We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Has the BBC stopped putting bromide in its actors’ tea?

First it was Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. Now actor-songwriter Laurence Fox has veered off the script as well.

A few days ago Fox appeared as the token sleb on the BBC’s political panel show Question Time. Whereupon…

Laurence Fox in racism row over Meghan Markle on Question Time (from the Daily Telegraph on YouTube)

Laurence Fox’s Best Question Time Moments: Climate, Markle, Racism and Labour Leadership (Guido Fawkes)

The entire episode of Question Time (BBC iPlayer)

It was fantastic for Mr Fox. He doubled his Twitter following overnight.

The actors’ union Equity helped spread the story by calling on actors to “unequivocally denounce” their fellow. Yes, those exact words. Equity has now backtracked, but it went to prove Mr Fox’s point.

Oh, and Lily Allen has told Fox to stick to acting “instead of ranting about things you don’t know about”.

34 comments to Has the BBC stopped putting bromide in its actors’ tea?

  • Lee Moore

    The BBC is now in a post-election-in-which-the-Tories-won-a-majority-and-it’s-only-two years-before-the-next-licence-review phase.

    Some tiny gestures in the direction of balance (at least at the conceptual level) have to be made, however painful.

    I hope – though do not expect – that Boris, advised by Mad Dom, will be the first Tory leader to realise that any attempt at accommodation with the BBC is a fool’s game, and that the only nuking from orbit makes any sense.

  • Chester Draws

    Of the whole affair, the entry of Lily Allen was the most amusing to me. Such utter cluelessness is not common in adults. I fear her own comments may be repeated back to her rather often from now on.

  • Lozza has gone from 50k to 160k Twitter followers in a few days.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Lily Allen has the self-awareness of a lump of cement. She’s comedy gold.

    I also listened to L Fox on the James Delingpole podcast, and I really liked it, although he is going to catch a bit of heat for his comments which seemed to make light of the Hollywood “casting couch” culture. At one point he sounded as if he accepted that this sort of thing was almost an accepted cost of getting on in the movie business, or at least seemed to make light of it. Not too sure that is right. Well, times change. And he is a father – I am not sure he’d want his kids to get into that.

    I hope – though do not expect – that Boris, advised by Mad Dom, will be the first Tory leader to realise that any attempt at accommodation with the BBC is a fool’s game, and that the only nuking from orbit makes any sense.

    Agreed.

  • Once again, the hard left media is getting a dose of reality. Fox’s comments resounded with the silent majority for whom woke politics isn’t on their radar or if it is, is dismissed with a roll of the eyes for the nonsense that it is. Fox said what most people think and the BBC et al don’t like it. They are labelling him as being radicalised by the far right YouTubers such as Sargon of Akkad. Anyone who thinks these vloggers are far right must themselves be somewhere well to the left of Uncle Joe. But, then, they would label me as far right.

    Popcorn time…

  • Lee Moore (January 21, 2020 at 11:33 pm), I fear such self-awareness in the beeb is still much less common that the ‘Equity’ take. Any gestures the beeb intentionally makes will be more ‘nuanced’. My guess (FWIW – obviously I could be wrong and you could be right) is that Fox was speaking entirely for himself and beeboids were surprised. He may think the danger of his career being cancelled is less than it would have been – but I don’t for a moment doubt that wondering if he still has one remains rational. We’ll see.

  • While the cracks are beginning to show, I don’t think we’ve reached the tipping point yet though.

    All that is happening is that the scope and scale of the divide between the inhabitants of the London Metropolitan bubble and the rest of the country is becoming increasingly stark.

    The BBC attempts to portray itself as the unbiased and authentic voice of the nation (an image which doesn’t gel with reality). In the past they could get away with that because the only dissenting voices were (in the BBC’s viewpoint) “a rag-tag bunch of Nazis at the Daily Mail and Conservative Central Office”, but with the rise of the Internet this façade has shattered into a thousand pieces and the BBC’s historic trust along with it.

    The biggest question is, if Boris manages to force the BBC to move from using the TV license as it’s primary source of funding to having individual subscriptions after 2027, will he be praised for having “Destroyed the BBC” or castigated for having “Destroyed the BBC”?

    I can’t see the BBC changing it’s ways, since it is too infected with leftwing bigotry. The question is whether it can survive after the repeal of TV licensing legislation post-2027.

    I just can’t envision any scenario where the BBC can keep its current blinkered, biased viewpoint and survive.

    …which is a good thing…

  • Snorri Godhi

    Perhaps the BBC could be broken up, like Standard Oil and AT&T.

    For instance, it could be split into BBC Entertainment; BBC Political, Environmental, and Nutrition News; and BBC Real News.

  • Perhaps the BBC could be broken up, like Standard Oil and AT&T.

    For instance, it could be split into BBC Entertainment; BBC Political, Environmental, and Nutrition News; and BBC Real News.

    It’s not so much the organisation itself (since much of the actual TV production is done by 3rd parties, except for stuff like BBC News), it’s about the funding.

    I could see a situation where BBC News and Childrens TV is funded by the taxpayer, either through direct taxation or a decriminalised TV License at a much lower level (say £24 per year). All other TV revenue arising from UK subscriptions, advertising, DVD sales and foreign earnings.

    This model would be in line with how TV is done elsewhere and particularly how it is done in countries which have moved from a TV License regime to a public/private mixed regime.

    I still can’t imagine that would bring in the current revenues, but again, that would be entirely appropriate. As of last year the BBC had more than 100 managers being paid more than the PM (i.e. in excess of £150,000 per year).

    This “starve the beast” approach would force the BBC to live in a world of commercial reality rather than it’s current ivory tower. If the BBC is the “beloved, world class institution” it claims to be then their coffers will be filled to overflowing from those wishing to sustain such an institution. 😉

    …and if it’s not, libtard tears will be flowing by the bucketload…

    I honestly can’t see any downside to this…

  • checklight

    It was fantastic for Mr Fox. He doubled his Twitter following overnight.

    The exact opposite of “Get woke, go broke.”

  • mongoose

    Who is Lily Allen? Do I need to know?

  • Tim the Coder

    Why wait until 2027?
    The BBC has already reneged on the existing licence deal, by revoking the commitment to free licences for pensioners, something they agreed to be bound by last time.

    So a reform of the licence is justified and needed immediately, to resolve this bad faith from the BBC.

  • Who is Lily Allen? Do I need to know?

    You absolutely do not.

  • Why wait until 2027?

    Because you shouldn’t interrupt an enemy when they are making a mistake. The BBC is continuing to double-down on it’s woke remainiac bias and every week that it does so will further erode public trust and alienate even its most loyal supporters outside the inhabitants of the London Bubble that are essentially dependant upon BBC largess.

    There is a mid-term review of the royal charter set for spring 2022 which should be about the right time to place before the BBC that the royal charter will not be extended beyond 2027 in any event and the BBC must make necessary preparations for its own independent funding (sans TV License revenue) beyond 2027.

    The government should not be the ones mandating what the BBC should do, that’s up to them. The right approach is to say, this will not continue. That puts the problem firmly back in the BBC’s court and gives them 5 years (2022-2027) to get it sorted.

    If the BBC needs some transitional funding to make that happen, then they can either go to the financial markets to obtain it (providing such sureties as required for commercial transactions).

    The other thing that needs to change is that the BBC needs to be subject to external oversight rather than internal review of both programme balance and bias. The days of the BBC deciding that it is unbiased because “it receives criticism of bias from both the left and the right” are over.

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

  • Sam Duncan

    “Oh, and Lily Allen has told Fox to stick to acting ‘instead of ranting about things you don’t know about’.”

    Oh, that’s just too good. 😆

  • Snorri Godhi

    John Galt:

    I could see a situation where BBC News and Childrens TV is funded by the taxpayer, either through direct taxation or a decriminalised TV License at a much lower level (say £24 per year). All other TV revenue arising from UK subscriptions, advertising, DVD sales and foreign earnings.

    I don’t see why you want to fund propaganda with taxpayers’ or TV owners’ money.

    BBC entertainment can be propaganda, but surely not as effective as BBC news?

    (I don’t know about BBC for children but i can see that even a tiny bit of propaganda would be very effective there — in the long term.)

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Perhaps the BBC could be broken up, like Standard Oil and AT&T.

    Not an ideal comparison, because JD Rockefeller (absurdly branded as a “robber baron”) made his gazillions by delivering fuel oil and later gasoline at cheaper prices than any other organization, and was hammered for being a monopolist as a result. Apart from some sharp practice around railroad freight rates (hotly debated by some economic historians), Standard Oil did not get much help from government at all, although towards the end Rockefeller’s minions did bribe some politicians, if only as protection money. Standard Oil was not set up as a quasi-state body to improve public culture, and was not supported by a tax like the licence fee. (See here for a good defense of Rockefeller.)

    If the BBC was really run with the sort of efficiency and zeal of JDR, it would be a marvel. A shame it wasn’t.

  • I don’t see why you want to fund propaganda with taxpayers’ or TV owners’ money. BBC entertainment can be propaganda, but surely not as effective as BBC news? (I don’t know about BBC for children but i can see that even a tiny bit of propaganda would be very effective there — in the long term.)

    Agreed in principle, but probably not practical. As I mentioned, a number of other countries have abandoned their TV Licence models (or never had one) and most of those countries have make some allowance for “Public Service Television” (although the boundaries of what constitutes that public service provision vary widely).

    Personally I would prefer not to have any public service provision, but that probably wouldn’t fly (especially the Children’s TV and News aspect)

    The main thing though is to get the vast majority of the BBC off the public teat in one go, even if all of it can’t be managed on day one.

    This says nothing of Channel 4, which is as bad in some ways, but lets deal with the main enemy before worrying about the relative small fry.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Johnathan: please re-read my comment, and you’ll find that it in no way compares the BBC to Standard Oil; and neither of them to AT&T.

  • Sigivald

    Perhaps Allen should stick to singing, and stay out of things she is not competent to opine on?

    (I rather like her output, but as with all entertainers, I don’t care about her opinions.)

  • mila s

    Given his comments about the appearance of a Sikh soldier in the film 1917 I would say it was Fox who has been drinking bromide.

  • Given his comments about the appearance of a Sikh soldier in the film 1917 I would say it was Fox who has been drinking bromide.

    There is a very thin line between those with knowledge of Indian companies serving on the front-line during WW1 and those pushing a “diverse” agenda. Personally, I would struggle to identify which is which…

    …Could you say the same?

  • The actors’ union Equity helped spread the story by calling on actors to “unequivocally denounce” their fellow.

    So they like blacklists; the only problem they have with the Hollywood Blacklist is that the victims were Communists.

  • Flubber

    Me: Mila S – Given his comments about the appearance of a Sikh soldier in the film 1917 I would say it was Fox who has been drinking bromide.

    Well I’m sure you’ll enjoy the new movie where Dev Patel is playing David Copperfield then…

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance, speaking in 2012:

    “On the first day of our government of conservatives, we should close down the BBC. We should take it off air. We should disclaim its copyrights. We should throw all its staff into the street, and cancel their pensions. We should not try to privatise the BBC. This would simply be to transfer the voice of our enemy from the public to the private sector, where it might be more effective in its opposition. We must shut it down – and shut it down at once.”

    Harsh? Too radical? Gabb explains further:

    “The purpose is to destroy the ruling class before it can destroy us. We must tear up the web of power and personal connections that make these people effective as an opposition to radical change. If we do this, we shall face no more clamour than if we moved slowly and half-heartedly. One obvious sign of success will be when depensioned enemies like Neil Kinnock and Peter Mandelson are seen serving on the cheese counter in Sainsbury.”

  • Lozza has gone from 50k to 160k Twitter followers in a few days. (Hector Drummond, January 22, 2020 at 8:48 am)

    In part of course, this is because Laurence Fox was not a name everyone already knew anyway, but now more people know of him than before. The way in which attempting to censor can have the reverse effect is sometimes called The Streisand Effect, though it is far older. As astrologer Joseph Blagrave wrote in the 17th century

    “… after the ministers had preached against me and my art, I had twice so much custom as I had before, for they could not have done me better service, for many which had not heard of me made much enquiring after me … “

    🙂

  • Nico

    Why couldn’t Boris just close up the BBC and fire-sale its assets? He’s got 5 years for anyone who is too upset about it to forgive him.

  • Itellyounothing

    Don’t forget to buy his album!!!!!!

    🙂

    Good luck to him.

    Capitalism, producing its own defenders is something I like to see.

  • Snorri Godhi

    The purpose is to destroy the ruling class before it can destroy us. We must tear up the web of power and personal connections that make these people effective as an opposition to radical change.
    […]
    One obvious sign of success will be when depensioned enemies like Neil Kinnock and Peter Mandelson are seen serving on the cheese counter in Sainsbury.

    Great! Sean Gabb got it!
    And he has the same initials as my nom d’internet.

  • Roué le Jour

    Can’t we give the EU custody of the EBC as part of our divorce settlement? They get on so well together.

    “Brussels calling, Brussels calling…”

  • Douglas2/Unknown

    Given his comments about the appearance of a Sikh soldier in the film 1917 I would say it was Fox who has been drinking bromide.

    That bit of the controversy I found first on Facebook with the person posting and commenters ridiculing Fox for not knowing that Sikh’s served extensively.

    I immediately thought “Was it that he objected to portrayal of Sikh soldiers in the war, or that he objected to an ahistorical portrayal, such as individual colonial Sikhs being in integrated in a largely British-“native” platoon or company, rather than in their own Sikh units?”

    In looking into this, I found that the context of his speech largely favored the latter interpretation, but also found (via the Daily Mail of all places) that there were in fact Sikhs integrated into regular British army platoons. So I guess I learned something from the controversy.

  • the context of his speech largely favored the latter interpretation (Douglas2/Unknown (January 23, 2020 at 2:58 pm)

    Sikhs (and other groups) in India were typically recruited into ethnically homogenous regiments, so I can see why Laurence might have thought there alone would they be found (or might more correctly think it rare enough that the director had chosen an improbable possible), but, as you say,

    there were in fact Sikhs integrated into regular British army platoons

    since, among other things, a Sikh in the UK was, I believe, as able to join up there and be inducted into a UK-recruited unit as any other subject of the crown.

    (Or even non-subject of the crown – a few US citizens appear in accounts of UK units, I know not exactly how. It may be they were UK-resident and the same recruiting sergeants who told eager 16 years old to “come back when you’re 18 – tomorrow”, told US citizens to “come back when you’ve acquired British citizenship – tomorrow”. I do know that some WWI UK recruiters visited the US seeking to recruit Brits who had emigrated to there, and if the would-be-recruit’s loyalty or liking for a fight made him volunteer then it may be the question of citizenship was waived.)

    And there were occasional merged units, such as the 1st Manchesters and the 47th Sikhs mentioned in the Daily Mail article, though in such a case you’d expect to see more than just one Sikh.

    Mr Bance’s criticism (quoted in the Daily Mail) of Mr Fox’s comments is just a little bit stronger than it should be, since he says,

    the presence of one Sikh is not to distract the audience but to give historical accuracy which most World War One films lack

    whereas pedantic statistical historical accuracy within the film’s particular limited context would not actually require it. However if Mr Bance had said it had unimpeachable historical legitimacy as a thing one might see, then I would agree, although usually the film’s one-take-like shot would either see more Sikhs or, more usually still, none. (I am of course being rather pedantic about Mr Bance’s wording.)

  • Paul Marks

    At least Woke Dr Who is still SJW to the core – and horribly badly made.

    One moment the characters are in a power plant – the next they are on a train. “They used the TARDIS Paul” – no they did not, as one of the characters is introduced to the TARDIS for-the-first-time later in the episode.

    The BBC – capitalism-is-bad (poverty in New York in the early 1900s caused by the greedy-exploitation-of-the-rich) and Americans-hate-immigrants-from-Hungary (Mr Tesla), but also (the VITAL and distinctive BBC touch) in a show that is badly made and has no internal logic.

  • Itellyounothing

    no reason for the Fantastic Mr Fox to assume the SJW neo-Marxists would be putting Sikhs in for honest reasons in honest numbers.

    More power to him. I know he’s walked it back.

    He was still in the right enough and the enemy is not yet begging for mercy.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>