January 30, 2004

Greg Dyke

In my post below yesterday (at the "Still More" update) I took Greg Dyke to task for his reaction to Hutton's report.

But, sadly, he's just getting started:

"Former BBC director general Greg Dyke today hit out at Alastair Campbell, calling him "remarkably ungracious", and said Lord Hutton's conclusions were "quite clearly wrong" on some points of law." [emphasis added]

Later:

"I would be very interested to see what other law lords looking at Hutton thought of it. There are points of law in there in which he is quite clearly wrong."

Mr Dyke said he agreed with the departing BBC chairman, Gavyn Davies, that one could not "choose the referee" and had to accept his decision but quipped: "The government did choose the referee." [my emphasis]

Clearly Dyke is eager to don his legal cap and engage in a spot of legal analysis.

But, unlike Lord Hutton he, er, isn't an eminent lawyer (in fact he has no legal background at all).

Put differently, it's hugely arrogant for him to say Hutton's report was "quite clearly wrong."

And insulting and inappropriate in the extreme to suggest that Hutton's law lord peers would reach a differing result.

Of course, this breathtaking arrogance is an old story (the linked story details Dyke's previous stubborn recalcitrance to pursue reforms at the Beeb).

But back to Dyke's recent comments.

What Dyke has done today is two things.

He's called into question Lord Hutton's competence as a lawyer--amazing given the tremendous respect for Hutton as a top-notch jurist that exists in large swaths of the London legal community.

And, even worse, he's called into question Hutton's integrity (by suggesting that the Lord was not impartial as the "government chose the referree.")

Put simply, he's pretty much doing to Hutton what what he did to Blair--doing the very kind of thing, yet again, that necessitated the Hutton inquiry to begin with.

He's again crudely maligning people's character and competencies.

The only difference is that, this time, he is doing it himself. The last time he allowed subordinates, with impunity, to do so. [ed. note: Note too, of course, that he is today speaking in his personal capacity (though, I reckon, for these folks too)].

So forget repentance. This is about incorrigibility.

NB: When might Dyke take a brief peek at the mirror and appraise his own actions in this sorry affair?

Well, don't hold your breath. Still, one thing is for sure. He's got plenty of time to do so now.

Posted by Gregory at January 30, 2004 12:59 PM
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