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Home > Media

Paul Dacre: Marx My Words

26 January 2007

If you were labouring under the delusion that The Daily Mail and its staff were in some way not totally barking mad, a comment this week by editor Paul Dacre would have disabused you. In an article in The Guardian about his favourite bugbear, the BBC, Dacre commented: 'I for one would pay the licence fee just for Radio 4.'

Mmm. Who wouldn't happily pay the licence fee for endless stagey adaptations of 'The Cherry Orchard', 'Woman's Hour' and 'The Fucking Archers' - none of which come with pictures? But maybe Dacre genuinely likes Radio 4, the radio station for people who are pottering about or doing the washing up. Or maybe he was using this faint praise to reinforce the points made in the rest of the article, which was an unremitting attack on the Beeb, which he accused of 'cultural Marxism'. In case you're wondering, 'cultural Marxism' is the BBC's attempts 'to undermine conservative society by turning all its values on their heads.' Yes, it's those bloody Bolshies and pinkos again, with their metrosexual ways and sodomite friends.

Dacre elaborated:

'By and large BBC journalism starts from the premise of leftwing ideology: it is hostile to conservatism and the traditional right, Britain's past and British values, America, Ulster unionism, Euroscepticism, capitalism and big business, the countryside, Christianity and family values.'

Well, who *does* actually go 'Brilliant! I must watch this!' every time Ian Paisley is on TV? Dacre went on to accuse the BBC of various crimes including promoting multiculturalism, European federalism, alternative lifestyles and New Labour. He's right in some respects - the BBC frequently demonstrates a drippy form of political correctness, and there's certainly a vein of liberalism running through the corporation. But to accuse it of relentlessly promoting a left-wing agenda is bollocks. It's a classic case of assuming that people who don't share your views have some sort of definite agenda. It's the sort of thing you see on Wikipedia debates: 'Well, Moron123, if you can't prove that aliens don't exist, you probably work for the CIA.'

The BBC may not share The Mail's unwavering hatred of everything*, but its news output regularly slags off government policy and raises 'traditional' right-wing subjects like immigration, and rightly so. The failing of the BBC's output is
that it tends toward crassness, not bias. But then so does most TV news - that's why people who are interested in serious reportage watch 'Channel 4 News', 'Newsnight' and documentaries, and read a broadsheet.

And if you go around accusing anything vaguely liberal of being Marxist, presumably in the sense of being a left-wing ideology, then you start to sound a bit weird. But that's never been a problem if you work at 'The Daily Mail', where no one will blink an eye at headlines like 'INHERITANCE TAX UP - IS THIS LITERALLY THE END OF CIVILISATION?'


*Sorry, we forgot 'Hoorah for the Blackshirts!'



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