Tim Blair


New Criterion



Saturday, January 31, 2004
AND NOW ANDREW GILLIGAN joins the exodus from the Huttonised BBC.

Mr Gilligan conceded some of his story was wrong, and apologised for it.

You'll be pleased to hear the Beeb is entering the healing process. First stop: 'we're victims'.

Gilligan ... described the BBC collectively as the victim of a "grave injustice".

The acting boss, Mark Byford, is on the job: "I would say the BBC at the top ... has shown it recognises that it's been an extremely turbulent week".

But where is closure? Luckily that is not just a matter for the Beeb commune. The Charter is under review, and those who answer to the conscript shareholders are going to have a say too.

The general spirit of denial is shared within the ABC commune, whose serial commentators are editorialising with their usual lack of information, restraint or balance. What a bunch of bloggers!

Ms Julie McCrossin tells the stay-at-homes that Hutton was "a sad day for the BBC". It was also a good day for the health of British journalism or democracy.

Also into denial is our Gastropod. You could have written Philip Adams's script yourself. On Thursday night's program he characterised the Hutton enquiry as a stitch-up. Blair chose Hutton knowing the answer he would come to, and Hutton accepted it on those terms.

Adams's evidence? Sir Humphrey Appleby of the television comedy Yes, Minister.

Well, it's enough for a gutless Gastropod, so it'll have to do for Auntie's shareholders.