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Tomorrow night at 9.00pm the latest ‘fly-on-the-wall’ reality TV show following around law enforcement agencies will air on the subscribtion channel Sky One. Controversially this eight-part series will be funded by £400,000 of taxpayers’ money. “Border Force” follows the activities of UK Border Agency enforcement teams at Heathrow, Dover and Calais.
This ”advertiser-funded” deal with Steadfast Television out of public funds has been condemned by a wide spectrum, though RickB over at Ten Percent puts it most succinctly:
“the most thuggish and racist arm of our security state is getting a shiny makeover for credulous idiots who no doubt will rail against ‘government spending their taxes’ on ’scroungers and foreigners’ yet are in fact having that world-view fed and formed…by government funded shows.”
According to Media watchdog Ofcom’s rules sponsor of television programmes cannot influence content or scheduling and must not affect editorial independence. However, keen to appear ‘tough on immigration” The Home Office defended what appear to be an incredibly blatant taxpayer funded propaganda:
“The important message is that it is a good use of taxpayers’ money. The series will allow the public to better understand the work of the UKBA.”
Interestingly the last TV show funded by the Home office ”Beat: Life on the Street” which followed police community support officers (PCSOs) is being examined by Ofcom to see if it broke rules on programme sponsorship.
No Borders South Wales will be watching the series with interest, and will be commenting on each episode in detail.