Let’s Have a Referendum on the BBC

BY JAMES TOWNLEY

Since the British Broadcasting Corporation came into existence on the first of January 1927, it has attempted to remain market-free by defending its necessity for impartiality. Its first General Manager John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, succeeded in building a high wall against the US-style, free-for-all broadcasting model in which the name of the game was to attract the largest audiences and thereby secure the highest levels of advertising revenue. There was no paid advertising on the BBC back then; all the revenue came from a tax on receiving sets. Today, still, the BBC offers an advertising-free product and relies on billions from the obligatory TV license fee paid by you and me.

But the BBC is not impartial, if it ever was. Take the following three areas, amongst others:

  • Brexit
  • Trump
  • Facebook & Other Social Media

With the EU referendum and Brexit, the BBC has independently been judged to be biased in favour of Remain. We all knew that the BBC was pro-EU and you’d have to be dense not to have detected the organisation’s bias during the EU referendum campaign; its funereal assessments consequent to the referendum poll really gave their game away. The BBC’s parroting of the most negative Brexit assessments became an embarrassment for the organisation when they failed to materialise – Comical Ali.

I amongst others despair at the disparaging daily Trump headlines on the BBC website like “Is Pence distancing himself from Trump?” and “Russia: The scandal Trump can’t shake” – the BBC’s North America correspondent Anthony Zurcher might as well be Hillary Clinton for the bile he comes out with about the Trump administration. What Russia scandal? Is there one? It’s almost as if Trump called the BBC fake news and they have decided as an organisation out of spite to cosy up to CNN, the New York Times (Ex BBC DG Mark Thompson is the NYT CEO) and Wall Street Journal to ensure that Trump fails.

Then the attacks on BBC competitors like Facebook and YouTube are unremitting: as if Facebook is somehow to blame for not censoring and monitoring the billions of pages of content on its platform. Articles like this one on Monday can almost be interpreted as meaning, why are you people on Facebook or Twitter when you should be soaking up our worthy BBC propaganda in a safe, banal, BBC environment?

The infiltration of the BBC by cultural Marxists is familiar – BBC news is a retirement home for failed Labour MPs and their special advisers. The sex scandals emanating from the BBC are infamous. The nepotism at the expense of meritocracy is there on show for all to witness in the Snows, Balls, Dimblebys, Magnussons, Buerks and others. The BBC’s failure to rein in its stars on social media has uncovered how much of an echo chamber the BBC has become – Gary Lineker on Match of the Day springs to mind. The extraordinary expenditure of the organisation on a lot of rubbish – and some quality content – is clear for all to see, as are the fines and sentences passed on those who fail to pay the BBC license fee, even after being manhandled by BBC-appointed bailiffs.

Whatever BBC proponents such as the DJ Jeremy Vine claim, the BBC is really not good value for money at £145.50 a year. You can get loads of superior film and TV content, along with games and other entertainment with Amazon Prime for £79.99 a year. Add in a broadband service and Sky is far better value. Netflix is only £5.99 a month.

The BBC has become so unrepresentative of the people who feed it, there are only two solutions for it: either remove the license fee altogether and start running commercials (thereby becoming attuned to the actual market – that’s us) or close down.

Let’s have a referendum on it.

I prefer the former option. The best bits will survive in a market-driven environment and the chaff will disappear, just as the Guardian will soon be forced to close or revolutionise its content offering when its offshore trust dries up. The Government can pick up the tab to continue the parts that are useful to Government and Britain’s image abroad (world service, Wood Norton, BBC Listening etc.) – perhaps they can even re-interview for their posts some of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb ut Tahrir, Hezbollah and other infiltrators who currently live off our license fees “working” in such places.

Either which way, let’s temporarily remove the word British from the BBC. You no longer represent us. Those calling for the BBC to reform or close are no longer the green inkers – it’s the bulk of Britons, many of whom really can’t bring themselves to be associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Replace British with Bolshevik or something that male cows produce a lot of – something more representative of what the BBC has sunk to of late. And let’s get on with a BBC referendum. The BBC of John Reith – your time was up decades ago.

James Townley works as a Producer for a TV production company in Edinburgh. He used to work for the BBC as a cameraman before moving to the private sector in the late 1990’s. 

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