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Comments

TomTom

The credits in every programme should list the political affiliations of those listed

Geoff

Everyone can see that BBC is horribly biased to the left. It's painfully obvious on every 'news' broadcast. One of Lady Thatcher's great oversights was not privatising it and ridding us of the Licence Tax.

As a party we instinctively (I hope still) support open markets. If I choose to watch HefferTV and my neighbour wants to watch MarxismNews then we are both happy.

The implementation of this idea is long overdue and in my opinion should go further.

Matthew Scott

Not a bad idea, but do we not have this already? While taxpayer funded, the Beeb has not been impartial anyway (Lebanon, Palestine, Labour). It works in the print media with the right well represented (Torygraph, Mail, Express and The Sun) even if they don't understand Project Cameron.

A plan to abolish the Licence Fee should be added to this as well.

Denis Cooper

Very difficult. I have to say that very often ITV and even Sky seem to share the same bias as the BBC, but while the BBC is funded by a compulsory levy on all viewers there is at least that argument that it should be more impartial. But how far do we want that impartiality taken? Would we want the BBC taking a strictly impartial line if the country was at war and fighting for its existence? And surely there should be a clearly recognised distinction between a "state" broadcaster, and a "government" or "governing party" broadcaster? Just as there should be a clearly recognised distinction between the Head of State, and the head of the Government of the day, and between public money and party funds.

Richard

I think this is a good idea, although the BBC should be kept impartial (or rather made impartial). To be honest I wouldn't mind if the Far Left or Far Right set up their own TV stations - would certainly make politics a bit more entertaining!

Angelo Basu

As the state broadcaster the BBC should certainly be kept impartial, or as impartial as it can be. The fact that neither of the two main parties seems happy with the coverage they get from the BBC suggests to me that they are probably more impartial than they are portrayed.

Anyhow, the current regulations don't require neutrality, they only ask for "due impartiality". This concept would, as described by Ofcom, allow a slanted view to be taken in the appropriate circumstances as set out in the quote below from the Ofcom site (the BBC actually has a separate set of obligations):

"Meaning of “due impartiality”:
“Due” is an important qualification to the concept of impartiality. Impartiality itself means not favouring one side over another. “Due” means adequate or appropriate to the subject and nature of the programme. So “due impartiality” does not mean an equal division of time has to be given to every view, or that every argument and every facet of every argument has to be represented. The approach to due impartiality may vary according to the nature of the subject, the type of programme and channel, the likely expectation of the audience as to content, and the extent to which the content and approach is signalled to the audience. Context, as defined in Section Two: Harm and Offence of the Code, is important. "

This strikes me as potentially wide enough to allow for news to be presented from different perspectives (eg if there was a branded "Conservative" channel, it would be clear from the nature of the channel that it would not be naturally consistently sympathetic to socialist views.

I can't see the public cheering in the streets as we commit to freeing them from the blight of impartial news and I can't see the point in this proposal when the current regulatory regime is flexible enough to allow Al Jazeera news to be authorised for showing on UK satellite TV.

Catherine Bray

Simple ideas work well in practice and this is a good, simple idea. My only concern would be the difficulty in avoiding a situation where the public associate all content with the Tory Party, placing the credibility of such a channel in jeopardy and limiting how much of a useful tool it could be for the party to get the right message across. It would also be important not to alienate certain sides of the party.

Whilst we are discussing the media and ways in which we can use it to reach out, does anybody remember the programme Why Don't You? A show that arrived on screens during summer holidays, watched by children, students and in my house at least, parents. The full title of that show was "Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?". The show was ran by youngsters for youngsters and consisted of different groups taking it in turns to host; the Belfast gang, the Birmingham gang etc

I think the Conservatives could take this idea and use it to get young people more interested in politics and our policies - Green projects, community values, family focus. As the population naturally shifts closer to the centre we need to be pulling them our way. Recent television trends are proof that if you bombard people with a, lets face it, fairly boring subject, but in a way which mimics popular television such as comedy, quizzes and reality shows, people become interested. Antiques and Home Improvement are perfect examples.

Geoff

Denis Cooper, Angelo and others. Why on earth do we actually need a State Broadcaster at all? I don't care if Sky and ITV openly argue to relocate the headquarters of the RSPB to Peking or Bombay. The point is that I should not be forced to pay a third party just so that I could hear that sort of nonsense - even if I just want to watch reruns of Stargate on the SciFi channel I must pay the BBC or face getting a criminal record!

That is what we need to stop. If anyone is stupid enough to want to watch BBC leftist propaganda masquerading as 'news' then let the BBC stand or fall in the marketplace like any other broadcaster.

The Licence Tax must go. Make them stand on their own feet. Mr. Deane needs (as we do) to be more radical.

If the BiasedBC think they can't support themselves in the same way that thousands of TV companies around the globe do every day then we (and they) should be asking some serious questions.

Gunther

You don't want the BBC to be impartial but leaning to the Right. What if that did not happen and it leaned to the Far Right, Left or Far Left, or even Liberal? A BBC free to give support in this way could be very dangerous.

Gunther

You don't want the BBC to be impartial but leaning to the Right. What if that did not happen and it leaned to the Far Right, Left or Far Left, or even Liberal? A BBC free to give support in this way could be very dangerous.

clive elliot

It would take time but in a few years we'd have a spectrum of channels at least one of which would represent a Mail/Telegraph point of view and be congenial viewing to those who hanker after this sort of thing.

It would be an importand viewpoint, and would represent and draw on a constituency which would be valuable to advertisers, so ought to succeed.

A. Clive Elliot

Serf

As many others have said, this only works if we abolish the licence fee and force the BBC to stand on its own two feet. Otherwise I am for it.

Angelo Basu

Well I'm sure that a flotation of the BBC would raise an absolute packet, perhaps we could use it to buy a short term tax cut and use the BBC and other media to promote it as a policy through gritted teeth with no biased comments in their news programming!

For a measly £131.50 you get a lot of stuff of a generally high quality for a whole year. That would buy you not much more than 2-3 months of Sky. Would a privatised BBC be cheaper and lead to Sky becoming cheaper, or would there be a nice incentive for the shareholders of the BBC to raise prices? Realistically it will be the latter and I'm not sure in what way that could possibly be in the public interest.

I know it is anathema, but the BBC is a state owned business which largely speaking works and coexists with a lively private sector. There is nothing unconservative about considering it to be one of the institutions of British society which our name would suggest that we be keen on preserving rather than changing for political reasons.

Geoff

You don't want the BBC to be impartial but

You are wrong and miss my point. I don't care what the BBC puts out. It can promote Stalinism for all I care. I just don't want to subsidise it. Would Tony Benn be happy paying for FoxNews if it were our subsidised State Broadcaster? I think not. But he can choose to opt in or out if he wants to watch it.

Angelo actually makes a stronger point than intended. Out here in Gib the Licence Tax is only £30 per year. However I would object to paying £0.01p per year purely on principle. I would rather choose to buy 2-3 months of Sky instead and not receive BBC channels at all.

No, BBC is no more of a 'national institution' than British Airways was, British Coal, British Steel, Rolls Royce etc etc. They had their chance to stand or fall in the marketplace. Some survived and some didn't. Tough.

Time for the BBC to take the same test.

Denis Cooper

Geoff @ 11:27 - "Why on earth do we actually need a State Broadcaster at all?"

Because it serves to binds the people of the state together. So there will be one: if not a British state broadcaster, then an EU state broadcaster. Although so far EuroNews has a rather amateurish feel about it.

www.euronews.net/create_html.php?page=home&lng=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euronews

"EuroNews was selected by the European Union (EU) for a "mission of a type of European public service". The channel was selected among seven candidates to produce and broadcast, simultaneously in several languages, news programs on issues about the European Union. The channel will receive €5 million each year, and 10% or more of its production must be European Union issue information and debates."

Geoff @ 12:51 - "You are wrong and miss my point. I don't care what the BBC puts out. It can promote Stalinism for all I care. I just don't want to subsidise it."

Careful here, a lot of people still watch BBC TV and listen to BBC radio, and if the BBC did promote Stalinism then it would cost a lot of money a lot to counter that propaganda by other means - if you were allowed to do so.

Matthew Sinclair

Long overdue. I think the BBC needs to be privatised or an exception to such a change though because otherwise, as you point out, it is a publicly funded bias left.

John Hustings

This is the policy proposal I support the most of those put forward so far. Britain needs nothing so urgently as this.

Angelo Basu

More important than doubling prison places and ensuring that criminals serve full sentences? More important than giving autonomy to schools?

John Hustings

"More important than doubling prison places and ensuring that criminals serve full sentences? More important than giving autonomy to schools?"

For me, yes. Not to say I don't support those things, but liberalising regulation on the media would, I hope, result in a fairer hearing for conservative ideas, and so would benefit us more in the long run than any of those specific policies.

Cardinal Pirelli

Could easily be disastrous, sorry.

Remove those barriers and you could well find yourself with a raft of left leaning stations and little balance. Keep the BBC as it is, enforce its impartiality and don't take the risk!

Dontmakemelaugh

"You don't want the BBC to be impartial but leaning to the Right. What if that did not happen and it leaned to the Far Right, Left or Far Left, or even Liberal? A BBC free to give support in this way could be very dangerous"

The BBC news and current affairs output IMHO is very dangerous and over the last couple of decades, as far as I am concerned it has undermined the fabric and cohesion of society. In the Iraq war it was kicked off HMS ship the Ark Royal and produced Gilligan as a by product of the invasion. I orginally fell out of love with the BBC over its reporting of the Falklands war.
On 18 Doughty street last night (an excellent new channel and highly recommended involving Tim Montgomerie, Ian Dale & Co) a Peter Barnes (I believe that was his name) employed by the BBC and something, I gather, to do with Newsnight admitted the BBC was biased. I believe he labelled it "Subliminal". To some of us its bias is as "Subliminal" as a punch on the nose. This oneway propaganda bias to the Left by most of the electronic media is undemocratic.

Have you ever seen or heard a full debate on the BBC regarding the pros and cons of withdrawing from the EU?

Already the EU, apparently fearful of the effects of such programmes as 18 Doughty Street, are considering prohibitive legislation.

Have you ever seen or heard a full debate on the BBC by both sides of scientific opinion where those rejecting the theories of the doom mongering climate change cabal are given equal air time ?

Ever seen or or a full blown debate regarding the shortcomings of the MOD procurement programme.

Have you ever seen or heard of a BBC investgative journalist doing a job on the SWP, Combat 18 or the Respect Party. Why not? It did a job on the police, BNP and IDS. Which side of the polical spectrum are they thought to be on?

The BBC, I understand, are now fighting a court ruling ordering it to hand over a report that is believed to accuse it of bias against Israel. It has been so ordered to do so under the Freedom of Information act. The BBC has appealed against it. Apparently, although you pay its wages (not me) you are not entitled to know the contents of that report.

I agree with Alex Deane; remove the regulations. I support Geoff and I am very disappointed with Denis Cooper.

BBC bias "Subliminal"? Your kidding! And as for a "national treasure", as the Yanks would say, "Tell that to the marines".



Denis Cooper

I'm sorry that you're "very disappointed" with me, but I did start my first comment by saying that it's "very difficult". In other words, it's not as simple as privatising the BBC and then allowing a complete free for all in which the strongest financial interests will inevitably have the loudest voice in the nation's living rooms. Still I also say that as someone who rang up the BBC at lunchtime, as an irate licence payer, to complain that once again they'd managed to report on postal services and post offices without once mentioning the EU.

SimonNewman

I certainly voted yes on this. A multiciplicity of view points is incredibly valuable. I know I've benefitted hugely from seeing how Fox News works on Sky, and how its techniques to promote right-wing bias matches the BBC's promotion of a left-wing bias.
Currently in the UK we have the BBC setting the terms of reference, which means all broadcast output is left-slanted; admittedly the BBC's "holier than thou" approach means it is far worse than even Channel 4 News. Channel 4 News is clearly very much left of centre yet I haven't seen Channel 4 promoting the worst Islamonazis as representative of mainstream Islam the way the BBC does.
As for state broadcasters, their era ended a decade ago. I say privatise the BBC and allow it to be as leftist as it wishes, but not with my money.

SimonNewman

"Remove those barriers and you could well find yourself with a raft of left leaning stations and little balance. Keep the BBC as it is, enforce its impartiality and don't take the risk!"

Frankly, if that's what the public wants, that's what they deserve. All the indications are the opposite though - given a choice, people buy right of centre newspapers, watch Jeremy Clarkson, and read Tory blogs!

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