Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Aunty's bloomers

"Lest there be any doubt, the law says that all Scots, Welsh and downright loony parties are second-class citizens in the context of broadcasting at UK general election times." - stated Alistair Bonnington, a former BBC legal adviser in Scotland.

The Beveridge Committee on Broadcasting in 1949 suggested there should be the opportunity “for minorities to turn themselves into majorities”. The BBC has continually ignored this recommendation.

The supposedly non-commercial BBC is subject to funding threats as well as political pressure such as the ending of the licence fee, or the appointment of governors, for example. The model for government intervention in the BBC is "the arm's-length principle", thus the BBC,are given grants and are nominally independent, but, they are capable of losing funding, or being otherwise pressured if they get too much out of control. This "arm's-length principle" is in effect the way that the whole capitalist class relates to the media, preserving the appearance of neutrality and objectivity, whilst retaining ultimate control.

Television everywhere since its invention and widespread application has been an instrument of ruling class propaganda and subtle conditioning. Something watched by people on average for about 30 hours a week is likely to have some influence.Air time on television that is devoted to the political,economic and social problems of society, not only during, but between elections, is given only to parties that support capitalism. Not only the traditional party political broadcasts but news, magazine and discussion programmes, give exposure to politicians, many of whom become instantly recognisable TV figures. Some even become media clowns or participants as celebrities in quiz shows and reality TV . The whole political conspiracy is wrapped in a package of infamous “guidelines” which the broadcasters use to deny discussion or promotion of alternative ways of organising the way we live.The BBC lay down certain fundamental areas of misrepresentation to which newscasters and political correspondents must adhere.

A party stating a case for an alternative way of running society would be disadvantaged, for in capitalist politics , its parties and its media, are not based on rational examination of ideas but on the performance of media celebrities and we can see that in the personality opinion polls of Brown Cameron and Clegg. It was all about presentation and very little to do with substance.
The Socialist Party has always held , its the case , not the face.

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