Monday, December 22, 2008

Super Show Darling

Peston in his youth
I've just watched a jaw-dropping BBC Panorama prog. "The Year Britain's Bubble Burst" was billed as a review of this cataclysmic year for our banks and the economy. In reality, it was a 30 min puff for our old chum Robert Peston, and that remarkable series of scoops he's credited with.

Indeed, so important has Peston now become, he himself didn't actually present the show at all. No, this was a show about him - a reporter and camera crew trailing him around the corridors of power on his mission to save the nation from evil bankers.

In reverential tones he was asked about this vital work, and invited to opine on "the way forward". We were treated to a potted life history, snaps of his early life, and even a glowing testimonial from his old dad - who just happens to be old Labour peer Lord Peston.

And what about those scoops, eh? What a cracking journo he must be, to ferret out all that secret info denied to the less talented:
  • Breaking the news that HMG was going to prop up the Crock

  • Breaking the news that HMG was going to allow Lloyds to take over HBOS

  • Breaking the news that HMG was going to prop up the rest of the banks

Hang on a sec, though... when you list them out like that, it's funny how they all seem to involve him breaking news of some fresh new HMG initiative just before it gets announced by HMG.

You'd almost think...

No... surely not... surely HMG wouldn't be using him as a tame pre-announcement conduit.

I mean, why would a pre-eminent journo like Robert Peston need to get involved in anything as devious and downright shite as that?

Just because he's the son of a Labour peer, doesn't mean he's a Labour supporter. In fact, he took the opportunity on this very programme to tell us he'd given up supporting any specific party when he became a financial journo: apparently, it's not appropriate.
And just because he and Darling were shown relaxing together, laughing about how they'd put one over on the evil bankers, doesn't mean Peston is in Darling's pocket.

And just because everyone we know in the City thinks Peston is little more than Labour's deniable propaganda arm, doesn't mean it's true.

Any more than those rumours of Santa's death are true.
PS Panorama normally goes up on the BBC's watch again iPlayer, so you can judge for yourself. Just make sure you equip yourself with a sick-bag.


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