Is the BBC fit for purpose?

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

The BBC seem to be incapable of performing their duties as a public service broadcaster just lately.

Their role, as a taxpayer-funded public service broadcaster, is to provide honest, quality, factual and unbiased programming.  They are specifically prohibited in their charter from following a partial agenda, including that of the British government.  They are most certainly not permitted to rip off the taxpaying public.

A few days ago it emerged that the BBC have been ripping off members of the public by faking winners for competitions including Comic Relief and Sport Relief.  Those charities will now suffer from the adverse publicity surrounding the BBC’s corruption in the phone competitions they ran in their name.

Almost ignored in the mainstream media was the bollocking the BBC got for deliberately excluding UKIP from debates on Federal Europe, instead inviting mildly eurosceptic or pro-EU reformists onto shows to tell us all how the EU is mostly misunderstood and could be transformed miraculously from a corrupt, undemocratic organisation into an open, democratic, honest organisation that will end wars forever and spread peace and prosperity around the globe.

They have now been given a talking to about their anti-SNP agenda.  In a programme on Scottish independence, Newsnight told viewers – and Alex Salmond, the SNP Leader and First Minister of Scotland – that they contacted the 25 biggest companies in “Britain” and the top 25 companies in Scotland and all of them were opposed to independence.  It was later discovered that most of the 50 companies involved refused to even discuss the subject, let alone condemn the SNP or Scottish independence.

The BBC rarely speaks out against the EU, in part thanks to the massive amount of funding it gets from Brussels for informational programming (more commonly known as “propaganda”) but mostly because of the British government’s pro-EU agenda.  They rarely speak out against the blatent and sustained discrimination against English people, again, because of the British government’s anti-English agenda.

The BBC is fast losing the trust of ordinary people and has proven itself to be far too politicised to be able to carry out its obligations under its charter.  So what is the solution?  We need a public service broadcaster and we need one that isn’t in the hands of Rupert Murdoch but we also need a broadcaster we can trust.  Taking the BBC out of the control of MPs is the obvious answer but who do you give it to instead?  The civil service is so politicised that they, too, cannot be trusted to run the BBC in the interests of the public.  Handing it over to private business to run is also no good because they’ll run it for commercial and personal interest just like MPs do.

For once, I don’t have an answer so I’ll leave it open to the comments.  How do we maintain the BBC as a taxpayer-funded, public service broadcaster, but restore its apolitical, impartial status and once again make it a service that can be trusted?


  1. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    As for the anti-SNP stuff, have you seen this?

    They had to apologise afterwards. But they’d never treat Brown like that…

  2. Frederick Jones (1 comments) says:

    The are also most unfair to Israel as anybody who knows anything about the history of the Middle East or is acquainted with the site ‘Honest Reporting'(it is available on Google) can testify. Is it because they recruit from the ranks of Guardian and New Statesman reading Leftists who nowadays seem to be all rather anti-semitic? Or are they afraid of riots if they were even-handed?

  3. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    The way they report on the Israel/Palestine situation is, I think, better than most of the other big networks. Anything American portrays the Israeli’s as brave oppressed souls battling against the muslim invaders rather than the bunch of terrorists that they really are. The arab TV stations portray the Israeli’s as zionist scum with a modern-day crusade against Islam. The thruth is in the middle somewhere but that’s a different discussion and one I’ve had many times before.

  4. Calum (183 comments) says:

    Why do people give the BBC such a bad rep? They are the best broadcaster on British TV, with better programmes than the other networks, along with providing a fairly even handed view on most issues. The BBC has far better own made TV programmes than rival broadcasters, the only broadcaster which come anywhere close to the BBC’s standard is Channel 4. ITV, Sky etc… are all shit, the BBC is far better, and on a much smaller budget.

    The BBC may appear to have a slight liberal leftist leaning in some areas, yet equally in many other areas it has an equally right wing view. The BBC is meant to be a liberal opponent of almost everything. The BBC is a high class broadcaster, and is the most even handed media branch in the UK, far more even handed than the newspapers and than the more right wing ITV or Sky.

    For all the criticism the BBC gets it is still the most watched station and has the most read website etc… Tell me, how often do you and others who criticise the BBC read its website? watch its news, watch newsnight etc…? The answer is probably far more regularly than you would readily admit.

    Also, i would like to agree with Stuart on the BBC and Israel-Palestine. The BBC is the most even handed at reporting the situation. I say this as an isolated lefty in so far as my unwavering support for Israel and opposition to Palestinian extremists such as Hamas. But, i am sure there will be another time where i can comment on what i make of the middle east.

  5. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    I can’t agree that the Beeb has an anti-Israeli bias — unless pointing out the truth that Israel has acted as a proxy for US imperialism (last years disproportionate response, for example) and oppressed the Palestinians for decades. Claims that the left is infested with anti-semitism are offensive and act as a cover for the human rights abuses of Israel. It also ignores the fact that there is no one seriously calling for the displacement of people living in Israel who constitute a nation in the resolution of the occupation. A binational state would be the best option, I have to say. Hamas sharing power with Likud? Perhaps if the US government stopped its massive subsidy to the Israeli state there would be progress on peace. Despite the rhetoric, I think that the leadership of Hamas accepts that there will be a two-state solution and the other state will be Israel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.