A lot of people on social media are speculating that the end of the BBC is night, declaring that the Conservatives are going to decriminalise the licence fee. But these things are entirely separate. Decriminalising the licence fee will not end the BBC. It will make things financially difficult for the BBC for a while, sure. It will have to cut down. But it won’t end. And it won’t mean an end to BBC bias either, quite the opposite, in fact.
I’ve written about this recently, so I won’t go into detail again, but ask yourself this. Was Channel 4 ‘ended’ when it stopped receiving government money? No. Did Channel 4 stop being politically biased when that happened? No. So why would the BBC be different?
You may say, ‘Ah, but Channel 4 was allowed to run ads to bring in money, and the BBC won’t be allowed to’. Maybe, but the BBC will still have a ton of money coming in from people who will continue to be good citizens and pay the BBC. There’s an enormous amount of non-essential things in the BBC that could be cut, allowing them to continue on a smaller budget. They’ll still have the prime slots on TVs and digital boxes, and millions of people will continue to watch the BBC channels, and listen to the BBC radio stations, because it’s the BBC. The BBC has a reputation that the alternative, gimmicky, more obviously left-wing Channel 4 never had. That rep is now undeserved, sure, and it’s fading, but it’s still there for an awful lot of people.
And before too long the Beeb will demand to be able to run ads, or have a subscription service, or both, to make up for lost revenue, and this is likely to be granted, unless the government can show some extraordinary backbone.
Ask yourself this. If the Conservatives try to hobble the BBC, which is the more likely outcome?
(1) The BBC turns over a new leaf, renounces its leftism, and becomes scrupulously neutral, and starts to treat conservativism with respect. The likes of Nish Kumar are sacked, and shows like Doctor Who become good old-fashioned entertainment again, instead of being Doctor Woke.
Or (2) The BBC double down on the leftism and hatred of conservatism, feeling like it no longer has to even pretend to be even-handed.