I stumbled upon an interview on the ‘New Culture Forum’ YT channel the other day – a regular shop window for the kind of voices the MSM has silenced and always an interesting watch; this particular interview was with Nigel Rees, creator and host of Radio 4’s long-running (and now defunct) show, ‘Quote…Unquote’. He spoke at length of the way in which the BBC’s ‘diversity’ agenda had effectively made his position and that of the programme pretty untenable. Demands to have more female guests on the show were gradually adhered to, as were demands to have guests of a more ‘ethnic’ nature; but, of course, this wasn’t enough; there had to be some token disabled guests on – and this is radio, remember, so presumably these had to be disabilities that were discernible in the guest’s voices; that’d rule out someone in a wheelchair, then – unless they had a particularly ‘disabled’ speech pattern. Yes, that’s how bloody ridiculous it is.
In a nutshell, this enlightening interview summed-up the futility of attempting to appease the demands of the SJW crowd and why Woke Utopia can never be achieved. If ‘Quote…Unquote’ reappeared with a panel consisting entirely of disabled black trans-women, it still wouldn’t be enough because whatever compromises one makes can never be enough; someone would still complain to the BBC that there were no panellists in iron lungs, thus causing offence to the iron lung community. If the BBC had any balls remaining, it wouldn’t bow to such demands at all and it would leave producers and presenters to make their own decisions based on the respective merits of the people featuring in their programmes. The problem with the BBC is that, as with so many branches of this country’s institutions, it has been completely colonised by Identity Politics, and Identity Politics is a virus that kills all creativity and genuine diversity of thought and opinion.
The world its proponents inhabit it is a drab, grey, joyless place in need of constant, perpetual cleansing – a world it is their aim to impose upon the rest of us; and by handing the reins of power to such pious fanatics, whether in media, publishing, academia or cinema, all these mediums have been fatally infected and no longer communicate with the masses. Every successful movie franchise has been f***ed-up as a consequence – indeed, every escapist outlet has suffered from this virus, even sport with its knee-taking virtue-signallers whose fatuous concept of social justice doesn’t stretch to spurning the lucrative market of middle-eastern Absolute Monarchies built by slave labour. The BBC has been one of the most vocal supporters of this mindset, a virtual broadcasting branch of the Guardian over the past decade or so; and when a Tory Government seeks to shore up its dwindling popularity by attacking a soft target and hopefully deflecting further attention from its own failings, should the BBC really be surprised that the only folk rallying to its defence are those drawing huge salaries from it?
The likes of Gary Lineker or Nish Kumar speaking up for it as the licence fee’s days are numbered are not the kind of names guaranteed to reverse opinion on a once-beloved institution that has been treating its audience with contempt for years. The corporation’s impartiality on news and current affairs has been exposed as a fallacy during the pandemic, whilst its entertainment has degenerated into similarly biased propaganda for a particular point of view, visible in the risible Jodie Whitaker incarnation of ‘Doctor Who’ or the way in which a one-time staple diet of a dad’s Saturday lunchtime like ‘Football Focus’ will be routinely interrupted by trailers for ‘LGBTXYZ Month’, a subject most football fans probably don’t give a flying f*** about. But the BBC is determined to shoehorn Identity Politics into every platform it possesses, whether the audience wants it or not.
It is this arrogance that has turned the Great British public against the BBC in recent years, and the BBC only has itself to blame. On paper, the cost of the licence fee is good value compared to yer average utility bill, yet bringing up all the things the BBC used to excel at as examples of why it still matters and why its eccentric funding should continue only serves as a reminder of just how much it has declined during the period in which it has sought to broadcast its Woke agenda to a public that didn’t ask for it and doesn’t want it. With Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announcing the licence fee will effectively be abolished come the next renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter in 2027, the BBC has responded with threats of cuts, though chances are this means the few good things it still produces that no commercial competitor could do in quite the same way – such as Radio 3, the World Service or BBC4 – will suffer; what it doesn’t mean is that it will address the way in which its ludicrous diversity quota has made its dramas such a box-ticking laughing stock or every documentary an exercise in apology for historical racism/sexism, whether it was there or not.
Any exposure to commercial television or radio stations and their relentless interruptions by ads is enough to cause anyone to run back into the arms of the BBC, and the fact its airwaves remain unpolluted by crass advertising is one of its few saving graces after all the damage it has done to itself. The end of the licence fee and the prospect of alternative funding throws up all kinds of horrific futures, yet none of this would’ve been necessary had the BBC not allowed specific political agendas to infiltrate so much of its output. Yes, it was present – and was regularly cited by its opponents – way back in the days of ‘Play for Today’, but even the archetypal single play centred around left-wing viewpoints was only a small element of a series that had a far wider panorama of the human experience on offer; and the BBC produced ‘Play for Today’ at the same time as it was churning out variety showcases for the likes of those well-known Commie sympathisers Bruce Forsyth, Cilla Black and Noel Edmonds. Even the fact that the ‘Today’ programme could once be edited by someone like Rod Liddle now seems inconceivable, yet we’re going back barely 20 years. That in itself highlights what a broad church the Beeb used to be until relatively recently.
For the majority of its now-century of existence, the BBC was indeed an idiosyncratic and unique oddity in the world of broadcasting, beloved by the British people and celebrated as a force for cultural good. Even when BBC radio had a monopoly, it served listeners well with a staggeringly wide selection of audio delights; Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn makes a valid point when he credits the vast range of sounds the young John, Paul, George and Ringo were exposed to via BBC radio as playing a pivotal part in their later development as artists who refused to be tied to a single genre of music. And if the 1950s was BBC radio’s ‘golden age’, the 60s and 70s showed how BBC television was able to successfully react to the arrival of ITV by delivering programmes that remain the corporation’s gold standard, a standard it has summarily failed to live up to over the past couple of decades.
Anyone whose formative years were illuminated and enlivened by the best of the BBC will naturally experience mixed emotions when it comes under attack from opportunistic philistines like this deplorable administration running the country; yet, at the same time, anyone who has despaired at the manner in which the Beeb has committed Hara-kiri over and over again in the last 10-20 years will understandably feel the corporation has got what it deserved. This was the sadly inevitable outcome of the way the BBC has alienated the core audience it arrogantly assumed it could always depend upon; and even if the concept of the BBC is still a noble ideal, the reality falls far short. That’s not the fault of yet another loathsome Tory Government with the BBC in its sights, but the BBC itself. Bloody fools.
© The Editor