In the Guardian Zoe Williams justifies a great social evil

In the Guardian Zoe Williams justifies a great social evil:

“We cling on to the licence fee out of some civic humanist ideal, the value of a medium that is above commerce, above the ignoble scramble for popularity and cash”.

Well if that’s the best defence then there really is no alternative. Privatise it, now.

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87 Responses to In the Guardian Zoe Williams justifies a great social evil

  1. Scott at Blithering Bunny says:

    If it’s above commerce, shoulnd’t the people involved be doing it for free?


  2. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    whats wrong with commerce?
    the history of man on earth is the history of commerce.
    Trade not Aid?
    children in need?
    BBC appeals?
    And where do the Socialist morons think that I get the money to pay for thier pathetic biased News and thier unentertaining entertainment?


  3. Ian Barnes says:

    We need radical government. Someone who will scrap the fee, and sell off the BBC.

    It is realistically only a matter of time. Blair and Brown have part privatised practically every other public service, including Health that they try to deny. But its true.

    What makes me laugh is that no one has actually even realised it, or cares. In which case it should nt be a problem privatising the BBC, an institution that so many people cannot stand?


  4. Tom says:

    Wasn’t Blair’s election speech “You have 24 hrs to save the NHS” then under his breath “But I will do it slowly” Bits of the beeb have already been privatised, perhaps Blair is also doing it slowly? If you want it done in 24 hrs look to Offal bin liner not the Tories.


  5. Pete_London says:

    Thus the Marxists justify the force-backed theft of the fruits of someone else’s labour. By ‘civic humanist ideal’ she means collectivism. Fool.


  6. espresso says:

    Alleged “reporter” for an Institutionally Leftist, EUronut, anti-Israel, anti-American rag thinks it’s perfectly okay to force citizens to pay (on pain of jail) for the Institutionally Leftist, EUronut, anti-Israel, anti-American BBC.

    Maybe that’s because they share so much in common with the Beeboids.

    Starting with the fact that they’re both subsidized and operate outside the free market.

    Oh…. not “The Guardian” I hear Zoe mutter in that white, middle-class, snotty, patronizing, leftoid tone so redolent of the meeja village.

    Ignoring the fact that despite it’s massive cover price, despite it massive government subsidy via vast amounts of bogus advertising for bogus jobs, the Grauniad operates at a loss.

    Subsidized, of course, by the working class readership of the Manchester Evening News, which makes that thing leftoids really hate — a “profit.”


  7. Carl says:

    Not to mention she seems to forget that people like Graham Norton came running to the BBC after the BBC waved 4 Million Pounds in his face…..

    So not only do they deprive the commercial station “Channel 4” of a lucrative “star” who makes us all money through advertising revenue and tax…..

    They then Tax us to pay him above the odds…….We ALL lose…..Even Graham who’se popularity has plummeted since his move…

    It’s all about popularity and Cash with the BBC….thats why they threaten to throw people in Prison over it……they need that CASH!!!!

    Taking away someones human right to freedom over a TV is sick…..and just so that that this bird can sit on her plump arse and watch Eastenders, shes happy to see poor people criminalised…….sinlge mums and grannies getting the bailiffs round……threats…..It’s just fascism.

    Vile and repugnant…I feel these BBC loving people are so miss-guided, they are lost to humanity….happy to see human beings crushed, so that the Multi-Millionares can sip chapagne in the limo on the way to the studio….

    No wonder people are sick and tired of the BBC….is just filth, vile, dis-honest, vindictive….oh…the list just goes on….

    PS. Have you heard of their Monday Night Show “How to Bring your Husband to Heel”…this is where they get a DOG trainer, to help women to get their husbands to do what they want using Dog training techniques……

    …and if you think I’m kidding, just look it up….this is for real.

    I think they are plannig one using Muslims next, again, they will use Dog Training skills to get Muslims to Integrate into Society more…….

    Then one called “Turn the Gay Striaght” where they will teeze Gay Men with female prostitutes, and babes in bakinis……lol.

    Joking aside……(Though the “Husbands to Heel” show is for real)…….they don’t realise just how sick and vile they have become…….


  8. Simon says:

    Most of the Guardian’s readers like to think they are above commerce and the ignoble scramble for cash. They prefer to live off the taxes of others, and they do very nicely thank you very much.


  9. Ian Barnes says:

    Its called Tax and Spend.

    They tax YOU and spend YOUR money.

    It will get worse. The economy is really on thin ice, if it weren’t for the high oil prices the treasury would be in trouble.

    Secretly G Brown is loving it. Its bringing him extra revenue.

    Funny how since 1997 air pollution from cars has exploded, some argue the chancellor has encouraged car useage so as to keep his increasing flow of tax receipts from Petrol.

    Anyhow, the emotion of the BBC news is still persisting. I just saw the main news item on, and they kept adding in comments from readers:

    such as “its a national disgrace” and nothing from the other side, like “well they’ve had a mountain to climb and done alright”

    Its the old, half full half empty scenario.

    report both sides of the coin please. it surely can’t be that hard?


  10. BoyBlue says:

    “We cling on to the licence fee out of some civic humanist ideal….”

    Can you get anymore patronising then this sanctimonious drivel? Our ‘betters’ telling us it’s for the greater good.

    No Zoe, people cling to the licence fee because there’s a hefty fine or prison sentence hanging over their heads.


  11. marc says:

    To all who think Paul Reynold’s did a fairly unbiased report, even if you have a few quibbles, I encourage you to email the BBC and praise Paul’s report with the same fervor you condemned Wells and Webb.

    It’s fair and it’s right.

    We need to let the BBC know what good, unbiased reporting looks like as well as bad reporting.

    Yes, I know they should already know that, but we need to hammer from both sides. IMHO


  12. Verity says:

    “We cling on to the licence fee out of some civic humanist ideal” Yes, jobs for life for incompetent, chippy, bile-filled parasites.


  13. Ian Barnes says:

    In other news they just closed Chelsea Barracks, so ladies and gents, when we have no soldiers left, you know who to blame: Tony & Gordon.


  14. Hank Scorpio says:

    Civic humanist ideals?

    Poor Zoe will never become popular on this website with notions like that.


  15. Hank Scorpio says:

    Simon, have you flicked through the Guardian lately?

    Adverts for flash cars, expensive holidays to exotic/far-off locations, massive fashion sections on the cutting edge (ie, expensive), plus plenty more high quaility merchandise aiming for a precise target audience: middle class professionals.

    So if they’re `living off the taxes` of others, as you say, they all must be pulling the benefit scams of the century to qualify in the marketers eyes for all this capitalist guff.

    Everyday in the Guardian I see right leaning articles, guys like Max Hasting, Nick Cohen, David Aaronovitch and many others, all signing the praises of some right-leaning ideal. The Guardian has far more balance than the Mail and Express, although most who visit this website would blindly insist those latter titles cover the news more accurately.

    Ironic, given the title of this website.


  16. Socialism is Necrotizing says:


    I`m not sure that reform is the answer, the BBC must be privatized or abolished.


  17. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    the big crime of course is to be rich


  18. Ian Barnes says:

    Hence why the Guardian’s circulation has dropped like a lead weight, no one reads it, or thinks it newsworthy.

    Sad, but true.


  19. JohninLondon says:

    Hans Scorpio

    Strange you should mention seeing pieces by David Aaranovich in the Guardian every day.

    He walked way from that rag many months ago, in disgust at their moral equivalence about Islamist extremism and their blind hostility to the US and Israel. (A hostility often expressed by the gaga Max Hastings whom you mention as “right-wing” !)

    But maybe they deliver your copy late ? Or maybe Aaranovich writes articles specially for you ?

    Us poor plebs have to go to the Times to find him. Tody he swipes at the Guardian/BBC approach to Ken Cl;arke or any other opponent of Iraq :,,22369-1766258,00.html

    You also mention Nick Cohen. He frequently says much the same thing about the amoral tone of the Guardian. Which is of course the normal tone of the BBC. His pieces re often praised by DECENT leftwingers like Prof Norm Geras or the guys at Harry’s Place.

    You aalso say that people here regard the Express and Mail as “balanced”.

    Again, you really are deluded. I have never seen any such comment here.


  20. Ted says:

    Dear Zoe must have got a lot of backslaps from the cappuccino set at the Guardian for that piece of trash.

    IMHO, the license fee should be scrapped and the BBC should implement the SKY type technology that permits viewers to watch programs for a fee. I would pay for CBeebies (I have 2 little ones) and some comedy.

    I get my news off the web these days, mosty from blogs.


  21. dave t says:

    I get my news off the web these days, mosty from blogs.

    As do most of us nowadays.

    Wonder if it will ever be like the Starship Troopers Federalnet ‘ “Do you want to know more?”


  22. espresso says:

    Hank Scorpio where is thy sting? Pretty bleepin’ pathetic mate.

    The Graudian operates at a loss. It survives because it lives off the earnings generated by the larger group who own it.

    You also seem to be rather confused over the purpose of this website. You want to buy the Grauniad. Who gives a bleep. That’s your choice – nuts though it may be.

    And I support your freedom to choose which bias you like to see reflected in your newspaper. Despite me despising the socialist claptrap peddled in the rag. Just don’t tell me that the Guardian ain’t biased.

    What people here don’t like, is being forced to pay for an organization that’s the broadcast equivalent of the Guardian. That’s not our choice. Get it?

    I do realize that as a Guradian reader this concept is alien to you. But we on the right believe in those pesky things like freedom, choice, and the free market of ideas.


  23. dave t says:

    “Well said thou good and faithful servant!”

    *roll of thunder from on high*

    Guardian – unbiased. Oh.Dear.Lord.Must.Stop.Laughing.

    Wouldn’t be as bad if it wasn’t for all those stupid adverts – how come the Monopoly Commission haven’t asked why the Guardian is being subsidised this way – Oi Mandelson! Over here you useless twit! Guardian being kept afloat with my money (just like the BBC)- sort it!


  24. Anonymous says:

    “no one reads [the guardian], or thinks it newsworthy”

    Current Guardian circulation: 358,000

    Readership is generally estimated to be three times circulation = over 1 million readers a day.

    Advertising revenue on Guardian Unlimited (online) increased 36% this year, with the largest audience of any UK newspaper – 10 million unique users every month. The Guardian Media Group, which has the sole purpose of ensuring the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian, made a profit of £122.4 million last year.

    Also read this article on The Times, which explains why that newspaper has dumbed down so much, and why the Telegraph is also on its way down. The Times, incidentally, hasn’t made a profit in years.

    Dave: why would you want Mandy back over here already? We’ve only just got rid of him!


  25. mark says:

    Sorry forgot to fill in my name


  26. espresso says:

    Look, Mark – my brother is an editor at the MEN – part of the Guardian Media Group. The PROFITABLE part.

    Every cover copy of the Guardian costs more to produce than it generates in revenue. It operates at a loss. That’s what he tells me. He’s a journo, surely you trust him?


  27. JohninLondon says:

    The BBC has now rebuked John Humphrys, buut without being specific about which of his comments were wrong :,,2-1767904,00.html

    And the BBC maintains the laughable stance that it is impartial, objective and courteous.


  28. JohninLondon says:

    The BBC’s spin on Humphrys:


  29. mark says:

    Yes, the Guardian does operate at a loss, as far as I know. I wasn’t disputing that; I was merely point out that:

    a) the online edition is doing rather well
    b) its current circulation isn’t all that bad at all
    c) The Times is also operating at a considerable loss, and has been for years since it began the price war
    d) the price war is another factor making the British newspaper market (including the Guardian) is very tight, and fairly unprofitable. Newspapers such as the Guardian haven’t been able to increase their prices, even in line with inflation, which means falling revenues.
    e) The sole point of GMG owning businesses such as MEN, Jazz FM, AutoTrader, and many others under the Scott Trust, is to sustain the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian.


  30. dan says:

    Re Humphrys

    The Times reported Humphrys said in his speech the BBC “got it right” in a controversial report that claimed the government “sexed up” intelligence in Iraq’s weapons capabilities.

    What’s all this “sexed up”?
    That was not the serious allegation made by the BBC. The claim made by Gilligan, aided & abetted by Humphrys, was that the government had added material into the dossier, against the wishes if JIC, knowing it to be wrong.
    Humphrys & co continue to ignore the seriousness of this allegation, which the BBC could not substantiate & in effect withdrew, but only months after the broadcast.


  31. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    from Al Beeb website

    “The Today host has undertaken to adhere to the BBC’s policies and values and no further action will be taken”

    Just stick to the current acceptable anti conservative anti american anti israel anti capitalist anti england anti white anti christian anti commerce anti free market anti democratic anti nation state anti freedom of choice anti anti-abortion anti industry anti elitist orthodoxys and you`ll be fine Mr Humphries.

    and we PAY for this?


  32. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    This article has nothing to do with BBC bias but I think reveals somthing of the Naivite of the Moonbat Left.

    What on Eath were they expecting?,5673,1563360,00.html


  33. dan says:

    Mark, though I notice you have visited this site only to write about the Guardian, perhaps along with most Guardianistas you are a BBC supporter, so – as you are happy to follow Stephen Glover’s criticism of “The Times” you will no doubt be happy to share his view that the BBC is capable of showing an editorial bias (which is of course against the rerms of their charter)

    From the linked Independent article

    If The Guardian and The Independent and the BBC succeed in establishing that David Davis is a right-wing fruitcake (which he obviously isn’t)


  34. Gorse Fox says:

    Currently the BBC seems oblivious to the concerns raised here and in countless other blogs.
    Is it worth playing the BBC at their own game. How about concerned individuals writing to BBC’s WATCHDOG to complain that they are not getting the service that they are forced to pay for… giving examples of particular bias and poor reporting.

    Just a thought.


  35. dave t says:


    Don’t want Mandy and his newly British boyfriend (yeah he got citizenship recently – how did that happen…?) back here but might encourage him to actually do something worthwhile rather than muck up my beloved’s chance of getting cheap knickers …


  36. Devil's Kitchen says:

    I’d pay the license fee anyway, simply because it’s so nice not to be bombarded with adverts every 15 minutes…



  37. Trofim says:

    Off topic:

    Could I just butt in here as suggested by the proprietor who is currently not receiving emails – did anyone listen to Straw Poll last week? The motion being debated was “Multiculturalism has never been more important”. The in-favour-of team consisted of (surprise, surprise) muslims, one of them Sarah Joseph (particularly disingenuous • “(there’s hardly any difference between islam and Christianity”, and the programme was de-facto about Islam. The audience sounded as though it was predominantly muslim too (took place in Barking). It was one of those “Britain is a nation of immigrants” “Muslims are the new face of the Other” things. One bloke in the audience actually said “there is no such thing as British culture”. In the phone-in they had a Glaswegian muslim convert • “it’s all racism and Islamophobia”. After the programme the vote in the studio was 60%-40% in favour of the motion, the listeneners’ vote however, was 80%-20% against.
    Would the BBC take any notice of this discrepancy – I think they will, but it will be along the lines of “You see, those people out there in Middle England haven’t been properly informed about multiculturalism, so they need better educating – that is, more multiculturalism”.


  38. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    the BBC is an agent of Islamification. Period.


  39. Susan says:

    One bloke in the audience actually said “there is no such thing as British culture”.


    But god forbid claiming there’s no such thing as Muslim/Islamic culture.

    Get it? They deserve to call themselves a “culture” — we don’t.

    And if you don’t have a culture, there’s nothing to fight for when it’s being threatened.

    How clever — convince the natives they don’t have a culture to make it that much easier for the replacement culture to take over.

    Magna Carter, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, Queen Victoria, Houses of Parliament, rule of law instead of men, John Constable, Locke, John Stuart Mill, etc.? That’s not a culture?

    Be very afraid, British cousins, be very very afraid.


  40. JohninLondon says:

    At 9pm BBC1 is running “Katrina – the Real Story”.

    Let’s see wht spin they pt on things.

    I wonder if they will featuure the drowned buses. Or the Governor’s delays ?

    Instant biased history by the BBC ?


  41. dave t says:,7493,1563335,00.html

    Fascinating. The way Simpson (the liberator of Kabul everyone!) says things without smiling or looking embarrassed…

    “Once, in 1968, I listened in to the great John Osman reading over his account of being arrested and roughed up in what was then Salisbury, Rhodesia. He was hopping mad. He had got some way through his pretty sensational dispatch when a voice – that of the producer of FOOC perhaps – interrupted: “Much too emotional, John. Remember, this is the BBC.” John started again, much more calmly, and the despatch was all the stronger and more impressive for it. ” (Applies today…Frei et al take note)

    Are the BBC’s foreign correspondents, 30 years on, as good as these people were? Well, they certainly hold the BBC’s reputation in their hands still, just as they always did; and the BBC’s reputation hasn’t declined since that time. (Jeez!) In fact, the main difference between the BBC of the past and the BBC today is that it has gone from being one of a number of medium-sized national broadcasters to becoming a dominant force in the international media, perhaps the dominant force. (Thanks to our billions)

    Now everything seems so smooth and efficient. And cheaper: instead of the vast teams we travelled with – correspondent, producer, cameraman, sound-recordist, lighting man and picture editor – there are just two: a cameraman or woman who edits the pictures, and the correspondent. A few of us are fortunate enough to have a producer, too. (Yeah right…that’s why they have five on Blue Peter and two different people every day doing the links for Childrens’ BBC…still overmanned and underworked).

    Oh and he tries to defend Hawley coz she speaks Arabic…if she spoke happy talk rather than gloomy miserable old bat we might listen to her…

    Good stuff – try not to laugh whilst reading!


  42. Clive says:


    Paul Reynold’s BBC career has just been given the kiss of death; an “attaboy” from the American rightwing “National Review Corner”.


  43. TomL says:

    I am watching the BBC special “katrina – the real story”

    The seem to have put together a montage of extremely biased ABC coverage.

    Hardly any mention of Nagin, the Mayor and Blanco, the Governor, of course – but plenty of attacks on Bush.


  44. Barry Gallagher says:

    As a Canadian, I am grateful the CBC gets BBC news coverage as their news service often offers a quite different perspective on world events from the privately owned US networks which all seem to preach much the same message. We need the BBC if only to keep a more diverse set of views available. A news network answerable to citizens rather than sponsors or shareholders is able to ask a different set of questions – not better ones, just different ones. Sure, it may be baised but so is everybody else.


  45. RobWhite says:

    Barry! you dont have to pay $280 CD for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thats the whole point!


  46. TomL says:

    You don’t have to pay for it, do you Barry?

    If I refuse to pay, I will be jailed.

    Is that what you mean when you say the BBC is ‘answerable to citizens?’


  47. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    Answerable to citizens?

    In you Canadian Dreamsacape bother.


  48. RobWhite says:

    Just sent this to that Zoe person.

    “Dear Zoe,

    I like choice in my life.

    1.For example, I watch CNN news on Sky. That’s my choice.

    2.I buy semi-skimmed milk. That’s my choice.

    3.I watch BBC3 that’s my choice.

    4.I listen to talkSport (ok, quite bad!!!!)

    You didn’t explain to me in your article why I should go to prison if I dont pay the license fee for 1,3,4.

    If you can answer me this question I will shut up –

    Man walks into shop. He buys a pint of semi-skimmed milk. He takes it to the counter. “£131.45 please” says the checkout person. Man says “What? for a pint of milk?” “Yes”, the check out person replies, “As you have entered our shop, you have to pay us £131 even if you don’t like the shop – if you disagree then you cant buy anything else and we will have to send you to jail”

    Question is, why should I have to pay?

    Why cant I have the CHOICE?

    Its not difficult.

    Rob White”

    Lets see….


  49. Pete_London says:

    ‘Katrina: the real story’ is clearly nothing more than a hatchet job on Bush by the BBC and broadcast on primetime. The only time Nagin has appeared has been when he was ‘pissed’ in that interview. There has been no mention of Blanco, not one, she may as well not exist. Why show footage of Mississippi’s Governer declaring zero tolerance of looters in a segment on looting in New Orleans, while not explaining that NO is in Louisiana and NOT Mississippi?!

    We saw Bush playing the guitar, we were informed that Bush was on holiday when Katrina struck, as if POTUS can switch off from the cares of the world for a fortnight with a book in one hand and bottle of sun cream in the other, and … Bush … Bush … Bush ….

    Nothing on Nagin and Blanco screwing up, nothing on federal government and the rule of law, nothing on Katrina and Mississippi – and this is ‘Katrina: the real story’. If you only watched the BBC you’d think that Katrina struck NO, Bush slapped on a bit more cream and them Katrina petered out.

    And then Matt Frei pops up! I was wondering just what input this liar had into the programme. “Blah … blah … Bush … Bush …” Hey, at least he made it out of his condo in LA at last! I used to be happy simply not paying the BBC’s Danegeld, I’m now getting to the point where I’d relish being summonsed, relish being having my day in court and smile through every moment being incarcerated for not paying for these liars.


  50. JohninLondon says:

    But on the 10pm News that grinning clown Justin Webb actually says there may be other culprits besides Bsh !!! He does not mention Mayor Culpa or the Governor, but he conceded that Bush may not get all the flak from ensuing enquiries.