Books

The story of the BBC

8 August 2015

9:00 AM

8 August 2015

9:00 AM

The BBC was created out of the ether in 1922. Its first director general, Lord Reith, inhabited a cupboard some six feet in length and presided over a staff of four people, operating out of one long room. Reith confessed that he did not actually know what broadcasting was — an affliction which you might say, a little cruelly, has been shared by one or two of his successors over the years.

The parsimonious approach was not to last, of course. Ten years on and the corporation was ensconced in the Stalinist art-deco edifice of Broadcasting House; today the BBC employs more than 20,000 people — some of them actually involved in making programmes — and struggles by on a budget of £5.1 billion. Perhaps its days are numbered; with every year that passes the licence fee seems a more arcane and frankly unnecessary imposition upon the population, while the BBC itself — bloated and often badly administered — is assailed on a daily basis by commercial rivals who resent its vast and protected income and despise its politics.

The Guardian journalist Charlotte Higgins can see the end coming, I think, in this beautifully written but flawed and brief history of the corporation. As she says at the close of her book, the BBC must continue to keep reinventing itself: ‘We cheer it on, but we urge it to do better. We still believe. We do not wish to see it stumble. We do not wish to hear its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar.’ She is speaking for herself and her newspaper here, I think. The BBC buys 80,000 copies of the Guardian every year — much more than any other newspaper.


Higgins leads us through the early days, when Lord Reith envisaged an institution which would be the citizen’s ‘guide, philosopher and friend’, utilising a new technology which would ‘cast a girdle round the earth with bands that are all the stronger because invisible’. Fittingly enough, given Reith’s own disposition, the early BBC was often pompous and always patrician, but its popularity exceeded expectations. At its inception, pilots complained about radio wavelengths being commandeered for ‘trivial’ purposes; but soon there were nine million radio sets around the country, from which jabbered economical recipes and many uplifting talks. Much as the pilots had complained, so later did Lord Reith cavil when television came along — he couldn’t see a future for the medium.

Higgins deals with the BBC’s history in a rather rapid 90 pages — and much of that is taken up with lengthy portraits of prominent BBC women who the author clearly believes to have been left out of the history books, egregiously so. These pioneering blue-stocking lesbians and eccentrics might well have made an interesting book by themselves — which may have been what Higgins at some point intended. As it is, we are told precious little about the programmes put on air in those first 60 or so years. Instead we have 20 pages on the Head of Talks, Hilda Matheson — more than even poor old Reith merits.

Poor old Reith. He left the BBC in tears in 1938; some have suspected a plot to get him out, although there is scant evidence for this. Either way, though, the job of being director general rarely ends well, as Higgins observes. Greg Dyke was defenestrated by New Labour after the Today programme’s sloppily managed — but undoubtedly correct — story that the intelligence community was aghast at the way in which Tony Blair (and Alastair Campbell) ‘sexed up’ their evidence about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. George Entwistle deliquesced on the same programme ten years later, the ghost of Jimmy Savile flapping about over his shoulders. And most brutally of all, perhaps, Alasdair Milne was stabbed in the front by the BBC chairman Marmaduke Hussey — a peremptory and shocking eviction of one of the best director generals the BBC ever had.

What about the bias of the Beeb, then? Higgins concedes that the corporation has indeed begun to show an unseemly political leaning in recent times. Yes, it is biased towards the political right, according to Higgins. She is particularly annoyed that the corporation did not clamber on board the Guardian’s bandwagon by publishing the leaked classified information from the American CIA renegade, Edward Snowden. The suggestion that the BBC might be biased to the left does not enter her head. It simply isn’t, and that’s that.

The truth is that the BBC has tended, over the years, to be biased in favour of the mores and opinions of whatever establishment holds sway. Not the government, but the establishment. Today’s establishment is liberal, politically correct, politically naive and gullible. It’s no surprise that Charlotte Higgins is incapable of recognising this, seeing as she is part of it.

Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £11.69 Tel: 08430 600033

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • cd

    The BBC is incredibly biased. Nearly all its documentaries are so loaded with agenda that it has become near impossible to watch them without laughing at times. Even my wife, a Labour supporter, finds them hard to watch. They’re so far up their own arse that they seem unable to see how ridiculously unreliable they’ve become.

    1) From declaring on the news, in the affirmative, The Prophet Mohammed (he’s not my prophet) all the while trying to get rid of references to BC in order to avoid upsetting non-Christians.
    2) It commissioned a report into its supposed bias when reporting on the Israel-Palestine issue. Once finished the BBC vetoed its publication.
    3) They set up a survey of license fee payers asking if they thought it was anti-Christian and has left wing bias. The majority said yes to both, but the BBC declared that this was ludicrous and so ignored them. So why commission (with license payers’ money) the f***ing survey if you already had the answer.
    4) Then there is the Sport’s Personality. You’d think a show based on a popular vote should be down to the public. But then some years back the people didn’t vote in enough numbers for female athletes and so no woman featured in the short list. The BBC declared the people could not be trusted so therefore the short list is drawn up by the great and good.

    As for harbouring paedophiles…how the hell did it get away with this.

    They hold the license fee payer with complete contempt yet are quite happy to use the law to force them to pay.

    It’s an anachronism – just get rid of it.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Well of course a Labour supporter has problems with the BBC’s output – as was shown in that study, they toe the government’s line!

      Throw anything of value away? Ahh, how predictable.

      • Clive

        As was shown in what study ?

    • mikewaller

      Give yourself a mind-expanding experience and read “The Establishment and how they get away with it”. You will no doubt be as surprised as I was to find out how well it has been researched and written. It has this to say about the BBC, sourced from an insider:

      “What they [the BBC’s leading business and economics journalists] all have in common is a liberal [as in liberal economics] centrist view of the world”….” [Its] a “factory churning out that viewpoint”: a deep-seated commitment to neo-liberal economics, fused with liberal [as in progressive] views on issues such as sexuality and gender”.

      My guess is that you hear the great preponderance of its output which align with your views as mere statements of fact and then get very excited about the modest proportion with which you disagree. Talk to few left-wing radicals and they get even crosser about the stuff you think factual.

      All in all, I think the BBC does a damned good job, particularly so as it only costs each household about £12 per month. Even more important, it is the one great bastion against the horrors of a world in which the vast majority of the media would be dominated by monsters like dear old Rup and Rothermere.

      • cd

        I couldn’t disagree more. The BBC has no right to my money or anyone else’s. And as for the dangers of Rupert Murdoch have heard it all before – the boggy man in the shadows puling all the strings. It’s laughable stuff.

        • mikewaller

          Are you seriously suggesting that Rothermere and Murdoch have little or no influence in your country? If you really think so, in your case the country in question must be Cloud-Cuckooland. As for paying for things from which one does not personally benefit, same can be true of opera, ballet, classical music, education, health etc.etc. It is what happens in civilised societies.

          Again I suggest, be a big, brave boy and read “The Establishment”.

          • cd

            I never said they didn’t. But are you seriously suggesting that neither has the BBC. The big difference is I am not forced by legal blackmail to purchase their media output in order to access other media outlets.

            As for paying for things from which one does not personally benefit, same can be true of opera, ballet, classical music, education, health etc.etc.

            Firstly, they’re paid for by tax payers. I can find out via FOI how my money has been spent. That is not the same as the BBC which acts as company when it suits and then as publicly owned trust when it doesn’t.

            The other point here is that some of the things you listed are considered parts of social infrastructure such as education and health care. For the vast majority of people there will be some need of these in order to maintain ones abilities to flourish in a modern society. Opera and ballet are not necessary and therefore should not be paid for by the general public. If they can’t stand on their own two feet then there isn’t a big enough demand for them – why should tax payers subsidise them?

            Again I suggest, be a big, brave boy and read “The Establishment”.

            Can I suggest you being less condescending.

          • mikewaller

            Final point taken, but would still think it an excellent idea if you read the book. As for opera, ballet and classical music – none of which mean much to me – I take some modest pride in contributing towards them as it means I am both helping my country support high culture and ensuring that there is at least the possibility of those who cannot afford to pay the true cost get some chance of experiencing such art forms.

            Regarding health and education, I think your case falls as it precisely the sections of society who pay most tax who are least likely to use State provided services.

          • Sir Talbot Buxomley

            The Establishment is written by pretty-boy Labour shrill Owen Jones. I refuse to be lectured by someone whose testicles haven’t dropped.

          • Johnnydub

            Owen Jones is the definition of lots of knowledge and bugger all wisdom.

          • mikewaller

            Perhaps you could cite examples reflecting your close reading of the text?

          • Vindice

            [comment moved]

          • cd

            Owen Jones is a vacuous, little mantra chanting idiot. He has neither knowledge nor wisdom and very little principle. See comment above.

          • mikewaller

            If you can dray your eyes away from his sexual characteristics and, instead, read his book, you might increase your self-evidently limited capacity to engage in serious debate.

          • cd

            Owen Jones!

            If you close your eyes and listen to him it is like listening to a conveyor belt of platitudes. Not only this but he’s a complete little hypocrite. He never stops banging on about how dreadful Amazon are by lawfully avoiding to pay tax all the while he sells his toilet paper books on their fecking website. And not just that he works for the flipping Guardian that set up an offshore account in order to avoid paying tax on their sale of AutoTrader, Any time he’s actually being questioned on any of his supposed facts and figures he falls apart – see interview with Andrew Neill etc. C4 News and Newsnight doesn’t count because ihe’s never ever challenged by the interviewer instead they peddle him out to act as a second interviewer of some poor expectant politician.

            If this is the author, another white collar socialist, you can shove it…

          • Eastern Computers

            Luck it’s a book not a recording! With Amazon he is not selling the book himself. That is a job done by the retailers of which he has no control over.

          • cd

            Yes it is a book for which he gets royalties. He could easily put a clause in his contract that stops the publisher from using Amazon or he could donate the income he makes from sales on Amazon to a charity. He doesn’t, he’s quite happy to make money from the very machine he criticises. That’s hypocrisy.

          • wudyermucuss

            Very droll.

          • Anonymous

            You announce this book as if it is the only one you have ever read (which I suspect might be true), for those of us who have read other books I can’t say I was particularly swayed by it’s arguments.

          • wudyermucuss

            Oh excellent!He’s shilling for milionaire PseudoMarxist OJ!
            Classic!

          • cd

            High culture is enjoyed mainly by people who could well afford to pay for it. Instead it’s paid for by the rest of us so they don’t have to.

          • mikewaller

            And precisely the reverse is true of the NHS.

          • Eastern Computers

            But neither do the people who previously couldn’t afford to pay for it! This allows ‘high culture’ to be enjoyed by the whole society instead which, in an advanced society such as ours, should be the case.

          • cd

            No, if the tax payer didn’t subsidise it then a lot of it would go out of business. You seem to think this would be a tragedy. Your point assumes that there is something innately good about high culture, something better than popular culture. That’s a subjective value decision one which you should support with your money not mine.

            One could argue that most people employed in high culture are a bunch of scroungers who feel tax payers should pay for the mere privilege of having people like them – with their antiquated skillsets – in our society.

          • Freddythreepwood

            Why do you think opera, ballet and ‘classical’ music are ‘high culture’? Even so, why should ‘low culture’ not be subsidised by the taxpayer? What we have at the moment is a Led Zeppelin lover subsidising a Mozart lover. Why do you think this is fair?

          • mikewaller

            Lead Zeppelin et al can make their own way, the expressions of high culture I have identified seemingly can’t. Nor for that matter can libraries, sports-centres etc.etc. Although getting negligible benefit from any of them them myself, I would feel my Country to be very much the poorer were they no longer available. And having just checked the pie chart the Chancellor sent a couple of years ago and noted that the whole cultural spend – the examples given are sports, libraries and museums – are marginally over 1% of income tax, it ain’t crippling and my guess would be that most people get a pretty fair deal.

          • Freddythreepwood

            You appear to be saying that those who follow Mozart cannot afford their ‘hobby’ while those who follow Led Zeppelin can. If that is what you think, please provide evidence. You might also like to tell us why you think it is appropriate for the ‘low culture’ wallahs to subsidise the ‘high culture’ wallahs, but not the other way round, a question you have chosen to side-step.
            You can see the sort of discussion/argument that always revolves around this question of BBC funding. The fact is that an increasing number of people are beginning to realize that modern technology makes the BBC tax as outdated and unfair as the window tax. Turning people into criminals for not paying it was almost certainly the last straw for many people. The tax will have to go, and sooner or later, when the politicians realize it could be costing them votes, it will.
            On the other hand, if you like it so much, feel free to carry on paying for it.

          • cd

            So you’re saying that if something can’t stand on its own two feet because of a lack of demand it should be funded by the tax payer without question.

            You then present the same falsehood that all things supported by taxation are of equal value. They don’t and this has been dealt with by others.

            The two cases you present here are interesting and show the wasteful attitude of left wing naivety. Libraries, due to the internet, are rapidly becoming an anachronism. I think it is sad but digital distribution is by far and away the most cost effective of way of fulfilling their educational role (that leaves money to be spent on other things).

            Sports centres are a different matter. I think there is plenty of commercial alternatives such as gyms, sports clubs etc. We saw an expansion in these services throughout the last 30years and they’ve been totally ineffective in encouraging healthier lifestyles. The only exception here is swimming pools – commercial clubs don’t have them and there is significant demand so that they can be maintained with little cost. However, I’d place the modern, greatly expanded and typically empty leisure centres up there along with other white elephants such as high culture as you put it.

            There is a finite pot of money and if you keep lobbying government to spend on just about everything under the sun there will be less for things that actually help build the economy which generates taxes and creates support for cultural activity in the private sector.

          • wudyermucuss

            but would still think it an excellent idea if you read the book.-

            I think it would be an excellent idea if I wasn’t forced to finance a fat cat corporate monster whose views I wholly disagree with.

          • Eastern Computers

            The BBC has to act as a company, especially on the international stage, since the Foreign Office cut funding for World Service. The BBC however have filled the gap of broadcasting neutral news to a world filled with the likes of government broadcasters (such as RT) spewing out biased rubbish. They are doing us a great service which the short sighted Cons govt have abandoned (despite it being their duty).

          • wudyermucuss

            spewing out biased rubbish.-
            I think the BBC is close to RTs bias,although the latters is more overt.

          • cd

            The BBC is just as bad as RT or Al Jazeera. They have a world view and an obvious left wing bias as has been admitted by many ex and retired employees most notably Mark Thompson.

            Their biassed rubbish obviously sits easier than RT’s with you. But they are no better.

          • Quest for Liberty

            Are you seriously suggesting that the biased dogma of the Guardian has little or no influence in this country? Or that I should suffer what I expect is the left-biased work of that far-left socialist?

          • Eastern Computers

            The Guardian is hardly ‘far-left socialist’. It’s clearly a centrist liberal paper as anybody in their right mind will tell you. If you want to read true biased read all the c**p in the spectator.

          • Johnnydub

            Ah, the lefts explanation of “false consciousness” which explains why people think socialism is a crock. It’s not people thinking independently, it’s the media.

            When will you realise that the media reflects the people’s views? Hence the Guardian readership is 175,000 and falling like a stone.

          • mikewaller

            I wish you beggars would get you act together! The above suggests that the left in all its forms has no impact whatsoever because it is fundamentally at variance with human nature; elsewhere, below, it is argued that the whole country is having its outlook distorted by powerful voices with a strong left wing bias.Come back to me when you have your story sorted out.

          • Eastern Computers

            175,000 !!! Where did you get this figure from as they have a daily readership of 124,000 and weekly of 3/4 million. Though readership has fallen it certainly has not plummeted as much as you imply. Besides it has fallen in line with all other papers as people simply migrate on-line. It is the 3rd most popular on-line paper in the world!! If readership does reflect views, as noted in your post, then the centre left view seems to be very strong indeed.

          • blandings

            They are commercial organisations – they print what their readers want to read. (Guess what – so does the Guardian)

            In civilised societies, those who watch opera and classical music pay for it. They don’t send the bill to those who don’t watch it. For example, I subscribe to the New York Met Opera On-line Service: I don’t demand that you help pay my subscription in order to demonstrate how “civilised” you are.

            All benefit from education and health, more or less, so all pay.

          • mikewaller

            In your dreams! Do you seriously suggest that dear Old Rup just sits down and asks himself, “Now what would my readers like to read to day?” In the real world we all know that under close scrutiny from him, his minions cook up a toxic blend of cheap “titivation” and neo-con propaganda. Even the illustrious Times, which is supposed to be insulated from his direct control, hardly mentioned the phone-hacking scandal until keeping quiet became impossible.

            Under your system only the rich can have access to high culture. Under European public subsidy models, high culture ceases to be the near exclusive preserve of high earners. I have my own views as to which is the more civilised.

            As I have already pointed out, all do not benefit from state funded health and education. Indeed those who pay the most tax towards both include amongst their number a quite disproportionate percentage who make their own arrangements.

          • blandings

            “Now what would my readers like to read to day?”
            He employs editors to do it, but basically yes.

            “Neo-con propaganda”
            How old are you Mike, fourteen and three-quarters?

          • wudyermucuss

            People who recieive Murdoch products choose to pay for it.

            People like me,who find the BBC an institutionally biased propaganda organization,are forced to finance its products,or face jail.

          • Mystified Man

            “As for paying for things from which one does not personally benefit, same can be true of opera, ballet, classical music, education, health etc.etc. It is what happens in civilised societies.”

            How can coercing someone into giving you money through threat of imprisonment be described as civilised behaviour?

          • mikewaller

            The whole taxation system works that way! No wonder you’re mystified!

          • Mystified Man

            “That’s just the way it is” is not a defence.

          • mikewaller

            So you’d run a sanctionless taxation system – good thing you ain’t in charge.

          • Mystified Man

            I didn’t say that. I said I don’t think taxation is civilised.

          • Roger Hudson

            The whole licence nonsense is based on a mistaken understanding of the BBC. The licence, originally radio and then TV ,was all about an apparatus that could resolve radio waves into sound , text or pictures. Transmitters were seen as dangerous and subversive(radio caroline?), during WW2 even a crystal set radio receiver was forbidden to foreigners near the coast.
            The BBC was seen as the guardian of government radio, hence the WBS bunker at Norton . Now the BBC is basically just a provider of ‘content’, some of it as crap as ITV , the idea of the BBC having criminal law power is stupid.
            Nationalise the transmitters etc. and let the BBC fight with Sky ,ITV etc. for subscription income.

          • Kingstonian

            When I have run out of anything else to read in the entire British Library, I would still only use the witterings of Owen Jones as bog paper.

      • Vindice

        The Establishment is a very, very silly book. I do hope you’re no older than mid-20s and that there is still hope for you. Christopher Snowden’s review is a reasonable introduction to the book’s flaws. http://www.iea.org.uk/blog/the-establishment-by-owen-jones-a-review

  • davidshort10

    I would love RL’s claim that the BBC buys 80,000 Guardians to be true. What is the source? If true, that must be about a third of its sales. The paper wouldn’t have survived without the subsidy of Auto Trader and it wouldn’t have got the multi-million pound windfall from its sale that it has already squandered. It is a newspaper that hires public schoolboys and girls at senior levels on large salaries and uses unpaid interns. But try and mention this on its forum and you’ll be censored.

    • Ian G

      He says 80000 a year. That’s around 300 a day. Even the Guardian surely can manage daily sales of 1000.

      • Johnnydub

        The Guardian has a daily circulation of 175,000. However its been falling for a while and shows no sign of slowing down.

        Seems that outside the BBC and the Guardian there’s a really small market for socialist paradise fairy stories. Who would have thought?

        • Eastern Computers

          ‘shows no sign of slowing down’ – hate to break it to you but the downward trend (which all newspapers have been facing) has actually started to level off. On-line however they are going from strength to strength.

          • The_greyhound

            Yet it loses money hand over fist. If it weren’t for the Scott trust fund (very ideologically correct) the useless grauniad would have been toast long since, and its halfwit readership would have been back with the Beano.

    • cd

      The Guardian sold off Auto Trader and then set up an account in the Cayman Islands in order to avoid tax. Yeah, that’s right all the time it has been criticising big corporations for tax dodging they’ve been doing it too.

    • Eastern Computers

      Since it’s the 3rd most widely read paper on-line in the world with over 9mn combined readers I don’t think it will disappear any time soon!

      • davidshort10

        I don’t think your figures are correct. Anyway, the Daily Mail is by far and away the most-read paper in the world but the online version still doesn’t make a profit. The Guardian is good at doing things badly, including being bad at being a free newspaper that costs a lot to produce because it has existed for so long under subsidy. As did its former editor, who ‘earned’ a seven figure salary for being a failure.

      • wudyermucuss
  • jonathan

    why do all their presenters stand in front of the camera and clasp their hands the same way prince Charles does? Is it the delusions of grandeur?

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      Why does some poor sod have to go out in the rain and stand outside some building inside which news is claimed to be happening? What do I as a viewer gain from that?

      Why is there no news from any place there is no camera crew?

      Does anyone who defends the quality of BBC programmes ever sit in and watch the daytime output of property and boot sale shows?

      • Sir Talbot Buxomley

        “Now, reporting live from the pavement, it’s Jeremy Bowen. Jeremy, what’s the mood like right now?”

        “Well Hugh, I can tell you that the mood in the pavement right now is …..” (cont p94)

      • Eastern Computers

        Have you ever listened to the BBC World Service? The quality of the programmes and news coverage is staggering good. Though I rarely watch BBC TV news it beats either Sky or ITV hands down.

  • Clive

    Greg Dyke was defenestrated by New Labour after the Today programme’s sloppily managed — but undoubtedly correct — story that the intelligence community was aghast at the way in which Tony Blair (and Alastair Campbell) ‘sexed up’ their evidence about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction

    A ‘journalist’ recruited by Mr Liddle (‘to go after the government on Iraq’) actually lied about what David Kelly said in an interview with him. Forensic analysis of that ‘journalist’s’ palm pilot showed that he had added the word ‘Campbell’ to the interview.

    The same ‘journalist’ primed the Foreign Affairs Select Committee (FASC) to ask certain difficult questions of David Kelly about what he had said in other contexts. Those primes were based on a recording supplied to him by the BBC of a different interview David Kelly had given. It revealed that David Kelly, a fundamentally honest man, had been dishonest and that FASC session may have affected his state of mind.

    David Kelly believed until the end of his life that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons. David Kelly wrote this http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/aug/31/huttonreport.iraq
    …The threat of credible military force has forced Saddam Hussein to admit, but not co-operate with, the UN inspectorate. So-called concessions – U2 overflights, the right to interview – were all routine between 1991 and 1998. After 12 unsuccessful years of UN supervision of disarmament, military force regrettably appears to be the only way of finally and conclusively disarming Iraq….

    Then there are the actual WMD that have been found but barely reported on. This because Mr Liddle and his ilk have made a living out of scorning the lack of WMD found in Iraq. The New York Times published this but it attempts to say in the same piece that it is meaningless. It is not meaningless. The key point about this piece is that the Iraq Survey Group report by Charles Duelfer grossly underestimated the amount of chemical weapons found in Iraq.

    It was always chemical weapons that were the WMD suspected of being in Iraq because Saddam had never explained what happened to them. Duelfer said 12 chemical shells had been found. In fact there were 5,000.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html?_r=0

    …The Duelfer report also claimed that the United States had cleared more than 10,000 arms caches but found no other chemical ordnance. Several disposal technicians said this claim was false, though the report’s authors did not know it.

    THE DUELFER REPORT WAS PART OF A PATTERN OF UNDERSTATED GOVERNMENT ASSESSMENTS ABOUT CHEMICAL WEAPONS, AT ODDS WITH THE GOVERNMENT’S INTERNAL ACCOUNTS.
    One reason that government tallies were low, and that Mr. Duelfer’s team was not aware of all the chemical weapons recoveries, the techs said, was that by 2004 the military’s procedures for handling Iraq’s chemical weapons had created disincentives for troops to report what they found.

    During 2003 and 2004, the United States hunted for unconventional weapons and evidence that might support the rationale for the invasion. But as the insurgency grew and makeshift bombs became the prevailing cause of troops’ wounds, the search became a lower priority for the rank-and-file. Some saw it as a distraction…

  • evad666

    The recent stabbing of a supply teacher begged one question, the ethnicity of the perpetrator. After a search on the web we find the answer on :-

    http://news.sky.com/story/1533281/teen-gets-11-years-for-stabbing-supply-teacher of course the BBC is not biased (much)!

    The BBC is an utter disgrace.

    • James McIntosh

      My one question would be why rather than what ethnicity a person is.

      • evad666

        Because in our multicultural paradise ethnicity drives prejudice across the multicultural heavens.

        • CouchSlob

          Let me understand. You’re suggesting that the BBC’s failure to mention the boy’s ethnic background is due to a multicultural bias leading them to suppress this information?

          I think you’re reading far too much into this!

      • Johnnydub

        The BBC’s answer is only white people can be racist.

      • TomV

        Why does it matter what race/ethnicity the victim is ?
        Why does it matter what gender the victim/perpetrator is ?
        Why does it matter what class, age, social group, nationality ….. yawn

        • Roger Hudson

          Because racism is not, sorry ethnicity trainers, about white power structure. The idea among many Asians that Africans are ‘baboons’ is fairly common.

  • Boleslaw Bierut

    Lefty and antisemitic, is all I can say.

    • Eastern Computers

      What! How is the BBC anti-Semitic!

  • Jeffvader

    Who and / or what is the ‘establishment’? Where are they? How did they get there?

  • Dougie

    Today’s establishment is “liberal”, not liberal. We’re only allowed freedom of speech, indeed freedom of thought, as long as we say and think what the lefty establishment thinks.

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