Lord Reith's vision was of a politically neutral national broadcaster funded by government but not the government's slave, owned by and talking to one-nation Britain, to all our people, and not just to a particular cohort who share the political views of the broadcasters. An organisation that could be trusted by all parties, all election candidates and all voters to report neutrally and without fear or favour. It saddens me that the BBC that we've got in 2014 is so far from the Reithian ideal that it's become unfit to report elections.
Neutrality is not the same as that self-promoted BBC term 'balance'. 'Balance' the way the BBC define it means being able to say the Tories are w*****s, UKIP are t*****s and Labour are dipsticks. It means broadcasters are able to express and include their personal opinions and evaluations so long as they do it for all parties. It's very different from a standard of corporate impartiality - impartiality means refraining from making personal statements and including personal opinions about any of the parties.
The BBC has gone for 'balance' because it imagines that it's in competition with a commercial press and media that operates under no such restraints. No-one who watched any of Nick Robinson's sneering belittling references to UKIP before the elections, or has seen Guido's exposure of BBC producers and executives including Jasmine Lawrence, Sally Challoner or Rosemary Baker who have made nasty, partisan and public statements about their hatred for the 4.3 million Brits who voted for UKIP, can be under any illusion that the BBC is impartial.
The BBC has failed in its political reporting function. It must be reformed.