It seems that my borrowing of the Welsh Well-being of Future Generations Act so as to pass a UK-wide version through Parliament is not the first time that Welsh things have moved eastward. Of course there are many other Welsh initiatives and physical products that have made the eastward journey, possibly the tariff on single-use plastic bags being one of the most spectacular.
But did you know, because I didn’t, that much of Stonehenge started off as a Welsh circle in the Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire 5,000 years ago? I found out all about this last week when I watched a gripping documentary on BBC Two about the mammoth task of moving it eastward, and the background to the forensics of finding this out.
This is the kind of TV I like. The BBC did start in the 1920s as a way of improving our understanding, and 90 years later the broadcaster can say it can still deliver the goods. Although there does seem to be a desire, nay perhaps a need, to get as popular as possible, thus guaranteeing the public’s willingness to pay their licence fees.
If we lost the idea of public service broadcasting we might well regret the day we allowed it to wither on the vine
It’s a bit of a wobbly position to be in. Holding back the onslaught of Amazon and Netflix and other big players. We know that the BBC can provide brilliant TV, but alas it might be stymied by this cord it has around its throat attaching it to the consumer, in the form of the licence. All I know is that if we lost the idea of public service broadcasting we might well regret the day we allowed it to wither on the vine.
I wouldn’t know the answer. Other than doing what I would do, which may prove wrong. I would turn the BBC more towards educating our children and dousing them in quizzes and anything else that showed them how to think better. The Beeb should not be left to the mercy of the market place and the beck and call of consumerism.
Turn the BBC more towards making history programmes that go into the detail of what happened; certainly a good history of how we came to be where we are now in the world would be welcome. I would love to see programmes about how the welfare state has panned out over the years. Why our social security system seems riven with holes. All big stuff that grew out of the history of how we put the post-war world together.