Some questions for the BBC

 

  Lord Patten, on behalf of the BBC Trust said:

“At the heart of the BBC is its role as a trusted global news organisation…. (George) offered us his resignation because of the unacceptable mistakes and unacceptable shoddy journalism which had caused so much controversy…. He’s behaved as editor with huge honour and  courage…George had set on putting in place a number of changes, which will be required in this great organisation and it’s a tragedy that he was overwhelmed, as we all were to a great extent, by these events….”

 

Lord Patten has subsequently  suggested that there needs to be substantial change and reform of the BBC, and has attacked its top heavy management structures.

The questions posed by the BBC news and current affairs coverage include:

1. Why did they have   a long record of failing to offer reasonable air time  and fair treatment to Eurosceptics? Why did it take external studies to reveal the shortage of airtime given to critics of the EU, the adverse way they were introduced and treated, and the more frequent interruptions they suffered?

2. Why are critics of global warming theory either ignored or treated as cranks, when there is still serious scientific and economic debate about the causes of climate change, the extent of it  and the best way of responding to it?

3. Why does the BBC normally interview people from a left of centre perspective – demanding more expenditure, higher taxes, more government  intervention – rather than from a right of centre perspective, asking people why they don’t cut taxes, control spending and reduce the role of government? Shouldn’t a balanced broadcaster do a bit of each?#

4. Why are losses, unusual tax arrangements, financial engineering in the public sector treated more leniently than similar things in the private sector?

5. Why did all the layers of BBC management fail to instill into Newsnight after the Savile crisis the need to investigate thoroughly and present a case with evidence to back it up where there is plenty of evidence, and to cancel an enquiry where there is insufficient evidence?

6. Why, after  the failure of the Newsnight team on the Savile issue, did management not require stricter reporting and higher standards for future work?

7. Which managers approved the Macalpine piece? Had anyone on Newsnight read the Waterhouse Report which had looked at these allegations years before? Had they seen the comments on their witness? Why did they fail to put the allegations to the person they were  falsely accusing? Why did they tweet out that they would be revaling a top tory paedophile, only not to name one? Why did they not expose again the actions of Labour Clwyd County  Council, which was responsible for the children’s home and the social service department in question? Why did they not remind us of the 7 people who were successfuly convicted of crimes in the North Wales abuse tragedy, none of whom were prominent Conservatives?

8. What changes did Mr Entwistle wish to put in place? Why did he not tell the Select Committee or the Today programme about these?

9. If Mr Entwistle “exemplifies the highest sdtandards of public service broadcasting” why did these obvious errors occur on his watch?

10. What is the BBC going to do about its top heavy and clearly ineffective management?  Shouldn’t the editors of flagship programmes be responsible for their journalistic output, discussing it with lawyers and others where necessary? Isn’t the only other person who must have a view in difficult cases, the Editor in Chief?

 

12. Why does Mr Entwistle get such a large pay off when he has done the job for such a short space of time and decided to resign because he did not think he had done or could do the job well enough?

          The BBC Trust needs to tell us what value we are getting for the all the expensive layers of management in the BBC. They need to tell us who is responsible for controlling editors whose journalistic standards are not high enough, or who is responsible for appointing them.

 

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250 Comments

  1. Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Indeed I would not expect any answers though.

    Also why do the BBC always talk of government investment without considering that all government “investment” involves grabbing money off companies and individuals and preventing their investments?

    From what I hear the wrong man had “resigned” as so often. The BBC say he was entitled to 6 month pay off but gave him 12 – but if you resign you are not entitled to anything? So all the nearly half a million (plus huge pension) is in effect a gift from licence tax payers.

    Can we have the next one paid at the correct rate. £150,000 PA is plenty, not three times that, many good people would do it for nothing? Can they also not waste yet more money on head hunters as “BBC think” Lord Patton did last time, before this internal promotion?

    • Disaffected
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Boris Johnson and Lord Tebbit’s columns are an excellent read.

      What I always fail to understand is why there is much self pity. A ruthless clear out is required as a minimum, sink or swim is the only way of resolving the problems at BBC. Taxpayers are being ripped off. Patten should go, he should take some responsibility.

      However, we are still waiting for the promised purge at Westminster-right to recall of MPs- lobbying, no more second jobs, no more interest group for payment, minimum attendance required, donor dinners for Tory party at No 10 etc.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Entwistle’s contract said he’d get 6 months pay if he left voluntarily and 12 months if he was fired. So they have him 12 months pay so he would leave immediately, rather than fire him and give him 12 months pay.

      • Johnny England
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        What dimwit gives somebody a contract with 12 months pay if he is fired.
        Normally people are fired if they do not perform. If he resigns nothing unless he gives notice for which he will be paid and if he is sacked nothing

        What little world do these people live in, it is not the real one that most people face everyday, please, please, please stop giving our money away

        With regards to honour and doing the right thing, helping ones self to £450,000 on the way out after 54 days is nice work if you can get it
        Ex Sir Fred would be proud of you.

        Another loser who wins.

  2. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Is it really the case, as Roger Bootle says today, that our exports to the wretched EU account for only 15% of GDP? Dear God in Heaven, how can that be??

    • Paul Cadier
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Leslie Singleton, foreign trade ,both imports and exports, account for roughly 2o% of our total economy. The other 80% is domestic purely internal commerce. Of the foreign trade in goods and services roughly half is imports and half exports according to a study published by Bill Jameson a decade ago. Of those exports 40% go to the EU. Furthermore some of our exports outsid Europe are. Shipped via Rotterdam. This is reported as exports to Holland rather than their true destinations. bootle’s figure of 15% is actually over the top. The real figure is closer to 10% GDP. Thank the BBC for conflating “Trade” with “Exports”

      • martyn
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Does the figure of 15% include cars manufactured here in the UK by Japaneese owned companies?

  3. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    All good stuff Mr. Redwood, but maybe you should be looking nearer home? Tom Watson has played a disgraceful and dishonourable part in the McAlpine story, and not for the first time he has been at the centre of the attempted trashing of his political opponent’s reputations, misusing parliamentary privilege in the process. Isn’t it about time he was brought to book by Parliament?

    • Timaction
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Mr Watson has a lot to answer for in his malicious behaviour to anything right minded!
      The BBC is institutionally left of centre with an ingrained left wing stance on everything. It will need root and branch reform to rid itself of the Guardianistas recruiting m0re Guardianistas. They all read and think like the Guardian hence why it was acceptable to try and crucify an innocent man based on their beliefs NOT evidence. The same applies to the EU, mass migration, green windmills religion, on equality especially for English men (We don’t exist according to the BBC).
      I don’t think it can be reformed so it should be broken up or privatised as it has meddled in the Natinal interest once too often. Please don’t let Mr Cameron anywhere near the decision making as he will get it hopelessly wrong…………again.

      • Expat
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Break- up is the only option if the left wing bias is to be stamped out. As for the contribution made by Mr Watson, he has unleashed this storm and should now be called to account by Parliament and required to provide evidence to support the accusations he made in the House last week.

  4. Adam5x5
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    1. Because they don’t want to jeopardise their EU funding.

    2. Journalists rarely have a decent understanding of science and tend to sensationalise and dumb down everything. The BBC are especially bad at this. Things are portrayed as facts when they are theories (gravity for example). It comes from sheer laziness and not even trying to make educational content interesting – not to mention it seems that a majority of the time the reporters haven’t a clue what they are talking about. Not expecting in depth knowledge in everything, but a bit of general research would help.

    3. It’s down to the institutional politics. They are effectively a public sector institution. Therefore public sector = good. Arguing for a smaller public sector means arguing for their own funding to be cut – which they won’t want to do.

    4. See 3 – public = good

    5. Incompetence – in the private sector at least one person would lose their job for gross incompetence.

    6. See 5

    7. See 5 – and public = good. Since Labour are always arguing for a bigger state, Labour = good, Tories = bad. Hence the institutionalised favour towards the Communists Labour.

    8. Unknown – but I’d hazard a guess at keeping the status quo.

    9. See 5 – but at least he has thrown himself on his sword. It would be good if he declined the severance package (fat chance).

    10. Nothing – Can you imagine large scale redundancies at the BBC? That’s what’s needed.

    11. There isn’t an 11

    12. Typically poorly written public contract. I’d love a contract like that. 56 days on a job, lose it through incompetence, £1.3m payoff. Great work if you can get it.

    • Barry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Spot on. Just to add to 12…..easier for Patton to dish out public money than do the right thing and accept Entwistle resignation or fire him at minimum cost to the public. Firing for failure is the wakeup call that the BBC needs. Instead Patton has delivered the message that failure is rewarded by riches that most of us only achieve through a long track record of delivering success.

      So much for sorting out the BBC ! Patton has demonstrated his failure to make the first step towards the BBC recovery. His ludicrous payout has created another BBC crisis.

      Leadership at the top is woefully inadequate. Patton’s actions demonstrate a lack the of judgement and ability to put those in place who will deliver the changes needed for the BBC. There can be little confidence that Patton is the right person to head the trust. What has Patton been doing during his tenure? I’m amazed he’s still there…all this happened on his watch. Perhaps he is waiting for his big payout in recognition of his record of failure.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      I think the criticism of mr entwistle’s payoff is unfair. He has worked for many years at the BBC. Had he been fired from his last job before becoming DG he would have got a payoff. Why should he forego that just because he spent 2 months (albeit wrongly appointed) as DG?

      • Barry
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Wrongly appointed….Patton appointment. Patton keeps his job!

        Firing in the BBC gets a payoff!!!

        Rather uniquely perhaps in the BBC current failures are ignored because “He has worked for many years at the BBC”!!!!

        Yet more evidence that drastic changes needed in the BBC culture.

      • outsider
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Agreed

      • Andrew Johnson
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        If you resign from your job, the law says, your employer doesn’t have to pay you anything except your salary for days worked.
        If you have felt pressured to resign, then you go to a lawyer and find out if you have a case for constructive dismissal and pursue it through a tribunal.
        Did he go or was he pushed? Either way, his has publicly stated that he felt it necessary to resign. Under those circumstances, £450,000 is quite inappropriate and highly insulting to those hard workers outside the BBC bubble who are made redundant with often just a few months or weeks pay as compensation.
        By the way, he has a BBC goldplated index linked pension package, so he and his family are not going to be in financial hardship.

        • Barry
          Posted November 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Well said.

  5. Duyfken
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    A good list of what the government (not the BBC Trust) should be considering. Intrigued by question No.11, (etc)

  6. JimF
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Voters elect MP s to ask these questions and you are quite correctly doing so.
    However it seems that you’re in the minority.
    So my question 13 is “why has the government, in place by the grace of Conservative and Libdem MP s, for so long ducked these fundamental questions?”

  7. Alte Fritz
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    And, according to this morning’s newspaper, a £450k severance payment has been approved for Mr Entwistle. In its nature that is likely to be ex gratia, not contractual. The honourable Mr Entwistle seems have be in for a soft landing.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      By way of contrast with what one reads of Mr Entwistle’s treatment, the European Court of Human Rights has found that a gentleman who was summarily fired for standing as a BNP candidates suffered a breach of his human rights by being summarily dismissed (for his political opinions) at a point when he had not accrued 1 year’s service and had no EPA rights. He was stitched up by Unison and a local authority for which his employer did work. His Asian supervisor gave him an excellent reference.

      Compare and contrast. The case is Redfearn v United Kingdom [2012] ECHR 1878 and no, I have no time for the BNP.

  8. David Morris Jones
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    …All good questions – but there is another issue here which the BBC needs to tackle; – its enduring and endemic Anti-Conservative mindset.

    This is a mindset which is widely-held on the “shop-floor” of the BBC – in its newsrooms. in its editing suites, on its studio floors and around its canteen tables (vide the way in which Carole Thatcher was forced out of “The One Show” because of an overheard canteen conversation).

    It is this mindset which led the BBC to use the phraseology employed in its whole reporting of the child abuse/Newsnight/McAlpine issue.

    The key words are “Tory” and “Thatcher-era”.

    These terms were liberally and vindictively – but inaccurately and wrongly – inserted into literally scores of BBC news reports over the whole span of the crisis.

    It was a deliberate attempt to link the heinous crime of child abuse with the Conservatives and with Mrs Thatcher and shackle these elements together, indelibly, in the public mind.

    Students and schoolchildren are still being taught that Mrs Thatcher was a “she-Devil” who threw innocent miners out of work, who crushed honest trades unionists standing up for their rights, and who “had it in” for the poorest people in the land,

    The journalists in the BBC – coming as they do straight from left-wing campuses of left-wing universities (the BBC still uses only The Guardian to advertise journalistic vacancies) – see nothing at all wrong with applying the “Thatcher” label to the crime of child abuse. Their foggy set of beliefs justifies every smear – and they know that that colleagues on the newsdesks and their editors will approve, or at least not disapprove, of the partisan description in their work and will wave it through onto the air .

    They see “Thatcher” as fair game. Never mind that she didn’t come to power until Mayday ( oh how that must still rankle!) 1979 , and could not possibly have had any connection with 1970s child abuse- it is, in their mind, “Thatcher” and “Thatcherism” and the Conservatives that must be blamed. Whether merited or not, the dig must still go in.

    As a former BBC editor myself I can attest to the pervading mindset which exists in BBC newsrooms . In the ’60s it went without saying that when you went into work for the BBC you hung-up your political beliefs along with your hat at coat every morning. Neutrality and impartiality was an absolute condition of employment. Journalists – sub-editors, reporters, producers, editors – were all on what the BBC called “restricted staff”. They were not allowed publicly to express their opinion on controversial matters, they were not allowed to submit articles to the newspapers (unless express permission had been given beforehand) , they were not allowed to write “letters to the editor”.( Tweets of course were unknown). They were not allowed to belong to or join political parties.

    The BBC should never have lifted such restrictions. BBC journalists should, of course, be contractually required to be impartial in the office and silent when out of it. But the enduring, almost sub-conscious, accepted mindset within the BBC will take a generation or more to remove.

    Reply: Thank you for your honest and interesting account of the attitudes. It has certainly felt like that from the outside.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      It is sad to think how good it could be if such basic standards were to be applied now. It would take years to wash out the current stain.

    • frank salmon
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      David. Please put your name forward to be the new Director General of the BBC.

    • martyn
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      No David would be wasted at the BBC. Can’t he instead take over the Murdoch empire and all the other europhobic press which are doing such dreadful damage to this county and similarly install honest and sincere journalism standards that he so eloquently and rightly believes in.

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        “The Murdoch empire” as you put it has nothing whatsoever to do with incompetent BBC journalism.

        Your childish prejudice indicates that you would be an ideal employee of the BBC (Biased Broadcasting Corporation).

        • martyn
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          The first paragraph is quite right. Thankfully the BBC is nothing like a company run by rupert murdoch. Can you see the difference?

          I read the Sun on Saturday cover to cover. Page 3 idol? You are quite right – the BBC is nothing like a Murdoch newspaper.

      • Robert Eve
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Europhobic press damaging this country? Surely the reverse is the truth.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Perhaps it should be renamed the Biddable Brainwashing Commune.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      “In the ’60s it went without saying that when you went into work for the BBC you hung-up your political beliefs along with your hat at coat every morning. Neutrality and impartiality was an absolute condition of employment.”

      Is there any reason why that culture should not be recreated, under the right leadership and after removing those who refuse to accept it?

      The BBC has a Charter, it has been breaking that Charter for decades, and it needs a new Chairman of the BBC Trust who will openly recognise that the BBC has been breaking its Charter and will do whatever is necessary to put a stop to that.

      • Edward
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        Dennis,
        As usual you have got to the core of the issue and its simple solution.

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

      If all that Mr Jones says is true then the only option is to have Auntie go on a one-way trip to a clinic in Switzerland. It would be for the best.
      The family cannot be expected to look after her in such an advanced state of senility, constantly wetting herself and having to have such frequent changes of incontinence pants at vast expense. It would be the humane thing to do and the best for everyone. Some of the less tolerant members of the family who found her obsessive and controlling will be glad that she has reached the end but we must all mourn the passing of a grand old lady and not be too unkind about her.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      This is a very interesting contribution, and confirms what others have said, eg Peter Sissons. But I wonder whether it would be possible now to re-impose political neutrality given the number and weight of leftists in the BBC? Could another approach not just be to say OK they can go on propogating their left-wing line on so many issues, but there must be balance, and people from outside the BBC, who hold opposing views, must be given airtime. Compliance with this requirement could be made a condition of the license fee (ie the license fee would be cut & eventually abolished if the BBC presistently refused to offer political balance).

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        The BBC already does that, which is why UKIP and all the business leaders who condemn minimum wage are given airtime.

        • Posted November 14, 2012 at 5:39 am | Permalink

          All sensible people realise that a minimum wage/living wage, all the employment protection, maternity and over regulation of everything is very, very damaging to employment and job creation. But top business leaders rarely say so in public it is not politic, it seems so much nicer to pretend to their staff and customers, that they are all in favour of such mollycoddling of staff and are “enlightened” as opposed to honest.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      David – Those on the Right think that those on the Left are wrong.

      Those on the Left think that those on the Right are BAD.

      By ‘Right’ I don’t mean the BNP but moderate Conservatives such as Mr Redwood.

      The Left feel that they have a moral right to silence and crush those whose views differ from their own. They feel that the means justifies the end.

      The most serious question here is if the BBC cared whether or not Lord McAlpine was innocent. Would they have continued with their accusations without proper proof ? Were they more interested in smearing the Tory party than in the truth and the effects that this would have on a good man of senior years ? (Did Chris Patten think for one minute that he was a paedophile ?)

      If so then how dreadfully wicked of them.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        The right also feel they have a right to silence and crush those whose views differ from their own. Thought they’re more motivated by profit and their own privileges than moral reasons.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Much of the anti-Thatcher rhetoric emanates from journalists who were barely in school when she came to power. This is evidence of the failure of the subsequent Conservative Govts to rid the education establishment of its militant socialist infestation. Several generations of indoctrinated pupils and students are evidence of that failure.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Maybe it’s because Thatcher tried to take away their milk while in school, after closing down most of the grammar schools.

        • Winston Smith
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Milk had been slowly removed from pupils by prior Labour Govts, Thatcher continued that policy. The Grammar schools closures were legislated by previous Labour Govts and the decisions were taken by LAs. Thanks for proving my opinion on the indoctrination of students correct. (assuming you are now out of education)

    • Manof Kent
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Lord Patten has used the word ‘impartiality ‘ many times recently to exemplify all the good things the BBC stands for .

      Sadly that all seems to have been forgotten in the last 3/4 decades in the ways shown by John our host and David above.

      A review of BBC partiality would benefit all and cannot be delayed if the lost trust is to regained.

    • pete
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      Its good to hear a perspective from someone who used to work for the bbc.

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, nearly every question asked comes from a Guardian/Toynbee “Think”, pro EU, ever bigger state, ever bigger tax, quack green science exaggeration, enforced “equality”, tax the rich until the pips squeak, direction – other than taxes for BBC personal service companies I assume.

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    One of many absurd aspects of this is that we apparently paid £200,000 to an executive search company to identify Entwhistle for the DG job. Not much of a search given that he was sitting in an office next to the previous DG. The BBC assume the trapping of large private sector companies in the manner of a monkey wearing a dinner jacket.

    • zorro
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      More money for old rope……If you are going to pay money like that, you must surely be looking for a suitably qualified outsider rather than settling for the person next door. Well, is anyone surprised? I wonder who was accountable for that decision. Besides it’s not their own money after all……

      zorro

    • Winston Smith
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Well that is another question JR can put to his Conservative colleagues in Govt. Entwistle and Pattern were widely touted for these roles and, of course, Entwistle was the natural successor and internal candidate. However, a Head Hunting consultancy was paid hundreds of thousands of pounds for ‘recruiting’ them. Both of these were handled by one of David Cameron’s best friends at Eton (Best Man at his wedding).

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/diary/the-feral-beast-hunters-get-rich-on-entwistle-8303849.html

      The stench of cronyism in the political/media elite is rotten.

      • zorro
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Oooh, that is rather whiffy….not much added value or caring for the taxpayer there.

        zorro

  10. Richard1
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    There needs to be a new chairman. The Govt could kill 2 birds with one stone by appointing someone with a non-BBC outlook on behald of license payers. I propose the distinguished journalist Charles Moore.

    • Robert Eve
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Good proposition.

  11. Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    3. Why does the BBC normally interview people from a left of centre perspective

    Quite.

    A good example was this morning’s Today programme.

    In the business section (which often has very little to do with business – but that’s another gripe) at around 6:15am, the presenter was asking how low corporation tax regimes like Ireland can be tackled (so that higher tax countries can collect more).

    At no time did it occur to the BBC that the higher tax regimes may be the problem. My impression was that the question was loaded with the assumption that low tax regimes were freakish or immoral.

    My personal preference is for BBC to be unbiased and not to have an opinion either way.

    • zorro
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      That is the audience they serve – the Metropolitan elite, innately soft left in all views, PC to a fault, and assiduously courted by Cameron along with the other bien pensants…..

      zorro

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

      We did have the ex commodities broker Nigel Farage on the today programme a week or so ago. Fascinating stuff. Also he was on the BBC news channel last Thursday discussing the EU with Angela Merkel. Equally fascinating. German Chancellor and British eurosceptic. Also he has made seemingly thousands of appearances on BBC Question Time – in fact I recall several times when he has the entire programme to himself providing endless monologues with the Tory sitting po faced alongside.

      We need more thinking members from the right on BBC – 0ver to you JR.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    As I have said before John

    These people are Presenters, not reporters or seasoned journalists, they are given jobs because of their looks, not their brains or forensic investigative skills.

    Thought Humphries absolutely demolished Pattern during his interview, but then that would not have been difficult, given the circumstances.

    The socialist, safe culture of the BBC fed by years of compulsive payment under threat of legal prosecution needs to be resolved, as does its culture for wanting all things State controlled.

  13. Amanda
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    So, John, what are the Conservatives, and the Government going to do about the above? We are in a situation where we could well have an EU Referendum in the next few years, people need objective information to make a decision – can you imagine that from the current BBC? For democracy to survive and for our country to survive we need a BBC that works as it was intended, impartially.

    I am for keeping a BBC, but not the sorry mess we have now. It needs cutting back, and sorting out, the licence fee should be halved, if kept at all. No EU funding should be allowed. Patton should go along with a number of others on the Trust. I like the point the lady, who is an ex-employee makes above – in the past BBC staff had to leave their political views at the door. That, indeed would be a good start. Although, given current culture a few honest conservatives, who could be balenced might be needed to show the way.

    This is a golden chance to really start putting our country back on its feet – please do not let your party ‘blow-it’ again !!

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      But how can this be done?

      Any move such as this will be hyped as an attack on the BBC. The BBC has by far the greatest reach in UK media news and its propaganda machine will be in overdrive.

      Also, just about every person in public life in the UK needs to the BBC for their livelihood. Within days a powerful and persistent lobby will have formed.

      You are asking the Conservatives – and it will be the Conservatives that will be blamed – to sign a suicide note.

    • martyn
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      “people need objective information” Quite right.

      Have you spoken about this to Rupert Murdoch?

      I spent the weekend with some English Tories from Hampshire and attended some Remembrance Day services with them. I was genuninely amazed how much they dislike Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers. Ditto Sky. I found it truly heartening that some Brits, who can be described as decent people on the right of the spectrum don’t accept Murdoch and his newspapers.

      • Winston Smith
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        I don’t like the Sun and I am not interested in much of Sky’s output. However, I am not forced to pay for it by order of threat of imprisonment.

    • martyn
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      JR – do you agree that ” the licence fee should be halved if kept at all”. Interesting view.

  14. Epimenides
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Lord Patten’s statement is risible. I do not believe any of the sentiments that he expresses is true. Manifestly he is wrong otherwise recent events would not have occurred.

    Another question, Mr Redwood, is why did Mr Cameron approve the appointment of Lord Patten? Is there anyone in the Conservative Party that has any admiration for him – an architect of the Poll Tax, one of Mrs Thatcher’s assassins, architect of the ERM fiasco, pro – EU and Britain should join the Euro fanatic?

    When governor of Hong Kong, after being kicked out of Parliament by the electorate, he managed not only to upset the people of HK but also the Chinese government. It has been clear to me for many years that he is not a fit and proper person to hold any appointment in public life.

    • Bob
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Chris Patten should resign.
      When someone resigns, there is no need to pay anything “in lieu of notice”.

      The BBC should repay all they money received from Brussels to promote the EU.

      The BBC should be broken up and sold off and TV License system should be discontinued; it’s an anachronism.

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

      The Cinese media loved him…… He was denounced as the ‘whore of the East,’ a ‘serpent’ and a ‘wrongdoer who would be condemned for a thousand generations’….they had a lovely turn of phrase…. :-)

      zorro

  15. Barry
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    And why is so much of CBBC output so toe curlingly PC?

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      I agree. The indoctrination from CBBC is shocking. Radio 1 as well.

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

        Remember what the Jesuits said……. ‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man’……Same tactics, state indoctrination from infancy….

        zorro

  16. Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    More questions:

    117 (a) Why, when reporting good economic* news, do they ALWAYS have current or ex Labour or Union interviewees to talk down the figures (and the country?) and say why they’re not really that good (don’t recall it happening so much before, maybe just the odd quote by the opposition, hidden away – online especially)

    * in fact good news about ANYTHING the Coalition or Conservatives do/suggest.

    117 (b) Why, when reporting anything that David Cameron (or other Conservative Coalition member…unless they are saying things against the Coalition) does or says do they immediately have a tame Labour/Union member to say the opposite (case in point: Obama wins, news reader says David Cameron has sent his congratulations, follows with 2 minute interview with Labour talking head (can’t recall which one, probably on BBC speed-dial) telling us why Obama’s speech was really for Socialists and socialist politics.

  17. It is I only
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    You Brits will never achieve an impartial BBC, unless you purge it with Stalin’s method.
    But of course you wouldn’t do it, because you’re British & it’s not done.

    • martyn
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      But we do allow 80 per cent of the press to be foreign owned and (guess what) they are eurosceptic. How suprising is that.

      • Edward
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Quite the opposite Martyn, I would say it is surprising as most of the European and USA media like the EU.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Since when has purging people who don’t share your opinion created something impartial.

  18. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    There is another element of BBC bias and that is their habitual pro-Hamas, anti-Isreal stance. This is the text of an email I sent to the BBC on the subject on 22nd October.

    ‘On the news broadcast this morning on BBC World there was a brief item on the
    lines that Israelis had launched an air attack on Gaza resulting I think, in
    the death of one person, with others wounded. This was followed by your
    saying that the attack was as a result of what was said to be a rocket
    attack from Gaza.

    It seems to me that the order of these events as presented by the BBC
    portrays the Israelis as the aggressors, and casts doubt on whether there
    was a rocket attack from Gaza, with the use of the phrase ‘said to be’.

    If this had been reported accurately, it should have started with the report
    of the rocket attack, and followed by the response to it.
    If there had been no Israeli response would you have reported the rocket
    attack? Do you habitually omit mentioning them, unless there is a response?

    • Bob
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      @The PrangWizard
      “…the BBC portrays the Israelis as the aggressors…”

      The answer to this lies within the Balen Report, which the BBC have refused to release despite a Freedom of Information request.

      If the report showed the BBC as impartial, would the have refused to publish it?

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Under the FOI act, as confirmed by a supreme court judgement, they don’t have to publish it.

  19. Jerry
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    John, with due respect, have you and the anti BBC lobby not flogged this horse enough? Your questions, as set out in your public blog, would have been better served had they been set out on House of Commons headed paper as a letter to the BBC Trust, and kept private, for now at least.

    There are bigger fish to catch, for example, what do you think about Capita Plc. ‘spying’ on children [1] (without any apparent parental consent) and setting up what is in effect a private national database containing children’s names, gender, address, school records etc. etc. – (what protection will be offered for children from misuse of this data? ed). If government needs such information then this should be done within the states own governmental sector and with the same military security that the MOD and MI5 for example use, it should most certainly not be in the hands of an overly large private company that has little or no public or parliamentary accountability.

    [1] From the Telegraph website;

    “IT specialists from one of Britain’s biggest private companies are compiling the system, which features information on pupils’ age, sex, address, exam results, absenteeism and disciplinary record, it was revealed.

    The database – set up by Capita – is reportedly being used by around 100 local authorities to act as a single source of information for officials working with children.

    Reply: The questions I raise are important and should be out in the open. Why do you wish to avoid proper debate about how the BBC can be better managed? As an MP my main responsibility is to ensure value for money and proper controls over spending tax revenues.

    • Bob
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      @Jerry

      Is this a BBC style attempt to divert attention elsewhere?

      • Jerry
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        @Bob: Talk about the pot calling the calling the kettle black! Bob, if anyone holding a flame for the BBC wanted to do as you suggest then I would suspect that they would bring up the Leveson enquiry…

        No, I am just surprised that our host decided to publish yet another blog about the BBC, three in three days -when all the facts are not (yet) known- even more so when his other two blogs are still open for comment.

        I was merely suggesting that there are other issues that concern the electorate, constituents or the wider public, far more than a mistake(s) by the BBC, if this wasn’t about child abuse and didn’t later involve the mistaken identity by the accuser [1] of a Tory Peer I doubt that it would even have been reported in “Ariel” [2] never mind be (inter)national headlines across the media… Also it is disturbing how, before the ink was even dry on Mr Entwistle’s resignation letter, some parts of the UK media and blogophier -no prizes for which parts- were already calling for Lord Pattern to also go and do so quickly, this before it was known about Mr Entwistle separation agreement.

        Let me make it clear, as you seem to think I hold some sort of flame for the BBC, whilst I’m a supporter of a strong PSB sector in the UK, I don’t hold any flame for the current BBC, indeed I have called for root and branch changes to their output and editorial style, let the commercial sector do what they do best and le the PSB sector do what they do best, the BBC has no place chasing ratings for example and if they can’t provide a pure PSB service their reason for being is indeed very much in doubt.

        [1] a name that wasn’t even mentioned in the media until much later, and then only with the permission of the innocent Peer.

        [2] the (once internal) house magazine of the BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/ariel/.

        Reply: I have also written about policing, the war in Afghanistan and Remembrance Sunday, so why don’t you comment on those stories instead? it seems you too are more interested in the BBC one!

        • David Price
          Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, these are not “mistakes” by the BBC as you put it, nothing so trivial. These are simply recent examples of malicious mischief in a long line of biased coverage that goes against the BBC’s own stated mission and values.

          Since this is the work of individuals I guess the BBC as an organisation could clear it’s own nest of the vipers and return to it’s stated goals, but who would be trusted to manage that exercise? Even then the mischief makers and those that let them get away with things for so long would likely be offered overly generous severence packages which the tax payer would likely have to fund.

          Much better to put the private organisation into administration and restructure it as a commercial, subscription based, enterprise. At least then the severence costs could be kept ot manageable levels and there would not be the excessive rewards for failure that this private/public corporation promotes.

          In any case, I can only hope any legal action by the victims of this mischief targets the responsible individuals directly rather than the BBC as a whole and not cause yet more drain on the public trust and funding that the BBC currently enjoys.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            @David Price: The BBC will be trusted, and wanted, by unbiased population of the UK far, far sooner than any media company who has had to admit to illegal phone hacking…

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

            @David Price: Oh and forgot to add, errors are mistakes, unless you are suggesting there has been wilful actions? If so you are telling the wrong people of your knowledge…

          • David Price
            Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry – the BBC has behaved abominably and instead of chastising those people in the BBC you are berating those who were the victims of the BBC smearing and those who find such behaviour unacceptable.

            Why?

            Once might be an error, twice or more is intentional.

            In any case those who have messed up, initentionally or otherwise, must not be rewarded for their failure and the institution should not allow itself to act as a shield for them. unfortunately I suspect that protectionism has already started with the indirect apology from Newsnight by someone not related to the programme at all.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

            This has turned in to a witch hunt against the BBC, but isn’t it funny how those who want blood from the BBC then fail to want blood (or even condemn) from another media empire that HAS -repeatedly- admitted to BREAKING THE LAW.

            No one is trying to deign that the Newsnight programme made a terrible error but that single programme, even those two programmes (if you include Panorama) are not the entire BBC, so direct your fire at the programme and their makes by all means but stop using your broad bush to tar the whole of the BBC.

          • David Price
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, I tried to be quite direct in my comment – that the responsible individuals should be made responsible. However, if the BBC allows itself to be used to shield these people then it is bound to become the target.

            Are you really surprised at the degree of anger being directed at the BBC given the bias it has exhibited for so long. Why have those who believe the BBC should remain independent allowed it to behave in this way and jeopordise it’s privileged position?

          • Jerry
            Posted November 15, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            @David Price: “Are you really surprised at the degree of anger being directed at the BBC given the bias it has exhibited for so long.”

            Your premise is biased in its self….

            But to answer your question (yet again), no, not when other media companies are biased themselves, ADMIT to committing criminal activity, yet the really biased people like you not utter one jot against them or even apparently condemn the CRIMINAL activity they have engaged in, choosing to merely focus and rant on about the BBC.

            As I made clear in the comment that you replied to, yes BBC programmes might yet be taken off air and journalists sacked, all very similar to what happened with a certain newspaper title but for people to then call for the closing of the BBC, as I said, please do remind me of the date that NI closed its doors and all its print titles (rather than just reopening the closed newspaper with anew name)…

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      @Reply: “As an MP my main responsibility is to ensure value for money and proper controls over spending tax revenues

      OK, so how about this as a subject of a blog, considering that the Public Accounts Committee will be taking evidence today and your strong City pedigree, whilst not tax spending but it is about tax receipts, or will it be another blog about the BBC later today or tomorrow morning?…

      Again, a current sort from the Daily Telegraph today (it also being highlighted by other media sources last night and this morning);

      “Lord Myners, the former City minister, has accused multinational companies such as Starbucks of leeching tax revenue from Britain and other developing countries to tax havens abroad and attacked accountants for allowing it to happen.

      He said companies such as Starbucks made millions in revenue in Britain but “ensured they made no profits” through large royalty and other payments to offshore companies. Corporation tax is only paid on profits.”

      Reply|:The BBC spends large sums raised in licence fee, so it needs examination. Starbucks accounts and tax payments have been inspected and approved by the Revenue, so I have no information to use to suggest the Revenue were wrong.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        @Reply: Are you implying that the Public Accounts Committee are wasting their time?! Also are not the BBC accounts over seen, even if only by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee?!

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

      This happens quite frequently with data storage. Private companies supply the software/hardware but are supposed to comply to strict government created security requirements. Do you think that this is not happening in this case?

      zorro

  20. Lord Blagger
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Why are losses, unusual tax arrangements, financial engineering in the public sector treated more leniently than similar things in the private sector?

    ===========

    Because MPs allow it.

    So on the financial engineering front, why is the state pension fianancially engineered off the books?

  21. Elliot Kane
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I think that’s an excellent summation of every question the BBC are hoping to dodge around and provide no actual answers to.

  22. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Plenty of questions but from whom do you expect any answers? Here is another: Why, in the pretence of so-called balance, does the BBC increasingly use their own reporters/editors to promote a specific case and then invite someone outside the BBC to answer it whilst another BBC presenter purports to be a neutral interrogator? The point being that they exploit the myth that the BBC is a trustworthy impartial broadcaster in order to put across what in the press would be regarded as editorial comment, whilst claiming that they are exercising “balance”. A further example is that after a major political interview the political editor is asked to analyse what has been said rather than allowing the listener/viewer to form their own opinions. Is the BBC really an unbiased public service broadcaster or a propaganda service?

    • Robert Eve
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Spot on.

  23. Iain Moore
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    You missed, why the BBC failed to challenge the policy of mass immigration, and happily called anybody who dared question it as racist?

    This was a pretty obvious one, and it is of concern that you should have missed it, which might indicate that just as there is an agenda with the left to push for mass immigration so are there people of the right who want the policy, which is why we have had this disastrous policy forced on the country.

    In regards to the BBC’s role in this, the total support they gave this policy even embarrassed some of their own reporters, and they did try to fess up their to their sins, but that is as far as it went. We got the ‘Oh we didn’t give it sufficient attention’ , but culturally NOTHING has changed at the BBC, they are still choosing to be wilfully blind at immigration issues, as we saw on Newsnight recently, when doing a program on low wages and the living wage, they completely ignored the effects of flooding the labour market with two million people via mass immigration.

    So you might get them to contemplate a few of their failings, but nothing will happen unless there is a change in the political culture at the BBC.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      Had the British public been told from the outset that the intention was for limitless numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians to settle here would they have voted for Common Market membership ?

      Of course not. They would have rioted. Not even our politicians knew the full extent of the plans for the EU. Most of them would have rioted too !

      Our people were lied to from the outset. The results of mass immigration are irreversible, unstoppable and the problem will multiply visibly before the end of this Government.

      Not even the BBC will be able to ignore it this time.

      Perhaps the Tories should be careful what they wish for. Open and impartial reporting of immigration by the BBC is the last thing they’ll need approaching 2015 but they will deserve it.

      The signing of Maastricht was an utter betrayal. So too the refusal to act on their supporters’ concerns and to get to grips with immigration during this Government.

      Reply: Maastricht did not surrender our borders to the EU. The Conservative government kept UK control, which Labour gave away later.

  24. merlin
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    If the BBC were a private company it would have closed years ago. To summarise, the BBC is a left wing state controlled brainwashing machine, the like of which exists in North Korea. It is supposed to be impartial, it clrealy isn’t. Shut it down, privatise it, break it up and sell it off and let it be run as a subscription service, then you can choose to watch it instead of being forced to pay the licence fee, which you have to pay even if you do not watch it.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      If the BBC were a private company it would have closed years ago.

      A bit like News International you mean, oh hang on….

      Once again “merlin” shoots from the hip, only to find his own foot!

      • Bob
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry
        “A bit like News International…”

        What are you inferring?

        • Jerry
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          @BoB: Were have you been Bob?! Have you never heard of phone hacking and the Leveson enquiry, or is this just selective deafness (perhaps brought about by shareholdings in NI?)…

          By the measure that some are judging the BBC by not only would the NotW have been shut-down but so would the doors of News International. This not just on the speculation (as in the case with the BBC) but the damming evidence given to the official enquiry never mind any conclusions that Lord Justice Leveson.

          • Bob
            Posted November 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry

            Accessing the voice mail of people who were careless enough not to use a PIN is one thing, but what the BBC have been up to is a whole level of magnitude worse.

            The News of the World was closed, and the BBC should follow.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            Phone tapping (hacking) is against the law, regardless of any PIN setting.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            @Bob: “The News of the World was closed, and the BBC should follow.”

            Yes the NotW closed, and Newsnight (even Panorama) might yet be taken off air, but please do remind us of when News International closed down…

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      BBC is a left wing state controlled brainwashing machine

      Since the state is controlled by the Coalition does this mean the Conservatives are also left wing?

  25. Sir Richard Richard
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Instead of just asking these questions on your blog, would you mind asking Patten to answer these in Parliament?

  26. ChrisM
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I agree with all of your points John, however I would add a couple.
    Why has the BBC been to court last week spending a six figure sum on stopping an FOI on who attended the meeting in 2006 that meant they would not give any time to the many scientist that do not believe that any warming is necessarily a disaster?
    Why did they not publish the Balen report into the way the BBC report on Israel?
    Should the BBC be broken up into smaller parts and concentrate on their main job and stop trying to put private companies that want to broadcast local news and music out of business by their sheer size and dominance?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Regarding the two reports the reason is that the Supreme Court said that they don’t have to publish such reports.

      I’m fairly sure there’s no longer any private companies that want to broadcast local news and music because they were destroyed by national channels.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Indeed, considering that there is commercial local radio across the UK they could offer a local news service if they choose (and indeed some stations still do), the reasons many ILR stations don’t offer a local/regional news service has nothing to do with the BBC and everything to do with the profitability of such an operation – it has even been suggested by some within the ILR sector that is news on ILR is so important then the TVL fee could subsidise it, talk about the commercial sector wanting it both ways!

  27. wab
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    “Why are critics of global warming theory either ignored or treated as cranks, when there is still serious scientific and economic debate about the causes of climate change, the extent of it and the best way of responding to it?”

    Because most of the “critics” are either paid shills or indeed are cranks, who have no clue about the physics and cling to the most bizarre non-scientific nonsense that circulates around the internet, regurgitating claims that have been repudiated over and over, as can be determined by anyone who cares to google for ten seconds rather than rely on Fox News or the Torygraph or emails from their crazy Uncle Ed.

    The only “serious scientific” debate is amongst scientists trying to improve their models. The people who spend all their time attacking these scientists are not serious. Yes, you can name the odd academic who is a denialist, that is not the point. The Flat Earth Society no doubt also still has adherents.

    All Souls is possibly full of humanities fossils (one always has that impression of the place), but surely Mr Redwood must have some contacts in Oxford who could actually educate him on the science, should he wish to be informed rather than ill informed.

    If Mr Redwood wants to argue about what the response should be to climate change then he is on far better ground. So indeed, taxing carbon in the UK (and Europe), especially in the idiotic way it is being done, just shifts carbon emissions around without actually dealing with the underlying problem.

    • Chris
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      There is much serious scientific debate on Lawson’s excellent website The Global Warming Policy Foundation which exposes the weaknesses, and inaccuracies, of the global warming lobby. Perhaps you could throw light on the serious scientists who attended the BBC meeting in 2006 after which date the BBC apparently decided to adopt a global warming (man made cause) slant to all its presentations? They have refused to answer this key question, and Mr Newbery’s FOI request has apparently been thrown out. What have the BBC to hide if the sciencefor man made global warming is so robust?

      Your comments about Mr Redwood and All Souls are wide of the mark, and add nothing to informed debate on the issue of global warming.

      Reply: Indeed. I do nto put forward views on this site in the name of All Souls. There are many distinguished academics at All Souls with a range of views on global warming, including many the pro GW camp would like.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Any evidence on this website from actual scientists or that has been peer reviewed by respectable scientific organisations? Thought not.

        FYI a criticism the global warming lobby isn’t a criticism of the science they’re representing. I believe the expression is “play the ball not the man”.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          @uanime5: “Play the ball not the man

          Yes indeed the global warming lobby should do so, such as stop pushing those highly selective Hockey stick style graphs, why can’t they just show the full graph?…

    • drjohngalan
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      As a relative new-comer to the debate on global warming (or climate change as it is now called) it strikes me as strange that there is extreme secrecy and lack of openness in the circles promoting the alarmist agenda when, to use their own words, the science is settled (a dangerous phrase). If it is “settled”, why all the secrecy? The critics of the “settled science” seem to me to have a willingness to discuss things openly. They are prepared to reveal the data they use and describe how they reach their conclusions.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        What secrecy are you talking about? NASA has dedicate a while section of it’s website to explaining everything there is to know about climate change.

        http://climate.nasa.gov/

        • Jerry
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          NASA publish what their pay-masters want them to publish, NASA is far from an independent voice.

    • Mark
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad you mention scientists trying to improve the models. The present ones are about as accurate as a medieval orrery as a description of the solar system, yet they are treated as though they had the accuracy of Einstein’s relativity theory by Lysenkoist disciples. I am not aware that they have yet managed to incorporate the results of CERN’s CLOUD experiment, that showed that their model of cloud formation is wrong – a key parameter that affects albedo, water vapour concentration and the amplification effect that is key to model assumptions. I don’t think any self-respecting particle physicist would consider that the current climate models are anywhere close to a 5 sigma standard of proof.

      In 1972 the “Club of Rome” produced the “Limits to Growth” study, based on quite complicated, yet ultimately simplistic modelling that was basically Malthusian in its underlying assumptions and data inputs. It suggested that in less than a century, mankind was doomed. My first job entailed looking at certain aspects of their predictions. It taught me a very valuable lesson about the limitations of modelling – one that proponents of climate models would do well to take on board for themselves.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      wab

      Obviously you are a CAGW specialist; I suggest you take your important insights where a piece of computer code concocted by one of your alarmist co-workers is taking something of a battering:

      http://climateaudit.org/2012/11/08/statistical-errors-in-the-forest-2006-climate-sensitivity-study/#comments

      You should understand that JR is a politician, someone who prefers to be able to form opinions from soundly based science, rather than someone who believes that science has a political dimension like you; only an idiot would believe the latter.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense on a website written by cranks for cranks isn’t proof of anything.

        If John wants actually scientific information he would do better to consult respected scientific organisations.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          @uanime5: Oh you mean like those who use highly selective Hockey Stick graphs or fake/forge emails etc?

    • outsider
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Dear Wab,

      There is some sense in your last paragraph, if not the rest . If global warming is a trend made by man though economic development using fossil fuels, there is nothing the UK or even Western Europe can do to stop it in a century when two billion continental Asians realistically aspire to Western living standards.

      So our policy debates, including those on the BBC, should concentrate on coping with and benefiting from the effects. But there are two problems.

      1) “Global Warming” is “owned” by the anti-market Left coalition of collectivists and puritans. who are not interested in pro-growth responses. For instance, it should be laughably impossible to demand anti-GW measures while opposing expansion of atomic power, yet many combine these positions and are scarcely questioned.

      2) The UK has few levers to push because most of our relevant companies and technologies have been sold to foreign multinationals. For instance, the UK cannot inspire improvements in power generation (by whatever means), vehicle and engine design or building materials. We can only be secondary users of what others create and offer us.

      Such issues are rarely even raised on the BBC, which embraces the Malthusian Left response to “Global Warming”. Given that this response is generally negative towards growth and private consumption, it also makes sense to keep the GW hypothesis, and particularly the projections of its speed and effects, under close and permanent scrutiny.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        You’re assumptions are based on two billion Asians willingly making the world worse for themselves, something that is unlikely to happen as most of them live in countries that are already hot and will get much hotter with more global warming.

        • outsider
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Dear uanime5,
          You may be right but I doubt that your comment is evidence-based.
          For instance, between 1998 and 2007, annual consumption of coal in China’s power stations increased by 1,500 million tons to 2,900 million tons. In 2007, total EU consumption of coal and lignite for all uses was less than 450 million tons, one third of the decadal increase in China’s power station use.
          For instance, China and India are (unsurprisingly) the world’s fastest growing car markets and car producers.
          Essentially, this is a matter of numbers. With you, I would hope that China’s and India’s growth will become less carbon-intensive but the total population of the EU and USA is about 820 million, less than one third of the 2.5 billion in China and India alone.

  28. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I understand that Ken MacQuarrie? of BBC Scotland is one of those heading one of the internal enquiries at the BBC. The inference from his appointment is that BBC Scotland is independent and thus not tainted by the present problems.
    But this begs the question, and since there is a BBC Wales and BBC NI, it is, what is ‘the remainder’?
    There is no BBC England and there can be no justification for this not being so, balkanising England into Regions is unacceptable.
    Any reorganisation of the BBC must include a recognition of England as a unity and the creation of an independent BBC England. If it can be done for Scotland it must be done for England.
    I believe they know it is a problem.

  29. Chris
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    The substantial change and reform that Lord Patten refers to should start with him being replaced, I believe. He does not seem to understand the central unforgiveable act that the BBC has committed. Boris Johnson sums this up admirably: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/bor
    Furthermore, the following article, if accurate, gives some idea of the animosity between Patten and McAlpine that has built up over the years. Maybe Patten was not so inclined to intervene?? He admits to knowing about the McAlpine and Newsnight even though Entwhistle did not, but did not think it his job to alert Entwhistle, apparently. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2231532

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      If you’re going to fire Lord Patten for that actions of his subordinates you may as well fire the person who appointed Lord Pattern in the first place. Now who was that again?

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        Something that we may agree on. Join the queue behind Caesar uanime5.

  30. Chris
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    As a follow on from my comment above, Peter Sissons has written an article this morning stating why he believes Patten should go, not least in order to have a clean sweep to get rid of the apparent left wing political bias in certain sectors. See quote below. This would be a splendid opportunity for David Cameron to act boldly, but so far he hasn’t. This has thus left room for Boris to step in and analyse what is wrong and what needs to be done. I feel that Cameron keeping quiet just reinforces the idea that he is not willing to take action when it involves old friends. Whether this is right or not, it is the impression that may well be given.
    “Political correctness and a pervasive Left-of-Centre mindset have infected much of its news agenda, writing and reporting. There was an almost gleeful tone across all BBC outlets to the titillating repetition recently of Newsnight’s impending revelations about a ‘leading figure from the Thatcher era’”.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2231547

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      not least in order to have a clean sweep to get rid of the apparent left wing political bias in certain sectors.

      What a good idea, how about the media also has a purge of apparent right wing political bias in certain sectors…

      • Bob
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry
        “…how about the media also has a purge of apparent right wing political bias…”

        What are you inferring?

      • outsider
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

        Dear Jerry,
        I feel you are missing the point here. The success or failure of competing newspapers is based on consumer choice. In the 1940s, two of the three biggest sellers, including the Daily Mirror, supported Labour. Today, the Mirror is a shadow of its former self and the Daily Mail and the Sun are predominant. The Guardian, Independent (and also The Times) have weak circulations and invariably make losses. Among the quality papers only the right-of-centre Daily Telegraph and perhaps the centrist Financial Times, are decent financial propositions.

        In both these periods, most newspapers were fiercely partisan because their editors and proprietors worked out that people prefer a newspaper that reflects their own mindset.

        That is the main reason why we need a big impartial broadcaster that comes into almost every home and why the existence of the BBC is justified. If it ceases to be impartial, loses the ethic described by David Morris Jones and adopts the mindset identified by Peter Sissons ( or equally if it embraced the mindset of Mr Lifelogic) it loses it special and exceptional raison d’etre.

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

      This will be an acid test for Cameron…..What will be his reaction/proposals?

      zorro

  31. RB
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Look around and then look back a good number of years at any misconduct, negligence, underperformance or failure in so many areas.

    The fact is that we have a nomenklatura and this has to be addressed.

  32. Acorn
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Government increasingly sticks its nose in every aspect of our lives but, our new Secretary of State (DCMS), appears reluctant to get involved even though she is the owner of the BBC, and hypothecates a portion of tax to fund it (TV Licence Tax). Still, according to the DCMS Quango list, Lyons is still chairman and Thompson is still the CEO? The tail is most certainly wagging the UK dog nowadays.

    So we must assume, that the government is as scared of the BBC as it is of the Banksters. Meanwhile, remember, believe nothing, trust none. Nations in terminal decline, go through this phase of seeing their institutions gradually fall apart and its elite getting so greedy, internecine warfare breaks out among them. (See how Rome became today’s Italy).

    • Acorn
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      I see the socialist Troika (BBC; Guardian and the Labour Party) has come out in force today. But, worry not, Secretary Miller has thrown in the fighting dogs of the National Audit Office, all is saved, she will bury them in killer paperwork.

      QUESTION. If anybody actually knows who is running this country, would they please let me know. I thought we had a elected government with a parliament that is the actual supreme court of this nation. Apparently, I was wrong. It appears they have delegated everything to subcontractors on a time and materials basis; disconnecting them from any responsibility for anything that might affect the nice little earner they have purloined at Westminster.

  33. Vanessa
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    So good to see how generous the BBC is with taxpayers’ money. They must think it grows on trees! Apparently Entwhistle earned about £15,000 per day, yes, fifteen thousand pounds every day he was DG of the BBC. Seven 5day weeks divided into 450 thousand pounds. Nice work if you can get it ! Why does anyone think this corporation is worth keeping?

  34. colliemum
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Very good questions, John, and I hope they will be asked by you and your colleagues in Parliament, because we, who are forced to pay for the BBC regardless of watching 95% of it’s output, want to know the answers as well.

    May I also suggest, given that so many of the ‘famous’ BBC journalists are bemoaning the management waterhead at the BBC, that an immediate cut in the licence fee by 50%, retroactive for one year (the dropping of the report on Mr Savile) be instituted forthwith, forcing them to reduce both their bureaucracy and the obscene salaries the top level are being paid.

    Perhaps someone like Mr Morris Jones (above) could be asked to step in and address the institutional bias at the BBC which we all have been aware of for many years.

  35. oldtimer
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Added questions: Why have the Trustees ignored the recommendations of the Bridcut report, published in June 2007, on the central importance of impartiality? Link:
    http://www.johnbridcut.com/documents/seesaw_to_wagon_wheel_report.pdf
    Will the Trustees now over rule Ms Boadens refusal (at great cost to licence payers) to name attendees at the 2006 seminar which expressly rejected impatiality?

    In view of the failure of the BBC to report impartially, is it not time to consider new ways to distribute licence fee income? Why should the BBC be the sole recipient of such largesse? Is it not time to introduce some competition by awarding contracts for public service broadcasting programmes to other TV stations?

    It is clear that the BBC is dominated by a particular mind set. This will not be changed by appointing a new DG or splitting the role by the creation of an Editor-in-Chief. More fundamental reform is required. The questions raised in my previous paragraph assume continuation of the licence fee. Interestingly, as Bridcut points out, the BBC was funded by subscription in its earliest days. Perhaps the time has come to consider if its funding should revert to that source of income, or advertising, or other means of raising revenue. The current business model is clearly broken and unfit for purpose. Real change will not come from within the BBC.

    As I type this, my wife tells me that Ms Boaden has left the BBC.

  36. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I see another couple of BBC functionaries have now “stepped aside” – even the Guardian are falsely reporting that this means “resigned”.

  37. Matthew
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    It seems that Lord Patten knew in advance that the BBC were to render or at least point the compass needle to a senior Conservative of the Thatcher area who was implicated in paedophile acts in North Wales.

    This was leaked all over the social media.

    With foreknowledge of this the Chairman should have (or maybe he did) met with the DG and said to him in explicit terms that he needed to be certain that the story stood up. That the DG should himself go through all aspects of this like a NASA checklist, the implications were so great.

    Then it transpires that the most basic checks were not done, with the person making the allegations and with the former senior Conservative.

    If the chairman had laid down the terms and the DG didn’t check then the DG should have been dismissed without a package – it’s still possible to do that.
    If the chairman didn’t insist upon full scrutiny then he didn’t do his job.

    Lord Patten seemed keen to make a dig at the Murdoch press – he should have missed this out, it seemed arrogant complaining of the press treatment of himself!

    Instead he should have been full of contrition and humble an innocent old man gets his reputation trashed, it’s outrageous

  38. oldtimer
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    My earlier reference that Ms Boaden had left the BBC is incorrect. She, and her deputy, have “stepped aside” according to the precise words of the news report. Though what “stepped aside” precisely means is unclear. Presumably it is like “gardening leave” when you have nothing to do but get paid anyway.

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Excellent. Now you need to put all of these questions in a letter to Lord Patten and circulate the letter to the National Press while awaiting his response. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Lord Patten himself has had a role in the pro EU bias.

  40. Max Dunbar
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    On point 1, the question of airtime, many interviewers reduce this by “asking” long questions that give the interviewee little opportunity to respond. They are then interrupted constantly by the interviewer with more “questions”, reducing further the amount of time available to respond.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Well in the defence of most journalists the person they’ve asked the question to never give an honest answer and rarely gives an answer related to the question.

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    If the BBC had got its way then we would have joined the euro.

    It was about that time that it really came home to me that the BBC was not a neutral or impartial broadcaster determined to give a fair and balanced account of the debate, but had its own corporate political positions which it wanted to push despite the illegality of doing that under the terms of its Charter.

    It would be a rather different matter if it was a private organisation funded by voluntary subscriptions from its viewers; like a newspaper, it could adopt partisan positions, and if its customers didn’t like its content then they could stop buying it.

    But it is a public body funded by a compulsory levy on all viewers even if they never watch any of its output, a tax in all but name, and that system of funding can only be justified if it complies with its Charter.

    I don’t believe that Patten recognises that the BBC has been breaking the terms of its Charter for decades, and he should be replaced by somebody who does recognise that and who will openly acknowledge it and be determined to put a stop to it.

  42. Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    As I speak the BBC/Labour spin is in full swing with Labour’s former BBC man Ben Bradshaw on BBC tv news asking about possible government interference in the George Entwistle’s resignation.

    Meanwhile Polly Toynbee has also chimed in warning of ‘enemies of the BBC’ citing, amongst others, ‘MPs in the Conservative Party’. Once again, the BBC has given this a platform.

    I guarantee right now that this BBC/left wing propaganda will rebound of the Conservatives.

    These people are relentless.

  43. Winston Smith
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    All your points are relevant. As DMJ says on this thread, this latest BBC disgrace was a deliberate attempt by left-wing journalists at the BBC to smear the Thatcher era. It was a cordinated attack by the BBC, the left-wing Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Labour spinners. These people are so full of hatred they have no qualms about using child abuse victims as political tools.

    I listened to your interview on LBC at the weekend. You spoke eloquently about the issues with the BBC. However, I am afraid it is not enough and you will never get anywhere by being too nice. The problem with so many of the Conservative Party is that you are too afraid of upsetting anyone. This is why you are in such a state and are getting ‘murdered’ by the left-leaning media every week.

    Thatcher pushed aside the meek, wet Tory establishment of the 60s and 70s. She gave a voice to the aspiring lower classes in the ranks who knew how to battle with the socialist machine. Now the Party is back in the hands of the ‘posh boys’, who have no heart to fight the Left or anything to lose from defeat.

    The Left and the Labour Party are full of absolute hypocrites with festering corruption and cronyism in every closet. Just look at Hodge and her family business tax avoidence, when she has the temerity to lead the fight against corporate tax avoidence. Just look at Keith Vaz, Dennis McShane, etc. Where are the Conservative personalities to expose the left?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      I suspect certain Conservatives don’t want to “rock the boat” because of their own tax avoidance and it always looks bad when the Government tries to prevent the media reporting bad things about the Government.

  44. Winston Smith
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Here is a question you can put to one of your colleagues, Jeremy Hunt:

    “Why did you block the NAO from gaining access to BBC expenditure and payroll?”

  45. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    The justification by Patten of why he paid 12 months severance pay instead of the 6 months required by contract is bizarre – that’s what happens if you put someone who has absolutely no experience at all of any private sector company in charge of anything – his long years of being paid from the public purse himself make him completely oblivious to the interests of the people supplying the money (us).

  46. David John Wilson
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Why are you and the BBC devoting so much effort on discussing this problem in public. Some of the issues that you raise are entirely internal BBC problems and should not need public discussion. However what is more worrying is that stations like Radio Five Live are devoting over half of their news programmes discussing issues that are of no interest to most of their listeners. Hours are devoted to the jobs of people of whom we have never heard and their replacement by equally anonymous people.

    Reply Because this institution spends large sums of tax money they levy on us. We need to discuss why they employ so much management, why it gets paid so much, and why it achieves so little.

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree with John about the cost to the public but I also think that left wing bias by such a large broadcaster can be the difference between a Conservative government and a coalition.

      • Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        …and that affects all of us in our wallets by many times more than the licence fee..

    • zorro
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      The BBC extracts billions from the viewing public….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC

      We have every right to question it…..23,000 staff….overly managed by its own admission….and now to rub salt in the wounds, a £450,000 payout after three months in his latest BBC job because he decided to chuck in the towel. If he didn’t feel able to carry on, he’s free to resign and look for another job. He could even be reassigned to another job within the BBC where his talents might be more suited, but why oh why this mega payout? Is it really necessary? Is it to ensure that he leaves the BBC for good? Will he be allowed to come back soon to another BBC job?

      zorro

      • zorro
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        I suppose that they were worried that he would go to an employment tribunal and say that he hadn’t been given enough training!

        zorro

  47. Barbara Stevens
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    It needs a complete overhaul, with new faces and a new regime put in place. Journalists should be made more accountable for their output, and the programmes they represent. What we have seen develop over the years is manager layers double, and they have become further away from the progamme making as a result. When you have layer upon layer, with information going down the line problems will ensue. The military appear to know how to do this because the structure is there enstrined in discipline; we all know the BBC is not the military but it should have been run along the same lines, and then perhaps this would not have happened.
    Will it change? I doubt it. Why. Because it needs a complete overhaul, and what they are attempting is not enough. From the top to he bottom should be the new practice.
    They have such layers of managers, these managers have taken revenue away from programme making to such lengths, we have to rely upon repeats for the BBC to function. They have such high salaries, which do not respect the level of what they do and the output. Something has to give, they cannot keep demanding a rise in the licence fee to fund their salaries like they have, and then deliver such a failure.
    I won’t hold my breath, what we will get is more of the same, Pattern is fighting his corner valiently, but he will fail, such is the ingrained culture of the BBC.

  48. Graham Hamblin
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    The BBC should confine itself to reporting rather than trying to influence public opinion. They should remember we pay for them by a poll tax and that demands they serve us and not their reporter’s interests. The BBC to me has always been the BBC World Service, separate and paid for by the FO and until made available on digital I have listened to all my life on short wave radio. Sometimes very painful but worthwhile to get the truth. Now listening to it, I don’t watch or listen the other stuff because it is so biased. The WS should be preserved at all costs? Take notice because they are trying to bring it under the other lot an subvert it’s independence.

    • Mark
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      When Mark Tully was shunted aside as World Service correspondent in India it was apparent that standards had dropped. Now that World Service is not even funded by the Foreign Office, but out of general fee income and commercial income from BBC Worldwide, it is in the clutches of the BBC bureaucracy.

  49. Bert Young
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Dr. JR , the questions you have raised on the BBC are all very valid and should be driven home wherever and whenever possible . Lord Patten has to be challenged at the highest level and seriously investigated on his previous and present relationship with Lord McAlpine ; there is no doubt in my mind that he should resign from all his appointments including his Chancellorship at Oxford . A leader who has failed in one role will never be regarded as a success in another . The time has come for the BBC to be cleansed of its institutionalised past and to to be run by a strong authoritarian Chief Executive who will cut through the unnecessary layers of management and re-introduce those standards and disciplines that did exist .

  50. Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Why? ‘cos it’s the BBC innit – stupid!
    Time for a Select Commiittee to do the questioning then (Public Affairs Committee?)

  51. Alan Wheatley
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Now is a good time to change the way the Trust operates.

    (1) Trustees to be elected to serve by licence fee payers, standing down on a rotational basis; the election to be conducted through BBC broadcasts and web site.

    (2) The Chairman to be elected by the Members from amongst themselves.

    (3) All meetings of the Trust to be in public (with some possible exceptions) and broadcast live, and to be available in perpetuity on iPlayer (e.g. selection interviews of DG candidates to be in public, discussions between Trust Members as to candidate’s suitability to be in private).

    (4) The trust to set the licence fee, and to determine how much of that income should be allocated for running the Trust.

    (5) Trustees to be forced to stand down (and seek re-election if they so wish) if sufficient number of licence fee payers say so.

    (6) The Trust to appoint the DG of the BBC Board.

    (7) The Trust to set policy and hold the BBC Board to account.

    In other words, the Trust should be looking after the interests of the licence fee payers and be accountable to them.

  52. Electro-Kevin
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    13. When interviewing hard pressed young single mums on benefits why do they NEVER ask where the father is or what he is contributing ?

  53. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    One notes ponderous references all over to good journalism and going away on courses on journalism and the like as if there were a science called journalism. But especially as regards the News there is no such thing. All that is required is that they tell the truth and be certain that they are doing so and one doesn’t need big brains or a huge salary to do that–it is after all a pleasant job. One especially shouldn’t have to go on a journalism course to know that you give someone the chance to gainsay (not given to the senior Thatcherite as I understand) before you pillory him so very publicly. This was a disgrace in spades.

  54. Backofanenvelope
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Sacking the people at the top might make us all feel better, but what needs to be done is instil a change of culture. I don’t see how that can happen without scrapping the whole thing and starting again.

    • Bob
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      “I don’t see how that can happen without scrapping the whole thing…”

      Neither do I.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      What utter tosh, but heck if you are correct it will be an interesting time at News International once Leveson reports!

  55. Ron B
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    As the SUN called it on Patton today…………………….

    Toast Man Patt

    • Ron B
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      sorry all Pattons, no slur intended, shd read Patten

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      @Ron B: I wonder what the Sun’s headline (well word-play more than actually headline…) will be once Leveson published his report?!

      I guess that the Murdoch press is just making hay whilst they can…

      • Bob
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        @Jerry,
        The headline should read,
        “There was no hacking involved. The so called victims just couldn’t be bothered to set an access PIN for their voice mail”

        Paedophilia is a far more serious matter.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          @Bob: That would still be illegal phone hacking [1], the only way it would not be phone hacking is they either had permission to access the messages or had access to the said phone, but that would then bring up other questions such as how they have gained access to the actual phone.

          [1] to be more accurate it would come under the laws relating to any phone interception, be it land-line or mobile

  56. RDM
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Time to break it (BBC) up, long over due!

    RDM.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      @RDM: If so then it is also time for the UK DVB-S monopolistic subscription service, time for the owning media company to chose if they are a content provider (channel provider) or a platform host, after all Arqiva or Red Bee Media Limited don’t own both platform/transmitters and TV channels, even less control the EPG, and thus were channels appear on it – to do so would surely be considered anti competitive…

      • RDM
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Never heard such rubbish in all my life!

        “UK DVB-S monopolistic subscription service” We don’t need to use a terrestrial service any more, at all! Most TV’s are sold with Internet links. Break the BBC up into many content providers that use the Internet as their platform. Releasing RF bandwidth for many more LTE data links, etc…

        Just one of many possibilities!

        • Jerry
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          @RDM: Never have I heard such utter rubbish in all my life! RDM, do feel free to actually find a clue…

          33% of the UK adult population either have no IP access at home or if they do they have low bandwidth, whilst some are still on dial-up.

          Some, for planning or lease reasons can’t mount satellite dishes and thus can’t access DVB-S services of any sort.

          Most TVs are NOT sold with IP connections.

          • RDM
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

            I would like you to go out next Saturday, and try to find
            a TV without! Do you know what to look for?

            There is so much money being spent on LTE/Sat/Fibre/ADSL that if coverage is not over 90%, it soon will (must!) be. For the People in the remote places, they could never get any coverage.

            But you are not trying to say that GB is completely covered with Terrestrial (and the BBC), because some parts of Wales (etc) are so remote, or blocked, that a dedicated IP link is the only way they can get anything!

            Blocked: Some parts of Wales/NoE/IRE/Scotland are blocked (or interfered with) by Military (etc) frequency’s.

            But, one of the most important reasons to break the BBC up, and to release the Terrestrial bandwidth, is to release it for data links for the internet in these places. It’s where some growth is.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            @RDM: Yes I am fully aware of what to look for on a TV, it is you who needs to pop into your local “Average Joe” Asda or Tesco (other supermarkets are available) and look for how many TV’s have a Ethernet port – never mind the majority of DVB-T-to-analogue STBs. Judging be the fact that most TVs still don’t yet come with a DVB-S port, bearing in mind that satellite has been around long than many homes have had either DVB-T or IP access, my guess your ‘announcement of fact’ might actually become fact in another 10 to 15 years…

            Also the BBC are far from the worst offenders for the needless use of the limited terrestrial bandwidth, what do you propose to do about commercial TV, especially with their prolific use of +1 catch-up services etc?

            Even if you are correct, that such terrestrial services should be closed down, and thus there needs to be another “TV switch -over” period (that will go down like a tonne of bricks with “Average Joe”…) why does that need the BBC to be closed, why can’t the BBC also move to a DVB-S/IP only service – Oh and pry do tell us how those wishing to use their TVs on the move, that is away from home,, such as in caravans would access your idea of a TV service, if your idea is for them to use the terrestrial 4G broadcasts to access the broadcasters IPTV services then why bother?!

            As for 4G, who needs it? Other than those who like showing off techie-toys and those who like selling techie-toys to those with more money than sense? HMG likes it because they can raise loads of money from selling bandwidth, except that once these teleco’s have taken the issue of 4G-DVB-T interference and compensation they will needs to finance into account many might be thinking again.

            Oh and total coverage is a red herring, some parts of the UK don';t have mobile phone coverage and what might be even more surprising, some parts of the UK don;t have total FM (VHF) coverage.

            Stop trying to find a problem to fit your ‘solution’ (the closure of the BBC), it just makes you look stupid and ignorant of the actual facts! :(

          • Jerry
            Posted November 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            A previous comment seems to have been stuck in moderation for getting on for 24hrs, whilst full of technical terms I can’t see that any would cause any concern!

    • RDM
      Posted November 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      JR,
      The campain I would like to start is for research into allocating some of the released bandwidth to be Open, open to very short term Bursting Access of any data links, not just big company’s that buy the Rights to a certain Frequency. With no way of dominating the frequency, by the big company!

      JR: should I target Ofcom with this? I’ll see if they have a Blogg.

      Regards,

      RDM.

  57. Antisthenes
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    We know exactly why the BBC is an organization that is not fit for purpose. It is a a public sector monopoly and therefore does not have to consider it’s customers because they are forced to pay whether the product they provide is good value or not. As with all public sector organizations there is no incentive to ensure good management and practices. Public sector organizations always become left wing biased because it is the left wing that are most likely to ensure their continuance. The Big Bad Corporation needs to be broken up and sold off and it’s sole role should be that of a public information service and nothing else and even that is debatable.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      It’s not a monopoly as long as there are non-BBC stations and channels.

      Selling off a media organisation never makes it less biased, it just results in it having the same bias as the proprietor.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      @Antisthenes: No one is forced to use/own a television receiver, no licence is required to receive radio, nor to use a TV as a monitor to watch pre-recorded video-tapes/DVDs, one can even watch certain time-shifted content via the Internet.

  58. Tad Davison
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Even Newsnight themselves recently questioned the necessity of some BBC positions, quoting a job that was advertised paying 62K, where the sole purpose was reported to be ‘to support the manager in their decisions’. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a job like that!

    So the next time your telly licence is due, think, ‘we’re paying for that!’

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  59. David Price
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what other individuals and groups have been a victim of this organisation without even knowing it? What other reporting policies have been established by secret meetings that colour BBC-speak and dictate what and who gets reported about and how.

    As things stand I don’t see how the BBC can be trusted now or re-establish it’s reputation for objective reporting. It will certainly take a long time, longer than I have patience for if their only method is to offer ridiculously large severence packages to be paid for by the licence paying public.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      On the subject of victims, has there been a final figure for the number of News International phone hacking victims yet?

      • David Price
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        I don’t know. The individuals must be held to full account whether they are/were in the private sector or the public sector, that includes the strange quasi private/public state the BBC appears to inhabit.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          @David Price: Indeed, but forgive me for asking something that might not be so obvious, where exactly did the BBC break law?…

          • David Price
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            Are you suggesting that individuals within the BBC who commit defamation shouldn’t be held to account?

            In any case, my mum always pointed out that two wrongs don’t make a right – any infractions by other organisations don’t give a licence to the BBC to commit a few.

            If the BBC won’t clean itself properly, and in a way that demonstrates clearly that they have done so, I don’t see how it can be trusted on any subject.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            @David Price: Stop being so blatantly biased, and get your facts correct, the BBC did not name anyone, unlike the careless actions of another media group and one of its presenters…

            If the BBC won’t clean itself properly, and in a way that demonstrates clearly that they have done so, I don’t see how it can be trusted on any subject.

            Yet you fail to condemn those media companies and titles that have committed criminal acts or acted far worse than the BBC, for example were have you called for the taking off-air of ITV’s “This Morning” programme, never mind the shutting down of ITV?…

  60. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I watched the BBC Director General debate and caught your intervention.

    I was disappointed that the issue of BBC bias and partiality was not raised unambiguously by any of the Members; especially as there was a little too much ritual lauding of the organisation from some. But maybe this will get an airing at some future time.

    The debate properly reflected the anger and frustration that is widely felt and which has been expressed on these pages through your good offices, and elsewhere. It is clear to see who are the hard working MPs.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      @TPW: Bias is in the eyes and ears of the believer, your bias is someone else’s truth, your truth is someone else’s bias…

  61. Anonymous
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    The internet can’t be regulated, however, those who misuse it can be made an example of. I hope they get sued mercilessly and the money given to children’s charities.

  62. Mark
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Another question:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2231351/Homes-robbed-TV-signal-new-4G-mobile-network-10-000-reconnected.html

    At the weekend, I attempted to watch some BBC output for the first time in many weeks (rugby internationals). My signal became completely unwatchable. It is entirely possible that the cause was these cross- transmissions. Licence fee refund is in order, I think.

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

      @Mark: Sorry to say but the TV license has never and is not, a guaranty of reception , and in any case your complaint needs to be addressed to Ofcom (and possibly the DfCMS), not the BBC. Whilst the BBC does offer reception advice they do this on behalf of Ofcom and the private companies who actually own the transmitters.

    • cp
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      If this is because of new signals from the phone companies interfering with the already existing TV transmission signals, surely it is the (private) phone companies who should be paying you compensation??

  63. Andrew Johnson
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Since Lord Patten is on record as saying that George Entwhistle was the best candidate for the job, and since that has proven not to be the case, shouldn’t Lord Patten resign together with all the members of the BBC trust who chose Mr. Entwhistle for the job?
    If not, what guarantee is there they won ‘t select unwisely again?
    After all the acting DG Lord Patten appointed showed his silky skills as a media communicator today by walking out of a sky news interview when the going got tough!

    • uanime5
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      David Cameron said Lord Patten and several other people were the best people for various jobs. Perhaps he should also be fired so he won’t “select unwisely again”.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      @Andrew Johnson: Why, I think you will find Lord Patten actually said that Mr. Entwhistle was the best person of those who applied, of course there will always be better people who could have applied! Also please don’t forget that it wasn’t just Lord Patten, there are 11 other Trust members, so with the best will in the world how was any of this singly the error of Lord Patten, even as Chairman. You might have actually meant, and wish, that the entire Trust resigns on mass but that is not what you implied above -on the other hand this might have more to do with the personality and politics of who the BBC Trust Chairman is and nothing what so ever to do with the actual “crisis”….

      Of course if the BBC Trust now go on to appoint (in hast) someone who they previously rejected it might well be that they are signing their own resignation letters too. Appoint in hast, repent at leisure!….

  64. Jon
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I had enjoyed Andrew Marr’s history program, but since the start of it I had wondered how he was going to handle the socialist German party and one A Hitler. It was dealtwith by never mentioning that they were socialists but instead that they were right wing.

    Some of me feels it may not have been Andrew Marr but that was the only way he could get it through the BBC backroom.

    World at War which was made in the 70s and re run recently was and still is brilliant. Then there was no issue about doctoring history, the socialists were called socialists. We cannot go on with this politically biased coverage. How are we to avoid the mistakes of the past if history is re written. He also said the “right wing” party, ie not the Nationalist Socialist Workers Party, had come to power legally. Yes if you ignore assassinating the opposition.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      @Jon: Except that Hitler wasn’t a Socialist, he was a far right politician, despot dictator and war munger…

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Hitler, like all socialists, caused needless suffering and death to thousands of innocent people. Socialism wreckes lives.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          @Mr Dumbar: Repeating the lie will not make it any less of a lie.

          • zorro
            Posted November 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

            “There can be no doubt that socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the abject worship of the state. Socialism is in its essence an attack not only upon British enterprise, but upon the right of the ordinary man or woman to breathe freely without having a harsh, clumsy tyrannical hand clasped across their mouth and nostrils. (Labour) would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.” (Churchill, June 4th,1945)

            zorro

          • Jerry
            Posted November 16, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

            @Zorro: He also said “History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it”…

          • zorro
            Posted November 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            That ‘very humane Gestapo’ idea has progressed over the years with the increasingly illiberal intolerance of any form of dissent which criticises the dominance of PC thinking….

            zorro

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Have another look at Red Star – The Soviet Union episode. History is not doctored exactly but the already crude and overwrought Soviet propaganda which is quoted verbatim by the narrator is overlaid and magnified with triumphalism and gloating satisfaction.

  65. uanime5
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    1) What reports are you referring to?

    2) Because they don’t have any scientific evidence to back up their claims regarding the cause or extent of climate change. Though it would be interesting to have more information regarding the various ways to respond to climate change; such as more home insulation, greater use of public transport, and greener fuel generation.

    3) The average wage is £27,000 per year and 2.59 million people are unemployed so the average person will benefit from more expenditure and generally requires more government intervention to protect them from unscrupulous companies, landlords, and employers. The BBC does criticise tax rises, especially for those on low incomes.

    4) Well the Government can prevent some stories being printed if it makes the minister who was supposed to be preventing this problem look bad.

    5) Regarding Savile there wasn’t much evidence that he was a paedophile until after his death and large numbers of people started admitting to being abused by him. By contrast with the Lord McAlpine allegations there wasn’t (any-ed) evidence to prove he was a paedophile but certain people had been criticising the BBC for not reporting child abuse cases even though there wasn’t much evidence.

    So the BBC is condemned for not running a news story for which there was very little evidence to corroborate and condemned for running a news story for which there was (no -ed) evidence to corroborate. And people wonder why lessons aren’t learned.

    6) Because they were criticised for not making programmes about child abuse even when there was little evidence for this abuse.

    8) Probably because they kept condemning him for everything without actually trying to find out any real information.

    9) Obvious to who? They had a witness who was abused who claimed he was abused by Lord McAlpine because the police incorrectly told him his abuser was Lord McAlpine.

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

    10) If the editors had to do this with every programme they’d only have a few programmes a week. This also assumes that the editors will somehow know all the facts even though they only know what they’re told by their staff.

    12) Because his contract said he was entitled to 6 months pay for voluntarily leaving and 12 months for being fired. So if the BBC and Government wanted him to leave quickly they had to give him at least 12 months pay.

    One final question. Why are certain people more concerned about condemning the BBC than for the welfare of children who were abused for years at a children’s home? If you ignore the victims when they have the courage to speak out you shouldn’t be surprised that so much abuse isn’t reported.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/yes-newsnight-screwed-up-but-lets-remember-who-the-real-victims-are–and-listen-to-them-8304858.html

    Reply: Perhaps you could tell us about Clwyd County Council, the Children’s home and the conviction of 7 people involved in child abuse in North Wales. All of this was extensively investigated in the Waterhouse Enquiry. Which part of that do you disagree with?

    • Jerry
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      @Reply: He isn’t disagreeing with a report that only MPs and very select people have ever seen sight of, how could he!

      If I’m wrong then when was the non-redacted Waterhouse Enquiry finally published?

  66. Bazman
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    It would be interesting to know how many of the above posters even watch TV. For sure the BCC has a to to answer for, but replacing it a British version of FOX NEWS by right wing fanatasists is not the answer. Or forcing another SKY onto the public. Don’t tell us SKY superscriptions are voluntary. It would also be interesting to know how many of you subscribe. Like most of the public I am not having my lifestyle and TV watching reduced in quality from right wing fantasists insulated from the effects of their extreme policies and beliefs that they themselves do not have to live under and could not. Miserable office workers and pensioners to put the cat among the pigeons. Ram it.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      I would have no problems with having only a subscription TV service as long as the platform operator was separate from any company providing content (channels) and that one didn’t have to subscribe to a minimum number of channels before one can subscribe to others.

      Also one needs to have competition in the provision of the set-top boxes, not only would this bring the price down but might actually improve the product too – whilst I accept that there are issues around the security of the encryption methodology this can be controlled mush as it is today with NDAs.

      Whilst it is clear that the Murdoch media and press would like the BBC to vanish off the face of the earth it is noticeable that BSkyB stay well out of the argument, they know that their own monolithic operations would come under the spotlight if the BBC was to be closed or radically reformed.

    • outsider
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Dear Bazman,
      With respect ( and I mean that sincerely folks), Sky subscription is voluntary. I know that because I cannot afford to have it. The last thing I want is for the BBC to ape Fox News, which I also do not have but have seen elsewhere. I just want an impartial BBC, like it once was. Is that unreasonable?

      • Jerry
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Dear “outsider”

        Sky subscription is voluntary.

        No it is not if you don’t want those DVB-S Sky subscription channels but do want one or more DVB-S subscription only channels that BSkyB (as the only UK encrypted satellite up-link service) are paid to carry. This is why I describe BSkyB as “monolithic”, for a long time now there has needed to be competition in this sector, not only to drive prices down but give more consumer choices.

        [1]since the buy-out of British Satellite Broadcasting in 1990 by Sky)

        “I just want an impartial BBC, like it once was. Is that unreasonable?”

        Not at all, and no one is suggesting that the BBC doesn’t need to change, what people like myself and “Bazman” are taking issue with are those whop are calling for the closing or break up of the BBC.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        It was never impartial. How could it be? It was tolerably partial.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          @Max Dumbar: Total and utter tosh, what you really mean is that is impartial and thus doesn’t push the agenda you would like pushed, if you are correct then please do explain who BOTH left and right complain that the BBC is biased…

  67. cp
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    As a politician Mr Redwood really ought to know the difference between “fact” and “opinion”, but most of his initial “facts” are – actually – “opinions”…..

  68. Monty
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Some people have asked what shall we all watch or listen to, if there is no BBC, as if we would be left in some sort of void. It would, in my opinion, probably be a very good thing. There is this process called “creative destruction”. It takes hold of the resources and the talent that become available when a stale old project implodes, and it uses them to build something innovative, something that can survive and thrive on its own momentum. Without continuous tax-feeds from a sullen dissatisfied customer base.

    Are we watching the BBC right now? No, we aren’t even watching TV, we are reading JR’s blog, and various other of our favourite websites. And submitting comments. Interaction. And you get to learn useful stuff. We can go over to Tim Worstalls for explanations of corporation tax, EU regulations, and the reasons why some of the regulation demanded by the left would actually contravene the law. That’s useful stuff to know. On this site, John explains parliamentary procedures so we can understand. Elsewhere, Cranmer regales us with the antics of the Church of England, The Englishman ushers us into his castle, and Tom Paine does his best to refresh our appreciation of liberty. That’s just a handful of my own haunts.

    The BBC isn’t a baby seal, it’s the Caucescus. Pull the trigger.

    • Bob
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      @Monty
      I recommend you to add the “Biased BBC” blog to your list.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        No you may not. We know who runs and funds this site.

  69. Max Dunbar
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    When large numbers of BBC staff went on strike a number of years ago the service improved dramatically.
    It could improve again. Cut the funding drastically and as soon as possible. Paying off the DG so generously gives the wrong signals to the BBC and, more importantly, shows a disregard and contempt for the licence-paying public.

    • Bob
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      @Max Dunbar
      It was great without the lefty propaganda!

      • Jerry
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        @Bob: It is only “propaganda” if you are to stupid to realise that it is simple a different opinion, after all it is not exactly difficult to watch a different channel here in the UK, you make it sound as though the BBC is the only channel…

        • Bob
          Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

          @Jerry
          “…different opinion…”

          If I want to watch a different channel I would have to first pay for a TV License.

          I will not fund the BBC due the reasons enumerated above by Mr Redwood and many of the commenters.

          The TV License system is an anachronism.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            @Bob: “The TV License system is an anachronism.

            Then so is the subscription system, if I want to watch Sky Sports then I should not need to subscribe to 500 odd other channels first, nor should I have to subscribe to more than the channel I want, thus if I have no interest in having all five Sky Sports channels then I should be able to subscribe to just the one(s) I want (such as the Sky F1 channel for example) with a noticeable reduction on the the otherwise “Packaged” price.

            Have you ever stopped to wonder why BSkyB are not amongst those who call for the scrapping of the TVL fee/BBC?…

          • Bob
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry
            If you don’t want a Sky subscription, then subscribe to another service. Sky doesn’t force anyone to subscribe in the way that the TV License forces you to fund the BBC.

          • Jerry
            Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            @Bob: There is no other -UK rights managed- subscription satellite service, that is the point! If I’m wro9ng you will have no problem in directing me to such a service, do tell; us how to receive (for example) ESPN via satellite without first having to take out a BSkyB subscription (which means subscribing to 500 odd channels that are not wanted.

            If it’s time to scrap the TVL then it is also time for BSkyB to be broken up, like with BAA, make them sell off either their channels or their platform service, and then make it law so that people can subscribe to single channels without having to buy packages first – oh and open up the encrypted SVB-S STB market to competition.

        • sm
          Posted November 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          There are none so blind that cannot see.

          So which channel to the masses watch without paying the license fee? And even if they did use the web, the law would be changed.

          Jerry, what happened in New Zealand regarding the license fee?

          • Jerry
            Posted November 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            @sm: The TVL is a bit like the VED, want to use the roads then pay your share of the maintenance costs, want to watch TV, then pay your share of the cost of providing a free PSB service.

            Of course many people, myself included (as I have said many times on these blogs) disagree with what the BBC does currently, it does need to get back to a more pure PSB service, it does need to cut its costs and thus the price of the TVL fee. What I don’t think needs to happen though is the chucking out of the dirty water, tin bath and certainly not the baby all together…

  70. bluedog
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Some excellent questions, Mr Redwood, and of course, you know the answers!

    For those who need a refresher, Lord Patten is a passionate europhile and as has been recently disclosed, the BBC receives subsidies directly from the EU itself. We don’t know to what extent Lord Patten may have been involved in negotiating these payments.

    Think this through. An agency of the UK government is apparently receiving a financial benefit directly from a foreign power.

    So what does that imply?

    Well, follow the golden rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. We can scarcely expect the BBC to take an anti-EU position given the extent of EU funding and in addition given what may be the earnest pro-EU suasion of its chairman within the organisation. It would take a courageous talking head indeed to contravene these influences.

    A level playing field in the EU debate?

    Not possibly.

    Remember Ireland.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Thanks for highlighting the real issues here, all of this has nothing to do with any sexual abuse, nor any Lord, it is a personal hate campaign again the BBC and people within.

      • bluedog
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Mr Jerry says, ‘it is a personal hate campaign again the BBC and people within.’

        So criticism of the Beeb is a hate-crime? Bizarre. We still have freedom of speech and a society that thrives on the competition of ideas. Unfortunately the BBC promotes some very bad ideas and is paying the price in the form of public disapproval.

        The Jimmy Saville scandal is emblematic in all regards.

        • Jerry
          Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          When people forget about the real issue and start attacking the institution (the BBC) rather than the criminal activity of sex offenders or ever the single programmes of the BBC then yes it has turned into a campaign against the BBC – after all who is calling for the disbandment of the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England, there has been child sex abuse scandals involving private boarding schools too, were are the people shouting from the roof tops that all private boarding schools should be closed?…

  71. Monty
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    And now the Beeb are busted yet again.

    On the subject of their lawsuit to suppress the membership of the panel of eminent scientific experts, that they consulted before implementing their policy on AGW being an established fact, allowing the BBC to deny airtime for dissenting parties:

    A veritable rogues gallery of the usual suspects from the AGW priesthood, with extra seasoning provided by Greenpeace, the Tear Fund, a smattering of other aid agencies, and some bod representing the Church of England.

    And the BBC have spent thousands of pounds trying to suppress this information, while all along it was already in the public domain, waiting to be accessed via the Wayback machine. Fancy that. BBC wasted a small fortune trying to hide public domain information that throws their own duplicity into sharp relief.

    • Bob
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      @Monty
      “…the panel of eminent scientific experts…”

      I see that “Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy” was on the list.
      How apt!

  72. Iain Gill
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    The BBC has been pushing a politically correct London wine bar chattering classes centric view of the world for quite some time now. Off the top of my head issues where they are totally unbalanced include:

    Immigration: zero investigative journalism on the widespread abuse of the ICT visa system and its disastrous affect on the British economy. Compare and contrast to healthy journalistic debate on the equivalent H1-B visas in the US. Endorsed the labour approach of “to rub the Right’s nose in diversity” despite almost universal concerns about out of control immigration amongst the majority of the population.

    Speed Cameras: Just repeats the false statistics and psuedo science of the so-called speed camera partnerships and their allies in the councils and other overheads on British society. Ignores the majority view given a small airing by the British Association of Drivers and hardly any exposure in the media despite it being obviously closer to the truth.

    Wind Mills: Green agenda pushed down folks throats even when it borders on the fanatic and its counter any basic understanding of science or economics.

    Diversity: So many ethnic female gay right on presenters, many with the same old public school accents which is the complete opposite of diverse, and total and utter lack of the working class and regional accents of the majority of the population. Pumps out rubbish like “Little Britain” which rubbishes the inhabitants of council estates and the disabled, poor, elderly, gay or fat, if they rubbished an ethnic group like they do council house dwellers in “Little Britain” it would be front page news but for some reason they get away with it. Endorse the lazy anti English racism commonplace in Scotland.

    And so much more…

  73. Robert K
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    The issue is partly about shoddy journalism but mainly about the licence fee. I was able to “punish” News International by boycotting its products in protest against the phone hacking scandal. I would be able to do the same with my Sky subscription if their news coverage offeneded me. I have no such choice with the BBC. That is why the BBC has had its day and should be wound up.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      @Robert K: No one is forcing you to watch TV, no licence fee required to listen to radio, DVDs or even some time-shifted broadcast content…

      If you boycott Sky News by closing your BSkyB subscription then you also remove access to any and all other subscription channels on the BSkyB platform so how is this any different to not renewing your TVL and not using your TV for reception?

      • sm
        Posted November 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        To deny the license tax to the BBC , you must not utilize your TV set to receive over air broadcasts as they are transmitted. Currently it being the dominant media, it is easy to see how it is used and how it helps to shape the views of the masses.

        Orwell, 1984, thought police, frame setting, shape the media, spin, control, propaganda.

        Please note, its very easy to design a tax that works when the establishment really wants to?

        (cough..Unitary tax, abolish concept of domicile, tax employee’s, small company owners and sole traders on the same basis and move to flatter simpler taxes)

        • Jerry
          Posted November 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          sm: You make a great case for not only the scrapping of the TVL fee but also for all and any subscription TV fees, make all TV commercial (that is, everything funded from advertising revenue)…

          If I want to watch Sky Sports, or even a single channel such as their F1 channel or a Film channel) then I need to pay the private “Sky Tax”, that is pay BSkyB, that is something like ~£250 pa, before I can then spend even more money on the channel I actually want.

  74. David Langley
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Who said you can “step aside” from your job? What bit of foolery with the English language is this. I have never seen any Company policy which allowed an individual to not bother with their job. It must have taken a long and alcoholic lunch time to come up with this from the BBC urchins.
    What a shower, we want the BBC to create a news environment that is not based on the media folk themselves but on what is happening in the world. Facts not self inspection. Not commented on in their own biased and self serving often incorrect opinions. Most of their so called facts are wrong and seem to change by the hour without announcement of correction or stated basis for doing so. Patten should go and all those incapable of realising that they are not wonderful people who we cannot do without, the ‘finger in the bucket of water’ saying should be their metaphor for fame.

  75. Chris
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The Biased BBC website has now published a list of the scientific experts and others who attended the 2006 meeting which apparently determined the future course of BBC reporting with a bias towards man made global warming.
    The comments section is interesting with regard to some of the info on the actual scientific qualifications of the experts. Perhaps this is something the Global Warming Policy Foundation can pick up and examine as the “analysis” by/on the BiasedBBC website of the 2006 attendees is very much in its infancy, and needs proper rigour. The glaring omission, as far as I can see, from the list of attendees are any scientists who are challenging AGW. No wonder the BBC gets the answers it wants. The computer modelling dictum seems to apply here: “rubbish/bias in, rubbish/bias out”.

  76. Chris
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    More on the make-up of the 2006 “scientific expert” committee used by the BBC to determine its future slant on climate change i.e. apparently to pro AGW. I don’t think it will take the GWPF and others to dissect this. It seems as though the remarkable number of extras on the list, who in no way qualify as scientific experts, as well as the glaring imbalance in the experts present (and some may question the expertise in climate science of the BBC chosen experts actually present) all need examining. It seems an incredibly sloppy way to determine future BBC policy when the initial list of “experts” is so lacking/imbalanced. Who is responsible for this fiasco?

    http://www.thegwpf.org/revealed-secret-28-turned-bbc-green/

    • Chris
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Sorry, omitted “long” from the above comment. It should have said I don’t think it will take long…..

  77. Winston Smith
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The BBC is spending a fortune fighting a legal battle to stop the public knowing who attended a Climate Change seminar that determined BBC policy on the issue. They were supposedly advised by “top scientists”. Well. there were only a hnadful of dubious scientists and many more left-wing activists from the charity and quangocracy. Even the BBC Heads of Comedy and Children’s tv were in attendance for indoctrination, led by the lying CRU, demonstrating how the BBC seeks to influence opinion in all areas of its output. The BBC is the enemy of libertarians.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      The BBC should not have a “Policy” about anything, AGW, the EU, Gaza or what ever, they should simply report all the facts, even if it makes for difficult or unpleasant listening or viewing and then allow the guidance to make up their own minds.

      I would also like the BBC to stop their employees from using both Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote either the BBC or outside contractors work, the BBC has a Press Office for office comment after all…

  78. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I’m no fan of the BBC – as you are probably well aware; and I agree with many of your Comments, but I do not agree with scapegoating people.

    I don’t know Mr Entwistle, but the BBC had severe problems long before he arrived as DG.

    Any idiot can go into the BBC and start sacking people immediately – and ask quesitons later to make it appear that they are doing something. Mr Entwistle was screwed over by his Editorial Staff, who have been development a World Wide Reputation for poor Research or complete disregard for their sources.

    I would argue that the people who shouldhave been sacked are more of the Editorial Staff. Expecting someone to hall the massivley defective BBC out of the grave of incompetence would take anybody longer than 54 days.

    The fact that Mr Entwislte had £450,000 has been broadcast as if he stole it? The BBC Governors gave it to them. Chris Patten should be sacked – not Mr Entwislte.

    If a Bank Manager left the Bank Vault open all Night with a Neon Sign over the Bank saying “Come in and get FREE cash”. You wouldn’t necessarily just arrest the the people who took some, the Bank Manager would be arrested too.

    There’s something odd about this. Somebody odd about this whole area.

    Why did the allegations about Jimmy Saville not surface until AFTER his Death?
    Why did Newsnight make such fundamental Errors in Judgement about verifying their facts?

    The BBC’s Journalism Department – in my opinion; should ALL get thrown out because the fairy stories they come up with regarding; Foreign Policy, the Banking System, meaningless Political Punch and Judy Shows, and an over importance portrayed about Sport.

    All the BBC has to do is research their Stories and protect their sources of information. The Dr David Kelly experience blew their credibility apart and also made the late Labour Government look like the Mafia.

  79. Monty
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    This petition is currently open for signatures. It calls for the Balen Report, commissioned by the BBC using our licence money, to be published. They have spent rather a lot more of our money in a desperate court battle to keep it secret.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/the-bbc-release-the-balen-report-to-the-public

  80. Bazman
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Some of the comments above could be taken seriously, but really most have little to do with present BBC crisis and are mainly complaints about the left wing agenda of the BCC. which has been complained about since the 1920’s. In the main I would say that the BBC is not left wing, but just not right wing enough for many of the posters prejudices. Who when asked to justify them, of course cannot in many cases, so what does that tell you of adult people who have these views? Do sing along with more abuse. Ram it.

    • Edward
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Bazman,
      I’m not sure you’ve been reading the same set of posts as me, because most that Ive read state several examples of bias in BBC reporting of news and current affairs as well as giving examples of the BBC having set opinions on major current issues.
      The problem for the BBC is that it is uniquely in this country of ours, a public service broadcaster and its statute legally requires it to remain impartial, which many posts on here give examples of it not remaining impartial.
      Thats the big word to keep in mind…impartial, not left wing or right wing.

  81. oldtimer
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    The apparent discovery of the names attending the January 2006 seminar raises several questions and issues. Here are a few – for starters:
    1 The BBC Trust claimed that the seminar was attended by the “best scientific experts” and justified the BBC no longer giving equal space and time to opponents of the consensus on anthropogenic climate change – as stated by Bridcut in his report. The reality is that the seminar was set up as a lobbying operation to influence BBC programme makers (from news to comedy). An MP attended, Colin Challen, then Chair of the All Party Group on Climate Change. If it was a seminar to discuss climate issues, you would expect to see representatives from the Met Office and the Hadley Centre. They were not there. Instead we see names from lobbying organisations and businesses with an interest in promoting carbon trading or promoting climate alarmism, eg the insurance industry.
    2 The BBC representatives includes several names with which we have become familiar in recent days: George Entwh[u]istle (now resigned), Helen Boaden, Steve Mitchell and Peter Rippon (all three now stepped asid[s]e), Fran Unsworth (now Acting director of news) and Karen O`Connor (now Acting editor of newsnight). Did any of these speak out about the nature of the seminar after the Bridcut repport was published? It would be good to know if they did.
    3 The BBC is relying on a narrow Supreme Court judgment to extend immunity to any form of enquiry about what it gets up [y]to, all under the mantra “for the purposes of journalism”. If sustained it creates a state within a state, accountable to no one.
    4 The BBC is supposed to be, and claims to be,open and impartial in its reporting. Recent events and disclosures call this into question[s]. It is difficult to think of a more exlosive set of issues for the BBC, striking at the heart of its credibilty.

  82. bluenut
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    “6. Why, after the failure of the Newsnight team on the Savile issue, did management not require stricter reporting and higher standards for future work?”

    When you say the failure of the Newsnight “team” we need to remember that the investigative journalists have gone public on their view that the piece should have gone ahead and they disagreed and did not understand the decision of the editor to stop the broadcast. So labelling it a Newsnight “team” failure is probably unfair.

    On the BBCs bias against Eurosceptics – couldnt agree more – their coverage of this topic has been a disgrace! Less so with the right v left tax and spend debate which I think Newsnight has always been very fair with. Its one of the reasons why I like watch it – Paxmans interview style of attacking all participants in interviews and treating them all with equal contempt(which co-hosts try to mimic) does make the program more neutral than rival stations.

  83. Bickers
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    So, Patton spends £250k on headhunters only to appoint an internal candidate – dooh!

    The less than two months into Entwistle’s stewardship (oxymoron) he’s paid £450k to go quietly as well as £877k pension pot

    We have Saville, Newsnight and now the latest 28gate revelation that the Climate Change Seminar that the BBC ran in 2006 to determine their editorial policy was not full of scientists but green advocates and green rent seekers. The BBC ‘bullied’ the Labour government into the Climate Change Act which is going to cost us the tax payers hundreds of billions for mitigating an unproven problem that won’t be resolved anyway regardless what we do. This is more serious than Saville & Newsnight because we’ll all be paying the price for decades to come.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      @Bickers: “So, Patton spends £250k on headhunters only to appoint an internal candidate – dooh!

      Hmm, but that might just proves how useless some of these so called outside headhunters really are, nothing about the BBC or the BBC Trust…

      @Bickers: “The BBC ‘bullied’ the Labour government into the Climate Change Act

      Care to cite you evidence, or even any factual debate?… From what I recall it was the UN (via their Kyoto Protocol) who were doing the bullying, the BBC were merely reporting – but then perahsp you would have preferred the BBC to be biased, or be like N Korea and simply not report it?!

  • 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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