Saturday, May 12, 2007

The minister, the free gig and the auction site

While Blair flies about the country securing his legacy ("yes, yes, but if I wear gloves to cover the stains on my hands... how about then?") and Gordon Brown tries to build one of his own, the business of government trickles on without them. Shaun Woodward, who combines the creative industries ministership with being Barry off of Eastenders, has demanded that eBay stop selling Big Weekend tickets because they were free in the first place:

Mr Woodward said:"This flies in the face of all the hard work that Radio One is putting in to stamping out touts at the Big Weekend.

"Ebay should stop selling the tickets - the artists are not making money from this free event, so why should the touts?

"Demand for this event is outstripping supply by more than ten to one, and the BBC has decided that people should get tickets on the basis of how lucky they are, not how much money they have."

"The artists are not making money from this free event" - are you sure about that, Shaun?

Of course, it is a bit low to get a free ticket, and then flog it on eBay, but suggesting that eBay should engineer a rule which covers licence-fee funded events seems to be a little piecemeal. And it's interesting that, once again, the government is focusing on individuals flogging singles and doubles on eBay rather than the companies which ratchet up ticket prices by buying blocks and blocks of them. And also no word on the unacceptable "booking fee" practice, neither. We wouldn't want to suggest Woodward is rattling at a strawman to make it look like something is being done. But he is.

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