Last year, I made a modest proposal on this site that the government should sell off Channel 4. There had already been talk of selling off Channel 4 during the life of the Coalition, but this had been blocked by the Liberal Democrats.
About one month after my article, Channel 4 started its ‘Underdog’ campaign to oppose this. Underdog’ started as a fake documentary but has evolved into a series of short films set in a television chat-show environment where the guests are people who appear on Channel 4 talking about its indispensability in British broadcasting. However, all the cast and crew of this show have the heads of dogs, thanks to computer trickery. For a loss-making channel trying to make a case for remaining an inefficient, state-owned broadcaster, it is all a rather frivolous waste of money they do not have, playing on faint sentiment over hard facts.
A discussion document was captured on privatisation as it was carried into Downing Street last September. Something was definitely up.
My natural modesty forbids me from stating that my words are what triggered the well-paid executives of this unprofitable television station to haemorrhage even more cash on an absurd virtue-signalling vanity project.
There is now a chance for members of the public to have their say in selling off Channel 4. But they have to hurry. A House of Lords Select Committee is gathering evidence on the sustainability of a privatised Channel 4. The closing date is April 20th.
The upper chamber currently contains such stalwarts as Lord Puttnam, Channel 4’s current deputy chairman, Lord Burns, the current chairman, Lord Grade, a former chief executive of Channel 4, and Baron Glendondonbrook, who as Michael Bishop was a former chairman. No doubt these professionals can be relied upon to recognise the change in mass media consumption that may mean that Channel 4’s business model is increasingly obsolete. Well, perhaps some doubt. Okay, a lot of doubt.
The battle lines are being drawn. It is always difficult for a Conservative government to curb the in-built left-wing bias of the two state broadcasters, as both the BBC and Channel 4 can and do pump out hours of anti-Tory propaganda in retaliation.
A prime example of this is The Last Leg a confirmed anti-Tory weekly satirical review that signals its virtue by employing members of the disabled community in its cast. While this show overdoses us with their sloganeering attacks on Jeremy Hunt to the point of harassing the poor man on camera when he is out of his office, they are completely silent about the inconvenient truth of Labour’s support for terrorism, dictators, and anti-semitism, which surely is slap-bang in the middle of Channel 4’s politically-correct agenda. The ‘Paralympic Broadcaster’ seems to be paralysed when it comes to the proven evils of socialism. But then people do not watch Channel 4 for balance. They watch it for validation of their left-wing neuroses.
No doubt legions of the politically committed will try to talk up Channel 4’s place in the community, as if endless repeats of The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother and films of people sitting on their living-room sofas watching television add some unique social value to the nation’s media experience. The hard fact is that the Channel 4 is incapable of making a profit in its current form and its multiple digital channels are a seriously underused asset. It needs a dose of commercial reality.
People say that it would have to lose its public-service remit to survive privatisation. Exactly how Channel 4 serves the public by broadcasting shows where couples have sex in a cubicle in front of studio audience is not entirely clear. Certainly making science-fiction allegories of the immigration issue in this country seems little more than socialist propaganda using special effects, especially as the show Aliens depicts the Conservatives as building ghettoes.
Voting Labour is not a minority activity in this country yet, however hard Jeremy Corbyn is trying to make this come about. Channel 4 does seem to think socialism needs broadcast validation as a public service. It does not.
In the name of balance, perhaps some readers here could contribute their views on Channel 4 to their Lordships. Otherwise Channel 4 will limp along and its anti-British and anti-Conservative message will be allowed to continue to brainwash millions of viewers. But time is short. Have your say and spread the word.