The disturbing right-wing drift of our beloved BBC continues apace, and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown ( aka “The Yazzmonster” ) files her latest report from the front line:
“Unlike me, my husband is not given to hissy fits or surges of flaming outrage”.
She begins. Hey, I can believe that. But she’s setting a pretty low bar, isn’t she?
“But last week he threw down his towel (literally) and finally gave up on the BBC. He thinks it has turned dilettante, is contemptuous of facts, of progressive politics and of its own responsibility to uphold decent values – its raison d’etre surely”.
Poor Mr. Brown. I wonder what he was doing. Had he just come out of the shower? Or maybe he was doing the dishes. I like to think the latter. If Mr. Brown was striding round his living room stark naked bellyaching about the BBC it could put me off my breakfast. Not in front of the children.
“I can completely understand my Englishman’s disillusionment, but I cling still to the noble idea of the BBC, to the breaking branch of a dying tree, though winds shake my faith every day.
As an act of back-dated contrition, the BBC gave Alastair Campbell hours of free promotion for his diaries. Now Tony Blair confides in a trusted, hand-picked journalist,”
that’s David “Aaro” Aaronovitch, another running dog of capitalism, apparently.
“confessing his greatness and his closeness to the Almighty. Then came news that the unique Dateline London (News 24 and BBC World), on which highly respected international journalists discuss world events, a programme watched by 78 million people, is to be axed”.
And about time too. On the very few occasions I have ever seen it it invariably contains the blessed Yazza, babbling on about something or other, some French bird from Le Monde, the ageing ex-Observer hack Adam Raphael, and an Arab gentleman who talks more sense than the rest of them.
“This act of vandalism was followed by an announcement of a season of programmes on the “besieged” white working classes. Nick Griffin of the BNP could well be their consultant. Are migrants going to get their series titled “Scapegoats”? Sometimes I wonder if these bigoted attitudes chime with BBC producers in the way that Families Need Fathers do. Perhaps their daughters are bringing home unsuitable “ethnic” boys too often.
Public-service broadcasters must make uncomfortable programmes on any group or on immigration – and there are excellent examples of responsible, critical journalism. But a whole series propagandising against multiracial Briton? To validate the race hate that sloshes all over our isles, from playgrounds to football pitches? Some researcher rang to discuss one programme “re-appraising” Enoch Powell. What’s to reappraise? My money is being used to reassure people who hate people like me”.
But of course the old girl hasn’t even seen the programmes. She doesn’t know what the series contains. Ignorance is bliss, eh? Still, it’s a long rant, which ends on a tearful, some might say lyrical tone.
“But yet, but yet, there is the wonder of the BBC too, as I was reminded last week when attending an event to mark the birth of the BBC World Service, the best of Britain exemplified – as reliable and authentic today as ever. Its director, Nigel Chapman should be proud that he keeps the promise made in December 1932, to tell the stories and uphold the good and free society. We watched a video of the key moments in history when the world had no other voice to tell them what was happening. Many of us were tearful as memories were brought back of the Idi Amin coup, Vietnam, the trial of Nelson Mandela.
In the gorgeous Art Deco theatre, Gavin Esler (who also presents Dateline) introduced and interrogated three previous Reith lecturers – the writer Wole Soyinka, the US economist Jeffrey Sachs, and the philosopher Onora O’Neill – on free speech and journalistic ethics. Once upon a time the corporation understood these concepts”.
Ah yes. Freedom of speech. What a quaint idea.
“Today the corruption of populism and relativism seeps under the imposing doors, fouls up a once venerated institution. The BBC we knew and trusted is no more. It is a player in the marketplace of nastiness, and I can no longer argue with any conviction for a licence fee”.
Fine by me, love. Privatise it. If Yazza thinks the Beeb is right-wing, wait till it’s privatised. Bring back Dixon of Dock Green! Bring back the Black and White Minstrel Show!
And Strictly Come Hanging. One day, folks, one day.