Mark Thompson makes a disingenuous plea for the continued financing of the BBC in this morning's Telegraph; "there would be no BBC Proms" he whines. Quite true. They would become the HSBC Proms or the BAe Proms or somesuch. For the rest of his litany of losses, frankly, I could do without the vast majority of them.
In an age of personalised choice and pay-on-demand, the BBC's monopoly is very difficult to defend. Many of us resent deeply not only the millions paid to those whose 'talents' we regard as mediocre at best, but the outrageous salaries that the BBC bureaucrats have decided to pay themselves. The BBC has become just another public trough, and Mark Thompson (salary £816,000 in 2007/2008) is amongst those whose snouts are thrust deep in the swill.
Many accuse the BBC of political bias to the right or the left. This is not the case. It's biased towards big centralist corporatist government and against personal human responsibility. It's long been part of the problem in creating an expectation that it's the government's job to 'do something' about every minor ill that ails the nation. This is pernicious.
No, though I loved the BBC of Reithian principle and listen to little else but Radio 4, it's no longer a national institution of any great value. The Monarchy costs us £40 million a year, the BBC costs £4,300 million a year, £3,100 million of which is collected from licence payers. It's past its sell by date and should go.