Gloria de Piero: Does what has happened over the last couple of months make it harder for the BBC to justify the licence fee?
Jeremy Hunt: I think if they don’t sort this out very very quickly then yes, we will in the next few years be going back into the debate about whether the licence fee can be justified. There are voices that say in a multi-platform, multi-channel age the BBC should be a subscription service that you should be able to opt-in to, not be forced to pay the licence fee for and the justification of the licence fee is that the BBC does things that the market alone won’t provide. So I think the lesson from this is the BBC has got to be behaving like a commercial viewer, a commercial channel and it’s got to start behaving like the gold-standard that we all want to BBC to be.
Gloria de Piero: So the BBC should realise the future of the license fee as far as you’re concerned is at stake over all this?
Jeremy Hunt: Well I think it will affect the debate over the licence fee if there are not able to restore trust very quickly.
political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Jeremy Hunt Questions Future of BBC Licence Fee
In an interview with the GMTV Sunday Programme the new Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt openly questions the future of the BBC licence fee. Good for him.
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I'm all for the license fee. I don't see it as a problem, and I'm quite poor.
Ok, some awful mistakes were made, but should we really scrap the license fee because of this? Mistakes are made with peoples' lives in the NHS (some on purpose) should we stop making national insurance contributions becuase of it?
And we won't have to subscribe to the BBC either as their best programmes, after a year or so of winnowing appear on TV Gold, that comes with the Sky package.
Middle class parents would pay to subscribe to CBeebies, but there is a question of whether society wants that free to all, given the quality of it, the interest in helping kids from poorer backgrounds get a good start to life, etc etc
Maybe I should expand on my earlier point. The reason why i don't mind paying for the license fee is because we get an awful lot for it; the main plus being the website and it costs us just 36p per month each. Do people want the BBC to become like ITV and start using adverts between programmes and on its website? Have you seen the ITV website, it is nowhere near as good and the BBC's site will suffer if the license fee goes. For Jeremy Hunt to say if they don't sort this out very quickly then yes teh license fee will have to be looked at again is a knee jerk reaction.
About bloody time!
I'm sick and tired of having to pay to keep overpaid BBC apparatchiks in luxury to promote their worldview by forcing us plebs to watch hours of biased multiculti, EU-loving, English-hating, Religion-of-Peace-licking NuLab propaganda.
The point is that no matter how good or bad the BBC is, you still have to pay for it. I mainly watch ITV programmes, but I still have to pay for CBeebies and News 24. Why?
Tim says that kids TV is good for the nation overall. Perhaps it is, in which case maybe CBeebies should be funded from the education budget.
Oh yes and not to mention the BBC's empire building and stifling of commercial startups.
I have just posted this on my site . You do mean the way the BBC has treated Gordon Bropwn do you by the last two months ?
As its long-ish do please not feel obliged to read
New Statesman have an arresting front page this morning “ Game Over” , featuring Gordon Hagiographer in chief Martin Bright ......The overall tone is of blinking disbelief that it is al going so well. It gives to you some idea of badly the BBC wants to avoid a Conservative Government that even the New Statesman is bemused at what an easy time he is getting about the floods and elsewhere . They focus on coverage of the floods and breath a loud sigh of relief that the mainstream media especially the BBC appears not to have noticed the poor performance prior to and during the disaster.
1“ Browns instinct for reflection meant that he did not react as quickly as he ought to have done when the rains first hit the North of England . When the second wave hit the South he got a chance to show he could act decisively “ Bright
2 “ He has not been blamed for the floods despite cuts in flood defences that could have been laid at his door” Bright
3 “One can imagine the opprobrium that would have been heaped on Tony Blair had the flood occurred on his watch “ Editorial
4 The short terms need to prepare has been exposed as flawed. Spending on defences has been cut while warnings has not been heeded. The most egregious failure was not to act on the foresight flooding repost commissioned for ministers in 2004.( Editorial)
5“However the conclusions of an Independent review on the floods could yet damage Brown “ Bright
...well I warned months ago that we could expect independent reviews agreeing with Brown thick and fast and I doubt this will be any different . On the other hand the left knows they have got away with this . Why is the BBC ignoring this important story and focussing on the froth of the Rwanda trip which was obviously a tricky position and has nothing to do with the actual issue in hand . I have already pointed to the warnings of the All Party Committee that blamed the administrative delays of the reorganisation for projects being behind . In fact only 57% of the countries flood defences are in good working order.
..........( See para 4 above , the report predicted a 20 fold increase in the likely hood of flooding for a variety of reasons)
Most importantly when Cameon went to Witney to see his |Constituents who were already suffering , prior to his Rwanda trip, the BBC refused to cover it . Tara Hamilton Miller reveals that Cameron personally called the BBC to complain knowing how vital shots of him knee deep in Oxfordshire water were .
There is a pattern here, the BBC and the Daily Mail and others are lazy and biased with Brown to an extent that amazes even his own slavish supporters . Cameron has been brutally treated about a matter of no real importance whereas the real failings of the Labour Government which are typical of the rest of their failing have not been reported at all..
I am furious with the BBC but oddly happy to discover that I am not , as I had assumed, a Daily Mail Reader. Their supprt for Gollum Brown has estranged me forever.
The Licence fee?
Its not nearly enough, I would willingly sell my kids, my house and all its contents to help the BBC.
We are now ina period when the BBC knows it is fighting for its life and that fight means defeating the threat of David Cameron.
There was no point in them supporting Blair but Brown has been treated like a long lost son despite the fact he is trampling on their Liberal beliefs in that they have any ( see terrorism stuff today).
This is an appalling position for a democracy to be in. The state broadcaster has a direct inetrest in supporting one Party which they nakedly avail themsleves of . Andrew Marrs love in with Gordon Brown must be one of the must spineless pieces of political coverage in the history of any media .
RAGE RAGE RAGE
I take some comfort from the thought that if Cameron is being attacked by the nutty left AND the nutty right, he must be doing something right.
There seems to be a belief on the extreme right that if you're not speaking in outrageously harsh terms all the time you must be a 'liberal leftie'.
It is actually possible to be both right-wing and have a social conscience. My MP assures me that DC's beliefs and instincts are soundly Tory.
Contrary to the nonsense spouted by noolab, Conservatism isn't about unlicensed individual freedom (that's socialism) it's about trust in the collective wisdom of experience.
DC has the sense to
The BBC is in a (welcome) untenable position - if it is to justify its public service remit then that inevitbaly means producing programming that too few woudl want to pay for if given the choice. If the Beeb is to behave liek a commerical station and compete for market share then a licence fee becomes redundant.
The BBC tax made sense in the thirties, but it's days were numbered from the time ITV started.
Bottom line - if the BBC is as good as its supporters are always telling us, then why does it need to extort its revenue from viewers?
Even Jeremy Hunt can see that David Cameron's Conservatives won't get elected next time. Only this can explains his kamikaze attack on one of the major opinion formers that Dave is trying (and failing) to woo. The LibDems are past masters at proposing something which will never happen because they know they will never get into power: it's fascinating to see DC's Conservatives do exactly the same.
Looks like the interviewer questioning it and your man prevaricating to me.
I am also for the licence fee.
Even though the Beeb is a constant thorn in the side of democratic socialism.
It is actually possible to be both right-wing and have a social conscience. My MP assures me that DC's beliefs and instincts are soundly Tory. said Windsor
I would say it is impossible to be right wing in the important sense of moving towards tax cuts and self reliance unless you do concern yourself with fair access to the rewards society has.
A crucial area for a right wing government in this sense has to be education and I was terribly sorry to see this who debate sidetracked into a dead quarrel about bringing back secondary moderns but this was interpreted as Liberal Namby pambyism.
Another is to break up the societal traps into which so many fall and IDS has claimed this territory back for Conservatives in the context of families welfare traps and disincentives to helpful behaviour . This has to be the only way forward for Conservatives.
There are many more Conservatives than might appear on occasion who are trying to think through the moral grounding for Conservatism in modern context and to what extent this will include the state . I have never doubted for a second that David Cameron was a Conservative to the marrow and nothing he has said has given me any reason to doubt it .
Now Brown is picking up the Border Police idea ( having squashed it for seven years ) and in various other ways pretending to social Conservatism the lines are drawn On the one side you have a centralising statist who waves the flag when it suits him , chucks out some token foreigners ( not so many as to bother big business), and rumbles on about emergencies and toughness. On the other you have Party looking for a balance between liberty and order , taxation and services , coherence and plurality but trying to find ways government can allow people themselves to solve these problems in all their intricacy. Perhaps it doesn’t make a good slogan , but it is the way the English have organised themsleves for centuries and in general with notably more success than anyone else.
Boris for Mayor Cameron for PM and honey for tea and I `m a happy bunny
Even though the Beeb is a constant thorn in the side of democratic socialism.
I don`t belive you said that withba straight face.Admit it !
What price lies? Yes the BBC produces a phenomenal output and is one of the most successful broadcast organisations of all time. Only Goebels' propaganda ministry came close to practising the deceptions that the BBC now expects to get away with on a daily basis.
The above reported interview is a Cameroonie saying to the BBC, watch it or you're for the knackers yard.
Personally I'd be in favour of BBC break-up and Murdoch break-up to boot.
We should split up media control into a myriad of pieces and make hard and fast rules which ensure that no one ever gets the powers to lie with impunity granted to so few, ever again.
'Never in the field of human communications have so many been deceived for so long by so few.'
Winston Churchill? No.
Bin the bastards.
I stopped liking the BBC when the newsreaders stopped wearing evening dress
As we feature today http://1820.org.uk/ the fall out from the RDF 'scandal' (bow bow scrape scrape) will have a devastating affect on broadcasting in Scotland.
I feel an EBC boycott coming on...
Listen to yourselves. Are you all stupid? This paranoid obsession with supposed BBC bias is delusional. Why don’t you just admit that you just don’t like them; the BBC is effectively a nationalised industry, and you don’t like that as a principle? You whine and bash the BBC at the drop of a hat, and then you expect them to treat you more favourably than the present government. This in itself is equally a figment of your imagination. Panorama slates Brown and Blair on a weekly basis, the News output is fair and balanced, all the political programmes on BBC TV and Radio give opposition parties fair time and comment. Blair was at war with the BBC for the past 10 years, and some how you construed this as positive bias.
Your problem is simple. Riding a bike, riding with some huskies, going of to Rwanda - is news, BUT it is news for one day, worthy of only a small late slot in the programme. That is NOT bias.
I suggest you watch Sky and ITV news, they detest the current government and don’t attempt to hide their bias when reporting the news; Do you hear the Labour Party harping on about Adam Boulton et al…. Nope.
Other than The Mirror, there is no other daily national newspaper that actively supports the current government, and even they regularly given Blair and Brown a Bashing. So 90% plus of the printed news media is routinely anti Brown Blair, along with Sky and ITVs news output.
AND STILL YOU WHINE ABOUT BIAS….. GET A GRIP.
"I suggest you watch Sky and ITV news, they detest the current government and don’t attempt to hide their bias when reporting the news; Do you hear the Labour Party harping on about Adam Boulton et al…. Nope."
You don't here Labour going on about Bolton because he's was so far up Tony Blair's arse you can only see his big toes.
Blair/Nu Labour went to his wedding for fuck sake.
Bolton/Sky are hedging their bets - their not as fond of brown and would clearly prefer Milliband
It is actually possible to be both right-wing and have a social conscience. My MP assures me that DC's beliefs and instincts are soundly Tory.
Yes, and if you listen to DC he is a sound Tory and like nearly all sound Tories he has a social conscience.
Jim you are still missing the point entirely. If you don't like Sky News then you don't watch it and you don't pay for it.
If you don't like the Mail or the Sun then don't buy it.
The BBC does make some programmes attacking and some programmes in favour of all the parties but the point is that we have no control over its output because we can't opt out of paying it unless we chuck our tellies out. It is not a nationalised industry - it is one broadcaster out of many which has the competitive advantage that it doesn't have to raise its own revenue. People who don't pay go to prison, is that an acceptable model in the 21st century?
The crude partisanship of the BBC is quite laughable at times. There is a drama programme called “Casualty” for example which when the John Major government was attempting to implement more effective managerial control of NHS budgets had a hospital administrator who was little more than a pantomime villain. When the Labour Party became the governing party and implemented essentially the same policies this administrator was recast as a sympathetic character (he was also Asian and gay I recall) struggling on our behalf to make the NHS cost effective.
That New Labour apologists are supporters of the BBC tell you all you need to know about its output.
Yes Ed... Thats my point I dont think the BBC is Bias.
fr... if you see The Power Of Nightmares, The Thick Of It, The Alan Clark Diaries and the like on UK Gold, you will let me know, yes?
Listen to yourselves. Are you all stupid? This paranoid obsession with supposed BBC bias is delusional.
Really Jim I `m pleased you enjoy the output , I can refute your "impressions" with statistics on , for example , pro and anti Europe interviews , and much more ,but leaving that to one side could you just answer one simple question for me .
For which Political Party would you vote in a general Election tommorow
I just feel this would give a context to your claim that assertions of bias are delusional.......
The L,..... come on spit it out
RESTORE?! trust.The Conservative Party let itself be de-branded with the addition of the name 'Tory' in news broadcasts from mid?1996 onwards in a concurrent ploy with the introduction of the Labour/New 'Improved' Labour brand marketing exercise.The Conservatives allowed themselves to be mugged and we've had to suffer 10 years of terrible government as a result.Like a dog licking the hand that's just beaten it!!!
Thats my point I dont think the BBC is Bias.
Good for you. A formerly Labour voting doctor friend of mine told me she cannot stand the BBC any more because of the way they refused to report the MTAS crisis until the government began to wake up and do something. The BBC allowed us all to live in blissful ignorance while the NHS and thousands of careers were systematically trashed.
And Jim do you think I should be forced to pay for something just because you enjoy it - or should I have to get rid of my TV just to spite the BBC?
No point really, if people started chucking their tellies out the Beeb would just ask HMG for another rise.
The BBC News 24 as shown in France carries adverts.
The bias permeates through coverage of business stories, with an unhealthy comtempt for profits and wealth creation. Listen to reports on Tesco or BP profits, there is rarely a reference to turnover or the size of the market. Without profits real investment and real jobs cannot be created. The BBC frequently forget this.
The recent failings over the phone competitions are blamed on temps and junior staff, but this nonsense isn't new, is it.
Privatisation with shares on offer to every household suddenly becomes a very attractive proposition; it's a shame that option wasn't explored after 1979.
Finally have the BBC collaborated any of their stories of looting, profiteering and fighting over water in deepest Gloucs.
No no no no no! However bad you think the BBC schedule is, it's still a work of genius compared with what the rest of the world pumps out (certain big-budget American tv shows excluded). By all means find another stick to beat the BBC with, but don't even dream of pushing them out into the cold, miserable world of ratings-driven TV.
Rich: good point ! Maybe its a bit early for The Thick of it.
Andy in which case perhaps we should shut down all the commercial channels and be done with it?
If you simply measure the air-time given to various political parties you might conclude that the BBC was impartial. If you look a bit more closely at the content you would form a different opinion.
Why did the BBC start their report the Ealing Southall election by saying "The Conservatives were beaten into third place..."? They started in third place FFS and no serious commentator thought they had a chance of winning.
How often does the BBC allow a LibDem to respond to a government spokesmen? Too often IMO. Yesterday we had the ghastly Ming responding to Brown's proposals on detention and ID cards, and not David Davies, who actually has something sensible and important to say.
If the BBC is a public service broadcaster, why does it spend so much time grubbing around after ratings? I can't think of a single current BBC programme which I now regard as essential listening/viewing.
I think you should pay for what you watch. The licence fee belongs to another age.
The BBC does not keep at all to its charter so why should we support it when it is run by people without any integrity.
I used to be a supporter of the BBC but now hate it for what it has turned into.
The crude partisanship of the BBC is quite laughable at times. There is a drama programme called “Casualty” for example which when the John Major government was attempting to implement more effective managerial control of NHS budgets had a hospital administrator who was little more than a pantomime villain…..
Oh really…. You clearly haven’t been watching Casualty or Holby city recently. Only a few weeks ago there was a story line slating the “Hospital Cuts”, and “Recruitment Problems”….Not exactly a pro government story lines. Then there is the “Thick Of It” comedy programme which takes joy in lampooning Blair Brown into a pulp… Hardly more BBC bias.
I think the political bias of the BBC was neatly exemplified by a comment made by the BBC’s economic editor Evan Davies on a programme about ‘The Simpson’s’ last night. He praised the fact that this cartoon series brought our attention to the fact that if you want better “public services” you have to pay for them. It does not seem to have occurred to him that letting people keep more of their own money increases their freedom to make their own decisions about their healthcare and education et al.
The assumption that the State knows best how to spend the money they extract from the Harry Potter reading tax serfs they so despise is unquestioned.
The BBC is essentially the broadcasting arm of the Guardian reading Leftist establishment [the tax funded elite thought police whose ill concealed hatreds and lust for power have so impoverished the vitality of our country] – wants to prevent you even forming the notion that there is an alternative to rule by a tax funded bureaucracy.
Not all parts of the BBC are equally biased, but overall there is a strong institutional leaning to the centre left mixed with a large dose of infiltration from the far left, expressed mostly in hostility for the war in Iraq, Israel, America and blind defence of anything related to Islam. There is a very wide range of organisations from think tanks like Chatham House to so-called experts like Alistair Crooke and Mark Malloch Brown (now of course in the government) who are virtually embedded in the fabric of the BBC. Key 'flagship' programmes like Today pump out this institutional bias day after day. It is also a mistake to think that there has been blanket support for NuLab, which was never unified anyway. Until Blair's demise there were really only Blairites and Brownites and key BBC elements have always supported Brown and been out to annihilate Blair. Brown agitated very early on against his 'enemies'in the party who were picked off one by one with high levels of complicity from the Today programme in particular. Kevin Marsh (the old editor of Today) had strong links with the Brown camp and a longstanding feud with Alistair Campbell well before the Gilligan showdown. Brown, who staggeringly has managed to present an anti-spin image, has worked tirelessly across the print and broadcast media to gain slavish adherents - something he seems to have an unparalleled capacity to achieve. Having despatched Blair all fire is on Cameron - the main reason, in my view, why Cameron is getting it in the neck now. Brown and his media cronies will be relentless in their pursuit no matter what Cameron does. A metaphorical Siberia, already peopled with the political corpses of Labourites like John Reid and Alan Milburn who dared to cross swords with Brown can be just as deadly in political terms as the real one. The Brown/BBC block could be the graveyard of democracy as we know it.
And now that Auntie has transferred her affections to Cameron, what is his problem?
I can only comment on what I have seen and heard - I have not watched an episode of “Casualty” for years. The fact that many BBC employees despise New Labour as being too right wing is hardly evidence of their political balance. You think the BBC does not promote a poisonous and self-interested Leftist agenda. Great. You can watch or listen or read anything you want. Just do not expect me to subsidise your preferences.
the BBC’s economic editor Evan Davies on a programme about ‘The Simpson’s’ last night. He praised the fact that this cartoon series brought our attention to the fact that if you want better “public services” you have to pay for them
I noticed that, did you see how he clearly thought of the ruling class as beset by the tiresome illogicality of the deluded electorate . The scary thing is how these assumptions are unexamined by the BBC for the very obvious reason that they see themselves as part of this ruling class .I have previously posted on the very many current affairs insiders at the Beeb have actually worked for the Labour Party at times . The Queen Bee being Polly T who was editor of Social Affairs. Why not have Iain Paisley as N Ireland correspondent ...same thing.
It is true that the bias is more obvious away from direct current affairs .The quarter of an hours spent swearing at David Cameron brought the 80s back on Mock The Week the other day and by the way the standard of British comedy is appalling as is the vernacular drama . This I attribute to the clammy dead hand of the state there are few of the left that would appreciate this being the godawful bores ,barbarians and bourgeois pointy heads they are
Now there’s a funny thing , looks like the man unable to discern anything but sweet equality in the output of the BBC "Jim " ,feels unable to tell us who he votes for . Come on , don`t be shy , ....... it the L...........
DEATH TO AUNTIE BEEB!
So what does Jeremy think? Should the licence fee be scrapped? He won't say.
It's typical mealy-mouthed Cameroon try-to-have-it-both-ways stuff. If the Tories believe the BBC should be privatised, there is a respectable (though I think wrong) case to be made and they should come out and say it. But to witter on about "reopening the debate about the licence fee" in the hope that it will keep the Right happy without upsetting anybody else is feeble. What a Jeremy, as they say in Central Office.
I think the execs getting hige bonus payments then having to own up to faking programmes is a huge waste of licence fee money.
If this is how it gets spent then yes scrap it
They Lord about in Taxi's,lunches,foreign trips lavish bonus's then cheat us
Who is the fool here ?
Oi! Don't knock Jeremy Hunt, he is a fantastic MP.
I think "opening a debate" is exactly the kind of thing everyone of every allegiance should be doing. Accepting the status quo unthinkingly is exactly the kind of irrational "conservatism" that Blair railed against in his first term. "That's the way it's always been done" is the first argument of the intellectually weak.
Let's debate the issue, bring facts and figures out in to the open, have a discussion and then decide the way forward. To suggest that any party should have a permanently fixed position on every issue is ridiculous!
Well done Mr Hunt for opening the debate and Mr Dale for publicising it.
Some interesting comments here.
Personally I am a little split on this one, depending on whether I listen to my head or heart.
In theory the fact that we all have to pay this subscription fee whether we like the BBC's output or not is ludicrous and the BBC really should be open to market forces like the rest of us. As Ed pointed out the arguments about whether the BBC is biased or not is completely irrelevant. If it is some social good, why is it not state funded rather than this funny TV licence thing.
Having said that personally I think the BBC offers great value for money to me with it's TV, radio and new media output and I would be very unhappy to see it lose it's funding. The BBC is one of the things that is great about Britain, this is why people from all over the world watch, listen and read to BBC output.
Ed - my point is that Jeremy does have a fixed, ideological view but he's afraid to speak it publicly.
Funny how all the politicians bang on about choice in the NHS, choice in schools etc but TV viewers have absolutely no choice in whether to subscribe to the BBC.
Here's the solution, sell BBC subscription for , say, £15 a month and see how many people sign up (even if only for their apparently wonderful website!) Yep we all know the answer to that one...
Does he? Do you know this or are you just saying that, because he wears a blue rosette, his personal view must be X?
Newmania would be too young to remember, but 12 or 15 years ago British satire was a nightly, primetime outpouring of the most hysterical abuse, directed towards the Major Government and all its works.
It then stopped more or less entirely, immediately after the 1997 Election and the death of Princess Diana (its other favourite target).
And now it seems to have come back as rubbish like 'A Very Social Secretary' (or 'Blind Man Has Sex Ha Ha') and 'Confessions Of A Diary Secretary' (or 'Fat Man Has Sex Ha Ha'). Will we ever have proper satire again?
But then, did we ever really have it in the first place? The "satire boom" of the early Sixties was an entirely self-falsifying affair, in which spilt sons of privilege illustrated just how spoilt and privileged they were by being given television studios and West End stages when just out of university (or even while still there), courtesy of older spoilt sons of privilge, but in order to bang on about how Britain was being run into the ground by spoilt sons of privilege.
£15 a month and see how many people sign up
Exactly! If enough people sign up there won't be any need for adverts. I reckon lots of people would sign up - just keep an eye out for satellite dishes and you'll get a good estimate of how many people pay good money for guff TV!
David Lindsay - have you not seen 'the thick of it'? Brilliant
This is a good example of the sort of bias the BBC habitually displays . Anthony Browne recorded an interview for the BBC`s today programme that did not get aired although it was due to be. Here is why it was cut
It concerned the sensitive issue of the exponential rise of HIV in Britain since Labour was elected in 1997 . This might seem a but much to be blaming on the Labour Party but in a sense it is their fault . Figures from the Government’s Public health Laboratory Services in 2006 were showing a 25% rise in one year with almost all the increase being among heterosexuals. The government and the media with the BBC to the fore had been warning for years about the danger of complacency among hetero sexual ever since the number of cases contracted swept past the number of homosexual cases and we can see that this fits the “progressive” soi disant BBC agenda well in any case. The government minister was responding on the Today programme with a new sexual awareness campaign for teenagers , a little like Gollum Brown`s hearts and minds millions squandered on the Muslims . Safe sex that sort of thing you probably remember it .
The truth is that the increase had nothing to do with this group and was almost entirely driven by immigrants chiefly African coming here already infected and testing positive once here . the BBC pulled this piece knowing full well that the evidence was irrefutable and in any case the truth could hardly be hidden for long . The Guardian and the BBC continued to run material attacking the position and even now there is a dimly remembered doubt . There is no doubt. The facts are there to be seen and the resources which could have helped have gurgled down the plug hole .
That is the BBC for you and the interesting fact here is the way they lied and lined up with the Guardian to defend their position. They knew they were lying but the attitude deep down is “pssssssst ..these people are too stupid to know the truth .... Nanny Beeb knows best”
PS yes I do blame the Labour Party . Immigration is at four times the rate now it was in the 90s ( when it was high) and it was the wider left constituency that were unable to face one unpleasant consequence of that
I stopped liking the BBC when the newsreaders stopped wearing evening dress
July 26, 2007 1:54 PM
Newsreaders were expected to wear evening dress even on the RADIO.
Resorting to blaming the BBC for all the Tory ills is an admission that the game is finally up for Cameron. He had a very long honeymoon, and the BBC reported his many outings in detail; there were no cries of bias during this extended holiday period. If in doubt kill the messenger. Bad move, the messenger is your life blood, hack them off and you may as well cut your own ball off. The BBC is not bias. Did you all actually expect a day by day 10 minute update of Cameron in Rwanda on the 10 O clock news…. Don’t be ridiculous.
Jim is onto something here: if Cameron and his lot ever said or did anything politically serious, then it would be reported. But they never do and they never will, because they can't - such things are beyond them. The Hug A Hutu outing, like so much else, was unworthy of the BBC's attention, and therefore did not receive it. Take the hint.
Newmania would be too young to remember, but 12 or 15 years a...
Thanks I think , I`m 43 and I do remember . I wasn`t thinking along especially doctrinaire lines or of clever-dick satire just the general poverty of mass entertainment compared to the out put of the US , Frasier , 24 ,..loads of good stuff .The Simpsons in fact.
We have lost it and the Beeb cannot be touted as the guardian of our preminent position in this area as it often is
I see Labour Supporting Jimbo is still unable to detect bias.
Hey N, the Americans do have a "home market advantage" in that their market is able to sustain companies putting a million bucks an episode into The Simpsons etc. our industry would never be able to do that.
The BBC is risk averse so often turns down good shows just in case they don't turn out to be good. Isn't that the supposed point of "the unique way we are funded"??
newmania [4.18 PM] "Very many current affairs insiders at the Beeb have actually worked for the Labour Party at times, the Queen Bee being Polly T who was editor of Social Affairs."
Indeed. A grotesque appointment. But I suspect for people working at the BBC this demented woman is 'mainstream'.
....It concerned the sensitive issue of the exponential rise of HIV in Britain since Labour was elected in 1997.
.......almost entirely driven by immigrants chiefly African coming here already infected and testing positive once here.
Isn't it about time we had mandatory HIV testing of would-be immigrants? Canada, Australia, New Zealand and USA all have this requirement.
If necessary it could be targeted at immigrants from high-incidence countries.
...i don't mind paying for the license fee is because we get an awful lot for it; the main plus being the website and it costs us just 36p per month each. Do people want the BBC to become like ITV and start using adverts between programmes and on its website?
"We" get an awful lot for it? I get nothing for it. I never watch TV, I just watch DVDs. For this, I pay £135 a year.
You can make any sum sound trivial just by dividing it by 365. £135 a year? Gosh, that's only 36p a day. Unfortunately for this argument, you can do it the other way round too. £135 a year is approximately £30,000 over 50 years. Doesn't sound so cheap now does it? Thirty thousand quid for CBeebies? Or indeed for nothing at all, in most cases. Everybody who pays a licence fee pays £30,000 for the privilege whether they watch it or not. My pension fund could do with that money.
The whole "it's good value" argument is based on extortion anyway. The BBC's market share is about 20 to 25% which means that in the this country it's "good value" because only one in five people who are forced to pay for it actually uses it. If the BBC were allowed to charge only those who use it, and let's face it the technology exists, then the "great value" fee of £135 would be five times that, or getting on for £700 a year. Would you still think it good value at £700 a year? No, thought not.
Also can we dispense with the laughable fiction that there are no ads on the BBC? The BBC is absolutely packed with ads: for other BBC output. Ads for BBC programmes, ads for the BBC website, ads for BBC competitions, and - until banned by a court - ads for the BBC Radio Times. In fact, until relatively recently, nobody was allowed to publish a full BBC programme schedule for the week ahead except the BBC, thus forcing you to either watch the ads or pay more for the BBC comic too.
You've been conditioned into not noticing that they're ads, because they're on the BBC and they're about the BBC, but ads they are.
I think the state should get back into making cars as well. If the principle is right for broadcasting, it's right for everything else. How it would work is the state would decide what sort of car we might like to drive and then about 1 in 5 people would go out and buy one. Its sales price ought to be £30,000, but because everybody pays for it whether or not it's the sort of car they want or not, it would only cost £6,000. 4 out of 5 people don't want one, but they'd still be forced on threat of prison to pay £6,000 for it.
It would be fantastic value for money for me - screw everybody else, of course - and they shouldn't complain because £6,000 is only £16 a day, and what could be fairer than that? And what a national treasure the cars would be too - the envy of the world!
18 million quid for the foul mouthed idiotic Jonathan Woss?
abolish the license fee.
Nice to see a front-bench politician actually say this publicly for once. Debate is always stifled on this very important subject.
Other people's TV and radio isn't important enough to demand a compulsory tax and in 5 years everyone will have to be digital so the possibility, for the ability of every household, to receive encrypted channels, becomes a reality. That means if people don't pay it, they can be denied BBC output. SIMPLE! If idiots like, Baldcockbaldrick, love the W*****rs so much, you can pay them double if you want and let others decide if they want to pay for blatant left-wing news propaganda and new cashmere socks for Terry Wogan or Wossy.
Good to have a debate.
The problem is the people who pretend to have a debate about the license fee, when in fact their objective is to break up the BBC.
On John Redman's post:
1. If you really only watch DVDs, buy a screen with no tuner in it. If you have no device capable of receiving live broadcast TV signals, you don't owe a licence fee. No-one is taxing anyone anything for the right to watch DVDs. Although I'd still disagree with them, I have (a little) more sympathy with those who claim only to watch commercial TV.
2. Reach to BBC TV services (ie the proportion of people who use them) is *84 per cent*. Every week. To all BBC Services (ie TV, radio and online), the figure is 94 per cent. The figure you quote is share of viewing, which is something else entirely.
Happy to have the debate, but it'd be nice for it to have some basis in fact once in a while.
If the BBC were run by Rupert Murdoch there would [rightly] be complaints about it being very unhealthy for a broadcaster to be so dominant in the UK. So yes in the interests of plurality the BBC ought to be broken up into smaller competing units. Is drawing attention to this claim supposed to be some sort of devastating criticism? Yet another example of the double standards of the Left.
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