The BBC’s failings
Like Mark Damazer, I am a fervent supporter of public service broadcasting and the role of the BBC; but his essay on Brexit coverage (“How Brexit broke the BBC,” April) is quietly devastating about some of the corporation’s deficiencies. I differ from Mark in that I believe the rot started with the referendum coverage when BBC correspondents’ obsession with political process—and who’s up and who’s down—obscured the vital issues.I do not worry about the BBC’s impartiality. But I sense a lack of editorial grip that results in poor prioritisation of what matters and inadequate analysis. This is the most crucial moment in post-war politics, and the corporation has not shone in the way its supporters would have liked.
Roger Mosey, former editorial director of the BBC
The BBC is held to a higher standard of journalism than commercial media. I mean, imagine the fuss if the BBC had published an article about Brexit coverage that concluded “I do not think the BBC betrayed its principal public purpose” and “the BBC is far from failing,” but under the headline: “How Brexit broke the BBC.”
Charles Miller, London
A “Children’s Vote”
Thank you for the “Duel” on private schools (“Are private schools a blight on English society?” April). I especially enjoyed the reference to Brexit as a battle “lost on the playing fields of Eton.” Leaving aside the Bullingdon Brexit, (as readers will remember, “Buller” members would trash restaurants in Oxford, leaving others to clear up, which seems a close analogy of the referendum) I have one conclusion reached from personal experience.
Middle-class parents should stop to ask their children before they make the sacrifice of school fees. Would they prefer a private education or help saving for a grad pad?
I would have been thrilled to send my children to the local comprehensive rather than spend many hundreds of thousands of pounds on private education. Instead of arguing over Britain’s apartheid education system, parents should allow it to wither on the vine via a “Children’s Vote.”
Rachel Johnson, journalist
Simon Heffer displays his ignorance of VAT by stating that if value-added tax were imposed on fees “schools would lose the VAT exemption on all the products they buy in.”
In fact if VAT were imposed on school fees (“output tax”) the schools would be entitled to offset the VAT they…