Cuckooland BBC: From bad to worse
I worked for the BBC. In fact, I was a presenter, producer, translator, simultaneous translator, subtitle writer and acting-studio manager as part of an initiative for Satellite Re-Broadcasting. The BBC was the reason why I came to Britain more than 23 years ago. So what I say I don’t say because I hate the BBC. What I hate is what the BBC has become and the reasons why the BBC nowadays is in so much trouble.
I profoundly disagree with those who say that the BBC should be dismantled but I totally understand why there is so much anger directed against the BBC. Marxism, political correctness, so called Multiculturalism and Homosexual Politics have eroded the very foundations of what used to be the Empire Service.
Short-termism and broadcasting myopia have led to very bad decisions that have also ruined the international reputation of the British Broadcasting Corporation and in spite of such lamentable factors the BBC still manages to produce some high quality content.
My experience of broadcasting has not been limited to the BBC – radio and television. It has also included other branches of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – including radio, television and Internet based services. In the last decade the Foreign Office as a whole has also been affected by short-termism and broadcasting myopia to the point that, one by one, services that had an enviable reputation were dismantled.
The very same Kenneth Clarke MP that recently made a mess of the Ministry of Justice was responsible for the demise of the COI as an important content producer. Most programmes were discontinued to save peanuts. Kenneth Clarke was followed by Tony Blair that decided to put an end to London Radio Service and soon afterwards came the end of television and Internet platforms.
As somebody who was an insider from 1989 until 2002, I am very well qualified to tell you the story of what has been happening and about the destructive powers of other individuals whose aim was to chop left, centre and right and who ended up dismantling the BBC World Service – one of the most influential branches of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. What we see today is merely a minimalistic skeleton of what the BBC World Service was and should be today.
Jealousy, personal rivalries, laziness and sheer incompetence prevented different branches of the British and Commonwealth Office from working together. Getting radio, television and Internet services to work together with British Embassies was a sheer struggle. Things that could have been done more efficiently by diplomatic staff working locally had to be done from miles away simply because diplomatic staff were blatantly unaware or treated other branches of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with total disdain.Infighting within the British Broadcasting Corporation is nothing new. In fact, the BBC is run by tribes that use every opportunity to stab each other in the back. The Savile saga was produced by tribal loyalties. Many people knew about what was going on but their sense of morality was weaker than their misguided sense of loyalty, even when, being intellectually clever individuals, they knew that they were hiding criminal activities. We are talking about white collar criminals with reputable credentials as many of them come from centres of excellence based in places like Cambridge and Oxford, reputable credentials used to justify enormous salaries and bonuses paid with television license money.
The culture of everything goes in terms of money management has long existed. As an ordinary individual working for BBC World Service at the time of the First Gulf War caused by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. I worked for BBC Television in 2003 at the start of the Second Gulf War. I had the most interesting conversation with a BBC producer. I had been working for BBC Satellite Television in the coverage of the conflict and I was about to talk about my professional fees. I naively assumed that there would be standard fees to be paid by the BBC to people like me. When I asked about standard fees, the BBC producer in question replied: "how much do you want?" Being a reasonable person I asked for a certain amount, only to be shocked by the producer's reaction. She tought that I was asking too little. This gives you an idea of how the BBC is actually managed.