That handiwork concerned the Tories’ derided report into racial disparities, about which historian David Olusoga observed “So, medical experts say the report is ‘divorced from reality’. Hundreds of academics say it showed a ‘distorted use of academic research’. Former policeman calls the consultation ‘Fawlty Towers-like’. Now Business chiefs say it's ‘laughably simplistic’”. And then a very familiar name was dropped.
Aubrey Allegretti of the Guardian was the one doing the dropping. “It turns out Sir Robbie Gibb - former No10 head of comms under Theresa May - had a significant role advising on the media strategy for the race report launch. It was done pro-bono. One source says there’s now a ‘blame game’ underway in government about ‘why it landed so badly’”.
Robbie Gibb associated with yet another foul-up. The same Robbie Gibb whose time at the BBC coincided with the Corporation’s politics operation failing totally to properly hold the Leave campaign to account in the run-up to the 2016 EU Referendum. But then, Gibb wanted Brexit, and Brexit he got. Pity about those losing their freedoms and livelihoods, mind. And having been rather adjacent to that foul-up, through the revolving door he went.
Gibb went to work for Theresa May in 2017, after she, aided and abetted by Nick Timothy, arguably the World’s Worst Political Advisor, had almost lost that year’s General Election. Such was Gibb’s success as Downing Street director of communications that Treeza all too soon departed Downing Street. But at least he got his K out of it.
But what does all of this have to do with Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”™)? As i News explained last year, “[Robbie Gibb], Theresa May’s former Downing Street director of communications, has emerged as a leading figure behind plans to set up a ‘Fox News-style’ 24-hour current affairs station intended to rival the BBC”.
There was more. “Previously a senior BBC executive, Sir Robbie is helping to raise funds for GB News, which promises to provide an opinionated alternative to the claimed ‘woke’ values expressed by the corporation … GB News, has been granted a licence to broadcast by Ofcom and is seeking to take a slot on Freeview next year”.
Ah yes, the ever-present whining at those who are well-informed and alert to injustices in society, especially racism. But do go on. “Sir Robbie, who was in charge of the BBC’s Westminster output, said the broadcaster has been ‘culturally captured by the woke-dominated group think of some of its own staff’”. Staff like Himself. Have another sneer. “He claimed: ‘There is a default Left-leaning attitude from a metropolitan workforce mostly drawn from a similar social and economic background’”. Metropolitan. Like Himself.
The recent history of broadcasting is littered with examples of those who talked big but failed to deliver. Remember the early TV-am? All those big names, and a total flop.
GB News’ signings may be forgiven for getting nervous. While others load up the popcorn.
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