Seeing as we're all coming to the BBC with our own personal shopping lists for things that we think need to be changed, or amended, or scrapped, or whatever, I thought I'd bring along mine. It just goes to show we're all different and we all have different views.
Mine's quite simple though. All I want is one thing. I've narrowed down my choices to just a single plea. It's not even something I think is particularly controversial, and while it wouldn't save that much money, I think it would make the BBC a much nicer place altogether.
Never let Kelvin MacKenzie on again. Not on radio, not on TV, not anywhere. Ever.
There, that should be simple enough, shouldn't it? He's not exactly the sort of cove who brings about loving adulation at the best of times, is he? This post by Robin Brown ably demonstrates just what people thought of his cheeky-chappie barking at the Beeb over on Newsnight last night (I think it may be on the iPlayer, if you can face it ) - why put him on the fucking telly at all? Or the radio, or anywhere? Does he ever say anything remotely interesting, or valuable? How he's managed to carve out some kind of career as a Littlejohn-lite "he's a cunt, but he's quite an affable cunt, isn't he?" pundit popping up everywhere to rabbit on about anything and everything is beyond me. Is there anyone who sits at home and says: "Ah good, it's MacKenzie on Newsnight, or Question Time, or whatever BBC programme he's managed to weasel his way onto this week, I can't wait. There's going to be some really reasoned and intelligent input from him, and make no mistake."?
Surely not. If there is, they're beyond help. What kind of place has the BBC become when this jowly bumgrape is the go-to guy when you need a bluff cockney geezer to cut through the crap and 'tell it like it is'? Except he doesn't tell it like it is; he comes out with a miserably misdirected salvo of slime aimed at entirely the wrong direction, fighting against the usual PC bogeymen. If I wanted to hear shit like that I'd buy the Sun or read one of Littlejohn's books. Why the fuck should it be on the BBC? For balance? Balance against what, humanity?
I know the two major arguments against this policy of letting MacKenzie fade into obscurity and rotting away on Sky, where I'm sure they'll be delighted to hear his inane ranting rather than anyone with a real fucking brain talking about anything. The first is that not letting MacKenzie on would be a form of censorship. Balls to that. There are about 60 million people in Britain who don't go on Newsnight or Question Time every week; it would simply be making him one of them.
If you must have some kind of ogrish prick coming on to provide a 'counterpoint', then let it be someone else. Grab some shouty landlord out of a rural pub and bring him on instead. It couldn't be worse. Nothing could be worse. MacKenzie is the nadir of all this. Someone, somewhere thinks he's good value, but that's bollocks. To imagine that he's somehow the voice of the anti-PC common man, as some Tristran at the BBC possibly does, shows complete contempt for working class people, and everyone in the country. MacKenzie doesn't speak for anyone except MacKenzie.
The other argument is one I have a little more time for, but I think it's one that gives a little too much credit to the BBC. It goes like this: the reason why MacKenzie gets selected for these things is that he's your bogeyman; he's exactly the kind of chippy jellied-eels-in-a-pint-glass hatemonger that leftie-liberal-wishy-washy bastards like you would rather piss on than help out of a burning building - and yes, there is a kind of point to that. I would be secretly delighted if I thought that bringing MacKenzie on was a deliberate plot to make liberals so angry and annoyed that they rose up and did something; or that he's so witless and offensive that he discredits the counterpoint arguments that he's trying to make, and that's exactly why he's been chosen. I wish that were the case, I really do, but I don't think it is. I just think someone, somewhere, thinks he's good fun, and he can talk 19 to the 12, and he's looked at fondly by working-class people (except those in Liverpool, I might add) and therefore he's worth having on TV programmes.
Well, he isn't. He's a piece of shit. Always has been, always will be; it's never going to change. Every single time I see his sneery jowls wobbling with the sheer hatefulness of what's coming out of his smelly gob, I get the urge to destroy the TV, the people responsible for the programme he's on, and everyone who ever decided it was in any way a good idea to invite him onto anything ever. If the BBC really do want to win over hearts and minds in the weeks and months ahead - and god knows they need to - then they'll win me over straight away by telling Kelvin "thanks, but no thanks". Or better still "Fuck off, twatface - you know where the fucking door is". They won't, but I like to think they might. Or might want to, anyway.
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