Comforts of Old Age and the BBC will not be one of them

I was looking forward to reaching the age of 75 because at that stage I would not need to pay the BBC licence fee; it would be a small comfort but a welcome one. Unlike many older people the decision by the BBC only to waive licence fees for the elderly who are on pension credit will not cause me hardship, but it will cause hardship to probably hundreds of thousands of older people who have over a lifetime paid thousands of pounds to the BBC which has enabled it to broadcast its programmes and pay huge salaries and benefits to executives and those it calls “talent”.There is no opt out for viewers who must pay the fee whether or not they watch BBC programmes. Continue reading

How to Spend a Billion Pounds

Yesterday the BBC ran a story on its website asking what a billion pounds buys the nation. You can read all the things that a billion pounds buys us. The list is interesting –   Continue reading

The BBC and its Tax Relief

For a number of years the film industry has probed a fertile ground for those seeking to save income or corporation tax using rather artificial structures. Various British Governments of various persuasions have tried using tax as a means of “helping” British film making. It seems that the politicians are interested in the prestige of having a successful film industry as well as any economic benefits. Continue reading

Russia Today is Here

Today a new news service is available in the United Kingdom. The Russian state sponsored news channel “Russia Today” has started broadcasting, amid grumbles by organisations such as the BBC as to whether Russia Today could present a fair and unbiased news service, as opposed to a propaganda service. Continue reading

I insist on less colour

Rather like a television drama programme which uses background music to make sure that the viewer understands whether to feel sad or happy, our newspapers, and other news media use their own form of background sound and vision to make sure we understand exactly what they want us to understand. of course what someone else wants you to understand is unlikely to be the truth,; at best it is the communicators own vision of the truth. the truth is something an individual discerns by his or hers own thought processes; truth, like experience cannot be foist upon an individual. Simply some partial truths can be offered for acceptance or rejection. Continue reading

Controlling the BBC

There are some things that governments should control, in the interests of protecting the people that they govern, but do not control. Some things are beyond the control of governments, other things are too complex to control because attempts to control them have unintended consequences and other things governments are too corrupt to control. Continue reading

Financing Justice

Yesterday lawyers who work in legally aided matters in England and Wales went on strike. of course they never called it a strike, but it looked,like one, smelt like one and behaved like one. They withdrew their labour because the money that they were paid to defend and prosecute those accused of crime has been spiraling downwards and the government threatens to continue this trend.

Apparently £2 billion a year is spent on Criminal Legal Aid, which the government thinks is far too much. It seems to the Government unjust that taxpayers should spend £2 billion ensuring (so far as possible) that justice is done. Other nations seem to do their legal aid for much less although I would not wish anyone to depend on public defender services in those places  because mostly the result of any criminal trial is a foregone conclusion.

£2 billion is a lot of money and the Government wants to spend less. I think that if a nation of sixty millions can fianance justice for £2 billion a year then that is a bargain. I suppose we should put it into context. Taxpayers already spend £4 billion financing the BBC which provides entertainment. Financing justice at half that price seems to me to be a bargain and that any further cuts would create a system that does not finance justice at all.