TAXI! UPDATE

David Preiser has received a reply from Stuart Hughes’ boss:

Having looked into this I do think Stuart got this wrong and have told him so.

Read the rest in the comments to the original post here. [Click the title to see the link – the blog’s template doesn’t seem to like links on the main page.]

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49 Responses to TAXI! UPDATE

  1. Guest Who says:

    Quick question, especially having (in my blissfully as yet unblocked state) had a gander at Mr. Hughes’ non-BBC(ish) social media empire, does this count as a strike on those stats on complaints?
    I just ask, as the guilty party seems to be sailing on without any sense of contrition or apology, and one does wonder if this has been quietly filed under those cute ‘we’ll just keep this one between ourselves’ moving-on exchange postscripts they pop in to ensure that nothing, as such, quite makes it above the radar and into record where it counts.
    If so, that awesome rate of un-upheld complaints is better explained if still not excused.
    All techniques hapless pols under the BBC holding to account spotlight may be minded to emulate in future.
    ‘What do you mean, is this a resigning issue? I have got a mate to say I am awfully sorry and now, even though I have suffered not a jot and didn’t mean it, that is the end of the matter.’
    Or is it different, maybe, unique, when it’s you doing it?’

       13 likes

  2. DB says:

    Good point re complaint stats. Worth a follow-up question to Hughes’ boss.

       5 likes

    • DB says:

      Hey DP, re Hughes’ boss – who replied to you?

         0 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        His boss replied directly. That may or may not be an indication of how seriously they take it.

           0 likes

        • Backwoodsman says:

          DP, don’t stop there, write a complaint addressed to the DG, complaining about the inadequacy of the response and asking what disciplinary action is being taken against the individual responsible and his line manager who tried to sweep a serious matter under the carpet.
          They have to respond to you, its their system and its great fun escalating the complaint.

             0 likes

          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            Backwoodsman, I don’t see that anyone tried to sweep this under the carpet. The line manager responded pretty much right away, got the offending tweets removed, and as far as I can tell got the message and told Hughes as much. The BBC doesn’t have employees make public apologies for journalism errors, of course – only when they say something un-PC.

            Also, I’d day the response was adequate. We don’t know yet how it will play out, like if Hughes or someone else will do it again. Taking this to a higher level won’t accomplish anything, and would probably just discredit me in their eyes anyway.

               1 likes

        • Millie Tant says:

          Is his boss’s name Simon, by any chance?

             0 likes

    • Span Ows says:

      I think this is time for you to tweet Hughes saying that David P has NO followers and isn’t even on Twitter (my assumption) …the horror!

         2 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        I don’t follow DB on Twitter (don’t follow anyone, don’t have an account), but I do follow him on this blog. Hughes shortsightedly and arrogantly taunted DB at his peril.

           5 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      PS: Have to assume this is one case where they didn’t “get complaints from both sides”…..

         3 likes

  3. bodo says:

    Nice to get a reply and an admission of guilt but it won’t change anything.
    They’ve admitted they got it wrong on the EU, the Euro, and immigration before. It changed their coverage not one iota.

       13 likes

  4. geyza says:

    I think that the champagne corks will be popping again now that they finally get to report that we are officially in recession… (not that they have not been subtly suggesting that we were not in recession from 2010 onwards anyway)

    They have played a very big part, through 24/7 negativity, doom, gloom and permanently negative predictions, to talk this country into recession.

    Congratulations BBC, you bastards!

       12 likes

  5. Backwoodsman says:

    OT , for Mods :
    If you scoot over to con home, they have a particularly fetching bbc logo, with a megaphone marked labour comming out of the top of it. Not sure if it would be copyrighted, but if not, it would be a splendid addition to this site !

       4 likes

  6. Guest Who says:

    It seems that Mr. Hughes and his superiors have (and been allowed to) ‘moved on’, but I note others, once ‘launched’, have not…
    John Prescott ‏ @johnprescott
    So did anyone else see that Sky News footage of Jeremy Hunt being doostepped as he got into an…..Addison Lee car? #boycottaddisonlee

    Ben Goldacre @bengoldacre
    after their chairman unhelpfully suggested cyclists deserve to get hit, #boycottaddisonlee progresses RT @carltonreid: http://bit.ly/JgEY5Y

    With an ongoing ‘result’ all of their own…
    cyclistsinthecity ‏ @citycyclists
    Unbelievable news: Barclays Bank has apparently cancelled its AddisonLee account #boycottaddisonlee Awaiting evidence to confirm this
    [still awaiting]
    Seems that, if you have political foes and/or businesses you wish to put out of said business, the BBC is the ‘go-to’ place to get the job done.
    And if a bloke says sorry on behalf of another bloke they, at least, can wash their hands of any complicity and move on to their next target, in combination with Labour pols and Graun hacks, by some amazing coincidence.
    Not, frankly, what I think the remit of the UK national broadcaster is meant to be.

       12 likes

    • #88 says:

      I don’t think that they can wash their hands of this. There is not enough of a separation from what Hughes would claim as his personal opinion and the use of his position in the BBC to kick this off and ferment action.

      Hopefully Addison Lee will sue the arse off them.

         10 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Yes, that’s an excellent point. Need to figure out a way to let others in the media know that any noise about Addison Lee coming from Prescott or Goldacre are directly instigated by the BBC.

      The apology we got, however nice and possibly affective on Hughes’ future behavior, can’t address this fact.

         0 likes

  7. Guest Who says:

    ‘Hopefully Addison Lee will sue the arse off them.’
    Now who, uniquely, will get landed with the defence bill and damages whilst no one suffers, career-wise as a result?

       5 likes

    • #88 says:

      We will pay of course – but the BBC wouldn’t be able to bury this in their labarynthine complaints processes.

      In the outrageous interview with Cameron on Monday, Humphrys used a falsehood to beat the PM with – Philip Green’s alledged tax arrangements. They issues a perfunctory apology tucked away on the Toady programme, this morning (calling it a ‘clarification’), and for the BBC,that’s that.

      More chance that heads would roll if this emerges into the daylight of a court. A price worth paying.

         5 likes

      • Guest Who says:

        More chance that heads would roll if this emerges into the daylight of a court.
        Fair point.
        Getting a bit tired of their ‘clarifications’, especially when snuck in after all the damage is done and, like the Addison story, having poisoned the well they are off free and clear with a quick ‘whoopsie’.
        I too wrote in at the time of DB’s initial expose and have had a very snotty reply (replete with ‘What you are saying is..’ attempted traps that one needs to be alert to) from the initial complaints munchkins saying they can’t find anything.
        In preparing my ‘that’s because you lot are in full kapo cleanse mode’ reply I note many linked URLs above come up blank, bar our hero’s Google.doc, which is ‘in his trash’ but still readable.
        Being a trusting sort I felt it was wise in any case to take a copy lest one have to ‘deal’ with the FoI exclusion squad with one hand behind one’s back.
        Just as they prefer it.

           3 likes

        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          GW, where did you send your complaint? I just used the basic form on the BBC website.

          Unless by “they can’t find anything” they meant that they didn’t even look for it until after Hughes had deleted the relevant tweets? That would be pretty funny.

             3 likes

          • Guest Who says:

            GW, where did you send your complaint? I just used the basic form on the BBC website.
            Same as you, which makes the ‘variability’ of responses even more interesting, not just between different folk but, as I have found, on your own ‘account’. This is another issue I am tasking them with.
            Sometimes I get an acknowledgement; sometimes not. Sometimes a track code (which they can get very picky about not having to reply on anything without); sometimes not. Sometimes a cookie cutter ‘well, me may reply but don’t bet on it… or even think of trying to reach us by return’, sometimes an immediate, that day pub hours’ iPhone email from from a defensive producer showing off (all, so far, regretted next morning) or… an ‘official’ one months later saying they have had a look and ‘believe they are comfortable they are right’.
            In short, all over the shop, whilst demanding those who write in conform to their secret ‘ways’, or getting hung up on silly distractions by way of trying to set up a bad faith accusation and expedited banning.
            Plus the ever funny ‘if you write back, it’s just between us, ok?’ T&C in 4pt at the end.
            So far, I have dodged all. How long more… who can say?
            I did not refer to the tweets or the expose in detail. I advised that I was aware of more to the story than had been included in the version I had seen, noted the updating, asked who the author/authors were and what the circumstances were that led to the headline claim.
            In short I kept some powder dry.
            Instead of answering any of these questions, they asked who I was accusing, demanded names, played dumb on any issues (when they must by that time have been fully aware of your gaining an apology and the reprimand being issued) and tried a very unsubtle attempt at rewriting what I had written into something they could get all excited about in distraction.
            In short, they have taken an already neatly dug hole by an individual, and added a whole new institutional excavation team to it.

               1 likes

            • David Preiser (USA) says:

              Other than a possible difference in wording or tone causing our complaints to be treated differently, I’m wondering if they don’t have you marked, like Jeff W, as a crank due to volume?

                 1 likes

              • Guest Who says:

                Marked? Possibly. But that would take an FoI request to ascertain. Now, how again do those get treated, even when it comes to complaints and indeed data held by the Corporation? Oh, yes, there is an exclusion, somewhat uniquely.
                On volume, well, I only complain on matters of fact, as I have realised that proving negatives, weighing balances, etc is unproductive. Hence any ‘volume’ is down to their performance levels.
                On crankiness I merely point to the fact that they have, as yet, not been able to respond with any answers that they can stand behind credibly. And some replies have been well worth the persistence in provoking errors via frustration with what has prevailed before not delivering as they have come to expect.
                I’d say therefore that the ball is in their court.
                Jeff W has actually found himself banned (excuse me, ‘expedited’) on many fewer complaints. I have found many of the reasons given, as posted on his blog, to be as thin as those I get. I have noticed that he has perhaps strayed into areas of very subjective opinion, where they can spin forever, but never, by his accounts has he been abusive, unfair, vague or bend the truth, where those he is compelled to pay not to allow him to enjoy the full extent of the ‘service’ they claim to offer… have been. He also seems to have cited persons by name, which they don’t appear to like, and has been critical of ‘creative’ choices which, though obviously capable of bias (witness this blog’s pages) are near impossible to debate much less prove. he also committed the cardinal sin of quoting this blog, which appears to near enough a red rag on the banning front, if without any clear justification if the facts stack up. Hence I have avoided all these temptations. It is the argument, and nothing else, that matters. Not me, not the volume, not the sources I use. Or… it should not be. The hypocrisy of how the BBC ‘holds’ power to account via insinuation, cited ‘sources’ and things like ‘critics are saying’ for their own created rows, is clear for all to see. Especially when they react so poorly to any questions being asked back, of them.
                Should I end up banned for ‘bad faith’ (their version of being a crank) or some such in them trying to avoid answering legitimate questions, I will then have grounds to cancel my licence DD for denial of service, at which point they are welcome to debate the circumstances in open court. Think of it as a Levenson enquiry that does also cover the uniquely avoided practices of our most trusted national broadcaster.
                Such an event can end up saving me a lot of money legitimately (I have never been too keen on the ‘don’t admit you have a TV’ ruses advocated by some more confident of legal process than me, so I need a good reason not feel it fair to pay – Charles Moore I am not, and nor do I have his resources), and may even act in complement to blogs such as this which are, of course, remote to their bubble. I do, as you will gather, feel that taking the concerns on their performance directly to them is as valid as sharing them hereabouts (indeed in court cases well-logged attempts at approach, especially if rebuffed, can count in favour, over simply slinging abuse from afar), though it can feel a little less empathetic and lonely.
                But, good folk doing nothing and all that…

                   2 likes

                • David Preiser (USA) says:

                  GW, I was not questioning the value of your complaints or anything. I was more trying to suggest their possible point of view, considering what Jeff W said happened to him.

                  Regarding the volume of your complaints, I was also taking into account the amount of replies and back-and-forth discussions you’ve had with various complaints apparatchiks (for which, I should remind you, I have commended you on more than one occasion).

                  In no way should my last comment be taken as a value judgment of your efforts. If they have you flagged simply because of the amount of time you’ve spent trying to get through to them, it’s wrong. Each complaint should be dealt with according to its (perceived, granted) merit, regardless of the name behind it.

                  Having said all that, I think it’s a legitimate question to ask what the difference was in our complaints which led to different results.

                     2 likes

                • Guest Who says:

                  David, I was writing as much to prepare my ‘defence’ come the Day of Judgement than in reaction to your points. Sorry if that came across too personally. You are right. Volume, in their minds, is the complainant’s fault, not theirs for providing ever more reasons to raise a concern.
                  I don’t know how many of them there are, fielding how many or what complaints, but that really is their problem to cope with.
                  I doubt it is so many that bells don’t ring.
                  What is interesting is the diverse manners of reply. Why do some get shunted to the segment producer for an immediate ‘how dare you!’ (or in your case, ‘Whoopsie, but it was all OK really’) whilst others get fed into the meat grinder.
                  I don’t know what the difference was, but self-evidently, yours was fast-tracked up the greasy pole at triage, and mine was labelled for smothering.
                  Which response will prove the more effective, time will tell.
                  You are satisfied and prepared to move on because you got an answer and one you felt served. I am now less than happy, and feel disinclined to do so as I have yet to get such an answer, or any answer at all.
                  I am still trying to discover who they think the author(s) were, and the answer to that may put the one you got back into focus again.

                     0 likes

  8. David Preiser (USA) says:

    GW (continuing this here because we’re nearly down to a width of one character), in the interests of figuring this out, here is my complaint to them (which I realize I should have posted from the start):

    Stuart Hughes has bragged on Twitter that he wrote this un-bylined article, while at the same time using Twitter to start a campaign to boycott the cab company on which he’s reporting. Hughes has posted the article in full and proudly claimed responsibility for it. Links are below:

    (Link to the twitlonger post where Hughes put his copy on GoogleDocs)

    Hughes sent several tweets calling for boycott:

    (Link to Hughes’ Twitter page)

    Note from his feed that both Dominic Casciani and Kelvin Brown have also contributed to attack on Addison Lee. Is this appropriate behavior for BBC News producers?

    That was it.

       3 likes

    • Guest Who says:

      Tx, will read and reply tomorrow. Pub time!
      For now… maybe LunchtimeLoather has a (re)view?:
      Shaun McDonald ‏ @smsm1
      For those who missed the Jeremy Vine show today re #boycottaddisonlee it’s now on iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01gcb0m/Jeremy_Vine_Jeremy_discusses_Russell_Brand/ @carltonreid @Joffting

         2 likes

    • Guest Who says:

      ‘in the interests of figuring this out’
      We need one of those ‘analysts’ that the MSM wheel out to explain why one thing happens whilst another has not…
      —–

      {Complaint title:} CREATING &/OR SPINNING UP CONTROVERSY TO ‘REPORT’

      {Complaint:} It’s a shame that there is not a category for ‘rampant unprofessional behaviour, secure in the knowledge that any at the BBC can do what they like, when they like’.
      The headline (and majority of the story) refers to a ‘row’ on this topic.
      Please explain the timeline for where the majority of this originated, as it seems to have been from within the BBC itself.
      There is no byline quoted but, ironically, the twittosphere is alive with clear evidence that this ‘row’ was inflamed if not created by a BBC employee, who set out and was allowed to turn a personal campaign into anything other than objective news reporting.
      There is also suggestion of a cover-up in post-editorial as evidence of this involvement has proven embarrassing as the author flaunts the now pervasive ‘views of BBC employees on twitter are nothing to do with the BBC’ exclusion conceit, which NO other organisation would tolerate, or be allowed to… especially by the BBC.

      {URL:} http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17792851
      —-
      The delay is fair enough as mine came later, with my concerns as much about the story ‘managements’ already taking place.
      However, I would maintain I was very fair in what I knew vs. what was not clear, and mainly asking for clarifications before developing my complaint further. I also stuck very firmly to what was in print, if looking at what was not, or had been and was no longer.
      As I say, they have ignored all I asked to be clarified and tried to rewrite back what I wrote to try and go off on a tangent that I was making wild accusations.
      I rather clearly was asking questions, if in the style of a BBC piece, with their reaction suggesting they like to dish it out but are less keen on any return.
      As I say, much of their ‘we don’t know anything’ is hard to credit unless their system IS indeed so vast that the left hand has no clue what the right is doing, and such as your complaint’s senior level mea culpa was not even known by those replying to mine.
      However, they are now in full possession of all I am aware of, plus some extra subsequent support information on how the campaign Mr. Hughes spun up (if not initiated – though I await the novel notion that while he wrote the words he did not write the piece in question, so that makes it alllll OK) has now been carried on by the very folk cited specifically in his RTs, with the evident aim of harming the business of Addison Lee for tribal reasons. As discussed above, the comments hardly warranted the hypocritical, uninformed Prescottian outrage (now the top tweets under the hashtag) on cycling safety reasons as attempted to be claimed. It was and is political. That… is par for the course in today’s febrile politico-media environment. What is not is the public broadcaster essentially creating this (possibly) but at the very least spinning it up into a row (more likely) in a covert manner. Looking at some links posted on the hashtag thread the big row spun up following Mr. Hughes’ promo efforts.
      Reporting the news is their job: not creating it. Especially with additional agenda motivations. The AL boss was a berk and the cyclist protest legitimate. However, that does not have any bearing on a BBC employee taking a personal campaign and turning it into skewed ‘news’, and indeed driving it further in promotion. Or his bosses thinking a quiet word has laid it all to rest.
      However that is a boat long sailed, but I think they do need to be confronted with their culpability, and such a thing warrants more than a rather insincere ‘whoops’ from a manager and all moves on with possibly not even a tick in a box if this indeed has been dealt with ‘off the books’.
      As a matter of interest, was the reply you got a direct one from the line manager first, and did it have a CAS – log number?
      If not, why not? FWIW, neither did mine but was from an anonymous ‘department’ not even using a identifying subject title. This matters as later on such as the ECU get very picky on paper trails.
      I consider their complaints system as big a joke as their editorial guidelines and Charter claims, observed more in cynical breach.
      This episode will only serve to drive the abuses of campaigning into ‘reporting’ underground, but may crimp the overt rallying methods used by Mr. Hughes in support of his cause… at least as overtly and arrogantly. The lack of effective censure remains an issue though.
      I remain equally, if not more concerned about the one degree of separation exchanges of, say, a Paul Mason with a Laurie Penny, ranging from asking for activist input to effectively coordinating times and places via a BBC tweet thread monitored by thousands to get a bunch of folk in a place so the ‘reporter’ can be on hand to record the less than spontaneous events they had a hand in creating.

         0 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        GW, unless your complaint was sent in after the tweets were deleted, the only thing I can think of is that my complaint was a bit more direct. I named names and linked straight to the twitter page and google docs link.

        Otherwise it was no fair only checking out yours after the offending tweets were taken down, in which case you got robbed on that one.

        Alternatively, they could just be picking and choosing one complaint to really deal with per issue, and having already seen mine yours got dropped down to lower priority, thus the delay in checking it out?

        In answer to your question, I got just the one reply, direct from the line manager. No case number given, but all the fields and data from the online complaints form I filled out were there, obviously populated by data tags straight from the system.

        I guess a complaints drone saw it and kicked it up to him, and he got the point. I hope he grasps the inherent danger of journalists using Twitter to push BBC stories and to feed BBC stories, while at the same time telling Beeboids it’s a casual personal thing with no professional restrictions. It seems so obvious, yet they act as if it’s an unsolvable conundrum.

           0 likes

        • Guest Who says:

          David, tx for that. The detail is intriguing as they do like their due process… if only when requiring viewers to dance to their tunes.
          And I do not trust them one jot.. on anything.
          Just fired off this latest exchange, now at ECU level (as you’ll gather, a few things are not quite adding up, and I am dangling more rope to see what this Director chooses to do with it) regarding the Gavin Esler Dateline London on The Falklands tensions:

          Dear xx,

          I am in receipt of your latest finding following a not really that recent complaint. From February 11: [quoted on BBBC around the time]

          Followed promptly by the following a few days later, given a surprisingly fast retort: [I think, ditto]

          Before entering into a detailed exchange on your claims (based mainly around the view that one vaguely neutral comment by one panellist out of scores from all negates my ‘hard pressed to identify any…’; a semantic feat of truly impressive proportion), I tried to revisit the iPlayer version in archive.

          It is no longer active. Please therefore suggest how I may review the entire segment in its entirety again.

          And the one actually aired please, just in case there are any subsequent edits around.

          I need to ask this in light of:


          You have also raised the issue of “the flippancy of Mr Esler’s remark concerning ‘defending
          a few penguins’ after a deadly war that claimed many British lives”. I am afraid I am
          unable to respond to this point because Mr Esler did not say anything in the programme
          which resembles the kind of comment to which you have referred.

          Now I am used to the BBC’s Clintonian semantics when it suits, so I would like to review what was said as ‘did not say anything in the programme
          which resembles the kind of comment to which you have referred’
          is a very odd way of phrasing that reply in coming to the conclusion you are unable to respond.

          Especially given this fuller early exchange:


          Not new, but I notice the flippancy of Mr. Esler’s remark concerning ‘defending a few penguins’, after a deadly war that claimed many British lives, has not been included. Is there a reason for this? It seems germane to the overall complaint, and puts in context his views on the whole issue, and hence guest selection and moderation of ‘debate’. Not to mention his suitability as a UK-interest representative on the British Broadcasting Corporation. That first word suggests much. If what goes out is not something that is in my name, I have a big problem. And it does, too often. As a reminder:

          From: “[email protected]
          Date: 28 March 2012
          Subject: BBC Complaints – Case number CAS-XXX

          Firstly I must reiterate that it’s not always possible or practical to reflect all the different opinions on this subject within individual programmes. Editors are charged to ensure that over a reasonable period they reflect the range of significant views, opinions and trends in their subject area.
          However, we forwarded your concerns to the programme’s Editor who explained in response that the object of the programme is to let the audience hear people’s views. He added that he’s sorry if you objected to Gavin’s throw-away line at the end of the programme and pointed to how it’s a live show

          What, then, did he say, as your colleague obviously acknowledges he said something and possibly in poor taste that ‘live’ formats can see let slip? A transcription as provided below will not suffice, as I do wish to see the whole video again to address the rest as well in proper detail, as you have had the opportunity to do. I fear my video capture is not as good as it might be, and even tone or inflection can matter so best quality is favoured.

          In any case, your transcription has this:


          Steve Richards: And Spurs probably need him. Self-determination is very interesting
          because in Scotland when people say let them determine their own future, everyone says
          what about England, and its impact on England, and should England have their say in
          all of this? Of course one way or another England will have a say, though not in a
          referendum. But in the Falklands, self-determination of these penguins and so on is
          accepted as the defining principle. It’s very interesting where power lies and how you
          determine it, it differs from place to place.

          Which you have as from Steve Richards. Your colleague alludes to another, possibly the one to which I referred, from Mr. Esler. It is probably best to check. There would appear some confusion even on your side, despite the benefit of the footage on archive.

          Call it a sign of ‘good faith’ on the BBC’s part. Also to see how consistent your stories and investigations are.

             1 likes

  9. eadwulf says:

    So he apologises and deletes the evidence. I wonder if that really is an appropriate “punishment” for trying to put someone out of business just because he appeared not to be “cycle friendly”. I doubt very much that Mr Lee would sue the BBC. Suing a state sponsored propaganda organ with a bottomless pit of public funding is definitely a no win situation.

       3 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Hughes didn’t apologize at all, or even note to his thousands of followers what happened to the tweets he sent down the memory hole. Which is a great shame, and highlights the hypocrisy of his pride in being a lecturer on social media at the BBC College of Journalism. That BBC CoJ is getting to be a bigger joke by the day.

         3 likes

  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Video of failed Twitter activist but still BBC World News producer Stuart Hughes giving a lecture at the BBC College of Journalism on how he uses social media as a newsgathering and news driving resource:

    I say makes the “views my own” get-out-of-bias-free card a load of BS. Just like Lunchtime Loather says about Jeremy Vine using his own “personal” Twitter account for his audience to contact his BBC show.

    The BBC must be held to account on this issue. Yes, I’ve already downloaded the video in case it, too, goes down the memory hole.

       4 likes

  11. Guest Who says:

    Beth Anderson @roseofwinter
    Great! RT @carltonreid: I was on BBC West Midlands yesterday talking about #BoycottAddisonLee. iPlayer: http://bbc.in/IekLjW 1hr13 in.

    I wonder how colleagues in West Midlands got in on the act? Maybe someone could ask about that, too?
    Actually, there is a story in the bus lane aspect, but Mr. Hughes has managed to totally compromise the rational aspects of this issue by using the BBC to politicise it.
    And why should a London-based CEO accede to an invitation from a Brummie no name programme?
    This ‘declined to come on the programme’ hanging snark technique is risible.
    I also love that the ‘everyone is breaking the Highway Code so if we do it too it doesn’t matter’ seemed rather cheerfully accepted by our Danny in chatting with his old mukka Carlton.
    Now, is there anyone out that BBCWM studio who may be prevailed upon to comment? Not about the people of course, but the precedents maybe?

       1 likes

  12. My nemesis Jeremy Vine chose to include a discussion on this topic in yesterday’s programme, and out of curiosity I listened to it earlier today on iPlayer. Vine is a keen cyclist (he tweets about it frequently) and so it came as no surprise to me that he would devote 30 minutes of prime time radio to the whole Addison Lee vs cyclists situation.
    He had two guests in the studio: One was John Griffin from Addison Lee, and the other was something of a surprise choice.
    Not being one to ram his own views down his listeners’ and studio guest’s throats (yeah, right) he usually gets somebody in to do it for him, and yesterday was no exception. A quick scan down his speed-dial favourites list soon gave him the fellow cyclist he was looking for.
    And that person was: Rent-A-Gob Peter Tatchell
    Now Tatchell may or may not have interesting views on all sorts of matters (he was last on Vine’s programme last Friday talking about the Bahrain F1 race) but I never had him down as an expert on all things cycling.
    Anyway, it turned in to the usual JV Show two-against-one discussion (and I use that word in its loosest possible sense) with Vine putting words in to Griffin’s mouth. Tatchell added little other than some hare-brained ideas and presumably collected his payment when he left.
    I emailed Addison Lee’s press office this morning with some questions about Griffin’s participation yesterday and with a request to publish their responses. If they answer and agree I will publish them here and on my blog.

       3 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Well done contacting Addison Lee directly. They need to know how the Beeboids are behaving on this internally. The BBC may be too large and disorganized for there to be bias directives from on high (except for Warmism and Mohammedans, where we know for a fact there have been), but there’s obviously plenty of internal communication and easy groupthink which can quickly spread across the spectrum of BBC broadcasting. This is a good example of how it happens, I think.

      Tatchell? Seriously? So anyone who holds approved thoughts on pet BBC issues is considered worthy to opine on any old topic?

         2 likes

      • Thanks David!
        I often try to contact organisations and individuals that are involved in Vine’s misinformation, just to get the other side of the story.
        Best one ever was when I contacted a lovely lady from Stoke-on-Trent museums before the broadcast (9th January 2012 on lunchtimeloather.blogspot.com if you are interested) and spent a good ten minutes on the phone giving her some advice on how to handle Vine. She took it all on board and I was pleasantly surprised when she did exactly as I had advised, and made Vine look an idiot in the process!

           2 likes

        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Nice, LL. It’s one thing for us to document BBC bias here, with the word occasionally getting out, but another thing entirely when people are told directly what the BBC is doing to them, specifically. Always comes as a shock, I bet. It’s the only way for more eyes to really open, I think.

             2 likes

    • Guest Who says:

      ‘Vine putting words in to Griffin’s mouth.’
      The way they are going I wonder why they don’t just cut out the original source completely and have ‘the BBC has decided this is what XX could have said that will suit and/or provoke the best reaction form our brain-dead audiences’
      Just checked the hashtag and this appeared, but I can’t seem to locate the story:
      Geoffrey Riesel ‏ @radiotaxis_boss
      @BBCBreaking #boycottaddisonlee Court restrains AL from bus using bus lanes AL has issued misleading press release?

         0 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Hard not to believe this happened because Hughes used his position at the BBC to pursue a personal agenda. And he’s a lecturer at the BBC College of Journalism on the use of social media to drive news stories.

           1 likes

  13. Guest Who says:

    ““If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.”
    – Confucius – early informer and educator

    ben goldacre ‏ @bengoldacre
    Addison Lee lose DWP contract. Has your business cancelled? Not used them since #boycottaddisonlee http://bit.ly/JMldFw

    Stuart and his sorry bosses must be so proud.

       1 likes

    • Guest Who says:

      See how it works..
      ben goldacre ‏ @bengoldacre
      Ministers continue to use Addison Lee even after boss encouraged drivers to put cyclist at more risk http://bit.ly/K7QzZ3 #boycottaddisonlee

      Thing is, this Hughesian acolyte seems to have also grasped that accurately reflecting the story is not necessary once the twitter mob is worked up and well directed at knee-jerk pols.
      I am not sure that, at any stage, did the notion of deliberately putting cyclist at more risk than they already are from busses & black cabs come up in the terms attempted.

         1 likes

      • Guest Who says:

        Rather hilariously, this truly impartial scribe is now working with others to portray black cabs as the saviours of cycling.. cor blimey guv, they are.
        A matter of time before AL drivers are being accused of Death Race 2000 tendencies.

        This may hit a few buffers as some ‘isms’ clash once who these drivers being made unemployed are sinks in.

           1 likes

  14. Guest Who says:

    Maybe they should have got that nice boss guy who wrote to David to give it a go at closing off as opposed to digging a deeper hole:

    On 30 Apr 2012, at 16:20, NewsOnline Complaints wrote:
    Thank you for supplying more information.

    You are welcome. Again I note no logging details so far, which do get required by the complaints bodies up the line, nor any hint of where to go next on failure to make a coherent case in dismissal, again I fear repeated.

    Firstly, we should point out that Stuart Hughes did not initiate the “boycott” campaign.

    But if not he did play a key role in taking it to prominence, and one notes that the two key political and media figures drafted in by him are continuing what he has been identified as coordinating and driving forward, using his position as a BBC reporter/producer.

    Nor did he write the story that appeared on the news website.

    One has to ask, but have you seen the google document he posted as his filing?

    Then, have you seen what was posted online?

    If so, to claim he was not at least a co-author of the piece is a semantic stretch indeed.

    He sent in some material which was used in conjunction with other sources

    ‘Some material’? Good try.

    – the Press Association also covered this story –

    So what?

    by one of our website journalists to compile a report.

    Not going to wash. His hands are all over it. Again the BBC using rather silly ‘one degree of separation’ excuses, especially highlighting what gets revealed overtly through arrogance vs. what is being carried out covertly via stealth all the time. And this time, trying to ‘tidy up’ the past history and rely on fading memories outside your protected archives may not wash.

    The issue had already been identified by editors as a story worth covering, without any knowledge of the activity on Twitter.

    Here’s the other one. It has bells on. Try pulling it. These mystery ‘editors’ are an intriguing bunch mind.

    As you seem to be aware, this issue has been raised with his line manager who agreed that his activity on Twitter had not been in accordance with the BBC’s own social media guidelines and has indeed reprimanded him. The relevant tweets have been removed.

    Yes, I am aware. And of more than you appear to appreciate. Certainly as regards timelines and when matters of minority interest were stirred up using the twittosphere. One presumes the removed tweets will be the latest BBC archives to end up behind an FoI exclusion? These denials and retroactive edits and erasings do not accord BBC systems much credibility in the good faith stakes at all.

    As for your further point about the “row”, no-one is seeking to avoid addressing it, as you suggest. As explained already, the “row” was not initiated by a BBC employee.

    Matters of opinion hardly worth debating with you. With luck the facts, and the handling of the case to date, will be better assessed by those higher up the chain.

    We believe this matter has been dealt with appropriately and that this was a legitimate news story that received appropriate coverage.

    Again, belief is wonderful but of zero value. Again I would refer to the Trustee responsible for Complaints (an ex-BBC employee) who, in a recent Newswatch interview, stated that ‘belief in rectitude’ does not make it so.

    Please advise who this can be escalated to within, say, a week. Failing this I will do so via means that I have come to be aware of but do too often get left out in communications of this nature, possibly contrary to good practice.

       1 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      GW, I think I see what’s happened here. This complaints apparatchik is coming from the perspective that you’re unhappy that the BBC reported the story about which Hughes was tweeting, instead of the problem of a BBC employee using Twitter to promote a boycott (whether he started it or not is irrelevant on this level) while at the same time contributing to “journalism” on it.

      It doesn’t matter if the story itself was fair, as it was clearly initiated by Hughes (which opens up a whole other can of journalistic integrity worms). Even if he didn’t write the published version, the fact that he contributed “material” should be a red flag to them. That some other outlet reported the taxi boss’s comments is also irrelevant to this problem. Somehow, your argument got conflated with the issue of bias in the report itself, so no wonder they’re saying they got it about right. And I guess now they’re saying that you’re complaining about something they’ve already dealt with, which I’d say is a bit unfair to you seeing as how you started this effort before that happened.

         0 likes

      • Guest Who says:

        David, as always a forensic and very fair analysis. And probably accurate.
        But it goes to the heart of all that is wrong with the BBC and especially its so-called complaints resolution systems, which are truly ‘unique’ for a vast institution with a critical remit and public responsibility.
        And that public, to them, is always wrong, as they are always right… no matter what. To exclusion of all else, from the conceding of error to common sense to common courtesy.
        As you say, what is being focussed upon is, deliberately or not, irrelevant, while what is, conveniently, again sidelined. And the conclusion being pushed, based on the narrow tack taken, without surprise, is their belief in what they choose to write about being valid.
        They love it when they think it is about bias (which is why I have always felt the title of this blog is a pity, and much of the effort on a hiding to nothing), as bias is subjective and near impossible to prove properly, unless to a very bright audience or judges with an open mind. Get it there, and they know they are on a winner.l
        Which is why I try and pick my complaints carefully to corral the argument into facts (which can often involve bias but perhaps in clearer terms they have trouble dealing with, like a ‘debate’ with four anti-UK journos on the Falklands).
        As you say, I complained at the outset, but they are trying to bump it to a later stage ‘once resolved’, when in their minds conceding to one person and ‘moving on’ puts the whole issue to bed.
        I am still unsure to what extent this issue was ‘officially’ logged, or how one finds out even if it was.
        The highlighted issues on the complaints page is a farce, with often no topical complaint at all but carefully selected silly stuff in their stead, such as ‘BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, problems encountered while booking tickets for the event ‘ vs. more substantive fare.
        As to unfair… well, as we all know life isn’t. Which is why I persist in asking until they answer my questions, or concede they have value and, most importantly, respond properly and address the issue.
        So far, they have not, once, even budged, and in the most egregious of cases.
        A level of stubborn arrogance that will be their downfall eventually.
        Even a dripping tap can cut a channel in what seems the most impervious shell, and the result when breaking through can be a soaking for what’s inside.

           1 likes

  15. Guest Who says:

    Chris Hamilton ‏ @chrishams Toronto mayor on #cyclists: “My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17914504
    Pretty provocative thing to say frankly, from Toronto’s answer to Eric Pickles. I can see the BBC Social Media set are ‘gearing up’ mind.

       0 likes