"In the early 1950s the British Broadcasting Corporation was – by a wide margin – the largest and most influential broadcasting organization in the world .
But the world has moved on – and so must our thinking about the structure of broadcasting in our country."
His central argument is:
• License free is obsolete and impractical in modern world of on-the-move electronic communications, and has to be phased-out and/or abolished.
• In a world without the license fee, the BBC should finance itself like the existing ‘global media businesses’ from market sources. Fair competition requires that it be privatized.
• The BBC should therefore be privatized, and planning for that outcome should already be in hand.
That is the strong economic/financial case for privatisation but there are other aspects to the argument. The BBC has a dominant position in political reporting. ITV, C4 and Sky 's political output is a small fraction of the Beeb's. Adding up Andrew Neil's programmes alone comes to 7 hours a week.This output is largely well researched and balanced. Question Time the most widey watched 'political' show is not. Worse it has a live audience which in high profile shows has been very unbalanced and biased as has been the chairmanship of Dimbelbey.
Dimblebee's elitist patronising attitude is mirrored by his bosses, Patten and Hall has rightly annoyed
the Commons Culture and Media select committee who have described Patten, known as Fat Pang in Hong Kong, decsribed by one MP as 'contemptuous' and 'lofty'.
This was documented thus in today's Guido Fawkes blog:
Culture, Media & Sport Committee MP: Patten Must Quit
Second Member Slams ‘Contemptuous’ and ‘Lofty’ Lord
After waiting ten months to admit that it would be ‘preferable’ for a different version of the Pollard Review into the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal to have been published, the Chairman of the BBC Trust is now facing calls to resign. Philip Davies, an MP on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has called on Patten to walk:
“The last shred of credibility that Lord Patten had as Chairman of the BBC Trust has now gone and I think he should go.”Another member of the committee, Conor Burns, adds:
“The Pollard report and the appointment of Tony Hall as Director General of the BBC was meant to allow the BBC to draw a line under a discreditable period in the BBC’s recent history. Yet myself and others on the Culture Select committee have repeatedly pressed Lord Patten and Tony Hall on the matter of Helen Boaden’s submissions to Polland and why they were excluded from the report. My questions were treated at best with lofty disdain and at worst as if I were just an irritant. The stone walling has now resulted in a completely avoidable questioning of trust in the BBC Trust and their handling of this matter. It may be excusable if there were not repeated warnings from MPs that the BBC could not move on until all information was fully in the public domain. The Trust and the Director General now have very serious questions to answer – not least why did they not answer questions to a Parliamentary committee when they clearly had the information to do so. It is not my role to call for resignations but it is to demand answers to questions that were posed and contemptuously ignored. I hope the Culture Committee will afford Lord Patten an opportunity to answer them very quickly before this episode yet again engulfs the BBC in yet another avoidable crisis of trust.”The BBC say they are “not getting into numbers” over the amount of media requests that Patten has turned down in the last 24 hours, but it seems he will not be able to run away from scrutiny for long…
UPDATE: Another CMS committee MP, Angie Bray, who was Patten’s PA when he was Tory chairman, calls for him to explain himself to parliament:
“I challenged Chris Patten on this issue at the select committee hearing on 25 April and he was very very adamant then that there was nothing more to be said about it. I felt dissatisfied with the response I got then and it now seems at last that the BBC has woken up to it. It’s time that Chris Patten gave some answers. I think it would be right for Chris Patten to come and answer questions in front of our committee. I was always dissatisfied with the answers I got from Chris Patten back in April. I thought he gave very evasive answers in April. We need to get to the bottom of this and the best way of doing that is for Chris Patten to come and speak to our committee.”
I applaud the MPs. Its high time someone hit the Beeb in their huge salaries.
My wife and I never watch the BBC news. C4 and Sky are vastly better best of all cost nothing!