This broadcasting system, writes Dalrymple, exemplifies two of the guiding principles of contemporary British public life:
- the active promotion of adolescent vulgarity and sniggering crudity
- the shameless looting of the public purse
Needless to say, the BBC
is losing viewers and listeners all the time; a growing proportion of the population never tunes in to any of its programmes.
The BBC certainly cannot claim any longer
that it produces, as it once did, the kind of intelligent programmes that commercial broadcasters shun.
Dalrymple points to vast payments made to the BBC’s fifth-rate ‘comedians’. These payments, he notes,
represent a gift from state functionaries (who themselves have also looted the public purse unmercifully)
on condition that the ‘comedians’
keep contributing to the ideologically-driven vulgarisation of the culture.
There has been a return, says Dalrymple,
to the 18th-century days of state patronage, with this difference: that the men who exercised it back then were men of taste and discrimination. They knew a Dr Johnson when they saw one.