ME and Ophelia

Monday, May 17, 2004

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Predicts having to argue and battle for public support

Today, Michael Grade took up his post as the new BBC Chairman, after former chairman Gavyn Davies resigned following the Hutton Report. He said his toughest challenge would be to defend the licence fee. He predicted great public debate about the future of the licence fee and said, "If the BBC arguments are strong enough, and there is enough public support, hopefully we will win the debate."

"It would be wrong to say I am confident," he added. "One is very, very hopeful that people care deeply enough about the BBC to want to see it continue. We must better their expectations." He said the BBC could not take its "privileged position as a 'cherished institution' for granted". "We need to make a compelling case for the BBC to be allowed to continue as the unique, vibrant and creative organisation we know it to be," he said.
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In my view, the trouble with those statements is that the BBC has taken its privileged position as a 'cherished institution' for granted for far too long. Over the past 40 years, people like myself did care deeply enough about the BBC for it to become that 'cherished institution'. However, too much damage has been done to date. The BBC is simply too arrogant to learn anything from the Hutton Report. Who knows how many BBC staff thumbed their noses at it and put it down to a whitewash. This is why no argument they now put forward can win back trust. Once trust has gone. It's too late. I would not trust any BBC news report in the run up to political elections in the US and UK, and the all important Referendum on Europe.

Yesterday I saw a cartoon. Probably in the Sunday Times. Two reporters standing in an office at the Daily Mirror newspaper. They were looking out of a window. And could see a flying saucer in the sky hovering towards them. With cameras at the ready, they hesitated and paused... The caption said: "But who'd ever believe us?.."

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 5/17/2004
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