This article appeared in the Mail today. Attacking the BBC over it’s clear cut problem with the issue of it’s output about benefits and those claiming them. Lots of people tweeted this as somehow surprising. THis article is unsurprising but actually quite a deceitful attack(although I believe the author is sincere).
The BBC is bound by impartiality. The problem with impartiality as a principle in a climate where all three main political parties are agreed on an economic and social policy trajectory, is it can easily assume that as long as all three parties are heard(or more) then their obligations have been met. All our political parties spout the same toxic bullshit, impartilaity is agreeing that that is the parameters of the debate. When the Daily Mail agenda is at the heart of the platforms of all mainstream political parties, it becomes difficult to avoid having it at the heart of the BBC. I guess.
In this piece in the New Yorker, the author lays out with a great deal of skill, the pattern the ‘Daily Mail’ agenda has left on British politics. It shows how easily British politics has absorbed it. The ‘Daily Mail’ agenda is currently required to provide the social conservativsm demanded by neo liberalism. The BBC’s performance in the last year, considering they are a broadcaster people can be imprisoned for not paying, has been nothing short of disgusting. Impartialiity lends itself well to transmitting bullshit political consensus. The Daily Mail attacking the BBC for this, is rather delicious in terms of the audacity required but ultimately hollow.
The current political consensus needs the Daily Mail agenda as much as the Daily Mail need the left to get pitchforks out every time they roll out Samantha Brick or Melanie Phillips. And as long as it is a matter of consensus or until something changes, the BBC are unlikely to deviate. And their coverage of any issue is spun with political impartiality in mind. Wheels within wheels. How the message is maintained.
It’s why ‘without fear or favour’ is a better principle than political neutrality.