Saturday, July 14, 2007

Gobbets From The BBC

Would you trust this lot with £3.3bn?

For those of us who want to see the £3.3bn pa BBC privatised, this has been a good week. Not only have they once again demonstrated their utter contempt for licence payers by puffing and paying £250 grand for the odious Campbell, but their brainless desire for sensationalist celeb telly has led them into a clear act of treason against our own dear Queen.
With that promising background, I've been rifling through the first ever Report from the BBC Trustees. There they are above. Regular BOM readers will immediately recognise Chairman Sir Michael Lyons, of avoiding difficult issues in local government finance fame (see this blog). Others include ex-Indie journo Diane Coyle, married to a BBC journo. Etc.
So what's their job?

"The Trust represents the interests of the public."

The interests of the public. What a bold statement. How on earth do they know what they are? Apparently they assess them from polling. But nobody's ever asked me. Just as nobody's ever asked me whether I'm happy to have my interests represented by that crew*. And what if my interests differ from those of other members of the public? How do the trustees decide? We're not told.
"As BBC Trustees our first duty is to guard the independence of the BBC against outside interference, whether political, commercial, or from any other quarter."
Interference. Interesting word that. If you decide that you don't like Tesco's new recipe Lincolnshire pork sausages, you don't have to buy them. Even though you're then interfering with their independence. At the BBC, that can't happen: independence is maintained by the simple device of ignoring you.
The BBC can only be defended if it demonstrates impartiality, accuracy, high quality and good value for money. Our job as Trustees is to make sure that the BBC delivers these qualities."
Sorry. As far as I'm concerned, the BBC demonstrates none of the above. It is partial, often inaccurate, often abysmally low quality, and generally poor value for money (eg see this blog). The BBC therefore can't be defended.
The Trustees cost us £4.1m pa. Nothing in their 50 odd glossy pages gives any clue as to why we customers can't be allowed just to make up our own minds via the market place.
*Footnote Tyler should confess he's twice had dinner with one of these Trustees. Said person is immensely well-informed about life, the universe, and everything. He's also hugely uproariously entertaining. You can see why the BBC wanted him as a Trustee. But that doesn't explain why he should get to spend £3.3bn of our taxes.

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