What a disappointment it was for everyone in the fieldsports community who was crossing their fingers and hoping that the former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore, got the job of Chairman of the BBC. Alas, citing “family reasons” Moore ruled himself out of the running.
Moore was one of two candidates up for the role to succeed the current incumbent, Sir David Clementi. A lifelong Conservative there had been a predictably horrified reaction to the possibility of Moore’s appointment. This took the form of much outraged comment on Twitter and in the Beeb’s favourite newspaper, The Guardian*, most of it along the lines of doesn’t the Government realise that all cultural bodies must perforce be run by knee bending liberals? Among the most indignant was the thespian rent-a-quote, actor Hugh Grant. Talking from his Hollywood home he said that if Moore were to get the job it would be “another nail in the coffin of Britain”.
Speaking to Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Clementi quoted the new BBC director general Tim Davie, when he said that the BBC is about being “free from political bias, guided by the pursuit of truth, not a particular agenda.” Clementi then went on to emphasise what Davie had said shortly after his appointment: “If you want to be an opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media, that’s a valid choice, but you should not be working at the BBC.” That Clementi, whose 3 years in the hotseat at the broadcaster has seen him preside over a period of soaring salaries and collapsing standards, should choose to quote these particular words of his new colleague is ironic, given the way in which left of centre BBC commentators like Gary Lineker and Chris Packham have been so heavily indulged by their employer.
This year Moore became a board member of the Countryside Alliance and whilst it might have been too much to hope that had he got the job at BBC, he’d have cleared out the woke hand wringers running the place, at the very least we could have expected some correction of the Corporation’s ridiculously skewed coverage of fieldsports.
*A 2017 Freedom of information request revealed that the BBC was spending more than £139,000 a year on copies of The Guardian.