I’ve had it with the BBC for a very long while, but my TV is in serious danger of getting a foot put through it and not just because I cant work the remote control. Yes, yes, I know they make good drama, Eastenders is pretty good and hell historical drama and they are there, but for a public broadcaster; someone whose public responsibility it is to keep the public informed and knowledgeable, it is disgraceful.
I should confess at this point that I watch very little television. Unusually, I was brought up in a household where the TV was switched on for specific programmes and off (and unplugged) at all other times. I never got into the habit of having it as a backdrop like so many of my friends seem to. I do still watch occasionally, mainly for news or a programme that everyone is talking about. I cannot, however, watch BBC news. I havent been able to since the Iraq War. It was in the middle of the War that I saw through the lies that were being spun, how the BBC deviated away from the issues and onto trivialities…that while massive human rights abuses were taking place, soft focus shots of our boys in desert fatigues were the order of the day. With the help of the information I was getting from the net, I had seen through it all and I could never watch it in the same way again.
If I do watch TV news, it tends to be Russia Today. I have no doubt that there are people in Russia who feel the same about RT as I do about the BBC, but at least there is some distance and a different agenda. Sky I can handle, although Al-Jazeera jars for some strange reason. STV is too parochial and CNN just annoying. My main news source is the web. Mostly, the mainstream news passes me by, and to be honest I dont really miss it – I leave them to their witterings and look for interesting things instead. From time to time, however there is something in their coverage that it just so bloody astounding that you cant help but notice them. Its not even fiddling while roam burns it just crap churning.
In December for example we were treated to hourly updates of how an old racist was getting along. The average life expectancy in the East End of Glasgow is 54, they are cutting the health service and the BBC find fit to inform us of a blow by blow account how an old rich man is doing after he had a blocked coronary artery. Living in a city with one of the worst rates of heart disease, which affects people considerably younger than Prince Phillip’s 90, somehow it doesn’t really seem to me to be a story…at all. Yet I find it all over the bloody news all the way across Xmas. If the Queen had died, then there would be questions raised about whether we wanted a new monarch and to discuss becoming a republic, but Prince Bloody Phillip having a heart scare? Who exactly is in the slightest bit interested?
And then there was their treatment of the Scottish Independence referendum in January. With the UK government in total disarray, and a well thought out plan being presented, all that was given was belligerent bickering and irrelevant objections. I have my issues with the SNP, but Paxman’s treatment of Salmond was unbelievable. I mean he compared Salmond with Mugabe. He did, you know, he did! Mugabe, a former hero descended into a tinpot dictator, sending troups into the Great War of Africa to plunder the Congo, initiating a populist violent land “reform” based on who could grab most and driving out the urban poor with mass arrests. An international pariah for the way that he has run his people into the ground, while feathering his own nest …and apparently this is a suitable comparison for Salmond?
Now, as I write this, the Navy bomb disposal unit are attending a standoff between armed police and a man with a bomb in Central Glasgow, right next to Queen Street Station. Half the city centre is shut and local homes and businesses have been evacuated. And what are the BBC saying about it? Fuck all. They are reporting on snow in England. Snow. Yes, snow – the white stuff that falls from the sky every year up here. Its winter. You get snow. You don’t usually get armed standoffs with armed police and bombers in major centres of UK population. Twitter is afire with tweets about Smeaton, how suicide bombing doesn’t really affect your life expectancy in Glasgow and how someone in a posh restaurant got a request for a jaegerbomb mixed up with someone saying that they were a jakey (alcoholic) with a bomb.
Twitter can joke, but the BBC is beyond a joke.