I see that Conservative leader David Cameron has caused a bit of a furore by threatening to make the BBC hand £250million of its (OUR) money to other broadcasters. The Tories plan to force the Corporation to give away part of its licence fee funds to create new competition in public service broadcasting. The move will break the BBC’s “monopoly” over programmes and guarantee more quality output in areas such as children’s television, the Tories claim. It’s an interesting idea coupled with a plan to scrap the governing BBC Trust and replace it with a more independent “public service broadcasting commission”. Naturally the BBC have reacted angrily to the Cameron suggestions..“Once you take away part of the licence fee you break the trust between the BBC and the licence-fee payer,” said a senior BBC executive. What trust? Wonder what you all make of Cameron’s suggestions?


I’ve been away for the past few days so hence the lack of posts but I come back and remarkably enough find myself in agreenment with Kevin Spacey who has criticised the BBC for airing talent shows such as Any Dream Will Do and I’d Do Anything.

“I felt that was essentially a 13-week promotion for a musical – where’s our 13-week programme?” Spacey said. The Hollywood star is artistic director at the Old Vic theatre in London. “I have spoken to your chairman but he has yet to get back to me,” Spacey said. The BBC replied that its shows were not “unduly promotional”.

But that’s not quite true, is it? The cosy arrangement between the State Broadcaster and Lloyd-Webber (and now Cameron Mackintosh) is promotion incarnate. The musical moguls get massive free publicity for their productions and the BBC gets to produce more cheap TV. There is something unseemingly about it all, and whilst it is not evidence of political bias, it is evidence of the BBC prostituting itself to churn out Saturday evening dross.

Just because you’re paranoid….

It’s bad enough that Britain has already ruled any possibility of boycotting some or all of the Chinese Olympics even as China brutally crushes all those who dissent against its thugocracy in Tibet. But now we see that the BBC is sending its biggest ever squad to China to cover the Games. I guess the attraction of being in a Communist regime for weeks on end care of the British tax-payer is too good a chance to miss! An amazing 437 BBC staff will be China bound but the only reason we know this is because the folders with addresses, passport numbers, pictures, and hotel details of this battalion have vanished from Television Centre in west London. What amuses me is the BBC “fear” that the files may have been stolen, possibly for identity theft or an attempt to embarrass the BBC over the number of staff going to the Games. How paranoid are they? Guilty feelings?


I’m sure you will be aware that Dutch politician Geert Wilders has posted a film critical of the Koran on the internet. The opening scenes show a copy of the Koran, followed by footage of the attacks on the US on 11 September 2001. The 17-minute film was posted on video-sharing website LiveLeak. (It’s been posted over on my own blog as it all helps the general debate on the Religion of Peace AND Love.)

Now then, the BBC reports this but the BBC report itself is laced with all kinds of subtle poison. For example, if you read it you will note that the State Broadcaster cannot apparently find anyone to interview who is in FAVOUR of this film on the nature of Islam. Furthermore it immediately characterises Geert Wilders as “right-wing” however no other political comment is prefaced with such a description. Is anyone who opposes the advance of Islam a right-winger?

Now I don’t hold the BBC responsible for the cowardly Dutch PM Jan Peter Balkenende who disowns this questioning of Islam, but I do hold the BBC responsible for ensuring that the topic is covered by providing a range of views. However anyone who raises questions about the Koran and those who use it to justify their terrorist pathologies seems to be persona non gratia in Beebland.

General BBC-related comment thread!

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. This is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may also be moderated. Any suggestions for stories that you might like covered would be appreciated! It’s your space, use it wisely!


Living as I do in Northern Ireland, it has been my long held contention that the BBC operates here as if it were part of a foreign broadcasting corporation. Of course Biased BBC readers living elsewhere in the UK may feel similarly! But I draw your attention to this story, given all due prominence on the BBC Northern Ireland news page today. As you will see, it has absolutely nothing to do with Northern Ireland, and concerns itself exclusively with the financial shenanigans of those in the government of the Irish Republic. It is, by NO definition, a Northern Ireland story. But yet there is it on the Northern Ireland news page. The BBC operates a harmonisation policy when it comes to matters concerning the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. These are treated as if they are all local stories, so facilitating the UK and Irish government agenda of gradualised de facto, if not de jure, unification. The truth of the matter is that this news report concerns a foreign government and it is NOT a UK story. But the dark green-tinged glasses through which the BBC views news sees it all very differently.

“An Independent Commission”

Where would the BBC be without it’s regular diet of “surveys”, “reports” and “enquiries” ? On Radio Four’s seven o’clock news this morning, the first three of four stories were all supplied to the BBC. While I’m not a great fan of the journalist Nick Davies’ analytical capabilities, his observational skills are first class – and in his book Flat Earth news he charges that too many news organisations are content to regurgitate the press releases without enquiring into the motives behind them.

Today’s top story featured an organisation new to me, the “Independent Asylum Commission“, which has produced a report lambasting Britain for its appalling treatment of asylum seekers. Said report is getting top billing on BBC news.

The morning is young, and I have work to do. But given that the Commission is sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, what are the odds that it will turn out to consist of pro-asylum, pro-immigration activists ? If any commenters have time to dig I’d be grateful.

Let’s look at another “independent” organisation.

From BBC News a while back :

Reforms of the criminal justice system are largely ineffective in cutting crime, an independent think-tank says.

The Crime and Society Foundation, at King’s College, London, says ministers should focus instead on tackling root causes such as poverty and sexism.

This ‘independent think-tank‘ is staffed by :

A former communications director for the anti-prison, pro-criminal National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders.

A former researcher for the anti-prison ‘children’s liberation’ National Children’s Bureau and the Child Poverty Action Group.

A former Communications Officer at Action for Prisoners’ Families.

A former employee of the Howard League for Penal Reform, aka the Howard League For The Abolition of Punishment.

On its advisory board sits the anti-prison campaigner Una Padel and one Nick Page. Could it be this Nick Page ? Alas I think it’s this one.

There’s “independent”. And there’s BBC “independent”.

UPDATE – I see David and I have taken the same story this morning. Let a hundred flowers blossom, let a hundred schools of thought contend, as Chairman Mao once said.


No, I don’t mean the UK’s treatment of asylum seekers but rather the State Broadcaster which seems never happier than when impugning the reputation of our country. The BBC has been leading its news channels today with the allegation that the UK’s treatment of asylum seekers falls “seriously below” the standards of a civilised society.

Who says so? Well, it’s a group called The Independent Asylum Commission. This group is described as being “a body of legal and professional experts on refugees”. Well now, therein lies the rub, because it’s nothing of the sort. Yes it has a co-chair in the form of Ifath Nawaz who is the President of the Association of Muslim lawyers (Do Muslims need their own association? Is there an association of Evangelical lawyers?) Maybe they do since Nawaz and her colleagues have campaigned for UK laws to be changed to become compatible with the Sharia – arguing that failure to do so will breach the human rights of Muslims. In addition, the group’s members have said that they also wish for Sharia to become the dominant law-code in the UK. So, Nawaz is clearly a woman whose opinion is magisterially impartial, a shill for sharia. The IAS also has Nicholas Sagovsky as a self-appointed Commissioner. He has a long record of opposing efforts by the British government to impose controls over immigration. Last but not least is the frontman for the group, former Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham. Now Lord Ramsbotham is a busy chap. When he’s not advocating greater support for the families of convicts, he’s the kinda guy that urges the release from prison for killers such as those who murdered young Jamie Bulger, in other words he is a sopping wet liberal. This is a professional whinge-fest and not the group of sober balanced intellects the BBC pretends

I do believe the UK has an issue on asylum but it is the opposite to which this group suggests. We are far too open to asylum seekers and our traditional British hospitality has been outrageously abused by numerous bogus “asylum seekers.” We also fail to promply deport those who have no right to be here, and of course the fundamental lure of coming to Britain in the first place – the Welfare bonanza – is also in need of drastic reform. None of these points are discussed by the BBC because it empathises with the IAS loathing of the United Kingdom that unites all on the left. Just some of the balance you won’t be hearing today.

Whoops – I see Laban has also blogged this at the same time as me! So, two for the price of one today!

What The BBC Miss Out – or The Mysterious Vanishing Far-Left Again

David reported yesterday on the hefty BBC coverage given to the views of one Paul McGarr, “a teacher from east London“, who doesn’t like our armed forces much. He featured prominently in news bulletins as well.

Alas, there were one of two things about Mr McGarr that the BBC didn’t care to share with their listeners, viewers and readers. A pity, as they may have provided much-needed context.

Oliver Kamm reports that Mr McGarr is a former council candidate in Millwall for the far-left Respect party. He also links to this piece by Mr McGarr in the far-left paper Socialist Worker, written just before the military campaign against Saddam Hussein.

Socialists have done and continue to do all in our power to build the movement to prevent war and to stop war when it starts. But if war starts the very worst outcome would be a quick victory for the US and Britain.

The best response to war would be protests across the globe which make it impossible for Bush and Blair to continue. But while war lasts by far the lesser evil would be reverses, or defeat, for the US and British forces. That may be unlikely, given the overwhelming military superiority they enjoy. But it would be the best outcome in military terms.

Mr Kamm puts it better than I can :

In short, and given the fact of the Iraq War, Paul McGarr and Socialist Worker wanted Saddam Hussein to win and our armed forces to be defeated. This is not what I say: it’s what they say.

I find it impossible to believe that the BBC would give several paragraphs to, say, a BNP activist talking about immigration, without (correctly) letting viewers and listeners know the political allegiance which informs their speech. Yet a far-left activist who actually wants our soldiers to be defeated is given a free ride. Is it that their journalists know, but don’t care ? Or are they too lazy to type a name into Google ?

The BBC have previous when it comes to this sort of thing. And it’s worth noting that the annual NUT conference is one of only FIVE recorded occasions when BBC News online have detected the presence of a British ‘far-left’. Admittedly the detection took place in 1999.

Hat-tips – DB and other B-BBC commenters, who also point out :

Reporter Hannah Goff is a union activist (I was once an NUR shop steward, mind, so I can’t talk)

Who produced this puff-piece about the keffiyeh-wearing chap who wrote this and this ?

Who fails to mention the fate of resolutions (p90) proposing that curriculum material be provided by CND-except-Iran, the Stop The War Coalition and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign ?

General BBC-related comment thread!

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. this is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may also be moderated. Any suggestions for stories that you might like covered would be appreciated! It’s your space, use it wisely!