With my 'back to the 1970's theme ' hat on I see that the NUJ has been out today threatening BBC management for daring to suggest 1,800 job cuts.
This for everyone not losing their job is good news; firstly many of the jobs will go through natural wastage in any event. Secondly the BBC has been expanding hugely in the last 10 years and there is no reason to continue its growth at this rate.
However we are stuck with the BBC until 2016 thanks to the new licence agreement. This is potentially 3 elections away.
My plan for the BBC would be as follows:
1. Scrap the licence fee. this is a very regressive tax that affects the poor disproportionately. instead fund any public broadcasting out of the government general fund.
2. If the government wants to continue to subsidise the television sector then it should offer tax cuts as an incentive to produce rather than penal charges to consume.
3. To keep a certain amount of public broadcasting on the television the government should take up David Elstein's brilliant idea of auctioning off subsidy to make and show specific programmes.
4. With this in place the BBC could be fully commercialised. I happen to be of the opinion that its output will be better than now with the added vie of privatisation.
5. Funds also withdrawn from Channel 4 as this channel too should not need any good subsidy.
We would have a stronger, more vibrant and more cost efficient television sector overall.
Whenever the BBLefties go on about quality just remember who made The Soprano's, 24 and the West Wing and who makes What not to Wear, Spooks and Holby City?