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Very sound article but surely Editor you cannot expect Swire and the Cameroons to make a principled stand when they make no such stand on anything else.

With Cameron having being at Carlton TV with its own desperate record, and far too many MPs looking for opportunities in media, it is probably hard for politicians to be hard on their dining companions especially when they pay the restaurant bills.

The BBC should be forced to lay full-audited accounts in line with the companies Act before Parliament annually, and to seek approval before paying any salary package in excess of £300.000 for any executive.

It should be forced to produce Segment Reports for each TV and Radio Channel with management accounts broken down by programme type.

There should be complete transparency on Travel & Entertainment and Energy Costs.......be good to know how much the BBC has done to cut studio electricity consumption, and how many plane flights have been cut "for the environment"

They stand against racism...joining the bandwagon over Shilpa Shetty and saying people should stop watching it if they object. The fact it wasnt racism is beside the point clearly...

Swire is a total disaster and should be sacked. He has failed to offer an alternative to the biased BBC's bloated bureaucracy. Its programming is more suitable for thick Chavs rather than intelligent citizens.

Ex-candidate, that's a totally unfair characterisation of both Swire and the BBC.

I'm not uncritical of the BBC but programme balance is one of the things it does well. Are you sure that you're considering the complete range of channels on offer? Radio 3 and 4, BBC 2 and 4, BBC Parliament and BBC Jam all provide intellectual content.

And was Swire supposed to propose a complete management restructure?

What an abortion from Swire but a glimpse of the future.

Cameron, if he wins, will be like John Major - hailed for 6 months then destroyed by the BBC while he bleats that it is "a great national institution".

Anybody who says the BBC is "a great national institution" does not understand politics or the task of the Conservative Party BY DEFINITION.

I find this disappointing as someone who's very pro privatisation of this bloated organisation, but I expect the focus group has come back that people are not ready for it. An argument needs to be made be someone to shift opinion though.

One of the first acts of a Tory Government must surely be to privatise Channel 4 though. Why is this still state owned?

The BBC has its strengths. I enjoy Radio 3 and 4, and its website is interesting and accesible.

However, political balance is not one of its strengths. As Moore says, the world outlook of the average BBC journalist is extremely predictable, and generally hostile to Conservatism.

Absolutely spot on Sean. We must remember that the BBC is sadly still trusted and a popular institution with many people and any changes we propose must be sellable to the electorate at large. Like others there are times when I would like to 'take revenge' on the BBC when we get back into power but it probably wouldn't be sensible politics.Also at its best the BBC is still a wonderful broadcaster.

Its tendency to give a disproportionate platform to extreme views.

All news coverage gives disproportionate attention to certain types of story. Radical opinion is always more newsworthy than the mainstream.

Taking the Taliban from your list of examples - their views may be extreme and unrepresentative but, in a news sense, their airtime is justified because we are spending billions on killing them. We shouldn't fear that airtime. The worst that could happen is that the Taliban might say something which challenges our perception of them and our reasons for destroying them...

We can't challenge bias while simultaneously asking them to filter out parts of the story that we don't want to hear.

I agree that Channel 4 should be privatised and that would also be my preferred perhaps unrealistic option for the BBC. The BBC is not only a biased state funded broadcaster, it has promoted a damaging "progressive" agenda at the expense of conservatism and this country for far too long. It is currently squeezing out private competition in just about every where it operates. If printing had not been invented before brtoadcasting we would no doubt have BBC national and local newspapers (as if the Guardian was not bad enough). If we cannot privatise it then its activities and bias should be severely curtailed.

I totally agree with Hugo Swire's comments. I feel that he has taken a responsible position re the BBC. We are still the envy of the world in that the BBC sets the standard for the rest to follow. I think that we would be a lot worse off without this institution which has stood the test of time.

Very good editorial, right on the button and money.
But, what would you expect Swire to do, be brutally frank and honest to that bunch of Stalinites? He has sucked up, and hopefuly will keep that bunch of trotskyite harpies from pressing the very biased button and just keep to the usual dogma of jealousy and envy and class warfare.

Come on, what do you expect? We can't escape the fact that the BBC is a national institution, like the NHS, and any talk of selling it off would turn off a huge swathe of voters.

It should be up to people like Charles Moore to gently and slowly influence the public's opinion.


The BBC's criticism of the Tories whilst in power was unrelenting. They rolled over like a puppy once New Labour got in. They and the rest of the lefty media changed their tune about New Labour mainly because of Iraq. You can be sure the BBC's normal service will resume shortly. Cameron et all should not fool themselves but they will. I seem to recall a survey of MPs in the last year or so (sorry I cannot remember where) in which only about 25% of Tory MPs were critical of the BBC. No wonder so many of us are dismayed with the direction of the Tory Party if Tory MPs think all's well with the Beeb.

I have a lot of sympathy with your view EML... we do sometimes expect the Conservative Party to do too much intellectual/ campaign work. The Conservative Party needs a vibrant conservative movement in order to prosper. Sometimes I just wish the party would do a little more challenging and a little less reassuring!

Valedictoryan accuses me of being unfair but he approves of only a small proportion of the BBC output.

BBC1,2,3 and 4 are a national disgrace. The news programmes are biased, politically correct and dumbed down.

Radio 3's bandwidth, i.e. sound quality, has been reduced to facilitate more Radio 5 Live sport.

The BBC is has loads of bureaucrats who sod all.We are forced to pay £131.50 per annum for a load of rubbish.

And what does Swire do? He agrees with the Government and the BBC - a typical spineless Old Etonian worried about his dinner party invitations.

"The Secretary of State will realise that licence fee payers do not expect their money to pay for airtime to be given to racists, Nazis, Taliban and other supporters of terrorism at home and abroad."

I actually find these people much more interesting than mainstream politicians. They liven up politics and give us a different outlook from the predictable consensus. Plus half of them are hilarious.

If only we had more mainstream politicians with strong convictions who were prepared to articulate them without fear of being ostracised by the whips.

As an example to back up my last post, when was the last time on live TV you heard a Labour MP calling for nationalisation of the steel industry or a Tory MP calling for the return of hanging?

Wasn't it a BBC presenter years ago who asked an interviewee if the primary purpose of government was to tax and redistribute the revenue? Can anyone remember that?

This isn't the Liberal party - we're supposed to like national institutions here.

Funny how plenty of right-wingers moan about how left-wing the BBC is. I can point to all my left-wing friends who are infuriated by how right-wing it is. Add to that ConHome has managed to trip itself up by simultaneoualy demanding that the BBC shows no bias, but also wanting it to ban extreme views from being broadcast.

Then we have some shameless populism about telephone number salaries that I would have thought unworthy of a conservative article.

And finally the old accusation of dumbing down. If you really want to see dumbing down go to ITV and Channel 5. If really want to see what a populist TV schedule looks like go to the US or Europe. You'll come back realising how lucky we are in this country.

Sometimes I really despair at this party. We privatised things because they didn't work and we saw that private alternatives would do the job better. But it isn't the BBC in this country that's failing, it's the commercial broadcasters. And going to other countries amply demonstrates that a more privatised system does not raise the game of broadcasting but rather just results in more trash TV.

Adam, I'd be very interested for your leftwing friends to give examples of BBC rightwing bias.I'm not saying it doesn't exist I'm just saying I have never, ever heard or seen it. Heard & seen dozens and dozens of examples of left wing bias though.
Even 'though I was and am wholly against the Iraq war but can see it's coverage is anything but objective.

Malcol, I do not think Adam gets it. You cannot have a state based broadcaster with c. £4 billion of income to spend on multi-platform multi-channel media without making it less and less profitable for commercial entites to compete.

It's not so much the actual programmes that matter as the assumptions that visibly underlie them. Take 'question time', which last night actually had two of the five pannelists of Conservative persuasion, 40%. Actually reflects something approaching the right's share of the popular share of the vote. Result, quite a good programme.

But if you asked those pannelists their views on a range of right/left questions, eg Capital punishment, leaving EU, lower taxes, less Government, immigration etc., you'd be hard pressed to get them to reflect majority views, and most weeks when there's only one panellist from the right, downright impossible.

Most peoples' views are actually so far beyond the pale that they're not taken seriously by BBC journalistsd.

There is lot of rubbish on TV although a careful examination of digital schedules usually reveals something worth watching (normally on a commercial channel and hardly ever IMO on BBC terrestrial). That said, and perhaps it is because there is so much rubbish
on, I often find my wife having decided to watch some TV often end up simply having it on in the background (much as radio often is) whilst we both surf the net. That is the real threat to the BBC and the MSM.

All those who have made comments here praising the quality of the BBC are missing the point. Many other non essential services that we use have their merits but we have a choice over whether we use them and pay for them.
Can you imagine a world, where for example you had to pay a mobile phone licence which went to Vodaphone when you used Orange as your service provider and when you complained about the situation someone said that it was justified because Vodaphone were jolly good chaps.
The Thatcher era gave us choice in areas that had previously been state monopolies, we need to recognise that broadcasting is passing into history and that having your own personal broadband pipe connecting you to the media of your choice gives us the chance to sweep away the old imposed statist media channels.

Malcolm, the BBC is pretty hostile to the government now. That is possibly why Adam's friends see a right wing bias. However, it is hostile from a left wing perspective, on issues like Iraq, and anti-terror legislation, rather than from a right wing persepctive.

Would anyone really expect a BBC television journalist to be presenting a report, working from the assumption that say, taxes were too high, or levels of immigration were too high, or Irish Republicanism was a bad thing, or capital punishment was a good thing?

You are 100% right Steve. The left want to control the net just like printing was controlled in the past.

I am afraid I am old enough to remember the 1970s when nationalised dinosaurs like British Leyland proudly announced new cars like the square steering wheeled Austin Allegro. Those days are fortunately gone. Why the same should
shouldn't apply to broadcasting beats me.

"Valedictoryan accuses me of being unfair but he approves of only a small proportion of the BBC output."

Ex-candidate, you are being unfair to Mr Swire, the BBC and now my post.

I gave you a list of BBC streams that focus on intelligent output - not the list that I "approve" of.

I happen to enjoy much of what comes out of BBC1 and 3 - for example Spooks and Judge Deed (and I mention these because they are examples of the BBC attacking the government - albeit usually from a left-wing perspective). Still, attack is attack - I don't really care which stick the BBC uses to beat government!

Labour policies are usually vigorously attacked on Question Time too – but that’s audiences for you.

Where did that otiose "e" come from?

Both as a viewer and someone with legal experience, I find Judge Deed a complete waste of time. A real novelty in today's world would be a judge who sought justice against a background of politically correct out of touch
judges, lawyers, civil servants and politicians.

"Both as a viewer and someone with legal experience, I find Judge Deed a complete waste of time."

With Donald Sinden and plotlines of never ending government corruption, I’ll forgive it almost anything.

Can you imagine a world, where for example you had to pay a mobile phone licence which went to Vodaphone when you used Orange as your service provider and when you complained about the situation someone said that it was justified because Vodaphone were jolly good chaps.

Superbly said. The BBC should be a subscription service.

Those who compare the BBC with British Leyland et al seem to forget that we thought British Leyland wasn't just doing a bad job, but that private companies would do it better. There is no such evidence with broadcasting. As I say, the commercial broadcasters in the UK are the home of real dross, and the commercial broadcasters abroad are no better.

I for one do not wish to see a national institution sacrificed on the altar of ideological correctness.

Sean is absolutely right (so are most people actually). The BBC thinks it is not biased because it is critical (now!) of the Labour government (and there's an inference there that it thinks it was critical of the Tory governments too, therefore they're "unbiased", which makes a nonsense of their ongoing claims that they're not party political in their critiques, but let's leave that to one side). But of course they are critical from the left of the government. You can hear it in the questions they choose to ask but more importantly in the body language and tone of voice chosen when they face their interviewees. Have a listen to that puffed-up thing who does the business report on Today in the mornings, when he was questioning the head of Channel 4 the other day. They are acting from what, to them, is a set of positions which any "reasonable" person would hold. Of course that's not true, which is why this reasonable person finds it so hard to listen to an entire Today without shouting aloud in anger. I've applied to go on the Today listeners' panel: some hope. I also listened to the podcast of Start the week recently, one of Andrew Marr's guests was the bloke who wrote The Trial of Tony Blair; a total centre-left love-in, with no discussion of the work's artistic merits, just a chance for a bunch of sneering, small-brained left of centre bigots to rant about foreign policy for 45 minutes. With no opposition - how could there be?

A Propos of The Trial of Tony, I noticed an article in one of the leftwing papers, I think it was the Observer last Sunday, bemoaning the fact that Blair can hardly move now without being satirised by his erstwhile media fanbase. Ah diddums! They must have not watched much television throughout the 80s and 90s when the mere mention of the word "Conservative" was enough to bring the house down and no programme was complete without some sad middle-class comic lampooning bravely the governments that had made spending on luxuries like a night out to see some stand-up possible. I actually don't think they've (media leftwingers) got it: there's a real sad bunch washed up from the 80s on this season's News Quiz on R4: last week we were treated to Jeremy Agitprop-Is-Humour-Isn't-It? Hardy who found the concept of Tory fundraising dinners dangerously subversive, and whose riff on the subject died away into the silence of a clearly embarrassed audience, and who had to be rescued by "popular" (i.e. she gets a job for life from the BBC and we pay her pension) chairperson Sandy Toxic (sp?) who rounded the item off by proudly announcing that all Tories are gits.

We pay for all of this. It's too much. I don't care if the BBC is an institution or if my sad geekly little life is improved by the odd series of Doctor Who, I just want to live long enough to see these feather-bedded intellectually-challenged dogmatic social democrats deprived of their poll tax and forced to ask for pay-per-view subscriptions. A clever Tory administration will do this not by full-on attack, but by encouraging multiple providers until the BBC's position becomes simply untenable. The BBC should pay its way through being converted to an iTunes type service. Then I could feel calmer and happier by not paying 79pence to download Jonathan Obscenity Ross, rather than furious at being forced to contribute to his eighteen millions.

So just because some commercial organisatioms may produce dross, the BBC should copy and outdo them? Of course not. There are a variety of objections to the BBC. It is funded by a compulsory tax on pain of imprisonment. It produces a lot of rubbish with that money. It produces grotesquely too much over too many media thus squeezing out commercial enterprises which have to make a profit. And it is biased. It does not deserve £4 billion a year of taxpayers' money.

Well said Graham. We are in danger on this thread of approching something near unanimity.

Of course we're not advocating privatising the BBC - and I can't believe anyone is thick enough to think we should publiclly take that position! Not only are the BBC one of the most trusted organisations in Britain, but they are also the most important news source (if you include local radio and the web). As the saying goes, Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel!

What we should do in office is another matter. However, those calling for privatisation might like to compare, for example commercial and BBC local radio - the latter is almost always vastly better than the former - and better, in my limited experience, than US radio. As Conservatives we should accept the ideological inconsistency of a BBC which works quite well, restrict it from expanding too much into new fields (web etc) and move on to something else.


Do you prefer to fight with one arm tied behind your back?

Very good post Graeme.

Any chance of the future of the BBC appearing as a question in the next members panel? Would be interested in the wider view of what people feel about the issue.

Prentiz, have you heard local BBC radio lately? It makes Alan Partridge look accomplished. I only listen to mine for the football and the adverts for programmes are cringeworthy. They don't care though because they are guarenteed their budget. The commercial one however has to respond to it's listeners or else they won't get the advertising revenue.

I am in favour of the licence fee because of the consequences without it. Since the recent Communications Act was passed it is now possible for a foreign company to acquire ITV. Of course, Channel Five is already fully-owned by a non-UK company (RTL Group) and look how much quality original programming that has.

If Disney or NBC Universal took control of ITV for instance, there is a real risk they would institute big cuts, and cram the schedules full of cheap imports from their operations in the US, axing as much local production as possible.

If there was no licence fee, or one slashed right down so that the BBC only produced core information services such as news, current affairs, education and factual programming, there would be no alternative programming to the drivel that these US media conglomerates would force on the UK.

The licence fee is the least worst option. Enforcing advertising on the BBC would just cause problems for commercial broadcasters as it would over-inflate the market for advertisers. Subscription would not bring in enough revenue to be worthwhile at present. In the future, a hybrid licence fee/subscription model may be appropriate, where core public service activities like news and current affairs, education and factual programming are funded by a heavily-reduced licence fee, and the rest by voluntary subscription, but I believe that would only function properly a while after digital switch-over.

Massive reforms of the BBC are needed, I completely agree, starting with telling "talent" like Jonathan Ross to take large salary cuts or get lost. However, privatizing would create an even bigger problem than exists now. This licence fee settlement is likely to mean the BBC ditching proposed services like the ultra-local TV services which the Editor highlighted George Osborne's speech, so some progress is being made, however slow.

The ITV schedule is already crammed full of rubbish anyway Gary. I'm not sure I accept the argument that the BBC is needed otherwise they'll be nothing but drivel on. There are so many digital channels that if there was a demand for everyones tastes. Look at 18 Doughty Street for instance. I don't think it's fair that a poll tax should be levied on every household so the middle classes can have intellectual programmes.

The point of the BBC is that it is supposed to be a "public broadcasting service" for impartial news reporting, education and entertainment, governed by Charter. It should not therefore be dumbing down in the chase for ratings, that is not it's purpose. The BBC was a highly revered service during the forties and early fifties when it stuck to the constraints imposed by it's situation. However it now no longer feels those constraints, it steal under the penalty of imprisonment a sum of money from everyone who owns a TV set, it also has a commercial arm which brings in even more money and still moans. It's costs must be enormous but are never revealed, but lots of second class "entertainers" are getting fat on it, to say nothing of the hordes of presenters and news readers. Meanwhile the content gets worse, while advertising increases. By the way, radio 3 changes by the day, now with presenters who cannot even pronounce the names of composers correctly.

To all those defending the poll tax funded BBC, I would suggest a similarly funded state newspaper. If any wayward citizen was found buying another newspaper without the requisite licence they would be reported to the licence inspectors. How about the Guardian as prime candidate to fulfill this role as our public service newspaper provider.
Perhaps we could rename it Pravda.

Why? Do you think The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, Private Eye, The Economist et al are not up to the job?

Editor - You seem to be wholly prejudiced against the corporation. Swire did a great job and is working very hard to master his brief. When you look at the fact the BBC is trusted globally more than any other institution in the UK then you must think again. It needs to be looked after and cherished and not brought down because it doesn't always agree with your view. The world needs the BBC and your view is prejudiced and myopic.

As is the BBC with its political coverage Tom. But you're right about the trust both in Britain and abroad. How it can be 'persuaded' to adopt a more politically balanced approach will need some hard thinking by Swire and his colleagues. Encouraging some high profile rightwing columnists from the press a la Andrew Neill and Mathew Parris to apply for presenting positions at the BBC would be a start!

"When you look at the fact the BBC is trusted globally more than any other institution in the UK "

Is it though? Or is this one of those comforting legends on a par with "the NHS is the envy of the World."

I for one see no reason to "cherish" an institution that is fundamentally hostile to most of what I believe in.

The BBC presents its preferred view of the world, which is inherently socialist.

There are no married families in Eastenders who have not been through divorce/drugs/crime or all three.

Dramas like Cutting It and the Manchester gay saga thing, name escapes me, present life as a hedonistic, booze-fuelled excess. The "values" presented are that fidelity is for wimps and all that matters is the next shag/fag/score/drink. They haven't descended to the level of Footballer's Wives, but they really are not far behind.

News is presented from a uniquely PC angle. The "victim" is always identified as the weaker party, so Hamas is the victim, because Israel has US support. The poppy-growers of Afghanistan are the victim becuase they are up against the Americans, mad Bob Mugabe is the victim because he faces the ranged forces of white imperialism, or perhaps is an honourary freedom fighter so cannot possibly be wrong, ever.

Worse still, they assume anything, absolutely anything which comes out of the UN is legitimate, even when it is shown to be venal and corrupt. Oil for Food in Iraq turned into Oil for Cash for Saddam's henchmen; Sexual abuse by UN officials in Africa is hardly mentioned and the propensity to lowest common denominator decisions - China's refusal to lift its threat of Veto on anything to do with Darfur because that is where it gets 30% of its oil from, being the worst example - goes un-mentioned.

I'm sorry, but the days of "broad"casting are hopefully soon at an end. The BBC needs to turn itself into a "super ISP" providing fast access to anybody anywhere to the web and its fantastically valuable archive.

I suppose its a bit like a wired world equivalent of what the Royal Mail was set up to do. Programmes will be pay per view - or listen in radio's case. Most will be downloaded files or paid for by subscription.

The BBCs days are number and I for one will rejoice when the day arrives that it never makes another programme again.

Adam shows great concern about the BBC. Tom says "The world needs the BBC" and the Editor's "view is prejudiced and myopic". LOL.

I have not trusted the BBC for decades living through its biased domestic and foreign affairs reporting from the 60s to date. Do Adam and Tom remember that; the Today programme's slavish reporting of Morning Star during the Cold War. What a joke! And most of the people I know also think the BBC is pile of rubbish. And lest you think this is an age thing, we are Cameron's Oxbridge 80's generation.

John, I think the "Manchester gay thing" was actually Channel 4 -- that's the old Channel 4, when it actually fulfilled its remit (which many here may not have liked but I thought was wonderful, as I peered, aghast but encouraged, from behind my teenage duvet at Four's friday night outputs throughout the late 80s. It was thanks to Channel 4 that I discovered the original Avengers. Nuff said! Collapse of stout party!). Of course these days Channel 4 exists to "hold a mirror up to society" in the words of its defenders; though others might think it exists to find the very worst examples of humanity (Kirsty and Phil obviously not included; why is Kirsty not on the A list?) and encourage us to laugh at the horror of them.

However back to the BBC. That it is poll-tax funded is true; that the people who broadcast on it have political views is true; that they appear to share a common left-of-centre world view can't be called "true" but the evidence supporting the concept is vast. What should be the Tory response? John Moss is absolutely right (even if, and for a former Hackney candidate this is an amazing lapse, he can't remember which channel broadcast the "Manchester gay thing"). John -- why don't you write a 100policies.com piece about the future for the BBC. You have thought it through much better than I. Turn it into a content provider the way that iTunes is the dominant music provider.

Yes but unfortunately none of you are getting the bigger picture. OK - the BBC employs media types. Media types predominantly are left wing by nature. Because it is in the media, because it is about expression, and creativity and working about ways of getting things over creatively you are going to have people who are right on, politically correct etc. So the problem would be getting a more balanced BBC, but in saying that one forgets that there are a lot of very good questioners, interrogators, who give Labour a hard time and always have. Lets not forget that Andrew Gilligan thing. It wasn't the independent media who reported what was basically the truth about the arms to Iraq, it was Gilligan. Please don't forget that.

So taking the fact that there is good and bad to the BBC (although Murdoch is much worse - and especially terrifying that Sky is owned by one man) you have to ask yourself does the fact that media types are generally politically correct pro european etc etc outweigh the overall benefit. And the answer is clearly no.

The BBC has an amazing superstructure throughout the world unlike any other media organisation in the world. It is the world's premier media outlet.It has unrivalled respect. I know I used to be a correspondent for several rival organisations. And it is a way of making sure that in a world where there is lots of shit going on, that someone is shouting for civilised values. And if there was no BBC what would you get? Big American media organisations? Where were the American media during the Iraq war. Well one guy on Fox news just after 9/11 happened was wearing a stars and stripes badge on his lapel - and that is the sort of rubbish you would have if there was no BBC - and as we all know the tame US media had a massive role to play in helping Bush set the world back about 50 years. At least the BBC stood up the UK government.

It is a fantastic institution and whilst it could always be improved we are VERY lucky to have it.

The BBC has unrivalled respect....if there was no BBC what would you get?

Haven't you heard of Reuters?

I have always been a fan of the BBC (political bias aside) but even I find it hard to justify taxing people £150 to use a TV when they may not even watch the BBC. Many of the BBC's most popular shows could easily thrive on commercial TV (Dr Who, Spooks etc) or specialist TV (Question Time). Yes, advertisments are annoying but at least we aren't forced to fund channels we don't use.

because it is about expression, and creativity and working about ways of getting things over creatively you are going to have people who are right on, politically correct etc.

Wonderfully saccharine.

The BBC however is like the Civil Service, a moribund bureaucracy which values sycophantic conformity and expels those who do not subscribe to its ideology.

It is not particularly creative having used the Birt Era to expel most of the drama production into outside businesses or to ITV. The BBC buys in so much programming and has thereby enriched types like Kirsty Wark and others with production companies and ACCESS.

Having access to commissioning is what matters. I submit that the BBC is far less creative today than in the 1970s - it is an also-ran packager of American scripts, and is risk-averse and repetitive in its banality.

There is nothing but digging-for-dollars garden progs; cooking for progs; police series with the immortal line "What was the time of death?" repetitively; and "bonk a tonk" series about lawyers, footballers, politicians.

It is mass-production from the same mould and churned out at lowest average cost.

The BBC is moribund


What is a "tonk"?

"Well one guy on Fox news just after 9/11 happened was wearing a stars and stripes badge on his lapel - and that is the sort of rubbish you would have if there was no BBC"

Am I the only one who thinks that there is nothing wrong with this?

Yes, the BBC has to be impartial but if someone drove a plane into the House of Commons I'd expect the BBC to at least show some patriotism. The BBC was traditionally patriotic after all.

Hello again Andrew. I need to pick you up on this point....' I don't think it's fair that a poll tax should be levied on every household so the middle classes can have intellectual programmes.'

Hmmm, are you suggesting working class people don't want intelligent telly? Well I do!!

That said, I certainly think the BBC could be scaled back a bit, and ideally a less regressive alternative to the licence fee found......

You made a fair point about BBC local radio. Easy listening music with a bit of speech could be done easily by the commercial sector (GMG are about to launch just such a station in London). You could then make truly local radio from non-profit community groups, as a few places already have. Just one small option for reform.

BBC = Brussels Broadcasting Corporation. 'Nuff said.

A very disappointing reaction indeed from Swire and yet more proof that the abiding sentiment at the heart of our party at present is cowardice.

Don H is absolutely right. No one has mentioned that the BBC has a DUTY to treat controversial subjects fairly and accurately. The BBC also has a DUTY to inform the public. They have NEVER done a programme laying out the true costs of our being in the EU, the facts behind the numerous EU commissioners (all appointed and unelected)who have been indicted of fraud and other serious charges etc. They have NEVER given the public a true picture of what the EU constitution is really about. The list is practically endless. In fact the BBC is failing to do the job it was set up to do. It is the most insiduous propaganda service ever set up. Twits like Hugo Swire who keep coming out with their stupid rubbish about the BBC being so "good" are failing the public. It is time the licence fee was scrapped and the BBC had to exist on contributions from those who believe the propaganda they push out. The fact is that the BBC has evwen had the gall to admit that they had failed in their duty to report on the EU and were going to do something about it. The result was that reporting on the EU fell from 5% airtime to 3% airtime on the Today programme.

Privatise the anti-British Broadcasting company and abolish the licence.

That should be a flagship policy of a future Tory government.

Absolutely right, Larry Green.
I'm sick and tired of the BBC's patrician ways, telling me how I should view matters. The trouble is that politicians like Hugo Swire are more intent on being viewed as "nice" and socially acceptable within their metropolitan setting than they are about suggesting a radical solution to the long-standing problem of the BBC's institutionalised leftism.

All this is very interesting, but there is a strong posibility that the licence fee is not legal under the human rights act.

As I understand it, making it illegal to access any live broadcasts without having paid a fee first is censorship under the act. As others have said "buy a copy of Pravda before you can read another newspaper!"
The exception is where it is deemed necessary for the purpose of raising funds for public service broadcasting.

It is very doubtful that enough of the output of a large multi-national broadcaster, like the BBC, would qualify to make this loophole legal.

Bye Bye BBC?
Answers on a postcard please.


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