LETTER : The BBC's fight to retain its edge in a competitive market

Share
From Mr Graham Allen, MP

Sir: John Birt last week called for "reflection in equal measure with disputation" from journalists and politicians. It is, therefore, a pity that you felt ("Summer cannot last for the BBC", 16 February) that "Labour has yet to construct an original position" on the future of the BBC. Had the privatisation fanatics in the Conservative Party had their way, Labour's part in the defence of the BBC as a public service broadcaster, funded by the licence fee, would have been portrayed as a typically irrelevant and adversarial gesture of opposition.

Instead, and fortunately for the BBC and for the viewing public, even the Government saw this as a privatisation too far and the Corporation was spared the Tory hatchet. This was not, however, an act of mercy by the Government. The BBC fought a long and painful battle to prove their mettle. Producer choice and several thousand job casualties later they are a leaner, fitter operation. The latest report, People and Programmes, is a continuation of this battle to remain a universal service and to retain consistently high ratings in an increasingly competitive broadcasting market.

John Redwood's attack on the BBC was a timely echo of the sustained and vitriolic barrage to which the BBC was subjected during the Thatcher regime. The consensus, which you interpret as lack of originality, has in fact been created by defenders of public service broadcasting against the Conservative attacks of the Eighties, and at great cost to the BBC.

Yours sincerely,

GRAHAM ALLEN

MP for Nottingham North (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1

16 February

The writer is Shadow spokesperson on broadcasting, the media and the information superhighway.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# asp.net Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Project Manager (infrastructure, upgrades, rollouts)

£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Ed Miliband on low pay; Alan Johnson on Betjeman; Tom Freeman on editing

John Rentoul
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments