Is the BBC a waste of time / should it carry a health warning?
I do not normally comment on books I am reading. Since I de-cluttered my books I found that my concentration span has increased a lot; over the last two days I have read and nearly finished two quite lengthy books. One was about a so-called spiritual centre in Forres, Scotland, called Findhorn. The book deconstructs the idea of it being a spiritual centre, rather a wasps nest of egos, politics, power, greed, sexual licence. All the stuff you want.
A week or so ago in spite of the fact that I have over 1000 books, most of which have not had the attention they deserve, my eye spotted in a daily paper a book by David Sedgwick called BBC: Brainwashing Britain? I ordered it on instinct and noticed its moderate price, £6.57, which was very good for a new and substantial publication. I reckon it was finished somewhere near the end of November 2018 and printed at rocket speed.
I did not realise how much the BBC, in whom I had a naive trust albeit residual, was in fact the vast Marxist propaganda machine. There are some books that I cannot put down, I think they are called “Page Turners”. I found myself going yes, yes, yes – amazing – of course.
I hope David will forgive me for quoting from his book in which in one chapter he discusses the similarities between the Ministry of truth, which appears in George Orwell’s 1984. I was not aware that Orwell worked for the BBC as an Eastern correspondent for a couple of years and was inspired to carry this experience forward to writing his seminal book.
On page 160 David says “the mission of the BBC is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.
However where it promises to inform the Ministry of truth misleads; where it promises to educate its indoctrinates, where it promises to entertain it stultifies. In the book Manufacturing Consent, Chomsky and Herman provide a much more expansive explanation of the BBC’s mission
It is the mass media’s function to amuse, entertain and inform and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs and codes of behaviour that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflict of class interest, to fulfil this role requires systematic propaganda.
…….critics would suggest That this is precisely what BBC content is tailored to do: convince the masses how they ought to think, feel and react to the world around them in accordance with the wishes of the elite. An unethical broadcaster would do this not by faithfully reporting by distorting its content accordingly.
I hope I’ve written enough to persuade you to buy the book which you can find on Amazon.
One very comforting phrase that I read originating with Goebbels. He wrote “propaganda becomes ineffective the moments we become aware of it”
David tells us of the low level of trust that the public hold in the BBC. He says that 84% of people do not trust the news issued by this organisation and this was a large survey of over 10,000 people.
I realise and admit without any pride that I’ve been very naive and actually lazy and just listening to this propaganda over the years. If anyone wants good solid TV news I recommend Russia Today or Aljazeera. Here, speakers are allowed to state their point of view without being interrupted every two sentences by an aggressive and rude interviewer.
My long time nick-name for the BBC has been ‘Dumb Down Central’ and latterly the ‘British Marxist Corporation’
I do not sleep particularly well and tend to listen to Radio Five Live which is a shade more anarchistic than the mainstream news offering, and also the World Service of the BBC where again the Marxist element is not quite so obvious.
I remember once a number of years ago when I was without news for a period of three weeks and when I switched on the news again on returning home, it was just more of the same, nothing has changed except the detail, and I wonder what would happen if I had a news-free year.