bbc

Eagerly Awaiting

I-Married-a-Communist.jpgImpartiality lies at the heart of public service and is the core of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences.  It applies to all our output and services – television, radio, online, and in our international services and commercial magazines.  We must be inclusive, considering the broad perspective and ensuring the existence of a range of views is appropriately reflected.

The above is from the BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality.

Try and keep that quote in mind as you listen to the BBC’s (most recent) hatchet job on Marxism. You can listen to it here.

I am not a Marxist but I did bristle a bit as with a combination of insinuation, overt statements and “Oh come now, it’s all just a bit silly and you’ll grow out of it”, the programme does its best to show that it’s all never worked before and couldn’t work ever, before bringing us on to the new Red Techno Menace.

I am eagerly awaiting the next documentary which will, in the interests of BBC impartiality of course, show why it is still relevant and why, just like capitalism, along with the horrors there have been a list of achievements by people following that ideology.

I suspect I may be eagerly awaiting for a long time, particularly given that the BBC, on the very same page about its guidelines, gives itself a get-out clause and an excuse for NOT having any kind of impartiality…

Due impartiality is often more than a simple matter of ‘balance’ between opposing viewpoints.  Equally, it does not require absolute neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic principles.

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Meter Blown

On this episode of BBC Hardtalk with Christine Lagarde, the current managing director of the IMF, the journalist who was interviewing her had this to say on the subject of Brexit (at around 11 minutes)…

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“Are you comfortable with the idea that the IMF is now making statements which clearly play a huge political role in an internal, democratic, British debate? What right does the IMF have to play that sort of role?”

That is actually a reasonable question, but wait a minute, I think we need to use the hypocrisy meter again…mmm, seems like a high score.

Anyone who can stomach thinking back to their behaviour around the indyref time will know that the BBC didn’t seem to have such a problem groups intervening in that particular “internal, democratic, British debate“. In fact, they seemed to make a show of it every time someone wanted to stick an oar in.

Let’s have a brief look. This was a short search, have a look yourself and you will find many, many more…

What business is it of the USA?

BBC Obama

Or Spain?

 

BBC Spain

Should supermarkets really be trying to influence democratic votes?

BBC Supermarkets

What about Deutsche Bank? Are banks to dictate democratic processes?

BBC Deutsche Banl

And what about the IMF itself?

BBC IMF

As I said earlier, I don’t believe that his question to Lagard was unfair, far from it, but I don’t recall Obama, Rajoy, Barroso, Deutsche Bank, the IMF and many more being told to keep their noses out of it back then. Or even being asked “what right they have” to give their opinion on it.

This Is Not Happening

CfmKX1EW4AA7XyD.jpg largeSo far no mention of this so far on the BBC, I am convinced they will mention it in passing soon enough though.

I am also sure when they do eventually bother to mention it they will go with the official police estimate that there were only 3 people there.

I can see quite a few more than that. You can see them too in the photos below…

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No, the BBC (so far) is still continuing with another take on the story.

David Cameron (who misses his Dad), could have handled the breaking of the story better, and that is all folks.

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Oh and as a last point, as I pointed out in the previous post, it might be better if we just ignore the Cameron story and focus on the fact that North Korea is bad.

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A Little History Of The ‘Scottish Six’

To echo a recent comment piece in The National, independence supporters who are against a ‘Scottish Six’ programme, might want to take a look at who is/ was against it, and why.

The reasons given against a ‘Scottish Six’ news show by independence supporters are often that BBC Scotland is incompetent and/or biased and would make a mess of the whole thing.

Angel TonyThe reasons given against a ‘Scottish Six’ news show by unionists are usually that it would reduce quality or would increase costs (whether or not the current BBC News output is either quality or value for money is also worthy of scrutiny).

However, it seems that those latter objections, when this debate came round a few years ago, may well have been put forward for motives that were less than transparent…

Let’s take a look at this story in the Guardian from 2002

The Scottish National Party is heading for a showdown with the BBC’s director general, Greg Dyke, after it emerged Tony Blair blocked the corporation developing a “Scottish Six” evening news bulletin in 1998.

But it didn’t start with the bLIAR…

The Blair revelations were made in an interview given by the former director general, John Birt, who said he asked the prime minister to help undermine moves to abolish UK-wide BBC news bulletins.

Lord Birt believed at the time that a Scottish Six O’Clock News would have been “totemic” of the break-up of the UK, only a year after Scotland had voted for devolution.

I argued that we should follow constitutional change; it was not our role to lead it. Mr Blair was quick, as ever, to grasp the case. ‘Let’s fight,’ he said,” Lord Birt revealed in an interview with the Sunday Herald.

The underlined above might also give you a line on the mentality of some of the higher echelons of the BBC when the referendum came around.

Of course, as ever, Blair went to his ‘go to’ man, who also happens to be everyone else’s ‘go away’ man…

It is alleged that Mr Blair enlisted the help of Peter Mandelson, then minister without portfolio, to prevent the proposal going through, even though it had the backing of the Broadcasting Council for Scotland and BBC Scotland management.

The last line of the Guardian article is also interesting…

The BBC is committed to reviewing its Scottish programming after the parliamentary elections next May.

That review finished with not much changing. It would be an opportunity missed if that were to happen again.

My own view is that a ‘Scottish Six’ can only be an improvement on what we get now. If you are not convinced of that then at least take a look at who is against it (and why), and then think again about whether you want to support it.