There would be new rules coming in within days on the use of Twitter and other platforms. These would be “rigorously enforced”. One wonders if the people at the Tel took the time to warn another part of the Barclay Brothers’ empire about the new régime, because one BBC stalwart has been pitching in on Twitter very publicly today.
A Tweeter called Lisa had challenged the Co-Op, telling “Hey [Co-Op UK]as a trans person I was please to see your adverts featuring a trans women and celebrating diversity, I visited your stores as a result, but why bother if your going to turn around ignore your members wishes and place adverts and fund transphobia in the Spectator”. They replied.
“Hi Lisa, this advert was placed as part of a package by our media buyers. We are taking up the issue with them with a view to them not using this publication again in the future. Thanks”. This was too much for former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil, now overseeing the Speccy. He duly went in with both feet in no style at all.
“No need to bother, Co-op. As of today you are henceforth banned from advertising in The Spectator, in perpetuity. We will not have companies like yours use their financial might to try to influence our editorial content, which is entirely a matter for the editor”. There was a small number of bots and trolls backing the Brillo stance. Plus some clowns.
One in the latter category was Annunziata Rees Mogg (crazy name, crazy gal?!?!?) who duly pontificated “According to this Co-op are boycotting [the Spectator]. Perhaps I’ll boycott Co-op because a 4 pack of tinned tomatoes are £5 and its claims of supporting local communities just means ripping off those who can’t drive to a proper supermarket?” If only she really did her own shopping, she’d know what the stuff cost.
But attention continued to be focused on Brillo. It was as if he had not got the memo, and was continuing in the same mode that saw him smear the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr recently. That one he got away with, but if Davie is to have any credibility as DG, he cannot be allowed to throw his weight around like that on a public Twitter feed.
So one other possibility enters: has he actually left the Corporation’s employ for good? It was, after all, only last weekend when deeply unpleasant former Sun editor Kelvin McFilth suggested that Brillo, along with Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, was being lined up for a new BBC-challenging news broadcaster called GB News.
Perhaps one of the two parties would care to clarify Andrew Neil’s position. He has faced years of criticism for holding down a berth at the BBC while using his Twitter account in what looks to be a highly partisan manner. If no-one will come clean about his status, and he isn’t being reined in, observers can reach only one conclusion - that he’s been binned.
The time of Andrew Neil at the BBC was for a time, but not for all time. Good thing too.
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