I MUST say I’m very much looking forward to not watching Andrew Neil’s GB News channel. If this puts me among the righteous throng of “woke warriors” Neil seems to loathe, all the better.
Neil, ex-editor of the Sunday Times and onetime big hitter political interviewer for the BBC, left the corporation after 25 well-padded years because the “direction of news debate in Britain is increasingly woke and out of touch with the majority of its people”.
Still, setting up an anti-woke TV channel cannot be too taxing, as Neil seems to spend an inordinate amount of time on Twitter being rude about the woke.
Before we progress further, here is your reminder that in the lingo of cultural scorn, ‘woke’ is the new ‘political correctness gone mad’. And here is your refresher in how to play Woke Bingo: just shout ‘bollocks!’ every time someone uses the word.
It’s all a bit of a puzzle. To be ‘woke’ is basically to be against racism, so doesn’t being anti-woke suggest you favour at least a teeny bit of racism? Anyway, in the spirit of friendship, I’d like to thank Neil for reportedly hiring Nigel Farage and Julia Hartley-Brewer for his new station. It saves me the bother of tuning in.
Now there are those, including the fine editor of the Yorkshire Post, who have joined Neil’s side of the argument on Twitter, and that’s fair enough. Maybe we do need such a TV news station. But for all Neil’s protestations that GB News will be impartial, you can’t help but worry that this will lead to US-style TV ‘news’, where the likes of Fox News report politics with all the narrow and biased focus of our newspapers.
But perhaps we should let this tedious enterprise start before weighing in. Maybe it won’t be that terrible (you never know); perhaps no one will watch (here’s hoping).
It seems to me that Neil is drawing this TV news station from the same poisoned well that landed us with Brexit. He is defining the ‘enemy’ by disparaging the ‘woke warriors’, and somewhere I read that his station was for the over-looked 52 per cent, which is weird as they don’t seem that overlooked to me.
What a splendid case of political ball tampering, roughing the argument before tossing it at enemy wickets. It’s that liberal conspiracy all over again: if these fiendish liberals are scheming to undermine national life, how come they never end up in power?
The liberal establishment is frankly rubbish at its job.
Shouting ‘woke’ is the same shake of the cutlery drawer that sees Home Secretary Priti Patel attacking “leftie lawyers” – her party owns all the knives and forks but she can’t resist a rattle. As for Neil, he’s jumping in puddles to make a muddy splash.
Think I’ll be sticking with the BBC and Channel 4. Mind you, I do like the Berger & Wyse cartoon in my Saturday copy of the wide-awoke Guardian. Beneath the words “The News” a worried woman sits at a table listening to the radio. “Good morning, minister. You’ve done something awful, haven’t you?” “No” “Thanks for coming on.”
Says quite a lot in rather fewer words that I’ve just used.