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.

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136 Responses to General BBC-related comment thread!

  1. Original Robin says:

    Today programme (Radio 4) had an item about mandatory sentences for possesion of guns. The LibDims have found via FOI act that less than half of those convicted get the mandatory 5 years.
    Then there was a discussion between a LibDim (Huene) and a Judge over whether judges should be bound by Parliament or show their own discretion when sentencing. Both were against mandatory sentencing and no one was brought forward to put the other side of the case.
    Humphries was weak. There was no asking why there are mandatory sentences for motoring offences such as speeding or drink driving and whether the guests agreed with that, or whether either of the two studio guests were against MAXIMUM sentences set down by Parliament,such as a max of 7 years for burglary.Or what`s the point in judges handing down any sentences at all as it has no co relation to how much time the offender spends in prison.
    They all might as well as read out a statement from the BBC`s freind, NACRO.


  2. George R says:

    The SHARIA -compliant BBC:

    On Radio 4 ‘PM’ (at 5:25 pm BST)today, there was a cryptic item in which various Muslims (surprise) extolled SHARIA FINANCE.

    By and large this BBC item came over as a largely uncritical plug for the implementation of more Sharia law in the UK; it is no coincidence that Gordon Brown has been campaigning for London to be a world-centre for Sharia finance for years.

    BBC ‘PM’ prgramme raised no fundamental critique of Sharia finance, as are available here:

    1.) “Sharia-Compliant Finance: How Not to Solve the Financial Crisis”
    (by Christopher Holton):


    “Often referred to in the West as ‘Islamic Law,’ sharia goes way beyond any other legal system. Sharia applies to every aspect of every Muslim’s life, from what a Muslim is allowed to wear to economics. In fact, ‘Islamic economics’ and ‘Islamic finance’ are actually just euphemisms for sharia-compliant finance, since financial transactions referred to under such names are distinguishable only in that they must be in line with sharia principles and practices.

    “One of the principles and practices of sharia-compliant finance that everyone in the West should be very wary of is something called zakat, which refers to the charitable contributions that must be made to approved charities in the name of fulfilling the obligatory tithing of faithful Muslims. In fact, under sharia-compliant finance 1/40, or 2.5%, of assets must be diverted to charities selected by sharia scholars, like Sheikh Qaradawi.

    “Sheikh Qaradawi is widely regarded as one of the premier sharia authorities in the field of economics. When Qaradawi called for replacing capitalism with an Islamic economic system, it was not a crackpot sermon in some remote mosque in the desert. An analysis of Qaradawi’s curriculum vitae reveals that he is very influential indeed (here is a partial listing of Sheikh Qaradawi’s credentials):”(read on)-,css.print/pub_detail.asp

    2.)There are many referenced explanations and critiques of Sharia Finance and related matters, at this excellent site:


  3. Anonymous says:

    Radio 5 this aft, interviewing Tory spokesman George Osborne. Any criticism of Gordon Brown was met with dismissive personal attacks on Osborne; “So what about the bipartisan approach? This is just political pointscoring isn’t? This is a return to Punch and Judy politics.” No doubt they’re journalists are following to the letter the Labour briefing papers that were distributed hurriedly this afternoon.
    Hearing similar on BBC TV makes it clear that their reporters have been briefed with the “line to take”, ie attack the Conservatives.

    This is after weeks of the BBC praising Gordon Brown as our great saviour, with virtually no Labour statement challenged, no question of how we got in this mess. Even this afternoon the FSA announced tighter regulation — with the implicit admission that the regulation set up by Gordon Brown has failed miserably. Of course the BBC never raised this point.

    Christ I hate the BBC.


  4. David says:

    This is only my 2nd post here but my inclination to ‘no longer own at telly’ next time the licence fee is due is increasing.

    I regularly check the ‘have your say’ pages in relation to BBC stories….particularly today when Cameron has spoken about Brown’s irresponsible economic management.

    I notice the comments under ‘How can a future financial crisis be prevented?’ are ‘FULLY MODERATED’. Essentially, everything has to be approved before it appears on the site.

    I find it strange that on this strongly political story almost every comment on the first page was pro-Labour….with a stack of ‘thumbs ups’ to approve of them.

    There were also several comments blaming it all on Maggie’s actions 17 years ago!

    Non-moderated threads don’t appear to show this kind of Labour support. Take a look at Peston’s or Nick Robinson’s blog…..despite the blogger being mildly passionate about our Govt, most posters show opposite views.

    So….how moderated are the ‘fully moderated’ posts…..enough to gain a prominent positioning and a few ‘recs’?


  5. DB says:

    An update to an earlier list of BBC journalists working the US beat at the moment:

    Justin Webb, Matt Frei, Katty Kay, Matthew Price, Gavin Hewitt, Peter Marshall, Jonathan Marcus, Rajini Vaidyanathan, Richard Lister, Steve Chittenden, Rajesh Mirchandani, Laura Trevelyan, Greg Palast, Jon Kelly, Robert Plummer, Rachel Harvey, Kevin Connolly, Philippa Thomas, Jonathan Beale, Sima Kotecha, Gavin Esler, Matthew Wells, David Willis.

    That’s not necessarily all of them and doesn’t include the extra BBC hacks and associated talking heads (eg Simon fucking Schama) who will descend on America for election night.


  6. Heron says:

    I notice that the private member’s bill, the Broadcasting (Television Licence Fee Abolition) Bill, introduced by a conservative MP, Christopher Chope is about to have its second reading in the House of Commons.

    We wish Mr Chope all the best.


  7. DB says:

    “We wish Mr Chope all the best.”

    Hear hear.


  8. magic dave says:

    I really like the BBC iPlayer; it’s a great way to watch telly whenever.

    It would be nice if they could get the rights management sorted out so I could download them on to my Linux laptop but the world of digital rights is a strange and confusing one.

    You know what else is good? Ceefax.

    The Radio Times is bobbins though.


  9. Anonymous says:

    DB | 17.10.08 – 6:42 pm

    …and associated talking heads (eg Simon fucking Schama) who will descend on America

    Schama is a professor at Columbia University, NYC.


  10. magic dave says:

    David – considering some of the stuff they do allow on the BBC message boards, to accuse them of over moderation is madness. Maybe, just maybe, they’re the messages they got.


  11. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    If the U.S. really is entering a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy, Americans at least ought to understand what they will be getting, especially with the media cheering it all on.


  12. It's all too much says:

    6 PM news today. Cameron is playing petty politics in attacking Super Brown. What’s more he isn’t prepared to praise Browns genius and ability to manage, Cameron was evasive when pressed. Cameron, petty politically motivated and shows lack of grace. Trivial

    7PM News on R4

    the story is now


    FFS is the BBC now the official mouth piece of the F*cking Labour Party? Do the Beeboids feel that it is unethical to give any form of balance to their reporting? Don’t they realise that millions upon millions of people DO NOT support the policies of this govenment. We have to pay for the BBC – and all they can do is sneer at very large element of the population.

    I am absolutely steaming mad at the news report. David Cameron is entitled to his opinion, he is also, as leader of the opposition, entitled to be reported in a manner that is not dictated by “lines to take” (diminish impact of attack by trivialising it) issued from their ideological masters. After all the utter ruin of our economy is a matter of surpassing concern. And criticism of Brown is not only legitimate it is utterly well deserved. he had bankrupted us.

    It really is too much – I am off to drink some cheap Spanish Brandy and make some use of the subsidies I have forked out to Spanish vinyards


  13. adam says:

    The one show is talking about the end of capitalism.

    Even on the fluff shows there is no escape on the beeb


  14. GCooper says:

    magic fdave writes: “Maybe, just maybe, they’re the messages they got.”

    That would be like the ‘representative’ audiences for Any Questions and Question Time would it?


  15. George R says:

    Robert Peston’s blog and half a story:

    He suggests that the downslope of the economic cycle may be reducing the income/wealth gap between rich and poor nationally and internationally.

    He doesn’t attempt to quantify this obvious point, nor does he suggest whether this is likely to be more than temporary.

    Peston neglects to mention as a corollary of his thesis, that all Labour’s and Brown’s attempts at economic growth, giving free reign to City interests over the years, caused increasing inequality in the UK.

    “A Fairer Society?”


  16. David Preiser (USA) says:

    George R | 17.10.08 – 7:55 pm |

    Of course Peston’s going to say that. That’s exactly what his Gordon Love book was about. And one of Mr. Brown’s favorite buzzwords is “fairness.”

    Pretty transparent, if you ask me. Your license fee money hard at work.


  17. Martin says:

    It’s all too much: But Cameron has created this mess to a large extent. Firstly he backed Broon thinking that not to would make him unpopular (even though the polls show most people are pissed off that fat cat bankers are getting bailed out whilst everyone else is left to swim alone) but it put Cameron in a position where to attack Brown would be seen as double standards.

    The Tories should have said that THEY were going to put the interests of ordinary people first and that they wanted a public inquiry into the whole banking mess (especially the FSA and their imsmanagement) and that the Tories should have demanded that the Government put a 6 month block on any home repossessions, in case banks decided to lean on homeowners struggling to get their money back at the same time as the public are giving the same bankers billions in handouts.

    It’s not up to the Tories to say what they’d do in the same position as they are NOT in Government and didn’t create this mess.

    That would have put the Tories on the side of the public and forced Brown’s hand.

    I was also interested to hear Broon again try to say this mess was caused by the US sub prime market and not his mismanagement.

    Yet I’ve heard that these sub prime loans were cut up into bundles of credit and sold off around the world (hence the mess as no one knows who own what in terms of liability) BUT that much of this cutting and dicing and selling off was done in London not the USA as the FSA didn’t put any restrictions on this. Now I don’t know if this is true, but if it is then Broon has to take even more blame for this mess. Anyone else heard the same story?


  18. Martin says:

    I hear tha BBC Newswatch tonight is going to look at Peston’s coverage of this whole mess again and that too much of the coverage is about Peston.


  19. It's all too much says:

    Martin –

    I think you missed my point, irrespective of Tory policy or their presentational strategy (you have a pretty good take on the balls up of supporting Brown in the first place)- my point is about BBC bias.

    The BBC have presented Cameron as a petty juvenile as per the line the ‘government’ (to use a BBC ploy)has decided to take. Taking sides like this is as subtle as running the red flag at Bush House and opening each broadcast with some stirring music about peasants reaping corn before rushing off to the ballet.


  20. Martin says:

    It’s all too much: No I agree with you on that point about the bias. The BBC would spin the bias regardless of what Cameron had said or done. My point was the public wouldn’t believe any BBC spin if the Tories had come out more on the side of the public in this mess. Like I said, demanding a public inquiry, a 6 month freeze on home repossessions, a demand that the bankers either be investigated by the Police or that they be brought before the Commons to answer for this. In particular, the total mismanagement by the FSA and of course the man that created the FSA in the fisrt place. One Gordon Brown.

    It’s a disgrace that northern Rock is throwing people out of the very houses THEY gave the mortgages to in the first place, just to pay back the Government, when billions more is being handed around like sweets in a playground.

    All these billions being sloshed around yet not a single public inquiry or debate.

    In the USA we at least saw some of the fat cats getting a kicking from Congress, but here? SFA.


  21. magic dave says:

    The iPlayer’s good, though, isn’t it?


  22. Original Robin says:

    “Demanding a public enquiry ”

    That`s what Parliament is for, but notice is wasn`t called to debate the most important financial issue this country faces.

    But then what`s the point, when it is in Brussels (where Brown went) that the important decisions are taken.


  23. archduke says:

    did anyone notice a remarkably peculiar story on bbc breakfast news this morning – it was remarkable for the questions NOT being asked.

    ok – the premise was that of a family that were experiencing the worst of the credit crunch and were being threatened by repossesion.

    no strange thing.

    but in bbc world , the beeboids sought out one family that ticked all the boxes

    single mother – tick
    two kids that are half-black – tick
    no father to be seen – tick
    working mum (cos the father has run away presumably) – tick

    now , NOBODY in the report even asked this woman the single most important question that would occur to most reasonable people –

    where is the man that gave you two kids?

    and why has he landed you with the mortgage repayments?

    as i said – it was odd. but the bbc through the lack of questioning , made the example even odder – and thus we are left to just ask the obvious ourselves.

    in beeboid world , a single mum up to her eyeballs in debt , and left with two kids by some feckless black gangsta type , is all “normal”.

    i’m sorry like – but it fucking isnt. thats a tragedy. a result of a people with no fucking morals or sense of personal responsibility. a result of family breakdown.

    not an “example” of the credit crunch.


  24. archduke says:

    But then what`s the point, when it is in Brussels (where Brown went) that the important decisions are taken.
    Original Robin | 17.10.08 – 8:42 pm

    which the EU Referendum blog has pointed out time and time again…


  25. It's all too much says:

    I watched “River Cottage Autumn” on C4 last night. Light viewing about rural/provincial England and Hugh F-W (another “vile Eton/Oxford Toff”!!. It struck me forcefully how light and pleasant the presentation was and how much it contrasts with literally everything (apart from wildlife progs) that the BBC produces

    Hugh F-W had an issue and an agenda about romanticising vegetables etc but C4 didn’t smash me round the head with it. I cannot possibly imagine the BBC allowing a programme on air that fails to tick its core agenda items. In essence I saw a programme that wasn’t highly politicised, did not have a social(ist) engineering agenda and honestly depicts the very large swathes of the Country that are not ‘vibrant cosmopolitan communities that enrich us all’

    The BBC really is a Gramschite agit-prop mouthpiece and makes sure that we all get the correct memes


  26. archduke says:

    EU Ref is on fire

    i find eu ref to be useful sidekick to this blog – understand the bigger picture, and THEN you can understand why the BBC acts in the way it acts.

    do read those links. they are top quality analysis – on our current situation, and why we no longer live in a parliamentary democracy.


  27. archduke says:

    It’s all too much | 17.10.08 – 8:55 pm

    agree. love watching Hugh F-Ws programmes.. theres no agenda. its just “here i am, in england… having a beer and lovely food – take it or leave it..”

    he’s refreshing compared to the po-faced beeboids… (see my “tick box” post above..)


  28. It's all too much says:

    I have just been watching have I got news for you. It looked as if the censors had been editing it very heavily with multiple continuity issues and some very un-topical stuff about the Olympics. Only one attack on Brown. Has the word gone out?

    Anyway after the show there was a long segment about the upcoming drama season from the BBC. Is it formal BBC policy now that 1 in 3 people appearing in Dickensian costume dramas must be from an appropriately endorsed BBC special interest group?

    Final point on River Cottage – what do you think the composition of a group set up to run a allotment-based small holding would be like if it was a BBC show?


  29. David Preiser (USA) says:

    magic dave | 17.10.08 – 8:29 pm |

    The iPlayer’s good, though, isn’t it?

    You mean the iPlayer that was more than £30 million over budget?

    Value for money, eh? But please, do continue to find meaningless distractions from discussing the social engineering and Charter violations at the BBC.


  30. whitewineliberal says:

    Are you mad! BBC food programmes are awash with quirky English types from the home counties; often riding motorbikes, sometimes married to Tory ad-men, usually public school, with flopsy haircuts, and a love of the outdoors.

    It’s as if the sixties and comprehensive education never happened.

    Whereas Jamie Oliver on C4 patronises the underclass.


  31. It's all too much says:

    Last BBC ‘food’ programme I saw was some god awful crap with some sort of cockney barrow boy leading a panel of self defined ‘experts’ in a critique of the food prepared by some poor saps who were there as extras to their egos to be ‘judged’. This programme was about being evaluated as individuals – as are all of the so called reality shows. The BBC have turned food into some sort of competition where people have to “win” or gain points in a vote off scenario etc.

    Anyway my point was that the difference in tone and content was pretty apparent to me. It is a general point and not specifically aimed at food shows. In any case I could tell that I wasn’t watching the BBC – a bit like the way self appointed BBC food experts can tell the difference between Stork and butter – even if they are blindfolded!


  32. George R says:

    Talk about EXTREME political bias of a pro-Democrat Party, anti-Republican party version of Americam history by Mr. S. SCHAMA! (BBC 2 series 2/4 ‘American War’). Wow! I’ve rarely seen anything so politically partial and prejudicial on TV.

    Taking his sweep of the last hundred years or so of American military history, SCHAMA missed World War One(!) and virtually missed out World War Two (!) and the Korean War (!).

    His agenda was America and ‘Imperialism’. So he concentrated on:

    1.)the US-Philippines war of 1899-1902,for which his hero is Mark Twain;
    the black and white newsreel used of that war was subliminally interspersed with momentary colour film showing US troops in the Vietnam war. (This well-worn propaganda technique was used by the Nazis.)

    2.)interviewing contemporary American war veterans in San Antonio, Texas, Schama’s ratio was one mildly pro-McCain vet, but two Obama badge-wearing vet campaigners. (We know Schama is pro-Obama, and it shows in this series.)

    If this sort of SCHAMA history teaching went on in UK/US colleges and universities, I hope that students would complain about Schama’s calculated, low-grade, biased presentation.


  33. Jonathan Boyd Hunt says:

    Ye Gods.

    Neil McIntosh has been appointed editor of the European edition of[Wall Street Journal]

    McIntosh is currently head of editorial development at, where he has worked in various roles, initially for the technology section, and then for the website.

    “After nine-and-a-half wonderful years at the Guardian, I’ve decided to move to pastures new,” he said in a post on his personal blog.

    “ has been making great strides of late, including an impressive redesign unveiled just as the current crisis took hold last month. The team there is working to create something outstanding around one of the biggest stories of the time, and it’s a huge thrill to be asked to take the helm in Europe,” he wrote.

    Er, I thought the Wall Street Journal was one of America’s top conservative newspapers.

    It seems there’ll soon be nowhere left to emigrate to…


  34. whitewineliberal says:

    And Delia, what about Delia. Every rocked ribbed conservative’s dream woman surely.


  35. David Vance says:


    EU is very good – and a good compliment. I am far too modest to mention a certain other tangled site that hammer away at all kinds of bias and deception on a global platform!!


  36. It's all too much says:

    WWL can you tell the difference between Stork and butter? Can you tell that a programme was made/commissioned by the BBC just from its style, tone and content?

    That’s my point


  37. whitewineliberal says:

    I use stork to stop chaffing when i go for a run.

    I can see nothing that’s different in C4 and bbc cookery programmes. they are all pants.


  38. It's all too much says:

    WWL – you win, I wish I had never mentioned food programmes.

    BTW isn’t rubbing yourself with lard substitute a bit deviant


  39. whitewineliberal says:

    It is indeed deviant. Every free Englishman must have a deviance.


  40. It's all too much says:

    and I’m a bit worried by your over excited Delia moment at 10:36 what on earth is “a rocked ribbed conservative” – if it is something foul don’t tell me!


  41. eh? says:

    Check out the politics show tomorrow, on immigration. Remember British jobs for British workers? Well they’re going to focus on that. It will be interesting to see what sort of job they do with it.


  42. archduke says:

    David Preiser (USA) | Homepage | 17.10.08 – 10:00 pm |

    i’ve never understood the point of iplayer, when i get all that i want from bittorrent.

    and if WE have paid for bbc output , then surely the bbc can just release the stuff as a torrent?

    after all – bbc content should belong to “the people” , since we’ve funded it?

    but apparently not. stuff like copyright and making a profit from content also applies to the bbc – which makes them parasites, since they havent put up their own capital or seeked venture funding – they just rob all of us,and make money out of it.

    nice eh?


  43. archduke says:

    “Whereas Jamie Oliver on C4 patronises the underclass.
    whitewineliberal | 17.10.08 – 10:15 pm ”

    an underclass which labour have funded and created in the first place.

    and really dont give a shit about.

    (but the minute they start voting BNP – oh boy do labour suddenly give a shit about them…)


  44. Will86 says:

    Archduke: Glad to see I wasn’t alone in thinking that the family profiled in the Breakfast report on repossessions ticked all the BBC boxes. It’s an outrage that Northern Wreck has such a high repossession rate: at the end of the day, it’s now just more money for Brown to waste.

    Agree with several posters here re BBC coverage of Tory response to credit crunch. It is not “juvenile” for the Opposition to be holding an increasingly incompetent and profiligate administration to account- it’s their job, and frankly, it’s a shame it hasn’t happened earlier. Perhaps it would have stopped Brown pissing so much of our money away.

    If Cameron’s got the nerve, the next target must be the BBC- serial offenders in the socialist big-spending stakes


  45. archduke says:

    Will86 | 17.10.08 – 11:52 pm

    glad to see that someoone else saw that it was a “box ticking” P.C. report par excellance…


  46. archduke says:

    Will86 | 17.10.08 – 11:52 pm

    btw Will86 – if northern crock are repossessing house , then dont those houses become government owned.

    and thus – you are starting to see the basis of recovering all those council houses “lost” to thatcher…

    looks like its happening already…

    meanwhile, over in ireland , i’m hearing reports that the banks are not even bothering to repossess – because

    a) they are being leant on big time by the government (would recreate political dynamite in ireland – shades of the irish famine and rich landlords kicking people out into the street… NOT a good idea..)

    but more importantly

    b) the banks wont be able to even SELL the friggin houses.. no buyers..

    if the situation with “no buyers” is the same over here, then the nortern crock stuff points to one and only one explanation – gordon brown expanding the state into housing ownership – and thus the return of council houses on a vast scale.


  47. archduke says:

    or maybe – heres another theory… thats plausible.

    bank managers, without the shackles of shareholder accountability ,as their bank is government owned, while naturally gravitate towards box-ticking mode – and thus , the more you get government taking over banks, the more repossessions you will see.

    a private bank, mindful of market conditions, wouldnt even dream of repossessing right now – whats the point? you cant sell the damn thing.

    for government backed banks – markets dont matter.

    i fear that repossions are going to get a LOT worse, the more the government takes over the banks.

    if it was left to the markets, the banks would collapse, and the debt written off at a loss. what the point of repossessing if you cant sell the darn thing on the market?


  48. Peter says:

    An interesting BBC Breakfast News piece on an impressive nonagenarian Kirk Douglas, who is trying to encourage the young to engage more with politics.

    I was most taken with his stated desire to not impose his views but to simply stimulate debate.

    Why then did the interviewer immediately go on to ask his opinion on just one person, and not either of the Presidential candidates?


  49. It's all too much says:

    I confidently predict that access to credit will soon be determined by a PC list with priority (a la Clinton) given to ‘deprived’ individuals -who by definition are least able to re-pay. One only has to look at the politicisation of education and higher education in particular to see the trend.

    National banks will not be loaning money to class enemies in future. Well, I exaggerate, but there will be pressure for ‘special focussed social interventions’ to address ‘unfairness’. Personally I think it is unfair to steal £140 from me every year to fund a bloated PC mad propaganda organ of the left. But why should anyone pay attention to me, I’m not deprived.


  50. Martin says:

    archduke: You’re right. It would make more sense to leave people in their houses and do some sort of deal. The banks are trying ot have it both ways.

    The Tories could be making hay over this and really putting Broon under pressure. But they are not.