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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Root and branch

Not particularly interested in the media conflab about BSkyB, Murdoch, DCMS, Lenson but a couple of things are quite clear.  First of all, none of the current set of ministers, let alone the lot from the last government, has a clue about straightforward business dealings, open and fair discussion.  The difference between politicians and businesses is that businesses have to face up to reality because if they don't they will be wiped out whereas politicians try to abuse their power, hide from the truth and obfuscate. It works for a while or until enough people  have forgotten about a particular slip up and the politicians get away with it, but it makes for poor government.

Anyway, the one thing that is glaringly obvious is that Jeremy Hunt was inept in his handling of the BSkyB takeover, and it is clear that such rank amateurs should be nowhere near important decisions.  But it raises the bigger issue of whether we actually need a Department of Culture, Media and Sport, any more than we need a Ministry of, say, Bricklaying?  Sport and Culture existed long before the dead hand of government came into play, and while some aspects may benefit from government funding, that could probably be better handled by local government, by large national institutions (e.g. the National Gallery) funded directly by the Treasury or the National Lottery.

And as for media regulation, why should it be any different from any other business regulation? It is after all a business not an art and should be treated no differently than any other industry.

If there is one thing that can be learnt from the NOTW closure it is that incompetence and ineptitude can be most easily rooted out by closing down the whole organisation.

1 comment:

Demetrius said...

It is a peculiar feature of the UK that so much is centred on London. Politics, Culture, Media, Sport, Finance, Transport etc. The DCMS is a dire example of what can happen. It also means that as you say too many amateurs are wrecking the structures. So we just stagger on from one mess to another.