Colin Brazier was praised by GB News viewers for highlighting a key issue with the BBC TV license as he recalled an online argument he had with BBC radio presenter Jeremy Vine. Mr Brazier noted that Mr Vine took issue with Prince Philip’s funeral over concerns that the 30 ceremony attendees were all white, which saw the two presenters clash on Twitter. But Mr Brazier pointed out that while people who disagree with him could simply turn off GB News, those who oppose Mr Vine’s points are still legally forced to pay the license fee and essentially support him even s ‘they don’t agree with him.
Mr Brazier’s concerns come as the BBC tries to crack down on impartiality by introducing guidelines that prevent some employees from expressing their opinions on Twitter.
In 2020, the broadcaster released guidelines urging some staff to maintain their impartiality in public if it is relevant to their role.
The guide reads: “If your job requires you to maintain your impartiality, do not express a personal opinion on matters of public policy, politics or ‘controversial matters’.”
The rules also include retweeting, sharing, or engaging with certain people.
Director Tim Davies reportedly told staff: âIf you want to be a opinionated columnist or partisan social media activist, then that’s a valid choice, but you shouldn’t be working at the BBC. “
Speaking on GB News, Mr Brazier discussed his clash with Mr Vine and explained the royalty issues.
He explained: âAs a BBC presenter Jeremy Vine earns at least double what Boris Johnson receives as Prime Minister.
âBeing of an envious disposition rather sticks in my stomach, not because I don’t think Mr. Vine is not a perfectly capable broadcaster, he is obviously very appreciated.
âThis is because it is symptomatic of a bigger problem, the problem starts with a number – Â£ 159.
âThis is the annual fee that the BBC demands of me and you, the royalty payers, and it does so with threats, like if you refuse to pay you are potentially very embarrassed by the law.
âBut the problem is more than a number, it’s an attitude.
âEarlier this year I criticized Jeremy Vine on Twitter, he wondered if Prince Philip’s funeral was sufficiently diverse which, given that it was a ceremony involving a white family, sounded a little stupid. “
@UKPolitoons wrote: âShocking and very brave of Colin as I think they will probably try to pursue him now.
“@colinbrazierGBN will always have my support for this post.”
@MrC_andthenews added: “Fantastic piece, always good to hear Colin’s segments.”
Anyone who watches linear TV currently has to pay Â£ 159 a year.
The license represents a large part of the BBC’s annual budget and is paid for by more than 25 million households.
Failure to pay fees is a criminal offense and may result in jail time.
Former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman came out and attacked the licensing fees and said the current system was not fit for purpose.