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Unfair competition from the BBC must be addressed - it squeezes out smaller organisations which, together, would present a far more representative face to broadcasting.

It would be a very bold move to break up the BBC - which is what is really required - however this would have to be backed up with a roadmap for its replacement with a healthy marketplace for diverse organisations, not just a transfer of power to private monopoly players.

Only this morning the BBC report on 'improving social mobility' based on a report from the PM's office -- but the report/data itself appears to be unavailable to the public to see what the claims are actually based on. So it appears to be a bogus monday morning 'good news' story only run by the BBC - which even if rubbished (which it undoubtedly will be)it will have done its job. I assume the front bench are not too busy with other things to have a rebuttal out imminently?

Agree with everything Cameron has to say. At its best the BBC is a wonderful institution but it is bloated, anti competitive and politically biased.
I hope that the choice of the Sun was coincidental, I would hate to see Cameron cosying up to News Corporation in the way Blair and Campbell did.

The BBC is most definitely unfairly hurting commercial internet services.

When launching Stardaq a commercial real-money version to their Celebdaq service in 2004, I asked the BBC for a link, particularly as my service extended beyond celebrities to sporting stars.

Not only did the BBC refuse a 'related link' but a few weeks later, despite not mentioning it all in our correspondence, they launched 'sportdaq' even though it would not just hurt my service, but also effectively used the exact name (sportdaq.com) of another in-development commercial service.

I checked with the owner of sportdaq.com, and the BBC had sought no permission to use this name.

There was no way that my service, or the other one could compete with the BBC as it extended into our arena before we had time to establish ourselves.

There are so many ways the BBC could improve. A 24/7 commercial-free movie channel would be a huge hit, after all the BBC must have some wonderful films in its valuts. The last decent movie channel was 'Calton Cinema' which folded in 2003, it was a very eclectic channel with films to suit every age group. The BBC would do well to copy the 'Carlton Cinema' model.

A music channel for the youngsters would also be very popular andcould be a showcase for new talent. A proper arts channel is a must. Those of us who enjoy Art, Plays, Opera, Ballet and non-pop concerts have literally no home, if we are lucky we catch the occasional morsel thrown down to us every now and then.

The public are now demanding that the BBC change, if it is to survive it must evolve into a modern format with specialist channels as well as those catering for general entertainment. The BBC must also remember, this isn't about ratings, its about providing people with a service, that not only entertains, but also informs.

One of the biggest changes we need to see is the BBC returning to reporting the news and not creating the news.

To that end we also need to investigate the likes of Robert Peston who single handedly moved the Financial markets into panic following his broadcast of a report that was (at best) economic with the truth.

The News Media now have an impact on the stockmarkets in a way that insider dealing had (has). I think that the time has come to see if we need to put restrictions on what can be broadcast, although as I said earlier, if they concentrated on reporting the facts of the news and stopped speculating on the implications of speculation there would be less of a problem.

At long last a serious evaluation of the function and role of the BBC is in the public domain. As I have written many times I do not want to pay for a propaganda machine for any political party. The BBC is a public service and it has a duty and a responsibility to be fair and accurate in its reporting.There is absolutely no necessity for adopting a marketing strategy to compete with other news media, which sadly is the emphasis implemented at present Liz Kemp

2 years ago I wrote to the Director General asking him to justify:-

Why there are so many " political" reporters and what they do all day, particularly in recess time?

Why there is so much duplication- why for instance do Regional News people cover exactly the same stuff as the National staff?

Why do they not make their expensive sports commentators also do news reports?

Why do we have different reporters on the radio networks giving exactly the same reports as those given on television by different people?

Why one reporter can give one report at 6 o'clock and then entirely another one the same report at 10 o'clock?

How come that Sky/ITN can give just as good coverages with far fewer people?

The reply I got to all this was from some underling just saying " this is what the public want"

And one I could add now- " Why is it necessary to fly Huw Edwards all over the world( he is now in the US) when they have already more than sufficient people already there? (They flew him to the Olympics for the opening and closing) How much does this all cost?

Mark Thompson made great play a few months ago about cost cutting but we have seen very little sign of this in terms of the duplications etc we see very night

In my view and that of many of us, the licence payer is being taken for a ride. The fee could be cut substantially if there was some kind of commercial realism in this fat cat corporation. There is no need to cut standards- just costs!

The problem is the BBC considers itself above all this and like all nationalised bodies, thinks it is the taxpayer that owed them a living.

I must be a rare creature too.
Wasn't the lonely planet deal with the commercial side of the BBC and so not really a question of over-reaching/competition?

To say it's a tv monopoly driving out smaller broadcasters is like saying we shouldn't have busses as it drives out the mini-cabs, but I do see GB£.com's point about them going too far with some of the web stuff and only giving 'Related links' to their friends it seems.

I've just returned from an eight day cruise and the satellite channel BBC World was the main news channel in the cabins.
It carries paid-for advertising. So if the BBC accepts the principle that advertising can be aired on one of its channels, let them try to survive in the real world without the licence coughing up (except for the BBC World Service radio output, which should be publicly funded.
The BBC's web site is fantastic for instant news and in depth analysis but the huge cost should be subsidised or even funded by advertisers.

I have been meaning to send an email to the BBC to ask why there is so much political bias towards the Government and against the Conservative Party and any other party. I want to see the news reported in truth which it is not. The BBC is a Socialistic Government properganda tool which should not exist in a so called free democratic society. Bravo Mr Cameron please do not let the issue lie down and die, fight it all the way until you have won. A week or so ago the BBC through Jeremy Paxman tried to destroy George Osborn. I saw the way this reporter and others savagly attacked George but failed to ask the same questions to Mr Milliband of why they both had been spending time on a certain Russian Billionairs yacht. The BBC is a dreadful and unfair organisation which should be broken up Henryk East London

I have long noticed the Lib Dem bias of the BBC, and I believe it can be demonstrated statistically.

If you review the number of times a Liberal spokesman is quoted without Conservative reactions on the BBC news website, it becomes transparently obvious, whose agenda they privately support.

Any volunteers to do this and put the results up?

Hmmmm. Nothing new at risk of critical arrogance. If a film channel folds, it is hardly a recipe for success for the BBC to adopt the same format - even if it isn't beholden to the market. Furthermore, the BBC does provide a service and channels that inform, educate and not just to pander to commercial judging mechanisms.

BBC4, BBC3 (yuck but true), even BBC2.

We should not get carried away - there are many things the BBC could do better and its ethos and indeed structure is surely open to question, not to mention its (subtle, occasional) bias against conservatism rather than towards socialism and anything but blue......

Vigorous debate, holding to account and an examination of the licence fee against a model (if, where possible) of value for money sure - BUT WE WILL ALL RUE THE DAY WE LOSE THE BBC IN ITS PRESENT GUISE, particularly its news coverage extending to the world service and radio 4 generally.

One thought - £6 million a year additionally spent on excellent productions like Cranford, Pride and Prejudice etc. Not a full budget but add a few more salary excesses and BBC2 could return to its former glory as an outstanding channel of the very best in drama - aswell as its (continuing, just) pedigree in 'off centre' current affairs and topical areas of (sometimes minority) interest?


Andrew Carr

I can smell the usual Cameron stuff here. Big talk but small actions. Just like on economic policy.

Yes, the BBC has some issues to address but it is still far ahead of the hyperbole of Sky and the drivel churned out on ITV..

I think we have to also get our own house in order - if our Shadow Cabinet had something useful to say they might oust Vince Cable from the news but at the moment Vince Cable is by far the most knowledgeable voice - and I believe people want to hear what he has to say. George Osborne and others have to do something about this...and soon

And yet a shadow cabinet member called the DG to say that Mr Cameron is not serious.

It is pointless to continue constructively criticising Cameroonism. The slightly rare creature is beyond that. What is needed is an attempt by all of us to change - to see the world through their eyes. Therefore I will be posting as a Cameroon for the next week, under the nom de plume of Moderniser. I will let you know how it feels.

Does the Conservative Party ask the BBC for daily figures on number of complaints it receives? Is this data readily available? Does the BBC provide a breakdown of complaints?....i.e. political bias etc.... Could Conservative Home publish the data for us all to see?

I have been concerned about this subject for some time. The coverage this morning regarding a press release from Downing Street about a recently published paper demonstrating improved social mobility typifies this recurrent problem.The coverage after Cameron's speech in Birmingham at 5.00 p.m. on 1st October on Radio 4 was also very telling.The sample group of people chosen to comment and evaluate his speech was flawed. I understand a number of people complained and that the BBC apologised but once a show has been aired who bothers? The damage is done and the editorial teams know that. The narrative has been set. End of......

Paradoxically, the more negative the Conservatives become toward the BBC, the more entrenched this problem will become. Something to do with turkeys and Christmas.........

If some people love the bbc and are proud of it, then let them pay for it (having purchased its assets from the licence paying public).

I once throught that I'd happily pay a subscription for Radio 4, the rest could go hang -- however even Radio 4 can go hang now as far as I am concerned.

Norm @ 9:56 - you need to separate content and broadcasting in your mind.

Your argument is the equivalent of insisting that BT should control the internet. Which to an extent they did in the UK while they used their monopoly to milk the consumer with ISDN -- they (along with JANET) really held the UK back for years. ADSL has helped massivly, even though BT still get their 'intenet tax' on the local loop.

A big issue for me is that the BBC mouths Government announcements without the full facts. If the governement wishes to mention Social Mobility, fine, but not until the full figures are available to be challenged into the validity of there claim.

In the BBC's policy making agenda, there must be a full and frank rule that prohibits publicising ANY story (it can work in reverse, by opposition) that has dubious claims, without substance.

I accept that such stories raise debate, but they also damage people,organisations and projects, through mis-quoting and unchallenged accusations, this must stop.

There seem to be two issues here (at least). One is succinctly identified by michael m @ 9.45: ‘The problem is the BBC considers itself above all this and like all nationalised bodies, thinks it is the taxpayer that owed them a living.’

The second problem is political, that of bias. That dates back to the early 1960s and a deliberate policy to politicise the BBC and move it very sharply to the left. Anyone remember the producer trainee schemes, which took 6 high flyers every year? One of the early winners was Tariq Ali – typical of the intake.

Look to news and current affairs today and the background bias of most the producers and presenters is still there. We are not talking Labour – that’s mild stuff.

It extended to coherent assaults on what were the cultural norms and massive increase in swearing across entertainment programmes and overall deliberate lowering of standards.

Some years ago I was looking for a producer to take an interest in a documentary series I was developing. One leading BBC producer told me I wanted a right wing producer. ‘No I don’t, I want a good producer’. Taken aback at the thought, he told me that there were (at that time) only 4 producers ‘of the right’ across all British television. I have no way of checking that nor the current situation but it shook me.

The BBC is today finding just how out of touch it is with mainstream viewers (TV is the main problem). Will it change fast enough?

I'd like to know why the BBC are running expensively produced and indulgent commercials to promote their various media brands throughout the Odeon cinema chain as seen last night prior to the new Bond movie? Why are they so driven to competition on all fronts? It's not what the tax payer wants or needs from its state broadcaster; why can't they concentrate more on the things the commercial sector struggles to produce...big budget drama, comprehensive/unbiased worldwide news, original comedy, documentaries, arts, culture, creative children's programmes? The BBC's USP is that they don't depend on ratings to survive so why don't they exploit that and go back to being the best in the world instead of sheepishly following the American multi-channel model of mediocrity and consequent need for expensive self promotion? Plough the money into fewer projects but raise the game on standards and originality that's what I say.

The BBC is supposed to be an impartial organisation supporting high standards of probity in public broadcasting.

Unfortunately, it has been taken over by an incidious, internal culture which takes on the mantle of responsibility defending the Labour Party. This theme is particularly noticable amongst their political editors & journalists. Remember the furore they raised when young G.O made a poor judgement call meeting Mandy and the oligarch Deripaska? They couldn't wait to charge in and castigate G.O trying to find a story that wasn't there.However, they left Mandy and friends alone, why??
I have had cause to write to the BBC about this blatant bias, but have not had the courtesy of a reply, which reinforces my views.

A reduction or abolition of the licence fee or complete revocation of their 'Charter', would certainly bring them back to reality with a jolt. It would be very popular with the electorate who see their licence fees being abused defending the Labour Government.

A complete change of the politically appointed Board of Trustees should be urgently considered. Their Chairman Lyons was appointed by Brown. It is his views and philosophy that perhaps promotes this tainted culture, the defense of a discredited Government.

The BBC's funding model has been morally and intellectually indefensible for years - at least since multichannel TV appeared on the horizon. It has survived due to inertia - and the fact that politically it has been a non-topic. But what the events of the last week show is that the public is belatedly waking up to the unsatisfactory nature of the arrangements. It's depressing that the Conservative leadership should be so far behind on this issue.

Another thing that struck me about DC's long litany of all the BBC programmes he loved: should the leader of the opposition really have so much time to spend staring at the screen?

I am amazed. Most comments aare showing how controlled by the state we have become.
"Please give us a dedicated movie channel etc etc etc.

Please calm down and just consider this.

What other supposedly democratic country runs music radio channels for its people?

What other supposedly democratic country runs a television service for its people?

The only argument for the BBC, I can see is the BBC World Service. They should sell off all the rest and concentrate on this. Likewise with the television channels they should sell them off and have one Satellite channel BBC WORLD SERVICE.

Cameron has, again, missed an open goal. He is no leader. He is a toff that wants all us lower orders to be controlled.

Oh and on the political bias front; I worked for Thames TV for 12 years before they lost their franchise, starting as the most lowly in the current affairs department where putting your head above the parapet as a Conservative was very scary. With hindsight I believe much of the left-leaning bias was a continuation of the indoctrination that went on in our universities and colleges throughout the 60s and 70s. Many young researchers were straight out of uni, very priviliged and very idealistic but not at all pragmatic. Now they're in positions of power at the BBC and many of them still have not had the politically sobering experience running their own businesses; spending other people's money is easy and that's what socialists do best.

The attack begins. This is a dangerous alliance of the Daily Mail, the Sun and other media organisations combining with the Tories to erode the role of one of the Britains's most important institutions. It is the British face to the world, and has had more influence spreading British values and promoting the English language than any other body.

Radio 4 alone is worth the license fee, with its amazing access to stellar historical figures. It would not exist if it was commercial. Radio 2 and Radio 1 are fantastically succesful and have very big audiences with no bloody adverts. That's worth paying for. It sets the bar for commercial operators to strive for. It raises the level of media content in the UK, not lowers it.

" It is the British face to the world "

Resident Leftie, if 'Little Britain' is the way that the world see's our nation then I'd rather we didn't show our face.

Just what is the reason for Radio One?

It was introduced in the 1960's as a replacement for the commercial pirate radio stations that broadcast non-stop pop.

Later, many commercial radio stations were allowed that broadcast non-stop pop but Radio One continues, funded by the license fee payer in direct competition to the commercial radio stations.

Radio One should be abandoned with an immediate cost-saving.

"It is the British face to the world, and has had more influence spreading British values and promoting the English language than any other body."

Not really; it has had plenty of experience in spreading its own values and narrow agenda, and in various languages that are anything but English.

resident leftie
"..erode the role of one of the Britain's most important institutions.."

No, to refocus it to regain that position.

That some of its output is world-beating does not mean that the less appropriate stuff should be immune from review.

Why does the BBC need to have more reporters on the ground covering the U.S Presidentials than the American stations?

It is evident that some contributors still trying to defend the status quo of the BBC, are in denial. They are happy to express left-wing leanings so long as the licence fee pays for it. They like to procrastinate, but they are not prepared to respect the views of others.

They prevaricate against the majority. Time for common sense to prevail. No amount of poisonous, socialist diatribe will solve your problems or stop progress. It is time the culture at the BBC was drastically improved. Withdrawal of the licence fee would prove very popular with the electorate.

Cameron is correct, time for change and millions of the electorate will agree.

The trouble is, if you destroy the BBC, you'll end up with a lot of adverts and even more celebrity drivel.

Things which actually destroy
Conservative values even more.

We do need to deal with bias, however, and tell them their licence fee will be reduced otherwise.

I was rather taken back that Peston was reporting the Osborne story when he's meant to be a business correspondent, however. And I saw a very rude interview during the Tory conference where they kept plugging this line that we're irrelevant.

But there are excellent programs aswell, coast, Attenborough, plus the Politics program is reasonably fair.
It is a respected organisation abroad.

Don't throw everything away for political spite.

The B.B.C. television tax should be abolished.

If people want to donate money to a "public service broadcaster" that is fine, but they should not be forced to give money to a biased enity like the B.B.C.

Nor is it just on British politics that the B.B.C. is slanted to the left. Take the example of American politics.

Senator John McCain is talked of as "Mr McCain" on (for example) the 6pm. Radio Four News last night - but Senator Barack Obama is never called "Mr Obama" it is "Barack Obama". This "Mr McCain" coldness (and disrespect) is often said on the B.B.C. (it was done this morning).

"A very small example" - but one of many.

And on the very same 6p.m. Sunday Radio Four news broadcast large turnout of black voters for Senator Barack Obama was describes as "historic", but the idea that white voters might vote for a white candidate was attacked as racist.

The double standard and siding with one candidate against another happens all the time on the B.B.C.

The BBC is currently funded as a subscription service, just one we are legally obliged to subscribe to.

The only argument against switching to opt-in subscriptions is that income will fall.

But why will income fall if the service is so good?

The BBC no longer provides an independent public service; it is the mouthpiece of the government, and I object, strongly, to paying an annual fee. The service must be broken into parcels, privatised and let it compete in the market.

Why does the BBC need to have more reporters on the ground covering the U.S Presidentials than the American stations?
So they can sell the coverage on BBC World and to other channels accross the globe.
Many of the comments here say that the BBC shouldn't chase ratings.
But if it doesn't get viewers then it's not doing its job properly.... and will make the programmes harder to sell.
So the lower the amount of money they get from the licence fee, the more ratings chasing programmes they will have to produce.
It is our face on the world and Britain would just be something in some history books for the rest of the world without it.
The licence fee should be un-classed as a tax and responsibilities given back to parliament rather than government otherwise there's no real point in having a tv licence as it's just a government media outlet which can't be independant.

There are plenty of other things the BBC does apart from entertainment TV like events and education which everyone benefits from, directly or indirectly, so it's a little unfair that people without a TV get away with not paying, but if the licence fee money is ringfenced and given direct to the BBC then I think it's the best way of keeping as independant as possible.

Does the Conservative Party ask the BBC for daily figures on number of complaints it receives? Is this data readily available? Does the BBC provide a breakdown of complaints?....i.e. political bias etc...

Onnalee, good question. Unfortunately the BBC considers this information (i.e. whether taxpayers are happy with the service) to be confidential.

Here is the response to a recent Freedom of Information request that I made of the BBC. It seems to me that the BBC uses the same tactics as those it investigates to hide from the Freedom of Information Act.

Cameron has succumbed to the idea - promoted here and on other blogs but not noticeable elsewhere - that the BBC is biased against the Tories. It is of no consequence to other people whether it hurts the Tories or not. If he spent half as much time on a manifesto and less time worrying about BBC bias, then I think we wouldn't be panicking so much.

They have criticised him recently, so have all the other papers. Portillo wrote a critical article in the Times yesterday - is he biased? Cameron just looks stupid and if he is trying to control it in the other direction.

I don't support the license fee, that's another issue entirely. If he is not serious about abolishing it, then there is no policy to come out of it and all it looks like is him going crying to Mummy that the nasty BBC doesn't like him any more. I didn't hear much of this when he was 20 points ahead in the polls.

Sorry for the rant but I am angry that he is wasting time on this when there are other more pressing battles to be fought, some of which actually matter to other people than his own party followers.

Does the Conservative Party ask the BBC for daily figures on number of complaints it receives?

Number of complaints is prettymuch a useless figure.
People complain about anything to the BBC and if you go by number then it'll be skewed by large events that get an abnormal amount of complaints.
If you go by number of events that have been complained about then you'll probably find that there's some people out there that complain to every story for some sort of bias or other.
You could do some anaylsis to get a useful figure, but you could probably make that show whatever result you want really.

So the idea that the BBC which is funded by all of us is biased should of no concern to the party leadership Louise? Unbelievable!

Very, very surprised that given recent significant events with Brown in a barn-storming high-status levels of activity, Cameron chooses to platform on this.

Very Cameron-lite and a great disappointment to those who wanted substance.

"Vince Cable is by far the most knowledgeable voice" He does come across reasonably well, but when he drops in it he does it well.
He vilified Barclay's for getting Arab money and shareholding, but when days later Broon went to the ME to get Arab money he was totally silent.
Usual double standards.
Cameron today on World at One was quite good, but if you read between the lines he has far more to say on BBC bias - but at least 50 gross salaries, a bloated organization, and buying Lonely Planet came up well, though nothing on bias and programme quality.

Louise is right. If the Tories had anything worthy of reporting, it would be. But evidently they don't. Cameron, according to another site, hasn't even given one of his 'pretending to be the PM' press conferences since August.
And what happened over the summer?
Plenty of press coverage alright, of the wrong sort - over his pretend 'at home' holiday, and even more focus about his yatching around the med.
This is just more posturing and I can't help but suspect that if the next Govt. is Tory all this hyperbole will disappear, much too the annoyance of the Murdoch press, so oops another hostage to fortune.
Not to worry though, he's made the news, at the bottom of the BBC's list of more important topics.

Trolls out in force today.

Louise there is a big difference between other media outlets and the BBC, like not being made to pay for them by force of law. So they can say what ever they like, where as the BBC should be scrupulously unbiased. Unfortunately this isn't the case for we have umpteen examples of the BBC taking up and favouring left wing causes and being politically biased, the most recent example were the comments reported from a BBC 'away day' gathering where Peter Knowles, editor of the BBC’s parliamentary programme appeared to be saying the BBC should lay off Gordon Brown because Labour was in trouble.


This and other examples should really horrify the BBC if it valued its impartiality, the problem is it doesn’t, in fact you get the feeling it positively revels in its left wing bias, which suggests a certain level of arrogance, contempt of any accountability, and belief the licence fee is untouchable and guaranteed.

Can the BBC licence fee be creatively used, in order to buy Justin Webb a new pair of underpants if Obama wins tomorrow ?

Because all the signs are that a new pair will be needed.

@Malcolm, seasider put it better. If you don't like something that's said, don't act like Cameron is and attack the person.

I understand the comments but I find this rather vindictive a move all the same. I'm against the license fee - not having one doesn't stop other channels in other countries being successful - but I don't think this is a good strategy. I don't think it exercises people that much that the BBC is biased against the Conservative Party. I don't think he should be wasting time and publicity over this. If he had written in the Sun about the Tory policy on the economy, I might feel better about it. But his is a narrow sectional interest.

For what it's worth, back in 2005 a local Tory colleague said that the appointment of Nick Robinson as chief political editor would be good as it would put "our people" in a good position. The party - of which I am a member, but not a fanboy - doesn't want a neutral BBC, but a biased one in its favour.

We can do so much better but this is a stupid waste of brain cells when the agenda has moved on to foreign affairs over Congo and the Gulf States.

Here is another BBC-related wild guess.

Jim Naughtie will be leading the BBC's coverage from Obama HQ in Chicago tomorrow.

So let me get this right..an ex itv carlton employee mr cameron doen't like the bbc and wants pay cuts yet whilst he was working for carlton tv they lost over a billion so why would anyone at the bbc listen to the gripes of our party leader,i would rather like to know if mr cameron is going to increase spending on kit for our brave fighters in theatre not what he thinks of the bbc,this doesn't look good only a couple of months after mooring up next to the the ceo of news international (mr murdoch),did rupert offer mr cameron something and if so,WHAT?

The BBC does have political bias and this should be changed to make it non-partisan.

In return for our licence fee it is beholden on the BBC to be prudent on how it spends it. Jonathan Ross is not worth £6M a yearand he along with other high cost presenters should be ditched as soon as possible. If they can get the same salary on other broadcasters they are welcome to it as that will be just another reason for me to watch the BBC instead

It is also time that the BBC learned that more channels dilutes the content for good programs as all of the channel time has to be filled with something. There are many times when I scan all the channels on a free view box and only find 'drivel' on all of them so it is time to turn off and read a book. It is time to get some quality back into program production.

Cameron did a good job.

Publicly marking the BBC's card while the publics attention is on them.

Keeping it measured so it can't seriously be attacked as 'bandwagon jumping' nor 'BBC bashing'.

If he were currently PM then action would be expected, but as leader of the opposition it was a first rate intervention.

Another notch for his 'credibility' tally.

"I don't think it exercises people that much that the BBC is biased against the Conservative"

Louise, I suspect it does exercise people but even if not this had to be said sometime. If there is no general understanding of BBC bias it is vitally important the point is publicly made in order that when there is a leftish drift to a politacal piece people realise what is happening.

I would have thought this is profoundly important even without any policies proposed. I really cannot follow your logic; the country has been mired in media stories for almost two weeks over Osborne not doing anything and Brand and Ross making phone calls and you want Cameron to do or say nothing? As NewLab have demonstrated beyond doubt expressing opinions, as general as possible, can be vastly more productive electorally than policies.

Not seen as bandwagon jumping?
Not BBC bashing?
Credibility tally?
Do you really not see it at all, or are you being ironic?

Louise, if I recall correctly, you were attracted to the Conservative Party by Michael Howard’s election leadership. With that background I cannot believe you weren’t irritated every time the BBC presented as fact the Labour spin that Conservative spending cuts = service cuts. I’m sure you would have liked an unbiased BBC to put forward the Conservative counter-arguments in equal measure. Perhaps we’d then be facing this recession with a budget surplus.

Reasonable people (and voters are reasonable) make decisions based on the information in front of them. Skewed media coverage leads to skewed decisions.

Whether it exercises voters’ minds or not, the BBC has a self-confessed liberal bias. Rather than relying upon its journalists being intellectually pure enough to have no blind spots and an unfailing ability to separate personal and professional, why doesn’t the BBC broaden its political base – perhaps by advertising jobs outside The Guardian?

Political parties are right to campaign for fair coverage of their views. More so in light of the Ross / Brand affair, which shows that the BBC only acts decisively when put under real pressure.

Mark - I was. I gave up watching the BBC after they lied about how many papers were supporting the Tories the weekend before the election. I also made it clear I am against the license fee in principle (and I also watch too little TV to make it economic). I live at home so it is academic, but the last time I lived on my own (at university) I never used my TV and when the people came round looking for my license fee I pointed it out in the corner of my room unplugged and gathering dust.

Nevertheless Michael Howard's shadow cabinet actually put out some worthwhile policies and didn't go out with foreign businessmen on their yachts. Neither did he write spiteful articles in the Sun whenever he felt the Tories weren't getting fair dues any more because of flagging poll ratings. He actually put some policies out that won us our marginal seat here in Reading.

I don't think this will play well on the doorstep. Vote Conservative because we will stop the BBC being biased against the Tories? We'll have to have something better than that to sell at an election. We did last time.

Sorry, I know it is exciting to us, but in the real world, the health story put out by Lansley and the economic problems of the country is more of a pressing story and the Sun article makes it plain that Cameron is peeved because he can't get people's attention any more.

Anything put out by the BBC should be taken with a big drum of SAXA.

Today for instance I was watching the parliamentary committee grill Alistair Darling and the head of the FSA.

Apparently 5,000 people sent the committe emailed questions to put to Darling which is totally unheard of.

Just as the chairman asked "Did you check the value of the toxic assets before giving banks £50 billion", the BBC switched to Obama wittering on about "change" again.

Just for he record, no-one here wants to hear about Obama, they want to know why the Chancellor has given our money away.

It's time the BBC was sorted out.

I'd like to know why it's full of Irish reporters reporting local issues when local reporters are nowhere in sight and I'd like to know why it takes five of them in the studio to read what they call "news".

For instance ( and by no means the only instance ), why are we not hearing this :-

Medvedev calls for reform of world financial system
Until a couple of months ago, some economists argued Russia’s robust growth of recent years had effectively "decoupled" it from a direct correlation with the US economy. While the financial crisis proves the theory wrong, the Russian government is insisting on a new world order.

As world leaders try to deal with the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, President Dmitry Medvedev is echoing his French and British counterparts in calling for far reaching changes to the world financial system.

“We will need a new international agreement. The financial system must have common sources, which implies a multiplicity of world financial centres and reserve currencies. We need to form a new risk-management system,which would be based on new techniques, not the principles that the Bretton Woods agreement was based on,” Medvedev said.

Named after the 1944 meeting in the New Hampshire town of the same name, the Bretton Woods agreement led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Developed countries agreed to stick to a fixed exchange rate for their currencies, pegged to gold.

In the 70s, the Nixon administration unilaterally untied the dollar from gold, making the dollar itself a reserve currency.

Now Medvedev is essentially calling for a lowered dependence on the dollar, according to experts. They say it would reduce U.S. influence on the world economy.

Yaroslav Lissovolik, Chief Economist from Deutsche Bank, says:

“Clearly, there is a lack of capital in the West and excess capital and a lot of savings in the East. And one of the ways in which the world economy could adapt quickly to the current conditions would be to allow for a free flow of resources from the East to the West.”

While the need to overhaul the global financial system seems obvious, what order might replace it remains unclear.

The world will be watching the G-20 meeting in Washington in mid-November, which will be the first to bring together the developed and the developing nations, for the answers.


Sorry, I know it is exciting to us, but in the real world, the health story put out by "Lansley and the economic problems of the country is more of a pressing story and the Sun article makes it plain that Cameron is peeved because he can't get people's attention any more."

Posted by: Louise | November 03, 2008 at 19:40

Sorry Louise, I just don't get you at all. I am afraid that while you may be interested in what Lansley says re health I gurantee only about 1% of the country have noticed. But everbody noticed Osborne, Brand and Ross. Maybe non of Michael Howards shadow cabinet were not noticed going on a yatch by the BBC but he had to fire a party Vice Chairman. I would suggest that if Michael Howard had complained about the BBC a year before the election Blair could have had a smaller majority.

I repeat, this isn't about putting out a policy for votes it's facing up to a fact so the country is provided with fair and objective information. We are not Zimbabwe, there are moral constitutional standards to be protected. (Even the ex Archbishop of Canterbury has felt it necessary to yell foul about moral constitutional standards.)

I don't think this will play well on the doorstep.

Louise, "this" isn't the message for the doorstep.
This is about fair access to the doorstep.

It is good to see David Cameron saying all this, but agree with the Ed that this should result in serious policy. However I wonder if sharing the licence fee is too timid, compared to what needs to be done, although I may misunderstand the policy. The BBC culture (that may have long been there) of pushing the boundaries of decency and acceptability is a malign influence in this nation.

By “pushing the boundaries” I mean in terms of both the standards and taste of programmes (e.g. Ross/Brand etc), and also in subtly pushing for the acceptance of moral and political positions from a liberal-left point, that were or would otherwise not be widely accepted. (e.g. the often mentioned moral equivalence given to terrorists and victims, and hatred of 'traditional family values’). Indeed some news and current affairs output give the feel of a campaigning agent for certain vested ‘metropolitan liberal’ interests, rather than a mere subtle influence!

While my knowledge of the ins and outs and issues of broadcasting may be limited! I still, having read a few on-line articles, make some suggestions:

1) Sell off everything except one TV channel and perhaps R3 and 4, and World Service. These aspects of the BBC that remain could become the public service broadcaster with excellent high-quality programming and genuinely unbiased and balanced news/current affairs coverage. As an example of good quality programming, Tony Sharp (1850 here on 27 Oct) made the point that “Other areas, such as the Natural History unit are broadcasting gems...(we must not) lose genuinely outstanding documentaries and programming that is the jewel in the BBC crown.” As for comedy, if it ends with the likes of Dad’s Army and Last of the Summer Wine, fine, what’s wrong with that? Of course public-service broadcasting wouldn’t be rating-chasing. Anyway the whole idea they have to go for the ‘edgy’ and indecent to ‘attract the young’ must be an insult and patronising to many decent young people.
2) If there are no buyers for the parts to be sold off, then let them close down.
3) Use a decimated licence fee to pay for the public service broadcasting
4) I read a comment somewhere about being left with programmes that no-one would watch and programmes no-one should watch. I suggest deal with the latter by making all non-public service broadcasting by paid subscription only. If the programmes that people ‘shouldn’t watch’ are too cheap, then slap a massive tax on them!
5) Very closely monitor (it shouldn’t need a quango!) the standards of decency and impartiality/balance of output from what remains of the BBC and impose conditions such as appointment of specified reporters/editors/managers etc of a conservative sympathy (small state, traditional family values, the nation-state as opposed to international governance, law ‘n order and so on...) to balance the liberal and left bias of remaining existing staff, to justify the continued licence fee.

Will serious policy follow David Cameron's criticism of the BBC?
Well...no is the short answer!
According to the telegraph Mr Camerons stance is softening already,what was the bloody point in the article in the sun yesterday other than cheap posturing?Mr Cameron can you please start talking about the drc and our soldiers and stop the pointless attacks on the bbc,when or i should say if we gain power we will have plenty of time to sort out the bbc but i think until then you should stop the populism and start acting more like a statesman.

"we will have plenty of time to sort out the bbc"
Posted by: gnosis | November 04, 2008 at 09:29

If you have your way maybe we will never have time to "sort out" the BBC because the country will continue to get skewed information. You havn't been reading the posts gnosis, the point is not about policy the point is about fair information - now - not after the next GE.

'Resident Leftie' strongly defends the BBC.
I rest my case.

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