Letters July 22: We must defend our BBC as the vultures start to circle

From: Ian Barnes, Blake Court, Wheldrake, York.

WHEN David Cameron knew he had won the election, he was heard to say he would close the BBC down. Well it’s fairly obvious he is attempting to fulfil his dream – first of all he saddles the BBC with the cost of licences for the over-75s, at a cost of over £600m.

The BBC is now at the 
whim of this Government 
who could reduce the age at which a free licence is available to 70 or even 65-year-olds, or any other cost the Chancellor feels he can get away with to starve 
the organisation of cash.

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The director-general Tony 
Hall was obviously put in a position to say that it was a 
good outcome for the BBC to try and put a positive gloss on a shabby deal.

We now have a Green Paper regarding the future of the BBC and listening to Culture Secretary John Whittingdale being interviewed, it was obvious that he was saying the BBC shouldn’t be in competition with the commercial stations and making shows like Strictly Come Dancing. I thought that the Tories believed in the free market.

With us paying for the BBC via a licence fee, it has been totally independent of government and commercial requirements so it can experiment with different formats.

Do you think shows like The Goons, Monty Python, Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off would have seen the light of day on commercial stations? No it wouldn’t have happened, its only when they become runaway successes 
the commercial stations shout foul and usually try to copy with an inferior format.

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The BBC belongs to us, 
the British public and we 
should defend it against the vultures that are circling overhead.

Look at the panel that’s been selected to discuss the Green Paper, it has been designed as usual to give the answer the Government wants, so when do we the public get our say?

Do you really want to see much loved BBC shows given over to commercial stations and inter-laced with adverts?

As a footnote, the BBC 
does not have a left wing bias; 
the problem for this Government is that the Corporation is not right-wing, unlike most of the media in this country.

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Try watching Fox News 
if you want to see one-sided reporting.

In over 50 years of listening and watching the BBC, I have never seen or heard political bias, it is an organisation revered around the world for truth and honesty.