Hmmm lots of things suddenly happening in this country…
This was the first thing to worry me, maybe not what worried me most but here goes:
The Tories idea to “change” the BBC sounds like a scared, populist and plain stupid move to me
I could write long and hard about it; but since I don’t have a lot of time I’ll be short. It’s stupid because it promises to make the BBC somehow accountable to whomever is paying the license fees. That doesn’t sound like an independent institution anymore.
To me this is a scared move; clearly the Tories fell that the Beebs has been too supportive of the “left” or too critical of the Tories. I suggest that if the Tories made more sense, they’d be less criticised. I may also add that there has been extensive coverage by the BBC of both the Iraq inquiry – can’t get more critical of Labour than that – and the internal struggles of Labour and Gordon Brown’s failings.
It is also a populist move; give the people a nice carrot to chase: more power over what they will see on TV! The Tories know they are likely to win the next general election. They therefore know that if they can implement this plan, they can effectively turn the BBC into a right-wing puppet media outlet to spout the currently-popular, i.e, conservative, sentiments. The first move towards a Berlusconi-style media system will be made, where the national media simply publishes what the governemnt wants them to publish.
Meanwhile people seem to forget that following that principle there are numerous commercial channels already present in the UK for everyone to watch – they show what people want. Can’t say that that on the whole has produced much high quality TV, or TV with much critical thinking abilities. Big Brother, anyone?
Finally it’s stupid because it’s so obviously just a short-term-beneficial measure that will jeopardise independent media-making (I think I just invented that word), after which everyone will rue the fact that, because of the terror of the majority not a single even remotely controversial (i.e., interesting) program will be made anymore.
If a major reason behind this plan really is the high salaries paid to certain BBC “stars” then surely a simple salary-cap measure would suffice.
In short, I don’t like this plan at all, in case you hadn’t noticed.