We’ve been a bit quiet over here at Bogpaper Towers but that’s because we’ve been awaiting the arrival of the brilliant new Friday column from the rather wonderful James Delingpole…and here it is!
Bogpaper is for everyone, so send us your comments on the column and we’ll hand them over to Mr Delingpole next time he pops in to Bogpaper Towers for a coffee.
Thank God for Jimmy Saville
Sometimes the right things happen for the wrong reason. Al Capone was done for tax evasion rather than murder; Adolf Hitler died by his own hand rather than kicking and gagging from a lamp-post; Chris Huhne lost his job because of an alleged motoring offence.
And the BBC is finally getting its come-uppance not for being the single most malign, corrupt, mendacious, hypocritical and dangerous institution in modern Britain – (well, outside Westminster, at any rate) – but because of the grubby antics of a filthy old dead perve.
Obviously I don’t wish to play down the vileness of Jimmy Savile’s crimes. But however many girls, boys and – so the rumour goes – corpses the creep may have abused in his long and repellant career, they are a drop in the ocean when set against the many millions of lives blighted, diminished and destroyed over the decades by his employer.
You think what Savile did to his victims was loathsome? I’d heartily agree. But what about the hundreds of thousands who’ve perished on a squalid NHS ward as a result of incompetence, negligence or maladministration? What about the pensioners condemned to spend their last years in penury? What about the school-leavers and graduates who can’t get jobs in our stagnant economy? What about the kids who’ve not only been denied a rigorous, disciplined education but have had their heads filled with lies? What about the bitterness, resentment and social tension stoked up by multiculturalism? What about the divisions and fear sowed by the rise of Islamism? What about the rural homeowners whose property values have been trashed and whose cherished landscapes ruined by the great wind farm blight? What about the church flower arrangers who now have to be vetted as potential paedophiles? What about the holidaymakers whose flight costs have been almost doubled by eco-taxes? What about the 2,700 elderly people who die each year from fuel poverty? What about the household budgets strained, the dream holidays foregone, the school fees rendered unaffordable, the choices limited as a result of all the money confiscated by the government through tax, borrowing and money printing?
The BBC was responsible for it all.
Not directly responsible: that would be a silly claim to make. Rather, what the BBC has done over several decades, is to create the socio-political climate which made all these things not merely possible but acceptable – and accepted – as the norm.
For years the BBC’s default position on every issue has been: “Why isn’t the government doing more to deal with this….?” But just imagine how very different our world would look if, instead, our compulsorily-funded, quasi-monopolistic state broadcaster’s default position had been: “Why can’t the government get out of the way and leave us free to pursue our hopes and dreams?”
Imagine, for example, how much less sclerotic and over-regulated our economy would be if Britain were no longer a member of the EU – just a trading partner. Imagine how much healthier we’d be – and how much shorter our waiting lists – if we had an efficient, cost-effective health service run on the Singapore model. Imagine how much more disposable income we’d have if, instead of thinking that its job was to featherbed every lardarsed welfare scrounger and give free mansion acccommodation to every hookarmed terrorist the government contented itself with just the basics like preserving property rights, law and order and national security. Imagine if the kind of education provided by Eton were the norm rather than the exception. Imagine if rather than squandering trillions on junk science and non-existent crises like “Man Made Global Warming”, we could instead allocate our scarce resources to areas where they’d really make a difference – developing a cure for the fungus destroying our ash trees, say, or learning to fish sustainably as they do in Iceland….
Most probably you can’t. And the reason that imagining the wonderful world I’ve just described is so very hard to do is simple: fifty or more years’ brainwashing by the sinister and Orwellian BBC has made it all but impossible.
If “brainwashing” and “sinister and Orwellian” sound too strong consider just one example. In the courts this week a blogging pensioner from North Wales called Tony Newbery has been fighting a lonely, gruelling and expensive battle against armies of BBC lawyers in order to try to extract from the BBC a small piece of information which, as licence-fee-payers, we all have a right to know: who were the “Secret 28″ scientific “experts” at the infamous 2006 seminar at which the BBC decided to stop reporting impartially on climate change?
So far the BBC has spent several hundred thousand pounds – Andrew Orlowski at The Register who has been following the case reckons the legal team alone is costing them around £40,000 a day – resisting Newbery’s FOI requests. Is this really what we pay our licence fee for? And what exactly has the BBC got to hide?
Well, quite a lot in this particular case for it exemplifies the BBC’s flagrant abuse of its privileged, monopolistic status. With privilege comes responsibilities. Suppose, say, you’ve been promoted by the BBC into becoming their most popular children’s television personality: one of your responsibilities, it might reasonably be inferred, is not to take vulnerable or disturbed underaged kids back to your caravan and force them to do unspeakable things with your rancid old member. Or suppose you’re the national broadcaster with four TV channels, umpteen radio stations, an enormous website, a reputation for trustworthiness and a cosy arrangement whereby your viewers are forced to pay for your content regardless of whether they think it’s any good: well clearly you owe it to your audience to honour your Charter obligations and remain as scrupulously fair and balanced as you possibly can.
This the BBC fails to do. Its coverage of climate change is just one example. Following that secret meeting it became official BBC policy to report on “global warming” from an overwhelmingly alarmist perspective. From Autumnwatch to the Today programme, from David Shukman’s hysterically doom-mongering reportage to the barely concealed green activism of Roger Harrabin, the BBC’s relentlessly one-sided coverage of the environmental debate has done immeasurable damage to levels of public knowledge on this most important of issues.
It’s important because so much depends on it: everything from the size of our fuel bills, the cost of travel, the state of the economy and the health of the jobs market to the kind of lightbulbs we’re permitted to use or the frequency of our council rubbish collections. If an organisation as influential as BBC gets its facts wrong – and on this issue, it does with depressing frequency – then we all suffer. Badly.
You could make a similar argument for any number of the other areas in which the BBC sticks its oar and shapes public opinion: its relentlessly left-liberal stance on free markets, on the role of government, on welfare, on Islamism, on Keynesian deficit spending, on women, on education, on America, on Iran, on badgers. Like it or not, the BBC has a profound effect on all our lives. And in my view that effect has been immeasurably for the worse.
What Jimmy Savile did over five decades to a few hundred unfortunate kids, in other words, the BBC has been doing over the same period to a nation of 60 million. If this grubby business draws attention to that fact then, in that one respect at least, the filthy wrestler-turned-DJ-turned-rotting-public-hate-figure will have done us all a massive favour.