Saturday, 17 January 2009

Charles Moore versus Jonathan Ross: this will run and run despite lunch with the D-G

Lunch with the Director General of the BBC Mark Thompson has failed to sooth ex-Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore and stop him continuing his campaign against Jonathan Ross over the Andrew Sachs affair.
In today's Telegraph Moore stands by his vow not to pay his licence fee while Ross remains an employee of the BBC, despite being dined by Thompson.
Moore reveals today: "Responding to my complaint, the Director-General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, invited me to lunch. He is a thoughtful, well-educated man. I suggested to him that the television licence fee was the modern equivalent of the tithes which people used to have to pay to the Church of England: even if you did not believe in Anglicanism, or even in God, you still had by law to enrich the Church because your "betters" considered it good for the nation. For the same reason as the tithes went, I argued, so should the licence fee.
"Mr Thompson did not demur from the comparison, though he rejected my conclusion. He explained to me that the role of the BBC was based on Matthew Arnold's idea that culture could perform the elevating role in society which religion, because people ceased to believe it, had vacated."
Moore remains unpersuaded and reveals he has even forced himself to read Ross's book "Why do I say these things?" Moore's answer to the question posed by Ross is... "because Jonathan, you are the big mouth of an age with nothing to say."

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