In what could be an all-time low for the programme, the BBC's The One Show tonight used Katie Hopkins - a contestant on the reality show The Apprentice in 2007 - as an anti-strike mouthpiece. Hopkins opined that while private sector workers are 'working hard' in these times of austerity, public sector workers are 'throwing their dummies out of the pram' by participating in Thursday's strike, which, she reminded us, is 'just another day out of the office' for Britain's 'dull' public sector workers.
Hopkins suggested that public sector workers do not work sufficiently hard and enjoy privileges not granted to private sector employees. But even if it were true (and as any nurse or teacher will tell you, it is not) that public sector workers are 'privileged', the argument that they should meekly accept the same degradation of pay and conditions as private sector employees is a patent non sequitur.
Hopkins noted that while many abhor the prospect of the 'public sector strikes' planned for Thursday, she is one of the brave few who is 'prepared to say so'. But Hopkins's opinions are not so unique as she imagines: in recent days, politicians and mainstream media have relentlessly attacked 'comfortable' public sector workers in a bid to prevent wider solidarity with the strikes.
The One Show presenters were at pains to stress that the views expressed by Hopkins were not those of the BBC (just as they affected to be shocked when, in May, Hopkins was wheeled onto The One Show to deliver a daring attack on mothers who take more than three weeks of maternity leave from work). But the BBC made the decision to include Hopkins' film in their programme and must therefore take responsibility for it.