Do we trust the BBC Trust?

 

           The BBC Trust appointed Mr Entwistle as Editor in Chief and Director General, only to accept his resignation shortly afterwards.  Mr Entwistle had not resolved the first Newsnight crisis, and allowed the second one. Both problems were the same issue – very poor journalism.

          If the BBC is to continue to recruit mainly pro EU global warming hawks to its main news programmes, doesn’t the Trust have a duty to represent all the licence payers who do not agree with these viewpoints? Shouldn’t it be the voice for balance?

              The Newsnight child abuse disasters  look as if they sought to protect the BBC from accusations about child abuse in the Savile scandal, and to wrongly incriminate a leading Conservative of the Thatcher era instead for the North Wales problems, whilst playing down the role of Clwyd County Council who were responsbile for  the children’s home and social service department which were involved.

          Isn’t it time for the Trust to demand proper journalist standards? It could ask why the BBC has spent a lot of money blocking FOI requests seeking to find out how balanced the BBC is in its approach to energy policy and global warming.

Shouldn’t the BBC news and current affairs side seek to represent the spectrum of views on big topics that characterise our democratic debate, without fear or favour?

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164 Comments

  1. Peter Huntington
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    In a way one could argue that Entwhistle was brought down by the BBC`s endemic left-liberal bias. It is inconcievable to me that Newsnight would have run a Macalpine style “expose” of a prominent ex Labour politician. It`s impossible for me to imagine (named senior Labour figure-ed), for example, being accused of paedophile crimes on the same “evidential” basis as was Macalpine. But because it apparently involved a Tory closely involved with the “evil” Thatcher the journos must have fallen over themslves in their eagerness to broadcast lies. So-hoist with their own petard. How deliciously ironic.

    • Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Peter, it wasn’t as if it was only Newsnight: all week on several BBC stations (news, politics, chat programmes with ex TV game show hosts, phone-ins etc) the mantra was drilled out: Tory, Paedophile, Thatcher, paedophile ring around No.10 etc. Some presenters and commentators are very guilty of spreading the ‘paedomania’ …I hope there is somewhere that records all the shows; I suspect many are being/have been deleted from the BBC iplayer etc.

      • outsider
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

        A good point Span Ows. They were all taking their cue from Tom Watson MP, a self-appointed attack dog (for instance in 2006 Mr Blair) and now deputy chairman of the Labour Party.

        Question: who is more to blame for this mess, Tom Watson, who set the story running with parliamentary privilege or George Entwistle, who proved inept at reputational crisis management?

        • APL
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          outsider: “Tom Watson MP”

          (Questions past antics of Mr Watson)

  2. colliemum
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Good questions, John – but shouldn’t politicians and journalists living inside the Westminster Bubble have taken the complaints by the licence-fee paying public far more seriously, far more earlier, that the BBC is constitutionally biased?

    This current scandal is not something which happened because of the hapless Mr Entwistle was promoted beyond his talents. It obviously goes back for decades.
    People have been complaining to the BBC for years, and not just about their AGW bias. Even Tory politicians must have noticed for some time that the culture in the BBC is left, and not ‘objective’.
    Why did none of you do something? Did you all think that Chris Patten at the head of the BBC was a guarantee for objectivity? Where you all too scared of what Al Beeb could do to you?

    It should be obvious, especially in the wake of the election in the USA, that the media, the BBC at the front, have long abandoned their duty of objective reporting and have turned into what can only be called a modern Ministry of Truth.
    Perhaps government can now take a long hard look at the way we all are forced to finance this behemoth. Is it really right that we must pay for something which so many of are not using to any extent?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      The BBC has a “AGW bias” because it’s supported by scientific evidence, while the opponents of AGW are not.

      Next you’ll be claiming that the BBC is biased against faith healing because they never have people talking about healing others with prayer instead of medicine.

      Reply How absurd. The BBC should consider seriously the arguments amongst scientists about the causes of climate change, the arguments about what is happening to temperatures, and above all the Lawson economic critique of the response to man made global warming.

      • Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        ““AGW bias” because it’s supported by scientific evidence”? – Well perhaps from groups whose funding largely depends on it. Not though supported by temperature readings (and the history of) at all levels in the atmosphere which show nothing statistically significant and certainly nothing to suggest a warming catastrophe.

        In fact slightly warmer is probably better than the reverse and anyway windfarms and PV do not actually work in economic nor even in carbon terms. Nor do electric cars with current technology I see sales are declining despite the absurd subsidies.

        • uanime5
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          Care to explain why scientists were warning George W Bush about climate change when the Government was against it? Surely if scientists wanted funding they’d be agreeing with the whims of politicians, not opposing them.

          Warmer might better in the world of right wing fantasy but near the equator warmer means more droughts and crop failure.

          • Bickers
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            I’m afraid the evidence goes against you. Even Phil Jones (when interviewed on the BBC after Climategate) admitted there had been no statically significant warming since 1998.

            Are you aware of the list of attendees that were present at the BBC’s 2006 Climate Change Seminar (which thereafter set the tone for their biased climate change reporting) held at Television House? The BBC led us to believe it was a meeting of scientists, however most attendees were green advocates or people (or their companies) who’d benefit financially from green policies.

            Given the BBC can be accused of having steered/supported the Labour government’s Climate Change Act (championed by Ed Milliband) then this is bigger than Saville of Newsnight as we’ve all been economically nobbled by this Act and the EU directives that seek to turn us into a third world country by pricing energy at levels that are destructive.

        • APL
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          lifelogic: “I see sales are declining despite the absurd subsidies.”

          Yea, is it any wonder? Folk are finding out that to replace the battery* on an ‘electric’ car where it is practical to do so, costs about 1/3 to 2/3 of the original price of the vehicle.

          *Batteries have a definite life cycle, and it is much much less than the life of a conventional internal combustion engined vehicle.

          • Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

            Indeed so even with large subsidy and nearly tax free electricity hey still make no sense for most.

      • APL
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        uanime5: “because it’s supported by scientific evidence, while the opponents of AGW are not.”

        I see you subscribe to the Goebbels school of propaganda, repeat an untruth often enough and in the public mind, it will be taken as truth.

        By the way, the BBC should not have an ‘opinion’ its job is to inform. Where a topic is controversial it should present both sides in an impartial manner. Something it has signally failed to do.

        • uanime5
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          I see you subscribe to the Goebbels school of propaganda of propaganda because you weren’t able to rebut anything I said. Either provide scientific evidence to back up your AGW claims or admit that you don’t have any evidence.

          Just because something is “controversial” doesn’t mean it should be prevented in an impartial manner when a wealth of evidence shows that one side is wrong. Scientific evidence shows that climate change is real, while those who deny climate change have no evidence to back up their claims.

          • APL
            Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            uanime5: “you weren’t able to rebut anything I said.”

            On the contrary, I have spent more time in Mr Redwood’s comment section than you warrant, trying to disoblige you of your self inflicted delusions.

            uname5: “Surely if scientists wanted funding they’d be agreeing with the whims of politicians, not opposing them.”

            The cultural Marxists have an agenda and have been working toward its fruition for thirty or more years. They started at a disadvantage, they now have occupied strategic positions in academia and government, the NGOs, fake charities and so on. *ALL* of which accept government funding of some sort.

          • APL
            Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

            uanime5: “Just because something is “controversial” doesn’t mean it should be prevented in an impartial manner when a wealth of evidence shows that one side is wrong.”

            Yes it does. Especially when the BBC is obliged by its Charter to be impartial.

            You clearly do not understand the concept of scientific theory. A scientific theory is just that, it is not ‘the word of god, handed down on tablets of stone’, it is a theory that is open to criticism and open to being replaced by improved theories.

            What you describe is a doctrine. That is something you propound from in your case, an imagined position of authority. “Scientific evidence shows that climate change is real … “, a case in point.

          • Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            “while those who deny climate change have no evidence to back up their claims.”

            Other that is than the actual the temperature records and history of the World’s climate and its natural variability. These clearly show no real reason for the absurd alarmist, BBC type of agenda.

          • Bickers
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            It’s painful when you observe someone’s ignorance. Climate is always changing. Move on, nothing to see here.

        • David Price
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Even when counter evidence is provided uanime5 doesn’t respond, he/she simply waits until the topic moves off the front page before repeating his/her fictions and hopes people haven’t noticed the duplicity.

          In this case he/she has missed the point entirely, as usual. The BBC is supposed to be neutral and have as part of their mission to educate. So they should provide equal access to both sides of the argument. Instead, they have chosen what they believe should be true and present that, this is known as propaganda.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        It is interesting that uniame5 describes anyone who disagrees with the AGW bias of the BBC as a ‘crank’. It has long been a left-wing tactic to smear opponents as being mad – mental hospitals in the Soviet Union & Nat Socialist Germany were full of political opponents. Perhaps uniame5 would also describe as a crank anyone who disagrees with the neo-Keynesian approach to economics, who opposes union power, or the Euro-federalist policies of the EU, or who supported the Republicans in the US elections? There is a valid debate on global warming, with informed scientists on both sides of the argument, and a legitimate debate over the right policies. Attempting to silence opponents as the Environmental Left (& the BBC) do on this issue is unacceptable in a democracy.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        John scientists are in agreement regarding the causes climate change (such as methane and carbon dioxide) and what is happening to the temperature (on average it is rising). If you have any peer reviewed scientific papers showing otherwise either present them or admit that there isn’t any disagreement among scientists.

        Though there is disagreement about what to do regarding climate change the only incite scientists can provide is how scientifically feasible the various options are. Economic feasibility is best left to economists.

        Reply: The last ten year temperature patterns do not conform as has been recorded here several times. I do involve myself in the economic debates!

  3. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Everything has a life cycle and in its present form the BBC’s is up. For years it has not been right whether its structure, organisation, culture, bias, efficiency, financing – a whole raft of questions. Now we have more damning evidence that it has been flawed for decades and the recent appointments and the granting of a new charter to 2016 were weak and a clear vote for the continuation of its ways. The last twenty years has seen the rise of satellite TV and the Internet and the decline of the BBC’s significance and of course the pay to view subscription technology which should have ended the BBC’s equivalent of the window tax.

    Basically it has until 2016 to re-establish credibility, in house and old boy appointments are not the answer. Replacements need to come in and dramatically streamline the organisation and actually reduce the costs and volunteer to abolish the licence fee for a subscription service and bring it into the real world.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Indeed. I am far more concerned about the bias in the BBC, that is even more serious than the dreadful Saville child abuse issue.

    Hugely pro EU, full of global warming scare propaganda, pushing for ever more regulation or everything, more government and more taxes and always dumbing down everything to the level of a dim 6 year old. Also always pretending “the government” has money to invest when all they do it take it off people – thus preventing them “investing” and rather more wisely than government in general.

    We would not have all the idiotic wind farms for a start.

    Why on earth are we not allowed to know who went to the stitch up meetings on the BBC climate change scare agenda? It is our BBC as they keep (dishonestly) telling us. We even have to pay the BBC lawyer’s cost to prevent us knowing.

    It is a total outrage. What is the very embodiment of the problem, Lord Patten doing about it?

    • Timaction
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Lord Pattens appointment tells you everything you need to know about Mr Camerons take on politics and his outlook. Coupled with his appointments of Milburn and Hutton for reports on public sector reform says it all really. So is Mr Cameron going to make significant reform of the BBC an objective? I doubt it.
      Everyone out here in the real world has known of the BBC’s left wing biase for years. It peddles its pro EU stance, mass migration/equality agenda with zeal. It is on the wrong side of every National interest view as the whole of the organisation is riddled with Guardianistas appointed by previous Guardianistas. So how can that change without root and branch reform? They hate all things centre and centre right and have shown they cannot reform without being disbaned or privatised.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      We pay for the BBC, and we should know who went to those stitch up meetings on the BBC climate change scare agenda, and those who are using our money to stop us finding out should be sacked for gross misconduct without severance pay.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        You also pay for all the companies that pick up rubbish but that doesn’t mean you have any right to look through their files.

        • Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          Well we should have that right too.

        • Edward
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

          You do have that right if the people who pick up that rubbish work for a Council.

          Anyway whats to hide?

    • Bob
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      The BBC blew hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of license fee money to suppress the contents of the Balen Report.

      Do you think they did that because the report showed them in a good light?

      • uanime5
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

        It’s only suppression if the BBC had a duty to publish the report. As the Supreme Court ruled that the BBC didn’t have to publish it it’s clear that nothing has been suppressed.

        • Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          If someone asks for it and you do not give it you are suppressing it. Perhaps legally but suppressing it clearly is.

        • Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          If someone asks for it and you do not give it up then you are suppressing it. Perhaps legally, but suppressing it clearly is.

      • outsider
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

        Indeed not Bob. But that defensive secrecy is just the sort of issue where one would expect Lord Patten and other members of the BBC Trust to take a close interest and represent the wider public.

    • Steve Cox
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Yes, it’s clear now that Patten knew about the Newsnight report well before it was aired but failed to warn his DG. Some commentators say that this was due to a childish whim of Patten’s to tar one of his many enemies with some nasty scandal, even if it was completely unfounded. Now Entwhistle has resigned at a vast cost in compensation from the licence fee payers, and yet Patten simply carries on with his smug grin intact. It’s high time that he either fell on his own sword or else was removed forcibly from his office as he is failing to do his job to any acceptable standard of competence.

      Much more worrying than this, though, is the poor judgement shown by the person who appointed Patten in the first place – step forward David Cameron. This is just another in a long line of Dave’s daft appointments that have, one after another, fallen apart making him look stupid and incompetent in the process. Does he completely lack any ability to judge character, or is he determined to be a one-term PM and give as many of his old mates as he can a chance to dip their snouts in the trough before he is finally shown the door to No 10? At the very least, Mr Cameron owes the licence fee payers an abject apology for his poor judgement. More seriously, though, people should be looking at the history of his appointments and asking themselves if a man who can make so many basic and fundamental errors in his assessment of his fellow human beings is really fit to be Prime Minister of this country?

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    The BBC has long since ceased to be an objective public service broadcaster. It has its own agendas and behaves as a propaganda machine. We are forced to pay for it just by virtue of having a television receiver. It needs root and branch reform. The activities of the past few weeks have rebounded on the BBC spectacularly. It has brought into sharp focus the lack of professionalism in its journalism and the failings of its objectivity. How can anyone have confidence or place trust in BBC reporting? The BBC Trust(an interesting word ‘trust’) mustn’t escape without criticism and Patten, who should never have been appointed in my opinion, should follow Entwistle through the door.

  6. Brian Taylor
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Can we hope for balanced reporting on the Conservative Party,Climate Change and the EU

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Certainly not from the BBC and certainly not with Patten as head of the trustees.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

      Do we get any of those from Sky News? If not then why do people think privatising the BBC will magically make the BBC tell them everything they want to hear?

      • Edward
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Only because umanime5, if they were privatised I could cancel my subscription to the BBC if they did not give me the programmes I wanted to see and hear, which I cannot do at present.
        Perhaps this would make the BBC a little more customer focussed.

  7. They Work for Us
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    You have summed up the situation very well but many of us are not confident the BBC will mend its ways. Too much socialist “luvvism” is entrenched in the system. Only when careers are seen to be at stake will the bias, lack of scientific balance and excessive political correctness be curved. Did John Humphrey’s interview also express the frustration of “proper journalists” because they felt they were “lions led by donkeys”.

    Lord Patten should go. In my opinion he was only is a token conservative and more of a Lib Dem than anything else. How about appointing a rising star from CNN or other non BBC organisation to replace these so called “top executives”.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Lord Patten, you are no Conservative, as they might say in the US.

    • outsider
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink

      Agreed “They Work for You”. I would like to see Lord Patten replaced by Sir Simon Jenkins, who is tough-minded, a stickler for high journalistic standards and understands public service ( even though I disagree with most of his newspaper columns). Would also like to see the equally abrasive and tough-minded Andrew Neil as head of News or Editor in Chief (even though I often disagree with him too). Don’t know enough to guess who should be the next D-G.

      • Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Simon Jenkins is another lefty at heart but far better than Patten I agree.

  8. cynicalHighlander
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    In one word NO.

  9. NickW
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The Newsnight accusations were broadcast without critical analysis because those responsible believed them.

    They believed them because hatred of the Conservative Party is endemic in the BBC; they would believe anything bad about a Conservative, because, after all, “Everybody knows that Tories eat babies”.

    Because bias has never been properly addressed, the BBC feeds off its own propaganda and has now reached the point where its staff are so deluded that they need psychiatric help.

    They need to rebalance their prejudices, not just on politics, but on the EU and global warming.

    The evidence is there in front of our eyes; the BBC is no longer capable of impartiality; it suffers from a collective pathological delusion.

  10. Chris
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    No, I do not trust the BBC. I agree with all the issues you raise. They need to be examined closely and action taken. I personally believe that Lord Patten should be replaced. I understand from one report that there is only one likely “outside” contender for Lord Patten’s job, and he has had strong links to the Labour party. I do not believe that we cannot do better, and I believe it is essential that the bias exhibited regularly (and admitted) by the BBC has to be stopped once and for all.It has been one of the key factors in preventing good news about Conservative policies being heard and debated, and also one of the key reasons behind the continuing promotion of the EU, and associated EU policies, such as global warming. What the BBC needs is strong leadership from an individual from outside the organisation who is committed to the BBC fulfilling its original remit to the people of this country.dhindering

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      We need the BBC to take a sensible line on the EU, the global warming drivel, an ever larger state, uncontrolled regulation and uncontrolled immigration. The BBC needs to eat all the words and drivel they have been pushing for years.

      Can they ever do it, it seems unlikely, the staff are all ingrained with “BBC think”?

      On balance I thing George Entwistle was rather better than most at the BBC, why on earth has he gone, rather than those actually to blame?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      The key reason for the lack of good news about Conservative policies is not BBC bias but that there isn’t any good news about nearly all Conservative policies. That’s why they don’t get much praise even from pro-Conservative newspapers.

      Reply A wonderful caricature of your own bias. Is that why Mrs Thatcher won 3 elections in a row?

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        I was referring to more recent policies, such as those after the 2010 election.

  11. Crazed Weevil
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Have you actually looked at who is in the BBC Trust? Conflict of interest doesn’t even begin to describe that lot…

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

  12. ChrisXP
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Since the BBC benefits from our licence fees, one would have thought we ought to have some say in how it reports the news. However it is evident that we don’t and things don’t look likely to change very soon.
    I think what is galling is the fact that our money is actively supporting an organisation steeped in scandal over child abuse, and one that manipulates political views and opinions, blocking the voices of anti-EU groups in favour of the agendas that the BBC chiefs prefer (because they have a vested interest, no doubt). It certainly is not politically neutral.

    I know that you would not advocate with-holding licence fee payments; we are all compelled by law to pay it (and thus to fund the BBC) and therefore are actively supporting corruption and abuse…..whether we want to or not. This is an appalling situation and someone needs to either change the law or dismantle the BBC.

  13. David Kelly
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    The BBC simply can’t and won’t reform itself. It would be far simpler, cheaper and more humane to scrap the whole sordid, sleazy shooting match ASAP, and bar its employees from public sector employment for the rest of their lives.

  14. Amanda
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    A little bit of systems analysis.

    Newsnight Isses (why) poor journalism (why) left-wing hegemony out to brook no opposition (why) failure of BBC Trust to ensure impartiality and represent all fee payers (why) recruitment of biased left wing, EU supporting, cronies as Chairmen (why) well that is a good question – obvious under Blair/Brown, but not under Cameron.

    Why, when Cameron had the chance did he not appoint someone with a passion for truth, British culture, and democracy? Instead, he appoints Patten, someone who is beholden to the EU as an ex commissioner, has made a mess of countless jobs, and who was ousted by his constituents in proper democratic fashion. Could it be that Cameron did not have the last say in this appointment? After all, if Britain is to get an EU referendum, we would hate to think that the British people might get truthful information on which to base their decision !!

    Patton must go too, he has failed the licence fee payers by taking sides with the BBC management (and against an elected Minister), and he is not suitable for the role ahead. Maybe we could have a vote on who represents us as Chairman of the Trust – as we are paidup shareholders.

    • Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      “Why, when Cameron had the chance did he not appoint someone with a passion for truth, British culture, and democracy?”

      Amanda…why indeed. A question we all should be asking.

  15. Electro-Kevin
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    It isn’t just the BBC news and politics which is biased.

    Most dramas and children’s programmes have a leftist bent to them. Much of it is subliminal.

    When Ceebeebies visited my children’s school in Hertfordshire 9 years ago (95% white at the time) all of the ethnic minority children were chosen to appear on their show. The final representation gave the impression of an 60/40% minority/white mix.

    We didn’t complain (though our own children were very disappointed at being excluded from the show) as we felt at the time that it was good for racial relations. However, now we can see that it was part of a wider plan by the BBC to discriminate against white English people. There is no effort to reverse the representation when filming schools in which whites are in the minority.

    There was nothing nice about what they were doing. Names should have been drawn from a hat.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      They do this all the time like arranging flowers for a painting. I suppose they think they are doing good but they are just distorting reality and doing harm. Anyone watching just the BBC would think 80% of scientist and engineers are female too.

      • Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        It is as wrong headed and immoral as insisting that 90% of UK 100 metre sprinters must be white.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      “There was nothing nice about what they were doing.”

      They were simply following their multiculturalisation agenda by creating pre-facts on the ground with which to form ungroomed minds.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        This ‘positive’ discrimination will lead to the exclusion of white children from lots of things – including education and jobs.

        2013 the doors open to Romania and Bulgaria.

        The Tories will be dead and buried in 2015.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, they are incubating racism with this “positive” discrimination flower arranging approach.

          The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

          • Anonymous
            Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            I have been asking why a policy towards ‘border-line passes’ exists for the recruitment exams to our industry.

            Equal opportunities was the answer.

            Regardless of the large number of people with good passes who apply for our jobs we are having to ignore them in favour those with ‘border-line’ passes.

            (Similar has been done in the police)

            The tests for mechanical comprehension and verbal reasoning have been scrapped altogether in the interests of equality. Yet (until last year) the mechanical comprehension tests still existed and those employees who were border-line are being subject to special monitoring because industry stats show that they are ‘at risk’ to more incidents.

            I wish minds would be made up on this issue. Are these tests important or are they not ?

            To put it bluntly they have been scrapped so that white, male, English applicants can be ignored.

            This is discriminatory. Those supporting this policy would, of course, argue the reverse.

      • APL
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        forthurst: “They were simply following their multiculturalisation agenda .. ”

        The polite description! The rest of us know it as cultural cleansing.

  16. David John Wilson
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    The BBC should stop examining its navel in public. Its news broadcasting for the last two days has covered virtually nothing but the situation with regard to its own staff. As a public broadcasting authority it should spend a lot more time reporting other news and cut out most of the speculation and opinions with which we are being swamped.

  17. Duncan
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    We here in Scotland have been asking those very questions on a slightly smaller scale for some time.

    BBC Scotland has been for years slowly but surely strangled to death and is now nothing more than a Labour party press release desk. It’s Newsnight slot is a joke, biased and without credibility, radio programmes are so biased and bereft of truth hardly anyone bother with them. And yet more cuts have been announced in what is already a hospital radio side show.

    However in what is the most blatant example of political bias yet seen in the UK, and it is unique in the UK, is the closure of comments on the political blogs. Previous to this N Korean type censoring, the blogs were heavily moderated, where the very mention of Scottish independence was enough to get you barred, now they have just gone the full dictator ship route and stooped comments all together.

    This at a time when we are facing the biggest political debate in 304 years the BBC sees fit to end debate. So much for it’s Royal Charter and ” Nation shall speak peace unto nation.” Except it seems in a Scottish accent.

    Wiki: The idealistic BBC motto is most likely based on biblical verses from the Book of Micah and the Book of Isaiah: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. In 1934 the motto was changed to “Quaecunque”, meaning “Whatsoever”. This was inspired by St Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians :

    DE CETERO FRATRES QUAECUMQUE SUNT VERA QUAECUMQUE PUDICA QUAECUMQUE IUSTA QUAECUMQUE SANCTA QUAECUMQUE AMABILIA QUAECUMQUE BONAE FAMAE SI QUA VIRTUS SI QUA LAUS HAEC COGITATE

    English (King James Bible):

    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    This inspired the dedication that appears in the entrance hall of Broadcasting House:

    TEMPLUM HOC ARTIUM ET MUSARUM ANNO DOMINI MCMXXXI RECTORE JOHANNI REITH PRIMI DEDICANT GUBERNATORES PRECANTES UT MESSEM BONAM BONA PROFERAT SEMENTIS UT IMMUNDA OMNIA ET INIMICA PACI EXPELLANTUR UT QUAECUNQUE PULCHRA SUNT ET SINCERA QUACUNQUE BONAE FAMAE AD HAEC AVREM INCLINANS POPULUS VIRTUTIS ET SAPIENTIAE SEMITAM INSISTAT

    English:

    This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director-General. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.

    Aye right.

    I and many thousands of others will never pay the license fee again.

    • Vanessa
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I agree, I, too, will not pay my licence fee to a corporation which aids and abbets peadophiles.

  18. Disaffected
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    No we do not. BBC should be privatised and sink or swim on its own merits. The licence fee is an unnecessary tax burden on hard working people.

    A couple of weeks ago JR you blogged about MPs time at work, I, and many others, questioned this and used Gordon Brown as the biggest example of how little time he spent in parliament for the huge amount of cost he is to the british taxpayer etc. Are you going to watch “I’m a celebrity get me out of here”, tonight? What other industry or public sector body would pay for a member of staff to go on a TV reality programme? More improper behaviour by an MP I would suggest, when we are repeatedly told we are in times of austerity and value for taxpayers’ money etc.

  19. Matthew
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    The structure of the BBC looks unwieldy. The executive is separated from the chairman by the Trust.
    The trust appears to be staffed by 12 trustees all non exec style appointments. There is no need for so many trustees. They appear to observe the executive with a big detachment.

    Whenever a crisis blows up at the BBC (think Andrew Gilligan) the trustees seem to be in a flap trying to catch up with what’s going on – and it all looks rather dysfunctional. Certainly they fell apart after the Hutton report. In this latest scandal they seem to be all at sea.

    It may be better for the chairman role to be a full time executive and perhaps two non executive directors – of distinguished record.

  20. Sir Richard Richard
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    The BBC should be sold off. It’d raise us a nice pot of cash to help deal with the debt and people who want to watch ITV would no longer have to subsidise poor quality programming and the hiding of paedophiles.

  21. APL
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    JR: “Do we trust the BBC Trust?”

    This is of course, a rhetorical question.

    JR: “doesn’t the Trust have a duty to represent all the licence payers who do not agree with these viewpoints?”

    Yes it does, but since no one in the establishment seeks to hold the BBC to its legal obligations, the BBC has learned over the years to do whatever it wants to do, anyway.

    JR: “Isn’t it time for the Trust to demand proper journalist standards?”

    It is past time for the BBC be put on a full commercial basis, be that subscription or advertising. The publicly paid for BBC archive should be put in the public domain with a small subscription fee to those British nationals who wish to rent or borrow one or other of the titles. Anyone else outside the UK can pay full commercial rates.

  22. waramess
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Well, it doesn’t need to of course, and why should it?

    If the license fee were to be a voluntary subscription for BBC programmes, maybe. It is not and it knows full well that the gaggle of MP’s we have will kick the issue into the long grass forever

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Patten should never have been appointed as Chairman of the BBC Trust and should now be asked/told to resign. His replacement should be someone who fully accepts that the BBC has been breaking the terms of its Charter for decades and who is determined to put a stop to that, which would necessarily mean replacing many of its senior staff with new people who do not share its various institutionalised prejudices. All staff, both the new and those who remain, should be required to sign a pledge that they will at all times uphold the requirement for strict impartiality which is the only possible justification for funding the BBC through a compulsory levy on all viewers. Save when there is a grave national crisis, and the government can justifiably invoke emergency powers to control what is broadcast.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      My contempt for Cameron was hugely increased by his appointment of Patten, to head the BBC trustees – it says all you need to know about Cameron’s judgement.

    • Disaffected
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Well said Dennis. Don’t hold your breath waiting. Cameron will not make a decision, his usual position is to say it will be decided in the next parliament, of course in a robust serious way.

      • APL
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Disaffected: “Cameron will not make a decision, ..”

        He’d want to consult with his Brussels ‘advisers’ who in part fund the BBC with soft loans and grants, to find out if they would like the former European Commissioner, Chris Patten who is still in receipt of a substantial European Union stipend, to be moved first. My bet is they’d prefer to have their man with oversight of the British Broadcasting Propaganda Corporation.

  24. Sebastian Weetabix
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Agree with every word. Frankly I was beginning to despair that any politician would ever raise these issues.

  25. Richard1
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I hope the innocent senior Conservative who has been smeared and falsely accused of a terrible crime by the BBC (not ‘implicated in’ it as the BBC reported, even after their apology) will pursue this issue. The problem is not Mr Entwhistle, nor Mr Thompson his predecessor, its a deeply-imbued liberal-left and statist bias right through the BBC. Of course they jumped on this story because it was a ‘senior Conservative of the Thatcher era’ whom they thought they could ruin. Does anyone imagine that a left-wing figure would have been so treated by the BBC without any right of reply? Its no good insisting on neutrality from the BBC. Those of us who don’t agree with the BBC view must insist on more airtime for dissenting opinion.

    Separately, but equally seriously, focus must be given to the egregious role played by the Labour MP Tom Watson in fanning the flames of this slander. He has been using the protection of Parliamentary privilage to cast aspersions on un-named Conservatives. In Parliament last week he accused Mrs May of orchestrating a cover up of child abuse. I suggest Conservative MPs use a prominent occasion, perhaps PMQs this Wednesday, to force him to retract this slur.

    • Mark
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if Mr Bercow will call him to apologise to the House, and if he will call his wife to the bar of the House to do likewise.

    • peter davies
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      If I was Mrs May I would be seeking to use any form of legal redress open. Surely even in the House Of Commons you cannot dive to those sort of depths – can you?

  26. oldtimer
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Indeed it should.

    I watched the Lord Patten/Andrew Marr interview this morning. I thought it a revealing exchange. Lord Patten acknowleged the shoddy journalism behind the false child abuse allegations. I understood him to concede, in effect, that the current BBC business model is broken and in need of repair. I noted his comment that there were “more senior positions in the BBC than in the Chinese Communist Party” – a remark he said he offered as a joke he made when he first met all the BBC senior management as a body. Clearly, in retrospect, it does not sound so funny now. In particular I noted he said that the BBC needs to re-establish its reputation for “uncompromising, investigative journalism”.

    It is in this context that the BBC`s decision to fight the FOI case brought by Tony Newbery needs to be considered. That decision is the very antithesis of uncompromising, investigative journalism. It looks like a BBC cover up. Consider this timeline:
    October 2005: Futerra publish Rules of the Game: the principles of climate change communication; paid for by DEFRA, Carbon Trust, DTI, Environment Agency Energy Saving Trust. Two sample quotes:” 2. Forget the climate change detractors
    Those who deny climate change science are irritating, but unimportant. The argument is not about if we should deal with climate change, but how we should deal with climate change.” and “16. Create a trusted, credible, recognised voice on climate change
    We need trusted organisations and individuals that the media can call upon to explain the implications of climate change to the UK public.”
    January 2006: BBC seminar ‘Climate Change – the Challenge to Broadcasting’ attended by 28 of the ‘best scientific experts’ the BBC declines to name.
    August 2006: IPPR publish Warm Words:How are we telling the climate story and can we tell it better?” with an acknowledgment to the BBC for loan of TV material among other sponsors. Sample quotes “The research found that the climate change discourse in the UK today looks confusing, contradictory and chaotic. For every argument or perspective, whether on the scale of the problem, its nature, seriousness, causation or reversibility, there is a voice declaring its opposite. The conclusion must be that the battle is not won: climate change is not yet an issue that is taken for granted. It seems likely that the overarching message for the lay public is that in fact, nobody really knows.” and…
    “Ultimately, positive climate behaviours need to be approached in the same way as marketeers approach acts of buying and consuming. This is the relevant context for climate change communications in the UK today – not the increasingly residual models of public service or campaigning communications. It amounts to treating climate-friendly activity as a brand that can be sold. This is, we believe, the route to mass behaviour change.” There follows much talk about “linguistic repertoires” which will interest those who want to know more about how they are manipulated by the media… The conclusion of the report is unambiguous:
    “Treating climate change as beyond argument
    Much of the noise in the climate change discourse comes from argument and counter-argument, and it is our recommendation that, at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won. This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective. This must be done by stepping away from the ‘advocates debate’ described
    earlier, rather than by stating and re-stating these things as fact. The ‘facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken. The certainty of
    the Government’s new climate-change slogan – ‘Together this generation will tackle climate change’ (Defra 2006) – gives an example of this approach. It constructs, rather than claims, its own factuality. Where science is invoked, it now needs to be as ‘lay science’ – offering lay explanations for what is being treated as a simple established scientific fact, just as the earth’s rotation or the water cycle are considered.”
    …and this is the policy that the BBC has pursued. It has operated as the government`s propaganda arm.

    • Mark
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      In Russia there was this chap called Lysenko.

      He denounced real biologists as “”fly lovers and people haters” and called them “wreckers”, and lambasted anyone who dared question his theories.

      I think you could do an interesting TV programme comparing his theories and actions with those of the BBC.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      You missed out the part where the Supreme Court ruled that such reports aren’t covered under the FOI act so the BBC is under no obligation to publish any of them.

      • oldtimer
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        You are incorrect. The Supreme Court did not make the judgement on the whether the BBC should release the names of those attending the said seminar. It was a tribunal chaired by a QC, supported by two lay judges.

        According to Andrew Orlowski, who reported on the case, the Information Commissioner`s Office thinks there may be grounds for appeal because one of the lay judges in the past has expressed partisan views on the issues at stake. The BBC even published a report, known as the Bridcut Report, which was very critical of the BBC`s “bias by elimination” – but it was ignored by the BBC.

        • uanime5
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          I was referring to the Supreme Court case of Sugar v BBC regarding the Balen report where the justices held that such reports are not covered under the FOI act.

          An appeal is unlike to result in the verdict being overturned given the Supreme Court’s ruling on this issue.

  27. Richard1
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I see the BBC has won its case against the blogger attempting to force them to disclose which scientific experts gave them the advice to institute a pro-global warming bias. (What a use of license payers’ money!) Now its time for MPs to take up this matter and ask Maria Miller to force it out of them. We can’t have a tax-payer funded virtual monopoly broadcaster taking policy positions based on secret scheming with partisans for one side of an argument.

    • Nicol Sinclair
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Richard 1st. I could not agree with you more. In my humble opinion, the BBC staff and particularly management (apart from a few) are a bunch of arrogant shysters…

    • NickW
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Parliament should unequivocally instruct the BBC that it comes under the requirements of the F.O.I. Act and must comply with it forthwith

      An organisation funded by public money has to be open and accountable to those who fund it.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

        The F.O.I. Act specifically exempts the BBC from publishing such reports, something that was upheld by the Supreme Court. Perhaps Parliament should be instructed of actual facts rather than conspiracy theories.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        I note that in the judgement the lay judge who found for the BBC said their refusal to make the disclosure was acceptable because the BBC is a ‘private’ organisation. Not when its funded by a poll tax it isnt

        • uanime5
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          A private company funded by the state is still a private company, just like RBS is a private company even though the main shareholder is the UK’s Government. It’s only a state company if it’s run by MPs or a minister.

          • Edward
            Posted November 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            Pure semantics unaneme 5,
            If the money comes from the Goverment then that organisation is essentially controlled by that Government.

            If a Government decided to suddenly shut a quango or a charity or a bank like RBS it could do so quite easily by stopping the funding or calling in its loans.
            In the end the power resides with whoever writes the cheques.

  28. Nick
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Look at the money expended on hiding their bias.

    We have had the BBC go to court employing 6 lawyers trying to hide its admitted bias on climate change.

    I was one of those submitting an FOI request for the names, so I’ve a personal interest.

    Remember too that the BBC has a legal obligation to be unbiased.

    Time I think to stop funding an organisation (with problems over) paedophiles.

    For a bare minimum they should lose all children’s TV programs.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      1) The FOI act has several exemptions that mean certain reports aren’t covered by FOI requests. Expect the courts to side with the BBC again.

      2) Being unbiased doesn’t mean giving every crank equal airtime to professionals. If it did then faith healers and homoeopathists would have to be consulted whenever the BBC was reporting anything about medicine.

      • Edward
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        You seem very very concerned that these reports should remain private.
        Is there anything you wish to tell us unamine5?

  29. Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    “Do we trust the BBC Trust?”

    Depends on who you mean by “we”. At the moment5 the BBC Trust are chosen by politicians, i.e. people like you, so if “we” means politicians then the answer ought to be yes.

    The BBC trust isn’t elected by the people, so there is no particular reason why the people should trust the Trust.

  30. Chris
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I see the online Spectator has picked up on the climate change agenda of the BBC this morning:
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2012/11/another-bbc-scandal-hiding-their-climate-change-agenda/

  31. stan francis
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    THIS only reflects on what all people in high office do which is TAKE CASH and do nothing for the people you said you would represent…….it couldn’t get worse?–cyclist, celeb has an accident on his bike, police say immediately it’s van drivers fault when they sa y DO U KNOW WHO U JUST HIT?-there has to be a BETTER WAY BUT I AM AOF COURSE TALKING TO SOMEONE THAT….I lose all hope in this country..chat! chat!-refuse and more RUBBISH!

  32. Barbara Stevens
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    The problem has I see it is, those employed within the BBC have become themselves, institutionalised, and think they are beyound reproach and a law unto themselves. The Board is far away from operations and those who direct daily things, therefore it’s it structure that should be changed. Perhaps an elected Board from within the orgaisation, present employees? They pay far to much for so called stars, who go on for years demanding higher salaries, and one does have to ask what for? Having deep taxpayers pockets to rely on and rises on demand, for the TV licences they believe they were intouchable.
    Some programmes they produce can only be done via the BBC, they are magical, but many are just rubbish and a waste of money. Strictly Come Dancing, is the watershed programme for the weekend, but that as been weakend by a presenter that as had better days, although well loved. My point being, why should they hold such power to assume they can go on and on, at such a cost which has to be questioned.
    We have seen shabby journalism, sensationalism, for popularity and it as failed, and its taken the trust and belief many had out of this organisation. May be a clean sweep is what is needed from the top down, and savagely done.

  33. Chris
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    More links, courtesy the Global Warming Policy Foundation, on the case lost against the BBC to reveal the names of any scientists involved in meeting of 2006 which apparently determined that the BBC would adopt a global warming perspective in any future discussions on climate change. Hope it is permissible to include the 4 links, as they are well worth looking at. Pity the BBC won on this, but Tony Newbery represented himself at the Information Tribunal hearing Court and he was up against a formidable team of lawyers apparently.
    http://www.thegwpf.org/secret-28-bbc-green-named/

    http://www.thegwpf.org/?s=BBC

    http://www.thegwpf.org/bbc-accused-systematic-bias-climate-change-cover-up/

    http://www.thegwpf.org/bbc-argues-bound-foia-bid-climate-28-secret/

  34. Muddyman
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    This brass bound,copper bottomed, bureaucracy needs to be brought into the 21st Century. Its wide ranging monolithic structure stripped to the bare essentials and the remainder sold off. For starters Lord Patten must go ,together with the rest of the trust, and an independent assessment of its saleability made.

  35. merlin
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I call the BBC the british socialist brainwashing machine and try to watch it as little as possilbe, the only programmes I do watch and listen to are current affairs and they are always biassed towards left wing thinking. I would privatise the BBC, then break it up into its constituent parts, and turn it into a subscription service, so individual people can choose what they want to watch. Subscription modern, licence fee old.

  36. Alte Fritz
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    The resignation of (Sir) Fred Goodwin did not cure the problems at RBS, and Entwistle’s departure is similarly no more than symbolic. As most comments on this blog reveal, many of us see the BBC’s problems as “systemic”.

    The BBC employs some outstanding and many good journalists, but the culture is shot.

  37. David Langley
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Correct, and as we are always pointing out, the BBC has a role in providing factual information on all the topics that are currently driving government policies. No media person purporting to question and comment on these important issues should be allowed anywhere near a camera or microphone if they are ignorant on the topics being discussed. The EU project rarely gets discussed in this way, and recently its difficult to know what the actual sums are in all the reporting that goes on each day. Every media interview or article seems at odds with each other on the statistics. Its really damned frustrating.

  38. Nick
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    As a follow up.

    How can we trust you, when you keep secret the state pension liabilities? Not to be published officially until after the next election?

    Hmmm, just like the BBC and climate change.

    Well, we’ve got the unofficial figures now

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_263808.pdf

    4.7 trillion for the state pension, on top of the 1.1 trillion borrowing.

    Even that figure is manipulated down. After all, with no assets why would you use AA corporate bonds? Ah yes, makes 4.7 trillion look smaller.

    That’s the big scandal. That affects more people than Saville, and yet both MPs and the BBC want to keep it secret.

    The only politician who has let the cat out of the bag is David Owen, and the only journalist telling us some of the mess is Randal.

    • Mark
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      Figures published by the ONS are surely official?

      They may be influenced by government wishes – as the proposal to change the basis of calculation of RPI appears to suggest. That will of course at a stroke reduce the pension liabilities you so fear, by 1-1.5% cumulated – enough to knock the real value down by a third in 25 years.

      I’d rather that we kept a consistent basis for RPI, and were honest about reducing real pensions. The Willets idea that baby boomers have marvellous pensions is so far from the truth when this kind of back door reduction in payment bites.

      Meantime it appears that the gamble is that holders of indexed linked gilts will be too frightened to exercise their right to demand instant repayment at current indexed values if the RPI basis is changed. Many of them are pension funds, compelled to hold such gilts by law. This threatens to be as serious as Brown’s famous pension grab via the taxation of dividends and levies on deemed excess valuation of funds.

  39. Nick
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Selling the BBC off.

    Now what’s that going to raise? 6 billion if you are lucky.

    Yep, that will last for a couple of weeks – in that it will plug the deficit for that period.

    What are you going to sell off after that to fund the mess?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      For some reason almost all the posters seem to believe that selling off the BBC will somehow make it less left wing, less pro-climate change, and less pro-EU; even though all the left wing, pro-climate change, pro-EU people will still be running it.

      I guess they just hate it when other people refuse to support their delusions and challenge them using facts.

      Reply: Commercial broadcasters have to be fairer to majority opinion!

      • Richard1
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        A broadcaster 100% funded by what is in effect a poll tax is bound to attract people with a strong belief in the virtue of state- provided as opposed to private services. It is also likely to promote such a culture. Perhaps it isnt possible to change that – the BBC will go on attracting and recruiting leftists. But in the interests of democracy, regualtors should insist on equal airtime for dissenting opinion. Thats whats really behind this latest scandal – there would have been dozens of BBC editors & journalists who loved the idea of smearing a ‘senior Conservative of the Thatcher era’.

      • APL
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        uanime5: “For some reason almost all the posters seem to believe that selling off the BBC will somehow make it less left wing, less pro-climate change,”

        Frankly, I do not care what editorial stance a privatized BBC would take. As long as I am not compelled under threat of imprisonment to pay for its biased drivel.

        Case in point the other day, Andrew Mar wittering on about the Chineese economic miracle, apparently it is a totalitarian regime with a capitalist economy, which is a nonsense. What he is describing is a fascist system.

        The BBC, never miss a chance to (a) polish a totalitarian ‘turd’ that is communism/fascism , or (b) smear free market capitalism.

  40. Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I think the present system of governance has shown itself to be totally ineffective, the Trust has no control. The BBC is too large, too biased and too attached to its own self importance.

    The BBC should be restructured to be like Channel 4, that is a publicly owned service provider but paid for by becoming a subscription only service. This is now possible with the completion of the digital changeover.

    It would be subscribe if you want to watch the BBC, those who don’t would not have to pay, consumer choice would prevail. The BBC would obviously have to do away with free I player and mobile type APP services, again they those users would have subscribe if they wanted it.

    I think the BBC would struggle to get anywhere near its present income, it would have to become lean and efficient. I still see it having a mandate to be a public service broadcaster, newly charged with providing balanced news reporting, documentaries, drama and comedy.

    Hopefully, with the BBC taking less money out of the economy, it would enable new independent TV channels and services to start up. To prevent damage to other TV channels no advertising would be allowed.

  41. Bob
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    We simply do not need the BBC any more.
    End the license fee and let them work out some other revenue stream, perhaps Labour and the unions would like to pay for them since the BBC act as their cheerleaders.

  42. Terrible But True
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I’ve done it with the BBC, and so for what they call balance’ I must do it here too.

    Please be careful with the too-inclusive use of ‘we’.

    The BBC does it all the time, and keeps capturing me along with the rest of the UK they claim to speak for. Too often when, frankly, ‘they’ don’t. Didn’t even ask!

    From a Paul Mason presumptive ‘toys out the pram’ for our PM rejecting a Euro deal that the country seemed quite keen on, to Katty Kay telling Americans ‘we’ all were relieved to not have a President Romney, it has been yet another unique that I wish I had a more of a choice in rejecting.

    The whole Patten ‘we hold you to account; not the other way round’, Savile mass Alzheimers and rigged reputation trashing without the merest hint of professional integrity may even vex me more now.

  43. Martin Ryder
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative Party should say that, should they be returned to power in 2015, the license fee will be reduced by 25% of the present fee each year until it reaches zero. The BBC would be reduced to a news channel and two or three public service channels, broadcasting on both television and radio, and funded by the public in the same way that we fund other Quangos. The Quango would be controlled by a committee of MPs plus others that represented a balance of political thought. Everything else could be sold off and the income used to lower the public debt.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

      From your post it’s clear you don’t know how quangos are funded or run. Hint: if it’s controlled by MPs it’s not a quango or independent.

      • Martin Ryder
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        The Q stands for Quasi, which means that the Quangos are not totally independent but are public bodies paid for by the people, just as the BBC is.

        From your many posts it is clear that you work for the BBC, possibly a lawyer, and have a slavish regard for the Supreme Court, which clearly works for the Liberal Establishment, rather than the people.

        • uanime5
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          Nothing you’ve posted changes the fact that quangos are not controlled by MPs. There’s a reason why quango means quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation.

          Just because quangos and the BBC receive public funding doesn’t mean they’re the same type of thing.

          • Edward
            Posted November 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            But unamimee5, where do they get their money from in the first place?
            Answer: the BBC and the quangos both get paid their many millions from the Government
            (the beeb from us reluctant fee payers, the quangos from our taxes)
            Your point is semantics

  44. Bill Bogg
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Yes it is unfortunate that Lord Patten has not been able to devote a few hours of his busy time since he became chairman of the trust to acquaint himself with some of the disquiet felt about global warming and the BBC’s take on it.
    If he felt he was unable to disrupt his busy schedule perhaps he could have rung his former colleague Lord Lawson.
    It has been my opinion for a long time the Lordpattern is composed of a material unknown to science . A large body capable of moving through any medium without generating a wave formation or in laymen’s terms a great lump in close orbit round a large and important body without ruffling it.
    The BBC , the Chinese ,Oxford University and chairman of the Conservative party.I expect it’s Europe next.

  45. Jon
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Since this current proplem arose I have been concerned about the responses from individual programs to the Director General and from Chris Patten.

    Common to all of it is arrogance and looking to deflect blame everywhere else.

    To me the Newsnight report appeared to be a childish response to criticism. It lashed out at what it thought was one of the perpetrators who dared to ask about a paedophile ring in its back yard. Its response was to try to scare the government/Conservatives away from asking any more questions.

    A couple of weeks ago I saw Andrew Neil try to brush it off as something minor.

    I saw ex BBC childrens entertainer Philip Schofield lay into the Prime Minister. Far from making me feel we should lay off the BBC and its antiquated ways and dark corners we need to push for change.

    Through out this Chris Patten appeared like a 19th century old gentleman who had been pensioned off to a gentleman’s club to drink port and was irritated that he had to be dragged out to answer questions. The impression I get was that the deal he got was to give a few speeches as a grandee and return to a club in St Jame’s in return for his work in Hong Kong. This is all very irritating to him.

    I don’t want to see another insider run the BBC. With decades of doing things their own way despite a greatly changed world around them I think there are many corners and recesses where nasty things fester. As well as that I don’t have confidence in the Trust, for example;

    This morning Chris Patten gave an interview to Sky News next to a busy road outside a a new expensive BBC studio building. He criticised the sound problems having chosen not to use the expensive resources the license payer viewers had paid for. He criticised them and a couple of weeks ago treated a Sky News reporter with disdain and was patronising for the crime about asking questions.

    I have no confidence in them, it needs a complete clearout and restructure which cannot happen from insiders.

  46. Jon
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Also, a small thing but telling. A week or so ago Greg Dyke was on TV. To a question he felt the need before answering to stress his admiration for the EU. Why do BBC executives former or current feel they have to do that? I guess because they would loose credibility amongst a politically motivated BBC news department if they didn’t.

    I don’t want the BBC to be pro or against, I just want them to be impartial. If they can’t do that then take the news remit away.

  47. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Why is Lord Patten still Chairman? I certainly do not trust him.

    • Bob
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      “Why is Lord Patten still Chairman? I certainly do not trust him.”

      I never have done.

  48. forthurst
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    On September 11th 2001, BBC World News were able to pre-announce the collapse of the Salomon Building (WTC7) as a result of ‘fires’. They were able to make this announcement twenty three minutes before the collapse actually occured whilst their journalist stood in front of a panorama of the New York skyline which quite visibly still contained the aforementioned building. Subsequently, the BBC has produced two programmes in their ‘Conspiracy Files’ series in which they have sought to establish that the reason for the collapse was that which they had pre-announced, namely ‘fires’.

    It is quite apparent that the understanding of the principles of science and the scientific method is not the BBC’s forte. However, there would have been plenty of structural engineers and physicists who could have explained to them that as a consequence of Newton’s Laws of motion and the observed characteristics of the collapse, including timescale, that their theory was quite simply impossible and therefore that they should never have attempted to propagate such a misleading hypothesis whatever the producers of the programme themselves fallaciously believed.

    • zorro
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they were able to state that WTC7 had fallen before it actually did (somehow)….. but were unable to foresee what a cock up they would make of the Newsnight programme. The force is no longer strong with them….their powers are growing weaker.

      zorro

  49. Jon
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    I just read the comments above. I rarely see more agreement on one issue than this. It is one thing that does unite.

  50. forthurst
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    It is very obvious that the BBC has an agenda which bears a considerable correspondence with that of the Frankfurt School. This is unsatisfactory for a publicly funded broadcasting organisation which is Charter bound to inform, educate, and entertain.

    There is a requirement for new leadership, cognisant of this problem, which will root it out, so as to release the creativity of the BBC still manifest in some of its output, by removing the dead hand of its Cultural Marxist agenda which makes so much of its output boring, rebarbative and unrewarding.

  51. Peter Richmond
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I listened today to someone on the BBC saying we should remember all the great and wonderful things such as Sport, Strictly come Dancing, children’s programmes that the BBC actually does beyond the new and news night type of thing.
    I often wonder why we are taxed through the license fee to pay the BBC for this kind of thing. There is entertainment and sport galore on ITV, Sky and the internet all of which is paid for without resorting to a general tax. This part of the BBC should be put on a proper commercial basis supported by advertising or voluntary subscriptions.
    This alone would suggest the core of a public broadcasting network could then be reduced significantly in size and scale. Lord Patton’s comment that the BBC has more bureaucrats than the Chinese Communist Party give additional weight to this view.
    Selling the whole lot to the private sector should be a long term aim in my view but I would settle for a much smaller organisation funded through a much reduced ‘tax’.

  52. Bert Young
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Reform of the BBC as been an issue for many years . Various individuals with very credible records of producing change have tried their hand at bringing it about . When Duke Hussey was Chairman he often visited me at my office in New Cavendish Street and explained what he wanted to do ; after some time I questioned him how far he had got , his reply “Nowhere !” He was a forthright man who did not suffer fools ; I genuinely thought his appointment would work , obviously it did not . McKinsey were involved at one stage and some of their recommendations made a great deal of sense , sadly , yet another waste of time and money . I now support the suggestion to bring it to an end and leave public communication to the competition and private enterprise .

  53. Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    For George Entwistle to go and Lord Patten to stay is a grave injustice. Entwistle was clearly promoted in Civil Service fashion to his level of incompetence, but it was Patten who did that promoting. The so-called “safe pair of hands” was not safe because they simply had never undertaken a similar management in role in previous posts.

    Cameron should follow in the footsteps of Murdoch who closed the News of the World when he realised that he would not be able to restore its credibility. The BBC has now lost all credibility in so far as its news and documentary programmes are concerned and should be closed down. If this is considered to be OTT, the BBC’s news and documentary departments should be separated from the BBC as a new organisation under very strict control to ensure political and scientific neutrality. There is no way the BBC should continue as it is and no way that Patten should remain head of the BBC Trust.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      Surely if Cameron was following Murdoch’s footsteps he wouldn’t fire Lord Patten for the actions of another that Patten had no knowledge of; just like Murdoch didn’t fire his son or himself because of everything his employees were doing as the Murdochs had no knowledge of it.

      Reply Today we learn Lord Patten did know about the second Newsnight programme before it went out.

  54. wab
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    “Do we trust the BBC Trust?”

    I certainly trust the BBC Trust and the BBC itself far more than I trust MPs (of any party).

    Having said that, I don’t watch Newsnight because it’s been mediocre for years and years. Channel 4 News is much better, but unfortunately for the Redwoods of the world, that is even more “liberal” than the BBC.

    Yes, the BBC is run by the sanctimonious middle class. But the entire country is run by the sanctimonious middle class.

    “Shouldn’t the BBC news and current affairs side seek to represent the spectrum of views on big topics that characterise our democratic debate, without fear or favour?”

    Indeed, and I noticed Mr Redwood is interviewed quite regularly on the BBC, including being on Any Questions on Friday, and given his strong views expressed in this article and the previous article, it’s surprising he didn’t bring up these issues there, in particular his claim about the alleged anti-Tory bias of the BBC (he had plenty of time to give his views and did not make one peep about this alleged bias).

    Mr Redwood is part of the ruling elite, and yes, shock horror, the ruling elite is over-represented on the BBC, as it is in all the rest of the UK media.

    Reply: I was able to put the alternative view on energy prices and gas on that programme, so it was not the moment to explore bias on the global warming issue. There was no question on the EU.

  55. Andy
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    First of all Lord McAlpine has been maliciously defamed: he should, tomorrow morning, issue Writs. The BBC should either defend the action in Court – which they will lose – or settle, and if I was Lord McAlpine I would not accept a penny less than £1 million. Others who should get writs would be (named individuals-ed) I would also serve a writ on Meesham who falsely accused Lord McAlpine.

    The second issue is the BBC itself. The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee should summon a number of senior executives and demand to know exactly how this shoddy libellous piece of rubbish was commissioned and broadcast. Those who were involved in this should be dismissed with immediate effect. After all of that we should abolish the BBC Trust and make the BBC subject to exactly the same regulation as everyone else. We should also look at its various ‘market shares’ and, as it will be found to be a monopoly in various areas, it should be broken up.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Given that the BBC didn’t name Lord McAlpine he’ll have to prove why he thinks the BBC would consider him involved in a paedophile scandal (something that never does your reputation any good).

      Who exactly didn’t the BBC libel? Describing a group of people who might be responsible isn’t libel.

      Finally what do you mean by “subject to exactly the same regulation as everyone else”.

      Reply: The BBC through their apology have accepted that it was Lord Macalpine they described as a “senior Conservative of the Thatcher era”

      • Andy
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        The BBC have themselves admitted that they were referring to Lord McAlpine. And you do not need to name someone to have defamed them. The BBC gave enough information for it to be quite easy to establish the identity of the person. The name was them ‘tweeted’ by many including the wife of the Speaker and in so doing there is a case that they might also have defamed him – she has apologized as well.

        The BBC didn’t bother to check the facts and relied on the statement, and the private assurance apparently, of Stephen Meesham that Lord McAlpine was the person concerned. They didn’t even bother to show him a photograph. To call all of this shoddy is an understatement.

        So just exactly how is Lord McAlpine’s good name and reputation to be restored ? Or don’t you think that matters ?

        And by regulation like everyone else I mean OffCom.

        • uanime5
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          Firstly the only information the BBC gave was that they were a senior Conservative from the Thatcher years. So this could have applied to a number of past and present MPs, not just Lord McAlpine.

          Secondly you either need to name someone to defame them or use such a narrow criteria that it can only refer to one person. If you can’t prove that the person being referred to is highly likely to be you then any defamation case will fail.

          Thirdly only the people who tweeted or published Lord McAlpine’s name in relation to this offence have defamed him.

          Fourthly Stephen Meesham said that Lord McAlpine was the person who abused him because the police showed him a photo of his abuser and incorrectly told him that it was a photo of Lord McAlpine. It’s surprising that the police haven’t received any criticism for this.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20277732

          Fifthly it wasn’t until Lord McAlpine came forward that the media mentioned his name regarding these allegations. Given that the BBC has apologised and said that Lord McAlpine wasn’t involved his reputation has suffered very little damage.

          • Edward
            Posted November 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            uanime5,
            We shall see soon whether the courts and a jury agree with your quite breathtakingly ridiculous statement that Lord McAlpine’s reputation “has suffered very little damage”.

            I think you are in for a shock.

          • David Price
            Posted November 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            It would appear that in English law defamation can be of a group or an individual who the perpetrator has either named or caused to be identified.

            So it looks like you may well be wrong either way.

  56. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I do not want to fork out £30+ per month for subscription television, which is the cost that the Beeb would have to charge if the license fee were optional.

    Forking out the license fee maintains the infrastructure through which the other fee satellite channels can be received,

    The funding model is fine by me. much of the programming is medium to high quality, the political reporting gets accused of bias by both sides (remember them gunning for both Blair and Brown when they got into difficulties).

    Its digital offering is good, its website remains top notch.

    Keep the funding model the same but maybe reduce the costs slightly and incrementally reform the personnel and wage structures.

    The UK public service broadcaster should be fixed and cherished not scrapped.

    • Mark
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

      Your calculation presumes that the offering would be unchanged, but only about 40% of households would choose to subscribe. Interestingly, Sky has 10.3m customers – around 40% of households. Its packages start at £21.50 per month, on top of the compulsory BBC subscription of course. Other TV packages offered come in rather cheaper.

      When I was in Holland I had a basic cable TV package that included about a dozen channels for about £50 per year – well under half the BBC licence fee. BBC1 and BBC2 were among the channels provided (along with others from Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland – so it wasn’t just EU, and obviously Holland itself). It provided good practice for my languages.

      I don’t think you’d necessarily face a larger bill unless you really wanted all the plethora of offerings, some of which are highly subsidised and have tiny audiences. You might even have a smaller bill, being able to choose something that suited you.

      • Edward
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        I agree the future, is for many small channels mainly web provided,which can be subscibed to individually as suits the requirements of the viewer, including the new forthcoming local city TV stations (one such station is opening soon in Birmingham)
        The BBC model will soon be an anacranism in the modern media world.

  57. Vanessa
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    For those of you who do not read Christopher Booker’s column in the Sunday Telegraph, here is the latest on the BBC bias and dishonesty.

    BBC allowed to keep its dirty little secret

    A remarkable legal drama has been unfolding recently in London’s Camden Town, pitting a lone pensioner from Wales against all the might of the BBC, represented by an array of highly-paid lawyers. It has been a battle fought to determine the BBC’s right, under the Freedom of Information Act, to keep secret how it arrived at a major policy decision which, for six years, has allowed it to operate in breach of its legal obligations under its Charter.

    The BBC Trust does not hide the fact that a “high-level seminar” in 2006, attended by “expert scientists”, led to the decision that the BBC should take a highly proactive line in pushing alarm over global warming, while ignoring or ridiculing anyone who dares question it. This was done in full knowledge that it ran counter to the BBC’s Charter commitment that its coverage of controversial issues must be impartial.

    Everything about this seminar, held in secret at TV Centre and attended by the BBC’s top brass, was odd. It was organised by a little lobby group set up by the BBC journalist Roger Harrabin to promote the global-warming scare in the media, financed by public money and other climate pressure groups.

    So obviously did the BBC do all it could to push the scare, from that time on, that a great many people asked to know who was present at the seminar and in particular the identity of the “expert scientists” on whose advice such a significant policy change was made. It did eventually emerge that one speaker at the seminar was Lord May, an unashamed climate alarmist who had just stepped down as President of the Royal Society, but no more would the BBC disclose.

    Tony Newbery, who runs the Harmless Sky science blog from his Welsh retirement home, was so insistent that the public had the right to know the identity of those on whose advice the BBC had made such a remarkable departure from its Charter that he appealed to an Information Commission tribunal. After all, the BBC itself likes to boast of how it uses the FOIA to pry out secrets from other public bodies.

    After a two-day hearing – where it became clear that the tribunal’s three members were highly unsympathetic to Mr Newbery’s arguments (one, a former Haringey councillor, has previously referred to sceptics as “climate-change deniers”; another was formerly head of Camden legal services), they ruled on Friday that the BBC is a “private organisation”, entitled to keep its policy deliberations secret. What a surprise. (For a fuller account of the hearings, see Andrew Orlowski’s blog for TheRegister.co.uk.)

    • Chris
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      All reported on the Global Warming Policy Foundation website. The following link gives access to several articles on the subject, and it makes worrying reading. Tony Newbery representing himself up against a team of BBC lawyers apparently determined that the composition of the group meeting in 2006 (which basically resulted in the BBC adopting a global warming stance from the date forward) would be kept confidential. One wonders what they had to hide. Were there in fact no scientists in the group but merely activists? Were there NGOs with particular interests. Mr Newbery argued that because the BBC was a public organisation that the data should be available. I believe his argument was rejected because it could be argued that the BBC was not a public organisation.
      http://www.thegwpf.org/?s=BBC

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:35 am | Permalink

      Had you done any real research you’d know that under the FOI act the BBC isn’t required to provide this information. Something that was confirmed by the Supreme Court.

      You’d also know that impartial doesn’t mean giving cranks equal airtime to experts.

      • Mark
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        So why were rank judges appointed?

        • Mark
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          crank

          • Edward
            Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

            Yes Mark nice word that, “crank” Very democratic and inclusive.
            We need to be told, just who decides who is the “crank” ?
            I am presuming people like unamime5 wil be on the panel judging us all.
            Anyone he doesnt approve of I imagine.
            Of with you to the train, bye bye.

        • uanime5
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          Just because you don’t like their judgement doesn’t make them cranks.

  58. Wonky Moral Compass
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I see Entwistle gets a £450,000 pound pay-off which is a full year’s salary and twice what he is legally entitled to. Why is he getting more than he is legally entitled to and why does he have a contract that includes a resignation-triggered pay-off in the first place?

    • JimF
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Easy. Because it is other peoples’ money.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      Probably for the same reason Fred Goodwin did, poor negotiations by the Government.

    • David Price
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      If Mr Entwhistle was on 6 months contractual notice pay then when he resigned and left immediately it is reasonable for him to be paid that amount. However as this was in the context of failure I don’t think it at all reasonable to hand over more than the contractual notice pay.

      The BBC Trust should not have offered the extra sweetner.

  59. Max Dunbar
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday, I asked Mr Redwood if Entwhistle’s pension would be boosted by his brief Director-Generalship at the BBC.
    It would appear that my question was prescient, as today I read that he will receive a full year’s salary of £450k for a few day’s work with the justification being that he will allegedly be helping with further inquiries over the course of the next few months.

  60. Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    The David Potter Foundation funds the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (source: Dave Potter Foundation website) which produced the Newsnight report with the BBC.

    This is the same David Potter who donated £90,000 to the Labour Party at the last election (source: Electoral Commission)

    The whole thing stinks.

  61. sm
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    How can you trust any publicly funded organization that refuses to be open and honest? (Immediate concern being blocking Freedom of Information requests).
    Perhaps it has served too well the agenda of the EULibLabCon.

    More facts please and speaking truth to power .. reporting facts and holding the remains of our democracy and parliament accountable to the people.(If only it advanced the cause of free speech and actively fought super-injunctions etc).
    Why should a publicly funded broadcaster feel the need to bid for talent, it should be constantly training new (cheaper) talent on paye, and encouraging the expensive talent to move on.

    Just remove the license fee tax and remove at a stroke one of the causes of crime and increase its accountability to the public almost immediately.

    Make it encrypt and pay per view except for public service broadcasts which should be tendered for maybe by advertising.

    That would be an easy simplification of our tax system.

  62. uanime5
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Given that global warming is supported by scientific evidence there’s no reason for the BBC to represent denier any more than they should represent flat-earthers or creationists. A balanced view doesn’t mean giving cranks, busybodies, and mischief makes equal airtime to qualified scientists.

    The BBC had to spend money blocking FOI requests because idiots kept demanding this information even though nearly every court ruled that under the FOI act this information was exempt. Frivolous lawsuits cost money.

    Neither the BBC nor any media network has to provide minority groups with support in order to “represent the spectrum of views”. After all there’s no reason to consulting minor parties, such as UKIP and the BNP, on everything that’s happening in Parliament simply because they’re political parties that have some support. Nor is there any value in having people talk about how prayer and healing crystals are a solution to outbreaks of diseases simply because some people believe in faith healing and magic crystals.

    • Edward
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      You forget umanime5, that the charter of the BBC states it has to be impartial and it is obvious to many that the BBC is not.
      In fact it seems now to have set positions on a number of major controversial issues and seems to be failing to present the other side of many arguments.

      Impartial….. thats the key word.

  63. Neil Whitehead
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    You’re just jealous that perhaps “pro EU global warming hawks” represent the populace much better than you.

  64. Monty
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    The BBC stinks to high heaven. Disband it, break it up, and sell off the business units/assets to the private sector. Radio four can’t even broadcast comedy any more, all they can summon up is the assorted cronies of Mark Steele, Marcus Brigstocke and Sandy Toksvig sitting in an echo chamber congratulating themselves on how politically enlightened they are. Eleven years ago, in the week after 9/11, the Question Time TV program went to air with a program that left most of the viewers aghast, and devastated by the callous and casual contempt for the families of hundreds of innocent victims. One has to wonder who selected that audience, and what his agenda was.
    Barbara Plett, nuff said…
    And even Blue Peter was stained by allegations of drug taking.
    Jonathan Ross, Russel Brand, and their vile on-air prank against Andrew Sachs.
    Ed Stourton’s disgraceful interview of Ehud Barak on the Today program, which elicited a justifiably ballistic response from their next guest, Sir John Nott. (Not many people remember that one.)

    All of this tells us that there is a culture of immunity and groupthink at the BBC. It has evolved into a cabal of right-on worthies who form a protective shield around their enfants terrible, and stand ready to repel and deflect criticism from the lower orders.

    We need to end it.

  65. John
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    The Application form for Question Time still has “are you pro-EU or sceptical” as one of only two questions for prospective audience members that stand out as unusual. (The other used to be “do you believe in climate change” but has been changed to a question about Afghanistan).

    I’d like to know how they filter audience members based on the answer to the EU question….

    Reply: I think they have tried to put in more sceptics afater a long campaign against their bias.

  66. Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I support all your points, but it is not only the News division which is biased to the left. A number of their recent drama programmes have shown the same tendency with denigrating remarks about perceived right wing people or issues.
    I believe the News division should be made into a separate organisation, independent of the BBC, with a mandate to produce quality unbiased news which would not only be used by the BBC, but by any other TV or radio organisation which wished to pay for it, somewhat in the same manner as News Agencies provide copy for newspapers.

    As for Global Warming, even if it is happening, I have never seen real evidence that suggests that it is man made, or that it can be ameliorated by the actions of man. Such proof is needed before wasting huge sums on what, in my view, is an impossible task being undertaken for unproven reasons.

    • APL
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      English Pensioner, “As for Global Warming, even if it is happening … ”

      But the BBC don’t miss an opportunity to push the idea that is is happening. Last week sometime in the morning, there was a collection of talking whittering heads on Radio four, the ‘discussion’ was chaired by Andrew Marr, I think two of the participants were Mary Robinson another was Michael Ignatieff – the consensus on the panel, encouraged by Marr was that Hurricane Sandy was an illustration of the effects Global Warming, which we must ‘do’ something about.

      Elsewhere, away from the scare mongering, Hurricane Sandy directly caused around 43 deaths, significantly less than the number of people normally killed during their usual daily activities, sans storm.

  67. Neil Craig
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    The answer to the first 3 is obviously
    – the BBC, while legally required to report in a “balanced” manner , make no attempt whatsoever to do so and are in fact simply the propaganda arm of the British civil service, willing to push any scare story (global warming) & censor any crime or atrocity (I could give examples but I know Mr Redwood would prefer I not be specific) in the state cause.

    Apart from warming the BBC promote every food/smoking/obesity/etc scare invariably promioted by “charities” that turn out to be largely or overwhelmingly state funded. Honest journalism would require that when they report such an organisation as a “charity” which they invariably do they should also reprt that it is funded not by the public but by the state.

    Formal political debate, which can be seen by the electorate, is a necesary and perhaps sufficient condition for a free society. This has been the case since ancient Greece (even medieval Royal Parliaments count because they were in effect their own electorate & they did debate fairly freely). The BBC absolutely abnd without giving any reasons, has rejected any possibility of broadcasting true debates on the issues. I am sure that if seeing Anne Widdicombe dance can get an audience of millions seeing her, or anybody else, at least half of whom I would not agree with (eg global warming, immigration), according to formal debate rules, would raise a far greater audience.

    Does anybody think it would not, or that the BBC are not perfectly well aware that it would be likely to? Or that there is any slightest possibility that the BBC, as presently constituted, will not contiunue to censor such debate?

    (The Question Time format is not a debate because it does not attempt to have equal numbers on the issues and the BBC moderator uses his right to interrupt any answer within a few seconds and end “discussion”. )

    • APL
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Neil Craig: “invariably promioted by “charities” that turn out to be largely or overwhelmingly state funded. ”

      Yes, a BBC speciality, the Orwellian distortion of the language.

  68. Julie
    Posted November 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Its time to privatise the BBC – its purpose of yesterday no longer fit the consumer needs of today. Gone are the days when switching on the box and only 3 channels would appear, when we now have a choice of hundred and more channels that make money through advertising.

    Recent BBC crisis clearly indicates the BBC business model is flawed, out of touch, too slowdinosaur establishment funded at the expense of taxpayers

    … bloated hierarchy management paid excessive salaries, and they still get it wrong

    … how does the BBC Trust justify the latest half million payout for ex-CEO who resigned voluntarily

    … how can anyone trust the ‘BBC Trust’ if they refuse to be open and transparent regarding FOI,

    TV license fee should be optional based on a subscription model: (viewers choose to subscribe for any of the BBC services, website, digital apps content)

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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