My non-papal thought for Christmas Day

December 24th, 2010

For most of my lifetime, Conservatives in Britain, have argued that the BBC was a left-wing ramp. As soon as I came to meet BBC folk , when I started work as a journalist in 1955, I found they came from all political viewponts.

But they all adhered to the BBC myth of impartiality, when it came to dealing with the news. They were impartial and they challenged the people they were interviewing.

Be they communist, liberal, labour or conservative.

They challenged everyone.

Except the Church of England and it’s head, the Queen.

To them, the BBC adopted a reverential attitude. In the a950s, Richard Dimbleby, in the early years of television got top ratings, when he drew the nation into worship of the House of Windsor, with prayers conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

But mostly, the BBC people learnt to put aside their personal fopinions and comment ‘objectively’.

Which is why they are still the most respected news organisation in the world.

Fast forward to Christmas 2010 when the Cameron governmment has taken away the ministerial responsibility for deciding on the future of the future of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, from Vince Cab9le, who is  well known as a left-wing member of the Liberal Democrats, whose vote Cameron needs to stay in power.

Because Vince Cable was caught out in a sting, by the mainstream British press which is owned by men (and they are nearly all men) whose only commitment to journalism is that they have acquired sufficient wealth to buy newspapers.

Like the Barclay twins, who currently own one of our best right-wing newspapers, the Daily Telegraph. Which sent in the reporters to LIE. To pretend they were loyal constituents of Vince Cable, come to seek his advice at his surgery for constituents.

They were young and nubile. And Vince unburdened his heart, and very foolishly told them, that, yes, he did agree, that Murdoch was not good news.

He even went so far as to say he had ‘declared war’ on him.

Which was not at all surprising,  because politicians, left and right, are all worried about the huge power of the Murdoch empire. His arguments in his meetings with the Cameron lot, have already had their fruits in the measures announced by this government.

Although Cameron has said he loves the BBC, he has drastically slashed its budget. Meaning that the BBC will have great difficulty in providing the in depth news coverage, all Brits of my generation have taken for granted.

And, now, he has given the responsibility for the Murdoch decision, to his Conservative Minister of Culture, who has frequently declared that Rupert Murdoch is the best thing that happened to British journalism.

This is the same Rupert Murdoch, who bought a serious, but loss making British newspaper, The Sun. Loss-making partly because it was originally half-owned by the trade union movement, the Daily Herald, and in 1968, it had been renamed, The Sun, and relaunched as a broadsheet, left of centre paper.

Murdoch turned it into The Sun, which we all know. Which made him millions by bringing soft porn to the breakfast table. The naked breasts of dolly birds, ready to be pasted by the work stands of the British workers.

In terms of British politics, Murdoch, the capitalist, was not a doctrinaire right winger. He was no friend of the British Conservatives, who had treated him as an upstart Australian, and he was only too happy to dance to Tony Blair’s tune. The tune of making Labour acceptable. Meaning, acceptable to the money makers.

Murdoch went on to storm America. And made more millions from his Fox Television, which caught the rising tide of American right wing Christian fundamentalism.

Yes, you’ve got it right, that was the channel which said that would be President Obama, was not a Christian, but a secret Muslim!!!

Murdoch, since I first met him in 1968, has become a born-again Christian. And politically he has declared his faith in the Republican Party in the US, donating millions of his riches to them.

If Sarah Palin, gets the Republican nomination, she can rely on the Murdoch empire to support her with money and his media empire pundits.

In terms of money, Murdoch now has more than the BBC, which in his many attacks, he portrays as the wicked giant.

But the newspaper which caught out Vince Cable into admitting that he did not think increasing Murdoch’s power was a good thing, The Daily Telegraph, did not even tell it’s own readers what it had found out.

They launched their attack on another of his off-the-cuff comments. Whereupon, one of the Telegraph journalists, leaked the story to a BBC journalist.

So the BBC, which is the all-powerful organisation, which Murdoch wants to throttle, launched the news that Vince Cable was out to get him, thereby ensuring Cable’s downfall.

And, threatening the future of the BBC itself.

The BBC journalists, quite properly, printed the story and gave it headline treatment. Knowing full well that it might harm the BBC, but it was most obviously news in the public interest.

Whether it was referred up to the Director General, the BBC’s boss man, I know not. But even if it had been, he could not have stopped it.

Because the BBC is a public service broadcaster, supported by the license fee of ALL of us, right-wing and left-wing, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Atheist.

This story was hot news. The nation should have been told, even if the Telegraph was hesitating.

And, now at last, Thought for the Day.

Mark Thompson, the present boss of the BBC ‘brand’, has mostly done a good job, of keeping it afloat, in the face of attacks by Murdoch and many of the other rich men, who want to save the world by capitalism.

But, while the Daily Telegraph was organising its Cable sting, Thompson had been for some months, been plotting to put his own personal stamp on the empire of which he is the chief executive.

He is a Roman Catholic, educated by the Jesuits at Stonyhurst, which is one of the two private schools, to which the Roman Catholic elite can send their children, if they are rich enough.

Thompson has mostly done a good job, in hugely difficult times, of keeping the BBC going, as the only effective public service broadcaster on the planet.

And he persuaded himself, that it would be a great journalistic coup, if he got the Pope to deliver Thought of the Day, a programme on BBC Radio Four, which invites religious leaders to preach to us all.

So the BBC minions negotiated with the Pope over several months, and he finally agreed to deliver his Catholic message on Christmas Eve, thus pleasing British Catholics.

And upstaging the Queen. Due to speak on Christmas Day, and according to the leaks, going to talk about Sport. (Maybe she has been reading The Sun, which is actually much better on sport than politics.)

The Pope, of course, though he played it coy, was only too delighted to be give the opportunity of preaching to the Brits, and be rated deserving of talking on Thought for the Day.

Now back in the 1950s the Catholics had mass appeal. Today, their congregations, are almost as pathetic as the Church of England, in terms of the masses.

The majority of Brits, unlike the Americans, no longer go to church. Many of them are atheists, or agnostics.

But the BBC won’t allow none-believers on this slot. It’s OK now if you are a Muslim following Allah, or a Jew, who thinks Jesus Christ got it all wrong, but not if you want to submit a thought for the day, which says you, the bloke in the street, might well gain from thinking about how to live your lives if God does not exist.

Including the Roman Catholic god, which, who is only now getting round to the fact that condoms help ordinary folk not to have children, which they don’t want and cannot afford to rear.

Why has no-one asked for Thompson’s resignation?

In pushing his own, no doubt very genuine beliefs in the Roman Catholic god, he has steered his journalists on a route to violate  just what makes the BBC unique in big media organisations.

BBC journalists are not their Master’s Voice. Speaking what they know is the bias of their boss and owner, be it Murdoch, or Lord Rothermere, or the Barclay Twins, or Georffrey Robinson, curent owner of the New Statesman, or the owner of the left wing Tribune, whose name I do not have to hand.

Murdoch and Rothermere pay the piper. So they can call the tune.

The BBC is paid for the the licence payer.

And that’s us, folks.

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