Conservative Government attacks BBC; BBC responds defiantly

The BBC has responded to plans by the Conservative Government to reduce its ability to cater for all licence-payers, with a short statement of defiance. Good for Auntie!

At long last, Corporation executives have realised that the conciliatory position they have held for so long – adopting a broadly pro-Conservative stance in its news reporting, for example – simply won’t stop the Tories from trying to dismantle public service broadcasting in favour of the kind of trash served up by moguls like their friend Rupert Murdoch.

(Isn’t he back trying to buy the rest of Sky TV again, now that the Tories are free to be completely corrupt about it?)

The Tories were set to bring out a Green Paper filled with proposals to cut back the range of services offered by the BBC – for reasons that don’t seem to make any sense at all. For example, George Osborne said the BBC website should be scaled down because it is “crowding out” national newspapers.

This is clearly rubbish. Osborne represents the Party of the Marketplace. It is clear that, if the BBC is more popular than the right-wing newspapers owned by his friends, then it is those papers that should change, to make themselves more acceptable – not the BBC website. That’s the law of the market.

By seeking to hobble the BBC instead, Osborne merely highlights the corruption at the heart of Conservative Government.

Other plans include de-criminalising non-payment of the licence fee, to make it harder for the BBC to collect its funding. Only recently, Auntie agreed to take on the cost of providing free licences for people aged over 75, despite it being a political policy that has nothing to do with the Corporation. The cost is around £650 million – almost as much as that of all the BBC’s radio services combined (£653 million).

Here’s the BBC’s statement:


It looks like the BBC is planning a consultation. Will you take part?

If you’re wondering what’s really behind the Tory plan, let’s add the following, for clarification:


Are you getting a clear picture?

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  1. Steve Grant July 16, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    It’s dangerous to attack the BBC ……there are plenty of people who will defend it….more than you can imagine.

    • Melissa J Roberts July 17, 2015 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      I really hope you`re right on this one. It would be a tragedy if The Tories actually got their way and shackled The BBC.

      • John Gaines July 20, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

        Sri, but the facts are that the Leveson enquiry was an agreement between the Tory’s and their total domination of the Press, Leveson kept ALL proprietor’s from facing long prison terms, and in return obtained total domination of all the News Rags. What they want from the BBC is even more sickening than what they got from Murdoch et al; they want this: without having to pay this;

        “Currently, the Pentagon is using “ sock puppet ” (fake handles) on social media sites to purvey false information, harass users and enact psy-ops to influence Americans.

        A California corporation is working with the US Central Command (CENTCOM) in spreading propaganda overseas. They provide “online persona management service” that allows active duty military to set up an estimated 10 different false identities that are used worldwide.

        Each fake persona comes complete with a background history and safeties to prevent “sophisticated adversaries” from discovering the lie.

        CENTCOM spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: “The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable CENTCOM to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.”

        Sophisticated software allows military to engage in online conversations with coordinated answers, blog comments and instant messaging remarks that are solely meant to spread pro-American propaganda.

        US Army whistleblower, Lieutenant Col. Daniel Davis believes there is a definitive aspiration within the US government “to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will.”

        They intend to dominate our wills.

  2. jeffrey davies July 16, 2015 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    perhaps if they stuck up for that 99percent who aint rich and pays the licence fee then they would have had a army of supporters behind them but all they done was toe the tory party line now they finding out their masters dont care who they sell to the highest bidder jeff3

  3. niall. July 16, 2015 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    If you want the public to back you , start by not allowing the torys to dictate what they want you to show and be a lot more even on programs like question time . Also stop showing programs like Benefits street as it’s so biased …!!! Stand up to the government or lose the support of the public forever !!!!!!!.

    • Mike Sivier July 16, 2015 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      Benefit Street is on Channel 4.

      • The Infamous Culex July 17, 2015 at 4:09 am - Reply

        Saints and Scroungers is on BBC.

  4. Pete Bumfheart July 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    My feeling is it has been a long time since I could afford a TV license and no one should have the right to compel me to buy something I cannot afford. Actually they do not yet but a lot of lost funding is through the likes of me refusing to watch live TV. (catch up only) Plainly they hope to close that loophole and charge every household regardless. The only alternative is to fund 100% through taxation. Well the BBC must adapt and change.

    • Mike Sivier July 16, 2015 at 11:53 pm - Reply

      There was a plan to charge people if they wanted to watch iPlayer. I mentioned it a while ago, and was told that this would not mean licence-payers would end up paying twice, because they would receive a special code that would allow them to continue watching for free.

    • sasson1 July 17, 2015 at 7:34 am - Reply

      I similarly hope that they don’t go for the household levy. It will make criminals of a lot of people. If you’re claiming JSA it’s already not covering the basics. If you’re disabled, what happens when you’re in a ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’ period where you have no income at all? If you haven’t the money what do you do?

      It seems that along with council tax, it’s another bill you’ll be jailed for; jailed specifically because you’re poor. Poverty is becoming a crime.

  5. Ian July 16, 2015 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    If that entitled phoney-capitalist charlatans like Murdoch really believed in dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest capitalism of honest, best man wins competition then he wouldn’t have went crying to government to get the BBC’s website hamstrung. He would have remved the paywall from his newspaper’s websites, sucked it up like a man and got on with trying to be better than the BBC in open competition. He might also have considered not putting complete s**te on his Sky channels and broadcast a few more things that are worth watching instead of tripe like America’s Next Top Model and the remade Hawaii Five-0.

    But no, he has to drag everything down to his own very low level.

    Him and his ilk no more believe in straight market competition than I believe in creationism. i.e. not at all.

    When will someone take these arrogant, cheating gets down a peg?

  6. Neilth July 16, 2015 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    The Tories have a problem distinguishing between the BBC and the Government Propaganda Corporation. The Beeb is criticised by all sides for being biased in favour of the others. To me this means they’ve probably got it about right generally.
    Part of their duty is to draw our attention to what is going on and to hold those with power to account.
    They make a lot of money for the country out of their most popular shows selling The Voice, Strictly not to mention their world beating dramas eg Dr Who, Sherlock to many countries around the world.
    The Tories have already castrated the World Service, a station that has always been a means for people in countries with oppressive regimes to find out what is going on.
    We, from all sections of the community must defend the BBC or they’ll starve it then privatise it a la Chomsky’s observation.

    • Frann Leach July 17, 2015 at 12:16 am - Reply

      “Part of their duty is to draw our attention to what is going on and to hold those with power to account” but unfortunately they haven’t been doing this, merely recycling whatever the right wing press is shouting about – which is rarely, if ever, the important stuff

  7. Richard Otto July 16, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    I briefly worked for the BBC when the popular Greg Dyke was in charge during a Labour govt. I believe that when the Tories came in, they wanted a stick with which to beat the BBC and it came with Jimmy Savile. Of course, no such ‘thing would happen within the Tory Party, would it, eh viewers? Dyke was sacrificed despite many staff begging him to stay and a regime, cowed by the govt. and Murdoch was put in his place. Now the staff of the BBC are waking up, they need us to help them liberate the public service they once worked for.

  8. hayfords July 16, 2015 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    The BBC is a public service broadcaster. It has exceeded its remit by a long way. It has moved into areas of programming such as The Voice which is a pursuit of ratings. Ratings are not much use to the BBC as it has no advertisers and such programs do not even bring in revenue. Its spread has become to wide.

    It matters little whether it likes it or not, but it will contract and change its model. There is already huge resistance to the licence fee and as alternate viewing platforms increase the fee will be unsustainable. The BBC seems to have expanded in parallel to commercial TV for no good reason. The BBC is an excellent broadcaster but has become too big. It would benefit from chopping it down to a third of its current size.

    • Mike Sivier July 16, 2015 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Remind me, which BBC executive explained that The Voice was commissioned in order to boost ratings?
      This quote from BBC1 controller Danny Cohen suggests otherwise: “I thought it was really good. Every so often the BBC occasionally buys something from abroad that is peerlessly good, like The Apprentice. We adapted that for Britain with Alan Sugar and made the British version the best in the world. We hope The Voice will do similarly. We shouldn’t shut the door on anything.”

      I heard on the news today that a recent Ipsos MORI poll showed support for the licence fee at 48% – up from 31% in 2004 – and a poll of polls of the 11 major surveys published on the licence fee over the last two years shows that support for the licence fee is higher than other potential means of funding.

      Research produced last week by Starcom MediaVest group found that 85% of senior level executives from the commercial departments of UK media owners feel that the BBC should remain as it is, with 75% saying they would feel more confident about their business if it did.

      So why should it change? There ISN’T huge resistance to the licence fee and there IS huge enthusiasm for BBC entertainment programmes.

      This is a silly assassination bid in order to kill public service broadcasting and pump vapid commercial pap into our eyes and ears. Give me the BBC – as it is, apart from the news department which needs to re-learn the meaning of impartial reporting – any day.

  9. Pete B July 16, 2015 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    The BBC have stupidly supported this right winged Tory government.The LibDems did likewise.That is why they are down to single figures in the HOC.

    I see no reason to support a News outlet, private or public, that goes along with the Propaganda purported by this Evil Government.

    Perhaps I am naive,but as far as I am concerned,I would be happy not to pay the Hundred and Forty odd quid.T.V.licence fee.I rarely watch the beeb anyway.I am paying for nothing of benefit to me.

    • Kenneth Billis July 17, 2015 at 3:36 am - Reply

      Pete, are you sure you don’t watch the beeb much?

    • David robinson July 17, 2015 at 8:44 am - Reply

      The T.V. licence allows you to operate a television receiver in your house and nothing to do with which programes you watch.

      • wildswimmerpete July 20, 2015 at 7:44 am - Reply

        @David robinson
        You do NOT need a TV Licence to operate a TV receiver. You only need a licence if you watch TV broadcasts as they are transmitted. Operating (your word) a TV for other purposes (watching catch-up TV, watching DVDs or tapes, gaming) does not require a licence, nor do you have to notify TV Licensing.

  10. Chris Bergin July 16, 2015 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I understood that the first duty of BBC was inform ,educate and entertain. Entertain the least important and as for inform and educate I think they have been quietly sidelined.
    Perhaps it is time to go back to their Charter responsibilities!

  11. Frann Leach July 16, 2015 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    The problem with the BBC is that they’ve alienated a wide swathe on the Left in favour of buttering up the Tories. Now the Tories aren’t playing ball, where do they go from here?

  12. hayfords July 16, 2015 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    The BBC can’t win regarding their political stance. Several posters above suggest support for the Conservatives. The Conservatives view the BBC as having a strong left bias. Labour complain of support for the Conservatives. I notice that it is mentioned above that support for the licence is 48% up from 31%. What about the rest; 52% down from 69%, who do not support it? The balance may well shift back the other way.

    • Mike Sivier July 16, 2015 at 11:57 pm - Reply

      The rest would be divided between non-support and the ‘don’t knows’ – the 48 per cent figure was the majority.
      Are you now going to say that it doesn’t count because it isn’t above 50 per cent (in line with current Tory policy on union ballots but hypocritical considering the current Conservative Government won the support of only 24 per cent of the electorate)?

  13. Kenneth Billis July 17, 2015 at 3:31 am - Reply

    Did anyone see Chris Patten being interviewed by Huw Edwards on BBC News last night? I can’t quite remember exactly the question that Edwards put to Patten but it was something like: “What would you say to anyone who says we don’t need the BBC”. Patten replied with no pause at all: “Watch FOX for a week”.

    • Ian July 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      24/7 NCIS repeats? No thanks.

  14. The Infamous Culex July 17, 2015 at 4:19 am - Reply

    If the Tories want to privatise something else, why don’t they privatise the Army, Navy or Air Force? Couldn’t they be run so much more efficiently in the private sector?

    • Ian July 17, 2015 at 3:18 pm - Reply

      Imagine? Generals replaced with CEOs. Waffling on about ‘delivering exploding dismemberment solutions’?

    • HomerJS July 17, 2015 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      Oy! Don’t give them any ideas!

  15. john kettle July 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    There was a bill before parliament prior to the last election to privatise the BBC. This was withdrawn, presumably on the promise of favourable coverage for the Tories, and the BBC duly delivered on this.
    Now the election is won the gloves are off again, and I hope that now the BBC will not filter the news as they have in the recent past. The Health and social care act should have been headline news………but wasn’t, along with Grant Shapps and many more stories that were deliberately avoided in the hope of the BBC saving their skin. Bacon butties was somehow deemed more newsworthy than all of them.
    Never trust a Tory.

  16. crazytrucker1951 July 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Personally I don’t watch much television as such at all these days as the adverts annoy me so much, on all channels including the Beeb, so I watch Netflix or the Amazon Prime thing, and DVD’s/BluRay things.
    However, I’m finding Camoron’s childish petulance becoming a little overbearing, no, not a little, very, very overbearing and quite vindictive, for instance he hates the elderly, the sick and the disabled so he canes them, he hates Foxes so he tries to exterminate them. He hates single parents and children so he canes them, in fact I don’t think he likes the working class at all, he hates “Socialism” and his way of bankrupting the Labour Party is to hogtie the Unions, that Witch Thatcher obviously hadn’t done the job to Camoron’s liking, he hates being poor as he says he deserves the 10 grand payrise he’s awarding himself, he hates the BBC because they always say nasty things about him so he used the threatening Bully Boy tactics until they toed the line, the Tory line that is and look where it has got them?
    I believe by having a go at a British institution may be a step too far, mind Whittingdale had a good teacher in nastiness he was the Witch Thatcher’s bag carrier for some years and used to be my MP, another Tub Of Lard who has never voted any other way than the way he’s told to, how do they sleep at nights?
    Just another step closer to a revolution that I hope comes soon. He and his lukewarm and not so lukewarm Nazis may get more than they bargained for.

  17. hugosmum70 July 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    the whole argument on this issue is actually laughable to me. mainly because i pay my licence fee yet very rarely watch fact i think its something like 5 Sunday evenings 9-10pm September time.(Downton Abbey) and February. possibly 5-6 episodes. similar length of time each one of Mr in one year i watch TV for (no catch up etc) for 10-11 hours at a cost of £145.50 per year.(£14.50 an hour) i being fleeced? i have a PC and laptop. neither have TV cards in them DVD player(not recorder) plus a mobile phone not capable of going on the net so not capable of watching anything on can someone tell me what am i paying for? there’s nothing now that interests me on TV other than the aforementioned 2 programmes..i know that is my choice but 1.i don’t see why i should sit there with TV on watching what i find inanely stupid like Top Gear, Big brother etc.because i am being made to pay all that money for the 10 hours a year i DO enjoy watching it.)2. cant wait for the next 12-18months to pass(in a way) when ill get it free.providing they’ve not stopped it by then? anything can happen lets face it with this lot in power

    • Kenneth Billis July 17, 2015 at 11:26 pm - Reply

      I did a calculation something like that while I was watching Springwatch a few weeks back. This is broadcast for an hour 4 nights a week for 3 weeks and I think there are at least two half-hour editions of Springwatch Unsprung each week making at least 13 hours in total. The same applies to Autumnwatch giving in total 26 hours of high quality programming. That comes to £5.60 an hour. Factor in the additional content on their website and a few more programmes not necessarily educational but entertainment like comedy and plays and informative like the news, to me the cost per hour of BBC viewing actually starts to become real value for money. And I’ve still not mentioned Radio.

    • David robinson July 18, 2015 at 8:14 am - Reply

      Hugosmum70, as I stated in my previous post, the T.V. licence allows you to operate a television receiver in your house, regardless of what you watch, or how long you watch.

      • wildswimmerpete July 20, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

        @David robinson
        …… I stated in my previous to you, you only need a TV Licence to watch TV programmes as they are transmitted. You can watch whatever you want via catch-up TV without a licence. It’s not “cheating” or a “loophole” but as is stated in the 2003 Communications Act. hugosmum70 ditch the TV Licence and use the £145 saved for fast broadband which will let you watch catch-up TV to your heart’s desire.

      • hugosmum70 July 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm - Reply

        i think i might well do that,could do with the extra cash no 2 ways about it and .regardless of why we have to pay for a licence, i resent that you cant have a computer (even if no TV) or mobile, if its capable of receiving TV as it happens. far as i know my computer has no TV card in it. and my mobile is basic and cant use it to get on the net even if i wanted to.i also resent not getting programmes i can watch. BBC went out of my daily watching habit years ago. found their programmes boring and depressing.only watched ITV alone for years.and as i say not that much. im sorry but i really do not see why we should have to pay so much for such terrible programmes.i paid for the receiving equipment i have here. not TV licensing. they get money for nothing when it comes to so many people not even bothering much with their TV. its a focal point in their rooms.thats all.

    • Daniel July 20, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

      It may seem expensive if you consider it on a per-programme basis and watch just select shows, but recall that the BBC is trying to appeal to all demographics at once, but have always been restricted on the number of channels it is allowed to run (to prevent “crowding out”, a favoured term of advocates of “Public bad, Private good” which all sensible people know is complete cr*p!).

      Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric that “the BBC has overstepped it’s remit” or “BBC Bias”, this review has been on the cards since the Tories got back in, they’re desperate to privatise everything except the military (I think/hope!) and the executive (HoL/HoC), since all those public services could be generating profits for private companies, such as healthcare, education, social care and media.

      Think about it, in the last 5 years, have you seen many positive stories in the news about hospitals/NHS, state schools or the BBC (other than on the BBC ofc)?

      Remember – demonise, defund, demotivate, privatise. That’s the plan!

      • hugosmum70 July 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm - Reply

        i think ,after 72yrs, 60 of those having had or been able to watch a TV at my parents, and later after my marriage, i would know what the BBc does etc. it still does not and never has appealed to me. they could do same as itv and put adverts on to get money in. its not like they put extravagant shows on these days like they used to when i was young. is it?

  18. Kenneth Billis July 17, 2015 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    The only reason I ask is that if you operate a TV receiver you would have to be extremely selective to avoid watching BBC programmes. In fact I suspect that numerous channels on Sky, Freeview and Freesat would cease to exist without BBC programmes. Sky without the BBC would probably lose very large numbers of subscribers.

    • wildswimmerpete July 20, 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      @Kenneth Billis
      Unfortunately you need a TV Licence to watch ANY TV programme that is transmitted over the air or via satellite, to the general public. You don’t need a licence to watch catch-up TV wherever it originates. Given that most domestic TV programmes end up on catch-up, depending your viewing tastes that’ll save you £145 which could be put to better use. I don’t watch TV at all, I don’t have a TV nor licence. However I would be prepared to pay £10 for a radio licence – when the radio licence was abolished in 1971 it cost £1 so I’d say that £10 today would cover it. For TV, the BBC should supply one TV channel free-to-air under its PSB remit, for all the others – encrypt and subscribe.

      • Kenneth Billis July 21, 2015 at 2:27 am - Reply


        Don’t forget that with the BBC you are spared the 15-20 minutes that advertising takes out of every hour of programming from every other broadcaster. That, to me, justifies every BBC channel on TV or radio and the licence fee.

        “… Given that most domestic TV programmes end up on catch-up, depending your viewing tastes that’ll save you £145…”

        That says to me: “I’ll watch it but I’ll let others pay for it”

    • wildswimmerpete July 21, 2015 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      @Kenneth Billis
      Catch-up TV is “secondhand” – the content has already been aired, so “those who pay for it” have already enjoyed it. All the BBC need to do is put iPlayer behind a paywall unless the prospective user can enter a licence number, while of course content on the commercial channels is paid for by sponsors and advertising. Radio is a different matter but I suspect you overlooked my remark about me being willing to pay a tenner for a radio licence – as we did when I was a youngster. I WILL NOT stand harassment by Capita TV Licensing on the ground that I don’t have a TV Licence because in their eyes nobody can live without the televisual human ordure that passes for contemporary “entertainment”.

      • hugosmum70 July 21, 2015 at 1:57 pm - Reply

        i don’t like adverts whether on TV, billboards, newspapers or magazines or even online.i simply never watch or look at them, but with TV programmes i use that time to make a hot drink or sandwich. get a cold drink or go to the loo. so that time is far from wasted by me.i am never led by adverts. i buy what i want to buy. nothing else unless i see it on the shelves/freezers etc in supermarkets and its new and i fancy it. then i might buy it. but not because an advert tells me i should.

  19. crazytrucker1951 July 18, 2015 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    The poor old BBC simply can’t win, first Camoron’s Bully Boy tactics threaten the BBC when they are being nasty to him and when they are nice to him he still threatens them.
    I’m all for seeing less of the likes of Clarkson and that Ginger Twerp Evans, but not at the cost of the decent programming they do put out like The Archers, Just A Minute, Today, World At One etc.
    I believe that Camoron and his Henchman the former Witch Thatcher’s Bag Carrier Whittingdale may have stormed up a Hornet’s nest by outright demolition of the BBC for it has many supporters including influential Tory types. It seems though that Aunty is staging a defence at least after the errors of their ways of cowtowing to the Tory t*****s!

    • wildswimmerpete July 20, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      ……the programmes you describe are radio programmes for which if necessary I would pay £10 for radio licence. However I don’t watch TV and resent how I had to send a “cease and desist” order to TV Licensing (aka Capita Business Services, an outfit that I hold to be dishonest and unscrupulous) to put an end to their monthly threat-o-grams and their goons banging on my front door because I’m committing in their eyes the crime of not watching the moron box.

  20. hugosmum70 July 23, 2015 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Kenneth Billis

    July 17, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    The only reason I ask is that if you operate a TV receiver you would have to be extremely selective to avoid watching BBC programmes.

    no. you just have to have will power or a dislike of all their other programmes…. to avoid BBC programmes you just do not press the button for that channel or any of their other channels. its simple. surely we all have our own minds and opinions on what our likes and dislikes are?

    • Kenneth Billis July 23, 2015 at 11:32 pm - Reply

      What I was really getting at there hugosmum, is that there are so many BBC programmes being broadcast on numerous non-BBC channels that they are hard to dodge. I’m sure some channels on the Sky platform would probably be unviable without BBC programmes.

      • hugosmum70 July 25, 2015 at 11:43 pm - Reply

        just to be awkward but…….. i don’t have sky (nor would i ,its expensive i am told).though virgin isn’t exactly cheap either. but thats the one i use. but im on M package// i.e. i don’t pay for my channels as i only get the basic ones.and as long as ITV is in there thats how it will remain.

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