Ex-Secretary of State for Wales says BBC ‘less keen to be called British’ because it uses ‘Welsh branding’
A former Secretary of State for Wales has said the BBC “seems less keen to be called British” because it uses “Welsh branding”.
John Redwood, the Tory MP for Wokingham in Berkshire, took aim at the British Broadcasting Corporation for being “respectful of Scottish and Welsh culture and identity” but stumbling “over UK and English identity”.
The Conservative politician claimed that they “love pictures” with “Welsh dragon flags but make a joke of the Union flag.
He argued that its “treatment of England is a disgrace” and that it is as if the country “did not exist”.
Redwood also accused the BBC of boosting the nationalist movement in Wales, buy helping it gain “gain more voice for protest and grievance”.
On his blog, he wrote: “There is no adjective to describe U.K. ness. Pro Union citizens of the U.K. in Northern Ireland are happy to be called British even though technically our country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“The BBC seems less keen to be called British, using Scottish and Welsh branding in those parts of the Union whilst trying to break up England with regional branding that fails to resonate with most English people.
“The BBC’s treatment of England is a disgrace. It is as if our country did not exist. We are treated in England to a regular diet of commentary on the words and deeds of the SNP government in Scotland.
“The BBC gives Scotland its own Scottish news then muddles the national newscast with English news because it cannot bring itself to have an English news to match the Scottish news.
“The BBC is respectful of Scottish and Welsh culture and identity but stumbles over UK and English identity.
“They love pictures with plenty of Scottish saltires and Welsh dragon flags but make a joke of the Union flag and repress the English flag most of the time.
“Most national broadcasters would be happy with their flag over their websites and close to their newsreaders, but you could not see the BBC ever wanting to do that.
“The BBC website is largely devoid of symbols, colours and familiar favourite history of the UK, and carefully screened to remove anything that could reflect well on England.
He also said: “The BBC is meant to be a U.K. institution. It should help create a sense of common culture and shared democratic conversation for citizens anywhere in our Union who want that. Instead in recent years the BBC has fanned division.
“It has helped nationalist movements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland gain more voice for protest and grievance.
“It has belittled and ignored England, perhaps with a view to building an English backlash to nationalisms elsewhere in our Union as the SNP and others want.
“By highlighting the differences and the better deal Scotland has over funding per head, access to higher education and social care the BBC has done the SNP’s work for them in trying to create English grievance.
“The U.K. is a complex country. Many cannot describe the subtle differences between UK and GB, or explain the relative powers of the UK and Scottish Parliaments or even remember the different voting system used in devolved elections.
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