Monday, 3 August 2009

Pakistan Christians die in unrest

This is the bland headline that the vile, anti-Christian, anti-semitic, anti-British Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation uses to describe the murder of a group of Pakistani Christians who were burned alive by a hate-filled mob of Muslim extremists.

Why do I object to the report?

1. The first word. Why Pakistan rather than Pakistani? Does the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation consider that these people are not 'real' Pakistani citizens for daring to be Christian?

2. The word 'die'. People 'die' in their sleep; people 'die' in accidents. This was no accident. These people were murdered in cold blood, and an honest report would say so.

3. The word 'unrest'. What exactly is that word supposed to mean? There is unrest in every British town centre when the pubs close. It hardly describes the sort of savage lynch-mob who carried out these murders.

4. The word 'militants'. Arthur Scargill was a militant. Whatever else you say about him, he did not burn people alive in their own homes. There is a difference between militancy and terrorism.

I pray for all who are persecuted for following Jesus, wherever they are in the world.

"All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved" (NIV Mark 13:13). Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (NIV, John 18:36). There are times when Christians must endure persecution, because Jesus himself suffered persecution. The rewards we must seek will be delivered in the next world, not this one.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Slash the BBC

According to the Sunday Times, the Conservatives are planning to freeze the licence fee and sell off Radio 1.

Good start, but does not go far enough. I would like to see the licence fee being slashed from £142.50 to £99, with a pledge to keep it frozen under £100 for the duration of the next Tory government. This would force the BBC to re-evaluate the services it provides; show the Tory commitment to cutting tax and give a small but helpful break to taxpayers.

Anything, like Radio 1, which has a huge audience share means unfair competition for commercial broadcasters. The licence fee should be used to subsidise important, useful but non-profitable programming, eg news services. Anything which has a commercial value should be offered by commercial broadcasters.

So, let's sell off Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 5. They could probably all survive on their own. Radio 3 should be closed: it has been eclipsed by Classic FM, after all, and has no further function. However, the frequencies it uses will bring in millions when they are sold off.

Radio 4 provides the sort of current affairs and light entertainment broadcasting that the licence fee is intended for. It is the only one of the national radio stations that I would keep under BBC control. The World Service is an icon of broadcasting and should be preserved, as should the stations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The 39 English local stations should be sold or scrapped, as they simply provide unfair competition to local commercial stations. Also, scrap the digital stations.

In television, I would keep BBC 1, BBC2 and scrap the rest. When the licence fee was first introduced, there was no choice. Now we have hundreds of competing channels, and there is no need for all of these. Based on the BBC's own figures, the above changes should bring the licence fee down to just over £100. Further changes can be made by restricting the salaries of higher-paid employees, eg Jonathan Ross. If he is worth £6 million a year on the open market, then ITV or another commercial channel will pay him that. The online presence of the BBC should also be reduced. There are some useful online functions, eg education, but the news service, for example, should not be allowed to undermine local newspapers.

Who says Luke Akehurst isn't sharp?

I have never until today looked at Luke Akehurst's blog. He is a Labour activist from London who, sadly, is currently restricted to a wheelchair.

I must admit, I was intrigued by the link from Iain Dale's Diary to a post by Luke which wonders whether Labour would accept a candidate in a wheelchair.

He is apparently unaware that Anne Begg, a wheelchair-bound MP, has represented Aberdeen South since 1997. She was selected via an all-woman shortlist, but I shan't post any bitchy comment about the quality of people elected under such a system. My own local MP is another of the breed, and the phrase 'waste of space' would not begin to sum her up. I certainly wouldn't rate her alongside Anne Begg, who does seem to be quite a well-regarded constituency MP. I love the ironic (dare I say 'black'?) humour in her slogan 'Standing up for Aberdeen South'.