Kill the BBC!

The BBC’s dominant position on the internet is destroying local newspapers and threatens national publications, the Home Secretary has warned.

Addressing the Society of Editors’ annual conference in London, Theresa May attacked the broadcaster’s ability to subsidise its online coverage with the licence fee.

Mrs May also warned the “might of the BBC” could ultimately impact on “local democracy”. The Home Secretary said local newspapers are having “a particularly hard time”.

She went on: “That’s partly been the result of the BBC’s dominant position on the internet and its ability to subsidise the provision of internet news using the licence fee.

There was, quite famously, one point at which the BBC website had more people working on it than were in all of Google.

And no, not in 1999 or whatever either. Much later than that.

14 comments on “Kill the BBC!

  1. Thought experiment.
    If you wanted to create a national news and entertainment organisation today, would you? Or would you go and lie down in a darkened room until the urge went away?
    Still urgent? Would you pay for it through a poll tax?

  2. Research has shown that worldwide state ownership of broadcasting correlates closely with authoritarianism, government corruption, and government and economic failure even to the level of health care, & has “no benefits”.

    No wonder the UK is the slowest growing English speaking nation (there are a couple of Caribbean islands but they are hardly nations) .

    If we want to live in a nation that is either free or successful BBC delenda est.

  3. By all means let’s be shot of the BBC.

    I didn’t realise they had a dominant position on the Internet.

    Can someone more Inet savvy than me explain if/why that’s true.

    The only time I ever see them on the net at all is to watch the odd “Sky at Night” on their I-Player–and the evil bastards are trying to get rid of even the “S-A-N” which is the best show they make.

  4. Yes, kill the BBC. Hand it over to licence fee holders in the form of shares and let them buy or sell them as they see fit.

    In recent years we’ve had politicians and media types talking darkly about the power of Rupert Murdoch. The one thing they never get around to suggesting is giving him some proper competition. Unbind the BBC’s hands, have them be a private concern and regulated by Ofcom.

  5. Neil Craig,

    The corruption you refer to is certainly what would be expected on theoretical grounds. I.e. the BBC is in the position to, and actually does, provide the main political parties with HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of pounds worth of free publicity. That’s why politicians hang around TV studios like blow flies round a rotting corpse. And the BBC is dependent on politicians in power for its licence fees. So there is a symbiotic relationship there.

    In contrast, the Communist Party or BNP don’t have the power to confer goodies on BBC staff, so they get ignored, if not actively disparaged.

    The above “symbiotic corruption” is held in check by the existence of the free(ish) press, and by the internet. Nevertheless we’d be better off without even a hint of that corruption. So . . . let’s abolish the BBC.

  6. Yes, kill the BBC. Hand it over to licence fee holders in the form of shares and let them buy or sell them as they see fit.

    No. Allowing it to continue in some privatised form, after so many decades of State funding to a dominant market position, would be disastrous.

    If we want rid of it, it would have to be closed down. Its staff should be made immediately redundant. Its assets should be rapidly auctioned off. The few intellectual properties with significant value such as bloody Doctor Who should be sold, the overwhelming remainder should, with all its programming, be released into the public domain.

    It should never have existed and should be destroyed utterly.

  7. If we want rid of it, it would have to be closed down. Its staff should be made immediately redundant. Its assets should be rapidly auctioned off. The few intellectual properties with significant value such as bloody Doctor Who should be sold, the overwhelming remainder should, with all its programming, be released into the public domain.

    It should never have existed and should be destroyed utterly.

    LOOK! There’s one! Kill it! Did you know it’s all controlled buy the Purityrannical Feminazis?!

  8. Ian B
    typo aside,

    “It should never have existed and should be destroyed utterly”

    as a statement, my amusement of your deep-seated beliefs that Victorian women and methodists block your dreams of Utopia, surely pales?

  9. Arnald,

    I don’t dream of Utopia. That’s the job of leftie nuts like you. I simply recognise that much of the loss of freedom in this country is due to certain particular campaign groups. I understand that since you despise freedom, you see that as a feature rather than as a bug, but still it is historically interesting to identify who we should blame, or thank, whichever is your preference.

    As to the BBC, it simply never should have existed, and arose at a time when central planning was very popular among, erm, Utopians. It is these days an anachronism. Privatising it would lead to a hugely distorted market due to its wealth and historical baggage; therefore, if it is to be got rid of, it must be entirely destroyed rather than privatised in some manner.

    What rational person would want a BBC, on its own merits? No rational person would. I presume you do, but that of course is because you are not a rational person but, instead, simply a carrier of various antiquated utopian ideas derived in large part, as I’ve often pointed out to your obvious discomfort, from the fanatical evangelical religiosity of the nineteenth century.

    Whenever you want to join us in the 21st century, you’ll be more than welcome.

  10. Agree with the post title, but no sympathy at all for the miserable local print media. They happily publish BBC intimidation propaganda in the form of press releases listing the names of locals convicted of the crime of watching TV without permission from the state. It is entirely appropriate that they are being put out of business by the monster they feed. Fuck ‘em, etc.

    It’s not just the online market the BBC is distorting. The corporation also has a vast commercial print media section that benefits indirectly from the licence fee. Mr Ecks mentioned “Sky at Night” above. There is a monthly “Sky at Night” general astronomy magazine that soaks up much of the little money there is in that niche. Competition, foreign and domestic, struggles.

    The BBC receives money from the EU for the specific purpose of promoting the EU. Royal Charter, my arse.

  11. I also agree with Ian B that the thing should not be privatised. It’s too established and too dangerous. Break it up and liberate the employees into the marketplace.

    It’s worth noting that the BBC started off as a private company. It manufactured wireless receiver sets (radios) and promoted sales by broadcasting its own programmes. It couldn’t encode (copy-protect) these signals and thought it jolly unfair that rival manufacturers benefitted. So it asked its pals in government to fund its business model by the imposition of the licence upon listeners.

    Government obliged, and not long after brought it fully, but “independently”, under the wing of the state. All very fascist and befitting the times. The state corporation nicely represents the British establishment’s segue from patronage to socialism.

  12. What’s Theresa May talking about here? She thinks that if it weren’t for the BBC, local newspapers would be able to make lots of money out of their websites? With the result that there would usually be more than one local newspaper in any area, at least one to publish her propaganda, and one to publish propaganda from the other side?

    Does that make sense?

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