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Michael Burleigh
Monday 27th July 2009
Save Our Newspapers
While the BBC misuses its website as a surrogate national newspaper, and its regional websites to challenge what were excellent supra-local papers like the Western Mail or Yorkshire Post, now according to Andrew Gilligan, an increasing number of councils are getting in on the act. Something called Lambeth Life periodically drops through our letterbox. It consists of the "news" that our Labour couincillors are 'active in this or that, or on our behalf'. I think the editor of the Guardian warned the other day that this is a challenge to local democracy, since Lambeth Life and its ilk are certainly not going to be reporting potholes or failing schools. The Mayor of London managed to chop Livingstone's North Korean style London sheet. Perhaps our cash strapped councils could be prevailed on to use our tax revenues more sensible? As for the BBC, it needs to be cut back to its core functions: a couple of TV channels and half a dozen radio stations, plus the World Service, and that should be that. 
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About Michael Burleigh

Michael Burleigh is a member of the government's senior advisory group on commemorating the centennial of the First World War. His most recent book is Moral Combat (Harper Press, 2010). 

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