A shameful attack on BBC’s independence | Letters


You report that the prime minister is being urged not to appoint Charles Moore as the new chairman of the BBC (No 10 told Charles Moore appointment could put BBC’s independence at risk, 27 September). It is deeply worrying that the BBC continues to be under sustained attack from the Tory party and other rightwing zealots, with threats to “defund” it, to strip it of its popular programmes, to impose a subscription system of financing, and to encourage the introduction of a Fox News-style TV channel.

Lord Moore is well known for his criticism of the licence fee. It is clear that there are many problems with it, not least the ability to access BBC output without the need to own a television. Happily, there is a simple solution. The BBC should be recognised as a national treasure, the envy of the world and a public service, and should be funded from the public purse, like other public services (the judiciary, libraries, the NHS, etc).

The World Service, with its global reach and reputation, does this country great credit (sadly not much else does), and should funded by the government. Those who are trying to undermine the BBC should understand that it provides both quality national and local TV and radio, impartial news and documentaries, as well as both high-class drama and excellent popular entertainment – all without frequent and irritating commercial breaks.
Barry Mellor
London

• The latest reported moves in broadcasting by Boris Johnson smack of Donald Trump’s strategy of stuffing the US supreme court with extreme rightwingers to prop up his regime. Charles Moore and Paul Dacre are both dripping with poison in their attitude to the BBC. Even the culture secretary sees Ofcom’s role as “holding the BBC to account”, as if it were an electronically tagged persistent offender. Where is the even-handedness, where is open-mindedness – qualities surely essential in a national regulator? And how soon the role of the BBC as a unifying force for the country at the height of the pandemic is forgotten.

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If it weren’t so serious, this would be seen as a laughable attempt by this cack-handed prime minister to hobble any media criticism by populating the bench with yet more like-minded cronies, to the utter detriment of both the BBC and the country.
Ian Bartlett
East Molesey, Surrey



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