My last post was about the furore that was unleashed by the appointment of Jodie Whittaker to the lead role in Dr Who. I didn’t expect to be writing another post about the smug denizens of Jimmy Savile House quite so soon. But I couldn’t resist commenting on the row that has blown up over the release of a list of BBC “talent” paid over £150,000 because it has put the BBC on the back foot with the apostles of identity politics it has done so much to promote and legitimise. Schadenfreude? Absolutely, 100%.
I dislike the BBC. Intensely. This is a relatively recent phenomenon because when I was a child the BBC controlled two out of the three television channels in the UK. If you didn’t watch the BBC then you didn’t really watch television – ITV was absolutely terrible. The BBC was also responsible for my favourite childhood show – Dr Who – plus I remember being allowed to stay up late on a Saturday night to watch Match of the Day. Happy days. However, as the number of television channels has expanded so the output of the BBC has declined in quality – both relatively and absolutely. The best evidence for this is Dr Who; the 2017 series was absolutely terrible. And whilst the BBC bangs its own drum relentlessly, I would point out that their flagship show is a baking competition fronted by a couple of has-been comediennes (who weren’t even funny in their prime). This absurd puff piece in The Independent is typical of the arrogance of the BBC and its numerous hangers-on. It contains the following assertions…
1/ the BBC is “the world’s greatest broadcaster.”
2/ “The best way to attack an organisation is to cherry-pick shocking stories and give them prominence, while downplaying anything good it does.”
3/ “Viewed in a different light, you could say the BBC journalists are choosing to earn less for the privilege of working there.”
4/ “It is one of the most trusted news services in the world, a source of impartial information for people living in countries with no access to a free press.”
5/ “The corporation also provides some of the best drama on the planet.”
To which I would respond…
1/ No it isn’t.
2/ This is BBC news policy.
3/ Complete tosh.
4/ No it isn’t.
5/ No it doesn’t.
Two common criticisms of the BBC have been that the corporation is failing to pay women equally to men and that the number of people from ethnic minorities in the list of highly-paid “talent” is too small. Let’s take the second of these criticisms first. The repugnant race-baiter Joseph Harker – a man who probably thinks chess is racist because the white pieces move first – complained in the Guardian that only 11 out of these 96 highly-paid employees were black or Asian. According to the 2011 Census, 9.9% of the people in the UK are black or Asian; 11 out of 96 is 11.46%. Or is Maths racist too Mr Harker?
The criticism that women are underpaid is more serious – only a third of the people on this list are female. However, this is an easy criticism to dismiss when one points out that ALL of the people on this list are absurdly overpaid, regardless of gender. Chris Evans – 2.5 million quid for talking garbage on the radio – and Gary Lineker – £1.79million for commenting on footie highlights – are both hilariously overpaid. But so is Claudia Winkleman at £499,000 for presenting a dancing show filled with z-list “celebrities.” The men may be getting more than the women but all of them are ridiculously overpaid for what they do.
If I may I’d like to make two recommendations. My first is an offer to save the BBC £580,000. John Humphries gets £640,000 for presenting a couple of news programmes; I’ll do it for £60,000. And I’ll do Mastermind for free – Humphries himself has described that “job” as “money for old rope.”
My second recommendation is that if the BBC is “the world’s greatest broadcaster” then it will be fine even without the poll tax money that it extorts from the poorest people in the UK. Surely the whole world will be willing to pay for its fantastic output? Because remember, it takes nearly 17,200 licence payers to fund Evans, over 12,000 to pay Lineker and even the horribly unpaid (!) Winkleman costs 3,400 licences.
Time for a maximum wage and the expropriation of unearned wealth.