BBC LICENCE EVASION ‘TO BE DECRIMINALISED’: Guido Fawkes (27/8) noted that private members bills from MPs Peter Bone and Christoper Chope aiming to decriminalise non-payment of the BBC licence fee were due to be considered by parliament in the autumn. The article said that this would put the BBC on the same footing as any other creditor in the courts, and opined that it was likely to happen. It added:
‘. . . if the BBC has any sense they will try and get ahead of the game and stop their own BBC journalists tweeting opinions about politics and giving their partisan lack of impartiality public amplification on social media. They could of course actually enforce the guidance that already exists and perhaps not renew the contracts of the persistent rule breakers pour encourager les autres. All these impartiality concerns would of course largely disappear if the second Bill were passed, the BBC was privatised, and we were no longer forced to pay for it. . .’
GRADE LASHES ‘IDIOTIC’ DECISION TO CENSOR PROMS: Michael Grade, a former chairman of the BBC, had lashed out at the BBC’s ‘idiotic decision to censor the last night of the proms on September 12, and had branded their journalists as being ‘out of touch on Brexit and Boris’ (Sun 26/8). Harry Cole reported that, during an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Lord Grade had also said the corporation was ‘too trapped in the Westminster bubble’, and had called everything wrong from the EU referendum to the 2019 general election. Mr Cole noted that BBC management had been criticised for their ‘woke’ decision to ban the singing of Rule, Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory from the last night of the proms programme. He said that Lord Grade, who had accused the BBC of being out of touch with the rest of the country, had asserted that BBC bosses should have a long hard look and come up with a role for the corporation . . . ‘which hasn’t changed in 100 years’. The full transcript of the interview is available here.
* Douglas Murray (£ Telegraph 26/8), discussing the proms row under a headline which suggested the BBC had a death wish, argued that ‘only cringing corporations like the BBC’ would fail to understand the spirit in which patriotic songs such as Rule, Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory were sung or the deep, decent wells on which they drew.
FORMER BBC NEWS CHIEF SLAMS ‘LACK OF DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT’: Roger Mosey, a former head of BBC television news, had claimed the corporation was being run by ‘white liberals’ and accused them of not doing enough to reflect ‘the diversity of thought’ found across the whole of Brexit Britain (Daily Mail 27/8). Eleanor Sharples reported that Mr Mosey – speaking to the Edinburgh Television Festival – had pointed out that every powerful BBC executive was still based in London, and had asserted:
‘I feel passionately, there should be more people from ethnic minority backgrounds in newsrooms, making decisions, and diversity is something the industry has to commit itself to.
‘The only thing I’d add really is I think diversity is very broad though. In a sense, it’s also about diversity of thought. It’s about Left and Right, it’s about liberal and conservative. And if you think about the missing voices last year … they also included people in the red wall, people who voted for Brexit, people who were from working class areas in the north of England … and pretty much every major decision in television is still taken in London.
‘And part of that diversity is getting the sense of a whole UK with this amazing canopy of people in it and getting newsrooms to be more representative of everybody in the UK, rather than what it used to be really which was white liberals in London.’
Ms Sharples also reported that Mr Mosey , now the master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, had said that the BBC’s satire programme W1A 1AA, which ‘sent up the corporation’s politically correct bureaucracy’, reflected a ‘lot of truth’.
BBC DENIES BLACK ‘STEREOTYPING’ ACCUSATION : James Gant (Daily Mail 27/8) said that Jamaican foreign minister Kamina Johnson-Smith had branded in a tweet a sketch on the BBC Three programme Famalam as ‘outrageous and offensive’ because it had shown Caribbean men leering at women while high on cannabis and ‘played on the stereotype that black men are well-endowed’. Mr Gant said that Nathaniel Peat, the Jamaican Diaspora Counsel rep for South UK, had also expressed concerns about how ‘offensive’ the content of the show was. Mr Gant said the Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC Three, had defended the programme as ‘not malicious’, and the BBC press office had said the programme had an ‘established brand of humour in line with audience expectations and was is well known for confronting issues’.