Tuesday, June 08, 2004
The Classy Beeb
Not sure I agree with this, take Monday's Jeremy Vile Show. First item was discussing the Gipper, or more specifically, whether you needed to be intelligent to be a successful leader. Say, what ? Just a hint of begging the question, methinks ?
Now, it is an interesting question whether, say, an Oxbridge education is really an asset when it comes to leadership, but that wasn't what was being asked. Nope - Dutch was a lucky idiot and, by 'eck, Jegsy would prove it. The start of the show featured interviews with two guests who'd served in the Reagan administration, or more correctly, five minutes of continuous variations on the 'Didn't Reagan do well considering he was such a dumbass ?' theme. Both guests replied that, while Reagan had never been anyone's idea of a member of the natural ruling class. (whatever that actually means), he was extremely intelligent, capable of picking up fundamentals quickly and applying them in new ways. The President who saw the potential of both supply-side economics and Star Wars can hardly be said to be a dimbulb.
Fortunately, Jeremy was able to overcome the disappointment of his guests spitting out the Kool Aid and move on to a guest who could produce hate by the tonne. It is somewhat ironic that a man who has spent his life supposedly fighting the class war should be one of the most notable beneficiaries of Britain's residual snobbery. Really - try reproducing one of Tony Benn's screeds with a Scouse or Glasweigan accent. Fortunately, Tone was born in the city with the right Kensington, so he's spends his time in TV studios promoting evil and depravity rather than doing it by selling Socialist Worker in Church St. Which is nice for him but bad for us.
I, unlike Michael Howard, am a real Conservative so I don't think there's such a principle as 'freedom of nice speech' - everyone should be heard. Still, given that - had history turned out differently - Benn would had been a willing partner in enslaving the British people, either as part of a homegrown Marxist revolution or an agent of Soviet occupiers, can we at least hear less fluttering from the Beeb about the dangers of political extremistism, m'kay ?
But what, you may ask, does Benn (failed British junior minister, now full-time moonbat) actually have to contribute to a discussion about US politics ? About as much as you'd expect, really. Apparently, Reagan (the two-term dumbass) was a puppet of the neo-Cons, just like Dubya is now - hey, it's twenty-four years later, just how neo can they still be ? Surely you can apply for full-status after five years of loyal service to the VRWC ? Also, Reagan jailed the air traffic controllers - which must have made the prisons a little crowded. Plus the Soviet Union was already falling apart anyway, thus raising the question of why Benn has spent his life promoting a philosophy which self-destructs. Hey - you expected honesty and coherence from Benn ? Need it be said that not only was there no one to put the pro-Reagan case, but Mr Vile's role was less interviewer than mere provider of brief breathing spaces between particular outbursts of 'Reagan killed Bambi' lunacy.
At least when right-wingers rant, there's an actual point. Whatever you think about Joe McCarthy, there really were Communists in the State Dept, but Benn ? What exactly was that all about ? His screed could be summarised simply as 'Reagan Sux'- imagine a hybrid between Lord Charles and Michael Moore. To air this drivel at any time would have been a mistake, but to do so with Reagan barely dead was nauseating. Benn has the right to be a moonbat, but why exactly should the Beeb be able to charge us to provide him with a chance to flick v-signs at a great man's coffin.