Will Hutton in the Observer is absolutely correct when he writes that the BBC, because it has a "commitment to objective and impartial reporting", will inevitably find itself on "a collision course" with the various forces of conservatism. The Director General will be more able to "stand up against the bullies" if he knows he has public opinion on his side, and the BBC will regain and retain it if, not only the quality of the programmes is maintained, but if there is a general public acceptance that not a penny of the licence fee is being wasted; that means total transparency is absolutely vital, which, if achieved, could become a benchmark for all corporations.
The BBC should not attempt to match the fees paid by its more affluent rivals to star presenters; would celebrities be unwilling to promote their new albums, films or autobiographies on chat shows if the host was not as famous as themselves? The objective is the publicity, whatever the first name on the credits! The idea that it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to work for the Corporation should be cultivated, so that would mean no contracts to be allowed where there is any possibility taxes could be avoided. If certain, older presenters don`t like it, tough! Then there`s the extravagence,which not only applies to over-generous pay-offs, but to numbers of employees.Whether any punditry is required at all is a moot point, but there must be a strong case for the number of "experts" and "analysts" to be reduced; sometimes there appears to be more pundits than competitors! Their role as time-fillers could be taken by showing highlights of what happened when the teams/players/runners last competed against each other.
The application of such basic principles as no-one employed by the BBC to earn more than the Prime Minister, no tax avoiding companies or individuals to be given contracts, and young talent and minority sports to be given fair coverage, would all help improve an ailing image. Why give the job of hosting a quiz programme to an old,, and already employed presenter, when younger, and no doubt,cheaper, talent could be developed. Sensible programming would not go amiss either, with more opportunities on air for females of all ages, clearer distinction of programme genre between channels, and more sensible use of sports,drama and entertainment archives, with perhaps one channel completely devoted to showing re-runs of serialisations and major sporting events. Common sense, not rocket science, is needed.