Well done to the Lords for using evidence to support their case that the BBC doesn’t require significant change.
There’s just one problem: The Conservative Government isn’t interested in evidence.
The Conservative Government is interested in making profits for its friends in independent broadcasting.
So you can expect plans to scale down the BBC when the Tories publish their white paper in the spring.
The Lords’ report gets it exactly right, in the view of This Writer. The only change they have advocated is the introduction of a separate regulator to end the corruption in the BBC’s complaint handling.
For those of us who have fallen foul of the Corporation in this respect, it would be a huge step forward.
It might even go some way towards addressing the shameful bias in favour of the Conservatives that the BBC now blatantly displays.
A cross-party group of peers has told the government that there is “no compelling case” for scaling back the BBC and it should continue to be a “universal broadcaster” making popular programming for all.
In one of the most robust defences of the BBC’s output yet, the Lords communications committee said there should be an overhaul of how the corporation is held to account but there is “no need for fundamental changes to the BBC’s core mission”.
The BBC’s critics have argued that it should not compete with commercial rivals in areas such as news and entertainment and should restrict itself to filling gaps in programming left by the market.
A government green paper on BBC charter renewal last summer included questions about whether the BBC’s scale and scope should be reduced, and a white paper setting out the government’s recommendations is due for publication this spring.
However, committee chair Lord Best said those who had provided evidence for the report thought the BBC was doing a “pretty good job”.
“[The BBC] should be held accountable, there should be a regulator to do that, but we don’t want a revolution, we don’t think there should be any big changes. We don’t think the size, the scale and scope of the BBC should be cut down, that’s not on our agenda.”
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