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I wonder what your reaction would be if the Government ordered the proprietors of the Star to provide copies of the paper free to the over 75s?

This is, in effect, what the Government is forcing the BBC to do by making it bear the cost of providing free TV licences for this age group.

As a commercial organisation, the Johnston Press would, at least, be able to defray the cost of such an imposition by charging other readers more.

The BBC has no such choice, particularly as the Government also sets the licence fee.

Clearly, the original decision to provide free TV licences for the over 75s was a political one – designed to solicit votes.

The BBC is now being asked to fund this commitment.

It demonstrates, clearly, the Tories’ vindictive hatred of the BBC and their craven attitude to Rupert Murdoch and the other Fleet Street proprietors.

Paul Kenny