Over at The Conservative Woman, David Keighley sounds a note of caution:
It seems that reform of the BBC is firmly on the new government’s agenda. But to what end? The reality is that every attempt at BBC reform – stretching back to the Thatcher era, as I wrote here before the 2015 general election – has failed, and each new Charter has made the Corporation more arrogant and entrenched.
The BBC is the prototype of far too many 'independent' authorities in the UK, like all those 'Offices of Regulation'. They take from the public purse yet are unaccountable to anyone, their board members drift seamlessly from one to the other.ReplyDelete
Our 'independent' judicial system has also become unaccountable. Government measures, subject to parliamentary scrutiny by elected representatives can be cast aside by 'judicial review', we have a 'supreme court' that can spot crimes without evidence and create law off the cuff.
Reforming the BBC will be just the start.
Yep - and that's why you need to pursue a broad multi- front policy:ReplyDelete
1. Dismantle the licence fee and move to subscription with Government subvention for particular worthy services (e.g. programming for disabled people).
2. Hand over editing of regional news to a consortia of local newspapers in the region (they will receive an income for doing so).
3. Reform recruitment processes.
4. Let subscribers vote on the members of the board, as we do with building societies.
5. Put in place a maximum salary ratio (or ratios) to control the number of people earning over x and y.
6. Make all BBC-controlled contracts open, so we know how much its "stars" earn.
7. Sell off or close down a lot of the BBC e.g. the Asian Network, Radio 6 Music, all local radio stations, BBC Scotland.
8. Close down the current BBC pensions scheme.
9. Put in place an Impartiality Board of non-BBC and non-ex BBC people with integrity to ensure the Charter and Impartiality rules are followed. Should have the power to suspend and dismiss staff, call the DG to submit written evidence.
The aim should be to reduce BBC costs by half and make it trully impartial.