Meanness has been the attitude of successive governments to this priceless asset. Meanness prevented John Tusa's initiative to start BBC World Television, so CNN scooped the world audience during the Gulf war. Meanness made the channel carry advertising, which critics would say makes it less impartial, however unfounded the accusation.
Mark Tully was the only foreigner in a poll of the 100 most eminent people in India, yet his excellent programme Something Understood is relegated to 6am on Sundays on Radio 4. The BBC's foreign correspondents are famous locally, when the name of the British ambassador is unknown. From my career spent abroad, the former are better representatives than the latter, and less expensive as well.
W R HAINES