Tory government bid to put their man in charge of Ofcom fails

Paul Dacre: the government destroyed any pretence of impartiality to shoehorn him into Ofcom, but he has given up on it anyway.

Oh dear. How sad (for the Tories). Never mind!

Here’s the story:

The article makes it clear that the Tory government had tried to rig the appointment system after Dacre was rejected first time around:

After failing in his first attempt when an interview panel decided the former editor of the Daily Mail did not fulfil the required criteria, ministers then cleared the way for him to be given another shot.

The panel had deemed him “not appointable”. Now let’s find out how he described his rejection:

He said he had been judged inappropriate to head Ofcom the first time because his “strong convictions” were not compatible with the role.

That would be true enough – Ofcom needs to be impartial so any bias should indeed rule any candidate out of taking the chair.

Dacre – formerly the editor of the Daily Mail – couldn’t resist taking a swipe at the civil service as he announced his withdrawal in The Times:

Dacre described the process of civil service recruitment as an “infelicitous dalliance with the blob”, and suggested it was Whitehall workers rather than politicians “who really run this country”.

No, it’s definitely Tory politicians who have corrupted public life. Ofcom is a prime example; they corrupted the selection process in Dacre’s favour – but you notice he didn’t have anything to say about that!

“The civil service will control (and leak) everything; the process could take a year in which your life will be put on hold; and if you are possessed of an independent mind and are unassociated with the liberal/left, you will have more chance of winning the lottery than getting the job.”

In a final attack on the civil service, Dacre said he was taking up “an exciting new job” in the private sector that “struggles to create the wealth to pay for all those senior civil servants working from home so they can spend more time exercising on their Peloton bikes and polishing their political correctness”.

And good riddance to him. It will be interesting to find out who ends up employing him, and to look up their tax details to ensure they aren’t operating from a tax haven and cheating the Treasury.

The government will now face the task of cleaning up the appointment process that it shamelessly compromised in its bid to shoehorn Dacre in. According to The Guardian,

Concerns were raised about the transparency of the recruitment process.

When the Guardian revealed a lobbyist at a company with close connections to the Conservative party was picked to help select which candidates should be approved, Dacre announced he would not proceed with an application again despite being urged to “by many senior members of the government”.

The government had spent more than a year trying to ease Dacre’s application for the job. After he failed the first interview process the government spent the summer trying to find people willing to sit on a fresh interview panel for the job, with many individuals reluctant to put their name to the process. The job description was also rewritten to favour a more confrontational candidate, in another move seen as favouring Dacre.

The government now has just 10 days to find another preferred candidate, with applications due by 29 November.

Do any of you fancy it?

Strangely, the Guardian article doesn’t provide a link to an online application form, and all the web pages concerning Ofcom chairmanship applications are out of date.

It’s as if they only want to take applications from the people they choose, don’t you think?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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1 thought on “Tory government bid to put their man in charge of Ofcom fails

  1. Stu

    A tiny glimmer of hope that the tide could be turning.
    Or poor timing by Bojob – “For Sleaze – a Jolly Good Fellow” ?

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