Here I am again, continuing the look at the BBC’s internal plumbing and checking out the close ties between some very influential people. Professor Laurie Taylor is the link to this second post….though he comes later in the piece…first I’ll start with the BBC struggling to create some interesting programmes.
A summary of the links:
iCreate…Patrick Younge…Gary Younge….the RSA….Matthew Taylor…Laurie Taylor……Marxism…the BBC…poverty…Open University.…The IPPR…The Labour Party….and finally James Purnell….IPPR and the Labour Party…not forgetting the BBC itself.
As said it is a very small world in the realm of politics, the media and academia and it seems the revolving doors are going at it full pelt.
I’m sure there must be a joke there somewhere, about the BBC man, the academic and the Labour politician who went into a pub…but that would have to be told by a right wing comedian…and they don’t exist do they?
‘iCreate’ is the latest innovation from the BBC to look beyond the usual sources of new programming ideas. (Link may not work….but see the one below)
The BBC’s in-house production arm is aiming to harness the creativity of its 2,500 staff after launching a crowdsourcing system for programming ideas.
BBC Productions has unveiled a beta version of an online noticeboard called BBC iCreate, where staff will be encouraged to regularly post suggestions for new shows.
However, as the suggestion below is selected as an example of the new system working it doesn’t look like we can expect anything too groundbreaking:
Health and safety adviser Christian McNally floated a sitcom idea about single fathers, titled Mr Mum, which is now being made into a 30-minute radio pilot.
The BBC has high hopes……iCreate can deliver TV gold
“We believe we have a wealth of untapped creative talent which BBC iCreate, using Wazoku’s platform customised to our specific needs, can help liberate us to generate some fantastic TV shows.”
The staff themselves though might not be so upbeat:
“…This is not the golden age of new entertainment telly…”
Who was in charge of introducing his new system? Patrick Younge…brother no less of the Guardian’s Gary Younge. Small world at the BBC.
Pat Younge is to leave his job as BBC Production’s chief creative officer at the end of the year.
He told in-house programme makers on Thursday that he was resigning because of changes to the structure of BBC Television that affected his role.
Shame for him…it seems to have been a well paid gig:
Salary and total remuneration: June 2013
Total remuneration: £255,800
Of course he need not necessarily be cut from the same cloth as his brother Gary…but the two apples didn’t fall too far apart off the tree I suspect looking at his CV:
Previously, Pat spent two years as Commissioning Editor for Multicultural Programmes at Channel 4, where his programme credits included: Untold, the black history season; Soul Nation, Trevor Nelson’s history of British soul music; Love In Leeds, a pop documentary series and An Indian Affair, a revisionist history of Britain’s relationship with India.
Pat has also worked at the BBC as a Series Producer in Current Affairs. His credits include: the award-winning series Black Britain, which he both co-created and series produced; and BBC One series Here And Now, of which he was series producer.
Will those BBC workers get paid for their additional input over and above their ‘day job’….well maybe, maybe not…payment is merely an ‘option available’….
pat younge | 14-Dec-2012 0:31 am
As regards the payment issue its worth remembering many of those who will participate want the creative experience and opportunity for their idea to be heard and discussed. Those who are creatively active and whose ideas do well will be noticed, and who knows what creative opportunities could come their way. There are well recognised dangers of putting money front and centre in initiatives like this, especially where you are trying to promote collaboration. Check this great video from the RSA http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Du6XAPnuFjJc , but we do have financial options available to us if merited. PY
So that’s Pat Younge and iCreate….but look at Younge’s comment…he mentions the RSA …..the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
“The RSA has been at the centre of the debate of our age: what’s wrong with global capitalism and how to fix it.”
Robert Peston, BBC Business Editor
The RSA is a charity seeking to encourage business in a sustainable way and ‘responsible capitalism’….reducing poverty and caring for the environment.
It is of course, inevitably given such a brief, left leaning.
Perhaps not surprising when the Chief Executive is Matthew Taylor:
Laurie Taylor is divorced from his third wife (whom he married in December 1988 in Camden), radio producer Cathie Mahoney who works on Loose Ends on BBC Radio 4.
Matthew Taylor and his stepmother, Cathie, have had directorships of the Institute for Public Policy Research.
Ahh…Laurie Taylor, is Matthew’s father…and works for the BBC and is probably slightly more than ‘left leaning‘ and does all those programmes about poverty….his stepmother also works for the BBC and both Matthew and she have worked for the lefty IPPR.
Not only that but Matthew himself works for the BBC on occasion…. ‘I am making [a programme] for Radio 4 on city regions and economic strategy.’
Update: thanks to Bodo in the comments for bringing this to my attention…Guido Fawkes has in the past had a close look at what Matthew Taylor was doing with the RSA and he didn’t like it:
I don’t want to do anything to undermine the political neutrality of the RSA and incur the wrath not just of the likes of Guido Fawkes but, much more importantly, our Fellows.
Here’s an insight into his thinking…he can‘t seem to help giving Labour a little praise:
Powerful work from NIESR shows that underemployment can go up even as unemployment goes down. And, as the controversy raging over zero hours contracts reminds us, millions of people in the UK are working to take home a few quid a week more than they would be receiving on benefits (and that’s not because benefits are generous).
Criticising Government policy in one paragraph and praising it in the other is not simply a sign of my inconsistency it reflects a strange dualism. While at national level the economic debate feels polarised, predictable and short-termist, and while certain ministers continue ritually to trash local authorities, key parts of the Coalition (the Cabinet Office, the Treasury and BIS) are working pretty effectively with predominantly Labour councils to start to develop ambitious local economic strategies. Similarly, while the list of newly created peers might seem to emphasise the way national business interests line up with the Conservatives, at the city region/LEP level Labour Councils and the private sector are trying hard to work together to develop and pursue economic revival.
It is perhaps unfortunate but probably not the ‘rule’ that the first thing I came across on the RSA site was this video of ‘Radical sociologist [Marxist] David Harvey asking: is it time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?’
Why do we keep on trying to cut our way out of this slump? Are our governments simply waging an ideological crusade in spite of all the contrary economic evidence?
European governments have succeeded in presenting government spending as profligacy that has destroyed the economy. The current policy of swingeing budget cuts –austerity- is presented as the only way to get us out of this mess.
But where did all that debt really come from? Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, and adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Private debt has now been rechristened as government debt, while those responsible for generating it placed the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer.
Isn’t that straight out of Labour’s handbook?
Why work with the RSA?
“The RSA has played a crucial role in the debate around responsible capitalism in the UK. It’s influential and informed voice has set an important challenge to all businesses – how to act responsibly towards the communities they serve and the people they employ. Thought leadership of this kind is invaluable and I recommend the RSA to all businesses searching for innovative ideas around organisational development.”
Ian Cheshire, CEO, Kingfisher
“The RSA is without doubt one of the most influential and exciting influences on British public policy. The combination of a stellar public events programme, allied with a brilliant research agenda and a constant willingness to engage with pressing policy questions, means that the RSA is playing a pivotal role in shaping policymaking across the political spectrum.” Rohan Silva, Senior Policy Advisor (to Tories), Number 10 Downing Street
So pretty influential then….playing a ‘pivotal role in shaping policy making’….not only that but helping to shape the way the BBC works…and maybe thinks?
I’m sure the RSA as an organisation is completely neutral despite having a Labour man at the helm.
Speaking of which as I looked up Patrick Younge I had a look at James Purnell’s details at the BBC.
Rather oddly the BBC, as when it reported the mass deaths at Stafford hospital, fails to mention Labour by name in Purnell’s biography, only obliquely referring to it….
He left the BBC to be Special Adviser on the Knowledge Economy, including Internet and broadcasting policy, to Tony Blair after he became Prime Minister.
He was elected Member of Parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde, before becoming Secretary of State for Culture and then for Work and Pensions. He resigned from the government in June 2009, and stood down from Parliament at the 2010 Election.
And when you look up Purnell’s register of personal interests he mentions the IPPR (Has lots to talk about with Matthew Taylor then…apart from both working variously at the BBC) and ‘Citizens UK’…both organisations from which he has stepped down….however he fails to mention that he was a member of the Labour Party and only stepped down because of his new BBC job.
Why is he so coy about that and not the others?
Why is it that the words ‘Labour Party’ seem so difficult to say in certain circumstances where it might prove awkward or embarrassing?
It is astonishing how closely entwined all these people are…all powerful and influential, and all of a similar mindset…..and the hub of it all being the BBC which provides a far reaching and significant platform for their ideas to be disseminated from.