Friday, July 10, 2009

Charles Moore is the last person in the world still banging on about Jonathan Ross

For some reason, Charles Moore has decided that he doesn't need a TV licence because Jonathan Ross is still on the BBC.

If this really just sounds like a petty man too tight to pay a few quid for his television licence, desperately trying to find some sort of justification for his meanness, Moore is quick to defend himself:

I am not seeking to profit from my refusal, so I have today sent a cheque for £142.50 (the current rate) to Help the Aged. I have chosen this charity because part of Jonathan Ross’s offence was his insult to the old.

Hmm. Without wanting to defend Ross and Brand, has it really occurred to Moore what would happen to the Aged, with or without his money, should the BBC be destroyed by petty actions like his? There aren't many broadcasters who carry programming aimed at older viewers; there's no other broadcaster who would create a season like Grey Expectations; take the time to make programmes that address getting older. If we destroy the BBC, when broadcasters are busily chasing the younger, more affluent audiences, what will the lonely, the old and the housebound watch and listen to, Moore?

Jonathan Ross did some stupid things - for which he has apologised, and for which a lot of people have lost their jobs. Is that really worth destroying one of the nation's cultural institutions over?

I note that Moore doesn't say he intends to stop watching BBC News, or reading the website, or checking travel information on the local radio network while he is withholding his cash. In which case: is it morally OK for all of us to steal copies of the Daily Telegraph until Moore apologises for confusing an error of judgement with a moral vacuum?


Robin Carmody said...

Also: are ITV1, Five, Sky One etc. really to Moore's personal taste? *Really*?

It *could* be reasonably argued that the BBC might do more programmes aimed at people of Moore's cultural tastes, but he represents a world that is dying and becoming ever more marginalised - it would be quite wrong for the BBC to represent his culture as much as it once did. If Moore thinks there is little broadcasting at the moment aimed at him, there would be even less - in fact, pretty much none - should the BBC be dismantled.

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