Just a small gloat

A two fingered salute to James Murdoch then.

An overwhelming majority, 77%, think the BBC is an institution people should be proud of – up from 68% in an equivalent ICM poll carried out five years ago.

As Guardian bright boy columnist Jonathan Freedland comments:

Most, 63%, also think it provides good value for money – up from 59% in 2004. It’s surely central to the BBC’s raison d’etre that it will always be more reliable in providing truthful news than those broadcasters who serve a corporate owner.

(Note, Freedland is careful to say broadcaster not the more embracing media: at least the Guardian is protected by the Scott Trust). So the licence fee isn’t popular? Compared to Sky, as I’ve been saying all along, Freedland adds…

“I am convinced that there are many people who view their Sky subscription of, say, £45 a month as good value, but their licence fee of £142.50 a year as poor value.” .. But what if Sky had to advertise their subscription as an annual sum, the same way the licence fee is always expressed? For plenty of customers, it would come out at £540. Wouldn’t sound quite so attractive then, would it?

  • William

    The BBC ‘as a truthful broadcaster’….Brian, shurely that is a contradiction in terms….perhaps they may be more truthful, if they [the BBC] stopped advertising for journalists and other positions exclusively in the Guardian and employed some journalists who weren’t card carrying members of the Labour party or other assorted lefties. Remember James Naughtie on the Radio 4 Today programme…..he used the term ‘we’ meaning we in the Labour party and all the bootles of booze left strewn around BBC HQ after the celebrations of the 1997 election win by Bambi Blair or is it BLIAR?

  • William


    Should read….’all the empty bottles of……’

  • Eddie


  • Eddie

    There are no such things as empty bottles of booze, William. But there are empty booze bottles.

    Has it occured to you at all at all that BBC folk – and I wasn’t there – may have been refreshing themselves after hours of marathon broadcasting which would wear out anybody, celebrating a successful night and day of broadcasting – and that would be irrespective of whoever won the election.

    A cheap shot from you – and I’m not a Guardian reader.

  • The Spectator


    employed some journalists who weren’t card carrying members of the Labour party…

    oh, like say…

    Nick Robinson, chief Political Editor, and former Oxford University conservative Association president?

    or maybe

    Andrew Neil, Chief BBC political pundit and host, former Glasgow Uni Conservative Club member, Murdoch protege and Conservative Party researcher ?

    No, William, the BBC would never let them boys through the door!

  • willis


    That is the extent of the considered response from the anti-BBC brigade then is it? A few empty bottles?

    I think you will find that two of their sharpest broadcasters/bloggers (Peston/Robinson) are far from lefties.

    This post from Peston has been linked to a few times. It is worth a read. I realise that reading more than a paragraph may be a stretch, but give it a go.


  • aquifer

    That we pay for cable or Sky and still have adverts stuffed down our throats makes the Beeb a bargain.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The usual tattle from William. The BBC has journalists from the right. Andrew Neil being an obvious example, having spent most of his career working for Murdoch and the Conservative Party.

  • willis

    I did think that when Murdoch Jr was holding up the board with all the BBC services on it someone should have shouted:

    “Not bad for £11.88 a month!”


  • Dave

    The crucial difference is that millions of people choose to pay for Sky. No one chooses to pay for the BBC.

    Yes it is good, but that doesn’t give it a free pass to piss up our money up the wall. It’s not an all or nothing arguement.

  • willis


    You do not have to pay for the BBC if you do not want do. If you do not have a TV you do not need a TV licence. If you do not have a car you do not need Road Tax. Simples

  • Eddie


    No Dave, the crucial argument is whether not the BBC is value for money OVERALL. If you think that it is, then you let them get on with it (mistakes included)

    How they apportion resources is not my concern (though I thank Jonathan Ross’s salary is foolish). It is not for us to interfere in the running of the business or how much Stephen Nolan is paid or not paid. Is the BBC value for money OVERALL? That’s the only question. In my view, yes it is.

  • willis


    Tell me this isn’t worth this month’s licence fee on its own.


  • gram

    While I agree that the BBC represents good value for money I think a debate is necessary about it’s range of activities, it’s future role in the converged telecommunications environment and salaries paid to management and top “talent”. Current senior management salaries are unjustified in an organisation protected by public funds and unexposed to normal business competition. The recent purchase of the Lonely Planet guides is puzzling.

  • DerTer

    This is slightly off thread, but I would like to put my head on the block and say that the BBC in NI is worth the licence fee on its own. And that’s not to denigrate the great job that UTV (and indeed RTE) do in terms of journalism that is of interest and affects us all in NI. The record of all three – flawed and uneven though it may have been from time to time during a period of great upheaval – has been, in the round, exemplary.

  • ciaran

    How excatly is anyone working out that the bbc is better value than sky. Although the basic sky package is £7 dearer per month than the beeb it offers a lot more channels and programes than the beeb can hope to.And of course we choose to pay for sky.We do not choose to pay for the bbc. And willis your argument is very weak indeed. I choose to watch tv, not necessarily the bbc, simples.

  • William

    Didn’t the BBC internal report state that they were totally biased….whilst it is true Nick Robinson is a staffer in the BBC, Neil is not…he is a freelance on a late night quasi-political programme..

    I’m thinking more of the Naughtie and all the other lefties…it’s full of them.

    I also read a couple of books by ex BBC staffers, who complained about the left-wingers and didn’t Lance Price, an ex Blair spin doctor write a book full of allegations about the bias…

    Here in Northern Ireland, we have got used to the bias of the Beeb…at a national level….

  • ==

    Google, Biased BBC…..that will give you a few pointers towards the bias of that organisation that forces us to pay for their rubbish and their bias.

  • willis


    I see you did not try to refute my argument. My point is that the licence fee is there because that is what the government decide, based on the voters choice. I would rather not have our troops in Afghanistan, but I do not expect to have a choice about it.

    Thatcher dearly wanted to change the BBC but did not get rid of the licence fee because she knew that it would be a disaster. She also did not dare to privatise the Railway, right again.

    BTW I’m not totally anti-Sky. They are passionate about sport in a way that the BBC used to be and they have invested in the right technology at the right time.

  • willis


    Did you fall asleep?

  • ciaran

    willis until post 19 you didn’t really have an argument, what you said was you don’t have to pay for the bbc if you don’t want to.Which as you know is not quite true.