On Wednesday 6 August the BBC made Boris Johnson their headline news item on both TV and radio. Not because of any major achievement, nor because of any major political cock-up. No it was because he wants to seek election to parliament next year.
So putting it another way, the lead story was that a politician wants to stand as an MP, even though he has no actual constituency in mind, and even though the substantive event isn’t going to happen for another nine months or so. Well thanks BBC. I can sleep easier now that’s been cleared up.
I’m not saying that Boris isn’t newsworthy. But headline news on every single bulletin? What’s more, the coverage went on and on. That evening, listening on the car radio, when surely the story was becoming old news, the BBC had something like ten minutes of discussion about Boris. Yes he is the London mayor (but BBC please note: most of us don’t live in London) yes he is well-known, yes we understand he’d like to be tory leader one day. But please BBC there are other more important things happening in this country and beyond.
Sadly this renewed interest in Boris is surely just the start. What I now fear, given the BBC’s love-in with Farage, is that in the run up to May 2015, we will have two celebrity politicians being given all the airtime they wish in order to promote their right wing agenda.