Close Radio 4!

For years RTVE, the state broadcaster, has functioned as a 24*7 cash dispenser for artistically inclined friends and relatives of the ruling class (check eg Fernando González Urbaneja). Now the government has promised to reduce its debt, currently running at around 185€ per head of population, and there’s a lot of bitching about the cuts, and particularly about the proposed closure of Catalan broadcaster, Radio 4.

Back in 1976 Radio 4 was the only station broadcasting in Catalan, but now no one listens to it (sorry, 8,500, ie similar to a decent blog), it’s very expensive (with a full-time staff of 110, its annual direct costs are 850€/user, ie rather more than a decent blog), and there’s loads of competition which does the same thing better, albeit still costing the taxpayer an arm and a leg.

To anyone with half a brain, closure makes perfect sense, but the petition to prevent this happening already has more signatories than the station has listeners, pathetic email spamming is underway, and all the old nationalist-persecutionist hobbyhorses are on parade. We all dream vaguely about living beyond our means, but a desire to become the new Argentina is much more strongly-rooted in Barcelona than anywhere else I’ve been.

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