This is a guest post by B-BBC reader A Libertarian Rebel…do give it a read.
“There must be very few, if any, B-BBC readers unaware of the visceral hatred which our much beloved national broadcaster harbours towards all things Murdoch and News International.
It’s dressed up, of course, as a lofty, altruistic, public-service-broadcasting concern about quality standards and the monopolistic effects of excessive market share (conveniently ignoring, err, the Beeb’s own 70% share of broadcast news & current affairs coverage): but what it’s really about is a determination to neutralise NI’s position as a right-leaning print media alternative to the left-liberal BBC/ Guardian/Independent nexus, and head off the threat of what, for the Corporation, would be the ultimate nightmare – a wholly NI-controlled BSkyB or a UK version of Fox News, presenting the UK viewing public with a libertarian, small-state, free-markets, EU-sceptic option for their news and current affairs viewing.
We’ve seen this operating already in the highest gear with the BBC’s far from impartial and blatantly anti-Murdoch tenor of its coverage of the phone-hacking scandals and the Leveson Inquiry: but what flicked in into overdrive on Tuesday evening was the news that Rebekah Brooks had been charged with conspiracy to convert the course of justice. Despite Merkel/Hollande meeting on the EU Fiscal pact and the euro visibly collapsing about our ears with Heaven-knows-what implications for the UK economy, BBC News channels not merely led with it (not unreasonable – other channels did too) but gave it virtually saturation coverage for the remainder of the evening.
So it was interesting come across these 3 tweets posted late that same night by someone for whom the BBC evidently has a high regard:
Make Murdoch eat all of Brooks’ hair, and I’m willing to forget everything.
What a shame if Rebekah Brooks choked to death on her hair tonight. Or caught her hair on the cell bars, twisting them into a fucking noose.
Imagine finding Rebekah Brooks dead in her cell. The trauma! Why, I would wish to compensate the officer £10,000. I repeat, £10,000.
Brian Limond is of course the serially unfunny & offensiveness-dependent (no doubt classified in BBC commissioning parlance as “edgy”) Scottish “alternative” comedian who about 6 months or so ago distinguished himself by gleefully anticipating the death of Baroness Thatcher and adopting an avatar showing Lady Thatcher bloodied and with her throat (presumably “edgily”) slashed.
More to the point however, the Beeb loves Limond’s output so much that it’s commissioned not one but two series from him, one in 2010 and one in 2011, both undoubtedly generously paid for by the licence fees which we’re all so delighted to provide in the form of a compulsory regressive tax extracted on pain of fine or imprisonment. With material as erudite and subtle as Limond’s, you can see why the Beeb values him highly.
But wait a minute – sending a message of an indecent, obscene or menacing character is an offence under S127 of the Communications Act 2003, isn’t it? And despite the necessities of safeguarding free speech, it’s surely difficult to argue that an invitation or recommendation for hanging or bridge-pushing isn’t menacing; nor that it doesn’t constitute an incitement to violence which, if uttered in a public place, would be an offence under S5 of the Public Order Act 1986 as well. Either of those offences, or preaching racist hate, will get you fired from the BBC (unless directed at BBC-approved targets like white male Christian libertarians, of course).
The Corporation would no doubt say that Limond’s not employed by it: but the fact is, it’s already commissioned two series from him. So the questions arise: does the BBC think it’s an appropriate use of licence-payers’ funds to commission material from someone who openly breaks the law to incite violence? Will it repudiate and disassociate itself from his comments? Will it undertake not to commission him again?
An ethical and responsible taxpayer-funded public service broadcaster should do all three: but ah, he’s virulently anti-Murdoch, isn’t he? Don’t hold your breath.
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