Hislop’s ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ jibe: What happened to ‘BBC impartiality’?

Nicky Morgan was replaced on HIGNFY by a copy of her expensive handbag. When she realised, she tweeted that she would have donated the original, and that its comments would have been better than hers [Image: Richard Kendal/BBC/PA].

I didn’t see it myself. Mrs Mike had been away for a couple of days and wanted to catch up on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.

But apparently Ian Hislop came out with an amazingly ill-judged comment on Have I Got News For You.

Here’s someone who did see it, to explain:

There’s nothing inherently funny about the statement; nothing witty. It’s a straightforward attack on Jeremy Corbyn’s judgement.

If the BBC had any real interest in its stated commitment to political impartiality, one of the other panel members, or guest host Gary Lineker, would have jumped in to say that agreeing with Theresa May and the Tories is what put the country in a mess in the first place. But that didn’t happen.

It’s no excuse to say the show was one panellist short, either. Nicky Morgan withdrew amid controversy over her criticism of Theresa May for wearing a £995 pair of leather trousers for a photoshoot.

She claimed it showed the prime minister was out of touch – but then it was revealed that she herself had a £950 handbag. A similar bag made an appearance on the show in her place.

That is legitimate comment on a news story of the week; Hislop’s attack on Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t.

This man is the editor of Private Eye. Do you think he bothers to keep his political bias out of the magazine? Neither do I.

Peter Cook must be revolving in his grave.

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25 thoughts on “Hislop’s ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ jibe: What happened to ‘BBC impartiality’?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Not lately, he hasn’t.
      Looking at the Eye, it seems to have declared all-out war on Mr Corbyn, Labour, and any left-wing media sources.

  1. Neilth

    I did see this but I didn’t take offence as your informant seems to have. Hislop did say it but it was a throwaway ‘punchline’ at the end of a serious rant at the deficiencies of the rail companies, the ‘profits’ they make at the cost to the taxpayers and that given that we are subsidising the rail companies anyway and they are appallingly badly run he called for them to be privatised. He made clear that he was serious about supporting a return to public ownership then threw in the Corbyn remark. I must admit I was surprised to hear him advocating one of our policies but he made good pragmatic points.
    The bag sitting next to Merton had as little to contribute as Morgan would have so no loss there.

  2. Graham Loftus

    Hello Mike,
    I think you may be missing the point of Private Eye and it’s Editor, nothing or anyone is sacred that’s why the magazine has such a loyal following. Ian Hislop does not use HIGNFY to bolster the ego’s of any politician or the MSM and certainly does not ‘toe the line’ of BBC news. I believe Jeremy Corbyn can and will speak for himself and does not need others to decide what is ‘ill judged’ on his behalf……………………just saying!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Mr Corbyn is adept at letting such jibes pass without comment, despite the possibility that they will lodge in the minds of the people hearing them. I would be suspicious of anybody who suggested leaving him to speak for himself, as this is well known.
      Private Eye and its editor are one thing; the BBC and its proven editorial bias is another. Perhaps you forgot about that?
      I look forward to seeing Mr Hislop satirise the daylights out of Theresa May and the Tories in the future, but I fear I have a long wait ahead of me.

  3. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

    The current labour front bench is an embarrassment. Thank god they’ll never get elected and I say this as a constituent of Angela Reyner who unlike a lot of her constituents lives in a very very pricey part of Tameside (google Fairfield Moravian village), the womans thick and an insult to the people of Ashton and I say this as a lifelong labour voter.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You also say this as someone who hides behind an unconvincing pseudonym.
      Thank God the current Labour front bench WILL be elected. Angela Rayner’s home address has nothing to do with her policies and you are trying to manipulate readers of This Blog by mentioning it. Her record speaks for itself about her intelligence and integrity as an excellent addition to the shadow cabinet.

  4. Marty

    I seem to remember Peter Cook “joking” – during one of the Derek and Clive recordings – about raping an old age pensioner he had run over on a motorcycle and becoming sexually exited after seeing a dead Pope lying in state on TV amongst other things. I doubt Hislop cracking a joke about any political leader would make Cook bat an eyelid were he still alive. To be honest I’m surprised that anyone appearing on HIGNFY thought Jeremy Corbyn was significant enough to bother to mention in any context!

    You need to lighten up, Mike.

    Anybody who ends up leading a political party – and I use the term “leading” advisedly in Jezza’s case – is bound to have fun poked at them them in all sorts of ways. Since when did political jokes become categorised as attacks?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Compare the number of times Mr Corbyn has received this kind of criticism with the number of times Mrs May has been the butt of the joke.
      He gets by far the worst of it – something like twice as many adverse mentions, if I recall the statistic correctly. You can look it up yourself if you doubt me.
      In that context, I don’t think my raising this issue is out of place.
      No, I don’t “need to lighten up”. You need to get real.

  5. Barry Davies

    Hislop frequently attacks politicians of all parties Nigel Farage in particular receives a lot of his comments, I doubt Corbyn was upset by getting a mention it actually means he matters.

  6. Jean Hardiman Smith

    Watched it last night. Hislop said plainly that he thought the railways should be renationalised. Then he added the “when you agree” bit. When someone like Hislop is for renationalisation, no ifs and no buts, I ‘ll take the sting in the tail. I took the remark as a bit added to give that impartiality, though it wasn’t well thought through. Inthe programme they even showed the May being cold shouldered in Europe video, and had a real go at her trousers and lack of direction. The Corbyn remark could be read as a further jibe at the Tories as to just how bad they are, that even (it would be even for the establishment) the far left are getting more right on policies. I have seen and hated a lot of the attacks, but I have to admit I was cheering on the stories of how dire the privatised railways are and how we need to renationalise. It is a long time since I have felt even remotely comfortable wathcing the BBC. The jibe will I am sure go over Jeremy’s head given the support for a nationalised railways system, and acknowledgement he is right – even a grudging one. Hey its a start!!..

  7. spirit

    I saw it. It was unnecessarily sweeping but at least it was in the context of Corbyn being right (having clearly bested May in PMQs). It was much worse a couple of weeks ago when, hosted by posho Tom Hollander with posho and Tony Blair soundalike Hal Cruttenden as guest. He was featured in both opening and closing gags as well as a longish section re his Castro statement as well as a dreadful ‘Islington dinner party’ joke re him and Abbott.

  8. casalealex

    ‘Have I Got News For You’ June 2016

    Jess Philips “They said that win lose or draw, they’re trying to get rid of him anyway.”

    Ian Hislop “Well it’s not that easy to get rid of a useless leader is it Jess?”

    Hislop’s bias is showing…..

  9. Steven Wheeler

    It’s a satirical comedy show. They take the micky out of Tories too. People need to have a sense of humour.

  10. concernedkev

    Hislop has always shown his neolib propensities trying, not very hard, to hide behind (sic) shatire. Round our end he’s known as a Wassack or Gobsh*te. Make of that what you want Lab NEC censors. As much as I love Jeremy’s position he has to face the fact that when the war of words is over then the establishment will resort to repression and violence. We have to win the propaganda war through Social Media. Learn from history?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If you want to win the propaganda war through social media, then please don’t use antisocial language. Keep it clean and you’ll reach more people.

  11. Jt Zoonie

    ian hislop who is he anyway? pete cook was the man. he could be satirical. have i got news for you is a long time in the past and in my opinion was dead when they started pulling the government line for money

  12. Joan Edington

    Just another public school tw*t. This isn’t the first time he’s attempted to ridicule Corbyn. He does it on HIGNFY and in PE.


    I didnt find it funny, but I think we need to grow up a bit. Apparently the right wing press got into a bit of a lather about a (imho funny) comment lineker made about brexiteers – we need to keep some perspective

  14. mrmarcpc

    I watched it myself, there’s no such thing as impartiality at the BBC anymore, they’re the tories little slaves and mouthpieces, Hislop is a part of the establishment, he makes out he isn’t but he is and Cookie would indeed be spinning in his grave!

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