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Save the BBC!

For news of events, petitions and campaigns that may be of interest to humanists and secularists.
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Altfish
Posts: 1821
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 8:46 am

Re: Save the BBC!

#101 Postby Altfish » August 26th, 2015, 7:27 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Alan H wrote:
Dave B wrote:I am in agreement with you, Alan.

The standard of "everyday" journalism has diminished over the past 20 years (since the Internet basically). The BBC usually made an attempt to be accurate, honest, objective and balanced - but it is getting worse, tge same item may have different figures etc. on different BBC "outlets". Why there is not a single BBC news department I cannot work out.

If an article has the quakity of being a personal opinion I lose interest - even if it accords with my own! I appreciate reporters who report, rather than editorialise,, offer an objective analysis and leave me to make up my own mind.
Have you read: Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media by Nick Davies? Highly recommended and charts the decline in journalism.

A great read, I highly recommend it.

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#102 Postby Dave B » August 27th, 2015, 7:36 am

Altfish wrote:
Alan H wrote:
Dave B wrote:I am in agreement with you, Alan.

The standard of "everyday" journalism has diminished over the past 20 years (since the Internet basically). The BBC usually made an attempt to be accurate, honest, objective and balanced - but it is getting worse, tge same item may have different figures etc. on different BBC "outlets". Why there is not a single BBC news department I cannot work out.

If an article has the quakity of being a personal opinion I lose interest - even if it accords with my own! I appreciate reporters who report, rather than editorialise,, offer an objective analysis and leave me to make up my own mind.
Have you read: Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media by Nick Davies? Highly recommended and charts the decline in journalism.

A great read, I highly recommend it.
Got the Kindle version now.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Tetenterre
Posts: 3244
Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: Save the BBC!

#103 Postby Tetenterre » August 27th, 2015, 10:31 am

Altfish wrote:
Alan H wrote:There are quite a few and there's even one run by Jeremy Corbyn's brother Piers. However, his page in Wikipedia says he doesn't believe climate change is predominately man made...

He's nothing but a charlatan,

Although I disagree with Piers Corbyn on climate change and on earthquake prediction, I'm not convinced that WeatherAction is entirely without merit and that its successes are necessarily either "Texas Sharpshooter" or "Scattergun" events. A decade or so ago, I made comparisons of MetOffice and WeatherAction forecasts, and the MetOffice was not wreathed in glory! My big problem with WeatherAction is that its methods are not published and are therefore not open to scrutiny. Corbyn says this is because WeatherAction is a commercial proposition and these are commercial secrets but, if there is scientific merit to them (they are based on study of the Sun), then they could possibly be improved, for the benefit of all, by being made available to other scientists.

Also, in a similar way that it was the life insurance companies that responded to the statistical smoking-cancer link long before the scientific link was made, when bookies refused to take bets from WeatherAction (asserted by Corbyn, neither refuted nor denied by William Hill), I suggest something may merit more than dismissal.

Altfish wrote:Also when does difficult questioning become haranguing? I would say that in too many cases politicians are let off easily.
I agree. I have long held the view that, if any politician does not give a direct answer, s/he should be given one further chance and if s/he still declines, then his/her microphone is switched off and the interview is terminated. They'd soon learn.


Dave B wrote:The standard of "everyday" journalism has diminished over the past 20 years (since the Internet basically). The BBC usually made an attempt to be accurate, honest, objective and balanced - but it is getting worse,
I hesitate to mention this here, given the subject's connection with the GWPF, but David Whitehouse tells marvellous stories of his time as a BBC science correspondent. On one occasion, he was being sent out to investigate the effects of electromagnetic smog (...I think, but it may have been geopathic stress - the memory is not what it was...) and told the producer that it was a waste of time because it had been thoroughly debunked. The producer's response was along the lines of, "Yes, that's what science says, but I want you to get to the truth."

As far as the BBC in general goes, I was listening to old Infinite Monkey Cage podcasts on my drive back from the IoW yesterday; we reflected on how this was such a good use of license fee, compared to Brian Cox's "Wonders of..." stuff where you get a few minutes of him gazing wistfully from some exotic location at enormous expense or something we heard trailled last week, where "slebs" are being sent, again at enormous expense, to report on aspects of "foreign lands" that interest them.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Alan H
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Re: Save the BBC!

#104 Postby Alan H » August 27th, 2015, 11:01 am

Tetenterre wrote:
Altfish wrote:Also when does difficult questioning become haranguing? I would say that in too many cases politicians are let off easily.
I agree. I have long held the view that, if any politician does not give a direct answer, s/he should be given one further chance and if s/he still declines, then his/her microphone is switched off and the interview is terminated. They'd soon learn.
I think the bigger problem is the questions journos ask. Frequently it's the "When did you stop beating your wife?" type or a question about some extreme, over-simplified, hypothetical situation then mocking or lambasting them for giving a more nuanced answer rather than a straight yes or no.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Tetenterre
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Re: Save the BBC!

#105 Postby Tetenterre » August 27th, 2015, 12:36 pm

Alan H wrote:I think the bigger problem is the questions journos ask. Frequently it's the "When did you stop beating your wife?" type or a question about some extreme, over-simplified, hypothetical situation then mocking or lambasting them for giving a more nuanced answer rather than a straight yes or no.
I haven't noticed a lot of that; the stuff that I notice getting dodged is direct questions like "Will you increase/cut/support....." etc. If it deserves a more nuanced answer, they could still give the direct answer first, then add the nuance afterwards - it seems to me that they use the "nuance" to avoid giving a proper answer.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Alan H
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Re: Save the BBC!

#106 Postby Alan H » August 27th, 2015, 1:12 pm

Tetenterre wrote:
Alan H wrote:I think the bigger problem is the questions journos ask. Frequently it's the "When did you stop beating your wife?" type or a question about some extreme, over-simplified, hypothetical situation then mocking or lambasting them for giving a more nuanced answer rather than a straight yes or no.
I haven't noticed a lot of that; the stuff that I notice getting dodged is direct questions like "Will you increase/cut/support....." etc. If it deserves a more nuanced answer, they could still give the direct answer first, then add the nuance afterwards - it seems to me that they use the "nuance" to avoid giving a proper answer.
But they are rarely allowed to give the nuanced answer and the yes/no is taken as definitive. "So you don't support X. Isn't that an insult/what about/ etc, etc".
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Altfish
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Re: Save the BBC!

#107 Postby Altfish » August 27th, 2015, 2:05 pm

Isn't this all a 'cat and mouse' game?
Because politicians won't answer the question asked journalists twist the question to make it harder for them to avoid - round and round it goes.

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Tetenterre
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Re: Save the BBC!

#108 Postby Tetenterre » August 27th, 2015, 3:11 pm

Alan H wrote:But they are rarely allowed to give the nuanced answer and the yes/no is taken as definitive.
Again, not my experience which is that more often than not they don't give the direct answer and just drone on with some prepared blather (often containing the clause "what hard-working families want..."), whether or not it relates to the question. We must listen to different radio stations.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Dave B
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Re: Save the BBC!

#109 Postby Dave B » August 27th, 2015, 9:23 pm

Altfish wrote:Isn't this all a 'cat and mouse' game?
Because politicians won't answer the question asked journalists twist the question to make it harder for them to avoid - round and round it goes.
I reckon the technique should be that if the person does not give a straight answer on the third occasion just terminate the interview and get onto another news item.

Did not Paxo effectively do this?

Deprive the pokitician of the "oxygen of publicity"!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Save the BBC!

#110 Postby Alan H » August 28th, 2015, 12:53 am

Unless you want TV by diktat, defend the BBC
What worries me is that politicians now intend to act on their extremely subjective opinions. They are increasingly falling into the trap of thinking that, because they have won a parliamentary majority, they know how a majority of the public thinks. It’s a creeping imperial ambition that’s doing international harm to our stock. Variety and Hollywood Reporter now daily feature stories about our television service powering down, BBC4 becoming a shadow of what it was, BBC3 destined for online, proud boasts about redundancies, acceptance of cuts, Channel 4 toyed with over privatisation. To quote a question I’ve been repeatedly asked by the US TV industry: “What the hell are you guys thinking?” To them it looks like we’re going mad.

I collect political phrases. And the one I return to again and again is a sentence from Tony Blair in 2004, one year on from the invasion of Iraq, and in defence of his decision to invade. He said: “Do I know I’m right? Judgments aren’t the same as facts. Instinct is not science. I only know what I believe.”

That concluding phrase is a stunning reversal of about two-and-a-half-thousand years of rational inquiry. Normally, we believe what we know. Normally, we seek evidence, and form conclusions on the basis of what we find. The problem of “I only know what I believe” is now putting pressure on public-service broadcasting to conform to the political norms of the party in power, no matter how slim its majority.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#111 Postby Alan H » November 1st, 2015, 10:18 am

Traduced by all sides, who will defend the BBC?
Few people need journalism in good times. Unless you are the victim of a specific abuse, you can cope quite happily without caring about accuracy, impartiality and holding power to account. In times of crisis, however, serious journalism is essential. The ideological forces that a crisis unleashes know it and know, too, that they must discredit reasonable scrutiny if they are to succeed.

The range and depth of the attack our troubles have produced on the BBC is extraordinary. Without consultation, the Conservatives are destroying its independence and enforcing a 20% budget cut, the equivalent of closing BBC2 and every BBC radio station.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#112 Postby Alan H » March 16th, 2016, 10:11 pm

Ministers could turn BBC into state broadcaster, radio boss warns
Helen Boaden, the BBC’s director of radio, will liken Government proposals to an Eastern European-style government takeover

Plans to allow ministers to seize control of appointments to the BBC's powerful new governing board amount to "undue political interference" and threaten to turn the corporation into a "state broadcaster", one of the organisation's most senior executives will warn today.

Helen Boaden, the BBC’s director of radio, will liken proposals made by John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, to an Eastern European-style government takeover of the corporation, as she accuses the minister of a “cycloptic” obsession with “needlessly diminishing” the BBC’s services, “to the benefit of its competitors”.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#113 Postby Alan H » April 24th, 2016, 4:53 pm

Tsk, tsk. How John Whittingdale broke his promise to listen to every viewer's opinion on the BBC
This magazine prefers to give our readers a voice – and the information you need to form a view – rather than to launch shrill campaigns in your name. It felt like mission accomplished when we delivered a sack bulging with your written replies and a memory stick loaded with the 6,000 responses we received online. We also published in these pages a summary of your views, which included 96% support for the principle of a publicly funded broadcaster, with 91% supporting the licence fee.

Six months later, on 1st March, Mr Whittingdale published the results of his consultation in a report. The next day he told a distinguished audience at the Oxford Media Convention that this report would influence the new draft Royal Charter: “Every response we received matters. Every response has been read.”

But there was a problem. Mr Whittingdale wasn’t telling the truth. That’s a serious charge for a magazine to make. How do we know that the Secretary of State was wrong to say that “every response has been read”?

The answer is simple. When Radio Times submitted the memory stick containing those 6,000 replies from readers, we encrypted it so that your names and addresses were protected until they reached the civil service team responsible for summarising the public’s views. We included a short explanatory note with a telephone number explaining that we’d reveal the password to unlock the file once it arrived in the right hands.

But that telephone call never came.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24037
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#114 Postby Alan H » May 1st, 2016, 11:14 am

Government could ban BBC from showing top shows at peak times
The BBC is on a collision course with the government over reported efforts to bar it from showing popular shows at peak viewing times.

The culture secretary, John Whittingdale, is widely expected to ban the broadcaster from going head-to-head with commercial rivals as part of the BBC charter review.

He is due to publish a white paper within weeks that will set out a tougher regime as part of a new royal charter to safeguard the service for another 11 years.

ITV has complained about licence fee money being used to wage a ratings battle with it and other channels funded by advertising.

A source at the BBC said the public would be deeply concerned if it were forced to move programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who and Sherlock from prime time weekend slots.


Government could ask BBC to trial pay service as it closes 'iPlayer loophole'
The government could ask the BBC to trial a new paid-for service on the iPlayer as it cracks down on viewers without TV licences watching online for free.

Culture secretary John Whittingdale signalled last month that the government would rush through legislation to close the £150m “iPlayer loophole”.

As well as telling the BBC to put password controls on the iPlayer, he will ask it to investigate a new offering in which people would pay for shows outside its traditional catch-up window, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

Currently, programmes such as The Night Manager are only available for 30 days, after which viewers can download them from the BBC’s recently launched online content shop, BBC Store. The new service would allow them to pay and watch such shows via the iPlayer.

In a bid to compete with Netflix and Amazon, the BBC has also held talks with ITV about launching a video streaming service.

But it has traditionally been wary of introducing subscription services in the UK which many would regard as signalling the death knell for the £145.50 licence fee.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24037
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#115 Postby Alan H » May 4th, 2016, 4:51 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24037
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#116 Postby Alan H » May 8th, 2016, 12:23 pm

So how will they kill off the Beeb? The plot thickens
That essentially is the tenor of the attack on the BBC: we can’t destroy you, so can we make you boring instead? The briefings and speculation are a warning to all present and future BBC employees: don’t have any fun. Don’t make programmes that are too well liked; don’t think that if you produce a show in-house and it does well, we won’t sell it off to an independent; don’t think you can have an entertaining Saturday night; don’t think you can embark on any investigations that are in any way mischievous or provocative; above all, don’t think we’re going to leave you alone, because we won’t.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24037
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#117 Postby Alan H » May 12th, 2016, 10:24 pm

From John Whittingdale's introduction to the white paper:
As the BBC approaches its centenary the government will provide the foundations for a stronger, more independent, more distinctive BBC that will inform, educate and entertain for many years to come. (My emphasis)

And later:
The government accepts the proposal of the Clementi Review that both the government and the BBC should have a role in appointing members to the board, with all appointments following a robust and transparent process. The government will enshrine this in the new Charter. Following the proposals and recommendations in the Clementi Review, a Public Appointments process, led by the government, will be used to appoint the Chair, Deputy Chair and members for each of the four nations of the UK (a total of six members). Both the remaining non-executive members and executive members of the board will be appointed by a nominations committee of the board. This means that for the first time the BBC itself will be empowered to appoint members to its sovereign board. It also ensures that the BBC board will always have at least 50 per cent of its members appointed by the BBC itself, compared to the current Trust model which is entirely appointed by government via a Public Appointments process. This will strengthen the independence of the BBC for the future.

the Queen-in-Council will ultimately appoint each member on recommendation from the government.


This looks to be significantly different from the current arrangements, and this Government appointment of these key figures is very worrying...

BBC chief voices fears over ministerial influence outlined in white paper

The BBC Charter Renewal is Death by A Thousand Cuts for the Beeb
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24037
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#118 Postby Alan H » May 17th, 2016, 9:48 am

Death by a thousand slices of cake? BBC to drop online recipes as part of slimmed-down website
Approximately 11,000 online recipes are to be dropped following a review of the BBC’s online output that promises to save £15m a year by cutting back on magazine-style content as well as local news.

The recipes are being “archived or mothballed”, a source said, and will “fall off the face of the internet” after the food site is closed, with no live links.

The broadcaster will remove the recipes on its food site although recipes from television shows will remain online for a 30-day period after transmission and the plans will not affect commercial services such as BBC Good Food. Other text-based online offerings are also expected to be hit. A number of travel articles are also expected to be taken offline.

In an announcement due to be made to staff on Tuesday, the BBC will promise a more “focused and distinctive service” with a number of well-known services either closed or scaled down over the next 12 months.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after a bruising battle with the government over the BBC’s market impact, which resulted in last week’s white paper. Although it was widely considered to be better than expected for the BBC, the corporation is responding to comments made by George Osborne, the chancellor, last summer in which he said the BBC was being “imperial in its ambitions” by expanding into content such as recipes.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24037
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#119 Postby Alan H » May 17th, 2016, 10:32 am

There's a rumour that the recipes are not being deleted, but will not be added to or maintained and not optimised for Google searches. Meanwhile, slice by slice... BBC Newsbeat website and app 'to be closed' in review also cutting online recipies
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24037
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#120 Postby Alan H » May 17th, 2016, 11:34 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Jim
Posts: 25
Joined: October 2nd, 2012, 3:01 pm

Re: Save the BBC!

#121 Postby Jim » August 6th, 2016, 2:01 pm

I haven't read all the posts, but I will oppose the existence of the BBC while there is a licence fee.


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