Monday 20 January 2020

A difference of opinion

Robert Peston: Decision on who replaces Lord Hall as bbc DG is probably as important as who becomes next Labour leader. Because given size of Boris Johnson’s majority, the task of holding the government to account will probably fall more on media than on parliamentary opposition. And also new DG will have to make powerful public case for the importance of a poll-tax funded public service broadcaster, in the face of a sceptical government. Much at stake.
Jon Holbrook: It is NOT the role of a state funded broadcaster to 'hold the government to account'.The fact that Robert Peston (a BBC luvvie) thinks it is, explains why the BBC has lost public support.


  1. Yep, I agree with Jon Holbrook. Using Peston's logic, then "holding the government to account" implies some governments are better than others (because "account" in this phrase presumably means a an account as in a balance sheet).

    So Peston is suggesting it is the job of the BBC to tell us whether the Government is doing a good job, or bad job or middling job...

    I do fundamentally disagree with that. It is the job of the BBC to reflect the full range of democratic opinion within the UK (ie the views of people who sign up to basic democratic rules, such as regular free and fair elections etc). If a government is doing a bad job, it will naturally reflect that in its reporting. But it is not their job to do the accounting.

    This has been a serious problem with the BBC. It morphs the subjective into the objective and objective into the subjective. It presents opinions as facts and uses facts selectively to support opinions (I just posted on the open thread about a classic example on the website, from Jonathan Portes about the effects of mass immigration to the UK).

  2. It is the job of the BBC to report news, not air the opinions of its leftie luvvie employees. These days there is not enough news reporting and far too much opiniom - mostly lifted from the Guardian. Indeed its news reporting is lifted from the Guardian as well, with the same headlines.

    It is not the job of the BBC to hold governments to account... it is to inform and entertain. The public holds the government to account every time there is an election, and do we have the opportunity to hold the BBC to account in the way it spends the money that licence fee payers are forced to pay even if they never watch the BBC on the their TVs?

    This "holding someone to account" nonsense is a two edged sword... the BBC is biased towards the left liberal metropolitan views of its employees. Employees paid from taxpayers money (including the licence fee) tend to want to keep tax funded spending at high levels to preserve their jobs, and don't like any party that suggests reducing the money others have to shell out in taxes. Consequently people in state employment including local authorities and NHS tend to vote for parties that want to increase state spending - i.e. the Left liberal parties, and are infected by a sense of entitlement which those in the private sector dependent on good service to consumers tend not to have as their jobs depend on customers paying to buy their goods and services as opposed to some other competitors.


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