Last week their was a piece in The Times by Rachel Sylvester that sought to resurrect the old Ed Balls bully boy line (I wrote for the New Statesman on why I think it’s all a bit old hat).
Yet the media has never been interested enough, brave enough or (perhaps more likely) politically motivated enough to report on the bully boy culture that exists towards the media from the supposedly cuddly new Tory Party. Until – perhaps – now.
This morning it came to light that former Boris spinner Gutto Harri had sent the following email to a BBC journalist during the election campaign:
“Dear Will. We are all sick of this at City Hall, and increasingly at Number 10. BBC London is in danger of causing real problems to all of us.”
A not so coded threat. But it gets worse. Was Gutto angry about coverage like this, where BoJo lost his temper over quite reasonable questions relating to Johnson’s relationship with News International? After the election Gutto Harri became the head spinner for News International. His replacement? Will Walden – a BBC journalist, and the recipient of the above email.
Presumably you’re thinking that this all smells rather fishy. You’d be right. And to top it all off, Boris attacked the BBC immediately after the election (despite previously having admitted that he rarely watches it). Evidently he was following in Gutto’s footsteps.
Harri also threatened that ”good friends in No 10″ could be deployed against the BBC. How about Cameron spinner Craig Oliver, another former BBC man (like Harri) – that lefty bias again. Well we’ve seen today that Mr Oliver has no problem intimidating the BBC himself,
as this video (h/t: Guido Fawkes), readily shows: Update: The Craig Oliver video has now been taken down. How convenient…
So I guess in future we’ll be hearing about the media manipulation of the Tory Party’s “bovver boys”, will we? I won’t be holding my breath – I fear our slavish press isn’t interested enough, brave enough or politically motivated enough…