Tuesday, 25 November 2008
The Penny, Dropped
In company with the greater part of the UK political blogsphere, I have been critical of the BBC's biased reporting in the past many weeks: never entirely beyond reproach, it struck me as having moved into new, partisan territory since the return of Mandelson, and (since it's all out there on the www to be seen) it wouldn't be too difficult to document it forensically, if anyone could be arsed.
On Friday of last week, however, a change was detectable: the usual suspects were mostly signalling a skeptical suspension of judgement on the heavily-leaked PBR. The change seemed to come in a single day.
Yesterday's and this morning's coverage reinforces my view. 'Gamble' is the predominant epithet and both Robinson and Peston (though Guido finds fault with the latter) were not slow to voice their doubts. Newsnight lined up bucket after bucket of cold water. Only the Independent has a less-than-cautionary headline today, and even they offer plenty of critical commentary. Toynbee's plaintive delight at a socialist budget is drowned out by the responsible, worried murmurs of the grown-ups at the Grauniad.
What's happened ? Has someone taken Auntie and her friends to one side and pointed out the error of their ways ? Has Mandelson overstepped the mark in one of his endless, 'forceful' private briefings ? Or has the enormity of Brown's recklessness, the sheer impausibility of Darling's assumptions on recovery, finally dawned on these essentially intelligent commentators ? (and with it the ever greater likelihood of an end to this mendacious NuLab regime - even the Beeb must have one eye on that).
Who cares ? The salient points are out there. Brown has marched us up to our very nostrils into the mire. Darling has fixed the forecasts - so patently it insults the shell-shocked intelligence - so as to downplay the scale of the disaster: and even then, it's self-evidently monumental (Robinson understands what a trillion is, even if some of his viewers do not).
The penny - nay, the trillions of pennies - have dropped. What can possibly happen between now and whenever, to cast this in a more favourable light ? Nothing that I can imagine.
The flares hover above the field. Let battle commence, on properly-illuminated ground.
Posted by Nick Drew