It’s not the BBC’s job to act as a cheerleader for Britain

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The BBC Trust appears to have acquired a chairman of taste and discernment.

Lord Patten has urged programme-makers to take risks, but warned against a lowering of cultural standards and an acceptance of the shoddy and vulgar.

Better still, he has told the BBC to resist the temptation to use audience figures as the only measure of success.

But he betrayed his political antecedence by suggesting the Corporation should be able to demonstrate Britain was ‘not going to the dogs’ and should be ‘a force for optimism in difficult times’.

He’s wrong, because the BBC’s primary function is to inform, educate and entertain. It never has been – and never should be – its job to act as cheerleader for the country.