Damian Green

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Damian Green
Revolving Door.jpg This article is part of the Revolving Door project of Spinwatch.


Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.

Damian Howard Green (born 17 January 1956) is the Conservative Party MP for Ashford. He is the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the appointment of Theresa May on 14 July 2016. [1]

Prior to this, Green served as Minister of State for Immigration in the Home Office in 2010.[2] He later served as Policing Minister before leaving the Cabinet in July 2014.[3]

In the 2015 general election in May, he retained his seat with a majority of 19,296. [4]

He is a former financial journalist, television producer, policy advisor and political lobbyist. [5]

Critic of the BBC

In 1991 the Centre for Policy Studies published a pamphlet by Green called A Better BBC: public service broadcasting in the 1990s. Green had spent much of the 1980s working in at Channel 4, but had also worked at The Times and the BBC [6] where he was a Producer in the Financial Unit from 1980 to 1982. [7] He would go on to become a Policy Advisor to John Major, a political lobbyist, and then a Conservative MP. [8]

Green's report attempted to develop a middle ground between the push for the BBC's privatisation coming from the neoliberals, and the support for quality national broadcasting amongst more traditionally minded Conservatives. The report is was somewhat unusual in that Green conceded that 'there is little evidence that the public is opposed to the concept of public service broadcasting... or that there is a wave of feeling that the BBC fails to help realise that concept.' [9] Neither was he supportive of the common assertion that the BBC had a systematic left-wing bias. The report was more typical in its criticism of the BBC as wasteful and inefficient. Its main argument in favour of reform though was that changes to the 'broadcasting landscape' meaning an increase in the number of channels, would necessarily make the BBC's exclusive right to the licence fee revenues 'indefenisible'. [10]

Green rejected advertising and subscription as alternative sources of funding. Instead he argued that the licence fee should remain, but that its revenues should be distributed by a new 'Public Service Broadcasting Authority' which would then commission public service broadcasting, initially overwhelmingly from the BBC, but also to private producers and Cable TV companies. [11] This, Green argued, would encourage competition and efficiency in the BBC and would guarantee that public service broadcasting was not undermined. The inevitable loss in revenue would then be met by the BBC 'marketing the range of BBC programmes' international, and from entering into joint productions and sponsorship deals. [12] 'If,' Green wrote, 'it eventually transpired that all the functions at present served by the BBC could indeed be provided by the market (with assistance from the PSBA), then the BBC could wither away, or be transformed into a much smaller and more concentrated broadcasting organisation.' [13]

Special advisers

Notes

  1. 'Whos in and Whos out? May's new cabinet', 14 July 2016, BBC News, accessed 15 July 2016
  2. Full list of new cabinet ministers and other government appointments, guardian.co.uk, 13 May 2010.
  3. Reshuffle at-a-glance: In, out and moved about, BBC News, 15 July 2014.
  4. Kent general election 2015 results: Ashford kentnews.co.uk, 8 May 2015, accessed 14 May 2015
  5. GREEN, Damian Howard’, Who's Who 2009, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2008 [Accessed 27 Nov 2009]
  6. Damian Green, ‘A Better BBC: public service broadcasting in the 1990s’, 10 November 1991; p.3
  7. GREEN, Damian Howard’, Who's Who 2009, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2008 [Accessed 27 Nov 2009]
  8. Ibid.
  9. Damian Green, ‘A Better BBC: public service broadcasting in the 1990s’, 10 November 1991; p.9
  10. Damian Green, ‘A Better BBC: public service broadcasting in the 1990s’, 10 November 1991; p.9
  11. Damian Green, ‘A Better BBC: public service broadcasting in the 1990s’, 10 November 1991; p.36
  12. Damian Green, ‘A Better BBC: public service broadcasting in the 1990s’, 10 November 1991; pp.36-37
  13. Damian Green, ‘A Better BBC: public service broadcasting in the 1990s’, 10 November 1991; p.38