Open letter to the new DG of the BBC

 

Dear DG,

Congratulations on your appointment. You have a great job and an important task. Many of us are proud of the best of the BBC, and agree that much of its programming produces good quality entertainment and interesting debate.  Some of your critics come from both the political “right” and the political ” left”, claiming that the BBC has institutional bias against their parties.

I do not believe that BBC broadcasters overall have a systematic bias pro Labour or anti Conservative. I have heard good journalists give tough interviews to Labour Ministers, just as they rightly give tough interviews to Conservative Ministers. During the Labour years the BBC did cover the scandals and problems that afflicted Labour, as well as Conservatives.  As the BBC often says to a complainant, the fact that both sides have causes to complain proves they are getting something right.

 

I do, however, think the BBC has an institutional bias when it comes to general views of the world. For too long the BBC has given much too much favourable airtime to those who think the EU, the Euro and all that goes with it is a good idea. Those of us who criticised the project were, until recently, given less time, interrupted more, and often introduced in a way designed to make us appear wrong or worse. Recent interviews have attempted to balance it a bit more on the issue of the Euro, given the daily news of its problems. There is still bias when it comes to examining the debate about long term membership of the EU. The BBC still comes over as believing leaving the EU is an extreme or impractical option. BBC interviewers seem to be soundbite trained to assume we could not trade with the EU if we left it, and to assume that 3 million jobs would disappear overnight if we quit!

The same problem dogs the Corporation’s treatment of climate change theory. The BBC takes the view that the “science is settled”. Any intelligent person should know that by definition the science is never settled. Newtonian physics was a gerat breakthrough, which settled the view of the heavens. In the twentieth century its was challenged and improved. Many intelligent people have many different reaons for disagreeing with  pure climate change theory and more importantly with the policy conclusions that flow from it in the debate. The BBC does all too little to give these dissenting voices decent airtime,to explore their disagreements and to allow viewers and listeners to make up their own minds. If the conventional theory is as all conquering as the BBC says, it should be able to handle grown up examination of its alleged shortcomings from its critics. Tackling fuel poverty and promoting more industry in the UK, two popular causes even with the BBC, are difficult to combine with carbon puritanism.

There is above all at the BBC an assumption that state spending is good and more state spending is better. Rarely does the BBC give proper airtime to the case for greater freedom and lower taxes. So many interviews are arranged to regret “the cuts” and to find governmental answers to social and family problems. Even “Thought for the day”, the so called religious slot, is usally taken up with more political commentary of a particular kind, where the department, policy or Minister being criticised does not get to answer back.

 

Yours sincerely

 

John Redwood

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255 Comments

  1. Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    “Many of us are proud of the best of the BBC, and agree that much of its programming produces good quality entertainment and interesting debate”

    Many of us aren’t and I would bet a quick straw poll of blog readers puts you in the minority on this one.

    As ever the TV poll tax issue is unaddressed. Having given up on MP’s to do anything, I fancy technology and evasion will eventually destroy it.

    • Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Quite so. We threw out the TV some years ago, for two reasons.

      1. Most TV is utter crap. BBC no different to any of the other channels, indeed, BBC1 is indistinguishable from ITV now, except that the former has a never-ending parade of Left Wing “comedians” on it, who get a sinecure as soon as they say “Thatcher”

      2. I refused to fund the propaganda wing of the Labour Party. John, you are wrong on this, as indeed, Thompson noted on his assumption of the DG’s job. Listening to R4 tells me little has changed.

      Then you can get anything you want if you look hard enough out there. We’re giving the Ozzies a pounding in the 4th OD, by the way.

      Who needs a TV?

  2. colliemum
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Very well said, John!

    I’d add my signature to that letter in no time flat.

    • Timaction
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      I’d ask the Governement to privatise the BBC so that we have a choice on the BBC tax. I don’t want to pay for its news and current affairs propaganda.
      On another note Mr Redwood can you comment on the truth or otherwise that the Lisbon Treaty will introduce “qualified majority voting” in November 2014 that will prohibit us having a referendum on leaving the EU monster? Is this why europhile Mr Cameron is kicking the EU can down the Road?

      Reply: As farv as I am concerned the UK Parliament can anytime legislate for a referendum. I also want us to start legislating in EU controlled areas by saying in the Bill “The 1972 EU Act notwithstanding…”

      • APL
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        JR: “I also want us to start legislating in EU controlled areas by saying in the Bill “The 1972 EU Act notwithstanding…”

        Good God! Mr Redwood, are you trying to attract disaffected Tories back into the party?

        • Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. It took me 40 years to vote Conservative, and 40 weeks to realised that I hadn’t voted for a Conservative Party, rather a pale blue tinged Social Democrat Party.

  3. IW
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    An excellent letter, as we’ve come to expect.

    When something is funded by a tax its almost inevitable that the “fulcrum” of its balance will favour tax & spend.

    The motivation behind the zeal with which a pro EU & climate change agenda is pursued, to the point of propaganda, seems a little harder to fathom.

    • Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      It is not really not that hard to understand why climate change is so high on so many people’s agenda, if one accepts the scientific fact that climate change is real and happening. It is only puzzling to those who are still blind to that possibility.

      • Mark
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Your blind faith is touching.

        Yesterday, we had the announcement of the 5 sigma level discovery of the Higgs boson. It was regarded as a big step, but despite the minuscule probability of being wrong, that possibility is still acknowledged until the result is replicated elsewhere to similar standards. The recent controversy over faster than light neutrinos gives a good reason why they should have such a cautious approach.

        Moreover, living off some of the beams created by the LHC there was an interesting experiment in the effects of radiation on atmospheric physics known as the CLOUD project. This demonstrated conclusively that the models used in cloud formation that are fundamental to the climate models are simply wrong.

        • uanime5
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          Firstly clouds are only a minor factor in climate change. Secondly the way clouds form has no effect on climate change, all that’s important is that they do form.

          • DennisA
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

            Surely you jest? The whole debate about the effect of CO2 on climate is due to the treatment of feedback from water vapour as positive, when climate scientists such as Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen believe it to be the opposite. Climate sensitivity is way overstated by the IPCC and observation shows quite clearly that for the last few years, increasing CO2 has not been warming the planet, any more than it did in the 60′ and 70′s when there was a similar cooling period to that which we are currently experiencing (and a heat wave in some US States does does not prove differently). When it comes to climate, historical evidence shows warmer periods than now, when CO2 was lower.

            The “Global Warming” theory, which is still what it is, depends on a multiplicity of climate models, fed with inputs that are guaranteed to give the conclusion. required.

            Regarding the letter, 10 out of 10 John. The style of the intro is fine. If you want someone to consider what you are saying, you don’t start with all guns blazing.

          • Clunking Fist
            Posted July 12, 2012 at 1:36 am | Permalink

            “Firstly clouds are only a minor factor in climate change. ”

            Oh dear, I think you had better become acquainted with the theory in which you seem to believe. Sorry, I meant “accept”.

        • stred
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          Anybody know where the Higgs gets its own mass, that it donates to the other supersymmetric fermions? Also, could the resonance be a high mass virtual gluon/quark from the proton/antiproton smash?

      • Little White Squibba
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        What Aunt Sallies among your acquaintance do not accept that “climate change is real and happening”? That, as you must perfectly well know, is not where the disagreement occurs.

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Climate change is indeed happening and it always has, Co2 is clearly one of very many factors that affect it. There has been no significant warming since 1998 despite increasing c02 concentrations.

        The huge exaggerations and scare stories pushed by the BBC, Al Gore, Cameron and Government are just that (and an attempt to justify an every bigger state, world government, more parasitic jobs, carbon credits and state intrusion). If you cannot predict the climate in a months time for say August, you are rather unlikely to be able to do in the 100 years time.

        Predicting lottery balls (10 seconds later) is clearly rather easier to do. No sensible scientist would suggest predicting the future of a complex chaotic system in 100 years time is realistic, without even knowing the future sun activity it is absurd (unless perhaps they were being paid and encouraged so to do).

        On balance, a little hotter, seems to be better than colder anyway.

        • Hopper
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink

          “If you cannot predict the climate in a months time, say August”

          I can ….its going to rain

          (so much for all of the met office forecasts, you can have all of the dx/dy equations….it comes down to chaos theory, a butterfly flaps its wings over mount Fuji and you get flooding in Doncaster.

          • lifelogic
            Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            They have now predicted rain for two + month so I now rather expect a hot dry August and September.

      • Richard
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        What… one degree rise in the 20th century average global temperature and no rise since 2000?
        Land that Gore said would be under water now, still visible?
        Its not “scientific fact” it is however current scientific group think.
        Best keep an open mind, look at the strength of the data and arguments on both sides, which the BBC totally fails to do.

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          Indeed but mainly just government funded scientists group think.
          Not the sensible scientist that I know and read.

      • Bob
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Agg

        No one can dispute that the climate changes, always has and always will.

        What is not proven is that human activity is the driving force behind the change.

        The current hysteria over the climate appears to be driven more by politics and money than science.

        • uanime5
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          What politics and money is driving climate change? Also how are they more powerful than Big Oil, which denies climate change exists because it hurts their profits.

          • DennisA
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            You are obviously unaware of the considerable sums of money poured into climate institutions such as the $ 100 million over ten years from Exxon to Stanford University where the late Dr Stephen Schneider was a major promoter of global warming theory and an activist for “carbon” taxation.

            BP gave Princeton major funding for a climate institute, from where Professor Michael Oppenheimer has promulgated global warming theory and is one of the originators of the “2 degrees or disaster” meme which is now the mantra of the EU and all environmental groups.

            The US government has spent over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, education campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks.

            The “crock of gold” was to be “carbon” trading and major global financial institutions have all been involved, pushing for a floor price for “carbon”. Some of those advising government policy have dual roles, with executive positions in prominent trading companies.

            The politics? Well, that is the continuing attempts by the UN to control nations by mechanisms such as Agenda 21. Read about Rio +20 and the UN document “The Future We Want”.

            There is a continuing effort to establish a global Green Fund, agreed at the Copenhagen Climate Conference. Chris Huhne was a member of the UN panel set up by Ban Ki Moon to explore methods of collection, one of which is the “Tobin” tax, now favoured by the EU. Also members of that panel were Lord Stern of the Gordon Brown-commissioned Stern Review, and Christine Lagarde, now head of the IMF. Oh, we mustn’t forget George Soros, the hedge fund billionaire, who made a fortune out of the UK’s experience with the ERM.

      • Julian Hooper
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        It seems fairly certain that climate change is taking place. After all it has been happening for very many million years and there seems little reason to think that it is going to stop now. What is totally unproven is the idea that it is caused by the activities of man who has not been on the planet that long.
        Julian

      • Antisthenes
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Climate change is undoubtedly happening as it has done ever since the world formed it’s oxygen bearing atmosphere and before. What is in doubt is how much the current change is being caused naturally and how much by humans. Animal, vegitation, geological and extra terrestrial activity have always had a profound effect on the climate none of it fully understood. So the science is not settled. So the effects of climate change cannot be be properly predicted except that it is now becoming clear that some of the effects will be damaging and some will be beneficial as has always been the case. What is astounding is that politicians are prepared to commit billions of taxpayers money to counter a threat that no one knows really exists or at least understands on projects that we now know will damage the economy and local environments (that they say they are saving).

      • David
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Have you read the Hockey Stick illusion?

        Why did the “climate scientists” keep their data secret if their science was irrefutable?

      • Manof Kent
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        …and no warming at all since 1998 despite ever greater CO2 emissions.
        CO2 is a trace gas constituting 1/27th of 1% of the air .
        We are told that water vapour [about 10%] amplifies CO2 effects and this is built into climate change computer programmes .The resulting ‘forecasts’ have proved quite wrong ,prompting some to envisage a compensating factor at work in the atmosphere.
        Much trouble was taken by Cern to achieve a 99.97% degree of certainty on Higgs Boson;with no disagreement from other scientists.
        If only there was the same degree of openness in the Climate Change field the degree of uncertainty in the science ,which appears to be huge,could be properly evaluated .
        This might prompt policy changes by Govt.

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        So when did climate not change? If there is one thing EVERYONE knows about climate, it is that it changes. Which is why it was warmer than it now is during the MWP, despite far lower co2 concentration, and why the LIA saw of one third of the population of Northern Europe.

        Next? Try thinking for yourself, eh?

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        You seem to confuse two issues.
        1. That climate changes – of course it does, always has and always will. This is a fact.
        2. That man made emissions of CO2 CAUSE that change. This is not a fact, it is a hypothesis. Currently I know of no scientific evidence that supports this hypothesis.
        Remember correlation is no proof of causation. Also remember that computer models cannot produce evidence of anything. They are merely models which have shown themselves to be unable to model the past recent climate (last 120 years), let alone make correct projections about future climate. Thus the IPCC projections based on the models are currently 300% out.
        This shows that the modellers do not know what they are doing. The trouble is they are costing the taxpayer a lot of money – £30 million for starters – and they want much more.

  4. Ed t
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    John, you mention three agenda-setting biases here. There are others, such as a penchant for transnational organisations and pressure groups of a leftish bent. The BBC are not Labour, that is clear, but they are leftists and that is key. They may reluctantly do their duties regarding the political process; they may indulge the eccentricity of a nation which has a Monarchy; but the tone and tendency is to assume the bases of a socialist welfare state, and chip away at the independent mercantilist middle classes which actually underpin the wealth generation on which the socialist edifice rests (including the BBC, naturally.).

  5. ian wragg
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I think your wasting your time John.
    The standard of reporters is abysmally poor and they will follow the script on the EU, Climate Change and spending cuts (what cuts)?
    The majority of the management are left wing guardian readers and take their cue from there.
    When did you hear anyone admit that Government spending was up 7% last year.
    The only cuts are to defence and the police. All the rest is hot air.
    Why did the BBC need to spend £170,000 agency fees to recruit an insider? Only because its funded from a tax, thats why. Until the organisation has to fund itself, nothing will change.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Lord Patten said £250K on head hunters I thought?

    • zorro
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Yes, 20% cuts in departments which the government should be ensuring are well funded, defence, police, and borders …..how many diversity coordinators have lost their jobs?……Coincidence?……I think not!

      Zorro

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Many of these non-job posts are now legal requirements, which is why Councils are crawling with them, and with Agenda 21 people (which no citizen has voted for). Until the Coalition take the bulls by the horns, nothing will change. Nor will they, as none of them have a spine.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    What is the BBC actually for?

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      What is the BBC for?

      The pushing of and justification of the ever larger state, at all levels, so that people do not rebel too much against “tax, borrow and tip down the drain” government perhaps.

    • Bob
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      @Mike Stallard

      “What is the BBC actually for?”

      Fabian Propaganda.

    • uanime5
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      BBC stands for British Broadcasting Corporation.

      • Bob
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        @uanime5

        British!

        You’re having a laugh!

        They’re just the poor mugs that have to pay for it!

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Very good. The posters above you were, however, inquiring as to the purpose of the BBC, not what the initials stands for. Never mind.

        • zorro
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          He ‘s trying…..very trying.

          Zorro

  7. lifelogic
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    You say “I do not believe that BBC broadcasters overall have a systematic bias pro Labour or anti Conservative.” Well it may not be “systematic” but it is certainly there every day. As most of the current Tory leaders have labour, fake green and pro EU, happiness policies it is harder to tell.

    The things that annoy me most are:

    The green issue exaggeration and assumption and constant childish reassurance that the science is settled. The same people who said we would run out of oil last century still being used to give us new silly predictions. It has not even been address now warming has not materialised as they predicted.

    The EU agenda which they are clearly ramming down the public’s throat I assume by EU and Lord Patten’s command. In particular the failure to address the lack or democratic control, the lack of discussion of the ERM fiasco (as rather relevant) when, for example, John Major comes on to talk his usual drivel.

    The idea that public transport & bikes produce less C02 per useful mile than cars – they usually do not all things considered.

    The typical line of questioning which goes: But people are allowed to fart, and go to the toilet, millions every day, without any training, any licence, any insurance and this is very dangerous many people die on the loo Minister what are you going to do about this?

    There is a female, anti male, bias in general even a general assumption that men accused of a sex crime are clearly guilty and should be jailed without the need for any real evidence beyond one persons word.

    They cannot film and engineer or scientist without searching out a female one. The absurd assumption that men and woman are the same and and pay difference is due to “discrimination”.

    The anti landlord (usually “unscrupulous” in BBC talk) bias, the politics of envy, the absurd drivel on the hilarious thought for the day.

    The pursuit and enforce equality, the idea that the world can be flattened and altered everywhere for the disabled. All houses should be adapted even when not needed.

    The endless stream of Happiness economists and people from lefty “charities”.

    The huge arts bias. People (often women) who are usually proud of being useless at science but still have silly strong beliefs on green energy but not a clue what about the economics of energy production or even the units you measure energy and power in. Try Alice Bell’s silly understanding of science lecture http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kbj39 for a typical, and very childish, example.

    Above all the childish dumbing down of all programmes, the recent jubilee pageant for example and the racist card so often used against non BBC think people and UKIP with no justification what so ever.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      I often wonder how they find so many dopey art graduates with left wing, feminist, PC views and a slight chip on the shoulder, to staff the organisation. I assume from Guardian ads and often Scotland it seems.

      The other outrage is the level of pay and pensions in an organisation that always has countless people who would work for it for virtually nothing. The DG at £450K PA plus gold pension is over paid by at least a factor of three. It is three time what the PM gets. Better people would do the job for nothing anyway. I assume they want obedience and the high pay is for that reason.

      • A different Simon
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Typo ; you missed a “T” off the last word .

      • Bob
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        The DG should not be paid a multiple of the PM’s salary.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Kirsty Wark must tick all the boxes for you, except that she is not dopey. I met her once. She’s tiny.

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          In reply to Lifelogic.

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          Indeed very BBC “think” indeed even to the slight chip on the shoulder. Every question she asks shows how she “thinks” mainly with her gut emotions and ingrained BBC beliefs it seems, never a good way to think.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      I see that Nigel Farage has the slippery Cameron summed up fairly well today:-

      The time will never be right for David Cameron to hold a referendum on the EU.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9378567/The-time-will-never-be-right-for-David-Cameron-to-hold-a-referendum-on-the-EU.html

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Cameron will obviously refuse any one to one debate with Farage like a past it champion boxer. The in/out referendum momentum is steadily increasing with 2014 seemingly the key year with the EU Elections and the Scottish vote, where the final blow for independence could be the anti EU voters.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        LL, this is another story the Europhile Cameron ought to take into account. It shows that we could actually benefit from leaving the Euro, (which some of us have argued anyway). I wonder if the BBC journalists care to comment on it?

        Apologies to JR for posting the link, but this one won’t take long to read.

        Tad

        http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/331040

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          Indeed now Cameron is going on about Athletes being mainly from private schools. Hardly surprising I do not remember many polo ponies, sailing dingies, show jumping horses or tennis coaches at my small Grammar school. But I did all right at football, cricket, fencing and table tennis despite all this.

          I assume he want a new tax to fund horses, altitude training and yachts for poor people now. Perhaps the BOE will provide another £200 billion by magic?

          • zorro
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            As you know lifelogic, they are highly trained prestidgidators skilled in the arts of creating money out of nothing…….and Cameron must be shown to be throwing sweeties to everyone…..

            zorro

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

          Indeed Bootle has “the best way to break up plan” about right it seems. What a pointless evil mess the EU has created.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        The time is certainly right for a referendum on the radical EU treaty change agreed by EU leaders on March 25th 2011.

        The Bill to approve that treaty change has now passed through the Lords and moved to the Commons, and it should be amended to include provision for a referendum.

        The Bill is here:

        http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/europeanunionapprovaloftreatyamendmentdecision.html

        and an e-petition calling for a referendum is here:

        http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/33825

        UKIP has chosen not to campaign against this EU treaty change or demand that it be put to a referendum, instead choosing to align itself with those who prefer to pretend that it was never agreed, that it doesn’t exist, and that there is no Bill to approve it.

        During the committee stage of the Bill in the Lords, the fact that the UKIP peers had tabled no amendments and hadn’t even turned up for the debate was noted by the Labour peer Lord Foulkes and recorded at Column 1343 here:

        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/120613-0001.htm#12061358000359

        “Several issues that need to be explored arose from consideration of the Bill at Second Reading. Therefore, I tabled two or three amendments, thinking that they would appear on a long Marshalled List. Imagine my surprise when I found that they were the only amendments to the Bill that had been tabled. I wondered what had happened to the usual suspects, notably the UKIP Members, who are never usually at a loss to table reams of amendments and suggestions, and to participate at great length. This could not be more in the mainstream of some of their thinking. However, not only have they not tabled amendments; they are not even here to participate in the debate. I must say that I find that rather strange.”

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          That was supposed to be a reply to lifelogic and his comment about the Nigel Farage article in the Telegraph today, but I’ve put in the wrong place.

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            Ditto, Denis @ 11.13

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

            My reply to lifelogic is not only in the wrong place, but it seems to be stuck in moderation …

      • zorro
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        He couldn’t even take the hapless Brown in debate, what chance does he have against Farage?…..He will debate with Farage ‘when tbe time is right’ i.e. never……

        Zorro

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          Cameron is not bad at debating but the problem is he would be defending an absurd dishonest position and a series of broken promises.

          As you say “when the time is right” means never or when he is in opposition.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic.

        It’s over. There is no point in voting again.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          EK,

          I know that was perhaps tongue-in-cheek, but to paraphrase John Wayne, the hell it is! I’ll keep fighting these lefty SOBs just as long as I can still draw breath! This is our country they’re ruining!

          On the BBC and particularly their traditional remit, to entertain, to inform, and to educate, it seems some have taken that to mean the legitimate pursuance of an idealogical left-wing agenda. But collectively, we can make our protestations known. Each and every post we make, that has a common thread condemning the BBC actually gives JR ammunition. It substantiates what he says.

          I have kept a bit of a diary of late, of all the instances where the BBCs impartiality can be called into question. On Newsnight for instance, there was an item about the most violent young offenders. No alternative opinion was given an airing, only the trendy lefty side that advocates the most expensive, least effective option.

          We keep animals in cages for a reason! To release these people back into society in the knowledge they might re-offend, amounts to a dereliction of duty, and culpabity on the part of the state, but not a word in the BBCs report about the hapless public who doesn’t want to become another crime statistic, just the needs of the offender, poor loves.

          BBC television makes me sick. At least with BBC local radio, we on the right and in the right do get to have a say. I provide an antidote to rampant left-wing sickness every day of the week, and I urge others to do the same, if they don’t already.

          Tad Davison

          Cambridge

          • uanime5
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            So Tad Davison what’s your solution to youth offending? Keeping them in prison for the rest of their life is the most expensive and least effective thing you can do. Rehabilitation is far more effective.

            Also we don’t keep violent animals in cages. Normal animals are kept in cages, violent ones are shot.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

            I knew I’d get some half-baked lefty argue the toss. The idea is not to let people back out on the streets until they no longer pose a threat to society. I’d give each and every one of them a choice. Go straight, or get blown away. It isn’t that difficult a choice for them to make. Go and tell a victim of crime, particularly a violent crime, that this filth needs to be cared for and cossetted at their expense in the HOPE they might mend their ways, and see what a reaction you get. I haven’t found anyone, except those on the looney left, who cannot see my solution is the best and most cost-effective one of all.

            So how about this then, all those who are in favour of lavish penal institution can pay for them out of their taxes, and the rest of us can opt out. I could stop criminals in their tracks, but the do-gooders won’t like it!

          • Bob
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

            @Tad
            “To release these people back into society in the knowledge they might re-offend, amounts to a dereliction of duty, and culpabity on the part of the state”

            If prisons were full of “violent offenders” there wouldn’t be any room to bang up those who refuse to pay the TV license fee or people that dispute their council tax bill, who we obviously need to be protected from, in case we become infected with their rebellious ideas.

          • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            Well, there’s always the Biased BBC blog keeping an eye on them. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is the BBC’s one-eyed reporting on Israel, which can be summed up as

            Israel BAD
            Hammas (etc) GOOD.

            They have had a number of programmes/parts of dedicated to last year’s riots. Not, you might think, looking at how those affected by it, those who lost their business, those who nearly lost their lives had witnessed this past year. No, none of that – rather, how had those poor rioters who got arrested fared.

            Revolting really. Bent is the only way I can describe it.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      I see that fare taking on HS1 to the channel tunnel are 1/3 of what was predicted (or absurdly claimed when trying to fund the project but no one sensible believed).

      I trust HS2 (which has similar claimed nonsense) has now finally been dropped and they stop throwing money down the drain on planning it.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        It depends on which HS1 prediction you are basing your statement on. The original forecast by MVA Consultancy simply assumed that the Chunnel would capture a proportion of the existing ferry market (That has turned out to be correct).

        Then later on, forecasters got more optimistic, predicting that lots of additional trips would be generated because travel times would be significantly reduced. Trip generation can occur for this reason (e.g. when the M1 and M25 were constructed) but the reduction in journey time has to be significant and there has to be pent up demand. Above all, increased demand for travel depends on economic growth, so if you prepared to wait a few years there may yet be a second coming.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      And the BBC favourite the free at the point of death and rationing NHS:

      NHS children’s services ‘failing 1,500 lives a year’ Up to 1,500 youngsters are dying every year because of faults with children’s health services.

      Dr Hilary Cass, the new president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has said the NHS did not compare well with other Western European countries when it came to children’s health. Child death rates in Britain were higher than in Germany, France, Italy and Sweden.
      She sound like a good person who tells it how it is to me.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9320358/NHS-childrens-services-failing-1500-lives-a-year.html

      • uanime5
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        Care to explain why Sky also failed to report this. Is Sky also biased in favour of the NHS?

        • APL
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          uanime5: “Care to explain why Sky also failed to report this.”

          It doesn’t matter, SKY isn’t paid for by a mandatory tax on televisions.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

            You beat me to it APL. With subscriptions, we have a choice, with the Stalinist compulsory licence fee, we don’t. But hey, if that’s the only way lefties can get their message across, it shows how poor their philosophy is. Yet, isn’t that precisely the same method right-wing juntas use, to control the state media, the ones lefties are so quick to criticise?

            There’s nowt quite like rose-tinted specs!

            Tad

          • APL
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

            Tad Davison: “But hey, if that’s the only way lefties can get their message across, ”

            This is how the ‘Lefties’ finance their message:

            With tax ‘efficient’, read minimise UK liability for tax (quite legally), prime example The Scot Trust, recently wound up but a vehicle for the Guardian to avoid tax for 70 or so years, since 1932.

            Then they get the BBC a State funded supposedly independent and supposedly impartial tax funded organization, to cross subsidize the Guardian, by placing it’s paid employment recruitment exclusively with the Guardian.

            Not only that, every Labour Local Authority places it’s employment recruitment with the Guardian.

            Net net, the Guardian has been the beneficiary of massive state cross subsidy from Local Authorities, and the BBC. And to cap it all, it has been a beneficiary of tax efficient, read minimizing it’s tax payments to the British government.

            Now if you add in the so called ‘Pilgrims’, that is local authority employees, paid by the local authority but performing Union duties, you have a very nice little (way of -ed)funding the operations of the Left in this country.

            I wonder if Mr Redwood thinks that is a satisfactory state of affairs?

          • APL
            Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            JR: “(way of -ed)”

            Why is the Tory party so supine?

            Your pathetic organization has put up with the Guardian ranting on about Ashcroft avoiding British tax, yet under your very noses the flagship media organ of the Labour movement in the UK has been arranging its affairs in a ‘tax efficient’ manner since 1932. Hardly a squeak from the Tory party!

            What is the matter with you people?

  8. A.Sedgwick
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Good piece as was Peter Oborne’s yesterday.

    It is time the licence fee was abolished for a voluntary subscription service. The stasi nature of this tax does its ethos no good. Most I believe would continue to pay for the service and maybe such a move would encourage the ditching of non core operations e.g. Radio 1 and trash programmes.

    • Chris Rose
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      I agree. The BBC has all the symptoms of an organisation with too much money: it’s too big; it employs too many people; it pays its employees too much, although I am pleased to see that the new DG will be paid considerably less than the present one; it pays insufficient attention to reducing its costs.

      Today the licence fee is an anachronism. If it were abolished the BBC would be forced to become a smaller, leaner organisation and be much more responsive to the interests of its audience.

      I hope that the new DG will immediately start to prepare the BBC for life without the licence fee, and I hope that the Government will help him by making clear that the licence fee isn’t going to around much longer.

  9. Pete the Bike
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Add all the BBC bias together and you have a very left wing, big state socialist broadcasting corporation that should not be subsidized by taxpayers at all. Remove the license fee and let them make a go of their lefty business on their own.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Spot on Pete!

      Tad

  10. Tad Davison
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    You’re a brave man JR, and we owe it to you to get right behind you. When the BBC does it well, they are world-class. Their natural history programmes certainly take some beating. Yet some political coverage leaves me steaming. As the Moody Blues might have said, it’s a question of balance. I doubt though, the impartiality of some of the BBC’s journalists, and I wish it were not thus. Others, such as Andrew Neil, seemingly take no prisoners from either side, which is as it should be.

    I eagerly await the comments of my fellow contributors to this blog, as this topic is very close to my heart. Remove the pro-EU bias, have a balanced debate, and we stand a realistic of giving the public the facts, and winning the debate.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      “When the BBC does it well, they are world-class”.

      This is so very, very, infrequent now. Even the natural history programs and science programs are full of absurd global warming exaggerations and scaremongering. I note David Attenborough is not so heavy on the global warming exaggerations recently. And at least the BBC favourite, the pusher of the Gaia hypothesis religion Jame Lovelock has finally come to his senses. (I assume he will now not appear much on the BBC).

      It is nearly all Eastenders and or Eastenders for children (Tracey Beaker) or political propaganda for the EU or the state. Even half of radio 3 and the young musician of the year competition have been turned into complete drivel.

      Andrew Neil, whom I regard as fairly centre of the political debate, is good I agree. No one on the BBC is to the right of him! Paxman is clearly of the left but still perhaps the most right wing of the Newsnight team and by some measure.

      • A different Simon
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Yeah ,

        Andrew Neil is a rare talent .

        Radio 3 can be so good it hurts . Shows Classic FM up for what it is -the Club-Med of classical music recycling musical cliches .

        BBC4 has it’s moments too .

        By far the worst production of BBC is it’s news bulletins .
        They have dumbed them down to a level below Newsround .

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          I like the half of radio 3 that has not be dumbed down, the desert island disc podcast archive also the loons on Womans Hour and thought for the day are much funnier than the trashy lefty comedy on radio 4 – if you take them the right way.

        • Alan Wheatley
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          On of the worst things about BBC News is that it contains the reporter’s opinion and prediction. If you are not alert opinion can be “heard” as a report of fact.

          • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            And the presenters are more important than the news, witness Today aka The John Humphries Show and PM aka The Eddie Mair show.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        You won’t get an argument from me LL. My post was very Cameronesque, it only gave a qualified endorsement, ‘…..when the BBC does it well.’

        I’m struggling to recall such an event in recent times. I bitterly resent having socialism rammed down my throat, and being forced to pay for it at the same time. We just can’t go on like this.

        Tad

        • Bob
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          @Tad

          You don’t have to pay a licence fee. I don’t.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    It would certainly be a start if they took up your points.

    Also QE, why do they all still think its a good idea and that it is pumping money into the economy.

    Not one presenter (note I did not say reporter) has fully explained in detail that it is all about purchasing government debt
    Devaluation by another word, which also reduces Annuity rates, and leads to inflation, thus it is manifestly bad.

    • zorro
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Not even Flanders explained it accurately last night…

      Zorro

  12. Horatio McSherry
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Here, here!

  13. Matthew
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The BBC delivers a pro NHS bias, which helps to keep this method of delivering health care above criticism.

    Many people in the UK are probably in the dark as to how other counties run their health programmes. I can’t recall the BBC ever placing the NHS onto a balance and comparing different systems.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Indeed the BBC is absurd on the free at the point of death, incompetent NHS. No alternatives are even discussed sensibly.

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        In short the BBC wants us to be a sort of multicultural Sweden and with taxes at about 75% of GDP.

        • zorro
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

          A heavily overpopulated Sweden at that!

          Zorro

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          I note they do not use Norway, which is about 30% richer per head (being out of the EU) I assume that is the reason.

          • sjb
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            Norway “contributes sizably to the EU budget”. It also has “a large state sector and an extensive social safety net.” The petroleum sector is subject to “extensive regulation [...] Norway is the world’s second-largest gas exporter; and seventh largest oil exporter [...]“.

            Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/no.html

          • lifelogic
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

            sjb so they could be even better off then?

          • zorro
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            ‘Norway opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994; nonetheless, as a member of the European Economic Area, it contributes sizably to the EU budget’…..from the CIA ‘Fact Book’……

            Since 2009, Norway has opted into certain EU projects(Schengen, EUROPOL, FRONTEX, EDA). Its total financial contribution linked to the EEA agreement consists of contributions related to the participation in these projects….a highly reasonable proposition. EEA EFTA states fund their relative participation in these programmes by an amount corresponding to the relative size of their gross domestic product (GDP) compared to the GDP of the whole EEA. The total EEA EFTA commitment amounts to 2.4% of the overall EU programme budget. In 2008 Norway’s contribution was €188 million…..The UK would love to have contributions like that for some benefit.

            Advice from zorro – don’t believe everything you read in CIA documents :-)

            zorro

          • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

            They are also energy sufficient from hydro – never mind the gas and oil

        • Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          The lady on Woman’s Hour said yesterday “why can’t we be more like Sweden”.

          Thankfully my bread roll missed the radio.

    • Liz
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      This applies to education also – BBC assumes that 10o% of secondary school pupils go to bog standard inner city comprehensive schools – which is shows almost exclusively when ever education is discussed. There is never a mention of the private sector and its superior standards or Britain’s continual sinking down the international school league table.
      ITV news and Sky news now have better journalism and less of an agenda to force down our throats.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Good post Liz.

        I can never understand why, if any given school achieves a higher standard than the rest, it’s methods and ethos are not emulated elsewhere. Private schools generallyp do better than state-run schools, so it seems to me to be a betrayal not to give our kids the very best. We need then to examine the disparity and eliminate it. Could it be that trendy lefty methods don’t really work, but those based on hard work and discipline do?

        Good gracious me. Who could think such a thing!

        And speaking as a former Grammar school pupil……..

        Tad

        • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Correct. The question never asked is – why can’t state schools perform as well as private ones? (And the answer is NOT funding – it is the one-size fits all dogma, which ensures, in the cause of equality, that bright, average and not so kids ALL get crap education.

          Way to go, as our Amurkan friends say.

    • uanime5
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      If the BBC is biased towards the NHS why does Sky say the same things about the NHS?

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    In truth many of the accusations of bias levied against the BBC also apply to Sky and ITV and of course Channel 4, and to a greater or lesser extent also the national, regional and even local newspapers.

    There seems to be something seriously and endemically wrong with journalism in general, right the way through from the BBC and the Times down to the local rag, or maybe the other way round in some cases as it’s quite a common career path to start on a local rag or radio station and work up.

    However it could be argued that as the BBC is funded through a special means, a compulsory levy on all viewers, then it has a special duty to set a gold standard for journalism, and it doesn’t.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Indeed made of the Guardian and the Independent too but no one actually buys them.

      • Bob
        Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        They deliver about 22,000 copies to the BBC every day, so I hear.

        I don’t believe it myself.

    • Mark
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Lord Ashcroft has just produced a poll that illuminates this:

      http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2012/07/which-party-does-the-sun-support-do-sun-readers-know/

      It suggests that ITV is rather more impartial than any other UK broadcast TV news. It’s also obvious that Channel 4 attracts a predominantly left wing news audience that is incapable of recognising the broadcasters’ bias.

    • Chris
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Also considerable funding for the BBC from the EU.

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        Against the Charter, I believe. Not to mention unreported (until it was uncovered) sponsoring of CAGW programmes by Green organisations.

  15. stred
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    As director of DDC Vision, the newly appointed DG must have been responsible for programmes such as the vision of the Universe presented by Prof. Brian Cox. In this Prof. Cox, presumably chosen for his pop star history and appearance, globetrotted to every desert and mountain on the planet in order to explain the basics of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Prof. Cox is a very competent academic but he was restricted to the very basic ideas and as soon as he arrived at any interesting conclusion to the expensively filmed preliminaries, the DDC sound department let rip with deafening synthesised music, which drowned out his words. The whole contents could have been dealt with in one 30 minute OU programme. Any change to this expensive dumbed presentational policy seems unlikely. At least he didn’t have to take an attractive female presenter with him to chit chat the subject.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:30 am | Permalink

      Indeed needless to say Prof. Brian Cox seems to have swallowed the BBC line on the great global warming exaggeration (unlike most physicists who usually understand the impossibility of predicting the future with complex chaotic systems, many unknown variables and feed backs. They are also usually rather more independently minded and sensible than so called “climate scientists” who are often paid not to be.

      I assume the BBC needed to be sure on that point before he was selected. Surprisingly they did not manage to find a woman. They usually are rather desperate for female engineers and scientists it is part of their PC agenda. Though most would just call it as sex discrimination.

  16. Acorn
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    There is one significant point. The new DG will have a banking “expert” on his Board.

    Marcus Agius, Senior Independent Director Executive Board … was the first non-executive director appointment to the BBC’s new Executive Board, effective from 1 December 2006. He has taken up the role of Senior Independent Director for the Board.” He retired from Lazard at the end of 2006 and became Chairman of Barclays PLC on 1 January 2007.

    Keep it in the “family” boys;

    • Acorn
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      BTW. While we are arguing about which sort of enquiry would be best at whitewashing the LIBOR fraud; please, can we have an enquiry into the mass public sector hysteria, that broke out around a bus at an M6 toll booth yesterday.

      I would like to know if any public sector entity DID NOT turn up at this event. We should give a prise to anyone who spotted anyone PS missing. If ever there was a demonstration of just how far out of control the public sector is, it was this one!!!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        From what I’ve heard so far the hysteria started not with the public sector but with a member of the public.

        With the benefit of hindsight, if they’d just asked the other passenger what he was doing to cause the smoke or vapour, then that would have been the end of it without triggering a full scale anti-terrorist operation.

        Given the circumstances it’s difficult to blame somebody for what may now seem to have been a panic reaction, and that person should be spared the embarrassment of being publicly named, but how can you blame the police and other services for responding to what seemed a genuine alert?

        • zorro
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          So all anyone has to do now for the next few weeks to completely screw up the country (in any number of places) is say that they can see some smoke coming out of someone’s bags and this will happen….? Some ‘person’ is supposed to have made a phonecall whilst on a ‘Megabus’ that there was some smoke coming out of a bag and this happened…. This is what we are expected to believe happened yesterday?

          No Dennis, I find that a difficult concept to buy into……

          zorro

          • zorro
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            I am afraid it is all part of a culture of breeding ‘fear of people’…..Yes, if it had been me or a lot of other people I would have asked what was going on. I would never have phoned the police in a million years. A load of nonsense, a waste of valuable money and time…..and an exercise in testing their response times, which just happens to inconvenience a lot of people.

            zorro

          • Gewyne
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

            Every granny opening her Thermos for a cuppa releasing water vapour (steam) will from now on be surrounded by armed Police and strip searched whilst Glocks are aimed at her face.

            Seems a logical response ;-) maybe we can put terror alert hotline numbers on every available space.

          • APL
            Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            Zorro: “I am afraid it is all part of a culture of breeding ‘fear of people’”

            Exactly.

          • lifelogic
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

            Exactly.

            It rather remind me of social workers who after the latest of many baby P type cases come on to newsnight and say “we are blamed if we over react and take children away and blamed when we do not act and children die”.

            Well yes, your job is to act when appropriate and not act when it is not. To adjust your response to the circumstances. Can they and the police not get this?

            Is the Olympics and the Country going to be close down every time someone leaves a bag by mistake or makes a phone call about a fake cigarette?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

            I think it’s going a bit far with the scepticism to suspect that it was all a put-up job. I have no difficulty imagining that one of the passengers saw something and panicked unnecessarily, setting off a train of events which they probably now regret.

            I remember a few years ago when somebody saw a boy in their neighbour’s garden playing with a toy gun, stupidly they rang the police and that led to an armed response unit being sent to the scene.

            I’ve just checked on the penalties for deliberate hoaxes, and quite rightly they’re potentially severe:

            http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/bomb_hoax/

            “Statutory Limitations & Maximum Penalty: On indictment – 7 years imprisonment.”

            “Sentencing Range: Range from 12 months to 2 years on indictment have generally been approved by the Court of Appeal, but see CSP for details of specific cases.”

            “Aggravating & Mitigating Factors

            Public interest deterrence/public protection comes before D’s personal situation.

            Terrorist or political campaign
            Whether actual terror and inconvenience was caused
            Danger to public through panic
            Diversion of emergency services … “

        • zorro
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

          Don’t worry Dennis, somehow I doubt that the ‘e-cigarette smoker’ and ‘informant’ will be named….. :-)

          Zorro

      • zorro
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        It all sounds a bit fishy, like some fake exercise to supposedly test readiness. In normal cir umstances, there is no way on earth that they would have all got there so quickly….

        Zorro

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Indeed one gets the impression it is more that they needed to be seen to be doing something at this time before the Olympics. Even if it is only preventing thousands of people going about their business.

        • zorro
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic, the authorities are very good at that…….preventing people easily going about their daily business.

          zorro

          • lifelogic
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:41 am | Permalink

            Indeed rather like Blair’s Tanks at Heathrow in 2003? I cannot remember what he was trying to distract from.

          • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic – it was Blunkett, not Blair who ordered the tanks to Heathrow. The same Blunkett who wanted prison rioters “machine-gunned”. Scratch any Liberal and you will find a Stalinist under the skin.

      • oldtimer
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        In their defence, there were also several arrests of suspected terrorists made in London and the Midlands the same day. No doubt this contributed to heightened awareness and twitchiness on the day by the police and security services.

        They did seem to be very well prepared.

        • zorro
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          The funniest/most ironic moment for me was when the Superintendent went before the cameras for the obligatory ‘media statement’ and said that he believed that it was a ‘proportionate’ use of resources bearing in mind the incident (after knowing that it concerned an ‘electronic cigarette’)….

          zorro

          • lifelogic
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:46 am | Permalink

            Proportionate! – lucky there was only one fake cigarette and not fifty then or they would have needed to use all the emergency services from across the whole of UK.

            Many would perhaps have perhaps then died do to the lack of services elsewhere. Over reaction has costs too.

      • Acorn
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        JR, while I think of it, have you read the Interim FPC minutes. To say we are nearly five years into the crunch; the five policy recommendations are somewhat behind the curve as they say. Strange nobody at the FSA or the BOE had thought of them so far. http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/records/fpc/pdf/2012/record1207.pdf .

        Anyway, it appears that the FPC, wants the FSA to curl up and die asap, it’s all their fault making the banks lock down their cash. But the real LOL is:-
        “5. The Committee recommends that UK banks work with the FSA and British Bankers’ Association (BBA) to ensure greater consistency and comparability of their Pillar 3 disclosures, including reconciliation of accounting and regulatory measures of capital, beginning with the accounts for the current year.”

        You can replace the “Pillar 3″ with “LIBOR”; that will give you a clue to what the paragraph is actually saying. It appears that things are somewhat worse than they should be at this stage of recovery (sic).

        Would someone please admit that BOE “monetary” policy (QE) is not going to promote growth. It will take Treasury “fiscal” policy and that means cutting VAT and putting up with high deficits for a while till GDP turns up for starters. We print our own currency; we are not Greece or Spain, we can bury any bond vigilante who tries it on with our interest rates.

        • zorro
          Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, as I have said previously, a looser fiscal policy concentrating on tax cuts would be more successful…..but cutting government spending and getting out of areas where the government performs poorly.

          zorro

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I found Peter Sissons’s article in the Daily Mail 22 January2011 revealing; here is the beginning:
    “For 20 years I was a front man at the BBC, anchoring news and current ­affairs programmes, so I reckon nobody is better placed than me to ­answer the question that nags at many of its viewers — is the BBC biased?

    In my view, ‘bias’ is too blunt a word to describe the subtleties of the ­pervading culture. The better word is a ‘mindset’. At the core of the BBC, in its very DNA, is a way of thinking that is firmly of the Left.

    By far the most popular and widely read newspapers at the BBC are The Guardian and The Independent. ­Producers refer to them routinely for the line to take on ­running stories, and for inspiration on which items to cover. In the later stages of my career, I lost count of the number of times I asked a producer for a brief on a story, only to be handed a copy of The Guardian and told ‘it’s all in there’.”

    The whole article is well worth reading for an insider’s view.

    The BBC is, like many state funded organisations, too large and because it is funded by a broadcasting tax cares little about the views of its customers. If you complain to the BBC about any programme you normally relieve a response to the effect that they note your view but don’t agree with it. The BBC is not the marvellous institution it is portrayed often by politicians in the hope of gaining a sympathetic hearing.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Indeed let us hope the new DG has some Peter Sissons’s views in him.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Thanks Brian. I am embarrassed to say that article passed me by, but I’m going to search it out and make sure others get to see it!

      Tad

      • Bob
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        @Tad

        Have you ever heard of the “Balen Report”.

        A report about BBC bias which was paid for by the tv tax payer and the BBC obtained an injunction, which cost tax payers another £200k in legal fees to prevent them from seeing the report!

        Tells you all you need to know about the BBC.

        Google “biased-bbc.com”. It’s all there

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:54 am | Permalink

          Indeed freedom of information is often evaded by the BBC trying to cover up their methods on dubious grounds. Try finding out how may calls they get to “Any Answers” on a particular topic/dirction. These clearly bears no relationship to the topics they choose to selectively put on air.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

            LL, I read somewhere that the FOI act doesn’t apply to the BBC. I must remember to check that out.

            Tad

          • Bob
            Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

            @Tad
            “…doesn’t apply to the BBC…”

            It does.
            They responded to one from me anyway.

          • lifelogic
            Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

            They seem to escape if it is to do with “editorial matters” these they seem to think cover almost everything they are asked.

    • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Say no more…

      “It’s not a conspiracy. It’s visceral. They think they are on the middle ground”

      Jeff Randall former BBC Business Editor, in The Observer, Jan 15th, 2006.

  18. Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The question of the long term misinformation on the EU broadcast by the BBC over many years combined with the pro-EU slant of its widely-read website is indeed a major concern.

    I praised Stacey Dooley’s programme on Greece a week ago on my own blog, and her report also on BBC Three TV last evening, this time on Ireland, added to my respect for her obviously inquiring mind and refreshing ability to engage with complete strangers, particularly those of her own age group.

    Both programmes show that something is still seriously amiss in the BBC Vision management structure which the new DG has up to now led, when any but the slightest passing mention of the EU seems to have been censored from these two programmes, let alone any blame being properly assigned for these present human tragedies now being daily played out in both Greece and Ireland, elsewhere almost entirely ignored by Britain’s licence funded, state propaganda mouthpiece.

    I must presume from that Dooley reporting remaining away from the cutting room floor that at some point the responsibility of the EU and the Troika was made clear for the viewers, its absence from the final programmes is worrying proof that the EU propaganda programme which has distinguished the BBC over recent years, is set to continue.

    What else could I have expected looking at the man, together with recalling his background and career, who made and announced the appointment, in slug-like slouch and eyes almost completely obscured by the puffiness of many decades of high living? I fear the new DG will prove a creature of Patten, who has become a prime exhibit of the kind of man who has delivered Britain and Europe to its present lamentable state

    • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Any institution that has a “Vision” department cannot be taken seriously. It high Management Bollock Speak and should have no place in an adult society.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Lol! You’re a good ‘un to be sure! Keep ‘em coming!

        Tad

  19. Winston Smith
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    “I do not believe that BBC broadcasters overall have a systematic bias pro Labour or anti Conservative.”

    That is why, you, are part of the problem. Too weak, no passion and afraid of rocking the liberal establishment boat. Your Party in coaltion has just announced further destruction of English history (in scrapping numerous regional army regiments), whilst preserving Scottish history for ludicrous politcal expediency. All you do is whinge a bit on this blog. It is not good enough. In response I sent a donation to UKIP. A small gesture, but better than nothing.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      They are not anti the current fake “tories” of the Clarke, Cameron types just against the very few real tories of the smaller state, anti EU, pro free trade, pro democracy, anti renewable, pro nuclear, pro freedom, lower taxes variety and UKIP of course.

  20. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    A few years ago I was invited to the BBC to contribute my views on a project they were working on. I wouldn’t be paid a fee but I would get my expenses. I didn’t know the best way to get to their location, so rang to ask. They said I shouldn’t worry about finding my way by tube or bus, just to get a taxi from wherever I liked. I submitted my claim while I was there, the taxi fare was doubled for the return. Not long after I was paid, and then a few days later another cheque for the same claim arrived. When I phoned the person I’d previously seen, about it, she didn’t know what to do and said, “Why don’t you keep it, no-one will ever notice, these things are not checked on?” I hoped things have changed since then.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I doubt if they have changed at all probably worse – it is not their money.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      ………and we’re paying for their ineptitude! It would appear the BBC wishes to ape the EU in their profligacy and unaccountability. But will the new man put it right?

      Tad

    • Mike Fowle
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I recently read an account from a pair of comic writers – can’t remember if it was Muir and Norden or Waterhouse and Hall – who were sent a duplicate cheque. When the BBC asked for it back, they replied that they regretted that they had no mechanism to return cheques. They heard no more.

  21. Chris
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Perhaps you could encourage the BBC to set up a debate i) to discuss the need for a referendum ii) to examine the myths with regard to loss of trade and employment if the UK left the EU and set up a new looser trading arrangement, at the same time developing trading links with the wider world iii) to tackle thorny issues such as immigration, the ECHR.
    Interestingly, Farage writes in the D Tel today challenging Cameron to a debate on why we should have a referendum and saying why he he believes that Cameron will never find the right time to have a referendum on the issue that matters to most grassroots Conservatives
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9378567/The-time-will-never-be-right-for-David-Cameron-to-hold-a-referendum-on-the-EU.html
    and convincingly deals with issues of trade, employment, immigration, ECHR. I for one would love for this debate to be televised.

    • A different Simon
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      There is another one .

      Why was Farage excluded from the cringe worthy “leaders debate” at the last election ?

      Not balanced is it and makes no attempt to challenge peoples preconceptions .

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Why was Clegg let on the TV debate that is one of the reasons we have this coalition – that and Cameron being a socialist?

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        With UKIP polling well above the Greens (not that you would know it were you to rely on the BBC for News), it will be interesting to see, should polls stay the same, how they handle it in 2015.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      The BBC could no more organise a fair debate on the EU than Cameron could renegotiate a new fair arrangement with the EU. Neither would be trying to.

    • zorro
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Cameron would never agree to such a debate and you all know why not….

      Zorro

  22. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    You can force a change in culture at the BBC by reducing its revenue stream. Just tell the DG that he will have to raise the difference through advertising.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Cameron like the current BBC – hence Lord Patten as chairman of trustees.

    • Bob
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      @Lindsay McDougall

      Or selling off things like Radio One that are wholly unjustified as a tax funded “service”.

      • Gewyne
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Radio one is so blatantly after market share that I m amazed it is left running. It simply has a huge budget, no ads and directly challenges commercial stations. Time it was chopped or sold of.

  23. backofanenvelope
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Digitisation of TV channels is almost complete. The BBC should switch to financing itself from subscriptions.

    • uanime5
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Given that no channel has ever managed to fund themselves entirely from subscriptions and all have needed commercials there’s no reason to believe the BBC would be able to fund itself entirely by subscriptions.

      • APL
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        uanime5: “no reason to believe the BBC would be able to fund itself entirely by subscriptions.”

        1. Too bad.

        2. Given (1.) it should cut its budget until it can fund itself entirely by subscription.

        3. It could start (2.) by disposing of all the digital channels except BBC 1 and BBC 2, possibly BBC News 24 and revert back to 2 the cultural channel and one the comedy and general entertainment channel.

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        I have no idea whether your claim is correct. However, it would perhaps provide evidence to support the BBC’s claim that it is wonderful.

  24. oldtimer
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    You make very good points. But I do not share your view that the BBC is as balanced as you suggest. Some of its own senior staff have stated, on retirement, that the BBC is institutionally biased.

    This is evident from the stories they select to report, the way they report them, the people they invite in for interview and, finally the way that they interview them (either in a friendly or hostile way). This is most evident when they touch on subjects in which I have some knowledge or interest. The quality of the people also seems to be slipping. For news I now prefer Sky to the BBC – setting aside the trivia items where both are as bad as each other.

    The BBC comes across as an inbred, bureaucratic organisation that has grown fat and lazy on licence fee income which is handed to it on a plate through the force of the law and not earned by advertising or the subscription choice of its viewers. This has induced a sense of misplaced self-satisfaction and superiority. It is marked by excursions into areas of broadcasting that lie beyond its strict, original public broadcasting remit. Nothing is done about this because politicians are terrified of its influence and control of the airwaves. They know that “auntie” will give them a good whipping if they stray into actually criticising the way she bahaves.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Exactly.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      I hope you don’t mind me saying so OT, but that was a pretty accurate appraisal. I wholeheartedly concur! I still think JR is brave though. By singling out the BBC, he’s risking incurring its bias and its wrath, which is why I for one, will spring to his defence if and when necessary.

      Tad

    • Bob
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      @OT

      In a nutshell. Well articulated!

  25. A different Simon
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    John ,

    In a democracy we rely on the press to warn us of threats to our freedom .

    The BBC need help to understand how far they have failed in this basic function and let the country down .

    Perhaps the new D.G. could explain what the BBC have done to hilight the dangers of the European Arrest Warrant and erosion of features of our constitution designed to protect the individual from the state accross Europe .

    Plenty of Britons are sitting in prisons in Greece and elsewhere in the UK on remand on trumped up charges with no court date because the countries don’t recognise habeus corpous .

    Perhaps the BBC could tell everyone how our beloved England , Scotland and Wales will be broken up into administrative regions which extend accross the channel and North sea .

    The problem is that the BBC are too implicated and not detached .

    They are part of our defacto wider Govt which includes Westminster , Brussels , multi-national corporations , central banks .

    They seem to think their job is to manufacture the news rather than report it .

    In a sense they do . The results of a general election are whatever gets reported on BBC .

    I’m not saying that dishonest colation and reporting of elections and referenda has happened in the UK just that it would if by some miracle UKIP got a majority or the citizens voted to leave the EU .

  26. Electro-Kevin
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    The leftism isn’t manifest in its politics shows as it is soap, drama and children’s TV programming.

    Every show has a Left-wing bent to it and a PC message to send out.

    And when are the BBC going to create a drama about our soldiers at war which does not involve making them look like crooks, sexists or sadists ?

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Recent Radio 4 drama on the Falklands

      Had to be done from the Argentinian perspective didn’t it.

      • A different Simon
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

        Please tell me the BBC have not started referring to those Islands as Las Malvinas .

        Was the part of Christina Kirchener played by Miss Piggy ?

    • uanime5
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      Can you name any children’s shows with a Left-wing bent to it and a PC message?

      • A different Simon
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        It’s a while since I’ve watched them but Grange Hill used to .

        There was high unemployment at the time and the message from Grange Hill was that it was hopeless so you should give up and not even try to get a job .

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Oh do grow up. Your comments are unbelievably stupid, all the more so as they (deliberately?) miss the point.

      • zorro
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Teletubbies….

        zorro

        • zorro
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Captain Pugwash, Magic Roundabout……

          zorro

          • zorro
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            Blue Peter – Grange Hill

            zorro

          • Tad Davison
            Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            Lol I’m almost tiddlin me self!

            Tad

  27. Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I cannot agree that the BBC does not have party political bias in favour of the Labour Party.

    Only yesterday the BBC sided with Labour in pushing the propaganda that a Parliamentary enquiry into Libor would be inadequate. The BBC was compiling evidence to support this cause by pointing to shortcomings in the questioning of Mr Diamond yesterday.

    The BBC/Labour campaign had such dominance that there was insufficient time (or a lack of will) for any serious examination of the Labour government’s role in the crisis.

    I agree with your other comments. In particular financial stories such as taxation should have natural balance.

    For every credit there is an equal debit.

    As such, when the BBC was celebrating extra funding for this or that government scheme in the Labour days there was no attempt to balance this with a view from the people providing the money: i.e. the taxpayer; and when there have been some reductions government expenditure by the current government, this was reported as bad news.

  28. sm
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The BBC is too big. Its a £3billion tax cut waiting to happen. That should provide a stimulus to the real choice driven economy.This is a relatively easy cut before we go Greek. A no brainer.

    Meanwhile we decide to cut 20,000 soldiers? But increase foreign aid to countries that dont want it? Increase subs to the EU , give bilateral loans which will probably sour, bailout banks ad nauseum.

    Why do we in particular choose to criminalize the non payment of for use of this broadcast medium. Is it to raise quality? Is it to maintain the status quo of the LibLabConEU agenda.? Is it to provide nice sinecures? Quality is not quantity.

    Where are the BBC always late to the crime scene (so as to speak) in representing and informing with real facts and the issues of the day. Do all roads lead back to Rome? Have all the institutions been corrupted and captured?

    1)The EU, 2) money creation where does our money supply come from and who benefits and why? 3) Population trends,immigration/emigration and demographics particularly in the younger generations. 4) The great House Bubble who really benefited.5) why does the BBC have a final salary pension scheme and who should pay for it?

    The BBC should learn to question more and ask the difficult questions insist on an answer when it is evaded. The journalist should state unequivocally they haven’t answered the question and offer other alternatives based on his research.

    Why are public broadcasters so well paid? I mean surely we have enough intelligent and able people to do this. The BBC should have a policy of bringing them through and pushing them out- some statist creative destruction

    Again who guards the guards is resonating louder every day?

  29. Atlas
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    “Amen” to what you wrote, especially concerning Climate Change.

    There are many issues with the (Man made) Climate Change debate as presently constituted.

    One important one is that the variation of the weather – as historically reported – before the mid 1850s tends to be played down by the supporters of Man made Climate Change. H.H. Lamb (the founder of the Climate Change Group at the University of East Anglia) covered this in his book on the History of Climate and he was far more cautious in his opinions than his successor has been.

    The BBC should read the Book!

    • Chris
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Good to see Lamb mentioned! In addition to the global warming bias, I do question the BBC and others portraying the vagaries of the British climate as something unusual, and saying it provides evidence of global warming. Back in the 1960s a favourite A level question was “The British Isles experience weather not climate. Discuss”….

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Strange that the BBC seldom if ever, refers to the British climate prior to the Battle of Hastings, which was warm and balmy enough to grow grapes to make wine, then much later, perhaps around Elizabeth’s reign, it had become so cold, it was a regular occurrence for the Thames to freeze over. All before the industrial revolution of course, so, they might care to dwell a little more on two aspects of their remit, to inform, and to educate. They have a moral duty to tell it like it is, and where the science isn’t proven, to make that abundantly clear also.

      That they haven’t done so, leaves them open to the charge of bias. Yet I still don’t see an effective mechanism whereby the public can properly hold them to account. They seem impervious to written criticism by way of correspondence, and fob people off with bog-standard replies. They need a re-think, and we need change.

      Tad

  30. Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    While it may be both good policy and good manners to say something nice about the organisation led by the person you are writing to the fact is that the BBC is not in any way an honest news organisation. It is a big state propaganda organisation.

    Legally the BBC has a charter duty to “due balance” -its right to our licence fee is drawn from that. In fact they make no attempt whatsoever to keep the law here.

    If this were not so it would be simply impossible for the BBC to give 40 times more coverage per vote received to the Greens (virtually all supportive) than to UKIP (virtually none).

    As John points out the same applies to coverage of the EU, the catastrophic warming we are allegedly experincing today, and the general support of absolutely any call for more state powers and spending. These go beyond party issues and John is thus right that their bias is not primarily party, though it becomes so when parties are “disobedient”.

    There are also foreign policy matters in which the BBC will lie and censor to promote the government line – particularly when the government wants to bomb somebody – for example compare the amount of coverage given to a recent massacre of 100 people in Syria – where the coverage was enormous but the subsequent discovery that the dead were from Assad’s ethnic group and the murders thus committed by our “democratic” al Quaida allies received zero coverage. Zero is co9incidentally the coverage given by the BBC to the Dragodan masacre (words left out-ed) in Kosovo.

    • zorro
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, good points Neil Craig….let’s see if Ratko Mladic’s trial starts again any time soon….

      zorro

  31. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    “If the conventional theory is as all conquering as the BBC says, it should be able to handle grown up examination of its alleged shortcomings from its critics. ”

    Absolutely correct – if conventional wisdom is so solid why not allow alternative views to question it?

    Some believe the World is flat.
    Some believe that Banks act purely as Intermediaries.
    Some believe the EURO is good for Europe and Democracy.

    Well ~I don’t.

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      It is the non-conventional Economists who got it right before the Financial Crisis hit in 2007/8. The BBC did not listen to them or give them nearly enough air time.

      The problem the BBC has is – if the majority are deluded into thinking one way they must cater to the deluded. Perhaps more BBC funding should be directed at researching subjects better and not cater to popular demand so much. Perform some unbiased educational role.

      Mr Redwood is right – the BBC has produced some excellent programs in the past but things are changing and the BBC needs to know that it is getting things wrong – factually and Politicallly.

    • uanime5
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Some believe God created the universe and evolution is wrong.
      Some believe homoeopathy works and real medicine is bad.
      Some believe that an age of consent is wrong.
      Some people believe they’re psychic, despite their failure to predict lottery numbers.
      Some people worship Gadget Hackwrench from Rescue Rangers.

      Are you suggesting that all these alternative views should be given airtime?

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        I rest my case.

      • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        Posted July 9, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        No – I don’t. I believe that there has to be cold logic behind a view or idea but that would wipe away any Religious Programs immediately, and Religion does give comfort to a great many people.

        What I don’t think should happen is that Economics and Religion should be treated in the same way. Just because an Economist “Believes” that the Economy is unaffected by Debt, Money and Banking, he should be able to air his views with no Logical Counter Arguments being made.

        Paul Krugman appeared on the BBC , he was presented as the Nobel Prize Winning Economist. He did not predict the Financial Crisis because he didn’t take into account Money, Debt and Banking. He is beginning to modify his Economic models now, to make them appear to work more like the real economic systems. Paul Krugman was presented as an “Expert” despite Krugman having a biased attitude to conventional Economic Theory which he admits to promoting becasue it has given him a greate deal of personal wealth. He is reluctant to change his views and argue for a theory which has proven to be unreliable and wrong.

        Had Professor Steve Keen or other similar Economist been on the Program, then other (not alternative) logical views would have been aired. But the Public were denied this.

        Who cares – we have the Internet, If we want to know what’s really going on then the BBC is the last source that should be contacted. In my view (Alternative doesn’t mean Illogical – I’m talking about Logical Views not psychic phenomina).

        I do not believe in every view being represented – just Logical ones born from fact. The BBC has been taken in by neo-classical economists who are treated as Priests of Economic Thought. The BBC presenters do not have the confidence or knowledge to query what they are saying as much of it is born out of Fiction from a University Course which has removed the affects of Money, Debt and Banking from their models.

        The options for the european union (as Presented by the BBC) are:
        1. Country’s stay in the EURO – and the Crisis continues but doesn’t get any worse.
        2. A Country leaves the Euro and Satan himself will descend up thee and enact merciless vengence.

        When the World was FLAT, a Ship that went too far would fall off the edge of the World. It’s this medievel thinking that has now gripped many Economists – like Paul Krugman. They benefit from maintaining the Economic Theories that enabled them to win their Fame and Fortunes, even though their theories do not resemble reality.

  32. Chris
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the BBC could be encouraged to provide a more balanced view on the EU illustrating that the UK is not on its own, and that other countries e.g. Finland, have very considerable concerns about the direction of the europroject. See D Tel live blog for Jutta Urpilainen’s latest statemen, indicating that she would consider pulling Finland out of the euro in certain circumstances:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/debt-crisis-live/9380370/Debt-crisis-Finland-warns-of-euro-exit.html
    10.29 The Finnish finance minister, Jutta Urpilainen, said in a newspaper interview this morning that she’d consider crashing her AAA-rated country out of the eurozone rather than face paying the debts of another country:

    Finland is committed to being a member of the eurozone, and we think that the euro is useful for Finland. Finland will not hang itself to the euro at any cost and we are prepared for all scenarios.

    Collective responsibility for other countries’ debt, economics and risks; this is not what we should be prepared for. We are constructive and want to solve the crisis, but not on any terms.”

    • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      “Collective responsibility for other countries’ debt”

      is of course, as matter stand, illegal under EU law.

      Not that that ever stopped them.

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        By the way, the spambot software is really bad – it STILL thinks I am a spambot. Once per session is all you should have to confirm that.

  33. Mark
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I agree with those who point out that much of the BBC’s output is tainted. It extends all too often into entertainment, never mind documentary or news. I find it particularly galling that since digital switchover I am expected to pay for a service I can no longer receive at all (analogue reception was marginal). There was already very little I watched. Time to move to a subscription basis, so that there is an influence from those who vote with their feet. Trying to change the culture is a project that would take far too long and absent financial incentive wouldn’t even begin.

  34. forthurst
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    “I do not believe that BBC broadcasters overall have a systematic bias pro Labour or anti Conservative.”

    The BBC’s bias cannot be encapsulated within the context of the Left/Right political debate. What the BBC is for or against is not constrained by this largely phony dialogue. The BBC are for multi-culturalism and all movements that would diminish our national autonomy and sovereignty ie very North London, and against Englishness and England. Their preferred Englishman is plebeian in thought, deed, musical tastes and accomplishments so that he can be patronised and held to ridicule by the special people who infest the BBC. The clever Englishman is conspicuous by his absence, although there are rather more of him than than of any other group even if his elbows are, by nature, not as sharp. There is a subtext to much of the BBC’s output, like a dripping tap, in which the ‘product placement’ is the BBC’s insidious worldview.

    The BBC should never have been allowed to grow as big as it is and neither should the British arm of the Murdoch empire. The spectacle of politicians complaining about a situation which they have engineered by default is not pretty. As with the monstrous banking behemoths, it is to politicians that we look to sort them out rather than griping about them.

    • Posted July 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias”

      Andrew Marr the Daily Mail, Oct 21st, 2006.

  35. Posted July 6, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    My pet hates with the BBC are two.
    Firstly, the way that it describes people as “Asian” when invariably they mean Muslims of Pakistani / Bangladeshi descent. This is insulting to the many Asians from other parts of the largest continent. Strangely, they can manage to refer to Chinese, Japanese and even Arabs as such, but they seem to be unable to call a certain group anything other than “Asians”.
    Secondly, their references to UKIP as “Extreme right wing party”, when they are no more right-wing than the Tories were in my youth, and their other habit of grouping UKIP with the BNP and implying thereby that they are racist.
    I think the time for the BBC has long gone. It had its day when there was no commercial radio or TV to provide a public service, but now with numerous free radio and TV channels, with even more if one is prepared to pay, why do we need a service which is compulsorily funded by the public? Surely if the Tories want less government, as they claim, the BBC should be one of the first things to go.

    • zorro
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Mrs Warsi, co-chairman of the Tory Party, was none too subtle recently in juxtaposing UKIP (at least people ho vote for it) with BNP……

      zorro

  36. Richard
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I would like the BBC to be turned into a PLC.
    Sell the business to shareholders, perhaps in a similar way to how BP was floated successfully decades ago.
    Sell 49% of the shares initially and then a few years later sell the remaining 51%.
    A useful form of debt reducing revenue for the Government.

    The current compulsory licencing charge and Government ownership is the worst of all worlds for the public, the Government and for the BBC.

  37. Max Dunbar
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Nodody could accuse Mr. Redwood of being unreasonable but will his letter have any effect?
    When BBC employees went on strike a number of years ago the quality improved. A lean and economical service was continued. It briefly came out of it’s left-wing coma and became lucid again – almost normal. The relief that many must have felt then was short lived of course but it gave a glimpse of how things could be.
    This suggests that drastic reform and cut-backs of the BBC would be effective and necessary. Furthermore, many areas of broadcasting that the BBC covers are, in any case, duplicated by independent companies now.
    Reforming the BBC will be a difficult task and it is questionable if it can be reformed. The BBC is a state within a state. Any politician who attempts to reduce the power of the BBC does so at their peril.

    • Bob
      Posted July 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      The task is too big for a mere government to undertake, the BBC is far too powerful. It can make or break governments.

      It is down to the British people to tackle this problem, and the way to start is by withdrawing financial support – that is something within our power.

      Join the British Constitution Group, and we together can start to roll back the state.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Good point Bob, and yet the BBC criticises the Murdoch press and their other media for being too powerful.

        Tad

  38. Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Personally I think the BBC is hideously bias toward the left or ‘progressivism’ as its now called.
    One only has to visit the Bias-BBC website to see all the gory details.

    Having said that I have no objection to anyone watching the BBC but I do object to being forced to pay for it under threat of imprisonment.

    The BBC should be paid for by subscription, after all, if its as good as its supporters claim it is they will have no problem raising the money.

  39. Bert Young
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I had reason to complain to the BBC a few months ago when I could not understand (a very strong N. Irish accent) one of the presenters on the “Sky At Night” programme. I received a reply saying it was the BBC’s policy to include a range of accents , and the particular individual had some scientific qualification (he normally tries to be a comic !). If this is a communication business , surely it follows that it should be capable of being understood . I recall discussing recruitment and selection methods at the BBC when Duke Hussey was Chairman , even at that time , he was highly critical of how it was done and the unlikelihood of things changing . Seems to me little has altered.

  40. michael mcgrath
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    “and to assume that 3 million jobs would disappear overnight if we quit!”

    I have no paerticular desire to support the BBC but wasn’t the BBC simply repeating what DC stated in his recent speech?

    • zorro
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. as does Clegg, but the BBC slips it in sometimes when presenting ‘arguments’ about the various benefits/disadvantages of EU membership….

      zorro

      • zorro
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        John, doubtless you will be pointing out the inaccuracy of his statements to the PM?

        zorro

      • Bob
        Posted July 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        @zorro
        “disadvantages of EU membership…”?

        What?

        On the BBC?

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:03 am | Permalink

      Yes perhaps they were but should they not question this absurd assertion?

  41. Bob
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood.

    Would you and your EU sceptic colleagues in the Tory Party please urge Wavey Dave to take up the challenge from Nigel Farage in the Telegraph today.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9378567/The-time-will-never-be-right-for-David-Cameron-to-hold-a-referendum-on-the-EU.html

    I could do with a laugh.

    • zorro
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Well spotted….so Cast Iron can say that he is a ‘Eurosceptic’ – because he is sceptical about the Euro but not the EU!…..What a cunning chappy!

      zorro

  42. Antisthenes
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    There is no doubt that the BBC is heavily biased towards the left and the environmentalists and vested interests especially their own. It has a disproportionate share of the media market and is very influential in shaping public opinion. This is not right for a state owned organisation unless of course the state is not a democratic one. A state owned broadcaster the most that it should be allowed to do is inform and nothing else. Indeed there is no need for the state to own a media organisation even to do that as there are many and varied other means for doing so. The BBC should be broken up and sold off into the private sector.

  43. Alister McFarquhar
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    On a subject on which I am well informed- Climate- BBC cover is nothing short of disgraceful

    Recently a distinguished regular of Newsnight said he was a journalist-He reported what folk told him

    Perhaps it is too much to expect BBC to check what top scientists tell them and to distinguish theory and evidence

    But journalists should be careful who they talk to

    • Bob
      Posted July 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      @Alister McFarquhar

      “…journalists should be careful who they talk to…”

      They are!

      That’s why they don’t talk to James Delingpole or Lord Monckton!

      They feel more at home with Polly Toynbee or George Moonbat.

  44. AJAX
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    P.S. I’m tabling an EDM recommending the abolition of the television tax because 95% of what the BBC produces is unwatchable, so cash in your tax busting salary whilst you can because it won’t last – buddy : )

  45. zorro
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I see that Andy Murray is the first male British player to reach a Wimbledon Singles Final since 1938, 2 years before Britain was bravely defending itself against a unifying European foe…it is now 2 years before 2014…

    I also see that in this Jubilee Year, this is the first time a British player has reached a Wimbledon Singles Final since the last Jubilee in 1977….

    Coincidence…?……I think not!

    zorro

  46. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Wow! That got some responses, didn’t it!

    PS Thank you so much BBC for supporting the Free Schools movement. We needed you and you didn’t even notice us.

    • Bob
      Posted July 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      @Mike Stallard

      “…didn’t notice…”

      Deliberately ignored more like.

  47. Andrew Johnson
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Now I know, ” we’re doomed, doomed I tell ye.” Even John Redwood is telling us he’s an admirer of the BBC and that it doesn’t show any leftist, statist bias. What next ? Nigel Farage having a road to Brussels conversion and telling us how wonderful the EU is?

  48. uanime5
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    John the dissenting voices on climate change are not given airtime because they’re not scientists who have conducted research but idiots who spout nonsense. What you are requesting is similar to Creationists’ demands to ‘teach the controversy’, even though there isn’t a controversy among scientists. Unless you want to give airtime to creationists who claim evolution is wrong, and witch doctors who claim chanting is a better remedy then modern medicine you shouldn’t be demanding people are given airtime simply because they oppose something you don’t like.

    Reply: There are some thoughtful critiques of climate change theory and the policy prescriptions its followers espouse. There are also problems with Darwin’s theory that need further work. If life came from the primeval slime, why can’t we make it from slime ourselves?

    • Posted July 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      “John the dissenting voices on climate change are not given airtime because they’re not scientists who have conducted research but idiots who spout nonsense.”

      Richard Lindzen. James Lovelock. Ivar Giaiver (Nobel Prize Winning physicist – http://www.mediatheque.lindau-nobel.org/#/Video?id=1410).

      Just for starters. It must be hard for you, with your closed mind. Remember, the planet has cooled since 1998, and we may well be entering a very cool period, with two very flat Solar periods on the way. Warm is good. Cold is bad.

    • zorro
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      uanime5, as usual, you are so sure that you are right on everything that you will not leave yourself open to change….? As John mentions, there are problems with Darwinism and the fossil record and ‘missing links’. Why not have the humility to accept that we are learning all the time and do not yet know everything. Do you know what proportion of your brain’s capability you actually use…?

      zorro

    • uanime5
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Well John it’s clear from your reply that you lack a basic understanding of scientific investigation.

      Being a ‘thoughtful critiques of climate change theory’ is no substitute for being a real scientist or having conducted a scientific investigation. By all means allow peer reviewed scientific evidence to be presented against climate change but don’t pretend that nuts who claim all climate change scientists are communists have anything meaningful to add.

      Darwin never mentioned primeval slime, nor do scientists. Darwin said that all species had a common ancestor and that they evolved via natural selection to better adapt to their environment. Scientific studies of fossils show that life originated from prokaryotes (single celled organisms) that lived during the Archean period (2.8-3.5 billion years ago), not inorganic slime. Finally unless scientists figure out how to combine the various elements and create life we can’t create prokaryotes not matter how much slime we have.

      Reply: You therefore accept that man has a long way to go to understand life, let alone to create it.

      • zorro
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        John, I am afraid that unanime5 is as my compadres might say ‘un don sabelotodo’…..

        Zorro

      • Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        “You therefore accept that man has a long way to go to understand life, let alone to create it. ”

        How far does John Redwood have to go to understand how ignorant he sounds in his replies about evolution?

        Sure, there’s a lot to be found out about life, but nothing has been found since Darwin first proposed the theory of evolution that has proved it wrong. In fact, every new discovery has strengthened and enhanced the theory. Unlike the dogmatic refusal to accept they’re wrong which characterise climate change denial and creationism scientists are constantly testing their theories to find out more.

        Reply: I have never argued that Darwin was “wrong” – merely that there are many things related to his theory that he did not know which still have to be explored and tested.

  49. Bazman
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Without ploughing through this shite. It’s interesting to see why so many, including right wing politicians see the BBC as such a threat? You seem think we are unable think for ourselves.. Communism never went away. Ram it.

    • Andrew Johnson
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Dear Bazman, As a longtime student of politics can I suggest that you do some research on political communication. e.g. National Socialists, Communists, almost any dictatorship. I think you’ll find that for the majority of people, if they hear or read something often enough, they will come to believe it. The BBC has simply become too large and too influential, what’s more unlike every other form of media you are forced by law to pay for it. It’s income is now over £4billion per year. Now that digitilisation is almost complete, there is no reason why the BBC should not become a voluntary subscriber funded organisation. If its as good as some say, it won’t have any problems will it?

      • Bazman
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        The BBC is far from perfect and politically has a lot to answer for, though reform for many means a British version of FOX News and the disturbing behaviour of staged news from CNN. In a democratic America.
        The compulsory licence fee is also the reason for a lot of the high quality programmes and entertainment produced. Channel 4 often does a good job, but I am not accepting another SKY by the back door from middle aged middle class men who do not watch TV.

        • JTB
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          Bazman, I am not a middle aged, middle class man who doesn’t watch tv. I am a 17 year old female, I do watch the tv, and even I can see that the BBC is biased.

        • zorro
          Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          I believe that it is the BBC which provides ‘prole feed’ like Eastenders…..

          zorro

          • Bazman
            Posted July 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            Is Dead Enders not a documentary?

    • JTB
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Bazman, unless you plough through this, how do you know it’s ‘shite’? I read each and every post. Only when we listen to every side of the arguement can we then make up our minds and make an informed choice. You clearly make up your mind anyway without listening to what other people have to say. But then, isn’t that what lefties do anyway?

      • Bazman
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        A lot of the posts just want the BBC to be more right wing and reflect their world view. Shite.

    • zorro
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Do you have to be so rude?

      zorro

      • Bazman
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Do you have to be so right wing and stupid?

        • zorro
          Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          You always fall back on abuse when you have nothing profitable to say.

          Zorro

          • Bazman
            Posted July 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            It was a statement of fact, an observation, not abuse.

  50. cosmic
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Why do we need the BBC at all? Things have certainly changed a lot since 1927.

    If we do need it, why does it have to be so big? I believe it’s the biggest broadcaster in the world.

    My feeling is that it would be better reduced to a couple of TV channels and national radio stations, and maybe the World Service, and the licence fee reduced accordingly.

    Politically, I consider it to have become the on-air version of The Guardian.

  51. Colin Hart
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    A very balanced piece, John. A shame the BBC doesn’t understand that concept.

  52. Alan Wheatley
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    A timely and welcome letter. A reply would be nice, but the new DG will not be in post for a few months and, in fairness, will need time in the job before he would reasonably be able to reply as DG in his own right. Being a promotion from within the BBC the time needed should be short.

    In addition, it would be fascinating to see a reply from Mark Thompson once he is no longer DG. Did that discussion over a cup of coffee to discuss bias that he offered at the Select Committee hearing ever take place?

    • Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Thompson on entry to the job noted the BBC’s clear Left Wing bias. What was never announced or reported were what measures, if any, he put in place to correct this.

  53. Alan Wheatley
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    While no doubt Chris Patten can see the open letter, if he bothers himself, a copy addressed to him specifically would be a neat move.

    In fact, as regards bias I think the Trust should be more the target than the Corporation, as it is the Trust who are supposed to be looking after the interests of the audience.

    However, we already know from Chris Patten’s reaction to an accusation of EU bias at a Select Committee hearing that he thinks the very notion to be incredulous!

    We need the Trust to be pushing the Corporation to be achieving better balance, not dissuading them by preaching that everything is already perfect.

  54. Bazman
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to know the average age of the posters on this site and how much TV they actually watch other than the BBC news which is in fact so bias that they are unable to watch any other source. The same men who want TV dumbed down to new levels. If this is what you want then get yourself a satellite and watch some of this (poor quality output-ed)
    Absolutely not acceptable and neither is a the level of programming and cost from SKY.
    What you would be looking at with each region having it’s own network is German TV or an old Cambridge TV channel that always showed a student cooking spag every time I put it on. Who would like to defend that and give me a laugh? No? Then defend SKY.

    • APL
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Zorro: “No? Then defend SKY.”

      I don’t have to, I don’t buy it.

      You are the fellow with the SKY obsession.

      Me? I just object to being forced to pay for the BBC which then force feeds my children vile propaganda like East Enders.

      Not to mention the dire news and current affairs coverage.

      • zorro
        Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Not me!..you mean bazman!…..correction please

        Zorro

        • APL
          Posted July 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          Z, no correction, since Mr Redwood’s blog doesn’t allow it. But an unreserved apology. Will that do instead?

      • Bazman
        Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        I thought Dead Enders was a fly on the wall documentary.

  55. Alan Wheatley
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    None of the 180-odd comments so far address the two fundamental issues about the BBC: (1) should the UK have a national broadcaster funded by a licence fee?; (2) should a licence fee funded broadcaster spend its money so as to attract the largest audience or covering the largest range of interests, or a combination of the two?

    No.1, a licence fee or not, is a relatively straight forward argument of the pros and cons of funding mechanisms and what the audience can expect as a consequence of each one.

    No.2, how to spend the money, is more difficult and more interesting argument as it includes may divers concepts, such as sociology, inclusiveness, diversity and popularity, as well as the more prosaic value for money. Of course, if there is no licence fee then No.2 becomes irrelevant.

    Programme quality and bias are are minor matters, important, but minor compared with Nos. 1 & 2.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Ok, point number one. My own view is that I should have the choice whether to pay or not. I am by instinct and conviction against a compulsory licence fee. If I subscribe to a service and it doesn’t deliver, I think it is right I should not then be compelled to continue to support it.

      Point number two. Programmes generally should reflect mainstream opinion to have the broadest appeal. Serious programmes such as those that deal with current affairs, should be strictly neutral. I wouldn’t be so peeved, were those with a different point of view given equal time, but the BBC’s left-wing bias is not subtle, it’s all-pervasive.

      Despite what others might think, I am not after right-wing dominance. In terms of fairness, that would be no better than what the lefties have given us, which after all is their traditional MO. I believe it is important to have balanced left-wing representation, for without it, we wouldn’t really know what off the wall nutters they are. The situation we presently have, is no one with any substance is ever given the chance to blast their lefty theories out of the water, so the myth is unbroken. Such consistency cannot be by accident, so must therefore be of deliberate design.

      Hardly a minor matter though.

      I hope this helps answer your concerns.

      Tad

  56. Alan Wheatley
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Critics of the BBC recently had the opportunity to make their views known by making an input to a public consultation conducted by the BBC Trust concerning the future of the BBC under the changed conditions of reduced income from the licence fee. Mark Thompson and others explained their philosophy to the Select Committee.

    The consultation, titled “Delivering Quality First” has completed and the Trust have publish their report.

    Those who would like to see the end of the licence fee and the BBC survive, or not, under some form of commercial funding have an steep, uphill task to persuade many others to agree with them, as surveys show a substantial majority in favour of the BBC as is.

  57. Frederick Bloggs
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Your fawning letter to the Beeb with its little soft sting has been (mentioned on another website-ed)

    Until the conservatives get the cojones needed to stand up to the Labour party and the Beeb you will never govern alone again. Dan Hodges has it about right.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danhodges/100169664/the-conservative-party-can-fight-honourably-and-lose-honourably-or-it-can-try-to-win/

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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