Saturday, November 06, 2010

Proud of the BBC

I know I've mostly been talking about the welfare aspect of the planned cuts going on. That's because I believe that it's important for people to have the absolute basics of life - a safe place to sleep, food to eat, warm clothes to wear, necessary medical attention, the ability to develop and maintain social contact with other human beings - over and above everything else. Arts and culture is important, certainly, but I don't believe anyone could stand in front of a disabled person and say "I'm sorry you're having to choose between having your heating on and buying food this winter, but we're sure you'll feel better for knowing that the money we're saving on your benefits means that the massive art gallery down the road can stay open. And keep their heating on. You could go there every day to keep warm! Well, you could if we hadn't cut the accessible transport service..."

And the BBC has its failings. Extreme health and safety. Multiple layers of bureaucracy. Their persistent habit of sending threatening letters to houses with no television sets demanding that the licence fee be paid.

Nevertheless, I'm proud of the BBC and agree with every sentiment in this wonderful song:

I do watch TV, and I pay the licence fee, and I'm okay with that. I don't always watch BBC channels but many of the programs I like were originally developed for/by the Beeb and have been bought for repeat by other channels. I also listen to the radio/podcasts, I participate on a couple of messageboards, and I adore the BBC news website. During the Chilean miners' rescue, for instance, the BBC was a definitive source of information. It was clearly laid out, well-presented, low on sensationalism, high on commitment. The feed and the articles were being echoed around international forums as being superior to the coverage offered by other news outlets. The BBC has a lot to be proud of and in turn we can be proud of the BBC!

Mitch Benn's Proud of the BBC is available via many download sites listed here.

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