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The BBC has let us down

No, this has nothing to do with phone hacking. It has nothing to do with Rupert Murdoch, Andy Coulson or Rebbeka Brooks. Nothing at all to do with News International, so if that’s all you are interested in click away now.

To be fair, the title of this blogpost is misleading. Its not just the BBC but the media at large that have failed us; failed to inform us, educate us and tell us the truth. But in the case of BBC, an organisation which dominates nearly 70% of the TV/Internet news media in the UK, with its own charter to educate and inform, I think that THIS COMRES poll is particularly shocking.

The most astonishing fact from this poll is that an alarming 70% of Brits think the government is cutting £350bn from the national debt over the course of the current parliament – fewer than one in ten understand that in fact the government are adding billions to the national debt. This is economic ignorance on a massive scale. By 2015 UK national debt will have surpassed £1.3trillion – equivalent to 70% of our national GDP.

But hang on this cannot actually be true can it? The BBC have spent hours of broadcast time looking into the effects of the “unprecedented cuts” in public spending. We’ve had hours of TV dedicated to programmes like ‘The Street that cut everything’. Yet the sum total of all of this coverage is that the overwhelming majority of the UK population have not the faintest idea of where the country is financially. In fact they actually believe the very opposite of what the government is doing! To me this is a far bigger scandal that who’s phone has been hacked.
Of course, this national economic ignorance is not just down to the BBC, or even the media at large. The Government and the Opposition also need to take their share of the blame for failing to be honest with the public.

As Liberal Vision puts it “how can the public determine which spending policies are right for the country if they are blind to the actual state of the finances? How can democracy be expected to operate when those voting are so ignorant of so many of the essential facts?”

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