The future of the BBC

BBC reform is on the agenda. The appointment of Mr Whittingdale  as Culture Secretary and related briefing indicates change is in the air. He will preside over the licence review, and has been a past critic of the BBC poll tax or licence fee.

Some wish to use this review as an opportunity to re open the issue of alleged BBC bias. I do not think this is a good idea. The issue of bias requires robust democratic exchange, with more than one party or interest group thinking they are badly done by. These are  matters to be fought over within any given financial and governance framework for broadcasting, but should not dictate those frameworks.

I do agree with those Conservative and UKIP critics who think the BBC has a strong pro EU Guardian style bias. Many interviewers repeat the 3 million jobs at risk lie about EU& membership and still claim not to have heard its simple refutations. Most interviewers talking to business people invite them to say they wish us to stay in the EU in any interview, yet people against EU membership  talking on other subjects are not asked for their view on the EU. When discussing issues like fuel poverty and dear energy the BBC seems to go out of its way to avoid mentioning that dear fuel is an EU policy. These are matters for immediate review with the BBC but not a proper part of any decisions on its future. The BBC after all belongs to all of us, including pro EU voters.

The main  issues at stake in the licence review have been partially dealt with by the surprise announcement yesterday to the Commons of a new financial settlement. The BC loses the broadband levy, but takes over responsibility for free tv licences for the over 75s. In return it gains indexation of a confirmed licence fee.

This still leaves important issues like removing the criminal offence from non payment  of the licence fee, the definition of public service and the question of how the BBC is allowed to compete with other media outlets using tv tax revenues.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

275 Comments

  1. Edward2
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I would like to see the end of the current compulsory system and its replacement with a voluntary subscription system.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      @Edward2; The TVL fee is already voluntary, otherwise please do point out the law that requires you to not only own but use a television receiver device?!

      • Hope
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Well said Edward we know what you mean. There should be no compulsory TV licence. The BBC needs to make its own way in the world. It is unfair competition to have a dedicated and fixed income irrespective of quality, bias or who actually watches the BBC.

        Time for complete change and get the BBC to earn its own way in the world like the other broadcasters. Plurality arguments for Sky equally apply to the BBC, although you would not believe it from those who report on such matters within the BBC.

        If it stood on its own two feet it could continue to be as left wing as it wanted and continue to employ former Labour ministers to make sure its strategic direction is kept way to the left and the public could chose to watch or not.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          Hope; “There should be no compulsory TV licence.”

          Well in effect a Viewing card is a licence to view so perhaps there should be no subscription TV either…

          • Hope
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

            Ridiculous point. People should have a choice to pay and watch what ever they want. At the moment we are forced to pay whether. Watch the BBC or not.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; When will it sink in, life is possible without watching broadcast TV (and indeed catch-up IPTV), just as it is possible to live without a car, both are voluntary decisions, both have legally binding fees if you wish to use them. I bet few who like throwing brickbats towards the BBC and/or TVL on here would be complaining if the TVL fee gave free and unlimited access to FoxNews rather than the BBC….

      • Edward2
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        Please explain Jerry, how I watch all the non BBC channels on my freeview box without first having to pay an annual fee to the BBC which I may not want to watch.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          I will predict a long reply from Jerry which will not answer the actual question.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You don’t! But just as one can legally own a car but can’t use it on the public roads if you do not pay the applicable VED, even if you are the little old lady who only drives to the shops once a week and church on Sundays, and wouldn’t know how to get to a Motorway never mind use it, you do not need a TVL to own a TV, you do not need a TVL to watch commercial and private DVDs etc.

            As for paying for channels one my not wish to watch, please explain how I can take out a subscription for a single channel without first having to subscribe to 500 other channels, please explain how I can pay for ITV via the shop tills but not Ch4?…

          • Ted Mombiot
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            It appears your prediction has come true Edward!
            Jerry not answering a simple question from you by asking several new questions.

          • Thomas E
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            Er, you can watch freeview streamed over the internet on their site. As long as you use the catchup service rather than live it is legal to use without a license.

          • libertarian
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Your analogy is flawed. The TVL was introduced to pay for the broadcast network also used by other TV channels. That is no longer the case since digital changeover. So using your analogy in fact the licence fee should go to SKY and Freeview /Virgin Cable as they now supply the broadcast platform

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

            @Ted Mombiot; I did answer Edward’s question, in two words, I then explained that answer.

            @Thomas E; That is going to be changed, you will need a valid TVL to use any IPTV catch-up service.

            @libertarian; Fine, then make the entire Sky, Virgin and BT EPG’s free to view on payment opf the TVL fee. Duh!…

          • libertarian
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Really stop being so dim, no one needs to pay TVL, its an anachronism . The BBC is perfectly capable of generating commercial incoming just like all the other worlds media companies manage to do. there is NO justification for anyone to pay a TV tax. You definitely are paid by the BBC or an associated organisation.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            libertarian; “no one needs to pay TVL, its an anachronism”

            Says the man with no understanding of PSB…

            “You definitely are paid by the BBC or an associated organisation.”

            Just like you are being paid by Sky no doubt 🙂

        • Libertarian
          Posted July 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Jerry

          You already know what I do as I’ve told you, which is more than you’re prepared to do. Your pompous posts always let you down because you are ignorant of the basics in life. So come on genius tell me why public service broadcasting is any different to any other kind of business in the 21st century

      • Graham
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        A very obtuse, and pointless, comment I’m sure!

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Me too.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I support the BBC, even though I don’t like the bias their programs about big issues should be more balanced. I don’t take a SKY subscription but we do take BT Sport as part of a package which gives us the ability to watch BT Sport on one IPAD, however, when our student son went to University this was the only TV he watched on his IPAD and we had to pay a full licence fee for him, he only required it for nine months from 15th Sept to 15th June and we tried to get a three month reduction but apparently because he had it partially into June we don’t have a full three months to claim back even though he didn’t start to use it till late September!

      If we say we don’t want the BBC who pays for all the transmitters, masts and relay stations? There’s no free lunch we’d end up paying more for telephone lines and all sorts of charges in fact I’d guess the broadband charges would go up and we’d all end up worse off. There is nothing wrong with asking them to be more efficient and spend wisely but it is something we should cherish, free radio, free BBC News and in the main good tv.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        a-tracy

        There are no transmitters masts and relay stations as Sky, cable companies and free view are delivered by satellite, cable and free view is a consortium paid for by all broadcast companies.

        The only masts owned by BBC are FM radio transmitters and these are due to be replaced by DAB multiplexes

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:02 am | Permalink

          @libertarian; Nonsense on stilts. Do feel free to learn the difference between DVB-T (which often shares TX mats/sites with DAB) and DVB-S. Whilst the TX masts are now in private hands, ownership having previously been shared between the BBC and the ITV network, there are still costs to the broadcasters by way of access charges, which is after all how the private companies make their money. Also Freeview, along with Freesat, is only a brand, the consortium is basically the EPG and the commercial licensing of the brand name(s) and logos.

          I though you said you were involved in broadcasting, if so you must be a very sound sleeper…

          • libertarian
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            Jerry

            As always you try to change the topic Thanks you have admitted there is no longer costs bourne by the BBC for the transmission network and that was what the licence fee was introduced to pay for and THAT was my point, not a technical discussion of how its done. Freeview is owned by a consortium of companies called DTV ltd you don’t know what you’re talking about. Come on Jerry tell us what you do for a living or give up lecturing us with your inane shifting drivel.

            I am involved in new technology radio, you obviously are very much part of the dinosaur old school it seems.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            libertarian; “As always you try to change the topic”

            More nonsense and hyperbole from libertarian to mask his total lack of technical knowledge.

            You were the one who started going on about terrestrial broadcasting being delivered to the home via satellite! As for actual the TX process, you mean companies like Arqiva do not charge the broadcasters access/up-link charges (in which maintenance costs etc. will also be charged), how do they make a profits, in fact how do they make any money, in fact how are they not bankrupt if they have no income? THAT point of yours is thus factually wrong, as usual.

            Oh and sorry if I didn’t name drop DVT Ltd, at least I know the difference between DVB-T and DVB-S…. 😛

          • libertarian
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

            Jerry

            As you know full well. I have NOT claimed any technical knowledge of broadcast transmission technology.

            The post I made was NOT about the technical delivery of media it was and I’ll say it for last time a fact that the licence was introduced for TV and Radio to cover the cost of the BBC installing, maintaining and operation a transmission network. Something they no longer do.

            Its not difficult Jerry, by trying to be a cut and paste smartarse you show yourself up. Digital broadcast standards such as DVB-T that you mention actually prove my point, the BBC no longer needs to be paid for this, THAT is the point its an internationally agreed standard, implemented by various commercial organisations on a commercial basis. Once again Jerry your failure to deal with a basic debating point by trying to introduce a complexity has backfired on you. So you have actually once again proved my point. The BBC no longer do this they along with everyone else pay SOMEONE else to o it, which is what I first said.

            You ACTUALLY said that Freeview is JUST a brand name you are factually WRONG its a company called DVT Ltd

          • Jerry
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “Digital broadcast standards such as DVB-T that you mention actually prove my point, the BBC no longer needs to be paid for this, THAT is the point its an internationally agreed standard, implemented by various commercial organisations on a commercial basis.”

            Fine, have it your way, but you do realise that Sky’s business model (subscriptions and channel packages) here in the UK was allowed so to allow Sky and their parent company to finance (pay off) the development costs of a highly secure encrypted DVB-S platform [1], thus, thus system now having been developed their need for such a business model is also outdated. I have in the past suggested that it is time that Sky should have to decide if they want to be platform hosts/controllers or channel/content providers, just like ITV had to make such a switch. That is not a call to scrap subscription channels, just the way they are currently marketed and sold.

            ‘You ACTUALLY said that Freeview is JUST a brand name you are factually WRONG its a company called DVT Ltd”

            You really love showing up just how little you actually know and understand, and you claim to be a business high-flyer, with a interest in some sort of radio station… Go check the the Freeview websites, it states (on the “about us” page)…

            Freeview is marketed by DTV Services Limited

            …which makes ‘Freeview’ the brand name, of DTV Services Limited.

            What is more, there is NO registered company -according to the Companies House web check service- called (just) “Freeview”, nor are any of the companies listed that are using the word Freeview within their company name anything to do with DTV Services Ltd or its owning consortium (of the BBC, Sky, Channel 4, ITV and Arqiva).

            Just a thought libertarian, you do actually understand what a brand name is, don’t your?!… 😯

            Once again Jerry libertarian your failure to deal with a basic debating point by trying to introduce a complexity has backfired on you. So you have actually once again proved my point – you, like others in our hosts site, just want to brickbat the BBC, but at least your reasons seem to be born out of a capitalist thirst for commercial opportunities, rather than just blatant party political partisanship.

    • David Price
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Agree Edward.

      The argument that this or that addresses it’s political bias simply ignores the fact that the people in the BBC have their own set of wide ranging agendas.

      The BBC staff are incapable of acting objectively as required by it’s charter so it’s pre-eminent position should be revoked and it be forced to become a voluntary subscription service.

      • Jerry
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        @David Price; BBC staff are quite capable of acting objectively as required by it’s charter, and there lies the problem for many of those on the right… Oh and the TVL fee is already voluntary, just like the VED is.

        • David Price
          Posted July 9, 2015 at 4:41 am | Permalink

          Political leanings is just one dimension of BBC bias and subjective behaviour. Regardless of any capability, the BBC, ie it’s staff, does not demonstrate their objectivity and compliance with the charter so one can only surmise they are incapable.

          For people who wish to watch Non BBC programs such as via Virgin cable or Satellite the TVL is not voluntary.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            @David Price; “Political leanings is just one dimension of BBC bias and subjective behaviour.”

            As it is for other broadcasters that people have no choice in funding if they want to watch certain channels, why should I have to fund Sky News just because I want to watch the Nat-Geo channel?

            If the TVL fee is outdated then so are packaged subscription channels, make each channel PPV or PAYG, either way there will still need to be a surcharge to pay for PSB content, BBC or no BBC.

          • libertarian
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

            Jerry

            Sky News is a free channel Duh

            Everything in life has a an eventual cost Jerry. Your silly schoolboy support for an organisation that pays you indirectly ( BBC) based on warped logic is making you look rather odd.

            The argument here isn’t about the costs or price of a service its about choice . One can completely ignore SKY and pay not a penny and choose to only watch the BBC. However the opposite is NOT true , thats what people don’t like.

            If the BBC wishes to operate as a taxpayer funded PBS then it should be very restricted in the amount of commercial style platforms, channels and programmes it makes

          • Jerry
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “Sky News is a free channel Duh”

            Funded from Sky subscriptions, Duh indeed…

            I will not respond to your personal abuse again me.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      This question of has already been overtaken by technology.

      Just what constitutes a ‘TV’ set anyway? A computer can be a TV set. Its easy enough to connect up even a smart phone to show pictures and sound on a large screen obtained via the net. There’s no broadcasting involved.

      The younger generation don’t watch TV as we did and maybe still do from force of habit. Whatever our views on how the BBC is funded now, we all have to recognise that the TV licence as such is an outdated concept.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Petermartin

        Absolutely correct

      • Bob
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:00 am | Permalink

        @petermartin2001

        “we all have to recognise that the TV licence as such is an outdated concept.”

        Yes, a bunch of snoopers lurking around peoples homes peeping through the windows and trying to blag their way in for an “inspection visit” is no way to run a business in the 21st Century, and our courts, police and prison services have more important things to do than enforce revenue collection for a media business supporting a thousands of grossly overpaid and under-worked media luvvies and assorted placemen (and women).

        The other TV broadcasters manage perfectly well without resorting to strong arm tactics resulting in the imprisonment of poor, vulnerable and underprivileged single mums (and dads), so it’s time for the BBC to find out just how popular it really is when people have a free choice over their TV viewing, it’s time for a voluntary subscription based service.

        • petermartin2001
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          ” it’s time for a voluntary subscription based service”

          Alternatively the BBC could rely on a mixture of sales of programs to overseas TV companies, some advertising, and direct government funding.

          That’s essentially a political question to be resolved through the normal democratic process.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          @Bob, The TVL is already is involuntary, what do you not understanding you do not have to watch TV broadcasts, just as you do not have to use a car and thus pay the VED.

          • Bob
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

            @Jerry
            You’ve tried this excuse before and it fails every time.
            Motorists pay VED to fund a road infrastructure, there is no alternative.

            We have no need for the BBC, it’s quite superfluous and there are adequate commercial alternatives.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; “You’ve tried this excuse before and it fails every time. Motorists pay VED to fund a road infrastructure,”

            Wrong again Bob (until the July 2015 Budget change come into force), the VED duty has not been ring fenced for “road construction” since 1933. Also the TVL fee funds PSB in the UK. I accept and have acknowledged many times the BBC’s scope has become to big and it should revert back to a more pure PSB service, if not Reithian service, it was no accident that he listed the three aims of the BBC in such an order – to inform, educate and [only then] entertain…

            “We have no need for the BBC, it’s quite superfluous and there are adequate commercial alternatives.”

            But they do not, can not (for sound commercial capitalist reasons), provide a PSB service, thus the BBC is actually more important than the many “superfluous” commercial channels broadcasting content that was originally made by ITV, Ch4 or the BBC assuming it is not programming from the USA.

          • Libertarian
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Its like taking sweets from a baby. Your little socialist world is locked in the dinosaur days. You are WRONG again ( I’ve advised you so often to stay away from business as its a topic you know nothing about). There are now perfectly good models of earnings that allow commercial & not for profit community interest company stations to offer what once would have been called PSB programmes.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            @Libertarian; “There are now perfectly good models of earnings that allow commercial & not for profit community interest company stations to offer what once would have been called PSB programmes.”

            ITV, Ch4, Virgin media and Sky etc. say otherwise….

  2. DaveM
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    It’s true the BBC (particularly 5Live which I listen to regularly) has a huge left-wing (or more specifically Labour Party) bias.

    However, with regard to their influence on the British public – which is capable of thinking for itself – and in light of the fact that, regarding the BBC, this was one of the most biased lead-ups to any election, it didn’t really help the Labour party did it?!!

    In fact, the willingness of the BBC interviewers to allow the shouty socialists to get all their points across whilst interrupting every Ukip and Conservative spokesperson was widely noticed. But what was even more widely noticed was the fact that the Ukip and Con interviewees responded calmly, politely, and sensibly, thus making them look like the grown-ups rather than the spoilt kids.

    What annoyed me most was the despairing tone of the presenters the day after the election – particularly Peter Allen.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      @DaveM; Funny that, but I read that Labour and Green supporters think that Radio5 Live (along with the rest of the BBC) has a very right wing bias. They also point out how the right didn’t complain about the BBC’s (now proven) biased reporting against the NUM during the 1980s miners strikes…

      I guess that bias is like love, in the eyes of the beholder!

      • Hope
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Drivel Jerry.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          @Hope; Thanks for proving my point!

      • DaveM
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        I wrote that comment a couple of months ago (see date at top – JR decided to publish it today) and have actually noted considerably less bias since then. Having said that, I haven’t watched Marr or Newsnight since the election because of the pre-GE coverage which made me quite angry.

        What annoys me about the BBC more than anything at the minute is their insistence on referring to “British Jihadists” and “Britons”. These people aren’t British and they’re certainly not Britons, despite the fact they may hold British passports. Tied into that is the BBC’s refusal to use the word “England” or “English” unless absolutely necessary.

      • Observer
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Lord Hall says that the BBC is impartial. Eye of the beholder?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          Well if you are a lefty, involved in the state subsidised “arts”, who believes in magic money tree government, ever higher taxes, read the Guardian/new statesman, vote labour, believe in all the greencrap religion, in enforced “equality” regardless of merit and have little or no understanding of business, real economics or real science then you might well find the BBC impartial (I suppose).

          Not of course believing that “equality” should extends in BBC and state sector pensions or pay that is.

          It is indeed the eye of the beholder.

          Perhaps that is indeed how Lord Hall thinks? PPE Oxford yet again I note.

      • Bob
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:25 am | Permalink

        @Jerry

        “Labour and Green supporters think that Radio5 Live (along with the rest of the BBC) has a very right wing bias”

        Disingenuous drivel. I never hear any objection to the TV Licencing system or the BBC in general from anyone of the left, but on the other hand, those on the right are calling for an end to the Licence Fee, and even for privatization.

        Why would anyone call for an end to such a lucrative revenue model if it were supporting their favoured ideology?

        And why would the lefties be such consistent supporters of it?

        It’s not difficult to fathom.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      Indeed the BBC has a huge bias. Left wing, innumerate, dim, second rate, art graduates to a man or women. Almost all believe in ever higher taxes and endless government “investment”. Which of course can only happen after they have taken the money of the private sector and thus prevented usually far more efficient private investment.

      They almost all believe in catastrophic, run away, man made global warming (despite the recent thermometer readings of 18+ years). They like so called “renewable” energy, want an ever larger state and ever more EU. They believe in government magic money trees and the god of enforced “equality”. They foolishly think that women are underpaid in the market and discriminated against in science and at the top levels of business. This despite all the vast evidence to the contrary (and showing a compete inability to understand how markets actually work).

      They love bikes, celebrity lefty lovies, Russell Brand, Jo Brand, Owen Jones, Billy Bragg types. They love HS trains and trams and hate cars, trucks, fossil fuels, nuclear power and fracking.

      About the only exception I can find in news is Andrew Neil. To me he seems to be a sensible, numerate middle of the road chap. So we have one sensible middle of the road person and everyone else is way to the left of him. Newsnight and Andrew Marr typical examples of their totally bonkers agenda.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      And of course, every sensible person knows that Climate Change is Real and that Renewables are the Answer, don’t they.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Of course they do Mike. I have to wonder why the BBC don’t tell us the following facts when talking about marvellous wind energy.
        that every job in Britain’s wind farm industry
        is effectively subsidised to the tune of £100,000 per annum, and that
        Scotland’s 203 onshore wind farms employ just 2,235 people working directly
        on them.

        The annual subsidy of £344 million bestows a staggering £154,000 per job.

        Why do they almost always tell us wind is free??

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Well Climate Change is indeed real, climate always has and always will.

        Catastrophic, run away climate change is clearly a political invention that has nothing to do with science or engineering. The concept of “renewable” energy is also entirely bogus in terms of physics.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      People of most political views regard the BBC as being biased against their point of view. This clear proof of unbiased the BBC actually is.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Or clear proof that some people will invent any kind of specious argument to defend their political position, and especially when that is in favour of the EU … it’s taken the BBC over a decade to begin to acknowledge that all those “benefits of the euro” which they routinely talked about may not be unalloyed benefits, in fact they may come at a horrendous price. I suppose that given another decade they may even come around to accepting that the EU itself is not all that they have constantly cracked it up to be …

      • Edward2
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        The BBC has admitted they have a left wing political bias.

  3. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I would miss the BBC if it didn’t exist but it can be enfuriatingly biased and dangerous on some subjects and this damages its overall reputation. Should the Trust not be responsible for monitoring its fairness directly with subscribers having access to it rather than “Points of View” or some other quaint relic of viewer participation.

    It needs streamlining e.g. Radio 1 & 3, BBC3 could be axed; sending more staff to the Olympics than we have competitors, numerous reporters covering the same news item.

    Payment should be by subscription through the ubiquitous smart boxes etc. This would remove the Dickensian criminal prosecution and record for non payment.

    • mike fowle
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Radio 3 is almost the only saving grace of the BBC.

  4. Horatio McSherry
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    John,

    I’ll stick to my main gripe with the BBC Licence (other than political bias and cheap programmes, otherwise I could go on all day) which is that’s it’s compulsory. It’s a tax. They’re providing something so they make me pay for it whether I want it or not. It’s called a protection racket in the real world. The argument that always gets trotted out is that without a licence fee the subscription would be much dearer. Whether that’s true or not isn’t the issue – the issue would be that I have the option to pay that subscription or not.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Haratio – You have to pay for commercial channels without much choice too. Every time you buy something which has been advertised on them.

      Not as easy to avoid as you would think.

      • Ludwig
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        It is easy to avoid, Anonymous. I have never yet been compelled to pay for a product that is advertised on TV. I choose to buy the product. If I have an objection to paying for the marketing of the product then I am perfectly free not to buy it. However, it would be a daft decision since almost all products are advertised in one form or another.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      @Horatio McSherry; You are being forced to watch broadcast TV?!….

      Radio reception has been free in the UK for many years now, whilst a TV used merely to watch DVDs is exempt, so no need to go without that US blockbuster, one can even get those can’t miss Soaps on DVDs now-days (eventually)! 😛

      • Edward2
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        BBC radio is is not free it is funded through the licence fee.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; There is no radio licence fee and that hasn’t been since about 1971, do try and keep up at the back! No one needs to buy a licence to listen to a radio receiver.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

            I realise there is no seperate radio licence fee Jerry.

            One moment you are arguing the commercial channels are not free because they have adverts for goods and we buy goods so we pay. Whereas here you are arguing radio is free because we do not have a seperate radio licence.
            Come on Jerry you cannot argue both ends at the same time.

            Tell us where the BBC gets its money to pay for BBC radio

      • libertarian
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        Radio reception is “free” if you are a consumer as the radio licence was merged with TV licence back in the 70’s. However its certainly NOT free if you are a business or you have the radio on in a public place, you then have to pay for a PRS/PPL licence which can cost £1,000’s per year

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; Indeed, sorry for not being so pedantic as you this time!

          • libertarian
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

            Jerry

            You weren’t being pedantic you were being wrong as normal

          • Jerry
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “You weren’t being pedantic you were being wrong as normal”

            In your, incorrect, opinion of course – have you Googled the terms DVB-T an DVB-S yet? Never mind the fact that the context to the debate was reception, not the uplink broadcast.

  5. Matt
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I think Mr Whittingdale may rapidly become one of my favourite politicians.

    The BBC has in my view grown too big.
    The reason it gets away with bias on issues like climate change and the EU is because it has the reach and influence to frame the debate and then treat the frame it has created as the middle ground or the clear consensus.

    If it is to remain tax (and I do unequivocally see the license fee as a poll tax) funded, I would reduce its remit to those things which are culturally enriching but not commercially viable and reduce the tax accordingly.
    Failing that the technology is readily available for BBC output to be encrypted and those who want it can then subscribe.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      @Matt; “The BBC has in my view grown too big. The reason it gets away with bias on issues like climate change and the EU is because it has the reach and influence to frame the debate and then treat the frame it has created as the middle ground or the clear consensus.”

      Much the same could be suggested of other broadcasters, Ch4 has far greater bias but few criticise that broadcaster on this site even those everyone funds that commercial channel, whilst Sky is not without bias but then that service doesn’t get criticised here because a/. the bias tended to be toward the right or at least capitalism and b/. some notion that their channels are purely subscription based when in fact they are being subsided via the public due to the fact that the channels broadcast paid for commercial adverts.

      These “commercial” channels are being paid for by the public regardless of TV ownership, at least with the TVL if one doesn’t own/use a TV there is nothing to pay – so it is NOT, by definition, a poll tax!

      • Graham
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Do you have a good job with the Beeb – it’s certainly sounds like it to the casual reader?

        • Jerry
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          Graham; “Do you have a good job with the Beeb – it’s certainly sounds like it to the casual reader”

          No I do not, not even a poorly paid job, not even an internship, just a greater understanding of both broadcasting and media production industry both PSB and commercial/subscription.

          • Graham
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            To quote yourself elsewhere ‘ in your opinion’

      • Ludwig
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        1. Broadcasting commercial adverts is not the same as a mandatory payment to one media company to be allowed to watch live broadcasts, no matter how much you try to dress it up as such.

        2. Criticising Sky on this basis is also illogical because I have no mandate to pay Sky if I have no wish to consume their content. However, if I watch any Sky channels I am mandated to pay the BBC for the privilege.

        I wonder if you might feel differently if you shopped at Waitrose, Aldi or Sainsbury’s and had to pay Tesco for the privilege? Do you think that might have some effect on the food retailers market if you did?

        • Jerry
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          @Ludwig; “Broadcasting commercial adverts is not the same as a mandatory”

          No it;s worse, even those who choose not to own a TV, those who have absolutely no use for anything displaying an image (the blind) can not escape paying for commercial TV unless they take to the Good Life and stop buying almost any commercial product.

          “Criticising Sky on this basis is also illogical because I have no mandate to pay Sky if I have no wish to consume their content.”

          But you do as Sky sell and broadcast commercial paid for adverts, see above… Obviously if Sky chose to be totally reliant on subscription income you would have a point but they do not.

          “I wonder if you might feel differently if you shopped at Waitrose, Aldi or Sainsbury’s and had to pay Tesco for the privilege?”

          In some ways, to say watch those Discovery branded channels that can only be revived via encrypted DVB-S one does have to pay a third party retailer for the privilege, Sky…

      • Edward2
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        I think your argument is that commercial channels carry adverts for products and services.
        Therefore these commercial channels are not free because we may choose to buy these products and services, either by accident or deliberately, having been impressed by the advert.
        And I think you are saying the selling price of these products and services must include in them an element to pay for the advertising on the TV channel.
        And you think that is the same as the BBC licence fee?

        • Jerry
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; “And you think that is the same as the BBC licence fee?”

          No they are not the same, I am just pointing out that commercial TV is not free, what is more that cost is paid be those who choose to opt out of even owning a TV. Commercial TV really can be called a Poll Tax!

          • libertarian
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            That is the biggest steaming pile of drivel amongst the normal drivel you write. The claim which Edward2 succinctly put to you yet you failed to acknowledge is you spurious argument that commercial TV costs consumers because of the cost of advertising. However the reach of adverting via broadcasting actually enables purveyors of goods to sell far more than they otherwise would thereby vastly reducing unit costs. So in fact commercial TV is more than free it actually reduces your spend, and thats before one factors into the equation price/quality comparisons engendered by advertising competing products. Maybe you’d like to tell us where you obtained your quoted “superior knowledge of broadcast media”

            For the record I own a number of commercial radio stations.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

            As you are an expert please tell me how much advert costs (just on commercial TV) add to my weekly shopping bill.

          • Bob
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:43 am | Permalink

            @Jerry,

            “Commercial TV really can be called a Poll Tax!”

            The private sector will always advertise whether on TV, in magazines and newspapers or even billboards. That’s the nature of commerce.

            I am not likely to get a knock on the door from ITV threatening me with prosecution for watching their channel without buying cornflakes.

            Your unconditional love for the BBC is blinding you to the bleeding obvious. What is it that you find so compelling about this socialist construct?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            Thank you Libertarian for making a strong point on Jerrys ridiculous argument.
            I have some knowledge of advertising and there are statistics which show that by the power of advertising bringing a product to a mass market the price has fallen due to economies of scale.
            Also there is advertising which informs the consumer of a cheaper alternative product thus saving them money.
            Would Jerry say learning about PPI insurance compensation through TV advertising which results in consumers gaining thousands in refunds is a cost to them?

            So to claim we pay for commercial TV and radio by the price we pay for products is not correct.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

            @Edward et al; No one is arguing about the effectiveness of advertising, just whose the pays for the advertising at the end of the day, you lot seem to be arguing that the company directors pay for it from their personal bank accounts, not out of the profits of the company, were do those profits come from, the money trees or those who buy the company products at an otherwise inflated price due to needing to recover the cost of the the advertising.

            On a slightly different tact, many products are cheaper in the shops compared to the big name brands, strangely though they never get advertised on TV (sometimes they are simple not advertised anywhere), yet the big TV branded items -extolling their quality and virtues- are far more expensive. More interestingly, if you know, or bother to trace, those higher priced products origins you find that they are actually the very same product as that much cheaper brand just with a different badge, a slightly different case or in different packaging.

            This happens in all fields, from food to household white goods, even motor cars. Now tell me that advertising does cost the consumer money…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            I ask you again Jerry, how much does commercial TV cost me on my weekly shop roughly in percentage terms.
            Some data or statistics would be nice.
            Or is it just bluster and biased guesswork?

    • liz
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      It is absolutely correct that the BBC has grown too big and George Osborne was spot on with his comments about their website – one of the largest in the world. This is where it is improperly using tax payers money to provide unfair competition to commercial enterprises such as newspapers and books which it is not part of its remit. By spending so much money on property and the website it sometimes seems that the BBC would do anything rather than spend money on programmes. By concentration entirely on braodcasting and shedding themselves of some of their grandiose ideas BBC should be able to thrive on a lot less money. Off topic why has the Treasury leaked so much of the budget beforehand allowing broadcasters (not just the BBC) and lobby groups to produce sob stories of the likely dire affects of cuts in benefits.It once was a resigning offence to leak the budget. Nor much point in watching tomorrow as most of it has already been announced! It devalues the House of Commons.

      • Jerry
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        @liz; The UK newspaper industry is not in crisis because of the BBC, it is in crisis because people no longer want the now usual dumbed down, biased, opinionated, drivel served up as news.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Jerry

          “The UK newspaper industry is not in crisis because of the BBC, it is in crisis because people no longer want the now usual dumbed down, biased, opinionated, drivel served up as news.”

          Agree and EXACTLY the same argument applies to the BBC. People no longer want its PC, dumbed down, biased, opinionated drivel served up as broadcasting. However unlike the press we can’t stop buying it. That is the WHOLE point, thank you for at least acknowledging the obvious.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; But lots of people do want the BBC’s reporting (just as they accept Ch4 News [1] for what it is), even if they do not necessarily agree with it, certainly not hanging on every word like some do with our hosts diary or a columnist in the DT for example, and that is your problem, some hate these plebs for their independent minds. It’s called being democratic, being a real “libertarian”, understating that the vast majority of people are capable of making up their own minds, after aggregating all the facts…

            [1] I have no doubt that once the BBC has been neutered (or worse) some of those complaining about the BBC currently will go after Ch4, then perhaps have Euronews removed from the DVB-S EPG

  6. Bob
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The fact that the BBC has a political agenda is beyond question, their lefty PC doctrine permeates every aspect of their programming including news, current affairs, documentaries, light entertainment and drama. This is in direct contravention of the Royal Charter and has been ably aided and abetted by the BBC Trust.

    Voluntary subscription would be a simple and effective way to make the BBC more accountable to the British public.

    I keenly await your definition of PSB, and whether it should continue to receive taxes of£3.5bn a year to continue it’s program of subverting Britain.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      @Bob; “The fact that the BBC has a political agenda is beyond question,”

      In your opinion of course…

      • libertarian
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        No Jerry

        In the opinion of a number of current and ex senior employees of the corporation including Greg Dyke. Oh and you may want to look at the publicly available political affiliations of most of the previous DG’s.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

          @libertarian; Best not get into political affiliations media barons, especially the press and subscription broadcasters, ho hum… Oh and wasn’t Mr Dyke talking about the BBC post that little run-in with certain politicos after the the BBC suggested (correctly as it subsequently turns out) that a certain WMD dossier was “sexed-up” – indeed the BBC was forced to peddle a political agenda.

          • libertarian
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            Jerry,

            I see you’re only selectively replying again. However as NOT ONE media outlet reflects my political views I’m more than happy to argue/debate with you about political media bias. Of course you’d lose straight away as only one media organisation is a publicly funded supposedly unbiased organisation. Lots of BBC people admit they are left wing sympathisers you must have been living in a cave not to know that.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            @libertarianl; “Lots of BBC people admit they are left wing sympathisers you must have been living in a cave not to know that.”

            As lots of other media people admit they are right wing sympathisers you must have been living in a cave not to know that. Ho-hum…

      • Bob
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        @Jerry

        “In your opinion of course…”

        No, it’s well documented and obvious to most people down to the level of average intelligence.

        Ever heard of Twenty Eight Gate? Just one of many glaring examples.

        Have you never wondered why a media corporation with such dominance and reach and with a £200,000,000 a year website needs to place recruitment ads in a low circulation lefty newspaper?

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

          @Bob; All in your opinion of course… As for were the BBC place recruitment adverts, a bit like asking why Schools and colleges etc. place recruitment adverts in TES, or why recruitment adverts for Actors are placed in the Stage… I’m sure that, should the BBC need IT staff they also place recruitment adverts in such IT trade publications too.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

            If you find job adverts for BBC vacancies in newspapers other than the Guardian then let me know.
            They attract to their organisation readers of the Guardian as you say Jerry.
            So the culture at the BBC carries on.

          • Bob
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            @Jerry
            So you don’t think that anyone seeking a job in the arts or media would have sufficient intelligence to go to the BBC website and click on the “situations vacant” tab?

            You could be right, based on the rubbish they turn out!

          • libertarian
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

            Jerry
            Oh for goodness sake man, wake up and pay attention.

            Helen Boden Former head of BBC News on liberal bias of bbc

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/10158679/BBC-has-deep-liberal-bias-executive-admits.html

            Mark Thompson former Director General of BBC ” There was massive left wing bias at BBC

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/10158679/BBC-has-deep-liberal-bias-executive-admits.html

            Roger Mosey Former Head of BBC TV news Massive left wing bias of BBC

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3135408/DAMIAN-THOMPSON-Shock-Horror-BBC-boss-admits-s-biased.html

            This from the horses mouth, so now then Jerry without changing the subject or moving the goalposts explain why these former BBC senior execs are all wrong while Jerry who definitely , no really he doesn’t , not at all work for the BBC knows they are wrong.

            The BBC place their IT jobs in the Guardian. Oh and you don’t seem to be aware that the Guardian is a general newspaper & not a trade magazine, and to be honest no one who cares about their cost overheads would think about advertising in ANY print media ( very 20th century) for recruitment purposes. The BBC could recruit ALL of its needs for 10% of what it costs in the Guardian. Guess who are the last remaining users of recruitment print media adverts ….hmm oh yes that would be the public sector.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; @Bob; The Guardian has media industry pull-out section on Mondays (or they used to) and pages the rest of the week, Sky also advertise job positions there, as do independent production companies etc. As I said, your anti BBC rants are like complaining that Agricultural engineer/mechanic jobs are placed in the Farmers Weekly and not the Autocar magazine.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            That is a very very poor argument Jerry
            The Guardian is a newspaper not trade magazine.
            There is no equivolence.

            The BBC which is meant to be impartial by its charter, should share its adverts for vacancies among as many newspapers and relevant magazines as it can.
            That is the way they will attract a wide range of talent and opinions from all classes and all minority groups..
            Instead they place the overwhelming volume of adverts into the Guardian.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Utter nonsense on stilts once again, ask anyone publishing (specialist) trade journals.

            Also if the BBC did as you suggest, advertise job vacancies in every possible journal and newspaper you would still be complaining that the BBC is wasting money on so much advertising, you would accuse then of not understating basic business economics! The BBC, dammed if they do, dammed if they don’t…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            Spend a similar amount but not concentrated on just one newspaper.
            Ive asked someone who publishes specialised trade journals Jerry and they said the BBC should spread its adverts for jobs in more than one newspaper, use specialist trade publications more amd use their own web site even more.
            These changes would increase the numbers of potential job applications and the diversity of those applicants and reduce the current recruitment costs.

            PS do try to post without abuse Jerry, it is so very childish and tiring to read.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; If the BBC did as you insist you would simply find another brickbat or two to throw…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      The BBC bias position is however greatly assisted by all the lefty “BBC think” non Tories. People such as Ken Clark, Greg Clark, Matthew Parris, Anna Soubry, Amber Rudd types. They all seem to be “BBC think” to their very cores they would all be more at home in the Libdems. One assumes they would all be in Labour or the Libdems, but for the fact that they have more chance of a career in the Tories.

      The BBC can always rely on them and many like them and thus pretend to balance while retaining an entirely left wing, pro EU, big state, greencrap agenda.

      • Jerry
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        @LL; I think you meant “non Thatcherite”, people like those you name are far more the Tory party as I recall it before the Thatcher ‘revolution’.

        Many of your ‘observations’ can also be levelled at the other broadcasters (commercial, subscription or hybrid) , indeed perhaps even more so.

        • Ludwig
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          A commercial service can be bought or not bought, according to the choice of the consumer. There is no such choice with the BBC. Please don’t start on again about commercial advertising, it’s a red herring. When you buy a product from XYZ plc who have advertised on a commercial TV network you could equally argue that you are paying for Joe in Accounts’ new car, or the fish fingers eaten by the kids of Jane in HR. Marketing costs are all within the realms of normal competitive commerce. The BBC licence is a mandatory tax upon anybody who wishes to watch a live TV broadcast.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            @Ludwig; “A commercial service can be bought or not bought, according to the choice of the consumer. There is no such choice with the BBC.”

            Not is they broadcast commercial paid for adverts, that we the end consumer pay for one way or another via the shop tills. And I will say it again, this a real Poll Tax as there is no escape even if one choose not to own, never mind use, a TV, unlike with the voluntary TVL fee.

          • libertarian
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Stick to the public sector your knowledge of business and commercial operations is less than zero. The cost of advertising is compensated for by the VAST increase in sales reach and the consequent unit cost reduction. TV advertising also facilitates competitive cost comparison. You really are clutching at straws. Its NOT a tax, its NOT a poll tax, its NOT even an extra cost.

          • APL
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

            Ludwig: “Please don’t start on again about commercial advertising, it’s a red herring.”

            Not least because a successful marketing campaign leads to higher volume which can lead to lower prices. Often compensating for the fraction of the price of the product the cost of advertising the product has incurred.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; @APL; Stop just looking at the last line of the spreadsheet, you need to start looking further up, yes a TV advertising campaign achieves greater sales but that is irrelevant to who ultimately pays – a campaign that costs the company/shareholders real money is a campaign that failed!

            On the other hand cutting the shelf price, without any more adversing than a supermarket label, can actual boost sales and thus profits at not cost.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

            Now you are arguing that advertising costs the company and its shareholders.
            I thought you told us it was only those of us who watch commercial TV that pay.
            Farcical arguing by you Jerry.

          • libertarian
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            As I said please stay away from business you know less than zero how to do it.

            Using your logic, every single payment for every single thing is a tax.

            Tell you what chap, go get yourself some products, hire a market stall, lower the cost without telling anyone and see how you do. Monumental stupidity Jerry, you really have surpassed yourself with this one.

            Because I like you Jerry , no really, I do here’s a business lesson.

            This is a genuine dilemma—to lower prices and promote, thus gaining volume, albeit at lower profitability—OR to raise prices and sell less volume, but at a higher profit margin. The former yields increases in apparent revenue, if enough additional units are sold. The latter generates more profit on the sales revenue, again if enough units are sold (and unit sales do not decline too much due to increased prices).

            There you have it. Sell more for less; or sell less for more. Both have their upsides and downsides. The decision of which strategy to use actually rests on the deep understanding of each company’s value proposition, however in order to do either you have to make the consumer aware. Example Stella Artois advertised as “reassuringly expensive”, LIDL /Iceland advertised literally as “cheap as chips”.

            ADVERTISING is NOT a tax.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; No am I am not, I was arguing that if the customer doesn’t pay them it would be the company and its shareholders who pays, who else is there to pay the advertising account?

            Oh and no I have not been saying that only those who watch commercial TV pay for such adverts but everyone who buys such goods and services, even those who have no use for a TV such as those who are blind.Try actually reading what I said, stop building your ever increasingly farcical arguments upon what you think or hope I have said. 🙁

          • Edward2
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            Still refusing to answer how much prices are affected by advertising on commercial TV I note Jerry.
            What is the extra cost to my weekly household shop in approximate percentage terms?
            You make bold claims yet when challenged you never answer the question.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2, “What is the extra cost to my weekly household shop in approximate percentage terms?”

            Give me your itemised weekly shopping list, making sure you list the brands and were you buy etc, then I might be able to have an educated guess – by the way, how long it this piece of string I’m holding up in front of my computer monitor?!

            Next you’ll be asking me if I still beat my wife….

          • Edward2
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

            Its all right Jerry we all know you will never awswer this because it would reveal that your argument is ridiculous.

      • Kenneth
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        But hang on; it’s a good career move for a Conservative to spout BBC-friendly views. They are the ones who are given the most air time. Rarely is John Redwood or Bill Cash invited on. If they are they are lucky to get 2 minutes on the radio and usually about a subject that fits the BBC’s agenda. Norman Tebbit was virtually banished from the BBC.

        Same for journalists. Isabel Hardman has found out that by saying the right things she gets all the air time despite the fact that she is hardly representative of the Spectator’s output.

        That said, I have noticed that Question Time has recently attempted to bring more right wingers on and I also detect that perhaps the audiences are a little more balanced, so perhaps, at least for that one programme, things are looking up.

        Trouble is, the damage has been done i.e. continued eu membership; out-of-control immigration; 2 disastrous Labour governments.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          @Kenneth; By Lifelogic’s definition and your comment, Thatcher must have been a “non Tory” as she got a lot of BBC coverage, before and after her leadership and premiership, never mind during…

          • Kenneth
            Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            It was along time ago, but from my recollection and little bits of evidence I have gathered, at the time the BBC was actively promoting Mrs Thatcher and denigrating Mr Foot.

            It was biased then albeit the other way around.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    The BBC (always banging on about poverty and austerity) should be happy to waver the licence fee and help poor people – as well as old people – out.

    Our courts are clogged up with 10% of cases being non-payment of BBC licences. This is ludicrous from an organisation which takes its morality from The Guardian. Where is the live-and-let-live philosphy of these 1970s university educated execs when their own super-salaries are threatened ?

    Ironically the BBC would then be forced to persue for its fees those it seems to wish to cultivate the most in its programming: the feckless young, the Rap fans – those who dislike conservatism, politeness and the thought of paying one’s way.

    • CdBrux
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      It must be possible to have a device such as for SKY whereby you have to identify yourself as having paid a licence before watching a BBC programme or accessing on line, live or catchup.

      Then you can be sure all those watching have paid the fee and the court costs are substantially reduced.

      • David Price
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        They missed or purposely avoided the option for a BBC card with the digital changeover.

      • Bob
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:25 am | Permalink

        @CdBrux

        “It must be possible to have a device such as for SKY whereby you have to identify yourself as having paid a licence before watching a BBC programme or accessing on line, live or catchup.”

        There aren’t enough people who would be prepared to pay for the utter drivel that emanates from the BBC. Jerry has confirmed that already. The BBC could not survive in a competitive environment, it would sink with a trace in no time flat.

        The BBC should be funded by the organisations that benefit the most from it, such as the Labour Party, Green Party, Lib Dems, the EU and the UN. [other obvious candidates omitted to avoid excessive controversy]

  8. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I am quite satisfied with the BBC as it is thank you and like every other good organisation the British name is being messed about with again.What’s the hidden agenda there , left or right bias or simply greed ?

  9. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I see that you have regurgitated some previous comments.I was beginning to think I was walking back to christmas.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Margaret, as a mere male, I note the feminist bias in the BBC which is also very annoying. Am I alone in this?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Indeed women’s hour is hilarious. Constantly confusing the free choices women sensibly make, in their work life balance, with evidence for blatant “discrimination”.

        Half the time telling us women are just the same as men but suffer endless “discrimination”. But then telling us (often in the same program) that they are better communicators, have more empathy are better and multi-tasking, have different motivations yet do not apply for jobs unless they can tick all the boxes (unlike men who apply even if they cannot tick any). Also they do 95% of all the house work it seems while doing all this. Perhaps they could finally make up their minds?

        This sort of “BBC think” may be funny but it culminates the absurd hounding of sound & talented people like Tim Hunt.

        http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jun/11/nobel-laureate-sir-tim-hunt-resigns-trouble-with-girls-comments

  10. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    In his recent announcement of cuts within the BBC Tony Hall made a great virtue of the fact that he was reducing the maximum number of layers of management from 10 to 7. That says it all.

  11. Douglas Carter
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I agree that the BBC shows a fairly evident bias over many spheres of culture and politics and just on observation, self-criticism is a trait they seem unable to come to grips with. However, notionally it’s worth recording that Channel Four News demonstrates a very plainly obvious left-leaning bias which also needs attending.

    However, I’d also agree that it’s essentially a day-to-day issue and not a strategic issue for the purposes of considering its future. As stated before, my main issue with the future of the BBC is the making available of its past. An eighty year back catalogue of sound recordings, motion picture, documentations, photographic stills and a capacious collection of artifacts which are literally irreplaceable and are permanently hidden within the archive. An archive which yet the Licence-fee payer is generously entitled to preserve.

    I’d want to see the digitisation and categorisation of the entire archive and its making available on the Internet to paying customers. Every recording, every photographic still, no matter how mundane. If they couldn’t think of a way to make good money from that gold mine, they shouldn’t be entrusted with the charter at all.

  12. Mark B
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Technology has made the Licence Fee redundant. And this technology is neither new or expensive. Therefore, there is no need for a Licence Fee or for any fees to be to be protected by law.

    What concerns me is, as someone who no longer watches the BBC’s output and therefore no longer watch any television, Mr Wittigdale MP seems to want to fund the BBC from my rates. This is an even worse option than the current one. As someone who considers himself a proud right winger, I believe in free markets and, as the late Lady Thatcher would no doubt agree, the freedom of ‘choice’ !

    To put a BBC levy on rates is wrong as it takes away might right to choose what I wish to do with my money. This is fundamentally agaist conservative values.

    As to dear energy mentioned in this article, the Climate Change Act which the majority of MP’s at the time and since, voted to Gold Plate EU directives and make matters worse. If you people want cheap energy, stop building expensive wind mills out at sea.

    • formula57
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Well said.

      It would be an outrage to provide for BBC funding via the rates. Would it be done for Sky or any other broadcaster?

      As you say, techology means now there is no need for a Licence Fee. It is another outrage that we cannot consume rivals’ products legally without also paying the BBC.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is just blatantly unfair competition from the BBC. As indeed are most state sector activities such as education, housing, medicine, greencrap energy, passports, licencing, the subsidised arts ……. the state can rarely compete fairly so they slope the pitch using taxes and the law. Thus destroying fair competition and far better run businesses.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      @Mark B; Technology has also made multi-channel subscription packages redundant to, in fact subscriptions per se, along with commercial TV. So it is some form of PAYG set-top box from now on then…

  13. Jerry
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    John, I have no problem with an effective cut in the BBC’s income that this concessionary TVL means, but I do have problems with politicising the BBC due to now having to administrate and regulate a government benefits policy. As the TVL Act is going to be amended anyway to bring catch-up IPTV streams into the scope of the TVL Act why not simply also change the law to the effect that those over 74 years of age are exempt. Surely a far simpler method of achieving the same aim?

    One further point regarding the TVL and IPTV streams, I hope that the law will make the Broadcasters effectively comply with the requirements of the law, such as making people log-in to such services with their TVL number. Otherwise the law will be a toothless tiger oncer again. Also perhaps Sky and BT etc. should be legally forced to cross reference their subscribers address with that of the TVLA, with a substantial fine placed on the subscription service should it be found that they are providing a service to an address that holds no valid TVL (or exemption) .

  14. JM
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The BBC is infuriating. There is no doubting its “Guardian” Groupthink mindset. However, the cost of the licence fee is less than a subscription for any of the commercial satellite channels. Radio 4 alone is worth the licence fee. It is unique in the world of broadcasting. If we forced the BBC onto a commercial footing, we would lose much that we hold dear and appreciate and only realise too late what we had done and what we had lost. So I for one will happily pay my licence fee and continue to shout and rail at the radio and television. I just wish that the would stop dumbing down on the basis of some notional idea that unless they flit about grabbing our attention every 20 seconds we will all go and watch something else. We won’t. Nor will our children.

  15. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    “The BC loses the broadband levy, but takes over responsibility for free tv licences for the over 75s. In return it gains indexation of a confirmed licence fee”.

    The last sentence..wrong headed!

    Hall was on about owners(?) dumping their TVs to watch BBC online, hence the very sad loss of some very easy money. He is working on charging for the online service. Thats ok..you want it you pay for it at the point of delivery, and nobody else. Same as freeview/freesat junk should be. Buy card, plug in and pay!

    Don’t understand why 2 satellite transponders are used by BBC3/BBC4 to show “This is BBC3” (and 4) up until 7pm each eve. Clearly Astra makes a good few easy bucks.

    Just to own a TV must require a TV licence by law…wrong headed again!

    I do not want to be a forced part owner of the BBC or anything else.

    And whoever sanctioned the 7 minute ad gap on ITV channels is a complete lunatic. Thats along with channels synchronising ads. Its all about money and little to do with programme quality which is preventing good people/work coming forward. Paxman and others have said it.

    • CdBrux
      Posted July 8, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      I understand that the channels used by BBC3 & BBC4 in the evenings are, earlier in the day, used for the 2 childrens channels (CBBC & CBeebies).

  16. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Changing the fuel on the Titanic, from coal to oil, would not have prevented the ship from hitting that iceberg.

  17. John S
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    From a selfish point of view I am in favour of maintaining the licence fee as the viewing costs are spread amongst virtually the entire population. If this were replaced by a subscription service those of us subscribing to BBC channels would end up paying more. As far as bias is concerned I remember the repeated propaganda on getting us to love the Euro. When Michael Heseltine told John Humphries that the euro was essential to Britain’s well-being, Humphries replied, “Well, no one can argue with that.”

    The most disgraceful bias for some years now is the one-sided view on climate change. The evidence that climate is driven mainly by solar activity and locally by direction of sea currents is completely ignored. Climate sceptic David Bellamy was hounded out and others such as Piers Corbyn and Professor Bob Carter are refused air time. The only time I have heard Piers on the BBC recently was to comment on his brother’s bid for the labour party leadership.

  18. Martin
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the BBC funding can be isolated from ITV/C4/C5 being free to air.

    If I were a shareholder in a free to air commercial broadcaster I would ask my directors to go subscription as well so as to increase profits and compete with other subscription broadcasters.

  19. Richard1
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    There is a lot of rubbish being talked about how the BBc has been forced by the govt to implement a welfare policy – the free license fee to OAPs. Lots of services and businesses have concessions for old people, students, disabled people etc. we don’t hear them complain they are implementing welfare so why do we hear it with the BBC? If we moved to a subscription model – which we should do – the BBc would have to decide such policies itself as other businesses and services should do.

    We also hear in this context how the BBC national institution and belongs to us all – in the eyes of the left it’s probably second only to the NHS. In that case the question of political bias is very important. The BBC adopted a consistently aggressive posture towards the Conservatives during the election, and were grotesquely biased against UKIP. As you point out above there are a number of questions, such as expensive energy where the BBC has a very clear and biased view, and opponents do not get a hearing.

  20. Alan Wheatley
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The licence fee is a case where a government imposed tax is directly linked to where the money raised is spent. It is also a case where those paying the tax should be involved in saying how much they want to pay and what they want to receive. Mr. Whittingdale clearly thinks he knows best and need not trouble himself to consult licence fee payers. He is wrong, and he better learn to do better or face the consequences.

    I note the BBC Trust think the public should have been consulted, and I see every reason why the BBC, as a public service broadcaster with a duty to inform and educate, should not carry out that consultation, even if the Government thinks it unnecessary.

    • David Price
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Up until very shortly before the last general election there was no trust member for England despite the requirement being mandated by the Trust’s charter. The trust clearly only concerns itself with what is good for the trust and I as a TV licence payer of many years standing have never, ever been consulated.

  21. Alan Wheatley
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Those of us who do pay the licence fee should be consulted as to what penalty should be applied to those who should be paying the licence fee but choose not to.

  22. agricola
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The bias is not alleged, it is a fact to any but the most myopic.. In agreeing with Conservative and UKIP critics you accept this. It is a problem that has not been rectified by the Trust so make the Trust redundant.

    The next step is to remove News and Current Affaires from the BBC entirely, making them dependant for income on advertising. This might concentrate the minds of those in Drama, Entertainment, Natural Sciences, and History where on occasion the producers bias shows through, but where generally the BBC produce programmes of a very high standard. This step would dramatically reduce the licence fee/tax.

    Next I would audit the management structure, removing many of the positions not directly involved in producing programmes. This again would reduce the licence fee/tax.

    I would make it known to the HR department within the BBC that all recruitment must look well beyond the pages of the Guardian. A selection board from outside the BBC should make final choices. It is a tax funded service that should be answerable to those who pay for it, and not be free to recruit as it sees fit. We need an end to BBC think and a reversion to public broadcasting think.

  23. oldtimer
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I believe that the subscription model is the way to go. The tax model is wrong in principle for this kind of service. It has revealed itself vulnerable to capture by determined producer interests at the expense of the consumers it is supposed to serve.

    Like others, I believe that the BBC is ruled by group think. The 3 million jobs at risk canard is an obvious example. A moments thought would lead one to conclude that if 3 million jobs are indeed at risk in the UK, in the event of Brexit, then many millions more than 3 million are at risk in the EU which enjoys a huge surplus (c£45 billion?) on its trade with the UK. The BBC seems to be incapable of working this out.

    • oldtimer
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      My guess at the UK trade deficit with the EU of £45bn was wrong, an underestimate. The House of Commons Briefing paper no. 06091, 3 June 2015, provides an up to date figure. Trade in goods and services with the EU in 2014 was as follows: imports £288bn, exports £227bn, deficit £61bn.

      On jobs it repeats the estimate that some 3.3 million UK jobs “are linked, directly or indirectly, to the export of these goods and services”. It also points out that “This is not the same as saying that over three million jobs are dependent on the UK`s EU membership, since some trade with the EU would take place even if the UK withdrew from the single market”. On the same assumptions used for the UK linked jobs estimate, the EU countries have some 4.2 million jobs linked directly or indirectly with its exports to the UK. I wonder if the BBC will make this point the next time one of its reporters talks about 3 million jobs at risk?

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      @oldtimer; Until some sort of Brexit group offers a detailed economic plan for a post Brexit era then who knows if the BBC “group think” is right or wrong, bearing in mind that it is not just the BBC saying much the same things, and as such many might claim that it is the eurphobes who are the ones actually suffering from any “group think”.

      • David Price
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:53 am | Permalink

        @Jerry – The point is that the BBC is required to be objective, that means it is required not to have an opinion either way. They are not required to be right, they are required to be neutral.

        An objective platform that offered debate on such topics would be of real value to the electorate. Instead we have a very biassed, very subjective group of people trying to influence the nation in many areas.

        And there are detailed options described for Brexit available it you only spend the time and look , far more detailed than the go with the flow/do whatever the EU dictates plan.

        The question is, why hasn’t the BBC done this?

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

          @David Price; Trouble is the europhobe definition of being “objective” is often at odds to the actual definition of the word in the dictionary. Also why is it only the BBC who gets slated on this, all broadcasters in the UK (indeed broadcasting to the UK) have a duty to be unbiased and objective, many are not…

          • libertarian
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Why do broadcasters have a duty to be unbiased? Who said so? More piffle from you. The BBC as a tax payer funded organisation who has a duty to be unbiased are the ONLY broadcaster that needs to abide by this.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; Piffle? Try reading the Ofcom broadcast code on (political) plurality…

            For someone who claims to have involvement in broadcast radio you should know this, perhaps your involvement is a sleeping one, or have been reading the U.S. regulation (by mistake, or wishful thinking perhaps) on ownership etc. were indeed such requirements were removed.

          • David Price
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 5:09 am | Permalink

            Jerry – that is not a valid reason for the BBC to ignore it’s charter and operate such a biassed, politicised service.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            @David Price; Which is of course a “biassed, politicised service”, in the opinion of europhobes and those to the right of centre-right…

            If this BBC bias is so clear cut then someone would have had no problem taking the BBC Trust to court, funny how no one has put their money were their opinions are.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

            Firstly Jerry even the BBC have stated they realise the organisation has a left leaning cultural bias and sceondly the BBC trust is expected to be replaced by control by OFCOM.
            Did you not know these two things?

          • Jerry
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Yes I did know about Ofcom, that is why I raised the issue of their code (further down) with libertarian. Oh and bias can also means being to right leaning (or even only ever giving due credence to a centrist opinion), so your rational above is nothing but a biased opinion on its self…

  24. turbo terrier
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    The BBC does not ever seem to be accountable.

    In a private business if complaints of being biased or being totally to one side of the arguement then questions would be asked, data collected to see how often it happens and when found proven people were held to account and shown the door.

    For too long the fear factor of going against the grain has held the organisation back.
    Too many senior staff and not enough agressive thought provoking journalist coming into the organisation

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      @turbo terrier; “In a private business if complaints of being biased or being totally to one side of the arguement then questions would be asked, data collected to see how often it happens and when found proven people were held to account and shown the door.”

      Absolute, gold plated, tosh!
      If that was correct no national press journalist would remain in employment for more than a month or two, indeed most editors would suffer the same fate – I do not know of a national that doesn’t have an ‘editorial line’, in other words a policy of being bias…

      “For too long the fear factor of going against the grain has held the organisation back. Too many senior staff and not enough agressive thought provoking journalist coming into the organisation”

      Very true, but that all started back in the 1980s, after Alasdair Miln ‘felt the need’ to resign early in 1987…

      • Bob
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        @Jerry,

        ” I do not know of a national that doesn’t have an ‘editorial line’, “

        Wake-up call for Jerry!
        We do not need to be “licensed” to read newspapers and they do not operate under the Royal Charter.

        We have complete freedom over which newspapers we choose to read and whether or not we buy any products advertised therein. This is why the Guardian is a loss-making operation, and the BBC would be the same if it were not guaranteed a huge income stream regardless of output.

  25. Ian wragg
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I play a silly game to see how many minutes before climate change is mentioned on Countryfile. The record is about 40 seconds into the program but rarely more than a couple of minutes. When I pointed out that the windmill in the opening credits was always stationary it has mysteriously disappeared.
    It was significant watching the referendum coverage in Greece the disappointment of the presenters when the NO vote was announced. Their beloved EU being defied.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      @Ian wragg; “I play a silly game to see how many minutes before climate change is mentioned on Countryfile.”

      I often follow a farming website that has a forum, this is a forum primarily for proper brown coloured welly shod farmers not those shod in green wellies that seldom see real mud never mind any more unpleasant, to say that climate change is an obsession on that site would be a lie, but nor is it rarely if ever mentioned – surely the issue is were blame is placed, nature or man, after all only a fools says that there is no “climate change”…

      “It was significant watching the referendum coverage in Greece the disappointment of the presenters when the NO vote was announced.”

      My overriding memory of the coverage was the BBC trying to be non committal (until the official declaration of the full result), that might well have come across as “disappointment” to someone who was probably cracking open a bottle of the bubbly stuff in celebration at the earliest opportunity!

      • APL
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 6:30 am | Permalink

        Jerry: “surely the issue is were blame is placed, nature or man, after all only a fools says that there is no “climate change”…”

        Of course there is climate change. It’s July now and a lot warmer than January. Bingo! the climate has changed.

        There was once glaciers covering the whole of the North of the UK, there isn’t any more. Bingo! the climate has changed.

      • Bob
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        @Jerry

        ” surely the issue is were blame is placed, nature or man”

        The climate has been changing continuously since the Earth was formed, and that was a long time before the internal combustion engine was invented.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          @APL; Your comment has made me understand why some climate change pushers keep using the phrase “you are mistaking weather for climate” when faced with such comments… 🙁

          @Bob; Indeed, and that was my point, but people like farmers, Growers and those who simply enjoy the countryside need to deal with changing climate what ever – some people seem to think that it shouldn’t even be mentioned!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Indeed hardly any programme on the BBC can run for very long without mentioning climate change, glass ceilings, discrimination, ever higher taxes, government “investment”, the poor, inequality, the wonderful NHS, unscrupulous landlords, a Tobin tax, the EU or featuring a female engineer or scientist somewhere or other in a yellow hard hat.

  26. Know-Dice
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Cat among the pigeons…

    I don’t mind paying the BBC tax just for [nearly] advert free TV 🙂

    • formula57
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      The BBC carries a lot of advertising at present, much of it telling its consumers how good it is. Yet objectionable though advertising might be to the sensitivities of BBC viewers, there is a strong case to be made for saying it is less objectionable to make them suffer advertising than to make others subsidize their consumption of entertainment

      • Jerry
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        @formula57; Well yes programme and even user services trailers are adverts but they are not commercial adverts or product-placements paid for by a third-party company, the BBC is actually prevented by law from carrying such content – so no, the BBC does not carry “adverts”.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          Also, their “trails” don’t come in the middle of a program.

          No “strong case” for third party advertising on the BBC from me !!!

        • libertarian
          Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          Jerry

          so no, the BBC does not carry “adverts”.

          To quote you….Gold plated drivel.

          Every day the BBC carries adverts. They have whole shows of celebs promoting their commercial, books, films, music, plays, gigs and exhibitions They have people quoting commercial websites and ticket booking lines. They give out tour dates etc. Any idea how much you’d have to pay for commercial adverts to promote this. Yes its true the BBC only advertises the creative industries as they sneer at the rest of the business world.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

            I switched to Capital because first when Chris Moyles left Radio 1 his replacement was awful. Then I thought I’d have a listen to BBC Radio 2 when Capitals afternoon DJ on the journey home became unbearably boring to listen to and adverts for Netflix are on more than the music. But Chris Evans is just one big advertiser Glastonbury frequently and now Top Gear plus the music is dated, so I listen to Capital in the morning and BBCRadio 2 in the afternoon. You are quite correct about commercial promotions on the BBC too, perhaps they should ask for a donation towards free licences for the over 75’s.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; You really are scraping the barrel to pick an argument. Please feel free to find out what paid for adverts are and what editorial content is, oh and whilst you are Googling you might also wish to check what incidental inclusion is – before you complain that you have seen a certain make of motor car in the back of shot on the BBC.

            Oh and as for support to the business world, whilst the BBC is no “Blomberg” nor is Sky, never mind the commercial channels…

          • libertarian
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            For someone lacking in any knowledge you are really skating on thin ice here.

            You never heard of advertorial then? You are seriously telling me that Tom Cruise promoting his film isn’t an advert for that film. Blimey is your middle name naive or what? I also never said they were paid adverts, they are just adverts

            I didnt mention anything about incidental inclusion so forget that which you made up to try to make yourself sound a bit more credible. Stick to what I wrote not what you make up. The BBC has someone on one of its channels every day promoting commercial activities.

            I couldn’t care less what Sky do. Its irrelevant . The BBC advertises non BBC commercial products every day and passes it off as content.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “For someone lacking in any knowledge you are really skating on thin ice here. [..//..] Stick to what I wrote not what you make up”

            Talk about the filthy pots and pans calling the kettle dusty!

            “I couldn’t care less what Sky do. Its irrelevant”

            But it is not irrelevant, as you would understand if you actually knew anything about the broadcasting and (wider) media industry, even Sky themselves admit that they are relevant – and can not be if they are going to be expected to either provide PSB in the UK or help fund it somehow.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry; Sorry, that should have read …and have to be if they are going to be expected to either provide PSB…

  27. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    The proposal to extend the Licence Fee(TAX) to cover ‘catch up’ is a serious mistake. It will give more power to the BBC when it is being criticised for over-reaching itself. How will this be monitored and policed?

    If I were someone with no TV and no Licence and I get into ‘catchup’ on my device, will I be fined, banned, arrested or what? And will the BBC demand the power to monitor usage of my devices for the ‘illegal’ use of any of the services which they have gained power over.

    All this is unacceptable. It seems to me that this is a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and shows that the BBC still wields enormous power over politicians and government. What threats did they issue this time I wonder? Who is the weak party who gave in? I would urge an immediate change of mind. The concession and grant has not been thought through. No wonder they were bragging yesterday about the deal they have obtained.

  28. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    ” The BBC after all belongs to all of us…” Only in the sense the National Coal Industry belonged to us. As one old coalminer told me wryly in the 1970s “When the government told us in 1946 we would own the mines, I’m still waiting for MY share. ”

    When a BBC documentary did investigative interviews with President Hassad and said he was ” a really compassionate man” who had given his people “a free health service” and other welfare benefits, someone “who truly loved his people ” “( although we have of course one or two reservations )” and that he was a “left wing.” And showed us Colonel Gaddafi’s small Muslim “chapel”next to his office where this “devout man ” often prayed, that “the only way one could explain his relationship to Libyans is to describe him as a living Jesus Christ to his people ” that he was an “Ex-British Army Officer ” “Trained at Sandhurst “….well were we the owners of the BBC? Really? What part of that drivel belonged to us? And what part of us now says the very opposite of those two figures?

    At least in the former USSR the idea that Pravda was owned by the government did not suggest to anyone that it belonged to all Russians. It stated it was the mouthpiece of the government and Russians all knew it was. It was Pravda ( Truth ) in that sense.

    The BBC belongs to the government. Its Guardian style interviewing ensures gullible poorer elements of our society feel their natural resentments towards the rich and powerful are well included in what people nowadays call “The narrative “.
    We British giving anything whatsoever to support the BBC is disgusting. A licence fee indeed? A tax.

    Human agents of the BBC and its governement continue to harass people for non-payment of the fee. In many cases which I have come across in my widespread travels, they have harassed people at addresses where the occupants have proved umpteen times with ID that their arch criminals do not live at the address and never have lived there. They have broken fences, gates, trampled on plants peering through windows, tried to trick the occupants, despite their denials by saying they are sellers of security devices which fit under televisions and “Can I come in to demonstrate? it’s very small and cheap ” Complaints to MPs have failed year upon year to stop it. Oh and these agents continue to call month after month even now. TV retailers regularly supplied confidential names and addresses to government. Also names and addresses which were fictitious because TV retailers have staff who are ordinary people and word got out of the government’s abuse of its own citizens’ human rights.

    Next, people will suggest the very quirky four-man Question Time panels also belong to us including some of its etc ed

  29. agricola
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Topic of the Moment

    A message for your leader who prays for change within Europe. I too would wish to see change for the sake of, in European terms, the disenfranchised population of Europe rather than a desire to make it more palatable for the UK population.

    Change there will be, but unlikely to be controlled by either Merkel or Junker. I suspect the seeds of change have taken root in Greece, and will prove to be beyond the control of Brussels. The change will be unpredictable and it’s long term effects throughout Europe will be equally unpredictable.

    Your leaders vision of change, whatever it might be and nobody but he knows, is no more than a side show, a plea on the wind. It brings to mind the fantasy of Canute. Better the UK sets out it’s future relationship of trade, friendship, and cooperation, and then puts it in place unilaterally. It is not a time for seeing which un-numbered bus turns up and taking a chance on it’s eventual destination.

  30. Bert Young
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I am one of those who believes that the BBC is left wing biassed . I do not read papers that have a left wing bias and I prefer not to watch TV programmes that includes annoying advertising ; I am therefore left with little choice as far as TV is concerned . The support that the BBC receives from the EU convinces me that its pro EU stance comes from this support – I would like this to be stopped .

    In previous posts I have given examples of how efforts to change the establishment at the BBC have failed . The consequence of this is that its power base has been able to resist efforts to modernise its management structure and to re-align many of its programmes . The private meetings I have had in the past with the very top of the BBC confirmed my judgement .

    I am now very pleased that there is a Minister who has taken it upon himself to challenge and to change the BBC . I hope he succeeds in his efforts , is given support and , as a result , creates a BBC service to the public that is entertaining and reliable .

  31. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Dumbing down seems to be the order of the day at the BBC.
    Watch W1A on the BBC; it seems more like a documentary than a parody e.g. Wimbledon 2Day – “Yeah, cool, no worries that’s fine.”

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      @Brian Tomkinson; In this age of constant dumbing down, were commercial and subscription broadcasters lead the BBC is sure to follow – trying to appear ‘relevant’, just as past incumbents within the DfCMS have demanded…

  32. English Pensioner
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I think that the BBC does far too much and should cut back on its activities. Do we need all the TV channels, regional services, etc. Do we need so many radio channels?
    When a commercial channel is prepared to provide a service, why should the BBC try to duplicate what they are doing, such as having “soaps” at the same time? Why should the BBC try to outbid the commercial channels for some sports event?
    The BBC should return to its proper role as a public service broadcaster providing accurate impartial news and current events coverage along with those programmes which are not viable for the commercial channels.

    I do however remain mystified by the statement the BBC “that takes over responsibility for free tv licences for the over 75s”. Does this mean that the BBC was previously getting the money from the Treasury and are no longer going to get it? After all, a free licence doesn’t actually cost anything as it is simply lost income, unlike free prescriptions on the NHS which have to be paid for.

  33. Richard
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The BBC needs to become a subscription based service to eliminate the nonsense that the iPlayer is free, to curtail the filling up of our courts and to stop the BBC having to pay more for sporting events because a large number of non-UK residents are able to watch the BBC.

    The BBC is biased and this needs to change. It is ridiculous that we have the same presenters, commentators and guests on news and current affairs programmes year after year after year. A small group of people who decide the agenda often being presenters one week and guests the next week.

    If the BBC is to continue as a national broadcaster with its currently enormous media coverage then means should be found to ensure that a wider range of views are aired and a wider range of news items are covered.

    The BBC should of course also regularly inform their audience that they are in receipt of EU funding.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      @Richard; “The BBC needs to become a subscription based service to eliminate the nonsense that the iPlayer is free,”

      Nonsense, by that score ITV, Ch4 and Ch5 would also need to become subscription based services, all that is needed is some form of secure log-in system for such IPTV players that proves (or at least needs a legally binding deceleration to the effect) that one can legally access such a service.

      “The BBC is biased and this needs to change. It is ridiculous that we have the same presenters, commentators and guests on news and current affairs programmes year after year after year. A small group of people who decide the agenda often being presenters one week and guests the next week.”

      Much the same paragraph could be written about any of our broadcasters, PSB, commercial, subscription.

      “The BBC should of course also regularly inform their audience that they are in receipt of EU funding.”

      Which if true will only be of interest to devout europhobes, one half the rest of the population will understand why it comes about whilst the other half of the population the fact will simply fly over their heads.

      • Richard
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Jerry,

        “Much the same paragraph could be written about any of our broadcasters, PSB, commercial, subscription.”

        This is not the case. It is only the BBC who employ presenters who go on year after year after year and just when you think you will not hear from then again on the radio they pop up again in a TV programme.

        But more importantly no other media group has such power through its extensive coverage of radio, TV and on-line.

        There is no problem in the reading of newspapers as they all have their interests declared unlike the BBC which pretends to be impartial when it is anything but on major subjects such as the EU and CAGW.

        In fact newspapers do print a variety of different views in their papers, a feature which Private Eye takes great delight in exposing.

        The BBC on the other hand makes sure that there is only one view throughout its whole organisation and this needs to be changed in order for it to continue to be called a “public service broadcaster”.

        With regard to EU funding :

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9055183/BBC-admits-receiving-millions-in-grants-from-EU-and-councils.html

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          @Richard; “It is only the BBC who employ presenters who go on year after year after year and just when you think you will not hear from then again on the radio they pop up again in a TV programme.”

          Rubbish, just to give one example of a non BBC channel keeping the same presenters year after year, ITV have had the same morning presenter/programme genre since 1993 (I won’t name her but she is on from 8:30 am on weekdays and the programme goes by her name). Has it never occurred to you that just because you or I might detest a presenter others -perhaps the majority of viewers/listeners- do not, hence why they get used for other programmes too or are retained after the original programme runs its course and is removed from air?

          “But more importantly no other media group has such power through its extensive coverage of radio, TV and on-line.”

          That is debatable. Content wise Sky probably has a far greater scope than the BBC does or any other media company, considering they more often than not have first run films, have the largest sports catalogue and require people to buy their general entertainment channels as a condition of supplying most other channels on their EPG [1]. They also have name recognition commercial exposure via radio by providing a commercial audio news service to ILR etc.

          [1] often making it difficult to watch otherwise Free-to-View channels unless their STB has a recognised viewing card inserted due to the otherwise (eventual) loss of location information and other data.

          There is no problem in the reading of newspapers as they all have their interests declared unlike the BBC which pretends to be impartial when it is anything but on major subjects such as the EU and CAGW.”

          Sort of true, once you have actually bought and started to read the publication… As for the BBC, well yes but that can be said of any TV channel, especially any that indulge in political reporting that might not be personally agreeable.

          “The BBC on the other hand makes sure that there is only one view throughout its whole organisation and this needs to be changed in order for it to continue to be called a “public service broadcaster”.”

          Utter nonsense, how about actually watching the BBC rather than ranting about what you think they do or not. Also as has been pointed out elsewhere, most national newspapers have have far more of an editorial line than the BBC does.

  34. Atlas
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I notice that Osborne has turned into another Gordon Brown with his sleight-of-hand way of shifting (not reducing) costs off his account onto others. The the over-75s TV licence is just one example.

    Osboene thinks he can lead the Tory party – forget it.

    • Atlas
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Typo paradise this morning (too much reading in the press of the way the Germans are pushing the Greeks into the Russian’s arms) – for Osboene read Osborne – also delete one of the double ‘the’s.

    • stred
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Osborne may have shifted the over 75’s free licence to the BBC but the extra cost to younger viewers for watching occasionally on their computers will far outweigh this They almost all do it and pay no licence. On top of this the indexing will greatly help this overstaffed and overpaid Pravda of the airwaves. It might have been expected that Mr Whittingdale would not have been outwitted by a management that has been so inadequate.

      On the R4 this morning we were treated to an interview with Mz Soubry about the latest good idea from the aristocrats of Downing Street to change the little bit of late starting and afternoon finishing for shopping workers. A member of my family has to work all hours with no fixed times, up from 7am to 11pm all week and the only time they have together is on part of Sunday.

      Mz Soubry seemed to think it was a good idea because Sundays were boring and she thinks shopping isn’t. Well, this is probably what you get when the PM thinks his hairdresser needs an honour and his wife has a handbag shop, while his neighbour’s family sell posh wallpaper. The most surprising aspect seems to be that, perhaps as they are from aristocratic backgrounds, they have forgotten that they are not supposed to make up policies as they go and should obtain approval from voters beforehand. Not that that made any difference when making Mancunians and Yorkies live in a powerhouse and granting independence to Cornwall.

  35. Kenneth
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I think the sensible thing to do would be for the BBC to be tasked with converting its output into subscription model phased over a 5 year period

    Initially one or two channels (let’s say BBC4 tv and Radio 4) would be scrambled and the licence fee reduced accordingly. Side by side with the licence fee would be a bill for the BBC4/Radio4 subscription. Payment of the subscription would release the unscramble codes for these channels. The following year a few more services would also be converted and so on, until all viable services (including the web site) were converted.

    By phasing in this way there would be less shock to the public as they get used to the new system.

    Alongside this, the BBC may attempt to sell off some local radio stations to commercial operators. However, some may not be viable, in which case they could be donated to voluntary groups or wound up.

    Also, the BBC should apply for arts council funding for certain arts programmes that otherwise may not be viable. The arts council budget should be increased accordingly but not substantially.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    “Some wish to use this review as an opportunity to re open the issue of alleged BBC bias. I do not think this is a good idea.”

    On the contrary I think it’s an excellent idea, because if you are not going to try to force the BBC to obey its Charter when you’ve got it over a financial barrel when are you going to do that? When it’s got its income assured for the next five years or whatever?

    That’s all I want, not to have the BBC move from its present set of institutionally ingrained prejudices to an opposite set, but just make it obey its Charter.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper; There is (at least perceived) biased all over the media, open that Pandora’s box and who knows were it will lead, all broadcasters in the UK operate via awarded broadcasting licences, if the BBC is to be censured then it will be fair game for other broadcasters to also face the same scrutiny and possible loss of licences if they are deemed to have broken the terms of their licence – sometimes it is best to leave sleeping dogs alone…

      It is the same with the actual TVL, few within subscription broadcasters wish to rick that boat simple because a light will almost certainly also be shone into the business methods. Whilst some people object to having to pay for the BBC to be able to watch anything else, other people object to having to pay for 500 subscriptions channels first before being allowed to subscribe to the one ‘second tier’ channel they really want. The commercial broadcasters fear their butter will be spread even more thinly upon their daily breed should the BBC be forced to enter either a purely commercial or a subscription/commercial hybrid world of funding.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        The difference being that nobody who doesn’t want to watch Sky is taken to court for declining to pay for Sky broadcasts which they don’t want, and nobody who doesn’t want to read the Guardian has to pay the Guardian to be allowed to read the Telegraph, and so on.

        I’ve read all your comments on this thread, Jerry, and they’ve moved me in the direction of thinking it would be better just to privatise the BBC and have done with it.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper; “The difference being that nobody who doesn’t want to watch Sky is taken to court for declining to pay for Sky broadcasts which they don’t want”

          Total and utter ill-informed nonsense, as usual, try hacking a Sky STB and then get found out, you will be up in court for theft at the very least!

          As for your second paragraph, don’t worry, I’ve read all your comments (and those who think the same way), the feeling is mutual, they’ve moved me in the direction of thinking that the BBC needs even more protection from people like you who will not understand what will be lost (beyond any perceived bias, of which ever direction) once the baby gets thrown out with the bath water.

          Ask yourself why USA television channels buy BBC products?…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            Stupid arguments Jerry

            Hacking is illegal piracy. It is a crminal offence.

            And the BBC plus other UK TV companies buy loads of USA made programmes.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

            Why on earth should somebody hack into Sky broadcasts which they don’t want to watch?

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Hacking is illegal piracy. It is a crminal offence.”

            As is using a TV to watch broadcast TV without first paying for a TVL, one is actual physical hacking (of the STB operating system), the other is a form of ‘virtual hacking’ – to coin a phrase.

            “And the BBC plus other UK TV companies buy loads of USA made programmes.”

            How many UK programmes made by Sky (the UK based company), excluding coverage of sporting events, do the USA networks -including Sky’s sister network- buy from UK Sky, I would be interested if anyone can name them?…

            @Denis Cooper; “Why on earth should somebody hack into Sky broadcasts which they don’t want to watch?”

            To access the content they so want to watch perhaps, just like not having a TVL but still using a TV to watch non BBC channels?…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

            As usual you respond to the rebuttel of your original argument by moving to a different argument and asking new questions.
            Ridiculous.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 10, 2015 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          A load of twaddle, Jerry, you should think more before you put your fingers to the keyboard.

  37. Colin Hart
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    There are only two reasons for the continued existence of the BBC – Radio 4 and BBC 4. From Radio 4 one gains an insight into current soft left thinking and BBC 4 on Saturday nights is useful for pretending to learn Danish/Swedish/Flemish or catching up on French argot.

  38. acorn
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    You should be bothered more by who owns the non-BBC media channels. Seventy per-cent of UK private media is owned by three or four families, that naturally sponsor right-wing politics using, mainly in the UK, their print media outlets. (Times; Sun; Mail; Metro; Telegraph; Express Star and FT).

    The US corporate media giants, including the Murdoch empire, are buying up UK media production companies, and will own most of your favourite shows, outside of those the BBC manages to hold on to, by 2020. More than likely ITV will get taken over likewise.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      @acorn; Too dammed right! 🙁

      • Graham
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        And thank goodness?

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          @Graham; “And thank goodness [that British TV and radio is becoming even more like that found in the USA]”

          I take you like a few snippets of actual programme content whilst watching/listening to adverts?…

    • libertarian
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Acorn

      I just had a quick google of ALL UK media and your statistic is cobblers. I notice you left off your media list The Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Guardian, Independent, Observer, Evening Standard, iPaper ( all left of centre) You also left off the two biggest independent print media groups Johnson Press and Archant. Your statistic isn’t even close to reality 4 families DO NOT own 70% non BBC media, not even close.

      ITV PLC is not the same as ITV the channel. ITV the channel has 15 licence holders. I have found only 3 independent production companies that were bought by US media ( not only were NONE of them Murdoch, in fact SKY SOLD their stake in ITV ).
      Here are some other large UK media companies. UTV STV, ITV, Channel TV.

      Thompson Reuters ( the UK’s biggest media revenue earner)
      Global Radio
      SMG
      Bauer Media
      WPP
      Reed Elsevier
      Ganett
      Bartlesham
      In fact there are more than 100 media companies with revenues in excess of £80 million per annum

      There are dozens of small community and independent film, TV production companies and community radio stations. There are even more local newspapers and independent magazines.

      Your statement is made up tosh

      • acorn
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        Dig a bit deeper and discover which family Trusts have controlling interest in plc type media organisations. For instance Murdoch and Rothermere families, own over 50% of the media that has the largest influence on voters.

        The organisations you list, have little influence on UK voting patterns, which was the point of my post, that I didn’t make clear enough.

        Reply A made up figure – these two media groups do not have disproportionate influence as you suggest

        • libertarian
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          acorn

          Utter garbage , I have looked at the ownership as a pointed out above , the UK’s biggest media group by revenue is NOT owned by either of the two groups you mention, I can supply you with the full list of UK’s 100 biggest companies and if you take out the Rothermere & Murdoch media it leaves more than 90 others.

          You have zero evidence of who and what influences voters in the media. You don’t like the Sun and the Daily Mail is basically what your post amounts to. So what, nor do I , so I don’t buy them.

          What make me laugh about lefties is they whine about “right wing media” without it ever dawning on them that the reason RW biased papers SELL more is there are far more RW people in the country. Ever wondered why the dozen or so left wing papers ALL have the smallest circulation and the worst revenues etc ed

          • acorn
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            Go back and look at how many of the publications I mentioned supported Blair in the Iraq war. Why did they do that do you think? Why did they ALL split from the Thatcher camp to the Blair camp? Who was pulling the strings?

  39. formula57
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    The BBC enjoys a hugely privileged position in the UK by virtue of its funding arrangements and its Charter therefore appropriately imposes obligations upon it to serve the whole of the public.

    It seemed to manage to live up to its Charter and acknowledge its privileged position reasonably successfully until the 1980’s but since then it has progressively surrendered public trust as scandal after scandal has shown it to have fallen very far indeed from the Reith-inspired ideal, both journalistically and as an organization.

    The BBC suffers from the ills of any organisation that finds it hard to measure its own success (i.e. there is no easy means to discern and understand benefit and cost relationships) and is large and complex and doing many different things. Some of this could be overcome by very good management – but who serious would want to try? A more commercial environment would make easier the management task of measuring success and that is yet another reason why a subscription model is appropriate.

    What is no longer appropriate for what the contemporary BBC has become is a subsidy, especially one enforced by criminal sanction, of others’ entertainment from non-users who simply wish to consume live broadcasts on any occassion provided by other organizations. For all Mr Whittingdale’s fine words and deeds thus far, I fear he will permit and even reinforce the unjust subsidy arrangements and that will be a matter for regret.

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Personally I’d prefer to pay to view BBC broadcast programmes on a per minute basis, just as I’d prefer to be able to read newspaper content online on a pay per article basis rather having to subscribe to have access to the lot for a certain period of time when I have no desire to read the rest. In fact I’d quite like to be able to pay to view other TV channels by the same pay per minute method if that would get rid of the annoyance of advertisements interrupting the programme, although I usually get round that by recording the programmes and then fast forwarding through the commercials …

    Both of these schemes should be well within the realms of present technology, in fact they could even be combined so that both were paid for with the same “universal media credits” rather than directly with money.

    Genuinely educational programmes, such as the Open University programmes, could be made available without charge to the viewer as part of the free educational system paid for by public grant rather than by the end users.

  41. Sean
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Why on earth ( in a so call free democracy ) should we be forced into paying for something that we could easly live without. Isn’t it going against my human rights being made to buy something I wish not to buy. That doesn’t sound like a democracy at all.
    Never mind yet another Tax, The BBC should be a subscription service, it’s that simple.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Sean; “Why on earth ( in a so call free democracy ) should we be forced into paying for something that we could easly live without.”

      You’re not, as you say yourself we could easily live without watching broadcast TV, but if you want it your way then I agree, why should I be forced to pay for education that my family now have no use for (at least here in the UK), others might decided that, being members of CND, they can live without an Army etc.

      Oh and you are so right, why should someone be forced to pay for say Sky 1 and Sky Arts etc., when all they want access to are the Sky Sports?

      “The BBC should be a subscription service, it’s that simple.”

      Not it is not, a subscription basis will not pay for PSB programmes, unless of course there is a surcharge places upon such subscriptions, and then who will provide such a service -if needs-be- in prime time broadcast slots, there being very little if any proper PSB content now on either ITV or Ch4 besides news.?

      • Ian B
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        There is no need for “public service broadcasting”. The term is pure socialist claptrap.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          @Ian B; In your opinion as someone without a clue as to what PSB is and isn’t – obviously.

          @Bob; The UK legal code offers a TV package at a price, it’s called paying the TVL fee, take it or leave it!

          • Jerry
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

            Oh and @Bob, if I want to watch the National Geographical, Discovery or the UK Eurosport channels via Satellite I first have to pay to watch certain Sky channels I do not wish to watch nor pay for, that is not different to having to pay for the BBC to watch ITV.

            If the TVL fee is to be scrapped so should obligatory pre-packaged subscriptions channels, lets not just tilt the playing field in the opposite direction eh?

          • libertarian
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            You are quite possibly the most illogical person I’ve encountered

            No wonder you support the EU and the BBC.

            There is NO SUCH THING as obligatory pre packaged subscription TV services. There are choices. 1) There are free to air services, 2) there are paid package offering choices, 3) there are pay as you go services and 4) There are multiple suppliers offering a range of choices. The TVL is a tax that you HAVE to pay if you own a TV receiver. If it was an ordinary tax and the money went to the government in order to pay for pensions on the NHS that would be just about acceptable. To pay it to an unaccountable organisation to provide TV and radio programmes is a nonsense.

          • Bob
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry

            “The UK legal code offers a TV package at a price, it’s called paying the TVL fee, take it or leave it!”

            This may come as something of a shock to you, but laws change, that’s the whole point of what we’re discussing here in case you hadn’t noticed.

            In the past you would have paid a Window Tax and a Dog Licence, but surprise surprise, not any more!

      • Bob
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        @Jerry

        “why should someone be forced to pay for say Sky 1 and Sky Arts etc., when all they want access to are the Sky Sports?”

        Sky offer a package at a price, take it or leave it. However, the BBC insist that if you take Sky then you must also pay for the BBC even if you have no interest in watching any BBC output.

  42. backofanenvelope
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    The people who man the BBC have opinions. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that they use the BBC to push their opinions. The whole thing should switch to a subscription based operation and sold off to the Guardian Media Group. At least that would be honest.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      @backofanenvelope; “The people who man the BBC have opinions. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that they use the BBC to push their opinions.”

      As also happens, often to a greater degree, within other broadcasters and media companies. I have no problems if there is to be an industry wide crackdown on such personal opinion pieces being delivered as if factual news, but I fear that those pushing for the BBC to be censured only wish for the BBC to be neutered, not for the whole media industry to be cleansed of this practice.

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Other broadcasters are not financed by the licence payers.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          @backofanenvelope; Irrelevant, according to Ofcom and various other regulations and laws.

          • libertarian
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Absolutely NOT true. OFCOM have NO rules against media bias . Also OFCOM have no jurisdiction over external broadcaster offerings such as Russia Today or Al Jazerah etc

            The reason the BBC is charged with being unbiased is because its taxpayer funded and has a Royal Charter that insists on it.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; You want it all ways, first you claim that there is no requirement for UK broadcasters to be unbiased and then claim that the BBC must not be biased, make you mind up!

            The TVL is not a tax, it is a fee, a charge, no one has to watch broadcast TV, in fact the VED is not a tax for the same reason – next you will be calling car park fees a tax.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Next you will be saying income tax is not a tax because you dont need to work and VAT is not a tax because no one forces you to purchase items which are VAT rated etc etc
            I think your argument is a total nonsense Jerry

          • Jerry
            Posted July 10, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “OFCOM have NO rules against media bias”

            Please (re-)read section 5 of the Ofcom broadcast code, especially paragraphs 5.11, 5.12 and (due to your personal/business interests in local radio) 5.13 – keeping in mind that the BBC is highly likely to come under Ofcom regulation before or by way of their charter renewal and the title of John’s diary entry.

            http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/code-july-15/Ofcom_Broadcast_Code_July_2015.pdf

  43. David Price
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    If a project becomes a hopeless mess you review it’s fundemental purpose and approach, ot play with tweaks here and there.

    The entire role and purpose of the BBC needs to be reviewed. Why does a public broadcast service ever need to chase audience ratings for example.

    The first question has to be what is the role of a PBS and how best to provide that in the context of broadcast TV, Radio and the internet and how best to ensure it sticks to it’s remit.

    How that service is funded is then a separate consideration, in my view

    The rest should be left to commercial services.

  44. forthurst
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    “These are matters [relating to alleged BBC bias] to be fought over within any given financial and governance framework for broadcasting, but should not dictate those frameworks.”

    It is certainly hard to envisage a financial framework based on the current tax model that would wring out the BBC’s agenda which is as systemic as it is loathsome.

    Quite apart from its very obvious political bias, its agenda infests almost every nook and cranny of its production. No opportunity is ever lost for grooming its audience, even if irrelevant segments are grafted in to a programme solely for that purpose; the consequence of this is much of its output is rendered unwatchable by being both tedious and irritiating in equal measure. However, the fact that the BBC is being funded to groom the audience that pays for it into believing in a reality of the BBC’s own concoction is an extremely serious matter which needs urgent attention; in the private sector, when a business loses its way, the CEO is replaced and charged with deep cleansing the organisation from the top down of both dead wood and those who have misunderstood the objectives of the organisation.

  45. lojolondon
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    John, there is no requirement for the BBC – it absorbs £6 Billion every year to no discernable benefit. I believe the BBC should consist of only one TV channel, BBC one, and totally dedicated to the news and new programmes. The other channels should be sold off to private enterprise. Any programme screened on BBC1 should be auctioned to the private channels for repeat viewing. Likewise, keep Radio 4, the rest must be sold to private enterprise, to run their business, make money, pay taxes, and bring entertainment and especially local radio, to bring local jobs and opportunities. None of these companies would be allowed to be registered offshore, all must pay UK taxes in full.

    • sjb
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      Rather than creating local jobs wouldn’t privatising the ‘surplus’ channels lead to reduced employment in the UK tv industry because it would be considerably cheaper to buy US imports than produce home grown programmes?

      • libertarian
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        sjb

        No it wouldn’t, getting rid of the BBC monopoly would allow far more local, community radio and TV. On what basis do you think it would be cheaper to import? Commercial media has to make and sell what the public wish to buy. How about all those new UK TV production companies making programmes and selling them to the US as in fact we have been doing for years in a limited way with the BBC?

        For example what laughably passes for local BBC community radio in my area is nothing of the sort, after a certain time in the evening the “local” output is in fact national and all delivered from one central source. Selling off the individual local stations would drastically improve media employment AND raised the availability of local/community programmes. Somewhat hypocritically for me as a Libertarian I would also restrict how many local stations one organisation could own too so that we don’t have the situation we have with Heart for instance which is also supposed to be a local commercial station but is in fact one national station with a little bit of local programming tacked on.

        The BBC/OFCOM has held back the creative/media talent in this country for far too long. My interest is primarily radio and we have the worst radio offerings in the Western world, endless pop music with no variety, special interest or different programmes. The BBC in my opinion has failed dreadfully in its PBS services in local radio.

        I would sell of all local BBC radio, maybe even allowing the BBC to retain a small share of the ownership ( say 10% ) as an income stream for when the licence fee is removed altogether

        • Jerry
          Posted July 9, 2015 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; “getting rid of the BBC monopoly would allow far more local, community radio and TV.”

          No it would; not, there might be more radio and TV stations but of what quality – the USA experience of what you wish for the UK is not a good one…

          My interest is primarily radio”

          Is that a deceleration if a business interest in this field, I seem to recall you admitting once before to having a financial involvement in community or commercial radio?

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, where’s an interfering Dutchman when you need him, and instead have to rely on a google translation of this:

    http://www.telegraaf.nl/dft/nieuws_dft/24240470/___Nederland_uit_de_euro___.html

    to find out that 60% of his fellow citizens want the Netherlands to leave the euro?

    However, only half of those want to return to a Dutch national currency, the other half want to be dominated by Germany in a new shared currency.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Also off-topic, the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls speaking on the radio today:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11722511/Greece-news-live-Juncker-ridicules-Greek-crisis-as-a-circus-after-being-forced-to-backtrack-over-EU-ejection-threat-live.html

    “France is convinced that we cannot run the risk of a Greek exit from the eurozone, both for economic reasons but above all for political reasons.”

    As I’ve repeatedly said for more than six years now, the eurofanatics will do whatever they possibly can, legal or illegal, ethical or unethical, to preserve the eurozone intact so that it can continue its expansion, and eventually engulf the UK as well.

  48. CdBrux
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    PBS should be the start point as once that is settled then you can have a better idea how much it costs to fund it.

    A few ideas for debate:
    * Programmes (TV & radio) unlikely to be made by a commercial broadcaster to account for, say, 2/3rds of non news and current affairs output. If a programme becomes commercially viable then let the BBC keep and re-invest any money made. I accept it’s going to be difficult to define ‘unlikely to be made by a commercial broadcaster’. Remaining 1/3rd can be used to make money to help fund the 2/3rds and ‘draw people in’ so they may stay and watch things they may otherwise not have.

    * Things like the website to be run with minimal additional resources. Content is limited to what is already gathered and used elsewhere as part of general news (i.e. the reports) or clips from ‘practical’ shows (DIY techniques, gardening, cooking,…).

    * Focus on quality vs volume. Much less endless antique & property shows. Bring some childrens TV back to main channels – may even help get more children and parents watching together as a family.

  49. Bill
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Like other contributors to this blog, I find the BBC’s political bias to be self-evident. The question is, ‘what should one do about it?’. Here are three suggestions:

    1. split the licence fee into two and fund a new channel set up in competition with the BBC. So, just as we have an opposition party in the House of Commons whose job it is to oppose the government, so the second channel could pick at the BBC’s political agenda.

    2. split the licence fee and apportion some of it to Sky. This would give us a situation nearer to that in the USA where Fox and CNN can battle it out. The trouble is that we have no reliable right of centre broadcasting in the UK.

    3. use the licence fee to support basic public service broadcasting including major sporting events across a variety of channels and then let advertising fund everything else.

    And, finally, can we please remove all references to The Guardian from both the Today and PM programmes? You would have thought from listening to these broadcasters that no other newspaper existed.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      @Bill; “finally, can we please remove all references to The Guardian from both the Today and PM programmes?”

      But presumably references to the Daily Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail and Daily Express will be OK…

      • Bill
        Posted July 7, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry how often do you hear these other papers mentioned? On Thursday while driving I heard most of the PM programme. The Guardian got three mentions and, to the best of my recollection, no other paper got any.

        While we are on this: let me say I have not been more pleased by a public announcement when we learnt the BBC would in future have to fund the licences of over 75 year olds than I was on the occasion when it was announced that Peter Mandleson would lose his job for the second time for his second set of misdemeanours.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          @Bill; Fine, then ban all broadcasters from mentioning the newspapers and their content/headlines, at least doing that will stop those breakfast and evening “newspaper reviews” [1], that are merely opinion piece vehicles for the reviewers (who can be just as much from the political right as the left or centre), and cheap editorial padding instead of more expensive first hand journalistic reporting etc.

          [1] which more than likely actually depress sales of the printed titles or visits their commercialised websites

  50. Chris S
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Some form of universal payment system is the most economic way of funding the BBC. You only have to see what one gets from the licence fee compared with the huge cost of a Sky subscription.

    Unfortunately there is no doub that the BBC has ended up with a Liberal/Guardian bias but should we really be surprised ? You only have to look at the Arts and in particular the Media, TV and film industry in the US to see this is a common problem.

    However whenever there is an opportunity to make a high profile appointment at the BBC, the job nearly always goes to someone on the left. Look at the appointment of ex-labour MP James Purnell in a very senior and influencial management role.

    Now we have the rumour mill about a successor to the excellent Nick Robinson, about the only right of centre staffer in the News dept. In their rush to appoint a woman to the role, it appears that the leading candidates are ex-Guardian Staffer Allegra Stratton, who many regard as a lightweight, even in her current role at Newsnight, and Laura Kuenssberg. Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman is the other leading candidate.

    None of the above could be considered to be on the right of centre.

    Were it not for the BBC wanting to demonstrate Political Correctness in the style of W1A, I would have thought that James Landale would have already done enough as stand-in for Nick Robinson during the election campaign to have secured the job.

    Back to funding. a lot is being made of the transfer of the cost of free TV licences to the BBC but this is not unreasonable.

    The number of staff members the BBC uses for any of it’s services compared with the commercial competition is a clear demonstration of it’s lavish budget. Only last week the Telegraph pointed out that the BBC would be sending 150 journalists to cover the Lib|Dem conference and the team would total 200 in all.

    ITV are reputed to be sending just 5 journalists !

    Yet every time there are cuts, it’s high profile services like sport that face the axe while the overmanning just carries on unchecked.

  51. bigneil
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    The reaction from the BBC reminds me of the EU. Some gross dictatorship used to just demanding their own way and loads of money. Threaten to cut the amount and the fat cats at the top start screaming. Both should be removed.
    As for bias, just before the election the chap on the breakfast show on Radio Derby was so anti-UKIP it was ridiculous.

  52. cosmic
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    The question of whether or not the BBC is politically biased is secondary.

    Looking at the conditions which lead to the creation of the BBC in 1922, do those conditions and justifications still exist? If not, do current conditions require the formation of such a body? i.e. if the BBC didn’t exist, would there be seen to be a need to create it? What would be the scope of the organisation and what would its funding model be?

    I don’t believe there is any such justification. Definitely, as it stands, the BBC is far too large and has its fingers in too many pies. I object to the way they oblige people to pay for a service they may not want or use.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      @cosmic; “[would] current conditions require the formation of such a body? i.e. if the BBC didn’t exist”

      Yes the BBC (TV and to some extent Radio) is still needed, more so since multi-channel TV forced ITV and even Ch4 to change their business models. Commercial channels simply can not afford [1] to provide some of the unprofitable content that they were happy to provide as part of their licence obligations in times past. That is not to say that the BBC should not change, it does indeed have fingers were it should not (to many TV channels, to many radio stations all broadcasting much the same era and genres but not others, their web presence is to big), the TVL fee is probably to high.

      “I object to the way [the BBC] oblige people to pay for a service they may not want or use.”

      You mean in the same way as Sky does, like how I would need top buy access to 500 channels that I do not want to watch so that I can then buy the single channel I do… I take it than that you will join me in pressing this point?

      [1] one solution would be to restrict the amount of, or even have an outright ban on subscription channels carrying, paid for adverts. thus making them rely greatly or totally on their subscription income, this would rebalance the free to view commercial sector and allow them once again to have the PSB obligations as they used to

  53. Iain Gill
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    John, I’m working in the real world, looking at multi billion quid worldwide business. Do you know what our biggest problem worldwide is? Delays between Dover and Calais. I don’t think the press or politicians get how massive a problem this is becoming. Please remind those in power they need to do something asap

    Reply They know this and are on the case – the problems lie in Calais under French control.

    • forthurst
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      “Reply They know this and are on the case – the problems lie in Calais under French control.”

      Oh good! I was hoping against hope for an early Brexit.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 8, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Then we should by-pass France (if their politicians won’t get a grip) and set up other port runs such as into Ostend sharpish. Credit the ferry companies for the extra time and fuel if necessary to get over the crisis.

  54. petermartin2001
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Is the BBC biased to the left? Or are they biased towards a pro-EU establishment?

    The latter I would say! If they were truly of the left they wouldn’t be quite so pro-EU!

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      @petermartin2001; Indeed the BBC is if anything of the centre, their biggest problem is political interference over the years, I have already mentioned passed pressure from the right elsewhere, so for balance, the BBC has yet to get over the effects of the sexed-up WMD dossier row – being still far to ready to ask “how high” when someone in Whitehall says jump.

  55. Cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    In mainland UK, night time tends to be dark.

    Sorry John, I had to write this just to see if Jerry would argue against this too.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      @Cliff. Wokingham; I’m not the one arguing! You might need to think about that, etc ed

      On the other hand if our host advises that all he wants are “Me too, John” comments I will wait in anticipation of that day. In fact I don’t actually think I am disagreement with out host, although I have suggested another way of achieving the same policy without the risk of it being seen as politicising the BBC.

      • stred
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Jerry. Surely, it’s not an argument but a disagreement. re Monty P.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          @Stred; Actually the word I was thinking about was “Debate”….

      • cliff. Wokingham.
        Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Jerry,

        I am sorry if I offended you.

        The point I was, perhaps somewhat clumsily, making was that it appeared to me that you were disagreeing with other posters for the sake of it; often it appeared to be semantics or a deliberate attempt to disagree for some end or other which I cannot understand.

        Debate is good but, disagreeing for the sake of it is never helpful.

        The BBC, in my opinion, does deliver biased views all too often and I would say the same whether that bias is to the left or to the right.
        Watching the BBC’s coverage today of the budget, Mr Peston in particular seemed to be looking only for negatives (from a leftist view) rather than any positives. This is the kind of bias which rubs so many people, including me, up the wrong way. It is easy to say that the left complain that the BBC is too biased to the right but, this is not supported by any evidence nor by expressed views.

        I get turned off the blog as much by your multiple postings as I do by those of Lifelogic’s. I dislike multiple, repetitive rants by all sides of the political divide, although having said that, I would defend both your right and that of Lifelogic’s to put your points if our host (my MP) allows it but, sometimes, it would be nice if some on here thought of others because it takes time to read through endless postings and I am sure it takes Dr Redwood an age to moderate them too.

        Again, I apologise if my tongue in cheek comment offended you.

        • cliff. Wokingham.
          Posted July 8, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          At the time of writing 18-10hrs 46 posts by Jerry out of a total of 202 posts or to put it another way; just over 25%

          Lifelogic 9 posts out of 202 or just under 5%…..Perhaps I have judged LL a little harshly:-)

          • Edward2
            Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            I really think Jerry should tell us if he has a particular job which makes him keen to promote his enthusiastic views non stop.
            I am beginning to get suspicious he has a profitable axe to grind
            I hope I am wrong.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 9, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You are totally wrong, as usual, no I do not.

  56. Ian B
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Please, just close it down. It should have gone in the 1980s. It’s a ridiculous anachronism with no place in the modern world, a relic of the same early 20th century thinking that nationalised railways, coal, steel, energy, etc.

    There will be a kerfuffle, but once it’s gone it will soon be seen as the same foolishness as the days when you had to rent a telephone from the GPO.

  57. Iain Gill
    Posted July 7, 2015 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    As for the BBC here I am abroad able to get all the BBC TV and Radio free, no licence fee, no adverts. Quite why the British people are providing this service free to the rest of the world is beyond me.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 8, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Agreed, they could claw back the £750m to provide free licences to UK over 75’s by making it pay to view outside of the UK.

  58. William Grant
    Posted July 8, 2015 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Twenty years ago, John Whittingdale,supported the then controller of BBC Radio 1, Matthew Bannister, in his forced reduction of the audience of the station, when it lost seven million listeners and half of its audience share over three years, in a bid to make it distinctive from the commercial sector, completely disregarding the parts of the UK where there was no commercial radio station available, such was his Thatcherite zeal. He describes the licence fee as a ‘poll tax’ because he wants the BBC to make programming with limited appeal for high class people, paid for by everyone. The BBC should be producing a countrywide cradle to grave service for all age and income groups, whereas the commercial market would naturally target twelve to fifty-five-year-olds if it wasn’t interfered with in this country and also called public service broadcasting, leaving half of the human lifespan underserved.

  59. Linda Smith
    Posted July 8, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    On the issue of bias, I should like to know why the BBC has been allowed to sit on the Balen report, which is an enquiry into anti-Israel BBC bias.

  60. Jerry all the Time
    Posted July 8, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Just counted 50 posts by Jerry on this thread
    Is this a record?

    • Edward2
      Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      You are I suspect new to this fine site, anything to do with the BBC or British Rail can lead to close to a hundred posts from Jerry.
      Basically he is right everyone else is wrong.

    • Jerry
      Posted July 9, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      It would just suit some people for there to be no voice in support of the BBC and/or PSB…

      The other side of the debate has to be heard, against all the anti BBC hyperbole from a good 95% of the posters. As I’m sure our host understands. Nor do I support the BBC unconditionally.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 10, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Playing the role of devils advocate just because the vast majority have a similar view is not sensible paricularly if your heart is not in it and the arguments you make are so weak.
        I dont suppose you might consider it a waste of your time and that you might just be wrong.
        I think this is why you boil over into rudeness and personal remarks when replying Jerry.
        It must be frustrating for you taking the role of the lone siren voice having to keep making contrary posts all the time.

  61. Stuart B(eaker)
    Posted July 9, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I have been trying to read through these comments, but have now given up. The number and ubiquity of ‘jerry’ comments is very wearing. Why does everyone else have to allow him to become the focus of attention here? The chap is obviously earnest, and clearly, as he asserts, no employee of the BBC (or indeed, of any broadcasting organisation). So why allow him to derail the comment stream so that every third one is a reply lobbed straight back at him. Such a shame, as JR’s top piece makes good points which are so much more worthwhile to respond to..

    • Edward2
      Posted July 10, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Jerry rarely makes a comment of his own.
      If he did his posts could be ignored.
      The problem is he responds to almost every post made by others asking questions, often being personally rude and demanding replies.
      Its difficult not to want to reply especially when many of his arguments do not stand scrutiny.

      • Jerry
        Posted July 10, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        @Edward2; That comment says far more about you than it does me! I assuming your school never gad a debating society (mine did, run by the local MPs son…) and thus you never learnt the difference between debating and making a statement – which should not be questioned…

        • Edward2
          Posted July 10, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Well make a statement of your own opinion without attacking or being rude to others and thats fine by me Jerry.

          Rather than hundreds of negative responses to other people’s posts.
          Thats how debates I’ve been to operate. It is the difference between debating and heckling.

  62. Mercia
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Every evening on BBC News 24 when they review the next day papers they have on pro EU Liberals. Also, did you know the BBC edited footage from Syria to make someone say there was a “chemical weapons” attack when they never used those words. I personally do not find this acceptable at all.

  63. Mercia
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Isn’t the BBC considered an arm of the foreign office? And theoretically useful if we need to go to war or stir up the people for war?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page