“The frontline of the battle for men’s minds is clearly drawn.
The British Council and the BBC World Service share joint top billing on the UK government’s inventory of cultural diplomacy assets. Both are widely regarded as ‘soft power’, and are funded wholly or in part by the Foreign Office. And both are operationally aligned, by legal instruments, to British mid- and long-term foreign policy objectives.
They are also, however, independent. The World Service has full editorial autonomy, and the British Council decides the content of its projects, and its day-to-day initiatives. How can they be funded by the UK government, and yet independent?”