I have always been vaguely envious of James Delingpole. He writes for both the Telegraph and the Spectator, he is published in a wide strata of endeavour, and his prose, when he is commenting upon the vagaries of man, is nothing short of undiluted suphuric acid. But he even surpassed my standards of acidic comment this morning on the BBC Today programme.
He was part of a discussion where warm regard was being ladled over the words of the new BBC1 controller Danny Cohen, whose stated aim was to bring out ‘working class’ comedy, as the ‘middle classes had dominated BBC airwaves for too long. Now one might argue about Mr. Cohen’s thesis, in that the comedy previously broadcast had been ‘working’ or ‘middle’ or even ‘upper’; mainly because I always thought the aim of comedy was to be funny.
But Delingpole’s attack started much higher up the totem pole, as he commented that the words of Cohen reminded him of the need to do away with the licence fee altogether. ‘Here we had,’ he stated, ‘the Stalinist policies of the BBC writ large’. The Controller has spoken, and therefore all will be changed immediately. The Stalinist policies have spoken, and from this moment, no more ‘middle class tractors will be made, or middle class comedies produced. The word had come down from the North London eyries that all must change, and becasue he has spoken, all will and must change’!
Of course I paraphrase Mr. Delingpole’s comments, but the gist was truly wonderful, true and heaven to listen to. Oh, for a magic wand, to transpose someone of his character and belief into a commanding position in Government, who would casually state to the ‘Impartial BBC’, “Change your ways, or you yourselves shall indeed be changed!” Alas, that day is indeed a long, long way away!