This weekend, we found out that the government is planning to force cuts on the BBC. The minister in charge said next year he planned to have “tough discussions” with the BBC, and force them to change “a huge number of things”. [1]
By making these threats now, the government is dipping its toe in the water. There’s no financial need for these cuts – the BBC doesn’t make a loss. The Conservatives don’t like the BBC and are strongly influenced by Rupert Murdoch, who wants to see it cut. But they know that the BBC has popular support. They’ll be watching the public reaction this week to judge how much BBC-bashing they can get away with.
If the Culture Secretary’s threats pass without a fuss, the government will take that as a signal that they can press on. But if we respond quickly with thousands of emails to our MPs saying “hands off our BBC”, we’ll make them realise that cuts to the BBC will cause a big political storm. That could be enough to make them back off.
Click here to send your MP an email telling them to stand up for the BBC – the 38 Degrees web site makes it very quick and simple:
When thousands of us email our MPs, government ministers get to hear about it. There are 38 Degrees members in every constituency in the UK. When we work together we can make sure every single MP is feeling the pressure. We can make sure Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, hears from hundreds of MPs this week, telling him their constituents are complaining about his BBC cuts plans. That will make him realise that pushing ahead with cuts plans might make him popular with Rupert Murdoch, but it won’t make him popular with the public.
We know the BBC isn’t perfect. In the past year they have tackled some of our concerns about the high pay for senior execs and celebrities, but there’s definitely still room for improvement. But politicians with an axe to grind teaming up with the BBC’s commercial rivals to impose unnecessary cuts is going to harm the BBC, not help it. Once services have been lost, it’ll be very hard to get them back – we need to act now to stop the government’s BBC cuts plans before they get started.

Only a fortnight ago, our campaigning  persuaded the BBC Trust to drop plans to scrap 6 Music.  We proved that when it comes to protecting valued public broadcasting, people power works. Now it looks like there may be a fresh threat to BBC services – and that could include 6 Music yet again. Let’s put the pressure on our MPs right now, and get the government to back away from plans to slash the BBC.
It will only take a minute to email your MP, and if thousands of us all do it right now the effect will be huge. Please click here to get started:
Thanks for being involved,
David, Hannah, Johnny and the 38 Degrees Team
P.S. Our campaign for Vince Cable to call a halt to Rupert Murdoch’s bid to take 100% control of BSkyB is growing fast. Nearly 30,000 of us have now signed the petition, and 38 Degrees members have donated over £5000 to fund adverts and stunts to make sure Vince can’t ignore us. There’ll be more to do on that campaign soon, but right now let’s make sure the government sees a strong reaction to their plans to force cuts on the BBC:

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