Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Know Your Enemy

"It was a pity Mr Lilley didn't speak for longer, because it would have been interesting to hear him expound on this view. He could have spoken, perhaps, about the glass ceiling that, throughout this nation's history, has prevented Conservatives from securing top jobs in business, politics, newspapers and the clergy. He could have demanded to know when Conservatives would be admitted to the Garrick, or White's, or Eton. And he could have asked, voice quivering with passion, whether we will ever see a Conservative rise to the office of prime minister."

Marvellously withering sarcasm from the Telegraph's Michael Deacon on Tory MP Peter Lilley's claim that Conservatives "are the greatest oppressed minority in this country", which he made in the course of accusing the BBC of having a left-wing bias.

The rest of Deacon's article mocks Labour for being wrongfooted by Culture Secretary John Whittingdale backtracking on plans to "destroy" the Beeb. Writing in the New Statesman, David Clark has offered valuable insight into both why Auntie is the target for attacks from the right (it's a successful public institution that "punctures the myth that markets are always better at allocating resources and giving people what they want") but also why the proposals in the recent White Paper have been watered down ("One of the genuine virtues of conservatism, properly understood, is its reverence for established institutions, especially those that function effectively and command a large measure of national loyalty").

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