Sunday, August 03, 2008

Government funds commercial propaganda

So the problems facing Brown are always interesting and will fill reams of column inches, however, the Sunday Telegraph has a story of more significant substance and concern to the whole country. Essentially it has been revealed that the Government has been secretly funding documentaries on commercial television which just so happens to show their own policies in a distinctly positive light.

Apparently the Home Office has spent close to a million pounds of taxpayers money funding an ITV documentary called "Beat: Life on the Street" which was all about fake policemen Community Support Officers and how marvelous they are for Britain. The Home Office has even agreed to fund a third series apparently.

Now some might say that PSCOs are good, and that the documentaries were of value. However, there is a world of difference between a documentary made by a commercial outfit, and one that is essentially made by the Government to promote their policies and simultaneously fails to declare that they are involved. There is only one name for that, propaganda.

This represents a massive breach of broadcasting regulations. The report goes on to say that the Government even had a level of secondary editorial control so that they could change the terminology and language used in the films. At a time when trust in politics as well as the media is so low, this sort of news will just feed further into that cynicism.

In effect what we're actually talking about is the Labour Party using taxpayers money to produce it's own propaganda to promote it's own policies and work itself around the regulations that exist to ensure that it is clear what is and what is not political output.


John M Ward said...

Okay, PCSOs do have some value, and are better to have than not to have.

Fine so far.

However, as you've rightly highlighted, it is the use of public money to pursue what are in effect party political ends that is the issue here.

Not that this is exactly new, as Guido and others have revealed on a number of occasions in the past few years. Therefore this is now par for the course in Labour's Britain, and the question must be: will the practice cease after the next General Election? We must all hope that it will.

Anonymous said...


Donal Blaney said...

The question is whether an incoming Tory government will resist the temptation to do likewise!

Anonymous said...

I'd take issue with your headline. "Commercial channels broadcast Government propaganda", surely? The way it is, I thought this was about the Government promoting the interests of friendly businesses or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Leni Riefenstahl, where are you in Gordon's time of need?

Anonymous said...

Couldn’t the government just have suggested to one of the Labour lackies at the BBC that they want a series made about Community Support Officers? They’ve got plenty of embeds there.

Anonymous said...

"They’ve got plenty of embeds there."

everyone knows that Al Beeb is packed full of lefties.

its more credible to the public if something runs on ITV.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

There's so much to be angry about here, but the fact that taxpayers are paying for the privilege of being brainwashed really does have a go at carting off the bakery.

That, and the only reason that this came to light was that it may have broken Ofcom regs. Ofcom regs? Why isn't it outright bloody illegal?

sunnyside said...

This country is now a dictatorship in all but name.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually shocked, and I thought I'd seen it all.

Anonymous said...

with a quite clearly hostile media, 'the public' might well welcome an alternative view than that peddled by corporate media interests with a grudge against their potentially evaded tax billions if only they could think up of another tax avoidance scam funding PCSOs which do a sterling job in their local communities.

I know our local community values ours such that the diatribes against them are wearisome.

Some may call it propaganda, some may call it correcting lies.