THIS WEEK the BBC unveiled plans to start beaming daily propaganda broadcasts to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and expand its “World Service” to Russia, India and the Middle East to provide better coverage to countries where there is a “democratic deficit in impartial news”.
The BBC faces further cuts and scrabbles around to defend itself from calls from within the Cameron government and the corporate media to privatise or break the Corporation. The people are told to accept cuts, make sacrifices and accept unemployment and poverty under the austerity regime. But the BBC will have no problem in getting the millions needed to join the Americans’ new psychological warfare offensive against any country that stands in the way of imperialism.
The British Broadcasting Corporation is one of our supposed “national treasures” whose aims are to educate, inform and entertain the public that funds it through the licence fee. Under the motto “Nation shall speak peace unto Nation” the Corporation claims to be a pillar of impartiality and a reliable source of independent news at home and abroad. That was never the case back in the 1920s when the BBC was founded and it is certainly not the case now.
The Jimmy Savile affair has shown how easy it was for a dishonest and manipulative man to use the BBC as a cover for his sinister activities. Unfortunately for the last 68 years, the corporation has been happy to allow its name to be used as cover by the British and US intelligence services which operate with the same characteristics as Savile but to far more deadly effect.
From the beginning the Corporation has served the interests of the British ruling class at home and abroad. The BBC poses as impartial but when the chips are down it simply becomes the mouthpiece of the ruling class as it did during the General Strike in 1926 or the miners’ strikes in 1972 and the 1980s. When the Cold War began the BBC, whose “World Service” was directly funded by the Foreign Office until April 2014, worked in tandem with the CIA to spread lies and disinformation to the Soviet Union and the people’s democracies that emerged following the defeat of the Axis in 1945.
In those days the BBC ran a sophisticated operation. Third World diplomats would joke that while Radio Moscow and the Voice of America broadcast were “95 per cent truth and five per cent lies” the BBC was “97 per cent truth and only three per cent lies”. These days, with constrained budgets and the general “dumbing down” that the bourgeoisie encourages to stifle dissent, the BBC has abandoned any attempt at caution or subtlety. Imperialist and Zionist propaganda is relayed at face value and any old rubbish from anti-communist defectors is paraded as unvarnished truth.
Last month Korea was on the brink of war following provocations from the south Korean regime. It was averted following high-level negotiations between the north and southern sides. It ended with the puppet regime agreeing to halt its provocations in the Demilitarised Zone, giving the go-ahead for a reunion of separated families and relatives and offering to resume talks to lift economic sanctions on Democratic Korea.
The agreement was a set-back for reactionary south Korean leader Park Geun Hye and her venal clique that serves the interests of US imperialism. Now some of them want to turn the clock back.
US imperialism is planning to raise the issue of “human rights” in Democratic Korea at the United Nations this autumn and a new hate campaign is being prepared to back it up. The BBC plan is clearly part of this US-led propaganda offensive against the DPRK.But no one in Democratic Korea wants to hear the recycled lies of the south Korean puppet regime on their radios and none of us should be forced to pay for this nonsense.
New Worker editorial
11th September 2015