My interventions about the future of Channel 4

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): Many fine British businesses have grown, flourished and invested far more once being privatised, and I hope that this one will too. But will the Secretary of State see, during the privatisation, whether there is a way of allowing the people who work for Channel 4 and do so much for it to gain participation, perhaps partly by buying and partly by gift, so that they become shareholders in whatever entity emerges?

Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State: I will go on to talk about the fact that we have many bidders who are looking at purchasing Channel 4, and we are looking at all options before we bring the matter to Parliament to see what is on the table. But for the sale of Channel 4, as it says in the “Up next” White Paper, what we are looking at is to sell Channel 4 as a PSB. Therefore, I do not think the model that my right hon. Friend outlines briefly would be conducive to that sort of purchase. We are going to sell to an organisation that will invest in Channel 4 and keep it able to make those distinctive programmes.

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): Has my right hon. Friend noticed that the Opposition think that they know better than the audience what Channel 4 should show every evening? Is it not a good idea that we move to a model where the owners engage with the audience and try to grow the audience, because that way they will attract more revenue?

Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State: We agree on many things, and we agree on that.




  1. Nottingham Lad Himself
    June 17, 2022

    It’s not broken at all.

    That’s exactly why the ideologues insist that it must be fixed.

  2. Roy Grainger
    June 17, 2022

    Selling it off to the highest bidder rather than privatising it as a standalone entity is sure to infuriate the left. Let’s hope the highest bidder is Murdoch.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      June 18, 2022

      Yes, that seems par for the course amongst the Right.

      Annoying people whom you dislike is paramount, far beyond anything which might benefit the life of the country.

      It has given us brexit and successive Tory rule.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        June 18, 2022

        NLH – We don’t have Brexit and we don’t have Tory rule. The most common complaint on this site is that the Tories are remainer socialists in disguise.

  3. The Prangwizard
    June 17, 2022

    I don’t suppose for a moment that any steps will be taken to prevent the broadcaster being bought by a foreign interest. In fact since the UK is bankrupt and desperate for foreign currency (because of government policies) I dare say this will be encouraged.

    A courageous change is needed to turn this policy around but since the government and its MPs have no determination on the subject our assets will continue to be sold to overseas buyers so we can buy things abroad our government doesn’t want us to make – because its all too much trouble.

    They call it among other things foreign direct investment – a fancy phrase for the prostitution of our nation.

    1. Shirley M
      June 18, 2022


  4. Berkshire Alan
    June 17, 2022

    Good heavens, a short understandable answer to a simple Question.

    Have lessons been learn’t at last ?

  5. Iain Gill
    June 17, 2022


    You remember you made an intervention with the whips about the proposed permanent 60 limit on parts of the M1 due to “air quality”?

    You maybe interested to know the variable speed limit section, about 8 miles north of Sheffield, is set to 60 and the text on the signs says “reduced limit due to air quality”.

    Seems the anti car nutters in the public sector are determined to reduce the flow of traffic on our key routes.


    1. Mark
      June 17, 2022

      Indeed they are. I see the National Audit Office getting in on the act complaining that we won’t be able to achieve the absurdly low targets that have been set. Before the goal posts get moved again, I note that the number of days when pollution levels are moderate or higher per year has fallen to very low levels in most areas. They are mostly driven by ozone formation in warm weather, which has increased because we have suppressed NO2 so much that it no longer acts as an effective scavenger for ozone. There is no scientific evidence that at the low levels that prevail almost everywhere that any significant harm is done to health for any but the most sensitive. Extrapolations of data on harms from places that have genuine problems (e.g. Kathmandu) are no longer valid at the low levels we are now seeing. It’s an area where we need some batter, more intelligent science. I lament the passing of Prof Frew who was a medical man with a good understanding and lots of practical experience.

    2. MFD
      June 18, 2022

      The crazy thing Iain is that sixty is below the the cruising speed of most modern cars. Resulting in more pollution NOT a reduction. I noticed that also on the M4 in Wales. Its strange that the uneducated politicians cannot understand the sciences. I think it shows anybody can earn a degree if they choose to!

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        June 18, 2022

        MFD – it isn’t about air pollution. It’s about making car journeys so awful we won’t do them.

        We should start by objecting to the word ‘motorist’ – it conjures up the image of Toad of Toad Hall whizzing around in a sports car with goggles on. ‘Motorist’ means hobbyist.

        We are not ‘motorists’

        We are people doing exactly what the Tories told us to do and got jobs even if that meant having to buy a car to do them. Out of town shopping was practically forced upon us.

        Tories all over.

        Heat your house with systems that don’t really exist.

        Get around on public transport that doesn’t really exist.

        1. KB
          June 18, 2022

          Good point about “motorists” !
          You are also completely correct that none of the anti-car measures that we see are actually connected to air quality or to safety.
          The true reason is to make car transport just as inconvenient and expensive as public transport.
          Although what they think will then happen to all the retail parks and business parks (you know, the places where people with actual productive jobs work) when cars become impossible to run I don’t know.

  6. Ed M
    June 17, 2022

    I don’t really care about Channel 4.
    For me, the big thing is the BBC.
    How do we get it to create more original and unique programmes (that also promote our country abroad). This is something that is beyond commerce as business people just want to make money and so willing to make and broadcast anything to do that.
    I think we need a broadcaster that upholds ethical standards and good behaviour and that creates truly original and unique TV – that commercial broadcasters simply cannot do.
    However, at same time, the BBC seems full of careerists who don’t care about the things I care about and are also left-leaning and WOKE.
    So we need to protect the BBC from both left-leaning, WOKE careerists, on the one hand, and money men on the other who only want to make money at any cost (I 100% believe in and support the PRIVATE sector – but NOT the private sector owning the BBC). No way Jose. Feel really strongly about that. And I believe loads of other Tories do too. I’d probably abstain from voting Conservative for an election if they ever did that (I wouldn’t vote for anyone else either but Tories would lose my vote for that election that’s how important a strong, creative, independent BBC is to me – and to loads more Tories).

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      June 18, 2022


      The BBC controls the zeitgeist.

      1. Ed M
        June 19, 2022

        A lot of Tories don’t get ‘zeitgeist’ (i.e. the ones who come from a finance background – which is fine as long as they stick to what they know and don’t try to over-reach into things they don’t understand).

        I worked in Advertising as an Account Planner, the guys behind the creative thinking of ad campaigns and how to connect with the audience, as well as in TV and Publishing so I do have an idea of zeitgeist.

        And that means that millions of Conservative voters (and non-Conservative ones) have an emotional attachment to the BBC that goes back to their childhood. They associate it with with things like magical summer holidays on the beach in Cornwall, Fish and Chips, Dad’s army, cricket, strawberries and cream, Wimbledon, Jane Austen, Church bells and what have you!

        Mess around with the BBC, by turning it commercial, and the Tories will pay big for that. Not only does commercial TV drop standards, including in originality / creativity, but also because it will usher in even more American culture into this country. People are sick of American culture taking over our British culture in so many subtle and non-subtle ways.

        So Tories need to learn how to live with the BBC as it is currently financed but figure out how to get more Conservatives into the Arts & Media so the BBC is better represented by Conservatism as well as ways to challenge any political bias in news coverage etc

        1. Ed M
          June 19, 2022

          ‘They associate it with with things like magical summer holidays on the beach in Cornwall, Fish and Chips, Dad’s army, cricket, strawberries and cream, Wimbledon, Jane Austen, Church bells and what have you!’

          – In other words SOUL!

          Lastly, most people want a strong economy and comfortable life. But at same time, and just as importantly, people want SOUL in their life as well. They want something that transports them out of our modern world that has been over-Americanised. They want something that transports them out of the predictable and humdrum. And they partly turn to the BBC for that (yes, and the BBC is flawed too – I am no fool – but at same time, you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater). I say this as I know there are some Tories with their eyes on the BBC. But they need to back off. If they mess around with the BBC they they would face consequences far worse than what happened with the Poll Tax.

    2. MFD
      June 18, 2022

      Simple Ed! Remove its so-called licence fee.
      It would then need to be productive with programs people will pay to watch OR go down hill with its usual lies and flop!
      I hope its the latter as they do not deserve to survive.

      1. Ed M
        June 18, 2022


        ‘It would then need to be productive with programs people will pay to watch’ – but lots of people are already watching the BBC.

        The problem with the BBC is that it is being run by left-wingers in a commercially-minded environment.

        When it should be run by Conservatives (!) in a non-commercial-minded environment!


        As a Conservative I love privatisation but not for the BBC. We need a strong, independent BBC, free of commercial pressures, in order to create great programmes the commercial sector can’t create (because the commercial sector is focused on money – where as the BBC shouldn’t be about money but about ART / CULTURE / BEING ORIGINAL / INNOVATIVE etc .. The commercial sector has its wings clipped to explore creating artistic programmes. Instead, it must focus on bringing in the money (and will do anything to do so, including dropping standards).

        It’s a no brainer. The problem is there aren’t enough Conservatives in the Arts / Media world. So many in the Arts / Media world are left-wing. But the Arts / Media world is something I know a lot about. I don’t pretend to be an economist. So I shut up about that and let others talk about that. But I know a lot about the Arts / Media world so would ask people to people listen to Tories like me.

  7. agricola
    June 17, 2022

    Looks like ND does not believe in the John Lewis model so it wilk probably end up in the hands of some fast bjck outfit.

    1. James Freeman
      June 18, 2022

      She is wrong dismissing this out of hand. The John Lewis model would be ideal for a Public Service Broadcaster. She is being disingenuous saying she is looking at all options, when she is not by dismissing this business model!

      I know they want more investment in Channel 4. But once sold to a private buyer, the government will have no control on the level of investment anyway.

    2. a-tracy
      June 18, 2022

      Agricola, a problem is with big sales such as football clubs like Man United, where the buyers just leverage and bleed the club dry, and large shopping centres like the ones councils sold off in Grimsby and other working class towns is the often Irish buyers don’t invest, upkeep, renew or refresh they just bleed them dry and leave them to die, when the government or council sell things they don’t protect the long term interests of both the tenants and the users, then they end up having to buy back these shopping centres paying over the odds for ruins. We have lost a half of our town, they’ve no money to rebuild it. They should let private developers build from scratch with flats above them and sell the shops individually rather than rent them (with strict signage and upkeep maintenance agreements) or allow private landlords with skin in the local area, the old rents for wrecks of shops and a mess of a shopping centre were higher than those in exclusive high margin, high footfall more affluent shopping areas nearby.

      Buchanan Galleries area of Glasgow has an example of shops on the ground, exclusive flats above, these developments killed off the western end of Sauchiehall St. though.

  8. Bloke
    June 17, 2022

    Too many TV channels broadcast junk. One that has the quality to attract viewers and pay its own way would add value and raise standards. The present jungle of rubbish is dense. Viewing the electric meter moving is more exciting.

    When flipping channels, one can distinguish almost instantly between an ‘actor’ and someone in real life in action. Almost every actor fails that authenticity test within a couple of seconds. However, viewers who recognise their faces seem to regard them as among the finest in the world.

    1. forthurst
      June 17, 2022

      I recommend the willing suspension of disbelief for watching drama on TV, and in the case of C4, a precautionary brown paper bag. However, I assume your claim relates to the actors fronting up globalist policies such the Global Warming Hoax and Word War III; are these actors sincere in their pronouncements or are they simply following a script for which they are rewarded handsomely?

      1. Bloke
        June 18, 2022

        Your recommendation is well-based, yet requires skill from the viewer to disregard actors’ inadequacies.

        The authenticity gap I described applied to virtually all actors attempting belief at nearly every moment. There are many examples. Typically, actors cannot avoid unintentionally signalling being stopped leaving a room, because rehearsing the script overrides their control. Normal life motion is raw and real.

        I gave no thought to actors pushing policy. Having a script helps avoid error. A professional specialist announcer might suit if they presented facts & evidence impartially. Speech of truth is beyond what can be faked. Choosing someone who has only fame reeks of their worthlessness and disbelief.

    2. Ed M
      June 18, 2022

      ‘Too many TV channels broadcast junk.’

      – Psychologists are well aware of the detrimental effect of junk TV on the minds of both children and adults.

      But anyway not so much we can do to influence junk TV in the private sector.

      But what we do have a say in is the BBC. Which needs preserving from:

      1) Left-wing, WOKE careerists
      2) Hardcore capitalists, addicted to money like a junkie to coke, and want to sell off the BBC

      Preserving from so that we can create original, innovative and interesting TV for the future (and export abroad as well as challenge those in the private sector to keep the bar high in terms of quality TV).

  9. rose
    June 17, 2022

    “The EU has problems with democracy. EU leaders talk to Putin about possible sacrifice of Ukraine territory whilst delaying Ukraine’s application to join. The U.K. leaves the EU by popular vote yet the EU tries to boss us about as if we were still a member.”

    It didn’t look good, did it, when the three of them went to visit Ukraine together, as if they were stipulating capitulation so they could get back to arms sales and oil and gas buying as usual. It looked like the kiss of Judas to me. No wonder the PM has suddenly gone there today.

    1. Hat man
      June 18, 2022

      If we stopped prolonging the useless slaughter that would at least be something. Kiev has to be told that the plan hasn’t worked, sanctions have failed, Putin is going strong, Ukrainians are dying for nothing, so the operation must now be called off until a better strategy for undermining Russia can be found.

  10. agricola
    June 17, 2022

    Will…buck. need sharper fingers.

  11. Sea_Warrior
    June 17, 2022

    Who provided the start-up capital for the Channel 4 Filth? If it was the tax-payer then I would not support the idea of the channel’s employees being gifted shares. I don’t have a problem with them buying shares at fair value.

  12. miami.mode
    June 17, 2022

    You have to admit they have a sense of humour when commenting on Boris dodging his MPs in Doncaster in favour of Kyiv, their news said that he would face a less hostile atmosphere.

  13. mancunius
    June 17, 2022

    “keep it able to make those distinctive programmes” lol.

  14. Nigl
    June 18, 2022

    And in other news, we see Boris running away again, this time from the Red Wall conference. Obviously it was the only day he could go to Kyiv and he thinks Ukraine more important than northern voters.

    And kind of related, an excellent article in the DT by David Davis accusing Ministers of too easily accepting left wing tax and spend policies. Indeed a Labour government isn’t needed, Boris is doing it for them.

    We also read an allegation that he wanted to appoint his then girl friend Carrie as Chief of Staff.

    1. a-tracy
      June 18, 2022

      Nig1, perhaps he’s already handed over to Tugenhat and we just haven’t been told yet. Tugenhat the future EU preference like Macron will be gradually given more airtime over the next year so that Boris can exit into a lucrative career but he should look at the disdain we all hold Cameron in and Blair for that matter (didn’t stop Blair getting his millions for himself, his children, his pat on the back from the Queen that his republican wife wants abolishing the hypocrisy is stunning but they are so hard faced they don’t care). All Boris seems interested in is himself, big mistake turning his back on Northerners. John your Brexit is going to get overturned the writing is on the wall for a sell out.

  15. Nigl
    June 18, 2022

    Every minute of Boris’ PM ship he has been under investigation by the standards commissioner, the police or his ethics adviser.

    As they say, one rule for one, no rules for the other.

  16. alastair harris
    June 18, 2022

    It is interesting that government has views on what a privatised Channel 4 should look like. Mostly because it reveals a government that likes to tinker in private affairs. The value of Channel 4 is surely in the eye of the purchaser, who should be free to run it as a private business – which is the whole point of getting out of public ownership.
    Over time we have seeen the scope and reach of government extend. The incremental change is small, but cumulatively it is frightening. Surely it is time for a thorough clear out. With a simple test for each activity that the government undertakes. “If the government stops doing this, will the country be worse off?”.

  17. glen cullen
    June 18, 2022

    Sell the BBC & CH4 double quick….get the money and run
    Governments need to get out of the mass proaganda media show

  18. glen cullen
    June 18, 2022

    Sell the BBC & CH4 double quick….get the money and run

Comments are closed.