I watched a good deal of the morning proceedings on the BBC in advance of the Hutton Report. There was a hell of an exchange in Parliament between Blair and Howard over the fact that the report had been leaked. In light of the findings of the actual report, I wonder if Howard thinks it might have been better to keep quiet.

I then watched Hutton's statement. I had many impressions, as the Czechs say. I'm really, really glad that Andrew Gilligan has now definitively been shown to be a liar. The Chairman of the Board of Governors did the right thing in resigning. IMO BBC News behaves as much like a political organization as it does a news agency. The way they closed ranks around Gilligan and denied everything was proof of that. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a serious movement to reorganize it at least.

BBC World itself was really excellent, however, today in its own coverage, even though more than once the moderator tried to make his interview guest agree that the report would have the negative effect of making BBC reporters reluctant to take on the government in future (oh, yeah, that'll happen).

Above all I must say I had to admit that in certain things the British are just really good. Even when they're shovelling excrement in back end loaders at each other, they've got a certain decorum. The whole enquiry was soaked in solidity, respectability and dignity. Of the many examples of that, the best is this one - Tony Blair unleashing an artillery blast in Parliament. (It's a video link, via Oxblog).

Steve | 22:12 |