BBC ‘INTENT ON COMMITTING SUICIDE?’: In an opinion feature, Clare Foges (Times £ 13/7) stating that she was a lover of the BBC as a national ‘unifier’, argued that the Corporation seemed almost intent on committing suicide because it was alienating its core audiences through its excessive focus on ‘wokedom’ issues such as cultural diversity. Ms Foges instanced a number of factors which illustrated the BBC’s concern about such issues, including the decision to spend a further £100m on cultural diversity, even though black faces on screen were already beyond the proportion in the population as a whole; an instruction to staff that they should now add a he/she, they/them pronoun to their email signatures to make their transgender colleagues feel more welcome; the announcement that free licences would be withdrawn for the over-75s; and a podcast which advised white women that if they wanted to avoid being knows as ‘Karens’, they ‘should read some books’, ‘get out of the way’ and ‘stop being so loud’. She asserted:
‘In short, the BBC is already very diverse, and yet its obsession with diversity persists. While endlessly trying to please the woke lobby, the high-ups in the BBC are alienating and irritating the rest of us. And now they are to remove the licence fee from millions of over-75s who do not receive pension credit. Was there really no other way?’.
Ms Foges argued that a BBC rescue plan would include salary reductions with its highly paid talent and a concentration on what it did best, ‘news, quality drama, music, the arts. It would have as its lodestar the values of small ‘c’ conservative England, not the values of of protest movements such as Black Lives Matter (who stated aims include abolishing the police and dismantling capitalism)’. She added that the aim should be to serve the over 55s who were the most loyal audience for the BBC and not teenagers who were off watching TikTok videos.
DEFUND THE BBC CAMPAIGN ‘RAMPS UP PRESSURE’: The Guido Fawkes website reported (13/7) that the campaign group Defund the BBC had launched an appeal for £100,000 via the Go Fund Me crowdfunding site. The article said that the goal was to keep pressure up on the government as reports suggested that decriminalisation of non-payment of the fee was ‘on the agenda’. It also observed that Defund the BBC was now the largest group ‘pushing to end the BBC’s stranglehold over UK media’.