|This is Simon Raymonde.|
Raymonde began his career as bassist for London-based post-punk band Drowning Craze, who released three singles on Situation 2: "Storage Case" (1981), "Trance" (1981) and "Heat" (1982).
In 1984, Raymonde joined Cocteau Twins, filling the void left by the departed bassist Will Heggie. He remained as a core writer in the band until its dissolution in 1997. As well as his work with Cocteau Twins, he also contributed to the first two albums by This Mortal Coil, another 4AD project.
Raymonde's debut solo album, Blame Someone Else, was released in 1997, and featured contributions from Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins.
Raymonde runs the Bella Union record label, which has released music by Fleet Foxes, Treefight For Sunlight, I Break Horses, John Grant, Laura Veirs, Midlake, Lift to Experience, Howling Bells, Stephanie Dosen, Beach House, Hannah Cohen, Dirty Three, Marques Toliver, The Low Anthem, Veronica Falls, Vetiver, Andrew Bird, J Tillman, Wavves, Abe Vigoda, Peter Broderick, Department of Eagles, Zun Zun Egui, Lanterns on the Lake, Alessi's Ark, Sleeping States, The Dears, Explosions in the Sky, Fionn Regan, Cashier No 9, Jonathan Wilson and Philip Selway.
Here in the UK we pay a TV licence fee, which goes to fund the output of the BBC. The BBC, as you know, is a non-commercial organisation. On BBC TV (BBC 1, BBC 2, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC local news, BBC Wales, BBC Scotland, BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Alba) there are no ads. Films are shown in their entirety with no interruption. The same concept goes for BBC Radio (Radio 1, Radio 2, 3, 4, 5live, 6music, and all the local radio stations, not to mention World Service). No ads, just content.
A lot of people in this country resent paying a licence fee. You hear the same old argument all the time. "Nothing but bloody rubbish on the telly, not worth the licence fee". "Nothing but repeats, is this what we pay the licence fee for?"
The Government seems bound and determined to cut funding to the BBC, scrap the licence fee, and open the doors to more crappy commercial stations. In my mind this is just like privatisation. When the Tories sold off British Telecom and let every tuppenny-ha'penny upstart phone company in, things gradually went to shit. Same goes for everything else they've privatised so they and their buddies can make a fast buck.
PM David Cameron the other day reportedly made remarks to the effect that he seeks to shut down Auntie Beeb.
So what has this got to do with Simon Raymonde? Well, just this morning, he said this on his Facebook feed...
"The more the BBC’s licence fee is diminished, the less excellent the BBC’s service, the less public support it will receive, the smaller it will become. There are some who welcome that: it means more rents in the fabric through which commerce can squeeze."
We have to watch this carefully. Critics of the license fee need to be aware of the cultural implications of it being cut or cauterized.
We all know it's (the BBC) not perfect but it IS PRECIOUS, for so many reasons i am too lazy to highlight. But in simple terms, watch ITV for 5 minutes.
What this piece doesn't mention is BBC5Live Extra and Test Match Special. A summer/winter without Jonathan Agnew is unthinkable i have to say. Oh i can hear you groan now, "not that upper class twits sport cricket!" It most certainly isn't though this piece will help you make up your own mind
If you smoke 20 a day, you're paying around £9 for the pleasure.
If you drink a casual 2 pints of ale a day, you're paying around £7 for the pleasure.
Culturally your smoking & drinking isn't really aiding my life in any way. But you are free to do it.
For 40p a day, WE ALL (and thats the point right there) get to listen/watch/interact with so many facets of British life across the stations and channels. To reduce the power of the BBC is to give in further to the dumbing down of our culture. That's just a fact.
Well said, Simon.