Conservative Government on Mission to destroy the BBC

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Bungle73

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First they throw them under the bus by scrapping the free licences, and letting the BBC take the blame, and now I've been hearing on the news that they're going to scrap the licence fee totally and replace it with some unspecified alternative form of funding. We all know what means, don't we, Ads or a subscription, so you can kiss goodbye to any content that doesn't bring in tons of money.


Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has said the next announcement about the BBC licence fee will be the last - and it was time to discuss new ways to fund and sell "great British content".
She said "the days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors" were over.
Her comments come as unconfirmed reports say the government is expected to freeze the £159 fee for two years.
A BBC source said there had been similar speculation before.
The licence fee's existence is guaranteed until at least 31 December 2027 by the BBC's royal charter, which sets out the broadcaster's funding and purpose.
The annual fee is then set by the government, which announced in 2016 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017.
Money raised from the licence fee pays for BBC shows and services - including TV, radio, the BBC website, podcasts, iPlayer and apps.
Lengthy negotiations have already taken place between BBC bosses and the government over a future funding settlement, with the idea of freezing the licence fee discussed back in October.
 
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brad465

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They were probably always going to do this, but no second guesses are needed regarding why they've announced this now.
 

dosxuk

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They were probably always going to do this, but no second guesses are needed regarding why they've announced this now.
Looks like it's a response to the Mail posting that the licence fee will continue, but frozen for the next two years.

Despite the government only recently concluding that the licence fee was the best of a bunch of bad options for funding the BBC, there's still big parts of the conservative party that wants to see it neutered and it's funding changed to a popularism based method, Dorries outburst about it being the last settlement is just a symptom of a party that struggles with the link between idealism and reality.
 

TheBigD

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The TV license tax should have been abolished years ago. If the BBC is as good and popular as many on here say it will have no problem in surviving and thriving in the commercial world.

Whilst/if there is a need for public service broadcasting, it shouldn't solely be the BBC that provides it. All broadcasters, not confined to the legacy media, should be able to access the funding and produce said output.
 

Ediswan

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GusB

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This nothing more than an attempt to distract the public from the current shenanigans; instead of everyone frothing at the mouth over the dishonesty of the PM, what better thing to do than whip up a frenzy about pensioners being threatened with court action? :rolleyes:

Dorries said: “This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over. Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.”
 

GB

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First they throw them under the bus by scrapping the free licences, and letting the BBC take the blame, and now I've been hearing on the news that they're going to scrap the licence fee totally and replace it with some unspecified alternative form of funding. We all know what means, don't we, Ads or a subscription, so you can kiss goodbye to any content that doesn't bring in tons of money.

Good, as far as I’m concerned.
 

TwoYellas

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If the BBC get rid of Nicholas Witchell, then I'd be happy to pay the license fee.

They wheel out this dinosaur everytime there's any news on the Royals. In fact, just seen him on a story about the Sussexes security. I'm sure he's an android or something - he seems to have been around for about 175 years and still looks and sounds the same. Even Charles can't stand him.

Get rid of his pompous, monthly 2 minute reports! ;)
 

GusB

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If the BBC get rid of Nicholas Witchell, then I'd be happy to pay the license fee.

They wheel out this dinosaur everytime there's any news on the Royals. In fact, just seen him on a story about the Sussexes security. I'm sure he's an android or something - he seems to have been around for about 175 years and still looks and sounds the same. Even Charles can't stand him.

Get rid of his pompous, monthly 2 minute reports! ;)
Funnily enough, when I saw him on the news earlier those were my thoughts too; he looks quite ill.
 

Trackman

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If the BBC get rid of Nicholas Witchell, then I'd be happy to pay the license fee.

They wheel out this dinosaur everytime there's any news on the Royals. In fact, just seen him on a story about the Sussexes security. I'm sure he's an android or something - he seems to have been around for about 175 years and still looks and sounds the same. Even Charles can't stand him.

Get rid of his pompous, monthly 2 minute reports! ;)
I have a long list of people that should be axed and can rant in the pub for a good half an hour about it.
The TV license tax should have been abolished years ago. If the BBC is as good and popular as many on here say it will have no problem in surviving and thriving in the commercial world.
I've bolded and highlighted the appropriate and correct word .. thank you.
 

TwoYellas

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I have a long list of people that should be axed and can rant in the pub for a good half an hour about it.
Who needs the pub when you have railforums? You can BYOB (any resemblance to other parties is coincidental - and does not condone illegal behavior) ;)
 

SteveM70

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If the BBC get rid of Nicholas Witchell, then I'd be happy to pay the license fee.

They wheel out this dinosaur everytime there's any news on the Royals. In fact, just seen him on a story about the Sussexes security. I'm sure he's an android or something - he seems to have been around for about 175 years and still looks and sounds the same. Even Charles can't stand him.

Get rid of his pompous, monthly 2 minute reports! ;)

Is he the one Charles was heard referring to as "that ghastly man" many years ago?
 

brad465

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The late Sean Lock once joked many years ago that the BBC could fund itself by scrapping the licence fee and make the complaints' line a premium rate number.
 

jfollows

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It's not unexpected, but it's sad.

Growing up, the BBC was revelatory to me. Listening to live concerts from London well before I could go in person, I remember sitting in the dark and listening to Gennady Rozhdestvensky conduct Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony, and learning about how it almost got its composer killed by Stalin, and how the fifth symphony was “a Soviet artist’s reply to just criticism” when it was nothing of the sort.

I went on to appreciate Stravinsky and Wagner, to name but two, thanks to the BBC.

Or listening to Zaphod Beeblebrox on my bedside radio late at night.

The BBC catered well for my "minority" interests, and I think it still does for vast numbers of people. And what's wrong with that?

Replace my interests with completely different ones for completely different people.

The Conservative view seems to be that if you want culture, you need to pay for it. I don't agree with that. I think the cultural welfare of the country will suffer as a result of this.

And, yes, we all pay a lot for our TV licenses and I hardly ever watch the BBC. Personally I'd pay it for Radios 3 & 4 alone. And the World Service - which used to be funded by the Foreign Office and not the license fee.

I think it's all bad news. But I'm not surprised.
 

Spamcan81

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The TV license tax should have been abolished years ago. If the BBC is as good and popular as many on here say it will have no problem in surviving and thriving in the commercial world.

Whilst/if there is a need for public service broadcasting, it shouldn't solely be the BBC that provides it. All broadcasters, not confined to the legacy media, should be able to access the funding and produce said output.

Heaven forfend we have yet another commercial broadcaster with all the attendant adverts. Having an advert free, publicly funded broadcaster is very important IMO.

Dorries as Culture Secretary is a laugh. Pond life is more cultured.
 

GB

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Heaven forfend we have yet another commercial broadcaster with all the attendant adverts. Having an advert free, publicly funded broadcaster is very important IMO.

...and I'll have to ask what is so important about it?
 

43096

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Heaven forfend we have yet another commercial broadcaster with all the attendant adverts. Having an advert free, publicly funded broadcaster is very important IMO.
It's actually not that big a step to move from the licence fee/tax system to a subscription service - i.e. you buy if you want it. That would work for TV and website services. The sticking point would be how you deal with radio.

The timing is interesting: it seems the sycophantic reporting of whatever the Government wants us do through the pandemic hasn't helped the BBC. Independent, not: they've been in full on state-controlled "Pravda" mode throughout.
 

DerekC

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...and I'll have to ask what is so important about it?
Because this is the thin end of another Johnsonist wedge, Commercialise the BBC, then remove the broadcasters' obligation to deliver balanced news. Most broadcasters will be owned by the Tory right. Tick in box, job done.
 

GB

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Define "balanced news". Is there such a fuss with the news on ITV, C4 or C5? Why does making the channel subscription based automatically assume a change in obligations? I get most people don't like adverts (I certainly don't) *but I also resent paying £160 per year for the privilege of not watching BBC content....or a very very miniscule amount.

*Well I gave up the licence 3 years ago so no longer pay now anyway.
 

158756

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It's actually not that big a step to move from the licence fee/tax system to a subscription service - i.e. you buy if you want it. That would work for TV and website services. The sticking point would be how you deal with radio.

It is a big step in the sense that it'd mean a massive reduction in funding. The BBC is not set up to compete as a subscription service. A subscription model would bring about a direct comparison with the likes of Netflix, and their pricing structures, for what is not the same product. But whatever the price, many current licence fee payers, even those who mostly watch the BBC, would save money and watch ITV/Channel 4 etc if they are free. The BBC's output is heavily tailored to the UK audience and the format of broadcast television, so opportunities to expand the subscriber base are limited without the billions of venture capital funding the big streaming providers have benefited from.

So much of the organisation just isn't commercial at all. Aside from radio and the World Service, the news and current affairs programming and website, most documentaries without Attenborough, probably a lot of the children's stuff, the Proms and orchestras, all sorts of niche stuff would be on the chopping block. One of the best moves for a commercial BBC would probably be to close Salford and their other sites outside London.
 

75A

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Because this is the thin end of another Johnsonist wedge, Commercialise the BBC, then remove the broadcasters' obligation to deliver balanced news. Most broadcasters will be owned by the Tory right. Tick in box, job done.
Balanced news! the BBC, I don't think so.
 

dosxuk

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Is there such a fuss with the news on ITV, C4 or C5?
Yes - in case you hadn't noticed, a similar mission is ongoing with Channel 4 to push them into the commercial world - even though they received no money from the Government (take note Nadine Dories - they do *not* receive tax payer funding), the Government want them off their books and owned by one of their mates.

Why does making the channel subscription based automatically assume a change in obligations?
Once you are producing programming for subscribers, you will naturally target the sort of programming that will attract the widest subscriber base. Sure, you might do a few extra things (e.g. Sky News makes Sky no money, but it allows them to present that they are a rounder broadcaster), but by no means would you spend more than you absolutely have to on them.

Science and nature programming, UK originated childrens programming, live events and investigative programming are all strands that would likely be cut - not completely, but to a fraction of the current levels - as there is little demand for those sorts of programming and viewers aren't willing to pay for it. Expect more comedy panel shows, cooking competitions, long running soaps and imported US shows in the place of those cancelled.
 

Busaholic

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Nadine Dorries and the government chose this moment because Laura Kuenssberg is about to step down as the BBC's. Chief Political Editor and they wish to influence the choice of her successor. If Chris Mason, the relentlessly ambitious and self-promoting political reporter under her and appalling 'chair' of Any Questions on Radio 4, is appointed in her stead (he is said to be in the frame) they'll have achieved their objective. Expect far less scrutiny or criticism of this government on BBC news and current affairs programmes, whereas the opposition, especially Labour will be demanded to tell him what, exactly, they would be expected to do in the circumstances, implying that the Tories had no choice in anything they chose to do!
 

alex397

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Balanced news! the BBC, I don't think so.
Parts of the left get angry for the BBC being ‘biased’. Parts of the right get angry for the BBC being ‘biased’. To me, that sounds like it’s doing a good job.

When I compare it to ITV News, I don’t see much difference between them, but I don’t really hear the constant complaints about ITV that I hear about BBC. I’ve noticed ITV News has been very strong with what it has said recently, regarding the Downing Street parties. Such as newscaster Tom Bradby saying “ They literally look as if they are laughing at us, you, me all of us” springs to mind. Can you imagine the outrage if the BBC was so forward?

Its almost as if lots of the media (often right-wing biased outlets owned by multi-millionaires with interesting tax arrangements) want the BBC gone - I can’t think why!

It will be a great loss if the BBC is drastically changed, such as the addition of adverts, or the loss of unprofitable channels or programmes. A lot of the stuff I listen to or watch on BBC is probably not commercially viable, and often can’t be found on other channels. I certainly can’t listen to commercial radio as the adverts are deeply irritating.
 
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WelshBluebird

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The TV license tax should have been abolished years ago. If the BBC is as good and popular as many on here say it will have no problem in surviving and thriving in the commercial world.

Whilst/if there is a need for public service broadcasting, it shouldn't solely be the BBC that provides it. All broadcasters, not confined to the legacy media, should be able to access the funding and produce said output.

...and I'll have to ask what is so important about it?

One part of the conversation that often gets missed, and it's clear you both haven't thought of it, is there are some parts of the BBCs current output that are culturally important but commercially not viable. Things like Welsh and Gaelic language programming as a quick example. If the BBC becomes a commercial operation, those things will be quickly cut, to the loss of the country.
 

TheBigD

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One part of the conversation that often gets missed, and it's clear you both haven't thought of it, is there are some parts of the BBCs current output that are culturally important but commercially not viable. Things like Welsh and Gaelic language programming as a quick example. If the BBC becomes a commercial operation, those things will be quickly cut, to the loss of the country.

If welsh and gaelic are culturally important then the welsh assembly and the scottish parliament can fund it.
And why does it have to be the BBC that provides it? Other broadcasters should be a be able to access the funding and produce said output.
 
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