Official: The BBC is owned by Blair

Saw a post on The American Expatriate which mentions a VERY significant event in the UK.

The television licence fee has been reclassified as a tax, because the licence fee is a compulsory payment which is not paid solely for access to BBC services. Previously, the licence fee had been classified as a service charge. This reclassification means that the BBC will move from the public non-financial corporations sub-sector to the central government sector, effectively moving from one part of the public sector to another.

Where the money that we currently call the license fee goes is of no importance in this. What IS important is that what used to be called an “independent” BBC can no longer be called that. The BBC is now directly funded by the goverment of the day. That is a fundamental change isn’t it ?

But it’s not just the BBC according the National Statistics Online

S4C receives most of its income from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and has therefore been reclassified to the central government sector.

All the above adds up to “We pay for it so it belong it us” or to put it another way “Our toys, Our rules.”

Reassuringly though:

They have no implications for the independence of these broadcasters.

Excuse me while I say something … Bollocks.

Why is this not different to the “state-run Chinese TV” ? Or the “Hussein influenced Iraqi TV” ? One of main sources of television is now openly under state control – a state currently run by Tony “Iraq ? Where’s that then ?” Blair. Isn’t this important ? I can see why the BBC aren’t going to say a damn thing about this – but I hope the newspapers rip into it. The fact that it may have already been happening is no issue – the fact that it is brazenly now going to happen IS. After all, someone somewhere said “Bring it in”. Who ?

6 thoughts on “Official: The BBC is owned by Blair

  1. Of course that is actually no different to how it was before. Yes the term has changed, so the link is more obvious, but in a practical sense it is exactly the same.

    It was a service charge from a service that was set up, subsised, partially funded by and enforced by the government.

    Sorry Mark – lot of fuss over nothing. Any pressure that might be brought to bear now could have (and probably was) before. The wording just makes it more explicit – and basically, more honest.

  2. I disagree (as i do 🙂 )
    If this was a change abroad then the BBC would make noise about this. They will not. I think that though the change may be subtle on some levels it’s fundamentally quite different and that as a result both parties suffer.
    It also makes the ‘license fee’ term completely redundant. GB will now increase tax to “pay for the BBC” while also increasing the license “fee” to “pay for the BBC”. It may all be spin but it’s another bad spin.

  3. Ah, well that is something seperate really.

    I agree the BBC should mention it (though I’ve not been watching News 24, so they might have). However we’ll see what the coverage is in other outlets as well.

    I don’t think the change fundamentally makes anyone suffer – however if something like the situation you describe happens, well then THAT is what is making people suffer, taxing twice. Not the BBC’s relationship with the government.

    However as that hasn’t happened, and there is no indication it will (the government having already said the BBC’s proposed increases were too much), I think you are leaping to conclusions.

    Not unreasonable ones, but still leaping.

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