Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

Save us from the civil service and the BBC

I was asked on to the BBC Today programme — my old manor — last week to talk about the Women’s World Cup. The producers had noticed that I’d changed my mind about the event and now thought it all rather good fun, having hitherto been derisively misogynistic. ‘This is the thing,’ I said to them. ‘You only invite social conservatives on when they’ve come around to your way of thinking and stopped being social conservatives. Why don’t you ask me on to talk about banning abortion, deporting all foreigners and sectioning the trannies?’ I agreed to the football chat, a little reluctantly, but told the chap that the item would be dropped approximately 11 minutes before it was due on air. This is exactly what happened, as it usually does with Today.

They are not the worst offenders, however. I was once flown to Edinburgh at your expense to take part in Question Time and they binned me an hour before the show with the words: ‘I’m really sorry — but we’ve got George Galloway, you see.’ They know how to make you feel good about yourself at the BBC.

But it’s true I’ve altered my position a little on the ladies’ football, having enjoyed the tournament so far. The quality of football has improved a bit, although it is still largely lamentable; and there is excitement aplenty and moments of great hilarity. I particularly enjoyed the epic temper strops from the Cameroonian team. My guess is that they must have all had the painters in — and I was surprised that the BBC commentating team failed to advance this possible explanation for their appalling behaviour.

But not that much of a surprise, I suppose. Any more of a surprise than the top story on the BBC Ten O’Clock News recently — about the inquiry into the Islamic murders at London Bridge — which failed to mention at any point in the entire six minutes who had carried out those murders and what had motivated them.

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