In last week’s Telegraph Neil Midgley wrote a piece headed ‘BBC’s £12,000 for lawyers to help keep pay secret.’
The BBC Trust used Baker and McKenzie, an international law firm, to stop the National Audit Office disclosing figures that would allow ‘those in the know’ to make an approximate calculation of individual BBC staff’s paypackets. We’re going to know this soon anyway aren’t we?
I wonder how much more of the licence fee the BBC spends on suppressing things in addition to the hundreds of thousands forked out so far to bury the Balen report?
Another article by Neil Midgley in the Telegraph online concerns Jeremy Hunt and Sir Michael Lyons of the BBC Trust.
Before he became culture secretary and had the power to do so, Jeremy Hunt wanted to abolish the BBC Trust. Now that he has, he’s gone all soft and settled for changing the name a bit, from “The BBC Trust,” to the “Licence Fee Payers’ Trust”. He hopes that, and inserting a non-executive chairman onto Mark Thompson’s executive board, should be enough to address the troubles at the BBC.
Nobody has explained what specific changes Jeremy Hunt is after, apart from that the BBC Trust, or the Licence Fee Payers’ Trust, should be seen to be at arms length from the BBC.
However, as Sir Michael Lyons has secured a promise that the members of the new Licence Fee Payers’ Trust will still be the same old ex BBC members of the BBC Trust, the only way much change is going to happen is when, next year, Sir Michael’s term of Office comes up for renewal, and whether Jeremy Hunt replaces him with someone with very much longer arms.
It looks as though we’ll end up with the same ex BBC staff virtually investigating themselves, and at best giving themselves a token slap on the wrist once in a while.
Everyone agrees that the BBC is bloated, and needs to shrink. But it’s the bias, I’m afraid, that needs to be recognised and sorted out.