I am glad that the sick joke of Mr Ross has a good outcome – both Labour and the Conservatives now think pay is out of control at the BBC. This state pensioner needs to gain some financial discipline quickly, so the licence payer gets better value for the money we are forced to pay.
The large numbers of layers of ineffective management, all on very high salaries, would be a good starting place for cuts. One of the most interesting things to come out of the Ross saga was how many highly paid people above him were involved but failed to show any judgement. Let’s have fewer, and let’s pay them less. Their task is no more difficult than a Cabinet Minsiters, and they show no more competence, so let’s pay them at that sort of level.
It would also be a good idea to look at how many channels are truly “public service” deserving of subsidy, and how many should be commercial and required to compete for funds and audience in the usual way. Surely no one can argue that what Mr Ross does is “public service”. If you want to pay such a huge sum to someone to do what as he does, then it should be from the pockets of those who enjoy that sort of thing, financed through adverts or subscription or sponsorship.Many people do like much of his output so they would pay.
I would like to hear from people on what they think “public service boardcasting” is and should be. I have heard three conventional explanaitons
It is unbiased news – that would be good, but is clearly not what the BBC delivers, as it nearly always delivers news from the standpoint of someone who thinks more government is the answer and never the problem.
It is high class drama – but the BBC has no monopoloy on costume dramas. Some are good, and yes there may be a case for subsidy to such arts.
It is high class documentaries. Yes some of those are good, but there is too a tendency for them to be biased towards conventional wisdom. Today they may well make a good documentary about the excesses of the banks, but they are unlikely to make one about the follies of the regulator or the Bank of England, and never make one saying there is a different way to sort out the Banks from the public shareholding route chosen by the politicians so far.
So what would a public service broasdcaster look like in this multi media age? And how much are we prepared to pay for it? Should we carry on paying for it with a poll tax, or in some other way?
Let debate be joined.