BBC on strike


The taxpayer—supported (via a mandatory "license fee") British Broadcasting Corporation employes 28,000 people to operate its various television and radio services. The BBC has announced plans to downsize 4,000 employees. As a result, its unions have begun a strike.

"The savage cuts proposed will damage programming as well as the organization and will unravel British broadcasting traditions," said Mike Smallwood, national officer of the Amicus union.

"The BBC is a unifying British institution which acts as the nation's conscience but these redundancies will damage the U.K. at its core."

Listeners and viewers are still getting programming, but it is recorded fare, with only minimal new content. Will anyone notice? Probably, quite a few. But some of them will sample the various private broadcasters available on satellite and terrestrial channels, and find them perfectly satisfactory.

The strike can only harm the longer term interests of the unionised staff at the BBC, by weakening support for the onerous license fees every television and radio owner in the UK must pay every year for the BBC.

I might feel a bit more charitable towards the Beeb if it were not a highly biased left wing anti—Israel news source. But as it stands, the sooner it is privatised and forced to complete for its audience, the better.

Thomas Lifson   5 23 05