Tim Blair


New Criterion



Tuesday, January 27, 2004
A LESSON IN BALANCE from Great-Aunt Beeb.

Earlier this month, Robert Kilroy-Silk, a one-time Labour MP and for 17 years the host of one of British television's most successful daily talk shows, let loose with a few thoughts about the Arab world. In a column for the mass circulation Sunday Express, under the deliberately provocative headline "We owe Arabs nothing".

How boorish of him. He was provocative, and said nothing kind about governments with which his country has amicable relations. Can't have that on our publicly-funded, impartial broadcaster.

Kilroy, as he and his show are known, was suspended by the BBC. Ten days ago, after an extended media furore, Kilroy was forced to step down. He may even face prosecution under race relations legislation that carries a maximum sentence of seven years in jail.

No doubt Auntie would do the same, if she ever made the mistake of employing such an unsound commentator.

And the Hounds of HREOC would be howling for his blood.

Here's another BBC commentator who still has the key to Great-Aunt's door:

Tom Paulin, a left-wing Oxford academic and poet and a regular contributor to the BBC ... [said in 2002] to an Egyptian newspaper about Brooklyn-born Jews living on the West Bank: "I think they should be shot dead. I think they are Nazis, racists. I feel nothing but hatred for them,"

That's more like it! Good company for our philip Gastropod Adams and Pastor Terry Lane.