The BBC is Irredeemable 117


As I get older and I see the institutions of British society twisted and distorted to fit the extreme neo-liberal agenda, I find myself advocating all kinds of responses which I would have found anathema even a decade below. One f these is that I definitely believe that the BBC should be abolished as a public funded institution, and the BBC poll tax (aka license fee) abolished.

The extent of BBC bias during the referendum campaign was breathtaking. I have worked, and specifically reported on the media, in dictatorships which had a less insidious and complete bias than the BBC has against Scottish independence. The relentless anti-Corbyn propaganda shows that the BBC exists to reinforce the neo-liberal narrative at all costs, both at home and abroad. Laura Kuenssberg achieved levels of disdain and ridicule in her report on Shadow Cabinet appointments this evening that ought to disqualify her forever from employment anywhere but Fox News. This was followed by “Reporting Scotland” and a long propaganda piece against the idea of a second referendum, replete with lies about pledges of “once in a lifetime”.

I do not think in the 21st Century we need a state broadcaster. If you want right wing propaganda, you can watch it on Murdoch, without paying a compulsory tax for it. I don’t want to watch baking, “celebrities” I have never heard of dancing, or people abseiling to win a holiday in Jamaica. If I did, I am sure I could find someone to provide it commercially.

The more worthwhile parts of the BBC’s output could be maintained or commissioned as arts spending and broadcast on commercial or internet platforms. You do not actually need a state broadcaster to have symphony orchestras and just a minute.

Even the Tories are occasionally right about something, and they are right that the BBC is a hugely bloated organisation, with 107 bureaucrats who earn over 100,000 and 23 who earn over 200,000. Forget all the ideas about reform. Just chuck the worthless bunch out on the street.


117 thoughts on “The BBC is Irredeemable

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  • Tom

    My (necessarily brief) complaint to BBC Trust:
    ± Rifkind & Murray come to mind, too many to list here

    My complaint starts with WATO, but the same complaint applies to most radio news programmes. In WATO, Mardell began with a vox-pop in Crawley.

    Having spoken to a few people who all expressed the same doubts about Corbyn, the remainder of the programme was based on questioning the validity of the choice of Labour members whose views were never expressed. (Diane and Len couldn’t really do this either).

    I think vox-pops should be banned altogether unless it can be proved they represent the genuine range and quantum of opinion.

    Why do you continuously introduce every non-Blairite as “left-wing”,”hard-left” or “extreme-left”?
    When have you ever described anyone from the right in similar terms?

    And so it goes on and on. The only time you have ever provided reasonable coverage of the left position was when Today was guest edited by PJH http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03mhyzh

    Almost all the ‘news’ agenda is drawn from the mainstream newspapers. At least they don’t pretend to be impartial, but this alone is bound to poison the entire content.

    Likewise the selection of interview subjects is consistent with this agenda. Even discredited and past sell-by people are chosen, while anyone to the left of Corbyn appear to be blacklisted as they are never allowed anywhere near a microphone.±

    Your output is so systematically biased I’m afraid I can’t begin to describe its extent or its remedy, short of a radical reform of the whole structure.

  • Mary

    She’s started on John McDonnell now.

    Latest Tweets
    From Laura Kuenssberg @bbclaurak

    More in the morning on @BBCr4today
    7 hours ago

    Supporters might be delighted -but phone filling up with messages from Labour folk stunned that Corbyn gave McDonnell shadow chancellor job
    7 hours ago

    McDonnells past positions might be harder to defend than Corbyns – this BBC story 2003 http://t.co/9q7tBbrXff
    8 hours ago

    https://twitter.com/bbclaurak

  • Daniel

    Listen to this at 33 seconds in:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXF4aM5wsac

    Tom Sheldon echoes my view:

    “This is a complete annihilation of your party now, isn’t it?”

    Since when did the BBC news reporters – whose wages are paid by my taxes, from mine and your’s hard work – have the right to ask ridiculous leading questions that relay nothing more than their own opinion? Questions which represent nothing less than a scandalous attempts to frame a narrative as they wish for it to be seen, rather than objectively as the news pure and simple.

    Ridiculous provocative nonsense. I’ve lost all faith in TV journalism.

  • Resident Dissident

    “I do not think in the 21st Century we need a state broadcaster.”

    So you won’t be appearing on RT in the future? Or is the problem just with state broadcasters which express different views from your own?

  • John Goss

    The BBC almost totally ignored the genocide in Ukraine, put a very one-sided slant on the shooting down of MH17, has supported the fascist government in Ukraine and vilified Putin and Russia in similar words to our own lovable Resident Dissident. It has ignored the new build-up of government troops ready to start the next phase in the annihilation of its own people in the east. It has left the puppet Poroshenko in a difficult position. The people of Eastern Ukraine want to remain in Ukraine with a certain autonomy in accordance with Minsk II.

    Poroshenko fears peace and wants to drive them from their homelands and steal their homes and industries because he knows that if they get to vote in an election he is doomed. The BBC does not report this of course. So you have to read it in the real press. Get real everybody. Our day could be here.

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/09/12/us-installed-ukrainian-regime-now-fears-return-donbass-ukraine.html

  • Resident Dissident

    Why shouldn’t Laura Kuensberg report that many Labour MPs are dismayed with the appointment of John McDonnell (aka as god’s gift to George Osborne)if that is the case.

  • YouKnowMyName

    They used special propaganda this morning whilst talking about Jeremy Corbyn on the Today Show BBC Radio 4.

    It is not accidental.

    the modus operandi was “in the same phrase as the mention of the new leader of the Labour party – a negative word or two MUST also be used”

    this morning it was ‘Corbyn who was elected as Labour leader WAS CRITICISED over not appointing enough women in senior positions in the shadow cabinet”

    fine, it might be a true statement, this is after-all historic UK white male dominated politics, but every time he was mentioned there was the important negative word association hook.

    I’ve been playing recently with a media monitoring & analysis tool, widely available from open-source, which works on text – not live broadcasts.
    According to Sveriges Radio TV2 this same Media Monitor software (which gives a near-live sentiment analysis for a web-page or newspaper article) is being used at the Swedish Försvarets radioanstalt for uncertain purposes. It can detect a hidden bias in print or online articles, the hook, the good news/bad news sandwich, etc. It allows the Swedish MoD to know – with academic certainty – what the newspapers are really saying.

    In the UK, we don’t actually need the Media Monitoring tool to know the UK printed press sentiment, as it is so overt, but where are the liberal arts/sociology professors who can run tools like this over the output of the beeb & Channel four TV flagship news & current affairs programs – to calibrate the subtle bias?

    If FRA (Swedish GCHQ) use this tool, then it is certain that many UK intelligence community establishments have similar systems for monitoring & launching their PSYOPS – psychological operations – and I guarantee it is not just used by the 400 BBC Caversham staff against Putin!

    BBC R4 also mentioned “Da’esh” this morning, in their article about Egypt wiping out a long convoy of 4×4’s filled with tourists not terrorists, they played the tape of an interview with a top senior US Nato wonk – who said that this sort of problem & refugee problem can only be solved by the removal of Assad! ‘ until Assad goes there will be no solution to the Da’esh problem & the refugees’ Now, forgive me for being naîve – but I know a few BBC journalists from Leeds & cameramen from London, and they are *very intelligent* – so when the beeb plays an edited tape from a neocon they *must know* that he’s talking out of his arse, does R4 have 5 minute slot each hour – a) for the weather b) the god-spot c) a word from Mi5 and finally a comment from d) Mi6/SIS or their masters?

    wow! hardly leaves any time for discussing Strikctly or ‘Talent

  • Resident Dissident

    “It has ignored the new build-up of government troops ready to start the next phase in the annihilation of its own people in the east.”

    You are right it has been almost silent on the massive build up of Russian troops along its border with the Ukraine both prior to and after its infiltration of Eastern Ukraine – bit like yourself.

  • Resident Dissident

    Perhaps if Jeremy Corbyn wants to get more of his views across on the BBC then he should talk to them when invited. Just a thought.

  • John Goss

    Read the article Resident Dissident instead of digging into your limited mental capacity for a response that suits your mindset. Hard for you. But you might benefit if you try not to be so biased.

  • Mary

    BBC Breakfast had Miliband D, described as President, International Rescue Committee, live from Lesbos where he single-handedly is dealing with the refugee crisis. He was allowed to drop in some poison about President Assad, using that well worn fabrication about his dropping of barrel bombs on the Syrian populace as being the root cause of the exodus.

    ~~~

    Agent Cameron is in Lebanon and has just been speaking on the same programme. What’s he up to? Surely not just another photo op for the man of action? He has certainly become Blair Mk 11.

    (I noticed that his external jugular vein is distended and visible?? See a doc Dave.)

  • John Goss

    This is what George Soros believes should happen to the good people of Eastern Ukraine from the article linked above. Openly fascist and genocidal. No wonder Resident Dissident approves!

    “Donbass, in general, is not simply a region in a very depressed condition, it has got a whole number of problems, the biggest of which is that it is severely overpopulated with people nobody has any use for. Trust me, I know perfectly well what I am saying. If we take, for example, just the Donetsk oblast, there are approximately 4 million inhabitants, at least 1.5 million of which are superfluous. That’s what I mean: we don’t need to [try to] ‘understand’ Donbass, we need to understand Ukrainian national interests. Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. I don’t claim to have a quick solution recipe, but the most important thing that must be done — no matter how cruel it may sound — is that there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated.”

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Not having a TV, I only listen to BBC radio, which due to the perceived need to dumb down for the viewing public, at least carries more intelligent analysis. I’d say the BBC accurately reflects the centre ground which both we and the Tories would like to move away from, in opposite directions. As the centre ground shifts in the direction of the prevailing power, the BBC moves with it. It’s held to ransom by the current government’s input into decisions on the license fee.

    My solution isn’t to axe it completely. Its function needs clearly to be redefined. Its World Service and web media have great value to the UK (although this is currently heavily discounted) in promoting our views and, yes, image abroad; it is a state asset in that sense.

    Domestically, while it certainly doesn’t need more than two TV and four radio channels, high-quality ad-free programming would force the commercials to raise their game; regrettably the BBC has embraced the lowest common denominator over the last couple of decades, and this has been at the behest of the beancounters in their quest for profitability. That would have to change.

    Removing at least two layers of management completely would improve the BBC’s ability to create and innovate as well as saving cash. This experiment has been tried by several companies outside broadcasting, with very positive results. Effectively, the management role, insofar as it is necessary, is shared by the workforce, requiring minimal supervisory oversight only.

    Its funding should come from a fractional, defined and ringfenced increase in income tax. Those without incomes would then not be obliged to pay.

    Enter Lord Reith, riding a flying pig…

  • Resident Dissident

    I don’t approve of your misquote of Soros – it was from Bogdan Boutkevitch a Ukrainian Nazi, which you would have found out if you had done the minimum of research.

    I think you should start apologising to George Soros big time. The only reason I am not suing you for defamation is that I, like yourself prefer to keep my online identity anonymous until I am drawing a pension, I am not sure Mr Soros will have such qualms.

  • craig Post author

    John Goss

    I simply do not believe that George Soros said that. I would much prefer you did not simply repost outright propaganda here. I am calling that one out as a total fabrication.

  • Resident Dissident

    Ba’al

    Corbyn or a spokesman could easily have gone on TV yesterday to promote his position – it was amateurish that he failed to do so. The BBC/media has not changed overnight – if you do not present your position the media will not step in and do it for you, the journalists when asked for an instant response will only use what they have to hand. The same mistake was made by Labour during the 1983 election – now in the days of 24 hour rolling news coverage it will be even more of a problem.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The Boutkevitch story is fully refuted by Stopfake. He may be a Nazi, but the video promoted by the Russian machine was spliced to completely alter his meaning. Soros is alleged to have funded the Hromadske station on which the original was broadcast. For Goss, this will naturally equate to Soros’ having made the (faked) broadcast in person…

    Illuminating as to Russian methods:

    http://www.stopfake.org/en/weekly-newscast-from-stopfake-team-number-20/

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Ba’al

    Corbyn or a spokesman could easily have gone on TV yesterday to promote his position

    You are disputing a point I didn’t make. Think you’re arguing with someone else.

  • Resident Dissident

    Ba’al

    Not disputing – just adding – I don’t think that whatever is done to the BBC’s functions Team Corbyn can ignore the fact they have to communicate rather than relying on the BBC to do it for them.

  • Jon

    Jives

    Without an explicit reason for your disagreement, I can only guess what your view is. Sure, the BBC has been influenced by the security services, though I am firmly not of the opinion that all the Beeb journalists have been given “instructions” by spooks. That’s too risky, and is likely to be exposed, even in the timid MSM.

    I favour the Propaganda Model, which broadly rejects conspiracy explanations. You choose people with a certain world view, who are then likely to recruit more people who are like them. The system – whether it is the organisation, or capitalism itself – is rather good at self-replication.

  • Mary

    He has appointed Richard Harrington as a Home Office Minister with responsibility for refugees.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Harrington_(politician)

    ‘Until March 2010 he was chairman of the Executive Board of the Conservative Friends of Israel, which, during his tenure, had quadrupled in size financially.[5] He was appointed a treasurer of the Conservative Party in 2008, the role in which he launched the Number 10 Club with Sir John Major.’

    Only three months ago he was i/c apprenticeships.

    ‘In June 2015, Harrington was appointed as the Prime Minister’s apprenticeships’ adviser. He is now working to further increase the number of apprenticeships across the UK. When appointed he said “apprenticeships are key to building people’s skills and supporting local economies, this new role will really complement my work in Watford.”‘

  • Ba'al Zevul

    RD, If I were Corbyn, I’d be extremely careful about giving bendable quotes, which could be used out of context and commented freely upon by my opponents, to the BBC or anyone else right now. He has the extremely difficult task of setting an agenda which the parliamentary Labour party, for the most part, can get behind, and about five minutes to do it in. However, neither Craig’s piece nor my comment made any mention of Corbyn, and I still don’t see why yours was addressed to me.

  • John Goss

    The point the article was making was that George Soros owned the TV station on which the commentator made that statement. There is such a thing as censorship as Craig found out when he mentioned Anna Ardin. The sentence before the quote explains all. It is George Soros’ position, though of course he would not openly admit to it.

    “On the left side, George Soros was (along with the U.S. Government and the Netherlands Government) one of the three founders of Hromadske TV, which presented a commentator who said (and he was not contradicted or opposed there):”

    No contradiction. No opposition. It is what the Ukrainian neocons want. He who pays the piper calls the tune. In this case it is Soros. I don’t make excuses for fascists. It’s a sound article.

    Stopfake is a US funded misinformation organisation which has been shown to lie time and again. Anybody who supports it, or quotes from it, should do a personal assessment test.

  • Je

    Mary… so if Harrington is now Home Office Minister with responsibility for refugees – will he now be in favour of all the Palestinain refugees from Israel’s creation being allowed to return home and to have their homes returned?

    If he was chairman of the Executive Board of the Conservative Friends of Israel I doubt it. And I don’t expect any media interviewer to ask him that question either.

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