Governing the BBC

Baroness Deech

I was a BBC Governor.  I can’t discern much difference between the remit of the new Trust and the old Governors.  I don’t think that governance structure lies at the heart of the current problems faced by the BBC. Trust or Governors, both can very well regulate and be cheerleaders: after all, doesn’t every school governing body etc. do the same? I think the reason why payments appear to have got out of hand is the nature of the people involved in setting the sums.  I remember that governors were consulted annually about the size of the bonuses given to the heads of the various departments of the BBC, including heads of radio and TV programmes.  I said, why do they get bonuses? this is not a business where they have to make a profit, it is public service, where bonuses are not expected. I was told, “Ruth, you academics are so badly paid, you have no idea about money”. I replied, there are more people out there like me than you. So I suggest the BBC should not have bankers, financiers, captains of industry on its Trust or dominating its financial committees, because the sums they are hardened to are not ones appropriate to the BBC. Sometimes in general we are prone to venerate those who have been ultra successful in business, when they are not necessarily the right men to run other institutions and ventures.

It would be a terrible blow to the BBC’s independence to place it any further under the regulation of OFCOM. First because OFCOM is full of ex-BBC people with baggage and conflicts of interest. And second, independence is best protected by regulators who are not thinking about the next better job, but have reached the peak of their careers, have nothing to prove and are therefore able to be fearless in standing up to executives or ministers and protecting the BBC’s stature. Appointing the right people matters much more than the structure.

22 comments for “Governing the BBC

  1. Lord Blagger
    10/09/2013 at 2:16 pm

    The BBC trust is separate from the BBC.

    The BBC trust states it does not perform journalism.

    However when the BBC trust is FOIed over its climate stance, suddenly, the reasons for breaking it’s charter are held for the purposes of Journalism.

    The BBC is legally required to be impartial and unbiased.

    Except when it decides not to be.

    All because they invested their pensions in climate change and need the cash.

  2. MilesJSD
    11/09/2013 at 2:34 am

    I have previously broached the problem of the BBC falling woefully short of providing by both TV and Radio what I call
    “Longest_Term Sustainworthy Individual Human Development, and Mutually- Egalitarian-Earth-Citizenship, Educational Programmes”
    and channels-in-their-own-right thereto,

    So I challenge that the BBC even has the right Longest-Term-Strategic Purpose, let alone the right current “remits” and “pay-grades”
    which I argue need to be publicly-transparently established and audited as Discipline-Structures (and be made Sustainworthily-Constructive Disciplines at that)

    rather than wobbling along in the miasmal moulds of Reinforcement-Theory Rewards and Relegations.

  3. Bumble Bee
    11/09/2013 at 8:11 am

    It would be best to venerate nobody, either with dosh or deification. I was tempted to write deifaecation but decided it might not be the right word in the context.

    • MilesJSD
      11/09/2013 at 11:34 am

      Quite bold of you, Bumble Bee, to bob onto our public Bonnet with such beautiful bursts as (“) It would be best not to venerate anybody, neither with dosh nor deification(“).

      We ordinary one-human-living individual-capitalism-camp-followers count ourselves lucky to be able and enabled to have a mere “deef” every day:

      thus “deif**cation” whilst being a quite appropriate emotional-tag to the context
      nonetheless would wider be, I must submit, the intellectual property of the Upper including the present and contextual Governing, Banking, and BBC “classes”.

      • Bumble Bee
        15/09/2013 at 10:11 am

        Miles JSD I am not at all sure of the the frequency of “deif**cation” (I had to paste that to get the quote right)of bumble bees, least of all on (car) bonnets, but it can not possibly be as often as the BBC propaganda machine “deif**cates” on plebs like us.

  4. maude elwes
    11/09/2013 at 11:13 am

    The BBC should be completely ended as it is. With first removal of all those at the top and then a systematic replacement of the rest until it is completely purged of its accomplices. Because it can never be worthy of its place as informer and educator until we are rid of those who colluded in its demise.

    They used public money as pay off for their duplicity and downright sinister shenanigans as they indulged in the propaganda they knew misled the world. Coerced to do so by successive treacherous governments, they laughed as they did so. Their funds and assets should be frozen until they are forced to return what they stole from us all under the guise of professionalism.

    A fish rots from the head, but, that same rot lies dormant and unseen in the flesh that is left behind. Until we rid ourselves of it, to its very core, we will not be free of this infection.

    • Bumble Bee
      11/09/2013 at 5:48 pm

      “The BBC should be completely ended as it is”

      And then what have you got but freaking advertisements?

      Is that properly called a no-win situation?

      You have a got a choice either to be bombarded with De*fe*ation, or to be bombarded with people you don’t like in the first place.

      People consumption or Persil consumption. There is not much in it.

      • maude elwes
        13/09/2013 at 11:59 am

        @Bumble Bee@

        You have jumped to the wrong conclusion. First and foremost, advertising is the mess it is because it has spread from a few minutes an hour to almost twenty minutes an hour. US style. And the content of the programme is mindless clap. Barely put together, researched or followed up and created by simpletons who know little about what it is they try to knock out.

        However, that wasn’t what I was getting at. A genuine public broadcasting service is indeed a wonderful thing to have. You only have to watch the difference in the US from their regular service to their PBS to understand that.

        However, a propaganda machine force funded by an ignorant tax payer is fraud. And those at the top of that organization not only go along with deliberately misleading the public by doing the job the way they have, they fiddle us all with their hands in our till as they do it.

        And the result must be to rid us of ‘those players,’ not the service we should have and expect. Where did you get the idea I am for a replacement of the BBC as an institution? Especially by an even bigger fleecing service of lying advertisers.

        The way it is now, colludes with an unknowing public being given the shaft by both by advertisers and those pretending to be a public service. On top of which, we are cajoled into paying a fortune to be part of our own misinformation.

        Clever to think up such a scam though.

  5. maude elwes
    11/09/2013 at 1:34 pm


    Why did the BBC and media in general not inform the UK public, loudly and in your face, by informing them of the new Bill proposed that reintroduces conscription in our country? Why was this not opened up for discussion?

    Sixth down:

    The BBC has a duty to expose the goings on in Parliament that will affect the lives of us all, as this will, if it goes through. Why did they not expose it?

    Did anyone know about this? As I didn’t.

    • ladytizzy
      11/09/2013 at 5:24 pm

      Maude, this is the current list of all Bills before this Parliament:

      If I was unusually concerned that a specific Private Members’ Bill had a cat in hell’s chance of making it on to the books I’d have picked the Capital Punishment Bill. I know; I’m just a pinko subversive at heart.

    • Croft
      12/09/2013 at 1:48 pm

      It’s a private members bill it has zero chance of becoming law. MPs use them to advance their causes but unless they are given government time (and this bill isn’t) they are irrelevant and never going to become law.

      Reading Presstv. Explains a lot.

  6. Bumble Bee
    11/09/2013 at 4:27 pm

    I presume that the reason financiers and bankers like to be involved is that there is big money to made out of the spin off in to production companies.

    One of the saddest parts of it is the Promenade concerts held in that tumble down old structure called the Albert Hall, with debenture holders at every corner, touting for ticket sales every night of the week.

    • maude elwes
      12/09/2013 at 1:39 pm

      I think you will find the Proms have been taken over by Americans. And as a result, will slowly die. Or, die from the heart of the Brits, who rise with a feeling of connectedness from it that Americans despise in groups other than their own.

      They do this throughout middle class London with aggressive take over of women’s clubs and so on, until it is they who run the show and the Brits drift away as the aggression becomes competitively unbearable. It is happening to a degree in Wimbledon the same way. So that too is losing its distinct feel of British quality.

      • Baroness Deech
        Baroness Deech
        17/09/2013 at 1:37 pm

        Utter piffle. Proms controlled by BBC and thoroughly British. One of the best things they do.

  7. Senex
    13/09/2013 at 12:21 pm

    A number of posts here are linked to but what is not widely known is that Parliament online does not officially exist. The reason is that this domain came into being before Nominet the organisation came into existence.

    “Prior to Nominet’s foundation, .uk domain name registrations were managed by a voluntary group called the Naming Committee which was founded after the first .uk domain name was used in 1985.”

    A lookup using Whois reveals that there is no Registrar for the domain.

    A piece written in 2003 explains why the Parliament website cannot off e-purchase facilities for the purchase of documents or other commercially related items.

    It also explains why cannot offer an https facility because the webmaster cannot buy an SSL certificate.

    The BBC suffers legacy issues but then so does Parliament.

    TTFN: Back next year sometime.

  8. Bumble Bee
    16/09/2013 at 12:42 pm

    Parliament is its own gateway. It’s not like wikipedia otherwise everybody would have a .uk address, rather than just those with domain name e-mail addresses, soandso at

    The gateway is the .com .co .org aspect.
    There are plenty of and about
    but it would be a strange thing if there were a It would not make sense, or be in the least bit necessary.

    I doubt whether there is anybody who really wants a hard copy of anything from parliament these days, so that is not an issue either.

  9. MilesJSD
    17/09/2013 at 12:07 am

    The spiritual and constitutional Parasite in the heart of both the Professional Career Tree
    and the Public Lifeplace
    goes under the guise of “private” –
    members/sectors/individuals/companies/incomes/entitlements/properties/ and parts.

    When a leading Democracy’s (UK) parliamentary advocates and representatives
    of The People
    (that should be meaning “all and each individual one, but egalitarianly so, of the UK’s people)
    (i) have no responsibility to respond to nor even to acknowledge any letter or submission from any of their constituents
    (ii) occupy parliament “in their own individual right”
    (iii) are likewise classed and constituted as “private members” –

    what duty has the BBC, or any other Body under Parliamentary level to “serve The People, sustainworthily-educationally and needs-&-affordable-hows egalitarianly so” ?

  10. Honoris Causa
    26/09/2013 at 8:59 am

    Utter piffle. Proms controlled by BBC and thoroughly British. One of the best things they do.

    I wonder what the audited listening figures are for the proms. The brewer’s droop in to radio 2 this year, from the proms, was not good, an attempt to inflict cult music on an unwilling audience.

    I do enjoy choral song and organ music, but as far as public service is concerned there may only be about 5000 people listening at any given time.
    A public service for a fairly private group of people.

    There must be some things in which the BBC is hugely profitable, so it may merely be an adjustment, a rebalancing of the said public service.

    The addiction of most people to noise, whether catatonic with all the pop stations or less so with the cult music stations like Classic and BBC, is unfortunate. Mindless talk is part of it, and Radio 3 gets better at that by the week.

  11. Baroness Deech
    Baroness Deech
    27/09/2013 at 5:10 pm

    To Honoris Causa, who left one of the most ignorant comments yet. The popularity of the Proms for people who do not exclude themselves from the best of British culture is evidenced by this. 300,000 people attended the Proms concerts (cheapest tickets are £5.) There were 777,000 views on YouTube. 1.7m viewed Proms on the iPlayer. 11m viewed the Proms on TV. Every Prom was broadcast on Radio 3 which has an weekly average reach of nearly 2m listeners. (Full radio figures not available for another month.) This must be the most popular and well loved music event ever.

  12. maude elwes
    02/10/2013 at 3:44 pm

    Whenever comments are made that doesn’t go along with the politically correct inmates of our Parliament, insults and worse fly in abundance. Accusation of ignorance always being the first of the series. As they should. For only by letting us know the truth through these outbursts can we see for ourselves the relentless attack on our people and culture from above. Freedom of speech is despised, as the eyes that claim not to see cannot stay blinkered when matters staunchly prove they are out of touch. Either by lack of observation or deliberate denial.

    Take poor Nigel Kennedy for example. He dared to speak the truth before the US led PC brigade at the Proms jumped on his words with vengeance. And in true Hollywood style threats of you will never work again rose sharply, akin to McCarthyism in years long past.

    This is how the public are enlightened as to who is really running this so called ‘very British show.’

    In the link about the Proms below, and if you scroll down to ‘Last Night of the Proms’ you can read of the taking over by the American contingent. It began in earnest in 2001 when, Slatkin, an American and first non Commonwealth leader, took over conducting Last Night. The following year,2002, he actively planned to tone down its British Nationalism and excluded Rule Britania….

    Since then that same Rule Britainia has been included only as part of Fantasia British Sea Songs. This was followed by the removal of, Pomp and Circumstance, in 2008.

    Read all about it. And enlighten yourself. This is a very political event. And because its emphasis is on the great, as in Great Britain the Americans can’t stand it. They only well up for the stars and stripes with hand on heart as they swear allegiance. So the take over for US PC is only going to get worse. therefore its undoubted popularity will fade with the changes. By true Brits that is.

    However, that won’t put off the yanks it never does. They simply fill the halls with themselves and smirk with content. Crufts – Wimbledon. As their goal has been reached.

    But then those who claim ignorance is always find it bliss. As it leaves no trace of treachery to follow up.

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