People often ask me “What IS your problem with the BBC”?
The BBC is a long established and supposedly cherished national institution. It has a heraldic coat of arms with 2 eagles supporting a shield, helmet and globe, with the motto “Nation shall Speak unto Nation” in scroll across the bottom. Laudable indeed and no doubt well intentioned in the third decade of the 20th century, but I would imagine, though I cannot be certain, that this is viewed as somewhat passé by the great and good now in charge of the organisation. More apposite are the organisations founding principles which are encapsulated in the phrase “To Inform, Educate and Entertain”.
So, we have an organisation, funded mainly by a legally enforceable tax that only exists to deliver the above. It is bound, by its own charter, to do so without bias or favour.
Any right thinking person would say, at this point, so far so good. Why wouldn’t a civilised nation, a nation that has given the world so much in terms of language, sport, education and generally civilised behaviour continue to give, not only its own citizens but to all the citizens of the world, an unbiased news service designed to inform, a range of documentary and factual programmes designed to educate and a broad range of drama, comedy, light entertainment and human interest for the purposes of entertainment?
Part Two; To Educate
In my naivety I actually thought that this would be an easy piece to write. Simple enough to find examples of BBC bias from the perspective of the organisation trying to influence group thinking and then attempt to take a rise out of it. But there is a huge problem for me, where to start? It is pervasive; wherever you look you will find strange and perplexing anomalies in how they do what they do.
I had originally intended this piece to be a look at how education (schools programmes etc.) is now delivered by the BBC and contrast it with historical output. I have been a watcher of the BBC for many years, I can actually remember a time when programming was targeted and when television wasn’t a 24/7 intrusion on peoples’ lives.
But I’ve changed my mind. BBC schools programmes were something of an exotic treat when I was a child and my memories of them are mainly positive. I have no doubt that currently, especially when they deliver “pure” learning, they may well be equally as good. At the same time I also fully expect that wherever possible, in programmes concerning subjects such as History and Geography, the BBC introduces its PC and climate change agendas to pollute young minds by offering only one monolithic side of what should be nuanced arguments which stimulate lively debate.
So, however important the delivery of schools programming is I have decided to leave it for now and concentrate on how the BBC sets out to “educate” those amongst the population it sees as being in need of a different kind of education.
How the BBC sets out to educate “the people” is actually quite multi facetted, but its tenets, the justification it has for believing “the people” need educating is really quite simplistic. At the heart of this “education programme” are diversity, feminism, liberal leftism and multi-culturalism with a bit of sexual orientation thrown in for good measure.
For us to be good citizens we must all believe in what the BBC delivers, if we refuse to do so we must prepare, not to be engaged in reasoned debate, but to be vilified as xenophobes, racists and homophobes. We must also be prepared to suspend belief in what we know to be true and right. We must accept that presenters need not be very good at what they do so long as they tick a box, we must accept that contestants on competition programmes need not be the best at what they do and we must accept that “comedians, actors and commentators” have the right, so long as they share the BBC agenda to pontificate using a platform that is only provided to them so long as they continue to follow said agenda. Gary Lineker provides an excellent example of this, burdened as he is by a huge salary and the knowledge that he gets paid his huge salary, not because of his talent, but because he is programmed to promote the narrative.
It would be very easy for me to go on and on. There are a very many examples of how, in an increasingly brazen way, the BBC promulgates its message but I would like to offer up some broad examples of what I see as the insidiousness of the BBC brand. These examples will serve to highlight why I believe the time is long past for it to be radically reformed or, better still, closed down in its current form and only allowed to re-form as a subscription service.
To this end Part two of the series (Education) will be offered up as a series within a series, allowing a deeper look at each aspect of programming and how different forms of television and radio output are being used to influence the minds of people of all ages to buy into the BBC project.
Education through Drama
I believe that the BBC, blessed with inherent conceit, sees this method of educating as quite subtle; it wouldn’t surprise me if they even think it subliminal, working away as it does at the psyche whilst purporting to entertain. The promotion of feminism is high on the “education through drama” agenda. We all know that historically women have had it tough, but so have men for that matter. Hence, in many drama series set in the past, women are portrayed doing things that they never could have achieved at the point in history.
The Musketeers is a prime example of this, peasant women of colour with the ability to write and distribute political pamphlets, not really credible I don’t think. In contemporary drama all men in speaking roles are portrayed as violent, feckless, thick, weak and misogynistic while women are strong, capable and good hearted and have survived and flourished not in part thanks to men but in spite of them. This is most apparent in series such as Happy Valley.
In almost every drama production there is a social message, a point outside the basic reason for the programme itself. This is in part due to the writers commissioned to provide the drama. To a man and woman they tend to be Left wing liberals, outspoken in their socio/political views. There must be people capable of writing drama from an apolitical perspective but by watching and listening to BBC output one would never know this.
The 2.15 R4 dramas are almost exclusively social commentaries rather than plays, many of them focussed on “social injustice” and “perpetrator as victim” story lines.
Historical adaptations are produced without consideration that they were written in different times and remakes of previous output are naturally up dated to reflect the present (in itself not a bad thing until it goes directly opposite to the way the original writer intended).
The productions are always slick, even if the cast is often made up with box ticking in mind, but the messages comes across loud and clear, the people must learn that the patriarchy is over and men are useless anyway, that the EU is good, that diversity and enrichment are always good things, that questioning the narrative is always a bad thing and that, above all, if the BBC presents it for the entertainment of the people its content and its message cannot be challenged.
Moving forward I intend to present shorter pieces focussing on the education of the people through Competition, Comedy, Documentary and finally News and Current Affairs.
Bear with me, I think it needs saying, I hope you do too.