Jowell and David Miliband: Turn the BBC into a mutual organisation

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Labour leadership contender David Miliband and shadow minister for the cabinet office Tessa Jowell believe the BBC should be mutualised.

In a piece jointly written in the journal Progress they say:

“Under a mutual model, membership of the BBC could be open to everyone who pays the licence fee. Members could have the right to elect representatives to a members’ council that would elect a majority of members of the BBC Trust. This would give licence fee payers a way to democratic voice in the priorities of the BBC.”

However they don’t say anything about ending the compulsory nature of the licence fee. So it would be a mutual organisation which still has the power to send you to prison if you own a TV and don’t pay the subs, it would seem.

Their piece closely follows a report by former BBC producer David Graham which called for a slimmed down BBC to be funded by voluntary subscription, with the licence fee scrapped.

As the Government axes funding for everything from free swimming for children to film industry subsidies, it seems certain that the BBC’s status – and its income of £4.66bn a year – will continue to be the subject of much debate.

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