Tony Hall appointment at BBC demonstrates Tory corporate stupidity

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the utter stupidity of senior members of the Conservative Party.  When it was announced that Tony Hall was being appointed BBC Director General after the sopping wet Lord (Chris) Patten foolishly rushed in to fill the post without carefully examining other potential candidates for the vacancy, the Labour Party speedily showered Hall and the decision with praise and plaudits.

You would have thought Labour’s delight would have started ringing alarm bells in Tory HQ, but no.  Perhaps the problem is threefold.  Firstly you have the legendary idiocy of the Tory elite, which treats its members and the public with contempt while making all manner of balls-ups.  Secondly, perhaps Tories just possess incredibly short memories and therefore have forgotten about Tony Hall and what went on at the BBC while he was in cheif executive of BBC News and Current Affairs?  Let’s take a couple of moments to remind them.

Under his Tony Hall’s management, the BBC had an incestuous relationship with the Labour Party.  BBC staffers assisted Labour’s ‘rapid rebuttal unit’ by tipping them off every time a Conservative said anything that challenged Labour in the run up to the 1997 general election.  Former BBC journalists ran as Labour candidates (remember Ben Bradshaw who remained on the BBC Radio 4 payroll despite not working and instead campaigning to win the Exeter seat?) while Labour people went the other way into the BBC (remember Joy Johnson, ex-BBC PR professional who became Labour’s director of communications, then lost her job and was immediately re-hired by the BBC?)  What about the champagne strewn corridors of the BBC after Blair’s election victory and the BBC bias against the Conservatives that had Brian Mawhinney and Charles Lewington in red faced fury as the Patten-loving Major government was pulled to pieces?  It was under Tony Hall that the BBC effectively campaigned for Martin Bell in Tatton, without once challenging him on his motivation for standing or probing his behind the scenes relationship with the Labour Party.

Small wonder Labour has welcomed his appointment, and the corporate stupidity of the Tories sees them also welcome a man into a post far more powerful than the one he used to help to see the Tories ejected from office in 1997.  But what of the third possible problem?  Maybe the long stroll leftwards of the Conservatives, which has accelerated under David Cameron, has made the Tory leadership so indistinguishable from Labour they now share the same mindset enabling them to convince themselves Tony Hall is someone they can do business with.

The timing is incredibly ironic.  Here we are, mid-term of a somewhat unpopular coagulation government, where the Lib Dems are electoral dead ducks struggling to remain the third mainstream political party as UKIP catches and overtakes them in the polls; and the Conservatives are being painted as evil for supposedly trying to repair (badly it has to be said) the economic scorched earth of Labour’s insane tax, borrow, spend and borrow some more policies while continuing to fawn over the EU.  Labour is on top of the polls for simply not being Tories or Fib Dims, despite being led by an incompetent champagne socialist career politician who has never done a proper job in his life and who lives in comfort with a couple of million in the bank.  And now the man who gave Labour a free ride on BBC’s news output to help them win the election in 1997 is placed into an even more powerful role as head of the BBC, enabling him to ensure the BBC helps Labour to victory again in 2015.

Describing the Tories as lemmings doesn’t seem to go far enough.

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8 Responses to “Tony Hall appointment at BBC demonstrates Tory corporate stupidity”


  1. 1 Andy Baxter 24/11/2012 at 11:01 am

    “Maybe the long stroll leftwards of the Conservatives, which has accelerated under David Cameron, has made the Tory leadership so indistinguishable from Labour they now share the same mindset enabling them to convince themselves Tony Hall is someone they can do business with.”

    precisely why there is such a political vacuum and why the electorate are so hacked off, there is no ideaological blue water betwixt any of the original three that Harrogate is the natural addresser of where power lies to fill the void….

  2. 2 Restoring Britain 24/11/2012 at 11:12 am

    One wonders if the collective term for a group of Conservatives is a “cretin”. The mainstream party has all but surrendered and has morphed its detoxification into a shift leftwards. They’re a busted flush and finished. They’ve convinced themselves that somehow sucking up to the Beeb will change something, but it’s like any other abusive relationship. Nothing they say will make the beeb like them.

  3. 3 Jeremy Bridges 24/11/2012 at 11:36 am

    Patten and his “ilk” have nothing but contempt for the rest of us. Slotting the wretched Mr Hall into the top slot is a decision he may well come to regret. Time will tell.

  4. 4 James Murphy 24/11/2012 at 1:14 pm

    Allow me to lower the tone of the conversation: I heard Tony Hall’s wife, Cynthia, described on Radio Four as a further asset to the package since she was a ‘leading educationist’ …. Ha! ‘Careerist robot’ more like! She was Headmistress of a private school in Abingdon, when I knew her. She had no rapport with the girls at all, being known unaffectionately as ‘frosty knickers’. Of course, Tony used to appear dutifully at various school functions, and at such times it was painfully obvious that she wore the trousers in the relationship. She had that sort of gaze when she shook your hand, rather like the terminatrix in T3, scrolling mentally through your attributes before destroying you.. The Beeb is in safe hands!

  5. 5 Peter Martin (@JunkkMale) 24/11/2012 at 1:54 pm

    After today’s adventures in Rotherham, I wonder in how high esteem the BBC’s favoured party will be held much longer (and hence those who seem so keen to act as its PR agency on the public teat), and how relevant the no argument form me hapless Conservatives and their Coalition deadweights are going to be much longer.

    I may not have much choice any more in politics (none with compelled national media), but come the ballot I still know what I don’t like.

    The issue then becomes how long the BBC & its fellow ideological travellers remain content with swaying things via propaganda and censorship, and when (thanks in no small measure to them fouling up so publicly so often in this), and then move to readjusting democracy and free speech to hurry things along.

    From the look of it, that is already well under way.

  6. 6 rightoverleft 24/11/2012 at 3:41 pm

    It might be due to the Conservatives leaning leftwards or wanting the BBC to see them as such – a fatal move if true – but I tend to think they just don’t have the political killer instinct necessary. They have now missed 3 opportunities to tame the BBC; on taking office, when all they did was freeze the licence fee, when they allowed the appointment of Patten and now with the appointment of Tony Hall. Soon and certainly by May 2015 they will bitterly regret their own gross incompetence. They are fools.

  7. 7 Brian H 25/11/2012 at 7:43 am

    The fatal flaw of all aristocracies: inbreeding.


  1. 1 BBC Gets A New Captain « Stirring Trouble Internationally – Around the world Trackback on 29/11/2012 at 9:45 am
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