The BBC is required under its new Charter to provide “impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them”. Its failure to do so renders BBC news coverage increasingly irrelevant. It’s now not only Question Time that leads so many of us immediately to reach for the off button. Much BBC news coverage is more likely to increase blood pressure than increase understanding and engagement.

The requirement to provide “impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them” has, however, prompted the BBC to propose in its Religion and Ethics Review published this week that its coverage of religious issues should be increased and “greater religious understanding” incorporated into its news reporting. Investigative reporting of the corrosive influence of religiously segregated schools in Northern Ireland and, increasingly, the UK mainland would assist this understanding, but that’s not quite what the authors of the Review had in mind.

One problem for the Review was that it couldn’t avoid recognising that an increasing number of people in the UK do not affiliate to any traditional religion. It was in response to this awkward fact that it concluded that the extended coverage it recommends would also have to “reflect beliefs which aren’t founded on religion”. What “beliefs unfounded on religion” the review had in mind was not explained, so one has to speculate. Belief in creationism, that blood transfusion is impermissible  and (I suspect) that the world is flat are all endorsed by followers of some traditional religion. The Review will have to look to belief in flying saucers for truly independent beliefs – or have I missed its endorsement somewhere?  The Review did, however, identify the  target audience for unaffiliated believers: those not engaged with traditional religion who are “spiritual and interested in the big issues affecting them”.

As communists we are most certainly interested in the “big issues”, and not only those that affect us personally. Furthermore, communist philosophy, i.e. Marxism, provides, in our view, the best understanding there has ever been of the world around us. So can we expect to benefit from this envisaged extended coverage by the BBC? Of course not! We will be excluded, ostensibly because we are not “spiritual”. This is correct in the sense that we don’t rely on spirits to understand the world. However, the real reason we will be excluded is because, as Marx wrote, we not only seek to understand the world, we seek to change it. That is the reason the BBC will exclude us; but while it remains the mouthpiece of the ruling class, we would not have it any other way.

The BBC can do what it wants, but if you want to learn about Marxism and how it can help us to understand and change the world, you can join the Communist University of South London (CUiSL) which runs classes at 7.30 pm on the third Thursday of each month at Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CR2 0BN. In the Spring Term we will be studying eco-socialism. For more details e-mail cuisl@communist-party.org.uk.


About drmartingraham

Branch Secretary Croydon CP Convenor Communist University in South London


  1. Exactly. The BBC is funded by the General Public, but does not represent the viewpoint of that public. Money is harvested from the majority working class, and used to propagate middle class ideology and propaganda. In reality, the proletariat is financing its own bourgeois ideological indoctrination. I remember that in the late 1970’s, I once watched a short BBC documentary that discussed ‘abolishing’ Xmas because it is just an exploitative capitalist exercise justified by a veneer of religion mythology – such an educational offering would never be aired today by a BBC that openly supports neo-Nazism in Western-Ukraine, and ignores every Israeli Zionist atrocity. Furthermore, we have noticed an increased emphasis upon religion at our daughter’s school. At just 5 years old, she is coming home espousing (against our will) Judeo-Christian propaganda, instead of learning about Newton, Darwin or Marx! This is augmented by a British ‘Nationalism’ replete with propaganda posters throughout the school, continuously explaining the ‘superior’ merits of being ‘British’ (strongly indicating a separate ‘racial’ identity), regardless of the fact that at least half the school is non-White, and virtually all other cultures contain within them exactly the same ‘civilised’ attributes of kindness, consideration, helpfulness and empathy, etc. The Communist Party is crucial in reminding the world that we need internationalism instead of nationalism, and science instead of religion. We explained to our daughter that when Yuri Gagarin went into space, the supposed ‘heaven’ of religiosity was proven not to exist, and when DNA is examined, there is no ‘British’ gene, etc, and any and all notions of exclusive race are nothing but bourgeois lies. Finally, Cromwell ‘banned’ Xmas and it still remains banned to this day – but the police fail to enforce the ban.

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