The North West Hampshire Conservative Political Forum met at the home of Mr and Mrs McCall in Appleshaw to listen to their Guest Speaker, Bruce Parker.
Bruce Parker has recently retired after 38 years with the BBC, ending up as BBC South's Political Editor. He recounted how he had interviewed Lord Denning knocking down a wall and Michael Mates MP at a meeting of naturists. He also told how he had frozen a frame of a vote of striking dockers to show that a majority had voted to return to work, not - as claimed by the shopstewards - to stay out.
Moving on to the Hutton report, he said it might have been better to have had the enquiry conducted by someone with an insight into journalism; and that the PM had been taken by
surprise by the backlash against the Hutton findings on the BBC. People did not like to see the Government bullying the BBC.
He spoke of the tensions within the BBC, which was pulled one way by its Public Service Obligation, and another way by the demand to increase its ratings; and said it had an obligation both to report the news and make the news - but added it would do better not to announce its own exclusives.
Bruce Parker answered questions on a wide range of issuesd, defending the impartiality of the BBC. He had never revealed his political views while working for the BBC, but added that he had supported all three parties in his time.
John Winchcombe, CPF Chairman, thanked Bruce Parker for his talk; and Josie McCall for hosting the event.