I CAN’T remember if they taught it to me in the first few lessons at journalism school or whether it was simply innate, but I am an arch cynic.

It is a requirement for the job and it grows with every day deployed in the vital fight between fact and fiction.

When faced with a difficult time, governments of whatever hue, wheel out diversionary tactics to try to take journalists’ eyes off the ball. This procedure - and every political party deploys it - is called red meat.

Thankfully my colleagues in the business are equally as cynical as I, if not more so, and see through spin that would make Malcolm Tucker blush.

This week we have been told that there are plans to have the Royal Navy patrol the English Channel to deter migrants from attempting to cross the troubled waters. So we will soon see vessels nominally designed to defend this country against an enemy, pushing migrants away from our shores.

There will be relaxations to Covid restrictions and of course a cull of the staff at Number 10 deemed culpable for the whole sorry Partygate scandal in the first place.

READ MORE: Mike Edwards - 'We must cherish those who break the news'

Another ruse is to make changes to the BBC and its funding model - a licence fee freeze for two years, costing the broadcaster a whopping £2 billion. This will appease and anger people in large numbers.

There are those who view the corporation as profligate, a vast top-heavy liberal bureaucracy and biased against right wing politics - to say nothing of its contra stance to Scottish independence.

I’ve never worked for the BBC, but I do consume it and, more importantly, I pay for it.

That it’s biased is an urban myth. Politicians, regardless of the colour of their rosette, dread appearing on Radio Four’s Today programme (when was the Prime Minister last on?) because they know they’ll be rightly eviscerated.

There’s a lot wrong with the corporation – over-staffing for one thing, as its former chairman Sir Michael Grade accepts, and grotesque salaries for celebrity presenters and senior executives, but we tamper with it at our peril.

It provides a vital service over a host of platforms, delivering unparalleled choice of content for a paltry 40p a day.

More importantly, it holds politicians to account in forensic detail, live and uncensored, such accounts are stored in perpetuity on the iPlayer - and it challenges every political party’s line robustly and persistently on behalf of you and I.

Which is why they want to get rid of it.