The Spectator

Letters | 15 November 2008

Spectator readers respond to recent articles

The licence fee is good value

Sir: Charles Moore has really talked himself into a corner this time with regard to his pathological dislike of the BBC (The Spectator’s Notes, 8 November). Like many other ‘BBC bashers’ on the Right he seems to gleefully welcome the Ross and Brand affair as a vindication of his views. If we accept his logic, and his analogy of being made to pay for something you dislike and did not order in a café, one would conclude that unless people like absolutely everything the BBC broadcasts on the TV and radio then they are justified in withholding the licence fee. Of course this would leave no one at all, no licence fee revenue, and therefore no BBC.

Like him, I do not like Jonathan Ross or Russell Brand and choose not to watch/listen to them. Only this week, however, I have enjoyed Little Dorrit, a first world war documentary on BBC4, Newsnight, US election coverage, Match of the Day, the Today Programme and In Our Time on Radio 4. When I add to all this the pleasure my three-year-old daughter gets from CBeebies I would have to say that the licence fee is pretty good value and I for one am happy to pay it. There may well be a number of issues at the BBC which need to be addressed, but if this sustained attack from the rest of the media continues we may live to regret the passing away of one of our national treasures.

Jon Stubbings
London N3

They died for this?

Sir: Today, in Ipswich, young girl cadets were selling poppies. I bought one. ‘Would you like a pin to go with it?’ ‘Yes please.’ ‘We can’t actually give you a pin because of health and safety rules; but you’re welcome to pick one out of this card yourself.’

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