Put British back into the BBC

The BBC is meant to be a U.K. institution. It should help create a sense of common culture and shared democratic conversation for citizens anywhere in our Union who want that. Instead in recent years the BBC has fanned division. It has helped nationalist movements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland gain more voice for protest and grievance. It has stood for the continuing  submission of our country to government from Brussels against the pro Brexit majority. It has belittled and ignored England, perhaps with a view to building an English backlash to nationalisms elsewhere in our Union as the SNP and others want. BY highlighting the differences and the better deal Scotland has over funding per head, access to higher education and social care the BBC has done the SNP’s work for them in trying to create English grievance.

The U.K. is a complex country. Many  cannot describe the subtle differences between UK and  GB, or explain the relative powers of the UK and Scottish Parliaments or even remember the different voting system used in devolved elections. There is no adjective  to describe U.K. ness. Pro Union citizens of the U.K. in Northern Ireland are happy to be called British even though technically our country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The BBC seems less keen to be called British, using Scottish and Welsh branding in those parts of the Union whilst trying to break up England with regional branding that fails to resonate with most English people. The BBC often seems better disposed towards the EU/Republic of Ireland approach to Northern Ireland than to the view of the majority community in Northern Ireland it is meant to serve.

The BBC’s decision to encourage and allow a journalist to use illegitimate means to gain an interview with the Princess of Wales was bound to disrupt her marriage,  and harm the family and monarchy that stood behind it. It  was not just wrong in itself, but symptomatic of an institution, the BBC, which wanted to use its special place in our nation to disrupt our constitution. They were cruel on the children of the marriage with the interview and its questions, and wounding to the monarchists in the wider nation. This is why this dispute about journalistic techniques has such resonance. It sums up  a characteristic of BBC journalism in recent years that wants to go  beyond acting as a faithful mirror to the varying views within our nation  to being a player seeking to make news. BBC journalists often go beyond their welcome task of reporting accurately and in a balanced way what people are saying, to adopting a tabloid opinionated approach seeking to put words into people’s mouths. They  to get people to do ill advised interviews where they can try and make them say something disruptive, or can create a new division or split where it scarce existed before or where the plan is to make one worse.

The BBC’s treatment of England is a disgrace. It is as if our country did not exist. We are treated in England to a regular diet of commentary on the words and deeds of the SNP government in Scotland. The BBC gives Scotland its own Scottish news then muddles the national  newscast with English news because it cannot bring itself to have an English news to match the Scottish news. We are told the Scottish  covid regulations in the main  news, their continuing opposition to Brexit all the time, and often see the SNP used as a displacement for the official opposition in challenging the UK government. We are not told what the Mayors of London, Birmingham and Manchester are actually doing with the powers and money  as we are with the SNP occasionally. The Mayors  are usually  only heard when they talk about  matters decided by  the national Parliament.

The BBC is respectful of Scottish and Welsh culture and identity  but stumbles over UK and English identity. They love pictures with plenty of Scottish saltires and Welsh dragon flags but make a joke of the Union flag and repress the English flag most of the time. Most national broadcasters would be happy with their flag over their websites and close to their newsreaders, but you could not see the BBC ever wanting to do that. The BBC website is largely devoid of symbols, colours and familiar favourite history of the UK, and carefully screened to remove anything that could reflect well on England. The choice of topics and references to our history seems keener to reveal the flaws of the past which the UK usually shared with many other nations, rather than the exceptions where England and the UK made unique contributions to the advancement of freedom and prosperity through bold moves and radical movements. It is a great irony that an institution that is so keen to encourage and help many people to come as migrants to our country can never think of all the good things about the UK which means so many of them want to come.


  1. formula57
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC has become the enemy within.

    Would that many more people would do as I do myself and starve it of the oxygen of funding. (I realize it is too too much to expect the Culture Secretary to interfere with the BBC’s highly privileged, antiquated and damaging funding model.)

    1. jerry
      May 24, 2021

      @formula57; The problem with how the BBC (and not just the BBC) deal with devolution and regionalisation within the UK stems from the 1997-2010 Blairite govt’s changes to the constitutional settlements, and without any meaningful changes made since by the following Tory majority govt of 2015-now, both govts were elected and backed with the full weight of the Murdoch press….

      ….yet you call the BBC “the enemy within”.

      I will hear criticism of the broadcasters, any of them, once our national govt puts Britain back into the UK rather than having four nations…

      1. Peter2
        May 24, 2021

        Well you will be waiting a long time Jerry because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland voters seem to like their devolved powers.

    2. MiC
      May 24, 2021

      Let’s have military music for signature tunes again, eh?

      1. Peter2
        May 24, 2021

        Well they are very fond of them in all your beloved socialist countries MiC

    3. Aden
      May 24, 2021

      Sell the BBC off. It’s rotting fruit, so it needs to be sold quickly

  2. Old Albion
    May 24, 2021

    Scrap the licence, let the laughingly named BBC, stand on it’s own feet.

    1. glen cullen
      May 24, 2021

      I like it – a real conservative principal i.e allow market conditions of customer supply an demand prevail

  3. DOM
    May 24, 2021

    We don’t need more reviews of this now political organisation’s reporting guidelines and standards. The BBC has been subsumed by a regressive, authoritarian client State that owes its allegiance to a political ideology whose aim is the dismantling of all that the UK is and the creation of a culture and environment based on lies, PC propaganda and bigotry though the BBC call it ‘progressive politics’.

    If I hear the term ‘Hate’ and ‘crime’ again I fear my head will explode. These two terms have been taken out of context and used as weapons to destroy freedom of expression, destroy opposition, slander innocent people. destroy character and target presumption of innocence. What the BBC means by ‘Hate’ is any and all opinion that the BBC disagrees with. That is not the definition of ‘hate’. They target certain ethnicities then fall silent when reality intervenes that doesn’t support their racial narrative of ‘all white is evil and all racism is white’.

    Labour’s Anti-Semitism is conveniently omitted of course as are certain events like Batley. This shameless bias to is repugnant and is inciting resentment though the law of the land also allows this most shameful privilege.

    The nomenclature and vocabulary used by these people has warped the truth, meaning, facts and even reality itself. They are literally creating a parallel world in which all truth and fact is turned inside out.

    Both parties have passed laws to assist this process. Today, the BBC and indeed Sky are able to determine and control freedom of expression of their opponents.

    Again, all of this helps the Tories rebranding process. Their desperation to appease the vicious race lobby who use race as a weapon of political war to crush opposition and take control is quite literally destroying our most fundamental freedoms, our legal system and our nation

    The Tory party is not the solution but part of the problem as John knows full well. This party’s fear of the race, ethnicity and religious culture issue is leading us down a dystopian path. The party needs to decide whose side it’s on. The racially obsessed bigots or the libertarian, freedom loving majority

  4. Sakara Gold
    May 24, 2021

    Bashir’s interview with Diana Spencer was 25 years ago. Now those on the right of the party – including yourself – wish to use this regretable incident to break up and privatise the national institution that is the BBC. How ridiculous is this?

    The real issue is that you wish to control the BBC’s editorial content and shift it away from a politically and ethnically balanced point of view to one more in tune with your right-wing opinions. If you cannot achieve this, you would be prepared to privatise the media envy of the world – renowed for truthfullness and independence – into another railways and water industry fiasco.

    For someone who avers that you do not like the BBC, you seem to spend a lot of time watching it. I suggest that you turn your set off when programs with which you do not agree are showing. Simples!

  5. JoolsB
    May 24, 2021

    John, as you say, the BBC’s treatment of England is most certainly a disgrace. But then so is your Governments’ who are in a position to do something about it and they do nothing. That is the biggest disgrace surely.

  6. Ed M
    May 24, 2021

    We need a strong British BBC that supports British Conservatism (not politics but values of) and above all British patriotism – that creates highly original and creative and innovative programmes in arts and cultural documentaries and film, children’s, comedy, music, wildlife / Attenborough etc

    In other words to prune it down (not pull it up out of the grown – not to throw baby out with bathwater) with a strict mandate. Not to compete with commercial but to do what commercial cannot do.

  7. Bryan Harris
    May 24, 2021

    Ignoring and denigrating the English, and England, was a well established activity within the EU and all institutions that imagined there was nothing to fault the EU with. The BBC are simply carrying on doing what they’ve always done – making less of England, for the crime of ruling Great Britain and an empire also.

    If we are to retain the BBC a few simple fixes won’t do. The answer may be in a revision of the wording of the charter, which should specifically tell the BBC that they are required by law to:
    – report the news without embellishment, opinion or favouritism;
    – provide real entertainment for all viewers, not just the young;
    – provide original programs – expecting viewers to sit through constant repeats is unacceptable. The 9 PM deadline which is used as an excuse to avoid offering anything but repeats up to this time should be filled with decent and interesting drama suitable for all ages, and not all news;
    – if there are to be opinions expressed on a show then they need to be correctly labelled as such;
    – nature and history programs should be free of dogma and politically correct attitudes.

    That would do for a start.

    While extremely boring the evening Saudi Arabian paper printed in Riyadh would be a suitable example for the BBC to follow. It tells about the King’s day, who he met, and so forth, and any new regulations to follow. It is factual and to the point, without opinion.

  8. David Brown
    May 24, 2021

    I assume you are specifically writing about BBC journalism?.
    BBC drama, entertainment, documentaries etc are all predominantly based in England.
    So I assume you mean news output?
    The vast majority of news on any channel is boring and most is history the following day Covid is the exception.
    Politics and journalism don’t mix no matter how neutral it may be
    Politicians writing in newspapers to me is wrong.
    I don’t pay my licence fee to watch news I usually avoid it on tv and prefer msn news
    I never buy a newspaper for the same reason.
    May be the answer is scrap the news on the BBC?
    I know ITV would love to end news coverage as it makes no money from news
    Certainly scrap world service it’s a waste of money for a small country to be broadcasting state propaganda to the world no wonder countries ban it.
    BBC radio could all be commercialised I only listen to capital or frisk radio.
    However I do feel I want to continue to pay for drama entertainment comedy etc through BBC licence.

  9. None of the Above
    May 24, 2021

    Words almost fail me.
    The BBC has become an embarrassment to this Country.

  10. HGRJ
    May 24, 2021

    Thank you Mr Redwood for voicing that which many of us feel and do not have the publicity to make our views carry any weight.

    1. Jim Whitehead
      May 24, 2021

      HGRJ. +1

  11. None of the Above
    May 24, 2021

    Since my previous posting I have given some thought to how the BBC could recover it’s reputation as an impartial and informative public service broadcaster.
    1. Abolish the ‘Current Affairs’ department. Provide a news and weather reporting service only.

    2. Abolish the complaints department, it is unfit for purpose. Amend the website to inform viewers that all complaints must be referred to a relevant department. That department head will respond to the complaint and that response should be approved by the Director General.

    3. Continue with coverage of national events and commemorations (something that the beeb does well).

    4 Continue support for eduction, particularly ‘The Open University’, science, culture and ‘The Arts’.

    5. Reduce the License Fee as a consequence of the dramatically reduced budget.

    1. agricola
      May 24, 2021

      The problem is not the institution or the principals on which it was founded. For many years, those employed by the BBC did a very good job of living and working within those principals. If you wish change and reversion to the principals then you must remove those who have flauted them, which effectively means the majority. My best guess is that the government will play it down and nothing effective will be done. Government by inertia.
      The same infiltration has occured at universities, schools, and I suspect in the police, civil service and dare I suggest the conservative party, parti cularly if you judge them by their actions rather than what they say. Look at the negotiated departure from the EU with its appalling outcomes or the impractical political drive to green. None of it bodes well for the sort of post Brexit/Covid country I wish to see.

      1. Fred.H
        May 25, 2021

        well said..

  12. Know-Dice
    May 24, 2021

    The only reason I renewed my TV licence this year is because you need one to legally receive live TV broadcasts regardless if their origin is from the UK or elsewhere…

  13. agricola
    May 24, 2021

    You do not cure the BBC by injecting it’s title. You were comprehensively told yesterday what you could do about the BBC. It is my contention that appalling though the BBC is, it suits politicians better than a free thinking accurate dissemination of what is going on in the country and the World. You perpetrated a block on accurate information yesterday, published by a free press, when I failed moderation by stating the reasons for the Indian Variant. It makes you just as partial as the BBC, but on a smaller scale.

  14. The Prangwizard
    May 24, 2021

    These faults and omissions must be remedied but the important element is the position of England and Englishness which is ignored. Whilst action is required and indeed ought to be ordered how can we expect that from this government which is guilty of the same. No true recognition of England.

    We must have a BBC England, which must replace the local news we get where references are made to ‘the south’ ‘the North West’ etc. but no reference to these being in England. The structure based upon ‘regions’ must be dismantled. A separate UK News should be created to include international reporting.

  15. margaret
    May 24, 2021

    I am quite happy with a review of the BBC. It is an institution like the NHs which must not be lost or broken apart by the fierce right. We like to own our country and not let it deteriorate for people passing through thereby collecting goods on the way, however we must remember we have made a step to become independent and hopefully trade all over the globe , therefore good relations are a must . The world news on the BBC has served us well for many years and still remains the top , classiest station there is .

  16. Alan Jutson
    May 24, 2021

    Any change is in the hands of Government John.

    The public cannot starve it of money, as the BBC have a legal right to take it, the onus is on the population to prove that they do not view or use it.

  17. MFD
    May 24, 2021

    Well said Sir John. Its now time for the BBC to start planning their subscription service as a lot of people like formula 57 and myself begrudge paying the enemy within.

  18. John Miller
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC utilises its free money to enrich itself and promote its socialist agenda. Despite its pleas for diversity and inclusion the management are white, male and stale. Like its client, the Labour party, it has few women in positions of power and seems not to countenance a female director general.

    It follows the ancient socialist mantra: do what I tell you, not as I do. It should get used to producing programmes that people are willing to watch and it seems that this requires their source of free money to be taken away.

  19. L J Siver
    May 24, 2021

    Why pay for a few TV channels, There are better ways to spend money. The BBC is not essential.
    BoJo broke his promise I am braking mine: I nat agreeing to the terms and conditions.
    Be a pirate!!

  20. John McDonald
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC is no longer British. It has broken the rules of it’s charter- Just disband it , a job for OFCOM perhaps.
    The trades description act. Should be SWBC Scottish and Welsh Broadcasting Company.
    Maybe time for the EBC and of course an English Parliament. But we have to be a bit careful here, as this can’t be done until we have a UK Parliament. So as not to have too much Government and new buildings, we need to get ride of the Lords and replace with a elected chamber to manage the UK on a federal and International ( outside UK) matters. Their Lordships and anyone else can run for election to the UK parliament. Being a Lord or Baroness should not bar election to the UK Parliament .
    Now we have devolved Government there is no real choice but to move forward with an English Parliament and a UK Parliament. As the Lords is not established by a democratic vote, it is no better than the Chinese system of Government and until removed we should not question other forms of Government on the grounds of being un-democratic.

  21. H Rose
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC will prove impossible to reform while one of its employees is still employed by any potential successor organisation. All have been recruited and contaminated by the ‘BBC anti-British culture’ that has been so clearly exposed in recent reports and articles above. No matter how junior, the ‘enemy of the nation’ virus has been implanted in their minds just as communism was by the KGB in Mr Putin’s.

  22. forthurst
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC would have an excuse for their focus on countries outside England because they have their own legislatures and parties and spokesmen. England does not have a legislature and no one speaks for England, legally, so who would the BBC interview? What are exclusively English matters when every Westminster politician of the UK make our laws?

    JR uses the word grievance more than once. Grievance is the driving force behind the Frankfurt school and Critical Theory. When those who successfully overthrew Czarist Russia gave their attention to the the rest of Europe and the Americas, they assumed that they would be able to engineer the overthrows of all their democratic regimes by fomenting rebellion amongst the masses; unfortunately for them, they missed that one ingredient that held those countries together and maintained the loyalties of the masses, namely, patriotism. Their response therefore was to try to undermine the integrity of states by subterfuge, by representing democratic nations not as of a people who shared a sense of belonging to a whole but of disparate factions who were being exploited and abused by a controlling elite. From the BBC point of view, therefore, the Irish, Welsh, and Scots are clearly minorities whose destinies have been constrained by the English (who don’t exist) and its preference for Brussels over London, indicates not only its fundamentally unpatriotic nature but also its desire to undermine the patriotism of decent people for them to believe instead that a foreign power should control their lives.

  23. Paul Cuthbertson
    May 24, 2021

    I have not listened or viewed the BBC content for over ten years. Nothing lost on my behalf so do away with it totally.

  24. Ian
    May 25, 2021

    Well said all
    But as the Government is responsible, it clearly has no wish to change, anyway worse than the BBC is the unillectedt Lords?
    So much for Parliament, it is a joke?

Comments are closed.