The World-wide-web-super-highway is filled with angry people who foam and rage against the BBC. And yours truly, is not one of them. Public service broadcasting is a rare and fragile thing, and though hugely flawed – don’t @ me – the BBC should be defended and saved from its worst impulses ( otherwise it’s privatised telly – Fox News & ITN for us all, for ever).
But royalty brings out the worst in the BBC. The broadcaster is at its most servile and unctuous, never kneeling when it can lie on the ground and drool at the green wellies of the nearest Windsor.
The royal fawning is incessant and relentless. Every day, some trivial ephemera about Das Windsors No angle is too silly. Never hold power to account when you can grovel. It’s constantly reinforced – Everything The Royal Family Do is deemed Significant Enough To Be Celebrated.
Look below at the BBC’s Royal Charter – it’s one of those establishment documents that tells you nothing but at the same time tells your everything….
After the Hey-nonny-nonny-nonsense it states:
the BBC should accurately and authentically represent and portray the lives of the people of the United Kingdom today, and raise awareness of the different cultures and alternative viewpoints that make up its society.
So far so good. Hurrah for ‘alternative’ points of view. But the charter then goes on to say…
The BBC should bring people together for shared experiences and help contribute to the social cohesion and wellbeing of the United Kingdom.
So Royal Weddings, Births, Speechifying, Deaths, Tours = shared experiences that are deemed to help contribute to social cohesion. And by social cohesion, I think what’s implied is docility. Circuses for everyone ( but you can read about the bread ).
Despite the fact that the majority don’t care about events like royal weddings, the BBC go to Def Fawn 1. Everything any royal commentator says is treated as completely credible, and the rarely moments when a sceptical voice is invited to contribute, they are treated with scorn and their logical observations reacted to as if they were outrageous.
These days ‘National’ events are consolidated by almost weekly feudal porn like The Queen: A Passion For Horses or Prince Charles dedicating an hour long episode of Countryfile to how great he is…, or even Prince Harry taking over The Today Programme.
Occasionally, something mildly contextualising will come up – such as a series called Reinventing the Royals -but it was pulled at the last minute, then broadcast 6 weeks later, after the royals had neutered any interesting content.
Do the BBC employ censors monitoring it’s output for the slightest hint of republican sentiment? Naw, they Make Staff do It Themselves. And so, critical voices get no airtime, and even journalists who cringe at what it does to the corporations credibility, must play along. I can’t imagine a senior BBC reporter being allowed to do what Michael Crick does here…
Royal Footage held by the BBC is strictly controlled ( editorial compliance forms require producers to state if they plan to use any royal footage and in what context, which then has to be sanctioned ) – hence no repeat screenings for cringefests like It’s a Royal Knockout.
The sad truth is the BBC is essential and complicit in the continuation of reverence for the Royal Family. They, more than anyone else, frame the narrative. Without BBC coverage, the monarchy fades away.
There is some hope. The BBC didn’t bother to cover Princess Andrews Daughter And that Posh Tequila Face guy’s wedding, which though hardly revolutionary, at least shows that public opinion can shift the dial a notch. And, amidst the 30 separate BBC Website updates – there was one that was at least not cheering but factual….
The point is, the BBC is suppose to reflect a diversity of opinion. It’s Your BBC, not just the 1%’s BBC. So rattle the cages. Visibly show disdain towards all this grovelling.
So please follow on twitter (@unroyalreporter) or share this CyberSemtex on Facebook and get into arguments with Fat Jeremy the Royalist in your office.