Friday, May 23, 2008

Up the Junction - a note to the BBC

The BBC Radio 5 discussion of the Crewe by-election seemed bizarrely biased where the sole argument being put forward by most of the callers is that the last 16 years of Tory administration had been unlovely at times. Never mind that Gordon Brown's financial opportunity was entirely down to the inheritance of John Major's financial turnaround - an act of rare honesty for any hue of politician that cost him the election.

Some of us recall Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan, Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock and John Smith but guess what? We got over it, and become more interested in the future than the past. Why is the left incapable of moving on from the Tolpuddle Martyrs? Is it because they have limited creativity and little imagination? Look at the way the established left fights elections - after the BNP, it is always the left that is first to resort crude smear and scare tactics. And true to type, they did it all again in Crewe.

Victoria Derbyshire seems to be making rather less effort to conceal the BBC's institutional "leanings" than usual - perhaps the realisation that the BBC will be revised by a Conservative government has set off alarms.

But since we are obsessed by the past, please consider this - the BBC's contribution to the digital economy has been much the same as when the BBC Computer (remember that? much lauded at the time, but where is it now?) stifled commercial competition and put a brake on the UK home computer industry at a crucially formative time for world markets.

So you may indeed be right to be concerned for your futures under a new administration, but don't confuse the good of the BBC and its crew of Guardianista with the good of the country and its population at large.

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