One interesting thing about the UK is how there’s less separation of institutions in general compared to the US. I think I mentioned how the Church Of England just selected a new Archbishop of Canterbury. That matters even to the government, because he controls a certain number of seats in the House of Lords and the Church is still entwined with certain government functions (and vice-versa) in ways that I’m still not understanding fully, but it’s there.
But it’s not just church and state. There’s been another huge scandal here related the BBC. I haven’t followed it super closely, but believe it started when it news came out that an old BBC children’s show host was accused posthumously of sexually abusing many children. Then there was accusations of a cover-up while he was alive. Then there was a separate issue about an inaccurate report of sexual abuse at some place in Wales by a BBC show Newsnight. Leading to some BBC head resigning. Coupled with a scandal by his generous severance package.
The details are boring, but the point is, the way the newspapers describe it it’s clear the decision about what to do now is a public one, because the BBC is (at least partly?) publicly funded. I think it’s governed semi-autonomously, but the government has at least some say, and it’s likely to apply some pressure here.
That’s so interesting to me. In the US, we separate the government from everything – church, business, the arts, sports. So much so that I just took it for granted that that’s how things simply are. But it’s not, at least here. I was prepared for the church and state thing. But the level to which the government is at least a little involved in other things as well, that was striking.