7 Feb. 2004 Saturday Iraq, Tony Blair
and Greg Dyke
Thinking about Tony Blair today on car journey to nowhere.
Beginning to think that I am the only one that trusts him, and I didn't even vote for him. Polls suggest that a majority of electorate think he's lying.
There are two battles going on.
First there is the war between Blair and the BBC.
The media, after all, decides who shall govern us. The "Sun what did it," and put Thatcher in power, and the "Sun" put Major out of power.
Not just the Sun, but all the media, including the BBC, who happily put out "Death In Essex" by Mrs Monk, 2 weeks before the 97 election. Yes, Mrs Monk did her bit toward the downfall of John Major, and a good job too. Take it from me, "Death in Essex" was as anti-Tory as we could possibly make it.
Politicians know, that a balance of the media simply has to be on their side. Winning the argument is one thing, but getting a tabloid proprietor, or an Andrew Gillingham, to agree is another.
So how does a government meet the challenge of getting the media on side? Adjust or delay policy, to placate the business interest of a Rupert Murdock, say? God forbid.
On another front, the public Service Broadcasters.. The BBC has no political opinion, (don't make me laugh), and has a rigorously guarded independence from the political process. Everyone says so. Yawn.....
Greg dyke is apparently well liked by the BBC journalists, excited by the gung-ho on the issue of the BBC independence. Climbing on a desk in the newsroom to address his admirers, he reminded me of Thatcher climbing on a tank for her famous photo-opportunity with the headscarf. After all, the Falklands War, got her re-elected, at a time when she had single-handedly created 3 million unemployed? See how fickle the media is.
Greg Dyke said to his loyal team of followers, "Do not be Cowed" Was he asking them to carryon like Andrew Gillingham?
Since the Hutton outcome, the media heavyweights such as John Snow and Andrew Neil, have shelved all pretence of impartiality on this political battle between the BBC and Tony Blair. I used to give John Snow, for example, my full support for his combative, devils-advocate, style of news-casting, but I fear he has now squandered my support. since it apparently became personal.
Greg Dyke's arrogant display when he was door stepped at the BBC governors meeting, ("crisis, hardly", that one. ) indicates to me that he found it unnecessary to check out such stories in his capacity of defender of the ... truth, no.... but defender of the BBC's "independence". Some editor.
Greg Dyke was apparently prepared to support Andrew Gillingham before he checked out the veracity of his story, and indeed before he had read the story.
Goodbye Greg Dyke.
I'll deal with the second battle on another day