Saturday, March 06, 2010

There is a little worth saving at the BBC

Sir Huff at work deciding what the BBC can and cannot broadcast

Sir Bufton Huffchester displays a chink in his usually sound armour of principles. He thinks other people should be forced to prop up those bits of the BBC he likes, but that everything he doesn't like should be cut.

What a shame, Sir Huff. So close, but so far:

UPDATE: As is becoming usual practice on The Labourgraph, although you may notice on the comment below that there is a timestamp (because the comment did appear for a while on their website, after being approved perhaps by a junior moderator), the comment was later pulled by possibly a more senior moderator - hopefully for ruffling some preened socialist feather on The Labourgraph's puffed-up editorial staff (they don't like it up 'em). So, here it is pulled from the memory hole.

UPDATE II: And now it's re-appeared again. What are they like at The Labourgraph? (I hope it was Sir Huff himself that got it pulled. If it was, then he is becoming a cowardly disgrace.)
Jack Maturin on March 06, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Sir Huff,

All your arguments were sound up to the point where you started talking about the programs you like, rather than the stuff you don't like.

Why should I be forced to pay for your enjoyment of Radio Three, Radio Four, and a combined BBC2/BBC4?

I am sure there are far more people than your high-falutin' clique who like the BBC Asian Network. If we should all be forced to pay for Radio Three, to prop up your tastes, why shouldn't we also all be forced to pay for the BBC Asian Network to prop up theirs?

What gives you and your media bubble friends the right to decide what is fit to subsidise and what isn't fit to subsidise, with other people's money taken from them coercively? Surely, you're not actually suggesting that you're better than all of those people who like the Asian Network, are you, Sir Huff? I'm sure your friends at the Guardian would like to explore that particular avenue.

No, the BBC tax has to go because there is a principle here. And that principle is that nobody should be forced by government to pay for something they don't want. And this principle applies to everyone. Not just those outside your blessed superior social circle, with its high-minded tastes which are better than everyone else's.

Let us also add to that the principle that governments should not be running or funding broadcasting organs anyway. I'm sure you were probably against the Russian communist party owning Radio Moscow. What exactly is different, in principle, from the British government owning BBC Radio?

If you and your friends want Radio Three, then fine.

You and your friends can pay for it, rather than pushing the cost of it onto everyone else, who doesn't want it, listen to it, or care in the slightest about it.

We could even do an experiment. Let's stop broadcasting BBC Radio Three for one week, and then count up all those people in Britain who actually notice. I wouldn't even mind if you gave all of these people a single share in a new company called 'Radio Three Limited' and gave them all of the studios, buildings, broadcasting rights, and contracts, in a giant act of homesteading. What could be fairer than that? And then these people could run the station any way they liked, but without any further taxation and license fee funding.

We could do the same with the entire BBC apparatus. Give it to the apparatchiks, if you want, Sir Huff, and let them see how well they do once they're cut off from the state's financial teat.

But whatever you do, if you really believe any of it should be cut, because it's not fair to impose costs upon people for products they don't want, then the whole thing has to be cut, whether this is by the homesteading or the privatisation route. Take your pick.

What's good for the goose, Sir Huff, is good for the gander, because there is nothing worth 'saving' (with other people's money) at the BBC.

Or are you starting to base your views now on your specific personal interests, rather than on any general principles?

What a shame, Sir Huff, if you are.


brett said...

This is fascinating.
I’d been taught that left-aligned labels are preferred, to support the prototypical F-shaped eye-tracking heatmap of web browsing. The idea is that it supports easy vertical scanning.

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Gekko said...

Well it seems a remarkable coincidence that I'm having a similar battle down her in godzone right now.

Radio New Zealand is the ideological twin of BBC radio. The paliamentary parasites who fund it outraged the liberal intelligentsia of NZ a few weeks back by saying that they would freeze funding to RadioNZ for this FY. Well you'd think the sky had fallen. So outraged were the good burghers of I-want-someone-else-to-pay-for-my-listening-habits-land that they took direct revolutionary action and set up a facebook page called "Save Radio New Zealand" which has thus far achieved some 17000 people who would rather others pay for their radio. Undaunted a "Don't save radio new zealand" page was duly set up and has been under attack from the subsidy-parasites ever since. The comments make instructive reading as a snapshot into the mind of the pro-brigade: "it's ours", "we can't debate without it", "it guides NZ culture".

Much like the pseudo intellectual content they listen to, blah bloody blah blah blah.