Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Tory cuts to end Britain's status as world's leading news provider

The Conservative Party, and its allies in the media, like to portray themselves as patriots. The truth is that for the modern political Right all considerations are subservient to a slavish commitment to the free market - the cultural heritage of a nation state included.

It is thus of little surprise that thanks to the heavy cuts imposed on the BBC and in particular its World Service (arising  from a large cut in its Foreign Office grant ), Britain is set to lose its position as the number one international news broadcaster to Voice of America.

The BBC World Service currently has a global audience of 188 million, accounting for a large slice of the 238 million worldwide audience of all of BBC Global News. Significant reductions in the former figure are likely arise from the closures of a number of foreign language stations (in Africa, the Caribbean and the Balkans) and cuts to some English services.

If any positives are to come from these cuts, they are that the Tories should lose the right to claim to be the most 'patriotic' of the main three political parties, and all the political advantages that brings.  Their legacy will now include surrendering possibly the last area in which Britain enjoys global dominance.

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