The Near Insane Attack On The BBC
For decades it has been the dream of the Tory press and by extension Tory governments, to nuke the BBC.
In the wake of partygate, more progess on that has been made than ever before.
The licence fee is to be frozen until 2027, when it will be abolished.
You don’t have to be blind to the BBC’s faults to think this is something close to insane.
Moreover, it is simply bad business for the right-wing media that imagines the BBC to be its commercial enemy.
For one thing, without the BBC to whine about, the Daily Mail is going to have a lot of blank pages to fill. Deprived of this prey, it will have to find others.
Milkmen? Lollipop ladies?
In its calmer moments, the Tory press might have to concede that as well as providing an endless target that is too big to miss, the BBC saves them money.
For a start, it trains up journalists with proper standards, that Sky, ITV, the Mail and the rest can poach once they have the required skills.
And because it has so many hacks all over the place, it is the very best initial source of news. Bloated it may be, but the BBC does reporting other organisations simply can’t afford.
I reckon at least six out of every 10 news desk ideas start with something they saw somewhere on the BBC. Even if the idea is only in opposition to what the Beeb said, that’s where they begin.
Moreover, since the BBC’s reporting is fairly straight, the Daily Mail et al at least have some factual reporting to start with so they can go off and do what they will with the story.
Depressingly, the endless whacking the BBC takes seems to have had some effect on public opinions.
Our Find Out Now poll this week asked 9,737 people various questions, starting with, Do you think the BBC licence fee of £159 is value for money or not?
Nearly half say it is very bad value, only 13% think it is about right. A third of people in London are willing to pay £150+, compared to only 10% in Scotland.
Are we heading back to the 1970s, asks this from the Centre for Policy Studies, by which it does not mean a return for flares and Ford Cortinas.
It is talking about energy and the cost of living crisis. It has some forecasts and some solutions. We are going to be all ears for those just now.