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Dec. 9th, 2009

Questions and debates about the future of the BBC abound in the House at the moment. The Tories are taking every opportunity to express their displeasure at its very existence. None of them tends to cite News Corporation chief James Murdoch’s hilarious assertion that the BBC is an active threat to independent journalism and, he hints darkly, a free society; instead, their opponents tend to bring that up to make fun of them. (His depiction of the Beeb as a ruthless international organisation steamrolling any smattering of dissent or rivalry should be familiar to, for example, shareholders of News Corporation.) The Tories are untroubled, though; they know that once they’re at the controls next year, they can start to move in on a body that has always troubled them ideologically and begin to disadvantage it in favour of their natural allies, such as James’s dad.

On a point of order, any Conservative politician who gets to their feet to fire yet another broadside at the BBC should be required to declare their interest as belonging to a party that’s making so much noise in bed with NewsCorp that the neighbours are complaining.

Mind, I do enjoy the dark comedy of watching NewsCorp’s ostensible allegiances morph from territory to territory. I remember, the first time I went to Scotland in my teens, being startled to find that on the Sun’s masthead, where in England it bore the previous day’s “audited daily sale”, there was instead a thistle and the slogan “FIGHTING FOR INDEPENDENCE’. You remember that? You remember the Sun’s vigorous campaign in the 1990s for Scottish independence? The meetings they sponsored? The endless headlines they ran? The marches? The demonstrations? You remember that campaign? How they all but fought in the streets to restore Scotland’s noble independent heritage? You remember how the Sun was praised by Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela? How it won prizes for its journalism on the campaign? That campaign that you remember? You know the one? Neither do I.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 9th, 2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
You've just supplied the most pressing reason yet to not vote Conservative.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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