Former BBC and Liverpool Post reporter, political commentator and writer Nick Hancock seen here debating with Southport’s very own Cllr.Iain Brodie-Browne a while back.
Readers will be far from surprised to hear that I’m no fan of the BBC’s news/current affairs output of recent times, indeed at times this great institution has really angered me and sadly it continues to do so. In my view the BBC failed spectacularly during the EU Referendum and Brexit debate process to deal with political lies and fantasies. Just putting someone up who will say the direct opposite of someone peddling nonsense does not inform where the facts really are. The very recent BBC tweet giving publicity to a racist rant from Question Time shows that there’s at best questionable editorial control.
But despite holding such views I also know that the BBC is vitally important to our society and it is part of what makes us British. Yes reform the BBC but not on Johnson’s agenda or indeed any other biased politicians whim. That politicians in government or indeed out of it fear BBC journalism is good for our democracy. Politicians tell lies and the BBC’s job is to expose such lies. For fear of offending it seems the BBC has moved to a position whereby it simply gets another politician with an opposing view (however ill-informed it may also be) to ‘balance’ a story out. Not good enough and not what we expect of the BBC, get back to exposing the political liars and fantasists without hiding behind other political fibbers please.
So is Nick Hancock’s solution the right one? Certainly it has merit and is a calm and sober reaction from a well respected journalist and commentator. I’d like to see more analysis of the BBC and how it should move forward before I say yes to one way or another but please no scrapping of the BBC, that’s just what those who peddle falsehoods and prejudice want.
I’ve long had a soft spot for Jim Hancock’s well thought out views on many subjects. Above you will find a link to his blog posting about our troubled relationship with Europe as we walk away from it for the foreseeable future.
Yes I’m angry at the utter stupidity of what we have done to ourselves and future generations but I lost, Little England won. I’ll leave it there with no further comment……
The article is on Jim’s blog site accessed via the link above
I remember Jim, as others will, from his BBC North West Regional News days and respect his views. I’m sure he and other devolution skeptics (and I include myself here) are right to think that government is not that keen on the process of devolving power to the regions of England, except that is when it suits them to be able to blame the regions for whatever the troubles of the day are.
It might seem odd me being a Liberal, having been brought up on a diet of power needing to be exercised at the lowest possible level of government, but I opposed the devolution deal for the Liverpool City Region. I opposed it as it was a second if not third rate deal that was hardly worth having. My views have not changed.
Yes we now have a City Region Mayor but for me that post, whomever holds it, is a bit like the Police and Crime Commissioner one in that no one really thinks either will bring any positive change to Merseyside.
What has also concerned me since first hearing that government wanted a city region mayor for Merseyside is that it would make the sub-region more Liverpool centric with the towns and communities surrounding Liverpool always playing second fiddle. I’ve seen little to change that point of view either. Bringing more power and influence to Liverpool is often at the expense of its surrounding communities.
Devolution as presently practiced in England is indeed half hearted and deeply flawed.
And later on the same day that I published this posting I found that Cllr. Richard Kemp was on a similar theme:-
No Ron is not 50 but he has recently completed 50 years as a councillor for the same area of Southport – Craven Ward now called Norwood Ward.
The man of the moment, Lord Ronnie Fearn of Southport, passes on a little advice last night.
Yes Ronnie has served as MP for Southport and now he is in the House of Lords but it is his remarkable record of continuously serving the people of Southport on Southport Borough Council (until 1974), Merseyside County Council (until Mrs Thatcher abolished it) and Sefton Borough Council from 1974 to date that this posting pays tribute to.
Ronnie Fearn, Shirley Williams, John Pugh & Anette Pugh
Last night a gala dinner was held the Ramada Hotel, Southport to celebrate Ronnie’s remarkable achievement. The room was packed with Liberal friends from across the UK as well as many local people who have worked with Ronnie over the years.
Former BBC and Liverpool Post reporter Jim Hancock debating with Sefton’s Lib Dem Leader Iain Brodie-Browne.
Guest speakers were John Pugh the present Lib Dem MP for Southport and the redoubtable Baroness Shirley Wiliams.
A great night was had all round. Congratulations Ronnie – 50 years a councillor. I am coming up for 30 years and frankly 50 seems like a target I may well not want to hit!