The BBC is disruptive, anti-Brexit, divisive – and belittles and ignores England

This article was published yesterday on ConservativeHome and I am reproducing it here:

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 damage her marriage more, and harm the family and monarchy that stood behind it. It was not just wrong in itself, but symptomatic of the BBC as an institution, which wanted to use its special place in our nation to disrupt our constitution.

The untruths encouraged more mistrust between close family members. It was 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 attempt to get people to do ill-advised interviews in which 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. All that may make sense for papers and campaigning websites with attitude if done with edge and not with lies – but is not what a public service broadcaster of record should be doing.

The BBC is meant to be a United Kingdom-wide 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 U.K and Great Britain, 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 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, and 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 much more about rules and decisions in Scotland. By contrast, large English mayoralties and county governments covering as many people as Scotland are largely ignored unless they are seeking to become part of the national opposition on things they do not decide.

The BBC is respectful of Scottish and Welsh culture and identity, but stumbles over UK and English identity. It loves pictures with plenty of Scottish saltires and Welsh dragon flags, but some of its presenters make a joke of the Union flag, and it 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. Kenneth
    May 24, 2021

    What was particularly reprehensible was the BBC’s pathetic “enquiry” soon after the interview.

    Many who have put in complaints to the BBC will know how their arrogance impedes good judgement. I’ve found Ofcom to be cut from the same dirty cloth.

    One day there will be a proper enquiry into the BBC’s Brexit propaganda (this can’t be done until there is someone in authority that we can trust).

    The BBC didn’t get away with it as there were enough people who were wise enough to see through the hype. However, politicians are more sensitive to BBC output and the BBC’s bias over many decades – and its indirect influence over other media – has persuaded politicians to open our borders and turned the Conservative Party into a Blairite Labour clone.

    The BBC, more than any other force, has left us with no credible choice at the ballot box.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 24, 2021

      Indeed but even more damaging than their anti-Brexit propaganda and this Diana deceptions is surely their climate alarmist agenda, the pointless war on CO2 plant food, their love of the dire NHS and their left wing agenda. An agenda this Boris government seems to now be following. The BBC set much of the agenda for the whole country and they are invariably wrong as on the above.

      Just listened to the excellent podcast interview with Lord Sumption on the Brendan O’Neill Show. He does very well indeed especially for a Historian/Lawyer right on (almost) everything. Though even he seems to have fallen slightly for the climate alarmism agenda perhaps too much BBC drivel got to him. Go and study a bit more on this topic Johnathon.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 24, 2021

        Hint – Atmospheric CO2 concentration is not some world thermostatic control, just one of millions and factors that affect the climate (many not even know or knowable). Furthermore the solutions being pushed by governments – heat pumps, wind power, solar, electric cars, hydrogen… do not even make any significant difference, not even to CO2, let alone the climate. They just cost £trillions (and will cost many lives) & all this is for no clear benefit whatsoever. Just another mad, group think, religion.

    2. Peter2
      May 24, 2021

      Excellent post Kenneth.

    3. Cynic
      May 24, 2021

      @Kenneth. I would agree the BBC’s influence is all pervasive. Unfortunately, many people regard it as speaking with an authority it long since ceased to deserve.

    4. No Longer Anonymous
      May 24, 2021


  2. None of the Above
    May 24, 2021

    Excellent piece Sir John, I read it yesterday and agree with every word.
    Please maintain the pressure.
    Thank you.

    1. John C.
      May 24, 2021

      Absolutely right. A fine summary of the shameful attitude of the BBC. I would just like to have seen more on its relentless “woke” agenda, which compels me to switch off regularly.

    2. Len Peel
      May 24, 2021

      He says the BBC represses the English flag most of the time. Can you give one example of this? Just one?

      1. a-tracy
        May 25, 2021

        Len, I did wonder about this ‘represses’. I do think it is possibly unconscious but for example if you looked at the BBC News site this morning at 0900 and just check out the photos on the main pages, there is not one England flag or UK flag. Yet they use the Welsh flag to highlight a story ‘Welsh identity at risk over Australia deal’. They use someone waving a Scottish flag on the story ‘SFA says no plan B over fans at Euros’ and an EU flag on the photo ‘NI protocol must be fully implemented.’

        Reply Yes that happens all the time. When I wrote the piece I checked the BBC website again. The main U.K. news page had 2 stories branded Scottish, 2 branded Welsh, One branded EU, five branded by a topic and one branded from 3 named English counties! No mention of England.

        1. Lawlor
          May 25, 2021

          So there were no stories about England. And so no use of the English flag. That is “repression” to you. I think you need to calm down and perhaps seek help. Paranoia and conspuracy theories are not healthy

          1. a-tracy
            May 25, 2021

            Lawlor, Len asked for one example, just one! I have three. What is wrong with wanting to be proud of being English and British. Why isn’t our identify and national flags celebrated or used to highlight stories when other nations in the United Kingdom are?

            I’m very calm thank you and I’m not the one HOT under the collar, take a look in your mirror.

          2. Peter2
            May 26, 2021

            Your pal demands examples.
            You get examples.
            And your response is to say well yes but just calm down about it.
            And then you descend to using mental heath slurs.
            Very poor.

  3. Dave Ward
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC should have ALL its public funding stopped. If they can’t sell their biased output to enough gullible viewers then let them go bust. I don’t see why I should face the threat of jail because I don’t support them. I can’t even watch alternatives without paying a licence fee…

    1. Lifelogic
      May 24, 2021

      Of course the BBC should not be able to tax people and then use that money to shower those very same people with endless idiotic propaganda, fake news and climate alarmism.

      Then again that is exactly what governments do especially this one and indeed London Mayor, in Wales and Scotland. Over £1 billion being spent by these “governments” to scare some people to death, promote government covid policies, gain electoral advantage, push climate alarmism and encourage worship of the very second rate and largely closed NHS with its 5 million awaiting procedures and people waiting 3 weeks for GPs and 3 years for dental treatment it seems too. How many taxpayers want their taxes wasted in this way?

    2. Timaction
      May 24, 2021

      Indeed. The Tory Party have had 11 years to have sorted out the BBC but have chosen not to. The biased and its lack of impartiality have been known for years. It has also turned a blind eye to some appalling characters like Savile.

    3. Jim Whitehead
      May 24, 2021

      D.W. +1. I thoroughly agree with your three succinct sentences, and you could have reasonably repeated the first.

  4. Newmania
    May 24, 2021

    Some sort of fair comment ( ish) but the devil will skate to work before Sir John swaps a Government funded organisation that he can threaten for a free market which he cannot. I suggest a far smaller tax funded Station providing what the market will not but we may feel are require for the culture health of the country .That would not include pop music radio celebrity dancing competitions et al.
    Internet and Screen would soon be populated with product aimed at different groups and I am confident we would not get undiluted Daily Express views allied to and low browed soft porn .We would get better out put better drama news and a .livelier place in general. Exports would boom and one of the UK`s great strengths would be unleashed .
    Won`t happen of course

    On immigration ,just one small point . When the extent of racism in the Uk is endlessly re -chewed, no-one ever mentions the many people who like immigrants. For example the British often have very warm feelings towards the people who originate form the Caribbean,appreciate that many did not have a great star , wish them well and are not only friends but frequently “horizontally integrated “..hem hem
    The assumption seems to be that there is nothing generous and good hearted about the British and that is just not fair , not even of Brexit voters ..( kidding )

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      May 25, 2021

      It’s the left who push soft porn and break down barriers all the time.

  5. Fred.H
    May 24, 2021

    No wonder foreigners and visitors get confused about England, Scotland, Wales and where is the UK or Great Britain! Ireland is usually understood as a different country but Northern Ireland is lost on them.
    Coming to London they must be confused as to where are the people they were brought up to identify as British. This cosmopolitan diverse city full of ancient landmarks and pageantry, yet seemingly full of international restaurants and store chains must be very puzzling. Our terrestrial television channels seem to run down everything English, or British -yet they marvel at the historical Dramas making worldwide success, portrayal of a lifestyle they cannot find anywhere. Then there is the relationship with the EU, parting causes such angst – yet the country voted for it!

    1. Andy
      May 24, 2021

      To be fair, most Brits struggle with the difference between the U.K. and GB. GB News for example – patriotic news for people who don’t know their country is called the U.K.*

      * Owned mostly by foreign billionaires.

      I suspect the Brexitists in government don’t really know the difference between the U.K. and GB either. Otherwise there is no way Frost and Johnson would have negotiated their embarrassing withdrawal agreement which sold out NI. And Conservative MPs would not have voted for it.

      Imagine President Macron signing a deal which excluded Provence…..

      1. Fred.H
        May 25, 2021

        We have Brexitists in Government? Well hidden these last few years.

    2. glen cullen
      May 24, 2021

      It started with Blaire and multiculturalism and continued with Cameron, May and Boris being ashamed and apologetic for being British while waving the EU flag….and the BBC spouting that you can be whatever you want to be….no wonder everyone is confused

  6. Blandell
    May 24, 2021

    My oh my! Somebody sure got out of bed the wrong side this morning – it seems Brexit has not yet brought the rewards expected and now turning in on ourselves we are starting to devour our very own

    1. dixie
      May 24, 2021

      The nests of vipers must be eradicated before we can progress.

    2. Peter2
      May 24, 2021

      No Blandell.
      It is an excellent essay from our host about the BBC
      But you managed to squeeze Brexit into your response, so well done.

    3. Lawlor
      May 24, 2021

      Correct. Redwood desperate to give people something to get angry about, so they don’t start thinking about why after 11 years of Tory rule this country is in such a mess. Blame everyone … except the Conservative party

      1. Peter2
        May 24, 2021

        In other news Lawlor the Conservatives are more than 10 points ahead of Labour
        Further ahead than they were at the last election.

        1. MiC
          May 25, 2021

          Yes, countries can decline.

        2. Len Peel
          May 25, 2021

          Yes. So stop blaming anything other than the Conservatives for the ills of this country. They run the BBC, the police, the immigration service , the justice system, social welafre, schools, Universitirs… everything!

          1. Peter2
            May 25, 2021

            Len, I thought the Government funded them and simply allowed them to manage their own affairs within the law and their charters.
            Who knew?

    4. John C.
      May 24, 2021

      The wretched BBC has irritated people long before Brexit was even considered. Stop using it as a feeble weapon to attack everything Sir John says. Get over it.

    5. Sir Joe Soap
      May 24, 2021

      Devouring the BBC would not make a tasty meal; rather the vomitus would reveal a sneering disregard for the English and for the territorial UK just as described. Broadcasters such as Manchetty sniggering at an MP with the Union Flag behind them– nauseating.
      It is difficult to imagine a broadcaster in the United States being so vehemently anti-American. There would be demonstrations and they would soon be taken off air by fair means or foul. In Russia the broadcasters would be locked up or worse.

  7. nota#
    May 24, 2021

    “The BBC is disruptive, anti-Brexit, divisive – and belittles and ignores England”

    Yup!… All those things. single-handedly the BBC is creating division, creating a major disjoin between cultures(yet calling the a race). The BBC is high on proper gander for unproven science when it suits.

    To any casual observer every news item, current affairs program, children’s program in fact their own programming generally is lead by left wing agitators in their editorial and production departments. It give an everyday appearance of being infiltrated and hijacked by political and social bias.

    The BBC has done more to unsettle and create disharmony in all quarters of society. They have no idea of the concept of impartiality. If you tell someone they are down-trodden, disadvantage etc. long enough they will believe it. They are able to create disharmony by finding isolated situations and decreeing it is the norm.

    The most distressing thing is that their opinionated political views that set out to destroy the majority are funded by the taxpayer( any compulsory payment is tax) without democratic supervision, oversite or Couse to readdress the situation.

    I am also reminded here the people in charge at the BBC of investigating then reinstating Martin Bashir are the same ones that took the reins of Ofcom to ensure the same impartiality. My point here is not about the individuals or situation as such but the duplicity of Government to basically take the P… out of the electorate and the people of the UK in the name of Democracy and self interest. You just cant keep using and abusing the taxpayer for the sake of personal ego and personal friendships.

    Political appointees are the responsibility of the PM his Ministers and the HoC, they need to stand or fall by their own mistakes and passing the buck should not be an option at any stage – it a resigning matter. Is called integrity.

  8. DOM
    May 24, 2021

    It is also very dangerous and turns a blind eye to racism, hate and bigotry simply because the perpetrators don’t satisfy the neo-Marxist narrative

    It seems criminal laws regarding hate, racism and bigotry only applies to certain types. This unequal application of the law is highlighted today at Conservative Home

    John. We just want to see an unbiased and impartial application of the criminal law and this is not happening. It is unacceptable that some are targeted and others are given a free pass to pump out their Anti-Semitism and Anti-white hate

    The BBC like most other public bodies that have been infected by Neo-Marxist are a poison and the Tories must first starve them of funding and the destroy them as per Prince William

    1. Lifelogic
      May 24, 2021

      Exactly. The Police are picking and choosing (in between taking the knee and demanding a “Free Palestine” this while ignoring most burglary, shop lifting, common assaults and the likes. In favour of “non crime” alleged hate incidents on twitter or cash raising by various motorist muggings.

    2. Everhopeful
      May 24, 2021

      +1 Absolutely!

  9. Narrow Shoulders
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC and other 24 media is aided in its creating a narrative rather than reporting the news by the way policy announcements are trailed in advance by politicians.

    Rather than reporting fact based on something that has happened they are encouraged to speculate in advance.

    Stop advance briefings and see what happens.

    Physician heal thyself.

  10. MiC
    May 24, 2021

    Like, er, headlines calling our top legal authorities, correctly doing their jobs “enemies of the people” and democratically-elected, loyal, patriotic MPs working for what they sincerely believe to be the good of the country and its people “traitors” isn’t disruptive and divisive, John?

    Some of the media are doing plenty more, just like that as we write, and with predictably but tragically disastrous consequences too.

    It isn’t the BBC, is it?

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      May 24, 2021

      PS, the BBC has been caught out doing the most vile things.

      Hiding and facilitating its paedophiles. How many victims were permanently scarred or committed suicide ?

      Deceiving the Princess of Wales and – arguably – helping to put her in harm’s way.

      The ruination of high profile people’s reputations by shoddy journalism and jumping the gun as regards publicity.

      It continually rewrites our history in drama and comedy to fit its own narrative and condemn us.

      I am forced to pay for it because I own a television set – which is a bit like forcing a Guardian reader to pay for the Daily Mail simply because they own a newspaper.

    2. Peter2
      May 24, 2021

      Jerry would call you out for whataboutery MiC
      Be careful.

  11. Alan Jutson
    May 24, 2021

    Shame it had to be said, but all very true ,the BBC is no longer a reporter of the facts, but its own opinions.

    1. Know-Dice
      May 24, 2021

      Agreed, too often all “journalists” are giving their opinion rather than raw facts.

      Maybe real facts are just too boring for us plebs… 🙁

    2. Lifelogic
      May 24, 2021

      Indeed and its own opinions are (almost without exception) 180 degrees wrong. BBC programmes are bland and/or appalling in general too.

      All they have is the odd good old repeat.

    3. Timaction
      May 24, 2021

      True, but not just the BBC. Sky, ITV, Channel 4 etc all follow the same narrative. Mass migration=good. Climate change, unchallenged. Anti-English everything. All value diversity to extremes, all woke/PC unfunny. In short the the MSM are irrelevant in this age as everyone knows it and rarely challenged by our politicians. So, thankyou Sir John. However, I don’t have to pay for their propaganda all except the BBC. It’s time to stop the licence tax. Let them become a subscription service or be disbanded.

      1. glen cullen
        May 24, 2021


    4. Fedupsoutherner
      May 24, 2021

      Agree Alan. Rather than getting the news we just get the BBC’s opinion on everything.

  12. Elizabeth Spooner
    May 24, 2021

    This is a very accurate picture of the BBC.
    There must be a huge imbalance in the amount of TV taxpayers’ money that is spent per head of the population in Scotland particularly, with its Scotland channel, Scotland editors, Scottish political team in contrast to England where there is no dedicated English journalist at all. Wales, with its own channel, too probably has more spent on it than England. Although the BBC makes a big thing of diversity all the Scottish correspondents are Scottish and all the Welsh ones Welsh – their diversity policies only apply to England. Their UK political team have a disproportionate number of Scots headed by Laura Keunssberg and Andrew Marr! Telling they have no reporters as such anywhere – only correspondents putting the BBC views across instead of simply reporting the facts.

  13. Fred.H
    May 24, 2021

    BBC chairman announces review into editorial oversight and whistleblowing, in wake of report into 1995 interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

  14. kb
    May 24, 2021

    I bet most people agree with this article, but it is what to be done about it which is difficult.
    Anything the government does will be branded as political interference.
    Decriminalising non-payment of the TV licence will have no effect. People will be hounded by debt collectors instead of going to jail.
    Privatising it would be a sad day for the UK. We would lose a lot when the BBC ends up owned by some global media corporation.
    Subscription-only could easily backfire. It will become a media bubble to the woke population. Perhaps it is this already, but it could easily get worse.
    One thing I have thought of is giving other news channels (e.g. GB News) more favourable slots on the Freeview EPG.
    Anyhow, what do others propose to remedy the situation?

    1. anon
      May 25, 2021

      Making the BBC a voluntary subscription is long overdue.
      The talent could be released to earn elsewhere or not.
      Public sector broadcasting can be bid for at tender.
      Why would a debt collector hound someone at random? No agreed contract by the parties would mean no civil enforcement is possible.

      None of this will happen because we still have a remainer, globalist establishment. The BBC suits a common purpose and can set a narrative framing a debate, instead of journalism and asking, penetrating questions. The voters are irrelevant unless they can act to replace them.

  15. Martin
    May 24, 2021

    You state in your opening paragraph that the BBC “wanted …. to disrupt our constitution”.

    What evidence do you have for that? Goings-on in the royal family are not new despite the prudish image the press likes to present. King Edward VII had an “interesting” life.

    In Scotland the BBC is regarded as a Unionist media outlet, like much of the press. The SNP remains the largest party (by a long way) despite the anti-SNP propaganda activities of the media. I could list the pro-union presenters employed by the BBC in London.

    As for England perhaps the unitary England that you want is not quite there. The view from Cornwall is different from Islington or even Finchampstead. The Tories have peddled the Islington Labour stuff well in Northern England, so unitary England is even denied by Conservatives!

    As for the BBC being pro-EU – you must be joking. They gave more air time to Herr Farage than others I saw.

  16. DavidJ
    May 24, 2021

    Let’s start to bring the BBC to heel by removing the licence fee from it. It has not been fit for purpose for too many years. Then maybe the ones responsible for its wokism, greenery and suchlike will be out of a job.

  17. agricola
    May 24, 2021

    Yes it is all your title suggest, you think it, we know it. Talk is cheap, what is your plan A to rectify the situation. I doubt your government will do much. Slap on the wrist but nothing more of any consequence.

  18. a-tracy
    May 24, 2021

    I like the BBC. I want them to do well and prosper and deliver for all of us in the UK on an equal footing.

    There is a very interesting report if you search ‘House of Commons Library – TV licence fee stats’. I think it is very telling that the BBC audience share dropped [34% to 31%] and C4 [12% to 10%] since 2008, whilst ITV has held at 23%.

    In 1956 only 5.7m had tv sets, 36% of households – how different it is today. 27m households or 95% of households they don’t all pay a licence though. In 2019/20 71% of BBC revenue was from the licence fee. The other 29% from other activities (such as grants/royalties/rental income). A total revenue of £4.94 bn.

    I’m watching a great series on Amazon at the moment called ‘Versailles’ I was really surprised when I read it has previously already been on the BBC in 2016. So, I’m now paying extra to watch a series the BBC already had but put on BBC2 probably at an unsuitable viewing time with little promotion. I watch very little terrestrial tv now that we have new models of view at-a-time- to-suit and it annoys me that the BBC want to charge us again for this sort of service when we’ve already paid once for a delivery slot/time we have no choice over.

    I stopped watching ‘Question Time’ a long time ago, and ‘Newsnight’ and Sunday tv political shows they just makes me angry. For quick news I spot more on twitter then I look at more reliable news sites like the Guardian (I know!) for a balanced view – but the BBC website is always ages behind.

  19. Mick
    May 24, 2021

    The bbc should be scrapped end of, or change its name to ebc (European broadcasting service)and stop the public from having to fund it by the license fee, hopefully come Friday 28th May GBN will be the voice of GB and the bbc/ebc will go under or move its operation to its beloved Europe

  20. Peter from Leeds
    May 24, 2021

    I think the best answer would be to go over to the Channel 4 model.

    Let them earn their money by making programmes that people want to watch in order to get advertising revenue. The BBC pad the time between programmes with “adverts” about their own stuff at the moment anyway.

    They could run a subscriber channel too and try to compete with Netflix on a level playing field.

    And perhaps like Channel 4 they should physically move to somewhere in the real world!

    1. glen cullen
      May 24, 2021

      Sell the whole thing to Sky for £400bn to fund HS2, covid and foreign aid

  21. Richard Hobbs
    May 24, 2021

    Well, I found that article to sum up my own feelings almost entirely. I certainly would support the ending of BBC License funding. Make them stand on their own and take the British out of British Broadcasting Corp.

  22. Andy
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC is supposed to provide something for everyone. Old and young. Woman and man. White and black. Scottish and English. Something for all 65m people in the country.

    A small proportion of the 13m Brexitists who voted Tory are unhappy with the BBC. They want to scrap it on behalf of the other 52m because it doesn’t spew the non-stop nonsense they want to hear.

    There is plenty of fake news you can access online on from your favourite newspaper owned by your favourite offshore tax dodging billionaire. We prefer the real stuff from the BBC. Thanks.

    1. Peter2
      May 24, 2021

      17.2 million voted for brexit andy
      Not 13 million.

    2. MiC
      May 25, 2021

      Andy is correct.

      Of the Tory vote at the last election about 13m were Leave voters.

      Read what is written and then you might not incessantly make yourself look the fool.

      1. Peter2
        May 25, 2021

        The fool is someone who thinks only a small number of people want the BBC reformed.

    3. Fred.H
      May 25, 2021

      the other 52m? – – -but they didn’t have a vote. Perhaps you didn’t know that under 18s don’t have a vote?

      1. MiC
        May 25, 2021

        Plenty pay the licence fee though.

        1. Peter2
          May 25, 2021

          That doesn’t follow they don’t want reforms at the BBC just because they pay their BBC tax.

  23. nota#
    May 24, 2021

    Just a little bit off topic, but then again the BBC promotes these stories without thinking them through. “Energy regulator ploughs £300m into electric car charging network”

    The bit missing is the electricity capability other than what we have to buy from the EU to supply these charging points.

    Is that more cart before the horse, or as the cynic in me things the establishment ensure we are tied to the EU and in this case subsidies the French taxpayer.

  24. steve
    May 24, 2021

    “….the BBC has done the SNP’s work for them in trying to create English grievance.”

    Yep, it sure has.

  25. Everhopeful
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC is now totally out of control.
    And if politicians are worried ( they should be!), then they have no one to blame but themselves.
    The BBC should have been reined in round about the Bill and Ben era.
    But no…pander, pander, bow to the Left, appease,appease.
    It doesn’t work!!
    Isn’t the BBC proof of that?

    1. glen cullen
      May 24, 2021

      Correct – it’s the spineless politicians that have allowed the BBC to be out of control

  26. jon livesey
    May 24, 2021

    The BBC is easy to attack because it is a visible target. The real problem is that the press in general no longer exists to inform but to generate page clicks and sell advertising. What used to be thought of as the morals of the News of the World have now become the morals of the press in general.

    I am very much opposed to any regulation of the Press, no matter how low my opinion of them is, so I think we should just get used to living with a Press that is usually amoral and occasionally completely destructive and immoral, and treat that as a fact of life.

    Basically, we should cease to give the press a privileged position in national life, and treat every press organ as just another blog and the Press itself as just a set of companies trying to make money off us by publishing sensational and misleading stories.

  27. Derek Henry
    May 24, 2021

    Well said John,

    Well said.

  28. Ed m
    May 24, 2021

    Big problem is that we have confined Conservatism to money (/ economy) and politics. Important as this is, Conservatism is far more. It should also incorporate others areas of life including Conservatism in the Arts, Education, the Media etc.
    We need a comprehensive, cultural, Burke-like philosophy of Conservatism reaching into every area of life – civilisation – a philosophy that generates a true love of country – patriotism. And so we need Conservatives in the BBC (not in a political sense but in a cultural sense).

  29. Yossarion
    May 24, 2021

    City Regions imposed on the English by the Welshman Heseltine were done under your Watch, The West of England Mayor covers the County of Avon Boundary that was never wanted and was supposed to have been abolished. Who in their right mind would amalgamate areas of Wessex And Mercia together.

  30. David Brown
    May 24, 2021

    I’m not a fan of lots of symbols or national flags etc.
    It does occur to me that England does not have a devolved Government so it “may be” difficult for journalists to focus on matters relating to England. I’m simply trying to suggest a reason why the BBC news etc does not include in-depth analysis about England.
    I would argue its not in the BBC interests to see the break up of the UK because the BBC would not exist.
    There is also the perceived danger of Political pressure on the BBC being turned on its head and Politicians being accused of state censorship – ok a bit harsh but it could happen.
    Lets hope the new BBC management now understands its place as a broadcaster and balanced reporting with transparency in management is the new order.
    I don’t watch TV news I read msn news but I don’t want the BBC turned into a Political football, even if some times it is of its own making.

  31. ukretired123
    May 24, 2021

    This bloated dysfunctional travesty body of woke warriors cynically masquerading as our national broadcaster for decades has run out of road and needs exposing because it is rotten at the very top.
    It has lurched from crisis to crisis and no one dare tackle it.
    Just like the Post Office IT scandal a cover up culture prevailed of potentially criminal activities. Any whistle blower would lose work and career.
    So much for integrity hey?
    Now you realise why Donald Trump regarded the BBC as the possible best example of Fake-News in 2019/2020 at a Q&A media event when newly elected President.
    It needs radical change nay, surgery but like the EU bureaucracy it is beyond this and needs breaking up into smaller units and self financing. I hate having to pay for it as it does not represent me not millions either based on its real tacky track record of avoidable failures.

  32. Fedupsoutherner
    May 24, 2021

    This is an excellent post John summing up the dire BBC. It’s shocking the way England is under represented when it’s the English who pay the biggest percentage of their income through the licence. As usual England gets the worst deal.

  33. Margaret Brandreth-
    May 24, 2021

    I don’t agree. There are facets of it which can be improved , however we don’t comment to be right , we comment to improve the present. Everything is not a hot headed alpha competition . Sometimes even the conservatives need to work with the rest of the country as a team to conserve what is best.I myself don’t believe in ripping out the foundations to improve the fascia . We all listen to comments in the air such as’ put her down ,” screw.. him’ etc ,, honestly who do these people think they are?

    1. Margaretbj
      May 25, 2021

      If people see that opinions are being given rather than representation of an accurate state of affairs ,then they probably have a modicum of intelligence to think in a similar way.One doesn’t recognise types of text and reporting unless they themselves have the ability to also represent accordingly

  34. Richard1
    May 24, 2021

    The govt should press its advantage on the back of the Martin bashir / Tony hall outrage. After all the BBC ran a relentless anti-Boris campaign for a few weeks before the recent elections, and got thumped by the voters as the rest of the left did.

    Incorporate it and give it a proper board of directors and share capital. Abolish the license fee and fund it through subscriptions advertising and overseas sales. Pay directly for radio and the world service etc. Eventually, distribute the shares free to taxpayers. Maybe keep a golden share for a few years so leftists can’t claim the Murdochs will buy it. Let it compete.

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    May 24, 2021

    So we’re agreed then. The BBC is a hopeless failure and needs radical reform. I’d start off by insisting that it defends the current Nation State, the United Kingdom. In pursuit of which, it should give a platform to those who believe that devolution has gone too far already – that the devolved assemblies should not have tax raising powers, that the public expenditure premiums to the Celtic provinces under the Barnett formula are too generous, and that the Good Friday Agreement is a constitutional nonsense that is bound to fail once people are no longer war weary. Whoever heard of a province belonging simultaneously to two different countries?
    Maybe we should give Andrew Neill a 3 year contract to run it.

  36. glen cullen
    May 24, 2021

    We can sleep soundly in our beds tonight as the foreign office has sent a communiqué asking Belarusian to stop hijacking airplanes …..if they do it again we’re ready with a stern letter

  37. Alan
    May 24, 2021

    Absolutely agree. I wish it would be shut down.

  38. Robert McDonald
    May 25, 2021

    When considering how deep the management(problems ed) goes in the BBC it is worth considering the implications of the blacklisting of the graphic designer who challenged the falsification of bank statements that assisted the BBC in obtaining the Diana “scoop”.
    A senior BBC manager must of course have decided to punish Matt Wiessler for exposing the corrupt practice. That manager must have communicated in some semi formal way to other managers within the organisation instructing them to no longer choose Wiessler for any tasks that he may normally be suitable to do. That communication must have had a “reason” behind it that would have to have the approval of the BBC Human Resources Department to ensure it was “acceptable”. A very significant number of staff would therefore have been aware of the instruction and accepted it without challenge, but I suggest from experience of working in a bureaucracy that a significant number of them would know the background and that the “reason” was not as advised. They were all complicit by being too afraid to challenge the instruction.
    The decision was that effective and that swift in implementing that it had to be a well rehearsed procedure. Such a result is indicative of a systemic failure of employer obligations and avoidance of employee rights.
    The latest Director General, Davies, has assured all that more robust procedures are in place to prevent a recurrence. There is no way that he can ensure that when there are the well drilled practices of management disregarding the proper procedures for the unwritten ones that sees innocent and committed employees careers destroyed by management deceit and dishonesty.
    This displays a systemic failure in BBC management down entirely to the fact that they are a law unto them selves. Ofcom are only there to look at output and the BBC Trust is only there to pretend to oversee. But they cannot oversee what swims in the depths of the swamp, and they don’t wish to look.
    Tribunals are also there to deal with management malpractice, but the BBC has bottomless coffers to procure high flying lawyers to deal with these and the same coffers to pay off when forced to by the tribunals. It is painless to the BBC hierarchy.
    It is time for an independent disciplinary panel, including members of the public, to assess all such actions and the panel meetings minutes must be published openly. The alternative is just more to the same cant and in 25 years another incident will be reported and their defence will be “but that was 25 years ago, we have better procedures in place now”.

  39. Barry
    May 25, 2021

    Yes, yes, we know all that. But what is the Government going to do about it?

    Leaving it to the BBC to “learn lessons” is simply not good enough, because it behaves like a political party with an agenda and knows precisely what it is doing.

    And why is nobody asking to see the Balen Report?

  40. Original Richard
    May 25, 2021

    Splitting up the BBC could just make the situation worse as evidenced by the fact that Sky, C4, C5 and ITV etc. are no better.

    The BBC should be required as the public service broadcaster to supply news and current affairs programmes made by different people with differing views. It is simply not acceptable that we see endlessly the same people with the same views. We need our public service broadcaster to air a diversity of opinion.

    Also the BBC should not be employing established presenters at enormous salaries but use the way they are funded to devise new formats and train new presenters instead.

  41. Iain Moore
    May 25, 2021

    I am pretty furious at the level of propaganda we are being subjected to on George Floyd’s death. Lee Rigby’s murder ? Memory holed . Anybody remember Amanda Donnelly who went to Lee Rigby’s side? No she is forgotten about. The atrocity at Manchester? The 22 children murdered are now described as lost, these are recent anniversaries they have forgotten, but a career criminal in the USA we are supposed to lionise. A council in the Midlands have lit up a War memorial to our dead as a tribute to him. I am disgusted.

    While all the liberals try to out do each other by prostrating themselves before iconography of George Floyd, and revelling in their self loathing, the murder of Black people continues at an accelerating pace, it is just the murders the liberals don’t care about, because it doesn’t fit their political agenda, something they can’t feed their self loathing with, the murder of Black people by Black people, here Black lives don’t matter.

    1. Excalibur
      May 25, 2021

      You have highlighted indelibly, Iain, the inconsistencies and selective memories. Only today the BBC was attempting to stir further division by resurrecting comments made by the Prime Minister, long before he held that office. Amanda Donnelly’s bravery was breathtaking.

      1. rose
        May 25, 2021

        And those comments were benign, gentle, no hostility intended, but taken out of context and deliberately misrepresented, misinterpreted, and misreported. Depicted as something quite different. These people are evil. That is not too strong when one considers the inflammatory effect they intend to have on people who will never have read the original words.

    2. Alan Jutson
      May 25, 2021


  42. Mike Wilson
    May 25, 2021

    Do any of you on here pay the licence fee? If so, why? I don’t – and I don’t miss live TV at all. It is absurd that I cannot watch live broadcasts by anyone – even if I am paying for them – but, hey ho, nothing is that good. I use Netflix and Amazon – I really don’t give a stuff about the BBC’s content so I don’t pay the licence fee.

    I will not contribute to Gary Lineker’s and Zoe Ball’s outrageous salaries.

  43. Jiminyjim
    May 25, 2021

    One of the big lessons that we need to learn as a country, and the process has not even started, is that if you place organisations in a position where they have no customers (ie they are paid by the government which they see as the customer) then eventually they will start to think that they are absolutely bomb proof and untouchable and everyone else can go hang. This applies in spades to the BBC, NHS and the Civil Service.
    The only way they can be shown that they are touchable is by the government, and the current government has shown very clearly that it has no stomach for the fight on any of these three fronts. We can only brace ourselves for a situation that will continue to get worse until such time as we can vote for a government with a pair

  44. Diane
    May 30, 2021

    And the BBC seems a little slow in reporting on events in Dover which affect and concern many of us, having simply & only recently added to their rather prompt report about the anti illegal migrant protesters in Dover on Saturday but now mentioning within that report, under no separate heading, that there were 336 arrivals in 19 boats on Fri 28 May and at least 144 arrivals on Sat 29 May.

  45. Edwardm
    May 30, 2021

    Why isn’t the Conservative government holding the BBC to account over its blatant anti-Conservative bias and anti-Britishness ? Why is the licence fee not being abolished pronto ? Subscription technology already exists.

    How come so many national organisations are run by people who are so anti-British? If those in such positions choose to demean our heritage or side with our adversaries, then we need to have simple ways of removing them.

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