Peter Ashman 0

Stop The BBC Gravy Train

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Whether they choose to or not, the majority of households in the United Kingdom have to fund the BBC by paying annually for a television licence. Despite this, those same licence-fee payers have absolutely no control over the BBC – so can only speculate about the huge sums spent by the BBC on waging the ratings war (regardless of cost), unenviable salaries and “award-winning” pensions paid to massive egos, and the interminable overseas “jollies” enjoyed by most of them at every opportunity. Apparently, licence-fee payers must remain ignorant of these costs, as this is “commercially sensitive” information. You bet it is! Had the BBC been a banking organisation, it would have been subjected to crippling penalties by now, but – alas – it is the “untouchable” BBC. Furthermore, licence-fee payers cannot expect the Prime Minister or most members of parliament to act on their behalf; I say “most” because, thank God, there are a few MPs who can see what is going on, and seem to agree that the corporation cannot be allowed to continue as it is without the sails being drastically trimmed. A Vast Website That Also Does Some Broadcasting “Permitting a television signal into the home” does not, as far as I can ascertain, include the construction, and relentless enlargement of the BBC website – I doubt we will ever know just how many journalists, expensive IT specialists, designers and technicians are involved in this empire-building project. Not only does the BBC wish to dominate the UK media in respect of radio and television, but – with money obviously splashing about in the coffers – the corporation steam-rollers on in its determination to become an unnecessarily large and unwieldy global internet presence (all at our expense). There can be no doubt that, left uncontrolled, they will annihilate all opposition and achieve their ambition of becoming the “one-stop-shop for everything”. Little wonder that local newspapers, and other broadcasters complain that the playing field is anything but level! The BBC Has Other Sources Of Revenue Why, I ask, should UK licence-fee payers have to fund the BBC website as well as its broadcasting excesses, when it has such a vast catalogue of merchandise (growing day by day) such as books, games, toys, CDs, DVDs, and the sale of programmes and series? When there has been an announcement in respect of huge profits made by BBC Worldwide (and you may have to dig deep to find it), there never seems to be an accompanying drop in the licence fee. Successful Compensation Claims Will Be Paid For By Taxpayers There is no doubt that the Jimmy Saville sexual abuse allegations, many allegedly carried out on BBC premises with less than adequate controls at the time, are likely to lead to lawsuits against the BBC. More recently, there has been another embarrassing blunder which has caused unnecessary heartache and stress to Lord McAlpine and his family, and who can blame him if he also sues the BBC for compensation. Whatever the outcome – and we have yet to learn the full scale of the abuse cases – it is more than likely that licence-fee payers will have to foot the bill when costs are granted, although we played no part in the abuses. The BBC And “Damage Limitation” Realising that the BBC gravy train may suddenly be running headlong towards the buffers, at least two senior BBC figures have recently spoken out very publicly and loudly in defence of the BBC, and warning the population not to turn the Saville affair into a “witch hunt”. What astonishing, breath-taking arrogance! Where were they when day after day, week after week, month after month, the BBC itself carried out a full frontal, round-the-clock onslaught against News International (unwelcome competition in the United Kingdom)? Of course this time it is very different – the BBC gravy train is under threat, and the thought of the dole queue (and a State pension) must be daunting for those on six-figure salaries. More alarmingly, programmes such as “Newswatch” and “Points Of View”, which were supposed to be the platform for licence-fee payers to air their discontent and to lodge their complaints, have very cleverly (and professionally) become well-scripted, choreographed and slick public relations exercises, with the BBC emerging at the end of each programme as strong as ever, and with the air filled with the scent of roses. How naïve do they think we are? The BBC Is Too Big, Unwieldy And Unmanageable Today’s BBC is proving to be way too big, massively unwieldy, and to all intents and purposes unmanageable. At the size it has been allowed to become, no single person will ever be able to have a finger on the pulse. Indeed, the BBC has allowed far too many arrogant, over-paid, and glorified presenters to be revered as gods – so their management is probably difficult to say the least. The scandals concerning the BBC at the present time relate to television programmes but I wonder, when contemplating the immediate and irreversible impact of views expressed on such as “social networking” sites, just how long it will be before we all have to foot the bill for another massive scandal arising out of a blunder on the BBC’s global website. Yet again, we will play no part, but will inevitably have to pick up the tab. Enough is enough, and if politicians are unable, unwilling (or even scared) to act, then licence-fee payers must act on their own behalf. Please sign this petition, and help to ensure that this gravy train is derailed, or at least trimmed to a manageable size. Thank you.

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