Job done: BBC got the Tories re-elected and now Tory pollster is softening us up for privatisation

“Blatantly Backing Conservatives”: but is the BBC irredeemable or could it be restored to its role as the greatest impartial news provider in the world – if the Tories don’t privatise it first?

Did you enjoy a lot of TV over Christmas? Did Worzel Gummidge tickle you? Or was Dracula more to your taste? How about that classic-with-a-new-face, Doctor Who?

BBC output – and not just drama – appears to have won the Christmas ratings war, but the corporation itself is in danger of being destroyed by politicians.

Boris Johnson said in the run-up to the general election that he thought the BBC in its current format – as a public service broadcaster supported by a licence fee paid by all television users – has had its day.

This Writer finds that a strange way to repay the organisation that has done more to re-elect the Conservatives than any other. Around 70 per cent of the UK gets its news from the BBC and a high proportion of those people let its newscasters tell them what to think.

The BBC’s election coverage was hugely controversial; there is a large body of opinion that the Corporation went far too easy on Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, despite policy positions that are, frankly, completely whacko.

In contrast, BBC presenters were almost feral in their reaction to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, whose policies – should they ever be discussed – were actually far more in tune with the thoughts of the nation.

There are many possible reasons for this behaviour by a broadcaster that should have been impartial – especially considering the fact that it relies on our money for its existence.

But I don’t think that’s why YouGov has just released a poll saying most people want to scrap the licence fee.

YouGov is the Tory polling organisation. It was set up by Nadhim Zahawi and another prominent Tory, and has always existed in the shadow of its founders’ political ambitions.

So, following up on Mr Johnson’s comments, it seems likely to This Writer that YouGov has polled the people most likely to support the end of the licence fee, in order to produce these results.

Remember: polls are published in order to tell you what to think, not to tell you what other people think.

The Tory plan would be to turn the BBC into a subscription-only or advertising-funded service, making it far less capable of providing the services it currently offers.

Then private, billionaire-owned companies could rush in to fill the gap – especially in news programming – with pro-Tory propaganda.

And the BBC itself could be taken over by privateers, leaving the logo only to mislead us into thinking that it’s the same as it ever was.

You know – like the Tories are doing with the NHS.

Labour offered reform of the BBC to eliminate political interference but you (or your fellow voters) didn’t want that.

If you lose the best broadcaster in the world because of the election result, I hope you know where to place the blame.

Source: Half of Britons want the BBC licence fee scrapped, new poll reveals | Daily Mail Online

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No Comments

  1. kateuk January 4, 2020 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    No for the reasons you state, we shouldn’t privatise the BBC. It needs reforming (get rid of the Tories at the top of the news department for a start).not privatising.

  2. Growing Flame January 4, 2020 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    I’m sure a lot of people DO want the Licence fee abolished. But that isn’t the same as wanting the BBC to be privatised.

    I’m sure a lot of people wanted British Rail improved when it was publicly owned. But we ended up with privatisation anyway.

    It’s how the Tories work.They run something into the ground, then announce they will “save” it. By “bringing in private money and expertise!” We know how it works from then on.

    My only reaction, though, is to say “To hell with the BBC. After it’s behaviour in the General Election, must we fight to save it? We would be in the same boat as before with the railways or water or gas. Looking like we are defending a failing, underfunded service that constantly disappoints.

    Not a good look.

    • Mike Sivier January 5, 2020 at 3:18 am - Reply

      That isn’t true, though.

      In most respects, the BBC is thriving. The one area it fails us is politics.

      That’s no reason to kill it. It should be rehabilitated to more adequately report current affairs.

  3. jezzabeauc January 5, 2020 at 2:55 am - Reply

    I am against the TV license. It should be scrapped. The BBC should rely on advertising revenue and stop paying people such obscenely high wages. Their programming is crap at the best of times. I am a working class Labour supporter. There are far more people against TV licensing than you think. From different political parties and different income brackets.

    • DMcl January 5, 2020 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      Agree with you. Stopped paying for a license about 10 years ago, the output was so poor, the news in particular was abject and very partisan. I didn’t break a telly but I did throw a Pure radio against the wall in disgust at Radio 5 Live News – 10 years ago.
      For me, they are beyond saving, and they are forever besmirched with their disgusting behaviour in this election, and to Jeremy Corbyn in particular over the last 4 years.

    • Audrey Pool January 5, 2020 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Totally agree,I resent being forced to pay for a channel I rarely watch and that has persistently acted as a propaganda machine for the Tory government.The sooner they are forced to exist in the real world and have to pay their own way without being subsidised by a very reluctant public the better.

  4. Stu January 5, 2020 at 6:31 am - Reply

    You make a fair point about the BBC News.
    Sunday papers & news sites mention that Boris remains on his £20k+ per week Private Caribbean holiday whilst the BBC quietly ignores any criticism of Boris as usual.

    But a TV Licence system enforced by law with little oversight on how the TV tax is spent is inherrently flawed and just plain wrong.
    Like under a Tory Government, we are getting less and less services but the costs still keep increasing.

    • Mike Sivier January 5, 2020 at 11:47 pm - Reply

      How do you mean, “less and less services”?

      Did BBC2 have the plug pulled? It looks fine on my set.

      • Tim January 6, 2020 at 7:07 am - Reply

        Whilst I think Stu probably meant to say (pedant alert) “fewer and fewer”, perhaps he’s talking about the forthcoming withdrawal (30 Jan) of the BBC TV red button text services, which will be a major pain in the arse for anyone who uses it for sports score/fixture/table info, for pathetically unconvincing reasons (so they can “create new and better ways for viewers to experience BBC content across all our platforms”. Yawn.)

        • Mike Sivier January 7, 2020 at 1:35 am - Reply

          I had heard about this but then forgot it in all the craziness of recent months and indeed years. I bet there’s no good excuse for it at all.

  5. Tim January 5, 2020 at 8:47 am - Reply

    The fact remains that the BBC put its own future at risk (either through loss of credibility or of funding or both) when it decided to take a partisan political position in the hope of future reward. They should’ve told MI5 where to stick it. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    Having said that, Dracula and A Christmas Carol were quite exceptional dramas and that new Dr Who episode with Lenny Henry & Stephen Fry was pretty gripping too! I would happily pay some sort of licence fee provided it ALL went into BBC Drama’s coffers…

  6. eatonheli 13 January 5, 2020 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    We need to ensure that there is at least one service where our programmes are not bombarded with adverts every 12 minutes or so thus preventing viewers enjoying the programmes they wish to watch.

  7. Sean Bennett January 5, 2020 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    I agree with your outlook, but you don’t include facts to back up your assertions. Your article is sadly, therefore, easily cast-aside-able by anybody but the already converted (IMHO).

    • Mike Sivier January 9, 2020 at 5:43 pm - Reply

      I had been collecting information on the BBC election coverage, precisely to do a story – but then I got sick. I may get around to it, but to be honest I’d need an event to hang it on.

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