Laurence Fox set up a BBC reporter for abuse and BBC News should take action but it won't.

The BBC, and BBC News in particular, is terrified of taking on the right and angering our bullying government.

Laurence Fox used to be an actor, but he’s retrained as a craftsman. His top product is dog whistles and he’s making them at an astounding rate. One of his latest was a tweet that targeted BBC News’ LGBT reporter, Ben Hunte. That Hunte is both gay and black was catnip to Fox’s fuming followers on Twitter and, in a situation that is entirely predictable, Hunte has received racist and homophobic abuse.

Fox, will — of course — point to the literal wording of his tweet (“So glad I’m not paying for this anymore @BBC @DefundBBC #DefundTheBBC”) and the fact that his screenshot features not just Hunte, but newsreader Simon McCoy and a background image showing Prince William receiving a bag with the colours of the LGBT flag. But to anyone who is not being deliberately ignorant for money and attention, his intent is clear. He blows the whistle and the flying monkeys descend.

Already he is playing dumb about the contention between his tweet and the abuse received by Hunte and, in fact, doubling down on it with continuing attacks on the notion that the BBC should have someone who reports on LGBT issues at all:

Fox’s side-kick and public face of the astroturfing campaign Defund The BBC, Calvin Robinson, has also jumped in to defend him:

The irony of Robinson talking about a ‘victim card’ is so deep it could compete with the Mariana Trench; he’s spinning the situation round to make Fox the victim. It makes sense as Fox’s entire schtick is about framing him as the victim of the ‘wokists’. More broadly, despite the right’s consistent assertions that the left are the ones peddling ‘grievance culture’, it is they that constantly find and exaggerate culture war offences to shout about.

Fox found his new fame as a right-wing agitator (he’d furiously deny he’s remotely right-wing, despite palling around with every right-wing prick going), by appearing on the BBC’s Question Time debate show and… being an arsehole. He’s spun that moment of dunderheaded, pub-bore racist ranting into a profitable little performance as a ‘political leader’. That’s brought him millions of pounds in donations from a hedge fund mogul and lots and lots of lovely attention.

The BBC is absolutely out of its collective mind in half-hearted commitment to impartiality — which in reality means conceding to the political agenda and perspective of the right while booting the left at every possible opportunity. The derangement has reached such a level that people who constantly talk about ‘defunding the BBC’ (which is just one step in their project to do away with it entirely) are often given slots on its shows and not challenged about those views.

Darren Grimes, who castigates the BBC and loudly backs Defund The BBC, is a frequent talking head on the BBC News Channel and on BBC One debate shows, grabbing appearance fees with one hand and punching the Corporation with the other.

In the clip above, Grimes — who increasingly cosplays as a cross between an angry pensioner and a rough-handed Northern boy delivering Hovis — talks, seriously, about “chai-latte sipping, kale-munching BBC liberals”.

Grimes’ grift — and it is a grift — is to boil everything he says down to a set of stereotypes and attack lines lifted from the worst corners of the tabloid press. All he believes in really is the continued success of Darren Grimes and he will say and do whatever it takes to maintain that. For Darren Grimes, integrity could be the name of a new celebrity fragrance — an intolerable stench to his ‘working-class’ nostrils.

If BBC executives had any bravery — which they don’t — and were not currently pissing themselves in anticipation of whoever the government installs as BBC Chairman, they would come out with a staunch defence of Hunte as an individual and the entire concept of having an LGBT reporter. But they won’t.

As we have seen time and time again, the BBC thinks that if it cowers enough, the government and its hard-right outriders will leave it alone. That isn’t going to happen. You stand and fight or you fall and die. Make your choice, Beeb.