BBC puts the knee into the windpipe of free speech

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So, now our media companies are censoring satire – an invaluable national source of laughter and light relief from the constant corruption and chaos in our country. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Britbox have all dropped Little Britain and Come Fly With Me (originally satirical sketch shows created by the BBC) from their streaming services. 

A spokesman for the BBC told the Mail Online they regularly review old programming on BBC iPlayer, adding: “Times have changed since Little Britain first aired so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer”. Suddenly, as it suits, the BBC have chosen to get on their moral high horse. On Good Morning Britain this morning, black Professor Kehinde Andrews stated that  Little Britain “Should never have been put up on these platforms in the first place, and should be taken down”. 

The ‘Blackface’ character from the popular show, absurdly painted with black face paint in the cultural hit is apparently the reason for its removal in the backlash of the Black Lives Matter protests in recent days. This PC posturing in an age of sickening sanctimony is depressingly typical; an institution devoid of democracy, feebly grasping the concept of freedom of speech.

Tried and tested boundaries in sketch comedies such as Little Britain lie in the territory of taboo, providing a platform upon which to poke fun without favour or discrimination, taking aim at an array of cultural groups and bodies of power.  Where do you draw the line? Should we now ban, say, Gerald Scarfe’s scathing cartoon creations, continuing to lampoon the powerful on a weekly basis, loved by readers for years for their dark caricatures in The Sunday Times? 

Toby Young has written about the idea of ‘offence archaeology’ – the act of digging up old material which, topical in its time, is now placed in the present and vilified according to new terms of taste, to echo an often hypersensitive hysteria on behalf of the PC brigade. As BBC Media editor Amol Rajan pointed out on BBC News at Ten last night, Little Britain was actually rather good at uniting the nation, winning countless awards and drawing audiences of up to ten million. 

To starve society of this silliness in a world already so hostile and paralysed by politics is not only cynical, it is an indictment of our tendency to stifle freedom of expression, pandering to those who need to get a grip. The American journalist Molly Ivins once observed: ‘Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful’. Never had this idea been so poignant. 

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4 Comments on BBC puts the knee into the windpipe of free speech

  1. In the interest of balance, I confess I wholeheartedly agree with the censoring of Little Britain, since both Walliams and Lucas have proved themselves to be rather fine examples of the sneering Lefty Remainer; the clue to their opinion on our fair country was always adequately expressed in the title. Perhaps the real issue here is that for too long we’ve foolishly allowed the BBC to employ talentless luvvies in creating culturally distasteful programming, and it is their subsequent hypocrisy in the modern era which makes fools of us all.
    How many of you can recall Lenny Henry recycling numerous Caribbean stereotypes to sell to a largely white audience? That he has been rewarded with a knighthood must make him the most celebrated ‘Uncle Tom’ in UK history, and an unrepentant one at that. Little Britain was always a repugnant show, pouring scorn on ethnicity, disability, nationalism, the LGBT community and the lower classes, amongst others. The characters simply reflect the pious and spiteful outlook of the creators, unlike a Wolfie Smith or Alf Garnett, who invited us to feel sympathy for their unhealthy and misguided worldview in the hope they would somehow change for the better.
    These two ‘comedians’ have never demonstrated any viable talent, and it is telling that Walliams has been reduced to hosting a talent show whilst he’s not screeching hysterically on Twitter about things he likely has no experience of. Awful people. In the bin with Little Britain.

  2. Come on. What BBC writer can compete with the comedy around us.
    The deluded, bored, pampered infants living of mummies money on the streets, claiming to care about black lives that are being lost all over the world now the police are impotent have been upstaged by parliament holding a minute’s silence for a criminal so depraved he threatened to shoot an unborn baby in a robbery. Could John Cleese equal that? Could Peter Cook?

  3. The removal of satire and humour allows the sanctimonious to get way with their vacuous displays of support for any, and every, cause viewed as fashionable by the mob.
    I suspect that ‘Not the Nine O’clock News’ would have made hay with Sir Keir Starmer’s kneeling mock piety.