Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Freeze the licence fee? No, scrap it!

I suppose Cameron ought to be congratulated for suggesting that the BBC licence fee should be frozen for a year - at least he is trying to think of ways in which the government can help the ordinary person in the street even if it is pathetic.

Better still, why not go all the way and just scrap the licence fee altogether?

I used to be a supporter of the licence fee - and still could be if the BBC would stop being a lefty mouthpiece. When I was growing up the BBC could be relied upon for three things. Good, clean family entertainment; thought provoking, interesting documentaries based on fact and quality drama.

What about balanced reporting I hear you say. Well, what about it? The BBC has never had balanced reporting during its entire history - or if it did it would have been for the briefest of times sometime between the end of World War Two and the start of the swinging sixties - but I never noticed it. The fact is that the BBC news reporting used to be predominantly pro-British. It was, effectively, a propaganda machine during the war years, but even after that it still remained predominantly a pro-British institution.

Such was its Britishness that the main news bulletins when I was young- which used to last between 15 and 20 minutes - consisted almost entirely of home news. The first ten minutes or so would be devoted to reporting on events in Britain, followed by a brief two minute round up of foreign news and the rest filled with sports news.

To see how much this has changed one only has to look at yesterday's lunchtime news. The lead report was about an Austrian child rapist, followed by an in depth report on Denmark's decision to award compensation to women who have developed breast cancer after years working night shifts and a long piece about some judges in Pakistan getting their jobs back. The only news about Britain was a brief mention about a minimum price for alcohol.

As for the rest of the BBC - the idea of "family entertainment" was sacrificed a long time ago on the altar of "yoof culture". Their prime time output is dominated by programming which is either leftist or youth obsessed - or both. Their factual documentaries are almost always based on left wing progressive ideas and designed to promote those ideas only and never to give credence to any alternative theories.

As for quality drama - well, the BBC still manages the odd success, but on the whole it is drivel driven by the same institutional left wing thinking that dominates Auntie these days.

And apart from all that - the BBC carries as much advertising these days as ITV. OK, it is only "advertising" the BBC, but it is still advertising!

If the BBC could return to the kind of institution it once was - and through which it gained its reputation - then I'd be happy to pay the licence fee, but as long as it remains institutionally leftist, youth-obsessed and politically biased I say scrap it.

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