There can be few who would argue that it’s been a bad few weeks for the BBC. Newsnight was flayed for not reporting on the pertinent issues of the day and ducking its responsibilities, then it was roundly criticised for doing what politicians had encouraged it to do. It’s definitely a case of damned if you do; damned if you don’t. Just when you thought the storm had blown over, the Director General, George Entwistle fell on his sword and resigned after only just over 50 days in the job. Did he fall or was he pushed? We’ll, the truth is we’ll never know, but the clever money suggests that he probably just stumbled.
Still at times like this it’s always worthwhile to try to look on the bright side of life. On man’s loss is usually another man’s gain. The BBC’s political correspondents have never been busier. Political Editor, Nick Robinson, has been on our screens so much of late that he’s almost become a part of the furniture. Speaking of which so has the chesterfield sofa. You may not have noticed, but the Palace of Westminster likes the odd chesterfield sofa or two: in fact, if you can see past the face of the on-screen presenter, all you’ll notice are visitors and guests trying to ‘discreetly’ wader into shot and leather chesterfield sofas and benches everywhere. It’s kind of surreal when you look at it objectively: in any other context you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were looking at a chesterfield sofa showroom.
We all know, deep down, that this story will just run and run: The DG’s resignation changes nothing, because those with a grudge or agenda will push this issue to the limits. So expect more and more live coverage from the Houses of Parliament. However, try this experiment: in the time it takes for Deputy Editor, James Landale, or Chief Political Correspondent, Norman Smith, to regale us with further tales of doom and gloom, look over their shoulders and do a quick head count. How many chesterfield sofas, chairs and benches can you spot? If you play the game seriously, we think you’ll be surprised. The king may be dead, but the chesterfield sofa is resurgent.