THERE NOW FOLLOWS A MINISTERIAL STATEMENT FROM THE ENGLISH SECRETARY FOR “CULTURE” !*%*!

Just out of interest, can anyone arrange her words into a sentient thought:

And, so, though, it’s (or its), yeah, and, that.

Answers on a postcard, the winner to receive a week in the Clyde Tunnel with Jackie Baillie.

dave ❄️ 🥕 🧻 on Twitter: "very strong bid by Nadine Dorries to move  herself up the most awful Tory minister chart here https://t.co/gevlpRfK2t"  / Twitter

FYI: Unlike the BBC, Channel 4 receives no public funding. It is funded entirely by its own commercial activities. Most of their income comes from advertising revenue.

49 thoughts on “THERE NOW FOLLOWS A MINISTERIAL STATEMENT FROM THE ENGLISH SECRETARY FOR “CULTURE” !*%*!”

      1. Tris
        FYI English and Culture should not appear in the same sentence. I dont think they have culture of their own, they steal it from everyone else. Even maypole dancing is originally flemish.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. That rather depends upon what culture means. The Saxons had a culture with artifacts like the Sutton Hoo treasures to Beowulf. There was an apprent long and ongoing history of drinking alcohol excessively. There is no doubt that Shakespeare was a great playwrite. There is a great literary culture. There have been lots of external forces on their country for thousands of years. Its a basically Saxon country ruled by a Norman elite. It has been chopped and blended and mixed for centuries. It has assimilated waves of migrant influences from Vikings to Huegenots to Jews to Indians et al. They may be one of the most homogenised cultures on the planet. But while I have no wish at all to be ruled by them, I would not underestimate them. That arrogance is learned behaviour. Its bred of entitlement and reinforced by an education system and a media which pander to an imperialist mindset which they still have not realised no longer has currency. They have much to be admired for. That they have borrowed so much is not a weakness. If you think about it, much of western culture is just an accretion. Zoroasterian base 12, Arabic numerals, Latinate languages, Eastern religions. Whats a culture?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I used it in the technical sense. She is responsible to culture, media and sport in England, although her remit includes tv/radio/newspapers that relate to the four countries.

          Like

  1. The London Government’s Culture Minister does understand how the licence fee works.
    The London Government’s former Foreign Secretary was unaware that Britain is an island.
    The London Government’s Interior Minister disparages economic migrants… Like her parents.
    The London Government’s Prime Minister imitates cars at a meeting of business leaders.
    Could any British nationalist please tell me how Scotland benefits from Union with this outfit? Please…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it so comforting that we have the brains of englandland in charge.
    There’s nobody in Scotland with the talent of the doris government unless you chose the unionist opposition in Hollyrood, red yellow and blue.

    Meantime the media is full of children’s early evening cartoon characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Utterly devastating news about the 20 people drowned in La Manche.

    Imagine being so desperate cross that water in November’s weather, and to lose your life in the process.

    I just hope, for the sake of Patel, that no wave machines were involved.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And yet the news programmes this morning are full of empty heads talking about the “solution” to this tragedy. None will grasp the nettle. I believe it was Aamer Anwar who said something to the effect that if we stopped bombing their countries into oblivion, then we wouldn’t have this problem. But of course, their is big money in war.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well, exactly.

          We’ve left Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in utter chaos. Is it any wonder people have to move away.

          When Brits starved the Irish or drove crofters off their lands for their massive sheep farms, what did they do?

          Well of course, many of them starved to death, but some went elsewhere.

          Why would it be OK for us and not for Iraqis?

          Aamer Anwar is a good man.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought that C4 did get public money? I think it might be a bit half-and-half, but I’m sure that there was talk of hiving off the publicly-supported part of it.
    It’s not necessarily from the licence fee, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Channel Four says it doesn’t and Damien Green seemed to agree.

      The Guardian says: It is publicly owned but commercially funded. Unlike the BBC, which is funded through the £159-a-year licence fee its viewers must pay.

      I think they might rephrase that to read, instead of “its viewers have to pay” to “anyone who has a tv has to pay”.

      But I have no idea.

      Not that I care for either of them but I reckon if I had to take the word of one of them, it certainly wouldn’t be her.

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      1. But the Conservatives are on a mission to destroy C4 because its effective in holding them to account. I mostly trust their news where there is no way I would trust the BBC. They should just leave C4 alone. As to the BBC, move it to a subscription service and be done with it. If its as much loved as they think, then it will make its way in the world just fine. BTW, I dont watch TV any more. I listen to podcasts, so my C4 knowledge is from the Fourcast and from a pre 2014 experience. I assume not much has changed, certainly if the Tories dont like it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t watch any tv, but I sometimes see a Ch 4 interview on-line. Their staff are far less deferential to ministers than the creepy BBC “journalists”.

          The idea of a licence fee was fair enough in the days when there was only one channel, but it is a nonsense now.

          You pay £159 a year to watch tv, which is even if you only watch the Discovery Channel.

          I know that my mother had a tv with over 100 channels and never watched BBC, preferring reruns on ITV3, Dave and the like.

          For older people who, particularly in the winter, may spend a lot of time in the house, maybe watching tv (and now that the free licence to over 75s has been swallowed up in the money saving exercises of the new global Britain) it is a particularly nasty tax.

          I know that we all have to pay taxes for things we do not use, and from which we derive no discernible benefit …eg, relatively high speed railways we will never use, nukes we cannot fire, royals who spend our money on clothes we could never afford, country estates for Peppa Pig fans. security details for lazy princesses who never do a hand’s turn, etc, but it should be very simple, if they can’t think of another way to fund the BBC, to limit their programmes to those who have paid a licence fee, and not deprive people who don’t want to pay the inflated salaries of Gary Lineker, Graham Norton and the Hon Sarah from watching any one of the other 150 or so channels.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I think the BBC is something that will be missed after it’s gone.

            I’m not one of the BBC bashers. I think it has a low quality of journalism right now but that is a biproduct of its charter. Worries that any deviation from it will lead to its end has led it to a skewed sense of “balanced” and “fair”. Having said that, you don’t have to look hard to find excellent journalism at the BBC. You just won’t find it on the 9 O’clock news but you will find it on the World Service and on their digital services.

            I don’t even mind the big stars getting paid large sums of money. It remains an observable fact that they make better programmes at the BBC than when they move elsewhere for even more money. Just look at Jonathan Ross.

            I’d far rather have the BBC with all its flaws than an open market for opinionated billionaires with money to burn on pet political projects.

            There was a referendum here about ending the funding model that is very similar to the UK’s but about 2x as costly. Honestly, the BBC is a shining example of financial transparency and cost efficiency compared to the way that the Swiss license fee is spent. Despite that, the Swiss voted to preserve the funding model.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. One of my problems with the BBC is, indeed, its royal charter, which demands in a rather old fashioned way, that it support in all things the United Kingdom and the crown.

              I heard that as an excuse for the bias that was shown (and shown to be shown in an academic study) during the Scottish Independence referendum. To be fair ITV was also biased.

              https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2014/feb/23/bbc-scottish-independence.

              I used to listen every morning to the Today Programme, but it became a real strain on my temper when I heard some of the interviewers refusing to question properly members of the government. To be fair some were sometimes, excellent. Tony Blair, it is said, was terrified of John Humphries!

              I think another problem is that the government of the day appoints the people at the top of the BBC (DG and Chairman, and some of the board).

              In theory this, of course, should not be necessarily seen as bad, but with this government it’s hard to imagine anything else. Large contributors to the Tory party get top jobs!

              Also, that the English Culture Secretary gets to set the level at which the TV licence is set, leave the process open to corruption. (Obviously with the current holder of that post, almost any madness is imaginable.)

              I appreciate, of course, that unless the BBC pays the going rate for “stars” it cannot hope to attract the brightest and the best. Do they get the brightest and the best? I’m not sure about that.

              I just wonder about the kind of salaries that are paid to presenters. Hundreds of thousands and rather unfairly distributed. Not so long ago there was an almighty row about the comparison between male and female presenters and editors.
              Carrie Gracie was a case in point. Despite having a more challenging role as China Editor than the American Editor (and having to speak fluent Cantonese and deal with the kind of reporting restrictions that exist in China) she was being paid far less.

              Long before that Sue McGregor complained that presenting “Today” she was earing much less than her male counterparts Humphries and Naughtie.

              As for the light entertainment stars, well, it’s hard for me to say, but Graham Norton at nearly £4 million a year?
              Maybe some people would think he was worth that. Me, not so much.
              Then there is the Jimmy Savile thing, where it was reported that the management knew what he was up to and left him presenting children’s programmes.

              I don’t wish to support the BBC and these salaries (and those of some of the staff too), so I will not pay the licence fee.

              Unfortunately, that also means that I’m not allowed to watch any of the other 100+ channels available.

              That seems unfair to me.

              The BBC world service is vastly better than Radio 4, I’d agree. There seems to be little news from England, and less likelihood of the management feeling the necessity to interfere with the integrity of the journalism.

              🙂

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              1. Many of the criticisms levelled at the BBC such as sexism, lack of inclusion, pay disparity etc are criticisms that could be levelled at any large organisation. Even new companies that ought to have less baggage have exactly the same problems. Just look at Google or Facebook and the same patterns emerge. We focus on the BBC because the tabloids focus on it. It’s the tabloids that make it a talking point. Their intentions are hardly pure.

                I don’t watch any UK domestic news programmes because I’m just not interested but when I last looked the BBC wasn’t any worse, in aggregate, than any other station. We just focus on the bad bits because they are more prominent and we’re more likely to see them. For every Andrew Marr, though, there is a Faisal Islam. For every Humphries there’s a Rob Watson. Marr is terrible and high profile and that makes a poor combination but it’s just 1 person.

                If we ignore news for a second, the BBC is completely amazing. It just makes shows that nobody else will make and it makes them in a way that nobody else can. It is only able to do that because it is to some degree free from the raw commercial pressures that lead to conformity.

                A really important point about the huge salaries that often make tabloid headlines is that they paint a false picture. Graham Norton makes shows that he sells to the BBC. He’s not personally pocketing all of that money. I am sure he is well paid but let’s not forget that there are mid-level developers at Google earning £500k to make sure you get a golf advert if you used the words “eagle” and “club” in the last 24 hours. I just can’t begrudge super-talented people earning large sums of money, knowing the kinds of salaries that not-so-talented people routinely make in the tech sector. It’s just that we talk about wealthy individuals that have the highest public profiles and ignore the hidden wealth disparities that are hardly hidden at all.

                Jimmy Savile was completely shocking but even there we focus on his BBC connection. He had dozens of connections that facilitated his abusive behavior but we focus just on the BBC? From what we know now, most of his criminal activity took place elsewhere because he was actually hardly ever at the BBC. Focusing on the BBC just takes the heat off every other institution that did nothing.

                The academic report about BBC bias during the 2014 ref was written by John Robertson. My view is that he cannot be regarded as an unbiased commentator. He runs a blog called “thoughtcontrolscotland”. I’ve read some of it and, for me, it fails the test of rigorous analysis. There is a world of difference between work by an academic and academic work. Besides, it’s odd to see a work on bias written by someone who has a public pro-indy bias.

                There’s just a tendency to conflate poor reporting with bias and then assume that affects the entire BBC all the way to Bargain Hunt. The BBC suffers from poor reporting. It can’t gets its head around “balanced” or “fair” and ends up proving too many opportunities for charlatans to propagate falsehoods. Its lack of agility means it still depends too much on old-school political gossip merchants like Marr and Kuenssberg and not enough on forensic journalists like Faisal Islam who could better interrorate the charlatans given airtime. These are all fixable problems. None of them warrant giving Rupert Murdoch exactly what he wants.

                Liked by 1 person

          2. Didn’t watch much TV even before they said I had to pay for it and now don’t bother, I can read books or entertaining and instructive blogs like this on dark evenings.

            Younger son and I were having a discussion recently about ethical investment and somehow got on to the idea of ethical tax, as in ‘is it ethical to pay a tax thet is used for things you don’t think are right’, such as weapons of mass destruction, having an armaments business that sells nasty stuff to nasty people, being used to enrich the chums of the governnent to buy stuff that doesn’t work anyway, useless vanity projects like HS2, House of Lords etc, You get the idea.
            I wonder if some of the philospophers on this site could help us with this. Also, it would be helpful to know how to avoid handing over tax which might be used unethically. Thanks in advance!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It’s an interesting question.

              Is it right to pay tax for things you are instinctively against?

              I’ve considered it many times…

              Why, I ask myself, do I pay for repugnant nuclear weapons, or indeed for any more than a small defence force?

              Any why, if we do have a large armed force, and I help pay for it, does my contribution not go to looking after people when they return from war, physically and or mentally wounded? Why re these people so heavily dependent on charity?

              Why do my taxes allow for people to sit around in a chamber making loud noises and behaving like 5c when the teacher has gone out of the room, while I am paying them a reasonably generous salary for a job with no qualification requirements?

              I suppose the answer is that you HAVE to accept the taxes that your government demands and accept also what it spends these taxes on. Anything else would be impossible.

              I suppose too that you try to change that government, and it that makes no difference (which in the UK it doesn’t in any real way… two cheeks of the same butt), then you either individually, or as a nation, leave that country.

              No bones about it, I have often desperately wished that I had been born Icelandic or Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Greenlandic, Faroese, Dutch… There philosophy is more to my likes.

              I’m sure there would have been things about these governments I wouldn’t have liked… but it wouldn’t come anywhere near the general loathing I feel for the pompous arses of the British establishment. I can quite genuinely say that I’ve always considered myself somehow at odds with Britain. I’ve never quite understood them,

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  5. The poor deluded mp and government minister says there’s no such thing as public money, just taxpayer’s money.
    The government have just decided to create £1.7billion to give to Bulb Energy to stop it going bust.
    They abandoned the Steel Industry when it lost £300 in a year, no longer viable.
    The bunged the Banks £5 billion, gone.
    They’re giving an energy company £1000 a customer to stop their free market idiology collapsing BUTT it’s not Nationalisation.
    Anything to get through to the spring.
    The evil of letting 30 people die on a Channel Crossing where there are plenty of places on board the ferries, then blame the French.
    What a mess of a country we have to live in as we aren’t allowed to have a Buyer’s Remorse election.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suspect that their money only goes to places which have made substantial contributions to the Conservative party…. and/or may supply directorships at massive salaries for no work, but handy connections.

      Like

    1. Add that to the Deputy Prime Minister, who appears to know nothing about anything, telling us that he watched Peppa Pig with his parents, when he was 30!

      Doomed, we’re all doomed!

      Like

  6. I was over at my sister’s during the week, she was a bit upset.
    She had just received a letter from the ‘BBC’ tv licencing that her husband’s free tv licence had expired on his death 4 weeks ago and she was now ‘unlicenced’ and could be ‘Fined’ £1000 for watching tv.
    That’s 4 weeks after the death certificate was issued.
    What morons work for them, no respect or sympathy.
    They must be needing the money, to pay for the crisp advertising rent a gub.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve caught ‘Buyer’s Regret’, I’d like to be an inhabitant of a Normal country, please Nicola, give us an early festive season present.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry to go off piste a bit but it seems that our Great British government are trying to kick the NI debacle down the road until after Xmas.
    Mustn’t upset the Tory faithful by having their Great British Xmas disrupted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, true. The great festival of greed and overspending must be saved at all costs…

      I suspect that the Northern Ireland question may be kicked down the road a few times until this lot are out!

      It would not surprise me if some of them didn’t know where it was, and possibly mixed it up with the Isle of Man or Sark or the Falklands.

      Like

        1. LOL…

          Hilarious.

          Mind, I was always interested in Geography so maybe it’s unfair of me to laugh, because I kinda knew things like that.

          I never quite grasped the Voltic Cell though.

          Like

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