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I fall into the 39 percent . Anything that reduces the BBC's power is welcome, but this policy seems very half-hearted.

Why do we need a public service broadcaster? Is it because alternatives are ridiculously expensive? No. Is it because the BBC programmes are of inifintely higher quality ? No, the vast amount of different channels provide more than enough educational programming and BBC is far from dedicated to intelligent/intellectual/educational programming.

The only real advantanges of the BBC are : A. no adverts, but everyone already puts up with them on other channels anyway and as Sky plus becomes more popular adverts are becoming increasingly irrelevant ( record the show and watch later, fast forwarding through the adverts).
B. The BBC is a recognisable brand name. That point is reasonable, but it does not mean we should attack the BBc this lightly.

Do not scrap the BBC, keep the Brand name. But. Make Tv licenses optional, they are the problem anyway. People who are afraid of losing their wonderful Johnny Ross and their no advert programmes can pay it, but everyone else who is more than content with Sky or Cable or channel 4, ITV and 5 should be free from thus archaic charge.

You may say that the whole idea of optional license seems an oxymoron, but why spend money rebranding when it wouldnt cause any real confusion?

Hopefully this will be the beginning of 'death by a thousand cuts' for the BBC. Why should we be forced to prop up a public service provider that doesn't provide a public service? When I switch on my TV to see the news I want to find objective reporting and not political imput. In the multi-media age the BBC can no longer justify its existence. It is a dinosaur waiting to be put down.

"Is it because the BBC programmes are of inifintely higher quality ?"

Er, yes. The BBC produces the only home grown programming that is able to compete on the world stage with the US. I for one don't want to be left with the dross that makes up ITV's programming.

I don't understand this proposal. We are going to take licence fee (effectively, television tax) money and give it to private sector broadcasters? Why?

I don't understand how these ideas would improve the service the BBC provides, or cut the licence fee cost.

I voted in the 20% for the BBC to retain the licence fee. I would like to see proposals that looked like being useful, but I don't see the point of these, and am therefore not going to back them just because I have various quibbles with the BBC.

Perhaps Channel 4 could be allowed to takeover BBC Radio and BBC Parliament which could be funded by Grant-in-Aid, the Licence Fee could be scrapped, the BBC restructured and what was left of the BBC sold as a commercial operator in tranches of 12.5%.

I agree with most of your good points Matthew Baxter.
The question is why do we need a public service broadcaster in this day and age.
Supposing a major news event takes place,, the non subsidised channels are just as capable of broadcasting it as the BBC,, and even if you have no access to a tv station, you can get any news you want on the internet.
As for using taxpayers money to subsidise the BBC and others, again why,, if I shop in Tescos, my taxes aren,t used to subsidise Asda or Sainsbury.
So this policy is too light for my liking as I would like to see the BBC and Channel 4 privatised,, and no licence fees or subsidies at all,, choose and pay for the programmes you want.
The controversy of the BBC,s rugby weekend prompting thousands of angry letters to the newspapers sums up the pathetic broadcasting situation in this country.
As for the BBC being in horror at the proposals,, well they support our enemies, some of them being active members of the Labour party or our party as R4,s James Naughtie put it.
We will be fighting them as well as the Labour party (as always) anyway no matter what our broadcasting policy is so, when we win the next general election, they should expect retribution.

This a very cautious approach. But, it is understandable that the Conservatives have a cautious sounding policy on this, for the time being, at leeast.
I hope this is signalling a greater shift of pulling money away from the BBC and actually scrapping the telly-tax altogether.
When the NAO does a proper investigation into the BBC's financial practices, it could turn out to be highly damaging for the Corporation's reptutation, to the point where the brand get's destroyed and hence, the organisation. Compulsory funding of broadcasting, is coming to an end in this country, and it is long, long overdue.

The BBC does make some very good programmes, however! they also have some dire problems with impartiality. I know quite a few people who work for the corporation and they all have said the same thing in that the corporation seems to be bastion for left wing anti Semites who love the fact they essentially run the main media outlet in the country. The BBC really does have to reduced in scale and its nature changed, plus encouraging competition by sharing out public money to other broadcasters would level the playing field a bit.

Plenty of great, groundbreaking UK programmes haven't been made by the BBC -- particularly on Four. Queer as Folk, Shameless, Cracker, Jeeves & Wooster, the documentary that queried climate change, etc.

Not to say the BBC doesn't have loads of great stuff to offer too. But it's great PROGRAMMES that deserve support, not a great channel. Is Eastenders intrinsically so much better than Coronation Street that the former can run multiple repeats in a week without any support from advertisers whereas the latter needs to go to Cadbury's or whoever it is these days with its begging bowl?

And how on earth is it helpful to British programming for them to spend millions on channel idents and £40m buying two series of American mega-hit Heroes?

I think the lisence fee has merit as a guaranteur of quality, but surely the idea of one channel or one broadcaster taking the whole pie home with them is utterly outdated in a digital age? I think funds should be available to anyone committed to great programming -- investigative journalism, drama, comedy, documentaries, etc. etc. -- quality UK programming which might not stand alone.

Almost be definition if it upsets the BBC then its a good idea.

The BBC is actively involved in setting the political agenda in this country according to the progressive and unrepresentative bias of its staff.

Two cheers for Jeremy Hunt.

The third cheer is waiting until this excellent draft policy becomes a commitment.

"The BBC is actively involved in setting the political agenda in this country according to the progressive and unrepresentative bias of its staff."

And how will giving tax money in handouts to private companies change leftism at the BBC?

The BBC is more accurately described as having an 'establishment' bias, rather than left or right.

Real left wingers who I have come across tend to view the BBC as biased against them, putting out the standard liberal democratic capitalist line. See, for example, the accusation that the BBC was the most pro-war news channel.

Reform of the licence fee should be done for the right reason; going after the BBC for failing to take the 'correct' political line is rather distasteful. Generally speaking only certain types of government take that attitude to the media.

Further, any reform should not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The BBC produces much of the first class televisual output in the UK. Channel 4 comes next, but way behind, and it should be noted that C4 receives public funding (and produces news and factual programmes that are far more authentically left wing than the BBC).

The danger is that removing completely the licence fee will result in commercial programming the likes of which is seen on ITV. Their news is poor, and well made documentaries are few and far between. It is questionable whether we have the customer base to replicate the HBO model successfully (HBO is considered successful due to the lack of commercial pressures on it; without a viable customer base, a licence fee may be the only way to replicate it), and the current subscription TV platform we have provides little in the way of first class original programming, spending most of its income on sport.

Removing the current originator of much of the world class original British programming in favour of the commercial output of ITV and Sky would, on current reckoning, allow for a withering of British culture as it becomes dependent on the output of the US (much as Sky is now).

This is brilliant.

It is about time the BBC learnt the price of their leftish bias and inpartiality.

They will PAY for all the damage they have tried to do for us over the years.

They have noone to blame but themselves. If they'd been fairer, this wouldn't have happened.


Also, on what Peter Whittle said, from a Radio 4 point of view, I would put it as:

Less James Naughtie, more John Humpfries.

Any reform of the BBC on these lines has to be extremely careful. ITV programming is dreadful, and it's no coincidence that it is really the only British terrestrial network that is not subsidised by some kind of regulatory construction. C4 started off as a quasi-public channel -- essentially, public television with advertising -- and still has a lot of protection that, say, a US network just does not have. And of course the BBC has the license fee.

Reform of the BBC therefore has to be guided by the crucial differences between C4 and ITV. If the license fee disappears altogether and the industry is deregulated, the result will be a lot of ITV and very little else -- and programmes currently produced for C4 and the BBC and then syndicated and/or repeated on cable and satellite will eventually die out, or decline to ITV standard.

Also, a little note on bias. BBC News' problem isn't ideological bias, but rather brown-nosing. Although not as obsequious as American TV, the BBC has a long record of giving kid-glove treatment to the people in power at the time. They routinely (despite Norman Tebbit's moaning) gave Mrs. T a pass while being rude to whatever lefty they could get on air; for the past ten years it has been all about reading off the press releases of NuLabor (while continuing to get lots of digs in at the French for being socialistic and backward and, well, French), and dismissing the Tories as lightweights.

I would be very careful before dismissing the above picture as "leftist." "In need of reform", definitely. But remember, "Death on the Rock" was Thames TV, not the BBC.

This is window dressing, a bit of meat to keep the so-called Right in the party happy. Team Cameron is obsessed with appeasing the BBC. Even the DB has admitted that it is instutionally leftist. The BBC, like the EU and, UN is unreformable.

The licence fee is an out-of-date television tax and should be abolished. Public service broadcasting is just another form of nanny statism - Auntie Beeb, or her successor(s) chosen by Comrade Jeremy Wright, knows what the people the should watch or listen to.

It is time abolish the BBC and let the people decide with their own money what they want to watch.

If we lose the BBC, there will be
i) Adverts
ii) Even celebrity/gossip junk - which will do more to undermine Conservative values than a few left wing BBC commentators.
The BBC is a respected organisation abroad, and we should deal with bias, not lose the whole thing.

As for the absurd post below, I suspect you are a troll trying to do us damage, but if not, use your IQ .

" This is brilliant.

It is about time the BBC learnt the price of their leftish bias and inpartiality.

They will PAY for all the damage they have tried to do for us over the years.

They have noone to blame but themselves. If they'd been fairer, this wouldn't have happened.


Posted by: Graham Checker | March 30, 2008 at 18:48 "


Its simply not true that the quality programmes are made by the BBC. What little TV I watch is rarely on BBC. Brideshead Sharpe Hornblower Morse Foyles War Lewis Midsommer Murders Poirot Miss Marple are all ITV and show who is producing drama over the last 30 yrs. Strictly Come Dancing makes me want to vomit.

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