It's been quite a month for the BBC so far, and we're only 12 days into it.
The BBC reneges on their commitment to provide free licence fee for over-75s
The corporation has taken very heavy flak for pressing ahead with its decision to compel millions of over-75s to start paying £157.50 for their previously-free licence fees.
The BBC can make a case for this, but that case has to be taken in context:
(a) Over-75s haven't had to pay for their licence fee for 20 years now.
(b) Though announced earlier this year, and then briefly postponed, the over-75s effected have now effectively been given less than a month's notice of an added financial burden they haven't previously had to budget for.
(c) This added burden is being imposed in the wake and context of Covid-19, the lockdown, self-isolation, and many if not most elderly people have not been permitted to properly see their families for months. For many it will be an extra worry.
(d) The BBC's output has changed in the past 20 years in a direction that might make it less appealing to viewers in the effected age group, and high-ups in the corporation have openly committed the BBC to a shift in focus towards younger audiences.
(e) This is a clear breech of the BBC's 2015 agreement with the Government - something Lord Hall, the ongoing BBC Director General, personally signed off on and is now welching on.
Not that he'll mind or be held to account for it. I'm guessing Lord Hall will be riding off into the sunshine on his stubborn, virtue-signalling mule Parnell with a huge swag bag of licence-fee-funded pension/retirement/loot singing the Gold Diggers' Song.
The Culture Sectretary hints at cats being placed in BBC pigeon coops. Will Dom send in ferrets?
In response Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the BBC's decision would have an impact of the Government's consultation over decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee.
This is striking.
Although such Government statements have never tended to go anywhere in the past (except into thin air), these feel like different times. And I'm guessing that, especially with Dominic Cummings advising the PM - a man who's bound, for very obvious reasons, to feel even more loathing towards the biased BBC than ever -, quite a few of the usual, formerly fail-safe shields for the BBC might now be in the process of being actively neutered.
Is the BBC's bluff finally being called?
Should we bet on it?
And talking of 'neutered'....
Another story this week tells us that the BBC has issued advice to its many thousands of employees to follow the 'woke' agenda and use 'their pronouns' in online correspondence - signing themselves 'they/their', 'she/her', 'he, man', etc.
This wasn't something the BBC had to advise. It was their choice.
And, thus, the BBC took sides again in a matter of public controversy at a highly sensitive time - and, worse, on the side of a highly vocal, hyper-aggressive, unreasonable, small minority of people who (very wrongly) think they're on the side of the angels.
There are some 400 transgender people at the BBC, some 2% of the total. That's hugely above the UK average. As in so many other ways, on this, the BBC is demographically very different to the UK as a whole. By being massively over-representative in one respect the corporation becomes massively under-representative in other respects.
It's all about making transgender people feel comfortable apparently, and, if so, I understand that and wish such people well (not that I know any). Feeling, especially when you're young, say, that you're a girl who's ended up wrongly in a boy's body (and vice versa) must be painful, particularly if you still feel like after you reach adulthood. And why not bless such people when they try to feel happy with themselves - though only when they've reached adulthood, and most definitely not while they're confused children - and do things with science's help to make themselves feel happier adults, if you think it will make them happier?
But is any of that what's going on as far as the BBC's concerned, or are they just being knee-jerk, ultra-pro-'woke' over this?
I actually suspect that the number of BBC people discomforted by having such hyper-'progressive' folly forced upon them will outnumber the 2% of BBC staff it's aimed at - albeit probably not massively, given that the BBC is a very PC organisation and, thus, many of its staff will be cringingly willing to bend every part of their/its/hers/his anatomy to signal those largely vicarious virtues.