January 28, 2004


Theyíve fixed it now, but an earlier version of this report from the Guardian ran like so:

The Sun newspaper has tonight claimed to have a leak of the Hutton report. The paper says Tony Blair has been cleared of wrongdoing but that the BBC and the governors have been criticised for not investigating the voracity of the Andrew Gilligan report that sparked the row between the corporation and the government.

Gilliganís voracity was never in doubt. Blair now seems to have survived both the Hutton inquiry and the university fees vote.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 28, 2004 10:21 AM

"What is important once Hutton is published is that if the BBC is criticised we learn from whatever is written - assuming of course that we agree with what is said," Greg Dyke.

Posted by: Anthony at January 28, 2004 at 10:24 AM


Film at 11.00?

Posted by: Mork at January 28, 2004 at 11:47 AM

Hey, have you ever watched that guy eat?

Posted by: latino at January 28, 2004 at 11:54 AM

Yeah, because the 'O' and the 'E' keys are like, right next to each other.

Posted by: david at January 28, 2004 at 11:55 AM

No Mork, it's just funny that newspapers which appoint themselves arbiters of truth can't spell it. And use in its place a word which is unintentionally apposite in some way.

Posted by: ilibcc at January 28, 2004 at 12:00 PM

Woo Hoo!

Sitting in DC, knowing about as much about British politics as I know about quantum physics, I jst had this weird feeling that that report was going to go after the BBC more than Blair.

My sense based on nothing whatsoever was that people are beginning to realize that attacking the British government is decades old sport. The BBC, on the other hand, wants to operate as a de facto government all its own, but answerable to no one, and thus corrupted as one would expect.

Me-thinks some folk "over there" saw that the BBC needed to be reigned in for its own good.

Posted by: Andrew X at January 28, 2004 at 12:50 PM

Great, just f***ing great!!! If our esteemed (ha!) PM survives this week intact then his messiah complex is going to be stronger than ever, and it's not exactly weak now. More 'eye-catching initiatives'! More insane 'I-know-what's-best-for-everyone' soundbites! More & more & more interference from this collection of left-wing bastards until there's nothing left that they don't regulate.

I can't stand the biased BBC anymore than anybody else, but, like the Eastern Front in WW2, it's a crying shame that both sides couldn't lose here.


Posted by: oiskin at January 28, 2004 at 01:28 PM

Listening to BBC world service between the lines it don’t sound too good for the dear old beeb. They sound depressed that Blair has got through the fees vote. They have resorted to quoting a leftie Independent editorial on the vote for the benefit of the BBC listeners in Asia and Africa who don’t have access to that fine organ. Or it could be they are too shit scared right at this moment to say what they think and believe because they know Hutton has slammed the fuck out of them for trying to pass biased editorial off as the news. Dickheads.

Posted by: Simon at January 28, 2004 at 01:33 PM

I find the timing of this story interesting:

EXCLUSIVE: Cash-strapped lesbian auctions her body to help pay for her university tuition fees

"Student is selling her virginity on the internet for £10,000"

Posted by: aaron at January 28, 2004 at 01:34 PM

Should have seen CNNi last night, starring Robin Oakley. A political hit job, set up by all.
Started Sunday, showing Gordon "no fingerprints on the trigger" Brown, Moneybags for Blair in a high profile meeting with Bill Gates (before the EU announced potential fines....ooops). CNNi cycles the stories alot, but the impression I got was "Behold. Gordon Brown, see how he shineth."
Monday, I get John Clancy, CNNi Anchor, refering to Blair's "Political Hell Week", "potentially devastating", "oh God, the inhumanity of it all".....basically, the goose is cooked, time to dump the bones. Hutton and Schools. He's done. Interviews with the right honorable junior MP from Fenwick-Shadwick-Nitwick on Thames, talking the closeness. Shots of Gordon Brown, "who should have been PM" (no war with him. No sir.).
Fast forward to Tuesday, and here's Robin Oakley, deprived of his blood pressure medication. Robin (a guy, BTW) claims Brown is the best politician he's seen in "thirty years" (no war with him. No sir.). Robins all over Blair, he's dead, here's the vote, the breakdown. "Only 20 something" MPs (of the hundred margin) say they'll vote with Blair. Here's the vote.....it's.....316 aye to 311 nay...the ayes have it....visible deflation (off screen DeanScream TM). Sure the ayes have, "but it's hardly a victory". Like Saddam in DS I, victory can be rewritten from the jaws of defeat.
Not sure, but it seemed like a back bench revolt, with direct media assistance. Well planned, well laid, and building off the Hospitals Vote. But Tony won, good guys sometimes do. Hope he treats the ring leaders like a French President, continues the good sense reforms, and keeps Gordon Brown close...very close.

On the school's issue. Never resonated with me. I funded my way through college by a combination of scholarships, grants and one loan. For an "underpriveleged" child, I didn't get left to far behind. Everyone seems to laud the European Education system (which, like Cuba's, is supposed to be pretty good) but I keep running into alot of Linguists, Translators, Sociologists, Artists, etc....the computer folks I run into are from lesser developed nations (like the US). Strikes me as something similar that happened to Americans of African descent back in the seventies, with Affirmative Action. Basically, school was a free for all. You wanted to go, you went. But instead of Law, Medicine, Engineers, we seemed to gravitate towards Afro-American Studies, Sociology, Underwater Fire Pervention, and Basketweaving....f* all good it did us.
Europes on the bow wave of that. Sometimes getting something for nothing leaves you with nothing.

Posted by: beets at January 28, 2004 at 06:06 PM

Are Australian University fees structured the same way? In the US a good university education is affordable but takes work. I paid for mine with a combo of merit scholarships(50%), about 20% loans, 20% government grants, and working in the cement factory to pay for the rest plus food and cheap beer. At the time (mid 80's) the total cost of university was $18k, and between Mom and I, we only made about $13k.

I never considered selling my virginity, although the ladies were interested in me after working all summer carrying 100# bags of Portland cement. Got me in better shape than basketball and football.

Posted by: Jim at January 28, 2004 at 11:31 PM

Many of my best students (and the best really are good) work at least 20 hours per week in order to pay for college. They get some Pell grants (don't have to be repaid), some scholarships, some other grants, some guaranteed student loans (based on family income, mostly) that have to be repaid at a fairly low rate of interest, and some have saved before they entered college. All in all, those who really want a good education find and pay for one. They truly, truly earn it. Do they write as well as students at elite school? Probably not, but 10 years from now I'll put up my best students against anyone's for their use to society at large.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at January 29, 2004 at 12:33 AM

Gilliganís 'voracity' was never in doubt.

Oooof! Body slam!

Posted by: Tongue Boy at January 29, 2004 at 12:37 AM

I carried bundles of shingles up 2 and three story ladders, borrowed US$22,000+ from the fed and $3000 from the University, sold high-end clothes, and did some engineering.

Posted by: aaron at January 29, 2004 at 02:00 AM

Nice to see that the Kafkaesque standards of subbing at the Dragunia are being maintained.

Posted by: David Gillies at January 29, 2004 at 02:32 AM