Thursday, July 16, 2009

Charles Moore: He keeps us poor

You'll recall last week Charles Moore penned an open letter to the BBC insisting he wouldn't pay his licence fee because of the airspace they gave to Jonathan Ross.

It was, he insisted, unfair to expect good, honest, law-abiding people like himself to use their hard-earned, god-fearing pennies to underwrite the costs of bringing unacceptable material to the nationally-owned airwaves.

Could this be the same Charles Moore who has just blown £45,000 plus costs in a legal settlement following his idiotic and wrong claims on Question Time that the leadership of the British Council Of Muslims condoned the killing and murder of British soldiers.

I'm a little lost as to whether we should all refuse to pay our licence fees until Charles Moore repays the £45k, or if we should just refuse to pay until the BBC promises never to put Charles Moore on again.

I'm also a little lost about this: If Moore really believes what he wrote in the letter, that the BBC was operating outside its charter ever since the Russell Brand phone calls to Andrew Sachs last October, why did he appear on Question Time this March? If the BBC had forfeited its charter, it had no right to broadcast - and was making the programmes with licence fee money Moore claims it had no right to collect. So Charles Moore went on a programme made with what he believes to be illegally obtained funds, broadcasting as a pirate operation, to make libellous and hurtful comments which have had to be compensated for, with monies he believes the BBC should not legally have.

Perhaps you should just pay your licence fee, Mr Moore?

[UPDATE: How will the Telegraph cope with this story? It loves a chance to have a pop at the BBC, but since the libel came from one of their own, what to do? Simples! Report the libel award but refer coyly to "a panelist". Good work.]

1 comment:

Conrad Quilty-Harper said...

To be fair, not even the BBC identified who the "panellist" was.

Libel laws here are ridiculous. There should certainly be some form of ISP-esque defence here. The views were not those of the BBC. They were those of a person who appeared within an open debate format, which happened to be broadcast live.

Example of an ISP-esque clause: "An ISP acts acting as a mere conduit or providing hosting services is not privy to the content of the communication of parties using its facilities."

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