Leave the BBC to the left

Tom Waters over at Conservative Home has an interesting peice on the BBC, plugging the Freedom Association event tomorrow. It is nowhere near being properly abolitionist but is worth a quick read. This comment, from “Y Rhyfelwr Dewr”, is of greater interest strategically:

Personally, I’d say cut down the BBC hugely — probably down to Radio 3 and 4, and probably BBC 4. Stuff which is culturally and educationally desirable, but fundamentally non-commercial.

There is absolutely no need for BBC to be competing with commercial broadcasters that cannot hope to out-bid it. There is certainly no justification for tax money to pay for shows like “Heros” which ITV would have bent over backwards to broadcast.

The BBC would then be funded from the arts budget (which would be increased, but not by nearly the value of the licence fee). Every year, the BBC would need to justify the quality of its output, competing with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Welsh National Opera, the National Theatre, and a myriad of others demanding a share of the pot.

Then, remove all regulations governing bias. BBC  can be as biased as it likes, knowing that, if it is too relentlessly left-wing, inevitably, ITN or Sky News will deliberately adopt a strongly right-wing approach. Competition is wonderful!

I found this to be a useful reminder that competition works at every angle. A public sector adversary, competing with the BBC  for the same funding provides a new pressure on the BBC. Altrusitic sacrifice would compete with altrusitic sacrifice for the same limited pool of taxpayers blood.

Altruism’s passkey to wealth is need, and it’s obvious that every other artform would come along with it’s own pathetic list of artistic and therefore fiducary needs. As it dangles ovre the precipice of it’s own intellectual foundation, the feet of the BBC would snapped at from below by obscure dramatists from Aberdeen to Plymouth.

A remote and elitist quango would then proceed to decide what the BBC must do to justify it’s nightly feeding. The chances of this being anything like what the viewer wants are remote, and so it is a very good idea to get this remote elite involved, as soon as possible.

Bias then is likely to multiply massively, springing the second trap – pressure from ideologically sensible competitors. Finally TV would start to become balanced, the ravished carcass of the BBC would be flung into the pit of it’s ideological associates and the vibrant life-enhancing ideas of the  libertarian right can race Tories to the BBC’s former vantage point.


  1. I don’t have a TV licence, and I don’t need one. Provided you don’t watch or personally record TV as it’s broadcast, you have to have one. All the major channels have online catch-up services, and I connect my computer to my TV to watch these instead. If it’s live sport, I go down the pub. Here is an extract from the licencing authority’s latest threatening letter to me:

    “When visiting your home, our Enforcement Officers will be polite and courteous at all times. They will show you proof of identify before investigating your property. If they find you are watching or recording TV illegally, you may be cautioned and your statemet taken in accordance with the relevent criminal law…”

    I doubt they will come round despite the fact that “a visit to your address is now being authorised”. But I really hope they do. There is little in life more enjoyable than frustrating the goals of a state jobsworth. Perhaps I should get out more!



  2. I do like the idea of trimming the BBC back to its roots THEN make the license fee voluntary so it might expand more as that voluntary fee permits. Unless you cut it back harshly, like any rose-lover knows, any growth will be weak. Cut incomes and R3, R4 and BBC4 will be cut as the cruel gesture politics the Fabians know best.

    James: “Perhaps I should get out more” – or, rather, stay in and wait for them…



    1. I say make it voluntary, and then let the BBC decide what it wants to cut, because the only reason it will need to cut is if not enough people pay the voluntary fee. In which case, who will they be able to blame?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s