Time for change at the BBC

I wrote this last week for Free market Conservatives and am now reproducing it here:

The BBC are their own worst opponents. Their recent cancellation of a couple of much loved old songs that are famous worldwide and have not before caused protests led many  of their  former BBC news/Radio 4 audience to anger or despair. They are so dominated by the fashionable global  political correctness and by the briefings from the EU and international bodies that they can no longer relate to the many in the UK who like our country, are at peace with most of its past and just wish to be entertained. They are ready to run any cause which wants more government, higher taxes, more spending by the state, more submission to international treaty rules and more dependence on EU suppliers.  They revel in allegations of inequality and unfairness, whilst seeking to remove their own high payments to some  talent from  the full public gaze. Their constant cry is government should do something. They tend to see  business as a source of stories of overpayment and possible corruption, and show scorn for anyone who does not share their corporate values. 

Last Saturday morning I made the mistake of listening to the Radio 4 Briefing Room programme about the EU/UK talks. For half an hour they paraded so called experts and BBC correspondents who gave us yet another tedious version of Project Fear. There was no attempt at any balance. No-one spoke for the UK and no-one spoke of the many advantages Brexit can  bring. The overarching perspective was that supplied by the EU. There was no attempt to cross examine the EU position and ask about the risks to their big export trade into the UK and our opportunity to substitute UK produced product or cheaper rest of the world product with freedom from EU tariffs. There was no attempt to explore the big upside possible for more food grown and reared in the UK , nor of the way world competition will also affect EU suppliers where we do not have a domestic  industry to protect. The importance and opportunity for our fishing industry was dismissed, though they did think fishing was important totemically for French and Spanish fishermen!  It was as if they had joined the EUBC and had decided not to bother about the  views of a majority of the UK licence payers. 

The BBC’s charter requires the BBC to be neutral and to allow a wide range of views and arguments to be put. Their news coverage does seek to give most political party representatives a hard time, and during elections in particular they are careful to observe the rules over representation. That does not make their overall output  balanced. For years studies showed the BBC gave plenty of easy airtime to those who wished to make the case for the UK’s membership of the EU, but gave far less time to those who wanted to leave. Those who did get on were interrupted, heckled and often presented in an unfavourable way as if their democratic cause was unworthy or absurd. Once the people had voted to leave the BBC would still not accept the verdict, and delighted in giving maximum exposure to the minority representing the global political establishment who wished to undermine or reverse the decision. Many of their storylines come from the Guardian and from Labour and Lib Dem research. They do not offer a similar range of stories for all those seeking to reduce taxes, expand prosperity through enterprise, query the conduct of nationalised monopolies and challenge the global consensus on major issues. To many in the BBC  President Obama’s substantial bombing campaigns were fine, but some of President Trump’s tough or one sided statements designed as a substitute for  military action are  unacceptable.

It means reform of the BBC is in the air. This will be necessary anyway, as we thunder towards a very different media planet where people download much of their entertainment, get news from a range of worldwide instant services, and spend more time on social media than conventional media. The immediate issue is should the licence fee be a normal charge  where payment is enforced by civil and not criminal means? How much longer anyway will the licence fee serve their needs, given the way many people can avoid live tv and so claim they do not need to pay it. A simple first reform would be  to decriminalise the licence fee and unclutter the courts of the licence fee criminal cases. In other guises the BBC would be against a poll tax. They should think again how best to finance their activities going forwards. What is good public service  broadcasting and how much if any should  be taxpayer financed?  Let’s have a modern proposal. Shouldn’t some of the BBC’s current more commercial activities be paid for by   the audience they can command as for other media outlets? We need a new settlement, with the majority of the country that did vote for Brexit feeling we can be included. The BBC should not offer unfair competition to other media outlets financed by their unique access to a dedicated poll tax.

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367 Comments

  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    The BBC never give any context to new cases for Covid 19.

    They always say new infections to make it sound more deadly.

    They never point out that most people who test positive for Covid aren’t actually ill from it and never will be. Also you don’t usually test people for any illness when they are not ill.

    They don’t point out that the more people you test the more positive tests you will receive. The so called spikes in Europe have all been down to extra testing.

    They never point out the countries that have had the severest lockdowns: Belgium, Peru, France, Italy, Spain had the worst death rates.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      “Pupils to face GCSE and A-Level exam delay next summer
      The Education Secretary has indicated he will back plans to give pupils more time” (Telegraph)

      Frank Spencer strikes again

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        This is clearly pandering to teachers (the “other” BBC). Unless teachers have something to aim for (call exhibit A, cancelling exams this summer) then they won’t turn up.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        It is clear that Starmer is setting educational policy – shouldn’t he be in the cabinet ?

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        I thought Andy and others said teachers worked throughout the lockdown with key groups from home and setting work, surely those in the first year (year 10) were those considered important to keep up their home learning going. How many weeks did the year 10’s go without any studying 9?

        What a mess in England, let’s not forget in Scotland they do a year less and finish school at 17 (although the EU won’t like that as they had ‘targets’ and ‘measures’ for 90% of teens in the EU to finish age 18). Scots effectively start their equivalent GCSEs in Year 9, I wonder if they will need to do their extra year now year 9 was lost?

      • NigelE
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        @ Stephen P
        Frank Spencer? More like his much maligned cat!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      To be fair, Fergus Walsh has become more sceptical and conducted more thorough reporting of late.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      You make some good points but I’ll challenge your closing sentence – as it invites the reader to conclude that high death-rates are caused by severe lockdowns. It’s more likely that severe lockdowns are necessary to reduce high death-rates.
      P.S. My own view is that our lockdown came too late and lasted far too long. We mustn’t repeat that failed experiment. Our economy’s dilithium crystals canne take it.

      • BOF
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Around the world, lockdown has made little or no difference to the course of the virus. Classic example Sweden. Their only mistake was to not protect care homes well enough.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Most of the “lock downs” came in a very short time period. Ours was only 3 weeks after Italy. The world’s Greatest Statistician of All Time, Neil Ferguson said going into lockdown a week earlier would have saved 25,000 lives. The media has accepted that as an established fact without any evidence. Peru sent into lockdown on 16th March and is now 3rd highest death rate.

        Regarding the countries I mentioned that have had the severest lock down, France is the only one not now in the top ten.

        New York State had one of the severest lockdowns of all and made up nearly a quarter of all Covid deaths in America.

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          Stephen Priest, Exactly right. And the rollover of the death toll came on 10th April, only two and a half weeks after “lockdown”. Yet the covid19 pathway of infection/incubation/disease/hospitalisation/ICU/death normally took much longer. That shows the lockdown was not responsible for the diminution of the death toll after 10th April.

      • BetterTimes
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        You should be our PM.

        Starting the lockdown a week or two earlier than we did…with 35 cases and 6 deaths would have been a it of a challenge for you but hey ho!
        “Dear 67,000,000 UK residents, I’m sure you agree the timing is now right to shut down the UK…based on the miniscule current effect of corona virus”. Try selling that! Impossible.

        Hint:

        There’s many areas to criticise the Government about handling of the crisis…but saying lockdown should have been earlier, is definitely not one of them.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          It is.
          It was clear (to most of us) before Cheltenham and othe revents that weekend that holding them wasn’t a great idea.
          Perhps closing the borders might have helped too, even later.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      The BBC never remind people of how retirement ages are lower and pensions better in most European Union countries either, nor of many, many other things to enable people to make sensible comparisons as to how their country and its government measure up.

      • agricola
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        20% unemployment overall and much higher for those becoming employable is the de facto retirement situation in the southern EU nations. Retire in poverty is a novel approach before you enter work. The nations concerned pay peanuts to the unemployed, hence a 25% black economy which cannot afford the luxury of paying tax. Ergo countries that cannot support themselves without handouts from the northern nations. Light the blue touchpaper and stand well back. The touchpaper being a successfully Brexited UK.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        “In the EU Member States, the most general retirement age is 65 years. Spain, Germany and France are about to raise their retirement age from 65 to 67 years, while the goal is 68 years in Britain and Ireland. Increasingly, the retirement age is being linked to life expectancy.” etk.fi

        https://fullfact.org/europe/pensioners-eu-uk/
        Comparisons of Countries is misleading…

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Are you trying to wind poor Andy up? He hates old people and their pensions. If in his ‘beloved `EU’ you get older earlier and are on pension longer, he will have nothing to live for!

      • NickC
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Martin, The UK’s dire performance was whilst we were in the EU. Are you sure you want to say that?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Yes..deaths probably caused by the lockdowns themselves.
      Being imprisoned is a huge shock, especially in such a punishing way. ( And we know that govts. do NOT care about our wellbeing, so what is it all about?).
      You mention Belgium and France. Imagine the shock for them with the memory of nazi occupation still fresh.

    • JayGee
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Stephen Priest, nonsense. You use the words ‘never’ and ‘always’ making it appear that you listen to and watch every single broadcast from the BBC, 24/7. Are you not curious enough to wonder what you might be missing in life?

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        okay – I promise never to say never again.

        And I will always stick by that rule.

      • NickC
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Jaygee, My life is too important to me to waste it on the BBC’s biased drivel.

    • Hope
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      JR, again, we have heard all this before. Ten years on and the position has got worse. Same for the all quangos. A reality is that there will have to be cuts and tax rises, as Lamont points out today. Taxing yourself to prosperity is like trying to lift yourself standing in a bucket- he quotes Churchill for Johnson presumably.

      Start cutting the left wing quangos because when we leave the EU ministers will need to learn to govern and not paste buck to quango or car or team lead or other b.llocks. Start with the expensive Environment Agency. We do not need to pay councils extra for the job EA was designed to do from councils in 1997! We should not be paying taxes for both!

      Reform councils expenditure. Get rid of the cultural marxist agenda and a host of other posts are got rid of ie Equality, transgender, Relationship and sex Education Act, ECHR, HRA etc. Change the law for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers so it is easy to deport them. No more hotels for them, back to detention centres. No escaping, no letting by Buckland straight home. Give them work to do so when they return they have skills to benefit their country- that will also help to cut overseas aid!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      The snippets of real factual information the BBC provide lead me to think this is all over bar the shouting.

      90% of ICU admissions were overweight.

      The true picture is that unless you are a potent combination of diabetic, overweight, and over 80, the likelihood of this disease being fatal is minimal.

      1 in 5000 are walking round with the infection. Having caught it, 7 out of 10 people appear to be asymptomatic, so you have a 1 in 15’000 chance of the next person you meet inside inducing symptoms in you. It’s only then that age and co-morbidity determines outcome.

      The BBC is making a big deal of this now to give neo-Marxists a gap. Strangely the government seems to be obliging.

    • Liz N
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      You have made the classic error that continues to go virtually unchallenged worldwide by saying “people who test positive for Covid aren’t actually ill from it”. What you mean to say is that people who test positive for Corona virus aren’t ill from it. That is the whole crux of the matter – corona virus testing is what virtually everyone who is being tested is getting NOT Covid 19 testing. No wonder they are saying there are no symptoms being displayed for Covid19. It is two entirely different things. All these months down the line and we are still saying and accepting that Covid, Covid19 and corona virus all mean the same thing and are interchangeable in terminology. It’s the biggest lie ever.

      • NickC
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Liz N, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. There are lots of coronaviruses, such as the common cold. Testing for “Corona virus” is meaningless. The specific coronavirus which causes covid19 is SARS-CV-2. It would indeed be more correct to say the tests test for SARS-CV-2 rather than covid19, but your explanation is a worse error.

    • Richard
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Some data points:
      “Up to 90 per cent of people diagnosed with coronavirus may not be carrying enough of it to infect anyone else, study finds as experts say tests are too sensitive” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8679307/Experts-say-USs-coronavirus-positivity-rate-high-tests-sensitive.html

      UK defines deaths from any cause within 28 days of a +ve test as a Covid death.
      Percentage of Covid deaths having a pre-existing comorbidity: US 94%, UK was 95%, Italy 96%.

      So no wonder that scientific studies are indicating that the majority of “Covid deaths” in these countries really had a different cause of death (i.e. they are ‘Lockdown deaths’). http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2020/08/06/rescuing-the-health-sector/#comment-1140714 http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2020/08/16/the-spread-of-the-virus-and-herd-immunity/#comment-1144085

  2. Rollo
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Will you ever tire of complaining about how badly you Brexiters are treated? You love playing the victim. Here is something you appear to be ignorant of – you WON in 2016, we left the EU months ago. Get on and show us all the brand new trade deals you promised us, show us how the EU is capitulating because, as you put it, we hold all the cards. Most of all, stop blaming the BBC, the EU, civil servants etc, this is a Brexit government run by Brexiters for Brexiters. It’s all up to you now Brexiters, you have taken back control. So far you don’t seem to be enjoying it

    Reply Wehave been blocked from leaving by an anti democratic establishment. We are still not properly out. We just want to leave so we can use the freedoms that would bring us.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      Spoken by the Brussels correspondent.
      Barnier still trying to tie us into an association agreement to continue pulling the strings aided by the BBC and the civil Serpents.
      Paying the load mouth Lineker £1.7 million to undermine us.
      They don’t need my money and I don’t need them

      • Rollo
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Barnier is trying to tie us into nothing. All he is saying is if you want privileged access to the single market – and every Brexiter swore blind we would of course get that – then you have to accept the rules of the single market. It’s Project Reality, the UK holds none of the cards. But this is what you voted for, right? If not, take it up with the Brexiters, who now fill every leading post in the government and will do for the next 4 years

        • Timaction
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          What bollocks. We can trade with the EU without their rules and we could have a Canada type deal. They want us trapped to accept their rules (so called level playing field) with no say in those rules. They also insist on having their free lunch i.e. our fishing grounds at no cost. Why are they not offering us their natural resources as a trade off? No,we do have the upper hand with a £100 billion trade deficit. Treason May and Oily Robbins just wanted BRINO and almost succeeded with their one sided withdrawal agreement. We’re all watching to see if we’re sold out. Bojo can’t get away with a sellout if he wants the Tory Party to have a future (former Conservatives).

          • graham1946
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

            Level Playing Field

            There’s an interesting demand.

            Presumably that means that the EU will tell all its broke countries who suck on the Brussels teat to pay the same minimum wage as the UK?

            If not, where’s the level playing field?

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            Interesting point and not to mention energy costs and health and safety legislation

        • Robert Mcdonald
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          We only want the same access that the likes of Canada get, and considering that Korean cars and Chinese everythings are sold competitively in theceu then we dont need or want this so called privilege. The privilege that costs us c 20 billion a year and forces us to lose control of our water, or farming and our laws.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Do the many nations who trade into Europe sign up to tie themselves into the rules of the Single market for what you call “privileged access”
          No they don’t.

          • Belinda
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

            Tough. The UK has to. Deal with it, learn how to be a small weak state

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

            What’s tough?
            Is that you bil?

          • bill brown
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            No Edward they make special trade agreemnts more than 70 countries to deal in the market with variousl prviliges. Look it up

          • NickC
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

            Belinda, No, the UK does not have to be a colony of the EU. Why do want that anyway?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

            Therefore 165 nations minus the 70 you quote do not have special trade agreements
            Yet many of them still trade into Europe.

            You do realise that these “special trade agreements ” you talk about can be simple things like details on packaging and labelling.

            WTO rules are used for over 90% of world trade.

        • Beecee
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          Accept is not the same as being tied to them.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      I guess you work for the BBC and as such continue to miss the point.

    • Andy
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      You have left the EU on a deal negotiated by Boris Johnson – who led the Brexit campaign – and voted for almost exclusively by Conservative MPs. This is your Brexit.

      It is rubbish but it is yours. Are any of you ever going to take any responsibility for your mess?

      • NickC
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Andy, Why do you think we cannot sign any other deals until 1 Jan 2021? Why do you suppose the EU still controls our fish? Why is it that the ECJ is still the top court? It’s because we’re still controlled by the EU . . duh . .

        The WA deal was negotiated by Theresa May and Olly Robbins at the behest of a Remain Parliament, but only slightly modified by Boris. It is a rubbish deal, the deal you wanted. Are any of you ever going to take any responsibility for your mess?

    • agricola
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Rollo, I hope this is a Brexit government run by Brexiteers. You sidestep the reality, we are not out of the EU until January 2021 and only then if our departure is not accompanied by any of the May/ Robbins WA baggage. Officially no trade agreements can be negotiated or signed until January 2021. Reaching for this piece of flotsam as you wallow in, for you, a hostile sea, is diversionary. The question was what do you propose to do with the principal propaganda arm, in the UK, of the EU, when the ship has sunk. I would declare it a war grave.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      Yes – this BBC non story is yet another in the trumped-up culture war, which is now the central pillar of the Tory government.

      The BBC, like schools and hospitals, has been subject to endless intermeddling as a political football by them for decades, and just as they are, is the worse for it.

      It has been almost entirely privatised and outsourced anyway, there is little left to sell, so it’s unclear what its critics want.

      Transmitters, control rooms, studios, operational staff, security, catering, etc. are all long gone, and much of its programming is bought in from production companies.

      It’s just another imaginary persona, for those who live in a world of fanciful enemies.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Based on the performance of the German health service I think you’re going to struggle to convince me that privatisation is a bad idea.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          There are sensible arguments for radical reform of the NHS, however, that is only justified if it is then replaced with something BETTER i.e. the German system, and not something WORSE i.e. the US one.

          Which, given everything that we have seen, do you think it would be?

          Now, come on?

          Your opening sentence would be the excuse to degrade it yet further.

          • NickC
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            Martin, Would you like to cite any Leave commenter on here who has advocated adopting the USA health system? You can’t, because no one has.

            However you may be surprised to learn that the USA government spends about the same on health (from taxation) as we do (pro rata). It’s just that they spend much more privately than we do on top. And, of course, typical of uninformed Remains, you only cite the (private) insurance part of the USA system.

      • agricola
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Nothing in your smokescreen suggests that the news they broadcast is anything other than a verbal Guardian. The rest may well be outsourced but the BBC only buy the storyline they wish to buy from the people who decide they wish to feed it to them. You don’t feed a rabbit with fillet steak. Rabbits don’t buy it. Who do you think you are trying to convince.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        It’s simply that much of it is unwatchable, Martin.

        It’s left wing bias is appalling.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        It has been almost entirely privatised and outsourced anyway, there is little left to sell, so it’s unclear what its critics want

        I don’t want to pay a penny towards the THREE AND A HALF THOUSAND, MILLION pounds it receives each year. An absurd and utterly ludicrous amount of money. If we need a public sector broadcaster, restrict it to just broadcasting an impartial account of the news each day. Budget for that? A few million a year.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the signing of the August Agreement between Solidarity & the communist regime in Poland to allow free & independent trade unions with a right to strike. This was the start of the total collapse of communism in Eastern Europe & ending with the dissolution of the USSR. Frau Merkel said without Solidarity there would have been no pulling down of the Berlin Wall & the American ambassador said, “Without the agreement signed in August which led to the creation of Solidarity, communism would not have fallen in Europe. The path to freedom which started 40 years ago was tough, rocky and tragic, but the Poles never lost hope”.
        No message from Johnson or the British government.
        You would not have seen or heard this reported on our so called national service the BBC as they completely ignored the anniversary of the beginning of the end of communism.
        Maybe the words of the ambassador, ” The path to freedom which started 40 years ago was tough, rocky and tragic, but the Poles never lost hope.” are what frightens the BBC as they worry Brexit might do the same for their beloved EU as Solidarity did to the USSR

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      We have left but can only talk and have association with the peoples of the EU if their ruling class dictates our rules, our laws, our sovereignty all overseen by the EU’s own courts. The BBC buys into this.

      Most of these so-called talks are about the sleight of hand to salami slice the integrity of the UK and pull it back in as a Colony of the EU. The talks are not about Free Trade but to re-start the process of control of the people of the UK.

      The UK will only leave when there is a ‘clean break’, The logic of these talks, their preconditions and the time they are taking, along with fact this Government hasn’t walked away is a precursor to saying we have left but we will obey. This Government is tip toeing around to find the right story to suggest they have not capitulated but need to be told to do by a superiors in the EU. Think about this Government has form, every narrative thrown at them by the media or some minor agitating group they don’t defend a principle but say how high do you want me to jump

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      BBC ‘comedy’ and news is largely left wing, anti Brexit ranting and has helped obstruct our exit from the EU.

      (We have still not left yet.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      A US election year documentary features Sue Perkins on the Mexican border.

      That’s the BBC all over.

      • hefner
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        D.J.Trump in the 2016 campaign told the American people that a beautiful wall was going to be built, and that it would be paid by the Mexicans. Could it be that Sue Perkins was just checking how many miles of this beauty had been built? Isn’t that a useful piece of information?

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          Why Sue Perkins ?

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Why do you need to engage Sue Perkins to do that? Does her reporting it add some extra meaning to whatever is reported? They could employ any local news hack in the USA and save a bloody fortune of OUR money if they simply want to know how much of the wall has been built. TYPICAL BBC piss our money up the wall behaviour.

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          What’s it to us hefner? We’re not voters in the States, do we get similar reports about China and it’s leader or India? No.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Rollo

      Hear Hear, spot on!

      Interesting to see that JR has managed to find a new target to blame for the debacle that Brexit has become. Nearer home this time.

      • agricola
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        What debacle, apart for those who didn’t want it to happen despite a majority who did. Find another cause.

      • NickC
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Margaret H, The UK is still controlled by the EU. Didn’t you even know that? Any Brexit mess is therefore down to the continuity Remain extremists, such as the BBC, people like you and Martin, and the Remain establishment.

    • Stred
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      No we don’t have to accept the ruled applied to our own country. Neither does Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia or any other country that sells into the EU market. They only have to make stuff that complies with EU rules that you want to buy. You don’t have to make products for home consumption that comply with US regulations because you sell stuff to the US.

      How about you follow British higher standards for animal welfare before we buy any more of your pork and veal. We look forward to buying new world wines at the same tariffs as continental. Want to fish in British waters? Get a British licence.

  3. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    If there are creeping-up numbers of Brexit regret in the YouGov polls, are they to be blamed on the BBC? Maybe not, maybe they are just an inconvenient truth.
    I wouldn’t worry. I expect that a campaign to blame it all on the EU may bear fruit soon enough.

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      Peter, do stop trying to convince everyone, including yourself, that there is a tsunami of love for the EU just around the corner in the UK – there isn’t.

      No national UK political party has an interest in supporting efforts to keep the UK in the EU, no national UK political party has an interest in rejoining the EU.

      You’re pursuing a quarry that has long since escaped.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Over here BBC world is still seen as one of the better, unbiased broadcasters.

      • agricola
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        Could this be a condemnation of most offshore broadcasters. The BBC are a more professional propaganist than most , but it does not mean that they are unbiased or true to their charter. Their partiality drips from their news and current affaires and even infects much else that they do.

        • kenneth
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          I agree. My experience and those of others I speak to is that the continental media is even more riddled with propaganda and bias-by-omission.

          I have a friend who was obsessively worried by Brexit and now, though little has changed, has forgotten Brexit and is obsessively worried by the virus.

          His worries echo the propaganda of the BBC he so avidly consumes. He is brainwashed.

        • Robert Mcdonald
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          From experience I can assure you that describing the BBC as being professional, in any way, is not accurate. Well paid, self serving, arrogant definitely. They are renowned in the media business for send 4 to 5 times the staff other media organisation need to cover events and incidents. Their management fat cats tend to promote yes people into positions reporting to them.

      • BOF
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Over there, the acceptance of propaganda and bias must be the norm.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Over here BBC world is still seen as one of the better, unbiased broadcasters.

        That says it all. If you can’t see the blatant, pro EU, climate alarmism you must wear blinkers with BBC printed on them.

      • Stred
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Well it would be from colonial control centre. And you don’t have to pay to watch Gary and Emily paid enormous fees to tell us how lovely Guy Verhostadt is.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      I only see soaring numbers that now see clearly that the eu is an over bearing self serving bureaucracy, even the BBC cannot hide that any more.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      I guess as inconvenient as things like Dutch referendum, and others, votes that get ignored, a rising antipathy across the EU towards it, or the Eastern bloc are only in it to get your money or even you are so democratic your leading figures don’t get elected. Or as inconvenient as your money, from a very efficient horticultural nation goes across the border to vastly inefficient French farmers to buy their votes.

      Almost as inconvenient as the fact that the fish are ours, something that Mr Barnier and Macron struggle to understand. I suppose where the fish swim is our fault!

      The real inconvenience to you is that it is your intransigence towards Cameron that got us here in the first place.

      • Andy
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        The Dutch referendum was not ignored. It was a referendum on a proposed European Constitution – the Dutch and the French said no and the proposed constitution was scrapped. There is no constitution.

        I know you lot like to make stuff up but when you say something which is not true you will be pulled up by those of us who still care about facts.

        Incidentally, you fail to mention that 58% of the electorate rejected Tory Brexit at the general election but the voters are being ignored.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          It was a referendum on a proposed European Constitution – the Dutch and the French said no and the proposed constitution was scrapped.

          Semantics. Even the most ardent, honest EU supporter admits the Lisbon Treaty is the constitution in all but name.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            And?

            It wasn’t forced upon any country.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            @Mike Wilson: I consider myself quite honest, but you’re mistaken. The typical “constitutional issues” were addressed and changed to get to the later Lisbon Treaty. It only takes changing 1% of change of DNA to change a monkey into a human (or vise versa).

            You also have no comprehension I fear of the democratic process that happened in the Netherlands in order to accept and ratify the Lisbon Treaty. I sat through all these debates, and thus I know.

            Besides that, a consultative referendum is not the highest form of democratic decision making in a representative parliamentary democracy. In the Netherlands with its 100% proportionality representative really means representative!

          • rose
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            And the reason the Constitution was repackaged as the Lisbon Treaty was that it was able to be passed through the French Parliament without public consent. The French weren’t trusted to vote again as the Irish were. Instead the French stood outside their Parliament with placards which read “Respectez notre Non”. Of course it wasn’t.

          • hefner
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            Mike W, To me you are making this point as somebody who does not know what a proper written constitution is. I do not criticise you as you are just one among a multitude in the UK. It is not surprising given the near impossibility for a common Briton to be knowledgeable about the various bits and pieces that pass for the UK constitution.
            Would you know where to look to define the exact links between the Executive, the Legislative, the Administrative and Judicial parts of the State, and how these are related to the present Law? Would you know where to look for the successive amendments to this or that part of what passes as the UK constitution?

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

            Peter, when you say “In the Netherlands with its 100% proportionality representative really means representative!”

            When the right wing chap won lots of votes last time, did that party get to form the government? Wiki says “Before the election, all major parties said they would not form a government coalition with the PVV.” If not – How is that representative?

          • NickC
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

            PvL, I have a copy of both the Constitutional Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty. They are near identical, with only a re-ordering and re-naming of the Articles. You are either misled yourself, or you are vainly attempting to mislead us. It didn’t work back in 2007, and your false claim simply proves you are unreliable now. Shame on you.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            @Tracy – about really representative: Two other amjor parties had formed a government with the PVV before, but the way that the PVV chickened out when after a year a diificult agreed policy was due, made them decide not to make that mistake again. The PVV was still well represented in the new parliament and the government was still formed on a good majority of the popular vote – hence representative (as opposed to FPTP which usually results in governments which only a minority of the people have voted for – typically some 40 to 45 percent)

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            PvL I am not 100% sure how our government is run, it is not taught to us in school and there aren’t many programs about it, however, the other parties in the UK are on representative (of the electors) committees I heard, otherwise how did Yvonne Cooper and Hilary Benn (out of Government) get bills passed over the elected government – elected by a majority based on a promised manifesto that a number of conservative MPs actively voted against.

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          Labour didn’t stand against Brexit Andy? There was no ‘we will stop Brexit from them’ so your claim is false.

        • Nigl
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Where do you get this rubbish from. It was about EU integration with Ukraine. As ever with the non democratic EU the Dutch government did not want to go to its voters, so used the fact that it did not campaign in the bottom up referendum as the reason they lost, albeit on a small turn out. Again being just over the threshold was used as an excuse that it was not representative. Of course had it been pro EU it would have been accepted by the Dutch government without a quibble.

          The Dutch prime minister had, of course already signed up on behalf of his country. No doubt Peter will give us chapter and verse.

          From your lack of comment I presume you are happy that our money is used to French farmers taking the law into their own hands.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            @Nig1
            This process around this advisory Ukraine referendum was reasonably well described in wikipedia:
            “2016 Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum”

            Note that the Netherlands is NOT a referendum democracy like Switzerland but a parliamentary representative democracy. We vote in people / parties who we give the trust to work and decide on our behalf.

        • Nigl
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          58% rejected it. That’s why the government has an 80 seat majority. Incidentally you conveniently forget Ireland rejected the Nice treaty and was ordered to go round again

          EU nations seem very reluctant to trust their voters, I wonder why?

          • Andy
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            The government has an 80 seat majority because Westminster is undemocratic- with swathes of the electorate either under-represented or unrepresented. The Tory pensioners are over-represented. Surely this is not hard for you to understand? 40% of the vote, 60% of the seat. FPTP has always been a rubbish system – never more so when you get an incompetent government, led by a charlatan, elected by a minority.

            As for Ireland, it did reject the Nice Treaty. The treaty was changed to address Ireland’s concerns and – its concerns having been fixed – Ireland approved the amended version.

            This is how grown ups do business. You should try it. Incidentally MPs rejected the withdrawal agreement three times. Boris Johnson then changed it to make it worse – putting a border down the middle of our own country – and then those same Brexit hacking Tory MPs who had rejected the withdrawal agreement three times then voted for it. Just like I told you they all would when it was first presented. And you all screamed at me that they wouldn’t. And then they did.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            @Nigl: obviously you don’t uderstand the democratic process in the R.o.I. Also here, changes were made for the R.o.I. in order to make it acceptable. Which is very different from ordering the R.o.I to vote again until it gives the right answer, that is just the oversimplification by demagogues.

        • Richard1
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          They are not. The Tories won on a platform of brexit. Labour faced both ways. Parties wanting to reverse brexit included the libdems, the Scots separatists and the greens. They got 17%.

          If the Country had wanted to reverse brexit they would have risen up and voted libdem and that lady whose name I have forgotten would now be PM.

          • Richard1
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            Maybe 18% if you add in the other separatists

          • Andy
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            58% voted against Tory Brexit. That is a simple fact.

            Labour made clear they did not support Johnson’s withdrawal deal. They may have supported a different kind of Brexit but not the one on offer. Nor did Lib Dems, SNP, Greens, Plaid. Nor any of the Northern Irleand parties. Even Farage rejected Tory Brexit. He called it the second worst deal in history – and then celebrated it coming into force with a party.

            I know it is awkward for you that Tory Brexit does not have a mandate from the majority but it doesn’t. And, believe me, that fact will only get more awkward for you as time goes on.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

            80 seat majority.
            And we are leaving the EU.

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            Andy, don’t you accept that people voted Labour for other reasons (than the Brexit) for example JC was offering no tuition fees, more free childcare, expanding free provisions for two, three and four year olds Guarantee triple lock for pensioner incomes. And only the rich were going to pay for it.

          • NickC
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            Andy, 80% voted against Remain, using the same criteria as you do.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        Do we get for free the produce of the French Vineyards, do we get for free our next Mercedes car?

        In the meantime massive EU factory ships are plundering the fish breading grounds that the EU says they manage. Destroying future fish stocks for everyone.

        In perspective the UK imports more Cod from China than it is allowed to fish for in our own waters.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        @Nigl: Quite humoristic to read your contribution. That is why I still like coming to this blog when something EU-related gets mentioned.
        I won’t try to dispute your contribution, we are just seas apart in our interpretations!
        And actually, let the UK leave, let it be no-deal/ WTO terms as from Januari. Let it even be a success for Britain – I don’t wish you any harm.
        I just know that for the coming decade, in the EU we are better off without the current UK. Whether hte UK will change is still anybody’s guess.

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          PvL, So we’re to believe your good wishes above the gloating of Verhofstadt’s staffers that they had finally made the UK a “colony” of the EU? Hmm, I think you can see why we don’t believe you, or rather don’t believe your views are mainstream eurocrat thinking.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: The UK is far to powerful and important to be anybody’s colony! Don’t hang your truths on the opinion of some “staffers”.

            You would never hear Barnier say such a thing, simply because mainstream pro-EU people think differently from these staffers.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            nick C

            You pompous and narrow view on yur conversations with PvL.

            Unfortuantely, underlines for me how biased and uninformed you remain.

            Shame on you

          • Edward2
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            It is just a different view to your view bill.
            That is all.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        @Nig1: Is that the same Cameron who sought unfair competitive advantages for the City, when a fiscal compact was discussed in 2011, when he was mocked for it, even by Mark Rutte and then he “vetoed” it showing the British bulldog spirit to his eurosceptic backbenchers? Also quite humoristic, that he thought this would work.

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          PvL, I thought that’s how you do business in the EU? Or is it only acceptable if the French seek unfair competitive advantages for French farmers, Germany seeks unfair competitive advantages via Euro mercantilism, and the EU27 seeks unfair competitive advantages by stealing our fish?

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: Cameron was in a minority of one.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

            The way he was treated by the EU over this matter and later when he tried for some concessions prior to the referendum, was a big factor in the UK voting to leave the EU.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      YouGov: using a self-selecting sample?

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        @Sea Warrior: Are they not to be trusted? That would be news to me.

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Lots of things appear to be news to you, PvL.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            Nick C

            Coming from you about news I think that is a bit steep as you are as uninforemd as they come

          • Edward2
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            And that is your opinion bill.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      We will never know.

      We were never allowed to Leave before CV-19 and the BBC was a big part of the rearguard action to keep us in for over four years after the referendum.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous: ?? It was all settled just after your 2019 elections. Am I missing something?

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          We’re still tied to the EU.

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          PvL, Yes, you appear to be missing the WA treaty.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: You (the UK) willingly signed and ratified the WA. It was even hailed as a big victory for Boris Johnson!
            Don’t you even trust your own government???

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      We debated this for years and reached a conclusion in June 2016.
      It’s a dead issue.

      Your job now is to provide a path whereby a sovereign nation which supported yours in the past (and no doubt will be called on again in future) deals with your dominant neighbours on a friendly but equitable basis. They have no right to our fish nor to any other hold over us which weren’t applied to Canada or Japan. If your big-boy neighbours only wish for trade agreements with far-away countries, so be it. We’ll pay the price too to keep our independence. The only reason for them doing this is, and for them prompting you into silly statement like this, is that they want to keep their boot on our necks. It won’t happen.

      • Andy
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        A dead issue!

        Except now you all have to deliver on the lies the leave side told in the run up to the vote.

        And when you fail, and when normal people experience the negative consequences of those lies, you will find the issue is very far from dead.

        I don’t think any of you realise that you have to deliver Brexit on the terms you promised and that you will be held to account when you don’t.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Come back in 41 years and argue your case all over again.
          That’s 40 years since we will leaave.

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          And which “lies” are those, Andy? That it’s possible to be independent of the EU? That “lie”? To prove it’s a “lie” you’re going to have to find reasons why the UK cannot be independent of the EU, but 165 other countries in the world can. But you never have managed that, have you?

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        @Sir Joe Soap:
        A dead issue indeed as far as it is 100% certain that the UK has left/is leaving.
        You suggest however that the Netherlands gets overruled by its more powerful neighbours. I don’t think that is the case, even though we have good relations with the UK and profitable trade: In my experience the Netherlands values the Single Market (and its trade with 26 countries therein) far and far too much to let its integrity be hampered with in any way (like cherry picking). So we wouldn’t accept some foreign country assuming that its haulers can keep behaving as though they are part of the Single Market when their country has left the Single Market. And there are many such examples. Of course our negotiator doesn’t like the UK destroying the continental fishing sector, we have all fished in each other’s water for a very long time, maybe centuries? Signs are that a reasonable compromise is still possible, so I don’t mind Mr Barnier holding firm for the moment.
        Part of our collective sovereignty is that only we determine the rules of the Single Market and as such the rules about competition in it.
        With an expected no-deal you may still expect sanctions against dumping, just as much as we would against Chinese dumping. If the UK really wants a deal, it will make (in the words of our negotiator) some belated realistic moves. Personally I don’t count on that, but I’m always ready to be happily surprised, Joe.

        • dixie
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

          @Peter,
          So you would welcome sanctions against the Nederlands dumping of foodstuffs in Africa wiping out their local producers then?

          Examples are Cameroon (onions) and Ghana (tomatoes).

          Perhaps the UK should join with other members of the Commonwealth to champion fairer trade at the WTO and elsewhere, paticularly against the dumping by heavily subsidised and protected blocs against the smaller, weaker countries.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            @NickC:
            Let those without sin throw the first stone.

            There is a lot to criticise about the Netherlands and about the EU.
            Our CSOs sometimes have success in bringing about change for the better, but so far, still far to little.

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          PvL, Neither can we accept some foreign country assuming that its hauliers can keep behaving as though they are part of our Single Market. Nor cherry picking our fish, any more than we can cherry pick a foreign country’s vineyards. Nor be controlled by a foreign neighbour, especially one ruled by an unelected politburo. With an expected no-deal you may still expect sanctions against dumping, just as much as we would against Chinese dumping, or any other mercantilist power. If the EU really wants a deal, it will make (in the words of our negotiator) some belated realistic moves. Personally I don’t count on that, but I’m always ready to be happily surprised, PvL.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            @NickC:
            “cherry pick a foreign country’s vineyards”
            Over here, cherries grow in “orchards”.

            Some British would make you believe that you are ruled by an “unelected adviser” who has your prime minister in his pocket, so I’ll just delegate that part of the conversation to them.
            The EU giving in on fishing will be the next great victory for Boris Johnson I would predict, but why compromise now when the UK doesn’t make any move?
            Let’s wait for October, or for the end of the year. After all, the UK holds all the cards, right?

    • Richard1
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      The EU are attempting to use the pressure of the Wuhan virus to get Boris to cave in. I don’t think he will, but the next 4 months will be the time of max pressure and stress, with the pro-EU media, led by the BBC, stirring up hysteria to try to help the EU position.

      Opinion polls on Brexit will therefore only start to be meaningful next year, once we are properly out, and can start to see the effects.

      I hope there will be relentless pressure on the govt to ensure the UK is the most attractive destination at least in Europe for investment, innovation, entrepreneurship etc.

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        @Richard1: Aren’t there far more and powerful anti-EU media Richard, at least in the printed media?

        • Richard1
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          The printed media is more balanced on the issue, but the broadcast media, unless you select from YouTube, is relentlessly pro-EU federalism. I have no problem with that point of view, But I think it’s odd the media is so one sided on an issue on which at least 1/2 the country thinks the other way.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

            @Richard1:
            “relentlessly pro-EU federalism”. I Assume that you mean UK based broadcasters like Channel4, ITV, Sky, BBC? We only get BBC in our TV package, soI cannot judge.

            But this surprises me because there is no “relentlessly pro-EU federalism” e.g. in the Netherlands and in German, Belgian and French channels in our package. Maybe so because over here it is realised that “federalism”, “superstate” and such would be at least several decades away, considering the enormous differences between countries. Quite a few countries just aim for a more efficient status quo.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        What is stopping this Government going on You Tube with their own news reports if they don’t feel they are being fairly represented by the news broadcasters?

        John could set up his own Podcast with three decent Brexit commentators -v- three decent people who present arguments to remain. The sort of discussion he would relish. It could be compared by someone who dislikes everyone equally like Peter Hitchens.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      If you want to track polls, Peter, I’d suggest you keep an eye on those looking at support for Italexit and Frexit. Happy reading – for us Brexiteers!

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        @Sea Warrior: Why “happy reading”? Are you one of these Farage supporters who are intent on demolishing the EU? Bit of a weird hobby.
        And trust me (or not) Britian IS the odd one out (for a host of reasons and factors), France and Italy are really different from you. They will remain EU supporters.

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          PvL, Why ever would anyone of sense not want to see the EU empire disappear? It is a corrupt, anti-democratic, dirigiste, and artificial, political construct that is indubitably bad for the nations of Europe. All it does is give more power to an untouchable political elite. The EU is the antithesis of government of the people, by the people, for the people.

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: Such a lot of hate!!! Amazing.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      That doesn’t reflect the elections and how the Tory’s sunk to 6% in those elections when they tried to deliver Brino. Everyone I know wants shot of the EU dictatorship and all its unelected leftists who promote all things climate nonsense, pro mass immigration, all pay no say, want our fish for nothing etc, you get the picture and stick with your own national issues. We’ve had that vote and we want out!

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        @Timaction: directed and organised by the unelected Mr Cummings.

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          PvL “directed by Mr Cummings?” Surely Mr Cummings is directed by the elected cabinet and the elected Prime Minister not just freewheeling?

          Also how do you know what Cummings is doing?

          • Peter van LEEUWEN
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            @a-tracy: I read such accusations in the British press.

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

            Which British press journalist has made this accusation Peter, anyone put their name to it?

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          PvL, No, directed and organised by the elected Mr Johnson overseen by the other 364 Tory MPs.

        • Timaction
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          Under the command of an elected Prime Minister!

      • bill brown
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        Timaction,

        So much anger against teh EU and so little substantiated or argued for why

        • Timaction
          Posted September 3, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          Educate yourself sir!

          • bill brown
            Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

            Timeaction

            I am alraedy way past your level, but thank you

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      There are no ‘creeping up numbers’ but the reason you think there are is because the BBC thinks it can state an absurdity and it will become fact. That is why the BBC must go.

  4. agricola
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    For me the BBC have shot their bolt. We are way past the point of internal reform. They are rotten to the core and should be cast aside. Even “Countryfile” is used to spread their guardianista doctrine. No surprise on their attitude to all things EU, they have been taking the EU shilling for years.

    I would cancel their tax collecting powers, which idiot in government gave it them, and cast them into the real commercial world to live on subscriptions or advertising or both.

    A new broadcaster is scheduled to take to the airwaves, dedicated to being everything the BBC is not, but should be according to their charter. I wish them well.

    Is there political will to put the BBC back in its box, I doubt it. There is too much BBC think within our political system, elected and employed governing establishment. I support the sentiments behind our hosts submission today but it is weak on solution. When you identify an operable cancer you remove or radiate it. In the BBC’s case the time for tinkering with it is long gone.

    • Andy
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      The ‘new broadcaster’ sounds like it intends to be Farage TV. If so it will quickly fall foul of Ofcom and lose its licence. Interestingly it is being run by Robbie Gibb.
      Brexiteers former Number 10 adviser. He also ran BBC Politics at the time of the referendum. None of you mention that.

      • agricola
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        You sound worried already.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        He was the only non-leftist in the BBC management. and he’s left.

        If Ofcom are to regulate the new broadcaster they need to regulate the BBC also. I think its a quango which would best be abolished along with the rules for ‘neutrality’ which are not observed by the BBC. let the customers decide as they do with newspapers.

        In a comical footnote, on the day the new DG rightly says the BBC needs to show more balance, the head of the BBC childrens’ news channel – aimed at 6-12 year olds – has said it will promote more stuff on ‘climate change and BLM’ as ‘kids are so passionate’ about Greta Thunberg and BLM. children of this age, if they are passionate about political issues – which they are not – are influenced by the adults around them, especially teachers. the BBC must be stopped from these attempts at mendacious leftwing indoctrination of children.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Seems to me that Farage is the only politician in town who always tells the truth no matter how unpalatable. So bring him on and silence the woke/pc brigade.

      • kenneth
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Ofcom is part of the problem. Look at people running it!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Oh Robbie Gibb whose brother Nick Gibb who campaigned and for Remain? What’s your point?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Campaigned and voted for Remain …

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      I’m waiting for Countryfile to get the Vegan makeover. What a farce that would be, but no doubt in their woke agenda.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      BBC has become the socialist-Labour propaganda voice. The deception is the old socialist lie of, ‘the state knows best and will provide all to everyone, provided you do as you’re told’.

      Our problem is lack of quality education; the history of failed political philosophy must be part of the curriculum. If we don’t learn from the mistakes of history etc..

      One of favourite films might be a starting point ‘Brazil’, by Terry Gilliam. That should get the kids talking!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I suppose the BBC is far too valuable a propaganda tool to disband?
      Govt. playing usual old trick like with immigration, sitting on its hands whilst saying the right things.
      When it wants to lock us in our houses it’s wham bam thank you ma’am …a brand new, sparkly law concocted with all speed.
      Over 300 pages in just a few days yet they can’t control the borders nor yet the BBC.
      Cos they just don’t want to!!

      • Mark B
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        There speaks the truth.

    • jerry
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      @agricola; “Even “Countryfile” is used to spread their guardianista doctrine.”

      Fair point, I agree we do not need the BBC (or any broadcaster) doing such things, and that includes the spread of Torygraph doctrine, nor does one need to shoot a messenger to stop it, the govt just needs to regulate how the the message is delivered but of course that is the last thing some on the right want.

      “No surprise on [the BBC’s] attitude to all things EU, they have been taking the EU shilling for years.”

      Not that (half) lie again…

      • NickC
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Jerry, It’s not possible to “regulate how the the message is delivered”. For who regulates the regulators? No, the only solution is to make the BBC pay to view, scrapping the hated TV Tax. Then the BBC can compete with other broadcasters equally and fairly.

        • jerry
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          @NickC; Nonsense. It is quite possible to regulate broadcasters content, it is done with every (by-)election after all. The reason it is not so regulated outside of elections is because no political party wants it so regulated, doing so would prevent some broadcasters ‘weighting’ their coverage to their advantage.

          I agree with your second point, let’s make all TV pay to view, it would stop the bundling of channels, meaning that someone doesn’t have to pay for ‘woke’ SkyNews if they simply want to watch the Footy, cricket or F1 etc…

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

            jerry, people do not ‘have to pay’ for Sky anything and if they do take the sports they don’t ‘have to’ watch the news. The difference is people have to pay for the BBC even if they don’t want to watch the channel or radio at all.

            When you can tell the politics of the news presenter that is when things go wrong, there are many superb presenters on all channels who you don’t know what party they would support.

          • jerry
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            @a-tracy; ” people do not ‘have to pay’ for Sky anything” people do not ‘have to pay’ for Sky anything”

            Indeed, and no one has to watch TV, meaning no one has to pay the TVL fee either! 😛

            If I want to watch Live F1 in the UK, with English commentary, not only do I have to subscribe to Sky Sports but I have to first subscribe to their base package.

            “and if they do take the sports they don’t ‘have to’ watch the news.”

            I never said they did, after all those who pay the TVL fee do not have to watch the BBC news either! The matter is one of funding.

            people have to pay for the BBC even if they don’t want to watch the channel”

            A bit like Sky then, see above, also BTTV, how else can someone watch say Eurosport on their TV’s here in the UK with English commentary, without first paying for another subscription package too.

            In the comment you replied to all I suggested was a levelling of the playing field, the customer being able to subscribe to what you want, not pay for what you don’t want, and thus subsidise unpopular channels.

            As for presenters politics, I agree, there are many who appear to thinly disguise their own right-wing affiliations, just as some appear to show their left-wing affiliations – or is it simply playing the devils advocate, can we be sure either way, after all the very same interview can result in the BBC receiving complaints from both left and right claiming political bias…

  5. Sea Warrior
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Good article – but I want action to fix the problem before the next general election.

    • jerry
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      @Sea Warrior; Good article – but I want action to fix the problem before the next general election.

      There, corrected that for you…. 😛

      The idea to de-fund the BBC is the biggest threat to FREE SPEECH, what we need is not the castration of the BBC but DCMS/Ofcom finding a way to regulate all broadcasters and open up their editorial output, the attack on the media will not end with the BBC, next will be Ch4…

      At one time the BBC used to make a programme called “Open Space”, were many a diverse group were able to make a programme and thus put their opinions to a wider audience.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        It is not ‘Free Speech’ when everyone is shackled to pay for a polarised view of the World.

        Not forgetting they(The BBC) were paid by the EU directly to present the EU in a good light, The EU is a Political Organisation, again not free speech.

        Free Speech doesn’t need regulation of any sort. Just as commenting on Sir Johns Blog is just a view and everyone has a right to contradict it. That’s free speech.

        The BBC is insulated, polarized and presenting a view, a view for the most part that is coming from embedded people that have direct political affiliations. To be awarded your money they have to not only be impartial but seen to be impartial

        • jerry
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

          @IB; everyone is shackled to pay for a polarised view of the World.”

          No one is being forced to watch TV, and what of those who just want their sports, are many of them not being shackled too, thus paying for the opinions of Sky News?

          “Free Speech doesn’t need regulation of any sort. “

          Wrong, regulation is underpinned by law, the right to Free Speech needs to be regulated (enshrined in law) otherwise Free Speech all to often vanishes.

          “The BBC is insulated, polarized and presenting a view, a view for the most part that is coming from embedded people that have direct political affiliations.”

          Oh you mean like one of the current Today presenter who used to be a Young Conservative, or the ex BBC reporter (the one who in 2003 spilled the beans on Blair’s WMDs claims) who is currently the transport adviser to the Prime Minister, and held a similar brief as cycling commissioner for London when the PM was Mayor of London.

          Stop picking on the BBC when the real problem is how the govt has allowed the media industry to start running their own asylum! The BBC does need reforms, but then so does the commercial and subscription broadcasters too, especially the latter with their compulsory channel packages…

          The right are playing with a very sharp double edged sword, they might get away with it for now but one day they will be sitting once again with a narrow majority or on the opposite benches, they will have set a precedence that the hard left might use with much gusto.

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 4, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

            jerry, I don’t want SKY at all, I don’t pay for it not 1p.

            If someone wants to watch ITV, C5, C4 or other services on the TV one has to pay for the BBC whether you want it or not. Personally I would buy it but many don’t want to and do you really think they should go to court and prison if they don’t pay? If you don’t take or pay SKY you don’t end up locked up.

            I don’t think this is a left/right thing at all, I know lots of very left wing people who don’t want to pay their licence compulsorily when there are other freeview and subscription offers they personally prefer.

          • jerry
            Posted September 4, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            @a-tracy; “If someone wants to watch ITV, C5, C4 or other services on the TV one has to pay for the BBC”

            Your base argument is out of date!

            No one is being forced to pay the BBC anything in this day-and-age either, catch-up (S)VOD is their friend…

            “do you really think they should go to court and prison if they don’t pay?”

            If they knowingly break the law then of course they should face the full weight of the courts & punishment [1], just as if someone failed to pay all their due Council Tax because they felt they never used certain services paid for from the tax!

            Your argument is the right wings version of an argument used by CND in the 1980s (and dismissed by the courts), why should CND members pay their full income taxes when they do not want to pay for WMDs to be stocked-piled or used in their name…

            [1] after all we are not talking here about someone stealing water or power to live by, watching TV is a life-choice, not an essential

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Channel 4 Filth? Yep – that needs casting out into the wilderness too.

      • NickC
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Jerry, As with your view that state schools should not go back – thus rendering state schools effectively obsolete – I tend to agree that you have a point about maintaining the BBC in its current state. It would mean that most people would hear the BBC view and know the opposite was true. I like that.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Every thing with this government takes 4+ years

  6. Nigl
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    I did my ‘tV training with an ex BBC ‘name’ who told me they were not interested in good news stories. The decriminalisation of the license fee is a red herring. Failure to pay will still end up in court (civil).

    If you are serious about real change, Nicky Morgan a light weight in terms of achievement, must not get the job of Chair.

    • Annette
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Correct. Decriminalisation of the licence fee, with the attendant civil action against those not willing to pay for propaganda, may have far reaching consequences for ordinary people affecting their credit score & increase their encounters with bailiffs. It does not address the core issue, which is that a ‘licence’ will still be ‘required’ despite many unwilling to pay for State (how the BBC regards itself) propaganda.

      There are many more ‘afraid’ to cancel, despite not watching the BBC any more, as they are not ‘savvy’ enough to deal with the goons at the door, often because they still regard people as ‘nice’ & talk to them, mainly elderly or with dementia or other issues.
      My other half was convicted, before we met, when not only did he not have a tv but no electricity either (he was going through hard times). He considered that these facts were so obvious that he defended himself (apart from not having money to pay for representation). It is these perversions of justice that will impact those least able to defend themselves properly.

      The rot is to the core at the BBC. Not just the News & Current Affairs, but throughout the rest of its programming. This is what happens when meritocracy & diversity of thought is abandoned in favour of quotas. Not appointed for who you are but what you are. If the BBC is to continue to exist, it MUST be as a subscription service, & not hidden buried in general taxation. If people want their output they will pay it. I say all this as an ex-employee of over 20 years, who once was proud of its independence.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      I agree on Nicky Morgan no thanks very much. She suffers from nearly all the usual “BBC wrong think” and she is also Lawyer by training – almost as bad as PPE Oxon. They tend to think want is needed is more and more laws!

      The BBC is indeed absurdly biased. JR puts it very well:-

      They are ready to run any cause which wants more government, higher taxes, more spending by the state, more submission to international treaty rules and more dependence on EU suppliers. They revel in allegations of inequality and unfairness, whilst seeking to remove their own high payments to some talent from the full public gaze. Their constant cry is government should do something. They tend to see business as a source of stories of overpayment and possible corruption, and show scorn for anyone who does not share their corporate values.

      I would add to that they are entirely one sided on Climate Alarmism, Trump, Landlord/Tenant discussions, Taxation levels, magic money tree economics, endless woke and pc lunacy …… so wrong on all that too.

      They too (like our silly tranport sectretary) idiotically believe that electic cars are “zero emmision”.

      They endlessly say “The Government” must invest more in X, Y or Z. It is not the Government it is the “Tax Payers”. Tax payers who would almost certainly have invested it far better and far more efficiently too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Of course Conservative government under Cameron, May and now under Boris have been hugely and damagingly (for tenants and the economy too) anti-landlord.

    • miami.mode
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Agree about the red herring of decriminalisation of the licence fee as the offenders, often the most vulnerable, might well be treated better in a magistrates court rather than have debt collectors calling who are in it as a business to make a profit.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Is that the same Nicky Morgan who gave up on politics to spend more time with her family, only to get a cushy number at the Lords

      • Fred H
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        The Lords means more time doing anything else!

  7. Newmania
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Guardian columnists claim that dropping the lyrics of Rule Britannia , and Land of Hope and Glory was only due to the pandemic. The BBC`s own coverage did not deny the claim that it was a response to “Black Lives Matter”, and it seems clear to me this was the case. A dreadful misjudgement.
    In theory I agree.The BBC should be paired back to a small pubic service broadcaster financed out of general taxation and providing only such culturally important material the market will not.
    John Redwood may believe that TV will become a vast Daily Telegraph , personally I doubt it. In any case I would much happier if the government no longer had the ability
    to threaten and control broadcast news and comment .The BBC in my view has entirely failed to interrogate the laughable fictions of the Brexit case.

    On the other hand I would miss Radio 2 …hmmmm

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      It seems it was the woke BBC agenda driving it all and yet when it blew up in their faces (as one would expect) the dire BBC tried to blame it on the Conductor they had engaged!

      The BBC really is appalling.

    • Newmania
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      PARED BACK ….. ( shame .. )

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Radio 2 is like a combination of Radio 1 and Radio 4 Woman’s Hour for a good part of the day now.

      It’s like we’ve skipped the music of the 80’s and 90’s and gone straight to Millenial.

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Newmania, Which “laughable fictions of the Brexit case” are those then? The one that has it that the EU is not an intergovernmental organisation, but a dirigiste authoritarian set up run by eurocrats for eurocrats? Or the one that says the UK alone out of the other 165 countries in the world is unable to be independent of the UK? Those sorts of “laughable fictions”?

  8. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Scrap the licence. I don’t want to watch BBC output. I pay for Netflix and Amazon Prime. I am very happy not to watch BBC output. Why should I fund it?

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Mike Wilson, Exactly so. If person likes the BBC then he should pay for it, and not expect me to subsidise him.

  9. Adam
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    JR’s description accurately describes the lack of quality at the core of the BBC.

    Suggested action:
     Reduce its budget by 20% year on year, until reaching optimal level.
     Fund essential news, but ensure strict control on balance is maintained.
     Fund educational programmes & quality documentaries.
     Suspend all non-essential BBC programmes for 3 days on each occasion of any one of them breaching the rules: causing all of them to take more care.
     Abolish the BBC licence fee.
     Allow programmes to be offered on a self-funding subscription-only basis.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    BBC employment is the ultimate echo chamber.

    It doesn’t matter how diverse your race, sex, sexuality and disability recruitment policies are if the interview and application process are designed to deliver a certain type of thinker into the role. There will never be any diversity of thought or challenge. There does seem to be much self congratulation and back slapping about BBC output from smug and worthy employees.

    Removing the licence fee, which is funding that I generally support in principle, might challenge the authoritarian nature of BBC thinking (government must do something and let us be the ones to suggest exactly what). Beneficiaries of taxes tend to favour authority while those who have to raise their own revenues tend to favour innovation and customer service (balance).

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Just so. The hilarious thing about the BBC – indeed the only hilarious thing – is the complete lack of diversity of thought.

  11. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    The TV transmitter network should be retained, for national security, and needs to be paid for somehow.
    I’d rather not help pay for what they call “talent”, but what I call a rude man swearing and telling smutty jokes. They call it “strong language”, when they really mean “obscene language”, but they can’t bring themselves to call it such.

    • Annette
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      The transmitter network is funded through the grant-in-aid, ie Govt funded. The TV & Radio networks ‘pay’ for usage of those transmitters. In other words, it’s always been ‘outsourced’. There should not be a requirement for that to change.

  12. Mark B
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Their charter requires them to, “Educate, Inform and Entertain.” None of which it now does. And if cannot do what it was first created to do, then what is the point of the BBC ?

  13. Pat
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,

    Throughout the world, public service broadcasters are pc establishment mouthpieces distrusted by those forced to pay for them and the BBC is no exception. Just consider the appalling bias in public service output in France, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada for example.

    Reforming the BBC is utterly unrealistic.

    It must be defunded from any source of involuntary public subsidy and earn it’s own way., however it should not be forcibly closed down as this would smack of state media control.

    Ordinary people cannot understand why, despite their long term criticism of the BBC, politicians of all hues defend it when it comes to taking action.

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Pat, Well said.

  14. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Good article. But change? It would appear that the News and current affairs at the BBC has been commandeered by those with defined political affiliations. Just like me they could never be neutral. However, unlike me these individual receive quite substantial wages and perks given to them by decree, without choice and without accountability from the over burdened taxpayer.

    The suspicion the BBC will hang out until the next review in 2027 when it needs sorting today. Decriminalizing would be a start.

    You buy a TV for whatever purpose and the Retailor by Law has to inform the BBC TV Licencing, even that is not impartial.

    Democracy is about checks and balances. The BBC is being permitted by this Government to deliberately undermine society.

  15. Sharon Jagger
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    It’s difficult to know what should be done about the BBC. Currently, it is a propaganda machine. How can that be changed, apart from changing the people running it, from the top down?

    I think it could be reduced in size, why does it need so many local channels? And then perhaps it should be funded by adverts like ITV etc.

    However, a lot of media is leftie in its coverage…look at sky news. I don’t trust much of MSM for telling the truth, if I’m honest.

    I find email newsletters from Brexit Watch, Facts4eu and Briefings for Britain and similar just as informative of the news and seems more honestly reported.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Extremely good letter! Excellent. Exactly what IMO needs to be said.

    I detest the BBC as much for its creeping, covert agenda of hatred over the years as for the hurtful cr*p it now puts out. I just don’t watch/listen now. It played us all for fools.
    I think that most people thought it was rooting for Britain.

    Now I would love to see it broken up…totally disbanded.
    Oh..and fined a great deal of money before annihilation.

  17. Cuibono
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The Government has accurately described the BBC as speaking only to a “pro-Remain metropolitan bubble”. As such, the BBC’s output is almost exclusively tailored to the Guardian-reading mindset. This is personified by its “stars” such as Gary Lineker and Emily Maitlis. The Guardian has by far the lowest circulation of any UK national newspaper and is consistently loss-making, so the BBC knows that the writing is on the wall with any funding model other than the current compulsory poll tax. Its position will only get worse with the emergence of impartial alternatives such as the proposed GB News.

    • hefner
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Well, the financial results of the Guardian Media Group plc (GMG) published on 15 July 2020 ‘Statutory financial results – Proposals to position the business for future growth and reduce costs’ show a ‘slightly‘ different story. And the Scott Trust Ltd, the final owner, does not appear so desperate about the future of both the Guardian and the Observer.

  18. James1
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Just level the broadcasting playing field. Introduce a subscription model so that the BBC has no advantage over any other broadcasting organisation. The degree of their popularity or non popularity will then be apparent for all to see. Competition provides us with infinitely greater protection than the altruism of politicians.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 5:08 am | Permalink

      +1

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      James!, That is exactly the point.

  19. Richard1
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Certainly it’s time for Reform, starting with de-criminalizing non-payment of the license fee.

    It’s very good news that there is likely to be a new independent TV channel, GBTV, which will aim to be more balanced than the BBC. It will further undermine the case for the BBC poll tax.

    We shouldn’t forget Channel 4, another platform where taxpayers pay for leftists to propagate their distorted and mendacious worldview, on subjects ranging from economics to the EU to climate hysteria. There is no case for taxpayers to own a commercial broadcaster in this media environment, so let’s release the capital by privatising it through auction. Perhaps it will be bought by a leftist and carry on being leftwing. That’s fine as we won’t be paying for it. Such a move would accelerate the much needed introduction of serious new competition.

  20. James Bertram
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Yes, sadly the BBC has become a propaganda channel for ‘woke’ causes. It constantly indulges in alarmist reports, Project Fear (and notably Covid-Porn), to push narrow sectional issues. Like most public service bodies, there is little direct link between employment and performance – they get paid regardless. It is the ‘News’ department that is failing most. Shame Andrew Neil is not at the helm. Time for the ‘News’ department to be either radically revised or disbanded. And, yes, I cannot support the current licence fee system for a body that is so out of control and working well beyond it’s mandate of a public service broadcaster. It certainly should not be made a criminal offence to refuse to pay these current charlatans.

  21. Iain Moore
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The BBC’s biased contribution on matters EU I see of waning in importance, yes it’s annoying, but they have done their worst and they lost, currently of more importance is their pernicious contributions to matters of culture and race.

    The one eyed view they had on the wonders of the EU and contempt they had for us has now been directed to our history and culture, where again the BBC seeks to damn us for our existence, where there is nothing good to be said about us and all the world’s evils are to be laid at our door. Not once have they sought to challenge the absurd claims of BLM, quite the reverse they have been keen to throw petrol on the fire to fuel the grievance and victimhood.

    The BBC does not make a positive contribution like bringing the nation together, it takes one antagonistic stance after another, it’s just plain dangerous.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Quite – good point.

  22. Jim
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Now what is this all about? In truth it is an attempt by some rich media types to knock lumps off the BBC in order to make money. Why? Because the dead-tree press and commercial media is failing and needs fresh blood – which the BBC has.

    Therefore engage in a knocking campaign to tell us the BBC is all bad and inefficient – what rubbish – they just want to buy up lumps of the BBC for a profit.

    Many of these same rich people and media types are the same people that peddled the Brexit story. They have made their money and have moved on – Brexit is plainly a failure . Brexit was built on weak foundations, just a sham product to fool people. So pass on that failure and move on to screwing up the BBC. Don’t be a mug and fall for it.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      The rich establishment love the EU and the BBC

      • bill brown
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        here we go again, “What is the rich establishment”? lkindly explain yourself

        • Edward2
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          Pretty obvious bill.
          Just look up all the remain supporter groups and the funding of their campaign during the referendum and since.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            not a proper reply you used the terminology so define it as well

          • bill brown
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            no sources , no definitions even about the choice of number of countries I wrote more than 70 countries and you just slipped a number again.
            Actuall the figure is 135 of all the major trading powers in the World. (Source EU statistics.)

          • Edward2
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            You are obsessed with this bill.
            This isnt my blog site.
            Neither is it an academic site where sources links to statistics and data has to be referenced.
            We are asked to keep posts as short as possible and not post links to other websites if at all possible.

            It is my opinion that the establishment in the UK who are generally wealthy are pro EU.
            Which is why I said what I said.
            Go and troll someone else bill.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            When I posted the above post bill, there were 340 posts in total
            Out of those 340 less than 30 had any of the things you demand I include.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            You really do not know , what you want do you .
            Mek up your mind

          • Edward2
            Posted September 4, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            I know exactly what I want to do.
            I just want to post my opinions (in short posts as requested by our host) without you coming on demanding various proofs.

            The vast majority of posts on here are like mine.
            Which you do not comment on.

            However you invariably post on here without doing what you demand of me and that is why I point out your inconsistency.

  23. Sakara Gold
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The BBC provides world class news services that are watched and listened to by millions across the globe. Their mix of factual, documentary and drama programming are envied and emulated by media professionals in many other countries. Having watched more of their output during the lockdown than hitherto, I was astounded at the depth of programming available to the average viewer.

    From Countryfile, Springwatch, Panorama, Newsnight, childrens programming, investigative journalism, sunday morning political analysis with Andrew Marr (remember his recent embassasment of the Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming over the Uighurs issue?), comedy, historical, music shows on the radio stations, local radio services – their mix provides good value for the tv licence fee and most importantly, their programmes are uninterupted by the banal advertising found on other media outlets.

    Politicians on the right object to the BBC because you cannot control the political output as the BBC tries to “inform, educate and amuse”. The ethnic make-up of the UK has changed since the BBC’s charter was devised, as has the nation’s perception of political correctness.

    If there is one area of the BBC that does need reform it is their profligate wasting of money (as described on many YouTube channels) and their persistent refusal to pay women the same rate for the job as men.

    • agricola
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Sakara, I would suggest that overseas the BBC is turned to because their own radio and tv is so dire as to be unwatchable. I base that on a lot of travel and flicking through the channels on hotel tv. You eat peanuts when food is off the menu. I would not really expect all foreigners to understand the concept of a sovereign nation where people can express themselves as they wish. For all the above the BBC is watchable, but only just. Additionally it is only the Brits who can diseminate the truth in what they have to say, but from what I read here only a limited number of them.

    • Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      “The BBC provides world class news services that are watched and listened to by millions across the globe…” Just realise you are being brainwashed.

      Every single thing we get from the BBC is biased towards their own interests, or full of indoctrination covering every possible socialist theme from political correctness to alleged climate change.
      They constantly raise the scare level of CV-19, while being the worst offenders when it comes to fake news.

      The BBC has become a cancer — It has no right to exist given its crimes.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Well said. Nevertheless I agree about their political bias, go back to Thatcher and we just got a stream of left wing sick disguised as comedy but there is much to commend.

      Saying that I can get it all elsewhere with it being my choice whether I pay or not. There is nothing to say I won’t buy their content in the future. I resent having zero choice.

    • Paul McGreevy
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      The programmes you watch are stuffed with messaging and manipulation that you are oblivious to probably because you agree with it. That’s quite a happy position for you to be in but very unhappy for a large portion of the British public. All we ask is that the BBC along with the rest of the media are required to employ people with diverse opinions and that news is required to be reported factually rather than as opinion and any opinion is represented by both sides of the argument equally.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I like the BBC I would probably continue to pay my licence fee if they continue to make good drama, I used to watch C4 shows more, however. I can no longer watch the news and political programs of either channel as they stopped being balanced. It is up to our politicians to start to document the uneven/unbalanced programs as John has started here and actually start to provide the evidence and proof on a monthly basis gathered together by a nominated group leader. It is only when presented with facts that anything will change.

      To be honest my children introduced me to Amazon Prime and Netflix last year and if I watch tv I’m tuning in more to those for films and series.

      SK “The BBC provides world-class news services” – what gets transmitted? The regular BBC news shows or does the BBC make news output for other Countries at the taxpayer’s expense?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Sakara Gold,

      If the BBC provides good value for the license fee then it can simply be replaced by a subscription model. It will be able to compete.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:59 am | Permalink

      “Politicians on the right object to the BBC because you cannot control the political output as the BBC tries to “inform, educate and amuse”. The ethnic make-up of the UK has changed since the BBC’s charter was devised, as has the nation’s perception of political correctness.”

      The BBC is not reflecting society – it is setting the agenda !

      I don’t want to watch it so why should I have to pay for it ?

  24. JayGee
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    To cite examples of two songs is pathetic. Most people are so massively fond of those two songs that they don’t even know the words of them. Much like the National Anthem of Wales.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      A bit below the belt?
      No one deserves that.

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      JayGee, You mean you won’t allow me to like a song unless I know all the words? Oh dear, that’s a lot of songs I’ll have to dump – from Nightwish to Schubert.

  25. Caterpillar
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    ” A simple first reform would be to decriminalise the licence fee and unclutter the courts of the licence fee criminal cases”

    No, this is not simplification, it is a continuation of passing on the responsibility to avoid the blame. The simplification is obvious and is go get rid of the TV license altogether and to not replace it with any other Govt support.

    Whilst it is true that both the BBC and U.K. Universities seriously lack a diversity of ideas across the political spectrum and thus cannot serve a role in finding truth (many perspectives each have a little bit), continuing to support the BBC will not help one iota. It just signals that the BBC is salvageable and not to far from containing a diversity of ideologies – it isn’t.

    How to ensure a useful diversity of ideologies and perspectives are represented in public, and each sufficiently researched and developed in universities (given the systemic lock-in) is a deep and urgent problem.

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Caterpillar, You are completely right.

  26. Caterpillar
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Whoops, “too far”

  27. Walt
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Well said, Sir John. Please may we have some action from our government? Eg. abandon the requirement to buy a licence to watch live TV; close or privatise most of the BBC, ideally keeping the name as that for the new, slimmed-down non-partisan British broadcaster of news that the BBC would become.

  28. Chris Dark
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I gave up watching tv in 2007. There are zillions more things to do with one’s precious time.
    The BBC cooked their goose long ago, if people want to watch their drivel then they can subscribe to it. Just like others subscribe to internet channels, newsletters, podcasts and so on….let people choose, and pay for what they want to see and hear, according to their interests. We are forced to fund endless streams of insults, lies and British culture-hating broadcasts from an organisation that has appeared to be untouchable. It’s time to end it. It will be interesting to see what comes of the new GB News channel when it launches; I’m amazed that something hasn’t been done before.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Indeed freedom and choice let people pay if they want the service. Apply this to the NHS, schools and education top please. Freedom to choose and not to pay if we do not choose to use it.

  29. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The BBC advertise their BritBox commercial streaming service where we are invited to pay again to view repeats of BBC programmes that we already paid for via the license fee when they were made. So it seems ridiculous for them to argue against this funding model for their current output.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Indeed and if there is to be a TV tax (not that I want one) it should be available to all broadcasters who choose not to advertise not just the BBC. Though the BBC is of course stuffed with back door adverts for BBC products, promotions and placements too.

  30. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The BBC is essentially Blairite in political outlook. They support the Centre-Right of Labour (the likes of Starmer), the LibDems, and the Ken Clarke eccentrics on the Tory left. This means they are disliked by the majority of the Conservative party but also the Corbynite left of Labour. There are plenty in the Labour Party as a whole who would be happy to see them punished for their anti-Corbyn bias during his leadership. This is a dangerous position for them – their feeble argument that being attacked by both sides means they are unbiased is rubbish – only if they were being attacked by Tony Blair and Mandelson it might convince.

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Roy, The BBC clearly hates Brexit and Leave voters, whilst promoting cultural marxism – everything from excessive immigration, to antifa, BLM, and XR thugs, and to CAGW belief. I’d call that hard left.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        NickC

        This is an interesting perspective. As you seem so sure about your verdict , can you please kindly define hard left for us?

        • Edward2
          Posted September 3, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          Did you not think Nick gave his definition in his post?

  31. ukretired123
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Sadly I have come to actually despise the pro EU Bblair Blabbing Co.
    I’m impressed Sir John braved 30 minutes of brainwashing!
    You are too polite Sir John.

  32. BJC
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The issue for me is that a vociferous, bullying minority now require us to view everything through the prism of politics. Pay good money to enjoy a concert, festival, National Trust, etc and we’re routinely bombarded with the subtle or overt political propaganda of the Left. The BBC hierarchy simply cannot deny that when they broadcast events, they’re indirectly acting as cheerleader for the Left, enabling their message to reach a national/international audience as if it’s the norm.

    Then there’s their direct bias. Shows like Question Time are clevery stacked 3+:1 in favour of leftist/Marxist/Remain ideology, giving panels the power to close down alternative views with no-one else to carry the argument. Propagandist-in-chief, Ms Sturgeon, is given such a high BBC profile, we could be forgiven for believing she’s leading the country, yet she’s not even been elected to the UK Parliament. In truth, Mr Blackford has more right to broadcast nationally…..I’m not advocating it!

    Their diet of soaps, game shows, sport and the drudge of woke victimhood and leftist ideology doesn’t interest me and I don’t watch the BBC. Why should a refusal to pay for a service I don’t use have the potential to turn me into a criminal facing a prison term?……..prisoners aren’t required to pay, of course.

    Society always evolves, but when the rigidity of the law allows criminals to be treated with more consideration than the law-abiding, serious questions need to be asked about the legislation and it’s incumbent on Parliament to act……I include unlawful immigration in this observation.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:51 am | Permalink

      After 15 years of membership my wife and I quit the National Trust last week.

      They can get the Woke generation to pay for it all.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        A lot of us will be going the same way. I fear.

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      BJC, That’s a good point – politicising every activity, even music, shows that cultural marxism rules the BBC.

  33. Lifelogic
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Charley Moore sound again as usual today:-
    “Lower top tax rate for more gain and less pain”

    also on woke lunacy at the British Library and elsewhere in government.

    The absurd (up to 15 % stamp duty) and one on the highest inheritance taxes in the world 40% over just £325K are doing huge damage to as well as the 45% income tax rate. Why stay in the UK or come to the UK if you are rich and hard working. Unless you want to spend a huge sum and lots of time with you tax advisors that is?

  34. Christine
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Why are we forced to pay a license fee but the rest of the world get to view the BBC for free? All my friends living in Spain receive all the UK terrestrial channels free of charge. Also why do I have to pay the BBC in order to watch ITV, Channel 4, 5 and the other freeview channels?

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      That’s the contradiction, you are paying to own a device capable of receiving TV.

      The only recipient of this tax is the BBC, that is what is wrong.

    • Martin
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Be careful what you ask for. Will ITV’s shareholders be content with meagre dividends from advertising revenues when subscription broadcasters can pay higher dividends?

      • NickC
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Martin, At least then ITV (etc) will be broadcasting on an equal footing with the BBC.

  35. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I agree completely. The BBC has become feral and needs to be brought to heel in a totally different format, much reduced, not taxpayer funded. Pity we don’t have the same ambitions for the Government itself.

  36. Nigl
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Let us also not forget the damage the BBC has done to regional newspapers and making it difficult for new Media entrants because of its monopoly and funding model.

    For those of an older persuasion it was the pirate radios that shook it out of a boring cosy previous existence.

    As with all monopolies they are allowed to be inefficient, inward looking, self serving etc. For our correspondents wedded to the public sector, yet another example where private enterprise has shown up its weaknesses and is forcing change.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      The local newspapers should have gone low-cost subscription digital quickly, putting out good content, using local advertising revenue (from job vacancies etc) to pay good quality journalists, we have an awful local news offering in Cheshire and it causes problems for job vacancies and promotions because the circulation isn’t there. At least the Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo and Stoke Sentinel still have some decent readership figures.

  37. George Brooks.
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Originally I was always under the impression that the licence fee was to cover the cost of the country’s transmitter network and its development and a vastly reduced fee should continue to do so.

    The BBC, as it is today, is not fit for purpose and should be disbanded, as it is no more than a propaganda machine for all that which is targeted at destroying and attempting to demoralise this country. None of the news is balanced and we are getting exceptionally poor coverage of events else where in the world and lamentable coverage of sport.

    News from the BBC is not worth watching and the Breakfast programme is little more than a mixture of Casualty, Holby City and Call the Midwife.

    BBC 1, 2 and c4 are a last resort for viewing and the whole set up has gone well beyond repair or remodelling. Disband the lot and start again

  38. BOF
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    There is only one acceptable course of action for the BBC and that is for the licence fee to be scrapped altogether so that it must become a subscription service. Then we will see if it really does have public support.

    If, as has been rumored, it becomes funded from general taxation, I believe that will prove a disaster for the government. A huge mistake as nothing will change.

  39. William Long
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The only thing the BBC, with TV or wireless, has in its favour is the absence of advertising. Even so I very rarely watch or listen to its output. I prefer to get news in factual form from investment related newsfeeds, or the strip along the foot of the Sky news channel is very good. I have no wish to hear the views of commentators of any political colour.
    I read in today’s paper that the new BBC Chairman intends to reduce left wing bias in BBC comedy shows, but I fully agree with you that he will need to go much further than that.
    If only the problem was confined to the BBC though; the whole state apparatus, broadcasting, education, health, transport and above all the Civil Service, is pervaded by the left wing and that is why there is unlikely to be any real change in our lifetime. I had hopes of Boris, but I am afraid Mr Cummings’ father -in-law may be right, and Covid has got the better of him, in the same way that Mrs Thatcher never seemed the same after the Brighton Bombing.
    I have on my desk a demand to pay for a TV licence now that the charge has been re-imposed on those over 75. I will of course pay it rather than be prosecuted, but I have no intention of doing so until I am confident that the BBC has spent more than £157.50 in getting it from me.

  40. kenneth
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    The BBC missed a gaping hole in the market where it could have been a beacon for unfettered truthful and unbiased reporting. It should have sacked its “correspondents” and other talking heads, sold off the studios and concentrated on reporting facts.

    It’s now too late. It has been plagued with bias and with its opinionated and activist journalism.

    The BBC no longer has any role or relevance.

    The best thing the government can do is liquidate the BBC. Its greatest assets are popular shows which can be sold off (when the BBC trots out the line that these shows will be threatened if the BBC is threatened, this is a lie).

    Its bloated radio sector will probably have few takers since the BBC has managed to pollute most talk based output with useless propaganda and radios 1, 2, 3 and 6 are replicated elsewhere much more efficiently. All local radio has done has sucked the life out of local journalism.

    The BBC has been ruined so let’s call it a day.

    • turboterrier
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Kenneth

      You got it in one on your last sentence. Enough of this death by a thousand cuts. Just shut it down goodness knows they have had enough chances and warnings about change.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        exactly right.

    • matthu
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      +++

  41. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I select very carefully my BBC radio, I watch only recorded television. Any political discussion, news programs and EU items are complete no noes.

    The crux is the enforced tax and the BBC’s mythical standing. It has become a biased, vastly over staffed, over located and ridiculously expensive parody of public service broadcasting.

  42. Rhoddas
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The BBC does not measure their claimed impartiality, nor have any metrics to determine this properly. Their remain bias is blindingly obvious to Joe Public. Even new DG Tim Davie has said their left wing comedy bias against the right needs to be more balanced.

    OfCom (infiltrated quango) did a report on BBC bias about a year ago, guess what, de nada, the BBC came up smelling of Roses. So the bias problem exists in OfCom too, they are not competent to regulate in this matter.

    So put the BBC to the paywall sword please.. kindly support the upcoming private members bills and ensure impartiality metrics are set up and reported.

    Neither Gary Lineker nor Cat Lewis have been reprimanded or sacked for their remain bias or grossly offensive tweets respectively, yet they tarnish the reputation of their contracted parent organisation. BBC claim they are not employees blah blah, a specious defence. Beeb needs to enforce it’s impartiality Charter mandate, otherwise they will be seen as complicit by inaction.

    • matthu
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Who regulates OfCom?

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:46 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

      I don’t want to pay for the BBC because I don’t want to watch it.

      That should be enough for me not to have to pay for the BBC but for some obscure reason it isn’t.

  43. Peter Parsons
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    “the majority of the country that did vote for Brexit”

    17.1 million voted for Brexit out of a population of 66 million.

    A majority of those who voted in 2016 for Brexit, but in no way was that a majority of the country.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Peter Parsons,

      (1) Fewer voted to remain. The majority did not want to remain.
      (2) Moreover fewer (in the U.K.) voted in total (for whatever party) at the last European election than voted Leave at the referendum – there was no mass of people to evidence any change of heart.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Meaning the vast majority didn’t vote to save our membership of the EU.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        The vast majority expressed no opinion, either because they were not allowed to (being ineligible to vote) or chose not to.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 3, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          So they might have been all Leave voters.

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Peter Parsons, I guess you’ve never been to a count? You may not know this but spoiled ballot papers are not counted; those who choose not to vote are not counted; and those who are ineligible to vote are not counted. So your claim is utter nonsense. Literally. A majority of 17.4m voted to Leave; a minority of 16.1m voted to Remain. That’s it. That’s the result.

  44. Anonymous
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    According to the BBC Marcus Rashford ‘forced’ the government into a U turn on free school meals.

    You’re really damned if you do and damned if you don’t for all the good it does you.

    Marcus Rashford is also taking on the food giants. What ? Those organisations that kept the nation fed while the public sector hid away at home ???

    I was part of the working poor – ineligible for free school meals yet unable to afford them. The kids got nutritional packed lunches and meals at home. We gave up pubs and foreign holidays to get through this period, often staycationing.

    Mr Rashford is confusing poverty with poor parental choices and the Tories are being made to look awful again even though it is not their fault.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      “Tories are being made to look awful again even though it is not their fault.”

      They do ask for it for you won’t hear any of them fight their corner. Not one Tory MP will ask where is the Child benefit is going.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:40 am | Permalink

        A sign of poverty is obesity. There are no malnourished children in the UK.

        If you can afford an excess of bad food then you can afford the right amount of good food.

        The BBC doesn’t investigate this glaring fact. Nor does the BBC ask where the Child Benefit is going. It’s not interested. The Tory Party just caves all the time.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      I agree with Anonymous about Rashford, look at the parents who provide their children with packed lunches, usually working-class couples who earn just enough to put them over the line for getting money for poor choices, such as having five children with no male provider. Or the male supposed Daddy just doing one and disappearing not making any contribution to their offspring (but then claiming to have been in their lives).

  45. Mockbeggar
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    There are one or two interesting current affairs programmes on BBC 4. Yesterday we were treated to an excellent discussion about nature and the environment and the reforms necessary in the farming world. The farmer from Cumbria was very interesting about the need for natural organic fertilising and rotation of crops and animals etc.

    One thing he said did disturb me: he alleged that the US is insisting in their trade deal talks that food in shops should not be labelled as to country of origin. Although I believe that US beef and chicken is perfectly safe to eat (Americans are dying of Covid 19 not food poisoning) i also believe that it is every consumers right to know as much as he or she wants to know about the foodstuffs they are buying so that they can make an individual and personal choice.

    Was he correct in this assertion?

  46. Rhoddas
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    To add – Lord Hall was at the BBC helm during all of this mess, he is accountable and should be stripped of his title and have his pension halved (at least), for allowing – nay supporting, the Auny Beeb becoming such a remain bias/left wing institution, which now only represents the metropolitan wokerati elite!

  47. herebefore
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    As I suspect this diatribe against the BBC will only get much worse as we approach midnight 31st December or is it 2300hrs 31st December? Anyway without a EU/UK agreement in place trade will carry on according to WTO rules and the only visible sign of the before and after effect will be the amount of new paperwork for the clerks and customs officials not to mention the long queues to facilitate this- but we will get used to it- so I don’t see what the problem is- it will be throwback to the 1950’s 1960’s as I remember/. It’s what we voted for

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Herebefore, Over 87% of UK GDP is unaffected by leaving the EU on WTO terms. So from 1 Jan 2021 we can begin the task of removing EU rules from that c87% which will more than offset any minor increase for the 12.6%, which will shrink in any case.

  48. Martin
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    “advantages Brexit can bring”

    Taxes (tariffs) on imports which the WTO will force us to apply. No veto, qualified majority vote or even simple majority vote. What is the wheat tariff next January?

    Lots of extra customs’ paperwork.

    How many extra civil servants or out-sourced equivalent are being hired to do the paperwork?

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Martin, Rubbish, the WTO does not force any country to apply tariffs. Nor does the WTO specify the level of tariffs – in fact the aim of the WTO is to reduce tariffs (and NTBs) to zero. From 1 Jan the UK sets its own tariffs for MFN trade. To answer your question, which you could have looked up for yourself, the UK tariff for all forms of wheat mirrors the EU tariffs, which is zero for common good quality wheat, for both consumption and seeds.

  49. Iain Gill
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Could say much the same about the NHS

  50. Paul McGreevy
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Yes John the public get sick and tired of fake Conservatives failing to dismantle these leftist run institutions when they are in power. Universities, journalism, teaching, the arts, museums, electoral commission etc are all run by lefties and they only employ lefties. You John and your colleagues need to change the rules to require diversity of opinion in staffing of all institutions and media and make it a requirement for media to present both sides of debate and news and have balanced panels and audiences. The media are out to destroy western civilisation because they think our countries are bigoted and they hate their own countries and you guys are all that stand in a position to prevent that happening.

  51. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    The BBC must change and I share views on the faults outlined. However, I don’t agree that a softly softly response is the correct tactic.

    I understand Sir John is afraid of robust confrontation but we need to make fundamental demands, as going first for making non payment of the fee a civil offence will make little difference. If the BBC agrees it will claim it as a major concession and probably be allowed to get away with that argument. They will claim they must have time to absorb the consequences.

    We need major changes of leading personnel at the same time. We must have a divestment of major sections or brands and a form of anti-trust action when it does not perform impartially and there must be no campaigning on what they call climate change and other similar politically motivated matters.

  52. glen cullen
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I just wish that one of the parties would include ”selling off the BBC” in their manifesto

    • Fred H
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      no commercial organisation would see sense in paying for it.

  53. Lifelogic
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    To see the BBC lefty bias in full flow then watch the Politics Live back today. All on the programme seemed to agree we needed higher taxes for Corporation Tax, Inheritance Tax, Pension Tax, Capital Gains Tax and probably all other taxes too. All also seemed to agree Tony Abbot as a trade negotiator was a bad choice and he was evil.

    To me he seems like one of the very few who (following a PPE Oxon degree) still seems very sensible – he is even fairly sound and sensible on Climate Alarmism a very rare thing indeed in politics.

    In short all were wrong in the usual BBC think direction.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Caroline Nokes MP is clearly not remotely a Conservative let alone a sound one.

  54. John McDonald
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, Please send your complaint to OFCOM and see what happens 🙂

  55. forthurst
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Decriminalising licence non-payment is what the Tory party would be expected to do, then pat itself on the back for a job well done. The BBC is overweening; it needs to be cut down to size. The best way to achieve this is to force it to a subscription model and then allow it to package all its output including radio how it chooses. However, the BBC should not be allowed to keep its back catalogue which has been paid for already by compulsory fees; this should be handed over to a public body for dissemination.

    Educate, Inform and Entertain has been replaced by Propaganise, Propagandise, and Propaganise. Let the market decide how much people value the BBC’s output. There are so different ways of obtaining media content from home and abroad as a result of scientific innovation that there can be no reasonable assumption that most people value or use that emanating from the BBC.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      forthurst,

      +1 (of course)

    • Mark B
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      +1

  56. ian
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is the same as many big corporations around the world today, you give them your money and then they turn on you and want to control you with propaganda from the world institutions and organisation which they follow and work with.
    Most MPs in parliament are under their control one way or another and the lords along with banks, media, quangos, institutions and universities, the people who work for the world institutions and organisations, are all picked out in Washington DC for the jobs, you cannot work for them unless you have been ok by them, the lucky few thousands of people around the world who get the jobs get perks of not having to pay taxes of any kind, nearly the same as the EU employee but better.
    C 19 has been a victory for them and consolidated their power and control over the worlds governments and people by the recommendation by WHO of shutting down and taking on huge amounts of debts which give them and big corporations, even more, control and power over you and your parliament, like most people, I do not believe in conspiracies but the new world order is now a fact of life, after C 19 there will be more of this sort of thing to come in the future. If you think you can beat them, forget it, they control your voting system.

  57. Leslie
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Decriminalisation may be a simple first reform, and no doubt it would seem attractive to a lazy government with no real appetite to tackle the BBC problem.

    However this will change little, as the BBC’s payment enforcement agents will still be able to pursue for payment as with any other civil debt. It should be well known that creditors win many of those cases at Court through default, where the person owing the money does not bother – or does not know how to go about – defending the case. Although there is no criminal liability, there is still an adverse affect on credit ratings following a judgment against an individual, once a defualt is registered with the Credit Reference Agencies.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Credit rating won’t matter to a lot of older people and a lot of young people.

  58. Edward2
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised the BBC are not begging to get away from the current funding model.
    They must be finding it increasingly difficult to complete against commercial TV companies.
    With Sky ,Vigin, Netflix, Amazon Apple and You Tube out bidding them more and more on films and major sports events.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      BBC current expenditure was £3.7 billion in 2016-17. It is forecast to rise slightly in 2017-18 when figures become available.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        It is a huge sum.
        However Netflix alone spends 17 billion dollars on content
        Amazon approx 6 billion dollars
        Sky approx 7 billion on content.

  59. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Not all the BBC is about radio 4. It is wide stretching and provides fascinating subjects and experts on many things. I think to talk about it in a general way undermines its tradition. I know how one sided some programmes are and the methods used to quieten an opposing view, but I have never found it as one sided as other stations and channels which need products to sponsor them and so seem to creep. I find this nauseating.
    We do not want to ruin the last vestiges of GB . Many have tried throughout the years privatising this and that and splitting bigger British concerns with the lie that performance would be better with others ..Sorry no ..I am not pandering to the mafia like set whose opinions are set to destroy us and talk about’ their’ money

    • Norman
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Trouble is, the BBC is a corporate edifice which characterizes the typical Guardian reader types from academia, education and large swathes of the public services. These tend almost by definition to have a socialist outlook which, within decent limits, is understandable and perfectly reasonable. However, leftist attitudes have hardened over recent decades, and along with them, the BBC itself. I guess this could be a reflection of an underlyingly insecure world. Expecting the BBC to become more balanced now would be about as realistic the Guardian becoming like the Telegraph or Mail. Sadly, we are no longer ‘one nation’ as we were nominally at least in the days of Reith. Some of us even remember those quaintly ‘innocent’ days! Meanwhile, it’s for the truth, as seen and lived today, to buck the trend. If they deny us that, then they deserve what’s coming.

      • Norman
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        No, on second thoughts, I’ve been too kind – sadly, the domestic output of BBC News Online is nauseatingly parochial and demeans this once great, outward-looking nation. Rather than having something good to offer to the world, such an outlook would now be deemed imperialistic: whereas now, their ideology is irrevocably globalist, with all the insipid manifestations thereof. As it does not represent the soul of the nation anymore, we should not be obliged to pay for it in its present form.

        • M Brandreth- Jones
          Posted September 3, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          So you have had second thoughts and want to harden your particular line , so if you believe this about yourself then you must believe it about all outlets including the BBC and realise that this changing ,expressing views and ideas is a continual part of media evolution , but not solely applicable to the BBC . There is nothing wrong with the Guardian , there is nothing wrong with left views or right views , they are just views . If you don’t agree strongly it is your right to voice or write that viewpoint and the BBC gives that opportunity, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to change the balanced views which they declare to be true.

          • M Brandreth- Jones
            Posted September 3, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            P.S. I do agree that leftist views have hardened and represent minorities often to the exclusion of the majority yet I will not’heel’ will you?

  60. Jim Whitehouse
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday, I delivered my daughter to her new student flat for her second university year. A lovely well appointed house – far better than anything from my student days in the early 80s. There was a dishwasher, washing machine, tumble drier, fast broadband and wifi. My wife pointed out that the only thing not provided was a TV but the new tenants didn’t even notice. Broadcast services simply don’t feature in the lives of many youngsters.

  61. a-tracy
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Does “the world get to view the BBC for free?”
    Do people have to subscribe to BBC world service or is it free to view? Why don’t we see the World Service for free in the UK?

    There is plenty of space in the Albert Hall for singers to sing at distance from each other and with a small audience at the Proms event so what this decision was about COVID is not a good excuse. As for people not knowing the words, there are plenty of famous songs that people only know the chorus of, or need a book/bible to sing along with, that’s why trained singers are usually employed to sing the full lyrics and the audience joins in the chorus.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Other songs are being sung during the Proms this year.

  62. John S
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    When did the BBC last allow a climate sceptic airtime?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      When did the BBC last allow an EU sceptic airtime

      • Fred H
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        I think it was just before Edward Heath showed some interest in Europe.

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I think the answer to both was when the BBC allowed Charles Moore to guest edit the Today program for one day.

  63. Yossarion
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Here is something you are unlikely to learn via the BBC.

    In the 17th century the seas around Britain were ruled by North African Muslim Slavers. They stopped
    British ships and carried off the crews to be sold as slaves in Algiers and Tripoli.

    The situation became so bad that fishermen from Devon and Cornwall wouldn’t put out to sea in case they were captured by North African Slave Traders.

    Between 1609 and 1616, 466 British ships were captured by Slave Traders in the English Channel, Irish Sea and North Atlantic, and the crews were sold into slavery.

    In 1625 a raiding party landed at Mount’s Bay in Cornwall and 60 people who had taken refuge in a local church were dragged out, loaded up and taken off to Africa to be sold as slaves.

    On 12 August 1625 the Mayor of Plymouth wrote to London for military help after 27 ships had been seized by North African Muslim Slave Traders in just 10 days.

    In 1645, 240 people were seized as slaves in Cornwall.

    The situation only began to change after the end of the English Civil War when the Royal Navy was built up under Oliver Cromwell. By 1700, North African Slavers generally knew better than to bother the British Isles in the search for slaves because of the Royal Navy.

    It was a triumph that Britain was finally able to control its own coastal waters.

    It was in commemoration of this that in 1740, James Thompson wrote ‘Rule Britannia’.

    It is a hymn of thanksgiving rather than a proclamation of aggressive Nationalism.

    If you get this far and are interested to learn more, read “White Gold” by Giles Milton, Add to that the 800 that were deported into slavery after the Monmouth Rebellion 1685, (though judge Jefferies hanged Many more), though at least the English Bill of Rights came from this that should protect the English from even the Scots, just need some MPs representing English constituencies to have the guts to do so.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Yossarion

      So how does that excuse that Britain became the world’s biggest slave trading nation with slave ports like Liverpool, Bristol and London growing wealthy on this vile trade?

      After all seeing the efforts you cite to get rid of this evil in this country should have turned our forefathers into zealous abolitionists rather than ravenous slavers ourselves.

      • Yossarion
        Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        Bridgewater was the first Town in England to call for the abolition of Slavery due to those 800 that were sent into slavery by the Catholic extremists.after six years, you may wish to make the connection with the Jamaican phone book that is full of Scottish not English names like Stirling Hamilton McDonald Campbell and the rest and work out who was up to their necks in the slave trade.

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          Yossarion

          So why were all the major slave trading cities like Liverpool, Bristol and London in England rather than Scotland?

          • Yossarion
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            Try Glasgow in place of London

      • dixie
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        What is the basis for your claim that Britain became the world’s biggest slave trading nation?

        What proportion of that activity was Scottish vs English

      • NickC
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, As Yossarian demonstrates English people were carried off by North African slave traders in C18th – the very same who enslaved and traded sub-Saharan Africans too. Not only did we stop that, but within a few decades we were trying to halt slavery everywhere. Why can’t you bring yourself to acknowledge the good we did as a nation? Why is it so hard for you?

    • matthu
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Tat is a bit of history I was totally unaware of!
      Thank you – I will look put for White Gold.

    • M Davis
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Great piece of British History, thanks!

    • Richard
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. That is an excellent summary in need of a bigger audience.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 5:01 am | Permalink

      May I add my thanks to this. A very good and informative read.

    • dixie
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      @Yossarion, thanks for the history lesson – it led me on to exploring the Monmouth Rebellion which took place in areas I grew up in yet I knew nothing about it as history was not an interest at the time.

  64. Ian Wilson
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Their coverage of climate matters is a disgrace. The BBC give endless interviews with the Marxist rabble Extinction Rebellion yet refuse to allow respected figures like Lord Lawson to put a contrary view, in blatant breach of their charter.

    Last autumn the BBC led news bulletins over an entire evening with much fanfare over supposed ‘scientists’ uttering the usual warnings of gloom, including it transpired ‘Professor Mickey Mouse’ an expert in snake preservation whatever that means but not a climate scientist in sight. The previous month 500 professional scientists of the Climate Intelligence Foundation signed a statement headed ‘There is No Climate Emergency’ Needless to say not a peep on BBC bulletins.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      +1

      Though the term climate scientist usually mean some one who have been bought by the climate alarmists. Give me proper scientist please.

  65. glen cullen
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    UK pop.68m – UK deaths 3

    This will not be fully reported on the BBC

    Why are we still in lockdown ?

    • Fred H
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      I think the cancer death toll remains at around 450 per day. No doubt will increase due to GPs and the wider NHS turning their back on suspected cases developing.

  66. rose
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I too made a mistake, late last night in listening to Radio 4. Several young women were sitting around gossiping, dropping all their consonants, and telling each other about protest slogans. “Defund the Police” and the rest of them were trotted out as if we all agreed these objects are a jolly good thing. The usual hectoring swipes at Trump were made, again as if all BBC listeners agreed. They were blissfully unaware of how they sounded: privileged, dishonest, bigoted, and dangerously subversive. At the end of the programme it emerged they were standing in for Laurie Taylor, who himself is guilty of the same unawareness, but isn’t quite so extreme.

    By the way, why do we have to put up with hectoring Scottish National Socialists weighing in on health and education in the House of Commons? These are supposed to be devolved matters, aren’t they?

  67. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Most people get it the BBC has an agenda, that lets be frank isn’t compatible with modern life. So anything that can tear that down and make society in it own image gets priority.

    The BBC makes a big deal about reducing CO2 to save the Planet ( from what no one knows). They do occasionally have a seemingly impartial side, but when something comes up that goes against their narrative the bury it and hope it goes away.

    In the last week the BBC in a scientific item there was proof that CO2 used to be greater than it is now 450 parts per million (ppm) against todays 415 ppm. Like wise science found temperatures were between 3C and 7C higher than today, and the ice largely disappeared from the poles.

    If that wasn’t enough in another item also in the last week, also buried in the BBC, Scientist working on farming production are predicting that the efforts employed to reduce CO2 will impact food production therefore prices by 2050. The science was suggesting a five fold increase in some parts of the World. Its ‘simples’, the less CO2 the less growth plants can achieve, you could say they are suffocated to death.

    Despite the BBC having the science to hand they continue with their absurd narrative to change the political structure of society. That’s not impartiality, that is becoming a Political entity. While we all know Governments do it, but no one should be taxed to support political propaganda especially those that have a different remit

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      The BBC are spending so much time and energy on these future environmental matters they are not concentrating on news that the British public actually needs to make balanced judgements and future plans.

      For example, the waspi women did not feel informed and claim they weren’t even aware their pension age was being put back sufficiently to make plans – why?
      Why aren’t the BBC being asked to provide evidence of just what information they did put out about this important news for the British public.

      Today they concentrate on an American who is concerned his surname links with Coulson will take his name away!! They are still showing front page a video about George Floyd. Lockdown easing being scrapped is a ‘U-Turn’ but the BBC performing a ‘U-Turn’ over the Proms is ‘reversing a decision’.

  68. ian
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind the BBC, it keeps me informed about what is coming next from the people who make the big decisions in the world, and I don’t mean governments or MPs.
    As far I know from what I am hearing, people won’t able to leave their home state in America unless they have been vaccinated, so it follows that you will not be able to leave your country unless you have been vaccinated. The BBC has hinted to this now in small inserts in their storeys in the news for some time.
    The people who make the big decisions are going to make you pay for voting for Brexit, as you can now see the UK went down by over 20% while the rest of the other countries only went down by 8 to 12 per cent, other countries offices in the cities are nearly back to normal, not in the UK, the companies who did not want Brexit are telling their staff to stay away from the offices to try to get the gov to change its mind or prolong leaving the EU.

  69. M Davis
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    A breath of fresh air, thank you!

  70. bill brown
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR

    very intersting and detailed perspective.

    I would argue there is some truth to some of the isues raised, however, the criticism is so one sided that it basically argues in such a one-sided manner as you accuse the BBC of operating.

    Not a very well informed way of presenting your argument, actually quite weak.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      It is what is commonly known as someone else’s opinion bill.
      A difficult concept for you to understand I realise.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        You obvioulsly have too little to do

        • NickC
          Posted September 2, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, You obviously have too little to do. But then you are so very one-sided in your one-sided views. Just like the BBC. Not a very well informed way of presenting your argument, actually quite weak.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

            NIckC

            Read it again as I actually agreed with JR, before you get going again

          • Edward2
            Posted September 2, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

            Nick
            You do realise bill will now tell you there are no facts in your post.
            hans and belinda are also very keen on this.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes bill brown you write some very odd comments and this is one of them.

      You could call John’s post today an ‘Argumentative Essay’, he doesn’t stop other peoples opinions and comments on his essay and publishes opposing views which then allows the balance that the BBC doesn’t allow.

  71. Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Our kind host’s final comment is ” The BBC should not offer unfair competition to other media outlets financed by their unique access to a dedicated poll tax”.

    It is probably true to say that there are a number of taxpayer funded entities which compete unfairly in the market place.

    Our host’s comment is perhaps one step away from saying “A charity business should not offer unfair competition to other businesses, financed by their unique access to dedicated tax advantages.”

    • Mark B
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 4:10 am | Permalink

      Yes. There are a lot of ‘charities’ that act very much like business to me. One such operates a garden centre and uses volunteers to rub it.

      • Posted September 2, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        @Mark B. Not only is the charity heavily subsidised by the taxpayer but also many of its unpaid volunteers are taxpayer subsidised (pensioners). Normal businesses which have to pay their staff, don’t stand a chance.

  72. rose
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Despite the BBC, the EU negotiations seem to be going well. Let us hope and pray no-one caves in and we can free ourselves altogether.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      I sincerely hope the EU talks fail and we leave without a deal

      • Fred H
        Posted September 2, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        You and a very high percentage of the 17.4m who voted.

  73. Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    This is long overdue, Sir J. Decriminalisation is a first step and an easy one. Please just do it. Eventually it should become a streaming service paid for by voluntary subscription. Hive off the World Service, which would be paid for by government and provide impartial news at home and abroad.

  74. Everhopeful
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Could someone please lock Boris in a room with Tony Abbott.
    That man talks SENSE. Some of it might rub off on ODL ..even at 6 feet.

  75. agricola
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    As my final thought, ask yourselves this. Why has the BBC been allowed to grow into the left wing monster it has become. I would contend that it has followed the trend of UK politics in its drift to the left. Even the Conservative party has played and taken the knee to leftist thinking, starting with the Wets of the Thatcher era. This is in contrast to the electorate which has remained conservative with a small “c”, witness the way it voted in the referendum, the EU election and the last general election. The electorate is not into trendy left wing politics. The Conservatives in government have been content with the BBC. If you find that hard to believe just look at who they have chosen over the years as Directors General. Don’t believe what they say, note what they do.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 4:07 am | Permalink

      Here here

  76. Gantley
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    We should forget about the EU – we have left now – and we did not vote to have another trade deal with them so let’s just get on with it. Incidentally I’ve not heard much recently from Liz Truss or Government about these new trade deals we were promised with countries far away?

    • NickC
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Gantley, You have not heard much recently from Liz Truss or the Government about these new trade deals because the EU won’t let us sign them yet. That’s because we haven’t left the EU yet, contrary to your imaginings.

  77. Fred H
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Government should limit the licence fee to a maximumof £50 – no annual increase permitted above 5%. No staff nor contractors be allowed to be remunerated above £250k per annum. Major restructuring to take place to remove or merge minority television and radio coverage into fewer channels. The licence fee to be waived where a resident attains 70 years of age.

  78. Original Richard
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    The BBC’s bias is shown by :

    – Its selection and priority of news stories.
    – Interviewing left wing activists as if they are either experts or people just passing in the street.
    – Never informing their viewers who is funding the “experts” they interview.
    – Always ensuring that interviews with those whose views they do not agree takes place with two or more persons who agree with the BBC.
    – Always announce when organisations with whom they do not agree are to be investigated for rule breaking but never inform the viewer when the allegations are found to be false.
    Etc.

    The BBC have been gaslighting us for years.

    On the other hand, Leavers should recognise that had the EU and UK elites not been fooled by the BBC’s bias as popular opinion they would not have allowed a referendum to take place.

  79. Den
    Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Disconnected my antenna last week – subscribe to Netflix and Prime. Informed the Bolshevik BC that I would no longer be paying for Marxist propaganda. They threaten to send someone to my door. Why does a Conservative government allow this stuff?

  80. Posted September 2, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    ” reform of the BBC ” is NOT the answer.

    The BBC has become a cancer and needs to be cut out completely – nothing else will resolve the issues noted above and by many other commentators.

    BBC on subscription – No thanks – it will continue to poison the national psyche.

    When things have become this bad – so foul, you really have to destroy it and start again.

    The BBC has a vast catalogue of music, films and programs that would bring a small fortune – That should be sold off and added to the public purse

    The BBC should be closed down completely – It has done enough damage.

    ITV4 should be sold off as well.

    By all means let’s get a brand new national broadcaster – but only after BREXIT has fully completed and we have begun to think for ourselves.
    The new charter would be worded better, and not permit any indoctrination nor ‘educating of the masses’ – which is where the current charter fails.

    • Monty
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      I agree, close it down completely, including the world service. Any attempt at reform will only turn into a risible game of cat and mouse. Also I support your proposals for maintaining the archive for the benefit of UK citizens. It would also be necessary to ensure that the assets can’t be sold as a going concern, so restrictions must be applied as to who can buy them, and what they can acquire.

  81. UKQanon
    Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    SCRAP the licence fee. A subscription fee, maybe, for those who still intend lisetning/watching the daily EU left wing Marxist propaganda.
    Reform – The left wing agenda is so entrenched it cannot be reformed. It needs to start afresh.
    Oh! for the days of “Listen with Mother, are you sitting comfortably, now I’ll begin”. Absolutely NO gender politics involved. Decent afternoon plays etc. Just shows how far the BBC and the State has fallen however it is all part of the plan. Education is on the same platform.

  82. Nick@Barkahm
    Posted September 2, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    This is a total dead cat. Given all that is going on, really, the focus on the BBC is excessive. I really cannot fathom the weak of mind commenting on here and elsewhere that ‘the cancer needs to be cut out’. What they really mean is they are too thin skinned and incapable of having their own views challenged, or even that the news might contain items they don’t agree with. It’s totally pathetic.

  83. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Who appoints the BBC top brass, using what criteria? Is it genuinely independent? In any event, do we want a broadcasting organisation that independent of both political and commercial forces? The BBC’s anti-Brexit bias didn’t come from nowhere. There is an establishment – a Deep State if you like – that is not accountable and doesn’t want to be.

  84. Ed M
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I definitely agree with gist of Sir John’s comment although I still think we should retain some sort of BBC financed by public so we can ensure quality, creative programmes – cultural documentaries and programmes in general, films, comedy, children’s and nature – that commercial TV not able to do or do so well and also TV that focuses on promoting a sense of patriotism which isn’t a commercial consideration for commercial media.

    • Ed M
      Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      The BBC should be entirely non-political.

    • Ed M
      Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Lastly, really important as free market is, it cannot cover every inch of our British Life. Our country is ultimately more than a free market project although free market really important too (and that includes media – but not 100%).

      If we leave our country’s Culture and Patriotism 100% in the hands of the free market then we’re going to end up with the UK becoming more and more without a national identity at all.

      • Ed M
        Posted September 3, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        ‘a national identity at all’

        – and/or we’ll just end up more and more with a McDonald’s style national identity when we have to help nourish the great film makers and documentary writers and composers and artists of the future – and that cannot and won’t happen with the media 100% in the hands of the free market (although a lot / most of the media should be free market – but a good % of it still should be in the hands of the public – without free market pressures).

    • Ed M
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Lastly, a strong, creative BBC in public hands (out of commercial pressures – but non-political and smaller than it is) also feeds into the creative private sector – both directly into TV, radio and film industries but also into related creative industries in the private sector, raising standards there – and so helping the economy.

      Therefore there is a strong economic case for keeping the BBC in public hands – but getting rid of its political dimension and also making it smaller.

      And of course BBC in public hands is also useful for helping to preserve national identity / unify the country / help create sense of patriotism.

      • Ed M
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        ‘feeds into the creative private sector’ – for example, being involved in creative programme-making in the public sector (free of commercial pressures) is helpful to the private sector (it is ultimately CREATIVITY not technology or even money that is the private sector’s greatest assets – and it’s hard to nurture creativity in the private sector – people can be more experimental in the public sector) as well as high standards in training and more.

        Who would have thought a woman with depression living on the poverty threshold would then go on to create Harry Potter bringing billions into the UK coffers.

        My point is that we have to help nurture creative talent – and the private sector not always the best at doing that.

  85. Edwardm
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    The BBC is a propaganda outfit for all things pro-EU, remain, left-wing and anti-British.
    One should not be compelled to pay the BBC for the disagreeable rubbish it spouts because one happens to own a TV set (which I rarely switch on). The license fee is outdated in any case.

  • 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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