Nadine Dorries’ attack on the BBC reeks of hypocrisy – but it does need reform | Letters

Readers respond to the culture secretary’s claim that the broadcaster is unrepresentative

Like many populist demagogues, Nadine Dorries makes some good points but comes to the wrong conclusion (BBC staffed by people ‘whose mum and dad worked there’, says Nadine Dorries, 4 October). The BBC, as our national public service broadcaster, should indeed be more “representative” and “accessible”. The answer is not, however, to threaten its existence (“Will the BBC still be here in 10 years? I don’t know,” Dorries said) but to engage in a wide discussion on how it should change, without using the threat of the licence fee settlement.

The BBC does need a process of modernisation, democratisation and radical reform, along the lines suggested by the Media Reform Coalition. It would be less vulnerable to the kind of attacks mounted by Dorries if it was more robust, democratic and determined in its project to be “more accessible to people from all backgrounds”. This diversity should be reflected in both the BBC’s employment practices and in programme commissioning.
Tony Dowmunt
Emeritus professor, Goldsmiths, University of London

• Nadine Dorries thinks that the BBC should not be run mainly by privately educated people who are not representative of licence fee payers. But she seems to think that it is absolutely OK that the country is run by privately educated people who are not representative of taxpayers. I should be used to the hypocrisy and sense of entitlement of those in power, but am still occasionally almost lost for words.
Della Kerr
Darlington, County Durham

• What hypocrisy from Nadine Dorries, claiming that the BBC is staffed by people “whose mum and dad worked there” when, as your report says, she herself employed two of her daughters in her parliamentary office at a cost to the taxpayer of £80,000.
Gary Bennett

Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication.


The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Government’s attack on the BBC is a threat to our democracy | Letters
Letters: Readers defend the national broadcaster against the Conservatives’ plan to abolish the licence fee


17, Jan, 2022 @4:29 PM

Article image
BBC calls licence decision ‘disappointing’ after Nadine Dorries confirms two-year fee freeze – as it happened
Culture secretary rebuked by Speaker for tweeting announcement on Sunday as BBC says decision will impact on programming

Andrew Sparrow

17, Jan, 2022 @6:26 PM

Article image
Nadine Dorries denies tweet to Laura Kuenssberg was inappropriate
Minister overseeing BBC licence negotiations challenged over tweet to corporation’s political editor

Jim Waterson

18, Nov, 2021 @1:42 PM

Article image
There’s too much at stake to risk losing the BBC | Letters
Letters: We must protect the BBC from this attack on its tradition of fearless reporting, writes Giles Swayne. Plus letters from Meirion Bowen and Linda Rhead


19, Jan, 2022 @4:42 PM

Article image
Who benefits from the axing of the free over-75s TV licence? | Letters
Letters: Readers respond to the BBC’s decision to make over-75s pay


12, Jun, 2019 @4:43 PM

Article image
Julian Knight and the BBC both under scrutiny | Letters
Letters: Graham Webb thinks the MP should know that his ex-colleagues’ job is to report honestly, truthfully, with common sense and without fear or favour. Gary Bennett thinks he should refuse to play the government’s game


16, Feb, 2020 @6:08 PM

Article image
The BBC is a precious national asset that we must protect | Letters
Letters: Readers and campaigners respond to the news that the government is considering decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee


07, Feb, 2020 @5:35 PM

Article image
Tuned in for debate about TV licences for over-75s | Letters
Letters: Readers respond to Gordon Brown’s article on Theresa May’s broken promise to older pensioners


04, Jan, 2019 @4:51 PM

Article image
Why no news would be good news for the BBC | Letters
Letters: Post-election attacks on the BBC have exposed its lack of political independence, suggests Professor Brian Winston. But Carole Tongue defends the corporation as a unifying force


17, Dec, 2019 @4:25 PM

Article image
Nadine Dorries retaliates in Andrew Neil spat | Media Monkey
Media Monkey: MP calls Neil an 'orange, overweight, toupee-wearing has-been'


06, Dec, 2011 @10:33 AM