An Unspoken Alliance?

bbchouse

True to the BBC’s entirely subjective editorial guidelines on impartiality, the corporation’s willingness to allow The TaxPayer’s Allowance a mainstream platform to air their obnoxious opinions only confirms the lie that ‘Aunty’ is ‘balanced, impartial and fair.’

Here are the BBC’s own guidelines on impartiality and the use of ‘contributions from other organisations.’

We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities) are unbiased and we may need to make it clear to the audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint, if it is not apparent from their contribution or from the context in which their contribution is made.

And here’s an extract from the TaxPayer Alliance’s annual report regarding their links to TV.

Television is a highly trusted and impartial medium and
over the years we have carefully built up a range of close
contacts inside the industry. We’re close to 4 Millbank, the
base for Westminster’s political broadcasters, so we have
great relationships with the BBC, ITV and Sky News.
It’s not just news; we also work with producers and
researchers on longer programmes and documentaries.
For example, Inside Out South West covered our non-jobs
report.

We work with national and local radio stations too.
According to the latest RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience
Research) industry report, 91.6 per cent of the UK
population now tune in to radio every week, making it a
powerful medium for communicating our ideas.
Over the last twelve months we’ve set our sights on new
programmes in radio and television. We’ve also reached
new audiences by targeting more chatty, lifestyle
programmes such as Daybreak, Vanessa and The Alan
Titchmarsh Show.

Link

http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/annualreview2011.pdf

“So what?” you may say but this so-called ‘Alliance’ of ‘Tax Payers’ is no such thing, it’s just a front for a bunch of ultra-right wing small government cranks masquerading as a ‘grassroots organisation.’ Their report crows about longstanding links to the media; the usual suspects in the press; The Mail, Express, Sun and Telegraph who have no legal or moral obligation to be impartial and the TV and radio, who do.

The BBC more than any other broadcaster would like every licence fee payer to believe that their tax is a guarantee of trust and fairness when it comes to news reporting but that lie is disproved with each and every news report screened each and every day. I pay my licence fee yet I never, ever see my oinions, extreme as they may seem to people who define themselves as ‘tax payers’ represented on the BBC.

All BBC news follows a pre-ordained editorial narrative, whether that’s reporting on military or industrial conflict, economics, politics, social justice or the royal family.

Here is their get out clause :

Contributors expressing contentious views, either through an interview or other means, must be rigorously tested while being given a fair chance to set out their full response to questions. Minority views should be given appropriate space in our output; it is not for the BBC to suppress discussion.

Consequently, we will sometimes need to report on, or interview, people whose views may cause serious offence to many in our audiences. On such occasions, referral should be made to a senior editorial figure who may wish to consult Editorial Policy. The potential for offence must be weighed against the public interest and any risk to the BBC’s impartiality. Coverage should acknowledge the possibility of offence, and be appropriately robust, but it should also be fair and dispassionate.
The public expression by staff and presenters of personal offence or indignation risks jeopardising the BBC’s impartiality.

What these mealy mouthed words amount to is this; ‘We, The BBC, will decide who gets to speak and it is for US to decide whether the airing of views will cause offence or is not in the public interest.’ We are of course entirely impartial arbiters and it is not for us to suppress discussion as long as that discussion does not offend people like US.’

This patriarchal censorship has been a staple of BBC news since the corporation first began broadcasting. It is a state propagandist that spews a diet of sycophantic, elitist spin that maintains the political status quo and therefore guarantees its own survival in an era of digital choice. The BBC, far from being ‘’fair and dispassionate’ is grossly biased and partisan.

Witness their reporting of two current issues; Syria and austerity. Not a single report goes on screen without some form of attack upon Assad’s regime and at least one interview with a ‘rebel’ spokesperson backed up by footage of usually ‘unconfirmed’ attacks on civilians and other atrocities. Now, these attacks may well have taken place but the narrative is clear; Assad is the ’baddy’ and the ‘rebels’ are the ‘goodies.’ The forces fighting Assad are ‘rebels’ whereas the forces fighting British troops in Afghanistan are ‘extremists’ and ‘insurgents’

Likewise, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Ireland. The reporter will also add his or her own twopenneth to any report, almost always giving tacit approval, if not outright support for any military action taken by ‘OUR’ forces or the dominant political position.

With the current austerity policies, there is an unspoken yet obvious narrative to all reports. The demonisation of ‘benefits scroungers, welfare claimants, social undesirables, illegal immigrants, legal migrants and others deemed offensive to ‘the audience perception’ is relentless and disgusting.

This is where the TaxPayer’s Alliance comes in. The other day a report on house building initiatives and the impact upon economic recovery was discussed by a government minister, a member of the Building Federation and someone from The Tax Payers’ Alliance. This gives the TPA an equal billing as elected politicians and business experts. Here’s what the BBC guidelines have to say about using such spokespeople.

Campaigns

Similarly, the BBC must remain independent and distanced from government initiatives, campaigners, charities and their agendas, no matter how apparently worthy the cause or how much their message appears to be accepted or uncontroversial.

Careful thought will be necessary to ensure perceptions of the BBC’s impartiality are maintained when content is scheduled topically and coincides with a third party’s campaign. It is advisable to contact Editorial Policy.

Well, there’s no denying that the TPA are a campaigning organisation, Their own website describes the organisation as ‘Britian’s independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes’ and claims to have ‘over 75,000 supporters nationwide.’

These figures are impossible to verify. On that basis I could argue that YKTD has over a billion supporters worldwide and therefore we should be interviewed just after Nick Clegg (or before). Imagine the outcry from the right wing press if say, Len McCluskey, president of Unite was interviewed on an equal footing as the Prime Minister or even the CEO of Tesco. Unite has over three million members in the UK and Ireland and yet has to endure a barrage of negative reporting from the BBC and other ‘impartial’ news broadcasters.

I wonder if indeed this ‘Editorial Policy’ department is contacted each and every time a person from the TPA is interviewed by a lazy, prejudiced BBC reporter, managed by a lazy, prejudiced BBC producer, overseen by a lazy, prejudiced BBC News bigwig in a lazy, prejudiced BBC structure that claims to be impartial and a byword for fair and trustworthy reporting but fails its own tests each and every day.

Last of The Mohicans?

Let Him Live!

Let Him Live!

I’ve been waiting till all the hoo haa died down before posting this but a decade ago, I was more or less a lone voice amongst United fans (match going, armchair or otherwise) who thought that ‘Sir’ Alex Ferguson should have retired back when he orginally decided enough was enough.

History has proved me wrong perhaps, but I think the past decade has been a disaster for United in cultural if not economic terms. For all his ‘socialist’ pretensions, Alex used the past decade to feather his own nest and secure his own interests above those of the club. In doing so, he laid the foundation for the take over by the Glazers, a family who he has diplomatically courted since they ousted those who Fergy felt were impeding his control.

It was Fergie wwho engineered the Coolmore Mafia share buy out in order to see off Martin Edwards, then almost destroyed the club with his greedy machinations over the stud fee farce. His kingdom for a horse? McManus and Magnier were then targeted by the paramilitary ‘Manchester Education Committee’ wing of the hardcore United fans. Using Ultra style direct action tactics probably achieved more than a thousand futile petitions and Shareholders United comminques. The MEC mobilised fans in a new area for British teams, relying on the Ultra tactic of making it very uncomfortable for direcotrs, players, potential owners or anyone else who they felt worked against the iterests of the club. Coolmore weent back to the races.

Yet the MEC and other fans groups played right into Fergies hands, a man who used his own son to conduct transfers, a man who then boycotted the BBC for daring to report on this conflict of interests. A man who talked the talk of the Govan shipyard shop steward and then accepted a knighthood from the very apex of the establishment power base that keeps the working class down. Let’s not get tied up in relativist arguments here; the Queen is the enemy of the working class and ANYONE who professes to be a socialist yet bows before her is a CLASS TRAITOR. Simple as.

But these aren’t the biggest of Fergie’s flaws. His notorious temper has cost United two Champions Leagues trophies in my opinion. Beckham I can live with, a player always over-hyped by his agents to levels beyond his actual talent. His pampering of ‘King’ Eric was perhaps understandable yet smacked of hypocrisy when dealing with other wayward players.

Likewise that other self-proclaimed ‘Man Of The People’ Roy Keane was allowed to kick, stamp and mutilate opponants yet received plaudits as some kind of folk hero. The same man was allowed to break the club’s wage structure paving the way for yet more inflated ticket prices. The prawn sandwich brigade eh Roy? Well, you brought em in mate! In his latter seasons, Keane most reminded me of Ray Wilkins with his crab like tendency to simply knock the ball sideways. Compared to the ever brilliant Scholes, Keane was second rate and like many talismen before him, Brian Robson, Steve Bruce for example, he’s been an utter failure as a manager. Still, there’s always room for failed managers as ‘ambassadors’ at United and lucrative backhanders to boot.

NO, even more than these players, Fergie’s ruthless and petulent sale of Jaap Stam cost United most dearly. An obviously devastated Stam paid the ultimate price for daring to have a little dig at ‘the gaffer’ although ofcourse ‘the gaffer’ could have very big pops at decent men like Brian Kidd in HIS biography. Fergie knows that with the resources at his disposal and the players he’s had over the years, it should’ve been easy to topple Liverpool’s European Cup/Champions League record.

Yes, they’ve topped their league trophy record and domestically, Fergie has no equal managing to balance youth and experience, personalities and egos, ambition and apathy, commerce and culture. Yet those finals agaisnt Barca probably still haunt him, the chasm between the Spanish and English champions being as wide as that between his wallet and that of the average Stretford Ender.

So, not to be churlish or deliberately provocative, I would also like to praise Alex Ferguson as The Last Of The Mohicans, the type of mananger who embodied that stern Calvinist ethos of other Scots; Shankly, Stein and Busby, men who had actually worked their way up from the coal face and the shipyards and therefore had no time for the histrionics of millionaire playboys. Moyes is indeed a chip off the old block but times have changed and no manager will ever again be allowed the same time it took Fergsuon to establish United as a seious footballing force.

Just as football fans are used to lectures on sentimentality from managers eager to offload players who are past their prime, so too we should reserve the same hard headed pragmatism for managers, however much they have achieved. Liverpool did it with Saint Bill Shankly because they knew Shanks had taken them to a certain position but Paisley could conquer Europe. Likewise United now need a manager who can field a side that can compete with Barca, Bayern, Real, Inter and somehow I don’t think Moyes is that man.

I come not to bury Sir Alex but let’s have it right; he’s now secured his power base at the club by a mixture of silverware and slippery dealings. When all’s said and done, Fergie knows what side his bread’s buttered and will make sure he’s taking his slice home with jam on.