We note from the excellent Louder Than War website that Doyle And The Fourfathers (“an indie band with Smiths leanings”… hmmm) have been “banned from the BBC” because their song mentions “austerity” and has a pop at the Olympics.
Obviously we’re glad that peely-wally bedroom-acoustic types are writing relevant songs and are being (in D & The FF’s words) “political” – and their song’s not awful.
However, the BBC does not ‘ban’ anything. They may not play it because it’s rubbish, or there’s swearing on it – there’s very strict codes of good taste that all BBC producers have to adhere to. We had a song all lined up to be played on a major BBC music show, but the Producer pulled it because of Baby Face’s polemic at the end – you didn’t hear us trying to gain publicity out of it and comparing ourselves to the Pistols, Frankie or Gainsbourg. Indeed, we offered nothing but support to the BBC for doing the right thing and protecting itself from unnecessary attacks.
This is because we don’t want to get the BBC into trouble. We don’t want to give the BBC’s commercial rivals such as Sky, the Telegraph, the Evening Standard, the Daily Mail etc. anymore sticks to beat dear ol’ Auntie with. And, of course, we were secretly pleased and amused that our music is genuinely considered seditious. Other more subtle songs by Thee Faction have been played many times on various BBC music shows before and since.
The BBC’s not perfect, we accept that. The workforce is not properly representative. Because the licence fee pays for it we all feel our opinion counts, and the BBC is very aware of this.
But we love how it gets up the noses of the capitalist press, corporate-owned media and the Tories who think they can control it.
News Corp has fallen out with Cameron, Nadine Dorres ranting from the back benches about ‘posh boys’ was given plenty column inches in the Sun, Murdoch’s tweeting about “toffs” in government. But the Sun loves the next leader of the Conservatives, Boris Johnson, and here’s what he said about the BBC in his Telegraph column last week: “The BBC is unlike any other media organisation in the free world, in that it levies billions from British households whether they want to watch it or not.. in all its lavish coverage of Murdoch, hacking and BskyB, the BBC never properly explains the reasons why other media organsations – including the BBC – want to shaft a free-market competitor”. Murdoch must love him.
D & The FF’s and all other artists need to up their game and have an analysis. We in the Guild do not write protest songs. We write solution songs.
PS Don’t forget we’re playing in Brixton for free on Saturday night. Do come. It’ll be all comradely and lush.