Defend the BBC…and the victims of abuse

November 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm (BBC, child abuse, children, Guardian, Jim D, media, Murdoch)

The present crisis at the BBC is probably more serious than any in its history. Even the “honourable” departure of “Incurious George” Enwistle has turned into a fiasco, what with the indefensible £450,000 payoff after 53 days in the job. More heads seem certain to roll, including the scratch team at Newsnight responsible for elementary journalistic errors that would have embarrassed a student newspaper, and (if the gloating Murdoch press has its way) the Corporation’s chairman Chris Patton.

In this febrile atmosphere, two essential points need to be constantly bourne in mind:

1/ It was John Humphrys’ merciless interrogation of Entwistle on the Today programme that played a big part in bringing matters to a head and effectively forced the wretched man’s resignation. What other media organisation would allow one of its jounalists to publicly humiliate the boss in that way? Can you imagine such a thing happening in, say, News Corp?

2/ The crucial matter remains child abuse, and the large number of victims who dare not come forward, or who are not believed when they do. The loathsome David Mellor’s description of Steve Messham (an unreliable witness, for sure, but most certainly a genuine victim) as a “weirdo” shows the degree of prejudice and ruling-class closing of ranks, that victims are often up against. It’s come to something when it takes another Tory, the former children’s minister Tim Loughton, to point out (in today’s Guardian) what should be obvious: “We’re forgetting that this whole issue is not about management of the BBC, it’s not about the Leveson inquiry, and it’s not about celebrities and politicians. It’s about the fact that a lot of children have been abused over many years and many of them have never had their stories believed or investigated.”

Hear, bloody hear.


  1. The Judge said,

    Leaving aside the utter stupidity of anyone making a character judgement based on something in the Heil, does anyone else agree that, a) Mellor calling anyone a ‘weirdo’ is a text-book example of ‘pot and kettle’, and b) that the plug-ugly gobshite has-been should be required to resign forthwith from whatever sub-species of humanity he nowadays inhabits?

  2. Mike Killingworth said,

    I agree with every word written on this post so far – indeed I beat The Judge to it over on “Vote UK” (and if you’re going to have “Harry’s Place” on the sidebar VUK should be there too – but, hey, it’s your sidebar).

    Still I’d like to be pointed in the direction of the socialist text that says that socialism will abolish dysfunctional families and hurt people hurting people more generally.

  3. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    No the story is all about outsourcing and managerialism – the BBC are firing their reporters and producers to save money that can be spent on bigger managerial bonuses – and then rehiring them as freelancers.

    So Newsnight employs the so-called Bureau for Investigative Journalism who fail miserably to verify the paedo’s identity and as their own chief producer has been suspended due to the Savile fuck up and their B-team didn’t do due diligence, they get themselves into the position of libelling an innocent man who has both large amounts of money to sue with and friends in the highest places to exact vengeance.

    And as always the answer will be more managerialism and more outsourcing….

  4. Chris said,

    The BBC must be defended without any reservation at all. You’re either 100% with the BBC or 100% against it.

    George Entwistle was a great DG and must be reinstated immediately.

    No surrender.

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