BBC: The Unkindest Cuts

According to a protest letter signed by 37 producers of shows such as Desert Island Discs and Midweek, a quarter of all Radio 4 producers are due to be axed in the upcoming BBC cutbacks. I'm sorry, but this makes me want to weep.

Not because I'm a member of the English middle-class conspiracy to support R4 and preserve intellectual and class supremacy. (For one thing, I'm not English.)

It's because the BBC is possibly the best thing about this country. And Radio 4 is possibly the best thing about the best thing about this country.

Every time I turn on Today or Start the Week or Open Book or In Our Time, I think, Thank god someone is still thinking about the things that really matter, about history and how we live and who we are. Thank god someone is talking to me as if I were a sentient being rather than a celebrity-worshipping racist moron.

(Rupert Murdoch, by the way, made a worldwide profit of just over £3 billion last year. And pays a whopping 6% tax on his British income. Explain that to my cleaner, who pays 20% tax on the money she makes working 80 hours a week as a hospital cleaner.)

It's a simple equation -- BBC cutbacks make us all poorer and stupider.

By the time everyone comes round to realising that fact, it'll be too late.