« George Osborne defines his anti-recession policy in 78 words | Main | PMQs dominated by questions of debt and borrowing »


In a word, well, two: nudge off. Precisely the problem with giving the BBC sanctified status is exactly that it can and does so comprehensively lead public opinion. And while God knows, Hunt's opinions, inasmuch as we know them, are doubtless bland, worthwhile and inoffensive, were John Birt's? Why exactly do we want to keep giving people like Birt such undeniable societal influence? Because occasionally - how hollow is the laughter at the back? - we might replace one or two of the inexhaustible legion of Birts with our own placemen? Honestly, you should repeat this fantasy, because if I hear it again I probably will laugh myself to death

If society wants moral uplift and nudging leadership, it already has a church to do just that. The tragedy here is that 'conservatives' think that the arch-secular broadcast clerisy deserve more influence, not markedly less. Madness, total madness and easily the single stupidest idea I have ever read on this site, support for the Iraq war not excluded.

Absolutely. I agree 100pc with Jeremy Hunt. The BBC needs to be socially responsible to the people who pay its bills.

Our country needs a Conservative government to introduce a new criteria for standards in broadcasting. I'm particularly concerned by the number of 'freak show' documentaries which seem to take a voyeuristic pleasure in people's disabilities or weight problems.

Another area that needs cleaning up is the 'humiliation culture', so called shows of endurance in which the principle objective is to degrade the participant in numerous ways for viewer entertainment. This type of show originated in Japan around 25 years ago and is now mainstream in the UK. Basically we need new standards if television is to fullfil its role as entertainer and educator of our nation.

Did you wilfully misunderstand Jeremy Hunt's speech ACT? He hardly 'sanctifies' the BBC ,quite the opposite.
His call for socially responsible broadcasting is one I would support as I expect would mould most ordinary Conservatives.

What does 'socially responsible broadcasting' mean? It means, 'broadcasters should say what I feel agreeable'. Leaving to one side the very basic problems inherent in the state telling private sector media outlets what they should say and how they should say it, it's exactly the state-sanctioned BBC that is the problem, and it's one that Hunt fundamentally misconstrues. The BBC *is* immensely influential - every example cited above speaks to its colossal cultural import. So if the 'I' is, you, me or Hunt, up to a point, well there we are, but if the 'I', who's defining what 'socially responsible broadcasting' is, is Birt, Harman or, oh, Douggie Smith, well what then? And if actual, real-world experience tells us anything, the people defining 'socially responsible broadcasting' are exactly *not* going to be people you or I find congenial. Which brings me back to the problem Hunt has 100% wrong: it's the fact of the BBC existing at all, and being such a powerful bully pulpit for transmission of received, approved or otherwise nudging opinions that is so profoundly wrong and dangerous. 'Right' opinions, if they have merit and genuine popular appeal, will work themselves out in the end: BBC opinions, for as long as there is a BBC telling us what's kosher to think, are entirely the opposite. They're the opinions of the smug imposed upon the plebs, at the plebs' expense. I cannot begin to understand why anyone who calls them self a 'Tory' wishes in any shape or form to see the evangelising work of the BBC continue. It's precisely that it already discharges that function that is so wrong and harmful.

What nonsense. People don't want "socially uplifting" media thrust in their faces - that's a guaranteed turn-off in these multi-channel multi-platform days.

The Conservatives no more need a "media policy" than they need a "tuesdays policy"; in government we should aim to get out of the way, not to fiddle round the edges with this sort of stuff.

Socially responsible broadcasting does not mean broadcasting that I agree with. It merely means adhering to acceptable standards of truth, taste and decency. Not difficult is it? The rest of your premise (the BBC tells us what's kosher to think etc) is rubbish too.

Read the very first quote from Hunt: nowhere does he mention truth, taste or decency. What he explicitly does do is to commend the ability of television, and in particular, the state-funded BBC, to lead public opinion. But then if you seriously believe that the BBC *isn't* in the business of telling us what's kosher to think and what's not, I now begin to appreciate why I'm having some difficulty in getting through to you.

Oh Google, is there nothing you cannae do?

This universe's Malcolm Dunn (well, this thread's): "The rest of your premise (the BBC tells us what's kosher to think etc) is rubbish".

Someone else entirely in your Earth year 2005: "I used to think that the Tory party were paranoid about the BBC,now I think they have a very legitimate case.
Malcolm Dunn, London". [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/blog/4470499.stm]

It's amazing the transformations a mere three years of David Cameron's leadership can wreak?

Eh? Where does Jeremy Hunt say that the BBC has indulge in 'broadcasting that I agree with'.
Not sure what the political coverage problems that the Conservative Party has with the BBC has to do with this subject.
I always thought you were a left wing troll ACT whose mission in life was to criticise anything and everything done by the Conservative party.Now I'm not so sure. Obtuse and rather weird certainly but perhaps not left wing.

Never apologise, never explain, eh Malcolm? No tension whatsoever between 2008 Dunn and that loon from 2005?


Vintage Malcolm:

'[T]he 'damning evidence' [for BBC bias] comes from watching or listening to the BBC itself!'
Posted by: Malcolm Dunn | October 26, 2007 at 12:07 [http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2007/10/there-are-ten-t.html#comment-87711714]

'I loathe the political stance of the BBC'.
Posted by: Malcolm Dunn | 16 September 2008 at 13:10 [http://conservativehome.blogs.com/frontpage/2008/09/tuesday-16th-se.html#comment-130864538]

Modern Malcolm: the BBC doesn't tell us what to think. I dunno, they certainly seem to have fairly successfully told Malcolm what to think.

I have no idea what point you're trying to make here.If anything the fact that I disagree with so much of the BBC's political coverage seems to negate your argument. If you have an argument.

'The rest of your premise (the BBC tells us what's kosher to think etc) is rubbish too'. Yeah, 'if I have an argument'.

Government has no place in the media, apart from ensuring open competition, free access and full disclosure (of any bias etc - no control over it, just disclosure.).

TV is just another medium - albeit a ubiquitious one.

Delivery and content/production need to be decoupled.

People should be able to choose what they want to see (if anything) and choose what they don't want to see.

The BBC needs to be chopped into small pieces and privatised.

If someone thinks using TV for social engineering is a good idea, they can producte the programms with their own money - and I'll chose for myself whether to watch it or not...

Reading through the other extracts from the rest of Jeremy’s speech, I am amazed that anyone in the Conservative Party can consider the BBC to be the most respected news-gathering organisation in the world. In fact, I sent Jeremy an email at the weekend on this very subject following the disgraceful partisanship displayed by the BBC in its reporting of Mandelson’s and Osborne’s dealings with Deripaska.

I understand that American broadcasters are staggered by the size of the BBC entourage assigned to cover the US presidential elections. Of course, the BBC can only do this because of its unique funding arrangements. The licence fee is often defended because it allegedly allows the BBC to maintain the quality of output that would not be possible if it were reliant on advertising or subscription income. Anyone who believed that particular fallacy would certainly have been disabused of it following the Ross/Brand controversy this week.

In my email to Jeremy, I recommended the outsourcing of the BBC’s news and current affairs programming to Sky, ITN or other independent companies. It would be very cost-effective to rebrand, say, ITN’s output as BBC News, in exactly the same way that ITN currently does for Channel Four.

Jeremy is right to highlight the contribution that previous Conservative governments have made to British broadcasting in this country. A future Conservative government must recognise that further progress can only take place by reining in the BBC and allowing the private sector broadcasters to flourish without having the burden of unfair competition from the BBC.

I’m loving the press whirlwind against the BBC.

The champagne socialist scumbags deserve it.

They spent all of last week trying to undermine George Osborne, now the media (and their viewers) are turning on them, they’re throwing their toys out of the pram via Newsnight.

Three BBC people attacking the issue as a “Daily Mail-backed campaign.”

The Independent and the Guardian have been just as vocal in their reporting of the Ross/Brand saga.

Is the picking on the Daily Mail because it is read by mostly middle class, Tory-voting white people - the last minority/majority of people it’s still perfectly acceptable (even encouraged) to abuse??????

The BBC positively hates these people, but is perfectly happy to dine out on the TV tax these hard-working people are forced to cough up.

The economy is going down the tubes, markets are screwed and our government is all at sea. And what does the BBC, as a public service broadcaster, concentrate on as the main item on Newsnight?? Themselves!

Essentially, the Newsnight programme spent 20 minutes slagging off its license-paying viewers for having the audacity to criticise some of their simply disgusting, puerile output.

Privatise the whole stinking lot.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker