JAN MOIR: Let’s hope St Carol of Vorderman isn’t the last preaching Leftie to be sacked by the BBC
Carol the penitent packed her Spanx and said goodbye to the circus.
The professional provocateur, reality show star, serial detox dieter, maths expert, Michelle Mone tormentor, former television presenter, virulent Tory-hater, Jessica Rabbit-alike and pioneer of the bodycon capsule wardrobe has been dumped from her Saturday morning show on BBC Radio Wales for breaching new social media guidelines.
About time! Her four listeners are bereft of course, but there is no going back. ‘I am not prepared to be silenced,’ bawled self-important St Carol of Vorderman, much in the manner of a modern Joan of Arc telling everyone she was ‘born to do this’ before bolting on her 38DD cup breastplate and taking her place at the head of Luvvie Army.
There, out on the battlefield for boneheads, a platoon of weeping celebrities has flocked around the deposed broadcaster to offer their support.
Fellow BBC stars including comedian Alan Carr (‘Big respect Carol’) and Radio 2’s Michele Visage (‘Adore you endlessly’) tweeted their allegiance like turkeys voting for Christmas, while Dame Kelly Holmes went further.
‘You do you Carol! Much respect for sticking up for who you are and not allowing corporations to silence you!’ was the message from the former Olympian.
JAN MOIR: Carol the penitent packed her Spanx and said goodbye to the circus
Those dastardly corporations! Dame Kelly sees no hypocrisy in denigrating the very same organisation that once made her BBC Sports Personality of the Year. ‘This is the biggest sporting honour your country can give you,’ she sobbed gratefully at the time.
However, that was then and this is now. And now is the time for these stars, many of them fulsomely enriched by BBC cheques, many of whom have the BBC to thank for their conservatory extensions and water villa holidays in Thailand, to cluster under what they believe to be the flag of freedom of speech along with the right to personal expression, and pathetically fail to grasp what is really at stake.
In praise of Vorderman, new ITV This Morning presenter Cat Deeley wrote: ‘You are bloody brilliant,’ while Katie Piper called her ‘an icon’. Denise Welch, Patsy Palmer, Denise Van Outen all rallied to the cause while Former SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton took the madness one step beyond.
Ant believes employees’ social media activity should be of no concern to their employer. He posted: ‘It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason because it’s what you do outside of your WORK commitments. It’s not called Work Media. The 2 should be kept completely separate.’
Darling, Ant! All those muscles but so little coordination between coherence and thought and speech in the Ant-brain. Look around the cultural landscape and you will see that plenty of people in this country have lost their jobs because of their postings on social media — and rightly so.
JAN MOIR: Dame Kelly Holmes responded: ‘You do you Carol! Much respect for sticking up for who you are and not allowing corporations to silence you!’
A Savills estate agent was sacked after a bigoted tweet following an England football match. An Essex negotiator was sacked after grabbing Professor Chris Whitty around the neck in a London park and posting film of the incident online. Actor Marc Anwar was written out of Coronation Street after posting racist comments, and so on.
Under UK law, misconduct on social media is just as serious as verbal misconduct in the workplace. Writing that ‘all views are my own and not those of my employer’ before you tweet or post is a fig leaf belief that personal posts cannot affect employment status. Wrong. They can and they do.
Of course, Carol Vorderman is not guilty of any misconduct, except perhaps a contractual one. She was working for the BBC, which brings a complex set of responsibilities.
Just to remind all the Carol-fans out there, the BBC is a publicly funded national organisation; a broadcaster, whose very existence depends on its impartiality. If you accept the privilege of working for them, you must also accept you have to keep your more outrageous political opinions to yourself.
READ MORE: Carol Vorderman is AXED over her anti-Tory Twitter rants: BBC Radio Wales bosses fire presenter after accusing her of ‘flagrantly breaching’ corporation’s impartiality rules
It means you shouldn’t roar onto Twitter like an unhinged escapee who has lost her meds and start fuming that the Conservatives are ‘a lying bunch of greedy, corrupt, destructive, hateful, divisive, gaslighting crooks’. That was Carol, not so long ago. And she can’t have it both ways. Not any more.
Last month, the BBC introduced new social media guidelines following controversy over sports presenter Gary Lineker, who was accused of breaching impartiality rules due to political content he had posted on Twitter.
Of course, his tweets echo the same political line as Carol Vorderman’s — and nearly every BBC star you can name. Which seems to be that the Tories are nothing short of an evil malignancy oppressing Palestinian protesters, the homeless, women, immigrants, bus drivers, boat people, Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
It would be so refreshing — a miracle! — to find a BBC personality offering a different point of view on social media. Perhaps that sometimes Suella Braverman makes sense; that Boris Johnson wasn’t all bad; that illegal immigration is exacting a price this country simply cannot pay — anything!
Yet we all know that if celebrities held those kind of populist views, the great irony is that they would never get a prominent job at the Leftie-loving BBC in the first place.
At Beeb HQ, the struggle to be impartial is in permanent conflict with an institutional bias so deeply ingrained that many fail to even notice it exists. There is groupthink on absolutely everything, from Brexit to Rishi Sunak to the Israel-Hamas war.
I even have my doubts about Jeremy Bowen wondering onscreen this week if the force of Israel’s attack on Gaza was ‘justifiable’. It might be a fair enough question, but is it one that the BBC’s Middle East Editor should be making in the middle of a news bulletin?
JAN MOIR: Last month, the BBC introduced new social media guidelines following controversy over sports presenter Gary Lineker
Meanwhile, Carol Vorderman is ‘not prepared’ to lose her voice and vows to ‘continue to criticise the UK Government’ as only she knows how. ‘I’ll now increase calling out this disgusting Tory govt with facts & data which the Right-wing media fails to publish,’ she foamed, in a Twitter blizzard yesterday. You do you, Carol! Yet while I disagree with almost everything Carol says, I defend her right to say it — only not when she is employed by the BBC.
She’s a monomaniac, a one-woman sandwich board, she who will not be swayed. Yet despite the greasy exhortations of her celebrity fans, Carol is neither victim nor martyr, nor quite the national treasure she fondly imagines herself to be. She is just the first celebrity to be sacked under the new BBC impartiality guidelines. And, thank goodness, she won’t be the last.
Anyway, who needs Carol Vorderman to demonise the Conservative party? They are doing a marvellous job of it all by themselves, paving their own route to electoral destruction.
Even Boris Johnson says this rudderless Government are drifting towards defeat, and it is hard to argue with his summation. Or even believe that they deserve to get re-elected should the occasion arise.
I’m only clinging on to hope because the alternative — Prime Minister Starmer! — is too awful to contemplate.
JAN MOIR: While Rishi Sunak is fussing about pedal power, more than 50 per cent of the people in this country don’t want the pro-Palestinian march to take place over this Remembrance weekend
Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak and his pedicabs! Is this a joke? While he is fussing about pedal power, more than 50 per cent of the people in this country don’t want the pro-Palestinian march to take place over this Remembrance weekend.
Everyone can see that it is provocative and disrespectful — but Sunak has just told the Met Police: ‘On your head be it.’
The country wants leadership in this time of crisis, not an insignificant, head-in-sand, blame-shifting leader who merely shrugs his shoulders when difficult decisions have to be made. Can you imagine Winston Churchill doing the same thing? No, me neither.
All hail Queen Fergie, monarch of the sofa
For one brief, shining moment this week, it was rumoured that the Duchess of York was going to replace Holly Willoughby on This Morning. How the heart soared!
The thought of Fergie as an ITV daytime queen, pontificating on the sofa about politics and hemlines while pretending to enjoy Gino D’Acampo’s grisly pasta bakes was almost too delicious to contemplate.
Why not Fergie? She can’t be any worse than Alison Hammond, that great whoopee cushion of cringe, that teeth-grating geyser of false laughter.
If Fergie was on This Morning, millions of us would tune in, whereas Alison just makes us tune out.
JAN MOIR: If Fergie was on This Morning, millions of us would tune in, whereas Alison just makes us tune out
There’s no one so callous as a self-righteous eco-loony
Just Stop Oil protesters blocked Waterloo Bridge in London on Wednesday. They refused to budge for an ambulance with flashing lights. They still refused when the paramedic driving it begged them to move, because he was attending an emergency. How can these maniacs sleep at night? JSO say they refuse to stand by while millions ‘die of climate change’. However, an individual death, directly caused by their actions? They don’t give a damn.
To misquote Stalin, a single death is a statistic, while a million deaths is a tragedy. Even if those million deaths exist only in the Just Stop Oil imagination, in a doomsday scenario they have dreamed up for themselves, in a future that might never happen.
I’m all right Jack, now show me the money
The actors’ strike in Hollywood is over. How do I know? Mostly because the stars started tweeting and talking online about themselves again.
The SAG-Aftra strike reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers over a better deal for streaming, better pay and safeguards on the use of AI. I’m glad matters have been resolved, but here is an idea.
JAN MOIR: It seems absurd that George Clooney can make £195 million in a year, while those further down the food chain earn a tiny fraction of that
Why don’t A-List actors and actresses agree to a cut in their astronomical fees, which would help level the field?
It seems absurd that George Clooney can make £195 million in a year, or Reese Witherspoon (pictured) £94 million, while those further down the food chain earn a tiny fraction of that.
Could the much-vaunted progressive socialism of these caring stars extend to taking a pay cut to help their fellow professionals? Thought not. As Jack Nicholson reportedly said on the set of Batman back in 1989; ‘Another day, another nine million dollars.’
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