It seems Grant Shapps has misjudged the British public, so I question Grant Shapps:

Grant Shapps told the Sunday Telegraph the BBC must tackle a culture of secrecy and waste in the wake of recentscandals and rows over stars’ salaries and pay-offs to senior executives.Would that be in the same way that MPs have ‘tackled’ the culture of secrecy and waste in the wake of the expenses scandal?

And he said there was a “question of credibility” for the BBC over whether it applied “fairness” to its reporting of politics. If the public were asked who was more credible, MPs or the BBC, who does Shapps think would be voted ‘most credible’?

Shapps said the £145.50 annual fee would be “too much” if the BBC failed to reform. I’d be happier to pay more, if there was a chance of not receiving the BBC’s output.

Shapps made clear Conservative frustrations with the BBC: “They have ended up working in this culture which is buried in the last century, which is ‘we are the BBC, we do what we like, we don’t have to be too accountable’,” he told the paper. And which century do MPs operate in, with their weird customs and ways of doing things? Do MPs really think they are ‘accountable’?

Shapps: “But they are raising £3.6bn through the licence fee, which is a tax, and, quite rightly, the public wants to have sight of how the money is spent. Things like the pay-offs have really caused concern, as have, obviously, things like Savile and Hall and the culture that goes around that. I think it is one of too much secrecy.” MPs’ salaries are a tax as well, and we get much more for the the money we pay to the BBC.

He said the BBC director-general, Lord Hall, should consider publishing all expenditure over £500 – including stars’ salaries – and opening up to freedom of information requests. Can I opt out of paying MP salaries? Agreed, transparency is a good thing.

Shapps: “If they do that they can make sure they win back public trust. If they don’t, they are in danger of frittering away Auntie’s public trust that has been built over a long time.” In my opinion, the BBC have never lost the public’s trust.

Shapps: “I would also say that £145.50 is quite a lot to pay for everyone in the country who has a TV. It is too much if we don’t see the kind of reforms [we expect]” Like Grant Shapps cares about the level of the licence fee. Is he going to suggest some of that is shared with Sky?

A BBC spokesman said: “Mr Shapps is right that transparency is key to the future of the BBC. So is its freedom from political pressure.

When I read this sort of crap from people like Shapps I think perhaps Russell Brand is right – we need a revolution to get wrong-thinking people like Shapps away from power and out of situations where he could harm perfectly decent public institutions.
If people weren’t happy paying the licence fee, there would be more cases of non-payment.
Shapps should reconsider his ideas on this occasion, IMHO.

via Blogger