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

    O/T Is yet another rip off of the Great British public going to be exposed?

    BP and Shell raided over allegations they colluded to fix petrol prices

    The European Commission today raided the offices of BP and Shell on suspicion that they are playing a central role in what could be the next price fixing scandal – colluding to inflate oil prices and, in turn, the cost of petrol.

    In the wake of the Libor interest rate and gas price manipulation scandals, the EC has launched an investigation into whether oil producers and traders are colluding to rig oil prices in a move that inflates their profits at the expense of consumers.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/bp-and-shell-raided-over-allegations-they-colluded-to-fix-petrol-prices-8616293.html

  • April Showers

    On this day of mourning, the 65th anniversary of al Nakba, these pieces of news are heartening.

    Yesterday, the ICC prosecutor announced that she would pursue the complaint filed by Cormoros Island.

    http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/56-news/1415-icc-prosecutor-receives-referral-from-comoros-regarding-mavi-marmara.html

    And Gaza’s Ark announced they had purchased the boat to sail OUT of Gaza.

    http://www.gazaark.org/

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/14/303523/palestinians-mark-nakba-day-in-w-bank/

    “Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate Nakba Day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis and the creation of Israel in 1948.”

  • Dreoilin

    “BBC drops Syrian terrorist atrocity report”

    FFS!

    Thanks Mary/April

    The ‘rebels’ and their activities must be sanitised – while we’re supposed to swallow that Assad has “crossed a red line”, even if it’s all been faked.

    As someone pointed out (Robert Fisk?) why would Assad injure or kill less than half a dozen people with chemical weapons when his forces were in the process of pushing the fighters back with conventional weapons at the time? And knowing that such use of a chemical weapon would give the US/UK the excuse they wanted to impose their Libyan-style no fly zone? (i.e. bomb the shit out of him, his family, and his forces?)

    Just so much tosh and lies.

  • Clark

    From Craig:

    “…obliged to pay for, on penalty of not owning a television”

    From Richard:

    “if you simply own a TV you are obliged to subsidise them regardless.”

    This is no longer true. The licence is now only required if you “watch or record TV programmes as they are being transmitted” [my emphasis], not merely because you own receiving equipment.

    So you can’t be penalised for not having a licence unless you declare that you watch or record TV at transmission time when you return the form to TV Licensing, or you happen to confess to or be caught in the act by one of their agents.

    I have a TV which I use as a computer monitor. I neither have nor require a licence as I never use it to watch or record TV transmissions.

    Those who wish to watch TV without paying can just use Bill Clinton’s trick; he admitted to puffing on a joint of cannabis but has consistently maintained that he “never inhaled”, and no one can prove otherwise.

  • Dreoilin

    “Both the Mainstream Media and the Gatekeeper “Alternative” Media Are Pro-War”

    Not the alternatives that I’m reading, they’re not.
    I get a daily round-up from Information Clearing House.

  • Fred

    “The unionists talk about how oil and gas will run out. It will, of course, sooner or later, but is it better to be self-sufficient in it and even be able to export some in the meantime, using the money made to invest in other energy technologies, or would it be better to stay part of the UK, which has to import much of it’s oil and gas requirements from Russia, and which will also run out of North Sea oil and gas if we stay part of the union?”

    We import most of our food as well.

    Strangely people don’t see that as important like oil and gas.

  • Vronsky

    fred

    “Strangely people don’t see that as important like oil and gas.”

    There are many potential sources of food and it is inherently (if not actually) a renewable. Oil and gas are scarce and depleting, and having your own source can avoid a lot of trouble. Ask the Georgians or Ukrainians.

  • technicolour

    The Exchange between Dreolin, and technicolour…is to me the real heartbreak of the great Pillar of uk..bbc…Its largely their propoganda crimes that have allowed – certainly Iraq, Libya, and now Syria..and their silence on other evils….

    Sorry, this is not true. Like Craig, I have no idea what should be done about Syria. I am, whatever, not in favour of supplying arms to anyone. And the vast majority of this country was and remains against the attacks on Iraq which suggests that if the BBC is purely a propaganda cell, it is an extremely unsuccessful one.

  • guano

    Chief Constable Sara Thornton has apologised for not dealing with the Oxford Pakistani paedophile ring sooner because she had not realised that they were working ‘in a group’.

    Well, sexual activity in post-Christianity Britain is still shrouded in shame and not normally indulged in as a group activity. More so in current Islam, I would have thought. So what larger force would persuade these men ( and maybe women in the know, in the background !!! ) to commit these crimes as a group activity?

    The answer is obvious to me, racism. The reason why these crimes were not picked up inside the Muslim community is that their fathers and elders ( and maybe womenfolk ) mostly share that racism. Before you all scream that I don’t know how much pressure from British racism these Muslims suffer, I agree, these may have been motivated by revenge.

    But I also know that, where like myself a new Muslim convert/revert, whose family find our conversion abhorrent, do not have a family or social support system, that politically-motivated, racism-driven Muslims will pick on and work together to abuse their fellow, new Muslim brothers and sisters. They work together from the top of Muslim society in wealth and piety, to the bottom. The bottom of the ladder of Pakistani society is the outsiders, the non-Muslims who share a grudge against the new Muslims,not for nationality-racist reasons obviously, but for class or religious or some other weird reasons of their own.

    What these persecutors forget is that their own Westernised Muslim children who like the UK and who are not racist, are logically now the targets of the parents’ historically engendered racism. Lots of evil things are done in the name of Islam and justified openly by pseudo-Salafi evidences. Are you going to chew your enemies’ lungs on Youtube while your weapons, family income and political leaders come from Cameron and Obama?
    Yes! Because the political class work as a united group, same as the paedophiles and mosque bullies, against us the people. So if your children are people, watch out, they are your potential victims.

  • guano

    The reason why Sara Thornton missed the point in Thames Valley Police’s investigations was political Correctness, in my opinion. In 1996, I found myself supervising Community service orders, having previously done some Probation volunteering.

    On the first occasion my supervisor wanted to include a man who was struggling with being on Methodone. He claimed that there was no medical reason why he could not participate in the day’s gardening. Having worked in a drop-in related to addiction, I knew very well that this was incorrect, and events on that day proved me right and my supervisor wrong.

    On the next occasion, the group were all Muslim, and they started an apple-fight. I got the sack from my English manager, they got a b*******king. The supervisor was scared of losing his job for making life hard for the Muslims. !!!!!!!!!

  • Clydebuilt

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

    I’ll drink to that.

    in a perfect world the BBC would be reformed and act in the interest of the people. BUT Wastemonster has it’claws sunk right into it. so it isn’t going to reform in peoples interests.

    If the BBC was abolished Wastemonster would fashion it’s replacement as it (Wastemonster) required. The only thing to do is inform the public.
    That’s what is happening in Glasgow this Saturday 18th Meeting at Strathclyde Union at 12. check out
    http://www.bard2014.com/

  • guano

    Mark Golding

    ‘Truth John Goss becomes rarefied in an atmosphere of deception the West uses to gain false superiority and benefit in a bipolar world.’

    Politics and truth are about the same as the North Pole and ozone.

  • Komodo

    I really hate to disagree with you, Nevermind, but here I have to. In my mind there is a large percentage of potential viewers who watch TV to relax – ie hit the sofa, open a beer and watch football, or even just turn the damn thing on for pretty colours and background noise – and a very small percentage of viewers who want to watch difficult stuff. The former are a viable market force. The latter aren’t. Commercial competition is not the way to do this.

    An alternative might be to integrate the factual side of the BBC with the education system (OU material used to be very good, but was in competition with consumer pap for its time slots, and lost). Granted, there would need to be independent oversight of this, and the political input would need to be very carefully scrutinised. And as I said, execute three quarters of the useless management, simultaneously robbing a proportion of their inflated pension fund. With the money released, restore in-house production to the highest capacity feasible; the BBC is currently paying mega£ for external productions – much of it initiated by ex-staff. Put HDTV in the internet, behind a low paywall*, for the pleb stuff, and drop the license fee funding – the enforcement alone probably costs the same as Liberia’s budget.

    And devise an appropriately shameful death for Robert Peston, Murdoch’s man on the inside, while I’m building castles in the air. Because none of this or anything like it will happen. Ever.

    *simple price formula: 75% X a Sky subscription

  • Komodo

    HBCK
    Thank you for your commentary on Greek debt. Helpful, for once. As you acknowledge, this is a blunt instrument, and I’d add that even if it were a righteous retribution on tax-dodgers, it is a response to the greater, and global, criminality of fraudulent banks. Who ought to be taking the hit. Granted, the bourgeois are adept at hiding their assets. An amnesty , followed by better enforced and more draconian measures for the future, might be the way to go. The Greeks badly need to clear the decks . (And so do we).

  • fedup

    In the old USSR, Tass was the propaganda organ of the politburo, and the Russian citizens were fully aware of its function, hence its content was taken with a huge pinch of salt. On the other hand the illiterate, naïve and self absorbed Western citizens are easy prey for the BBC and Murdoch et al alike.

    The principle of :”ignorance is bliss” stretched to its limits. Has resulted in plainly, patently biased content to be accepted as the current wisdom, and the carefully crafted mims by these lie merchants, that are interpreted as the self thought out conclusions; guide the ignorant masses in the desired and determined directions that the plutocrats deem fit.

    Abolishing BBC although a welcome prospect, due to the insult of paying the license fee and then sitting back to get filled with propaganda. Alas this will not solve the problem of a society indoctrinated to the current degrees that it cannot distinguish right from wrong, and moral from immoral.

    Case in example is the current subject in vogue: Syria. Fact that so far we have had Libya, and its near destruction, that soon after was exported to Syria, somehow has not dawned on the gold fish watching the box, and the sanctimonious opining about the “Syrian people” goes on unabated.

    The simple question; “what the fuck has internal affairs of any country to do with anyone of the gold fish?” never crosses their tiny mind. After all, their self importance, that yields “Values” that are deemed to be universal, can mask the wanton greed of the brigands in charge of these masses.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    13 May, 2013 – 6:17 pm

    “If that’s by any chance a reference to (inter alia) me:”

    Please don’t use words or phrases like “inter alia” (above) and “non-sequitur” (posts passim) in an effort to impress, they don’t fit the context of your sentences; it displays your ignorance.

  • Richard

    Clark,

    Thanks for the update, I didn’t realise that you could own a TV without paying the license fee. I get regular letters from the Licensing Authority and I’m pretty sure that they used to say something to the effect that if I owned any receiving equipment at all, then I was liable to cough up under pain of £1,000 fine, imprisonment, castration or some such. But then I haven’t bothered opening them for a year or two, so I guess I must be out of date. The envelopes keep coming, though.

  • karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away)

    komodo

    you are quite right on the Sykes-Picot agreement. Without the collusion of UK and France aimed at preventig the formation of independent states in the ME as an outcome of the eventual collapse and desintegration of the Ottoman empire, the former could have not been in the position favourable enough for presenting Palestine to the Zionists.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    13 May, 2013 – 8:54 pm

    @ Doug Scorgie (16h14) :

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

    Wrong again Half-brick I merely quote parts of texts that may be of interest to others. I of course always give links to any texts I quote from so that anyone here can check for themselves; a technique you have yet to learn.

    By the way you left out a question mark above, tsk-tsk.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    “Please don’t use words or phrases like “inter alia” (above) and “non-sequitur” (posts passim) in an effort to impress, they don’t fit the context of your sentences; it displays your ignorance.”
    ———

    Tewwibly sorry to have upset you, old chap. But actually if it’s all the same to you I’ll keep using them where appropriate.

    BTW, I do like your “posts passim”, it rolls off the tongue beautifully. May I use it as well?

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    13 May, 2013 – 8:54 pm

    “…designed to give a misleading impression. Cf.:”

    I forgot to mention to you in my previous post that cf means “compare with” not: “for example” as you use it.

    It is also used only in lower case not Cf as you put it which is the abbreviation for the chemical element Californium.

    I feel so pedantic today.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Doug Scorgie who says :

    “I merely quote parts of texts”
    ——–

    Which is precisely what I said (cf. “selective and incomplete quoting”).

    As for you giving links to sources, I imagine you rely on people to just read your ‘parts of texts’ and not bother to read through the sources (along the lines of an expression you presumably remember, ie, “I couldn’t be arsed…”)

  • Vronsky

    @technicolour

    “if the BBC is purely a propaganda cell, it is an extremely unsuccessful one.”

    Its success is not total – we don’t all think the same way. But that’s like saying that the Spanish flu wasn’t so bad because it didn’t kill everyone. The BBC just has to ensure that dissent never reaches the critical mass that would initiate direct action. Ten out of ten for that, no?

  • doug scorgie

    Giles
    13 May, 2013 – 10:55 pm

    “Just to expand, you people want the BBC to be 100% critical of Israel…”

    No Giles, we want all news coverage to be politically neutral on any topic the BBC reports. I would like to know of any BBC news reports or documentaries that are strongly critical of Israel as opposed to mild en passant comments.

  • John Goss

    Doug Scorgie, Habbabkuk does occasionally link his statements to their sources, and there are a few times when his comments actually make some sense. Even from the others, a majority I should say, he has brought to me a few moments of real entertainment, and since his family have joined the blog, many more. I realise he is a lonely character and this blog is his life. Don’t be too harsh on him.

    Castigating him for leaving out a question mark even made me blush, since I did the same thing yesterday myself. It’s a bugger when you spot something after you’ve submitted the comment! When you know you’re not going to get agreement from a comment-maker you might as well spend your time learning Italian. (La Vita È Bella!).

    Suhayl at 09.59 p.m. yesterday. There is a global conspiracy run by the Bilderberg Group who are meeting in the UK this year at The Grove Hotel, Watford (6-9 June). There are going to be some fringe events beforehand. The last Bilderberg meeting I have seen footage of took place in Bohemian Grove, when thousands of rich and influential people paid homage to a large statue of an owl, and a child was sacrificed (all captured by a gatecrasher). But then cowardly power-mongers who kill countless unwitting people with their drones are hardly likely to balk at the human sacrifice of just one child.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Komodo :

    “As you acknowledge, this is a blunt instrument, and I’d add that even if it were a righteous retribution on tax-dodgers, it is a response to the greater, and global, criminality of fraudulent banks”
    ——–

    I think your focus is incorrect. Let me illustrate by way of an example involving a comparison wrt the new property tax.

    There’s a couple of modest means living in a modest apartment in a not particularly noble part of town. They’re paying something like €400 by way of that tax. There’s another couple living in a rather nice villa in one of the posher suburbs. They’re being charged around €2500. Now, the first couple are/were not in a position to tax avoid and so you could argue that the tax is unfair on them. But the point is (and this is where your focus is incorrect) that they are paying the €400 NOT for the sins of the ‘greedy bankers’ BUT for the past sins of the other couple I mentioned. As former Foreign Minister Pangalos once said, “we all had our snouts in the trough”.

    By the way, I’m not sure that amnesties are the way to go (the Greek authorities tried that to tackle the problem of illegal building; for sure they pulled in quite a bit of money but I think that they also created expectations that future illegal constructions will be dealt with in the same way in a couple of years and have therefore provided an incentive for this kind of activity). But you are probably right about future draconian measures; you could of course see the new asset-evaluation system as an example of such measures.

  • Lz

    As long as you dont watch LIVE programming you dont need a license anyway. I havent paid one for years. HDMI from laptop to telly and you can Watch ANYTHING as long as its not LIVE. If you must watch BBC stuff just do it in on catch up. In all seriousness WHO watches live programming on the BBC nowadays anyway??? its awful

  • karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away)

    fedup,

    you are right but not entirely. There were indeed people in the Soviet union who believed the propaganda beamed to them every day. What the proportion of these loyal souls was, is difficult to guess and this percentage has certainly decreased from the days of Lenin to the days of Gorbatchov. Those watching BBC tend to think that propaganda is something typical for Trotzky or Goebbels without realising what they are watching. Joseph Geobbels was convinced “Gleichschaltung” of mass media is the road to scuccess, something we see today; the same story appears wherever one may look. The important principle of Goebbels was to construe propaganda in such a way that is not perceived as such. .

  • A Node

    Vronsky 15 May, 2013 – 9:50 am

    “Oil and gas are scarce and depleting, and having your own source can avoid a lot of trouble. Ask the Georgians or Ukrainians.”

    Ask Nigeria, Sudan, Yemen, Lybia, Algeria, Iraq, Angola, Syria, Chad, Uganda, …. …..

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