Friday, 11 January 2019

We don't deserve this insult

So in this pivotal moment in British history, who does the BBC think we need to hear from? A Corbyn activist, a Guardian hack, a Tory radio presenter, Toby Young, a 90's pop singer and the ever vacuous Jo Coburn. The living manifestation of the Bubble. I have to ask what value does this add to the national debate? What does it offer serious adults?

If the BBC serves any function at all then it is to inform the debate. This does not in any way fulfil that public service obligation. What we see here is creatures of the Westminster bubble invited on the basis of their availability and media recognition.

No doubt the diversity quota and editorial balance policy is in action here but this is condescension. If the referendum told us anything it is that the public are information starved. Everybody thought the campaigns were lacking gravitas and seriousness. The entire debate was dumbed down and trivialised by TV producers who seem to think we can't cope with mature and serious debates featuring knowledgeable people - and that it needs to be sensationalised and cheapened.

Right now it would be good to hear from a parliamentary process expert and a trade analyst and a customs regulation specialist. But what do we get? Generic airheads from the media circle jerk who add precisely nothing and hold zero expertise. All BBC producers are interested in is manufacturing clickbait clips and engineering rowdy conflicts, serving up politics as entertainment. Obligation to inform is nowhere on the list. This is Westminster bubble masturbation.

I don't give a tinker's damn if a TV programme has the right gender/ethic/ideological balance. I just want to hear serious people with worthwhile contributions cross examined by people with gravitas and rounded competence unlike the airhead presenters we have to endure. Instead it gives houseroom to Owen Jones who is expert in precisely nothing, lobbyist prostitutes like LowFactChloe, and the idiot Bastani as though these people had any practical knowledge or experience of anything relevant to the somewhat urgent unfolding events.

Never have we been so poorly served by the BBC, and yet the likes of producer, Rob Burley, evidently don't seem to think there is a problem - and are only too happy to trivialise politics. Just so long as it keeps generating noise they think they're doing their jobs. Not only is it sickening, it's also hugely damaging to the national discourse, where people are so starved of adult politics they've forgotten what it even looks like. The media is no longer equipped to handle anything remotely serious or treat it with the urgency it deserves.

Being that TV politics is the prism through which most people still see the Westminster bubble, it's very possible that BBC producers (and the crap they serve up) are more responsible for the leave vote than any one single factor. How could we feel anything other than contempt for them when viewed through that lens? The BBC did a more effective job for leave than anything allegedly cooked up by Cambridge Analytica.

Brexit may have brought an end to politics as we know it, which is something to be thankful for, but if there is any hope of salvaging the mess that follows, then the next "people's revolt" should be directed at the BBC, not because of bias, but because it is institutionally incapable of producing content of value. It is an indulgence in triviality. Its vacuous and banal productions reflect the quality of the people who work within it. It is an expensive luxury we can no longer afford.

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