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Petition to save Derbyshire show nears 20k. Moments like these are surely unconnected with BBC binning it

A petition to save the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show is approaching 20,000 signatures.

The programme’s presenter tweeted that the first she had heard of the BBC’s decision to cancel her award-winning programme was when she read about it in the Times newspaper:

The programme, though flawed, stood out a mile from the BBC’s usual output, because it featured more frequent – and more honest – exposure of Tory attitudes and actions.

The Conservatives have already threatened to boycott BBC programming for daring to criticise them, but moments like those below – including the exposure of the arrogance of Boris Johnson’s father – surely have nothing to do with the BBC’s decision to cancel the show:

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26 comments

  1. It is indeed a flawed programme which also did some Corbyn bashing, so let’s not give it a free pass. I’m of the opinion that the BBC’s problems with news and current affairs is embedded into the organisation and the only way out is not to save The Victoria Derbyshire programme but to close down the whole of politics and news, then start again to rebuild on a foundation of telling the truth. I don’t want your views, I have mine, all I need are facts so I can make my own mind up.

    1. You have a point about starting from the ground up with News and Current Affairs. Inevitably, the Beeb has always had an establishment bias – but, particularly since the neoliberals increased their influence and decisevely took over with the Birt regime, it’s lost all credibility. ‘Twas not always as bad as this.

      But beware the siren voices promoting the Tory policy of abolishing the BBC as a public corporation (a bit equivalent to Lexiteers) – that would be a massive act of infanticide rather than cleaning the bath. The operation is much more than just the raddled News and Current Affairs and the managerial idiocies that have accrued. The wider variety of programming would die under a commercial sell-off, and should be anathema to any but a neoliberal crank.

      As an example of the other side, I’ve just watched Tom Mangold’s documentary about the Profumo affair, which is as good an expose of the machinations of the establishment as you will see – and, 50 years on, can be directly related to the current anti-semitism stitch-up against Corbyn.

      1. RH I understand we need to be careful in our condemnation of BBC bias but we must not let them get away with their bias towards the Conservatives. I am old enough to remember some great programmes by the BBC one of which was a children’s programme I think it was called “You and Me” it took two children and each spent time in each others family and this was all over the world. Quite an inspiring programme for the 70’s. This was the BBC at its best. The fact that we are celebrating a programme that is not as campaigning as That’s Life. Says how much the standards of the BBC have fallen.

        The BBC was taken over with Cameron’s gang of acolytes he put in place to destabilise the BBC. I’d rather the BBC actually had the attitude that if we are going down we might as well go down fighting. The beginning of the end of the BBC can be traced back to the shutting down of the BBC Trust that gave a warning to Laura Kuenssberg showed it had some teeth. Now the trust have gone, it’s a paper tiger.

        We on the left have always supported the BBC in the hope that it was a public broadcaster supporting the people against the government but we know it’s a state broadcaster supporting the government against the people. If it continues to tow the government line I won’t support it anymore. It can go to hell in and handcart. Or to put it another way “you’ve made your bed, so lie in it.”

      2. I don’t disagree with a lot of what you say, Christopher,but :

        “The BBC was taken over with Cameron’s gang of acolytes he put in place to destabilise the BBC.”

        … it goes further back than that, and the Tories were mounting organised campaigns against the BBC from the time of Wilson and Callaghan, increasing in intensity during the Thatcher years (remember the spats over the Falklands War?)

        The other thing to remember is that, during the Blair years, it was subject to a lot of Labour pressure : remember Greg Dyke (who was actually a nuliarbore acolyte).

        The problem now is the degree to which controlling pressure has been exercised, gradually increasing over the years.

        It is part of the wider issue of the establishment oligarchy (an oligarchy that is actually split over Brexit) – but abolishing the BBC’s public role isn’t going to be a cure for that.

        Most importantly, as I’ve often said, there is the baby and the bathwater issue : I hardly listen to BBC News except in passing, because I think it is so contaminated. But I do listen to a lot of other stuff (particularly radio) that isn’t on offer anywhere else in a morass of commercially-driven tat.

  2. I like Victoria Derbyshire…and recognise a well produced show.But that in no way absolves the BBC from the damage caused by the establishment broadcasting corporation,subsidised by the taxpayer and directed by public school boys to maintain the status quo and damage the Labour party.Short memorys by the Labour party will not save the propoganda outfit and I will be glad to see the back of this world wide respected and dangerous arm of the British establishment..I have witnessed expats and all nationalities lap up the bile from this wrecking machine used dailey to promote neo liberal ideology across the world and here in S,East Asia..The BBC will be auctioned off to the highest Tory bidder,and the damage to the Labour party and democracy will be less than it is now with the badge of authority and truth it now carrys..!PS my company dealt and had contracts with the BBC and I well understand the culture that feeds off the public purse and delivers propoganda wrapped up in poison.

  3. When did the BBC ever criticise the Tories?. When did they ever take an old photo of a Tory and add a Russian cap to it.? When did any presenter mock and seek to humiliate a guest on Question Time?When did the BBC ever mention the blatant antisemitism contained in Boris Johnson’s book 72 Virgins?. When did the BBC ever question the Chief Rabbi why his accusations of antisemitism were directed at Jeremy Corbyn and not Boris Johnson? The answer is never.
    Tory complaints about the BBC is just bluff designed to deflect attention from the anti Labour bias we have seen for years, I
    I’d like to see the licence fee withdrawn so that if the Tories want a propaganda channel they can pay for it themselves.
    As I’m sure you have guessed I won’t be signing the petition to save Victoria Derbyshire’ s job.

  4. Smartboy, the BBC did used to have some lefty-ish people working there – can’t remember exactly when, but before the 1997 election the Tories used to get the occasional pasting as did other parties.
    Maybe before your time.
    Paxman’s interview with the vampire is the most obvious example.
    Tories have always raged about BBC left wing bias whenever they got difficult questions.
    Nowadays raging about it is more of a prophylactic – they know perfectly well the bias is all in their favour but they can’t admit that – they still can’t answer questions though and need somebody to blame, and complaining about ‘left wing bias’ helps muddy the water in muddy minds.

    1. Oh, and I agree she’s nothing special in terms of bias – possibly the format with un-primed guests and live call-ins on contentious issues is what the Tories want stamped out.
      We can look forward to more milk and sugar in the pap they pump into us from now on I think.

      1. Am I the only miserable old git that finds change.org annoyingly wheedling and manipulative?
        When one lands on a petition (or reloads the page) the count backs up by about 20 or 25 and then shows those older signatures appearing as if in real time, every second or two or three.
        Making an issue appear to have more urgent support than it does when a potential supporter arrives on the site is akin to Kuenssberg hinting at postal results during polling – if it works it cheats democracy and if it doesn’t work it insults one’s intelligence.

        Sign one petition and they pester you interminably to sign others until you stop them. Like charities do nowadays.
        I won’t be signing any more change.org petitions.
        Making good causes an annoying inconvenience may attract more giving in the short or even medium term but I think the law of diminishing returns must eventually apply.
        Did I mention I’m a grumpy old git?

      2. “And here’s another petition you may be interested in ; Save the land whales of the Huddersfield pub scene” etc.etc.

        Yes, you are dead right. Its like the scene from Airplane where the captain is walking through the airport and is besieged by Hari Krishna followers and other religious cultists trying to give him leaflets. It has put me off ever getting involved in any petition signing as well.

  5. I am sure that the Tories realised that the BBC could have the shit truly scared out of it following the McAlpine affair. Things seemed to take a sudden downward turn as far as the Beeb’s much flaunted impartiality after that. It also seemed to help when Cameron and now Johnson started to raise the issue of ending the TV licence system .

    With all the different ways of viewing TV these days other than via a BBC transmitter I think that a compulsory licence system that is more or less enforced on someone owning a TV set has certainly had its day. The Beeb would be stupid not to have reached a similar conclusion so perhaps it is now even more inclined to keep well in with the Tories in order to get the best deal it can.

    When you think about it the Tories have the Beeb pretty much over a barrel. Because of the way the BBC has and will continue to grovel to the Tories not many on the left are going to go out of their way to defend it. I can see the Tories flogging off or disbanding quite a few of the BBC’s many radio stations too.

    All those highly paid news readers and announcers will live to regret it. It’s ironic that at the start of the BBC Reith wouldn’t allow them be identified by name. Clearly he realised that they would seek celebrity and bigger financial rewards as indeed they have done. Hence one of the reasons for the size of the current licence fee

  6. BBC and Channel 4 can be brought back from the dark side,
    But it has to be done in public,
    We will debate the government on policy head to head,
    Scrutiny is the responsibility of the interviewer ‘that’s simply not true’
    Let politicians come back with evidence
    Apologise where you get it wrong, publish full statements
    Where there is institutional bias reform it,
    Paper reviews are by definition not impartial, ban them
    Polling evidence is debateable and invariably skewed towards Tories, so play safe and ignore it,
    Lose received knowledge,
    The idea that cheap and nasty Tory party are economically literate is a sick joke
    Law and Order, Defence, Patriotism, never questioned
    When they are just rude and ignorant, take the gloves off, go for them
    The great unwashed love it when you stand up for yourself

    1. “BBC and Channel 4 can be brought back from the dark side,
      But it has to be done in public,”

      Exactly. Once gone, it’s gone – and the enthusiasm of the Tories to demolish both should be a warning against getting over-enthusiastic about a non-solution.

  7. Doug….wouldnt it be wonderful if we could legislate to stop the BBC from winning the election and spreading roumers,bile and a quote from the Labour traitors dept PLP.But we have to live in the real world were we have no power and very little airtime or publicity unless its bad.Get rid if the torys wish to hand it to one of their mates ,okay by me and many others who are sick of this propaganda machine for the establishment.and at least one of the private companys will not have the credibility and standing of the public broadcasting corporation.Maybe then we may start to claw back supporters who have been poisoned by the propoganda outfit the BBC.

    1. ” if the torys wish to hand it to one of their mates ,okay by me ”

      So you support the Tories on this? I reckon a long hard think is due.

      As I’ve said – the BBC is much, much more than the News and Current Affairs output. Capitulating and handing potential assets to the enemy isn’t a great idea. Effectively, you hand the Tories *another* asset – free and gratis – for a time (hopefully) when Labour gets back into a position of influence.

    2. Joseph
      Every Labour spokes person has been on a media course, i bet they are told never to react when interviewer goes low,
      Cheap and nasties never bother with policy or debate, it’s pure propaganda,
      No matter who our leader is they will do a hatchet job on them,
      BBC and Channel 4 can be forced to play the game, but we have to make that happen by going on the attack,
      When they go low we take the gloves off,

      Worst result since 1935
      No it wasn’t, that’s complete garbage, why are you lying to your viewer / listener, do you even call yourself a journalist or are you just an announcer for state broadcaster,
      Tories won less seats than Labour in 1997, 2001 and 2005
      Vagaries of FPTP system and Brexit issue
      Number of voters in 2017 and 2019, better than TB, what swing would it take to get Labour in power,
      Membership increasing from record high,

      Message to media is ‘up with this we will not put’

      Have fun with it, throw media training out the window, just put up trusted spokespeople who like a fight

  8. By the way … what’s the weepy weepy stuff over Derbyshire’s programme?

    She may have tackled the odd issue that is uncomfortable for the Tories – and I confess I’ve not watched the programme – but I remember fuming at her when she broadcast on 5 Live and came up with the same knee-jerk stuff as the rest on the key issues that concern us – like the slagging of Corbyn.

    1. RH
      A clever party would time the backlash on AS,
      Due to complicity of MSM and toilet papers, they are all upto their necks in this merde,
      It’s like having a winning betting slip in your back pocket, its upto us when we decide to cash it in

  9. Looks like a thumbs down for the BBC….and what we think of for or against doesnt really make a difference.Johnson with his large majority and a deadly hand will get rid of more than just a failed broadcaster .!

    1. Joseph
      BBC are this years overwhelming favourites for the Darwin Award,
      Never ever trust the Tories, they are pure poison,
      In 2014 we stood shoulder to shoulder with scumbags in the ‘Better Together’ campaign, that’s when we lost Scotland,
      It wasn’t even our fight, same applies to Brexit, nothing but a cheap and nasty Tory party Eton mess
      The only good news is Tories now have complete ownership of the political and economic disaster that is about to hit
      Regards

  10. Doug…..The State broadcaster have dug their own grave and will get little support from the Labour party in retaining the licence fee or help from supporters.We lost the election and the BBC helped.Now its time for them to see that only the Labour party value public services and suffer the consequences of the “Market system”that they have been completely behind with the etonian boys club.They sneered at Corbyn and socialism now they will be sold off piecemeal to the highest bidder.Didnt they know its a jungle out there..?

    1. Nothing like cutting off your nose to save face 🙂

      I reckon it’s better to make the best of what you’ve actually got.

  11. My wife worked at Thames Television for a number of years from the back end of the 70’s until 1992 when Thatcher closed it down by bringing in a new franchise bid, Thames was a maker of quality programming and a good employer to work for But when the decided to ignore/defy Thatcher’s order not to air the Death of a Princess programme they suddenly brought in a demand for all the Independent broadcasters to re-apply for their franchise and guess who lost their franchise ? The Tories have a track record on this that should not be ignored.

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