The BBC’s Magna Charter

Curiously we’ve had two articles today, one from AA Gill and one from Janet Daley, both questioning the BBC’s right, self-appointed or otherwise, to use the news, current affairs and entertainment programmes as vehicles to manipulate the audience’s opinions and behaviour.

Gill’s words have already been looked at here…but I reproduce them below for comparison….

Gill targets Danny Cohen as ‘a man of committed, right-on, social interventionist, politically precise principles.’

He says Cohen is ‘One of a cabal within the BBC who think broadcasting has a mission to guide, nudge and encourage society to be better….promoting a broadly homogenous, inclusive, positive, left-of-centre perspective on the world….and more importantly, expunge contrary or critical views….that the BBC has a duty to manipulate the country through information, education and entertainment.’


Daley says…

The BBC is not just in the programme-making, or the news-disseminating business. It is an actual player in the quasi-political social service sector.

This is certainly no bunch of ordinary media guys. It’s an arm of government which has the peculiar advantage of never having to submit itself for re-election. So this is where the BBC finds itself: being kicked around for its presumption and self-importance, even when it suspends someone whose behaviour was completely unacceptable, but refusing to relinquish the advantages that its anachronistic position confers. I find it hard to sympathise.


The BBC, far from being independent, is indeed an ‘arm of government’….one that is ambiguously obligated to be impartial and yet biased at the same time…set the task of maintaining ‘civil society and sustaining citizenship’ by its Charter…as set up by the politicians…so perhaps Cohen and his cabal are right….’…the BBC has a duty to manipulate the country through information, education and entertainment.’

The question is… who decides what those aims mean?…what is ‘citizenship’?, what is a ‘civil society’?  And more importantly who decides what those things are..and how they should be supported by the BBC.

It seems that it is the BBC itself which decides these issues which gives it enormous power, sanctioned by government and yet claiming to be independent of and unaccountable to government.

The BBC and its employees are entirely unelected and yet, just by virtue of the fact that they work for the BBC, are handed unlimited power to decide what are the acceptable ways of thinking and then to police those thoughts, given the power of judge and jury to denounce and malign anyone who doesn’t meet with the BBC imposed orthodoxy.

The BBC’s Charter is up for renewal…perhaps it should be stripped of its power and obligation to ‘sustain citizenship and civil society’ as it does seem that the values and beliefs it seeks to impose are those of a very narrow segment of society that are essentially left of centre and entirely unprepared to allow any other views a chance to speak. The BBC sets out to shape our nation in its own image and because it mainly employs people who already conform to that image or adapt to it in order to survive inside the organisation things are unlikely to change without outside interference.

Perhaps such a process is already under way as even Rona Fairhead has been forced to admit as she calls for outside overwatch of the BBC…

BBC Trust chair calls for external oversight of corporation

A radical overhaul of the BBC’s governance appears almost certain after the chair of the BBC Trust joined with vocal critics in both main political parties calling for the internal regulator to be abolished.

She said there was a “faultline in the blurred accountabilities” between the trust and the BBC management it was supposed to oversee, saying the corporation had been “damaged by a spate of issues in recent years”.

Responsibility for corporate governance should be given to a new unitary board, with an independent chair and a majority of non-executive directors – while regulation would be best handled by a “bespoke regulator” specific to the BBC.

She added: “The cleanest form of separation would be to transfer the trust’s responsibilities for regulation and accountability to an external regulator.


Below is a longer version the above written a while back….

Now that’s all very well, and indeed what this site has been suggesting for a long time, however there remains the crucial question of what exactly does the Regulator regulate and how?

The BBC’s Charter sets out the powers and responsiblities of the BBC and what is expected of the BBC therefore if these don’t change will the BBC ever change regardless of who regulates it?

The BBC is biased to the left, it supports mass immigration, it supports closer integration with Europe, it supports Islamist extremism here and in the Middle East, it supports Labour and it supports an ideologically based approach to climate change.

It supports all these things almost regardless of the Charter.  The issues are deeply felt by many in the BBC who use their positions in the organisation to promote their own personal political and social agendas.

The Charter paradoxically gives the BBC licence to be biased despite it also having a legal requirment to be impartial.

The Charter tells us that…..

The BBC exists to serve the public interest.

The BBC’s main object is the promotion of its Public Purposes
The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows—

(a) sustaining citizenship and civil society;
(b) promoting education and learning;
(c) stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;
(d) representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities
(e) bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK;
(f) in promoting its other purposes, helping to deliver to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services and, in addition, taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television.


The major purpose that gives the BBC unlimited power to do as it sees fit is the first one, the requirement to sustain citizenship and civil society.

Who sets the limits of exploitation on that?  Who defines what ‘citizenship’ is or what a ‘civil society’ should look like?  And then who defines how the BBC should carry out those purposes?

The BBC is free to do both, to define citizenship and civil society and how they should be promoted,  giving it enormous power to ‘engineer’ Society along the lines it thinks acceptable.

Demand a measure of control over immigration the BBC can label you a racist little Englander, question the teachings of Muhammed and you’re a racist Islamophobe, raise any doubts about the science of climate change and you’re an ignorant blogger in the pay of Big Oil and probably deeply psychologically flawed, not want to be subsumed by Europe?…you’re again, a racist little Englander harping back to a non-existent golden age of the 1950’s.

The BBC sets its own agenda and is free to define what sort of society it favours and thence to promote it by various means…both positive and negative.

It is free to be ‘biased’, it is in fact charged to be biased by the Charter….the trouble is, as said, it is also free to decide what to be biased in favour of, making it almost unaccountable.

The politicians laid out the form of the Charter and so can hardly complain of the BBC’s bias when it is they who have given the BBC such free range to be so biased.

If the BBC favours Labour’s ‘Plan B’ or Labour’s NHS or welfare policies Tory politicians have few grounds to complain for if the BBC deems Labour policies to be the most likely to ‘sustain citizenship’ and a ‘civil society’ the the Charter would seem to give them carte blanche to be so biased.


With Charter renewal coming up next year perhaps the Tories should start to consider just what those requirements really mean and if they are necessary.






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28 Responses to The BBC’s Magna Charter

  1. Phil Ford says:

    “…The question is… who decides what those aims mean?…what is ‘citizenship’?

    The answer to both those questions is, if course, Common Purpose. CP ‘sets’ both the aims and the agenda at the BBC. You can hear it at work any weekday morning on the ‘Today’ programme on Radio 4, or see it at work any weekday evening on ‘Newsnight’ on BBC 2. It’s so blatant they really don’t bother
    trying to hide it any more.


  2. Wild says:

    “It’s so blatant they really don’t bother trying to hide it any more.”

    Because they only recruit from their own they lack awareness of how out of touch they are with any reality other than their shared greed and hypocrisy.


  3. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    I think the bBBC has given up any pretence to be impartial. It blatantly shows the left-wing slant on everything, such as the current Panorama series about big-government being the answer to everyone’s wishes, as well as their subliminal multi-culti propaganda, with every self-advertisement showing foreigners over-represented in a way that most people outside London wouldn’t recognise as Britain.


  4. The Old Bloke says:

    You are now boring us all BLR. Got anything else of insignificance to say?


    • Llareggub says:

      Think of a child that gets a laugh when it tells a joke, but then continues to repeat the joke over and over so it no longer appears funny. Eventually the child realises that jokes are the kind of thing that do not improve with continual re-telling. Unlike a child my dog repeatedly performs the same trick and always expects and usually gets a reward. There you have it Bunny. Good bye.


  5. Guest Who says:

    Some seem happy enough with BBC Guidance:

    A Jezza both the BBC and its BFFs can live with.

    That may not be quite the endorsement they needed at yet another torrid time in their corporate evolution.


  6. Guest Who says:

    The Daley piece seems the epitome of balance.

    She rightly identifies whopping holes in the debates and Clarkson row arguments that the BBC’s finely tuned minds failed to exploit as they were, as always, more intetested in behaving like schoolyard playground Capos settling scores. Sacks of rats have more brains… and integrity.

    “By an odd coincidence, both the news stories that have gripped the nation this past week have involved the BBC”

    Again I am reminded of the words of a BBC go-to guy that when you become the story, especially for an extended period, you are lost.

    He was talking about politics. It applies even more for media.

    Especially ones too unique for their own good.


  7. Llareggub says:

    ‘This is certainly no bunch of ordinary media guys. It’s an arm of government ‘

    Yes indeed. But its left of centre policy which is in turn with Labour is certainly an arm of Cameron’s government…


  8. JimS says:

    It would help if the BBC Trust, instead of ‘representing’ the licence payers’ interests was actually representative of the licence payer.

    The same is true of parliament.

    We ought to have civil juries, selected at random like a court jury, on, say, a year-long sabbatical. They could act as super-select committees dragging these ‘top’ people to account, Lord Hall and Saint Hodge included.


  9. Doublethinker says:

    No amount of reform of the BBC will succeed in achieving permanent change whereby it is demonstrably impartial. As soon as a Labour government is elected the whole thing will instantly revert to its leftist ways. Even if the BBC was to funded by subscription the Labour party ,when in power, would find a way of funding it via government and we would be back with the leftist fog horn bellowing in our ears morning noon and night. The only solution is to close the BBC down and make sure it can never rise again by selling off every asset it has to as many different private companies as possible so that it cannot be reconstituted. This must be done in the first year of a Tory government so that a good 4 years pass before there is any chance of Labour being able to scrape the pieces back together. The Tories can make this politically more acceptable by giving the arts council a billion or two to fund the the ‘elite’ programmes the chattering class will miss via the new private companies. It will be a price well worth paying.
    The whole idea of having a single media organisation granted a near monopoly is highly dangerous and certain to undermine democracy. This has clearly happened in the UK where for the past 40 years plus the BBC has been overtly and covertly influencing the national opinion to the left. The harm done has been immense. The BBC must be stopped.


    • DP111 says:

      That is a solution.

      Unfotunaely, even the Conservatives would not go for it, as they like the idea of a global media superpower, that they can manipulate when they need.

      The BBC is unique. Its coverage and reach is global. In addition, it influences other major media such as other state funded BBC clones in Canada, Australia and NZ. In other Commonwealth countries, the BBC has major influence because it is the mother organisation.

      Disbanding the BBC would throw out all of the above, and it could never be re-constituted. The question is, how do we retain this huge influence in the world, while reducing the Leftist element.


      • Doublethinker says:

        It would be far better to be rid of the BBC with consequent loss of its leftist influence at home and abroad. The BBC is wrecking our country and undermining our reputation abroad. The World Service is even more leftist than the standard fare served up for home consumption. God rot the lot of them.


    • Tedious Tantrums says:

      couldnt agree more.
      BBC Scotland in Glasgow are the mouth piece of Labour. They drive the narrative. They work hand in hand with the Labour Councils in the west. They bend everything to get the Labour view point across. Perhaps it’s the BBC that should be paying a license fee to operate. That way they would have to stick to their proper stated aims and if they didn’t… Well the license is withdrawn.


  10. Fred Bloggs says:

    No mention of the money from the EU the bBC takes. Problem with them taking it that the bBC must show the EU in a positive manner. So much for their pledge to be impartial.


  11. davidka says:

    the main purpose of the Bbc is not to report the truth, but to keep the lid firmly shut on pandora’s box in case the unwashed revolt and we have a repeat of the french revolution with blood on the streets. Beeb journos with talent and a sense of integrity who expose ie the saville abominations are rewarded by demotion or forced to leave and their work “shelved” for the greater good.


  12. Philip says:

    The aims of the Magna Carta are lost on the BBC. It’s worth repeating.. ‘Magna Carta is one of the most fundamental documents in English Law. Its sealing in 1215 helped to protect the individual from arbitrary imprisonment and abuse from the authorities. It also helped establish and enshrine property rights into the English legal tradition and, furthermore, it went a long way to influence the legal traditions and practices of many other nations. However, while countries across the world still follow the traditions of Magna Carta, it has increasingly been discarded by the authorities within the United Kingdom’. i.e. BBC self importance undermines the very democracy it claims to represent. It has neither financial independence nor accepts freedoms of expression, nor exposes the abuses of local authorities. It (BBC) does not protect the individual from ‘political correctness’ but imposes it.


  13. jackde says:

    “The BBC, far from being independent, is indeed an ‘arm of government”
    Oh really!!
    If it is, then it’s not a government I know or see at Westminster but one that is out of sight and has it’s own agenda


  14. Truthdoctor says:

    Just a thought, but….

    If the BBC is ignoring its legal obligation to be genuinely impartial, is ther no legal redress?

    Could someone (EG this website) bring a private prosecution? A judicial review?

    Any lawyers out there


    • Richard Pinder says:

      I heard that the BBC usually dodges legal action by leaving stuff out of BBC Trusts Findings, Journalistic reasons are known to be used as excuses, but although I was told about eventual planned future legal action, the abolition of the BBC Trust seems to be the precursor to this, as this would open up a can of worms.


      • Guest Who says:

        Trust Findings are like hen’s teeth anyway, take some locating (they certainly have no incentive to publicize them), and exist solely to maintain the pretence that the BBC has effective, functioning oversight.

        It does not.

        All is internal. And in secret.

        ‘Witnesses’ and testimonies are carefully filtered even before the Trust, and they operate on a ‘don’t ask; don’t tell’ basis to avoid anything awkward getting past that may hit the record.

        As 110% perfection could look a bit tractorstatian, once in a blue moon a complaint will be found in favour.

        This will be published months if not years later, and always in a form that basically agrees that the BBC still got it about right.

        And the tangible result of hundreds of man and women hours, and thousands of pages of regurgitated waffle will be… nothing. But a false sense of something being done will be enough to fob off culture ministers and the odd inquiry… unless they really foul up and get called an inept sack of rats unfit for purpose, and as a consequence are allowed to continue as always.

        And even if a complaint doors stagger to this pointless conclusion, and is vindicated, at no stage will there be any question as to what was going through the minds of all preceding complaints drones and belief-comfortable ECU Directors who saw no problem and did all in their power to kill it off.

        Because that is what they are paid, under the oversight of the same Trust judging them, using public money, to do.

        If any other organization ran such a racket they’d be investigated weekly by everyone from Watchdog to Panorama until put out of business.

        Unless they are very, very unique.

        Which is why they truly hate it when the whole rotten process skips out of their domain into that of the public. So keep on doing it, and sharing.

        The worst they can do is ban you, and if they keep doing that the old reputation for trust and transparency crumbles in face of clear evidence of propaganda and censorship.


  15. George R says:

    “What’s the point of the BBC if we no longer share common cultural values?”

    By Ed West .


  16. dave s says:

    Ironic that the BBC which by acting for the last 40 years plus as the house organ for the 68ers now finds itself under constant attack.
    It is the establishment organ now and as that same establishment faces serious and sustained pressure both from the fragmented society it so uncaringly created and the growing counter revolution which knows that the old order and the BBC is beyond reform and must just go.
    I suppose they thought it was a smart idea -to recruit only the body snatched like themselves and shut out the always present small c conservative voice that has, in the end, sustained and kept England safe.
    The BBC will not survive. Not as it is anyway and I will be glad to see it go. It is no longer a friend of old England and has ceased to understand us. Forget reform. There is always a moment when that option is offered as a last attempt to retain power for the old order. Then is the moment to say no. Just go.


  17. george Moor says:

    I did several surveys on Question time venues over the years and these showed a massive tendency to hold this programme in labour dominated councils – likened it to preaching Everton to Anfield audiences. A seemingly small issue but the more you figure on this the more it exhibits just how the Beeb works. They have also hijacked our South west news that was once so enjoyable, reporting our local events and positivity. Suddenly with the election approaching they are leading day after day with misery headlines about the NHS, Care etc


  18. phil says:

    The BBC’s main function is to provide huge amounts of down market entertainment to the masses to keep them safely on their couches and off the streets or even thinking about society and how it could change for the better.

    Cohen and other lefty types merely tag along for the establishment sinecure wages at the BBC. They have no real use and are no real danger.

    Real left wing fire brands out to change society would have nothing to do with a government funded corporation stuffed full of highly paid public school types cynically foisting junk on the working class.

    But for establishment trendy lefty types out to play politics at the public’s expense the BBC is the place to be.


  19. richard D says:

    Just catching up on the news from the Israeli elections on BBC World News – and the exit polls suggesting that Mr Netanyahu’s party (right wing) and Mr Herzog’s party (left-wing) are neck and neck, and perhaps Mr Netanyahu might actually lead the largest party in the next parliament. Lyse Doucet seems quite miffed that Mr Netanyahu may have ‘arisen from the dead’ (it’s pretty clear that she’s of the view that the ‘dead’ status is where she had hoped he and his party would politically remain), and he will have the much easier task of putting together a majority government than Mr Herzog. Cue talking heads….one of whom is a pollster who quite clearly had got it wrong regarding the likely outcome of the election….. and blamed Mr Netanyahu’s success on creating ‘fear’ in other right-wing parties that the left might just slip in if the right didn’t coalesce their votes a bit better. So – nothing about policies then ? Well, none of the talking head panel seemed to bother about that, but hey…. what’s a left-leaning panellist or two when the BBC gets involved.

    So, we had speeches from the leaders (messrs Herzog and Netanyahu), and then we went off to find a good place to have a ‘vox pop’ about the polls. Up pops another Beeboid in a bar somewhere in Israel, admitting that it was a very subdued scene, since this was a left-leaning bar-ful of people, in a left-leaning district, of a left-leaning city in Israel. No need to guess from where the BBC intended bringing the celebrations regarding the news of the polls from, then !

    This beeboid then follows this up with an interview with two people (just outside from this left-leaning group in a left-leaning bar……etc). Lo and behold, he’s found an outspoken lady who wanted any result other than Mr Netanyahu’s success, but preferably a landslide for the left, and a centrist (just for balance, you understand) who wants a national coalition involving both left and right-leaning parties.

    No views/interviews from a pub-ful of right-leaning punters in a right-wing district of a right-wing city, then ? No bias there, obviously.

    Back to droopy-mouthed Doucet….and the bias goes on and on and on….even outside the UK.