Enterprise and the BBC

I gave up on the Today programme last week with its Guest editors.  The Guest editor for business made his main item the first day an interview with a woman running a knitting circle for the digital generation who were fed up with being on line and wanted to make something. I wanted a briefing on the state of the world’s economies and markets, as other major countries did not have a bank holiday on Monday so there was real business and market news to catch up with. Usually of course Today’s regular editors wish to turn most major business interviews into some special commentary on the EU referendum, wrongly assuming all company heads will favour staying in. The editors seem quite unaware of the many attractions to business of being out.

 

The media say they are now doing a great job on presenting business to the public, thanks to their Dragon’s Den, Apprentice  and similar competitive frameworks. Far from following business, these are reality shows about possible future small businesses and new ventures that have been artificially stimulated by the powers of early  tv exposure. There is little proper business news coverage. The BBC does not usually want to present the profits, investment programmes and product launches of most companies. Most interviews are confined to a few heads of well known large businesses in the public eye with many direct customers. They are rarely required to defend their results, or to explain shareholder disappointments. The most aggressive interviews are when their company or industry is said to have caused a national problem – food companies are attacked for people being fat, energy companies are criticised for low income customers not having enough money for all the energy they want. Sometimes the business leader is invited to attack or support the government of the day, however sensibly reluctant they may be to be dragged into UK politics.

 

As a result of the lack of BBC coverage of the importance of business and what it does, we have low standards of public information on the scale, contribution and decisions of business.  A piece on knitting circles won’t hack it. That just leaves the BBC at the foot of the business guillotine waiting for the next excuse to monster a company.

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118 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Last year when I arrived at work, someone left their smart phone on with the BBC News (sic) playing. I have not watched any BBC output for quite some time and noticed how infantile the presentation was. It was like going back to the late seventies / early eighties and John Craven’s Newsround on children’s hour.

    The BBC seems to infanties or trivialise anything it deems either unimportant or of no interest to itself but, has to broadcast because it has to be seen to cover all the bases.

    This is why I believe the BBC would benefit enormously from market forces. Make it subscription only and let the market / people decide what is good or not. If they do not like what they see, they will then be free to vote both with their remotes and wallets.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      I agree, if the BBC had to win customers and generate its own revenue like any other business, then perhaps they may understand the process rather better.

      The BBC has rather the same attitude to business that many MP’s have who have never been in business, they simply do not understand how difficult it is to make a profit, and keep ahead of the competition.

    • William Grant
      Posted January 5, 2016 at 2:39 am | Permalink

      Sir Winston Churchill, apparently, was the main mover behind the setting up of ITV in the fifties because of his long-running feud with the BBC. What he should have done was forced the BBC to take adverts then on half of its ouput, then both radio and television services would have had the stuffiness knocked out of them and they would have been a lot more reactive tp public need.
      Mr Redwood should get up earlier and listen to ”Wake up to money”, on BBC Radio Five Live or BBC local radio. Business news on ”Today” could be accomodated by taking the axe to ”Yesterday in Parliament” but politicians would be up in arms.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I used to love Radio 4. It was the first thing I switched on. Now it has turned into perpetual woman’s hour, I go on other programmes. I also get (as now) most of my input from the blogs and videos where I am able to attend distant meetings, to read the views of people actually in the front line (like yourself) and to find out where the truth lies.
    I am beginning to resent the licence fee and I am quite sure the present set up cannot continue for much longer. The BBC is far too biased, far too complacent. Long gone are the days when it was cutting edge.
    PS Loved the War and Peace last night though!

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      JR go and tell Osborne to go in for the kill and finally scrap the BBC WS. Its now mostly rolling news format sounds like an audio version of the “Guardian” . The entertainment programs like a “Jolly Good Show” have been scrapped. For some reason that used to be a big favourite of dissidents like Vaclav Havel and Aung San Suu Kyi. The programs that also told about British society have mostly gone too. Anybody instead fancy listening to an hour’s worth on women’s rights in Pakistan, presented by an Irish woman who seems to be their sole announcer?

      • Kenneth
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        IMHO BBC WS is communist propaganda. The Soviets would have been proud

      • William Grant
        Posted January 5, 2016 at 2:47 am | Permalink

        A woman from the BBC said ,on the radio, that the money now put back into the BBC World service by government would, partially, be used to increase the diversity of the output of the English-language World service.

  3. Iain gill
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    One of the reasons top gear was so successful was it openly being anti the politically correct nonsense the BBC routinely pumps out across all channels despite those PC views being minority views in the real world. Top gear was also their golden egg in terms of trying to make money in the real world, which they have failed to replicate.

    Their journalism is infested with a narrow politically correct group think mindset.

    Their journalism lacks real world experience not just of business, but of science, of so much more.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Indeed they are nearly all, to a man or woman, are art graduates with little experience of the real world, science, engineering, proper economics, competing or much else. Steeped in the global warming exaggeration, bloated top down government and the enforced “equality” religions

      To me Andrew Neil is perhaps about the centre of the political spectrum and has a good grasp on things virtually everyone else at the BBC is way to the liberal, metropolitan left of him and it shows in nearly every question they ever ask. Their ignorance of science, engineering, real economics and the realities of actually competing in world markets is astonishing.

      Just look at the tedious, ill informed drivel Andrew Marr. Kirsty Wark, Even Davis, Robert Preston and the rest constantly churn out. They nearly always attack any problem from the wrong end.

      There endless attack of unscrupulous landlords is a good example. Calls for ever more misguided regulation, licencing and taxation just decreases supply and pushes up rents.

      • Timaction
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        All perfectly valid questions. Why do all the channels as well as the BBC give such leeway without challenge to the legacy party politicians? I watch with frustration as all the above and the ITV/Sky reporters let them get away with absolute nonsense and spin. Then we have the usual promotion of the PC nonsense on weather, foreign aid, EU and migration.
        The BBC should go but Mr Cameron wants them for the EU referendum spin.

      • Jerry
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        @LL; “To me Andrew Neil is perhaps about the centre of the political spectrum and has a good grasp on things [..//..]”

        Whatever his personal/political journalistic grasp what makes him bad for the BBC (or any TV channel or programme) is the fact that his on-screen persona seems to dumb everything down to the very last and lowest common dominator, anyone with more than a quarter of a clue must feel awfully patronised, those with a clue simply switch off or over…

        “There endless attack of unscrupulous landlords is a good example.”

        Whilst not quite defending Rachmanism you are rather to close to the line for your own good there Mr Lifelogic, probably not what you intended but it is what you have implied… Anyway, why would any legitimate Landlord not want to expose “unscrupulous landlords” that give your industry such a poor name, if nothing to hid then why fear such questions – answers that destroy the interviewer will flow like water off a ducks!

        “Calls for ever more misguided regulation, licencing and taxation just decreases supply and pushes up rents.”

        How doers it reduce supply, unless you are seriously suggesting that Landlords go about demolishing their properties, or choose to leave them empty, a property sold on (as either rental stock or a private dwelling) will still mean it is providing the same class of accommodation.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 5, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          I am far too soft to my lucky tenants as a landlord, I must get a harder agent involved.

          Over regulation and taxation decreases supply and pushes up rents. This as it becomes a less attractive investment to landlords, so they sell off of to owner occupiers and invest elsewhere.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 7, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            @LL; So in effect there is no less accommodation available, just is less rental properties about. Why is it so bad when private landlords sell a property on to an owner-occupier but it is good when councils (and now socail housing charities and the such) have to.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 6, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

          I’m surprised at you derogatory comments about Andrew Neil, Jerry
          He is one of my favourite BBC political interviewers
          Very balanced and he ask the questions viewers want to here answered.
          Hope it’s not your bias showing.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “[Andrew Neil] is one of my favourite BBC political interviewers” [..//..] “Very balanced and he ask the questions viewers want to here answered.”

            Why am I not surprised by that…

            “Hope it’s not your bias showing.”

            Not at all, read what I said again please, my comment was about his on-air style of presenting, not the content.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 7, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            “what makes him bad for the BBC (or any TV channel or programme) is the fact that his on-screen persona seems to dumb everything down to the very last and lowest common dominator, anyone with more than a quarter of a clue must feel awfully patronised, those with a clue simply switch off or over…”
            Well I’ve read that odd missive Jerry and it seems to me your bias is showing.
            As well as your natural sense of superiority.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

            @Edwards; Oh dear… Edward, you seem to believe that ‘dumbing down’ and “Bias” mean the same, they don’t.

            Dumb-down: To convey some subject matter in simple terms, avoiding technical or academic language, especially in a way that is considered condescending.
            https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dumb_down

            Style: A manner of doing or presenting things, especially a fashionable one
            https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/style

            Bias: inclination towards something; predisposition, partiality, prejudice, preference, predilection
            https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bias

            Apologies to John for including the three URLs

          • Edward2
            Posted January 9, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            Still droning on and on Jerry?
            And if ever a post showed your pomposity this is a good example.
            Thanks for the English language lecture.

  4. Richard1
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right, the BBCs coverage of business is pathetic and has always been. Not that you’d know it listening to them as they hugely overrate their own people – the Lamentations over the departure of the preening and unsatisfactory Robert Peston being an example. Kamal Ahmed, his replacement, is much better and used to write well in the Telegraph. But editors presumably set the agenda, and as you point out it’s generally trivial and often political.

    Anyone who wants business news on the TV goes eg to Bloomberg TV. Again the answer must be to make the BBC more responsive to its customers by phasing out the license fee and bringing in a subscription model.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Why do they never employ anyone remotely in the real world – Alastair Heath types for example?

      They seem just to be spokes people for tenants, benefits claimants, state sector workers, the catastrophic warming religion, many charities, the disabled, fake “equality”, the bloated state and more magic money tree economics.

      They are anti banks, most businesses, private sector workers, the private sector in general, climate realists and men in general unless they are the new BBC types of men, preferably actors or similar.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Kamal Ahmed the new business editor is a good appointment. But I assume the editors behind him set the agenda

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I would not even bother with a subscription model. I would let them go for full corporate sponsorship or donations from liberal foundations. PBS in America does the same and that is cut from the same cloth as the BBC. The BBC cannot complain about funding like that compromising its editorial neutrality. As things stand the BBC follows the neo lib economic agenda to a tee. Criticise the oversupply of labour and you are denounced as a racist. While if you believe in sound money you are obviously demented and have an obsession with returning to the gold standard.

    • William Grant
      Posted January 5, 2016 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      How could a subscription model be put in place for radio? BBC radio must take adverts on some of its output.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        I would happily pay for much radio 3 and 4 providing they left out their pathetic lefty, pro EU, greencrap, political agenda.

  5. Mac
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    BBC ‘News’?
    “Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.”
    Edgar Allen Poe.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      …or Tolstoy:

      “All newspaper or journalistic activity is an intellectual brothel from which there is no retreat”

  6. Antisthenes
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The quality of the BBC is in decline. Many of it’s programs are of poor quality, presented badly and often contains bias. It appears to have more technical problems these days than in the past despite more modern equipment. This has come about because of it’s structure and because it does not have to compete for it’s income.

    Being a public body it attracts employees who have left leaning sympathies and because it is not interested in making a profit those employees can corrupt the system to favour them. At the expense of it’s customers(audience).

    As you point out the BBC is not doing what it was set up to do and that is to be a public information service and a safe guarder of the performing arts. Performing arts that commercial outlets refuse to air because it is not profitable to do so.

    The BBC now is no better than any other broadcaster apart from a few exceptions. It has become the propaganda tool of the left. That under normal circumstances would not be a bone of contention as all the rest of the media are biased one way or another. However it is being paid for by us the public who have the right to expect total impartiality and balance of views from the BBC as does it’s charter.

    We are not getting quality and unbiased programs or impartial public service information. The BBC is not an institution that we or the rest of the world can trust as we have been able to in the past. It has become corrupt so it needs to change. That can only be done by breaking it up in a sell off that leaves a rump that is made to revert to doing that which it was originally intended. It’s power and influence is too great for it to carry on as it is because that power and influence is being misused.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Not having adverts to me is well worth paying for, but it is a great shame that we have to put up with all the usual BBC Libdim, propaganda & agenda. Why can we not have no adverts and a sensible balanced political line?

      I enjoy a lot of radio 4 & 3 it is a shame you have to filter out the bias from the valid all the time.

      I often find women’s hour very funny indeed. Listening to the various guests with their rather confused and self contradictory thoughts. That and the general push for yet more anti-male discrimination and their general Libdim agenda. Skirting over issue such as, why do so few women choose to study hard sciences, maths and economics at A levels and university, tending as they do to prefer languages, social sciences, drama, history and similar?

    • William Grant
      Posted January 5, 2016 at 2:59 am | Permalink

      The notion that the general public should pay for a ‘posh’ service alone, through a licence fee which is a virtually compulsory subscription, is obnoxious.

  7. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    BBC News yesterday…e-fags on the NHS

    The NHS might/may/could prescribe e-fags because cancer damage reduced 95%
    A Uni in California says e-fags might/may/could be 5% causal
    BBC News says giving up smoking is the only answer

    I think we know smoking needs to stop, but whats the point of 95/5% of this and that. Why the conflicting stats? And the NHS needs to keep out of give aways like this.

    24/7 TV don’t work and is costing us greatly. I remember the pre days of digital TV and commenter’s being asked what would be broadcast…answers were largely about not a lot. Now we certainly know that the time is filled with absolute junk….not a lot!

  8. Will Williams
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood

    Happy New Year. Thank you for your regular carefully presented blog items.

    It is over five years since I gave up listening regularly to Today. Most of the articles it broadcasts relate to interest groups wanting money – for the first time, or more of what is already being spent – on causes many of which have a superficial appeal. Those arguing their case never have to justify it in the context of a trade off however.

    That said, whilst I share your concern that the BBC is not using public funds as it should, it would be interesting to see if some rival quality news provider could challenge the BBC. Without any public funding.

    Will

  9. Pete
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    What, exactly, does the bloated state sponsored propaganda operation known as the BBC know about real business? Have any of their executives ever started a small business on their own, having to deal with government regulation and tax theft as well as keeping the lights on and a roof over their head? Have any of them ever risked their life savings on a dream? Doubt it.

  10. turbo terrier
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The BBC can only survive if it stays funded as it is.

    If the company was operating in the real world it would fail.

    In its present format and management structure it seems to be unanswerable to anyone despite all the threats from Westminster.

    Real successful companies are invariably linked to ISO 9000 management systems and have Visions, MissionStatement, Critical Success Factors, Procedures , Processes and above all Continual Improvement Criteria. The BBC as is would really struggle to get accreditation it is too big and dictated to by years of the old culture that it was founded upon. It needs to or be changed and start listening to its public.

    Like others this morning I have all but given up on listening to the majority of its programmes just too biased and narrow minded. Complaining is just a complete waste of times as it is nearly always ignored.

    It should be given no more than 6 months to come up with a change of programming especially over the EU and Greencrap and be more open inviting the alternative beliefs or be given notice that it will be broken up into manageable business units similar to British Gas prior to privatisation. If it cannot or will not listen to its customers and their expectations, it should be told it is going. It should try the old BG survey Banishing Gripes and really get its eyes opened.

    That might also be an idea for CMD and then he would maybe think again especially about the EU.

  11. agricola
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I think the country should wake up to the fact that the News and Current Affaires division of the BBC is a political party in all but name. A party that disseminates its’ philosophy at public expense without risking the embarrassment of subjecting itself to election.

    My solution is to hive it off to the commercial world, subject solely to subscription or advertising income. In other words being subject to the support or otherwise of the public. Commercial acceptance would be its’ election result.

    What is left of the BBC, much of it very good, should exist on a continued but much reduced licence fee.

    • Jerry
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      agricola; “I think the country should wake up to the fact that the News and Current Affaires division of the BBC is a political party in all but name.”

      As indeed are the other commercial/subscription news and current affairs channels, some even more so but don’t let that fact stop the BBC from being the perennial whipping boy.

      “My solution is to hive it off to the commercial world, subject solely to subscription or advertising income. In other words being subject to the support or otherwise of the public. Commercial acceptance would be its’ election result.”

      Shock-horror, I can see the headlines already- The Guardian Media Group, having won the competition to “purchase the BBC” two years ago, has taken the BBC’s output even further to the left, and whilst viewing figures remain more or less the same, income has increased and is allowing ever more leftist output to be made and broadcast – and thus the right wing media and politicos demand something must be done, once again, as this was not the outcome expected or wanted!..

      “What is left of the BBC, much of it very good, should exist on a continued but much reduced licence fee.”

      Agreed, the BBC is to big and to diverse with far to many levels of management. Three TV channels (compared to nine currently) is more than enough, the following are the core service, BBC One, BBC Two and News channel (with the Parliament channel being taken into a truly editorially independent service, perhaps over-seen by the Hanserd?). The BBC only needs four national radio stations (I’m not talking here about frequencies, that is a technical issue for the likes of Arqiva etc…), I would suggest returning to a pre 1967 number of national radio service; Radio 2 [Light], Radio4 [Home], Radio 3 [Third] and World Service. There is a place for BBC local radio, but only as a pure PSB service, offering music news and other services that the commercial or community radio stations will or can not.

      Genres and minority interests etc. should be incorporated, not put into cultural or age ghettos, significant breaking news can be covered within or by breaking way from normal programming. The BBC should perhaps not have such a wide presence on the internet.

      • forthurst
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, I agree that the political posture of media outlets tends to reflect their owners’ views; however, this is absolutely not the case with the BBC which entirely ignores the political views of the majority of its ‘owners’ in favour of their own. If the BBC News servicewere hived off, then it would no longer carry the imprimatur of the ‘impartial’ BBC.

        It is a pity that the BBC makes no real attempt to inform, educate or entertain, but that is the reality: they believe they have a licence to groom their audience; that licence should be taken away. Licence fee payers have right to given all sides of a controversial issue, and they have a right to information and entertainment which is not diminished by BBC ‘product’ placement. Perhaps, as you suggest, they would make a better fist of it by being shrunk to their pre-megalomaniacal size with a massive clear out of non creative staff.

        • Jerry
          Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          @forthurst; “I agree that the political posture of media outlets tends to reflect their owners’ views; however, this is absolutely not the case with the BBC which entirely ignores the political views of the majority of its ‘owners’ in favour of their own.”

          Utter tosh! If it were people on here would either be congratulating or complaining on it being biased to the right, after all the majority of the BBC’s “owners” did not vote for a right-wing party in 2015, and even less did so in 2010. Don’t believe me, go check the “Vote as % of electorate” figures -not the number of MPs elected for each party, one needs to go back to the GE of 1992 for the right-wing to even get above 33% of the vote and more likely 1979.

          “If the BBC News servicewere hived off, then it would no longer carry the imprimatur of the ‘impartial’ BBC.”

          Indeed but it will do nothing to stop bias across the (broadcast) media, if anything it will make things worse. I’m not saying it could not be made to work but it needs to be done as part of a far larger shake up in the industry, as I suggested the other week, perha0ps we need to follow the USA and basically allow political bias (even alliances) from broadcasters so long as it is clearly sign-posted so that viewers and listeners know they are NOT hearing impartial coverage.

          As for the BBC not making any real attempt to inform, educate or entertain, indeed but it is not the fault of arrogance although it is linked of the way the BBC is funded, basically the BBC were told that they had to be more like commercial TV, be more relevant to the majority and less elitist, I think the buzz phrase used was “inclusive”. So they cut down or stopped informing and educating and started to entertain more – only for the right-wing to complain that the BBC was deigning commercial revenue to the subscription networks never mind likes of ITV, Ch4 & Five (or indeed other radio networks and internet sites)…

          As I said, the BBC has become the perennial whipping boy.

          • forthurst
            Posted January 5, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            The majority of people are conservative with a small ‘c’. They do not want to be transformed; their voting behaviour is usually motivated by prosaic considerations and their assessment of the least worst option; that is unlikely to change so long as we have a FPTP system.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            @forthurst; You are entitled to your opinion, but if your assertion is based on any sort of fact can you cite some (checkable) figures, after all you seem to be suggesting that most people are “small c” conservative but then vote anything but, even more so if one also takes into consideration that turnout was only a fraction over 2/3rds (66.22%) at the May 2015 GE.

            If the UK was to ever change from the FPTP system all the indications suggest that it will be the centrist parties and left of centre that gain the most, hence why such parties constantly push the idea and why parties such as UKIP try and make out that they are centrist whilst also pushing for voting reform.

      • William Grant
        Posted January 5, 2016 at 3:32 am | Permalink

        The only thing right about going back to four BBC radio stations is that Radio 3, formerly the Third programme, should go back to its old hours of four to five per evening, and no having 50% of the Home service for classical music either! My community only has one commercial radio station and the locals would be devastated if BBC presence on FM and Dab was cut. We need seven or eight BBC radio services and no shange to the amount of BBC tv. The BBC needs a presence on the internet to describe speech radio programming for deaf people.

    • William Grant
      Posted January 5, 2016 at 3:11 am | Permalink

      You,re right. By having as its ‘flagship’ a news programme like ”Today” ,with its ABC1 target audience, the BBC has been playing its part in alienating poor voters for years, making it less likely that they will vote.

  12. agricola
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I read that Call Me Dave has stated in his New Year Address that “All Britons should have loyalty to their country”. That is of course unless you are a PM determined to sell his country into permanent servitude to the totalitarian EU. This adequately sums up the duplicity of Call Me Dave, snake oil salesman incarnate.

    • Timaction
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      This comment actually made me smile. Right on the money. He and other europhiles simply do not understand patriotism!

  13. alan jutson
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Agree with much of what you say John.

    The problem is that vast number of the population are not interested in real facts anymore.

    Life appears to be one big soap opera for many, as they have been brainwashed for so many years with so called reality television, which is anything but reality.

    You need to face facts, the BBC will have the biggest say in the referendum, because most of the population will believe what they say, no matter what the real facts are.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Exactly but that is the BBC for you. Endless trivia, the BBC’s usual bonkers agenda on the usual issues. Calls for ever more tax, ever more regulation, ever more EU, fixed pay levels, more enforces “equality” laws, calls for businesses to be arms of social security (for workers who are unable to their jobs – for reasons of addictions, health, pregnancy or disability).

    One top of this businesses are continuously knocked for the non existent gender wage gap. Which is simply a reflection of the job and work/life balance choices women make. As is quite clear to anyone who looks at the figure properly. Women without children already earn more.

    Businesses have to operate within the absurd framework governments have created.

  15. A different Simon
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The BBC is a strange beast .

    On the one hand it is a success story and has a residual brand image which it should not endanger the way it does .

    Radio 3 makes Classic FM look like club med . Match of the Day 2 was presided over by the incredibly talented and hyper smart Mark Chapman ; a professional broadcaster who is so much better than Gary Lineker .

    They are (obviously) super media savvy and at the leading edge of those things .

    On the other hand the news service is almost unwatchable – they provide an orthodox opinion on everything rather than present the facts and all sides of the story .

    It is such a pity that it doesn’t appear to be possible to get the best of the BBC does without having to take the propaganda .

  16. JJE
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I gave up on the Today programme a few years ago as it was leading me to start my day in a bad temper. I’m happier without it.
    I think politicians are better off by-passing the established media and making direct contact via blogging, even dare I say it using Twitter.
    The newspapers seem to largely report stuff they found on the internet, and then the BBC report what the newspapers found. Better to go to the source, or to be it.

  17. oldtimer
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I doubt there are many people working in the BBC who have much idea about how businesses work or what is required to make and keep them successful. Instead its attention is focussed on its own propaganda messages. These are broadcast daily across all the media it controls, on TV, on air and on line and across all types of prgramme from so-called “news” to chat shows, documentaries, drama and even comedy. It is what Lord Hall does and is probably a key reason he was appoinred to the job of Director General.

  18. A different Simon
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Twenty five years ago , Tomorrows World presenter Raymond Baxter came across as a bit of a wally but he was unquestionably sincere and enthusiastic .

    A friend who worked on his pleasure craft spoke very highly of him and reported that Raymond was unimpressed by the attitude of the new rich towards the masses .
    He described it as “Arrogance borne of contempt” .

    My point is that Tomorrows World , at least up until I stopped watching it , was a magazine program on technology which was not ideological agenda driven .

    With the BBC’s climate change fetish , it would be impossible for them to make such a program again – and they wouldn’t air a program if a third party made it .

    They have lost all independence and objectivity and in the main treat their viewers like cattle .

    • Jerry
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      @ADS; The BBC was told that they had to “compete for ratings” just like any other commercial/subscription broadcasters, that is what they have done. Their coverage of the Arts, Science (including AGW) and History etc is thus now no different to that provided by commercial/subscription broadcasters whilst the BBC has actively retreated from some areas. If those old style Tomorrows World Programme you mention were made today you are quite correct the BBC would not want them, but nor would the competition either!

  19. Atlas
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    First things first: Belated New Year Greetings to you John.

    I don’t listen to the Today Prog – I gave up on it years ago, but your comment on the knitting circle brightened up my morning !

  20. William Long
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    It is the same with all state run industries, NHS, the railways, etc, etc. Without the commercial imperative of paying for your existence there is no contact with the realities of life. Though interestingly you sometimes see quite effective interviewing on business subject on Channel 4 news which I often watch at 7pm.
    Although they are by no means perfect now, you only have to remember how awful the service was from the former state monoplies such as BT and the Gas, water and electricity providers, to conclude that the BBC could only be improved by being removed from the stae and having to fend for itself.

  21. Kenneth
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I entirely agree with this post.

    BBC business coverage has been woeful for many years where the business slots have usually been about anything other than business.

    The BBC is obsessed with women in business and lets this get in the way of proper reporting.

    It is shooting itself in the foot. The BBC could be a beacon of trust in the media if it could rid itself of its obsessions and its extreme, opinionated politics.

    Instead the trust in the BBC is waning as we are increasingly detecting an agenda behind the coverage instead of straight news.

    Newspapers have angles. The BBC should not.

  22. Bill
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year to you!

    I agree that the BBC is an organisation deeply in need of reform. I liked the way George Osborne passed on the requirement to provide TV licences for the over 75s to them. They delight in talking about ‘cuts’ (= savings), then let them make a contribution. What they now seem to have done is to have dumped further sports offerings: F1 has gone and only the football steamroller continues together with Wimbledon.

    Could you not bombard the BBC with Freedom of Information requests to find out how they make their decisions?

    There is no doubt their reputation such as it is dates back to the days of Reith and their general accuracy during WW2 when reliable reporting was hard to come by. It is a huge organisation and there is undoubtedly variation in quality between drama, news, sport and current affairs. The pay of its broadcasters must be excessive, however, if David Dimbleby can afford to send his son to Eton.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      The school fees probably came from the family newspaper business DD and his brother used to own. What should concern you is how its a self replicating elite. You now have a third generation of Dimbleby’s appearing on the BBC, with his son Henry the gourmet doing cookery programs. If you do a bit of googling you should find a comment I made listing a whole load of the BBCs “talent” who just happen to have had the BBC employ their mummies and daddies too. How they justify a Radio 1/2 DJ earning as much as three times as Dave beats me.

      • Bill
        Posted January 5, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        I agree that we are in the era of broadcasting dynasties. It is nothing to do with ‘talent’.

  23. Jerry
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    “I wanted a briefing on the state of the world’s economies and markets, as other major countries did not have a bank holiday on Monday so there was real business and market news to catch up with.”

    But John, there are commercial broadcasters and/or services which provide such a service -some are even free to air (especially on-line and on satellite TV), shock-horror, why not use them to keep informed rather than keep complaining about the BBC’s output, especially when many have complained in the past (and still do) that the BBC should not be competing with such commercial opportunities, even if they are merely obtaining adversing income or offering secondary services and subscriptions. Nothing would please me more than to have the BBC cover business as Blomberg etc. do but because of (mostly) right-wing winging in the past the BBC have been actively dumbing-down such coverage since the early 1990s and still does – just look (listen and cry) at the BBC News channel’s current excuse of a factual and informative business programme “Business Live”…

    Oh and nothing would also please me more than to see the end of such tat as Dragon’s Den, Apprentice and similar examples of the way in which the BBC has been forced to dumb down and offer commercialised/personality driven dross, nothing would please me more if the BBC were encouraged or even obliged to revive PSB programmes such as “The Money Programme” along with other ‘hard fact’ information/documentary based programmes but that would then give the BBC a purpose once again, not a slow death by many real-terms cuts, which is what has been happening since at least the 1980s.

    Perhaps the answer then is for the DfCMS to tell Ofcom to clear the shopping channels and soft porn (so to allow for a full HQ 24 hr service) from Freeview [1], and give the bandwidth to Blomberg, CNBC or any other broadcaster who wishes to provide a dedicated terrestrial FTA Business channel?

    [1] or perhaps, now that closure of BBC Three has been confirmed, for the BBC to combine the output of CBeebies and CBBC into one channel, scrap the idea of a BBC One +1 service and use that bandwidth

    • William Grant
      Posted January 5, 2016 at 3:46 am | Permalink

      The BBC One plus 1 service was nixed by the BBC Trust. Lord knows what we’ll get on the BBC Three fequencies now. CBBC should not be merged with Cbeebies and children should have a BBC radio station too. They’ve been short-changed for years.

  24. libertarian
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Luckily some of us realised many years ago that the BBC does not cover business and in fact is anti business. Where they do talk about it , its either negative stories about multinationals or reality TV shows.

    The reality of business, employment and the economy of the UK is with the 5 million SME’s. They get no coverage at all on BBC.

    Thats why I did something about it.

    By the way the Conservative Government both central and local is also vehemently anti SME and has done all it can to make life as difficult as possible for those running small businesses

  25. Know-Dice
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year to all contributors on here 🙂

    Business programs like “The Apprentice” don’t make me laugh. I looked up one of the so called “multi-business owners”/successful on-line entrepreneurs at Companies House…they were linked to three businesses two of which had been dissolved and the one remaining business had managed a turnover of only £80,000 in the last year. Not very impressive.

    Getting back to the EA, it’s not surprising that they don’t have money to spend on flood defences; with a salary bill of £410 million and 10,000 employees which give an annual average salary of £41,000 sounds like a good place to work…

  26. Bert Young
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    The BBC’s attempt to be all things for all people has dragged them down to a bottomless pit . Responders have exposed how they have given up on the Today Programme (so have I ) , the interesting thing is how little my wife and I are now watching TV generally . My child used to enjoy CBBC ; I notice now that she is very selective and only watches pre-recorded programmes ( this may well be an age related thing ). The BBC have made many mistakes eg. ditching Inverdale at Wimbledon for the gay woman I cannot stand ; efforts to reach out to all aspects of the community at the expense of good presentation are steps too far .

  27. ChrisS
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    The BBC is very like the Educational establishment ( which, of course, it rather condescendingly likes to think it is part of ).

    Like education, it is overwhelmingly populated by graduates who have never had a real job and have gone seamlessly from School to Uni and then into the BBC. In the case of Education, of course, few teachers have ever actually left that cossetted world at all !

    They are both overwhelmingly elitist organisations and think they know better than anyone in the audience what we should all be thinking. The content put out by the BBC is overwhelmingly directed towards putting us not onto the straight and narrow but onto a path with a built-in leftward curve . No wonder they are so pro-Brussels !

    However, I certainly don’t think that the License fee should end. For all its many faults, the BBC is excellent value for money. How could it not be when one considers what a Sky package costs and what one gets for it ?

    In my view, if the BBC became a subscription-only service we would all loose out.

    All it really needs to achieve real balance is an influx of employees in key decision making and editorial positions who hold right of centre views. We might then see a fair representation of opinion rather than the distinct left of centre, academic and liberal views that have held sway at the BBC for more than 30 years.

    Recently the excellent James Landsdale was overlooked for the key position of BBC Political Editor for blatantly-obvious reasons of political correctness. As a result, the post moved decisively to the left and to Scotland.

    But at least with Nick Robinson replacing That Scotsman on the Today Program we do now have one Right of Centre English interviewer in one of the seats on that most influential program.

    All we need now is for That Bloody Welshman to retire to the valleys and for Rod Liddle to return as editor.

    While I would regret losing him from his two key political TV programs, I would like to see Andrew Neil as head of news and current affairs. As an experienced and very successful newspaper editor and a superb broadcaster, he would certainly sort it out.

  28. waaramess
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The BBC is regarded as a left of centre rag with good reason and until someone gets a grip on this monolithic monster it will remain unchanged.

    Maybe even call me Dave could stretch to this as the removal of a license fee from our annual budget would be unquestionably popular whilst any downside can easily be deflected onto the management of the new organisation..

    • Jerry
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      @waaramess; “The BBC is regarded as a left of centre rag with good reason and until someone gets a grip on this monolithic monster it will remain unchanged.”

      Yes and I suspect that FoxNews is regarded as a distinctly socialist (if not communist) plot by some in the USA – your point being what – other than to state what (is almost certainly) an assertion based on personal political beliefs rather than anything based on substantive evidence…

      • Edward2
        Posted January 5, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Even the BBC have accepted and said they have a left of centre culture.
        Presumably that isn’t substantive enough for you Jerry.

        • Jerry
          Posted January 5, 2016 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          @Edwwrd2; Perhaps someone did suggest that the BBC has a “left of centre culture”, just as Sky News (if pushed) would almost certainly admit to having a tendency to have a somewhat right of centre culture, but does that actually translate to the existence of on-air bias? Answers to that question will depend on ones own personal bia… sorry, perceptions.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 6, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

            Do say bias Jerry Don’t be shy.
            And yes in my opinion it does translate to an existence of on air bias.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “And yes in my opinion it does translate to an existence of on air bias.”

            That is because you, like so many others, do not actually understand what bias is and what it is not. Bias to you seems to be what you simply do not want to hear.

            Bias is not satire, the asking difficult questions or stating an opposite opinion in an interview so to balance what would otherwise be a one sided “Minister, do you have anything you would like to tell our audience?” type of ‘interview’. The latter style thankfully bit the dust back in the early 1960s -funny how it was about that time, and of TW3, that the right-wing first started to complain that the BBC was biased to the left…

          • Edward2
            Posted January 7, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            No Jerry bias is not that at all.
            Bias in the BBC is where they take a firm position on a number of current political subjects despite their charter requiring them to take a balanced position.
            I’m very happy to hear the argument
            I’m very happy to hear the debate
            But I feel the BBC often presents only one side of the debate.
            PS TW3 brilliant.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 9, 2016 at 12:10 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Bias in [broadcasting] is where they take a firm position on a number of current political subjects despite their charter [or licence] requiring them to take a balanced position.”

            But that is not necessarily bias, if the presenter/reporter is countering the opinion or position of the interviewee.

            I agree that a presenter or reporter delivering a monologue that doesn’t present both side of the issue with equal tone or time etc. is bias. There is one BBC “analyst” who regularly delivers such biased monologues when reporting on Climate Change. No names but I sure people know who I mean.

            “I’m very happy to hear the argument
            I’m very happy to hear the debate”

            Just so long as the conclusion is what you want to hear, I fear.

            “But I feel the BBC often presents only one side of the debate.”

            But that might say far more about your personal politics etc. than it does about bias in broadcasting!

            “PS TW3 brilliant”

            Yes, and very left-wing, or was it just very questioning and irreverent of the establishment….

          • Edward2
            Posted January 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            Jerry again you fail to get my point.
            Perhaps you are blinkered by your own biases?
            As I have said before, I would like to hear both sides of the debate and the arguments more on the BBC.
            I can leave it to the public to then decide which side tgey want to take.
            They have fixed views about a number of current political issues as many others have said on this site.
            Where is the other side of the coverage of issues such as the EU, State spending, taxation, immigration, climate change, extreme weather, to name just a few.

  29. MartinW
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I agree with many of the previous remarks deploring the left-leaning stance of the BBC and its now dire treatment of ‘News’, which is now a mishmash of half-truths, bias by omission and sometimes downright lies. On the generally poor coverage of Business (especially Peston), I would make an exception in respect of the redoubtable Peter Day, whose programmes seem to me quite exceptional.

  30. Stu Saint
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Profit is a dirty word on the Beeb, always has to be justified by any interviewee, the Beeb like to equate it with theft

  31. Yosarion
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I used to enjoy the Money Programme on a Sunday evening, and ten years or so ago working lunch, now we have a World News om BBC2 at 11.30am when they already have a 24 hour dedicated News Channel?.
    Maybe you need to tap into that sexist by name alone Women’s Hour for the financial markets.

    • Jerry
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      @Yosarion; You seem to be complaining about the real-world cuts [1] in BBC programme funding, and (often at the same time) needless expenditure, such as moving swaths of the BBC from London to Manchester’s ‘Media City’ [2] that have occurred over the last 20 plus years. Patching one channel’s output into another or broadcasting the Test-card probably cost the same, so long as the content is owned by the BBC, what would you prefer, the World News (that is not normally available in the UK) or the Test-Card?..

      [1] never mind salami slicing of the TVL fee income for non BBC responsibilities, and more heinous, governmental political posturings

      [2] having only closed and demolished the Pebble Mill studio complex in Birmingham in 2005

      • Yosarion
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        I would say it would cost very little in production costs for the two programs above, rather than the endless crap that involved paying overpriced d list celebs on the lottery for the last twenty one years.
        Totally agree about Pebble Mill, but their local MP was not in charge at the time of the move.

  32. The Active Citizen
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    JR your last two journal entries about the BBC were spot on in their observations. Thank you for expressing yourself in such a forthright fashion. Of course that should make the news, but it won’t.

    It seems that everyone on here is agreed that the BBC is no longer fit for purpose and that it hasn’t been for a long time. Quite right too. Proposed solutions generally seem to involve the effective privatisation of our national broadcaster. That, or its general disbandment.

    I’ve argued before that there’s a role for a national broadcaster, properly regulated. The Beeb still makes some cracking TV and radio programmes from time to time – it’s just unfortunate that almost none of it comes from News & Current Affairs.

    In general terms my solution involves a statutory code of practice for News & Current Affairs, strict Parliamentary oversight, a legal framework for the journalism colleges and compulsory re-education courses for existing staff. I won’t repeat all the details, because there’s no point whingeing on here when nothing will change.

    I simply wondered if you and any of your correspondents had picked up on the news about the Polish state broadcasting organisation?
    Poland and new Media Laws

    It seems the Poles have had the audacity to make changes to the regulation and organisation of their own form of the BBC, and that the EU won’t stand for it, in particular the German EU Commissioner in charge of these things. JR I’m sure you hate Günther Oettinger anyway, because he was previously EU Commissioner for Energy Policy, and look how well he did with that.

    You might also want to know that Jean-Claude Juncker has just said he wants to implement the EU rule of law procedure against Poland, to protect against “systemic dangers to the rule of law”, thereby denying Poland all kinds of EU rights until it falls into line.

    All national broadcasters are to some extent controlled by the state, by definition. In the UK’s case, we have BBC Trustees appointed by the Government, who can hire or fire heads of operation, from what I understand. Not a lot different to the Poles’ new system.

    However the Poles have a new right-wing Government which doesn’t seem keen to follow Euro-Think in many areas of policy. Naturally this can’t be tolerated so the Commission has warned Poland that it might be denied its voting rights at Council unless it reverts to the previous left-wing dominated media control.

    The EU… don’t you just love it?

    • ChrisS
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      The Brussels agenda here is to rush to use the threat of withholding EU cash in an attempt to try and exert control over the Polish Government. Junkers and Co know that if that doesn’t work, Polish ministers will soon start to make trouble in the corridors of Brussels by not dancing to the normal EU Social-Undemocratic tune.

      Britain could do with there being a few more recruits to the Brussels awkward squad.

  33. Mike Wilson
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see a MP willing to criticise the BBC. Why are nearly all MPs so sycophantic about the BBC?

    The salary and pension packages they offer – out of public money extracted with the threat of prison if you don’t pay the BBC Licence Tax – are a scandal.

    And why are they able to charge lunch and taxis to expenses? As a business owner, I can’t do that.

    • Jerry
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      @Mike Wilson; Not that over tired “BBC tax” argument again, done to death and factually wrong – at least until such time as the iPlayer loophole is tied – never mind the fact that no one is being forced to use a TV broadcast reception device (as I pointed out only the other day).

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted January 5, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        What ‘over tired’ argument? I pay Sky £60 a month to receive TV signals from their satellites (no aerial reception where I live). I don’t watch the BBC. But I have to pay a tax to the BBC if I want to watch TV programs they have not made.

        That’s a tax in my opinion and I am sick of it.

        • Jerry
          Posted January 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          @Mike Wilson; “But I have to pay a tax to the BBC if I want to watch TV programs they have not made.”

          But that is the viewers choice, just as paying the VED is, even though someone doing so might only drive their car 500 miles a year and never on the Motorway network, the majority of A roads (never mind B and C roads) or on any days other than Sundays and Tuesdays!

          “That’s a tax in my opinion and I am sick of it.”

          Then so is the way BSkyB force people to subscribe to a bundle of channels they do not want nor need before they are allowed to subscribe to the content they do want, such as the Sport or Film channels but even them they make people pay a further “tax” due to making them pay for sports or film channel content they do not need nor want – and many people are just as sick of it as people like you are of the TVL fee, time to sort this whole channel funding mess out once and for all. You are right, people should be able to pay just for the content they want and nothing more.

          Perhaps the VED should be scrapped and Fuel duty increased to become a “Pay-per-mile” charge, perhaps all TV channesl should become “Pay-per-view” channels – swipe another £1 into the STB dad, the programme’s about to start…

          • Edward2
            Posted January 5, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

            I’ve never heard a more ridiculous set of arguments.
            Do you really believe what you say or do you just enjoy arguing Jerry?

          • Jerry
            Posted January 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “I’ve never heard a more ridiculous set of arguments.”

            That says far more about you than it does anyone or anything else!

            Should we just assume that you are both a non driver, and thus know nothing about VED, nor someone who has ever investigated or actually taken out a BSkyB subscription, that is the only way anyone would not understand the thrust of my argument above. Of course there is another explanation, Edward might just like starting pointless arguments…

          • Ted Mombiot
            Posted January 6, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

            Jerry
            Just shut up and stop going on and on
            Its very boring.

  34. lojolondon
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    The BBC in theory is a great institution, and perhaps it once was, but I have my doubts – witness how the BBC had a refused to broadcast Churchill’s speeches prior to him taking power in 1940, because they viewed him as a warmonger. Today, completely dominated by the left wing, the BBC insist in pushing the message at every opportunity, being : pro-Socialism, anti-Capitalist, pro-Labour, anti-Conservative, pro-anarchists/protesters, anti-police, pro-Democrats, anti-Republicans, pro-Palestine, anti-Israel, pro-‘global-warming’, anti-science, pro-North, anti-South, pro-Muslim, anti-Christian, pro-trades union, anti-blue-collar workers, pro-immigration, anti-British, etc.
    Every weapon is thrown into the fight, so people in soaps, on scientific and religious programmes, comedy shows, on panels and invited specialists and ‘impartial’ commentators will be seen mocking Conservatives, Christians and the police, storylines will be funded that explain how right-wing, politicians and big business are unthinking, careless and downright dangerous to the environment, to ‘common’ people and to the world. Prime-time panels will be organised with only one view represented, and you can be sure that will be the BBC’s view. Witness the many times that George Bush ‘bloopers’ were broadcast during the news, but for Barack Obama’s many hundreds of ‘bloopers’ and contradictions, one would have to go to youtube, because these are never seen on the BBC. For many years, Nigel Farage was completely frozen out of any BBC programme. Suddenly in 2015 he was invited to Question Time, Newsnight and several other programmes because the BBC believed that exposure to UKIP would damage Conservative votes during the election. Since the realisation that many ex-Labour supporters also want to end the UK’s relationship with the EU, his exposure has been suddenly extremely limited. I was not at all surprised to discover that the EU has donated over £6 million to the BBC over the last two years – there is absolutely no pretence of impartiality.
    I hold the BBC liable for the great number of deaths in some NHS Trusts – because the BBC believes the NHS is a ‘good thing’, they are completely blind to their faults, and refuse to publicise when individual trusts go wrong. A concerned and ethical BBC would have publicised the situation in Mid-Staffordshire years earlier, forcing the NHS to improve thus saving thousands of lives instead of being a key part of an institutional cover-up.
    (para left out ed)

    The BBC is bad for Britain and bad for everything British, especially bad for our democracy. There is no doubt that a proper Conservative government, or any ethical government would strongly reign the BBC in, savage cuts are required, not just for the £6 Billion we waste on it every year, but for the sake of our country and for our way of life.

  35. forthurst
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Having realised that I no longer watched BBC tv as a result of their declining production values and their rebarbative and ignorant world view which infected every area of broadcasting, I surrendered my tv for recycling. The BBC is not worth the licence fee since at some point with its increasing size being matched by diminishing quality, it failed a cost/benefit analysis.

    A headline in the DM yesterday, ” I couldn’t have made Downton on the BBC because the show doesn’t fit in with the metropolitan worldview, says Lord Fellowes.”

    The fact is that at a senior level, BBC is more concerned about inflicting their cultural marxist world view than providing value for money; this is because the BBC has been captured by an alien caucus that hates that which all right thinking Englismen cherish, which is our history, our culture and traditions and a future which is a less like their preferred multi-culti, pan-sexual nightmare as possible.

    • Jerry
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      @forthurst; Just because the Daily Maul says something, based on the opinion of a Conservative member of the House of Lords, make it a fact.

      Had “Downton Abbey” been made by the BBC, using the exact same scripts, cast, crew and locations, on the same budget, some people would have dismissed it as cultural Marxism, the BBC showing to the world just how the UK’s upper classes behaved 100 odd years ago – heck a few years ago I even heard some complain that the BBC’s up-dated version of “Up stairs – Down stairs” concentrated to much on the plight of the servants and the decadence of a family up stairs. What ever the production qualities of the current BBC One drama adaptation of “War & Peace” I’m expecting that it will be criticised for being ‘to elitist’ by leftists and ‘politically biased’ by those on the right…

      • forthurst
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        I’m sorry Jerry but I simply can’t subscribed to your thesis that the BBC annoys all parts of the political spectrum equally, therefore it is actually totally middle of the road, politically. For one thing, I don’t accept the left/right dichotomy and in the second place, Fellowes criticism was mainly about interference in the creative process in order to render the drama on message: I understand that ‘War and Peace’ will focus attention on an alleged incestuous relationship; I suppose Tolstoy’s weakness as a writer was his failure to anticipate the importance of transgenderism in the modern world. It’s no so much offensive as all rather boring and irritating.

      • William Grant
        Posted January 5, 2016 at 3:59 am | Permalink

        Downton Abbey was made with USA money on an ITV where the head of programmes is a cast-out ex-BBC man trying to restore his reputation. If ITV didn’t have a public service obligation still, which it should not have, Fellowes would have had nowhere else terrestrial to go but the BBC.

  36. Edward2
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    If I worked for the BBC I would be promoting the release of the BBC from the restrictions of its current funding method.
    The method was invented in the 1950s and is unsuitable for today’s varied media world.
    Set free the BBC would thrive as other commercial new media companies have.
    The BBC has now been outbid yet again on a top sport.
    No cricket, little live football, little golf and now formula one motor racing has gone.
    I’m not certain which forms of new funding would be best.
    I would do a change over a number of years moving from state funding towards complete independence.
    But change is needed for the BBC to survive in the decades to come against the backdrop of rapid changes in the way digital TV is developing.
    For example Amazon TV

    • Jerry
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Edward2; Can;t you ever get anything right, the BBC funding model has its roots back in the Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1904, even if the TVL dates from 1946 (not the “mid 1950s”), the idea being adapted to fund the BBC as a way to try and keep the BBC politically independent of governmental whims – in that it has failed miserably since 1945!

      “Set free the BBC would thrive as other commercial new media companies have. The BBC has now been outbid yet again on a top sport. No cricket, little live football, little golf and now formula one motor racing has gone.”

      You seem to be badly mixing up commercial and subscription models of funding, of the sports you cite both the BBC and commercial TV lost out other than for ring fenced regulated coverage or what are in effect breed crumbs, ITV and Ch4 etc are in the same boat as the BBC are when it comes to being outbid, and with limited funds to be had from the advertising pot (ask ITV, Ch4 and Five what they think about a further dilution if the BBC were also selling air-time) things will just get even worse not better!

      “I’m not certain which forms of new funding would be best.”

      The only universal funding method would be to make all broadcasters and channels subscription, with a surcharge on all subscriptions to fund core PSB, but that would require a root to branch shake-up of subscription broadcasting here in the UK.

      “against the backdrop of rapid changes in the way digital TV is developing. For example Amazon TV”

      Well apart from giving such a service about two years before, like other similar attempts have, it gets shut down, you seem to be mixing up broadcasting and narrow-casting, which the latter is IP based TV such as Amazon TV, YouTube or the BBC iPlayer, IPTV is not universally available and won’t be until 4G or even next generation 5G become much cheaper and as common as listening to a transistor radio -or indeed watching a terrestrial TV- is today…

      • graham1946
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        ‘mixing up commercial and subscription models’.

        Except for Sky which is both and so outbids everyone. I hate having to pay a subscription and still watch adverts all through as well (they always seem more frequent and longer than the ITV ones, – (don’t know if that’s a fact but it seems like it). ITV only provides 44 minutes of actual content each hour anyway. I hate adverts in the middle of programmes so tend not to watch commercial tv except by recording, then whizzing up past the ads..

        BBC is to my mind much better value than Sky, with all that it does for less than a third of the Sky subs. I particularly like my local BBC radio station which is streets ahead of the commercial dross and is worth the licence fee on its own. As far as political bias is concerned, I just ignore it wherever I find it and make up my own mind – you can’t get much more biased than the daily papers. Who complains about them? You buy or not.

        It amuses me that so many people who think they shouldn’t pay the licence fee ‘because I never use the BBC’ all seem to know in detail and have opinions on what it does and are quite happy to watch all the BBC content shown on the subscription channels. Without the BBC, how would these get made? BBC on subscription would be far too expensive for many people. Only by getting so many people to pay can it be so cheap. No different to say car insurance (or would some complain that they don’t have accidents, so shouldn’t pay?)

        Regarding the BBC paying for the over 75’s to have a free licence, that is a government benefits decision and should not be the remit of the BBC. Just another Osborne con. The BBC does need slimming down, it does far too much, but please not subscription.Look at the other models we have for that and the tripe provided for th high cost involved.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted January 5, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          @graham1946

          You like the BBC. You pay for it. I don’t like it and I don’t want to pay for it.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 5, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            @Mike Wilson; You like the Sky. You pay for it. I don’t like it and I don’t want to pay for it but – as @graham1946 correctly points out – we all pay for ‘Sky’ because they also carry paid for commercial advertising that then subsidises their operation costs which everyone pays for via the retail check-outs etc.

            So indeed, perhaps it is time for people to only pay for the TV they actually want & watch, but this will mean that those who pay for TV subscription channels will have to pay the full cost of such channels and services they choose to access, not expect those who do not [1] to subsidise their viewing habits by way of the retail check-out till.

            But without that income from commercial on-air advertising your TV viewing fees could end up costing a hell of a lost more than the current £60 (+£12.12 TVL) fee pcm it does now, it wouldn’t surprise me if in such a scenario you ended up paying in excess of £100 pcm (for the same level of access to programmes) as BSkyB attempt to make up lost income and this all assumes that BSkyB do not loose a significant number of channels or subscribers due to the price hike, if that happens who knows were the economics will lead. Ever wonder why BSkyB do not tend to rock this TV funding boat to much?…

            [1] never mind those who can’t access because of encyption or don’t even own a TV

          • graham1946
            Posted January 5, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            It’s life. I don’t like maybe 95 percent of the tripe Sky puts out but I have to pay the fee for the bits I do like and the cost is at least 4 times the licence fee, and with adverts to boot. All commercial tv is paid for as Jerry says, at the till by us all – there is no free broadcasting. Luckily I can pay, but many can’t. Sky very artfully split the golf into European and US coverage so you have to subscribe twice if you are a golf fan and want to see the whole thing and still they put adverts on as well! They have put sport out of the reach of many sport lovers by taking over the free to air programmes and will continue this with Wimbledon, Motor Racing, ladies golf and even eventually the England football internationals and probably all else. The actual viewership of sport on Sky is going down as against when those ones were free to air. When Channel four had the cricket, audiences were in excess of 8 million. Sky’s audience for it is below 2 million, and mostly between a half and one million. The price goes up every year regardless of inflation. If ever free to air comes to an end, many poorer people will be priced out of tv entertainment altogether, but that won’t bother some people will it?
            I bet you still consume some BBC content – it’s almost impossible not to with tv, radio and even many programmes on the subscription channels made by the BBC, so just accept it is part of living in a civilised society and be thankful we don’t have tv like the Americans do which is what will happen if it goes all subscription.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        I realise you see yourself as the expert on many things.
        Hence you often open with “you know nothing” or some such similar comment.
        You are entitled to your opinion Jerry
        As I am to mine.
        Just leave out the rudeness and agressive tone when you spring to reply if you would be so kind.

        • Jerry
          Posted January 5, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; “I realise you see yourself as the expert on many things.”

          Not at all, I just spend a little time trying to check my facts in case I am the one who is mistaken [1], hence I try to talk from a position of knowledge and not just opinion or assertion, nor am I perpetually party political in my comments like some.

          “Just leave out the rudeness and agressive tone when you spring to reply if you would be so kind.”

          More filthy pots and pans standing in front of a mirror trying not to catch their own reflections. What ever…

          [1] it took about 30 second to check the date of the TVL, and another 30 seconds to check the history of radio spectrum reception licensing in the UK and its relationship to the BBC. Oh and whilst I knew the TVL fee must surely have dated from before the “mid 1950s” because BBC TV was up and running again well before the Coronation of early June 1953, although even I was surprised that it actually dates from 1946!

        • Edward2
          Posted January 5, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Carry on and on and on Jerry
          Being agressive and rude to anyone who has a different opinion to you.
          How many TV licenses were there in 1909?
          Come on Jerry Stop taking pedantry to a new level.
          There comes a point where informing us you have superior knowledge to everyone else just makes you look a bit foolish.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “How many TV licenses were there in 1909?”

            But how many satellite television subscriptions were there in 1946 (or 1955 as you would have it)?… Duh!

            “Come on Jerry Stop taking pedantry to a new level.”

            It is not pedantry, how broadcasters are funded is fundamental to the entire debate/argument when people like you think the TVL fee is untenable due to it funding biased broadcasting then so is the funding of bias via paid for commercial adverts that are paid for via the check-outs. The fact that you can not, or choose not to, understand this says far more about you than it does either myself of the BBC.

            If you do not want television funding to be a part of the debate about broadcast bias then don’t bring the TVL fee in to the issue, simples as the Merkat might say!

            “There comes a point where informing us you have superior knowledge to everyone else just makes you look a bit foolish.”

            Only in your opinion Edward, very far from it being “everyone else”, even on this site.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 7, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            Jerry
            Just stop.
            It’s so boring
            It really is
            Pedantry to the nth degree.

  37. Rods
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Happy new year to you.

    For up to the minute news and quality written commentary you can’t beat going to the horse’s mouth, which means following the quality sources available on the internet. In all areas that I have a strong interest in I use Twitter for my news headlines along with their links for more detailed information and a range of good quality newsletters and blogs. It takes time to build a good portfolio of quality sources, but they are out there and it is well worth the effort. Also, being the written word you have the five great advantages of:

    1. On demand 24/7, you can read / absorb at your own pace and continue after any interruptions.
    2. Get news and information from the horse’s mouth often at least a week before the MSM.
    3. Much of the information available is not fashionable and will therefore never appear in the MSM.
    4. Being written articles, setting up a good bookmarking and cataloging system mean you have the link at hand for future reference. This I find invaluable and use regularly.
    5. The best of the institutions, experts and journalists know their subject much better than run of the mill jack of all trades MSM hacks. Many of the best are recognised authorities in their particular areas of expertise.

    Sounds like it is time for you to get into the 21st century on the news front John.

  38. Margaret
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    No need to give it the chop simply revitalise it. J Rees Mogg was featured on BBC Parliament talking about its 70th anniversary in September . H e spoke quite fondly . JRM is an impressive man with a non angry attitude .. refreshing

  39. Kenneth
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    A good example today with the BBC reporting that the NHS may give out free e-cigarettes.

    The BBC has not grasped that a new industry that has probably lengthened/saved countless lives will be destroyed and replaced nationalised rationing and most likely increasing restrictions.

    • Kenneth
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      …sorry for bad grammar hope it still makes sense

    • Jerry
      Posted January 4, 2016 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      @Kenneth; Trouble there is, your argument is totally shot down by the fact that the biggest end provider of prescription pharmaceutical drugs in the UK is the NHS (in all its guises), now remind me how large the UK pharmaceutical industry is and its worth to the UK economy, nor has it stopped either over the counter sales nor prescriptions by way of the private medical industry. But of course should someone left of Mr Corbyn become PM and head the next government only having a single maker and provider of e-cigarettes will be the least of the pharmaceutical industries problems!

  40. Wodge
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Some of you would have us live in a cultural wildernes.Would a commercial station have broadcast Andrei Chenier the week before Christmas,or the ballet Carmen on Christmas
    day?By all means criticize the political bias but leave alone that for which the BBC is the envy of the world.

  41. ale bro
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I would love to see a daily BBC business show that includes interviews with CEOs, insightful analysis of financial markets, and an acceptance that business is the engine that drives the economy.

    All of this is available on US TV, and it’s not clear to me why we are denied this over here.

  42. Amanda
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I gave up listening to BBC’s Today, over five years ago – and am much happier for it, however, I’d love to have a proper intelligent and informative morning news programme back.

    I also rarely watch BBC TV, and try and pick programmes carefully – however, it is hard to get away from what is often a shocking bias towards the ‘political correct Marxism’. The recent documentary on the History of Spain was a classic example – after two episodes I could stand no more of what was essentially the History of Islamic Andalusia – and could see the way the rest of the programmes would go. Everything Islamic was wonderful and beautiful, everything Christian was nasty, brutish and blood splattered. For some reason 11th century Andalusia was compared to London and Paris – the latter of course were simply barbaric in comparison. There was no point or reason for such a comparison, except to emphasise the superiority of the Islamic state !!

    Mind you, I have to laugh at reports in the Sunday papers that the feminists are complaining about the Christmas episode of Sherlock, representing the Suffragettes as the Ku Klux Klan – why not Dearies, the BBC, misrepresents everything else to do with British History. (I’ll have to look that one up on iplayer.)

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 5, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Yes,it’s curious the passion the liberal left feel for an Islamic Spain(Boris J was also at it in the Telegraph yesterday) that was nothing like the Nirvana they claim it to have been.And why compare it to the post-Roman cities of Western Europe when a much better comparison would be with the Byzantine world and the great city of Constantinople?

    • Jerry
      Posted January 5, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      @Amanda; “The recent [BBC] documentary on the History of Spain was a classic example – after two episodes I could stand no more of what was essentially the History of Islamic Andalusia”

      So basically they were dealing with the historical period between the years 711 and about circa 1500? Sounds quite actuate then!

      “and could see the way the rest of the programmes would go.”

      Indeed, I can also see the way this series will go and I’m a little annoyed that I assumed that it would be the populist half facts you seem to wish for, thus I have not bothered to watch it from the start (although it could still be let down by dumbed down, patronising presentation) – thanks for the heads-up.

  43. ian
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Who gives a F for bbc and the rest, all the main people have been taken over by unknown influences and will continue to blur out rubbish night and day.

  44. Maureen Turner
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    One of the most annoying things are the BBCs’ presenters, especially on the Today programme, who ask a question of the individual being interviewed and before he/she can even begin to get a few words out the interviewer talks over him/her. Apart from the fact it is extremely rude what’s the point of asking anyone into the studio if no one is informed.
    The recently departed Mr. Evan Davis turned this into an art form which regardless of the
    subject up for discussion was for some reason also accompanied by giggles.

  45. ian
    Posted January 4, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    As for the BBC outside influences have been there since day one because it is a world news service.

  46. adam
    Posted January 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    (I know they won’t accept this but) Could we have an alternative to the BBC and we can choose which one the TV license goes to. I want something more right wing. Its horrible to pay money to the people at the BBC.

  47. stred
    Posted January 5, 2016 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    We watched BBC4 Horizon on Doom last night. There was the Canaries tsunami, the asteriod strike, the super volcano in Yellowstone and of course there was CO2 and the dreadful consequences. The last part of the programme was devoted to pictures of melting ice and rising sea levels up to 8 feet, with pictures of the world wiped out Al Gore would be proud of the content. Naturally, there was no mention of the way figures are calculated or disputed by non IPCC scientists. The programme was presented throughout by a young scientist called Dallas Campbell, who could persuade most of our yoof to do anything he wished. I looked him up. He is an actor with a degree in drama and english from Northampton or somewhere unmemorable. Just the person to head BBC science programmes.

    Then tonight, there was a piece of news from Ch4 News, in which we were told by their science correspondent Tom Clarke that it has become impossible to build flood defences higher in York. The answer is to grow more trees upstream and build more overspill reservoirs on there. This is obviously true, but to say that flood defences cannot be built higher isn’t. I wondered how such nonesense could have been broadcast as news and looked him up too. Ch 4 says he started as a scientist but quickly decided to learn journalism instead. Just the ticket when John Snow is reading it and just back from Bangladesh, which has sunk into the sea already, according to his last sermon on AGW.

  48. RB
    Posted January 6, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    As a result of the lack of BBC coverage of the importance of business and what it does, we have low standards of public information on the scale

    >
    The BBC is bad news on so many levels. Peter Hitchens caught them apparently socially conditioning people to believe Christians were bigots in their modern remake of classics.

  49. RB
    Posted January 6, 2016 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Here is a quote to give you an idea of the sort of things the BBC is upto…

    “Soldier Island Revisited – How the BBC Made Agatha Christie Look Like Shakespeare….

    ….Next, we have a policeman whose crime seems to have been to have beaten an arrested man to death in a police cell. The man has been arrested by this officer for homosexual importuning, but the police officer is himself a repressed homosexual (there are no homosexuals or lesbians in Agatha Christie’s original book, so it has been necessary to create some, because this is the BBC, after all).”

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2015/12/soldier-island-revisited-how-the-bbc-made-agatha-christie-look-like-shakespeare.html

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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