The report that a tax of 50 pence per month on fixed telephone lines has been proposed in order to fund universal broadband access has done nothing but further fuel my suspicion that whatever it funds will become a public good that will later be sold into private hands.
The lack of creativity behind this proposal is quite tedious. You can almost read the playbook from half a mile away.
There have recently been reports that proposals are afoot to allow the ITV network to carry teleshopping through the night. Again, this stale, grey outcome reeks of a lack of creativity - not amongst those who watch television, or those capable of being involved in the production of television output, but amongst the groups that those who control television would prefer to have access to it. It says much for two decades of encouraging young people to pursue studies in film and television that the only thing on ITV at some times of the day will be adverts. That particular scholastic adventure really worked out well. Whether it be competitive dominoes or the lives of the saints, ITV could show any number of programs at any time of the day or night and have the viewers packing them in, but they won't do that.
Not that the BBC's much better. When the farming programme that used to be broadcast at lunchtimes on Sunday is now the 7.00 pm anchor of the Sunday evening schedule, then the panic felt by those who schedule programs at the lack of creativity is almost palpable.
The same lack of creativity motivates the news that the Conservatives would not oppose Tony Blair's appointment, or even election, to the presidency of Europe. It would be uncharitable to describe Mr. Blair as a shopsoiled item of teleshopping tat, particularly when the observation would apply more directly to his reputation than to the man himself. Hoewever, that he might have the temerity to even consider putting himself forward for the job is sadly not outwith the bounds of credibility; that unmandated pan-Europeanism would become even more of a laughing stock as a result doesn't seem to enter their minds at all.
Dominant minorities are notorious for their lack of creativity; one of the reasons they don't get to dominate for long.