Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Fighting Back : Petitions to Sign

Before I begin I must say I love the BBC and what it stands for. Or should I say stood for? Because we have to face the fact that, fearful of losing its charter and aware that their future is in the hands of unashamed and openly anti-BBC Tory John Whittingdale, its reportage of news and current affairs is in a terribly biased state.




Time and time again we see Labour and Jeremy Corbyn belittled and derided, whilst real issues that clearly matter to a wide number of people in society are being routinely ignored and unreported. Mass protests, demos and marches against the government and their austerity measures are consistently kept off the BBC's news agenda - they're pretending that our justified anger at Tory rule simply does not exist by not giving it airtime - whilst anything remotely embarrassing or negative regarding David Cameron or his party is regularly kicked down the running order. And don't even start me on the bias they showed during the Scottish referendum.

This petition calls for the resignation of the BBC's Head of News, James Harding for clear bias. Harding is a former editor of The Times, which as you all know is owned by Rupert Murdoch, an anti-BBC media mogul who does not enjoy transparent and unbiased journalism. Harding is also a close personal friend of George Osborne - such a relationship and such previous credentials make his position at the BBC completely untenable.

This petition calls for the resignation of Question Time chair David Dimbleby. For some time now Dimbleby seems to bring his own/or the BBC's natural bias to the proceedings of the long running political debate programme whilst he coasts on his reputation as an elder statesmen of current affairs broadcasting. He is either ineffectual as a chair or he's biased. He repeatedly interrupts and cajoles participants, exerts little authority when debates veer wildly off course (unless its veering towards a right-wing angle) and he seems to give more airtime to statement from government representatives on the panel than anyone else. In my view it's time for a younger, more impartial host - maybe even a woman. Kirsty Wark perhaps?

It's not just news and current affairs either. Satirical comedy programmes such as Have I Got News For You on the whole seem to have lost their nerve for attacking the government, preferring instead easier targets like UKIP or deliver the same kind of unfair and manufactured criticism of Jeremy Corbyn that Murdoch's tabloid press indulges in. Contemporary drama serials never hold any political messages any more either - the last remotely political drama I saw on the BBC was The Village whose passionate evocation of left wing ideals was safely cushioned by the fact that it was set in the past and therefor historically accurate to show; they seemed to miss the parallels that could easily be drawn with the situation today. Meanwhile ongoing serial drama like Casualty which once had such a determined anti-Tory angle based on their mishandling of the NHS, is now content to depict the life of doctors and nurses in a ridiculous unreal manner in which budgetary restraints never significantly appear, and if they do it is the mysterious and enigmatic 'the system' that is now blamed, rather than the Tories.

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