Unbeknownst, presumably, to today’s Tory sound bite chefs, in Dr No’s youth to be full of gas had other meanings: to be full of wind, puff or bombast. These earlier meanings recurred in Dr No’s mind over the weekend, as the BBC’s news zombies trotted out Dave’s full tank of gas sound bite time and again. Presumably, like Camilla’s use of wicked, gas is meant to sound groovy. LOL! Where, Dr No wondered, was Little Nellie when you needed her? Dr No’s earlier scheme to pour sugar in Dave’s petrol rapidly gave way to an overwhelming wish to drop a match in the tank.
No sooner than the weekend’s gas started running dry, Auntie turned her attention to the coalition marriage, or civil partnership, the principal partners being same sex. Auntie turned a blind eye to the curiosities of fixed term gay marriage, letting the party for marriage off the family hook, and insisted instead on a half term report. The coalition obliged, with a mid-term review. In a bid to head off marriage questions, Dave ditched the gas, grabbed the Ronseal, and announced the coalition is not a marriage. It simply, he said, ‘does what it says on the tin’. Dr No, knowing many Ronseal products are flammable, reached again for the Swan Vestas. If, if only the match had ignited…
But it didn’t. So we were presented with yet more of Auntie’s news-lite reporting. No one has perfected the form better than Nick ‘Now here’s the thing’ Robinson. His technique is as bold as it is clever. Instead of giving us a hundred percent news, Robo dilutes his reports by fifty percent, with questions. ‘Why am I standing outside Number Ten?’ he asks, blowing valuable screen time. ‘Its because it’s the marital home. Why does that matter?’ he asks, blowing more screen time. ‘It matters because that’s where Nick Clegg and David Cameron are going to renew their marriage vows. How are they going to renew those vows?’ Alas, Dr No cannot report further, because by then he had asked a question of his own, to wit: ‘Why am I watching this?’ – and found the answer lay in the top right hand button of his remote. That time Little Nellie did her stuff.
The reason Dr No mentions this coverage is because once again the BBC’s blind spot was plain to see. It was as if their half term report on the mid term review had omitted one of the three Rs. The coalition has stuck a tree sized stick of dynamite into the NHS, and the burning fuse has less than three months to run, and yet the BBC continues largely to ignore the almighty bang we are about to behold, a bang so big that, famously, it will be seen from space. And yet the BBC largely ignores it. Ronseal Dave it seems is not the only one with a full tank of gas. There are plenty of others, at the BBC, full of their own brand of hot air.