Thursday 23 August 2018

BBC Trust

I was going to wait until later, but here goes. Jeremy Corbyn's speech on the media ought to be the stuff of crossparty consensus.

The recently deceased Sir Peter Tapsell identified the media moguls, along with the money markets and the intelligence agencies, as the heirs of the nabobs and of the Whig magnates whom past generations of Tories had made it their defining cause to cut down to size and to subject to the sovereignty of Parliament.

In November 2012, he rose in the House of Commons to ask the then Prime Minister, "Should not ownership of newspapers be restricted to British nationals who are judged fit and proper, as with television?"

In addition to Corbyn's proposals, which are firmly in that tradition, the BBC licence fee ought to be made optional, with as many adults as wished to pay it at any given address free to do so, including those who did not own a television set but who greatly valued, for example, Radio Four. 

The Trustees would then be elected by and from among the licence-payers. Candidates would have to be sufficiently independent to qualify in principle for the remuneration panels of their local authorities.

Each licence-payer would vote for one, with the top two elected. The electoral areas would be Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and each of the nine English regions. 

The Chairman would be appointed by the relevant Secretary of State, with the approval of the relevant Select Committee. And the term of office would be four years. 

One would not need to be a member of the Trust (i.e., a licence-payer) to listen to or watch the BBC, just as one does not need to be a member of the National Trust to visit its properties, or a member of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to be rescued by its boats.

Jeremy Corbyn, over to you. Although you are going to have your own party to contend with.

Thankfully, however, there is going to be another hung Parliament, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in in it. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning.

My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

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