UnNews:Tories propose BBC reforms
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Tories propose BBC reforms
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Monday, August 21, 2017, 08:40:UTC)(
17 July 2015
PARLIAMENT, UK -- Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has unveiled the Conservative Party's white paper on the BBC, asserting that the corporation should not continue to be "all things to all people," especially now that there is a white paper that is.
He said there is "no easy solution" to funding the BBC, just before presenting several. Warning that decriminalising the licence fee would be "inappropriate," he suggested that instead of criminalising the ownership of televisions, the UK could criminalise the ownership of a household — or of a bathtub, which would reduce the incidence of television-viewing in the bathtub, which can have disastrous consequences — or institute a subscription fee, where Britons would be free to keep and bear televisions but they would simply not receive any programmes.
Whittingdale cautioned on the need to avoid "regressive" payment schemes, but seemed stymied by the fact that citizens on the suck in Council housing famously watch the most television of all, turning off the telly only to go out for more crisps, and any move toward pay-per-view would be even more regressive.
For his part, BBC director Tony Hall promised counterproposals in September, after a fitful, unbiased study funded by the nation's television owners and following a listening campaign conducted by the nation's news presenters. The BBC statement said that, "if you want to reform the licence fee, here then, let's index it to inflation." The statement cited numerous precedents where the Tories promised to eliminate a tax only to see it double instead.
The BBC have recently waived the licence for over-75s; also for the blind, a segment for which viewership has sharply declined in recent years. Mr Cameron has stated that also waiving the licence for Muslims might be one way to coax them to assimilate. Rona Fairhead, chair of the BBC Trust, said "There are big questions about our future, and we will conduct them, do our own research and consultation, and ensure that Government follow our findings."
Shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant claimed to be mystified by Government's proposal. Having a licence fee, he said, makes the BBC fully accountable to the public, not its own management, or least of all politicians like Mr Bryant. He said Mr Cameron should not be proposing which programmes people do and don't watch. Worst of all, as the BBC and its funding model have survived for 90 years, any reform would be unfamiliar.
Mr Bryant said the nation should be free to continue watching Strictly Come Dancing, Top Gear, and The Great British Bake Off, at the expense of no one in particular, and continue to enjoy great presenters such as Jimmy Savile.
- John Plunkett "Biggest BBC shakeup in a decade as Tories put corporation under review". The Guardian, July 17, 2015