Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cultural Exception

For a while, I've thought that one of the more depressing things about the blogosphere is it's attraction for anti-BBC types. And many of those that don't fall into this camp believe that being seen to support the BEEB would damage their anti-establishment credentials.

Vain bastards, the lot of them.

Look at the evidence:
  • The Brazilians do football better than we do.
  • The Australians and New Zealanders usually generally stuff us at Cricket and Rugby respectively
  • The French out-NHS our asses at every turn

But there are two things that we still lead the world in:

  1. Being beastly to the Germans
  2. Public Service Broadcasting
Everyone should learn from us on this second point.

Thankfully, Nosemonkey is bucking the trend:

"The anti-license fee thing - for all its high moral claims about monopolies and choice and so on (which I can see the case for, honest) - seems largely to be an objection to the very concept of state-funded anything. If so, fine - let's take it to extremes and scrap universal funding for the BBC, NHS, comprehensive schools, university funding, road maintenance, rubbish collection, street lighting, the national parks, the armed forces etc. etc. and replace them all with pay for usage instead. It'd suit me fine. But the entire country would go to shit through under funding within six months."

I'd add something else here. It's about culture. Culture is different. I've no objection to importing, say, 100% of our rice from Asia*. But a progressive policy that can create the level of cultural investment that the BBC does is incompatible with standard global 'state-aid' rules.

*there must be an analogy that is less crude, but I can’t think of it at the moment. Even Vodka isn’t a Russian monopoly…

1 comment:

Aidan said...

My main resentment towards the licence fee tends to flare up when exposed too often, too irritatingly to too many of the BBC's cloying blatant-plugs-within-other-programmes, especially on Radio Five Live, or self-indulgent navel-gazing, or simply the lavish between-programme trails for itself...
But, sure, those are just minor irritants I suppose, within the vastness of the BBC's contributions across all media. The BBC website, for example, has become perhaps the easiest to take for granted...
The recent swingeing World Service cutbacks, in favour of squaring up more, er, squarely to Al Jazeera, might perhaps look a little uneasily too many, it seems.
But as for general BBC-ness, and German-bashing, we probably can show the world a thing or several dozen.
And pop music, too, don't forget.
Though admittedly, there are probably as many minuses as pluses in that sphere...