David Singleton

David Singleton's Diary

Friday 15 March 2002

Today at the Vicarage The

Today at the Vicarage : The Betsy

Vivien Goldman has set aside three hours for a meeting and lunch on Monday. Hurray I say. I suggested that after three hours we would be reduced to idle chit chat.

We could do worse than discuss the state of the BBC. Donbledore has confirmed a series of meetings for the week of the 25th, but I doubt the BBC will be a favourable port of call. This is not due to the small matter of their desire for complete ownership and control, but the fact that they are, as ever, acting as a bell weather for state of the nation as perceived in Downing Street. The beloved chairman of the Beeb recently sneered at "white middle class, middle aged and well educated people" who are unhappy at falling standards. If newspaper reports are to be believed he wishes to concentrate on pleasing "The Asian teenager on the streets of Leicester".

I have nothing against programmes for teenagers, I have nothing against programmes for Asians. I have nothing against programmes for Asian teenagers. But to blame the falling standards of the majority of the BBC output on the (no doubt excellent, if diverse) tastes of the minority inhabitants of Leicester would seem to smack of a political agenda. If it were not so late at night, thoughts like Ageism, Racism, and social engineering might creep into these pages.

I shall console myself with the fact that WMC, MA, WEP's , such as your diarist, always believe that standards are falling, and never believe that change is for the better - so perhaps this is merely an ongoing healthy cycle. Although I am inclined to think otherwise. And in the meantime there is always the ever excellent Channel Four – theoretically a youth orientated channel, but, for my money, currently showing by far the most innovative programmes on TV. But then of course it isn't my money – my License fee is going to the BBC, who believe that, as part of the silent majority, they no longer need make programming for me.

I should get down from my wobbly soap box, before the Blairite thought police come knocking on my door.