Lord Patten’s past as a European Commissioner is causing ructions at the BBC, where he is now chairman.
Was Patten’s Europhilia behind the decision of two BBC managers to apologise to an EC spokesman who was monstered on Newsnight?
Staff on the programme feel got-at. There is talk of ‘pressure’ being brought to bear after the Commission’s Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio stomped off the show last week. Two Newsnight journalists privately say they feel that pressure came from Patten.
Altafaj-Tardio, interviewed live from Brussels, had been given the Paxman treatment. He was also called an ‘idiot’ (pretty mild) by Eurosceptic commentator Peter Oborne.
The discussion was about the euro: can it ever work? Oborne thought not. He tilted against Altafaj-Tardio and co. for endangering Europe’s prosperity for the sake of a federalist dream.
These Eurocrats don’t like it up ’em. Altafaj-Tardio’s eyes bulged like a man given a horse suppository. The Spaniard was so cross that he ripped off his earpiece and left the studio mid-interview.
The whole thing was vintage telly, Jeremy Paxman at his best, worth the licence fee on its own etc.