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?