The Newsnight BBC journalistic elite has lost it.
On a few occasions recently, they've seemed totally unable to keep level heads, and just do their job. The first moment they seemed to be losing it was the day John Redwood appeared in their studios to present the Conservative Policy Review on Economic Competitiveness. Panic-stricken at the reappearance of the Vulcan who they believed had been frozen into a cube of ice, and consigned to the outer reaches of the known universe, they seized on any device they could find to stop him, accusing him of a 'lurch to the right' before he'd even stated what the review was all about, and then headlining their reports with the Labour reaction without giving Redwood's review any prominence. It was so unbalanced, and idiotic. It was laughable.
Now we have another manifestation of BBC loss of sanity. Charles Moore's description of the Newsnight - or should I say - the BBC's tactics to undermine Policy Exchange's credibility.
Despite all the evidence that the BBC has become an untrustworthy organisation, with its admitted fiddling of information on game shows, falsifying the sequence of events in the programme on the Queen, and numerous other shocking biases too numerous to mention, it was still possible just about to ascribe the failure of the BBC to accurately reflect events to some knd of unintended human failure - to naivety, or the hopelessness of that class of people who cannot do much successfully in the real world, but find that they can get by by trying to explain to others what they cannot really understand themselves. Andrew Marr, for example might be a genius when sitting down with a keyboard, but if you left him in charge of a whelk stall for a day, I wonder if he'd make enough to buy his own supper. The professorial class was ever thus.
People want to believe in the BBC, and most have an affection for it - or at least they used to have one.
Cameron is showing good judgement by picking this moment to open up on the Beeb, suggesting that the licence fee which is exclusively the BBC's should be split up and given out on a more competitive basis. Why not?
Newsnight for example, have made themselves look complete idiots by refusing to give Policy Exchange any chance to reply to the allegations being made against them, or even to know what the allegations were, prior to going live on TV, and being made to reply in front of the nation - allegations which would need an hour or two's work to be sure of disproving - getting hold of the people involved, cross-questioning them and satisfying yourself of your ground before replying.
The allegations are almost certainly false, and Newsnight should have done what any responsible journalistsic body would normally do, that is ask the people accused of wrongdoing what they had to say about it first. They should not be broadcasting serious allegations without checking them out fully, in case the whole thing was put up bunkum - which it now appears to be. Fraud is a hard thing to prove. It can also be a hard thing to disprove - especially if you don't even know which fraud you are being accused of.
Newsnight's behaviour is particularly despicable as they have also allowed people's indentities to be revealed, people, who bravely entered Mosques and Islamist organisations to find out what is going on there and provide evidence, This latest revelation of bias and falsification within the BBC is far more serious than previous game show fiddles, and pathetic attempts to undermine the monarchy. This time they are putting lives at risk.
And what is it that seems to be behind this latest desperate attempt by the BBC to undermine another organisation - Policy Exchange - which most people have never even heard of?
It is of course the think tank which is favoured by David Cameron. It produced the booklet Compassionate Conservatism cowritten by Jesse Norman - a male (picture) as many newspapers still don't seel to realise! and more recently formed the Conservative Cooperative Movement. Policy Exchange is one of a number of organisations such as Direct Democracy which is driving the localist agenda, advocating the break-up and reduction of the massive state bureaucracies that have been the hallmark of the New Labour era.
This time BBC bias and falsification (funny falsification is what they are so keen to pin on Policy Exchange) seems to have stepped up to another level.
The way Newsnight behaved was not a casual bit of professorial incompetence or naivety, of the kind we are used to seeing every day from bookish journalists who have rarely met the real world, still nurturing the idealistic left wing views that fitted nicely into their university quadrangles. This was a deliberate, heavy-handed, nasty, thoughtless, gutless manoevre by a powerful organisation that thinks it can bully democracy out of the studio, and retain itself in the power it believes it has achieved under the lying, corrupt and noxious Labour regime that spat out Tony Blair, and then relaced him with the hopelessly incompetent and corrupt Gordon Brown.
Brown too is playing the falsification game. He has to pretend he's not really signing away British independence in Lisbon, as he would not be able to defend it if he admitted what he was doing. He and Newsnight are operating like students that have never grown up, or held real responsibility for anything. Policy Exchange is confronting them with the reality of what their years in power have created, and that is why Newsnight is trying hard to discredit Policy Exchange. They and maybe Gordon Brown too are feeling threatened.
The effect of their so obvious attempts to discredit, are of course, having the opposite effect to the one intended. People are wondering why Policy Exchange, which is only a Think Tank discussing ideas, represents such a threat to Newsnight journalists. Desperate for something new to come into British politics, they are becoming curious.
Newsnight journalists will no doubt feel they are justified in their action with their hopelessly warped way of thinking. I don't hold out any hope there, I'm afraid. Since Blair left, they've been floundering, unable to make the world fit. The supreme fantasist has left the stage, and with the defensive Gordon Brown now the champion of their cause, struggle as they may to prevent it, reality is starting to creep in. Drumming up false accusatons against Policy Exchange isn't going to help.
UPDATE - Redwood - Bali Nonsense. The BBC Just Loves EU Spin