Coffee House The View from 22

The View from 22 — BBC in crisis, a Major problem for the Conservatives and Lost in Europe

25 October 2012

What is going to happen next with the BBC Jimmy Salvile saga? In this week’s magazine cover, Rod Liddle blames institutional problems within the organisation and predicts there will be plenty of buck-passing to come. Fraser Nelson says in this week’s View from 22 podcast that although he sympathises with the decision the BBC took, he believes there are more scalps to come:

‘As an editor myself, I know that if you are to come up with a story that makes an explosive allegation it has got to be absolutely nuclear-proof nowadays and if it’s not, if there is a slightest bit of chink in your armour, it could sink the whole publication or programme.

‘…I think we are going to end up with a great long list of resignations — a domino chain. I suspect the Director General will probably have to go and be replaced by an outsider but at the end of the day, the BBC is and remains one of the greatest things about this country.  It may drive me mad now and again but is this an organisation that is corrupt and about to collapse? No’ 

James Forsyth also discusses his political column, asking whether the Tories are heading into a rudderless state akin to the latter days of John Major’s premiership:

‘I don’t think we are there yet — and we might never get there — but there are several factors which worry Tory MPs. The first is that this government does seem accident prone. It has a tendency to get into scrapes and trouble. Secondly, it faces a ring-wing press that is frequently hostile and that could potentially be massively turned up a notch by Cameron’s reaction to the Leveson Inquiry. If he goes for statutory regulation, there will be blood on the carpet.

‘What worried Tory MPs was the press that came after a week in which there was quite a lot of good news. Unemployment was down, inflation was down, crime was down, NHS waiting times was down.’

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Charles Moore gave the second Margaret Thatcher lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies this week, questioning what is our policy on Europe and what we can learn from the past. James thinks that the ‘holding pattern’ mentality will continue while David Cameron stalls for time until the next election:

‘The truth that Charles implies is that we don’t have a Europe policy at the moment. Part of the problem is that when the coalition was formed, David Cameron said “let’s hope that Europe can wait until 2015” but events in Europe are preventing that from happening. That has lead to certain confusion in No.10 about what to do’

While Fraser believes there is not enough proper debate on just how any kind of renegotiation would work and we are doomed to leave the union in the near future:

‘I think we will end up out — completely out — of the EU within five years. First of all, the extent of the public are concerned — this isn’t something a few Tories are getting wound up…only 1 in 4 people in Britain think EU membership is a good idea. So we are the most committedly hostile country and the most reluctant member of the EU and there is only so long a that a free country can stay in a union it doesn’t like.

The other reason is because no body is putting any intellectual firepower at all into thinking what might be the third way. No Tory or Lib Dem would dare discuss it.’

And what do our guests think about today’s GDP figures and Conrad Black’s return to London? Listen with the embedded player below to hear why the former press baron might just prevail on Have I Got News For You. You can also have the latest podcast delivered straight to your machine by subscribing through iTunes. As ever, we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.

The View from 22 – 25 October 2012. Length 24:41
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Show comments
  • Sabine K McNeill

    Are you up for Savile Mark 2? See Victoria Derbyshire covering up Judge Pauffley and alleged child abuser and satanist Ricky Dearman:

    May we make use of your picture for that purpose?
    sabine at

  • Andy

    The BBC should not be allowed to investigate itself. It is becoming perfectly clear that Savile’s behaviour was common knowledge at the BBC over several generations of producers & executives. As someone else says the BBC seem to have facilitated Savile’s activities creating a series of programmes which allowed him to have access to children and actually created a persona that aided his access to hospitals etc.

    The excuses that have been offered are just not even remotely plausible: that the new DG when told that Newsnight were investigating Savile didn’t ask about what tells you all you need to know. He is either a fool or he already had a very good idea what Newsnight were looking at. Either way it does him no credit. He has to go.

    • Dimoto

      Appointing Patten to the Trust was a disaster waiting to happen, and another example of Cameron’s very poor judgement of people. Patten “went native” about 30 years before he eventually arrived in the BBC.


    “the BBC is and remains one of the greatest things about this country.”
    In what ways is this so Fraser?
    From their pro-appeasement stance in the Thirties and Lord Reith’s delight in the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, they have taken a demonstrably partisan line in everything. I maintain that their pro-IRA, anti-Unionist stance made IRA atrocities seem legitimate and acceptable and thus helped to prolong the ghastly conflict. For all the coverage of Bloody Sunday, where were all the cutting-edge BBC investigative journalists when the IRA was systematically killing all the men in families living in the border areas? Or when the IRA were buying (using their unique compulsory purchase orders) farms which straddled the border? Or why the Irish Government seemed content to have IRA arms dumps in their country (as well as IRA murderers) during the Troubles, and remained happy for these dumps of apparently decommissioned weapons to remain even after the Good Friday Agreement?
    More recently, when have the BBC even raised the question that Brown’s huge increase in the numbers of public sector workers was a form of gerrymandering, though they clearly thought Lady Porter’s housing policy in Westminster was? Did they ever suggest that the more than doubling in real terms of Brown’s public spending were CUTS to both private and business freedom in financial and moral terms? And on and on and on.
    Fatuous platitudes like the above aren’t to be expected from anyone with a keen mind for reality, and when we expect journalists to have a scalpel-edged dispassionate fact based view of an institution which sees itself as a player not a reporter, we get unthinking sentiment. In any case, you should declare your interest, though your words above do that more than you may have intended.

  • In2minds

    “and we are doomed to leave the union in the near future” – or honoured?

  • TomTom

    Oh Vulture….be kind…. ring-wing ranks alongside Jimmy Salvile

  • michaelmph

    Did anyone at the Speccie even read that article. Never seen so many typos in a post. Do you even have a spell-checker?

  • james102

    This just shows how unsuitable a huge ‘independent’ public funded state broadcaster is in a supposed democracy.
    We are forced to pay for it without any control while it hides behind so-called indepentance.Its size means it dominates the broadcasting industry and anyone intending to have a career in that industry needs to be seen to conform to the BBC’s cultural values: which don’t reflect those of the majority of licence fee payers.
    Its arrogant contempt for all views outside that of its own culture is reflected in the “Edgy” type programmes it has broadcast since the 1960s.This is all well and good for commercial broadcasters but why should people who oppose those views be forced to pay for it?
    Scale it down to a true public service broadcaster and sell off the rest.

  • Jez

    “I suspect the Director General will probably have to go and be replaced by an outsider but at the end of the day, the BBC is and remains one of the greatest things about this country. ”
    Too big to fail is too big.
    Needs to be hauled into the horrible, nasty, two bit dealing, shark infested real world out here.

    • TomTom

      No, I think the weather is the greatest thing about this country – shows just as many repeats as BBC, is more changeable with more variety, but ultimately it is wet and miserable

    • TomTom

      No, I think the weather is the greatest thing about this country – shows just as many repeats as BBC, is more changeable with more variety, but ultimately it is wet and miserable

  • Vulture

    What is a ‘ring-wing press’ Mr Forsyth? Is this code for a right-wing press rightly castigating a wringing wet GOvt?

    As for Fraser’s praise of the BBC, it may well have once been the envy of the world do dah, do dah; but those days disappeared around the time Alvar Lidell hung up his dinner jacket & stopped reading the WW2 news.

    For at least 30 years ( and I know having worked for it twice) the BBC has been a socialist-sympathising, buck-passing, bureacratic labyrinth of toadies, malignant Trots, bien pensant Guardian readers, EU fanatics and ( we now learn) Paedo protectors. Nothing to be proud of there! And to add insult to injury we pay for these freaks.

    Its time the whole stinking midden was torn down, starting right at the top with that smug monument to Catholic comp[lacency Lord Fatten. (Appointed by his chum Dave).

    • Colonel Mustard

      I would say slightly more than just socialist-sympathising. More like socialist promoting and conservative suppressing/demonising – in other words socialist propaganda. Last night’s HIGNFY was a shameless Labour party political broadcast chaired by notorious Labour supporter and informer Jo Brand. It is outrageous that such party political drivel is funded by compulsory taxation.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Was Hislop absent then? It wasn’t the one with the mighty Lord Black on it?. Didn’t he punch someone. Surely he punched someone. Or is he not on yet?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Quiite right, Vulture. What is this Beeb-worship we get everywher?. Gimme Sky. It costs more but it’s a hundred times better.

  • LB

    Strip them of all children’s programs. Punitive cuts are also needed in the license fee.

    How can the BBC complain? They were all for breaking up Murdoch for something far less serious.

    Enabling and covering up a paedophile is orders of magnitude worse

    • TomTom

      License..?…..oh for the Atlantic !

  • Douglas Carter

    I’m surprised you didn’t take the opportunity to return to the BAEEADS story of some weeks ago Seb.

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