Wow! That was fast!
When the BBC’s new director-general gave his inaugural speech on September 3, he made it very clear that the era of political activism disguised as journalism was coming to an end, at least in his organisation.
Not surprisingly, this hard-line stance was applauded by pundits and public alike, all of whom are heartily sick of advocates and activists taking potshots from Television Centre, before ducking back behind the corporation’s solid defences of state patronage and a uniquely coercive funding model. For most of us in alternative media it was music to the ears.
The only problem with Tim Davie’s excellent speech was that it meant absolutely nothing.
According to the Telegraph, less than 24 hours after the new DG’s much lauded words were uttered, the BBC had quietly told the most egregious impartiality offenders that they would not in fact be subject to the same conduct rules as the rank and file sweating away on the shop floor.
It would be hard to script a political satire featuring a more blatant example of establishment hypocrisy than this. For all those at W1A who are still scratching their heads over the Brexit vote, the outrageous double standards within your own organisation would be a good place to start looking for answers.
There are two ways in which this situation could have come about. Either Mr Davie made his speech and then quietly let it be known that he didn’t really mean what he’d said, or somebody other than the director-general has given the BBC’s woke warriors the green light to continue doing what the boss has explicitly told them stop doing.