BREAKING THE MONOPOLY?

I see that Conservative leader David Cameron has caused a bit of a furore by threatening to make the BBC hand £250million of its (OUR) money to other broadcasters. The Tories plan to force the Corporation to give away part of its licence fee funds to create new competition in public service broadcasting. The move will break the BBC’s “monopoly” over programmes and guarantee more quality output in areas such as children’s television, the Tories claim. It’s an interesting idea coupled with a plan to scrap the governing BBC Trust and replace it with a more independent “public service broadcasting commission”. Naturally the BBC have reacted angrily to the Cameron suggestions..“Once you take away part of the licence fee you break the trust between the BBC and the licence-fee payer,” said a senior BBC executive. What trust? Wonder what you all make of Cameron’s suggestions?

HOW TO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE THE BBC?

I’ve been away for the past few days so hence the lack of posts but I come back and remarkably enough find myself in agreenment with Kevin Spacey who has criticised the BBC for airing talent shows such as Any Dream Will Do and I’d Do Anything.

“I felt that was essentially a 13-week promotion for a musical – where’s our 13-week programme?” Spacey said. The Hollywood star is artistic director at the Old Vic theatre in London. “I have spoken to your chairman but he has yet to get back to me,” Spacey said. The BBC replied that its shows were not “unduly promotional”.

But that’s not quite true, is it? The cosy arrangement between the State Broadcaster and Lloyd-Webber (and now Cameron Mackintosh) is promotion incarnate. The musical moguls get massive free publicity for their productions and the BBC gets to produce more cheap TV. There is something unseemingly about it all, and whilst it is not evidence of political bias, it is evidence of the BBC prostituting itself to churn out Saturday evening dross.

Just because you’re paranoid….

It’s bad enough that Britain has already ruled any possibility of boycotting some or all of the Chinese Olympics even as China brutally crushes all those who dissent against its thugocracy in Tibet. But now we see that the BBC is sending its biggest ever squad to China to cover the Games. I guess the attraction of being in a Communist regime for weeks on end care of the British tax-payer is too good a chance to miss! An amazing 437 BBC staff will be China bound but the only reason we know this is because the folders with addresses, passport numbers, pictures, and hotel details of this battalion have vanished from Television Centre in west London. What amuses me is the BBC “fear” that the files may have been stolen, possibly for identity theft or an attempt to embarrass the BBC over the number of staff going to the Games. How paranoid are they? Guilty feelings?

NEVER SPEAK ILL OF ISLAM.

I’m sure you will be aware that Dutch politician Geert Wilders has posted a film critical of the Koran on the internet. The opening scenes show a copy of the Koran, followed by footage of the attacks on the US on 11 September 2001. The 17-minute film was posted on video-sharing website LiveLeak. (It’s been posted over on my own blog as it all helps the general debate on the Religion of Peace AND Love.)

Now then, the BBC reports this but the BBC report itself is laced with all kinds of subtle poison. For example, if you read it you will note that the State Broadcaster cannot apparently find anyone to interview who is in FAVOUR of this film on the nature of Islam. Furthermore it immediately characterises Geert Wilders as “right-wing” however no other political comment is prefaced with such a description. Is anyone who opposes the advance of Islam a right-winger?

Now I don’t hold the BBC responsible for the cowardly Dutch PM Jan Peter Balkenende who disowns this questioning of Islam, but I do hold the BBC responsible for ensuring that the topic is covered by providing a range of views. However anyone who raises questions about the Koran and those who use it to justify their terrorist pathologies seems to be persona non gratia in Beebland.

General BBC-related comment thread!

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. This is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may also be moderated. Any suggestions for stories that you might like covered would be appreciated! It’s your space, use it wisely!

A QUESTION OF IDENTITY.

Living as I do in Northern Ireland, it has been my long held contention that the BBC operates here as if it were part of a foreign broadcasting corporation. Of course Biased BBC readers living elsewhere in the UK may feel similarly! But I draw your attention to this story, given all due prominence on the BBC Northern Ireland news page today. As you will see, it has absolutely nothing to do with Northern Ireland, and concerns itself exclusively with the financial shenanigans of those in the government of the Irish Republic. It is, by NO definition, a Northern Ireland story. But yet there is it on the Northern Ireland news page. The BBC operates a harmonisation policy when it comes to matters concerning the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. These are treated as if they are all local stories, so facilitating the UK and Irish government agenda of gradualised de facto, if not de jure, unification. The truth of the matter is that this news report concerns a foreign government and it is NOT a UK story. But the dark green-tinged glasses through which the BBC views news sees it all very differently.

“An Independent Commission”

Where would the BBC be without it’s regular diet of “surveys”, “reports” and “enquiries” ? On Radio Four’s seven o’clock news this morning, the first three of four stories were all supplied to the BBC. While I’m not a great fan of the journalist Nick Davies’ analytical capabilities, his observational skills are first class – and in his book Flat Earth news he charges that too many news organisations are content to regurgitate the press releases without enquiring into the motives behind them.

Today’s top story featured an organisation new to me, the “Independent Asylum Commission“, which has produced a report lambasting Britain for its appalling treatment of asylum seekers. Said report is getting top billing on BBC news.

The morning is young, and I have work to do. But given that the Commission is sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, what are the odds that it will turn out to consist of pro-asylum, pro-immigration activists ? If any commenters have time to dig I’d be grateful.

Let’s look at another “independent” organisation.

From BBC News a while back :


Reforms of the criminal justice system are largely ineffective in cutting crime, an independent think-tank says.

The Crime and Society Foundation, at King’s College, London, says ministers should focus instead on tackling root causes such as poverty and sexism.

This ‘independent think-tank‘ is staffed by :

A former communications director for the anti-prison, pro-criminal National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders.

A former researcher for the anti-prison ‘children’s liberation’ National Children’s Bureau and the Child Poverty Action Group.

A former Communications Officer at Action for Prisoners’ Families.

A former employee of the Howard League for Penal Reform, aka the Howard League For The Abolition of Punishment.

On its advisory board sits the anti-prison campaigner Una Padel and one Nick Page. Could it be this Nick Page ? Alas I think it’s this one.

There’s “independent”. And there’s BBC “independent”.

UPDATE – I see David and I have taken the same story this morning. Let a hundred flowers blossom, let a hundred schools of thought contend, as Chairman Mao once said.

THE NATIONAL DISGRACE.

No, I don’t mean the UK’s treatment of asylum seekers but rather the State Broadcaster which seems never happier than when impugning the reputation of our country. The BBC has been leading its news channels today with the allegation that the UK’s treatment of asylum seekers falls “seriously below” the standards of a civilised society.

Who says so? Well, it’s a group called The Independent Asylum Commission. This group is described as being “a body of legal and professional experts on refugees”. Well now, therein lies the rub, because it’s nothing of the sort. Yes it has a co-chair in the form of Ifath Nawaz who is the President of the Association of Muslim lawyers (Do Muslims need their own association? Is there an association of Evangelical lawyers?) Maybe they do since Nawaz and her colleagues have campaigned for UK laws to be changed to become compatible with the Sharia - arguing that failure to do so will breach the human rights of Muslims. In addition, the group’s members have said that they also wish for Sharia to become the dominant law-code in the UK. So, Nawaz is clearly a woman whose opinion is magisterially impartial, a shill for sharia. The IAS also has Nicholas Sagovsky as a self-appointed Commissioner. He has a long record of opposing efforts by the British government to impose controls over immigration. Last but not least is the frontman for the group, former Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham. Now Lord Ramsbotham is a busy chap. When he’s not advocating greater support for the families of convicts, he’s the kinda guy that urges the release from prison for killers such as those who murdered young Jamie Bulger, in other words he is a sopping wet liberal. This is a professional whinge-fest and not the group of sober balanced intellects the BBC pretends

I do believe the UK has an issue on asylum but it is the opposite to which this group suggests. We are far too open to asylum seekers and our traditional British hospitality has been outrageously abused by numerous bogus “asylum seekers.” We also fail to promply deport those who have no right to be here, and of course the fundamental lure of coming to Britain in the first place – the Welfare bonanza – is also in need of drastic reform. None of these points are discussed by the BBC because it empathises with the IAS loathing of the United Kingdom that unites all on the left. Just some of the balance you won’t be hearing today.

Whoops – I see Laban has also blogged this at the same time as me! So, two for the price of one today!

What The BBC Miss Out – or The Mysterious Vanishing Far-Left Again

David reported yesterday on the hefty BBC coverage given to the views of one Paul McGarr, “a teacher from east London“, who doesn’t like our armed forces much. He featured prominently in news bulletins as well.

Alas, there were one of two things about Mr McGarr that the BBC didn’t care to share with their listeners, viewers and readers. A pity, as they may have provided much-needed context.

Oliver Kamm reports that Mr McGarr is a former council candidate in Millwall for the far-left Respect party. He also links to this piece by Mr McGarr in the far-left paper Socialist Worker, written just before the military campaign against Saddam Hussein.

Socialists have done and continue to do all in our power to build the movement to prevent war and to stop war when it starts. But if war starts the very worst outcome would be a quick victory for the US and Britain.

The best response to war would be protests across the globe which make it impossible for Bush and Blair to continue. But while war lasts by far the lesser evil would be reverses, or defeat, for the US and British forces. That may be unlikely, given the overwhelming military superiority they enjoy. But it would be the best outcome in military terms.

Mr Kamm puts it better than I can :

In short, and given the fact of the Iraq War, Paul McGarr and Socialist Worker wanted Saddam Hussein to win and our armed forces to be defeated. This is not what I say: it’s what they say.

I find it impossible to believe that the BBC would give several paragraphs to, say, a BNP activist talking about immigration, without (correctly) letting viewers and listeners know the political allegiance which informs their speech. Yet a far-left activist who actually wants our soldiers to be defeated is given a free ride. Is it that their journalists know, but don’t care ? Or are they too lazy to type a name into Google ?

The BBC have previous when it comes to this sort of thing. And it’s worth noting that the annual NUT conference is one of only FIVE recorded occasions when BBC News online have detected the presence of a British ‘far-left’. Admittedly the detection took place in 1999.

Hat-tips – DB and other B-BBC commenters, who also point out :

Reporter Hannah Goff is a union activist (I was once an NUR shop steward, mind, so I can’t talk)

Who produced this puff-piece about the keffiyeh-wearing chap who wrote this and this ?

Who fails to mention the fate of resolutions (p90) proposing that curriculum material be provided by CND-except-Iran, the Stop The War Coalition and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign ?

General BBC-related comment thread!

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. this is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may also be moderated. Any suggestions for stories that you might like covered would be appreciated! It’s your space, use it wisely!

ARMY DREAMERS.

It’s good to know that old communists don’t fade away, they just join the National Union of Teachers! Did you read the BBC’s report on the annual NUT conference in Manchester and the onslaught that the comrades have launched on the Armed Forced “preying” on schoolchildren? The BBC provides plenty of space for such illuminating comments as..”Join the Army and we will send you to bomb, shoot and possibly torture fellow human beings in other countries. Join the Army and we will send you probably poorly equipped into situations where people will try to shoot or kill you because you are occupying other people’s countries.
Join the Army, and if you survive and come home, possibly injured or mentally damaged, you and your family will be shabbily treated.”

It’s full on Dave Spartism – sixth form student grant political analysis from the National Union of Whingers yet the BBC gives the Ministry of Defence a mere two sentences to rebuff this hysteria. That’s not balanced! The NUT is of course entitled to its vicious anti-British Armed Forces rhetoric – what else would we expect from them?- but surely the MOD should have been given rather more space to take apart the ranting from the comrades?

CAUGHT OUT.

Good to see the BBC’s Midde-East disinformation service exposed and watching the Beeboids forced into issuing apologies for the poor standard of reporting.

You recall all that hysteria the BBC spouted on March 7, following the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva massacre? The BBC showed a bulldozer demolishing a house, while correspondent Nick Miles told viewers: “Hours after the attack, Israeli bulldozers destroyed his family home” Just one problem. That’s right – the house was not demolished. Other broadcasters showed the east Jerusalem home intact and the family commemorating their son’s actions.

Just over a week later in a news item entitled “Israel jets strike northern Gaza” the BBC reported that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians in an operation targeting Qassam rocket launch sites in Gaza, and claiming that the United Nations secretary-general had described it as an attack on civilians. Following a complaint the BBC squirmed “We accept we should have made reference to what [Ban] said about Palestinian rocket attacks as well as to the ‘excessive use of force’ by Israel. We have amended the report, also removing the reference to Israeli ‘attacks on civilians.”

Just what is it that makes BBC reporters see the imaginary demolition of houses? Just what is it that makes the BBC fail to report condemnation of Palestinian terrorists? The answer appears to be an endemic desire to want to believe the worst about Israel and simultaneously portray the Palestinians as doe-eyed innocents. This is BIAS incarnate and in these two instances, the BBC has been forced into providing the balance and accuracy that was lamentably lacking.

BOOM BOOM!

As a child, I can remember watching the “Basil Brush” show on the BBC. Basil Brush was a roguish fox puppet whose punch-line was “Boom Boom” when he cracked a one-liner. He disappeared for a number of years from our UK TV screens but has made a welcome return in recent times. But now he’s in trouble – with accusations of anti-gipsy racism thrown his way.

The craven BBC have backed away from supporting their fox. Bosses admitted that an episode which caused offence was “inappropriate” and have told police it will not be shown again. Officers have now decided no further action will be taken. The bizarre complaint was made by a gipsy living on a travellers’ site in Northamptonshire. He alleged a scene showing a gipsy woman trying to sell the puppet fox wooden pegs and heather was offensive and insulting. (To foxes?) The gipsy made an official complaint to Northamptonshire Police, which referred the matter to its Hate Crimes Unit. Last week, after speaking to police officers, the BBC reviewed the tapes and offered not to show the episode again.

Isn’t this so PATHETIC? Why are the Police wasting any resource pursuing this stupid allegation? Why is the BBC behaving so cowardly? This may seem a small event of little significance but in fact it is the failure of the BBC, and also the Police, to categorically dismiss the complaint concerned, that aids the daily advance of the toxic politically correct agenda which is in turn paralysing our free speech. How long before the BBC bans Cher’s “Gypsies, tramps and thieves”? I mean just think of all the offence THAT one gives to minority groups!

THOSE CRAZY AMERICANS.

The BBC’s crusade against the war in Iraq and its obsession with impugning the reputation of the US Armed forces never ceases with the latest headline informing us that six people have been killed in a US air strike near the Iraqi town of Samarra, with some reports suggesting they were US-allied anti-al-Qaeda Sunni fighters. The US denied these claims which the BBC says comes from a police source and a militia member.

Mmm..a police source and a “militia” member? Well given that the BBC itself never ceases telling us how heavily infiltrated the Iraqi police has been by terrorists (that nasty word again) and given that the terrorists (“Militia” in BBC-speak) themselves are perhaps not the ideal source for comment on the US military – what credibility has this accusation? None, but that is neither here nor there, it’s the impression that counts. The BBC then goes on to quote some doom-mongering from the Iraq Body Count organisation, I suggest you visit their web site and decide for yourself just how unbiased they are!

The BBC is doing its very best to play down the progress made by the valiant US armed forced in Iraq and at the same time pump up the volume of the allegations made by the Jihadi.

A RADICAL VOCABULARY.

What is the problem that the BBC has with using the term “terrorist”? Take this report headed “1970′s radical freed from jail”. It concerns a woman who spent 24 years on the run before pleading guilty to a 1975 attempted police car bombing, and who has been released after a seven-year jail term. Sara Jane Olson, formerly known as Kathleen Soliah, was a member of the terrorist group the so-called Symbionese Liberation Army. The group became famous for kidnapping newspaper heiress Patty Hearst in 1974. Olson also pleaded guilty to the second degree murder of a woman during a 1975 bank raid. This woman is NOT radical, she is a terrorist. Would the BBC please explain WHY the euphemism “radical” is employed rather than than the correct term “terrorist”? Moral relativism got their tongues?