Friday, 23 July 2010

S4C Budget to be Cut

The Guardian reports that Westminster's Department of Culture, Media and Sport is to cut the budget allocated to the Welsh-language Sianel Pedwar Cymru (S4C) by almost a quarter.

According to the article, some commentators doubt that "such a small talent base can sustain a full-service television channel", and yet "One cost-cutting solution being mooted is for S4C to drop Clirlun, its recently launched high-definition service on Freeview" — despite the fact that this would presumably achieve a cut in overheads rather than programme spending.

The news does not augur well for the Con-Dems' approach to regional or minority languages and will no doubt see both parties do less well in Wales.

"Separately, the BBC's executive board is renegotiating the corporation's three-year contract to supply S4C with programmes, and may come under pressure to make good some of the shortfall, though this would be met by licence fee payers."

The BBC disposes over huge wealth garnered through the application of an involuntary impost that it refers to as a fee but which is, to all intents and purposes, a tax — and, like the "community charge" of yesteryear, a tax that takes no account of liable persons' ability to pay. For decades it used that money to contribute to the minoritisation of Celtic languages and a host of regional varieties of English while promoting Received Pronunciation, a dialect spoken by between 1% and 3% of the UK population and, no doubt, an even lesser proportion on the Celtic fringe.

Given the corporation's shameful history, the Blether Region can see no reason for it not to make up the shortfall in its entirety.

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