign led by Tory councillors Donal Blaney and Greg Hands”.

Donal Blaney. There’s a name to pitch: headed Conservative Future, and later Conservative Way Forward. Led the Young Britons’ Foundation until its demise in the wake of the Tory Bullying scandal. Gave Mark Clarke the YBF’s Golden Dolphin award. The Guardian went on to tell “One leaflet accused the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham of denying a council house to a ‘local mum’ whose place had been taken by ‘asylum seekers’”. Asylum seekers can’t get council houses.
One Tory Davie certainly was close to was Stephen Greenhalgh, As the Guardian has also reported, “He remains good friends with … Greenhalgh, who started his political career in the borough and was made a Tory peer by Boris Johnson last month. Davie attended drinks held by the council, when Greenhalgh was its leader, in 2007”. Greenhalgh’s elevation to Deputy Mayor was a farce: he was still a Councillor, so was barred.

Greenhalgh oversaw an attempt to sell off the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates to property developer CapCo. The scheme stalled; CapCo went bust. The estates, which Greenhalgh, Davie’s pal, had called “barracks for the poor” were saved. The development had been called a “landmark scheme” by one prominent Tory.

That person is our alleged Prime Minister: how close are he and Davie? After all, when he was London’s very occasional Mayor, Bozo The Clown was always ready to sing the praises of anything coming out of Hammersmith and Fulham, including a preposterous idea to divert the Hammersmith flyover into a “fly-under”, somehow missing that this would cut straight through the tracks of the District and Piccadilly Lines (minor problem, eh?).

How close is he to Greg Hands? He, after all, was part of that allegedly racist campaign back in the 1990s, and is now MP for Chelsea and Fulham, and a junior minister. And then there are the likes of Harry Phibbs (he does? We’ll have to keep an eye on that), now propagandising at Conservative Home, and anywhere else he can get a platform.

Closeness to the Tories. What many BBC employees would rather not hear right now.
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Anonymous said...

I'm sure we're all waiting with baited breath for Krook-faced kuenssberg to doxx him,, as she has done to so many with Labour sympathies.

grim northerner said...

But can the beeb move to the populist right before the gammon licence rebellion defends them?

Bwana Mrefu said...

Well, The Core Twitter account approves of him, so clearly that MUST mean he is good chap.