Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Good on you, House of Lords Communication Committee, for a report on Charter Renewal, which says the BBC must Carry On Regardless. It fails to suggest what Commodore Hall should use for fuel to keep the Great Cruise Ship of Information, Education and Entertainment at sea.

There is the idea of some sort of conker fight between the Culture Secretary and a new Independent Regulator over setting the level of the licence fee, in which the Culture Secretary can do what he likes after two hits or strings. It misses the point that the Office of Budget Responsibility counts the licence fee as tax, and thus the decision on the licence level has really been taken in No 11 since 1997.

Extra points to the Lords, however, for saying the muddled mishmash of empty rhetoric that is the BBC's Public Purposes should go. Hurrah. But they've missed something. 'Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK' is the only written bit that allows BBC World Service to exist....

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