A senior BBC executive has claimed that the corporation should foster "left-of-centre thinking", leading to accusations of political bias from the Conservatives.Which will come as a surprise to the people who follow ‘Biased BBC’, as there’s plenty of evidence that it already does…
Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC drama commissioning, said that the corporation should encourage "peculiarity, idiosyncrasy, stubborn-mindedness, left-of-centre thinking."
Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, said: "What Ben Stephenson said was a clear breach of the BBC's impartiality obligations.Stephenson was quick to claim that he didn’t mean what he obviously said:
"No journalist or editor should be following a political agenda, let alone someone as senior as a controller."
He later denied that he had meant the comment to have a political meaning.There’ll be some hollow laughter at the idea that ‘left of centre thinking’ would be considered a new perspective for many from the creative community…
"Like 'left-field', it is a phrase that I use with frequency when talking to the creative community to encourage them to develop and approach their ideas from a completely new perspective," he said.
Certainly, they appear to be having difficulty with the concept:
A BBC source said that executives believed that their casting of Boris Johnson, the Conservative Mayor of London, in an episode of EastEnders, proved that they did not have a left-wing bias.Eh…? Seriously?
Doesn’t that just sum up the disconnect between ‘creative types’ and everyone else perfectly?
Ross, Iain Dale and Stan all have fun with this one too...