Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Readers’ comments: A broken man, and a broken BBC


In response to David Keighley’s BBC Watch: Held to account over the trashing of Sir Cliff, boomslang74 wrote:

The scale of the damage to Sir Cliff’s earnings and reputation is no doubt considerable, but surely secondary to the damage to his mental wellbeing; anybody who has seen recent footage/pictures of him will have seen a broken man. I hope he and his legal team continue to go after the Beeb tooth and claw, and if there were any justice, this would be the beginning of the end for the BBC as we know it.

David davis wrote:

Aside from this deeply shameful episode in the BBC’s long history, we ought to consider its future strategically. We are facing here more questions than the individual hounding of Cliff Richard in pursuit of a possible and potentially excitingly prurient story – as the BBC thought – ‘linked to’ certain others current at the time, whose names we all know.

In short, what is the BBC for?

In these years of wall-to-wall broad and narrowcasting, it’s debatable whether there needs to be a ‘State Broadcaster’, particularly one funded by a compulsory and enormously regressive tax grab carrying criminal sanctions for non-payment. In the event of a disaster or nuclear attack, the State can break into any channels it wants to instantly.

I don’t think most humans can live long enough to watch more than tiny amounts of content from all the hundreds of outlets available – and that’s before you go online . . .

The BBC should be painlessly shut down, the transmitters and routers turned off, its staffs politely ushered out of the buildings together with the private contents of their desk drawers in sealed binliners, given their P45s, and told to find real employment. The technical and engineering staffs, arguably the finest and most professional on the planet, will get very good jobs the next day while pocketing their redundancy capital sums. Political editor journos, almost all socialists, may find it painful to be rejected for shelf-stacking jobs in Lidl – especially the young who came into the BBC straight from ‘uni’ . . .

The BBC’s archives, much of which are immensely valuable and of enormous historical interest – for it was a good organisation once and sometimes noble – should go to the British Library. There, they can be accessed by anyone who wants to, for all time and for ever. Much is on YouTube anyway.

Its most valuable copyrights – and there are many – can be auctioned globally, possible for tens or hundreds of millions. It would be great to think this money could be returned pro rata to licence-fee-payers and the residuary legatees of dead ones, but this probably won’t happen.

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