The BBC and the C of E

Peter Oborne’s very good and robust, albeit slight­ly mean­der­ing, defence of the BBC has a quite love­ly quote on the organisation’s impor­tance from Lord Rei­th, its founder:

It does not mat­ter how many thou­sands there may be lis­ten­ing. There is always enough for oth­ers. It is the rever­sal of the nat­ur­al law, that the more one takes, the less there is for oth­ers.

Else­where Oborne him­self pro­vides a very suc­cinct descrip­tion of why I believe the BBC is so impor­tant — because it’s:

[A] pub­lic domain: that com­mon space, open to all, which is inde­pen­dent of both the state and the mar­ket­place.

I think that, in a slight­ly obtuse and not ful­ly con­sid­ered way, this is also why I like church­es, despite hav­ing no belief what­so­ev­er in a deity. A church is a build­ing, away from your home, that you can go into with­out hav­ing to buy any­thing, or indeed with­out hav­ing any spe­cif­ic pur­pose at all. It’s a space of being. Should the Church of Eng­land as an enti­ty close down tomor­row, I’d cam­paign as hard to keep church­es as pub­lic domains as I will to keep the BBC one.