Time to Abolish the BBC 258

It must be a fundamental human right not to have to pay James Purnell. The obnoxious Blair clone is on £420,000 a year at the BBC. I found this article absolutely horrifying; the BBC has appointed as director of news and current affairs James Harding, a man who wrote a defence of the 2008/9 massacre of 1400 Palestinians in Gaza, which used illegal and horrifying white phosphorous bombs as well as depleted uranium, and killed hundreds of small children. That attack was so shocking it reintroduced a significant proportion of the British student population to the idea of radical politics.

That the BBC should appoint the openly politically partisan to top positions – and that they should be openly neo-con – is not shocking because we have come to accept the depredations of the political class as normal.

The purpose of the BBC ended when Grag Dyke and Andrew Gilligan were forced out and the BBC issued a formal apology – in effect to Tony Blair – an apology for telling the truth about Iraqi WMD and the “dodgy dossier” which Blair, Campbell and Scarlett conducted. The BBC has seldom made the mistake of telling the truth since.

I increasingly find myself advocating political opinions I would have found anathema five years ago. I am forced to the opinion that now it is time to abolish the licence fee and end all public funding to the BBC. We should not be blinded by nostalgia; the BBC has no claim to impartiality or “public service ethic.” Nor, for the most part, to quality. Talent shows, reality TV and endless cooking and property auction programmes are not something everybody should be obliged to pay for, on penalty of not owning a television.

Doubtless bits of the BBC would survive in the private sector. World Service broadcasting might be taken over by DFID – another “fake independent agency” can be interposed if desired. But even if some good were lost, the overall harm done by this inflated structure and its all-pervading propaganda is such that it would be worth the sacrifice.

The Leveson Inquiry was a brilliant sleight of hand which managed to get liberals arguing for more government control of the media, while the real problem – the need for a radical breaking up of media ownership – was ignored. If we fracture the Murdoch empire and break up the BBC, with radically tough regulations restricting the percentage of the market any owner can have, we have a real chance to have a diverse media and broader political debate.

All institutions tend to corruption the longer they have existed. Over time those who control the structures of power develop ways to make sure large institutions are twisted to their personal interests. There is not much the rest of us can in truth do about it, except to give the kaleidoscope a good hard shake every now and then.

It is time to shake the kaleidoscope and abolish the BBC.


Just received from BBC Press Office:

Hi Craig

We wanted to draw your attention to our release from 14 Feb this year:


James Purnell’s salary as Director, Strategy and Digital, will be a total of £295,000 not £420,000.

Best wishes
BBC Press Office

So that’s OK then.

258 thoughts on “Time to Abolish the BBC

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  • April Showers

    BBC appoints Danny Cohen as new director of television

    Current BBC1 controller, whose credits include Call the Midwife, will oversee the corporation’s four main channels

    ‘One of BBC director general Tony Hall’s key lieutenants, Cohen will oversee all four of the BBC’s main channels and thousands of hours of programming a year. He will receive a total pay package of £327,800.

    In an email announcing his appointment to staff on Wednesday morning, Hall said Cohen, a former controller of BBC3 and E4, had been the “driving force” behind an extremely successful period in BBC1’s history and praised his “impressive mix of creativity and vision”.’


    BBC Press Office If you are still reading this, could we be told the total value of Mr Purnell’s ‘package’.

  • Martin

    Max Keiser mentioned that his only instruction when he had his BBC show was he could NEVER mention israel.

  • Clark

    Vronsky, 1:18 pm:

    “The problem with the BBC is not its partiality, but its partiality alongside its reputation for neutrality and objectivity.”

    Exactly. And the Queen’s English (on Radio 4 especially) evokes the old myth of the “reasonableness” of the English elite; there’s something very comforting about those plummy accents oozing out of your radio, reassuring you that someone educated at Oxford or Cambridge knows what is going on in the world, and that HM Government is doing something about it, repeating the same message every hour, on the hour,
    pip, pip, pip, pip, pip, piiiip.

  • John Goss

    Purnell’s salary might only be £295,000 but Harding’s is £340,000. I notice that the BBC Press Office only corrected your salary error, not the more important fact that the BBC is predominantly Zionist.

    In fairness there are a few drama programmes which are worth watching. But the news is so important, and to have such a heavy bias, also well presented, is criminal.

    The BBC, and other media news outlets have radicalised me in a way they could not have done before the false flag (BBC complicit in that) of 9/11 which, as the late Aaron Russo so eloquently explained, Muslim groups did not have the capability to pull off 9/11 and where have been the subsequent 9/11 type sabotages. “Come on” he said. I say the same to Craig Murray who is the last sensible person who does not think 9/11 was an inside job.


    There are other sources, like Wesley Clark, but because Aaron Russo was also Jewish, he had no reason to question the official version. It also demonstrates that I am not anti-Jewish – just anti-Zionist.

  • Komodo

    While looking without success for those additions to Purnell’s miserly £295K which would make his underprivileged existence less grey and hopeless, I noticed that Danny Cohen’s subordinate had jumped ship: Richard Klein of BBC4 has taken the ITV shilling, citing BBC budget cuts. Media Monkey in the Guardian has seen what purports to be the job ad for Klein’s successor –

    Monkey has been sent what seems to be a draft of the job ad for BBC4 controller, although admittedly it’s such a departure from the corporation’s usual style that the possibility that it’s a phished fake (the Syrian Electronic Army will stop at nothing) can’t be ruled out. After the standard boilerplate, it does little to woo applicants: “(1) There is no money: we won’t deny Broadcast’s figure of a £26m annual budget, or £500,000 a week. (2) Things are so bad that that the last boss fled to ITV, although he’s a cerebral chap who doesn’t know Ant from Dec or Holly from Amanda (3) Those lovely, funny biopic dramas we used to have? Forget about doing them. (4) And British comedy (5) And fly-on-the-wall documentary series (6) Even history must usually have an arty angle, as we’re now the culture ‘n’ old clips channel (7) So The Review Show has been dumped on you mid-evening – enjoy! (8) No, you can’t have same-day soap repeats to boost ratings, like BBC3 (9) No, the news can’t move from going daftly head to head with Jon Snow (10) Remember, though, that you will be running the channel Chris Patten watches – you must keep him happy, even though you’ve only got tuppence to spend on programmes. Good luck!”

    A late relative of mine did a lot of work for the BBC prewar and afterwards – he reckoned the institution was dominated by, er, natural Israel sympathisers* then, as it is now. No-one should be surprised at its reluctance to criticise Israel; many of its staff have the right of return. It’s institutional. A tradition, even.

    * he called them something else, but that was then…

  • Keith Crosby

    You’re a bit late Craig,Thatchler assassinated TradBBC in the late 80s and replaced it with COMbbc a commercial simlacrum, with consequences which by now must seem all too obvious.

  • Je

    PS – the 70AD expulsion was from Jerusalem, NOT Palestine. The Askenazi European Jews weren’t historical exhiles from the middle east as the Zionists claim (the basis for their right of return). They are (clearly) white Europeans. And the only historical evidence is for an exclusion from that one city. The Palestinians will be the descendents of those living in Judea at the time because usual historical demography is that cultures move but populations largely stay put.

  • Komodo

    Purnell….PPE, Oxford (though not Eton). Appears to still be working for The Boston Consulting Group, for which he has co-authored many documents, presumably not for free –


    and was receiving £40K p.a from Demos, for which he may still be working, in 2010.


    There was no open recruitment process to fill the BBC position. Old Boy’s Network rules applied.

  • doug scorgie

    Very interesting questioning of Hall and Patten

    Some good questions from Angie Bray:

    Q3 “Lord Hall, were you surprised to be offered the Director-General’s job, given that you had not actually applied for it?”

    Q5 “You did apply for the job yourself in 1999 and on that occasion failed to get it. What do you think has changed that made you not suitable for the job then but very suitable-in fact, so suitable that there were no other people considered-this time round?”

    Q10 “Nevertheless, a pattern does seem to have been set, because we then had the Director-General doing exactly the same with an internal appointment and inviting James Purnell to take on the job as the Director of Strategy and Digital, again without any open competition. Aren’t we seeing a pattern emerging here that is not necessarily very acceptable?”

    Q11”It does sound a bit cosy, people you already knew. Is there seriously nobody else that might have been able to do the job that James Purnell was just handed?”

    Culture, Media and Sport Committee
    THE Priorities FOR the new Director-General of the BBC
    Thursday 25 April 2013


  • Kempe

    “I must say, the lack of imagination of a post-disbanded BBC being anything other than some crap US channel or a ‘and finally… ITV’ is disappointing. Or is it simply entrenched realism talking?”

    If anything it would be worse. Abolish the licence fee and how is the BBC going to be funded? There’s only a finite amount of advertising money floating around which the BBC will have to compete for against the other commercial stations. Expect loads more cheap programmes, more repeats and even more dumbing down than we’ve seen to date.

  • April Showers

    Not off topic. This concerns the BBC Chairman, board member of Bridgepoint Capital who own Care UK who in turn own Harmoni. The latter was started up by two Harrow GPs to provide an out of hours service and they sold out to Care UK.

    This is how the ‘private sector’ works. Chaotic, short staffed and insufficiently funded and managed.


    Don’t get ill out of hours or better still don’t get ill at all.

    The Cornwall out of hours contract referred to in the article is run by Serco. I think I recently posted the details of Mrs Hodge’s committee’s inquisition of their top people about their many shortcomings and the fraud where records were being altered.

    Milburn, Purnell’s erstwhile Cabinet colleague is also on the Bridgepoint board along with the ex M&S chief Stuart Rose and others. You can see below that they are consistently acquisitive.



    Patten ought to get out of Bridgepoint before the **** literally hits the fan. The BBC ‘health’ reporters have been demonising the NHS throughout the progress of the Health and Social Care Act and since it came into place on April Fool’s Day. Nearly every day there is some sort of scare story.

  • Summerhead

    Surely this is all academic. I suspect there’s going to be a sharp fall off of people paying the licence fee due to the rapidly increasing use of internet streaming to watch programmes. Look around at how many people are glued to their smart phones. Conventional TV is in its twilight years along with any luck the corporate news media.

  • Komodo

    Q21 Chair: You will be aware of the controversy over the very high pay levels that are set for senior management at the BBC. James Purnell is coming in on a salary of something like £300,000. Anne Bulford is coming in pretty close to £400,000 a year. One of the arguments that the BBC has always made is that you have to pay these rates because these are the market rates. How do you know what the market rates are, if you don’t have a competition and find out who else might be available?


  • Someone

    James Purnell was the man who brought in ATOS to do medical assessment on the sick and disabled.

  • John Goss

    Looking at the comments there seems to be a distinct absence of contribution from the resident Israeli trolls defending their masters. Watch ’em come out from under the bridge now.

  • guano

    The World Service used to broadcast real news unavailable in daytime Radio 4 bulletins/interviews. Now it seems to have been dumbed down into a mixture of football, art fogeyism, musical babble, and irrelevant tweets. I have better things if I am awake at night to think about than this detritus of a worn-out glacier. The last remaining relevance of the BBC has apparently disappeared so I think I have to agree with Craig. Abolish it. I have no TV so I also never pay the licence fee.

  • Kempe

    Yet again the BBC leads with evidence-free accusations blaming Syrian govt

    “Later on Saturday another Deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay, said initial investigations showed the attackers were linked to Syrian intelligence, NTV reported.”

    So they’re quoting the Deputy PM, or one of Turkey’s Deputy PMs, how does that equate with them even believing that it’s true?

  • Dreoilin

    “Later on Saturday another Deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay, said initial investigations showed the attackers were linked to Syrian intelligence, NTV reported.”

    I’d call that an evidence-free accusation. Did the BBC even suggest that there might be another explanation? Or say that the above “remained to be confirmed”?

  • nevermind

    yes please, abolish it into many small pieces, and make the remainder modern, in parts public if must be, put children in charge of it and watch it take off.

    We can but speculate as to who bombed Turkey, but it had the desired effect, although Erdogan is reticent, he knows that Turkey is open and could easily be subjected to a false flag incident.

    Some Turkish jets gone missing. All sorts of provocations.
    This from the Turkish media assuming double bluff.

  • Moniker

    “So that’s OK then.” – he he he.

    Lots of people are saying that Amazon led the people to kill off literature. So far, I haven’t heard many people saying the BBC led the people to kill off TV but I think it’s time to start saying it or stop doing what we’re led to do by these organisations. I stopped owning a TV for a while once. It took the licence people over a year to grasp the fact. It is so unheard of for people to stop having a TV, they don’t have a system for stopping licences for people who aren’t dead.

  • Kempe

    “I’d call that an evidence-free accusation. ”

    Possibly; but by Besir Atalay. He might have intelligence he can’t or won’t share or he could be talking rubbish. Either way reporting his words does not constitute support but is important as it tells us what the Turkish government is thinking, whether it be right or wrong.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ John Goss :

    “Looking at the comments there seems to be a distinct absence of contribution from the resident Israeli trolls defending their masters.”

    If that’s by any chance a reference to (inter alia) me : you’re right, in on-topic mode I’m concentrating on – and finding interesting – the comments relevant to Craig’s lead-in blog, ie on the BBC.

    BTW, and at the risk of getting personal, if the picture (is it called an avatar?) is really of you, then I must say you’re quite a handsome chap. I’d somehow imagined you to look like the late Charles Hawtrey of “Carry On” fame.


    La vita è bella, life is good! (and £295.000 too much)

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