Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, this week continued his campaign of attacks on the BBC, a campaign which began several months ago. A weakened BBC is clearly in the interests of its competitor News International and surprise surprise The Sun is now backing the Tories.

If Mr Hunt were just an ordinary citizen criticising the BBC for its bad decisions and extravagant expenses I would not be concerned, but Mr Hunt hopes in a few months to be in control of the Ministry for media which will oversee the BBC and the press. Mr Hunt’s public utterances are therefore of great concern to all in the media industry.

I have written to Mr Hunt about my concerns that the Tories want to sell off or scrap key parts of the BBC including much of its online operations, Radio 1, BBC 3 and BBC 4. Mr Hunt’s attacks have been vicious and sustained. In a Daily Mail interview last month under the headline, ‘We’ll rein in the BBC, say Tories in radical plans to prevent one broadcaster state’, Mr Hunt talked about scrapping BBC 3 and 4 and taking action which the Mail said would ‘pave the way for channels such as Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News’. In August The Times reported that the Tories were planning to sell off Radio 1.

For months Mr Hunt has pursued an agenda of verbal assaults on the business of the BBC. Yet Mr Hunt, as far as I can see, has said nothing critical about the massive media power of the Murdoch Empire. Are the commercial interests of News International (owners of The Sun, The Times, BSkyB, etc) being deliberately favoured for party political advantage? “Nothing new there” some might say, but at a time when the reputation of politicians has hit rock bottom, we have a right to know.

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Comments
  1. Concerned citizen says:

    The real problem with our media, today, is not the role of the BBC: a valuable national asset which should be cherished and defended. It is the overweening power of Rupert Murdoch’s empire. That is why I , for one, refuse to purchase any News International product (except, very occasionally, a copy of The Times or Sunday Times). And that is why I refuse to subscribe to BSkyB even ‘though, sadly, that means that I can no longer follow the fortunes of the English Cricket team on tv (for an indication of what a disaster BSkyB’s cash nexus has been, compare teh tv audiences for this year’s Ashes series with those for the 2005 series). Thank the stars for BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.

    Murdoch’s, and Murdoch Junior’s attacks on the BBC are, at best, special pleading. It is a shame that our inexperienced local MP,who aspires to political office with responsibility over these matters, can do no better than support such special pleading.

  2. Harpish says:

    It is disappointing that anyone can oppose the BBC so much since the BBC benefits all especially the poor

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