The Conservative capture of the BBC and why it matters

Image by Anthea Bareham

The issue of BBC capture by government is serious.

BBC capture by one of the parties is even more serious.

But the worst scenario is what I think has actually happened: BBC capture by an extremist right wing fringe group that was no more than a weird sect within one party.

The ERG / Brexiters / swivel-eyed-loons, were never more than 30 or 40 strong, but they managed to get Farage his own dressing room on BBC Question Time and managed to get barely-pubescent IEA (Institute of Economic Affairs – a so-called ‘think-tank’ lobby/influencer) know-nothings booked onto our screens and airwaves 24/7 and treated like oracles.

And with this control of the BBC they were able to drive wavering MPs to the right and puff up UKIP to the point where first-past-the-post started working against the Tories instead of for them – for the first time in history.

And then Cameron went all in – shit or bust.

And the BBC was the ace up the Brexit faction’s sleeve; it prostituted its hundred year reputation to lend credibility to a carnival of clowns and cranks, treating them with solemn respect when they should have been laughed out of the studio – or never invited in.

Nobel economics laureates were ignored while innumerate ignoramuses like Minford and Lilico were given the oxygen of publicity.

Serious warnings from serious people were treated as mere “he said, she said”. They did NOTHING to inform and educate.

And that is why we are here today.

On Google Trends, searches for “what is the EU” and “what is Brexit” spiked in the UK the day AFTER polls closed.

I was disgusted with the BBC’s handling of Brexit, before and after the referendum. They have spun, suppressed and lied.

Now, AT LAST, we are starting to uncover the reason why: a powerful cabal within the BBC that answered to an extremist right-wing blob of Tory rebel MP’s, secretive think tanks, and billionaire tax evaders.

No wonder all the good journos left.

So what is next?

Without access to the truth – unspun facts – we cannot have democracy.

And without a functioning, impartial BBC, we cannot have such access – the billionaire-owned press is a lost cause – therefore the BBC MUST be fixed. It must be investigated and repaired. It simply must.

Appendix A BBC propaganda techniques.

A.1 False balance: A thousand economists say Brexit is insane and one says “sunlit uplands”. What does the Beeb do? Interview one of each. Don’t mention the former won a Nobel prize for economics in 2015, and the latter got CSE home economics, 1958.

A.2 Faux pop: Take a TV crew to the most benighted market town in England – Boston, say – and ask everyone over 70 for their opinion. Discard “EU saved my business” and “I want a jelly baby” and “dzieƄ dobry”; select “oi reckon we be awroight on our ownses”.

A.3 The three right-wing monkeys: completely ignore one million plus people marching in London for the People’s Vote or for fair pay awards. Pretend it doesn’t exist. Shut down any talk of Russian interference, or illegal spending, or Cambridge Analytica psy-ops.

A.4 Look! Squirrel! Devote tens of thousands of pounds to capturing an 18ft RIB on film, with a handful of bedraggled little refugees; ignore tens of thousands of Brits dying in care homes, the whole car industry collapsing, empty shelves, NHS in meltdown.

A.5 The ambush. Get Carol Cadwalladr into the studio, then surround her with antagonists to play tag-team in an obviously co-ordinated and pre-planned attack.

A.6 The unkindest cut of all. Record an interview where the expert says “This is 90 per cent due to Brexit. And, of course, Covid has caused problems, and the Ukraine invasion hasn’t helped”
After the edit: “Covid has caused problems, and the Ukraine invasion hasn’t helped.”

A.7 The straight-out whopper. If Boris Johnson lurches up to the Cenotaph, hungover, dishevelled and unkempt, and chucks an upside down wreath on the plinth, like he is chucking a bin bag into a skip, why – just use three-year old footage!

A.8 Smooth justice. Right of reply is only fair for someone who has been accused; but in Matthew Elliot’s case the BBC extended this to someone who has been tried and convicted… and changed it to “the right to get your retaliation in first”.