11/02/2008

The trap all those BBC haters want the BBC to get stuck in

Lets be clear before we start. The Daily Mail's long term goal, along with many of their Tory allies, is to see the BBC become a commercial broadcaster, or better still, to be so restrained and neutralised that it can no longer be the force in broadcasting that it is.

The main reason for the Tory/Daily Mail obsessions comes down to that old problem that capitalist obsessives have. If it does not make a profit, if it does not have shares and shareholders then they don't like it. Never mind the quality, forget that the BBC lays down a standard by which other broadcasters judge themselves, indeed ignore the fact that the rest of the world looks to the BBC as an example, in basic terms it does not produce dividends so the capitalist right wing loathe it.

Now the best way for the BBC to justify its existence is to ensure that they have high viewing figures, popular shows, relevant content, and hit shows. In order to do this the BBC needs to invest lots of money in facilities, creative people and top presenters. But this is where the problems start. If the BBC pays too much for top stars, they are criticised by the Tories/Daily Mail. But as soon as the BBC fails to have top shows, lacks the stars to get viewers watching you know that the Daily Mail will be the very first to jump in and demand the axing of the licence fee because the BBC no longer has any top stars that anyone wants to watch.

And what would happen if Tory plans are introduced to clip the wings of the BBC ? Would we be better off ? I pay £50 a month to SKY tv, yet my BBC license fee costs me less than three months of what I pay to SKY. Which one would I be prepared to cut back on ? Not the BBC, I can tell you. But if the BBC is cut back, if its ability to launch services like Freesat and Freeview and a whole raft of digital TV and radio channels is reduced then more people will have to turn to SKY. Will we be better off for possibly cutting £20 off our license fee ? Of course not. The only winner will be Rupert Murdoch, a media baron that the Tories are desperate to get back onside. Does it all start to make sense now ?

The sad thing is that some will never realise how good the BBC is until it is ruined, broken or gone, and then it will be too late. But don't worry, we'll have 57 channels showing US TV shows and another 13 showing "animals do the funniest things".

9 comments:

John said...

The other reason why they want this is because it dumbs down society - the more you dumb it down the more people don't question authority - the more votes for the Tories.

anotherplanet said...

As the focus shifts from the specific offence to general calls for a clipped and emasculated BBC, one can't help thinking that the corporation has once again shot itself in the foot.

Of course it has to pay for talent - but £6m pa is too much for a public service broadcaser funded by a compulsory poll tax - even allowing for the fact that a chunk of that fee goes to pay sidekicks to laugh at Ross's 'jokes'.

For those of us that defend the licence fee model as preferable to any of the alternatives (subscription or sell-off), Jonathan Ross's salary always promised to be a hostage to fortune, and an achilles heel in the argument - which is now being exploited to the full by the anti-BBC media (i.e. all its rivals!).

For those of us immune to his cheeky-chappie charms, mundane film reviews and the curious mix of obsequiousness and gratuitous offence that characterises his ego-driven 'interview' technique, the latest in along line of unfunny sex-obsessed 'mistakes' was an accident waiting to happen.

The fact that the tape was passed for airing just proved that he is beyond the control of the mere mortals who draw minor-league salaries to apply quality control.

Maybe his most enduring legacy will be the glut of wannabees now clogging the airwaves with stream-of-consciousness drivel and fifth formers-behind-the-bikesheds laddishness parading as 'edgy' broadcasting in the Lesley Douglas era - while the immediate consequence will probably be a safety-first approach to genuinely edgy comedy that can challenge prejudice and authority (as opposed to bum jokes). Longer term, it makes it all the more difficult for supporters of the licence-fee to put the case amid the background noise.

StuartR said...

Personally I am one of those who feels that the BBC is a fantastic institution (despite its faults), and one that produces some of the best high quality programming in the world. Its news services are, on the whole, second to none and it has some of the best correspondents in journalism anywhere.

Sky is on the other hand a overpriced service that panders to cheap television of the type you describe. I flatly refuse to pay for Sky and will continue with Freeview.

Your insight of the relative cost of Sky vs BBS licence fee is spot on. Give me 12 months of BBC1, BBC2, Radio4, BBC News 24 and the BBC news website over 3 months of Sky1 and all its attendent "classic" channels, unoriginal and uninspiring programming anyday.

And all this from a (albeit Daily Mail hating) borderline conservative.

TVLR said...

Perhaps if you didn't actually think it okay to force an entire country to subsidise your viewing habits this wouldn't be happening. Seriously you people are pure evil. How the hell can you act like this when everyone is forced to fund your beloved BBC. GO SUBSCRIPTION AND PAY YOUR OWN WAY IN LIFE!

TVLR said...

"John said...

The other reason why they want this is because it dumbs down society - the more you dumb it down the more people don't question authority - the more votes for the Tories."




LMAO, The Tories want to keep the BBC TV Licence. Have you never heard of the Lib-Lab-Con lol

Richard T said...

Don't forget Murdoch wants to convert Sky News into a UK Fox tv propaganda service so any weakening of the BBC is worrying particularly as the Labour government seem very happy to creep up his fundament. Just who's party was Lord Mandelson attending?

Tony Sharp said...

The issue is compulsion of payment. People are given no choice about whether or not to pay for the BBC. If they have a TV they must purchase a licence. That to me is unacceptable.

The other problem is the political bias at BBC News. It is evident all the way from interviewing techniques to the guests invited to comment on stories. The BBC would not be as much of a target if it simply gave us the news in a factual and impartial manner. But it has assumed an activist role for itself which is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

I have no interest in seeing the BBC transition to the private sector. I want to destroy it.

The BBC is a propaganda tool for the state. Shutting it down would be a major success in the struggle for individual freedom.

As a double bonus:

1) Tens of thousands of former state employee's (collaborators) scrambling for jobs - let's see how well they do away from the public sector trough.

2) We hurt the Guardian since it's carries a lot of BBC job ads (of course we'll pull all the other state sector jobs out of their too).
Hopefully more reds scurrying for new jobs and another dead propaganda organ.

Next, while we've managed to strike a blow at the ruling classes and shut their propaganda organs for a bit we can crack on and defund all the quangos and regulatory agencies. Next we can being thinking about how to move on from the rest of the "welfare" state.

Most of people who would have fought every inch of this will be trying to make ends meet in some godforsaken call centre.

StuartR said...

The BBC is a propaganda tool for the state. Shutting it down would be a major success in the struggle for individual freedom.
One of the most laughable suggestions I have seen for a very long time. Leaving Sky as the dominant figure in the provision of news and programming would help would enhance individual freedom?? Get real, sure the BBC demonstrates bias - so does Sky, so does ITN, so does every Newspaper from the Telegraph to the Guardian, from the Mail to the Star. But the BBC is about so much more than just bias in its news reporting. Just look down the TV and Radio schedules at the programs that would be lost if the BBC didn't exist.

On the subject of complusion, all institutions funded by taxation are based on compulsion from the Armed Forces to the NHS, from Libraries to Social Services, from refuse collection to Roads. The taxation I pay (way too much in my opinion) funds areas of expenditure that I fundamentally disagree with as well as areas that I agree with. I object to paying for those areas that you benefit from that I don't use - the only reason you aren't paying the full cost of those, is because other taxpayers are compelled to jointly fund them.

I want to see a lower overall level of taxation, but no matter how low it goes, there is always going to be compulsion built into the tax system. The only other alternative is that we pay for everything based on usage.

And since I haven't been a victim of crime, don't expect me to help fund the police that you call to investigate the break-in at your house. They will send the bill to you later.

Seriously you people are pure evil. How the hell can you act like this when everyone is forced to fund your beloved BBC. GO SUBSCRIPTION AND PAY YOUR OWN WAY IN LIFE! In the interests of fairness I can then stop subsidising the taxation funded services you make use of.

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