It’s my Opinion

THE nation’s favourite broadcasting service may not be in the rudest of health, but it does not deserve to be a political football, as would appear to be the case.

When politicians start leaning on the BBC, demanding they hire someone for the vacant post of Director General with a party political bias, we the great unconsulted British public should worry.

The principal agitator for such an arrangement is no less a person the Boris Johnson who, whisper it softly, actually wishes to be PM one day. Clearly his current post of Lord Mayor of London is no longer big enough for his massive ego. But Prime Minister, please no, even if the current incumbent is struggling.

Suggesting as Boris did that the Director General has to be a Tory merely underlines just how arrogant and out of touch our government is. Perhaps there is a case for Scottish independence. It would be uncomfortable under the SNP, but perhaps well worth considering in the longer term under a different regime. We’ll see.

In the meantime, Rome burns while we fiddle around with the detail of a referendum, waiting for an intelligent debate to begin. Fat chance.

But back to the BBC a much loved and respected institution throughout the world. People rely on its news reporting. If it loses its independence its hard fought status would be at risk.

Its status as an independent broadcasting is vital to us as a nation, especially after all the outpourings from the Levison inquiry. Do we never learn? The answer is quite simple, no we have not, which is incredibly sad, given newspaper magnates’ desire for control.

Ah me, it was ever thus - just in case those of you living in the past think it was all plain selling in the ‘good old days.’

Newspapers have always tried to control our minds, not least the so called quality ones who hide behind what they call the moral high ground. The same papers are, in reality, just as sinister as the red tops who are equally concerned to educate us, and in the main succeeding I am sad to say.

Losing the independence of the BBC would be tragic, so what are we going to do about the situation?

If I may be so bold, I would suggest we lobby or MP’s and MSP’s before my fears become a reality. We could also write to the PM in the hope that he has not yet conceded the argument to his less fair-minded colleagues. Despite my reservations about David Cameron, I believe he is a thoroughly decent man who is unlucky to be presiding over such a wasteful bunch.

The Scottish dimension is very interesting, for should we have any kind of independence in three years time, I certainly don’t wish the TV, or indeed radio stations to be controlled by Holyrood.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the protection of the BBC is a bigger issue than we probably imagine.