Rod Liddle

The BBC needs to be rescued from its own groupthink

It’s so depressingly predictable who gets invited to be a senior panjandrum of the quangocracy

14 May 2016

9:00 AM

14 May 2016

9:00 AM

I see that law students at Oxford University were told that if they found the contents of a lecture on rape and sexual assault ‘distressing’, they would be permitted to absent themselves. This is an interesting approach for future lawyers and barristers. Perhaps, further down the line, they will excuse themselves in court when the evidence is a bit gamey and go to a safe space for a good cry. Or should we be more concerned about those students who remained in the lecture theatre because they did not find the contents remotely distressing, but actually ‘a bit of a hoot’ or ‘bloody hilarious — especially that bit with the Rohypnol!’

Either way, this is supposedly the first ‘trigger warning’ issued as part of the curriculum by a British university, and it accords with the incalculably infantile and borderline fascistic concept of safe spaces and no-platforming held dear by the student body, and particularly the NUS. Feminists banned from campus because they disagree with a transgendered man’s ‘right’ to call himself a nice lady (despite the chromosomes and the soon-to-be-lopped-off todger). Gay campaigners discriminated against because they are that most awful of all things, white and male. Sombreros banned because they might annoy Mexicans. Fancy-dress costumes banned because they might offend someone, anyone.

I wrote about all this quite recently for the Sunday Times and came to the conclusion that the excellent lesbian feminist writer Julie Bindel got it right when she said this terror of divergent views came from the fact that the students were, as she put it, middle-class tossers who had never been gainsaid in their lives, never challenged in their views. I still think that is largely right, but one thing I missed from the Sunday Times article was the role of the universities themselves in perpetuating a left-liberal monoculture in an arena where a plethora of opinion should be encouraged. They are as mortified by the prospect of diverse opinion as the students.

Let me mention a couple of names to you: Alan Rusbridger and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. One is the former editor of the Guardian, the latter a columnist at the Independent until it went digital, and read by almost nobody, anywhere. Between them they are or have been honorary visiting professors at four universities — Nuffield Oxford, Queen Mary, Cardiff and Lincoln, and possess honorary doctorates from four more. I know this because I hate both of them and regularly check what they are up to. I also know that no journalists whatsoever from what you might call an even mildly socially conservative viewpoint have ever been asked to be visiting professors anywhere in Britain. Not the editors of the Sunday Times, the Times, The Spectator, the Sun, nor I believe the colossus of them all, Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail. Nor any of their journos and columnists — not Dominic Lawson, not Melanie Phillips, and so on and so on. It seems that one rousing column denouncing the evil Zionist persecution of the poor Palestinians will get you a professorship at some tenth-rate poly: almost every leftie scribe has one. Even the palpably idiotic Owen Jones, aged 14 and three-quarters, has an honorary degree up his sleeve. And it is in this way that a political monoculture is preserved on campus: only those who toe a certain line are allowed in.

But it’s not just the universities. The same people are on the boards of everything else. Everything paid for by the public purse. Quangos. Directorships of all the artistic institutions. Take the recently departed director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti — honorary associations/professorships at eight universities and also a former governor of the British Film Institute. Why? Because she likes a night out at the flicks? You can do this thing with quangos — play six degrees of Shami Chakrabarti. Because the same people keep cropping up and you can always trace them back very quickly to Shami — they’ll share a boardship, if that’s what you call it, somewhere. They all have the same views; identical, middle-class liberal views. Thousands of these quangos and the same hundred or so people running them who all agree with each other. About everything. (And especially Palestine.)

And so it is with the BBC. At the recent puke-inducing Bafta awards ceremony, a lot of attention was paid to an impassioned and even tearful diatribe by one of the winners, the film director Peter Kosminsky. Peter won his award for the period bodice-ripping sludgefest that was Wolf Hall, which always induced in me a coma as soon as the title was sonorously announced by the continuity monkeys. So allow for a bit of private payback. An archetypal luvvie leftie, public school-educated, well-heeled and impeccably liberal, Kosminsky used his speech to lambast the government’s supposed proposals for ‘eviscerating’ the BBC — and, in particular, for announcing an intention to directly appoint the members of the corporation’s board. It will end up like the sort of media service you get in North Korea, Kosminsky wailed, while dressed in what appeared to be a quilted smoking jacket.

Au contraire, Pete. It will be the opposite of that. Right now it’s a bit like that, isn’t it? Where the senior panjandrums of the quango-cracy cheerfully appoint people with views identical to their own to run every-thing in the country. Show me a social conservative on the BBC’s board right now, Pete. Show me someone who thinks Israel is perhaps a victim as well as an aggressor, or that gay people shouldn’t marry in church or that we have already let in too many migrants, or that a transgendered person’s gender at birth is more definitive than the one which he or she has subsequently assumed. What the Culture Media and Sport Secretary, John Whittingdale, proposes will increase diversity of opinion within the BBC. Hell, who knows, this openness may even be reflected, one day, in the Ten O’Clock News.

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Show comments
  • James R

    I think you need some ‘therapy’ to bring you onside,Rod.Permit me to enrol you on a Dance Movement Psychotherapy course (PhD) at the University of Roehampton. A snip at £3900. I’ll willingly pick up the tab if you promise to write about your experiences here at The Spectator.
    Cha cha cha..

    • Malcolm Knott

      No need. I have just founded The University of Greater Suffolk and the North Sea (formerly Malcolm’s shed) and our first Honorary Degree has been awarded to Visiting Professor Rod Liddle. If you come over sometime, Rod, you can be photographed wearing your robes and one of those funny hats. And you can deliver an address in Latin to me and my lovely assistant, Mrs Knott.

      • Freddythreepwood

        Is there room in your shed for two, Malcolm? My 1st in Basket Weaving has just been rescinded by Oxford because I happened to remark to the canteen dinner lady that I thought global warming was crap. (My chips were cold). An Honorary would be some compensation.

        • Malcolm Knott

          I ration my honorary degrees Freddy but you can be a visiting professor.

          • Freddythreepwood

            Thanks Malcolm. Professor of Basket Weaving. Has a nice ring to it.

      • The_Common_Potato

        “The University of Greater Suffolk and the North Sea (formerly Malcolm’s shed).”

        Prior to that it used to be known as Dogger Bank Polytechnic. They had to relocate, due to Viking raids and climate change.

  • Freddythreepwood

    Brilliant! I watched this luvvie twonk and cringed. How dare this dastardly Tory government threaten his gravy train! These same people, who delight in thrusting diversity down our throats, squeal like stuck pigs when someone suggests they should accept diversity of opinion.
    So what happened to “the bonfire of the quangos”? Why is it taking so long to light the fire? There is little point in electing a Tory government if nothing changes. Or, as the conspiracy theorists would have it, does the power really lie elsewhere?

    • MikeF

      You’re braver than me if you could actually manage to watch a luvvie-fest like the Bafta Awards. But you are right about the left-liberal (very left not very liberal) concept of ‘diversity’. It is a sham, a fake enthusiasm for pluralism that acts as a cover for a quite deliberate attempt to create its precise opposite – a relentless conformity enforced by a mix of mob rule, social disparagement and even the law.

      • Freddythreepwood

        Can’t take credit, Mike. I saw him on the news.

        • MikeF

          Yes difficult to avoid unless you have the remote control to hand and can switch channels immediately. Perhaps they should provide one of those ‘look away now if you don’t want to know the score’ warnings that they often do before announcing football results. What the appropriate phraseology would be I don’t know – maybe ‘look away now if you don’t want to be confronted by the most egregious example of sentimentalism and hypocrisy.’

          • Andrew Cole

            BBC self promoting again? Surely not.

            I remember a few years ago when ITV had the Premier League the BBC didn’t bother warning before announcing the results. They were quite happy to cut straight to them before you could look away or hit the mute button

      • greencoat

        Was Fatty Fry on the BAFTAs? Or was he out with his catamite arresting Popes?

    • Malcolm Stevas

      Bonfire of the quangos? Gimme a can of petrol and a box of matches.

    • tenbelly

      Tory government?
      Now that’s a memory to conjure with.

  • monsieur_charlie

    A great read. I’ve now almost forgiven him for his last column about Jakie Kahn or somebody.

  • Jack_H

    Do you suppose this is why Ms Alibhai Brown is so convinced the media should be controlled?…..the bloody ignorant British public would never hear opinions if they were allowed to choose!

    • Felipe Ordóñez de Rivera

      “Never hear HER opinions . . . ” perhaps?

      • Jack_H

        Cheers mate:)

  • Seawolf

    As ever, I quite agree with Rod. you’re the man!

  • johnb1945

    Ha ha ha! Rod, always the best read. Although I enjoyed Wolf Hall. I thought it was great.

    • polidorisghost

      Rylance is a woodentop

      • Seawolf

        can’t stand his wonky eyebrows

        • Andrew Cole

          Or his 80s hats

  • AM66

    ‘The BBC needs rescued’? I read no further, assuming the grammar in the headline was representative of the quality of the article itself.

    • CharleyFarleyFive

      The more fool you. Discerning grammatical mistakes from typographic ones is a skill I would recommend you acquire.

      • AM66

        Care to share your superior insight?

        • Andrew Cole

          Its the editor sabotaging articles that don’t carry his Cameronista Lefty Multi Culti view point.

    • FrankS2

      Who do you think wrote the headline?

      • Andrew Cole

        Fraser Sabotage.

    • WFC

      Given that you don’t seem to know that headlines are created by sub-editors, not authors, you might not have understood the article.

      So just as well, really.

    • davidofkent

      Rod’s article was fine. We are so used to the hilarious rubbish in the Headlines that I doubt anybody notices anymore. It’s the same in any newspaper and on the various TV News programmes. Have another go at the article and ignore the headline.

      • AM66

        I’m new here, so thanks for the tip.

  • John Carins

    The word “British” needs to be removed from the BBC’s title. In fact it should be renamed State Broadcasting (SB). Then we will all know what we are getting. The salaries of those operating it and those taking part in any “entertainment” should be in line with minor civil servants. The number of channels needs to be culled down to a minimum so that the licence fee can be abolished and the service paid for out of general taxation. The gravy train for the “luvvies” exists with other broadcasters. Other industries are not subsidised so why should the public subsidise them?

  • PapaDocPenfro

    I could never bring myself to read Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s columns in the Independent; however, her army of critics’ comments BTL were unfailingly hilarious.

  • Sean L

    Where the political orientation of universities is concerned, the syllabus, what’s *taught* is the primary issue. Entire swathes of the curriculum have no value other than as political indoctrination. In “Studies”, for example, i.e. Women’s or Post-Colonial Studies a particular political view is presupposed by the course content. The value of feminist doctrine itself is not and cannot be subject to question. After all, BBC groupthink doesn’t drop from the sky: such attitudes are more about real than honorary degrees.

  • Bert

    BBC groupthink, enabled by New Labour allowed any discussion of unlimited immigration to be crushed at source by labelling any other views as racist.
    Publicly funded employees who can take up to £450,000 a year from us without having to declare it have been complicit in supressing open debate.
    For this alone they should be eviscerated.

    • SaraRosenthalGB

      The pay offs to their senior staff who eventually fell on their swords post Savile, were reaching almost a million.


  • Shorne

    Can I just point out that the BBC White Paper will say that the TV Licence should remain at £145.50 for at least 11 years and should rise with inflation from 2017 so the usual suspects who are always droning on about it are wasting their time.

    • polidorisghost

      I don’t drone on about it, I just don’t pay for it.
      Pay for your own propaganda faux radical boy

      • Shorne

        Your definition of propaganda is anything which contradicts your right wing, reactionary view hence your opinions are easily ignored. Thanks for the ‘boy’ though as I’m 65.

        • JJD

          The job of the BBC is not to go about “contradicting” some views and promoting others. Report, analysis, opinion… all good, provided it’s balanced. It’s the general lack of balance, especially on BBC radio, that steers the BBC towards the reefs of propaganda. And balance is not simply having 2 guests from different sides; it is also about the way you interact with each guest. It is also a factor in entertainment, comedy, documentary and drama (which often bears leftist subtexts). I think “propaganda” is too strong, personally. “Cultural bias” was the phrase one report came up with, and I think that just about says it all.

          • Shorne

            The people I am talking about do not want balance, they want solid right wing output. By the way have you noticed there is/was a petition started to sack Laura Kuinessberg for being against Labour?

          • Andrew Cole

            That is because left wingers are stuck in this left right mantra and have not realised it is their own that are attacking Corbyn and not the Tories.

            Kuennsberg is just a smug nothing that like our Isabel thinks she is the one making the story rather than reporting it.

        • Brentfordian

          The problem with the licence fee is not that we’re subsidising left or right-wing propaganda, but that we’re forced to pay the BBC in order to watch Sky, say.

          That’s the same game the Kray’s played: pay us or you can’t trade with anyone.

          It was called a protection racket then, and that’s what it is now.

          • Shorne

            The Krays didn’t have a mandate from an elected government.

          • Brentfordian

            I don’t think that an elected government’s sponsorship of the BBC’s protection racket is much of a defense – seems rather a condemnation of those gov’s.

        • polidorisghost

          “right wing, reactionary view”

          More working class left than right wing actually.
          I’m 65 next month, but the real difference between us is that you still think like the boy you no longer are. I keep cats, always have, and it’s true what they say, castrate a kitten and it stays a kitten all its life.

          • Shorne

            Certain elements of the working class (I’m the son of a farm worker and a village shop assistant) can be very reactionary. I think I understand your snide little repark about cats and treat it with the contempt it deserves, must go my grandchildren are asking where our cats are.

          • polidorisghost

            Sorry. Wasn’t intended to come across as snide – more as impish.
            I object to people who categorise other as “reactionary” or “right wing” without any real attempt to understand what their views are or why the hold them. It’s just name-calling.

    • stedman_dantes

      You’re saying then, that the “usual suspects” – presumably you mean the howling buffoons who are always screeching that the Evil Tories are determined to “hand over the BBC to Murdoch” – are being as paranoid and ignorant as ever, and the Government are in fact committed to preserving the BBC’s funding in its current form?

      • Shorne

        Now now you know I’m not, don’t be silly I mean the ones who will be incensed that, for example the TV Licence will continue at the same rate and rise with inflation.

    • lindzen4pm

      You mean those dreadful types who go to prison because they can’t afford the BBC tax to fund Graham Gayman and Gary Crisps’ lifestyles, and be told what to think by news and current affairs socialists?
      Thought so.

      • Shorne

        A word about ‘those dreadful types who go to prison because they can’t afford the BBC tax.’
        I was a Probation Officer for 30 years and have lost count of the number of times I have done Magistrates Court Duty which sometimes involved being on Duty in a Fines Court. For a start you are not sent to prison for not paying a TV Licence, you are sent to prison for not paying a Fine arising from not paying a TV Licence (the latest figures I could find show an average of 54 people per year) the same as you would be for not paying a Fine imposed for any Criminal Offence. I suspect thoroughly approve of this happening for other offences.
        These people would have been given ample chances to pay off their debt. I would often be asked to interview them for a Means Enquiry and report back to the Magistrates. There were some cases of genuine hardship, Mental Illness and things like oppressive (male) partners who would take money from (female) defendants. In such cases the Bench would go out of their way to give them Time to Pay, often setting the rate I proposed sometimes as low as £2 per week. At the same time some would turn out to have ‘form’ for such things as Driving without Insurance, Abstracting Electricity, ‘doing the double’ (claiming Benefit whilst working) etc. and it was not unknown to for such people to produce the proverbial ‘wad of notes that would choke a horse’ and say something like ‘Well I’ve had a good run’ and pay up.

        • lindzen4pm

          It is nauseating in the extreme that we have a system that requires anybody who owns a TV to have to pay a tax in the fricking 21st century, and on penalty of not paying the fine, Mr. Pedant Probation Officer, they go to prison. The fact that lefties are relaxed about this says all we need to know about them (you), the BBC, and the elitist sh*theads who scream and wail about anyone taking away their lucrative propagandising gravy train.

          • Andrew Cole

            Think about it. Get rid of the Beeb and thats freeview gone because Beeb own most of those channels and half of your Sky package wiped out too. No more UKTV. Great stuff. We can get back to listening to music instead of watching it.

          • Shorne

            Oh shut up, it’s no different from paying a tax to drive a car. Moreover the people who sent them to prison were Magistrates who were predominantly right wing Tories. I ‘m not a pedant because I describe how such people enforced laws enacted by democratically elected Governments. Moreover the Licence isn’t being ‘taken away’ it’s being confirmed and increased by a right wing Government.

          • lindzen4pm

            ‘Oh shut up’.
            Very good. But as an argument, it has its shortcomings. Maybe try wailing for a safe space when others disagree. Pathetic victimhood is the fashionable lefty position these days.
            Otherwise, arguing there are other taxes (for cars) so why complain is both nonsensical and totalitarian. There is no need to tax TV ownership. I suppose though, given your Dickensian past, you’d rather extend taxes, if only to justify your position.
            As Prudent Gordon would chime in…..Gotta picka pocket or two…ooo

          • Shorne

            Why Dickensian?

    • SaraRosenthalGB

      If the BBC make a good documentary, drama, or classic comedy, I shall buy it on DVD. Other than that, no thank you.

      It’s amazing out there how many people out there can’t fiscally unplug themselves from that particular matrix.

      • Andrew Cole

        I like BBC4 and BBC2 occasionally has good programmes. And MOTD which makes watching the Prem cheaper on the Beeb than Sky’s £40+ squid a month.

        • SaraRosenthalGB

          Right, but if you take issue with the overall ethos of the BBC and it’s funding, can you live without it, via personal boycott?
          I see many people laying into them online, who clearly can’t.
          Only direct action will stop them, certainly no government.

          • Andrew Cole

            I can live without anything, even the internet. Too hypothetical. CBeebies keeps the kids quiet while I ignore them.

            I would bet the vast majority of those that are constantly moaning about the Beeb and its licence fee and say they never watch it do watch it.

            Sometimes without realising but then the Beeb part owns freeview and most of the Sky package (UKTV which is kaboodles of channels like Gold and Dave.)

            Yes these channels do have advertising BUT they all use Beeb programmes which would not be made if they were gone and thus we would be watching the same repeats in 20 years as we are now. Not a bad thing in many cases but the Beeb is very good at Sport Broadcasting, Music Programmes, Nature and other documentaries and of course making stuff to sell to Ameri…..erm I mean the world 🙂

            A lot of people might moan about having to pay the licence fee but a year after the Beeb disappeared they would regret it. £12 isn’t a lot with all the channels you get for that money these days. Compare that to Sky. I bet a lot of people who have Sky packages use their fair share of Beeb and would probably underestimate just how much they do watch on the main beeb channels.

  • logdon

    Back on form.

    For one moment I thought he’d gone to the dark side.

    No racist intimation originally intended, however when I did spot my blatant darkophobia, I left it.

    • greencoat

      Is darkophobia worse than darkiephobia?

      • logdon

        It’s the newer definition but still the same.

        Darkie, no.

        Darko, that’ll do nicely.

        Which sums up the whole ludicrousness of it all. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

        • Andrew Cole

          My Dad calls black people coloured because he is from that era when people were told that was the acceptable word and black wasn’t.

          My wife (who is black and foreign) didn’t realise he was talking about black people and assumed that “coloured” must mean Chinese or something.

          It is strange how the people who decide what is offensive are never the people that are supposed to be offended. It is always someone else deciding that someone else will be offended by something they had never been offended by until they were told that they should be and therefore now do find offensive.

          • logdon

            Spot on!

            However the less enlightened Muslims wallow in it. They get the cue from the BBC or Liberty and then it’s off.

            Trevor Phillips popularised the term Islamophobia, it took off aided by the usual suspects and now it’s just a joke.

            And guess what? – the instigator, after all that, is now regretting his virtue signalling.

            It’s so bloody vapid and meaningless.

          • Uusikaupunki

            Now look what they’ve been and gone and done……
            “Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted an event last night during
            which speaker Ghassan Hage argued that “Islamophobia” was responsible
            for the acceleration of global warming.”
            I had to check the calendar in case it was the first of April…..

  • Felipe Ordóñez de Rivera

    Excellent stuff. Rod and Charles Moore are always the first things I read when the Spectator “contents” email arrives every Thursday. Liddell is a torchbearer for rationality and common sense in a wilderness of deranged leftist group-hug drivel.

  • Dr Bock

    I find myself increasingly disgusted by the hypocrisy and self-interest of an establishment that lives out its delusions at our expense, of the transparently politically motivated narratives advanced by various media groups which, at best, are in communion with a highly partial view as to what is happening, and by BBC News and, perhaps even worse, the Guardian on Air, Channel 4 News. The concept of system is an attempt to project a structure on to a chaotic and ever changing world, this is true of Liberalism, and so therefore it is no surprise that we find this cultish system very different in practice to what it ostensibly purports to be. I want diversity of opinion in the media, I, and many others, don’t share Liberal delusions, people should be free to speak their minds, so we know what Ken Livingstone and the other ghastly people are actually like, and so that we can avoid going over the cliff wed to concepts which no longer effect their purported desires advanced by vicious ideologues who intolerantly shut out alternatives which upset their precious world view.

    • Bert

      For all their complaints about the Murdoch press it is the BBC which monopolises the airways in virtually every sphere and their groupthink suffocates diversity of opinion.

      • Dr Bock

        True, I forget the precise figure, but overwhelmingly most of us take our news from Auntie, and she also has a habit of failing to attribute exclusives broken by other media organisations.

      • Andrew Cole

        And makes a fallacy of the BBC and all lefties continually talking about the “right wing media” because the reality is the “right wing media” is a minimal section of what we see these days in a country dominated by the Beeb.

        Even the Spectator cannot be described as right wing anymore because apart from a couple of writers the rest are fully behind the “Team Cameron” Left of centre project.

  • James Chilton

    The people that Rod’s going on about, are members of a Magic Circle. Once they’re in it, there’s no way to get rid of them. They have magic spells which can dissipate any event that might embarrass or annoy them – including the discovery of misconduct.

    • Sargon the bone crusher

      IT is called corruption in most places. Not in snootland, though.

      • Andrew Cole

        Exactly. Anti-Semites heading up the committees to tackle anti-Semitism. Tax Evaders heading up the committee to tackle tax evasion. The head of the back scratchers heading up a corruption summit and labelling everyone else as corrupt.

        Have they asked for Martin Sorrells recommendations? Looks like it.

  • Andrew Cole

    Rod, you’ll never get a knighthood if you continue to talk in this way. Common sense and understanding reality is not “in vogue” these days.

    Cameron talking about corruption while everything in this country is faux socialists looking after their own hoards of capitalist money.

    People fighting for the ordinary man while maintaining their circles of friends that scratch each others backs and keep the money rolling around in their circle.

    People like Chakrabati and YAB are wheeled out weekly on the Beeb to give us their take on the current issues so that we may be enlightened and educated to think the right way.

    Even Cameron’s personal propagandists get their fair share of air time. Those being Fraser Nelson, Isabel Hardman and James Forsythe. A huge effort by the left (and Cameron is a left not right) to make sure that we understand why the left view is the right view and to explain why what we think is an unacceptable view to have.

    Even now Toynbee is on the Beeb to tell us how bad the rich people are. Yet another hypocrit. Our system is full of them. We have tax dodgers on the committee to fight tax dodging. We have tax accountants advising on tax law so that their pals can utilise the laws they advise on. We even have anti-Semites on the tackling anti-semitism committees.

    Its all about scratching backs, talking the talk and then ignoring the plebs because they are not worthy.

    • grammarschoolman

      ‘Even now Toynbee is on the Beeb to tell us how bad the rich people are.’

      God, she must really hate herself.

  • Sargon the bone crusher

    the brigade of the arrogant, quasi-aristocratic leftie patronisers that are the remaining biltong attached to the skeleton of the old Imperial message-delivery system is still there; unmovable, it would seem. The blessed Snows, (also the ‘owner’ of channel4 news, a horror of infantile partisan bigotry) the dead-but-with-a-broomstick-up-the-posterior Crumblebys, the son-in-law of Jack Ashley, the layman tendency, the ex-lovers of Brown (dreadful but was true) the whole poisonous nonsense of it all.

    Time for a real change in the law to allow for robust diversity in views, a la USA.

    Balanced reporting is an excuse for editorial judgment as to where the balance pivot-point is, and in the BBC is is well to the left.

  • JJD

    I genuinely think that BBC TV output has got better in the area of impartiality, especially in programmes of a directly political nature (partly thanks to the excellent Andrew Neil), even if I’m not yet giving a clean bill of health. For me, in terms of actual output, it’s at BBC radio that the deepest cultural biases are visible. I have no doubt, however, that the BBC is run by exactly the kind of people described: privileged, soft-left conformists who see divergent opinion as, before all else, a dreadful social faux pas.

    • Andrew Cole

      You must be joking. Watch BBC News for a day. You will get a speech in the morning from each side say Cameron and Boris.

      They will then wheel out lots of “independent” academics to “interpret” the speeches. They are very selective over who they choose to interpret these results and if one they thought was going to emphasise remain starts to be impartial they wheel out a few extra remain interpreters to counter it.

      Take the other day and the IDS speech. They wheeled out their “reality check” woman who then said “lets just look at a few of his statements.”

      She then went on to select statements where he had given numbers and said while they were factual they were insignificant in reality and portrayed them as misleading. She only picked a few statements but then presented them as being misleading and thus portraying the whole speech as misleading and therefore portraying the whole argument as misleading.

      She didn’t pick out a few bits at random and say 3 of these are very accurate but 3 were very midleading.

      The BBC and its reporters at every opportunity are attempting to pick apart the leave campaigns whether they are true or not where on the remain side its just a case of saying “oh well, a bit of scaremongering there you naught boy, chuckle chuckle.”

      The only thinking they have improved on is refraining their former tactic of pushing the racist/bigot mantra at the leave side because they know that is just annoying normal people.

      They are still doing the same thing though. Giving Cameron airtime and using selective editing to show Remains good points and Leaves bad points.

      Even on this £350m figure they are going at that like a dog. “But we get half of that back” is their constant statement. They ignore totally the argument that we lose control over where that money is spent.

      If the EU were to decide to spend half a billion on painting lamposts red the BBC would be including that as money given back to us.

      • JJD

        I remember distinctly that Osborne got absolutely pasted, on the BBC, about his £4,300 figure. That, too, was on BBC “reality check”.

        In general, it is not surprising that the “reality check” people focus on what they think is misleading in a given speech. That’s their job, after all. The name is presumptuous, since the “checkers” are also fallible human beings with a limited perspective. They don’t have (and can’t have) a synoptic view of “reality”. But analysis and critique is part of what the BBC should be doing, no? As long as both sides are being checked, I don’t have an issue.

        I’m now thinking about Newsnight. That, IMO, is still pretty partisan, especially Evan whatsisface. And the editor, Ian whatsisface.

  • stuartMilan

    “Alan Rusbridger modestly contemplates his own unmatched virtue”

  • gerronwithit

    Fantastic to get your own prejudices so eloquently expounded by one so witty as Rod. In this patently distorted, liberal left controlled society, you often feel you are completely the odd one out. Apart from the ‘hard’ sciences, going to university appears to be an exercise in indoctrination where all right wing inclinations need to be erased. Way back in the ’70s we expected the student radicals to be of a left wing bias but now the whole kit and caboodle is a left wing mind distorting, simplistic swamp. Deviate from the Socialist teachings and kiss goodbye to that treasured PPI.

    The infestation, as Rod highlights, goes into every public office. Next time another NHS Trust fails. have a look at the background of the chief executive who comes out to mouth the platitudes. Like Shami, they are all formed from a close cabal that bears no resemblance to clinical excellence or understanding but everything to do with PC Politspeak. The whole self serving publicly funded arena needs a root and branch reshuffle. And if you were wondering where all the EU Remainers are hiding, I would suggest in every publicly funded institution in this country. Can’t have the gravy train threatened, can we?

    • lindzen4pm

      The indoctrination….cough…N.U.T…cough…starts much earlier than university.

    • Tekknocrates

      ” I hate both of them and regularly check what they are up to.”

      He sounded almost like my favourite crackhead, what’s his name again, Delingpoop, didn’t he.

    • M P Jones

      I’m just wondering where independent thinking and needlework come into the picture…

    • Marvin

      Is the gravy train an unstoppable machine that has manifested in the last fifty years? Is the Fat Controller indestructible?

  • Peter Stroud

    Excellent article Rod, especially the final paragraph. Thank you for highlighting the idiotic panic ridden speech made by Peter Kosminsky. And how right you are about the jobs for the boys and St Shami.

    • Andrew Cole

      Shami is just yet another who has made a personal capitalist fortune out of fighting hardships of others………..whether those hardships exist or not.

  • Edward Studor

    It used to be the right-wing that were the ruling class. Privately educated, Oxford and Cambridge types who all knew each other through a network of old boys giving top jobs to each other regardless of merit carried on a bed of hereditary privilege and money. Now we have exactly the same thing but it’s the left who are the ruling class. Small in number with views not shared by the bulk of the public, as per the right when they were in power. Judging by the anti-logic and gobbledygook coming from the left, especially the far-left, it might be preferable to have a right-wing, individualistic, small state ruling class.

    • Andy C

      But all that has changed is the publicly-stated opinions: it is still scions of the richest families, public-school and Oxbridge who occupy these positions of power.

      • Andrew Cole

        Pretend Socialists – the Blair model

      • logdon

        The positions of power are those which allowed 1400 Rotherham girls to be cast on the rubbish heap of Pakistani depredation.

        These aren’t ‘scions of the richest families, public-school and Oxbridge’, they are the leftist virtue signallers who infest the councils, education, police and social services.

  • I was thinking along these same lines yesterday. It occurred to me that even if we manage to win the uphill struggle to free ourselves from the Brussels idiocracy next month, that’s only the first step. The left-liberal one-worlders have infiltrated both large political parties, every branch of government, entertainment and the third sector. The tentacles of Common Purpose are everywhere. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way meaningful change can happen is if the entire British establishment is thrown into the sea and a new one built in its place. And I’ve no idea where we’re even supposed to begin with that.

    • Andrew Cole

      A purge has been long required ever since it became evident of what Blair was scheming.

      Most of the Labour party are in this as well as a near half of the Tories now.

      All leading double lives of being capitalists feathering their nests and looking after their own circles whilst championing the less advantaged.

      At least the old Tories didn’t pretend to be anything other than capitalists. These days they don’t mention the word and talk continually of aspiration.

    • David davis

      Ah. Yes. You have spotted the _real problem_ . You are quite right. Leaving is only the beginning.

    • JSC

      What did the sea ever do to deserve that?!

      • Hmm true. But shooting them into space would be so damned expensive and they’ve more or less bankrupted us as it is!

    • Baron

      No need to abolish it, The Prez, simply deprive it of the licence fee, let it find a place under the sun of the real world where one has to compete with others in the market place of goods and ideas

      If we did that, soon they would change the tune because if they didn’t nobody would watch their news bulletins, debates, and stuff ladened with progressiveness, they would become the broadcast equivalent of the Indy, fold up.

      • Andrew Cole

        Much as people complain about the Beeb they would still be watching it because there is sweet FA on the other channels. It would be the others that folded as all the advertisers switched to the Beeb and then it would be more controlling than it is now.

        • Tom

          The only thing I watch on the beeb is Antiques Roadtrip … and Pointless.

          • JOhn Mackie

            download kodi – run it on an amazon firestick. cut the cord. watch TV from all over the world. Free

        • gabrielle

          I never watch tv because i resented paying a tv licence for a rapidly declining service with government influenced ‘news’. Don’t listen to any BBC radio either. I used to do a lot of both but once i stopped i never missed it once. More people should try it!

      • Trailblazer10

        Not just the BBC, the entire establishment has been infested with the Progressive plague. Western civilization is being destroyed from within.

  • Polly Radical

    Alternatively, we could avoid all this nonsense by simply abolishing the BBC.

  • jeffersonian

    Unfortunately while the West triumphed against the Soviet Union, Western cultural Marxists have made the long march through our institutions, with the predictable result that universities, whose purpose is to challenge students into thinking, now actively do the opposite. ‘Safe-spaces’, ‘trigger-warnings’, ‘non-platforming’ are all forms of shutting down debate and closing minds.

    Until and unless the Left’s strangle-hold on education is challenged things will only get more Orwellian.

    • fenlandfox

      Thats what the cons were trying to do by expanding the academy scheme,the rots set in too far though to have much effect though.

    • ohforheavensake

      Ah. Cultural Marxism. One of those things that doesn’t exist.

      • WFB56

        Apparently you’ve never been to a university.

      • grammarschoolman

        Like benevolent left-wingers.

      • logdon

        Like your ability to absorb facts?

      • Tom

        You are Jean-Paul Sartre and I claim my five gauloises.

      • jeffersonian

        Tell me, how would you go about proving a negative?

      • Trailblazer10

        Would you prefer to call it the Progressive plague.

      • Neil Saunders

        Except it does.

  • David davis

    The thing really, for everyone to do, including single mothers in “social housing” – who are those who mostly get fined and criminalized – is to (a) remove the telly from the front room or anywhere where the wall-eyed goons of “TV Licensing” can see it being on, and, (b) not let the fellas in. They have no warrant to enter any property.

    Also, the “detector vans” are empty. They just have scary metal things on the roofs, intended to look cool and to frighten people who haven’t been taught any science. They aren’t connected to any sort of gear inside. They just randomly “do” addresses where there’s not many records of Nazipayments to the BBC.

    You could…at a push…argue that the BBC’s “license fee”, and the non-payment-penalties, increases the risk of prostitution among “fallen women”. That should get them going.

    • SaraRosenthalGB

      Many people on the right, and to be a fair, some on the left, do have serious cause for concerns with how the BBC runs and operates. The problem is, clearly many people are still paying them almost £150 a year.

      If all the critics put their money where their mouth is, or rather, didn’t, you’d soon see this corporation melt away, or at least start competing on a level playing field, and possibly offering more ‘radical’ views.

      • TrippingDwarves

        The BBC is a good idea, and long may it remain so. The trouble is, as with all good ideas, it has been hijacked by those who wish to tear the good idea apart, stamp it down and recreate it in their own image. And for some reason, we, who should know better, have capitulated to their infantile demands.

  • fenlandfox

    The left love these charity/quango gig’s,it means they can get filthy rich while not sullying themselves with the whole capitalism thing.

    • 100

      and they are on the whole accountable only to those who set them up, ie: themselves.

  • David davis

    At some time, someone might ask Rod what he thinks about this notion; “should there be a State-Broadcaster?”

    • Andrew Cole

      I don’t think that Rod advocates there being a state broadcaster. He is just saying that the BBC should not present itself as unbiased and neutral when it quite obviously is influenced from within to be a left leaning liberal organisation.

      If there were a balanced workforce of lefties and righties and middlies and toppies and bottomies then it would be a much more neutral and unbiased organisation.

      At the end of the day if some jazz fans open up a club it is likely to be a jazz club.

      • TrippingDwarves

        Jazz is a cultural appropriation. I’d be grateful if you didn’t mention it again as I find the mere thought of atonal improvisation offensive.

        • Andrew Cole

          I was implying that if you only employ left leaning people then that organisation will obviously have a left leaning bias no matter how neutral they think they are being.

          If a publication (i.e. The Fail) were to only employ right leaning people then it would obviously have a right leaning bias instead of the perfectly rational and objective narratives it currently holds 😉

          To be fair to the Speccie while it is weighted heavily in favour of Team Cameron’s Blairite leftiness there are a few righties to balance it out like Mr Murray, Toby and Rod.

    • lindzen4pm

      There is a Statist broadcaster, and that is the problem.

  • ohforheavensake

    Wow. Er… ok.

    You’ve been drinking for quite some time, Rod. Haven’t you?

    • Edward Studor

      If you can manage to get a paragraph or two together perhaps you can tell us what you find inaccurate in the article.

      • Widggget

        O4hs doesn’t think in paragraphs. Probably cliches.

    • Hugh


      Are you on skunk?

    • anotherjoeblogs

      Are you a virgin ? There’s a market in Raqqa.

  • The_Common_Potato

    Is there a lefty quango bingo card?

    Let’s start the card with Rusbridger, Alibhai-Brown and Chakrabarti. A full house wins a prize… probably.

  • Martin Scoff

    Even the w*nkers in the far-left Environment Agency managed to facilitate the terrible flooding over the past few years because of their terrible Eco-yah policies about dredging rivers.

    The only institution that isn’t left-wing in this country is the Army; and that’s it (the Navy doesn’t count – and the RAF has only three planes, and four bombs total)). Even then, I’m sure the left will ultimately insist soldiers wear dresses for all but the most demanding combat situations.

    I give up…

    • Trailblazer10

      “I’m sure the left will ultimately insist soldiers wear dresses for all but the most demanding combat situations”

      It will be pink tutus for combat.

  • JPVan

    They really should be wearing jackboots as they strike their yoga poses.

  • right1_left1

    Why didnt Rod L tell the Alibhai he hated her when she said she loathed him.?
    He should have you know.
    Equality and all that.

    Julie Bindel got it right when she said this terror of divergent views
    came from the fact that the students were, as she put it, middle-class
    tossers who had never been gainsaid in their lives, never challenged in
    their views
    I am pretty sure this accounts for such things as ADHD and Bi Polar wotsit ,
    I assume they are not the same !
    Lack of numerical skills is normal for sensitive clever types while dyslexia for clever people is a medical condition.
    Black dyslexics who cant add up are especially privileged !

    • And transgenders?

      • right1_left1

        re transgender
        My opinion is that this is a genuine condition
        It seems to me that there exists a sliding spectrum of sexuality ranging from extreme ‘femaleness’ to extreme ‘maleness’
        By extreme I am speaking of the position of the condition in the spectrum ie at one end or the other.

        In the middle exist those anatomically female who are masculine in temperament
        Ditto but vice versa with men
        These types should not be confused with transvestites.

      • evad666

        Are we in danger of loosing our heads in the debate on trasngender bathrooms?

    • Maureen Fisher

      They resemble Victorian maiden aunts clutching at their pearls and fainting at the sight of a bare table leg rather than the bright young people full of curiosity about the world that they’re supposed to be. It’s the triumph of Mary Whitehouse ism.

  • WFB56

    All the more reasons to vote for Brexit, it will send all of these intellectual dwarfs into paroxysms of rage. How good would that be?

  • The_Common_Potato

    Off topic, I know, but I was phoned by Sophie from the Telegraph today. She wanted to know what I thought of their new-look web site. We discussed the lack of comments on the site and our mutual disappointment that they are no longer extant. Many other readers of the site apparently feel the same.

    She said that the Telegraph currently has no plans to bring back readers’ comments. #sadface 🙁

    • Cyril Sneer

      Well then I hope the traffic to their site is greatly reduced.

      I make a point now of not clicking on links to telegraph stories because of their decision to no longer support commenting.

      More often than not I will go straight to the comments and skip the articles (or just skim them) as the articles are usually guff. I find the comment sections far more enlightening and truthful.

      It hope the Telegraph fails, and the Guardian too.

      • The_Common_Potato

        I would add that most of those she has spoken to rue the lack of comments and that she is passing on readers’ disappointments.

        • JewishKuffar

          I used to enjoy reading the comments, very often more interesting than the piece of propaganda ‘above the line.’ Shame to see them gone, I don’t visit now. At least we have the Speccie (and Breitbart in my case!).

      • DollarPound

        It has indeed been greatly reduced. Alexa Analytics shows a substantial fall in visitors to the Telegraph site recently;

    • Terry Mushroom

      Does Sophie know why comments are not allowed?

      It’s a curious decision not to engage with readers. Their decision seems like a suicide wish.

      • Widggget

        Probably something to do with shutting down all the anti-EU comment ahead of the referendum. It didn’t chime with the new owners’ editorial line plus they were trying to placate Tory HQ?
        Anyway, yes, a suicide wish.

        • Marketthinker

          Agree…it will be interesting to see if they re-appear in July.

          • 100

            Probably true at which time it will also be renamed
            Der Spiegel das Großbritannien

      • The_Common_Potato

        She didn’t say and I didn’t ask. She phoned about Telegraph subscriptions – I think I had one many years ago; I commented through Disqus. I said I certainly wouldn’t bother paying to read the site if comments were absent.

        I’d guess that if they do bring back comments, it won’t be via Disqus.

    • DollarPound

      They took the comments off because the commentators on the feminist stories were starting to offer increasingly coherent, insightful and unified opposition to the absolute tripe the feminists were writing.

      It terrified the feminists and they went running to their editors for protection.

      Don’t expect those comment sections to return to the Telegraph in a hurry.

    • 100

      Did you also discuss with her why the content and style and level of intellect has been enhanced to that of the Daily Star?

      • The_Common_Potato

        :-0 🙂 No.

  • Edward Studor

    The only reason the BBC sometimes reluctantly allows an alternative view is because of criticism and pressure from the public and the centre-right. Otherwise it would be little different from how television was during the years of communist rule in Russia and Eastern Europe.

  • Cyril Sneer

    The BBC needs to be shut down. And we can all contribute towards that goal by not paying the licence fee. I haven’t paid mine for years.

  • whyayeman

    “The BBC needs rescued from its own groupthink”

    Those who inhabit the BBC need flushing. Only then can the task of forming an unbiased, representative public broadcaster begin.

  • Richard Lally

    Try telling the people on zero hours contracts and the minimum wage that the establishment is left wing!

    • Sean L

      They know that better than anyone on account of the incursion of cheap foreign labour pricing them out of the labour and housing markets. As for the council housing waiting lists…

    • Jess

      I would but I can’t speak Romanian.

    • Neil Saunders

      The establishment (of which the BBC is the key local mouthpiece) is neoliberal: a toxic blend of corporate crony capitalism and political correctness; hard right on economic issues, loony-left on social ones.

  • Baron

    There’s only one thing wrong with this excellent instalment of your take on the boils of today, Rod, nobody in power’s listening to you.

  • Baron

    There’s only one thing wrong with this excellent instalment of your take on the boils of our society, Rod, nobody in power is listening to you.

    • They listen to no one but the focus group gurus and spin doctors they have hired to insulate then from we, the plebs. You’d as well talk to an elephant’s a r se as try to communicate with any politician, especially by email. I remember back about 1980 writing a letter to Keith Joseph. About a fortnight later I received a typed and signed letter defeating my argument. It was absolutely written in the style of English that he used in any interview you ever heard him give, so I know he really read my letter and responded. Those were the days… Not any more.

  • Neil Saunders

    Correction, Rod: WE need to be rescued from the BBC’s groupthink.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Your personalities… need to be “rescued” from competing with British assets, check.

      • Neil Saunders

        What are you drivelling on about this time, Leon? I doubt whether even you know.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          I’m not writing your drivel. As you scream that other views can’t exist, check.

  • MummyofPrudence
  • CockneyblokefromReading

    As someone who doesn’t have a licence, and don’t watch TV, but do watch catch-up on iPlayer on occasions, can someone tell me when this new law will become applicable? Are we talking weeks, or months?

    • 100

      Do you want the answer in calendar months or Chilcot months?

  • mmac1968

    Oh my God Mr Liddle, you do realise that bus loads of black clad, sinister, violent, threatening, “your a racist” chanting, anti-democratic, badger stroking, safe space, asylum loving, terrorist apologist ANTI FACISTS will probably turn up at your work place! Quick question do the universities provide the black clad uniforms and buses, is Rushbridge their commander in-chief?

    • Andrew Cole

      I bet most of those UAF fellows have not been to university. They are just minions that believe what they hear and get whipped up to cause havoc. Similar to Corbyn’s fans.

  • Wonderful article, please keep up the good work!
    (Did you brief HM for her recent truths about the Chinks, lol?)

  • tracery

    Wonderful stuff, Rod and 100% accurate. I wish there were more journalists like you around prepared to challenge the dominance of the left-wing liberals in our society and particularly within the BBC news which has become a national disgrace. These people are being allowed to destroy our society and our country. Like you I have come to detest them and their infantile views.

  • Fraziel

    Fantastic. Had me laughing out loud. Couldnt agree more .

  • rtj1211

    I’d have said you were remarkably middle class, Mr Liddle. Whether you are a to$$er or not, only those who actually know you could comment. At least the ability to challenge your views here at the Spectator mean that, if you read what others write about what you have written, you will certainly have had your views challenged on plenty of occasions.

    I have to say that the inability to take criticism sits just as strongly on the right as it does on the left. It’s mostly found amongst those who have prematurely chosen their philosophy for life at a time when they still had a need for certainty and absolutism. If you go read books about childhood development from 0 to 18, you’ll find good analyses of cohorts who develop in different ways depending on how they reach their philosophy for life: one group never make a decision, another lot decide prematurely without fully examining the evidence, a third group examine the evidence on both sides before deciding which to choose (and they are remarkably tolerant of those who chose differently) and a fourth group end up stuck as they become paralysed by the process of analysis.

    I have to say that if there were one treatise I’d want all university students to read before graduating, it would be a top quality analysis of the process of childhood development up to the mind of an adult.

    But then that would be totalitarian conformity too, wouldn’t it??

    • polidorisghost

      “I have to say that the inability to take criticism sits just as strongly on the right as it does on the left”
      Actually, it doesn’t.
      PS: Love the cod psychology.

    • global city

      But, the difference is that, on the right, thin skinned reactions are the result of ego, whereas the stuff coming from the Left is based on dogma and closing down the opposition.

    • CRSM

      You really do write b0ll0cks at times!

  • rtj1211

    How can the Spectator censor prevent a commenter from using a word which Mr Liddle is allowed to use in his article?!

  • DollarPound

    Surely you mean “The BBC needs to be rescued from its own groupthink”, Rod?

    You redeemed yourself with “bodice-ripping sludgefest” though – marvellous!

  • John Andrews

    I suppose the panel which gave Wolf Hall its award were also luvvie. I couldn’t watch it without Jack Daniels.

  • Watt

    “For in much wisdom is much grief,

    And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”

  • Trailblazer10

    “I know this because I hate both of them and regularly check what they are up to”

    You are not alone.

  • evad666

    Just a question with reports of EU migration figures being underestimated and not having seen many EU nationals at Calais how much are Non EU migration Figures underestimated?

  • alfredo

    You omit to mention the most hilarious / scandalous thing of all about Rusbridger: that he is now head of an Oxford college. It isn’t immediately clear how he is outstandingly qualified to advance the purposes for which Oxford colleges were founded, any more than, say, the late Tommy Cooper. May we look forward to a chair in Aristotelian Epistemology being found for Russell Brand (or indeed for his great-aunt Jo)?

    • James R

      Doctor : What seems to be the problem ?
      Tommy C : It hurts when I do..THIS.
      Doctor : Then don’t do it. Next !

      • alfredo

        Tommy: I’ve broken my arm in several places.
        Doctor: Well, don’t go to those places.

  • Jonathan Prinder

    Lord Hall Hall in the Telegraph this morning pleading for the BBC to retain it’s independence. So it can keep on being the BBC. That is to say, unaccountable and biased.
    And overbearing luvvies screaming to protect the BBC being ravaged by an uncaring government. It’s a shame that such well honed emoting doesn’t translate so well onto the small screen. Drama could be so much better.
    I can’t help thinking That Hall et al are crying wolf. Bigging up their potential losses to stifle debate, heap criticism on the reformers and thus limit the imapct of any changes.
    Definitely more a case of crying wolf – Hall.

    • 100

      Haw Haw

      • Jonathan Prinder

        Subtle puns can be confusing.

  • Chris Bartelt

    The Idiocracy is here and now.

  • Hippograd

    Alan Rusbridger and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown…

    They are decent, compassionate and deeply caring people who know that Britain’s future depends on embracing diversity and stamping out (by any means necessary) the hegemony of the white racist so-called British past of which all decent, compassionate and deeply caring people are deeply deeply deeply ashamed. With intellectual giants like Alan and moral paragons like Yasmin in charge, we can be sure that Progressive Paradise is just around the corner. Ask the kaffir community of Rotherham if you don’t believe me!

    • SunnyD

      sounds like the Apple product being developed to help us satirise life in order to get the truth of the situation out past the censors – I think they’ve called it iRony

  • D J

    To be eviscerated you first need guts, so the BBC is in no danger of evisceration.

    • I used to be an absolute devotee of Radio 4, but I can barely listen anymore. It is full of stuff about transgender issues,and plays about hom o se xuals complete with their se x noises. When it isn’t that, it seems to have the most dreadful so called ‘comedy’ shows which are either utterly puerile, focus on the preoccupations of metro se x uals in Edinburgh, or are n some other way entirely uncongenial. I’d exclude ‘Just a Minute’ from that. How they ever get away with the left wing rant which is ‘Week Ending’ which even has a guest slot for lefty nonentities to come on and give a ranting diatribe against any form of decency and Britishness, I do not know

      • 100

        It was always inevitable when they phased out the Transister

        • Funnily enough I was explaining to a younger lady friend of mine about Round the Horne and she had never heard of it. Fortunately You Tube had a few episodes and she was quite amused by the way things were in BBC Comedy back then.

      • anonuk

        Week Ending hasn’t been on for years,nor has Stop the Week. Are you sure it wasn’t Start the Week or Midweek?

        Under Humph, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue was almost always funnier than Just A Minute-but these days, I’m not so sure.

        • I think I meant the Now Show – hard left lunatics constantly mocking decent British values. Steve punt, or should that word begin with a ‘c’ and Hugh Dennis and their far left guests having a pop at anything decent or in any way ‘British’. Sorry for the confusion.

          • anonuk

            The Now Show made a bad mistake in bringing in a standup section. After 10-15 minutes of the regular crew and their jokes, whether good or bad, then you have some unknown doing observational standup. Well, that was the idea. What actually happens is that some feminist professor from Dudley Metropolitan gives an extended lecture on why Feminists Are Great and Their Critics Are Crazy Misogynists. If there was any sense of fun in the show, it dissipates the second that starts. Or maybe it’s not a feminist,but someone hectoring us “comedically” about something else. Just think Alexei Sayle, but without any knowledge or experience of comedy whatever.

          • Maureen Fisher

            The hectoring is usually done by Marcus Brigstoke who is as funny as a diagnosis of cancer.

      • Fraser Bailey

        Yes, the so-so-smug Radio 4 is the most unlistenable rubbish for the most part and has been for years.

        Actually, 5Live is probably better. I have to say that they are being scrupulously fair on the EU referendum, and they do allow ‘normal’ people to have a voice via phone-ins etc. Needles to say, many of the ‘normal’ people speak far more sense than the politicians and experts. But what is often striking is the extent to which the ‘normal’ person often feels afraid or almost ashamed to state that which is right and obvious, as though it isn’t allowed to point out the politicians and experts are wrong and have no idea of the real world.

        • Yesterday on the vile ‘Women’s Hour’, Harriet Harman actually stated as a fact that if we left the EU, women would lose all protection at work. If ever there was a bigger liar than her, I have yet to hear of their existence. What a monster. The real problem is that they know that if they keep on repeating outright lies, some people will believe them, hence I suppose that other liar Cameron starting off last week by stating as a fact that if we left the EU there would be war in Europe. What a croc of you know what.

  • English Patriot

    Why does Owen Jones have an honorary degree? Probably because he’s too thick to earn a real one.

    • I don’t think he’s thick, just very very young and immature. I’m sure he will grow up and write like a grown up one day once he starts shaving.

      • 100

        Has he been picked up and cuddled by Michelle Mone.

        • I’d consider myself even more fortunate than I do now if Michelle Mone were to cuddle me. I had to look her up to be honest, though knew she had made millions out of swaddling women’s t i ts, but she looks rather better than I had thought. Lucky Owen is all I can say, if indeed it is true that she cuddled him.

      • Duke Amir Often

        Ha! Looks younger than his years. What a c**t.

    • 100

      Rod did say he hides it up his sleeve where he keeps his copy of The Hostpur, a catapult and some pre-sucked gob stoppers.

  • When I wrote at the Guardian that Owen Jones seemed to be about fifteen, the post was deleted and shortly afterwards, all my posts were pre-screened as a prelude to my IP address being banned for questioning an article in which Gwyneth Paltrow argued that women should ‘steam clean their v a g in as. Sorry to have spaced out that word, but if I don’t, some sort of robot designed by someone in Idaho or some other mid west American state deletes my posts into a special queue for moderation which is never looked at again. One way or another, whether it be by raving lefties at the Guardian or narrow minded robots here at the Spectator, there’s an awful lot of censoring around – of course there is also at the BBC, which is partly what Mr Liddle was saying

    • 100

      I think they are removed by Owen Jones, its his after school job since he lost the paper round to a 5 year old Syrian migrant with a beard.

      Owen is 14

      • “Owen is 14”

        Then he should be severely caned and made to write lines. Something along the lines of:

        “I must not be an a r se” would be fine.

        • Neil Saunders

          Don’t encourage him; he’d probably enjoy the caning.

    • Duke Amir Often

      Why don’t you tell us your views about Gwyneth Paltrow’s flue steaming, here? Sneak them under the wire. We don’t have to bow down to that kind of censorship!

      You are right about that journalist – he does look younger than he is. I’m glad we have the freedom to hear those views on the Spectator website.

      • I was banned and my IP address blocked for saying that it was very puzzling that some women seem incapable of distinguishing pseudo scientific nonsense such as the ‘flue steaming’, or the plethora of ‘boswollocks’ nonsense propagated by face cream pedlars. I mentioned the transparently fraudulent advertising which pervades the cosmetics industry and the pathetic female and male ‘scientists’ used in cosmetic adverts on ITV – the nineteen year old beauties featuring as scientists on the adverts wearing heavy dark rimmed glasses to add scientific weight to their patently vacuous personalities and the fact that millions of women are taken in by this ‘look younger’ snake oil and nonsense. That was it. Banned and IP address blocked. Did I tell a lie? Was I guilty of ‘sexism’? Hate speech? As far as I am concerned I suggested only that Owen Jones is a left wing child and that women seem incredibly easy to part from their money and their critical faculties if you tell them that XYZ snake oil will make them perpetually young and desirable. …….

        PS – if this seems rather deranged and badly put together it is because I have just consumed nine units of alcohol – a rare and aberrant indulgence, but there we are.

        • 1234567890

          You hit a nerve. A very raw nerve. Edward Bernays, Freud’s nephew & the father of modern PR, knew how important words, and the control of them were critical to manipulating society. The powers that be have a message and don’t want the unvarnished truth spoken. Take a moment and read about Bernays in wiki. It’s interesting, to say the least.

          • Neil Saunders

            You can also watch Adam Curtis’s “Century of the Self” documentary, in which Bernays is a central figure, or read Bernays’ own manifesto, “Propaganda”:



          • 1234567890

            Thanks for that, most especially the youtube link.

          • Vieuxceps2

            yes, words have immense power. That is why PC speech is so dangerous . We must all resist it.

          • 1234567890

            Agree 100%

        • 1234567890

          I’ll just add, inre women; Bernays told them cigarettes were “torches of freedom” and would liberate them, ca 1920’s. He admitted, later in life, (he lived to 95 and passed away in 1995 in Cambridge, USA) that he regretted manipulating them to smoke, since it caused illnesses, cancer/deaths. He’s responsible, to a certain degree, for countless millions of deaths, on a global scale, indirectly.

        • Miss Floribunda Rose

          It seems to me that they were very wise to no-platform you so as to avoid the danger of you triggering their readership with your blatant micro-aggressions!

        • Maureen Fisher

          I was also put on pre-mod for a humorous comment in response to a ridiculous film called “everyday s#xism” ( have asterixed in case of deletion by the bot in Idaho) where a woman purports to behave like nasty men, whistling and leering at passing males. I commented that when she gets into her fifties she’ll be complaining about being completely invisible to men. This was considered completely beyond the pale by Guardian Towers.

          • It is lamentable censorship Maureen. I’m sure you still get whistled at though…. :))

            It is all part of the ‘no platform’, do not disturb my prejudices nonsense.

          • Maureen Fisher

            Why thank you kind sir!

    • davidshort10

      The Guardian is famous for censoring any comment that disagrees with its point of view. You are ‘pre-moderated’, or in other words, gagged.

      • Amazingly, they call their comment platform ‘Comment is Free’, but I suppose they mean that in the same way as Kim Jong Ill means it, or perhaps Stalin or Mao.

        • Fraser Bailey

          To vaguely paraphrase the old Prava/Izvestia inversion:

          No Comment is Free and you are not Free to Comment.

          I am proud to have been banned from CiF, probably following rather too many comments about the sheer insanity and uselessness of Polly Pot.

          • Would that be three homes Poly, or some other fraud and villain?

          • Vieuxceps2

            I wish it to be known that I too have been banned by the Guardian.

      • Miss Floribunda Rose

        The Guardian has descended into such total madness that even its own readership has now turned against it. (I made the very same comment in the Guardian itself last year, and was subsequently put on ‘pre-mod’ before being banned altogether shortly thereafter. The trauma of this experience will live with me always).

        • davidshort10

          I thought it would come to its senses after the sale of Auto Trader but I didn’t realise it would get zillions to spend on keeping a newspaper going that has had a plummeting circulation for countless years and simply smugly writes for a small number of people in north London. With all the money they can go on like this for a long time but I wish at least they’d stop taking on mummy and daddy interns. Check out who is a senior editor who is the daughter of a former editor, the one who spends a fortune (well, got paid one) on Just For Men.

          • chalkhillblue

            I always thought it amusing that the Guardian was financially reliant on Auto Trader, a magazine (now website) read by the sort of people that it disapproves of the most.

            Incidentally I too have been banned by the Guardian for challenging its prejudices (the feminist ones). I’m quite grateful though, as I now rarely bother looking at that daily tale of woe and whining.

        • Mary Ann

          Try putting a link to the Europa web site on the Express, moderated straight away, talk about censorship.

    • Miss Floribunda Rose

      I always use ‘vergina’. Those verginas at the Guardian banned me too for saying that I wanted to be tossed off (from a high place) by a bearded jidaddy and have an Islamic ding dong shoved up me wotsit. I was also banned by Pink News for expressing my desire to have carnal knowledge of Marine Le Pen, despite–or perhaps because of–her rather unfortunate resemblance to Arthur Mullard in drag. The left suffers from an almost total absence of any discernible sense of humour.

      • Frank

        Well Guido deleted a comment I had made making a joke about an un-named American corporation with warehouses employing serfs!

      • You have interesting desires Floribunda. I am assuming you are a lady. In fact though, using the term ‘lady’ at the Grauniad would be grounds enough to have a person banned. It is probably a symbol of patriarchy, or something of the sort.

  • 100

    Downing street memo to Culture Department

    ~~~~~Dictat for liaison with the BBC~~~~~~

    until June 24th – Smile, affix brown nose, kid gloves and promises of jam tomorrow
    post June 24th- Revert to type: Scowl, gloves off , sharpen hatchet , commission KPMG valuation (and dinner with Rupert)

    • Frank

      This lot couldn’t scare a sick parrot, so why assume that they are up to facing down the luvvies?

      • 100

        my point was the blatant duplicity of the Government not their efficacy or their resolve.

        • Frank

          I agree with you in concept, but this government provides an astonishing lesson in incompetence through its inability to plan anything, let alone making the BBC less of a heaven for luvvies!

  • Marty Jahazic

    Actually, Rusbridger should be congratulated. It seems that by giving the Guardian away for absolutely nothing – when many were very happy to pay for it – he has now hobbled the newspaper to such an extent that its future is in jeopardy.

    Perhaps those giving out honorary visiting professorships will think twice before considering Mr Rusbridger in the future?

  • Duke Amir Often

    Oooh, he hates that political correctness. That political correctness and them Muslims. That political correctness, them Muslims and those students.

    And that ‘left liberal monoculture’ within the arena of universities. I bet that monoculture’s ears are burning right now. Phew!

    • Neil Saunders

      I take it, then, that you yourself approve of all these things, my Lord Duke.

    • Bertie

      Nothing wrong with hating any of those imo.

  • Fenman

    Spot on Rod, except uncharacteristic ally you showed too much faith in Whitting dale and the Cameron govt. whom , as ever , we’re all mouth and trousers. A few narcissistic luvvies at the Baftas hilariously hysterical because their obscene salaries might be made public(which we pay) and call me Dave has his fat controller cave in.
    All they had to do was make BBC TV pay as you go, and abolish the appalling unfair competition from BBC local radio and the whole thing wd have been solved.

  • NickG

    The BBC has an egregious lack of diversity and the consequences for the nation, are dire.

    Not a lack of diversity in terms of of wymin, pooftahs and people of hue – of course – but of opinion.

    It is driven by bien pensant metropolitan sensibilities, reflecting the mores of the guardian recruited liberal arts graduates with which it is replete. Auntie simply does not reflect the broad opinion in the land. It attempts to socially engineer opinion to fit in with its lefty shibboleths. Hence, the incessant EU advocacy, the stifling – for decades – of critiques of mass immigration, of the replacement of Britons in their own land, of decades of debilitatingly inefficient, public ownership. It operates with a clear agenda, as a ship sailing on a broadly – and bile inducingly vapid – Nick Cleggesque course, but, with a distinct left list, because there are so many on that side of the BBC vessel.

    Watching and listening to the Beeb is as being engulfed in a predictable, sickly, slow tsunami of cloying pink semolina.

    The BBC puts a finger on the dial of public opinion – pushing it left. It militates against the clear feedback-loop necessary for the proper functioning of democracy, for arriving at public policy positions that are in the nation’s interest.

    Worse – we know that imperative for change in individuals and institutions goes through 5 stages. These are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The Beeb doesn’t even get onto the first stage – it’s great and good don’t think there is even an issue and there is little sign of any change any time soon.

  • Joey Edgecombe

    He looks like he sired Louis Theroux..

  • Norton Folgate

    All true to a point, but just look at the catastrophic consequences of government meddling with the state-funded national broadcaster of Dalston. Horrifying.

  • Mike Thomas

    Well said Rod.
    Problem is, who is there to call them out? Owen Jones, Seamus, Jasmin all fawning over the socialist utopia of Venezula several years ago. Now it’s an economic basket case, they are perilously close to the levers of power looking to do the same here!
    What restored my faith in humankind was the last general election and how wonderfully off-script the voters were with the pre-laid ground of the so-called “intelligentsia” I watched as the BBC actually had to report the news rather than manipulate it. You could actually see the panic in their eyes…..