BBC LICENCE FEE NON-PAYMENT ‘TO BE DECRIMINALISED’: Jason Groves (Daily Mail 29/8) reported that ‘Whitehall sources’ were suggesting that dodging payment of the BBC licence fee could be decriminalised from next month – with a loss of revenue of £1 billion over five years – after a poll commissioned by the newspaper had found growing public discontent with the broadcaster. He said the poll findings included that two thirds wanted the licence fee scrapped; only 18 per cent believed that non-payers should face a criminal record; 30 per cent said they watched no BBC television and 57 per cent said they never listened to BBC radio; more than 50 percent believed the corporation was too politically correct; 30 per cent believed that output was left-wing, compared with only 18 per cent who believed it leaned to the right (the rest don’t knows); and that 59 per cent believed Boris Johnson when he criticised the corporation for ‘cringing with embarrassment over our history’.
The Daily Mail (29/8) also claimed that the BBC’s taxpayer funded offices were sitting empty – causing huge negative consequences for nearby businesses – as ‘vast swathes’ of employees continued to work from home despite the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown. Danny Hussain reported that it was estimated that only 20 per cent of staff had returned to office working, and that output continued to rely on ‘cheap Zoom calls’. He added that the BBC press office had refused to give figures on home-working.
A Daily Mail editorial (29/8), though saying there was ‘much to admire’ in the BBC output, called for the decriminalisation of non-payment of the licence fee.
A Sun editorial (29/8) – after a poll for the newspaper found 57 per cent wanted the licence fee scrapped – argued that, under new director general Tim Davie, ‘either the BBC rapidly begins to better reflect Tory-voting, Brexit-backing Britain, or it continues serving it favoured niche of woke metropolitan liberal-lefties and self-destructs’.
BBC ‘PLAY DRUG DEALER TRACK’ WHILE BANNING RULE, BRITANNIA: Dan Keane (Sun 29/8) said that the BBC radio music station 1Extra was ‘plugging’ a former county lines drug dealer’s new drill rap – which axing the singing of Rule, Britannia for the last night or the proms. Mr Keane said that Potter Payper’s new track had been played on August 19, ‘just days before it announced the controversial BBC proms axing’. He noted that Conservative MP David Morris had said:
‘This is another belter from the blundering BBC. On the week we’ve had the Beeb try and stop Brits from singing Land of Hope and Glory, they are now telling the nation to listen to a county lines, drug-smuggling criminal instead, and just weeks after he got out of jail.’