Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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History will damn the BBC over Brexit


CHARLES Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph, has suggested that those worried about BBC bias should not pay their licence fee or set out to tie the Corporation in administrative knots by reducing the amount they pay. 

His concern follows an appearance on BBC1’s Question Time last week during which he noted that he was the only Leaver on that night’s panel and was thus outnumbered 4:1. 

Sadly, his call won’t make a blind bit of difference. This was shown graphically in presenter Fiona Bruce’s response to his bias claim. Reading from the approved BBC hymn sheet, she claimed: ‘Obviously the Government supports the Leave position, and last week we had three people who take the Leave position and two people who took the Remain position.’

Yes, that is what she actually said and clearly believes. In the world of the BBC, Theresa May and Philip Hammond support Leave. It will take much more than a licence fee strike to counter such obdurate, wrong-headed bias.

Mr Moore also suggests taking legal action against the Corporation for not meeting its Charter requirements regarding impartiality. Of that, there is no question, especially in the attitude towards ’no deal’. The problem in any judicial review will be finding a judge who dares take on the BBC, or has the independent mindset to do so.

When Mr Justice Mann had the temerity to rule that the Corporation flagrantly infringed Cliff Richard’s right to privacy in televising the raid on his home by police on a sordid fishing expedition, the BBC defence machine sprang into action, and ranged salvoes against him which claimed he had assaulted press freedom at a fundamental, liberty-threatening level.

It’s not press freedom at stake over Sir Cliff, it’s the rights of an innocent man

The reality is that the Corporation is impervious to any kind of complaint. It remains its own judge and jury with respect to bias, churning it out relentlessly and on an industrial scale in almost every element of its output.

When the history of the Brexit fiasco is written, to what extent will it analyse the role of the BBC?

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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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