The search for a new Chairman of the BBC Trust is in utter chaos. After Mr Steerpike revealed that the job description had been altered to insert the ‘Seb Coe clause’, Robert Peston stuck his neck out and said that Lord Coe was a ‘shoo-in’ for the gig. But Coe has since ruled himself out (for whatever reason — maybe sporting, maybe mayoral) and the race is wide open again.
With all to play for, Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, has taken to Twitter to talk up his buddy, the sainted Neil MacGregor:
A personal thought on the search for new Chairman of BBC: how about the British Museum’s Neil MacGregor….
— Tristram Hunt (@TristramHuntMP) July 30, 2014
(Hunt is evidently a fan. Here he is laying it on thick for MacGregor in the Evening Standard: ‘Under MacGregor’s masterful stewardship, the BM has positioned itself as the greatest global museum.’)
Is it entirely proper for the shadow education secretary to use his privileged platform in such a way? If the BBC were a private organisation, Hunt would have to button his lip. Why are public institutions any different?
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.