Channel 4 sale plan is against public wishes and bad for democracy - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Pauline Allon, Ilkley.

A STUDY published in The Guardian (April 22) to identify the opinion of voters regarding democracy in the UK found that voters believed their interests were being ignored by Government in favour of big business and Tory party donors, a situation revealed during the pandemic when more than £1bn was given by the Government in PPE contracts to their friends and supporters.

UK democracy was challenged over Brexit when farming and fishing communities, businesses, the arts and citizens were promised by the Government that Brexit would bring huge benefits – benefits which have not happened.

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According to campaign groups, public opinion is being ignored regarding the privatisation of Channel 4 in that the decision to privatise was made before the results of a Government consultation involving 60,000 responders.

A sale of Channel 4 could have implications for its Leeds HQ.

This decision to privatise will do huge damage to both national and local creative arts, with Leeds identified as one of the cities to experience negative impacts on its local economy.

So why does the Government want to sell Channel 4? Could it be because Channel 4 dared to challenge the Government over Brexit and climate change?

It is surely bad for democracy if voters believe their views are being ignored by Government. However two moves could make a difference.

One, a change to proportional representation to enable voters to vote for the party of choice rather than to keep another party out. And two, devolve more powers to local communities. The study, which found that only six per cent of voters believed their views made a difference, is a depressing reflection on democracy in the UK today.

From: Roger Backhouse, York.

Conservative election strategist Lynton Crosby was never one to pussy foot. He coined the phrase “dead cat strategy”. Throw a dead cat in the room and everyone will talk about the cat – not the issues that previously occupied them.

So it is with the Government announcement of plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. Utterly impractical, very expensive but attention grabbing.

When the PM is proved to have lied about Downing Street parties, when inflation is going through the roof, energy bills are soaring, travel chaos blocks key routes to the Continent and the

Chancellor and his wife’s tax affairs have been exposed as “interesting”, what better way to divert attention?