I’m catching up on a number of issues sent my way in recent days. This one covers the determination by the BBC-approved  European Court of Justice which has stated:

“National legislation which prohibits the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards is contrary to the freedom to provide services and cannot be justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums.” ‘

One in the eye for Sky and three cheers for the Pub landlady. HOWEVER…

“Whilst this relates to football and national borders it would be interesting to see if the same thinking applies to the BBC license which prevents you from watching other channels if you haven’t bought it…..shouldn’t there be a ‘freedom to provide services’ for TV commercial companies?”

Delingpole Gets It

Hacking into voicemails is not so different from scrabbling around in dustbins searching for something to whip up into a scandal; well, perhaps one step further. The press may well be reflecting our appetite for tittle-tattle, but they created it in the first place and exploited it cynically and self-servingly ever since. Hacking into Milly Dowler’s voicemail when they knew she had probably been murdered, or interfering with serious police investigations was undoubtedly a step too far, but don’t let them pretend that the steps leading up to the extreme, grotesque intrusion we have now weren’t leading in exactly the same direction all along.

I’m sure this whole business is getting on everyone’s nerves. We’re all fed up with watching hacks, celebrities and broadcasters precariously balancing on their moral high horses. They’re blinded by the sanctimonious superiority they’ve suddenly adopted, so they don’t understand that their self-appointed mandate to moralise on behalf of the ‘victims’ makes you want to punch them in the face.
As soon as the media filters the news through its intrinsic limitations, in terms of education and attitude, there’s a danger of distortion, be it deliberate or not. So we need choice. If the BBC is campaigning for its own monopoly, that’s very wrong.

James Delingpole (H/T George R, thread on similar topic, below) sums it all up really well.

The BBC is at Least a Thousand Times More Evil and Dangerous than Rupert Murdoch

“And of course, the house leftists at the BBC (most of them recruited through the pages of the left-wing Guardian newspaper, which BBC employees tend to believe is also the ONLY newspaper) want to keep it that way. That’s why they have been pushing the “scandalous” Murdoch revelations so hard; that’s why Labour leader Ed Miliband and Tony Blair’s ex-enforcer Alastair Campbell and socialist ex-Prime-Minister Gordon Brown and the pathologically left-wing Twittersphere and, yes, the Guardian newspaper have been so eager to join in the fray. Sure they hate Murdoch, that’s a given. But what they hate far, far more – because they fear it – is the possibility that British audiences should be exposed as US audiences are to dangerously conservative concepts like freedom and small government.”

Please do read it all.


There’s a surprising interview from the ‘Today’ archive (from 2009) between James Naughtie and Will Hutton. Naughtie asks Hutton to speculate on the future of newspapers in the U.K. Hutton replies:

Well I think there is going to be a transitional period. It could last 10 years, it could be as long as 20 years, in which the way we’ve done it over the last period is plainly going to be uneconomic and there are not going to be new ways of doing it that ARE economic, and I think that what’s going to happen is that in Britain at least..I actually think the BBC..there’s a grave danger it’s going to become THE sole news provider in the country, with one or two organisations – maybe the Guardian/Observer, maybe News International, maybe the Daily Mail and General Trust organisations – just falling besides the wayside, and in this period actually people are turning more to the BBC. The evidence from OFCOM is that people are actually using television news and BBC radio more actually, not less. So we’ll be in a danger…we’ll be in a period when there’ll be a monopoly provider…

So, Will Hutton two years ago was predicting that the BBC was the main danger when it comes to a potential news monopoly in this country. That monopoly situation looks to be getting ever more likely.

He does offer some hope though that after 15 or so years of the BBC monopoly people would be so fed up they’d be flocking willingly to pay for news online. Cold comfort.