BBC: Future Funding (Communications and Digital Committee Report) - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:30 am on 16 December 2022.

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Photo of Lord Addington Lord Addington Liberal Democrat 11:30, 16 December 2022

My Lords, when it comes to the end of a debate—especially one like this, where I have not served on the committee—a certain degree of nerves creeps in. One thing has come out in this debate: there seems to be a great deal of good feeling for the BBC, but not for all the BBC, and the bit we do not feel good about changes with every person who speaks. If we take that on board, we discover that there is not one answer to this, unless we are imposing some form of dictatorship. But what do we regard as good about the BBC? Its universality—the fact that there is something for everybody.

Certain bits will annoy certain people. For example, I am sure that every Government wish they could, at the snap of their fingers, get rid of the “Today” programme. Time after time, the Government sit down, do stuff, and stuff goes wrong. Whether it goes wrong by little portions or by great tidal waves, the “Today” programme tells us, the political class listen to it, and then, along with the broadsheets, they set an agenda. If things are going reasonably well, the Government do not care, but when they are going badly or they are being criticised, they care deeply. Just about everybody who has spoken in this debate has been in a party that has been in government. It was a bit of a shock to the Liberal Democrats when they discovered that they were getting their fair share of this. As for political bias, I am afraid that the Conservative Party in some form or another has normally been in power over the last 100 years, so if the BBC is out to get it, it is not very good at it—end of.