Queen Trumps Maggie

Image result for the queen thug


The Spectator thinks the BBC has got a bad case of the sour grapes as its place as producer of illustrious ‘crown jewel’ programmes is threatened by an upstart commercial company, and one on that bloody independent, free thinking, interwebby thing as well….Netflix….

BBC attacks ‘lavish’ Netflix for propagating ‘myths’ about the royal family

It wasn’t long ago that Lord Hall Hall was telling us that the world would fall apart without the BBC, that the BBC was the gold standard for television, one that all other companies sought to emulate and learn from….all of course in aid of his campaign to keep the BBC’s highly privileged position and its funding mechanism….he said no commercial company could produce what the BBC does.

That is patently untrue and has been for years.  What are the biggest hits that get the ‘watercooler moments’?  They’re nearly all American with a few Scandi crime thrillers darkening our shores.  Yes the BBC produces some winners but the point is we don’t need the BBC if we want to have great TV, films and documentaries….Hall’s argument does not hold water…the BBC is not the gold standard, not for TV and not for news….and its programmes are all too often merely vehicles for political messages of one sort or another…and that includes its news and current affairs programmes.


Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Queen Trumps Maggie

  1. foxcote7822 says:

    .he said no commercial company could produce what the BBC does. He got that bit right albeit crap!


    • StewGreen says:

      BBC experts are really good at predicting things these days.


    • john in cheshire says:

      That’s so true, if a commercial company tried to produce the rubbish that the bbc produces they be out of business before you could say HIGNFY.

      As an aside, earlier this evening I started to listen to I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. Within the first few minutes one of the panel, I forget who it was, made a gratuitous and nasty, snide remark about Donald Trump. The audience cheered and applauded loudly, I switched to another station. That’s another programme I shan’t be listening to again.


      • Flexdream says:

        ISIHAC is still funny, but even it has followed the herd with tired predictable jibes at Trump and UKIP. Previously the Daily Mail has also served as Pavlov’s bell.
        It’s not all bad though. There was a joke at Corbyn’s expense and Mrs Calman for once didn’t mention her wife.


  2. JimS says:

    The BBC needed worry. As previously commented on in the ‘Weekend’ thread the latest ‘Scandi’ thriller Modus would appear to feature white Christians as the baddies versus the homosexuals, so other companies will maintain ‘the agenda’ for them.

    The new series follows on from an Australian thriller where the female homosexual-loving cop breaks the rules to catch the white homosexual-hating killer, despite the obstacles placed in her way by the white, macho, misogynist boss. (Wasn’t the blonde ‘lab cop’ hinting a bit of Lesbianism too?).

    Previous Scandinavian ‘thrillers’ have played the ‘wicked white Christian’ line and Borgen was always pro-immigration and anti-‘far right’.

    Can’t wait for Spiral to bravely show again the ‘enrichment’ that the new-French have brought to Paris!


  3. Guest Who says:



  4. Up2snuff says:

    Alan: “Yes the BBC produces some winners”.

    Indeed. And loses them. Or the viewers. I gather that Dickensian, which was well-received is not going to go into series production. I would be looking forward to Part 2 of Wolf Hall but the BBC has lost me, thanks to its sudden change of heart and iPlayer removal. I had been singing the praises of Wolf Hall & Dickensian before either series finished.

    Word of mouth promotion is something the producers of any product long for. It can never be bought.

    It can be lost.

    At the BBC, hand cart aligning with a very warm place goes on apace!


  5. EUTV says:

    I saw a recording from Coronation Street last night, a painful experience at the best of times.

    For the lucky people who avoid it more than I do, the plot revolved about a deception where one neighbour managed to convince a number of residents of the street to invest 15k each in a big development.

    Anyway I diverse, I mention it because we go into the cafe and the woman working there says ‘these are chaotic times around here, what with BREXIT and now this fraud’.

    In a stroke Brexit is on par with chaos and crime. Given it was said by a low paid waitress in a ‘working class’ street, I doubt if most of the locals would have agreed.

    My point? ITV scriptwriters are cut from the same cloth as their state funded cousins and they simply can’t resist insulting the working folk who watch their programmes.


    • Up2snuff says:

      EUTV, well spotted.

      Corrie has always been a ‘left-wing’ programme. It was meant to portray a ‘working-class situation’ as perceived by metro-liberal writers in contrast to BBC Radio’s The Archers which was assumed to be Conservative.

      I would not be surprised at that reference to Brexit. It comes from the writers and what they want to represent.


      • mikef says:

        I wouldn’t go along with that. I must admit I haven’t seen Corrie for years, but it certainly used to be politically neutral. I think the rot may have set in when Eastenders came along. That originally copied the humour and wry stoicism of the East End, but then it seemed that social workers and feminists took over and it became the daily screeching match of fishwives and the aggression of thuggish thick males. So Corrie started to ape that and also became unwatchable in my opinion.


      • EUTV says:


        Yes I agree in that corrie trys to give a working class storyline. I think over the years as they’ve added in too much slapstick and repetative ‘big’ moments it has lost out. It is a program for the masses as perceived by the ‘elite’ from the sanxtuary of their office.


  6. Christopher Wright says:

    All true I suspect and talking of slipping televisual crowns I have just been watching Kenneth Clark’s 1969 masterpiece Civilisation made in colour for the BBC. It is available on YouTube and I’d invite anyone to watch the opening 15 minutes of the first episode called The Skin of our Teeth to see how such a programme could not be made by the BBC today. I’ve outlined the reasons below why the BBC would be unable to remake it. All of these reasons are evident in the first 15 minutes
    1. The programme believes there is such a thing as civilisation and that western civilisation was a unique gift to the world

    2. The use of the male pronoun as a shorthand for human achievements “man did this” “man made that” . The Clark series is a role call of Great Men from Charlemagne onwards via Dante, Michelangelo, Wren, Hawksmoor, Spinoza, Einstein…it make you proud to be a man watching this series, to see what the very best of men are capable of. It also reminds us that the patriarchy is nothing to be ashamed of: we should be celebrating it.

    3. Europe (and in later episodes) the United States is the unquestioned centre of the world. Its achievements are incomparable. Clark makes this clear in his opening remarks about primitive art in comparison with great art I.e the Apollo of the Belvedere vs folk art.

    4. Clark takes sides, our side. He is not a cultural relativist. When the monks on Skellig Michael sought sanctuary against the barbarian invaders they were preserving the antecedents of our culture, something unique and precious which in time would flower into the Renaissance and the modern world.

    5. He understands and conveys to the viewer that Christianity is not just one option in a spiritual marketplace (all options of course being equally valid as suggested in all of the BBCs modern output). It really made us what we are from St Benedict onwards via Suget and St Francis and onwards into the renaissance. The Buddha or Lao Tzu or Confuscious may have been equally important in Asian history but they will never be integral to the story of the west

    6. Without Charles Martels victory at Poitiers in 732 western civilisation would probably never survived. The series shows that there were various crunch points in our history and that our survival was down not only to luck but also men of brilliance.

    7. He understands exactly what we are up against today. He understands that civilisations decay through decadence boredom and simply being too exhausted to defend what is their inheritance. Clark was no doubt seen as a fuddy duddy in his own day and even in the late 1960s Clarks views were definitely not in vogue.

    In short this is still one of the best TV series and today while I was watching it I was thinking that it could never have been made today for all of the outlined reasons.


    • Cranmer says:

      Mr Wright I have long thought Lord Clark’s ‘Civilization’ to be the high point of TV history, but you summarise the reasons very well. Another thing I like about it is the way Clark simply talks straight to camera (sometimes even with a cigarette in hand, I think) and allows the works to speak for themselves. Many modern documentaries feel the need to jazz up and dramatise things, assuming that we all have the attention spans of goldfish.

      Another good documentary series in a similar mould is ‘The World At War’. I still get a shiver when I hear the opening lines read by Lord Olivier about the Oradur sur Glan massacre: ‘Down this road, on a summer’s day in 1944, the soldiers came…’


      • Bones says:

        Indeed. Modern film and documentary makers presume the need to jazz things up. They tend to have simultaneous music and dialogue, as if the audience isn’t comfortable without background noise. For me, however, it is just noise.


    • Melksham says:

      Charles Martels was my 40th Great Grandfather. Perhaps that is why I feel so strongly about the current invaders 🙂


    • imaynotalwaysloveyou says:

      Very good points C Wright. I did hear some time ago that the BBC were indeed going to remake Civilization as ‘Civilizations’ (see link below – the proposed presenters do not bode well!). Apparently the series is expected to air on BBC Two towards the end of 2017. They do take their time don’t they!

      I fear the new one will show the West as the villain of the piece, as they invariably do nowadays with their history programmes.



  7. Alicia Sinclair says:

    I well remember the BBC showing doctored film about the Queen walking out on film shoot in 2006.
    They got rumbled and grovelled a bit.
    They did a disastrous 2012 on the Queens Diamond Jubilee, where their own views on the Queen and Royalty were all too apparent.
    Who better then to lecture Netflix on “appropriate probities and proprieties” in regard of the Royals?


  8. Nibor says:

    The Soviet Union produced some fantastic products
    The Nazis produced some fantatistic products
    The BBC produced some fantastic products

    So should we presume that we keep the Soviet system because they produced the T34 and the Kalashnikov ?
    Should it be presumed that we keep the BBC for whatever they think are their fantastic products ?


    All three needed scrapping .


  9. EnglandExpects says:

    While watching the excellent Netflix drama Crown, I began to think that we are witnessing the beginning of the end for the BBC. It’s model of forced subscription , political bias and inefficiency will simply not be able to compete with the private sector broadcasters operating through the internet. It’s self inflicted loss of the Top Gear Team and their migration to a better funded version of the programme on Amazon merely reinforces the point.
    On this site we all hate the BBCs political bias but it will be the likes of Netflix and Amazon that bring it down. The government may not have the guts to end the BBCs political bias but equally the politicians will not stand up to a mass revolt against the TV licence tax, which must come before long . Renewing the BBC Charter for 10 years is far too long because the BBC model will become untenable before the expiry of the new Charter.


    • Flexdream says:

      “On this site we all hate the BBCs political bias but it will be the likes of Netflix and Amazon that bring it down.”
      Prescient. Maybe we’ll see licence free “TVs” which are configured to block iPlayer and live TV . £145 pa saving makes for a good deal.


  10. DJ says:

    And then there’s the analogy with education: every time the exam league tables come out, the BBC scrambles to point out that, sure, those bumpkins at faith schools do keep beating the likes of Mary Seacole Comprehensive, but that’s only because them Jesus freaks do special rich kid exams…. or something.

    Anyway: they claim that faith school starting with better resources means it’s no achievement for them to do well. Meanwhile, a company with a guaranteed income of £4.5 billion per year manages to produce the odd good program and we’re meant to believe that’s a great achievement. The BBC boasting about producing good TV is like Real Madrid boasting about recruiting the odd good player.


    • Flexdream says:

      The BBC series Planet Earth II has been highly lauded, but really is the King wearing skimpy clothing.
      The trite unreliable commentary is carried by the pretty pictures. Did you see the feminist inspired scene of snow leopards which claimed the 2 year old almost mature female ‘cub’ was endangered by the two males when they were clearly interested in competing for the adult female.
      We’re getting repeats. Harris Hawks again. Bobcats hunting in the snow again. Lions hunting again. Are we going to get weasels and rabbits, and polar bears and seals? We’ll see.


      • imaynotalwaysloveyou says:

        Do you recall the polar bear cub controversy on one of Attenborough’s shows? I think it was Frozen Planet. I’ve been told by ‘someone in the know’ that it still goes on..with the hapless staff trying to wrangle wild beasts in the studio.


  11. s.trubble says:

    It may prove that the appointed strategist ( James Purnell, salary £350k)got it wrong.
    At the latest Charter Review they should have considered a phased introduction of a subscription model and the elimination of the Licence Tax
    Failure to do this demonstrates poor judgement ..
    Judgement clouded by arrogance, entitlement a lack of commercial savvy and a weak minister.


  12. Cranmer says:

    A relative kindly gave me a token from the Radio Times for a month’s free viewing of Netflix.
    I am impressed so far and may even take up the subs, which are a reasonable £5.99 a month.

    I have been particularly impressed by ‘The Crown’. It has great music and opening credits, flawless period detail and good acting. Granted, some of the plots are a little artificial and exaggerated for dramatic effect, but that is to be expected. What I like most of all about it is the way it presents the events as being of their time, not things which should be subjected to historical revisionism to prove that 2016 is better and more enlightened than 1953. There is no tedious working in of contemporary leftist fixations about race, sex, class etc. These themes do arise, but in a natural and unobtrusive way. In Brexit Britain where we are looking for stability and a sense of continuity as a nation, it is very well worth watching.

    I read that the BBC were offered the series but balked at it due to cost. Cost should not have been an issue, as the programme could have been made much more cheaply in that ‘BBC Shakespeare’ style of the 1970s with minimal sets and location work. I suspect what really put them off may have been the political leaning of the programme, which celebrates, albeit with reasonable criticism, the concepts of constitutional monarchy and patriotism.