MICK HUME: Whatever you think of Boris, the BBC’s obsessive campaign to destroy him is a disgrace

What’s worse than listening to Boris Johnson trying to talk his way out of the ‘Partygate’ scandal?

To my mind, it’s listening to the BBC’s obsessive, gleeful campaign to weaponise the story in its long-running propaganda war against the Prime Minister.

I am not concerned with defending Mr Johnson here. 

As Boris acknowledged in his apology in Parliament, many people will rightly feel ‘rage’ about the revelation that he attended a drinks party in the Downing Street garden during the 2020 lockdown when his Government was imposing punitive restrictions on the rest of us.

But whatever anybody thinks of Boris or his future, that is no excuse for the all-consuming, one-sided enmity with which our national broadcaster has pursued him.

In its reporting of this week’s drama, the BBC has once again confirmed its role as the Boris Bashing Corporation. 

Which might seem unfortunate timing, given that the Government’s review of the future of the licence fee is taking place this month.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has already blasted BBC news bias. Perhaps the Corporation’s bosses are praying that, if they succeed in getting rid of Mr Johnson, he will take the feisty Ms Dorries with him.

Yesterday I listened to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, Auntie’s flagship news show which prides itself on setting the tone for the day’s national debate each morning. It was bitter enough to spoil anybody’s breakfast.

I’d had due warning. 

What’s worse than listening to Boris Johnson trying to talk his way out of the ‘Partygate’ scandal? To my mind, it’s listening to the BBC’s obsessive, gleeful campaign to weaponise the story in its long-running propaganda war against the Prime Minister

Only last weekend in this newspaper, Stephen Glover wrote about the ¿depressing¿ and ¿infuriating¿ experience of listening to Today for a week, with its coverage of everything from the NHS to Brexit and the trial of the Colston Four slanted to suit the woke agenda of Left-liberal urban elites

Only last weekend in this newspaper, Stephen Glover wrote about the ‘depressing’ and ‘infuriating’ experience of listening to Today for a week, with its coverage of everything from the NHS to Brexit and the trial of the Colston Four slanted to suit the woke agenda of Left-liberal urban elites

Only last weekend in this newspaper, Stephen Glover wrote about the ‘depressing’ and ‘infuriating’ experience of listening to Today for a week, with its coverage of everything from the NHS to Brexit and the trial of the Colston Four slanted to suit the woke agenda of Left-liberal urban elites.

Listening to the programme’s coverage of ‘Partygate’ yesterday, I suspected that the Today team had read Mr Glover’s criticism —and responded by doubling down on the prejudices he complained about.

The Boris-bashing was led from Salford by Nick Robinson, a contemporary of Johnson’s at Oxford University.

It was Robinson, remember, who in October had ordered Boris to ‘Stop talking!’ even though the Prime Minister had agreed to appear on the Today programme for the first time in two years.

Yesterday morning, Robinson began by informing listeners that ‘what some are calling “Operation Save Boris” has been launched’. He then spent the next three hours doing his utmost to scupper any such operation.

He repeatedly sneered at the Prime Minister’s apology in Parliament:‘… if, that is, he really did apologise’; ‘… whose apology, if it really was an apology’; ‘… which is not an apology at all’.

This surely went beyond what could be considered objective journalism.

Far from being impartial, Robinson was editorialising at every opportunity, the tone always scathing or sarcastic — to the point where one could almost hear him rubbing his hands with glee during each dramatic pause in his diatribe.

To sample public opinion, he went off at one stage to Manchester’s Curry Mile, which is world- famous for its Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants. 

Meanwhile, back in the BBC studio, they were gorging on an overcooked Boris Balti. The news headlines stressed that ‘pressure was growing’ among Conservatives for Johnson to resign, although they could seemingly find only four — or later, five — Tory MPs to back their claim.

For his part, Robinson had already decided the Prime Minister’s fate. ‘What facts about Boris Johnson’s behaviour and leadership do we not know?’ he demanded of the hapless Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, dismissing any notion that judgment should await Sue Gray’s report.

It was left to some of the Tory voters interviewed to try to put the scandal in a wider context and suggest that, while they were bitterly disappointed with Boris, there might be other facts about his leadership during the pandemic to take into consideration.

Namely the successful rollout of the vaccines; that the PM had stood up to hand-wringing scientists and their messages of doom to resist more lockdowns; not to mention his delivery of both an 80-seat Tory majority and Brexit.

Through all of this, the Today programme was following the lead set the previous night by the BBC’s News at Ten, which opened its bulletins with Labour leader Keir Starmer’s (rather pathetic) response to Johnson’s apology, and followed up with a series of declarations about Boris standing ‘exposed’ and ‘defeated’, dressed up as news reports.

But whatever anybody thinks of Boris or his future, that is no excuse for the all-consuming, one-sided enmity with which our national broadcaster has pursued him

But whatever anybody thinks of Boris or his future, that is no excuse for the all-consuming, one-sided enmity with which our national broadcaster has pursued him

It was the Boris Bashing Corporation in full flight. As the Today programme’s guest editor, Dr Jane Goodall, and her guests made clear over Christmas, they hate hunting — but are nevertheless enjoying the smell of blood around Johnson.

Veteran broadcaster Melvyn Bragg recently called on people to defend the BBC because it has ‘built itself in our image’. Speak for yourself, Lord Bragg! 

It has built itself in the image of the woke metropolitan elites who run it. And they long since decided that, to appropriate Margaret Thatcher’s famous phrase, Boris is not ‘one of us’.

Which helps to explain the desperate show of Remainer Revenge from a BBC that has championed the Establishment campaign against a popular Brexit revolt for more than five years, acting as the voice of Operation Fear at every turn.

The BBC elitists blame Boris for using his shiny Brexit battle bus to supposedly hoodwink us gullible Leave voters, whom they view with utter contempt. 

Since he became PM, they have not missed an opportunity to try to talk down Boris’s Britain as some sort of fantasy hellhole.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has already blasted BBC news bias. Perhaps the Corporation¿s bosses are praying that, if they succeed in getting rid of Mr Johnson, he will take the feisty Ms Dorries with him.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has already blasted BBC news bias. Perhaps the Corporation’s bosses are praying that, if they succeed in getting rid of Mr Johnson, he will take the feisty Ms Dorries with him.

Now the Corporation has the nerve to pose as the self-appointed voice of the people over ‘Partygate’. As Nick Robinson almost shouted at the Northern Ireland Secretary: ‘What most people think, Mr Lewis, is that he’s apologising that he got caught!’

This remarkable ability to know and echo ‘what most people think’ did not apparently bother the BBC news wonks when 17.4 million voted to Leave the EU in 2016, or when 14 million voted for Boris’s Tories in 2019.

Fashionably woke prejudices seem institutionalised throughout the BBC.

It is bad enough when they ruin drama and comedy shows; far worse when they infect the news department, replacing any claim to impartiality with one-eyed editorialising.

After Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis was gently rebuked for her rant about former Boris aide Dominic Cummings’s ill-judged outing to Barnard Castle before any independent judgment of his behaviour had been cast, we were promised that things would change under new BBC boss Tim Davie. 

But nothing, it seems, can halt the march of the culture warriors through our institutions.

Ultimately, in a democracy, it must be up to voters to hold the Prime Minister and the Government to account for their actions and mistakes.

The Boris Bashing Corporation, however, appears to have decided in advance that it always knows better than the rest of us what’s best for Britain.

We shall soon see if Nadine Dorries, a Culture Secretary not averse to a fight, can finally hold it to account.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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