The Telegraph joins in.

The bandwagon is gathering momentum. Yesterday it emerged that a BBC executive, Ann Davies, has questioned whether the corporation should “help break the constraints of the PC police” after audience research found it was out of step with much of mainstream public opinion. Another BBC boss, Richard Klein, commissioning editor for documentaries, told staff it was “pathetic” for the BBC to pride itself on being “of the people”.

They’re all spot on. It’s high time the debate moved on from narrow notions of political bias. Far harder for the BBC to gainsay is that it has a liberal cultural bias, one that envelops pretty much all programmes, not just news and current affairs. If you want to find the most solid evidence of partiality, look at the BBC’s entertainment output – its dramas, comedies and arts programmes. This is where its guard is down, where the BBC editorial police are not watching out for “balance” weak points. And it’s also where, arguably, the partiality is far more subversive.

I wouldn’t know where to start in tackling the political correctness of BBC drama, but I think the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves would go to Spooks, BBC1’s flagship series about impossibly right-on MI5 agents. The series was originally praised (by the BBC) for its accuracy about the real work of the Security Service. So what did it kick off with on the first episode? A pro-life extremist bomber out to cause mayhem. Come on, you must know about them! No? Well, what about episode two, which tackled the equally pressing issue of racist extremists in league with Right-wing politicians plotting mass murder of immigrants? I lost interest in Spooks, but tuned in again a few weeks ago for the start of the fifth series. It was about homegrown al-Qa’eda terrorists taking over the Saudi embassy and murdering innocent people. Except that they weren’t British Muslims at all, but undercover Israeli agents. Once again, the villains are a million miles away from the ones you might expect, and top-heavy with the forces of reaction.

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76 Responses to The Telegraph joins in.

  1. dave fordwych says:

    I actually thought I was reading a Biased BBC rather than an MSM article.

    The end of the beginning?


  2. Izzie says:

    The ridiculous propaganda rubbish that passes as drama in “The Amazing Mrs Pritchard” (or something like that) really winds me up.
    It’s nothing but an hour of American bashing, Iraq bashing leftist bollocks! I watched the first couple of episodes but have now given up.

    I watch a drama for entertainment, not to be brainwashed by the BBC’s political correctness.

    Oh, I have also stopped watching Spooks.


  3. WillS says:

    David Fordwych: “The end of the beginning?”..

    Let’s not get too excited. The Telegraph has written extensively about BBC Bias before, they even had their own ‘BBC Watch’ section for a while until they lost interest. The problem, as always, is a lack of follow through. A few articles, a couple of letters, then another shiny story appears to distract the attention. A campaign with a bit more stamina is needed.


  4. DumbJon says:

    Yep, this is it. Actual party political bias was only ever a minor irritant, and it’s certainly a non-factor in the era of Call Me Dave.

    It was always about the wider culture, which is why the slant on the factual output might not be the worst of the problem. At least we can fact-check Orla Moron and her ‘completely destroyed’ towns, but what of the slanting of the rest of their output ?

    ‘Spooks’ and ‘Mrs Pritchard’ are rightly notorius, and you can add in ‘New Street Law’ and ‘Judge John Deedes’ too (message: judical activism is good!) – and let’s not even mention Holby City/Casaulty. There’s the nature programs which buy wholesale into ecowennery (i.e. all of them), comedy shows where Conservative characters only appear as the butt of humour, ‘yoof’ programs which portray social dysfunction as hip…. Seriously, can anyone name a BBC program with a positive Conservative character ?


  5. Cockney says:

    Dot Cotton?


  6. Anon says:

    Israelis disguised as Arabs attacking the British! Where do the BBC get their ideas?!?!


  7. dave fordwych says:

    The BBC Watch period was a bit of a false dawn.

    If memory serves, it was started by Charles Moore and discontinued not long after he left the editor’s post.
    He clearly “got it”, his successor it would seem did not.Interestingly I believe that the editor has recently changed again.

    I agree it’s easy to get over-optimistic,but, as someone who has hardly missed an entry in Biased BBC since it’s inception this blog has always been swimming against the tide.

    The figure of only 60% finding the BBC trustworthy in a recent survey(ludicrously claimed by Helen Boaden as proof that they are unbiased rather than evidence that 40% of their stakeholders DON’T find them trustworthy)is another straw in the wind

    I may well be wrong,but it does seem to me that something really is beginning to change.


  8. Banned in Britain says:

    I see one of the BBC’s Anons have showed up to try and hijack the thread. Please do ignore those not clever enough to select a name.


  9. Abandon ship! says:


    Question: Why do pro-Palestinians constantly refer to the King David Hotel bombing, which happened almost 60 years ago?

    Answer: It’s one of the only instances of “Jewish terrorism” that they can come up with.

    Now let’s have a look at the number of terrorist attacks against Jews in, say, the last six years (only room for the major ones, by the way):

    Anon: Go away


  10. LMO says:

    Watch Spooks next week.I have only seen the trailer but I think a white priest declares war on Islam,a black priest tries to show him the error of his ways and,no doubt,Islam comes up smelling of roses.


  11. Izzie says:

    Ugh – I don’t know if I can even bear to watch Spooks next week. Guaranteed islam will come up smelling of roses, and the white priest will be shown as a bigoted, racist islamophobe!


  12. GCooper says:

    It’s always a strange feeling when you see other people riding around on what has been your hobbyhorse for years.

    The issue with the BBC has never been party political bias, as I’ve banged on about here time and time again – it is a cultural bias from which a political affiliation sometimes stems.

    And it is so profound, so deep and so ingrained in the Corporation that I really cannot believe, even if a few brave souls wanted to, that they could turn this ocean-going tanker of an organsation around.

    Even if it were possible for a publicy-funded broadcaster to be properly impartial (and I am far from convinced it is) given where we are now, how can it change? What will they do with the legions of young, liberal-left, bien pensant arts graduates who actually are the BBC?

    What are they going to do? Sack them all?

    Perhaps twenty years ago, the rot could have been cut out and a properly impartial organisation could have resulted. Now, I’m afraid, it will just have to go.


  13. Tom says:

    The spooks trailer is really funny. MI5 says it is trailing 1400 people involved with terrorism. I’m willing tobet that they are all muslim. And yet Spooks is trying to say it’s the Anglicans we should be watching out for. Anglican contract killings? I’d be impressed if they could muster the backbone towrite a strongly worded letter.


  14. Blithering Bunny says:

    It’s good too see that even left-wing newspapers like The Telegraph have noticed the BBC bias.


  15. Heron says:

    This is the thing that is so disconcerting – that the propaganda is spreading to so many programmes; Spooks is an obvious one, but even comedy programmes like “Mock the Week” (which incidentally I think is excellent) have a compulsory Bash Bush section every week. Unfortunately the present government is too weak (and is still repaying the Beeb for helping them get elected), and Call Me Dave seems unlikely to do anything other than change his own policies to suit the Beeb agenda. Maybe someone rich could sue the BBC for the licence fee, and prove in court that they are not adhering to their charter.


  16. anonymous says:

    In the early days of the 1st Labour term they stated that, and Im paraphrasing as I cant recall the exact quote, all programming should reflect the {contemparary societal mores}.
    What greater call to agitprop could there possibly be?
    Ps sorry about the parentheses my qoutation marks arent working.


  17. PJ says:

    Interesting that on this and other threads (and more importantly amongst mainstream journalists who should know better), people are still making a connection between the Licence Fee and BBC output.
    There isn’t one.
    The Licence Fee is a tax on the receipt of broadcast television services. As an accident of history it happens to be hypothecated to the financing of the BBC. If the BBC disappeared tomorrow the Treasury could still make a compelling case for retaining the Fee ie WE WANT YOUR MONEY!!!. They did that years ago with what used to be called The Road Fund Licence.
    Conversely, if the public gave up watching broadcast television – an event that I confidently predict will occur at the same time as analogue shut-down – the government in power would have to make a decision about its future funding.


  18. Jonathan Boyd Hunt says:


    “Maybe someone rich could sue the BBC for the licence fee, and prove in court that they are not adhering to their charter.”

    Good idea. If there’s anyone out there, I’ve got the ammo.

    Incidentally, Michael Grade’s supposed desire for impartiality is pure drivel. Grade fought the amendment to the then 1990 Broadcasting Bill strengthening the requirement for “due impartiality” like a rabid cat.

    Check out the full story:

    or copy exactly:

    “Michael Grade”

    – and paste it into Google and hit return. The man’s a posturing fraud (which is why The Guardian championed Grade’s candidature without even knowing who the other candidates were).


  19. Stefan H. M. says:

    Totally agree with you on the comedy agenda on Al-BBC. Last week was the punchline to a killing joke. On the panel Mark ‘Respect’ Steel a perfect example of the Al-BBC Left -Liberal PC ‘comic’.

    Ive given up on English comedians and seek out the more ascerbic wit from the US.


  20. AntiCitizenOne says:

    “people are still making a connection between the Licence Fee and BBC output”

    er I don’t know how you can possibly argue that this isn’t the case.

    If the BBC were no longer extortion funded and had to rely on subscription then they’d have to listen to their customers, or they’ll stop paying.

    Capitalism is based on the most effective and honest feedback system ever created.

    The BBC isn’t it’s funded by extortion.


  21. David S says:

    While I completely agree that the BBC’s output is grossly biased toward a certain ‘liberal’ view – I think too many people focus on the impossible – changing the culture of the behemoth Beeb – rather than focussing on the possible – a boycott of the license fee which maintains it. If people stop allowing the Beeb to extort from them to fund their programming, some politician(s) will soon see there are votes to be won by challenging the license fee. Beeboids will always assert that the BBC is’ damn good value’, ‘a national treasure’. Engaging the argument is a waste of time, best to stay on meassge: if it’s providing such superior content surely consumers around the country will happily pay to subscribe to it. It’s not about the Beeb, it’s agenda and content, but about it’s funding. Who cares what they broadcast so long as we have a choice whether to fund it or not.


  22. Hal says:

    I am unclear as to who has the responsibility of enforcing the impartiality of the BBC, established by charter.
    As the monopoly public broadcaster I think there must be an authority whose job it is to enforce standards and impartiality. Who is it?


  23. Ritter says:

    Jonathan Boyd Hunt:

    “Maybe someone rich could sue the BBC for the licence fee, and prove in court that they are not adhering to their charter.”

    How about the Solicitor Steven Sugar, currently taking the BBC to court over their failure to release their own review of impartiality on the middle east?

    Anyone know how to contact him?

    “…..However, lawyer Steven Sugar, who wants the Balen report released, has had an initial ruling overturned and the struggle has now gone to the High Court.


  24. Ritter says:

    I’m not suggesting Sugar is rich, but he’s a solicitor building up a lot of experience in dealing with the BBC in court. Maybe we could start a fund, chip in some ££s each, hire Sugar to assess if there’s a legal case to be made (against the Beeb). We might not win (initially), but the publicity would be priceless.


  25. Pete says:

    Enforce BBC standards? What standards? The BBC is overwhelmingly a producer of low-brow entertainment. The self-indulgent news service runs on some of the cash that the lower social classes are willing to pay the BBC for ballroom dancing shows, shows about buyng and selling tat, soap operas and tedious never, ending dramas about policemen and hospitals.


  26. Foxgoose says:

    Re – possible licence boycott:-

    These are suggestion I made on an adjacent thread:-

    Re – mass licence boycott.

    I don’t know whether this has been covered here already but there is a petition with around 8000 signatures at

    Also someone on there tried to get a mass boycott going in March, using a system called Pledgebank see :- t=1375.

    I for one would happily pledge next years licence fee to an organisation dedicated to campaigning against it.

    Unfortunately I don’t really have the time or website skills to set it up.
    Foxgoose | 26.10.06 – 2:56 pm | #

    JBL et al

    I know Jonathan Miller lost on the human rights argument (although he’s still helpng with the website and forum).

    I suspect also that J Reith may be right (albeit a touch smug) about the Beeb having us all stitched up legally with the 1949 Wireless Telegraphy Act.

    The point about a mass boycott however is that, if it gets big enough – politicians might get nervous, unpopular laws might get revisited and people like JR might get their P45’s in due course.

    How about this scenario – somebody starts a pledge at this “Pledgebank” site offering to donate their next year’s fee to fund a campaign for repeal of the 1949 Act – providing that 10,000 others sign.

    Everybody who signs on the pledge site can use a username for anonymity, if they prefer, but must quote their TV Licence reference no. to prove authenticity and send a private letter to their MP confirming thier pledge and stating their reasons.

    We keep putting the pledge up till we get the 10,000 signatures. The pledge is conditional so costs nothing and can’t attract any legal repercussions until the point when the numbers are big enough to take the risk of starting a properly funded political PR campaign with a chance of success.

    I imagine a fund of around £ 1 – £1.5M might well do the trick.

    I know 10,000 may seem a lot of pledges but remember – there are many million licence payers and there’s no up front cash or risk required.

    I was recently involved in an internet based petition against a very unpopular hotel development on a little Mediterranean island where we have a holiday home.

    To everyone’s amazement – the petition topped 10,000 signatures from a total population of 400,000 citizens.

    It can be done.
    Foxgoose | 26.10.06 – 9:14 pm | #


    Please excuse the multiple cross posting.


  27. Heron says:

    Ritter, great idea. As a solicitor he will be preparing his own brief so there would only be barristers’ costs. Even though to him it is probably a negligible amount of money he should sue for his licence fee back – if he wins the case that would set a legal precedent making the fee unenforceable. I believe that much of the evidence uncovered by the contributors here, Sugar’s own facts, the attributed comments in the press (esp. Aitken) and JBHunt’s expose would together present a very strong case. Seeing as all political parties seem too supine to do anything about it, and the obvious risks of civil disobedience unless literally 10s of 1000s were motivated, this seems to me the only way to do it. Were I a millionaire, I’d happily take up the mantle. Sadly I’m not, though if anyone else is….


  28. Jonathan Boyd Hunt says:


    Steven Sugar publishes his contact details on the web. I’m reluctant to post them here in the spotlight.

    I’ve been tempted to phone him myself, but there’s more value in an intermediary who has no axe to grind doing that.


  29. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    In common with Ritter, Heron, JBH et al, I want to do something to end the BBC as it is. At the moment, there is no way to channel my anger, and any money which I’d be willing to pay (I am willing to pay) to bring about this end has nowhere to go.
    This site could be a starting point for a class action against the BBC if it can be ascertained that its funding is dependent upon adherence to its Charter. I haven’t read the 1949 Act which John Reith wields but, given his contributions to this site, I would doubt that it covers his backside.


  30. Jonathan Boyd Hunt says:

    Allan@Aberdeen, Ritter, Heron, Pete_London, Maurice Green, Anti Citizen One, I make that seven of us.

    Excuse the gross pun, but I think the number seven has a rather “magnificent” ring to it. Maybe we should keep it at that number for strategic reasons. Maybe not.

    The problem with mass action is that the weak are susceptible to being picked off. First sign of Summons and most people’s sphincters relax. And then it’s all over in five minutes.

    Though it should not come to it, if we’re serious about this we’ll have to be prepared for the possibility that we might have to go to prison.

    For that reason I believe it would be better to keep the numbers down to a hard core, for whom support could be generated. There are enough philanthropists out there who are as sick of the seditious society-destroying Ministry of Truth as we all are.

    But using this blog as a forum would get us nowhere. We need to authorise Natalie to furnish each other with our private contact details so we can discuss options privately and get something serious off the ground.

    I’m happy for all the above named to have my details, so I’ll e-mail Natalie tonight with my details for forwarding on to all of you.

    Over to you, chaps.


  31. simon temple says:

    Is it political bias when, on Question Time, Any Questions and other interview programmes, the Tory panellist is often very quickly interrupted by the Chairman, sometimes during the first sentence of the answer? And then the Chairman steers the discussion in a slanted way (and, in the case of Jonathan Dimbleby, at considerable length). But don’t let me get started on that particular person, or his brother – I really do think there must be better Chairmen available. I think Nick Clark seems fairly impartial and doesn’t constantly interrupt to give his views.


  32. simon temple says:

    Sorry. I meant to click the preview button but clicked the Publish button by mistake. I was going on to answer my own question and say that I think the Chairmen try not to be biased and are just quicker than I am at spotting when a speaker is going to stray from the question asked. It is the interruption itself that irritates me, rather than the motive. I want to hear what the guest has to say. Am I naive in thinking these Chairmen do their best to be impartial? The only thing I have against the Dimblebys is the constant interruptions. Would that there was someone here to interrupt my rant against interruption.


  33. Dood says:

    I think there should be a special archived section on this site that has BBC people on record saying that the corporation is biased. The more we have on one page, the stronger the arguments we will have, especially as “regular” people start to delve deeper into this story.


  34. archduke says:

    i’ve stopped watching Spooks too. i had an initial “Jack Bauer” vibe about it, and i gave it the benefit of the doubt initially, but the Saudi Embassy episode (“Al Q are really Mossad” ) was the final straw. No more.


  35. billyquiz says:

    JBH and cohorts.

    I’m an ex-pat and am in no position to take part in your plan. I would, however, willingly offer an amount equivalent to the license fee in the form of a pledge to assist in any legal battle. Maybe Natalie could create a pledgometer in true Blue Peter style which will illustrate and publicise the campaign (if we start one, that is).


  36. J.G. says:

    I too would be willing to part with money for the cause. The BBC have already made me a criminal when I refused to pay for a licence (although I did eventually pay the fine), but in 20 years I still have never paid this tax.

    Someone needs to get some legal advice on this.


  37. Jon says:

    Actually I think Jonathan is right mass petitions do not work – nor do mass protests (anybody remember the Countryside Alliance?). The bias is not just with the BBC but with all public sector organisations.

    PC and statanists views abound in all of them. It’s the culture of “diversity training”, of people scared to speak out against anything that may lead them into being castigated, and lose their livelihood. It’s the culture of Marxism – this culture will take a generation to eradicate.

    All the political parties have fallen for the great brainwashing scam put forward over the last nine years. It’s ingrained so deep. I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I’m afraid that nothing will change until the ruling leftist elite are well and truly trashed at the polls. This is becoming more and more difficult as the culture is now too far gone to change probably in my lifetime.

    Having said that I do wish Jonathan et al all the best of luck.


  38. billyquiz says:

    According to pledgebank there’s only one signatory. Besides, I don’t mind pledging 130 quid for even a thousand signatories.

    I think B-BBC should re-launch the pledge as a way to assist legal costs rather than a mass boycott of the license fee.


  39. Jon says:

    Things like this only bear out the truth of how ingrained this culture is.

    “A vicar has outraged his congregation and angered members of the Royal British Legion by cancelling angered the annual Remembrance Sunday service because he felt it was not multicultural enough”

    How can anyone win against this. To quote Private Fraser “We’re doomed”


  40. Grimer says:

    I think the idea of no money changing hands, until a target number of pledges have been achieved, is an excellent idea.

    We would have to catalogue all the really big cases of bias by the Beeb.

    If we can prove that the BBC is in breach of its Charter (providing an impartial service), then surely the Licence Fee is null-and-void.

    For a start, the BBC is not allowed to back any political campaigns. The ridiculous coverage of the Live8 and Make Poverty History campaigns should be proof enough – whole week of Africa Lives On The BBC to coincide with the G8 summit. Not to mention the shameless promotion of the Live8 concert.

    That alone is conclusive proof of their political bias and campaigning.


  41. Grimer says:


    That is the most disgusting piece of PC bullshit I have ever heard.

    I hope the ‘Vicar’ rots in hell.


  42. billyquiz says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if the Beeb picks up the story. I’m sure they’d love to bash the CofE but it’s in the name of multiculturalism and is also anti-war so there might be a moral conflict.


  43. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    I am prepared to pay a reasonable amount (up to a grand, possibly over) towards engaging a legal mind to offer an opinion on whether the BBC’s evident failure to adhere to the terms of its Charter is actionable. If there is someone who is in a better position than me to co-ordinate the necessary preparations etc (JBH comes to mind) then I authorise the custodians of this site to provide that person with my e:mail address. After that, let’s see.
    This does matter! The BBC is the keystone of PC in this country and a great, malign influence throughout the world, especially in the Middle East. The source of its financing or its ability to channel that finance against the west will be brought to a grinding halt in the event of a successful challenge. I think that I’ll check the 1949 Act which John Reith lauds: it might not be so strong after all.


  44. Jonathan Boyd Hunt says:


    We need to meet up. No, I’m not after your money. Though I’m broke (thanks to the Beeb) I’m surviving at the moment and your money would be best spent attracting more money. What I need is your time so you can assimilate my case and pass on your views about the merits of my work to others who will respect your independent opinion.

    I’d post my details here but should I get a call from you there’s no way I’d know it was actually you. I’ve passed my details to Natalie and authorised her to pass them to you. If you pass your contact details to Natalie and I receive an e-mail from Natalie with your details then we’ll both have the confidence to correspond/talk freely.

    Alan, this is just the beginning. Trust me.


  45. TPO says:

    Letter in Today’s Daily Telegraph:

    Taliban on air

    Sir – Tom Leonard (Comment, October 27) is right about the BBC’s institutionalised bias. Our son is serving with the British forces in Afghanistan. His e-mails to us are cheerful and uplifting, and full of praise for the high quality of the men with whom he is serving.

    Yet last Wednesday, the BBC, on radio and television, broadcast an interview with a leader of those who are trying to kill British forces. The Taliban interview was not critical, but most sympathetic. As the BBC website admitted: “David Loyn has had exclusive access to the Taliban, and reports from Afghanistan on their view of the conflict.” Your correspondent John Williams (Letters, October 27) rightly wonders whether the present BBC crowd would have interviewed the Nazis in 1940. Whose side are the BBC on?

    Can anyone tell me why my wife and I should be forced to pay, under threat of imprisonment, for a service that is giving propaganda to those who are trying to kill our son?

    Eric Hester, Bolton, Lancs


  46. TPO says:

    Mr Hester (Telegraph letter) makes more than a valid point.
    The BBC is funded by the British taxpayer.
    It is, in my view, a pre-requisite that the BBC represents British interest first and foremost.
    Loyn’s report was unadulterated propaganda.
    As usual the vermin in the BBC, who you can be assured will be retiring on generous pensions provided by us, defended Loyn’s report and can see nothing wrong in broadcasting it.
    Traitors used to be executed in this country.


  47. TPO says:

    You couldn’t make it up.

    Iraqi flown to Britain for BBC training claims asylum

    The BBC said: ”A BBC cameraman has made an application for asylum while over in the UK – a position which left him unable to continue to work with the BBC.
    “He, subsequently, offered us his letter of resignation so that he could pursue the application which we had no option but to accept in light of the situation.”
    The spokesman denied that the BBC has been embarrassed by Mr Ghazi’s application.
    Another example of the BBC in denial…… ‘they’re not embarrassed’


  48. TPO says:

    What other people think about the BBC’s asylum outrage;

    So he came for a course, eh? Are we all supposed to believe that? Is he claiming benefits?

    – Patricia, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear.

    He will get it, I wouldn’t be surprised if the BBC knew anyway, it’s not their money they are wasting.

    – Jim, California, USA

    No more licence fee, sell the BBC !

    – Rupert, Romford

    NOTHING embarasses the BBC.

    – Jerry, Durham

    The BBC didn’t know he was going to claim asylum? – Obviously they think everyone will believe that rubbish. The BBC should now be fined and have its visas denied until they put more rigour into their applciations and give assurances that people they sponsor will return home. This guy has abused the system and should be quickly deported.

    – Graham Casey, Perth, Australia