One of the inevitable characteristics of any society as corrupted and anti-meritocratic as ours is that outrageous over-promotion of favoured non-talent is not merely practised on a scale that would once have been straightforwardly impossible, but is also never reported as such: where the mediocrity’s — and, indeed, sub-mediocrity’s — ascent to the world of six-figure salaries and seven-figure pension pots requires nothing beyond a resolute, career-long preparedness to do whatever is required by institutional power and accumulated private wealth, the last thing any insider is going to do is reveal how it’s done.
There are mediocrities in this world; there are sub-mediocrities — and there is Fran Unsworth (b. 1957). Wikipedia calls her a ‘journalist and media executive’; and if, having read that, you are now racking your brains to recall a single piece of actual journalism you’ve seen — a report, an investigation, a scoop, an exposé — by means of which Unsworth posed any kind of challenge to any kind of established power at all, then you are at least half way to understanding how it is that she now works as the BBC’s ‘Director, News & Current Affairs’ in return for a salary in excess of £340,000 p.a.
And, before you ask, I am not being gratuitously unpleasant: I am being justifiably unpleasant. For, if you’ve ever wanted proof that the people who nowadays rise to the top in important and influential institutions are the very people who should never, ever be permitted to rise to the top in important and influential institutions, you don’t have to look further than our friend Fran. And just so you can have a more precise idea of what I’m talking about, here are two clips from a 2010 documentary that show her in action, attempting to justify the BBC’s power-serving anti-journalism…
If you are a person of any appreciable moral or intellectual development, the following is going to disgust you… Continue reading