Tuesday, 29 April 2014

BBC crisis deepens over CBI "cover-up"

The BBC is in a state of crisis tonight over the revelation that it has been a member of the right-wing Confederation of British Industry for at least three and a half decades. 

Earlier, the Unionists' in-house broadcaster, which is now under sustained pressure from its own journalists to sever its ties with the anti-Trade Union organisation, which registered as an official member of the No campaign two weeks ago, claimed that it had been a member of CBI for "ten years", paying over £22.000 per annum in membership fees.

Assuming that the membership fee has been constant and adjusted for inflation, then the latest revelation shows that the Corporation - a public service broadcaster funded by direct taxation on pain of imprisonment - has secretly funnelled at least £770.000 to the CBI, a shadowy lobbyist with close links to the British regime, the Conservative Party and Better Together: CBI's deputy director general in Scotland, a Conservative candidate, is on the BetterTogether advisory board.

The emergence of this news has come as a shattering blow to the few remaining defenders of the BBC's credibility and impartiality in Scotland, particularly in regard to the independence referendum, where it is viewed by most as an active and committed part of the Tory-funded No campaign.

It is a fact that the BBC was a member of the anti-Trade Union CBI during the period of the Miners' Strike, a time where its coverage brought widespread condemnation for its portrayal of the miners. Indeed, it was viewed at the time as an unashamed Government propagandist; going to the extent of reversing footage to portray the miners as out-of-control thugs. 

At one conflict in Yorkshire, the police and British army attacked and charged the miners, who regrouped and charged at the police themselves in retaliation. The BBC chose to broadcast the events in reverse. 

The revelation that they were a paid-up member of the CBI at this time goes some way to explaining their behaviour at the time. 

The BBC has come under sustained pressure to leave the CBI, at a time where almost all of its members in Scotland have already done so. BBC's major broadcasting rivals, Scottish Television, have already resigned, as has every Government department and university, as well as many private organisations. Its refusal to do so raises serious questions over its impartiality when reporting on the referendum. 

On an unrelated note about the BBC, I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Corporation last week, noting that the Socialist Party has more elected representatives in Scotland than UKIP, and asking for a breakdown of how often representatives from both parties were asked to appear on shows broadcast in Scotland. There is a clear perception that UKIP are semi-permanent guests on BBC shows, and that the Corporation is desperately trying to push UKIP as a mainstream, credible party. 

My FOI request came before the revelation that the BBC was a member of CBI for over thirty years: but with the full knowledge that UKIP share many of the anti-worker policies of the CBI, including resistance to the minimum wage, Scottish devolution, maternity leave and paid holiday. 

It will come as no surprise to anyone that the BBC has refused to answer the request. 

I have therefore written to the Information Commissioner, asking that office to adjudicate. 

The BBC is in an existential crisis this evening. It is becoming increasingly difficult to justify its existence. The game seems well and truly up, and the BBC exposed for what it is: an organisation which is the creature of the British regime and big business, and which does all it can to oppose Scottish independence on that basis.

This is the largest crisis the BBC has been embroiled in since Iraq.

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