BBC viewers and listeners should resist the temptation to blame striking journalists for disruption or cancellation of their favourite programmes.
The responsibility for this utterly unnecessary dispute lies with BBC macho management which is intent on pushing through compulsory redundancies at the national broadcaster.
The National Union of Journalists has been willing to accept cuts in staff numbers, but it refuses to fall in line with management demands for carte blanche to chop jobs willy-nilly.
Tory politicians have had the knives out for years against the BBC because of their gut-feeling hostility to the idea of a state-owned broadcaster.
In their eyes, news, comment, features, entertainment, sport and all other aspects of BBC output are simply commodities like cars or tins of beans.
Profit has to be the deciding factor in the ideas market as in any other and the concept of a public broadcaster setting standards of excellence to be matched by the private sector is anathema to them.
The logic of right-wing campaigns against the BBC would transform the situation in Britain into something akin to the US where news coverage is firmly located on the far-right of the political spectrum and even liberals are derided stridently as extremists.
BBC rejection of this drive to right-wing rabble-rousing is often misrepresented as the corporation being in the iron grip of a cabal of doctrinaire socialists.
This is of course nonsense. The editorial stance of BBC editorial offices is essentially centrist, accepting without question the monarchy, Nato, European Union and capitalism as the natural order of things.
The BBC has always needed strong management to resist outside political threats and to defend quality journalism, which doesn't come without cost.
However, too many BBC top bosses in recent years have been prepared to meet the critics and bean counters halfway, accepting real-terms cuts in corporation income through the licence fee and enforcing austerity on the staff while handing over king's ransoms to a number of supposed "celebrity" performers.
Once again the staff are expected to pay the price of poor decisions by the top brass, but they are rejecting these short-sighted supposed solutions.
How can it make sense to sack hard-working, experienced and talented journalists, having to pay them large sums in redundancy pay, while advertising externally to recruit other editorial staff?
The corporation mobilised many of its managers in a vain bid to minimise the scale of the NUJ strike action, which can only raise doubts about the value of their day jobs that can apparently be dispensed with when scabbing duties call.
The BBC has clapped itself on the back for the "considerable progress" made in limiting the scope of its compulsory redundancies programme by means of volunteers, redeployment and cancellation of vacancies.
However, its veneration of "savings targets" invites the belief that the corporation is hell-bent on compulsory sackings to show who is boss.
Such ruthlessness is also exemplified by the threats over future employment prospects made to a number of freelances who honoured the strike decision.
None of the BBC audience wants to see key programmes axed or produced in an inferior form, which emphasises the onus on management to eschew confrontation and seek a negotiated compromise with the NUJ.
The last thing viewers, listeners, staff and managers need is a bitter long-drawn-out dispute ripping the heart out of the BBC.
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