The book lists the BBC’s never openly acknowledged, yet all pervasive 'core values' which are worth recording in full. These are:- 1) anti-racist; 2) pro-abortion; 3) pro-women’s and gay rights; 4) pro-UN; 5) pro-EU; 6) pro-union and anti-big business; 7) pro-high taxation; 8) pro-government spending and intervention in industry; 9) anti-private education; 10) anti-private health care; 11) pro-local democracy and local councils; 12) pro-multiculturalism and ethnic minorities generally; 13) pro-foreigner and foreign governments, especially if they are left-wing; 14) anti-American; 15) anti-monarchist; 16) anti-prison. This blog agrees with this analysis with the exception of (11) about which the BBC appears neutral. Several more could be added to the list, namely:- 17) pro-man made global warming theory; 18) pro-paranoia over paedophiles; 19) pro-benefits of immigration; 20) pro-casual sexual promiscuity; 21) anti- 'objectification' and 'sexualisation' of women yet pro 'homo-eroticism' of males.
These then are the default positions of not just the BBC, but the political elite who control most of our institutions. Not all of the BBC’s outlook on these issues is necessarily bad or wrong-headed, but it does mean that any debate on them is often one sided or distorted. And whilst its not exactly North Korea, any journalist who deviates too far from the BBC party line may soon start to feel isolated, and to wonder whether their opportunities for advancement might start to become obstructed.
The book rightly points out the unique privilege that the BBC enjoys through the licence fee, described as a 'flat rate tax' which everyone with a TV has to pay. It adds that this privilege should come with a price, namely, that everyone should get a 'fair deal' from the BBC. Because of the 'inherent bias' the writer concluded that this contract with licence payers has been 'corroded'. Also described is the 'group-think' mentality within the BBC where unfashionable (i.e right wing) views are marginalized, important debates are closed down and many issues of public concern are largely ignored.
As the book makes clear, there is nothing wrong with broadcasting being partisan, provided this is upfront and open, that people have a choice and that a diversity of views is encouraged. Currently Radio 4 has a monopoly on nationwide speech based radio and there is no British equivalent to the openly right wing Fox News in the States. The book catalogues the large number of BBC journalists who enjoy close links with the Labour party and/or were previously employed by the Guardian and Independent newspapers. If the BBC is serious about achieving genuine impartiality it would hire more journalists from right wing newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. Until it does so the BBC will be regarded by many as little more that a propaganda platform for liberal establishment orthodoxies.