Allow Foreign TV Channels on Sky

Margaret Thatcher saw the value of free speech and passed laws allowing UK citizens to easily watch foreign satellite TV channels. Freedom of speech and access to foreign sources helps democracy abroad. Yet in the UK the previous mixed-provider platform on Astra has been replaced with a system controlled by just one broadcaster, Sky. In theory non-UK channels can operate on the Sky platform, but in reality every channel is UK regulated by Ofcom or tacitly approved by Sky. It's market power makes direct competitors or types of channels Sky disapproves of unable to access the UK market. They can't get a transponder slot. If they do,m they can't get listed on the Sky EPG. If they do the cost is £25,000 or more per year.

This is an insurmountable hurdle for, say, a small French regional channel, that might want to broadcast to ex-patriot French working in Britain. A custom dish set-up is not an option for many people, particularly anyone in temporary accommodation.

The Sky platform has just 2 European channels, both bland state run "Best Of" packages. We should be strengthening our ties, not weakening them.

Not a Government issue? Not a freedom issue? Yes, Mr Moderator, it is. It will take Government action to force Sky (and Virgin, BT, etc) to carry european channels on request and at low cost, without UK regulation. (Dual regulation does not work).

Give the UK people freedom to hear the rest of the world, not just what big business wants us to hear.

Why is this idea important?

Margaret Thatcher saw the value of free speech and passed laws allowing UK citizens to easily watch foreign satellite TV channels. Freedom of speech and access to foreign sources helps democracy abroad. Yet in the UK the previous mixed-provider platform on Astra has been replaced with a system controlled by just one broadcaster, Sky. In theory non-UK channels can operate on the Sky platform, but in reality every channel is UK regulated by Ofcom or tacitly approved by Sky. It's market power makes direct competitors or types of channels Sky disapproves of unable to access the UK market. They can't get a transponder slot. If they do,m they can't get listed on the Sky EPG. If they do the cost is £25,000 or more per year.

This is an insurmountable hurdle for, say, a small French regional channel, that might want to broadcast to ex-patriot French working in Britain. A custom dish set-up is not an option for many people, particularly anyone in temporary accommodation.

The Sky platform has just 2 European channels, both bland state run "Best Of" packages. We should be strengthening our ties, not weakening them.

Not a Government issue? Not a freedom issue? Yes, Mr Moderator, it is. It will take Government action to force Sky (and Virgin, BT, etc) to carry european channels on request and at low cost, without UK regulation. (Dual regulation does not work).

Give the UK people freedom to hear the rest of the world, not just what big business wants us to hear.

Allow Anyone To Set Up A Local TV Station

Allow any one to set up a local TV station.  Impose a low power limit and prevent operators having licences for more than one area, but just make it easier.  Don't force people to categorise their channels. Remove massive bureacratic and operational hurdles – it's all but impossible to operate a TV channel without a legal department. Remove scope for malicious complaints.

OK, impose a few conditions. Convicted criminals, sex shop onwers and people "convicted" of trading offences in civil courts should be required to undergo full "Appropriate Person" checks, and debtors, but let ordinary people set up channels.

Let people sub-lease capacity at different times of day without assuming liability for content.

Make it even easier by making Ofcom provide "TV station in a box" model kits, eg docs, retention of recordings, etc.

And keep local council out of it, there is enough bland well meaning rubbish out there.

Why is this idea important?

Allow any one to set up a local TV station.  Impose a low power limit and prevent operators having licences for more than one area, but just make it easier.  Don't force people to categorise their channels. Remove massive bureacratic and operational hurdles – it's all but impossible to operate a TV channel without a legal department. Remove scope for malicious complaints.

OK, impose a few conditions. Convicted criminals, sex shop onwers and people "convicted" of trading offences in civil courts should be required to undergo full "Appropriate Person" checks, and debtors, but let ordinary people set up channels.

Let people sub-lease capacity at different times of day without assuming liability for content.

Make it even easier by making Ofcom provide "TV station in a box" model kits, eg docs, retention of recordings, etc.

And keep local council out of it, there is enough bland well meaning rubbish out there.

Enact legislation to free Black and Ethnic Minority People

Review reveals racism claims at GCHQ

Anti-terrorism efforts at GCHQ – Britain's secret eavesdropping centre – are being undermined by failing to recruit enough ethnic minority staff, according to a new report. Skip related content

The review found that black and Asian intelligence officers complained of a racist culture at the complex near Cheltenham, in Gloucestershire.

It also said that GCHQ had only a "very small pool" of black and Asian staff among its 5,000 workers – while all of the agency's senior staff were white.

Much of the agency's work involves monitoring calls and emails from terror suspects, but a lack of officers with specialist knowledge of languages like Urdu and Arabic was found to be harming efforts to spot codes and cultural nuances in intercepted conversations.

"It is critical to have a diverse staff group who are able to profile and recognise certain behaviour patterns and communications," the document said.

The report recommends better engagement with ethnic minority communities in order to boost recruitment and improve the image of the organisation, adding: "This is critical to good national security intelligence."
 

Why is this idea important?

Review reveals racism claims at GCHQ

Anti-terrorism efforts at GCHQ – Britain's secret eavesdropping centre – are being undermined by failing to recruit enough ethnic minority staff, according to a new report. Skip related content

The review found that black and Asian intelligence officers complained of a racist culture at the complex near Cheltenham, in Gloucestershire.

It also said that GCHQ had only a "very small pool" of black and Asian staff among its 5,000 workers – while all of the agency's senior staff were white.

Much of the agency's work involves monitoring calls and emails from terror suspects, but a lack of officers with specialist knowledge of languages like Urdu and Arabic was found to be harming efforts to spot codes and cultural nuances in intercepted conversations.

"It is critical to have a diverse staff group who are able to profile and recognise certain behaviour patterns and communications," the document said.

The report recommends better engagement with ethnic minority communities in order to boost recruitment and improve the image of the organisation, adding: "This is critical to good national security intelligence."
 

Diversity and labels

I am sick of having the word diversity reinforced everywhere I look.  It has almost  become a form of doctrine. We do not need to be told about diversity  as it manifests itself in all kinds of ways  and always has done – nothing new, but why do we just use this in the human context?  What about the diversity of other species and their rights – in other words the diversity of life on the planet says it all.

We have all been sedated by previous New Labour  Think , with catch-all ugly labels and diktat.  Let common sense prevail and allow people to subscribe if they wish but get rid of the labels many of which usually end in 'ism'.  That was part of the Big State and small society – lets reverse the trend before it is too late and we are all forced to worship just one kind of diversity.

Why is this idea important?

I am sick of having the word diversity reinforced everywhere I look.  It has almost  become a form of doctrine. We do not need to be told about diversity  as it manifests itself in all kinds of ways  and always has done – nothing new, but why do we just use this in the human context?  What about the diversity of other species and their rights – in other words the diversity of life on the planet says it all.

We have all been sedated by previous New Labour  Think , with catch-all ugly labels and diktat.  Let common sense prevail and allow people to subscribe if they wish but get rid of the labels many of which usually end in 'ism'.  That was part of the Big State and small society – lets reverse the trend before it is too late and we are all forced to worship just one kind of diversity.

Cabinet should be representative of society

The ConDem cabinet is dominated by white, male, public school educated people. These people are not represenative of our wonderfully diverse socitey.

Establish a law that dictates cabinet should comprise an equal number of men and women, public school educated people should not be over represented and lets ensure our ethnic minorities are well represented as well. Also no unelected people to sit in cabinet.

Why is this idea important?

The ConDem cabinet is dominated by white, male, public school educated people. These people are not represenative of our wonderfully diverse socitey.

Establish a law that dictates cabinet should comprise an equal number of men and women, public school educated people should not be over represented and lets ensure our ethnic minorities are well represented as well. Also no unelected people to sit in cabinet.