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Wednesday 30 September 2020

Guido Broaches The Dyke

For some commentators, the dead cat punted by chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings last weekend - a suggestion that former Telegraph editor Charles Moore was to become BBC Chair and that the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre was to head Ofcom - was transparent drivel, yet another diversion from the Tories’ aimless shambles on the Coronavirus pandemic, Brexit, and indeed anything else they touched.

Guido who?

But for many out there on the right, the idea is a serious one, so serious that they are still prepared to defend two individuals who have precisely zero experience of the broadcast and wider telecoms industry. In the case of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, this means smearing those previously at the top of the Beeb and Ofcom, whom they claim to have been Labour Party stooges.

Sadly for new Fawkes apprentice sandwich monitor Christian Calgie, who had brought forth the smear, his ignorance and mendacity is all that emerges intact. Even the title of the post - How Labour Has Packed Quangos Including The BBC And Ofcom For Decades - is wrong. The BBC is not a Quango. Then we arrive at the attack on former BBC DG Greg Dyke. The suggestion is that he got the job because he backed Labour.

This is total horseshit. Dyke was, at the time of his appointment, a 22-year veteran of the broadcasting industry. He had helped turn round TV-am, which prior to his arrival had been a ratings basket case, had been director of programmes for TVS and LWT, where he helped the broadcaster win a franchise renewal. He later served as CEO of LWT. He helped overhaul GMTV and was the first chairman of Channel 5.

Now taking orders for his daily trip to Pret

Moreover, Dyke was a hugely popular Director General. He had the track record to back up his selection, which Moore and Dacre would not. Then Calgie turns his pop-gun, sorry, fire on Gavyn Davies, describing him as “BBC Chair 2001-4 … Labour Member”. What got missed was (a) that Davies resigned his membership on joining the BBC board, and (b) that he had been an economic advisor to the 1992-7 Tory Government.

Could there be more dishonesty in store? You betcha, says Sarah: Ed Richards, who headed Ofcom from 2006 to 2014, gets it in the neck because he had been an advisor to both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. What The Great Guido manages not to tell readers is that before those roles, Richards was the BBC’s head of corporate strategy. Thus he had experience in the broadcast sector - in the area which would qualify him to lead Ofcom.

But that is not the intention of this cheap and mendacious smear: what the Fawkes massive wants to do is to pretend that this is just a Labour versus Tory thing. It is not. Those smeared were all qualified to do the jobs to which they were appointed. Charles Moore and Paul Dacre would have one qualification between them: their ability to whine incessantly about the BBC, while being totally ignorant of the broadcast industry.

And, as this blog has pointed out more than once in the past, ignorance is not a merit badge. The only reason Moore and Dacre were punted as choices of BBC Chairman and Ofcom CEO was because they want to either do away with the BBC, or refashion it so it produces news and other output that panders to their tastes - and prejudices.

Charles Moore and Paul Dacre are not credible candidates. That is all.

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Anonymous said...

Dyke was popular with some BBC staff is more accurate.

Anonymous said...

The mere absurd fact that far right arseheads Moore and Dacre get mentioned in this context tells you all you need to know about British public life.

Steve Woods said...

Last year Calgie stood for the Tories in the Kingswood ward in the elections to Hull City Council.

Readers will no doubt be gratified to know the good folk of Hull treated him appropriately - lowest polling candidate (66 votes, 5.06% of total votes cast).

Jonathan said...

The fools occupying No10 Downing Street, fed up with the BBC showing daily the incompetence of Bozza's response to the Corona virus outbreak, via its own press conferences, believe have a DG they can bend to its will, will show them in a better light, is really for the birds.

How could Moore spin a Bozza press conference where he drops himself right in it daily?

Not going to happen, not unless the Polecat has a slippery plan to abolish the BBC!