Remoan with Auntie. Peter Rhodes on BBC bias, heroic cops and a disappointing drama

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

MASSIVE respect to the cops who rushed into action and grabbed a man who was about to throw himself off a bridge over the M5 near Birmingham. A chief inspector declared that they had acted ‘without a thought for their own lives’. Hang on. What sort of policing is this? What, no full risk assessment? No request for back-up? No stern pointing-out that the officers in question may not have completed the requisite Swinging from High Bridges course? I can see this ending up in a disciplinary.

Emma Thompson

IS it time to subtitle the Scots? A reader spotted two TV reports involving interviews in the streets. In the first, Zimbabweans were talking about the coup against Mugabe. In the second, Glaswegians were talking about the rising price of alcohol. The Africans were clearly understandable but their words were subtitled. Some of the Scots were almost incomprehensible to English ears but their words were not subtitled. Explanation, anyone?

TWO episodes in, is anyone else bored to tears by Howards End (BBC1)? It seems to be outclassed in every respect by the 1992 movie starring Emma Thompson. Best thing in the latest episode was the puppies.

THE News Quiz (Radio 4) has become so grotesquely, one-sidedly anti-Brexit that the Beeb’s own (admittedly toothless) watchdog, Feedback, was called in to investigate. Long overdue. As I wrote of this topical comedy show in September: “Once again a panel of Remoaners set out predictably to demonstrate that each was more anti-Brexit, anti-Boris and anti-Theresa than his or her neighbour.”

AND yet this issue of BBC bias goes much deeper than one little radio show. Last year’s referendum was the greatest exercise in democracy in the history of our nation. More people voted to leave the EU than have voted in any election or on any issue. The referendum was a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s mantra: government of the people, by the people, for the people. The result should have been acclaimed and embraced by everyone who believes in democracy. Yet from that day to this the attitude of the British Broadcasting Corporation has been sullen and defeatist. Can you recall one positive, optimistic, uplifting, inspiring news item looking forward to the benefits and rewards of leaving the EU and becoming a great global trading nation once again? Have you heard any pro-Brexit comment from any comedian or commentator? Dream on. The tone from the BBC has been of unremitting despair and disaster, delivered with a superior sneer. The lack of balance is enormous and unending and the fact that the BBC doesn’t even recognise its own bias speaks volumes. It is not a British Broadcasting Corporation at all but a mouthpiece for the losing side. Not so much Listen with Mother as Remoan with Auntie.

I SPENT ages searching through a big store’s stationery department for a 2018 desk diary before giving up and asking for help. A store assistant explains: “You won’t find diaries in Stationery because Stationery is all-year round but diaries are seasonal.” In other words, diaries come and go but Stationery is stationary.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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