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.

UPDATE

Just received from BBC Press Office:

Hi Craig

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

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2013/tony-hall-senior-team.html

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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  • KingofWelshNoir

    John Goss at 2.44pm : I say the same to Craig Murray who is the last sensible person who does not think 9/11 was an inside job.

    Craig Murray at 1009am : I increasingly find myself advocating political opinions I would have found anathema five years ago.

    Slowly, slowly catchee monkey 🙂

  • Abe Rene

    You may wish to write to Harding reminding him of the ideals of the BBC – broadcasting reliable information, not propaganda, as the basis of its reputation.

    Part of the BBC’s problem may also be that when, thanks to government spending cuts, the BBC axed its Arabic service, many of its best journalists went to Al-Jazeerah. So it mey be well to think of ways of getting tham back.

  • Dreoilin

    @Kempe

    What do you mean by “possibly”? Where is the evidence if it’s only a “possibly” evidence-free accusation? There was no evidence provided.

    “Either way reporting his words does not constitute support but is important as it tells us what the Turkish government is thinking”

    Not necessarily. All it tells us is what they are saying publicly. They’ll be asking for more NATO assistance next.

    And you didn’t answer the rest of what I said:

    Did the BBC even suggest that there might be another explanation? Or say that the above “remained to be confirmed”?

    Of course they didn’t.

  • Vronsky

    @kempe

    “Expect loads more cheap programmes, more repeats and even more dumbing down than we’ve seen to date.”

    The dumbness that shamelessly presents itself as dumbness is depressing, but unthreatening. It’s the dumbness that presents itself as intelligent commentary that’s a worry. We’d all be much safer if all they did was property porn, davidattenstuff, slebs and rock ‘music’. With the BBC, innocent crap is too much to hope for.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ KingofWelshNoir :

    “Slowly, slowly catchee monkey”
    ———-

    A bit of wishful thinking there, I’d say.

    While Craig occasionally goes over the top in his blogs (deliberately, to get the troops fired up, so to speak), he doesn’t belong to the Nutters Brigade.

  • April Showers

    O/T
    Obomber was using the figures of 80,000 Syrians ‘slaughtered’ and 5m refugees at his press conference with Agent Cameron carried in full by the BBC. Agent Cameron called the BBC’s James Landale to put a question. All scripted naturally. Regime change was the plan of action and Assad must/will go was the cold message from the dead eyed President. Obama squirmed at a question about the Benghazi killings of the US ambassador and others. I thought that milord did protest too much. He went on too long.

    I saw this poem on DV. Apologies to all decent Americans.

    I’m an American
    by Paul Lojeski / May 12th, 2013

    I’m an American.
    I can do whatever
    I want, when I want,
    to whomever I want.
    It’s God’s plan
    for America
    and for me.
    It’s in the Constitution,
    too. That’s how
    I know I’m superior
    to others, any
    others, anywhere.
    And if I have to kill,
    it’s not a crime
    because I kill only
    to defend my rights
    as an American.
    My killing, then,
    is a good killing,
    an honorable killing,
    a moral killing.
    Therefore, nothing
    I do can ever be
    called wrong.
    I’m an American.
    I can do whatever
    I want, when I want,
    to whomever I want.
    Simple as that.

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/05/im-an-american/42

  • Hannibal

    In an era of austerity the saving of the licence fee which essentially is a tax on each household would be wildly popular.

  • amanfromMars

    And just imagine, we have Chilcot to look forward to and wonder at the integrity of the judiciary and Privy Counsellors, too. Oh, what joy.

  • Vronsky

    “A bit of wishful thinking there, I’d say.”

    The wishful thinking is wishing that to be wishful thinking. I’ll admit that you might be safe for as long as you need to be, though. What a pity for our species.

    @april (the cruellest month)

    I once wrote a little computer program which could turn prose into poetry, or poetry into prose. It did it by removing line ends, or randomly inserting them. What you have there is prose with inserted line ends. Not bad prose, though. Here it is minus the affectation of short lines. I think it’s better.

    I’m an American. I can do whatever I want, when I want, to whomever I want. It’s God’s plan for America and for me. It’s in the Constitution, too. That’s how I know I’m superior to others, any others, anywhere. And if I have to kill, it’s not a crime because I kill only to defend my rights as an American. My killing, then, is a good killing, an honorable killing, a moral killing. Therefore, nothing I do can ever be called wrong. I’m an American. I can do whatever I want, when I want, to whomever I want. Simple as that.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    Man 1: I say, I say, I say, my dog’s got no nose.
    Man 2: No nose? How does he smell?
    Man 1: Terrible!
    Man 2: Ha ha ha!
    Habbabkuk: Excuse me, I don’t understand. You said originally he had no nose, surely that is an observation relating to the dog’s anatomy, and yet then you said he smelled terrible in the sense that the dog’s body odour was unpleasant. You seem to be confusing two entirely different meanings of the word ‘smell’. How sloppy of you, you are so lucky to have me here correcting your errors of speech, we speak the Queen’s English here don’t you know? What? What? Why are you all looking at me like that?
    Man 1 & 2 : Zzzzzzzzzzzzz
    Habbabkuk: La Vita È Bella! La Vita È Bella! La Vita È Bella….
    Man 1, 2 & everyone else on the Blog: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • larry Levin

    when will bbc let the dumb viewers find out all of saviles crimes, even child murder. also why the police helped cover up his crimes. If you want to succeed in UK abduct children and hand them over to the elites for abuse or murder, then u will be protected by the BBC and judges and police.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    The Obsessive Poster, at 13h52, comments on James Purnell and supplies a couple of links.

    The O.P. starts off with :

    “Purnell So clean.
    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/insidethebbc/managementstructure/biographies/pdf/2011_12/dopi/james_purnell_DOPI_2013.pdf

    Yes, I agree that Purnell’s ‘BBC declaration of personal interests form’ does seem very clean, nothing untoward there at all.

    I hope that the O.P. isn’t suggesting that Purnell lied on the form?

    —–

    Then the O.P. goes on to tell us about Purnell’s declared, remunerated activities while an MP from 2002, as follows :

    “cf as an MP 2002-10
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=11176
    £40k pa from Open Left, donations from Policy Network, trips to Chile, Israel, Israel, Israel, Spain, India, writing for Serco, etc etc.”.

    Perhaps relying on most people not bothering to read through the link she provides, the Obsessive Poster omits to point out the following:

    1/. The job as Director of “Open Left” (£40k per annum) is from 2009 and not, as people might erroneously assume from the Obsessive Poster’s comment, from 2002;

    2/. The £1.685,82 Purnell earned on a number of occasions was for, each time, 64 hours of work. This translate into £26,34 per hour. Somewhat less than your friendly cash-in-hand plumber, painter or even gardener would charge you in the UK, unless I’m mistaken;

    3/. Purnell is recorded as having written once (repeat, once) for the villainous SERCO (£650). It appears that he has written more often for the Times and the Guardian and earned more by so doing;

    4/. Purnell has indeed visited democratic Chile, Portugal, Spain, India and Japan since 2002, for a variety of reasons;

    5/. His visits to ‘Israel’ took place between 2002 and 2004 and there do not seem to have been any visits since then. Furthermore – and again, something which the Obsessive Poster doesn’t see fit to share with us – all but one of those visits were “to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to meet members of the Israeli government,Palestinianb Authority and others”.

    ——

    All of which goes to show that the Obsessive Poster’s comments need to be looked at rather closely; although she doesn’t lie, she does tend to be rather selective in her presentation of the facts.

    But we knew that anyway, didn’t we.

  • Kempe

    “There was no evidence provided. ”

    I did say they might have evidence they didn’t want to reveal, it does happen. Fact is at this stage we just don’t know and it’s not the job of reporters to speculate where there is no solid information. Yes I know the tabloid press does it all the time but it doesn’t help, does it?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ KingofWelshNoir :

    I didn’t know you’re a dog lover! That’s nice. I am too.

    But to business : I interpreted your “softly, softly..” bit as meaning that Craig will come round to believing that 9/11 was a put-up job.

    You are wrong, for the reason already given (Craig is controversial, as most of you Eminences try to be – but he is not a Nutter, which most of you are).

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Doug Scorgie (16h14) :

    You are truly your mother’s Son, aren’t you. Same selective, and incomplete, quoting, designed to give a misleading impression. Cf.:

    “Very interesting questioning of Hall and Patten

    Some good questions from Angie Bray:”
    ________

    Yes indeed, and if people can “be arsed” (your expression, Dougie) to read the transcript you kindly linked to, they will see that Hall’s replies were rather good too.

  • April Showers

    The BBC is indeed a special place.

    James Purnell ‏@jimpurnell 14 Feb
    Thanks for the good wishes about the BBC. I feel very lucky to be going back. It’s a special and important place.

    Paul Franklin ‏@PaulJFranklin 14 Feb
    @jimpurnell congrats on the new job, James – definitely life changing!

    Simon McCoy Simon McCoy ‏@simonmccoy 14 Feb
    @jimpurnell Look forward to welcoming you! Good Luck!

    McCoy is a rather oleaginous presenter on BBC 24. Franklin is a film maker.

    If Purnell was an adviser on the recent political three parter The Politician’s Husband as I have read, was he paid extra?

    Quentin Letts wrote this in the Mail.

    ‘At the BBC, former Labour Cabinet minister James Purnell has been tossed a £295,000 job as ‘director, strategy and digital’. The BBC does not comprehend the whiffiness of an ex Broadcasting Minister being given such a well-paid job at the very organisation he once supervised.

    Nor does its new director-general, Lord Hall, accept that the BBC’s already patchy reputation for political objectivity is worsened by having a former Culture Secretary in its executive ranks. Cabinet experience was once reserved for non-executive BBC chairmen. Now it is in the very cockpit of day-to-day management.’

    How the Left’s grip on Britain is tightening, with ever more control over key public bodies since David Cameron came to power
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2308301/How-Lefts-grip-Britain-tightening.html#ixzz2TCiiiVVf

  • April Showers

    Sophie. Sorry to bother you but come quickly. Your Dad is back in the shed belting out the non-sequiturs. He is calling people strange names.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ the Obsessive Poster :

    It occurred to me that you’re rather obsessed about people visiting Israel.

    Just in the interests of transparency : have you ever visited Cuba, North Korea or China, or did you ever visit the former Soviet Union or any of the countries of the former Soviet bloc (pre-1990)?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Ah, so the Obsessive Poster now quotes, with seeming approval, Quentin Letts writing in the Daily Mail (20h57).

    Quentin Letts and April Showers – strange bedfellows indeed!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    More strange bedfellows :

    Doug Scorgie (16h14) and Conservative MP Angie Bray (read her bio on Wikipedia).

    What on earth is going on here?

  • Iain Orr

    Craig has touched a sensitive spot for me and, I suspect, many others. There are things the BBC does well. Not just (in the past) Andrew Gilligan but many programmes that make us better informed and allow for attention undivided by advertisements [except, I admit, for the BBC’s own plugs]. I would be loth to lose “In Our Time”, “More or Less” or “Private Passions” – all radio rather than TV.

    There’s one ad hominem counter-argument: which government is likely to get rid of the BBC Licence Fee? That may be just a variant of the morally suspect argument: “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”. However, it leads to my skepticism about who is going to introduce Craig’s legislation on media control that really has teeth.

    So, my vote goes for the government that is prepared to legislate for media diversity. Only then let’s look at the role of the BBC and the license fee. Meanwhile, it remains true that a BBC that employs James Parnell is an organization that has lost its moral/political compass.

  • MarkU

    I haven’t had a TV since the days of the miners strike. I refuse to pay a license fee to subsidise government propoganda.

  • Fred

    I’m reminded of the story of the old lady who rang the hotel reception and complained she could see a naked man in the building opposite her room. The manager went and looked out of the window but couldn’t see anything. “You have to stand on the chair” said the old lady.

    I don’t have a TV, don’t pay a license fee. Others can do as they wish, wouldn’t want to go banning things to impose my values on others.

    The BBC is pro establishment, always has been, everyone with an ounce of sense knows that, every other media outlet is biased as well. People have the right to choose whichever bias they want.

  • Giles

    ” That attack was so shocking it reintroduced a significant proportion of the British student population to the idea of radical politics.”

    Well I might have been one of them; after Cast Lead I went from mildly pro-Israeli to staunchly against almost overnight, but the BBC seems to attract criticism from both sides accusing it of supporting the other side, so I suppose it has it about right. And none of you ever mentions Jeremy Bowen, who is most obviously pro-Palestinian.

  • Sophie Habbercake

    Dad!

    You seem to be very excited on this thread. Gary says if you were a proper entertainer you would introduce a bit of variety into your act.

    You know, after two weeks on the run I had been thinking, despite all that mad stuff you write, you must be quite bright to have evaded your persuers all this time.

    But now I’m beginning to wonder did they catch you after all? Are your continued postings just part of some obscure therapy / re-education program? Will they slowly start to make sense as you return to earth or are you forever stuck, obsessively spewing them out?

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain to us how, after reading one of you posts, they were able to understand an issue just a little bit better.

    You know all these patronising,and increasingly batty lectures are a pretty good indicator of which posts deserve the most attention. Maybe you have some value after all. Thanks.

  • Giles

    Just to expand, you people want the BBC to be 100% critical of Israel, just as you want it to absolutely conform with your views on everything else, else it be deemed “Zionist”, “fascist”, etc. But the BBC has a duty to report different viewpoints, which I think it does quite well with regard to Israel/Palestine, though manifestly not so well some other more pressing concerns of the British public.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “Comrades, it is time to burn down the business schools….”

    Don’t forget Law Schools, Komo, cuz the first thing we do……….

  • Smeggypants

    @ Giles who says “Just to expand, you people want the BBC to be 100% critical of Israel, just as you want it to absolutely conform with your views on everything else, else it be deemed “Zionist”, “fascist”, etc. But the BBC has a duty to report different viewpoints, which I think it does quite well with regard to Israel/Palestine, though manifestly not so well some other more pressing concerns of the British public.”

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I just want the BBC to show some impartiality in regards to the Zionist entity. Just broadcasting a few different viewpoints everyone and again does not EQUAL impartiality.

    Some may remember Jeremy Bowen getting his fingers wrapped for telling the truth about Israel following the ear bashing the Zionists gave the BBC.

    The excellent Katya Adler ( who is Jewish ) tried to be impartial and even reported on the fact that Israeli schools show maps with the whole of Palestine as Israel. Katya Adler has since been ‘moved on’ from Palestine reporting duties

    Not only has the BBC now employed the Zionist tool, James Purnell as head of strategy and Digital, it’s also appointed the staunch Zionist Ceri Thomas has been appointed to BBC head of programming.

    In his last full year as editor of Today, Thomas presided over a program that interviewed a senior Israeli politician or ambassador on average once every two months. Interviewees included Danny Ayalon, then Israel’s deputy foreign minister, and Tzipi Livni, an architect of the 2008-‘09 Gaza massacre.

    During the same period, not a single Palestinian leader or spokesperson was accorded a similar honor. There was no serious recognition, under Thomas’ reign at Today, of the Palestinian viewpoint

    And then of course there’s Zionist James Harding’s appointment as the BBC’s new director of news and current affairs. In 2011, Harding spoke at a media event organized by The Jewish Chronicle, telling his audience: “I am pro-Israel. I believe in the State of Israel. I would have had a real problem if I had been coming to a paper [The Times] with a history of being anti-Israel. And, of course, Rupert Murdoch is pro-Israel.”

    It’s getting worse. The BBC don’t even try and claim impartiality any more.

    Chris Patten, currently chairman of the BBC Trust and Chancellor of the University of Oxford was asked by Stephen Sackur on Hardtalk last week if he was comfortable with appointment of the pro-Zionist state man James Harding.

    Not surprisingly Patten just brushed it off as being no problem.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Sophie :

    “Maybe you have some value after all.”

    ———

    But of course I do, Sophie. After all, if I’m your father then I created you, didn’t I.

    Without me, there would be no you and this blog would not have the pleasure of reading you from time to time.

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