Lots of rumblings after the New Statesman unveiled their frontpage cover story about the government’s exam “ineptitude”, with graphics accusing the government of lying and describing them as having created a “lost generation”. The furore was sparked because the inflammatory headline was above Lewis Goodall’s byline – who despite consistently acting like an independent comment writer, currently remains the BBC’s supposedly impartial Newsnight policy editor. Downing Street sources detest him as a hostile opponent.
Back in 2007, the BBC banned Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis after one solitary outing in the Spectator the weekly right-of-centre rival to the Statesman, with the corporation saying “Emily should never have been given permission to become a contributing editor to the Spectator, or any other magazine.” At the time, the Guardian reported:
“After the Hutton inquiry, BBC journalists were banned from writing about political and controversial events in newspapers or magazines.”
The single most controversial issue in politics this week has been the government’s inept handling of the exam grades issue, the very issue that is the cover story in the Statesman under Lewis Goodall’s byline. How can we trust Goodall to be impartial on television on Newsnight when by day he writes for a left-of-centre magazine on the controversial issue of the moment? The only difference Guido can see with the Maitlis case is the different political slants of the Spectator and the New Statesman. The BBC’s press office has been contacted for an explanation and has yet to respond…