One of my objections to monarchy is that it is a vulgar institution that encourages verbosity, prurience, sycophancy and banality. I was not therefore surprised that the BBC’s jubilee coverage was vulgar, verbose, prurient, sycophantic and banal. Others were, however, and the papers are full of condemnations of the corporation. You should always remember that the BBC’s rivals have a commercial interest in doing it down, just as the BBC has a commercial interest in doing down News Corporation at the Leveson Inquiry. No journalists are as compromised as writers who write about their employer’s rivals. As a rule, you should never believe a word they say.
That said, no one can deny that the BBC offered itself as a target to its enemies. A colleague on Sky, who did not strike me as either malicious or self-serving, said he thought the problem lay in the BBC’s inability to treat ‘national celebrations’ as news. Sky News has no choice. It is just a news broadcaster and does nothing else. The BBC, however, has large numbers of &”celebrities” on contract, and needs to drop them into every available gap in the schedules to get value for money. Hence, the babbling of light entertainers when what monarchists wanted was the pseudo-profundity of state broadcasters in the Dimbleby or Marr mould. I prefer the celebrities. At least they do not pretend to be delivering anything other than propaganda. I suspect, though, that I am in a minority. Even in our democratic age, when the British wish to be deceived, they prefer to be deceived by a gentleman, with good manners and a clipped accent.