David Keighley’s BBC Watch: This election is a battle between the Tories and the broadcasters

This is an election like no other for the BBC. They have a mission.

Two weeks ago, as is laid out here, Today presenter Nick Robinson effectively declared war on Brexit with his statement that the Corporation would henceforward work flat out to find the problems with Brexit, and not bring balanced coverage of the Leave perspective.  Of which, more later.

Since then, it has become painfully evident what he meant. The Corporation’s Article 50 coverage relentlessly highlighted the difficulties, with pride of place given to predictions by correspondents of decades-long wrangles, inflation of perceived problems over Gibraltar, the continuing need for the European Court of Justice and dire warnings that the British tourist and hospitality industry would collapse if the UK did not have continued access to EU labour.

In the same vein, after the general election was announced, Today’s business news – like a heat-seeking missile – sought out the views of the (ex BBC) DG of the CBI, Carolyn Fairbairn, on the need for continued free movement, reinforced an hour later by the ultra-Remain businessman Sir Martin Sorrell, who predicted that the real reason for the election was so that Mrs May could achieve a soft-Brexit in line with his own objectives.

To be fair, Andrew Lillico, a pro-Leave business figure also appeared, but there was no doubt which views were considered to be the most important.

So what will happen during the general election? This – despite what the Conservative Party machine might say – is effectively a second Brexit referendum, brought about because, as Theresa May has acknowledged, the Remain side are determined to thwart Brexit.

There are, of course, special rules for broadcasters during general elections. Broadly, they provide that much more attention must be paid to balance between the parties contesting the election.

But here, in this election, is an immediate problem. Those rules (as defined, for example by Ofcom in Section 6 of its programming code) are designed mainly to prevent imbalances between political parties.

That creates an immediate problem with an election so inevitably focused on a single issue: that the overwhelming majority of current MPs (most of whom will become candidates after May 3) were Remainers, and after the referendum vote want a strongly-limited and compromised form of EU exit.

Labour, for example, as exemplified by shadow chancellor John McDonnell on Today on Wednesday morning, says it now supports Brexit. But the form of Brexit it wants is continued membership of the single market, and qualified support for free movement. The Liberal Democrats and the SNP, of course, aggressively oppose Brexit – and make no bones about it.

The BBC, in this framework, has oodles of ‘wriggle-room’ to sidestep the election rules, and to continue to pursue vigorously its self-declared campaign to expose to the maximum the pitfalls of Brexit throughout the election period.

Of course, election coverage of the issues involved is also subject to the normal over-arching rules of public service impartiality. But it is precisely here that the BBC – as is clear in the Nick Robinson Radio Times piece - has interpreted the clauses relating to ‘due impartiality’ according to its own anti-Brexit ends. In the Corporation’s estimation, it is on a mission to spread ‘understanding’ about the exit process. In reality, that means something very different: the goal is to portray exit in the most negative light possible.

News-watch coverage of previous general elections has shown that, despite the supposedly strict general election impartiality rules, the BBC’s approach to EU coverage was seriously flawed. After the 2015 poll, it was noted:

…the analysis shows that the issue of possible withdrawal was not explored fairly or deeply enough…Coverage was heavily distorted, for instance by the substantial business news comment on the Today programme that withdrawal would damage British trade and jobs. 

The message of potential damage to the economy was supplemented by the provision of frequent platforms for Labour and Liberal Democrat figures to warn of the same dangers. The spokesmen from these parties were not properly challenged on their views. 

Will this change in 2017? Fat chance. Subsequent News-watch reports have shown that this bias has continued, regardless of the June 23 vote.

The problem now is that – despite the new BBC Charter – the Corporation’s approach to impartiality in news coverage is mainly self-regulated through its own Complaints Unit. Ofcom only enters the frame if there is an appeal against the BBC’s own rulings, and that’s a procedure that takes months. News-watch’s complaint about the BBC’s fantasy race hate murder in Harlow took six months to grind through the BBC machine.

The Conservative Party under David Cameron fluffed the opportunity to achieve genuine reform of the BBC. Will that glaring failure now come back to haunt Theresa May?

(Image: Bob Bob)

David Keighley

  • James Chilton

    The mass media are sometimes still referred to as “the fourth estate”.

    I read an article a while ago suggesting that the fourth estate has become a “fifth column” which, by definition, is a group of people who secretly support the enemies of their own nation and try to undermine the national interest.

    The BBC would prefer to be seen as part of “the fourth estate”, while in many respects it’s a “fifth column”.

    • Orvis J Sage

      Why is the overseas aid budget sacrosanct? I have voted in every election since Mrs Thatcher’s first victory and every time I voted Tory. Not this time, I have had enough, we send money to people who hate us while ignoring the ill and the old. Mrs May is not a true blue conservative, just a lilac menace.

      • James Chilton

        To add insult to injury: the £13billion+ that will be spent every year on foreign aid, is money that May’s government will have to borrow first!

  • Groan

    Yes it will. For now the Beeb “knows” it needs to go all out to protect “the people” from themselves. After the Brexit vote I’m sure it will see it as its duty to make clear the Tories are an unmitigated evil. The gloves (such flimsy things as they were) are off. Expect all things pro Brexit, May or Tory to be declared “Fake News” .

    • weejonnie✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

      Any attack on May is ‘sexist’ – after all – that was the line with HRC.

      • Owen_Morgan

        The late Jill Craigie, wife of the slightly later Michael Foot, found a way round the “sexism” problem. Since Margaret Thatcher was a Conservative, she obviously wasn’t reeeeeaaally a woman. The Beebyanka was happy to broadcast that piece of idiocy and neither the Beeboids’ reasoning nor that of the left in general has, well, progressed in the thirty-five years since.

        (It’s a common ploy in the United States, where Bill Clinton can be the “first African-American President”, despite being about the same colour as the average lump of garlic, but Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder and Ben Carson all become whiteys, because of their conservative opinions.)

  • simon bellord

    I had very similar thoughts yesterday as I pondered the election. Imagine the treats that will be in store for Fallen and his Lib Dems. Massive funding for their campaign and the whole media machine, the BBC and other media, cheering on every move they make and whitewashing all their looney stuff whilst at the same time highlighting and exagerating any made up problems with Brexit or disgressions from BREXIT supporters or UKIP.
    Soros and the other interfering international progressive wealthy lefties will find ways to pour cash in massively as they do. The EU will be funding the Lib DemBBC campaign like mad. It will have an easy ride of ClintonObama proportions.
    The strategy for Brexit supporters must be strategic. UKIP should only stand in seats where there are no strong Brexit candidates and conservatives must support strong Brexit MPs in this election even if they are Labour, like Kate Hoey etc.

    If May wins we must make sure that the referendum, not this election, was the mandate to leave the EU and not to remain in any way, not to leave anything behind that may facilitate future re-visits. It leave is sofened the public will never forgive May for sure, the Tories will be finished.
    Also how do we deal with a problem like the Lie Dems who still seem to be able to rabble rouse and drag us all to the filthyest political gutters where they are untouchable.

    • The EU may confer its citizenship on anyone it wishes. There is every reason to assume that it will continue to define all British citizens, even those yet unborn, as EU citizens in perpetuity. Unless they specifically renounced it by filling in, with absolute precision, a mile-long form that was not available in English, or online, or from a postal address in this country, and by paying an exorbitant fee that would be accepted only in euros.

      Hardly anyone would ever bother to do that. Indeed, most people with either the time or the money to do so would have voted Remain. For example, Theresa May. She wants a second referendum, you know. Between her final terms, as approved by both Houses of Parliament (so forget about Hard Brexit), and simply staying in as if there had never been a first referendum.

  • Debs

    I think people are onto the media bias more than they ever were and with the BBC really pushing the boat out its even more obvious. I would like to see major BBC reform in the manifesto.

    • StellaJ

      I agree. Whereas even five years ago people looked puzzled if you even raised the issue, now the unlikeliest of them speak of BBC bias as a given. Deliciously, the more crazed and one-sided the BBC propaganda, the more the views and comment emanating from their so-called newsrooms is derided. The British are not stupid – no matter how they tried to smear Leave voters – and we like fair play. The more partisan the BBC and others get, the more the average viewer smells a rat. Leading to the dawning realisation – too late – of Dimbleby and cohorts on the morning after the vote that somehow things didn’t work out as expected… Wonder if it ever occurs to them that they helped bring it about?

      • weejonnie✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

        The realism seems to take place sometime between 2.00am and 3.00am – whether it is a British General Election, referendum or American election.

        • Dartfordian

          Dimbleby’s face is always a picture at that time. Gives me immense satisfaction.

  • Farewell to Nigel Farage. Farewell, therefore, to UKIP. A one-man band that has lost its one man has become no band at all. Theresa May does not approve of Opposition, and she has well and truly seen it off on the Right, both within and beyond her own party. It is inconceivable that there will be any UKIP MPs after 8th June.

    Even in the event of a Conservative overall majority, however, there would still be about as many Labour MPs as there are now. The return of the Conservatives to second place in diehard Labour seats, often including a numerically close second place, was in fact a mere reversion to the historical norm. It did not, and it does not, make those seats winnable from the Conservatives’ point of view.

    Moreover, the Liberal Democrats are on course to take dozens of Conservative seats in the Remain heartlands of the South. Those Conservative losses will be too numerous to be offset by the Conservative gains from the SNP, of which there will certainly be some, since the SNP heartlands are places that the Conservatives have to explain how they ever stopped winning. They did not used to be Labour. The seats like that went Nationalist only as recently as two years ago.

    And in the midst of all of this, certain online bookmakers have already suspended betting on a Labour overall majority, and on Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.

    • Snoffle Gronch

      Away with fairies.

      • Bill Quango MP

        Lindsay has been absent for months. I wondered if he was dead.
        Guess LabHQ have topped up his bank account for the election period.

    • markbrev

      Do you sit there in your own little echo chamber regurgitating the same thing over and over again to convince yourself?

      • weejonnie✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

        The Lib Dems may take a few seats (we are talking of max=20) – but the fact that the PM went to a constituency with a notional Labour Lead of 6000 tells us much more about what the Tories think are winnable seats.
        Labour have made the Democrat error of assuming the WWC will always vote for them and can be ignored. Even if they don’t vote for UKIP (very likely), they ain’t coming back in droves to the Red Flag.

        Democracy : The party with the most support gets elected to power.
        Populism: The party that gets elected to power isn’t liked by the BBC.

        • Even if they don’t vote for UKIP (very likely)

          What, like last time, you mean?

          • weejonnie✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

            Yes – Support for UKIP is ebbing away as many people feel they have achieved their goal: Farage isn’t standing and no one has really stepped in to fill his boots. UKIP were forecast to get 13% or so in the opinion polls just before the election – and that is what they got. They are now on 10% approximately. the Lib Dems are on about the same as in 2015 – so they won’t gain many seats (if polls stay the same). What we have is a UKIP–> Tory and a Labour –> Tory switch. Labour haven’t polled over 30% this year. (Labour are wiped out in Scotland – the Tories polled twice as much as they did in the last opinion poll (28% to 14%). Although the SNP still hold a commanding lead they may lose a couple of rural Scottish constituencies).

            Labour has come out in support of some form of Brexit, so unless the BBC can turn this into another In/Out Brexit referendum, it is clear that the Tories will have a comfortable lead on June 7th

          • Groan

            Here in the NW they did in sufficient numbers to split the non Labour vote.

    • Andrew Mitchell

      You really should stop smoking that stuff! If the limp dems, labour, the greens and the SNP all got together, they would still lose by at least 8% according to today’s figures, plus the more labour talk about borrowing billions (latest figure is just over five hundred billion) the more people see Corbyn for what he is, a loony!

      • Bill Quango MP

        You mustn’t say looney.
        Labour types have been trying to get that word banned as it stigmatises so many of their supporters and leaders.

      • It is the present Government that has doubled the National Debt. Just as the Major Government did. That is what Conservative Governments do. They double the National Debt.

        There have been seven recessions in the United Kingdom since the Second World War. Five of them have been under Conservative Governments. That party has also presided over all four separate periods of Quarter on Quarter fall in growth during the 2010s. By contrast, there was no recession on the day of the 2010 General Election.

        Yet the Conservatives’ undeserved reputation for economic competence endures. They are subjected to absolutely no scrutiny by the fake news detractors of their opponents. Until now.

      • Groan

        David L reminds us that the Parliamentary election is under significantly different rules than the Referendum. Labour would have to perform catastrophically to lose in may of their seats and Lib Dems are playing the “Remain” Card for all its worth. Its not a done deal Conservatives need to target hard those labour constituencies where there is prospect of success, frankly many were Labour precisely because the “not Labour” vote was split between Tories and UKIP in many constituencies. Whatever one may think of May she needs something that looks like a mandate to deal with a Parliament in which the majority of MPs and Lords were “remainers”.
        This ain’t going to fall in her lap.

    • ButcombeMan

      “LibDems + to take dozens of Conservative seats”.

      Anyone who writes those words has lost their sanity.

      Even for those opposed to Brexit, to vote for the LibDems rather than May and the Tories is illogical.

      The stronger May’s position is, post the election, the better placed she and DD will be to conduct the negotiations, and. should she need to, for her to face down her most hawkish Brexiteers,

      The most reluctant Remainer, from whatever party, needs to vote for May and the Tories, this time.

    • getahead

      We are all still here, waiting for Nigel to return.

  • Frank

    If the Government, the useless Culture Secretary or OFCOM won’t regulate our unhinged broadcasters, then the broadcasters must take their chances with any public backlash that the posturing and bias of these broadcasters creates and inflames!

  • Colkitto03

    Research shows the MSM has significantly less sway in forming public opinion. The BBC is increasingly only preaching to the converted.
    The coverage of Jo Cox is a good example. Five days of highly nuanced (anti Brexit) coverage following her death.did not have any effect. The council area in which her constituency sits still voted overwhelmingly for Brexit.
    There has been a seismic shift in how the public views news media and the BBC have not grasped this. They are no longer a ‘trusted adviser’

    • Guy Family

      Exactly. BBC News. Channel 4 News. Sky News. These are all things to avoid.

      I hardly watch the telly these days and avoid the BBC as much as possible. Bias and political correctness seems to infect all BBC output. I can get all the news and entertainment that I need via the internet.

      • StellaJ

        Exactly the same in our house, and that of an increasing number of our friends. Sadness, irritation and fury at the BBC’s output. Next stage: junk the TV and stop paying the licence fee.

        • Bill Quango MP

          In our house, the TV is on Cartoon Network until 8pm. Then kids to bed.
          At that point the tv is turned off.

          I suspect without young kids it wouldn’t go on for days on end.

    • MrVeryAngry

      I sincerely hope so, but I am not convinced it is so. Although I grant that there are many more people that I know that are at least sceptical of the BBC, to a degree my experience is self selecting (as I despise the BBC ‘philosophy’ with a passion) in that these are people who are like me.

      • Colkitto03

        Periodical surveys by YouGov show that trust in TV journalism has slumped dramatically I the last 15 years. Naturally this is rarely reported. It interesting that this has coincided with both 24hr news.
        To fill its time up, 24hr news is reliant on ‘opinion pieces’ where a reporting ‘expert’ guides us plebs. This in turn has lead to incessant editorialising. Filling 24hr news with facts is prohibitively expensive.
        The result though is an understandable death of confidence in TV news.

        • John C

          No, the BBC has been lying shamelessly and been dripping toxic bias since at least the early 1980s, when I became conscious of this.
          It’s not expensive at all, because they are recycling the same content with cosmetic tweaking.

      • John C

        Ditto, ditto, ditto.

    • John C

      Nuanced? I’d say explicit and shameless to the max.

  • bergen

    I think they feel more vulnerable than you think. The next government is overwhelmingly likely to be Tory and they know it- not like 2015. They will pull their punches for the time being to prevent revenge being visited on them afterwards.

    • John C

      Hardly. They are increasingly shameless. They know the chinless spineless wonders won’t touch them.

  • Michael McDermott

    Not to mention MSM -v- UKIP?

  • Bark Kantatas

    “In the Corporation’s estimation, it is on a mission to spread ‘understanding’ about the exit process.”

    That’s also what Gina Miller said her job was.

    • StellaJ

      Sounds like some kind of Mission Statement. Wonder who else has it.

    • ButcombeMan

      There are some (here is a link to one) who believe that Gina Miller is a proxy for George Soros.


      Arguably Hillary Clinton was a wholly owned subsidiary of Soros.

      Soros interferes in outcomes all around the world.

      See The range of his activities is staggering.

      We should surely be more worried about Soros influencing our politics than we are about the Russians doing it.

    • John C

      The Corporation is lying.

  • SteadyOn

    This cuts both ways. As Wellington almost certainly said, ‘the presence of Gina Miller is worth a thousand votes in every marginal’.

  • Cassandra

    As is pointed out in this incisive article, section 6 of Ofcom’s programming code ( for example) is designed mainly to prevent imbalance between political parties.

    Where does this leave the vast swathes of opinion on various issues, Brexit included, which are not or barely represented by by any Political Party? Or one that the BBC even deigns to recognise?

    Answer: out in the cold that’s where. And this is exactly where the BBC and Ofcom like them to be.

    The moderately rightist UKIP is allowed a place at the table occasionally, although grudgingly. How convenient though that these self imposed rules exclude from our airwaves the views of what, half the population (at least) ? on some of the most important issues of the day.

    • John C

      Ofcom is worse than useless. Same as the Charity Commission. All staffed by the same brainless, gutless dregs.

      • RobertRetyred

        It’s part of their required qualifications.

  • Cassandra

    I am on a mission to spread understanding about the gross bias of the BBC and to see that this outfit is dismembered and thrown to the four winds.

    • John C

      With you all the way.

  • Tethys

    Utter, utter cobblers.

  • Frankfurt 13

    There’s a reason it’s called remain-stream media…

  • Fubar2

    “The Conservative Party under David Cameron fluffed the opportunity to achieve genuine reform of the BBC. Will that glaring failure now come back to haunt Theresa May?”

    Fluffed? More like deliberately bodyswerved the opportunity. Think about it. Cameron’s entire liberal mission was around “de-toxifying” the brand. How can you continue to pursue something so far away from core Tory values unless you figure that you still have a toxic element that constantly needs dealing with – especially when you dont have a clear vision of what the brand should be that you know the entire party can unite behind?

    Thats right. You keep on feeding the media to do your dirty work for you. Cameron deliberately didnt want to do it. Same as the Brexit referendum was as much about shutting up his own backbenchers as it was dealing with a threat from UKIP, this was no different.

    None of these things are done in the interests of the nation or impartiality or anything else. They’re done solely in the interests of a particular faction in a particular party. Its all about empire building and cementing a power base. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Auntie’s news department has gone native for the best part of 20 years and seriously needs taking in hand. Unfortunately, that requires courageous, visionary leadership and that is one thing that is lacking across all the main parties right now – indeed, throughout public life in general, thanks to the advance of Common Purpose who really ought to be rounded up and interned like the fifth columnists that they are.

    • John C

      They have been bile-drippingly anti-Israel, for example, for a heck of a lot longer than 20 years.

  • Pretty Polly

    The ace in the pack of liberal progressives, especially in government organisations and the media, is their ability to subtly brainwash the population to accept cosy sounding false philosophies which they know will ultimately destroy them.

    • John C

      There is nothing either liberal or progressive about these racist fascism-adoring creatures.

  • John Lewis

    Sorry it can’t be a battle between the Tories and the broadcasters if the Tories lack the b*lls to take on the BBC. Chances of that happening are slim to none (and slim just left town).

    • John C


  • misomiso

    Of course if the Tories win this time they can finally make the Liscence Fee voluntary and Sell of Channel Four.

    We can hope….

    • John C

      I have a bridge I can sell you.

      • Sir Nigel of Brexit

        Is it magic? I’ll have one and a TV licence please…

  • Dartfordian

    The BBC Charter renewal – another decision showing that Cameron hardly had a real Conservative bone in his body.

    • John C

      Ditto Shariza.

  • Nockian

    Watch Ms Mays’ Downing Street speech where she declares the election. Watch where her head nods when she begins talking about those trying to frustrate her plans. Note that she nods to her right in the case of those against, but moves to the neutral when talking about those on her side. Note that Corbyn is in her circle of support, unlike Farron and Sturgeon who get the nod to the right.

    Labour supported the election. During the last PMQs Corbyn switched away from Brexit. Also, Yvette Cooper attacked the PMs honesty and the look given to her for her remarks looked as if Yvette hadn’t got the memo from her boss to lay off any questions that would suggest that the PM might backslide over Brexit-why ?

    The BBC is the establishment mouth piece. They aren’t Labour, nor Conservative despite the complaints by both parties. The BBC represents the globalists, the anti-leave brigade as typified by Martin Sorrel, Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair. However, this only scratches the surface of a very deep web.

    Let’s start with one of the current Conservative front benchers-Amber Rudd-sister of Roland Rudd who is best friends with Robert Peston. Roland Rudd was founder of the Finsbury group which was sold to Martin Sorells WPP. Tony Blairs son was an intern at the Finsbury Group. Peter Mandelson is Godfather of Rolland Rudds child.

    Let’s look at the arch remainer-Ken Clarke-almost part of the furniture in Government. Clarke was/is part of the Tory reform group which includes/included-Michael Heseltine, Lord Hunt, Malcolm Rifkind, Tim Sainsbury and our old BBC director in chief – Chris Patton. I’m sure by now it will be obvious that these are all strong advocates for Europe and Tim Sainsbury provided financial backing to the remain campaign.

    The Tory reform group shares an office with CER-the centre for European reform. The Groups director is Charles Grant. Charles worked for the economist (which should not need further explanation). CER is a lobby group on behalf of Phillip Morriss, Shell, Exxon (Rex Tillerson is Trumps right hand man isn’t he?), CEFIC, Ford, Microsoft, Boeing ( the company who receives enormous tax payer support through the ex-im bank that Trump promised to shut down but hasn’t), Monsanto (we all know them well enough). I should mention here that the TTIP that Trump promised to shut down has been serially resurrected.

    Charles Grant-director of CER works closely with the Foreign Office and is a writer on UK/US intelligence.

    Let’s explore the other side of the Tree, because, as yet, we have only touched on Conservative connections. Let’s look at a name that no one likely has heard of-Nick Butler. Nick was the chairman of CER, he was Spad to Gordon Brown and a VP in BP. He is also a member of the Fabian Society and was their treasurer. CER is considered to be the ‘new labour’ think tank. It is funded by non other than Roland Rudd’s WPP and the Economist as well as Pearson and the German Marshall fund of the US. Peter Mandelson regularly speaks at their meetings.

    I don’t want to go much further here, the information is easy to find and to cross check factually. What I’m leading to, is that New Labour and the Conservatives under Cameron/May are essentially one and the same. They are connected into the BBC -for a start there is Peston and Patton but there are many more. Rudds sister is a Conservative front bencher. None of these people have any trouble getting a chunk of broadcasting space to air their views. There is a bond between the EU the UK and the US on multiple levels.

    It is true that the BBC does not like Corbyn, or rather the entire establishment don’t like him, not because he is a threat, but because the plan to form an alt.labour as an antidote to the weariness of new Labour has backfire. Not only is Corbyn losing votes for Labour, but he isn’t following his orders. The establishment uses socialism as its cutting edge, but it’s not interested in socialism. The establishment is interested in globalism. We should see that Corbyn has been bought off, or threatened-we saw the change in Trump in the US, followed by Syrian attacks and the resurrection of both ex-im and TTIP.

    May is part and parcel of, and leading a party that has no intention of leaving the EU in any meaningful way. She is backed by New Labour on the sham of the ‘other side’. Tim Farron and Sturgeon don’t exist as part of the inner circle, they are poison because they are spreading the idea of remaining part of the EU which stirs up resentment amongst the leave voters who will begin to examine Mays claims and her record on truth telling-something for which Yvette Cooper copped an evil stare.

    The reality is that May and the NeoCon/Neo Liberals must still get the country to vote them into power willingly. The referendum and Trumps surprise win showed that their machinery and money can be overturned with a bit of alt news. The BBC is part of the elite globalist MSM. You should note that YouTube are defunding alt news and both Google/Facebook are shutting down feeds to any alt sources. It has been announced that Trump is going after Julian Assange-an about face of clear intent.

    We are at war with a concealed enemy who is manipulating us through its media machine and is trying to shut down dissent. The BBC is part of the machinery. This goes a lot further than simple partisan politics and is to do with big money and power.

    • autodidact

      Great post,
      May I use it? with acknowledgement of course.

      • Nockian


      • Nockian

        Can you let me know where you post it ?

        • autodidact

          Will do ,I am an oldie new to some of these
          Ordered “Economics in one lesson”
          which I picked up on via your previous post.

          • Nockian

            It’s a good primer.

            I began with Murray Rothbard-Libertarian Manifesto. That’s also a good read and available free online, as is ‘economics in one lesson’ -if you are new to book downloading all you need is to install kindle on your computer and then the PDF of the book will download into it. Saves some cash- although you may prefer to read on paper as I do, but then there is a cost.

            I was in my 50s before I took an interest in any of these subjects, indeed I hardly ever concerned my self with politics, economics seemed a bore and philosophy was something dusty and irrelevant. Funny how quickly that changed. Of course, then it dawns, the best place to hide things is in plain sight, in a mound of dry texts and books with very long titles. Most people are so fed up with state education that after 15 or so years of it, they are discouraged from ever picking up a text on any of those subjects.

          • Cassandra

            I began to realise quite late that philosophy is foundational to much political and social thought and that I should know a lot more about it, even though I have a philosophy and religion MA. I have been an autodidact ( sorry!) in that respect for years.

            One can get an Oxbridge first year philosophy course on line, which is a good start.

          • Nockian

            I realised that philosophy is everything, it isn’t just foundational only to ‘much’ but to ‘all’.
            Before philosophy it’s important to have a solid grounding in grammar, logic and rhetoric. I wish I had been taught that in state school 🙂

          • Harley Quin

            Revealed Religion is also foundational. Christian doctrines have been been a necessary cause in the rise of Western Civilisation.

          • Nockian

            Ive heard that over and over, but it’s a partial truth. We could equally say the Romans were responsible, or the collapse of China as a world power was responsible. The fact is, today things aren’t good, but the Church doesn’t claim it was responsible for communism in Russia, nor two world wars.

            Religion is only considered foundational by those who account all good to the church and all evil to something else. The Church long presided over an agrarian, feudal culture until comparatively recently. The first enlightenment produced Science through Aristotlian reason and the church fought it tooth and nail- I make no distinction here between different sect of the Church-then the second enlightenment produced capitalism and the Industrial Age.

          • Harley Quin

            We will have to disagree on that, Nockian. It is quite true that certain figures in the `Roman Catholic Church had a run in with `Galileo and one or two others. However this misses the point that without `Christianity there would have been no Galileo or Giordano Bruno etc. Modern science arose in the West, and only there, thanks to `Christian doctrines about the nature of God, conceived of in biblical and `Greek terms as lawful and loving who could be discovered in his good creation, nature.

            This was first pointed out by Alfred `North Whitehead, co author with Bertrand Russell of Principia Mathematica, in Harvard `Lowell lectures 1922-26 and has been echoed by many other scholars since, including by the Chinese in an official report, incidentally.

          • John C

            Much science came from India.

          • Harley Quin

            The Hindus, like the Greeks, Romans and Chinese all had sophisticated alchemies, but these were not science. This knowledge could be better described as folklore, magic or an art. Like knowing what plants were good for what ailments without having a clue as to why.

            Islam also had a sophisticated alchemy and access to `Greek learning. Our word alchemy is itself derived from Arabic as is alcohol, algebra etc. But like the Greeks themselves, Islam never developed modern science which is characterised by system and the faith that nature is always and everywhere the same. So that what happens today will happen tomorrow, all things being equal.

            That required a Christian view of God as personal and loving and nature as the law-filled creation of this `God who could be discovered in it. In other Civilisations, nature was something random and mysterious, to be accessed by mysticism as in the East, or the inscrutable whim of deities or a deity like Allah.

          • John C

            Ignorant nonsense. India had maths and astronomy.

          • Cassandra

            The Babylonians were the great astronomers. So were that Meso American people, whose name escapes me.

          • John C

            Sigh. A being X does not preclude B being X.

          • Cassandra

            I’ll give you that. The point is that Harley’s post was about empirical science, not mathematics, which is not empirical.

          • Nockian

            Without Plato there would have been no Christianity-and Plato was pagan.

          • Cassandra

            Without Plato? I’m not with you there, Nockian. There is plenty of Greek philosophy in John, for example. But Greek influences were used simply to explain Jesus’ story,

          • Nockian

            I don’t think there’s a way off this particular roundabout and the thread will probably close before we can reach any meaningful conclusion.

            It’s simpler to ask you if you would mind answering the question I posed previously: why does man need a code of values ?

          • Cassandra

            That’s already been answered Nockian.

          • Cassandra

            I learned Latin and Greek at school, which helps, but then, that was a long, long time ago!

            Those subjects were taught in those days, sadly now not so much,

          • Nockian

            I learned to hate school. How I ever got any O levels is a mystery. Luckily the state can’t destroy the thirst for knowledge, it can only slow it down.

            Hey state….go ya :thumbsup:

          • Cassandra

            Good for you.

          • Harley Quin

            I am a Palaeocon rather than a Libertarian. However there are some gems in Rothbart, such as his essay, ‘Egalitarianism as a Revolt against Nature’ which is well well worth reading.

          • Nockian

            I was going to add a caveat-I long ago gave up being libertarian/ANCap, so a recommendation doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with what Rothbard says. However, as a text to challenge the usual statist mind set it’s scintillating.

            I can remember reading it and mouthing short sentences like ‘No’ and ‘that can’t be right’ or ‘surely that couldn’t work’. It shook me up and it read so easily and well that I had to at least consider the possibility that I had been wrong.

            The problem with all these political stand points is that they remain mystic. They lack a full philosophy to make them relevant. It means that, even when they contain many sound ideas, that they are ungrounded in reality.

            Take the NAP (non aggression) principle central to libertarians-there is no argument to explain why it’s necessary. Of course most people assume that not starting fights is clearly a good idea and that it is an axiomatic absolute in many respects. It took me a while to find the flaws in NAP-to the point emailed Lew Rockwell for an answer on the subject ‘at what point do we engage in violent defence if we aren’t being attacked but we feel threatened’ ? The answer never arrived and after several attempts to get answers from other Libertarian scholars I realised that a dogmatic principle like NAP is not an axiomatic truth, but a floating concept taken on faith because it ‘feels’ right. That said, it isn’t a bad start if the student doesn’t fancy getting neck deep in philosophy-and that applies to peaceful religious people and even those who are peaceful collectivists (which somewhat underpins what I’m saying).

            It took a course on the Trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) to really move things along for me. The course included options for study in the various categories. For the logic study there were several recommended external courses, one of which happened to be by Leonard Peikoff-at this point all I knew of Peikoff was some rather unflattering opinions about Ayn Rand cult worship (I had read Atlas Shrugged as a recommended libertarian text, but found it turgid and uninspiring because ‘Galts Gultch’ was an economic pipe dream). However, Peikoffs course was advertised as ‘pure Aristotlian’ and not Objectivist; it was also dirt cheap 🙂 so I downloaded it. I was arrogant enough to believe that the course would be simple, easy and wouldn’t require effort- I was wrong in a gargantuan sense of wrong. It was the hardest mental effort I have ever applied, I swear I could feel rusty cogs in my braincreaking and groaning into use. I was so enthused with the effects of the course-it literally altered my entire mental processing of information-that I stated looking at Objectivism far more seriously.

            Once I discovered Objectivism and the landscape of other philosophers from which it was drawn-and from which it is in contest-I never looked back. To learn Objectivism properly, to question every part of the metaphysical and epistemological in order to test with logic the validity of the work and my understanding of it, has been an ongoing effort for several years now. I’m still discovering what I don’t know, or what I thought I knew and understood, but it’s been a fantastic journey and one I hope never ends.

      • David Keighley

        Depends what you mean by ‘use’ – in general, the more people see/discuss it, the better, so reproducing it with due credit is fine. It’s also posted on my News-watch website.

      • Cassandra

        May I use it? Also with acknowledgements.

    • James Chilton

      The politics of convergence has been going on for many years. It’s supposed to be associated with the internationalisation of economic affairs. This has removed the discretion which national governments assumed they had in directing economic policy.

      It has also removed the necessity for an opposition – since there’s no point in having an alternative view if the vital interests of the country are no longer under any government’s control.

      • Nockian

        People aren’t generally aware of it. It’s also seemingly beneign until we look around the world and see just how far western civilisation has fallen. I find it an interesting dichotomy that once money is in the hands of the state through its many connections to crony corporations-that, like any regime that uses force to harness men’s minds- it really is the root of all evil. However, allow money to be free of state control and, just like a mans mind, it becomes a force for good.

        Going after ‘equality’ of wealth as the socialists do, expands the states control and actually turns money and minds to rotten evil. If only they grasped that they are supporting evil.

        • James Chilton

          No, people are not, generally speaking, aware of it.

          The growth of international finance, or globalisation if you prefer, and the transfer of power which it implies, reduces domestic politics to the level of pantomime.

          We grumble about the nebulous “elites” who circulate without interruption despite the background noise of mere election results. But, there seems reason to believe that at the highest level, a big money aristocracy is or soon will be running the greatest show on earth.

          • Nockian

            They already run it. It’s a cabal of mediocrity. Indeed it is very much a corrolary of men who live by and for the praise of other men. It is the rise of a kind of collectivism which despises independence and hates honest success as a result of independence. I call it fascism, but it could be equally called communism.

            Funnily enough we see that the Church -as very much a spiritual version of mystic collectivism-is beginning to mount an attack. Indeed, the rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia is a serious threat to global fascism-which is likely why Russia is seen as a serious threat. Steve Bannon is very much a spiritual libertarian who’s philosophy is moulded by his religious beliefs-it isn’t for nothing he was removed from Trumps inner circle.

            It’s easy to smash, but it requires enough people to understand how to counter it rather than tacitly supporting it through ignorance. These people can only close down so much, but the weeds grow through. As long as men have mouths and pens, then they can’t be silenced. They can be slowed, but not stopped. The days of managing men by direct threat is ended, but now it is by manufactured threat and 24/7 propaganda.

            Anyway, it’s good to know there are others who can see it for what it is.

          • David

            Spot on I’d say.
            So far the opposition to the globalist agenda provided by The Church, is largely confined to the east. Here the western Church is, with a few honourable exceptions, still asleep, blinded by its soft-left leaning tendency and political naiveté, and therefore unable to fathom exactly what is going on behind the scenes. My hope is that will change.

          • Nockian

            In reply I will share a passage from Rand’s essay on objectivist ethics:

            …The avowed Mystics held the arbitary, unaccountable “will of God” as the standard of the good and as the validation of their ethics. The neo Mystics replaced it with “the good of society”, thus collapsing into the circularity of a definition such as “the standard of the good is that which is good for society”. This meant in logic-and, today in worldwide practice-that “society” stands above any principle of ethics, since it is the source, standard and criterion of ethics, since the good is whatever it wills, whatever it happens to assert as its own welfare and pleasure. This meant that “society” may do anything it pleases, since “the good” is whatever it chooses to do because it chooses to do it. And-since there is no entity as “society”, since society is only a number of individual men- this meant that some men (the majority or any gang that claims to be its spokesman) are ethically entitled to pursue any whims (or atrocities) they desire to pursue, whilst other men are ethically obliged to spend their lives in the service of that gangs desires…

            There is no difference in this respect between the Church and the ‘society’. Regardless of people’s faith-they are entitled to believe and live any way they wish provided they do not force their wills on others-religious dogma is not divine revelation, but an arbitary set of principles based on an irrational belief. It is, and suffers from, the same flaws as that of the current philosophy. As long as we cling to faith and whim, then we are stranded in a philosophical dead end. No matter how clear the Churchrs moral dogma, no matter how sensible it seems, it is built on mysticism and therefore shares the same flaw as today’s collectivism which has simply swapped God, for “society”. Even though both philosophies appear incompatible, they are at their core, identical. Therefore though the Church may raise up its sword of spiritual mysticism it strikes the shield of material mysticism. Both are mystic and both are incompatible with reason, mind and reality.

          • Cassandra

            I don’t agree with the assertion that the morality of the Church is based on mysticism or is irrational. It is based on natural law, as limited or modified by Jesus.

            If one wants to avoid a society of endemic violence, such as obtains increasing, in (say) Detroit or Chicago, turning the other cheek seems a good way of doing it.

            Had the Jews of Jesus’s time heeded his injunctions to go the extra mile etc, the destruction of Jerusalem AD 70 would have been avoided.

            The idea that each can live by his or her own ethical standards is a recipe for anarchy and a war of all against all.

            Humans are social animals. We can’t spit in the face of our nature and get away with it. We can only work with it.

          • Nockian

            Where is the argument for ‘natural law’ and by who’s standards ?

            This is the problem for all mysticism, it begins with a premise and that premise is based on the notion of a divine creator, or ‘society’, the ‘state’ or a ‘divine ruler’.

            This is here where religious ethics breaks down.

            If you say it’s a good set of principles to live by and then you decide to adhere to them as part of your life, then that’s entirely your choice; but they are NOT rational if they are based on FAITH.

            Religion is only a philosophy, a group of ideas, that means that as long as we accept some kind of philosopy-wether we do so on faith, or by reason-then we can choose to live with the ethics that are generated by that philosophy.

            It is not ‘human nature’ to slide down slippery slopes, but it does mean that we need to choose a guide, or principles on which we act. It is not for ‘others’, ‘society’ nor ‘God’ that we need a set of good principles, but for our independent selves.

            I hold that all philosophies must set a basic test for themselves: they must first argue the need for ethical principles from reason. Faith is not reason, it is belief regardless of reason, so religious philosophy fails that test absolutely.

          • noix

            I tend to look at the anthropological argument for religion. Small groups of humanity in primitive tribes have no chiefs but elders whose experience is valued. Bigger groups tend to have a chief with authority coming from martial and political ability. It is when groups or the territory becomes too large that a secondary form of authority is required and religion appears, to back up, and often surplant the aristocracy as the final authority.
            In the final analysis, it is about control.

          • Nockian

            That doesn’t answer the question: why do we need a code of values in the first place ?

          • Cassandra

            The argument for natural law is that there is no better fundamental guide for human flourishing.

            Our nature is inescapable. And as the Roman poet Horace remarked,

            “Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret et Mala perrumpet furtim fastidia victrix.”

            Of course, it must be limited, channelled if necessary and adjusted according to circumstances. And this is where Christianity comes in.

  • ethanedwards2002

    So business as usual for the BBC then.
    No wonder they affectionately call themselves Anti Beeb .
    Anti British – vehemently pro EU
    Anti American
    Anti Trump
    Anti Tory
    Anti Law & Order
    Anti Immigration Controls
    Anti Financial Responsibility
    Anti Austerity
    Loading picked QT audiences with Left Whinger Activists and Trades Unions Officials.
    Fixing debates like the Democrats do.
    Oh yes business as usual alright.

    • Nobby

      and anti-Brexit

    • John C

      And antisemitic.

    • Saint Nigel Farage

      And climate change luvvies

  • Nobby

    The BBC are a public organisation that is very close to the Westminster machine. It is an integral part of the establishment and run by the Oxbridge types that run most of the establishment including the Conservative and Labour Party as well as Civil Service.

    I think the Conservatives cannot separate the BBC form other government institutions. They obviously prefer to keep them under public ownership and financing so that they can maybe exert some pressure on them or failing that just slap them around now again (licence fee freeze etc) to get some measure of revenge. Remember that the BBC was nationalised in the 1920’s precisely to put it under government control and I think that is still the attitude in Westminster.

    • John C

      What ‘pressure’? The BBC continue to lie all the time.

  • alecto

    Stop paying the licence fee and stop watching the BBC – its a much healthier way to live.

  • Lord Effingham

    I can’t see anything changing, regrettably. Even the Tories seem to be in thrall to the BBC, and are unwilling to hold it to account. They could do something about the blatant bias if they wanted to, especially with the large predicted majority post-election, but the will just isn’t there.

    • Cassandra

      They are afraid of the BBC. That’s the problem.

    • John C

      They are pathetic spineless cowards.

  • PierrePendre

    Media bias is a two edged sword. As many people dislike the BBC as swear by it. Its pro-EU bias didn’t help Remain to win the referendum and its anti-Tory bias doesn’t prevent the Tories winning elections. The same is true of the overwhelmingly pro-Democratic party bias of the American MSM which did their utmost to defeat Trump and discredit Republicans in general.

    I don’t watch either the BBC or Sky but I hear as much criticism of Sky’s loyalty to the establishment worldview as I do of the BBC’s. If the BBC were privatised, I suspect that its political biases wouldn’t change much. Journalists have a tendancy to turn left when they sit down at a keyboard to write their stories or scripts.

    Keep in mind that when the BBC slants the news, it’s exasperating far more people than just you. Most people aren’t stupid and know how to see through the media.

    • David Keighley

      Who knows how large the majority for Leave would have been if the BBC had been truly impartial? As it was, Leave snatched victory from the jaws of defeat despite the best negative efforts of the BBC, as is documented on TCW and the News-watch websites.

      • D J

        As nearly 70% of people now wish to get on with Brexit, I think you can have a pretty accurate guess.

    • John C

      Irrelevant, every single word. The BBC is funded by taxes. It has a legal duty to be neutral. Instead, it’s a sewer of screeching bias.

      • TJB

        And that’s the problem most, if not all of the Beeb’s detractors have with it in my view. Before I switch on, for example, Fox News I am in no doubt of its political standpoint, when I read Breitbart I have no doubt of theirs either. Were I to regularly read the Guardian or Huffington Post I would be in no doubt as to their political biases either.

        The difference is as you so rightly said: I choose to pay for their services – if indeed they ask for any direct payment – The Beeb have me over a barrel. They can widdle in my face and tell me its raining and I have no recourse other than to look for an umbrella.

        • John C

          Well put.

    • Phillip Rosslee

      I think the social media is the New Media and all main stream media know this. It is very difficult to put a slant because everyone new has a mobile phone and can record events and have it on YouTube or Facebook or any other social media platform within minutes of the event taking place with commentary. The BBC et al cannot do this because it simply does not have the resources to be everywhere.

  • gray cooper

    I oppose the violation of intellectual property and the tobacco tax escalator. The Tory party as it is right now is unrecognized. This also goes for all other parties that have violated intellectual property . Unelectable.

    • Dacorum

      The tobacco tax escalator is not high enough.

      Tobacco is a product that only causes harm to the user and those exposed to tobacco smoke. The marketing of tobacco leads to addiction and premature death.

      The tobacco companies should think themselves very lucky that they are allowed to stay in business at all given the harm tobacco does.

      • gray cooper

        Political parties are too authoritarian for employment as government. Little small minded dictators.

  • Trojan

    I keep forgetting that we have a Tory Government in power and the likelihood of it achieving an increased majority. Now why is it that Tory MPs and Ministers have failed to stand up to the BBC? I am not talking about regulation, simply about freeing this wonderful broadcaster to raise its own income

    • Thomtids

      The Tories, like Blair before them, threatened the BBC with grievous harm if they didn’t put a Government-favoured emphasis upon its approach to such matters.
      As is arguable, it might be a pointer to the actual “dark policy” of the Government with whom the BBC chooses to lay in the gutter.
      After all, there is nothing like the imminence of being hanged to concentrate a man’s mind.

  • Dominic Stockford

    It is notable that if a business figure pours scorn on the ‘problems of Brexit’ whilst on the BBC their interview is summarily ended.

    • John C

      To be fair, that also happens if they pour scorn on any other BBC bigotry.

  • Guardian’s Quitter

    Call Me Dave had two important jobs.
    1) Flush away the BBC, or at least restore it’s impartiality.
    2) Remove the bliar place men from public office, especially the Common Purpose Chief Constables.
    He blew it.

    • John C

      Dave didn’t have the talent to organise an orgy in a brothel.

      • Cassandra

        He talked a good talk.

        • John C

          He was an obvious snake-oil salesman, con and charlatan, if that’s what you mean.

          • Cassandra

            Exactly so.

          • John C

            A bully and a coward, too.

          • Cassandra

            Yes, he has the reputation of being a narcissistic ( how shall I put this)
            – oh what the heck; turd who completely ignored anyone who had helped him but who was of no further use.

            Pehaps that’s how they behave at Eton.

          • Forlorn Hope

            In other words, “the heir to Blair”.

  • c50
  • Pretty Polly

    Theresa May is a globalist and the Tony Blair continuation candidate, the Tories being virtually a mirror image of New Labour.

    The only realistic alternative is Jeremy Corbyn so the choice is Awful or Worse.

    That’s all there is to it.

    • John C

      They are not a ‘mirror image’ – they ARE New Labour.

  • Dacorum

    I’m very angry that Theresa May has pledged not to cut the deeply unpopular foreign aid budget but to keep the level at 0.7% of national income. On the same day the Conservatives have indicated that they may not keep their tax pledges and may not protect pensions so well.

    You don’t need a biased BBC to point out that the Conservatives have made a huge blunder at the outset of the election by thinking they can do as they please because Labour are so far behind.

    I firmly believe that Theresa May has just cost the Conservatives considerable support. She has handed UKIP and the Labour Party a lifeline. No longer will UKIP voters switch to the Conservatives because of the foreign aid pledge. Her views on that only increases doubt on what type of Brexit deal she would accept. As for Labour, they can be far more confident of holding onto to many more seats in their northern heartlands as Labour pensioners will stick to Labour.

  • rat_catcher

    Almost every party is too frightened to take the BBC on so go legally license free and starve this unelected pillar of Government.

    • John Standley

      ” legally license free” 12 years and counting as at 30 April 2017! 🙂

  • John Smith

    stop paying the bbc tax

    if we get to 20%

    itll collapse

  • autodidact

    Remember, the BBC are promoters of the bigger scene
    as proposed by Peter Sutherland and Agenda 21.
    Look closely at the credentials of this man, he is
    the epitome of the NWO.
    We are just sacrificial pawns in their global plan.