Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Oh Dear, I've Upset Auntie
It seems I have upset the BBC. Yesterday I was interviewed by Nicky Campbell on the 5 Live Breakfast Show, ostensibly about mavericks in politics (why did they ask me, I wonder?!). Nicky ended up asking me why Michael Howard had sacked Boris Johnson for lieing rather than having an affair and making his mistress pregnant. I calmly replied that it was interesting how the media were obsessed with another Tory sex scandal but the BBC had issued a blanket ban on any discussion of David Blunkett's adulterous relationship with Kimberley Fortier. Nicky seemed a little non-plussed at this and spluttered that Blunkett was married and Fortier wasn't pregnant, as if that was somehow OK then. I replied a little sharply that she he might not be married but she was, and she was also pregnant. The interview then moved on.
This morning this exchange was duly reported in the William Hickey dairy column in the Express. They described Nicky Campbell as 'nonplussed'. If he was, it had passed me by.
I then received an email from a senior political honcho at the BBC pointing out that the BBC had not covered Boris's marital affairs until he had been sacked. Oh well that's alright then. The BBC also said there had not been a ban on mentioning Blunkett's affair. That's rubbish. There was no mention of it on any of their news bulletins or on their news website. And quite frankly nor should there have been if it was a private matter. But it wasn't Blunkett's Ministerial responsibility covers marriage and divorce law, and by flying a civil servant over to his holiday home in Italy Blunkett made it a matter of public interest, But the BBC didn't see it that way. They rarely do.
Seconds out, Round 2. Next Monday, you may recall from an earlier posting, I shall be doing battle with Nicky Campbell again - but this time live in the studio - or should I say from the Farmhouse in East Harling from which the programme will be broadcast.