Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The sneering voice of leftism

I can't remember what it was that propelled Robert Peston onto our TV screens - I think it was something to do with the banking crisis or maybe the expenses scandal - but whatever it was he has been a virtual ever present on the BBC news since.

On the face of it, Peston is the ideal sort of person for the BBC to employ as they attempt to address the criticism of their often overt left wing leanings. The son of a peer and with past experience working at a stockbroker's as well as various journalistic stints at leading "right wing", pro-capitalism newspapers such as the FT and Telegraph, Peston must be as right wing capitalist as they come, right?


Peston's membership of Common Purpose reveals his true political leanings, but you'd never know that just by looking at him. What does give him away, though, is his voice - because Peston has that trademark of the rabid left winger; a whining nasal drone shaped by his barely concealed contempt for politics of the right.

It's the same vocal style I first became familiar with through my scouse English teacher in the mid-seventies. It doesn't matter what the upbringing, accent or dialect - left wingism is characterised by this whining nasal drone with underlying tones of contempt and sneering. It's nasty. This English teacher saw me as something of a protege - I was, at the time, leaning to the left myself - and took me under her wing to some degree introducing me to punk rock and the works of the "poet" John Cooper Clarke.

To be fair, it's probably true to say that this introduction to John Cooper Clarke was what sparked my love of classical - proper - poetry. I found his stuff to be such drivel that I had no choice but to go and find out about real poetry and what a joy I discovered.

Anyway, I digress. My point is that the BBC are reacting to the fact that their institutionalised left wingism has been outed by trying to give an impression of impartiality. Peston is one of those who is supposed to address that. Unfortunately, for the BBC, his sneering nasal drone gives away the reality of Peston's rampant left wing ideology. It always does. Whenever you listen to anything on the BBC, it pays dividends to listen as much to the tone and style of the delivery as much as the words they say - because however they try to dress up their left wing bias the sneering voice of leftism cuts through.


JuliaM said...

Welcome back! Hope things have eased up for you?

bernard said...

You're a bit late with this Peston profile, Stan old bean.
He seems to be universally loathed throughout the blogsphere for quite a long time now.
Mention his name anywhere and you get a torrent of hate mail.
His voice has an idiotically widow twanky pantomime timbre, while his weak stupid face reminds you of the effeminate school prat.
I'd like to be rude about this BBC place-man, but good manners forbids.

TheFatBigot said...

Good to see you back Mr Stan.

It should not be overlooked that Peston's father is a Labour life peer.

Stan said...

Thanks, Julia - no, they haven't really, but we're settling into a new routine of sorts. However, I don't want this blog to be about me and my personal problems which is why I'm not saying anything more about it.

I realise I'm behind the curve on the blogosphere, beranrd - but the majority of BBC viewers don't read or write blogs and they are the ones who are seeing people like Peston and making the judgement that the BBC retains it impartiality - otherwise why would they employ such a (apparent) right wing, pro-capitalist as Business Editor? The answer, of course, is that they employ him because he isn't right wing, but gives the appearance of being so - as lot of the people you see on the BBC do.

Cheers, FB - yes, very true and something I haven't forgotten, but most people won't know. They might know he was the son of a peer, but not that he was the son of a vehemently left wing peer.