July 24: Leave personal views out of BBC’s future

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From: Alec Denton, Guiseley.

AN MP I had never heard of, but who has managed to rise from obscurity to the role of Culture Secretary, has been getting a lot of publicity during the past week by presenting his personal views as an indication of possible future policy – a clear example of political bias.

Times are changing rapidly and the way the BBC is funded certainly needs addressing, 
but quoting individual likes and dislikes merely fudges the 
issue.

Like everyone else, I have opinions, though I am sure that John Whittingdale will not be interested in them. My wife likes Strictly, so it should stay, and I would like to see cricket back on terrestrial TV; we never ever watch badly-behaved Londoners cavorting in EastEnders and we both believe the BBC wastes an excessive amount of time advertising their programmes, a practice that makes nonsense of a desire to keep the BBC free of commercial adverts.

The BBC is correct to make programmes that are commercially viable and subsidise the licence fee and it is also silly to schedule popular programmes for the same time on both public and private networks. It is also right for the BBC to use its funded status to make uneconomic educational and special interest programmes and it may be that in the future we will have a mix of commercial money plus state funding available to both the BBC and the commercial companies. We can live with sensible changes – just so long as the politicians do not tinker with Radio 4.

From: Coun Tim Mickleburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

IT is worrying that they are talking about having a household levy to fund the BBC. I am one of those people who don’t have a TV licence, simply for the reason that I don’t have a television. I don’t see why I should have to pay anything towards other people’s viewing habits.

From: Martin Fletcher, Flanders Court, Thorpe Hesley.

THE only thing that is diminished is the credibility of the overpaid self-important blowhards at the BBC HQ. Privatise and get rid of these parasites.

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

I HAVE just watched the first night of the Proms on BBC2. That alone was worth the licence fee.

Axe to grind on climate?

From: David Cragg-James, Stonegrave, York.

THANK you for your extensive coverage of the fracking debate (The Yorkshire Post, July 15). The question you pose on your Letters page: “Who to believe amid fracking claims and counter claims?” can perhaps be answered by a further question: “Who has an axe to grind?”

Certainly not the ever-increasing band of individuals, medics, chemists, climatologists, theologians, activists, sociologists and researchers in other disciplines who have made the effort to understand and promulgate their well-founded fears for the country, for humanity and for the planet should the extraction of fossil fuels take this new turn in the UK and elsewhere.

Rather those who either subscribe to the various forms of climate change denial described in Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, including the apathetic, or those corporations who, in search of even greater gain, use their phenomenal wealth in spurious efforts to mislead the public with assurances that all will be well (and profitable) if the industry is properly regulated.

On the latter’s side stands of course a Government whose recent actions leave the observer in no doubt where sympathies lie in the fields of social justice and commitment to combating global warming on the one hand, and self interest on the other. Who has an axe to grind?

Union laws undemocratic

From: Dr Glyn Powell, Bakersfield Drive, Kellington, Goole.

THE Tory Government is opting to introduce undemocratic trade union legislation.

Undemocratic, because very few MPs have been elected with over 50 per cent of those voting. Yet, for a strike to be legal, the Tories propose such a ridiculous threshold.

The hypocrisy of the treatment of public service workers gives the lie to Tory claims that the legislation is designed to protect workers. Rather, it is designed to curb resistance by workers to both draconion changes to employment contracts and, also, to drive down wages.

Thanks, Good Samaritans

From: Marion Rankin, Cononley.

I WOULD like to thank all the people who helped a bemused and tired lady find her hotel 
on arrival at Leeds railway station.

I have Parkinson’s and this 
was a first visit to anywhere of any note, alone. (I was visiting 
the arena to see Bette 
Midler).

The arena staff were fantastic and a special mention to the mother and daughter who rescued me from a panic attack at the end of the show and helped me to the door and arranged a taxi.

Thank you all, so very much.