JEREMY Corbyn’s proposal to tax tech companies and give the money to the BBC is quite extraordinary. I suppose from his side of the fence, BBC news is doing such a sterling job of distorting the news in Scotland, maybe he thinks we need more of it.

What is breathtakingly stupid is his lack of understanding as to what the BBC is and what it should really be. It already has a massive budget of more than £3 billion through taxation plus the unknown revenue from BBC Studios and its shadowy commercial arm, BBC Worldwide. It receives funding from the Open University. It also has access to co-production money.

For example, budgets for wildlife shows are split into three. A third is from the BBC, a third from BBC Worldwide and the final third from a co-producer. In the past co-producers have included the Discovery network and public service broadcasters in America, WGBH Boston and WNET New York. No-one outside of the BBC knows what its total income is.

When the BBC really was a public service broadcaster editorially independent from foreign influence, the standards were extremely high. There was a clearly defined line between it and commercialisation. As strand executives became more ambitious with their programming they required more money from the commercial sector. Merchandising has become so important to the BBC that fluffy daytime shows have ad markers edited into them so that advertisers in its commercial arm can slip them in effortlessly.

Corbyn says the BBC needs the money to compete with commercial broadcasters. Ratings chasing and global brand building is not what a public service broadcaster is supposed to do.

The BBC has always denied that it chases ratings but that is blatantly untrue, every programme producer has one eye on the ratings, it’s the gold standard of perceived success.

The BBC is intentionally competing with its rivals at every level. Safe, dumbed- down programming has become the norm. Gone are the risk-takers. Decades ago producers in Horizon didn’t mind taking risks. One producer’s average output from three of his films was one stinker, one OK and one award-winner. That would not be acceptable now. Failure of any kind today is as alien a concept as its public service broadcaster credentials. The financial freedom to experiment with adventurous new ideas and yes, perhaps occasionally to fail, is what a safety net guaranteed income is all about.

So who benefits from this behemoth of a corporation? The UK Government gains massively through its British branding. It is the world’s largest broadcaster, reaching out to billions of people in more than 30 languages. It is significant that in the BBC’s World Service Wikipedia listing there is the line, “Like the rest of the BBC, the World Service is a Crown corporation of the UK Government.” I think that just about sums it up.

Mike Herd

READ MORE: Sorry Jeremy, when you make mistakes they’ll be reported

I HAVE just read the article “Why FM needs to appear on Test Match Special” (August 22) and need to ask, in the name of all the love bombing we’ve received and again will receive when the time calls, why?

Do we not equally need to have May or Bojo Johnson commentating on the shinty, in the fantastic MacAuley cup final we had last weekend or the Camanachd Cup that’s coming soon? I’m sure that May and Bojo would be as comfortable with the shinty as Nicola would be with cricket. Why would we want to put her through such a humiliating pointless exercise??

Crìsdean Mac Fheargais
Dùn Èideann

READ MORE: Why the FM needs to appear on Test Match Special Special