The BBC has revealed the cost to the licence-fee payer of its surreal legal fight to keep a publicly available list from the public. Or at least a small part of the cost we all paid in the affair which became known as "28Gate". Regular readers will no doubt recall that 28Gate saw the Beeb attempt to keep secret the names of 28 …
Has Andrew a long spoon?
Irrespective of the argument, it is probably a good idea for the rest of us to default to a position opposite to that of Murdoch's...
As far as the BBC is concerned it didn't cost anything, since it was other peoples money that was spent.
You'll find most public organisations are happy to throw wodges of cash around as long as it belongs to other people.
Wot about the banks
My bad - most of them are public since we bailed them out.. But there are plenty of private sector companies who have had no problem spending the spondulaks solely for the benefit of the management. Remember Rover Group and the pensions fiasco?
Also there have been lots of private investment vehicle buyouts of publicly listed companies, where the buyers extract mega bucksfrom the target, extract cash to their vehicle (this also funds the purchase) and then they sell on whats left or leave it to fester. Once they've gutted the target so it has no cash left to invest in it's own development, the targets usually fail at the first sign of business stress.
Has anything changed....?
It seems to me that the BBC has really changed in the way that it' s senior management influences output and journalistic acitivties. Now the impression is that since the thumbscrews were applied WRT Gilligan / Dyke, the most senior managers have now agreed to imbue program makers with the nouse to routinely self-censor any controversial journalistic content - ie any journalism that goes against the "accepted" order of service or consensus as viewed by the regime that now effectively runs the show.
BBC news and current affairs used to be quite campaigning, often to the chagrin of whatever goverment happened to be in power when the shit hit the fan. My feeling is that the shit hit the fan far more often in the old days - the fact that it so rarely happens now tells you a whole lot about how the BBC has limited what it will/can cover in any meaningful way, and how it now works out it's reporting strategy based on murkey nod & wink cues from their handlers about what is "good" and "bad".
Currently pro- man made climate change views are treated as "good" - but more worryingly, anti- man made climate change views are treated as "bad" and shunned, even where there is some good evidence based science to back these views up (I happen to side with the "pro" group - for now ).
It is the shunning process - almost McCathyist in nature, that is the worst manifestation of new style BBC management.
"Safety first" seems to be the mantra, so that "news reporting" is now in fact moslty just "reporting news" - regurgetating news releases from Government departments / corporate media outlets or, as is becoming more common, just using third party news agency content.
The big mistakes now happen when those at the sharp end (program makers and journalists) fail to correctly second guess ther masters/mistresses wishes - especially when these wishes have to change dramatically , at short notice. As most meaningful decisions are made in the Blair style of unoffcial, pre-formal meeting "sofa government" (in practice this is often dinner / lunch / phone call goverment) most of the reasoning behind decisions on contentious BBC issues is hidden from potential public gaze - if nothing is recorded it didn't happen. "Plausible deniability" is the name of the game.
There is now no BBC in-house science expertise (there used to be). With a very few exceptions, the current science reporters/program makers have no professional science education to fall back on, so they are less qualified to make good judgements about the worth of the statements made by "advisory bodies", in news releases or spokesperson soundbites. This is why they are encouraged to fall back on the use of "approved" services proferred by campaign funded think tanks and the like.
The fact that a senior BBC manager, with no science education is making ad-hoc decisions on the science content of programms based on informal presentations by persons with unknown (to the BBC manager) affiliations says alot about the current Beeb senior management style.
Any ex BBC staffers care to comment?
Re: Has anything changed....?
Glad to note that I can upvote my own article - just like on the Beebs News comments. Can you also downvote your own comment (not so usfeul of course, except for the self-flagellants amongst us) ?
Not just Auntie
Public bodies do tend to develop a degree of Paranoia. And not only public ones. (A certain pair of brothers living in the Channel isles come to mind).
Keeping the public in the dark is what they do instinctively. The Trust are supposedly there to keep them accountable, but there is always the problem of "regulatory capture", a well documented penomenon, for example in the pharmacy industry. see Ben Goldacre's "Big Pharma".
We shall fight on the folk festivals,
...we shall fight on the social media platforms, we shall fight in the blogs and in the sports, we shall fight in the weather section and on the internets; we shall never surrender!
So it cost me about a pound?
'became known as "28Gate"'
A quick google shows that the word 'known' is a bit of an overstatement 'refered to by a group of frothy-mouthed bloggers' would carry more nuance
Re: So it cost me about a pound?
> So it cost me about a pound
If you are referring to the legal costs in fighting this FOI, then no, they're a drop in the ocean of the BBC's £3.2Bn budget. But the end cost to you of the BBC's 'climate' campaigning is significantly more - since they have been largely successful in persuading the political class that they need to 'tackle climate change'. And the costs of that show up in every bill you pay - from your energy bills (about 25% green taxes and subsidies) to your food bill ( growing food takes energy) to your plane tickets ( APD etc ) to your car tax etc. So, in total, I'd say it cost you several thousand pound.
Re: So it cost me about a pound?
Did you say anything that was relevant to the article?
Is this what 'moving goalposts' is
Re: So it cost me about a pound?
I was referring to your title which appeared to dismiss this example of BBC waste and political bias with an incorrect assertion that it 'cost me about a pound'.
Sir Jimmy would be proud
The BBC, paid to keep important information from the people who pay for it in the first place.
BBC is not BBC worldwide
The BBC has many faces - it has the Auntie Beeb that serves the UK and doesn't make any money (honest) and it has BBC worldwide, which is funded by other countries and networks and things.
Now as far as I understand the Auntie Beeb own BBC worldwide, which should mean that we own a small part of it. However, we in the UK are not allowed to view BBC worldwide content because it is a separate money making venture.
In a nutshell, the BBC is no different to the like of Amazon or Tesco
"The one-and-a-half day Information Tribunal hearing last October came to £22,746 including VAT. This breaks down to Kate Gallafent, of Blackstone Chambers who cost £13,875 (plus VAT) and Jonathan Scherbel-Ball, of One Brick Court who cost a paltry £4,780 (plus VAT)."
Sounds like Scherbel-Bell needs a little work on his 'bastardness' skill sets. Obviously isn't evil enough.