As the BBC marks its centenary, how is ‘Auntie’? Not the benign figure the Corporation likes to portray, but perhaps more like Peter Sellers’s chilling comic creation Auntie Rotter?
As Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries appeared to be preparing the old girl for genuine surgery in the Charter Mid-term Review. But as the Tory party and our democracy itself spectacularly implodes, don’t count on it. Auntie is too useful to our new totalitarian ruling class as a vehicle for the liberal-left propaganda it disseminates on a gargantuan scale.
True to form, the Corporation commissioned its own self-congratulatory centenary ‘official’ history in 2016 and the author, a former BBC producer and don at Sussex University, duly obliged with a volume which trashes British history and values and risibly claims with Marxist zeal that from its inception the BBC has championed the British working class against the forces of the right. In that projection, those who dare criticise the BBC are enemies of the people.
The reality is that BBC audiences were high only when the Corporation was a state monopoly funded by a compulsory licence fee. As soon as competition entered the frame, people looked elsewhere for their entertainment. BBC services are now declining precipitously in the ever-fragmenting media environment, trust in the BBC’s journalism is in freefall, and, according to Reuters Institute research, it has become the least trusted public service broadcaster in the world.
A key to the mentality and current drive of the BBC can be found the latest annual report (2021/2). There are pages and pages devoted to self-righteous tosh on ‘environmental sustainability’ (and commitment to Net Zero agenda) and gender and racial diversity. But in terms of how popular (or rather unpopular) BBC programmes are, the report waffles only about audience ‘reach’. To find out how bad BBC audience figures actually are, you have to scour the internet. An example is BBC2 Newsnight, the flagship news and current affairs programme, which had more than 1million viewers in around 2000, but is now down to fewer than 300,000.
The current director-general, Tim Davie, claims he is sorting out impartiality but his plans for doing so are designed only to keep the BBC as its own judge and jury in virtually everything it does, with the fig-leaf Ofcom to conduct appeals against the BBC’s own industrial-scale rejection of millions of complaints. A measure of his feebleness is that, on his appointment, Davie promised a crackdown on presenters who posted politically biased tweets. But it has taken two years, till last week, for BBC football presenter Gary Lineker to be held to any form of account for the deluge of left-wing propaganda he spews out – and then for only one tweet. His punishment? A docking of his obscene £1.35million-a-year contract? No, Mr Davie thinks he is a ‘brilliant presenter’ and instead has had a ‘good chat with him’. He believes Lineker now understands impartiality. That’s okay then.
With the benefit of hindsight, the BBC became unashamedly socialist in support of the Attlee government in 1945, and has never deviated from that campaigning zeal. Margaret Thatcher was the only PM who genuinely tried to reform the bloated state propaganda organisation but even she did not have the power to dismantle it.
The BBC erupted with fury after the Brexit referendum confirmed that the British people did not share its values, as this News-watch report confirms. But perhaps the defining characteristic of the BBC in its centenary year is its climate alarmism and its chilling insistence that the ‘science is settled’. Shamefully, the Corporation accepted this was the case at an internal meeting in 2005. Thereafter, instead of objective reporting, it has peddled climate activism. There is a daily deluge of programme and news features and stories. Turn to the climate pages of the BBC website and you discover the real agenda – a total fanaticism about the climate emergency, a burning desire to force British people to change their evil carbon-generating ways and a complete adherence to Net Zero fanaticism.
Exhibit A is the BBC Media Action site – the so-called ‘charity’ arm of the Corporation which used to be the World Service Trust. Its purpose now is to promote the UN and IMF world government agenda. In this domain – funded by huge grants from Bill Gates and the EU, and in partnership with a host of woke corporations including Twitter and Facebook, – it now actually has training courses for journalists to learn how to become climate change propagandists.
In the Media Action worldview, the only cause for changing weather is ‘climate change’. Basic geography has been abandoned for a one-dimensional fear agenda. Flash floods in Africa are not the result of the sun’s heat and volatile tropical atmospheric forces but rather burning too much fossil fuel.
George Orwell’s statue has dominated the entry to the £1billion BBC HQ in Portland Place since 2017. Its presence is deeply ironic. BBC staffers are reminded every day of the man who showed with terrifying accuracy in Animal Farm and 1984 what totalitarianism is like. Yet every day, they are pushing on a massive scale the propaganda Orwell expressed. Current political developments suggest that nothing will now stop them.