Friday 19 November 2010

chartering classes

Poor old BBC! They're in a pickle again, but this latest accusation of un-patriotic programming is just one in a long line of attacks on the institution's independence.

The BOF remembers a close relation of his coming into the house one evening during the Falklands war. The dude had just come back from facing the full wrath of the 1922 committee. An unusually civilized member said afterwards "There was blood all over the floor". Who's was never stated. The dude looked in rude health that evening.

And the dude was happy. He'd managed to defend the wonderful anomaly of the BBC. The uber-conservatives had fallen into the trap of thinking that because it is funded by instrument of government, the BBC is an instrument of government.

It's a witty trick but the BOF is worried. It's starting to seem as if some Beebs think that it might have a tiny bit of what the Monday Club likes in it, that the BBC is on the same benches as government. How else to explain the lightning capitulation to politically biassed cuts demanded by government?

It has none of that in it. It either is or isn't an instrument of government. It's a binary choice, black or white. How has government managed to get into a position where it can dictate the BBC's budget and arbitrarily redefine foreign services?

The funding of what is heard over the airwaves has always been a filter on the perception of its output. The Voice of America is a sinister phrase.

The BBC is not the voice of the British government, although some parts of its overseas output are precisely that, the etherial voice of Her Brittanic's.

The BOF hopes that the forthcoming Panorama show on FIFA does have something new in it. If it doesn't, the Swiss Shit has already won this little skirmish. Of course, that doesn't make Septic any the less guilty, but if the BBC has chosen to air a programme in such a provocative slot, it should only be doing so if it has something new to say. It would be enough to air new supporting evidence for the old allegations which orbit Blatter like a solar system of bad pennies; but without new material it is the shoddiest form of TV, utterly unfocussed opportunism. If they can't say with a straight face that they've been deliberately provocative because they've got something important to say, then they are devaluing the BBC brand, and that's blasphemy in mod mangmt spk.

The fun really would begin if the programme has some new substantiation of a Warner story; there are, after all, a good many to work with. Why is Cameron being so public about lunching such an out-and-out Korruption King? If just one of the ripening stories about him matures now,  hindsight will give the arrangement a look of extremely poor judgement.  Or is this the new face of patriotism, the pragmatic lunching of crooks?

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