Friday, March 23, 2007
Auntie Gets Her Knickers in a Twist
Britain is a very lucky country indeed, not only do we have Nanny protecting and guiding us but we also have Auntie (the BBC).
Auntie has long believed herself to be the guardian of everything that is right about Britain, so long as you share her views as to what constitutes her vision of a perfect Britain.
Indeed Auntie has even gone into bat against Nanny on a few occasions, using Nanny's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to unearth stories and issues that Nanny would prefer to be buried.
Unfortunately what is sauce for the goose, seems not to be sauce for the gander when it comes to using the FOIA on Auntie.
Some very naughty people have been using the FOIA to uncover an internal inquiry conducted by Malcolm Balen in 2004 about Auntie's coverage of the Middle East. The Balen report looked into whether Auntie's reporting is anti Israeli pro Palestinian. Auntie doesn't want that inquiry made public, and is spending £200K of licence payers' money (that's our money folks) in trying to hide the report from errrm us...the licence payers.
A truly Nanny type action if ever there was one!
Auntie is to spend the money on fighting a High Court action next week, in order to prevent the Balen report, which is expected to be critical of Auntie's coverage of the Middle East, becoming public.
The story began a wee while ago when a solicitor, Steven Sugar, made an FOIA request. Auntie refused, and the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas agreed with her refusal.
Sugar then appealed the Information Tribunal, and they backed his claims in September. Auntie then took her appeal to the High Court, as she says that the blocking measures she has enforced are there to protect the integrity of her reporting and protects her journalists from interference from the public.
Well, they do say that if you live your life in an abusive environment, you end up being abusive yourself. Evidently Auntie is morphing into Nanny.