Blogs Coffee House

Lunchtime lobbying from Tristram Hunt

30 July 2014

The search for a new Chairman of the BBC Trust is in utter chaos. After Mr Steerpike revealed that the job description had been altered to insert the ‘Seb Coe clause’, Robert Peston stuck his neck out and said that Lord Coe was a ‘shoo-in’ for the gig. But Coe has since ruled himself out (for whatever reason — maybe sporting, maybe mayoral) and the race is wide open again.

With all to play for, Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, has taken to Twitter to talk up his buddy, the sainted Neil MacGregor:

A personal thought on the search for new Chairman of BBC: how about the British Museum’s Neil MacGregor….

— Tristram Hunt (@TristramHuntMP) July 30, 2014



(Hunt is evidently a fan. Here he is laying it on thick for MacGregor in the Evening Standard: ‘Under MacGregor’s masterful stewardship, the BM has positioned itself as the greatest global museum.’)

Is it entirely proper for the shadow education secretary to use his privileged platform in such a way? If the BBC were a private organisation, Hunt would have to button his lip. Why are public institutions any different?

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • The_greyhound

    It’s time they had a woman.

    Rebekah Brooks!

  • itdoesntaddup

    The story seems to be that the selection is being run by Osborne. I though Javid was the responsible minister?

  • Alexsandr

    why is this interesting when there are stories of Osbourne cohorting with a coke snorting hooker, with pictures.

    • The_greyhound

      So, he knows the Speaker’s wife.

  • dado_trunking

    Not a soul would volunteer for a job that will entail splitting the BBC into two separate centre-left and centre-right state-funded media outlets.

  • MajorFrustration

    Another stick up in the offing – more jobs for the great and the good

  • Colin56

    How about having an ordinary licence-fee payer as chairman of the BBC Trust? Perhaps someone who pays his / her own lice fee and doesn’t claim it on expenses. And not a Lord, Lady, Sir or Dame Anyone either. What the BBCT needs is someone who understands how ordinary people feel about how the BBC spends (mostly wastes) their money, with no come-back or claw-back.

    • Jupiter

      I’ll do it. It’s about time the beeb had a right wing headbanger running it

    • GUBU

      What a good idea!

      I don’t know about the rest of you, but for an annual salary of £110,000 I’m certainly more than capable of providing three, or at a push four, days’ worth of inept leadership each month to a bloated and poorly managed bureaucracy.

      Where can I get application form?

      • Colin56

        I think the Chair’s annual ‘salary’ of £110k would be the first on my ‘To Do’ list, along with the pay of the rest of the six-figure earning bloated management cadre. Sorry to disappoint.

        • GUBU


          I was looking forward to replacing Fat Pang on the public teat…

    • drewswlon

      Fantastic. The Great British Chair Off.
      Or cut to the chase, and just appoint Mary Berry.

  • Span Ows

    Cherchez la femme! Well, obviously not in his case but cherchez the connections to Labour!

  • Shazza

    Anybody who Bolinger Bolshevik The Hon Tristram Hunt nominates has to be by default a Loony Leftie – someone who can continue with the BBC’s so fair coverage of islam, the Coalition, Israel, climate change, immigration, EU etc.

    My fervent hope is that the new Chairman of the BBC Trust will be the last one in it’s present format.

    Time to say RIP BBC – the official taxpayer funded mouthpiece of the Labour Party.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Quite possibly. He was at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris during the May 1968 student revolts where the Marxist philosopher and wife murderer Louis Althusser taught and influenced many leading Marxist agitators of the time who went on to “reform” themselves after 1989 and lead beyond their authority. Althusser was another apologist for Stalin.

      • Perpetually Astonished

        I don’t have anything positive to say about the man, but he would have struggled to to take part in the 1968 student revolt since he wasn’t born until 1974.

        On the subject of Althussar, I once read of a joke that was widespread in Paris after he had murdered his wife. In a manner typical of leftist French intellectuals, Althussar’s writings were mostly impenetrable. In this context, the joke at the time was that Althussar had finally done something the working classes could understand.

        Let me apologise in advance for repeating this tasteless joke and offer my resignation from my job. I do sincerely hope that those who have suffered intense pain by reading it can overcome the trauma soon and return to normal life.

        • Stu

          I think he means MacGregor not the idiot Hunt.

        • Colonel Mustard

          I meant MacGregor who was born in 1946. He was 22 at the time of the Marxist/Maoist agitations in Paris and at a school central to them. Hunt’s affiliations, at least the Labour presentations, are in plain sight.

          Of course the first thing the leftists did when Althussar murdered his wife was to find all sorts of reasons to justify/excuse/apologise for it. He got away with diminished responsibility anyway, largely because by that time the EU was in full swing and the regime was infested with Marxists.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Well I suppose you could argue that it is impossible to be a socialist and sane at the same time.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here