Britain's left is divided over the current storm over the future of the BBC.
Some, including Labour frontbenchers, have defended the broadcaster against the all too obvious desire of Tory rightwingers to break it up and hand bits over to their business mates.
On the other hand Ken Loach has attacked the corporation's management structure as stifling artistic endeavour and innovation, while George Galloway has tweeted that it might be time to break the BBC up.
BBC News in particular is hardly the friend of unions or the left. But if the alternative is a US-style Fox News overtly biased to the right perhaps this is a case of "be careful what you wish for."
No doubt the debate will continue.
At times like this it's interesting to cast an eye back 50 years to another debate around the nature of the BBC.
That focused on the Pilkington report, which was published in 1962. The report was broadly supportive of the BBC, critical of some of ITV's light entertainment output and very much against commercial radio.
History doesn't judge it to have made much of an impact, but the views it captured provide an interesting historical perspective for today.
In 1961 the then infant New Left Review assembled a panel to provide evidence for Pilkington.
It was comprised of people like Raymond Williams, who went on to become a national figure on the left.
Broadly there was dislike of the trivia and supposedly low-quality offerings of ITV, although it was noted that the channel did carry significant political and current affairs coverage - just not at peak viewing times.
The BBC was seen more favourably, but it didn't get off without criticism either. There was a complaint that too often serious programmes felt obliged to carry lighter items as well to cater for a wider audience.
The defence of public-service broadcasting is connected with what appears at 50 years' distance to be a rather high-minded elitist view of culture and TV programming.
The view was that the growing audience for television needed to be educated and informed.
Entertainment was not seen as a particularly good thing. The implicit point was that without clear direction of content workers might watch things that distracted them from thinking about more serious matters.
It doesn't paint a particularly attractive picture of the left.
And the naive assumption that the BBC would always be a friend to progressives also grates.
There were only two TV channels back in those bygone days - BBC2 came in 1965 - and as Raymond Williams's subsequent book on television noted, for programmes free to watch the model of funding had to be either a licence fee or advertising.
The world has moved on. Nowadays there is a multiplicity of TV channels and thanks to cable and satellite technology the chance to charge viewers for specific coverage.
What's more it's no longer necessary to watch TV on a TV set. A laptop or a mobile phone will do.
Williams understood that it's not just content but technology that shapes how the left should approach television. Assessing the impact of these new forms of TV viewing and working out how to utilise them will be our challenge for the future.
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