ANDREW ADONIS: No, I won’t stop my attacks on the biased BBC

PUBLISHED: 00:01 13 April 2018

David Dimbleby presenting Question Time on the BBC. Picture: Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images

David Dimbleby presenting Question Time on the BBC. Picture: Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

The Labour politician’s charge against the BBC has been so intense it has drawn criticism from his own side - but he says this is no time to let up.

Andrew Adonis senses we may be on the brink of pulling the BBC back from becoming part of the Brexit establishment forming behind Jacob Rees-Mogg. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA ImagesAndrew Adonis senses we may be on the brink of pulling the BBC back from becoming part of the Brexit establishment forming behind Jacob Rees-Mogg. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

I am a sensible mainstream politician. Even my worst enemies don’t excuse me of being anything other than a Blairite. But never confuse being sensible with being weak; and never use the term ‘moderate’ to describe the only politics which should command our respect: immoderation in the pursuit of 
justice.

The BBC’s disgraceful bias on Brexit is a case in point. Last week, for the first time, the BBC admitted it is biased.

In response to my constantly attacking them on Twitter as the #BrexitBroadcastingCorporation, after their non-reporting of the large anti-Brexit marches a fortnight ago, they issued a ‘rebuttal’ in the form of this remarkable statement:

“The BBC is no longer reporting on the binary choice which faced the electorate in the referendum but is examining the Brexit negotiations and the impact of Brexit on the UK and the wider world.”

It was worth my 100 or so tweets so far on the #BrexitBroadcastingCorporation just to secure this admission, about which I have now formally complained to the BBC’s director-general Lord Hall.

For what the BBC has at last conceded is that it has given into those ‘immoderates for extremism’ – the Brexiters and in particular Nigel Farage, whose 32nd appearance on Question Time last month has been another source relentless tweeting and complaints about the #Brexit…

Leave aside this extraordinary ‘binary choice’ statement. As Alastair Campbell, fellow immoderate, said when I read it to him: “What other great binary choices is the Beeb about to abolish – ‘to be or not to be’, ‘black and white,’ ‘right and wrong’, ‘left and right’?’

I want instead to make a key point to all fellow New Europeans. It is this: never giving up on the campaign until we have won.

As my 50th BBC tweet became my 60th and 70th, many ‘moderates’ worried I was going OTT. Some tweeted telling me to stop. I was going too far. Sounding shrill. Damaging the cause of public service broadcasting - that cause which the BBC is undermining and may destroy by being pro-Brexit in the first place.

“Just let go,” one friend said to me. “You have made your point.”

Except that we anti-Brexit campaigners aren’t after ‘making a point.’ We want to STOP BREXIT! Yes, in capitals and with exclamation mark, something else the snowflakes recoil from. “You are sounding like Farage himself,” said one, missing the point that what matters is what comes out when Farage opens his mouth.

The immoderate Adonis has form. As a teenager I made British Rail’s life a misery to keep my local railway station open. It’s what got me into politics. The station stayed open after a campaign like the present one.

Was it cause and effect? Maybe not; one never knows. It’s the result that matters.

More recently, last year I went for the university vice-chancellors being paid obscene salaries. Why? Actually, because of Brexit.

We won’t defeat Brexit without the young, especially students who are being short-changed by university bosses behaving like medieval princes. Since I was the guy partly responsible for introducing tuition fees – at a third of their current level of £9,000, mind – I thought it all the more important that I should call out greedy VCs.

To my surprise, the VCs dug in, as the BBC is doing now. So I kept on and on, more attacks and more facts provoking more revelations and admissions until, at last, the £468k a year VC of Bath University – what I called ‘the worst case of fat-cat pay’ - resigned. Cause and effect? Who knows, but she went and VC pay is being curbed.

My sense is that we may be on the verge of pulling the BBC back from the brink of becoming part of the Brexit establishment forming behind Farage and Rees-Mogg. This is the moment to raise the volume as high as possible, not to retreat.

So, be immoderate! Fight for justice! Stop Brexit!

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