The recent calls by the Shadow Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, for BBC salaries to be revealed should be welcomed with open arms. In fact, it is dismaying that, “fully audited accounts … [and] details of the salaries of all its top talent” are not already available. Transparency is badly needed in the opaque world of bureaucratic, state supported, quasi-autonomous statutory corporations.
The latest BBC scandal, with Ross and Brand, and wide ranging criticisms accusing the BBC of everything from London-centrism to political bias only adds weight to the case.
Far more “funny” than tasteless comedians is the very nature of the organization itself. The BBC is an exceptional entity because the cost of its product is set by government, enforced by criminal law, and imposed involuntarily. If I wish to watch only the many alternative channels, I would still have to pay £139.50 for the BBC. Therefore, it is patently clear that if such an organization continues to exist at all, it must be accountable to the public. Vaizey has a clear-cut case.
Where does this lead us? Find out tomorrow in episode 2. To be continued…