Who should own the BBC? Brands, Media and Money In 1993 I co wrote a paper for the BFI Charter Review Series on the ownership and funding of the BBC. In it I proposed that the BBC should become a mutual owned by licence fee payers. Its current status, where it depends on a government granted hypothecated tax, seemed to provide imperfect incentives., Mutuals then enjoyed a rather undeserved negative image – but are now enjoying a renewal of interest as a good structure for anything from financial institutions (plus ca change) through retailers (John Lewis) up to technology (Linux anyone?). This paper hardly set the world on fire then and I doubt it will now – but as mutual ownership is becoming topical again- at both ends of the political spectrum  - I throw it back into the ring. “By refocusing on mutual ownership and collective stakeholdings in our services, Labour can seize that moment to disperse control, to empower citizens and to secure and democratise our proudest heritage ....”. Alex Smith, editor of Labour List The Conservative Co-operative Movement was set up … in response to a call by David Cameron for a new centre-right organisation to promote co-ops and the co-operative ethos….Party policy now includes enabling legislation for public sector workers to form co-ops to deliver public services; for communities to take over municipal and council facilities, and run them as co-ops....”. NB I cannot claim the original idea – that was given to me by Michael Grade who in turn had been given it by Lord Rothschild (I think – forgive me if I am wrong). Nor can I claim sole authorship – Professor Peter Abell of the LSE was recruited to the cause as a strong editor - due to his excellent and original research into mutual ownership. Click here for a pdf of my version of the paper. Also worth looking at:. www.conservativecoops.com www.cooperatives-uk.coop   : <<<< Back to menu