The latest anti-BBC scheme

The BBC is a vast chartered organisation. It is funded by a licence fee which is in effect a sort of daily poll tax amounting to a few pence. It contains a good many bien-pensant liberals and some obnoxious networkers. Sometimes, it can be very biased.

However, it also provides a high degree of quality entertainment and is a standing rebuke to market-driven corporations. It provides a vast array of free television and radio. That is why, every time the BBC makes a mistake or lifts the curtain on England's particular hypocrisies, criticisms of it are more intense from those with an interest in promoting commercial television.

Channel 4 was established in 1982 with a remit to make innovative and distinctive programmes that appeal to minorities. It sprang forth at a time when there were only three television channels. In recent years, it has become a mixture of bottom-feeding reality television, a vehicle for American television shows, and the provisional wing of the Independent newspaper.

This morning, a scheme has been proposed to cripple the BBC by handing it's profitable BBC Worldwide enterprise--which reduces the licence fee and which promotes British shows and culture abroad, for a profit--to Channel 4. Dire warnings have been given that, otherwise, Channel 4 will go bust.

Let it. Everything has its time. If Channel 4 can't deliver the goods, attract the advertising, or survive without its messy gloop that actively propagates badness in the world, let it go down.

And if it is 'saved', it would be good to see clauses in the transfer agreement that would preclude any minister involved in the deal from taking any consultancy or funds from the new organisation in the future, after the elections.


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