Diary: Modesty prevailed when the BBC unveiled the lobbying industry

Sir Tim Bell must be feeling pretty pleased with himself after his appearance on the BBC’s generally excellent expose of the lobbying industry - A Word in the Right Ear - which turned out to be somewhat of an advertorial for Lowe Bell Political.

Sir Tim Bell must be feeling pretty pleased with himself after his

appearance on the BBC’s generally excellent expose of the lobbying

industry - A Word in the Right Ear - which turned out to be somewhat of

an advertorial for Lowe Bell Political.



Interesting also to see the Water Companies’ Association’s Pamela Taylor

gushing on about her proudest achievement - the introduction of

compulsory wearing of seat-belts. No doubt it was modesty that prevented

Taylor and the programme makers mentioning her sterling work for the BBC

during her year as its director of corporate affairs. Readers will

recall that Taylor’s predecessor at the BBC, Howell James - a close

friend of Bell’s - is now political secretary to Prime Minister John

Major. Of course, it would be crass to suggest this had anything to do

with the success of the BBC’s lobbying campaign on charter renewal - on

which James and Taylor worked.



Lowe Bell’s own work for the BBC - which ended last May - was at one

stage costing Auntie some pounds 350,000 a year. Yet this didn’t rate a

mention.



’It just wasn’t relevant,’ says reporter Michael Cockerell. ’We could

have said that Damian Green (a former journalist also featured) used to

work for the BBC.’ How’s that for transparency?



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