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Comments

ToMTom

Somewhat half-baked and modelled exactly on the Yeltsin privatisations that made certain oligarchs like Berezovsky so incredibly rich.

The public OWNS the BBC at present under Royal Charter. The BBC was a private company in the beginning until the Govt took it under public corpration control in 1926.

Now 80 years later when have someone proposing to do it all over again !

History is a wonderful education for budding politicos - they really should learn some.

The BBC should be stripped of its Archives (to go to the British Museum) and then regionalised as with ARD/ZDF in Germany. BBC-North should be a separate entity and the London Empire reduced to a small holding company.

Noone needs to have the BBC reporting on IAS and meeting Sarbanes-Oxley or paying Corporation Tax or spending millions on servicing small shareholders with Annual Reports and the whole Plc reporting crap.

It is a TV station - it is out of control. It needs to be regionally accountable so regional economies are represented not just London ad nauseam

ToMTom

(to go to the British Museum)

British Library now it's separate

TaxCutter

WTF? Privatise it by the front door and abolish the compulsory licence fee.

Matthew Sinclair

I'm a little confused about some aspects of this plan.

"Either way, only members of the electorate would be initially eligible to own shares – no companies or organisations or the Government would be able to own or buy shares in the BBC."

For how long? Does this mean that only other, acquisitive, members of the public can buy the shares for a certain number of years, or forever?

If that is the case then they can hardly be sold on the open market, can they? The BBCs value would be massively depressed and management entrenched by making a takeover impossible.

Why are you tax exempting an initial sale of the shares?

This certainly isn't nationalisation; it's a privatisation.

TomTom, I don't think there is actually much similarity between this and the Yeltsin privatisations. Yeltsin never gave shares to individual people; the transaction costs would have been too high. Besides, Yeltsin's privatisations get more flak than they deserve.

Adam

double-plus-ungood

Chris Palmer

"For how long? Does this mean that only other, acquisitive, members of the public can buy the shares for a certain number of years, or forever?" - Matthew Sinclair

I was guessing that individual voters would be given say one share each, and then after that they could sell that share to whomever they wanted, be it another company or individual. It was just that when the shares were originally given out, it was to only voters.

"Why are you tax exempting an initial sale of the shares?" - Matthew Sinclair

I did say this would be negotiable nearer the time. However, I was thinking that it would be unfair to tax people immediately for something you have just given them. It is like saying, here's £10 but once I have given you that £10 I want £4 back.

Phil Taylor

Sorry Chris but this is really silly. What you propose would be a very expensive overhead and would simply fill the world up with paperwork without achieving anything sensible.

The BBC is too big. It has undue influence. There is probably a justified public service role in three areas:

  • public service TV that does things that no commercial bradcaster does
  • public service national radio that does things that no commercial radio station does
  • public service local radio.

Everything else should be sold off.

Chris Palmer

I was trying to go for something different Phil, but your points are taken.

John Coles

Pathetic twaddle. The BBC has no place in today's marketplace. Stop the Licence Fee and let all the luvvies fend for themselves.

Nice sunglasses.

sjm

Can't really see the point of the BBC at all nowadays, get my TV fine arts and history programmes from C5, BBC1 makes ITV look hi-falutin, and I spend most of such little time listening to R4 as I can swallow by shouting at it.

Abolish the BBC.

Les

Another of these complex 'political' solutions to a simple problem--selling shares to those who actually want them seems far more sensible than setting-up complicated systems of allocation to those who don't care one way or the other.

It seems to me that the perception of being 'fair' often gets in the way of practical reality.

Personally, I don't really care who runs the BBC but I resent being forced to pay for it with no choice in the matter.

That issue could be resolved directly by scrapping the licence fee and adopting alternative methods of funding.

As to ownership, I would add the BBC to a long list of Governnment responsibilities which should be relinquished.

Thomas Wales

Surely the action that would benefit the British population as a whole would not be 'nationalising' the BBC but removing copyrights on all programs produced by the national broadcaster?

If we had free access to all of the output the beeb has ever produced the license fee would actually be worth the cost.

aristeides

This is quite a bureaucratic and needlessly expensive way of not solving a variety of problems.

As far as broadcasting goes, why not privatise Channel 4 first? See how that goes, and then move onto the BBC.

Mark Wadsworth

NOPE, TaxCutter's policy is infinitely preferable. In my world, simple is good. Can we have that as tomorrow's 100 Policy perhaps?

No doubt the BBC can run parallel advertising-free channels on Sky or something for people who feel themselves above that sort of thing. It will be interesting to see what £/s/d premium the BBC get for the advert-free channels compared to the free ones over your aerial.

Angelo Basu

Isn't the BBC already nationalised? Perhaps there is an argument for privatisation, and if so, lets do it properly. The BBC is a very valuable company with a very strong brand (I'm fairly sure that the BBC website is the most used web portal in the UK). There may be merit in the government retaining a golden share or putting some ownership restrictions on the company so as to prevent it being acquired by Al Jazeera.

On privatisation there would be some merit in giving a discount to those who have TV licences.

How about a flotation of the NHS while we're at it?

Chris Palmer

It would seem that the majority agree the BBC license fee needs to be scrapped - but not many can seemingly agree on what is to be done with the corporation.

Denis Cooper

There are problems with the BBC, notably its failure to adhere to the terms of its Charter regarding balance and impartiality, but allowing some media mogul to add it to his empire is not the solution. That would of course be the eventual outcome of setting up an open market in its shares, even though there'd have to be special arrangements for people to sell on their free shares cheaply in the first place.

Denis Cooper

I wouldn't mind paying the licence fee, if the BBC kept its side of the deal.

Yet Another Anon

Why not simply merge BBC and Channel 4, sell off some bits such as Radio 1 and Radio 6, Local Radio and maybe scale back the number of TV stations, phase out the licence fee and allow more commercial means for it to raise money and transfer the assets to a private charity limited by guarantee - as such no one would own it, the structure could reflect the General Public and it would then be owned effectively by the Public.

Ken Adams

If the Conservatives ever again win the keys to number ten it will be in the face of all the best efforts of the BBC. The liberal left wing organisation is filled with those who have a proven track record of opposing and ridiculing conservative views.

I really could not care less what happens to it as it does not speak for me or any other conservative, but promotes soft liberal left wing partisan attitudes as the only possibly approach. I do not see why as it does not speak for us we should be forced to pay for it.

If the BBC wishes to retain its present stance it should be deprived of its position as the national broadcaster. The question that needs to be addressed by conservatives is why they would wish to retain such a strongly partisan media organisation which is continually working against them and setting the adgenda for other media organisations follow.

Edward Heckels

Rather than a privatisation structure I would suggest a trade sale. A comprehensive valuation of the BBC’s operations and programme library would be a straightforward exercise for an experienced financial analyst. A back of the envelope valuation can be derived by comparison with ITV. In 2005, ITV’s revenue was £2.2 billion. The BBC’s revenue was £3.8 billion. The BBC has a stronger brand name and market position and a unique international network. The recent takeover activity valued ITV at £5.25 billion, so I should think a conservative valuation for the BBC could be £10 billion.

Justin Hinchcliffe

And Chris Palmer thinks *I'm* left-wing...

Fully privatise the bloody thing!

Chris Palmer

"And Chris Palmer thinks *I'm* left-wing..." - Justin Hinchcliffe

You are!!

Matt Davis

I agree with Edward Heckles on this one. Sorry Chris but whilst the disgraceful bias and behaviour of the BBC must be addressed the way forward is a simple trade sale to move it into the real world with every other broadcaster followed by the immediate abolition of the iniquitous licence fee. We don't need clever new plans to deal with the BBC, just the guts to take on the vocal liberal media minority instead of pandering to their prejudices.

Matt Davis

I agree with Edward Heckles on this one. Sorry Chris but whilst the disgraceful bias and behaviour of the BBC must be addressed the way forward is a simple trade sale to move it into the real world with every other broadcaster followed by the immediate abolition of the iniquitous licence fee. We don't need clever new plans to deal with the BBC, just the guts to take on the vocal liberal media minority instead of pandering to their prejudices.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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