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'You had a good run' - The Ex-Communicator

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March 7th, 2010


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06:44 pm - 'You had a good run'
David Mitchell writes today in the Observer about the possibility that if the Conservatives get in at the next election they will do significant damage to the BBC.
The BBC is the envy of the world. Why are we letting its competitors, and the politicians they have frightened or bought, tell us that we can't keep it as it is?
Although I like David M, his saying so is not really that big a deal. Perhaps he is being paranoid. But no - what is a big deal (in my opinion) is the tenor of the responses. There are a lot of conservatives saying 'yes, it's about time we got rid of the BBC', 'why should we have to pay a license fee', 'Unfair on Sky TV' etc. I can quote a few to give you an idea, but it's not really the individual comments I'm struck by, its the large number expressing a consistent view:
No doubt there will be a stream of self righteous leftists coming to the defense of the BBC whose lack of self awareness always amuses me as it is only leftists who defend the BBC.

You had a good run but the times and technology has moved on

When the BBC was there to raise broadcasting standards it had a point. Now it does more of the same as the commercial stations it is no longer necessary.

Your smug, left-wing sanctimony would be more palatable if your preaching came with a little box that said exactly how much taxpayer cash is larding your bank account.

One only has to look at the USA to see how the free market provides everything (sublime and ridiculous) that the people demand. I say scrap the BBC, sell off its assets.

I don't mean to imply that this is the general tone of comments, which are qualified pro-BBC. What I mean is there are no disagreements from the right saying 'You lefties are being paranoid, we will protect the BBC'. There are no disagreements, as far as I can see, with the claim that they want to get rid of it, only about whether this is a bad thing.

So either there is some sort of organised commenting programme to get this message out, or there is such a consensus that the time has come to dismantle the BBC that they are all doing this spontaneously. Either prospect is worrying.

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:julesjones
Date:March 7th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
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Organised, or at least self-selected, commenting, I think. I am hoping that it is a self-selection artefact, but am worried that it is astroturfing.

My political viewpoint is in the overlap between One Nation Toryism and Liberal Democrat, and I think the BBC is both admirable in its own right, and a deeply necessary defence against public opinion in this country being totally controlled by the likes of Murdoch. Of course, in the view of Scum and Daily Wail readers, that makes me a self-righteous leftie...
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From:communicator
Date:March 7th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
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Astroturfing! I'm laboriously trying to describe the concept and of course there's a term for it, that I forgot. Thanks, I'll probably remember it now.
(Deleted comment)
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From:communicator
Date:March 7th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
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ITV doesn't get any of the licence fee I don't think, it relies on ad revenue, while Channel 4 used to get some kind of grant, not sure if it still does, and it does also have advertising. I think the presence of the BBC influences the commercial channels, acting as a sort of sea-anchor for the whole fleet.
From:londonkds
Date:March 7th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
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I didn't seriously encounter it until I did my MSc in Information Science, but there is a non-fringe element of right-wing politics/economics that seriously believes that for the government to provide any goods or service with tax revenues is a morally indefensible interference with the free market (because somebody could be making a profit doing that, so the government is taking that money away from them).
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:March 7th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
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Yes, which means that for this subset at least the BBC is only the latest example - schools hospitals and the police logically are no different.
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From:iainjcoleman
Date:March 7th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
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Yes, the future of the BBC is one of the two main worries I have about the prospect of a Conservative government. The other is George Osborne as Chancellor - the guy's a total lightweight who may well fuck up the economy even more than it is already fucked with his ideologically-blinkered cluelessness.

I would add education to this list, but fortunately we live in Scotland and so will be shielded from the self-satisfied prickery of Gove.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:March 8th, 2010 08:46 am (UTC)
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Yes, well the less I say about Gove the better probably, in an unlocked post.
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From:vilakins
Date:March 8th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
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I was just saying in the weekend that I wish we'd never got rid of licence fees, which apparently were scrapped in the 60s or 70s? We get huge numbers of ads (20 minutes in the hour) and are inundated with crap reality TV. Good programs are often pulled or buried in bizarre timeslots if they don't get enough people watching them.

I'd much rather pay a fee and have the TV channels serve the viewer, not the advertiser.

At least we now have the tech to watch what we like whether it's on TV here or not, and to skip past the ads at a minute a second on TiVo--that one saves heaps of time.

The BBC though could at least provide some sort of on-line service to those in countries which have bought their programs. We can't see most of their Doctor Who stuff even though it screens here.

Edited at 2010-03-08 01:37 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:March 8th, 2010 08:47 am (UTC)
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38p a day per family is what the BBC costs. I can't believe that anyone would see that as poor value for money. Though it does screen quite a lot of rubbish. I'd like to see the online content extended. It may make their product more attractive to sell on the global market.
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From:vilakins
Date:March 8th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
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We don't get to see any of the online content, despite buying a lot of programs from them. :-(
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From:getawaywithit
Date:March 8th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
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It's not just the BBC - look at them salivating over the 'commercial ruin' the think the Guardian will face under the Tories: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/centreright/2010/03/-the-guardian-faces-commercial-ruin-if-the-tories-win.html

They're just dancing to the tune of Murdoch and News International now, and the damage they'd do if they get in is probably irreparable.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:March 8th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
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Yes. I was thinking of posting about Rod Liddle's article in the Spectator:
The Guardian is a loathsome newspaper; a local north London morning daily for Stalinist metro libtards, perpetually arrogant, snobbish, self-righteous, humourless, dull, relentlessly middle class, cowardly and cheap

That's Madam Stalinist metro libtard to you Liddle.
From:londonkds
Date:March 10th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Oooo, upset that he didn't get the Independent editorship? He probably thinks that the Facebook campaign was organised by sockpuppets of Kings Place.

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