This week's BBC NUJ journalists' strike was yet another own goal by the corporation. The BBC has made a habit of destroying its own reputation - a dangerous indulgence when Rupert Murdoch and the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition appear intent on cutting the Beeb down to size.
It was hardly surprising that BBC stars Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell and Fiona Bruce decided to look after their own rather than the people who pay their impressive salaries through the licence fee. It was horribly depressing on Friday morning to hear Radio 4's Today programme and Radio 5 Live Breakfast struck down by the self-indulgent strikers. At 7.40, Today was replaced by a discussion about Churchill and 1940 - if in doubt, talk about the war... And Newsnight's usually sensible Michael Crick said "I regard listening to or watching the BBC as strike breaking." What planet is this man on? Does he realise that we poor licence fee payers get no refund as a result of his self indulgence? I trust he won't be paid while he is on strike.
That's not to say that the BBC's management deserves any sympathy. They have lined their own pockets and utterly mishandled almost every challenge they have faced, from Jonathan Ross's enormous salary to the appalling Ross-Brand call to Andrew Sachs. I have some sympathy for the poor bloody infantry in the BBC. But the days of generous final salary pension schemes are over. The message to BBC journalists is clear. Strike if you must. But don't be surprised if you end up helping to destroy the greatest cultural institution Britain has ever created. And don't expect any sympathy if that's the result. We'll be the victims, not you.