MUCH is being said and made of the BBC’s position in the media marketplace, but only ever from the point of view of the licence fee. Nothing I’ve read is made of the BBC’s commercial actions within that marketplace. The BBC has a huge library of programmes it has made over the decades, the funding of which has, in the main, come from the licence fee. That library has been releasing content to free to-air-stations, funded by advertising via UKTV. What is UKTV?

A quote, lifted from its website explains: “The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers. UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC.”

My question is not why must I pay a licence fee this year when I’ll be 75? My question is why do we have a licence fee at all? The BBC appears to have grown into a multi-national company with a worldwide reach.

Rodney Lang, Douglas.

FURTHER to the recent letter (January 31) regarding the BBC’s silly pronunciation of Scottish place names, I have written numerous letters, over the years, to no avail, getting a solitary reply which was a wonderful exercise in obfuscation and denial portraying, sadly, the ignorance and indifference of its author.

We continue to get our place names and surnames mangled to death as for in instances with the generic, i.e. Loch, getting the emphasis when the specific should, ie Ness, Earn and Fyne; similarly DUM-barton, DUN-dee, DUN-bar, and so on. Our Scottish surnames are treated similarly hence – SIN-clair, GAR-dyne, MAC-nab, MAC-donald, plainly wrong and silly.

It is of course the exact reverse in English word usage and structure where the emphasis is on the specific, being the prefix, i.e. COL-chester, MAN-chester, ROCH-chester. Quite easy to understand and apply, but sadly not so, apparently, with our BBC, which was given the title some decades ago, by the wonderful wit Oliver Brown: “The Anglo Saxophone”.

James Cameron Stuart, Falkirk.

American aid

OVER the years we have become accustomed to the image of patriotic Americans standing erect, hand over heart, uttering the immortal words “God bless America”.

After the recent hate-filled and despicable speeches by their President it would seem that it is indeed time to call upon help from the Almighty.

“God bless America” has never been more appropriate.

Hugh Phillips, Bothwell.

Budding post-punk

ABOUT punk I know nothing, and even less about post-punk, but I happened to spot the name of Harold Budd as I was looking at the adjacent column, Books To Read.

I came across Harold Budd on the same date as today (February 6t) but in 2002 when Verity Sharpe, on Late Junction, Radio 3, played an offering from his CD Silent Thunder. It is a most beautiful piece called Gypsy Violin played on what Neil Cooper said was the instrument Budd used, an "ambient piano" ("Wobble's post-punk supergroup and his enduring love of libraries", The Herald, February 6).

The piece slowly lasts for 21 minutes but is available to be heard 800 per cent slower; fascinating! We are treated to some really interesting information in The Herald. If this an example of what is called "punk" then I have obviously been missing something of interest.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.

Material issues

IN my rather sheltered life nowadays I admit that I missed Labour MP Tracy Brabin’s inadvertent disclosure of a bit of shoulder flesh at the dispatch box in the House of Commons, but the bust-up since is surely over-the-top and unwarranted ("MP’s ‘flesh dress’ critics should be ashamed of themselves, February 7).

I am sure most of us are more interested in the content of an MP’s brief, than briefs or other dress items.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.

So trying

REGARDING the 6 Nations rugby: I do wish the commentators, both on BBC and ITV, would learn to shut up and stop talking constant inane rubbish.

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.