Friday, October 31, 2008

Auntie No Longer Knows Best

Auntie has got her knickers in a twist over Pratsgate. Any hope that suspending Ross after his obscene outburst would draw a line under this vile issue is both naive and arrogant. The Corporation is at a crossroads. Now politicians must decide whether the BBC is a licence-payer funded state broadcaster or a commercial outfit. The BBC cannot have it both ways. 

The Pratsgate scandal exposed once again issues which lie at the heart of the BBC in terms of accountability and checks and balances. It exposes the sheer arrogance of an organisation which clings on to the belief that Auntie knows best.  

Now surveys are showing the public don't like what's happening to their beloved organisation which they pay for. 

Today, the PoliticsHome Phi5000 Public Opinion Tracker shows the BBC’s approval rating plummeted in this week of the Ross/Brand affair. In just four days, it has fallen a huge 24 points to only 6.   

But the BBC has only itself to blame. 

After days of indecision, the BBC Trust finally acted. But Ross will be laughing all the way to the bank. Three months without pay is a drop in the ocean for this hugely overrated and overpaid licence-payer funded celebrity. For some perverse reason, the BBC needs Ross. 

At the centre of this is the Director General, Mark "three times lucky" Thompson. Queengate, vote rigging and now this. What other organisation would tolerate a chief executive presiding over three monumental scandals in the space of a year.

Accepting the resignation of the Radio 2 controller was done almost with regret. Sorry old chap but you'll have to go. 

As the ultimate line manager responsible, she should have been sacked on the spot, along with the cretins who allowed this disgusting pe-recorded broadcast to be transmitted in the first place. 

This sorry episode only scratches the surface. At the heart lies a political battle which has been lingering since the sexed up dossier scandal and the BBC's part in the creation of nanny state where nanny knows best. 

It has been compounded by the belief that the BBC can cling onto its old Reithian philosophy, while at the same time controlled by a New Labour bunch of media elite. 

Pratsgate came just days after the Osborne saga, reported with such glee by the BBC while the Mandleson connection was buried, reinforcing claims of bias. This bias throughout news and current affairs output has been highlighted by the Orange Party and many others on numerous occasions. 

The BBC has never recovered from the sexed up dossier affair which put it in direct and bitter conflict with the New Labour propaganda spin machine. 

Since Hutton, it is clear the BBC has been allowed to spin itself off into lucrative commercial enterprises, while at the same time receiving huge amounts of licence-payers cash. Just as long as it toed the government line. 

That must end. But for now, license-payers will have to put up with a BBC that will continue to make embarrassing cock-ups while being a mouthpiece for party political government propaganda. 

The BBC will continue in its present form as long as it remains staffed by politically correct, urban liberals and kids with a keyboard calling themselves journalists. All fronted by TV news, delivered in an infuriatingly condescending and patronising matter. 

It is time for the BBC to be cut loose from its antiquated funded arrangements and floated off as a true commercial organisation, with taxpayer funding reserved for the public service parts of its broadcasting. At the same time, it needs a structure put in place which ensures the full checks and controls already found in commercial terrestrial broadcasters. 

In June, the Orange Party asked why are we forced to pay the BBC Tax, highlighting the obscene £240 million of our money it pays out to celebrity presenters and the £110 million it spent on its websites. 

What is needed is a drastic rethink in the way the BBC is funded and the way it is accountable to the public. The Pratsgate scandal and the way it was handled has done nothing to change that view. 

1 comment:

Stewart Cowan said...

Don't you mean Mark "FOUR times lucky" Thompson? You forgot Springergate - that's why I cancelled my DD nearly four years ago. I've already saved a tasty wad of cash!

You made a lot of good points. I use the BBC online for its vidiprinter, but a) there are others and b) glad I am not contributing to the £110 million for the privilege.