The Null Device

BBC bans atheists

More evidence that we're living in the age of George W. Bush: BBC bans atheists from "Thought for the Day" radio slot. (via Pagan Prattle)

There are 8 comments on "BBC bans atheists":

Posted by: Andy Gimblett Fri Aug 16 08:21:15 2002

That's a somewhat misleading comment, in that it suggests that the ban is something new, which it isn't. On the contrary, the story is just that they've failed to remove the ban while looking at revamping the slot - which I think is something quite different, particularly when you realise just how long Thought For The Day has been going. Dubya and his like don't really enter it, this is a far older (but perhaps milder) instance of such discrimination.

Having said that, when I hear it (once every couple of weeks or so when I'm driving early in the morning), I generally find it to be sanctimonious claptrap. :-)

Posted by: steven Fri Aug 16 19:43:34 2002

Thing about the BBC, it's paid for out of public money. They should show more respect for the non-religious who pay for it (around 1/3 of the British population).

Posted by: Dave http:// Sat Aug 17 06:03:19 2002

Of course you realise that the British government is far left wing, and by definition, the opponent of Bush and his party, right? If you'd like to talk about censorship, we could chat about Tipper Gore's successful campaign to force record companies to label "Offensive" products several years ago. Both sides of the political spectrum are convinced they know what's good for us better than we do, don't make the mistake of believing it's all one sided...

Posted by: mark Sat Aug 17 08:35:47 2002

The British government is *not* "far left wing". There's some debate (just ask Steven) over whether they're even centreist.

I'd guess you're American, Dave? American ideas of "left" vs. "right" tend to be rather skewed by comparison to the rest of the world. Most of the Americans I know seem to believe the *Democratic Party* are left-wing!

Posted by: steven Sat Aug 17 10:06:25 2002

I'd tend to put the current British government somewhere in the political centre. Certainly many Labour Party supporters (as opposed to the party leadership), and many Liberal Democrats are to the left of Blair. On many issues, Blair is to the right of much of the electorate as a whole, let alone traditional Labour supporters. The 'far left' in British politics is the Socialist Alliance, many of whose supporters left Labour because of its drift to the right (and many trade unions - traditional allies of Labour - are talking about cutting their support for the party for the same reason)...

Posted by: steven Sat Aug 17 10:20:01 2002

The BBC isn't part of the British government, by the way; it's a public service paid for by a fee levied on TV owners. The 'licence fee' pays for the BBC, and is supposed to ensure its independence (due to not having to depend on advertisers, or wealthy proprietors, who might try to influence it). This system has a lot in its favour - Fox News in the States is terribly biased, and of course the Italian PM, Berlusconi, is a wealthy media magnate who owns key TV stations which, from what I understand, very much toe the party line.

The BBC has a page on the licence fee and how it is used :- 'Why doesn't the BBC take advertising?' - 'Because this keeps the BBC independent of advertisers and other commercial pressures. The BBC's Governors ensure instead that it is run in the general public interest. They are accountable for the BBC's independence, and also ensure that it reflects British culture and minority interests. '

According to a survey carried out in 200

Posted by: steven Sat Aug 17 12:18:29 2002

(got cut off on previous quote)

According to a survey carried out in 2000, 'Almost half of all adults in the UK say they have no religious affiliation...'

Link :-

As the BBC is owned by the British public, and is there to reflect British culture, it really should represent this very significant segment of British society.

As for Tipper Gore - was her campaign based on a leftwing ideology, or was it more down to her professed liberalism actually being rather shallow when there was a bandwagon to jump on? I suspect the latter.

Posted by: Graham Sat Aug 17 16:12:04 2002

Let's put it down to most Americans being rather dyslexic when it comes to political "directions". Blair being "very left wing"? It is to laugh. Dave needs a new compass.