started this petition to
The Director-General of the BBC, Tony Hall.
We say that the BBC, as public service broadcaster, should hold these organisations to the highest standards. We pay for its services through our license fee and it should serve democracy not the global wealthy. We, therefore, demand that the BBC no longer gives airtime to those who represent organisations that are not entirely transparent about how they are funded.
Democracy is a national exercise. Politicians stand for election for parliaments of a designated country. This is why we have a ban on foreign donations to political parties. Restrictions on party political funding also ensure that all views get a fair hearing so that wealthy people can’t buy democracy.
Yet at the same time, we see wealthy donors, particularly American donors, establishing fake think-tanks that then exercise influence on public opinion and on British politicians and are given media space to propagandise for the views of their wealthy funders. This has become particularly rife during the European referendum and the Brexit process.
The most egregious example is the ‘Taxpayers Alliance’, which, despite its name has no members but argues strongly for a smaller state and the privatisation or the health service. Chloe Westley, who oversaw social media for Vote Leave (and so for the deceitful ads sent from Canada by AIQ via Facebook) is frequently found on various BBC outlets arguing for her paymasters.
Except we do not know who those paymasters are.
Another is the IEA which is repeatedly offered a platform by the BBC to make a similar case for less regulation and a smaller role for government after Brexit. Questions have long been raised about the funding of the IEA, which has for some time been accorded the lowest transparency rating by campaign group ‘Who Funds You?’ Investigations by Open Democracy have revealed that funding from donors including US tobacco firms seeking to avoid tighter regulation, support of more than £500,000 from the US through the American Friends of the IEA, which was set up to enable donations from US-based corporations and individuals, and a similar amount from the Templeton Foundation, which lobbies for health care privatisation.
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