On the morning the outcome of the Brexit referendum went beyond doubt, David Dimbleby’s face said it all. He looked as if someone had just told him the missus left the chip pan on in the kitchen and burnt half the house down. Although committed to a verbal diatribe of impartiality, you just knew he was struggling to contain his sadness and disdain, not dissimilar to the way one tries to conceal the urge to laugh in church. The corridors of the BBC must have been filled with distraught production staff weeping into their Niçoise baguettes.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in an era when news anchormen were so professional, you never even got a hint of what their political inclinations were. For any of you out there who remember the likes of Reggie Bosanquet, Leonard Parkin, Trevor McDonald, Jan Leeming, Michael Buerk or Anna Ford, can you honestly tell me you ever knew their politics based on their news delivery, intonation, facial expression or opinions made outside of their respective newsrooms? No! For they were consummate masters at their trade: that trade being impartial news reporting.
Compare those greats to the shower we have now – the Kay Burleys, Lewis Goodalls, Beth Rigbys, Fiona Bruces and Krishnan Guru Murthys of this world. They wouldn’t know impartial broadcasting if it came up and bit them on the buttocks! Over the past decade or so, we’ve seen news programmes slowly but surely turned into platforms for political activism. Goodall, the Policy Editor on the BBCs Newsnight, is a self-declared Labour activist from his days at Oxford University! And my, how their politics are reflected in the output of current affairs.
2020 marked a new departure for the Wokerati. In addition to political activism on the news, this year has seen it seep into our general entertainment too. For example, for 36 hours (from Thursday night to Saturday morning), Radio 2 played nothing but songs from black artists. Why? Because this weekend marked the 57th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. So, just to recap, the BBC’s Number 1 radio station decided to play only music from black artists to remember a historical figure whose central philosophy was to judge a person not by the ‘colour of their skin, but by the content of their character’. That’s not entertainment, that’s pushing a narrative – and a narrative entirely consistent with the Beeb’s own prevailing worldview. If you want to celebrate the very best in the contribution of black artists to popular music, have a Motown hour twice a week. I promise you I’d have my ear to the speaker each and every time it’s on. There are few genres of music I enjoy more!
I am utterly sick of of mainstream news and culture channels pushing minority causes. If it’s not Black Lives Matter (with a studious avoidance of their Marxist revolutionary credentials), it’s issues to do with LGBT. The problem is, once you start compartmentalising society into distinct groups, it creates a reaction. Thus, news channels consistently pushing Left-wing tropes were bound to create the perfect conditions for news outlets designed to do the opposite. It looks as if 2021 will herald a new beginning in the form of GB News. If this succeeds in proving itself to be an incarnation of Fox for the UK, so much the better. If the BBC and Sky are going to morph into vehicles for Woke wankfestery, I want something I can tune into that more reflects my own take on domestic and world events. Simple as.
A few days ago, the BBC Director-General Tony Hall stated last week that the BBC can promote our country’s “voice and values”: Sadly, I’m not sure whether the BBC leadership even know what these values are any more, and I can’t think of a group of people less suited to taking on such a pivotal role.