Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeNewsDavid Keighley: Meet the new imperialists. The cash-rich, self-righteous, greenie BBC recolonising...

David Keighley: Meet the new imperialists. The cash-rich, self-righteous, greenie BBC recolonising Australia


The BBC is bellyaching to The Guardian – and anyone else who will listen – that it is suffering so much from not being able to increase the licence fee that it may have to make up to £400 million of cuts in the next couple of years.

But that, it seems, doesn’t mean that any of the Corporation’s army of top-paid executives like former Labour minister James Purnell (salary £295,000, more than double that of the Prime Minister) will lose any of their salaries or bonuses. There are 91 on the BBC payroll who earn more than the PM.

The ‘poor me’ facade is being spun in a new report by financial director Anne Bulford (salary £395,000) as part of the overall PR offensive to keep the licence fee and continue in its £3.7 billion-a-year dead-hand domination of the UK media ecology.

Behind the scenes, however, the position is very different because, as I wrote here, the BBC World Service, along with BBC World News,  and the BBC charity propaganda arm Media Action – are being deluged with cash from a variety of sources,  including David Cameron’s spend-until-we-drop  Department of International Development and, of course, the EU.

In reality, as Ms Bulford spins her sackcloth-and-ashes blarney at home – and almost unknown to the vast majority of Brits – the Corporation is actually in the midst of a major phase of imperialistic international expansion using its guaranteed leverage built on the licence fee to muscle it way into emergentmedia markets especially in Africa, Asia, the Middle East – and Down Under.

It’s probably the biggest media land-grab in the Corporation’s history. What’s not always appreciated is that it is being done on a commercial basis, that is, partly by competing for advertising from local sources in order to fund the growth. Though, of course, the BBC – unlike genuine commercial rivals – has a huge advantage:  guaranteed funding from taxpayers.

As part of the expansion, BBC World News, for example, boasts as follows:

“BBC World News and, the BBC’s commercially funded international 24-hour English news platforms, are owned and operated by BBC Global News Ltd.  BBC World News television is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and over 380 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms. The channel’s content is also available on 178 cruise ships, 53 airlines and 23 mobile phone networks. offers up-to-the minute international news and in-depth analysis for PCs, tablets and mobile devices to more than 76 million uniquebrowsers each month.”

It’s in Oz where the scale and chilling nature of this aggressive expansion – and its true nature and purpose – is best illustrated.

Back in October, behind the masquerade of what the BBC’s army of 180 publicists claim is the world’s ‘most trusted media brand’, the Corporation launched with a glossy release a multi-pronged initiative to broadcast to Australia material about the G20 summit.

Chris Davies, Director of Sales and Marketing, for BBC Global News Limited, one of the BBC’s subsidiaries that is the engine of the growth, said: “Australia is a priority market for us and with this local market investment together with our largenetwork of international journalists, we are uniquely placed to offer readers stories they don’t normally hear from local media, giving them the full picture on news that affects them.”

Excuse me? That sounds very like the BBC believes ‘local media’ are not doing their job. How very patronising.  Those colonist oiks have not had the benefit of the BBC’s version of ‘impartiality’.

The press release also announced that to help in the process of educating the ignorant natives, it was appointing an Ozzie journalist, Wendy Frew, to help in the task.

Who? Well, her appointment speaks volumes about how seriously compromised the BBC’s approach to news reporting actually is and what their global gung-ho expansion mission is really about.   It’s part of the climate change crusade.

A moment’s digging on Google shows that said Ms Frew rose to national prominence in Australia on the Sydney Morning Herald as environment correspondent.  And that was primarily because her views are those of a climate change/greenie fanatic.

Take this article, whichshows she stood out so much that she won awards (scroll down to August for the precise reference).  In the greenie propaganda stakes, she takes some beating, to the extent that she launched an excoriating attack on upmarket suburbs residents for daring to use water, eat beef and even wearclothes. Hers is clearly the outraged,  back-to –the- stone age righteousness that drives the ‘greenie blob’ – and clearly, the BBC.

Feisty Oz blogger Jo Nova thus summed up the BBC’s expansion as follows:

“Is the British taxpayer funding it? Hard to say,  but it’s wholly owned by the BBC, and its aim is “commercial returns”. What’s better than Pravda? When Pravda is controlled by big government but masquerades as “commercial” and, even better, when it competes with and sucks money from independent competitors – making it harder for journalists who do ask the government hard questions to be heard at all. The Green Blob expands.”

It’s hard to top that, but I would add that Ms Frew is already making her impact in the way that the BBC news chiefs clearly intended: by claiming  – in line with the underlying principle of all such greenie fanaticism of never letting the facts get in the way of a good panic story – that Australian temperatures have risen to an alarming and preposterous extent over the past century.

And, very disturbingly,  it’s fuelled by a continuing desire by the the BBC, in harness with the aid  industry, to preach propaganda to as much of the world as possible about climate change

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David Keighley
David Keighley
Former BBC news producer, BBC PR executive and head of corporate relations for TV-am. Director of News-watch.

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