Bankrupting The Guardian

Guido has always believed that the nature of the statist BBC and the non-profit making culture of the Guardian encourages a statist and non-profit making culture to dominate the thinking of the political class. These two media organisations of course see themselves as providing intellectual and moral leadership. The knee jerk “government must do something” attitude of the two organisations supports the statist consensus. Breaking that consensus is an essential condition for the post-bureaucratic age.

Crucial to creating an enterprise culture and undoing the all-party, semi-socialist culture which prevails in Britain is shattering this media hegemony. Reducing the scope of the BBC is essential to this long term goal. The BBC is the primary reason Britain does not have a Silicon Valley culture, the multi-billion pound tax subsidy crowds out competition, undermines innovation and makes it impossible for rivals to compete profitably. The Tories are only tentatively thinking about “harm reduction” policies towards the BBC. The Guardian is far more vulnerable…

The Guardian is financed by a charitable trust (ironically taking advantage of tax exemptions) the two main sources of income supporting that trust are the profits from Auto Trader and the public sector advertising that fills page after page of the newspaper. One of the first thing the Tories should do in power is set up www.jobs.gov.uk. All available public sector positions would be listed there free of charge, this would save hundreds of millions in advertising costs for the taxpayer and deprive the Guardian of a critical revenue stream.

The second income stream has always been vulnerable to competition. Auto Trader profits have financially supported the salaries of the journalists who write environmentalist anti-car editorials in the Guardian. Now a group of former journalists from Autocar Magazine and Auto Express magazines have launched an online-only magazine Drivers-Republic.com. With a bit of luck it will be a deadly competitor to Auto Trader…

Without the taxpayer subsidy and the profits from Auto Trader, the Guardian could go the way of the Morning Star. Once it was deprived of subsidy, after the fall of the Soviet Union, it became an irrelevance.

UPDATE : Tim Montgomerie emails to tell me it is already Conservative Party policy to bankrupt the Guardian.


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