Thursday 20 August 2015

Teenage ideologues

During fraught negotiations with the government over the licence fee, Lord Hall stated that the BBC would overshadow the Budget by publicly announcing the closure of BBC Two, BBC Four and local radio stations on either the day of the Budget or the day after the Budget. 

Apparently, this resulted in a partial climbdown by the government, which then agreed to that series of "mitigations", including the potential of unfreezing the licence fee in line with the consumer price index.

Ray Snoddy isn't neutral on this, of course. He tells his story from a pro-BBC standpoint - and he certainly isn't a fan of John Whittingdale:
Patten may be a former chairman of the BBC Trust but he has been a Tory Cabinet minister and Conservative grandee a long time before that. 
Whittingdale was, Lord Patten said on Radio Four - a "teenage ideologue." 
As a political put-down, it's up there with Denis Healey likening being attacked by Geoffrey Howe to being savaged by a dead sheep. 
Lord Patten is right. And anyone who thinks anything valuable is at stake here on the future of the BBC should actively oppose the views of the teenage ideologue who most unfortunately, and much to his own surprise, has become Culture Secretary and therefore in a position to mindlessly damage an important British institution.


  1. From Mosey to Snoddy, phile or phobe, these kiss 'n tells are damning if read objectively outside the political or media bubbles, simply on the basis of the facts shared.

    There is zero way for anyone to claim the BBC cannot and does not impose a malign influence on policy.

    They brazenly resort to overt blackmail in self-interest. Hardly impartial or with a shred of integrity.

    And Whittingdale is supposed to be the one to sort this out?

    1. 'Blackmail' - despite Ray Snoddy's denials - does seem the word for it.

  2. If the bbc isn't sorted out now, I don't see another opportunity arising for many years. However, I never really thought that this government had any intention of making any significant changes to how the bbc is funded or allowing individuals the choice of not subscribing to it, without foregoing the right to watch other free to view channels and not requiring a TV licence to do so. Of course, free to view TV is a fallacy because it requires the viewer to pay £145.50 a year for the privilege.

  3. "mindlessly damage"

    Keep digging, Ray. Keep digging.

  4. And Patten has been a total failure in every job he has had. Useless.


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