I was starting to worry the BBC wasn’t actually committed to impartiality, but suspending Gary Lineker for criticising the government has put that idea to bed. I can’t wait to hear how former Conservative candidate and current BBC Director General Tim Davie plans to stomp out any further issues of overt partisanship.
Davie, champion of neutrality and protector of democracy is, once again, on manoeuvres against public protest and political controversy among BBC staff. “If you want to be an opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media then that is a valid choice, but you should not be working at the BBC,” Davie told staff in 2020, ignoring Laura Kuenssberg as she argued on behalf of a source she promised wasn’t Dominic Cummings.
There’s an ongoing battle against partisanship at the BBC, and Davie picks his targets well: partisanship, for example, like the haranguing of Mick Lynch by Lord Alan Sugar throughout the 2022 RMT strikes. Many argued that it breached the BBC’s core value of impartiality and Davie boldly took action against Sugar this year, bravely allowing him to continue presenting The Apprentice.
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In this era of declining public trust and Conservative Party paymasters, it’s clear that Davie knows who REALLY needs reigning in: that pundit bloke from Match Of The Day who dares to think we should treat refugees with respect. Not Question Time presenter and Refuge ambassador Fiona Bruce, whose public defence of Boris Johnson’s dad included dismissing domestic abuse as “a one-off”. For the record, Stanely Johnson left his wife in hospital with a broken nose – but, as everyone knows, domestic violence only counts if it happens twice.
Lineker’s forced departure should be good news to anyone who’s been worried about misinformation and the decline of fair democracy in UK media. It’s all part of Davie’s intensely democratic ploy to redefine what neutrality or corruption actually mean. Neutrality, for example, now generously includes whatever viewpoint supports the interests of the current Conservative government and appointing a chairman in Richard Sharp, as long as he can manage his workload alongside acting as Boris Johnson’s £800,000 sugar daddy.