I despair sometimes that society as a whole has lost all sense of how a democracy ought to operate. State abuse has become the norm.
I am astonished that there is not greater reaction to the BBC role in Obama’s statement against Scottish independence. It is now confirmed that not only did No. 10 ask Obama to make the statement, they set up the BBC to ask the question that prompted it.
For a state broadcaster, with a legal obligation to neutrality in the referendum campaign, actively to participate in a stunt plainly aimed to boost one side in the campaign is beyond disgraceful. There is obviously a realisation at the BBC that they have done something very wrong indeed – all of the BBC’s own coverage with unprecedented reticence omitted totally the fact that it was the BBC that asked the question.
This ought to be an absolutely huge scandal which leads to resignations at the BBC. Yes, it is not unprecedented for officials to ask a journalist to ask a helpful question. The Tories might well ask the Sun or Telegraph to ask them something. But it is a completely different thing when it is a state broadcaster legally obliged to neutrality and part of a referendum or election campaign.
That the BBC truthful report that there were no WMD’s in Iraq led to forced resignations, while this twisted propaganda interference has no result, is a sign of the collapse of democratic values in society – and the expectation of them.