Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve written several posts condemning the BBC’s lack of coverage of the damage that the government is doing to treasured public institutions like the NHS, and the deliberate targeting and demonisation of vulnerable groups in our society such as the disabled and poor. However, these posts should not be taken as an attack on the BBC as an institution. On the contrary, I believe an independent and impartial BBC to be an absolutely essential element of British democracy. But under coercion from the corrupt and brazen coalition government, it’s not currently fulfilling that crucial function.
How is this coercion being applied? Typically, the Tory-led government is using a none-too-subtle form of blackmail – a kind of stick & carrot combination designed to whip the BBC into toeing the line.
Since the coalition government came to power, it has applied considerable pressure to the BBC, using the excuse of austerity and fiscal tightening to impose cuts that weakened the BBC – and then further cuts to instill a fear-mentality and force it to acquiesce at best, and at worst to collude in the deception and robbery of the British people.
But George Osborne & co were being blatantly deceptive (surprise surprise) in claiming that cuts to the BBC were necessary because of the UK’s fiscal deficit. Although claims of saving taxpayers’ money abounded in both government-speak and among the right-wing crony press, the BBC is not funded by taxpayers, and the BBC’s costs do not add a single penny to the UK budget deficit.
The BBC is primarily funded by the television licence fee, with some additional income from commercial activity (mainly broadcasts overseas and the sale of BBC programmes to foreign commercial networks). Tellingly, although the government has cut the BBC’s funding, it has not reduced the licence fee at all. The cuts are therefore not aimed at reducing the deficit and saving the British taxpayer money, but rather at blackmailing the BBC into surrendering its neutrality. And sadly, they seem to have succeeded.
None of my posts on this blog that are critical of the BBC are aimed at undermining the need for an impartial broadcaster that is independent of government pressure and is able to report the truth – not just the veiled and twisted version of it that our current government wants the British public to see.
Not at all. By pointing out the BBC’s current collusion in the legalised robbery of British people that is being perpetrated by the coalition, the aim is simple – to draw attention to it so that people are not fooled into thinking they’re hearing an unbiased, impartial account of what’s happening to our country, and to build a demand for the BBC’s directors to resist this unprincipled blackmail so that the BBC starts to do its job again, and so that the aims of our crooked ‘leaders’ are not achieved:
To tell it like it is.
This government can’t stand if the majority of our people truly see and understand what it’s doing.