Catching up on old news, did anyone else see our old friend Paul Dacre’s bizarre rant last week about the BBC and the ‘assault’ on British values? (Dacre is, for anyone unaware, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail. He usually keeps a very low profile, rarely giving interviews. He’s like the Willy Wonka of the British newspaper industry, although more sinister.) Most curious of all was his comment that the BBC is “exercising a kind of cultural Marxism”. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense, really. I suppose what he really means is that there is a leftist slant in the BBC’s news coverage (although I have always thought that such a charge is overstated a lot of the time – considering the sheer volume of news that the BBC covers, it remains neutral for the most part in my opinion). Norm has counter-argued this point better than I could, but to describe the Beeb as ‘Marxist’ is intellectually incoherent. There is no textbook definition for the term ‘Marxist’ anyway, but the defining characteristic would be an economic interpretation of history, with particular emphasis on who controls the means of production and the subsequent inherent contradictions of capitalism. Now, I can’t claim to consume all of the BBC’s daily output, but I don’t think they do this very often. By all means, accuse the BBC of having a left-wing bias, but please, if you’re going to brandish the term ‘Marxist’ at least demonstrate a basic understanding of what that means. I suggest, Mr Dacre, that you sign up for a course covering basic political philosophy.