Well, I have to argue with stamper about the Beebís political stance: in my eyes (and ears), it leans far to the left of neutral. What else can you exect from a publicly owned service full of safe-career bureaucrats? But still, outwith politics, itís the main service I now watch other than Aljazeera, which has pretty good coverage of the middle-east events.
I also watch Sky News (when the cosy, cloying sofa broadcasting of Beeb breakfast news gets too much to stomach), and their stance regarding the US political election thing is madness: we get it stuffed down our throats whenever the carnivalís in town, and for the life of me I canít figure why. Itís not as if the UK voter has the slightest input to make, and going by the crazy system we are running Ė a coalition, for heavenís sake Ė we have nothing superior to offer as example to the States. Last I saw this morning, they (Sky) are totally absorbed in a five-year-oldís kidnapping. I try to stop myself being cynical, but I canít avoid noting that the folks doing the scene-of-crime interviews with the great unwashed are almost beside themselves with excitement. Another episode of entertainment and insincerity created out of disaster and dismay.
Our own public is like the Spanish one is now: in deepest shit with debt, yet the public rallies around Madrid centre waving flags and holding up placards demanding no cuts and better wages. Obviously, the message that years of spending what you donít have will always take you to a sticky end still hasnít come through loudly enough. I suspect that there are people who actually believe that governments have their own secret pile of money, and they but need be pressed into spending it. The banks are blamed for everything, which is terribly convenient for all the rest of them in political office!
Having said that, I think thereís a really valuable rŰle for governments to play regarding health and pensions. The problem, as with all publicly owned services, is that they become a monopoly and then no government has the guts to face them down. Correction: we once had a very strong lady do that, but she was eventually stabbed by her own tribal group. You just canít win. People are blind and see only what suits them at the time.