Cancelling Sir David Attenborough, Gary Lineker and the BBC Singers and reducing BBC orchestra numbers all in a single week does seem like a bit of an orchestrated PR campaign to get the BBC to self sabotage. To quote Ian Fleming:
‘Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.’
There has been a long-running campaign from right-wing quarters to ‘Defund The BBC’. There have been a few scandals this week, the most important of which, in my opinion, was the cancellation of David Attenborough’s programme on UK environmental impact being streamed on live TV.
The BBC is a very important programme maker and disseminates its coverage globally. It is not just important to the UK. It carries programmes about world politics, does exposés on political figures and business practices around the world. The very influential Attenborough series are much loathed by the immensely powerful fossil fuel lobby. The right wing, of course, describes the BBC as ‘woke.’
The only people who will benefit from the BBC’s demise are Rupert Murdoch and unscrupulous business and political actors, many of whom form the global populist right wing.
Unfortunately, the BBC has been ‘captured’ by the right wing. Senior British pro-Conservative government figures have been installed in its most senior roles over last few years. Importantly, this right-wing bias during Brexit also resulted in impartial world-leading experts being constantly put up against exponents of radical right-wing political or economic views.
To the viewer this looked as if each argument had equal weight where it did not. The most glaring example was Andrea Leadsom denying the reality of what World Trade Organisation terms meant. Her opposite in this debate was Pascal Lamy, former Director of the WTO. This ‘balance’ that the BBC news output was forced into, served the British public very ill during Brexit, the consequences of which become more apparent day by day in the UK.
It appears the right wing are making the BBC sabotage itself in the eyes of the British public who pay a license fee to finance it. The aim is to bring about a result not dissimilar to the funding cuts in NHS and to local councils. All the objectives are strikingly similar to the low taxation goals of the very partial and opaquely-funded lobby group, the Tax Payers Alliance.
Just last year, the BBC World service stopped producing radio output in 10 languages, including Chinese, Hindi, and Arabic. The only people that this decision served are the regimes in those locations – it ended a reliable news source for many ordinary people in those countries.
It is incredibly tempting to say, ‘Stuff the BBC!’ but it is an important soft power for this country, as well as a potent force for truth in many parts of the world.
The only good take-aways from this week’s news are that not only have the senior executives of the BBC been shown to be government stooges beyond any shadow of a doubt, but also that they are big fans of the very cancel culture which they usually decry.
This BBC debacle is an example of information warfare: whoever controls the medium controls the message.