MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: The BBC think 'Partygate' is the biggest news

MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: How can the BBC think ‘Partygate’ is bigger news than Omicron?

It was incredibly foolish for Downing Street to allow a Christmas party a year ago when they were banned for the rest of us. It was even worse to lie about it when they were found out.

In a democracy, the idea that there is one rule for the powerful and another for the people is fatal to trust and respect. 

But giving the impression that the Government is incapable of admitting to wrongdoing does deeper damage. 

When will politicians grasp that confessing your failings and apologising sincerely for them is actually a good thing, showing qualities – such as courage and self-awareness – that most people want to see more of?

It was incredibly foolish for Downing Street to allow a Christmas party a year ago. But governments should in the end be judged on larger issues. Pictured: Boris Johnson

The Mail on Sunday wishes fervently that the Government had not made either of these errors. It condemns them as stupid and insensitive, for so they were. Nothing of the kind should be allowed to happen again.

But governments should in the end be judged on larger issues. 

If all secrets could be revealed, how many of the strongest critics of Partygate, in politics and the media alike, would turn out to have made their own secret breaches of Covid rules, and to have been lucky – so far – that nobody has found out about them?

Immeasurably more important is the Government’s handling of the new Omicron variant. 

Again, our view differs from Boris Johnson’s. We believe that the best course is to encourage vaccination, a proven way of reducing the impact of the virus without hobbling our economic recovery. 

Others urge restrictions on daily life that are beginning to look suspiciously like a new lockdown, even if they are not called that. 

More important is the Government’s handling of the new Omicron variant. The Mail On Sunday believe the best course is to encourage vaccination (stock image)

Whichever side you take in this, there is no doubt that the country faces a huge and serious debate about how to deal with the new variant. There are clever and well-meaning people on both sides.

Yet those who watch or listen to the BBC could easily get the impression that the Christmas party row is more important than the battle against Covid. Bulletin after bulletin focuses relentlessly on this subject.

Is this the only problem for the licence-funded BBC to focus on? Or is it again letting its inherent, relentless bias show? If the Government were more to the liking of the Corporation’s metropolitan liberals, would this sort of coverage continue?

It is not just us pointing out this problem. Star BBC interviewer Andrew Marr is leaving his post to return to the Left-wing journalism from which he emerged before he miraculously became impartial. 

Even he said in 2006 that the BBC was ‘a publicly funded urban organisation with an abnormally large proportion of younger people, of people in ethnic minorities and almost certainly of gay people, compared with the population at large’. 

All this, he said, ‘creates an innate liberal bias inside the BBC’.

One of its senior executives, Roger Mosey, admitted the BBC had been ‘too closed to a wide range of views’ and had ‘too narrow an agenda’. 

Mark Thompson, when he was director-general, said the Corporation had suffered a ‘massive bias to the Left’ – in the past. Is it possible that it has in fact continued into the present? It looks very much like it.

Nobody wants the BBC to be a toadying State broadcaster, but if we want the opinions of the Left-wing Guardian, we may buy them or read them online. 

We should not see them broadcast by the BBC.

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