The Independent's media commentator Stephen Glover today joins the critics of plans to slash the BBC World Service.
Glover writes: "The BBC World Service is being cut back. A quarter of its staff is being sacked, and five foreign language services will be closed. A 30 million drop in its weekly global audience from 180 million to 150 million is forecast.
"What madness is this? The World Service is the best thing about the BBC. It is a force for good and a force for Britain. And yet it is losing 16 per cent of its £267m government grant over the next five years, during which time the international aid budget will increase by 37 per cent to over £11bn. What is the BBC World Service but a form of aid for the oppressed? A fraction of the aid budget could preserve it."