Friday, 18 April 2014

# 310 - WAR - Now even Paxman criticises the BBC.

Jeremy Paxman now joins other distinguished and long serving BBC presenters in criticising the BBC.

From memory the list includes :-

John Humphrys
David Dimbleby
Michael Buerk
Peter Sissons

Well they cannot all be wrong can they

Paxman's complaints include the following:-

1. 60 million golden goodbyes
2. How the BBC distorts the market and undermines commercial rivals
3. Waste as in the £100 million Digital Media Initiative
4. Poor BBC management
5. Funding for the likes of Radio 1 which the private sector can and do cover.
6. Unnecessary web presence
7. How it challenges the country's press through publicly funded news websites.

So quite a lot to be getting on with there and of course nothing that I haven't covered on this blog.

IMO the changes to the BBC will be gradual and will be brought about by the gradual reduction in the value of the licence fee. Sweeping and dramatic change is simply not the way the BBC does business.





Sunday, 30 March 2014

#309 - WAR - Paying A Compulsory Tax For BBC Bias Is Morally Wrong

#309 - WAR - Paying A Compulsory Tax For BBC Bias Is Morally Wrong

A biased BBC isn't worth its licence fee


The Rev Paul Flowers has been exposed as a buffoon, who had no idea of the size of the bank of which he was Chairman. 
He has also been shown by hard evidence to be a grotesque hypocrite, with a personal life quite out of keeping with his position in the Methodist Church.
Those who trusted him have acted accordingly. The Methodist Church has suspended him indefinitely. The Co-operative Bank forced him to resign. Even the Labour Party, no stranger to internal irregularities, has suspended him.
Paul Flowers was interviewed by a simpering Paxman on the BBC's Newsnight programme
Paul Flowers was interviewed by a simpering Paxman 
on the BBC's Newsnight programme
The Mail on Sunday, acting quite properly in the tradition of robust journalism, played a major part in his downfall by exposing his drug abuse. Mr Flowers might well feel aggrieved at that. Even saints (which he is not) dislike being shown up in public.
But why did the supposedly impartial BBC feel it was its job to sympathise with Mr Flowers, and to give him a platform for an orgy of public self-pity, combined with crude, baseless abuse of this newspaper? 
The BBC’s bias is most clearly shown by its frequent failures to pursue and interrogate those with whom it secretly sympathises. Yet it will turn like a tiger on those of whom it secretly disapproves. 
Who can forget Jeremy Paxman’s relentless interrogation of former Tory Home Secretary Michael Howard, in which he asked the same question 12 times?
But in his encounter with Mr Flowers, Mr Paxman was transformed from tiger into purring pussycat.
His questions were gentle lobs. He failed to rebuke Mr Flowers for blatantly flattering him with allusions to his supposed ferocity. 
Mr Paxman even laughed sycophantically at an unfunny remark about scripture, as if the two men were Oxbridge dons maundering over the port.
 

He did not press Mr Flowers on his not-very-Christian unwillingness to offer a proper apology for his actions or show any convincing remorse.
He failed to challenge Mr Flowers’s refusal (on spurious legal grounds) to discuss his alleged drug abuse, or his claim that he cannot afford to sue The Mail on Sunday, in this era of no-win, no-fee lawyers. 
The real reason for his silence is that this newspaper’s stories are true.
'Mr Paxman even laughed sycophantically at an unfunny remark about scripture, as if the two men were Oxbridge dons maundering over the port'
'Mr Paxman even laughed sycophantically at an unfunny remark about 
scripture, as if the two men were Oxbridge dons maundering over the port'
We cannot know the reason for this toothless, flaccid performance by the famed Grand Inquisitor of the BBC.
But there is a clue in the way in which Mr Flowers was wholly unchallenged when he used the interview to attack The Mail on Sunday as ‘pseudo-fascist’, the sort of baseless, politically illiterate abuse that might be shouted at a student demonstration, rather than spoken by a man of the cloth.
How ironic that last week’s Mail on Sunday revealed Mr Paxman’s Newsnight colleague Duncan Weldon tried to minimise his own past as a supporter of the BNP.
The BBC simply does not deserve the great privilege of the licence fee if it cannot try harder than this to be fair.

Majestic stoicism

The Queen herself will never complain openly about anything. But the Government should be ashamed of the thoughtless way in which they have overloaded the Monarch’s schedule in the first week of June.
They should also note that the 87-year-old Head of State has been forced to take on back-to-back engagements precisely because her Parliament, full of fit and well-paid young men and women, has so little to do.

To see this article GoTo:

Saturday, 29 March 2014

#308 - WAR - The BBC Hiding The EU Millions

The millions in EU funding 

the BBC tried to hide

 28 February 2014 17:41
‘Dripping wet’ Chris Patten. Image: Getty
‘Dripping wet’ Chris Patten. Image: Getty

Over the last three years the BBC has secretly obtained millions of pounds in grants from the European Union. Licence fee payers might assume that the Corporation would have been compelled to disclose the source of this money in its annual reports, but they bear no trace of it specifically. In the latest set of accounts, for example, these funds are simply referred to as ‘other grant income’.
Instead of making an open declaration, the BBC’s successful lobbying for this money had to be prised out of it using a Freedom of Information (FoI) request lodged for The Spectator, proving that there was never any danger of the state broadcaster’s bosses volunteering it willingly.
The FoI response confirms that BBC staff applied for, and accepted, about £3 million of EU funds between April 2011 and November 2013, most of which has been spent on unspecified ‘research and development’ projects, with the remaining £1 million spent on programming.
Next to the £3.65 billion tax-free income that the BBC receives each year via the licence fee, £3 million is, admittedly, a mere speck of dust – just 0.8 per cent of its annual guaranteed revenue and, obviously, even less than that when spread over 36 months.
However, the size of these EU gifts is arguably irrelevant, even though they are indicative of the BBC’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for public money. What is undeniably true is that the BBC has acted with characteristic slyness by concealing that it ever requested, let alone received, this European cash, suggesting that it is uneasy about the public being aware of its financial arrangements.
With the European elections only three months away, the timing of this disclosure is certainly unhelpful to the BBC, fuelling longstanding pro-EU bias concerns.
Rob Wilson MP, an aide to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, says that he believes evidence of the BBC receiving any EU money leaves it open to attack because being on its payroll risks feeding the perception that is incapable of reporting objectively on European affairs. Mr Wilson also questions why the BBC needed to go ‘cap in hand’ to the EU for funds in the first place when its enviably secure financial position allows it to outgun commercial rivals in so many spheres.
He says:
‘The whole point of the licence fee is to protect the BBC’s political independence and impartiality by providing it with a source of funding that is outside the hands of governments and politicians. Thanks to this FoI response, we now learn that it has been going cap in hand to the EU for millions of pounds on the quiet over the last few years. Such outrageous flouting of the principles on which the BBC is based and funded will only promote cynicism about its political impartiality and lead to a loss of trust in the BBC’s independence.’
He adds that he intends to write to part-time BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten about this matter.
But despite Patten being paid £110,000 per year to represent the interests of licence payers, it is hard to imagine that the dripping wet former EU Commissioner and Euro enthusiast will pay much attention.
In view of the fact that he stands to benefit from a fantastically generous EU pension  – which Ukip deputy leader Paul Nuttall estimates to be worth £100,000 per year for the rest of his life – thanks to his 47 months on the gravy train, Patten is surely part of the problem when it comes to questions about the BBC and Europe.
Indeed, his slippery and unaccountable nature reflects rather neatly all that is wrong with it. With trademark arrogance, Patten is currently refusing to appear in front of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee to answer questions about the BBC’s coverage of Europe. He has rebuffed three invitations to do so knowing that, under parliamentary rules, his status as a member of the Lords means he cannot be forced to appear in front of an MPs’ committee. Could there be a more perfect illustration of the BBC – and portly Patten – having their cake and eating it?
In the FoI response, the BBC refuses to name any of the ‘research and development’ projects or television programmes on which it spent the EU grant money.
This, apparently, is information that’s far too sensitive for mere licence payers to be told about.
All it says by way of explanation is that the funds come from two separate sources – the EU Framework Programme for Research and Development; and the European Regional Development Fund. It admits that during the financial year 2010/11 it accepted £956,000 from the first of these funds and that during the following financial year it was given a further £435,000 for the same purpose.
During the first half of the current financial year, between April and November 2013, it was awarded a third EU research and development grant worth £812,000.
More money – none of which is given without a formal application – is expected before April 2014 but the running total for these three tranches stands at £2.2 million.
A BBC spokesman says the money was used for ‘technology-based projects based on existing BBC R&D priorities and business needs’ but would elaborate no further.
The BBC’s response then reveals that it has also received EU grants for programme-making from the European Regional Development Fund.
Although it claims such funding is commonplace among Europe’s public service broadcasters, it has declined to provide a breakdown of the grants beyond insisting that none of the money was spent on news programmes. A helpful BBC insider has worked out that the total amount of EU money spent on programmes over the last three years is likely to have been £1 million.
However, with a straight face, the BBC does explain in its response that Channel 4 has in the past received funding from the same source, and that it used its EU prize money to make the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire.
When the BBC is prepared to use an FoI response to state how a rival organisation spent its EU booty, but refuses to explain how it spent its own, its standards of transparency are surely broken.
Eurosceptic Labour MP Kate Hoey, now part of an unofficial coalition of politicians overseeing the privately-funded organisation Newswatch, which monitors the BBC for EU bias at a cost of £60,000 per year, says the FoI disclosure is ‘shocking’. She says:
‘I have grave concerns about the bias of the BBC when it comes to EU matters. I find the whole thing shocking. The lack of transparency is unjustified. Why does it seem so worried about people knowing where it gets its money? What has the BBC got to hide other than knowing that many of us don’t trust them on EU matters and the need for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership?’
Ms Hoey adds that she has concerns that the BBC ‘very rarely’ reports Labour MPs’ views on Europe. She says:
‘Even Today in Parliament [on Radio 4] always tries to convey Tory splits on Europe, and this doesn’t help the perception of an EU bias. There are Labour MPs with strong views on Europe as well. It doesn’t help that the BBC very rarely reports these views.’
The evidence contained in this FoI response is the latest in a series of examples shining some light on the BBC’s relationship with the EU.
Last autumn we learned that its charity arm, BBC Media Action, part of its Global News division, was given almost £4 million of EU money in 2012 for a project to train hundreds of journalists from countries which share volatile borders with EU member states, an initiative known as the European Neighbourhood Policy. This acceptance of EU money, not volunteered by the BBC, was condemned in some quarters as proof that it was effectively being paid to help encourage the enlargement of the European project, promoting the EU’s political agenda.
Viewers also had to watch as BBC news bulletins last October lapped up in the most excruciating fashion a European Commission-funded report denying the existence of ‘benefits tourism’, a phenomenon in which non-contributory benefits are available for the unemployed, thereby allowing those who have not paid into our system to make welfare claims in Britain even though unemployed Britons living in, for example, France or Spain, which are not party to this skewed arrangement, cannot make similar claims.
It was depressing to watch the BBC’s unquestioning, lazy reporting, which failed to make the point that Britain is one of only five European countries (along with Ireland, Germany, Finland and Estonia) stupid enough to have allowed itself to be in this situation.
But when the BBC is the recipient of secret EU funds, and is not compelled by any law to disclose its sources of income, what else should licence payers expect? Commenting on the FoI response, a BBC spokesman said:
‘BBC News does not receive any grant funding from the EU. Impartiality and balanced reporting is and always will be of paramount importance for the BBC. Each year in our Annual Report we disclose the total income received from a variety of grants, of which and grants from the EU make up a relatively small proportion of the total figure. The vast majority of EU grants are used for research and development projects. The notion that millions of pounds of EU money goes into our programming is untrue.’

First Published @ The Spectator  http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/02/the-millions-in-eu-funding-the-bbc-tried-to-hide/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-millions-in-eu-funding-the-bbc-tried-to-hide

#307 - WAR - BBC tries to hide EU funding


BBC tries to hide EU funding

by  on MARCH 3, 2014

Over the last three years the BBC has secretly obtained millions of pounds in grants from the European Union. Licence fee payers might assume that the Corporation would have been compelled to disclose the source of this money in its annual reports, but they bear no trace of it specifically. In the latest set of accounts, for example, these funds are simply referred to as ‘other grant income’.
Instead of making an open declaration, the BBC’s successful lobbying for this money had to be prised out of it using a Freedom of Information (FoI) request lodged for The Spectator, proving that there was never any danger of the state broadcaster’s bosses volunteering it willingly.
The FoI response confirms that BBC staff applied for, and accepted, about £3 million of EU funds between April 2011 and November 2013, most of which has been spent on unspecified ‘research and development’ projects, with the remaining £1 million spent on programming.
This rightly begs the question, how can the BBC report EU matters in an unbiased way when it receives EU funding? As Miles Goslett quite rightly asserts in his article in The Spectator, £3 million is a drop in the ocean when it comes to the overall BBC budget, however, why has the BBC been so secretive about the income it receives from the EU?
Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall had this to say:
‘I have grave concerns about the bias of the BBC when it comes to EU matters. I find the whole thing shocking. The lack of transparency is unjustified. Why does it seem so worried about people knowing where it gets its money? What has the BBC got to hide other than knowing that many of us don’t trust them on EU matters and the need for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership?
‘Even Today in Parliament [on Radio 4] always tries to convey Tory splits on Europe, and this doesn’t help the perception of an EU bias. There are Labour MPs with strong views on Europe as well. It doesn’t help that the BBC very rarely reports these views.’
She is right. Being secretive only gives the impression that you have something to hide. If you have nothing to hide, why be secretive?

Kate Hoey1

http://www.tfa.net/2014/03/03/bbc-tries-to-hide-eu-funding

Monday, 17 March 2014

# 306 - WAR - The ingredients for a balanced report.

Let's take the forthcoming budget as a topic.

 In a balanced report would get the news item followed by a comment from the Cons/Lib Dims and another from Nu Liebour and then if applicable and time allowing a comment from the public with say two pro Tory and two pro Labour.

However I've noticed of late, as I I have so often in the past, that the sequence has been - News item critical of Coalition policy which contains a comment from the Chancellor and then as balance an interview with Balls who is allowed to spout uncontested that there is a Cost of Living crisis, that Labour will be fairer, tax the rich and generally lead us to the promised land.

Keep this in mind when you watch a news report and see if I'm not right.

This is of course political bias in favour of  the left.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

# 305 - WAR - And there is more!

In the words of the popular 60's song ........


WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN, WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN ?


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/10699368/Bias-row-over-appointment-of-union-official-as-BBC-Newsnight-Economics-Correspondent.html


# 304 - WAR - Question Time bias ...................so what is new!

An article in the Daily Mail on Thursday questioned pointed out how a leaked briefing document showed David Dimbleby had been urged to ask more questions of Lord Heseltine and Simon Hughes than the Labout MP Rachel Reeves.

It even made the local press as well:-

http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/News/Question-time-for-the-BBC-over-claims-of-political-bias-20140313115447.htm


When an organisation is institutionally bias, as the BBC is, it will take more than their spokesperson assuring us that " the programme was fair balanced and followed our guidelines on impartiality" to turn things around.

The TV licence needs to be reformed and the bloated bias BBC needs to face some competition.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

# 303 - WAR - John Humphreys admits the bleeding obvious!

In the Daily Mail yesterday it was reported that John Humphreys believes the BBC is "grotesuely over managed" and has always had a "broadly liberal bias" admitting that its coverage on such issues as immigration and the EU have not been sufficiently sceptical.

If you are NOT getting what it says on the BBC tin why pay the TV licence?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

# 302 - WAR - Is the sea level risng?

Thanks to the blog site ' Not a lot of people know that ' I see the BBC is being very economical with the truth as usual.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/dont-expect-the-truth-from-the-bbc/


Under the heading ' Indonesia rising sea level threatens 1,500 Islands' the BBC reports on-line under 'News from elsewhere' at 11.19am today that sea level rises are threatening Indonesian Islands.

This simply isn't true as the problem is the land is sinking due to tectonic plate movement as recorded in the Yanags and Akaki study in 1994.

Because BBC staff are indoctrinated with the false science of global warming they also believe sea levels are rising and push this at every opportunity.

This is BIAS.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

# 301 - WAR - Harmen, Dromey and Hewitt and the NCCL and PIE.

The BBC has finally joined the party after clearly attempting to ignore the story for about 4 days that the Daily Mail has been running.

In brief the NCCL, now Liberty run by Shami Chakrabarti, employed Harriet Harmen, Jack Dromey and Patrica Hewitt in the 70's and early 80's when the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) was affiliated to it.

PIE is of course no more and several of those involved with it were arrested and charged and to her credit Shani Chakrabarti has apologised and admitted that it was wrong that the then NCCL gave support to PIE.

However despite repeated requests to admit that the NCCL made a mistake, in its support for PIE, Harriet Harman last night on Newsnight refused to say it was a mistake.

This story isn't over yet and is another example of BBC bias for can you imagine the BBC ignoring this story for 4 days if the 3 involved had been Conservatives?