Thursday, 31 December 2015

Diversity humbug

For decades now the liberal establishment has been extolling the supposed joys of diversity brought about by open ended large scale immigration of cultural aliens into this country. Most ordinary people regard such propaganda to be self-evident nonsense. But liberals live in a world of their own and have no qualms about displaying their contempt for those who hold different views. Since liberals control the levers of power and realise that nobody can effectively challenge them, they know they can get away with this kind of delusional propaganda. The only benefit diversity has brought to Britain is a much wider choice of cuisine. All the rest of the package engenders alienation, separation and division.

A good example of the conflicts inherent in the diversity agenda was the publicity over the Al-Madinah free school in Derby. The Ofsted report concluded that the school was dysfunctional and found to be inadequate in all the categories assessed. The school had appointed teachers who were unqualified and inexperienced. All female teachers, regardless of their religion, were required to wear hijabs, and the boys were not allowed to look at the girls, not that they would have seen much since they too were required to wear hijabs. Claims were made that the girls were getting a second class education compared to the boys, and that they were treated as inferiors. Reports suggested that pupils had to attend three prayer sessions every day, an hour of Koranic studies and another hour of Islamic studies as well as Arabic lessons. Other claims made were that pupils were banned from playing string instruments, from singing and from reading fairy tales. So the curriculum was quite a lot different from a typical bog standard comprehensive.

The establishment of free schools outside the control of local authorities is the flagship education policy of the current Conservative government. They are funded directly by the Education Department, are non selective by ability and no charge is made for the pupils attending them. Supporters claim that they create more local competition, drive-up standards and allow parents to have more choice in the type of education their child receives, similar to those who send their children to independent schools. In principle, the idea of free schools is a good one, which would be made even better if selection by ability was permitted.

None of the parents appear to have withdrawn their children from the school as a result of the damming Ofsted report. Some have commented that as the school has only recently been established mistakes can sometimes happen and these can be corrected in time as staff gain more experience. But the reason why parents are largely supportive of the school is because they approve of the policies, including the female dress code, the discrimination in favour of boys, the priority given to learning the Koran and about Islam, and the eschewing of non Islamic practices such as singing and the playing of music.

The idea of free schools is to give parents more choice and at this school they were given it in spades. By and large most of the parents appear to have approved of the education the school was providing their children. Neither liberals nor conservatives can complain. The liberals because the school promotes and provides diversity; the conservatives because it provides a real choice to parents. The state, through its agent Ofsted, should leave the school alone. But it would appear that when it comes to the crunch liberals do not want to see too much diversity, or conservatives too much parental choice. Of course, to all indigenous British people the curriculum at this school is clearly obnoxious, but that only demonstrates the malignant folly which underpins the promotion of the liberal diversity agenda.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Homosexual muscle flexing

Militant homosexual activists are flexing their muscles again. Stephen Fry called for the last Winter Olympics to be moved away from Russia because of the recently introduced 'anti-gay' laws there. The British Humanist Association expressed outrage because over forty schools had the temerity to introduce policies which restrict the promotion of homosexuality.

Had it been possible to write this blog fifty years ago it would have supported the decriminalisation of homosexual activities between males. Unquestionably, at that time homosexuals were persecuted for their private sexual behaviour. This was a gross and unwarranted intrusion by the state into their private affairs as citizens. Moreover, the police shamelessly abused their position by trawling through address books to frame individuals and by the use of agent provocateurs as a means of entrapment.

However, it is worth remembering that most of the public then thought that the law prohibiting sexual activity between males should stay on the statute book. There were widespread fears that homosexuals would corrupt the nation’s youth and that the law should be there to protect vulnerable young men from the perceived threat of supposedly predatory homosexuals. Most people today can now see that this threat was widely exaggerated.

Because they were once persecuted homosexuals continue to both play the victim card and agitate to silence opposition to their agenda. With regard to the supposed 'anti-gay' law in Russia, the actual purpose of this law is to prevent the dissemination of information on homosexuality to under 18 year olds. The new law was passed 434-0 by the Russian duma, 137-0 by the Russian senate and in an opinion poll was supported by 86% of Russian people. Thus it has clearly not been imposed as a result of a bigoted presidential diktat as some have suggested. In the UK there are strict laws against private individuals showing images of sexual activity to under 18s, and the Russian law is, in principle, little different. The age of consent for homosexual relations in Russia is 16, the same as in the UK. So Stephen Fry’s comparison of this new law with the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany was clearly grotesque and offensive.

Turning closer to home it is disturbing to note that all schools are now expected to promote homosexuality as a normal sexual orientation. None of the schools that were singled out as 'homophobic' have specifically denounced homosexual relations or preached hatred of homosexuals. They just do not want to promote homosexuality as being equal to heterosexuality, a reasonable position to take and one that the vast majority of people would most likely support. Needless to say the spineless Department of Education (in a supposedly Conservative government) has sided with the homosexual agitators against the right of schools to decide their own policy on this matter.

Friday, 18 December 2015

The Victorian social purity movement reborn

So what is going on – Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall, Rolf Harris, ageing celebrities, teacher & pupil eloping to France, Graham Ovenden, teacher with images of children in underwear, sexualisation of girls, objectification, internet porn filters, child abuse images, teacher sends indecent images to pupil, no more page 3, lads mags banned, inappropriate touching, compulsory trousers for schoolgirls, predatory 13 year old girl and so it continues. This is no longer just a moral panic; the Victorian social purity movement has re-emerged in a new virulent form. The driving force is feminism, aided and abetted by children’s charities, the gutter press, opportunist politicians and the more neanderthal elements of the British public. The common factor in all the above news stories is that the 'villains' are all male and the 'victims' all female.

The aims of the Victorian social purity movement were to elevate morality, largely through the abolition of prostitution and the sexual double standard which existed between men and women. From the last three decades of the nineteenth century to the outbreak of World War I, the feminist crusade to purify sexual conduct focused on the need for men to control their sexuality, considering that it was the mission of women to re-educate them on their behaviour. The leading figure in the movement was Josephine Butler who condemned the double standard of sexual morality, in which men were allowed to engage in sexual activity outside marriage, while women who did the same were punished or ostracized. Her solution was to preach a single standard of purity and restraint for all. She believed women were naturally devoid of sexual impulses and that men must learn to control theirs. Male abstinence was considered to be the only way to end the evil of prostitution.

The movement was high minded seeking to elevate human relationships to a more advanced level, and for the most part was not openly anti male in its motivation. Moreover, the arguments were not without merit since prostitution was commonplace and venereal diseases were rife. At the time there was undoubtedly a double standard which has now significantly lessened, although it has by no means disappeared. But the long term effect, coupled with the severe prudery and puritanism of the churches, was to instil in society a widespread guilt and shame on sexual matters that was not lifted until the 1960s.

The current feminist campaign to control and denounce male sexuality is much less high minded since its object is to demonize men, although this is rarely stated openly. Modern feminism has its roots in Marxist thinking and thus it has been uncritically accepted by the politically correct elite who control British institutions. Opposition has been minimal to this incremental agenda. Most men are cowed into silence and are reluctant to voice their concerns about what is going on. Only a relatively small minority of women are openly feminist and thus they are unrepresentative of the vast majority of women, most of whom take a common sense attitude towards the opposite sex. Nevertheless, because of the enormous influence wielded by feminists, their orthodoxies are regarded by the liberal establishment as near unchallengeable. Feminist distortions are repeated endlessly without serious examination or challenge, with the end result that the public are now beginning to accept them as truth. The movement to control male sexuality has gained in strength since the Jimmy Savile furore broke, as the news items above demonstrate. Men will need to find their voice if they are to avoid being branded as sex offenders in increasing numbers under the new puritan regime.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Paris global hot air summit

So we can all breathe a sigh of relief that global leaders at the Paris climate summit have decreed that the increase in global temperatures will be limited to 1.5 degrees. It is difficult to understand the delusional mindset behind this statement or the absurdity of this gathering, based on what must be the greatest 'scientific' hoax of all time.

Science is supposed to be based on evidence. In truth there is no evidence that man made global warming is occurring. There was a very slight increase in global temperatures in the final quarter of the 20th century. This followed a slight cooling in the previous quarter which in the 1970s prompted scientific 'experts' to proclaim the start of a new ice age. During the first 15 years of the 21st century global temperatures have been stable, although there is no evidence yet of a cooling trend as some climate change sceptics have suggested.

During the 20th century CO2 emissions steadily increased and the rate of increase also steadily increased. In the 21st century the rate of increase increased still further despite the Kyoto Protocol and other agreements that were intended to curb the growth of CO2 emissions. During the past century and longer CO2 has grown significantly, but the global temperature has fluctuated only very slightly. CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere, in quantities far too small for the projected emissions to have much impact on global temperatures. Thus there is no correlation between man made CO2 emissions and global temperature.

The global warming hoax is not based on scientific evidence but instead is politically driven by a relatively small number of scientists with their own leftist agenda. They are aided and abetted by journalists and political fellow travellers. The name of their game is political control and globalism. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union they accept that currently they are unlikely to achieve their ends by traditional economic means. But they realise that they are more likely to attain them through a global green agenda for which the global warming hoax is a front. The ragbag army of 'climate change' demonstrators who paraded in many European cities during the summit are the very same anti-capitalist protestors who picket G7 meetings, where they are at least more open in their objectives and agenda.

The Paris summit delivered a major political objective as developed nations agreed to hand over 100 billion dollars per annum to 'developing' nations to help them combat a non existent threat from non existent 'climate change. The British Government was in the vanguard of this sell out, and needless to say it was supported by the major opposition parties.

The global warming monster is now seriously out of control. It will lead to a massive hike in energy costs to consumers, the risk of another global financial crisis as a result of the corrupt carbon trading scams, and the introduction of absurd, and potentially geologically dangerous, 'carbon capture' programmes, involving the storage of the harmless gas CO2 without which all plant life would die, and which all animals, including humans, are dependent upon.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Is Peter Hitchens right about cannabis?

The Mail On Sunday journalist Peter Hitchens is unusual in that he more or less writes what he thinks, rather than adopting the more usual practice of mainstream journalists of writing what they like to believe most people think they should think. So he comes across as authentic and not just another clone. He is particularly good at exposing the miasma of cant which continually seeps out of the rotting British politically correct establishment. Hitchens has written a book about British drug policy The War We Never Fought subtitled The British Establishment’s Surrender To Drugs. Although the book is ostensibly about drugs in general in practice it focuses almost entirely on one particular drug, namely cannabis.

Hitchens argues that since the early 1970s liberal inclined politicians of all parties have adopted a policy of progressively reducing the penalties for the possession of cannabis, implementing it behind a smokescreen of tough rhetoric on the evils of illegal drug use. He further argues that because cannabis has been classified as a 'soft' drug it is no longer seen by illegal drug users or the general public as particularly dangerous, compared to 'hard' drugs such as heroin or cocaine. As a result he concludes that the 'war on drugs' has been lost, and that it can never be won because effectively there has never been a 'war'.

Unfortunately, the drugs issue poses a serious dilemma for the Right as two of its most cherished principles come into headlong conflict. The first principle is that individuals should be allowed to pursue their private lives without undue interference by the state. The second is that any behaviour which undermines the stability and fabric of society has to be subject to some form of control. Hitchens clearly believes that the second principle should take precedence. Moreover, his objection to drug use is not based solely on damage to health, or the potential deleterious impact on wider society, but additionally on more morally censorious grounds as when he denounces 'social and cultural revolutionaries who see the freedom to fuddle their own brains as a pillar of human liberty'. He believes that 'self stupefaction is absolutely morally wrong', describing drug taking as the 'purest form of self-indulgence'. Hitchens is happy to proclaim himself to be a puritan, for example declaring that if alcohol had just been invented he 'would support the most severe legal measures to penalise its use and drive it out of our society.'

Peter Hitchens is one of those pundits who have a tendency to link the ills of our present time with the 'permissiveness' of the 1960s. Thus the increased use of cannabis in the late sixties, particularly by pop stars, provided it with a glamorous image which encouraged the young people of the time to 'experiment' with the drug. Law enforcement action against cannabis increased from 185 cases in 1959 to 162,610 in 2009. So clearly there was a massive increase in cannabis use during this half century. Hitchens advocates much more punitive enforcement of the law on cannabis possession, arguing that high penalties would act as a strong deterrent to illegal drug taking. However, nowhere in his book does he outline in practical terms how this might be achieved or consider what the consequences of such action might be.

The only way that a punitive enforcement strategy could be enforced would be by vastly increased stop and search action by the police against the public, and to carry out a lot more 'drug busts' in citizens’ homes, coupled with stiff prison sentences for those caught with illegal drugs. Although most people are probably opposed to illegal drug use they are unlikely to welcome random and repeated searches of their person or homes as a way of addressing the problem. Additionally, some sections of the public will be violently hostile to such action which, as we have witnessed in the recent past, can lead to civil disorder on a large scale. Moreover, our prisons are already full, so a vast prison building programme would have to be introduced to accommodate the large number of people caught by a punitive illegal drug enforcement policy.

Hitchens would probably argue that heavy sentences would so drastically reduce demand for cannabis that no extra prison places would be needed. Bur the reality is that the amount of cannabis use in Britain is now so vast that even the most vigorous enforcement action would only scratch the surface of the problem. In effect the war against cannabis has long been lost, because of the sheer weight of numbers and an available supply chain. In the circumstances it make sense to legalise the drug and tax it in a similar way to alcohol and tobacco. The police could then concentrate on crimes which target genuine victims, prisons could be closed and the government's tax base broadened. Given the huge number of ordinary people already taking the drug there should be minimal impact on social stability. Any health problems for the NHS will be more than covered by the additional revenue which legalisation brings. Additionally, stronger strains of the drug could be taxed more heavily.

In the short term, Peter Hitchens ideas are unlikely to be implemented. However, although the liberal establishment may have soft peddled on cannabis possession for the last 40 years, it does not follow that it will continue to do so. The puritan streak within liberalism is now well and truly on the march, as we have seen with the continuing incremental measures to control tobacco and more recently alcohol and 'unhealthy' food. Liberal puritans strongly believe that they have every right to use the power and apparatus of the state to intervene and control private behaviour they find objectionable. The time cannot be far away when the liberal establishment changes direction and starts to tackle cannabis use in an increasingly punitive way. So ironically Peter Hitchens remedies on cannabis possession are likely to be introduced by the very liberals he condemns for allowing the use of the drug to grow in the first place.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Margraret Thatcher - a retrospective appraisal

This post will attempt to contrast and compare the Britain that existed when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 and after she left office in 1990. There is no doubt that the pundits are correct when they claim she divided opinion. She was a conviction politician unafraid to speak her mind, yet in office she was never quite as bold as many of her supporters, or critics, would have us believe.

The main political issues at the end of the 1970s were high inflation and unemployment dubbed 'stagflation', over-powerful trade unions, the Cold War, relations with Europe, poor educational standards, third world immigration, excessive public spending, inefficient nationalised industries and the belief that Britain was in terminal decline. So how did Margaret Thatcher address these problems, and what were her successes and failures? Alas, the results are mixed.

To control inflation she relied on monetarism, which prioritised controlling the money supply. Combined with the strong pound and high interest rates, this strategy sent unemployment sky high peaking at over 3 million, devastating British industry in the process, and increasing public spending still further. Although both inflation and unemployment dipped in the mid eighties, by the time she left office they were again both rising, this time due to the misguided policy of her chancellor Nigel Lawson in shadowing the Deutsch-mark.

Margaret Thatcher was undoubtedly right when she claimed that 'you cannot buck the market', but by the time she discovered what Lawson was up to the damage was done. However, the fact that inflation did fall substantially in the mid eighties as a result of monetary control, brought an end to the advocacy of an incomes policy (i.e government control of wages and prices), a modish dirigiste panacea to supposedly control inflation, supported by the 'progressive' politicians of the time, most notably the Liberals and SDP. In conclusion, her economic record was patchy, with growth lower than under Macmillan, Wilson and Blair. Today inflation has been relatively low for some time, indicating that monetary control, not an incomes policy, has been the key to this success.

The privatisation of nationalised industries was the most radical element of the Thatcherite agenda. The most successful transfer to the private sector was undoubtedly that of British Telecom. Under nationalisation consumers had to wait months for a phone line to be installed. The technological developments in telecommunications since the mid 1980s have been spectacular, so full marks to the Conservatives for facilitating this outcome. Another obvious privatisation candidate was British Airways. It now seems incredible that this airline was once a part of the British public sector. The benefits from some of the other privatisations are less clear cut, most notably the supply of electricity, gas and water. Given the level of complaints these privatised utilities continue to attract, the jury is still out on whether privatisation of such natural monopolies has necessarily been entirely beneficial. Nationalised industries are not necessarily inefficient, for example, the London Passenger Transport Board and the Central Electricity Generating Board were highly regarded. Nevertheless there is no case to be made today for renationalisation, so Margaret Thatcher’s legacy on this initiative is likely to remain secure. Moreover, she is to be commended for ending the ratchet effect by which trade union dominated Labour governments were ideologically committed to bringing more industries under public control. Another plus is that she created a climate where private enterprise and entrepreneurship could flourish, which continued even through the New Labour years.

Both Harold Wilson and Edward Heath failed to reform the trade unions. Margaret Thatcher was very much more successful. Adopting a gradualist approach she handed trade unions back to their members by requiring elections for union officials and for industrial action. Abolition of the closed shop (which compelled all employees in a company to belong to a union) was a necessary measure that was long overdue. Her most spectacular success on this front was facing down the year long miners strike in 1984-85 led by the unreconstructed Stalinist Arthur Scargill. Her victory in this dispute brought an end to trade union militancy and henceforth the trade union movement was largely sidelined in the decision making process.

Ironically the 'progressive' militants who were then rooting for a miners’ victory would within a decade be championing policies that would lead to pit closures, as they became converts to the global warming hoax. Trade union influence and importance is today only a shadow of what it was in the 1970s. The upside of this is the nation is no longer held to ransom by Marxist militants, the downside has been the growth in McJobs and short term contracts, resulting in much more job insecurity.

Margaret Thatcher was dubbed the Iron Lady by the Soviet Union even before she became prime minister. She was implacably hostile to the global menace from this source that was rightly branded the 'evil empire' by President Ronald Reagan. The stationing of nuclear armed cruise missiles on British soil provoked violent opposition from the political left, demonstrating their true colours and sympathies by their appeasement towards the Soviet threat. The militant feminist Marxist commune outside the Greenham Common air base was the most visual public embodiment of this one sided pacifist naiveté. The inability of the rigid Soviet economy to compete with the US 'Star Wars' defence strategy led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Margaret Thatcher can claim full credit for her part in ending the Cold War and the nuclear threat from a totalitarian communist super-state.

During the 1975 referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Economic Community (EEC) Margaret Thatcher was one of the most prominent supporters for a yes vote to stay in. At that time the Conservatives were proud to be called the party of Europe, and anyone in the party questioning the validity and purpose of the European mission was given short shrift. Membership of the EEC was seen in a positive light and contrary views were largely suppressed.

Although for most of her premiership Margaret Thatcher fully supported EEC membership, her enthusiasm for Europe was far cooler than that of Edward Heath. This became apparent at one of her first meetings with European leaders when she ruffled quite a few feathers by stridently demanding that Britain’s contribution should be renegotiated and our money returned. Although her viewpoint was eminently reasonable since Britain was proportionally the largest budget contributor, she was heavily criticised both at home and abroad for being out of step with the spirit of European co-operation - in the euro-jargon she was perceived as being insufficiently communautaire.

After protracted negotiations her government succeeded in obtaining a rebate which Britain retained until it was diluted by Tony Blair. During her period in office Margaret Thatcher signed the Single European Act, which further strengthened the powers of the European Community (EC) over our affairs. During the late Eighties the Conservative party became more critical towards Europe. Margaret Thatcher, in her Bruges speech was the first Tory leader to question the drive towards greater European integration and the creation of a European super-state. She had finally woken up to the threat to British sovereignty, and since then the Conservatives have become the most euro-sceptic of the main parties, although shamefully still continuing to support British membership.

Margaret Thatcher was the education secretary who closed down the most grammar schools, and as prime minister she did nothing to restore them. She did however introduce the Assisted Places Scheme, which allowed children, whose parents could not afford the fees, to obtain free places at schools in the independent sector, provided they could pass the entrance exam. However, although this was a welcome move, the numbers taking up such places were relatively small. At the same time the Tories also introduced the 'Parents Charter' which gave parents more rights on the choice of school, along with some other measures. Although a step in the right direction such limited action did little to address the mounting concern about the standard of education provided in the state sector.

It was not until the late 1980s that the Tories started to address the problems of education more forcefully, but alas not necessarily more effectively. Tory reforms introduced from the late 1980s included establishing a national core curriculum, replacing O levels and CSEs with a single GCSE examination; giving schools more control over their own budgets, allowing schools to expand up to their physical capacity; establishing 'City Technology Colleges' supported by industrial sponsors and allowing state schools to opt out of LEA control, by applying for grant maintained status funded by the Education Department.

Unfortunately, these proposals sent out a mixed message. Those that encouraged parental choice, and freed schools from the dead hand of LEA 'progressive' educational orthodoxy, were welcome. But the introduction of the national curriculum and assessments were highly prescriptive measures, which can now be seen as precursors of the managerial and interventionist approach that was later developed to a fine art by New Labour. GCSE assessment included a large element of course work, unlike O-levels which were purely examination based and thus appreciably more rigorous academically. This confusion demonstrated the lack of will by Margaret Thatcher to implement the radical policies that are essential if educational standards are to be raised.

During a television interview shortly before the 1979 election, in an uncharacteristically unguarded moment, Margaret Thatcher spoke about the fears of being 'swamped' by people of alien cultures. This was widely interpreted by many voters, without any real justification, that the Tories might actually have been thinking seriously about taking some action against open ended large scale third world immigration. In reality, over the period of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, the number of third world legal immigrants averaged about 50,000 per year.

However, during the eighties the issue of immigration went off the boil, despite several instances of rioting. This was partly due to a media blackout on the numbers of third world immigrants still entering the country, despite the Tories’ supposedly 'firm but fair' immigration policies. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence that Margaret Thatcher was personally hostile to third world immigration into Britain, but it is an inescapable fact that when in office she did virtually nothing to deal with the problem. This must be judged as her biggest lost opportunity. Strong action at that time would have help address what many consider to be now an intractable problem, the full consequences of which have yet to be played out.

It was during Margaret Thatcher’s government that the insidious growth of political correctness first became apparent. It first came to widespread public attention with the antics of the 'loony left' councils and Ken Livingstone’s GLC, with its 'rainbow' coalition between racial, religious and sexual minorities and hard-line Marxists. Margaret Thatcher has been reviled by liberals for introducing the 'Section 28' regulation, which prevented local authorities from promoting homosexuality, particularly in schools. Although no prosecutions followed as a result, it probably acted as a brake on some of the more pernicious 'gay' propaganda that was then beginning to be targeted at young people. Section 28 has always been intensely loathed by the left, but the public largely supported it, as was shown by the results of an unofficial referendum held in Scotland some years ago. Needless to say, now that Section 28 has been lifted, the gay propaganda machine has gone into overdrive and we now have a gay history month in schools.

This then is a brief overview of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy as prime minister. She could be very radical on some subjects such as privatisation and the sale of council homes, but overcautious on others, for example large scale immigration and education reform. Nevertheless there is no doubt that she was the most dominant politician during the final decades of the twentieth century and her importance and stature will long be remembered by posterity. It is clear that the politically correct class still detest Margaret Thatcher, which suggests that she must have been doing something right.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Political correctness at the BBC

A revealing insight into the politically correct agenda of the BBC is contained in the book Can We Trust The BBC? written by former Today journalist Robin Aitken. It provides an insider’s account, from a conservative perspective, on how the BBC’s supposed impartiality is heavily skewed through the prism of political correctness. The book exposes the 'unhealthy and arrogant elitism' which permeates the BBC and the contempt shown by staff towards ordinary people who do not share the BBC’s liberal and leftist default position.

The book lists the BBC’s never openly acknowledged, yet all pervasive 'core values' which are worth recording in full. These are:- 1) anti-racist; 2) pro-abortion; 3) pro-women’s and gay rights; 4) pro-UN; 5) pro-EU; 6) pro-union and anti-big business; 7) pro-high taxation; 8) pro-government spending and intervention in industry; 9) anti-private education; 10) anti-private health care; 11) pro-local democracy and local councils; 12) pro-multiculturalism and ethnic minorities generally; 13) pro-foreigner and foreign governments, especially if they are left-wing; 14) anti-American; 15) anti-monarchist; 16) anti-prison. This blog agrees with this analysis with the exception of (11) about which the BBC appears neutral. Several more could be added to the list, namely:- 17) pro-man made global warming theory; 18) pro-paranoia over paedophiles; 19) pro-benefits of immigration; 20) pro-casual sexual promiscuity; 21) anti- 'objectification' and 'sexualisation' of women yet pro 'homo-eroticism' of males.

These then are the default positions of not just the BBC, but the political elite who control most of our institutions. Not all of the BBC’s outlook on these issues is necessarily bad or wrong-headed, but it does mean that any debate on them is often one sided or distorted. And whilst its not exactly North Korea, any journalist who deviates too far from the BBC party line may soon start to feel isolated, and to wonder whether their opportunities for advancement might start to become obstructed.

The book rightly points out the unique privilege that the BBC enjoys through the licence fee, described as a 'flat rate tax' which everyone with a TV has to pay. It adds that this privilege should come with a price, namely, that everyone should get a 'fair deal' from the BBC. Because of the 'inherent bias' the writer concluded that this contract with licence payers has been 'corroded'. Also described is the 'group-think' mentality within the BBC where unfashionable (i.e right wing) views are marginalized, important debates are closed down and many issues of public concern are largely ignored.

As the book makes clear, there is nothing wrong with broadcasting being partisan, provided this is upfront and open, that people have a choice and that a diversity of views is encouraged. Currently Radio 4 has a monopoly on nationwide speech based radio and there is no British equivalent to the openly right wing Fox News in the States. The book catalogues the large number of BBC journalists who enjoy close links with the Labour party and/or were previously employed by the Guardian and Independent newspapers. If the BBC is serious about achieving genuine impartiality it would hire more journalists from right wing newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. Until it does so the BBC will be regarded by many as little more that a propaganda platform for liberal establishment orthodoxies.