Broadcasting House today was not without its laughs and presenter Paddy O'Connell was mostly on fine form - and it read out in full Shelley's wonderful Oxymandias. It was not beyond criticism however. (Sorry Paddy, I may be feeling benign today, but there are limits!).
During his benign interview with Labour health minister Mike O'Brien, in the wake of Dr Foster's report on poor hospital standards, Paddy intervened to proclaim the glory of our beloved National Health Service (may it live forever): "Absolutely. And let me go further than you have. Millions of treatments are carried out with great skill, professionalism, and people are very happy. And our listener will want us to say that." Another ritual proclamation of love for the divinely-inspired N.H.S. The N.H.S. may do great things, and I have experienced a few of them, but I've also recently heard a few horror stories from my friends in recent weeks that suggest that rank incompetence and rudeness are surprisingly common within the organisation and causing considerable distress. So Paddy, don't presume to speak for your listener.
The paper review featured actress Diana Rigg (Emma Peel), who launched a scathing attack on The Daily Mail (so scathing Paddy had to interrupt to stop it for legal reasons), and snotty, snooty Modernist art critic Ben Lewis, who joined in the attack, calling it "The Hate Mail" and going on to say, "I'm not a big fan of The Daily Mail. I don't think it's a force for goodness in Britain. I think it's a stain on our national character". (Jeez!!) The third guest was Labour lord Chris Smith. Ah, the joys of hearing the liberal-left in full cry!!
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