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  • And now some Sikh group is ‘angry’


    by Sunny
    20th August, 2009 at 9:28 am    

    The Independent today has a story:

    The BBC’s Asian Network was at the centre of a fresh race row last night after Sikhs accused the digital radio station of being insensitive towards their religion. BBC bosses were forced to remove a show by the popular Muslim presenter Adil Ray from their website after the morning show DJ received threats from angry Sikh listeners who accused him of denigrating an important religious symbol.

    The big story is that Adil Ray is now getting threats, presumably by email, by some angry Sikh nutjobs. In fact I’ve had emails myself asking why I haven’t covered this story. You know why: because it’s rubbish. Adil Ray is neither biased against Sikhs and neither would he be stupid enough to even go near denigrating or making fun of any religion.

    The problem is that there are Sikh, Hindu and Muslim groups constantly watching the BBC Asian Network for any slip-up so they can accuse the station of bias against their ‘community’. After all, making a stink helps them get some recognition and support. As an editor 90% of the time you get such a press release you just delete it. Occasionally the situation gets out of hand, as it seems to be in danger of now, and the stink reaches the national media. These people give religion and race relations a bad name.

    Another point, before someone turns up claiming ‘this is the fault of multiculturalism‘ - I’ll point out that Christian groups have been doing this for decades. The BBC really needs to start ignoring these people… but I suspect the controllers are too scared to do that.


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    1. Carmen D'Cruz

      RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » And now some Sikh group is ‘angry’ http://bit.ly/UCgPw


    2. pickles

      New blog post: And now some Sikh group is ‘angry’ http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5587




    1. Cauldron — on 20th August, 2009 at 10:02 am  

      “The BBC really needs to start ignoring these people…”

      Actually the BBC really needs to shut down this station and get out of the business of endorsing faux identity politics. A channel dedicated to a bunch of disparate cultures help together by nothing more than shared skin pigmentation is the most odious form of digital apartheid.

      BBCAN shouldn’t be surprised it attracts protests from nutters, because the whole concept behind the station is nuts.

    2. camille — on 20th August, 2009 at 10:26 am  

      ignoring what people? Christian gropus?

    3. Shatterface — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:02 am  

      ‘The problem is that there are Sikh, Hindu and Muslim groups constantly watching the BBC Asian Network for any slip-up so they can accuse the station of bias against their ‘community’.’

      I was going to point out that there are Christians and Jews monitoring the station, listening for something to be offended by as well but your last para references this.

      There’s an obvious question about whether stations should be dedicated to particular ethnic groups but then musical genres tend to be appeal to different ethnicities so this is almost inevitable.

    4. Dalbir — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:11 am  

      Sunny, no matter what you say, recently, with all the “hoo ha-ing” about Muslims, and the media being pretty much fixated upon them. It is no big shock that other groups HAVE been under-represented in the media.

      On the whole, the only time I see “Asians” + “religion” in the mainstream media is when we are talking about terrorism and it is usually Muslims that are being shown. Though Sikhs periodically get thrown in with reference to that aeroplane from Canada that was blown up, Bhindranwale, Babbar Khalsa etc. etc.

      Adil Ray is neither biased against Sikhs and neither would he be stupid enough to even go near denigrating or making fun of any religion.

      I don’t know if he is biased but I’ll take your word that he isn’t. As for him being stupid………..

      The problem is that there are Sikh, Hindu and Muslim groups constantly watching the BBC Asian Network for any slip-up so they can accuse the station of bias against their ‘community’. After all, making a stink helps them get some recognition and support.

      Now you are imagining things. There was no “Sikh group” as you mention but some individuals listening to the show who took offence. The first question in my mind regards what they were doing listening to such a crap show anyway?

      There is no big issue, if he did say what he is being accused of, then he just needs to put his hands up and say:

      “Sorry bhai and paan jis. I’ve been a bit of a phudhoo. I wont do it again. Bhul shaak maaf.”

      Then the great inbalance in the force he has created will be….err…..balanced.

    5. camilla — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:14 am  

      I think it would not be to brave to say that finally - but in oblique way - Sunny admits that perhaps ehnic groups constantly focused on seaching and finding reasons (not only on TV or radio but in general) to get offence and demand for retaliation … or attention, or “right-protection”

      they are not focused at peaceful coexistence at all?

    6. Cauldron — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:16 am  

      Shatterface - “There’s an obvious question about whether stations should be dedicated to particular ethnic groups…”

      And there’s an obvious answer. It’s morally indefensible for any society that aspires to be colour-blind to use public funds to support digital apartheid.

      As a practical matter, there’s no need for BBCAN to exist. Private sector radio stations cater perfectly well for all musical genres.

      Close the bloody thing down - reduce the scope for artificial race controversies and save some cash too.

    7. puzzled — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:21 am  

      But I thought Sikhs were “the model minority” (TM)
      How then could this happen? Sikhs making threats and getting a show axed. Where is the outcry over the loss of freedom of speech?

      In any case Adil Ray is right - there is nothing in the Sikh religion that says you should wear a kirpan
      It is not mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib.

    8. Sunny — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:27 am  

      Actually the BBC really needs to shut down this station and get out of the business of endorsing faux identity politics.

      It’s not really is it?
      Any BBC Radio would get this anyway.

    9. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:32 am  

      Cauldron,

      It’s either morally defensible, or not, to have networks broadcasting to target audiences.

      Whether it is public or private money is neither here nor there.

      If you are genuinely against ‘digital apartheid’ then you’d have to argue that even if it was being provided by the private sector. Which you fail to do when you say:

      Private sector radio stations cater perfectly well for all musical genres.

      It seems to me that you are just BBC bashing.

    10. Dalbir — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:36 am  

      #5 Camilla

      Yes this thread finally provides indisputable, irrefutable, incontrovertible evidence that the wogs “are not focused at peaceful coexistence at all?”

      How dare they make a complaint about a radio show! The obstinate bastards.

      Right, let’s get those gas chambers fired up.

    11. Cauldron — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:40 am  

      But Sunny, other radio stations don’t define themselves on racial lines. And that’s what’s really morally discomfiting about BBCAN.

      I’m sure the existence of BBCAN is beneficial to the bank accounts of its employees. And I’m sure it’s beneficial to “progressive” advocates who’d like to foist an ‘Asian” identity upon otherwise disparate groups. But as this incident shows, BBCAN does not foist wider societal harmony.

      douglas clark - I’m not bashing the BBC for the sake of it. I’m bashing the BBC because I think this is a complete waste of taxpayers money and one that, like so many lefty spending and policy decisions, is utterly counterproductive to the communities the left purports to represent.

    12. DavidMWW — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:40 am  

      Camilla,

      I think it would not be to brave to say that finally ..

      “finally”? You haven’t been paying attention. Sunny has been going on about this for years.

    13. Dalbir — on 20th August, 2009 at 11:42 am  

      Also - until I can hear bhangra and other more underground asian music on the radio without having to tune in at 3.00 in the morning on a Wednesday, the station stays.

      Actually, I just discovered Bobby Friction’s show recently and was impressed by the range of tunes he plays and the exposure he gives to less known acts. I can’t see “BBC Hideously White FM” doing this.

    14. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:13 pm  

      The ‘Independent’ article that Sunny links to does mention something called the Sikh Media Monitoring Group. There doesn’t seem to be much information available about them. Perhaps they are a new incarnation of the late lamented National Viewers and Listeners Association, which provided a platform for Mary Whitehouse - a paragon of the censorial approach to - well, damn near everything, really.

      It is this co-opting of a broad identity, as if they owned it, and had a right to speak for it, that is so irritating.

    15. Cauldron — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:13 pm  

      Dalbir, you’re welcome to listen to Bobby Friction’s show but why should I have to pay for it? Or, if somebody else wanted a TV station devoted to Morris dancing or a radio station dedicated to Irish rebel songs then why should either of us have to stump up?

      Brown and Blair think that money grows on trees, but the rest of us know that throwing money at every pressure group under the sun just saddles future generations of taxpayers, of all religions and ethnicities, with debts.

    16. Mangles — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

      Same old b……t! Who says he’s had threats? I don’t belive this to be the case. I recall with the Behzti saga the writer was supposed to have had ‘death threats’ and there she was walking around amidst the audience AND the protestors. Liars! This is the most obvious and typical sharade journalists/writers hide behind to get some form of sympathy.

      Dalbir points to a practical way forward, if a mistake has been made put your hands up to it, apologise and move on. With the programme being removed form the beebs website, it leads to a greater witch-hunt than is probably needed, and a sense of wrong doing against a particular community, and the journalist of course riles in the publicity (call me a sinic!)

      This sought of issue should be dealt with within minutes not weeks. The longer it takes the more there is a feeling of cover-up.

      On a side note, though I often enjoy Adils shows, sometimes he can verge on the edge with some risque comments that may be akin to the Jonathan Ross type of parody. Maybe the beeb is being over-protective?

      Nonetheless greater transparency over the episode would do all a favour and clear up this episode damn quick.

      Rab rakha.

    17. Cauldron — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

      “It is this co-opting of a broad identity, as if they owned it, and had a right to speak for it, that is so irritating.”

      Just like the good and the great at BBCAN then

    18. Sunny — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

      I know! When a Christian group complains to the BBC about something, we should shut the whole thing down! It’s all identity politics!

    19. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:31 pm  

      Cauldron,

      Well, at least we agree that you were bashing the BBC :-)

      The BBC also meets the needs of groups like Gaelic speakers who have their own TV service - BBC Alba. It apparently broadcasts to around 220,000 people.

      Dunno what you think of that?

    20. Dalbir — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:46 pm  

      Dalbir, you’re welcome to listen to Bobby Friction’s show but why should I have to pay for it? Or, if somebody else wanted a TV station devoted to Morris dancing or a radio station dedicated to Irish rebel songs then why should either of us have to stump up?

      Cauldron, I and many “asians” pay taxes too and for years we have been forced to subsidise music/television in which we have little or no interest in (i.e. The Archers, The Proms, Crufts, strange all white period dramas and quaint shows set in obscure all white villages/towns). Now that some of our money is going towards something that is actually aimed at us, people are trying to get rid of that. Think of it as backpay for all those years that white media took asians off the radar (i.e. the 70s, 80s, and a large part of the 90s), whilst happily taking our taxes.

      Actually, if people are complaining about paying for “Asian” shows on the BBC. Lets take a snapshot of the type of stuff they produce in a wider context. You can see a synopsis of various shows taken randomly from the BBC website below:

      This week Guy Barker looks at British and European Jazz.

      The story of a period in the 1940s when the US government became a record company.

      Discover the ukulele joys of Great Britain!

      Series of dramas by Katie Hims about brides dressing for wedding ceremonies and the significance and symbolism of the dress itself.

      Series in which an atheist and a bishop come together to apply their own philosophies to the experiences of people they meet, with Jane Little chairing the discussion.

      So you are happy to contribute to the above and accept Asians tax contributions towards them but are unhappy about contributing to Asian radio shows? Which asians themselves contribute to. Need I remind you that many within the “asian” community are well to do and pay more than their fair of taxes.

    21. MaidMarian — on 20th August, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

      ‘Sikhs accused the digital radio station of being insensitive towards their religion.’

      For the love of….

      How many times do we need to go over this? Sensitivity is not the same thing as bending a knee before every taboo.

      This is identity politics groups looking to get their names in the papers during silly season. They should be told to go away.

    22. DavidMWW — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:02 pm  

      The Network of Sikh Organisations “Media monitoring group” complained about this same show last month.

      They do seem keen to jump at any chance to take offence.

    23. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

      Cauldron @ 17,

      Hardly. You are not comparing like with like. There is a difference, is there not, between providing a forum for people and advocating a single viewpoint? The BBC provides the former and the Sikh Media Monitoring Group provides the latter.

      We had a thread here that mentioned ‘The Scottish Defence League’ the other day. That is, at least for now, another example of co-option. It consists of a single web page whose only content is an e-mail address berkshire_bear etc. Last time I looked Berkshire was in England, but you should obviously never, ever, read too much into an e-mail address should you? But it sounds like a credible organisation, doesn’t it?

      Apparently not.

      It is that issue that I think Sunny was addressing.

    24. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:16 pm  

      Dalbir @ 20,

      I think our friend Carmenego plays the ukelele. Otherwise I agree with you.

    25. Dalbir — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:27 pm  

      Nowt wrong with the ukelele Doug.

    26. damon — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:28 pm  

      Dilbar @ 20

      ”….which we have little or no interest in (i.e. The Archers, The Proms, Crufts, strange all white period dramas and quaint shows set in obscure all white villages/towns)”.

      Really? Is that not being a bit ‘groupist’ (or what ever one might call it?)
      Why wouldn’t people of Asian origin be interested in watching Crufts?

      And I guess that a black British person couldn’t enjoy watching David Lean’s film Doctor Zhivago??
      (Let alone actually reading the book).

      Though this crude generalism might have some legs.
      Do white people ”cross over” better?

      I mean, look at the Notting Hill Carnival, and then look at the big Mela in Ealing West London.
      Not so many Asians at the former, and not so many Afro-Caribbeans at the latter. But plenty of white people at both.

      Culture is a bit of an artificial maintanance job (in a melting pot - multi-cultural society anyway.)
      There is an understandable desire to keep aspects of the culture alive, and I don’t have a problem with that.
      Sure, have minority programmes on the BBC. They may be a bit ”ghetto” but there’s some of us outside the intended listenership who might enjoy them too.
      And if people take comfort from minority targeted programmes, then that’s just good.

      But I agree about ignoring these ever so touchy ‘guardians” of the true faith’

    27. Cauldron — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:32 pm  

      Dalbir, what makes you think that even “Asian” taxpayers share your taste in music?

      This is not really an issue of ethnicity. It’s an issue of the appropriate role of the state. State spending is necessary to fulfill a limited range of tasks (law & order, defence, a minimum social safety net and a few areas where externalities such as pollution or communicable diseases distort free market prices). Once you go beyond that, state spending inevitably become subject to lobbying, rent seeking and corruption. Sometimes you or I will approve of the particular cause being funded, sometimes we’ll disapprove. But let’s recognise non-essential state spending for what it is: the appropriation of resources by one special interest group after another, with the financial burden being shoved off onto future generations. And the most successful special interest groups tend to be articulate middle class ones (think, Arts Council, ENO etc), not those representing the most vulnerable in society. Advocates of state spending usually have noble intentions, but the sheer magnitude of state spending leaves it uniquely vulnerable to waste and corruption.

      The essence of your argument is I should pay for BBCAN because you like Bobby Friction. You also suggest that other “Asian” taxpayers also want to listen to Bobby notwithstanding the fact that BBCAN’s ratings are falling.

      The essence of my argument is that public spending is an all-consuming monster that denies funds to more productive sectors of the economy and, therefore, the presumption should always be against extra public spending unless it is absolutely necessary.

      So yes, in the era of the internet and broad-spectrum availability I am against BBCAN. I’m sure Bobby can get a job on commercial radio. But I’m also against state funding for the Archers, Eastenders, Jonathan Ross and all the rest too.

      The state now spends 48% of GDP in the UK. Therein lies the road to stagnation. Ironically (in the context of this site), the one place in the world that recognises that state spending inevitably leads to waste is emerging Asia. Asia is doing everything it can to trim the bloated state, which is why it’s the one place in the world that’s still growing.

      Meanwhile sclerotic western Europe still looks to Socialism for the answers….

    28. Shatterface — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:32 pm  

      ‘Perhaps they are a new incarnation of the late lamented National Viewers and Listeners Association, which provided a platform for Mary Whitehouse – a paragon of the censorial approach to – well, damn near everything, really.’

      I owe my almost fundamentalist opposition to censorship to Mary Whitehouse’s constant attacks on ‘Doctor Who’ when I was a kid. Censorship encourages a reaction.

      Thanks, Mary.

    29. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:48 pm  

      Cauldron @ 27,

      Fair enough, that is a decent arguement and one that we could have. But you can’t base the entire Republican Party manifesto on one DJ in one, rather small, UK radio station. It isn’t going to make the banking scandal go away now, is it?

      By the way, where do you stand on the NHS?

      But I expect that that’s for another thread.

    30. Dalbir — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:55 pm  

      And the most successful special interest groups tend to be articulate middle class ones (think, Arts Council, ENO etc), not those representing the most vulnerable in society.

      I would say the people you identified above are the biggest consumers of funds. You could easily put across the argument that the average working class person has very little interest in the things held in estimation by the middle class but still have to pay for it. If you are totally honest and have spent any time with the old WC, than you would say that they have absolutely no interest in such things barring the odd exception. Same thing with us “effniks” we also pay for other, more articulate and established interest groups, pet interests. And please don’t anyone point out the “apeing woggery” as some evidence that the “effniks” are into that stuff too.

      So yes, in the era of the internet and broad-spectrum availability I am against BBCAN. I’m sure Bobby can get a job on commercial radio. But I’m also against state funding for the Archers, Eastenders, Jonathan Ross and all the rest too.

      If that truly is your position (i.e. a blanket ban), then I would say it is a justifiable one. But in reality, what happens is that the poncey white middle class shite is given preference over the rest. In the beeb this is due to obvious and “hideous” reasons.

    31. Rumbold — on 20th August, 2009 at 1:59 pm  

      I would turn the BBC into a subscription service. But, presuming it will stay the same as it is now, I see nothing wrong with a channel that plays a lot of South Asian music. Why not? There is a market for it.

    32. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 2:04 pm  

      DavidMWW,

      I had a look at the NSO site. The only mention it appears to me to make to media is wanting to be on it! As far as I can see there is no mention of a Media Monitoring Group. But the site doesn’t seem very, err.., lively?

    33. Cauldron — on 20th August, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

      Douglas @ 29 - the Republican Party has no credibility on fiscal policy given that it was their Congressmen who drove the expansion of government in the early 2000s. My point is that politicians of ALL stripes get tempted to spend taxpayers’ money to appease special interest groups, so the presumption should always be that incremental public spending is ‘guilty’ until proven ‘innocent’. “Spend more on the Beeb because I like to listen to Bobby” is just a small symptom of a wider disease.

      RE: NHS, let’s save it for another thread. Bottom line is I favour a mixture of private and public insurance systemss coupled with a predominantly private delivery mechanism, though I appreciate the difficulties of creating incentives that keep all the stakeholders (public and private) honest. As a role model, I prefer Singapore’s system to either Britain’s or America’s.

      Going back to the original thread, I’m all fired up because: (1) I am morally offended by the notion of an explicitly race-based broadcasting service; (2) I think the existence of a race-based broadcasting service worsens rather than improves community relations; (3) This form of public spending goes well beyond the limits of what I think should be provided by the state and (4) I find the term ‘Asian’ - as used in discourse in the UK and in BBCAN’s moniker - to be idiotic (but that too, is probably for another thread).

    34. DavidMWW — on 20th August, 2009 at 2:20 pm  

      douglas - no, there’s nothing on their website that refers to it. It’s the stories on bizasia.co.uk which carry the references to “Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) Media Monitoring Group”: here, here, here, and here.

    35. Dalbir — on 20th August, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

      “Spend more on the Beeb because I like to listen to Bobby” is just a small symptom of a wider disease.

      Try reading my last post before you make comments like that. If I have to pay for white shite whose only usefulness to me would be as an insomnia cure. Don’t complain when you have to pay for stuff you may not be partial too. Twat.

    36. Cauldron — on 20th August, 2009 at 2:34 pm  

      My, what an ugly temper you have Dalbir.

      As I said before I am equally opposed to spending money on other people’s musical preferences as I am on yours. Not because I think anyone else’s tastes are “shite” but because I believe in a limited role for the state and because I don’t think funds should go to special interest groups that shout loudest.

    37. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 2:42 pm  

      DavidMWW,

      Yes, I’d followed up that bizasia link, although not as comprehensively as you. Thanks for the extra links.

      This all seems a bit odd.

      The umbrella organisation, NSO, makes no mention whatsoever of the Sikh Media Monitoring Group, who, for better or worse seem to have a higher media profile than their alleged umbrella organisation.

      Perhaps someone who knows more about this than I could explain exactly how the tail comes to wag the dog? And who exactly are these people?

    38. Sofia — on 20th August, 2009 at 2:43 pm  

      If public funds shouldn’t go to ‘asian music’ then why don’t commercial radio stations regularly play this type of music..it’s called mainstreaming and has successfully happened to hip hop and rnb..you sometimes get asian artists in mainstream media but more often than not it’s short lived.

      Isn’t the whole point of public funds that we all benefit? I don’t like half the stuff on the beeb but i’m still paying for it..

    39. Dalbir — on 20th August, 2009 at 2:49 pm  

      #36

      Well misrepresenting me by posting paraphrased statements like “Spend more on the Beeb because I like to listen to Bobby”, is hardly going to facilitate warmth Cauldron.

      Okay, what do you suggest so we can have a sensible, balanced and fiscally conservative approach to the matter?

      Bear in mind that the recent origins of the beeb are as a mouthpiece and propaganda tool for the elite of these isles.

      I would have no problem with closing down BBC AN if it were closed down with the rest of the non essential publically funded channels. But targeting a community whose face and voice were pretty much ignored by the British media for decades is not something that should be done lightly.

      Let’s hear your vision for the “service” then?

    40. douglas clark — on 20th August, 2009 at 3:10 pm  

      Cauldron @ 33,

      I know a man that could put you in touch with like minded people :-)

      There’s no rush, but if you get a chance to look at what BBC Alba is doing, I’d be interested in your comments. I doubt any commercial broadcaster would see it as viable. Or is the case for supporting the indigenous culture of far flung folk more compelling?

    41. Kulvinder — on 20th August, 2009 at 10:41 pm  

      Taking that article at face value, i hope any death threats have been reported to the police; and sunny is right theres a set of individuals who essentially are trying to go down the same path minority groups did in the past.

      Namely get angry and brow beat into submission.

      Whilst those tactics may have had legitimacy in the past when violence and the threat of violence were the norm they have no place in society now.

      These sorts of arguments are as always about power, influence and money. If you can rant and rave enough you might achieve some quasi-legitimacy and either get funding directly or make enough of a name for yourself that politicians take your vitriolic verbosity to be indicative of widespread support within the ‘community’; so you get a job on some quango.

      Regardess of what Adil Ray said he had an absolute right to say it, the fact that some sikhs were offended by it is besides the point; if they don’t like it - don’t listen to him.

      I have to say its infuriating and irritating that the BBC did apparently cave in and cancel the show (again going by the article), its exactly the type of spineless mediocrity that leads to a loss of listeners.

    42. Kulvinder — on 20th August, 2009 at 10:47 pm  

      nb the debate about whether there should be a bbc asian network is as always a small and distracting argument surrounding the debate about whether the bbc should exist.

      If you think it does then you accept the range of services and tastes a public service broadcaster caters to.

      If you think it shouldn’t you disagree with the concept of public service broadcasting, and don’t bother with futile arguments about ‘agreeing’ with it but ‘disagreeing with the diversity on the tv/radio’

    43. sonia — on 20th August, 2009 at 10:50 pm  

      actually this is really funny because ironically the bbc asian network is simply highlighting all our asian sub-groups and our petty communalism tendencies heh..

    44. Cauldron — on 21st August, 2009 at 5:39 am  

      @39 and @40. I’ll try to answer as best I can, though our respective frame of references are so different that we might end up talking past each other.

      (1) Any country where public sector spending accounts for 48% of GDP is likely to face a multi-decade period of sub-par economic growth.

      (2) I can see the case for state provision of a narrow range of “public goods” (to use economist jargon) but in practice the definition about what is really a public good is very lazily drawn and special interest groups find it easy to manipulate governments into spending taxpayer funds on their particular cause.

      (3) In the digital era I don’t think that mainstream broadcasting meets the definition of a public good. Therefore, I don’t see why the BBC should exist in its current form. There is absolutely zero case for public provision of the outputs provided by say Radio 1 or BBC 1.

      (4) Digital technology has dramatically cut the broadcasting industry’s fixed costs and changed the business model. Therefore, you need a much smaller audience to be commercially viable than in the past. It’s hard to make a rigourous case for most of the BBC’s second-tier channels when Classic FM, Sunrise Radio and a host of other specialist private radio stations seem to do ok.

      (5) Specifically, I would argue that the market for ‘Asian’ entertainment has sufficient scale to survive and thrive without public provision. Moreover, private provision creates much more scope for diversity than the BBC’s silly “lets all be Asian together” dictat (spot no comment, #43).

      (6) I accept that in a very, very, very small minority of cases the private sector might not cater to the needs of a niche audience, and that a democratic polity might deem it appropriate to requisition taxpayer funds to pay for it. Gaelic speakers might conceivably fall into this category - you could argue that here you have a minority language with long historical ties to the UK that deserves to be supported because the alternative is extinction. Fair enough. But even here, I wouldn’t give a blank cheque to the public sector: you’ll get more accountability and transparency by having a reverse subsidy auction along the lines of S4C. Oh, and since I believe culture falls within the remit of the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish taxpayer should foot the bill.

      (7) What to do with the BBC? First, establish some link between the viewers and the cost of provision. Move to a subscription model or allow advertising. Second, auction off the various BBC assets. Sometimes, state ownership of media is creepy but usually it just leads to bloated management and zero innovation. GMG can buy the BBC News properties in order to keep leftish folks happy.

      (8) Relax everyone! Ending state provision and letting the private sector create lots of niche stations is not going to end civilisation as we know it. If you want a culture to thrive, don’t hand it over to bureaucrats. If you think that state sponsorship of any particular culture leads to success, look at the sorry example of how the Church of England has fared under state patronage.

      (9) Regarding ‘Asian’ broadcasting in particular, most of the various niches surely have the scale to thrive without state subsidy, but it maybe with a slightly different business model. The scale is provided by taking the various fusions of British cultures with South Asian cultures and selling the resultant mix to the massive youth audiences - in South Asia. Kind of like an audio equivalent of Katrina Kaif, but not as pretty. I’m 100% certain we’ll all still be able to listen to Bobby Friction on commercial radio, but we may have to put up with ads aimed at kids in Juhu and Jalandhar.

    45. Cauldron — on 21st August, 2009 at 6:20 am  

      “spot on” not “spot no” in point 5 above

    46. MixTogether — on 21st August, 2009 at 8:37 am  

      The Asian Network has lost its way.

      A quote from an anonymous insider on a website called Asians In Media complains it is becoming a bland Asian Radio 1.

      Adil Moyles’ rather gay joke about a part of the 5Ks seems to confirm the shift in direction.

    47. Uncleji rocking the Airwaves — on 21st August, 2009 at 10:59 am  

      I’ve created some templates for these complaints

      We wants lots of airtime for [insert ethnic/religious/social/lifestyle group here]
      but because of the legacy of British imperalism / Western chavanism/Capitalist Oppression/Liberal Biais/Zionists under the bed
      we reserve the right to throw our toys out of the pram if the tv/radio/online people don’t discuss us in a balanced way. Balance = how wonderful and superior to everyone else we are.

      we, [insert ethnic/religious/social/lifestyle group here] pay the licence fee and as such deserve to have greater representation and/or our own station because [Insert other competitor ethnic/religious/social/lifestyle group] have greater represention / have a station too and thats just not fair and no I won’t go to the naughty step.

    48. Dalbir — on 21st August, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

      Get rid of all of it - or shut up and put up.

      It’s nice to hear alternatives to the white men with proverbial broomsticks up their arses and strange snooty voices (and those “effniks” who’ve made a career from apeing such people don’t count as alternatives btw).

      I see no problem with any system that means I don’t have to subsidise “A series in which an atheist and a bishop come together to apply their own philosophies to the experiences of people they meet, with Jane Little chairing the discussion.”

    49. Dalbir — on 21st August, 2009 at 12:29 pm  

      Oh yes I nearly forgot. Promoting the likes of Chris Moyles, the fat chav bastard, as some attempt to relate to the common Brit slob is unforgivable.

      Actually the beeb should be fucking bombed for that shit alone. Shut it all down I say.

      PS - Don’t take the bombing thing too literally and call MI5 or something.

    50. Dalbir — on 21st August, 2009 at 12:39 pm  

      ….because I’m brown and it feels like I am ‘in season’ for these cunts.

    51. nobodys hero — on 30th August, 2009 at 9:33 am  

      BBC Asian network is a plastic asian radio station. Run by third rate presenters who can not get on the mainstream media. listening to the show, is like eating supermarket samosas. Bland with a horrible after taste. which most asians dont buy

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