Tuesday, 10 September 2013

This merits the widest possible circulation...

The BBC as it should be seen...

16 comments:

Ian Hills said...

The last of the church tithes were finally abolished in 1977. Time to complete the de-feudalisation of Britain....

Mark Wadsworth said...

IH, well, apart from the one-quarter of GDP which is still collected in land rents and mortgage interest and the one-third they collect in taxes on output and employment, we've nearly abolished feudalism.

The Stigler said...

I think it will be considerably higher than 10-15% reduction in income, especially once people look at it as a choice and ask how much value they are getting from it.

There's very little on the BBC that I consider as "must-watch" TV. I like Top Gear, QI and Only Connect and that's about it. Looking at this weekend, there is something about movie music on BBC4 and the film Moon.

I think I now watch more on Lovefilm that costs me half the price.

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paulc156 said...

I would rather the BBC just be funded out of general revenues than a licence fee but think it's a most valuable institution. I'm not an avid TV watcher apart from a film or two a month there's little I watch regularly. I wouldn't lose much sleep if deprived of all the commercial channels but would quite miss the BBC ones. I find the quality of Beeb programmes streets ahead of anything on commercial tv.
I do watch Newsnight most nights and listen to the Today programme most mornings but only the last couple of weeks there have been a few gems on BBC. Simon Scharma's 'History of the Jews'. A radio programme recalling the Frost/Nixon interviews with some quite incredible Nixon revelations and recordings and last night a quite moving docu' on divorced parents and their kids. All without the blasted interference of commercials. I'd rather get rid of the monarchy to be honest. Can't we make it an either or?

Lola said...

paulc156. The other channels are crap because of the BBC monopoly, not despite it. Murdoch love the BBC and licence fee because it enables him to charge through the nose for his channles.

Bayard said...

p156, at least now you don't have to pay for the BBC if you don't have a television. If it was funded out of general revenue, you would, effectively be paying for it whatever. Secondly, the BBC mamages to retain some independence from government as it has its own source of funding, albeit state-sanctioned. If it was funded by out of general revenue, then not only would the amount of funding be under the control of politicians, but also what they did with the money. It become a state propaganda organ and nothing more.

paulc156 said...

@Bayard "It become a state propaganda organ and nothing more."...bit like the monarchy then. Independent editorial control could be legislated for/guaranteed. Seems the licence fee never stopped interference anyhow. The appointment of a more right wing head [Thompson]was a sop to those who bashed its 'perceived' left bias. You can't cherry pick other functions of government either. eg; opt out of support for the NHS or state education. So not sure why you should be able to opt out of support for the BBC.

@Lola" Murdoch love the BBC and licence fee because it enables him to charge through the nose for his channles."
I thought he could charge through the nose because of his virtual monopoly of Premiership football. The basic channels [minus Sky Sports 1] are cheap, in more ways than one.

Bayard said...

The monarchy is a state propaganda organ, it's the jewel in the crown of theme park Merrie Englande, wot we sell to tourists from everywhere.

"So not sure why you should be able to opt out of support for the BBC."

Sure there's a good argument that I shouldn't be able to, but the point is, at the moment I can and do, so, shoulds aside, I'd rather things weren't changed. Quite apart from that, I'm a privatiser, not a nationaliser, so if anything is going to be changed, my "should" is that it should be in the direction of complete financial independence from the state.

Bayard said...

That first "is" should be an "isn't".

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, the Monarchy very much is a state propaganda organ, they are the First Family of Home-Owner-Ism.

These Homey bastards (the real "state") have managed to convince the huddled masses that large landowners (i.e. the royal family) are providing some sort of valuable service to the country.

Bayard said...

"they are the First Family of Home-Owner-Ism."

Since HOism is your concept, if you say so then it must be true. However, I stick by my original opinion: the Royals do very little in the way of propaganda, apart from Charlie boy, and even he no more than any other influential sleb. The fact that they are held up as poster boys by various groups may make them part of the propaganda, but not spreaders of that propaganda, which is what I meant by "propaganda organ" (that's organ as in "church organ", not as in "organ of the body").
Also, the royal family do provide valuable service to the country as I pointed out previously. I am not sure what the Monarchy "brand" is worth in the form of tourism and celebrity and their associated industries, but it's quite a lot. If we didn't have a monarchy of interest to people worldwide then we'd have a president (Hello, President Blair!) of interest to no-one who would be funded from general taxation, i.e. income tax and VAT, instead of being funded from land rents as the monarchy is currently.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, HOism is neo-Feudalism. They take all the land rent and then take taxes on income as well.

I am - and indeed most of use are - perfectly happy with the notion of having a hereditary, titular head of state, and I'm perfectly happy for them to be paid a reasonable whack, a couple of hundred grand a year each and a couple of grace and favour mansions to wow the tourists.

There is no need for them to own a billions of pounds' worth of land and collect £50 million a year in rent (clearly, we exclude Crown Estates from this, we just include the land they own personally qua feudal landlord).

So please don't go all Homey on me and start mis-quoting me back at me, I know perfectly well what I said.

Lola said...

MW. Actually I really don't care what The R F get in rent from whatever land they 'own'. As, in theory, the 'Crown' owns all the land anyway (up until the right to rents was privatised under magna carta that is) and hence all rents revert to the Crown. 'Landowners' were previously just allowed to keep back a little bit for themselves. And the Crown needs to 'live off its own'. Which in times past included funding the Armed Forces. In other words the first type of state taxation was sort of LVT.

(That's not a very good post. Apologies)

Kj said...

L: That´s actually a good point. Feudalism/manorialism, at whatever level, was more or less LVT-funded society, where the head was responsible towards his tenants, and paid for protection and public works out of this rent, whether that rent was in the form of labour or goods owed as rental. Ideal in a way, but these societies didn´t grow particulary much. Because the lack of freedom on the parts of the tenant, there was no incentive for the landholder to be entrepreneurial and do things with rent that sustained growth.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, yes, exactly and quite.

If the RF collected £50 million a year in rent and spent £49 million on "public works" or "defence of the realm" etc like in Olden Time, I'd say, fair play, but they don't.

Kj, agreed. Unfortunately, in this country, the system was soon usurped by the "land owners" who promptly dropped any notion of them spending the rent on "public works".