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BBC should now compete in the market without public funds

GEORGE Entwistle has resigned of his own volition, after only two months in post, following the Newsnight debacle, but we are subjected to the obscenity of our licence fee being used to pay him a golden goodbye of £450,000 after his failure to get to grips with the organisation ("BBC crisis: More senior executives face the axe", The Herald, November 12).

What we have is yet another instance of a hugely arrogant BBC using public monies without proper thought.

The BBC in its present form has outlived its right to our ongoing financial support through taxation. It has, over recent years, lost the trust of much of the public and the time has come to set it free to compete in the market place and raise income from those willing to pay for its services.

The BBC is no longer the neutral public service broadcaster of choice but an organisation with its own agenda which needs to stand or fall on its merits and without the luxury of a tax-based income.

Ronald Peebles,

23 Gartcows Drive,

Falkirk.

BECAUSE BBC governance has been as hopeless as its management, it is clear that Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, should cease posturing and follow George Entwistle through the exit door.

Ron Sutherland,

4 Millwell Park, Innerleithen.

GEORGE Entwistle has resigned and as part of his pay-off deal will receive one year's salary worth £450,000 (equivalent to 80 state pensions).

For how much longer will the long-suffering public be required to fund a mediocre and self-seeking broadcasting service?

Ian F Mackay,

5 Smillie Place, Kilmarnock.

AMIDST all the hysteria surrounding the BBC in these past few weeks, there's been little sense of a wider perspective. Under pressure to make amends for its failure to pursue the now well-known and well- documented allegations against Jimmy Savile, it seems that the BBC over-compensated and allowed an outsourced story to be broadcast for which, ironically, the authors did not have enough evidence – not least because they didn't fully check their facts. I can understand the psychology of this, but it's still inexcusable. That's a managerial failure – managers are paid to check proper procedures are properly followed, even when under the cosh both reputationally and in a time of cut-backs. Those responsible for this lamentable failure will have to answer for their actions.

Nevertheless, let's see the glorious colours of the wood and not just this rotten tree. The BBC produces thousands of hours of great television, radio and internet content. The Olympics, Match of the Day, news and current affairs in all shapes and sizes, wonderful wildlife programmes, comedy, music and the arts: the list is almost endless. All enrich our lives and speak to wider truths about ourselves than do the sectional interests sometimes seen in other parts of the media and in other parts of the world.

So, in the midst of the current stooshie, let's hear it for the BBC. That's the big picture – and it's time that our pundits and politicians and even the BBC top brass, cowed as they now appear to be, started to realise it. Jimmy Savile has caused enough damage to people's lives already. Don't let's throw the baby out with the bathwater and add wrecking the BBC to his malign legacy.

Lawrence Marshall,

50 (3F1) King's Road, Portobello, Edinburgh.

LORD Patten has declared that the BBC must now radically change its style of management to ensure that the chaos of the last month with the Savile and Newsnight debacles never happens again.

It seems to me that the BBC is grossly over-managed with far too many layers of highly-paid managers who pass the buck up the chain of management, believing that it is the next layer of management's problem.

This plethora of managers is draining the limited funds that should be directed to hiring more, not fewer, highly talented journalists to be able to do a proper job of investigation, analysis and exposure of public interest stories in the way the BBC used to be able to do before manager mania set in and so many journalists were shown the door.

Lord Patten must also address the question of what the equally highly-paid lawyers at the BBC were doing when the Savile and Newsnight scandals were emerging and could have been sorted long before the mismanagement of both of these problems overwhelmed the BBC.

The scale of reluctant management is well illustrated by a personal example.

I had reason to make a complaint to BBC Scotland and tried to get the BBC customer services to advise me how I could write to the head of BBC Scotland but never got a reply from them. I then emailed the boss of BBC Scotland to lay out my complaint and I heard nothing from him. Undaunted, I wrote a letter to him and included a copy of my original email and sent it recorded delivery to the BBC HQ in Glasgow on November 1. So far I still have no acknowledgement of my email or letter.

Max Cruickshank,

13 Iona Ridge, Hamilton.

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