Thursday, 12 September 2013

If in doubt, attack the BBC

As an institution, the BBC has not covered itself in glory.  The Conservative and Unionist Party, on the other hand, is a paragon of everything that is morally-upstanding and a pillar of rectitude, populated solely by a noble breed of self-sacrificing public servants whose personal, moral and ethical behaviours could be scrutinised and not a piece of moral grit be discerned.  As the principal client of Rupert Murdoch, the Tories continue to accompany his fiddle in attacking the BBC and what they consider to be an outdated model of impartiality, based on non-partisan control and an editorial regime that does not automatically spew out the garbage produced by the propaganda machines.

There are two complaints generally levelled by Murdoch's sock-puppets about the BBC.  The first is profligacy.  This is probably true, in places, and reflects the contemporary culture of greed almost entirely.  Poor management is not unique to the BBC, or to the public sector, which is something that the Tories tend to forget on a convenient basis when bankruptcy, administration or takeover approach the private sector paradigms they embrace so cheerfully.  However, as a publicly-funded body there is a clear expectation that cock-ups will be addressed and punished, and - critically - unlike the private sector (bankers, self-styled entrepreneurs and all the other 57 varieties of spin) if they are repeated the culprits will be drummed out.  Mismanagement in any organisation is bad, the BBC just happens to do it in public.

The other moan is about left-wing bias.  Now, as a member of the fully paid-up sceptical left, I find this hilarious.  I had a lengthy exchange with the BBC over the seemingly-Tory Nick Robinson's uncritical use of the word "reform" to describe Coalition intentions to allow their cronies to peck over the corpse of the NHS - and it is hardly the case that most news outputs do not reduce even the most complex issue to a game of "he said/she said" rather than attempting to tease out the ambiguities and difficulties of the issues under discussion.

BBC-bashing is a tonic to the backwoods droolers - so the MP for Basingstoke, the laughably-mistitled Culture Secretary Maria Miller, trots it out on a regular basis.  The culture she represents is either based around viruses or bacillae, so should be given the shrift it deserves.  Perish the thought that Cameron failed to get through an uncritical, and illegal, approach to intervention in another sovereign state, or that the facts about the economic recovery are much less benign that the chinless Gidiot would wish us to believe.  The BBC reported these, along with the CPS's interventions in a legal matter relating to a currently-suspended Tory MP.  Traitors - informing people!

There is a need for the BBC to demonstrate it is a good steward of the money and the authority presented to it.  Murdoch and the Tories will never let it have that space as it does not fit a narrative of the evil public behemoth doing down plucky little Sky and the Scum.  Yet it is always a good sign when the neo-con mendacity re-emerges, it means they know that they're are on the run and in for a serious kicking elsewhere.

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