It's still not clear where or when John Whittingdale first got interested in bondage and humiliation, but it seems he's resolutely determined to apply a clamp to the BBC's private parts.
Perhaps it's displacement activity, having been warned off further use of the top-slicing paddles on already-raw buttocks, by BBC paddler-in-chief, wild-eyed George Osborne. But the idea that Auntie should be a broadcaster during the week, and a narrowcaster at weekends, to allow commercial rivals to drive more revenue from bigger audiences, has appeared in a range of Sunday papers, almost as if there had been a briefing.
And The Mail On Sunday chose it as their front page lead. Interestingly, it was theirs in time to construct an editorial, in which they say the Whittingdale ruse should be "tried out for a limited period to see if it works in practice. The law of unintended consequences always applies to untested ideas, and good intentions do not always produce good results."
The Telegraph has been briefed that the BBC's bulletin at ten o'clock on weekdays (regular audience above 4m) must be moved out of the way of ITV News At Ten (regular audience around 1.5m). Further, says the Telegraph, whilst there may be an 11-year-Charter coming in the White Paper (set aside May 12), Whittingdale wants a review of the BBC's portfolio of channels after five years. With one fell swoop, he's re-instated the political and financial uncertainty the BBC has been lobbying so hard to end in this campaign (it's clearly no longer a negotiation).
Mr Whittingdale, who seems understand 'public consultation' as conversations with Rupert, Ashley Highfield and The Radio Centre, may now survive as Culture Secretary until the Charter is delivered - a Charter which will enable the later dismantling of the finest public service broadcasting organisation in the world. Rise up, UK and give the egregious oik a Twitter earful.