1) "Top-Slicing." The idea that the licence fee should be spread out amongst all public service broadcasters, not just the one.But aren\’t we all supposed to be becoming more Continental, ever closer to our European partners? The tax here in Portugal (which is, bizarrely, part of your electricity bill) is spread amongst all such. So why not in the UK?
2) "Three independent recent polls show the licence fee is not only acceptable, but a majority of people would pay more than the current level to keep the BBC." Excellent, so let those who wish to pay do so. Allow those who do not not to do so. Abolish the licence fee altogether and make it a subscription service. After all, Polly\’s argument is that it would be able to make more money that way than it does currently.
3) And this comes from the very depths of my cynical heart. The BBC is pretty much alone in paying talking heads to appear on it. £50 or so for 15 minutes on a Radio 4 programme, £3,000 or so for Question Time (if that\’s the right name for the TV show where four political types exhibit their wisdom on the issues of the day with Dimbleby). Certain Guardian journalists (no names, no pack drill) appear quite often on such shows. It couldn\’t possibly be true that defense of the licence fee is motivated by that small part of it that works its way through the system to those doing the defending. No, absolutely not, that\’s too cynical even for me.
But an interesting question does arise. Would Polly like to tell us how much she has been paid by the BBC over the past 12 months? Just to start things off, I\’ll reveal my number. £108 (from memory, an all too fallible thing I\’m afraid)