This will upset some Lib Dems …


Last week, Nigel Farage told a public meeting in Rochester:

I would like to see the BBC cut back to the bone to be purely a public service broadcaster with an international reach, and I would have thought you could do that with a licence fee that was about a third of what it currently is.

According to The Independent:

The move could see the end of more frivolous entertainment programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear.

Of course, as Mark Pack points out, those are the shows that make the most money for the BBC, which enable it to produce the rest of its output.

This follows Farage’s attack on the ‘left wing bias’ of the BBC audience at the opposition leaders’ debate.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • This from a man who admits;“I don’t listen to music, I don’t watch television, I don’t read.” (The Guardian 29th March 2015) – the man is a cultural cretin!

  • The BBC licence fee should be scrapped, and the BBC sold off like the Post Office. An instant saving of £145 per household per year. If you like the BBC, then subscribe to it, but don’t force the rest of us to pay for their liberal left propaganda.

  • I don’t think we need a state controlled entertainment organisation that legally binds the British public to pay for using technology it did not invent or even develop. As for the idea that it is impartial. look at it current affairs staff, royal coverage and willingness to tow the government line according to who ever that government happens to be at the time.

  • I thought it was found that there was a left wing bias in the BBC debate audience?

  • Peter Hayes 27th Apr '15 - 5:58pm

    Just had a few days in the Lake District where the only hotel option is a satellite disc. All took Sky with the news options of one owned by an ex-Australian American, one paid for by Putin and one paid for Quatar, no BBC news or Parliament. Just like the newspapers almost owned by foreign (American/Australian or Channel Island residents). We need democracy to have free sources, the only one now is Channel 4 news which the Tories want to sell off and give up their public service requirement that only news now satisfies.

  • Richard Flowers 27th Apr ’15 – 4:06pm
    “…..the armed forces should be sold off; if you like Trident then subscribe to it, ”

    This would be an excellent one line Defence Policy and I would vote for it.
    If people like Trident they could hold jumble sales, shake collecting tins on street corners or sell little poppies to finance it. That is after all how we fund those who suffer in wars on our behalf.

    My guess is that if people had themselves to raise the cash for Trident it would not remain as a weapon of war as long as a four minute warning.
    Could we also sell of the monarchy to the highest bidder?

  • The BBC is stuffed full of Guardian readers and is incapable of being impartial and is therefore permanently in breach of its charter. The public should not be forced to pay for political propaganda.

    Its bloated management structure leads to poor accountability. It does not have any respect for the taxpayers whose money it squanders. The News Group should be split up. It is ridiculous that one biased organisation should be allowed to provide 75-80% of news broadcasting and have such a monopoly in shaping public opinion.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 28th Apr '15 - 7:45am

    @ John Dunn,

    Remind me, how much does a subscription to Sky or Virgin Media cost? And how much of their own material do they broadcast? That £145 per household didn’t last long, did it?

  • Fiona White 28th Apr '15 - 8:17am

    I think the licence fee is one of the best value for money payments I make. I get uninterrupted programmes without someone wanting me to buy washing powder, crisps or some other stuff I don’t want. I get a variety of very good programmes. If I don’t want to watch them, I have control of the on/off switch or I can change channels. I have freeview so I don’t pay Sky, Virgin or anyone else for the service so for my £145 a year I get a 24-hours a day service.
    People complain about political bias. I notice that when there is a Labour government, they complain it is a right-wing organisation; when there is a Tory government, they complain it is left-wing. Seems there is some sort of balance there.

  • John Dunn 27th Apr ’15 – 1:59pm………………..The BBC licence fee should be scrapped, and the BBC sold off like the Post Office. An instant saving of £145 per household per year. If you like the BBC, then subscribe to it, but don’t force the rest of us to pay for their liberal left propaganda…………

    Mark Valladares in his 28th Apr ’15 – 7:45am …Covered my thoughts regarding your post….As for being liberal left??? The BBC’s coverage of this election has been anything but liberal left……Even after David Gauke admitted that the “5,000 small business owners letter” originated at CCHQ the BBC late evening news was still carrying the story without referring to it’s ‘dodgy provenance’….

  • Ed Shepherd 28th Apr '15 - 8:36am

    For someone on a low income, £145.00 is a lot of money to pay. The difference between having heating and food to eat or not. The licence fee is a regressive tax that takes no account of ability to pay and people who do not pay it are treated as criminals. Funding of the BBC through a universal progressive taxation system would be much better. Doubtless, there will be someone along on this thread soon who will say, “Poor people don’t need a TV. TV is a luxury.” I regard access to all modern sources of information as a human right and this view is in accordance with the preamble to the Liberal Democrat Party constitution.

  • Ewen Simpson 28th Apr '15 - 9:28am

    Poor old BBC, everyone having a go – too left – too right – these comments reveal your predjudices. In your eyes the BBC cannot do right for doing wrong. I am approaching 80 and I clearly remember the BBC during the very stressful years of 39/45. I suspect many of the critics do not have this advantage. For Heavens sake leave the BBC alone and concentrate on your own predjudices and how to releave yourselves of them.

  • Even the BBC and it previous director Generals admit that the BBC is politically biased.

    I’m not talking about how they cover the election. I refer to their regular output.

  • I don’t understand why people are crediting Farage with having any real say in the future. He’s predicted to win 1-2 seats – nobody took Galloway this seriously, yet people talk about Farage as if there’s a real danger he could damage the BBC! He couldn’t – he’s a mainly fictitious character and hopefully completely irrelevant after the election.

    OTOH, Sturgeon is predicted to have twice as many seats as the Lib Dems after the election. If she started talking about killing off Doctor Who I’d think it newsworthy, but this story and many like it are giving disproportionate coverage to the insane and inane leader of a fringe party.

    “The BBC is stuffed full of Guardian readers and is incapable of being impartial and is therefore permanently in breach of its charter.”

    A common fallacy – “the BBC buys more copies of the Mail (78,463), the Times (77,167), the Daily Telegraph (75,308), the Sun (66,202), the Independent (61,339) and the Daily Mirror (60,528) than the Guardian (45,672).”

  • @Chris B Galloway didn’t top the poll in a national election, and isn’t on course to win 15% of the popular vote. Seats are irrelevent – we used to win 6 seats on a similar vote share. You may not agree with him but he and his party need to be treated seriously.

  • SIMON BANKS 29th Apr '15 - 9:11am

    Just about everyone is more liberal and more left than John Dunn.

    I agree that Doctor Who is a bit liberal leftish, despite its tendency to highlight dangerous aliens arriving uncontrolled in our country. It has an underlying internationalism and a tendency to promote ideas of fairness and of self-realisation.

    But why is Falange gunning for Top Gear? I thought he was being lined up to replace Clarkson.

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