I have said it before, and I will say it again, Nanny doesn't seem to have a sense of humour at all.
Nanny and her best friend Auntie, have got themselves into quite a strop over comments made by one of Auntie's presenters, John Humphrys of the Today programme.
Humphrys seemingly has committed the ultimate crime, he has made disparaging comments about Nanny and her ministers. Humphrys maintains that his comments had been part of a "good humoured, light-hearted speech" and "meant with great affection".
Humphrys was filmed making his remarks to the Communication Directors' Forum on June 8. During the Forum, Humphrys said that only politicians who lied could make it into government.
What is wrong with that?
In his speech, Humphrys said that Andrew Gilligan's report on Today alleging that Downing Street had deliberately inserted false information to "sex up" intelligence on Iraq, was true. He went on to say that:
"If we were not prepared to take on a very, very powerful government, there would be no point in the BBC existing that is ultimately what the BBC is for."
Humphrys claimed that "those who do not lie at all ever. . do not get into government" because the whips "won't go near you with a barge pole".
On relations with the Prime Minister:
"We have not been the closest of friends over the last four or five years indeed scarcely spoken to each other."
On Peter Mandelson:
"Now there is a man they, I think probably all, detest.
I said to somebody once, 'Why do you all take an instant dislike to Mandelson?' and he said, 'It saves time'."
On Gordon Brown:
"I do get to interview Gordon Brown a lot, oh joy. He is quite easily the most boring political interviewee I have ever had in my whole bloody life."
On John Prescott
"All you've got to do is say John Prescott and people laugh, it's not fair is it?
I'm sure he makes a great deal of sense but it's just that you can't understand a bloody word he says."
Nanny and Auntie are reportedly incensed about the speech, so much so that the Director General of Auntie has been asked, by Michael Grade, to prepare a full report as soon as possible.
Auntie's chums in the Labour Party also wasted no time in trying to put the boot in.
Sir Gerald Kaufman, the former Labour chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee, said:
"I think it would be useful if Michael Grade [the BBC Chairman] and Mark Thompson [the Director-General] had a discussion with John Humphrys
and explain to him, very carefully, just what is the purpose of the BBC.
He clearly does not understand that it is to provide as objective a news service as is possible."
Tim Allan, a former aide to Mr Blair who now runs his own public relations agency, said:
"John Humphrys's peculiar brand of folksy nihilism is designed to spread cynicism about politics.
The BBC now has to decide whether it is acceptable for their main radio presenter to use his licence fee-created celebrity to earn thousands of pounds telling audiences that all ministers are liars."
Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, said:
"The BBC itself is responsible for ensuring that its codes of conduct for journalists are adhered to."
Dictators throughout time have shown themselves to be lacking a sense of humour, we see no exception to the rule here.
Those of you who wish to listen to an extract of the speech should click this link John Humphrys speaks.