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HomeBBC WatchDavid Keighley’s BBC Watch: Now the two-parent family is “controversial”

David Keighley’s BBC Watch: Now the two-parent family is “controversial”


(David Keighley explains how the BBC’s equality drive shapes its left/liberal stance in the latest of our series of articles to ‘celebrate’ International Women’s Day on Wednesday.)

According the latest BBC annual report, 48.7 per cent of its 21,000 full-time staff are now women.

That’s a much higher rate than in the population as a whole – 13.4m men and 7.8m women are in full time work, according to the ONS – so this is quite an achievement. In the ‘equality’ stakes. It boils down to the fact that the Corporation has been working flat out for many years to boost the number of females in its pay.

Tellingly, the statistic is contained in the ‘diversity’ section of the report. This means that the level of women’s employment – even though it is now within a whisker of being at actual par – is still considered to be a matter of major concern, juxtaposed with the need to achieve quotas for those from ethnic and religious minorities and among those who are disabled.

Strangely, the ultimate target in terms of male/female ratios the female employment table is left blank. Could it be that in Corporation feminist thinking it will be 60:40 or maybe even higher before male chauvinist piggery is banished?

Whatever the target, it is still not enough in some quarters. Sharon White, the Chief Executive of Ofcom, which from April, when the new BBC Charter comes into full effect, assumes a regulatory role over elements of the Corporation, is one of those who is not satisfied.

The reason? According to former civil servant Ms White, Auntie is still not putting enough older women on screen either as presenters or in dramatic roles.

Ms White is not alone in her belly-aching. When Helen Boaden left her £340,000-a-year post of Director of BBC Radio towards the end of last year, she complained that she had spent her career battling against the posh ‘entitled men’ who inhabited senior management posts.

The annual report reveals that part of the BBC’s agenda in the equality stakes is support for a number of initiatives that fight for women’s rights. One such is ‘Global Women in News’. It boasts more than 1,000 BBC members, with the goal ‘to boost and support the career progression of the female workforce in a meaningful way’.

Sarah Gibson, a co-founder, says that this includes the holding of a variety of network events ‘with inspiring guests speakers’. And who might those be? Top of her list are Arianna Huffington, founder, of course, of the overtly liberal-left blog The Huffington Post, and Miriam Gonzalez-Durantez, who is on record as attacking International Women’s Day organisers for daring to invite her to take part in a letter addressed, ‘Dear Mrs Clegg’.

How very foolhardy of them. It may be that this Global Women in News group is doing excellent work in smoothing women’s career paths, but key points here are: a) the equality agenda is also part of the reinforcement process of the BBC’s liberal/Left echo chamber, and b) all this effort to achieve ‘equality’ eats up substantial BBC resources and time and effort.

The scale of such costs is not disclosed in the annual report, but meanwhile, the BBC will not – by contrast – pay for systematic monitoring of its own output to check for political balance, with disastrous consequences in terms of a failure of impartiality over issues such as Brexit.

And how does this female preferential agenda affect the BBC’s output? By generating programmes and approaches that emphasise the importance of family in raising healthy, well-adjusted children? Maybe not. TCW has identified in the three years since it was launched legion examples of the BBC feminist and gender agendas and propaganda.

Here, for example, Kathy Gyngell explores veteran war reporter John Simpson’s concerns about the domination on screen of females at the Corporation, and shows how the internal Diversity Strategy is driven not by merit, talent or skills but by ‘age, gender, disability, ethnicity and sexual orientation”.

Here, Laura Perrins identifies how the quest for female equality is behind the BBC’s relentless championing of women’s football, despite audience tastes.

And here, Mark Ellse shows how a feminist victim agenda drove the recent plot in The Archers featuring domestic violence.

There is no escape from it, even in glossy BBC dramas where the plots are about female subjugation and nasty, shallow, preying men. Men who are nice have to have major drawbacks – such as being thick or without drive.

Finally, how about this – taken at random from among the BBC’s educational pages? BBC iWonder says – in a section about whether we still need men (because of advances in genetic engineering):

Despite these breath-taking advances in science, it could be that human psychology and economics will also favour having two sexes. The majority of people still identify as heterosexual, and raising families on one’s own can be exhausting and unaffordable in the modern world. Children might also prefer and benefit from having two domestic parents, although this remains a controversial topic.

Eh? In the continuing BBC struggle for feminist ‘equality’ – despite par being achieved – there is clearly no end to the war in sight. Begrudgingly, it is accepted that there might be some sort of role in future for males. But astonishingly, in the sisters’ estimation, the continuation of the two-parent family unit is ‘a controversial topic’ – and perhaps should only be considered at all because ‘raising families on one’s own can be exhausting and unaffordable’.

Brave New World indeed.

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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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