Reader’s Comment: Lefty BBC propaganda or 25,000 more soldiers? You choose

In response to Nick Booth: Bad news drought bunkers BBC, Carbonaril848 wrote:

OK, here is my definitive rant on the subject. After this I will shut up and stop boring you all.

The BBC is funded by a regressive tax of £147 which is levied on everyone regardless of the individual's ability to pay.

At a time when thousands of TV channels are available, it alone demands support from the taxpayer. It routinely jails people - predominantly poorer young women - who cannot pay this tax.

It consistently marginalises conservative political opinions and promotes left-wing ideology. On religion, it promotes anti-Christian values on abortion and homosexuality while refusing to examine Muslim attitudes towards women, social integration and anti-Semitism. On gender, it promotes a rigidly feminist viewpoint and routinely ignores the deepest concerns of men's rights activists while publicising the most trivial feminist causes.

On immigration it seeks to marginalise the opinions of millions of British people who are forced to live with the consequences of an influx of foreigners who cannot speak our language, have no respect for our traditions, and instantly require the support of our public services before they have contributed a penny in tax towards those services.

On Brexit it is blind to the opportunities and consistently emphasises the risks. Where it refused to publicise the many critical voices in America raised against President Obama, it routinely gives national exposure to the critics of President Trump.

At a time when we need to cut public spending to address a huge national debt, the BBC continues to operate 11 radio channels and 6 TV channels, many of which simply play music that can be obtained elsewhere or broadcast news that is freely available from a thousand other outlets. With the money it costs us every year (£3.7 billion as of 2013), we could afford ALL of these things;

One new super-prison at £250 million
10,000 prison officers at £21,400 each
50,000 police officers at £22,962 each
Three new specialist emergency care hospitals at £90 million each
50,000 nurses at £22,128 each
25,000 infantry soldiers at £14,931 each
2,500 infantry officers at £25,984 each
10,000 teachers at £22,467 each
50 free schools at £5 million each

Neither the method or the extent of the BBC's funding can possibly be justified. It is at best a bloated bureaucracy and at worst a harbour for political views that are damaging the fabric of this country.

Its budget should be cut to a tenth of the current level immediately and the money spent on a series of far more productive and important activities that are urgently needed in this country.


  • Busy Mum

    There is a simple way out, though.

    We do not pay this tax as we do not have a TV.

    I am no less informed about things and my children have routinely been the best readers in their classes.

    • KilowattTyler

      Yes, it is possible not to have a TV and legitimately therefore no TV licence.

      The problem is, if you have no TV licence the Geheime Fernseher Politzei (a.k.a. TV Licensing) send you a nasty letter. The letter has the same angry, accusatory tone as a ‘final demand’ letter. No doubt neurotics and other vulnerable people, are so frightened by the threat of enforcement officers turning up on their doorstep and the threat of prosecution, that they buy a licence anyway whether they have a TV or not.

      I have a TV now and a TV licence. A few years ago I didn’t have a TV and got one of the GeFePo’s nasty missives. I wrote back, pointing out that:

      (i) TV Licensing is simply part of third-rate outsourcing firm Capita, not a state quasi-police force;
      (ii) Their letter is not based on evidence of wrongdoing and in fact there are only 3 detector vans in the whole of the UK (a figure I got from someone who used to work for TV Licensing);
      (iii) If their goons turned up on my doorstep they have no legal right of entry and would be turned away with fleas in their ears;
      (iv) That their letter could frighten vulnerable people who had no licence for wholly legitimate reasons.

      Having stood up to the bully I got a grovelling apology from someone in TV Licensing.

      • Busy Mum

        I get the nasty letter every couple of years – it goes in the recycling box. When – if – they do turn up, I shall point out that their website does not allow me to enter the reason I don’t have a licence.

        • KilowattTyler

          I hadn’t spotted that!
          Perhaps the bureaucratic mind just cannot cope with the concept that not everyone wants a TV, and therefore anyone without a licence must be, ipso facto, a villain.

      • anna

        When I had no TV, and therefore no TV licence, I too got one of the intimidating letters you speak of. I replied saying I had no TV. More letters arrived which I ignored. Then, one day, a jobsworth with a clipboard turned up on the doorstep, smirking at having, he supposed, caught me out. Knowing that he had no right of access, I nevertheless pressed him, with increasing persistence, to come in and inspect the house from cellar to attic. He refused, grew more and more flustered and ended up whining that he was only trying to stop cheats. Then he scuttled off.

        • KilowattTyler

          There seems to be an increasing tendency for officialdom and quasi-officialdom to adopt bullying tactics. TV Licensing is one culprit, but the RSPCA and Inland Revenue have also adopted the “guilty until proved innocent” line (in the case of the IR it is small business which gets hectored; big business gets wined and dined and ‘accommodations’ are made with the really big boys).

          I suspect TV Licensing jobsworths have targets for getting licences sold, which they have to meet, come what may. The targets won’t have any scientific or factual foundation, they will have been conjured out of thin air by some fast-stream graduate manager. Provided the jobsworths don’t actually end up in court, or even worse attract the attention of journos on ‘Watchdog’, the means to the end of meeting their targets will not figure in their annual appraisals.

          The bullying of subordinates to achieve targets has spread from its natural home in high-pressure selling to government, charities, medicine, etc. I used to work for a well-known financial organisation on a helpline for pensions. There was no selling, just sorting out problems, flagging up potential frauds and dealing with admin such as address changes. For most of the time I worked there, the overriding target was the speed with which calls were closed. The result of course was that the star performers were actually the most brusque and unhelpful people as they got rid of callers quickly. Those who actually listened to the caller and sorted their problems (thereby avoiding complaints and repeat calls or letters from unsatisfied customers) were those judged to be failures and were threatened with the sack.

  • Uusikaupunki

    Here’s an idea. Cut the Bbc loose on subscription. Then us Great Unwashed can decide what to spend our money on. We are taxed too much as it is.

    • Owen_Morgan

      A subscription-run Beebyanka is such an obviously sensible notion. Only a politician could fail to see the benefit. The trouble is that Labour know the Beebyanka is perpetually on their side and the Conservatives always have this bonkers notion that they can win over the beeboids. The Conservatives still fail to grasp that the BBC is Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth”.

      • AKM

        It’s worse than that. The Conservatives know perfectly well what the BBC is and does but, even knowing the damage it does to the country, they are willing to tolerate its’ existence because they fear the political cost of attacking it.

    • A P Doityourself

      If I were you, I’d seriously consider getting some lessons in the correct use of English.

      • Carbonari1848

        From the username, Uusikaupunki sounds Finnish.
        His English seems a lot better than our Finnish.

  • Owen_Morgan

    That comment has the same impact at the second reading as at the first: that is a lot.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Yes. Let’s do it.

  • Enemy Coast Ahead

    Not to mention the BBC’s complete bias toward the green religion of Climate Change – this from James Delingpole a few years back.

    Here’s a BBC scandal that should really make you disgusted

    A BBC seminar, held in January 2006, where the BBC (to quote one of its own reports) gathered ‘the best scientific experts’ who concluded that ‘the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus’ on anthropogenic climate change. Who exactly were these ‘best scientific experts’ whose testimony at that January 2006 seminar was so persuasive that the BBC felt justified in disavowing its charter obligations to be fair and balanced, and to start coming over more like the official broadcasting arm of Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace?

    Read the rest here …

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2012/11/heres-a-bbc-scandal-that-should-really-make-you-disgusted/

    • Tethys

      And yet the idiot Nigel Lawson got airtime last week.
      How puzzling !

  • BermyDroid

    Great little article – not a rant at all. A well thought out and quite reasonable opinion. Re. the Beeb – two words: encryption, subscription !

    • Tethys

      In one hit, the brexit fantasy could cost 3 x the NHS or 9 x the BBC on a £37billion settlement.
      Vote again!!

  • Harley Quin

    The complaint about the BBC is the complaint one can level at any other socialised industry:

    People dont get what they want; they get what the employees of the BBC feel they should get. This may coincide with what the paying public wants but too often doesn’t.

    Just like the NHS it is run for the benefit of the public, yes, but also for the benefit of the people who staff it in that they use it to propagate their political opinions and assumptions at every turn

    • A P Doityourself

      It’s dreadful – we all lay in our beds and were read Marx, Lenin and Mao before we were fed and watered.

      • Harley Quin

        People in the `NHS get the treatment, or not, that the system thinks they should get.

        This means drugs etc which are thought too expensive are not given even if good for the patient; people are put into same sex wards they don’t like but have no choice in the matter; if they are old they are well down the list of priorities because their lives are thought less valuable; someone else determines that their quality of life is good enough to be worth saving etc etc.

        They lie in their beds as slaves of the state, not as free persons.

        This is, if not `Marx exactly, certainly leftism in action.

        • Tethys

          The Brexit divorce bill as reported would fund the NHS for 3 (three) years at current levels !!!

    • Carbonari1848

      Fair point. I think the BBC is a particularly pernicious example though.

      I think the NHS does a much better job than the BBC. If I had to choose…

      • Tethys

        You are looking in the wrong direction.!!!
        A £36bn brexit divorce bill would fund the BBC for 9 years, or the entire NHS for 3 at current levels.
        WAKE UP.

  • digoridoo

    Excellently argued, concisely put, not in the least boring and please don’t shut up, should you have anything else to say.

    P.S. I assume you didn’t source your budget estimates from Diane Abbott… 🙂

  • English Advocate

    Yes, dismember the BBC. Most of the news and current affairs operation should be junked. Maybe retain a skeleton news reporting (not analysis) service and the Panorama programme. Pick some of the good bits elsewhere (wildlife, gardening, some drama, SCD etc?) according to own’s taste, and close down the rest.

    Whilst the BBC gets the most flak there is also the publicly-owned Channel 4 to consider. The original reason for launching Ch 4 – to be an alternative voice – is arguably redundant in the age of the internet.

    • I never gave it a thought about who ran Channel Four until your post. Run by the Department of culture media & sport, That would explain Channel Fours bias then.

      Seems the Political Class rather enjoy cashing in on private sector dividends when it suits.

      • Colkitto03

        Yes, well said. I only found this out very recently.

  • Phil R

    Infantry soldiers and officers cost around twice the amount quoted as there are a lot of other costs not considered in the basic pay for the least experienced soldier. I suspect that the other jobs quoted are similar.

    It still makes impressive reading if we double the pay and halve the numbers. It also avoids an easy pushback that would spoil a good argument if anyone was so inclined

    • John P Hughes

      Yes – the costs of a soldier is rather underestimated. The cost of keeping one soldier trained, equipped and paid plus service pension contribution is likely to be £50,000 per man annually.

      • A P Doityourself

        per “man”
        How much is the cost per woman?

      • Carbonari1848

        Worth every penny.
        Double it. I will pay the necessary extra tax.

    • Carbonari1848

      Fair comment. My general point is that this money could be better spent elsewhere. But I think we are agreed on that.

      BTW, when it comes to infantry soldiers and officers, I don’t think we could possibly pay them what they are worth. I was disgusted when I googled “infantry soldier staring salary UK”

      http://www.armedforces.co.uk/armypayscales.php

      FFS. Stick an extra penny on income tax then give it to these guys. I’ll pay it.

  • The_Mocking_Turtle

    In the interests of accuracy I dare to point out that people over 75 don’t have to buy a TV license but get one gratis. I doubt very much if a single penny of government support to the BBC, were it withdrawn, would be spent in any of the ways outlined in the article; most likely it would just be absorbed into the government’s never-ending deficit reduction strategy and vanish into the ether without doing anyone any good to anywhere. Although I support the idea of a gold standard public service broadcaster a BBC packed with cheap fill in game shows, chat shows, cooking and property programmes and outdated repeats, in order to stretch the budget enough to maintain a twenty-four hour service, is hard to argue for. The standard of BBC journalism is still very good in my opinion, with the political right moaning about left-wing bias and the left complaining about right-wing bias, which, to my way of thinking, indicates balance.

    • Dave S

      You want it you pay for it. That simple.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        The BBC has to be funded but not by the license fee. The corporation could be funded by central government out of revenue collected through taxation, getting rid of the license fee, detector vans, custodial sentences for owning a television without a license and other petty evils in one fell swoop. Everybody, poor and rich alike, would have access to televisual services and an expensive bureaucracy involved with licensing and policing would be abolished.

        This would be a much simpler and cheaper system than what we have now.

        People in this country have no idea how unimaginably awful political bias can be in the media. If anybody reading these words ever gets a chance to watch Fox News in America, a Murdoch channel. I have never seen anything like it. worse than it, or more dishonest as it on television anywhere on earth.

        Privatised commercial television can lead to such horrors.

        (Or unwatchable dreary blandness, which may be worse.)

        • Dave S

          It is just that simple. You want the BBC you pay for it via subscription. No taxes ever . I do not want the BBC and in a free society there is no reason to make me pay for it one way or another. It is not essential to the life of the nation and with every year this is becoming clearer. It is one of the last bastions of state supported irrelevancies. Time to get rid.

  • fred finger

    We are supposed to be protective towards our children; therefore the BBC should be scrapped as it is practicing indoctrination and think/mind moulding of the worst type.

    • A P Doityourself

      Whereas religious, right wing “indoctrination and think/mind moulding” is of the good type?

  • Andy

    Prefer some more ships for the Royal Navy.

    • A P Doityourself

      You mean like the aircraft carrier which has just been delivered, but the planes will be along sometime soon – it’s hoped?

    • Carbonari1848

      There are many, many better ways to spend this money.
      I think we are agreed on that.

    • The Duke of Umberland, England

      Aye!

      Brexit will need policing of sea lanes.

  • A P Doityourself

    The “Independent”, non-BBC, TV & Radio stations come to us all FREE, gratis and for nothing.
    I mean we can refuse to buy the products that are advertized on those channels and so stop any of our money being diverted to pay for the adverts on the channels which we get FREE, gratis and for nothing.
    Or, we could have the right to vote on whether our part of the price we pay should be used for adverts, or go to a charity, or even come back to us as a discount – as long as we promise not to watch channels which are financed by adverts.
    Seems fair to me.

  • Blazeaway

    The blind get a 50% reduction in TV tax/licence. The deaf also get 50% off.
    Yet the ‘deafblind’ must still pay 25%. Doesn’t add up

  • PierrePendre

    I would predict that whatever replaced the BBC would quickly come to resemble it. Don’t people complain just as much about Sky’s biases for which they pay a great deal more? Journalistic independence is a myth however rude John Humphreys may be to politicians. The media are part of the establishment which skews left-liberal everywhere in the Wes, not just in Britain. If the BBC were privatised, it would probably charge much more by subscription than the licence fee, as does said Sky, and people would pay up. Britain is a conservative country led by left-liberals who control politics, the judiciary, the police, education and the media and it is not surprising the two sides are in a state of permanent friction. The BBC isn’t the source of the problem, merely a symptom of it.

  • Tethys

    Comments above about the BBC are incorrect.
    Whilst the BBC would doubtless benefit from some reform, as a democracy, we need a constitutionally neutral state-funded broadcaster to ensure equal prominence, particularly in context of the political imbalance elsewhere in the UK media.
    Without that, we would descend into the American situation, but if it can be done for less money, then fine. Compared to, say, Netflix, BBC radio alone is worth my licence fee.

    Of course, bare statistics are easy but let’s get some context if attacking waste
    for instance:

    Mooted £36bn Brexit divorce bill: would run the NHS for THREE YEARS at current levels, or = 240,000 underpaid soldiers or 160,000 Teachers/Nurses for 10 years.
    Brexit Referendum cost: (£140m) = 9,000 soldiers or 6300 Teachers/Nurses for 1 year.
    Brexit legal case cost: £1.2m = 54 Teachers/Nurses or 80 soldiers for 1 year.
    2017 Student Nurse applications: down 20%
    NHS Nurse vacancies 2017: 24,000
    EU Nurse registrations 2017: down 96% from 1304 to 46.

    and let’s not forget

    Cost of academies programme £30m (120 Teachers for 1 year)
    Jeremy Hunt’s new bathroom £44,000 (2 Nurses)
    DWP abandoned IT project est. £90m (a lot of apprenticeships subsidised)

    • AKM

      “…as a democracy, we need a constitutionally neutral state-funded broadcaster to ensure equal prominence…”

      Ignoring the point that we don’t currently have that as the BBC is in no way neutral, I would still disagree that we actually need that in the first place. What we need is genuine “freedom of the press”, though note that this does NOT mean ‘freedom of the press-corps’ but rather the freedom of anyone to print (or these days broadcast via the internet) whatever opinions/books/articles/etc. that they want.

      • Tethys

        We have that.
        It gives us Alt-right, stormfont, the EDL and UKIP

    • Dave S

      We do not need it and the BBC knows we don’t. Look at the what they pay themselves- the apparatchniks that is. Ridiculous and indefensible. 500 k a year for one of them plus loads on 100k plus That is taking the mickey out of us.

      • Tethys

        As I listed, there is far greater priority waste going on.

        • John Thomas

          Oh? You regard the money that Brexit will require as a waste? So we might have to have slightly higher taxes to cover this? Give a bit of our money? People in this country, for many generations gave EVERYTHING they had – like their lives – to stop the country being swallowed up into some nasty Continental empire … and now all we are asked to give is a few quid – maybe rein in our indulgent lifestyles a bit … and we complain!!! It makes me so angey – people today are so selfish, weak, useless … Maybe we actually deserve a bit of Eurofascism – now there’s an argument for Remain. Maybe the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation should work this up into something …

          • Tethys

            Not sure where to begin really…I’ll ignore the evil empire silliness (my family fought in the wars too)
            Taking brexit alone, I suggest you re-read the figures – slowly.
            Even if the divorce bill is halved, YES, that’s still around 2 years nett contributions wasted for nothing (more than the entire NHS spend -remember the lies on the bus??) which I don’t recall anybody voting for.
            If you remember there was only a minority of the UK voting for brexit, and that was after a largely fraudulent campaign, – a poor mandate.
            Not one voter knew any final detail of the negotiations, the only sensible, pragmatic way forward now is for a further referendum based on all of the facts when available.
            Rational brexiteers cannot disagree with that on the basis of democracy.
            (For info, the divorce bill brexit tax you describe is in itself the realisation ‘project fear’ if you do the Maths).

    • John Thomas

      “Without that, we would descend into the American situation” – the US has a public broadcasting system as well. No doubt BBC radio, and other other BBC outlets, are absolutely great and spiffing – IF you’re far-Left – after all, people choose to buy a newspaper which roughly agrees with their own ideas, if it’s one they disagree with, they don’t buy (finance) it. As I’m not far-Left, I ignore BBC radio, and disbelieve their biased news. Even innocent-appearing quiz progs contain subtle digs. The weather report assumes the veracity of AGW.

      • Tethys

        You start to make a half-logical point then drop in the anti AGW rubbish.
        Do you also disagree with references to evolution, the moon landings, the Earth orbiting the Sun?

    • Harley Quin

      Nowhere in the BBCs remit does it say that this organisation, neutral or not, should act as a counter to political imbalance elsewhere in the media.

      The complaint about the BBC is that it is far from being neutral.

      The BBC brushes off complaints to about bias saying that it is ‘balanced and impartial’. This is a blatant lie. I use the word lie advisedly , a lie being a statement which those uttering it know to be untrue.

      And the BBC does know that what it claims about itself is untrue. On 14 th April last year it reported the results of a study by the Universities of Exeter and Essex which found that around 50% of the population hold what is smeared as ‘authoritarian populist ‘views. People who as it said itself in its report ‘favour rolling back the state and are negative about immigration, human rights and the EU.’

      Do you recall that proportion of opinion being reflected in the output of the BBC ? Because I don’t.

      Do you recall this kind of opinion being reflected in the BBC’s output in any way and in any meaningful proportion whatsoever – ever?
      No, me neither.

      Following this report, have you been able to detect any measurable change in the assumptions, output, whatever, in the BBC ? I certainly haven’t.

      Therefore I repeat: the BBC deliberately lies to the public about its bias and is a gross fraud on the licence- paying public.

      • Tethys

        In your vitriol you completely forget that the BBC is far, far more than just a News outlet.
        There is also a tendency to mistake bad jouralism for bias.
        I am a big critic of the ‘Today’ news programme myself but not for bias. Note how painfully neutral they were in hosting Nigel Lawson recently.
        Th radio schedules are full of high quality public service programmes which would not otherwise survive. Ie ‘The Life Scientific’
        There is enough airtime on serial killers and zombies already.
        And adverts.