It's been a year in which the painful shortcomings of the BBC have become all too obvious. There was the disaster of the Royal Jubilee river pageant, during which the world's broadcast technology leader with a £5bn a year budget couldn't even manage to maintain an audio stream from some boats in the middle of the capital's river to its banks because of drizzly rain, though the content, produced by the BBC's Head of Jackanory, was deeply insulting to anyone over 12 years old anyway. We learned that the BBC's new breed of reporters, like David Cameron, are deeply ignorant of our history; Lock the hatters, they avowed, made the hat worn by Nelson at Waterloo.
We also had the BBC outclassed at every turn in reporting events in Libya, and currently Syria. Whilst Sky and Al-Jazeera film teams were up with the action on the ground, the risk-averse BBC teams, four times the size, filmed from their hotel balconies. Sky gave us the fresh debris of war and tracer rounds impacting on adobe walls whilst the BBC gave us distant plumes of smoke over the rooftops.
The Olympics were not filmed by the BBC and therefore went OK.
Then, with interludes telling of coke-snorting on Blue Peter and Pudsey being in re-hab, we learned that the BBC's Saint Jimmie was actually Britain's most prolific kiddie-fiddler, abusing children under the BBC's banner for decades; "We thought everyone knew" they said, echoing the position argued by Labour's Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman that “childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage”. Harman was no doubt duly astonished at the stream of highly-damaged individuals who subsequently appeared on other channels telling their stories.
That the Savile story wasn't broken by the BBC was the result of an editorial timidity exemplified by the Corporation's new Chief Executive, George Entwhistle, a man as charismatic a leader as an aged Galapagos tortoise, and with about as much sustained interest in his own organisation. Then the McAlpine story that was broken, and missed the target by a mile. Even this blog warned against mistaken identity.
And now Incurious George gets a whacking payout from the TV tax in return for his past credulity and future good behaviour, still sulking and clearly believing the need for his resignation was 'not fair'. The BBC's 2007 Charter, awarded for 10 years, made it fair; the BBC Trust, headed by Lord Patten, was for the first time completely operationally independent from the broadcast organisation - and clearly Patten believes this also means that the Trust has no responsibility whatsoever for operational disasters, for his own resignation is slow in coming.
The shape of the BBC's new Charter from 2016 must now be in serious question. The need for change is manifest. The Culture Secretary now has the opportunity to re-think the Charter from the ground up - though I have little hope this omnishambles government will actually have the will to tackle the task.