Unlike most working people of my age I'm relaxed, easy going and always think the best of people.
However, very occasionally I hear something that is so completely outrageous, so stupidly ridiculous, so jaw-droppingly moronic that there is only one way to sort this out....
In the past I've rather gone against the grain in giving octogenarian Rupert Murdoch grudging credit for having transformed Fleet Street from analogue to digital and sweeping away the "old Spanish Customs" which were otherwise destined to put several newspapers out of business decades ago. He also established a pay-to-view TV Channel in this Country from scratch by investing millions in building up a dedicated subscriber base from which BSkyB currently makes around 1 billion pounds profit per annum. Just keep that last figure in mind for a moment will you?
I've always felt vaguely niggled that the BBC appears to give Rupert a completely free ride by letting him broadcast their complete TV and Radio output as part of their "packages" which people pay £35 to £65 a month to enjoy.
However, I learned two things this morning from the BBC Media Show podcast which turn "vaguely niggled" into "steaming mad".
1. The BBC actually pays BSkyB £10 million pounds a year to broadcast all the BBC output. (no it's not a typing error - pays £10 million pounds a year!!!!)
2. Ratings figures show that the average Sky subscriber spends more than 50% of their viewing time watching BBC programmes for which the BBC is paying BSkyB.
The BBC is (rightly) under severe pressure to cut back on its top-heavy infrastructure and looking for savings all over the place, yet Mark Thompson has ONLY JUST raised this ridiculous anomaly which appears to have gone on since the start in 1990.
You can't really blame Rupert for grabbing the lovely free goodies that have been thrown his way but you can blame the politicians and the BBC for letting it carry on for so long. Not since my great uncle Derek made a personal fortune selling a single homing pigeon to unsuspecting punters all over the Country has such a ridiculous and bare-faced scam been allowed to continue.
Oye Cameron, Clegg, Jeremy Hunt! Get a grip and fix it will you? Here's my 6 point plan.
1. Cancel all existing re-transmission contracts between BSkyB and the BBC (by statute if necessary).
2. Tell Mark Thompson to re-negotiate commercially with Murdoch using the robust attitude that he himself was at the receiving end of in the licence fee settlement last year.
3. Don't be happy until BSkyB is paying the BBC at least £30million a year for re-transmitting the very best Television output in the World.
4. If Rupert and his useless son don't like it, encourage the BBC to pull the plug and let Sky viewers sit and watch Sky One between their football matches.
5. Benefit to BBC - £40 million a year.
6. Bish bosh. Sorted.