Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Licence (Fee) To Politicise

My God, the BBC are hypocritical sods, aren’t they ?

Having taken great pleasure in de-Christianising Christmas by putting on a nativity play in which Mary and Joseph are asylum seekers, they’re now banning the Pogues’ 1987 Christmas hit Fairytale of New York because it contains the word “faggot”. In other words, in the eyes of the BBC it’s fine to do something that might offend Christians, but if it’s likely to put the gay community’s nose out of joint (which it isn’t anyway) then it’s a no-no.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve no problem with them risking Christians taking offence from something they do. I’d just like to see a level playing field. What's good for Christians ought to be good for everybody else. Slightly more seriously, I still find it worrying that we've got a State-run, State-funded (i.e. taxpayer-funded) broadcasting monster blatantly pushing a political agenda.

UPDATE: The BBC (Radio 1 to be precise) have back-tracked and said that they'll now play the song in full, instead of playing with blanks over words they didn't care for, which is what they were doing originally. Even so, the statement they've issued isn't exactly a reason for put the flags out.

Station controller Andy Parfitt has talked of "careful consideration" going into this decision, adding pompously, "It is not always easy to get this right, mindful of our responsibility to our young audience", then patronisingly, "While we would never condone prejudice of any kind, we know our audiences are smart enough to distinguish between maliciousness and creative freedom", before finishing menacingly, "In the context of this song, I do not feel that there is any negative intent behind the use of the words, hence the reversal of the decision."

In other words:
..yes folks, it's true, licence fee payers' money really has been spent discussing this issue;
..we feel it's completely right in principle to indoctrinate our young audience with our own contempt for freedom of expression;
..we would always ban something if we thought it was being "malicious" or "negative" (man) about one of our beloved special-interest groups (including gays but doubtless excluding Christians or members of the Conservative Party, to take two wild examples of which I am neither).

As victories for free speech go, this is about as hollow as they come. Sometimes I really wish I was powerful, just so that I could personally dispense with the filth that run institutions like the BBC.

No comments: