The definitive guide to Britain's success in the twenty-first century
How can we protect and improve the BBC’s independence?

CST – Changes to the structure are required to ensure the BBC’s ongoing complete independence from political influence.

By statute the BBC should be given a long term tenure of both funding and governance.  The Trustees should be voted in by an all party committee on their merit and these trustees then choose a Director-General.

Funding- there should be a guaranteed minimum annual budget (perhaps as a percentage of the GDP?), so the Trustees and Management are able to plan long term and provide long term investment for important projects.
The commercial sections of the BBC should be managed under this one system, but the Trustees shall not be allowed to sell these to other commercial organisations. The BBC Worldwide Brand must always belong to the citizens of the UK - as we have paid for it.

BBC's Governance Structure:

In 1927 the British Broadcasting Company became the British Broadcasting Corporation when it was granted its first Royal Charter. The Charter defined the BBC’s objectives, powers and obligations.

The current Royal Charter, the eighth since 1927, runs until 2013. Under the Charter, the BBC is answerable to the BBC Trust (replacing the earlier BBC Board of Governors) which is appointed to act as trustees for the public interest and to ensure that the organisation is properly accountable while maintaining its independence.
It is mainly concerned with broad issues of policy, while the Director-General and senior staff are responsible for detailed fulfillment of that policy.

The Trustees are appointed by the Queen in Council (the Privy Council) on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Licence and Agreement is the second constitutional document governing the BBC’s activities.

Under the Royal Charter, the BBC has to obtain this Licence from the relevant Minister with responsibility for broadcasting matters. Originally this was the Postmaster General and later the Home Secretary. Today it is the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport























The BBC already achieves excellence in many areas - with the ability to plan longer term and with the full backing of the British people - the BBC would gain in confidence to become truly exceptional world leading organisation for the 21st century.
What should our BBC be doing?












• A new vision for educational tools – we need new ways of explaining the world – the BBC’s understanding, technical competence, links to the Open University and programming skills should be harnessed to provide world class teaching aides that take educational processes to a new level for all education. For both children & adults – for example – 3D viewing for science understanding, IPlayer and Internet access to a range of educational tools that cover all major topics and especially those required for ‘Fit for Life’ (see Interactive Training)

• Strive for significantly greater commercial sales especially developing the BBC Brand abroad in countries with growth economies. Develop and sell the new range of ‘fit for life’ educational tools and build an unassailable lead for developing educational tools worldwide.






• Continue to develop online, digital, mobile media and modern communications, if necessary purchasing leading digital businesses to ensure that they are the world leading organisation in the ever changing global media techniques. (For as sure as eggs are eggs even several generations into the future there will be a vibrant world media using some new media technology)

• One of its central remits should be to ‘educate’ the UK citizens about the key drivers of the economy along with the finance and politics of government. Currently most people in the dark about the workings of government finance, the overall debt, financing this debt and what it means for future planning. For us as citizens to make sensible political choices we need this understanding, our children should gain this understanding as part of the ‘Fit for Life’ programme.

Complementing the BBC's excellent work abroad, the BBC should create a research centre that combines local knowledge of best practice in areas such as education, health along with useful commercial understanding of the local economies. This up to date information is vital to help the UK improve in key areas and help the export drive that is sadly lacking.

To promote and help new Governance & Political Structures in the UK – the BBC can play a vital role in providing quality reporting on the progress of the new proposed planning bodies.  This role would be backed by statute to enable the BBC unfetted access for rigorous reporting and analysis of progress or lack of it

As an organisation the BBC has all the instinctive and research skills to hold and represent government, business, economic and social data.  The Office for Nation Statistics and UK Statistics Authority should be disbanded. The BBC should take on this task by statute, within a research and information group. This saves doubling up on research and as an independent body that knows how to present and use the information the BBC will be more efficient and do a better job. This information is also pertinent for educational reform 'Fit for Life'


Linked Articles



Interactive Skills Education

BBC main page

Education main page


Politics and Information

With the Kremlin producing TV programs with tiles like ‘The Tits Show’ (1984 style misinformation to keep young Russian’s appeased), Australia controlling web sites hosting, China employing an army of 280,000 ‘bloggers providing political comment’, the Nigerian Government enlisting 700 pro-government bloggers, the UK’s GCHQ reviewing all our email, CST asks the question what is a free society and how does that impact on true democracy?

Britain has historically made some attempt to redress the balance with the BBC’s World Service et al. CST would like to see a major change here, providing a world leading example with freedom of information.  And this idea is simple and cost effective to implement.

With all information that is, or should be, in the public domain within the UK, the BBC must publish that information in an easy to understand format, prioritised by its impact on the society.  This would be done using the web and when relevant on radio and television.  The only information that would remain secret would be specific information regarding security issues.  This information would need to be ‘set out’ and passed by an information board who are mandated to keep as much information as possible within the public domain.  This board would not be required to see the secrets themselves but they would need to know the exact nature of the secrets and why they were being withheld.  All public employees, (including the security services), would be required to sign a new secrets act that states that is a serious offence to withhold any information from the information board.  This board would have final say on publication and in some circumstances allow part of the information to be published.

To complete the picture, the BBC would be mandated to prioritise and publish relevant information from the rest of the world.  The relevance and prioritisation would be a moving issue and be regularly updated by the BBC’s Trustees, (whom would be chosen by an all party committee, not as now by the Privy Council).

This can be simply executed by mandating by statute the BBC to undertake this process (much of which they do already). This information provision dovetails into the larger information & education roles of the BBC complimented by the OU.


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