Nick Cohen in his latest article blames everyone but the guilty parties: 'Traduced by all sides, who will defend the BBC'.
After Nick Cohen finally found the courage to face up the fact he was no longer a leftist, something which has been obvious to his readers for years, I hoped he would have used his undoubted journalistic skills to widen his repertoire away from ranting about what he calls the far left, and evolve into a rightwing journalist in the mould of Peter Oborne or even Simon Jenkins. Both very fine writers who plough an independent minded farrow.
But no, in his latest offering in the Observer, (Traduced by all sides, who will defend the BBC?) even when defending the continued existence of the BBC, an important issue for many of us, he cannot help himself from blurting out a silly attack on Jeremy Corbyn and the Left:
I accept that some of the English left will never have the honesty to admit what Jeremy Corbyn is and where he comes from. But as he appoints ever more far leftists to his inner circle, most must now know that he represents a strain of leftwing thought that is as conspiratorial and illiberal as the Daily Mail. The far left no more believes in freedom of speech and freedom of the press than it believes in any other freedom. It will denounce all the legitimate questions the BBC asks as “smears”. Indeed, his supporters have already explained away a Panorama investigation into Corbyn’s past as a rightwing propaganda stunt worthy of Fox.
What this reactionary rant against Corbyn and the Left has to do with defending the BBC is beyond me and in all probability most Observer readers too. The only people who are likely to benefit from it are Cameron, Osborne and John Whittingdale, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) within the Tory government, along with the Daily Mail and the likes of the Murdoch crime family who are all eyeing the BBC greedily.
Cohen's last two paragraphs are corkers of subterfuge worthy of his hero the late Christopher Hitchens:
There are many long-established institutions we could live without. If the Times or the Home Office were to vanish tomorrow, we would survive. For all its glaring faults, the majority of people know that a diminished BBC, like a diminished NHS, would diminish them. The majority of people don’t set policy, however.
In times of crisis, the activists with simple, sweeping solutions take over. Whether they are English nationalists, who want independence from Brussels, Scottish nationalists, who want independence from London, rightwingers, who hate the public sector or leftwingers who hate liberal freedoms, they all want to see the BBC beaten into submission.
Here he turns reality on its head a well practiced neo liberal sleight of hand when he excludes the very people who are currently engaged in attempting to dismantle the BBC. No mention of David Cameron and George Osborne whose government are leading the political charge against the Corporation, nor Paul Dacre, let alone Rupert Murdoch who ordered a leader in The Times on July 17, 2015 which welcomed the DCMS Green Paper on BBC Charter renewal with a header “Slimming Auntie :
The BBC must rein in what George Osborne has called its “imperial” online ambitions. The corporation is a broadcaster, not a publisher. It cannot expect a renewed charter to endorse a status quo that lets it trample on private sector rivals with public funds. Technology has allowed the BBC to expand as if on steroids.
Rather than placing the blame where it belongs Cohen pathetically and inaccurately reverts to blaming everyone but the guilty parties, especially those on the left. He makes no mention of the real villains here, the current Tory government, media oligarchs like Rothermere and Murdoch, and the Banksters who wish to sweep up the cash from financing the sale of the spoils.
What a waste of his talents.
What a waste of his talents.