Letters to the editor - 11/09 - Lurch to the Left, Licence fee, Best of Twitter

Lurch to the Left

[Re: As the Social Attitudes Survey reveals softening views on welfare, is Britain moving to the Left? Yesterday]
On certain issues, sometimes associated with the Left, the public has been steadfast over the last 30 years (support for the NHS, a decent state pension and schools funding, for example). But the public have also had their fill of raising taxes to pay for services and are sceptical of the state’s role in redistributing wealth. This is no lurch to the Left, but a slight shift in opinion. Only if it is more than a blip could it have important political consequences.
Nick Pearce, director, Institute for Public Policy Research

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Licence fee

[Re: Scrap the licence fee – and drag British TV into 21st century, Monday]

Perhaps the BBC’s biggest problem is that it tries to do too many things. Instead of calling for an end to the institution, we should consider the ways in which it can be slimmed down based on a stricter version of its original “inform, educate & entertain” remit. At the moment, it is too focused on competing with its commercial rivals – ITV, Sky, Channel 5. By slimming down to a focus on quality news, current affairs and educational entertainment, the institution could focus on what it does best.

Name withheld

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BEST OF TWITTER

Trying to get this “rising gilts bad” thing. Investors sell gilts, to invest in stocks or machines or consume.
@AndrewLilico

The international consensus to do nothing about Syria is gaining momentum.
@ianbremmer

Plastic banknotes are not new to the UK. Northern Bank in Northern Ireland issued plastic £5s in 2000.
@markhaggan

EU’s own lawyers rule that proposed financial transaction tax would be illegal.
@RogerHelmerMEP