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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  • April Showers

    Also time to abolish the Murdoch slime.

    ‘A Sun journalist, Clodagh Hartley, an HMRC press officer Jonathan Hall and his partner Marta Bukarewicz to be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.’

    I assume that means the Sun paid Hall and partner for info.

  • April Showers

    Back to 1927 and the days of the wet battery operated ‘wireless’ sets and before that the cat’s whiskers…..

    The coat of arms of the BBC was adopted in March 1927 to represent the purpose and values of the corporation.
    ‘Nation shall speak peace unto nation’.

    Motto
    The idealistic BBC motto is most likely based on biblical verses from the Book of Micah and the Book of Isaiah: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. [1] In 1934 the motto was changed to “Quaecunque”, meaning “Whatsoever”. This was inspired by St Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians 4:8:[1]

    DE CETERO FRATRES QUAECUMQUE SUNT VERA QUAECUMQUE PUDICA QUAECUMQUE IUSTA QUAECUMQUE SANCTA QUAECUMQUE AMABILIA QUAECUMQUE BONAE FAMAE SI QUA VIRTUS SI QUA LAUS HAEC COGITATE

    English (King James Bible):

    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    This inspired the dedication that appears in the entrance hall of Broadcasting House:[4]

    TEMPLUM HOC ARTIUM ET MUSARUM ANNO DOMINI MCMXXXI RECTORE JOHANNI REITH PRIMI DEDICANT GUBERNATORES PRECANTES UT MESSEM BONAM BONA PROFERAT SEMENTIS UT IMMUNDA OMNIA ET INIMICA PACI EXPELLANTUR UT QUAECUNQUE PULCHRA SUNT ET SINCERA QUACUNQUE BONAE FAMAE AD HAEC AVREM INCLINANS POPULUS VIRTUTIS ET SAPIENTIAE SEMITAM INSISTAT

    English:

    This Temple is dedicated to the Arts and Muses by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director-General. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.

    in 1948[1] the motto reverted to the original.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_the_BBC

    BBC

    1922 to 1939

    The privately owned BBC was the world’s first national broadcasting organisation.[13] It was founded on 18 October 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd[14] by the British General Post Office (GPO) and a group of six telecommunications companies—Marconi, Radio Communication Company, Metropolitan-Vickers (MetroVick), General Electric, Western Electric, and British Thomson-Houston (BTH)[15]—to broadcast experimental radio services. The first transmission was on 14 November of that year, from station 2LO, located at Marconi House, London. That year its founder John Reith[16] became its first general manager.[17]

    In 1923, the Sykes Committee rejected advertising for the service as it would lower standards, and recommended that a 10 shillings licence fee fund broadcasts. To avoid competition with newspapers, Fleet Street persuaded the government to ban news programmes until 7 pm, and the BBC could only use news from wire services instead of reporting its own. By 1925, the BBC reached about 80% of Britons through a network of regional and relay stations. While regional stations at first offered many local programmes, by 1930 the National Programme from London, and a Regional Programme from London and several regional cities, replaced local radio.[18]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC

    I trust that the Sykes referred to above has no connection to the Sykes of Sykes-Picot who started the sell out of the Palestinians.

    British-Zionist discussions during the negotiations [edit]

    Following the outbreak of World War I, Zionism was first discussed at a British Cabinet level on 9 November 1914, four days after Britain’s declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire. At a Cabinet meeting David Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer, “referred to the ultimate destiny of Palestine.”[7][8] Lloyd George’s law firm Lloyd George, Roberts and Co had been engaged a decade before by the Zionists to work on the British Uganda Programme.[9] In a discussion after the meeting with fellow Zionist Herbert Samuel, who had a seat in the Cabinet as President of the Local Government Board, Lloyd George assured him that “he was very keen to see a Jewish state established in Palestine.”[7][10] Samuel then outlined the Zionist position more fully in a conversation with Foreign Secretary Edward Grey. He spoke of Zionist aspirations for the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish state, and of the importance of its geographical position to the British Empire.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes%E2%80%93Picot_Agreement

    It was ever thus.

  • Komodo

    I trust that the Sykes referred to above has no connection to the Sykes of Sykes-Picot who started the sell out of the Palestinians.

    Your trust is well-founded. Sir Mark Sykes (of Sykes-Picot) died of influenza in 1919. The Sykes-Picot agreement had nothing to do with a Zionist Israel – it was the Balfour Declaration which gave that one wings, and not until after WW2. Lloyd George’s intriguing on the subject is well known, of course.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ KingofWelshNoir :

    No, I don’t think my point was spoilt at all. But more important was the recommendation with which I ended it. So, dear : have you calmed down?

    ________________

    Quite interesting btw that the Obsessive Poster (14h39) gives out great chunks of history (lifted from various websites) so soon after I quoted from material written in the 1930s. One might almost get the impression that the Obsessive Poster, perhaps because of her advanced age, wishes to emphasise her (self-created, of course) rôle as this blog’s ‘historian’ of the first half of C20. How else to explain this outpouring of ‘knowledge’, which is scarcely irrelevant to the main thrust of this thread?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    The Obsessive Poster thunders, at 14h20 :

    “Also time to abolish the Murdoch slime.”

    ————–

    Now, if that had been posted by Uncle Joe Stalin, one would have no difficulty in imagining how this recommendation would have been effected: a quick bullet through the back of several heads.

    But, on the assumption that the Obsessive Poster is of a milder disposition that the said great Father of the People, one might be forgiven for wondering how exactly she would give effect to this recommendation.

    (As the Obsessive Poster tends to be short on practical details, I should of course have no objection if the Eminences were to answer on her behalf)

  • April Showers

    Sophie. The Shed.

    The RI post at 9.09 was patronising, condescending and sexist. Calm down dear! is not an admonition that would be directed to a male and when Agent Cameron used it, he was rightfully widely criticized. I think the Old Etonian thought it was funny.

    I see he is strolling around Boston today upping the ‘we must fight terrorism’ message and P Harry is visiting New Jersey to see the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The soldier prince should know that we haven’t seen anything yet as the full effects of climate change are seen and felt.

    What have Obama and Cameron got to say about the latest rebel obscenity reported from Syria today in the light of their replies at the press conference yesterday when they reinforced their determination to get rid of Assad, ie regime change.

    Syria conflict: Cameron and Obama pledge to boost opposition
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22519962

  • April Showers

    Murdoch again.

    May 14th, 2013 in Israel

    Murdoch and Netanyahu make love so please don’t interrupt

    Care to imag­ine what an ed­i­to­r­ial meet­ing is like at Ru­pert Mur­doch’s Aus­tralian? No, me nei­ther – “look, over there, a Mus­lim coun­try the West hasn’t bombed, let’s fix that im­me­di­ately!” – but there’s a weird ob­ses­sion over sup­port­ing the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment. There’s a di­rect line from the Is­raeli PR de­part­ment to the writ­ers at the Mur­doch organ and don’t they milk it for all it’s worth? It’s not about in­tel­lec­tual rigour or facts but blind ide­ol­ogy. From com­ments about how Pales­tini­ans and crit­ics should be grate­ful for Is­rael to today three ar­ti­cles that all tackle BDS, Pales­tine, human rights, anti-Semi­tism, TER­ROR­ISM, ice-cream and pan­das.

    /..
    http://antonyloewenstein.com/2013/05/14/murdoch-and-netanyahu-make-love-so-please-dont-interrupt/

    Antony Loewenstein is a Sydney-based independent freelance journalist, author, documentarian, photographer and blogger.[..]
    His best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question, was released by Melbourne University Publishing in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012 and soon in Indonesia.[..]

    He was a contributor to the 2008 Verso Books release, A Time to Speak Out: On Israel, Zionism and Jewish Identity.

    contd. http://antonyloewenstein.com/bio/

  • Giles

    But Habbabkuk (9:09am), you underestimate the matter. The Sheeple cannot see what the BBC has become, namely:

    The Goebbels Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) (also known as the Zionist Broadcasting Entity (ZBE)).

    That’s right, this extreme right-wing organization is beaming Nazi propaganda directly into your home and turning your children into little goose-stepping fascist warmongers and mini-Hitlers who will all do Aliyah and bulldoze Palestinian homes for fun.

    For example, as of 07:48 this morning I heard no mention of the Plight of the Palestinians from any of the BBC’s propaganda channels, proving without doubt that it is Zionist controlled. By the same time I heard two mentions of UKIP, meaning that the BBC is more concerned with promoting racism than it is with justice for the Palestinians. I despair that I live in such a truly sick country in which promoting racism and fascism is more important than the killing of innocents.

    Likewise, I heard North Korea described as a “brutal regime” with no accompanying description of Britain as a fascist state, which would be balanced, if unfair on North Korea.

    The trouble is the Truth has been Suppressed and the Goyim are so blinded by property porn that it takes us here at Craig’s blog to show them that they are the unwitting slaves of Isra(h)el(l). As we are significantly more perceptive than them, we are able to discern that the GBC is really a mouthpiece for the Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG) and is controlled by Benjamin Netanyahu himself. The licence fee goes into a huge slush fund in Tel Aviv which is used for perpetrating False Flag attacks that will enable Israel to take over the last remaining parts of the world that are not yet fully under Zionist control (central Borneo and parts of the Sahara). Needless to say you will not read about this in any of your Official Narratives because they are all written by Known Zionists and therefore apologists for Nazism.

    The Olympics was Fascist until they did that bit about the NHS and then it was actually alright.

    The ONLY way out is to turn over to RT and discover the Truth, or if it has been taken over by Zionist Infiltrators then head for the MediaLens Message Boards, where hasbara has not yet taken hold. I have doubts about Craig because he believes some northerners can’t speak properly and that makes him a Fascist and probably a Zionist.

    Life is not good, it’s bloody miserable living in a Fascist State.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Komodo at 08h49 (on the Greek tax measures) :

    I feel that in your excitement (or perhaps rather in your source’s excitement) certain points have been overlooked. Let me set out the essential ones in condensed form.

    The Greek tax base, and therefore potential govt. revenue, was sufficient to cover even the profligate spending of the last decade or two – provided, however, that the taxes due were actually paid and collected. It is generally recognised (including by the Greek govt.) that this has not been the case. To be noted that this problem originates not from the class of humble office or factory workers but in the main from the numerous professional classes (doctors, lawyers, notaries, pharmacists, etc) and from the vast army of the self-employed (shopkeepers, artisans, restaurant owners,the self-employed and small business people more generally). The example which hit the headlines a year or so ago was that of doctors (mainly specialists) with their practices in the affluent area of central Athens called Kolonaki, who were found to have been declaring annual incomes of as low as €12.000 (€1000 a month).
    So, the govt. has adopted a rather more muscular approach, based on the not unreasonable assumption that undeclared income will, in part at least, not be banked but put into consumer goods – first and foremost property and land but also items such as expensive cars, yachts, swimming pools and so on. Henceforth,therefore, income will be more closely looked at in connection with lifestyle: to revert to the example of the Kolonaki doctor, if he or she owns a Mercedes, a yeacht and an expensive house with swimming pool in an expensive suburb of Athens, a declaration of income of €1.000 a month is likely to be looked at with some scepticism and the individual will be assessed for incpme tax purposes as earning an amount commensurate with his observed life style and, equally importantly, with what a moderately successful doctor in private practice could be reasonably assumed to be earning (and that is quite a bit, believe me). Idem for the other categories of taxpayers I mentioned earlier on.
    It’s also worth pointing out that the (relatively) new property tax – based on the zone in which the property is located, its surface area in square metres and its age – also takes as its starting point the assumptions (both largely correct) that this tax is easier to collect than income tax (the tax comes as part of the elctricity bill) and that much undeclared income has been sunk into property.

    Both this new departure in assessment and the (relatively) new property tax are perhaps to an extent blunt instruments and there will certainly be some cases of unjustified hardship. But it is somewhat misleading to say, as Komodo’s source apparently does, that “As you almost certainly don’t have the cash to pay it,…”, or “millions of Greek taxpayers will be called upon to cough up even if they have no income,…, or “It’s the legalisation of asset seizure, pure and simple…”.

    Finally, I should say that all of this is not even unique to Greece. Given the extent of tax fraud by the self-employed, professional and small businesses, various other European countries also know the techniques of asset examination /evaluation for the purpose of determining income and the so-called “méthode forfaitaire”.

    Hope this was of interest.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ the Obsessive Poster :

    “The RI post at 9.09 was patronising, condescending and sexist. Calm down dear! is not an admonition that would be directed to a male and when Agent Cameron used it, he was rightfully widely criticized. I think the Old Etonian thought it was funny.”
    ———
    Your comment is both wrong and inaccurate :

    1/. When I used the expression in a previous post of mine I directed it at all the Eminences, both female and male;

    2/. Although not an Old Etonian myself (I went to a much classier establishment) I thought it was hilarious as well. The look on Angela Eagle’s face – she of the synthetic, New Labour indignation – was worth a thousand pounds.

  • Giles

    Referring to a woman as “dear” is sexist, misogynistic, gender-based discrimination and has no place in a progressive society. “Old bat” would be better.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Giles :

    Well, your post of 16h26 – for which I thank you – was a tour de force (Sophie, please note and learn!) and showed that it is possible to learn something useful and of interest, even if rarely, while wading through the sea of bilge that this thread had become.

    Now I understand why I was trying to grow that comical little moustache and why my right arm keeps jerking upwards into a horizontal position! There I was, thinking it was something neurological – or worse – while all the time it was just me trying to get into the BBC ethos!

    More power to your arm, Giles, and I look forward to reading more from you!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ the Obsessive Poster:

    “Murdoch and Netanyahu make love so please don’t interrupt”

    ——-

    That was a deplorable comment, almost on a par with mine about Quentin Letts and April Showers being strange bedfellows indeed.

    We should both be ashamed with ourselves!

  • Cryptonym

    Greece has spent something like 30 billion euros on the never-never, on arms from Germany and France, a large component of this is for fighter-bomber planes from the French.

    Abolish, demolish whatever, the BBC. I certainly don’t have a smartphone, have never owned a mobile phone of any sort and never will, my web browser doesn’t work with any of their online content and I never visit their site, not even in error as now all *bbc.co.uk domains are electively blocked. I might download the odd time-shifted BBC radio program from usenet.

    There is a clear difference, between the BBC and commercial media, the Beeb do not have the excuse of being subject to pressure from advertisers or competition for advertising revenue. But the editorial line and output is as exactly the same as if it were.

    They are a government mouthpiece, funded by an extortion racket, becoming ever more strident and malign with every day, as the government itself descends into outright in-your-face fascist corporatism. It would be better they were just another siren voice encouraging us all to consume useless junk we can’t afford, accelerating irreversible contamination and desertification of the environment, demonising the enemy of the day and cheerleading for the death and destruction they glorify; their present position is dishonest, criminal.

    See the Medialens article on ‘synchronised metronomes’ which I can’t find any more.

    I think a quote describing the American press, from Blogger Dave McGowan is apposite:

    “Certainly no one is suggesting any malice here. We are all adults and we all know that the price we have to pay for having a ‘free press’ is that sometimes every single media outlet in the country – in print, on television and on the radio – mistakenly spend several days loudly and repeatedly broadcasting the same made-up stories.”

  • Jay

    If the BBC is to be broken up, would it be replaced with a world centralised broadcasting station.
    English being the common language, the Beeb is more likely to morph into something impressively Global.

    This being so-our new World Service can keep us fully informed on all our cohesive fundamental actions neccersary to keep restraint on global discontent;
    From “seed to sunshine”.

    Obviously in conjunction with our Global market enforcers’.

    How’s your local policie’s Nevermind?

  • April Showers

    We will honour you as a journalist if you are not Palestinian.
    Buckling to Bigotry: The Newseum Dishonors Murdered Palestinian Journalists

    by Nima Shirazi / May 14th, 2013

    Just two days before Palestinians commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Nakba, the names of two Palestinian cameramen targeted and killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza last November were dropped from a dedication ceremony held to honor ”reporters, photographers and broadcasters who have died reporting the news” over the past year. The move followed an Israel lobby pressure campaign led by anti-Palestinian organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the American Jewish Committee, efforts that were openly supported by the Israeli government.

    The Atlantic Wire‘s J.K. Trotter summarizes:

    Two days after Washington, D.C.’s Newseum announced its intent to honor Hussam Salama and Mahmoud al-Kumi, who were killed in November while working as cameramen for the Middle East-based Al-Aqsa TV, the well-known temple of journalism has decided — for now — not to recognize Salama and al-Kumi, citing their employer’s deep ties to Hamas, a Palestinian organization currently designated by the United States as a terrorist group.

    /..
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/05/buckling-to-bigotry-the-newseum-dishonors-murdered-palestinian-journalists-2/

    The Newseum is owned by the Freedom Forum. No irony in the name there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Forum

    PS “Murdoch and Netanyahu make love so please don’t interrupt” was the title of the article by Anthony Lowenstein and was not a comment as the RI knows very well.

  • A Node

    The amount of effort that the Murdoch stable put into trying to discredit and weaken the BBC should ring alarm bells for those who wish it abolished.
    The BBC is an atrocious propaganda machine but it is OUR atrocious propaganda machine. We complain about it so bitterly because we pay for it through our license fees and so are entitled to complain when it doesn’t represent our views fairly. We do not have the same right of expectation towards a privately owned news outlet.

    Control of the information flow is vitally important to those puppet masters who shape our world. The privately owned media are easy to control. All you need is money and the puppet masters have unlimited quantities of that. The BBC is state owned and thus a bit trickier to keep under rein. An entirely different method has to be used to control the its output – suitable controllers have to be installed at various levels of the hierarchy, our government’s propaganda demands have to be integrated with the demands of the puppet masters, and as stated above, Joe public insists upon higher standards from the BBC. For all these reasons, controlling the BBC must be much more labour and time intensive for our busy string pullers.

    Let’s not make it easier for them by abolishing it.

  • John Goss

    Mark Golding at 2.10 pm. I see what you mean. Where was the mention of the incriminating letter instructing the setting up of a new Google.mail account to process future exchanges.

  • lwtc247

    @Komodo, 14 May, 2013 – 3:03 pm

    “The Sykes-Picot agreement had nothing to do with a Zionist Israel” – Very very wrong old chap.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Technicolour at 12:18pm on 14.5.13: I agree.

    And with the greatest of respect, all this stuff about ‘Zionist Neocon Elites’ appearing on most threads really makes it look as though (some) people are obsessed in almost knee-jerk way with the idea of there being one great overarching ethnic/religious cabal that rules the world, or aims to do so, and this approach is pretty much in line with the tenets of European (and now also Islamist) Dreyfuss-like anti-Semitic (yes, I know, a red flag word, but what other word is there for it?) propaganda.

    Look, throught history, the people who have risen to the tops of organisations tend to be the ones who support whichever power structures are dominant at that time in history in a particular economic or national or imperial system. It’s the system and in advanced capitalist societies power centres are complex and multifocal. There are multiple views these people may have on a variety of subjects and to pick one and attempt to align it to fit a specific, limited, plot-driven (plot, that is, in the dramatic, rather than the conspiratorial, sense) paradigm might be exciting and fulfilling but is not a reflection of the complexities of reality.

    So, to critique the BBC’s stance on this or that, or the salaries, golden handshakes and stances of its executives on this or that is entirely valid (and I’d recommend, eg. the work of the Glasgow Media Group headed by Prof Greg Philo wrt the reporting of Palestine/Israel by the media, including the BBC), but to paint them all as part of some great, and this is the point – simple – plot and to give that as a reason to abolish the institution is quite another.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Suhayl Saadi

    as so often, an excellent post. Thank you.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ April Showers, formerly “Mary”

    Well, how did you like Giles’s post at 16h26? You must absolutely read and re-read it.

    I think it was the funniest post I’ve seen in the 6 months or so I’ve been here.

    It is a classic!

  • crab

    Zionism in UK and World politics, media etc is a bloody mad elephant (if not the…) so of course some will (quite rationally) focus on it.

    The majority of unreasonable caricaturing of Zionist influence in these comments is from those few who declare others are obsessed with it.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Completely agree that the purge following Andrew Gilligan being sacked and Greg Dyke being forced out (for paraphrasing what Kelly said as opposed to the outright lying and political re-writing of intelligence analyses on Iraq by the government) damaged the BBC. Former government ministers should not be allowed to work at the BBC for at least 10 years after leaving government either – and BBC staff should not be allowed to be members of government for 10 years after leaving the BBC either.

    Most of the BBC’s News 24 TV news is pretty terrible and embarassingly establishment, British nationalist and monarchist – and their version of “impartiality” seems to be holding views held by the leaders of the main parties.

    However their website reports are often good, if short on detail. So despite the BBC’s faults it has some strong points and I wouldn’t like to see the BBC scrapped if that meant Sky News or a British equivalent of Fox News replacing them.

  • April Showers

    Life for an Arab going through Ben Gurion airport (properly called Lodd)

    IT STARTED WITH A YELLOW STAR …..

    May 14, 2013 at 15:10
    Then it became …

    (graphic)

    Israeli airport sorts passengers with ‘Jewish stickers’ and ‘Arab stickers’
    Philip Weiss

    This shocking story– of yet another “huge humiliation” of a non-Jew at Ben Gurion airport– was posted by Mira Awad, an Israeli Palestinian singer, on her Facebook page, in Hebrew, today. Ami Kaufman at +972 provided a translation of the entry, and notes that Awad is a celebrity in Israel. Awad in translation:

    So, I was checked at the airport, they asked the questions, put the stickers on, and I proceeded to the X-Ray machine. Suddenly, the young security man comes to me: “Mira? Mira Awad?”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Security man: “Can I see your passport? There’s a mistake with the sticker.”

    I almost told him: “No, you’re not mistaken, I see you put the right one on — the sticker for Arabs”, but I didn’t say that (security people have their humor extracted during their preparatory course). I gave him my passport, he opens it, takes off the sticker in the passport and on the suitcase and puts on a new one, different, the same color but smaller.

    Now the dilemma. On the one hand it’s obvious the young man has just made my life easier by putting on the sticker for Jews. On the other hand, it’s one of the things that it’s hard to say thanks for. I mean, thank you for not considering me a terrorist any more? Thanks that someone whispered to you, “it’s Mira Awad,” so the “Awad” isn’t scary anymore? Thanks for upgrading me to a Class A citizen? I turned into one of “ours,” or actually one of “yours.” A small sticker that carries with it such huge humiliation, and today even enfolds stupidity. Because since they cancelled the stickers with different colors, which we protested, they made new stickers with less recognizable differences to the inexperienced eye, and here they are embarrassing themselves with unaware patronizing like, “Let’s award you with the status of a privileged person!” — so you don’t say that we aren’t humane. By the way, it happend to me also last week, when a senior security man who wanted to “show off” (maybe you’ll say he wanted to joke around, but we’ve already concluded that he doesn’t know how to joke around, see earlier “extraction of humor”) and asked one of his employees to get me one of the “regular” stickers and then winked at me as he continued to speak him: “Can’t you see it’s Mira Awad?”

    So, the conclusion is, if you’re Israeli and your name is Awad – you better be famous! If not, forget about the duty free! Yalla, I’m out of here. For now.

    Thanks to Ofer Neiman.

    http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/it-started-with-a-yellow-star/

  • technicolour

    Well, I’m kind of curious about all this. Because like everyone else I know that in news, for example, the BBC has dumbed down; that, because of time constraints or lack of general life experience, its reporters are not often doing their background research; that the narrative is therefore loaded in favour of power and privilege. I know, as we all do, that positions within the BBC are given to people who speak the language of the establishment: in short, that it is utterly and irrevocably loaded towards bad journalism. This is nothing new, and nor is it unusual, in mass media.

    The fact is, though, that good journalists occasionally do break through; and decent reports are sometimes achieved, and when they are, and do, this board is among the first to link to them, with the BBC cachet as some kind of proof.

    I think this whole discussion is a lot broader, in fact. If the new media takes over, and a grass roots revolution happens here, as it did, temporarily, in Egypt, and Iran, for example, then the BBC will have abolished, and will have to reinvent, itself (or, alternatively, of course, the US/corporate/ruling interests will ensure it gets even worse). If there is nothing coming from the grass roots, and no support for it in ‘radical’ circles – and I see little evidence of that here – then people will be left with a commercial (and, I agree, even less accountable) version of the same.

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