Cliff and the BBC - latest
Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Apart from the Grauniad displaying its usual subeditor incompetence by describing Matt LeBlanc as the new FACT of Top Gear (if I were a Guardian subEd, God forbid, I'd assume it should be FACE) - much though I hate Lord Hall Hall (essentially a spineless tailor's dummy who runs the BBC as an obedient servant of tabloid editors and pressure groups), he's right to say the BBC should cover news stories in the public interest. Where he's wrong - and this goes to the heart of media and government - is actually allowing A GOOD STORY to dictate his organisation's morality. It is surely, now, 16 years since I have said it, a crime - conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - to assist and encourage a criminal in his or her attempt to commit a crime.

When police know that publicity about a false allegation will encourage more false allegations, be they snipping off testicles with a blunt pen knife or being abused by someone who was on another continent at the time, or raping someone on live TV in front of millions, they should use common sense and investigate quietly and privately, without massive publicity (if they are celebrities) or local publicity (even down to asking old school friends like Harvey Proctor's buddies to allege crimes or assisting rape false allegators by providing them with useful details to prove their lies).

Media organisations should NOT assist this crime by publicising the efforts of corrupt or foolish cops. When an idiot stands on a dead man's doorstep and talks shit, he should not be provided with the oxygen of publicity enabling him to conspire to pervert the course of justice. And leaking such valuable stories to a news outlet should also be regarded as the same offence.

The BBC and all other media outlets - INCLUDING THIS ONE - should take responsibility for ruining lives simply because it is a great story. That is where I agree with Cliff's brave action. But he should not be suing Police and BBC. He should be prosecuting Lord Hall Hall and the individual officers responsible for conspiring to pervert the course of justice through the courts. Not by approaching Judges with expensive lawyers but by going to the Desk Sergeant and making a formal complaint against the individuals concerned.