Human, All Too Human

The BBC has investigated accusations of bullying within its own precincts.

Looking at the report it seems to be a reasonable attempt to handle the situation fairly.

However as always what the official line is and what the ‘frontline’ says are often different. We know that the BBC is by law required to be balanced and impartial. We also know that that imperative is roundly ignored at ground level. (See Biased BBC!)


Having listened on and off to the radio today I received the distinct impression that the presenters were trying to downplay this.

They reported it in depth but their conclusions were somewhat less than judgemental.

The general secretary of the NUJ was quite sure of what was happening: 

“It is quite clear that bullying has become an institutionalised problem at the BBC, one that has taken hold over many years,” said Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary for the NUJ.


However I heard several times presenters state that ‘This isn’t widespread’…or ‘It’s historic’…suggesting that this wasn’t really an issue…or not a significant one.

I heard someone complain that certain newspapers would be trying to discover who the ‘untouchable stars’ were…‘pursuing the story for their own reasons.’ (No link but I think the comment was made by Lucy Adams, director of BBC Human Resources)

Well yes, that’s their job.

Can you imagine if this was a story about the Police or the Army?  The BBC would be all over it.

Just look at this story from today in which the police wanted to hide the identity of one of its officers accused of theft:

‘The broad accusation from journalists is that the police are increasingly secretive and it’s becoming harder for reporters to find out what the police are doing and why.’


Slightly different case as this is one of theft but if it had been a case of bullying in the police by a senior officer the BBC would have been demanding to know who he was.

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23 Responses to Human, All Too Human

  1. Richard Pinder says:

    Lord Hall needs to bully people, otherwise they may tell the truth, live on air.


  2. pah says:

    The report found there had been 37 formal complaints of sexual harassment over the past six years – an average of six per year – out of a workforce of approximately 22,000 staff and 60,000 freelancers

    So how many were ‘informal’ complaints?


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘So how many were ‘informal’ complaints?’
      In the BBC world of Clintonian Semantics and Leopard Cautions, one might suppose anything that didn’t jump a vast number of hoops to get acknowledged by a battery of middle managers hired to make things go away, was deemed not a complaint at all, and hence not ‘found’ by another BBC internal secret investigation.
      One can only imagine what is seething in that cauldron if what we do get to hear is all that escapes.


  3. Guest Who says:

    ‘it’s becoming harder for reporters to find out what the police are doing and why.’’
    Simple. Plod just whacks an exclusion on anything it would rather not mention, claiming it is for the purposes of rozzering and public sector derriere coverage and, ‘Ta-dah’, the most anyone can look forward to is a Chief Superette on £300kpa and a half dozen taxpayer funded legal weasels running interference.
    The BBC can only respect that, surely?


  4. DJ says:

    Of course the PM Program knew just who to turn to as one of their independent experts on this topic….Kelvin Mackenzie, aka Captain Hillsborough himself.

    Isn’t that just special? People who can’t get through the week without mentioning phone hacking giving a platform to a proven fraud. At least Murdoch never tried to claim Milly Dowler bought it on herself.

    But that’s the thing ,of course. Mackenzie is a nasty, little thug, hence he’s the perfect foil for the BBC’s attempts to claim all the other kids were doing it too.


  5. Beness says:

    I wonder how many complaints met with the decision that there was no case to answer so therefore the BBC got it about right.


  6. Reed says:

    Sky News tweet…

    Update – BBC says it is “appalled” by the “disgraceful” actions of Stuart Hall and expresses sympathy to his victims— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) May 2, 2013

    Follow up Tweet…

    @skynewsbreak shame the #BBC wasn’t appalled by Jimmy Saville instead of protecting him.— carlton bradbury (@rigamagician) May 2, 2013


  7. chrisH says:

    The BBC news this morning led on any number of tax avoidance stories and hoped-for mortgage mis-sellings that clearly were not.
    Stories this evening were all leading on paedophile allegations, guilty pleas of same and BBC sexual bullying.
    It`s as if there`s to be running themes to once were once news stories..pile them together, lead with them and create the dots already joined for the BBC to further prosecute or to call off the hounds when it suits themselves.
    Witness the N.Korean sentence for the US bloke…does anybody still doubt that Sweeney put those students at great risk…but this is one story that stands alone without any need to repeat it.
    Despicable, but at least it`s easy journalism…Abortion on demand tomorrow morning, Banker bashing in the evening…the A-Z of easy themes


  8. Teddy Bear says:

    The report said the BBC had not been clear enough about the standard of behaviour that was expected from all staff including on-air ‘talent’.

    I find this a strange ‘finding’.
    Society makes it pretty clear about what is and what is not acceptable behaviour.
    Clearly Barrister Rose, the person who made the report, perceives that the BBC operates within its own world to make this assessment, and in my opinion this should be part of her finding, as well as showing the disgusting dynamics within this publicly funded organisation.

    BBC reveals there have been 37 complaints of sexual harassment in past six years as it publishes report on bullying

    No disciplinary measures were taken and in some cases perpetrators were promoted
    Stars thought they did not have to adhere to the same rules as normal staff


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      37 in six years for something like 80,000 Beeboids (including all the freelancers, “freelancers”, and contracted staff), isn’t much at all. Surely there must be many more unreported incidents if morale is so low and all that.

      But I’m not surprised at all that on-air talent felt they were above it all and could do as they please. From Ross/Brand to Paxman bitching in public to “Groper” Marr, it’s no surprise at all at a broadcasting organization where they hire people who need to go through a whole training course before they understand that it’s wrong to lie to and steal money from children. The BBC seems to have an awful lot of awful people in their talent pool, not to mention how they’ve hired Truthers at CBBC or Democrat activists (Matt Danzico and Greg Palast) whom they present as impartial journalists reporting on the US. But yeah, let’s blame the unclear rules for it all.


  9. chrisH says:

    I suppose the BBC lack any sense of irony when they refer to key people working for them to be “untouchable”, regarding tendencies to grope the lower orders there.
    No wonder they always find a berth and a fat hammock for John Prescott whenever he chooses to blow!


  10. Wokingham blue says:

    I caught a bit of that hr drone on news 24. Could have sworn she tried to blame the ” harsh economic environment” for some if it.
    Much head scratching here.


  11. starfish says:

    So just how large was the paedophile ring at the BBC?

    Any likelihood of a real investigation?


  12. paul says:

    funny isn’t it that stuart hall and jimmy savile worked for the bbc and no one knew what was going on.
    Any other company would be closed down and a full investigation carried out by the police, why is it different for the beeb.
    This government still wont give us subscription they are just as bad as the beeb.


    • Albaman says:

      “Any other company would be closed down and a full investigation carried out by the police, why is it different for the beeb.” – Do you have an example of any company being closed down or investigated by the police because of similar illegal acts by an employee?


      • uncle bup says:

        And Scotland’s interest involves joining the Euro sooner rather than later. For many years now, the pound sterling has been a millstone round Scotland’s neck. Sterling is costing Scotland jobs and prosperity in manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.
        Alex Salmond

        Sterling Union with Independent Scotland in UK’s Interests – Salmond

        Hey, Alex, pal. That pointy thing you lean on at the bar -that’s your elbow.

        And that great big fat thing you sit on – that’s yer arse.


        • Albaman says:

          Sorry, your point is exactly what?


        • uncle bup says:

          I would spoon feed you, Albania Man, but I really can’t stand the site of drool.


          • Albaman says:

            Your point still escapes me. I do note that typing “Albaman” is a challenge for you – perhaps it is you that needs spoon fed!


  13. George R says:

    “BBC Bosses act to let staff speak out on abuse.

    “GAGGING clauses are to be removed from BBC contracts to make it easier for staff to speak out about sexual harassment and bullying.”

    “BBC staff ‘fearful’ of raising bullying and harassment complaints”


  14. deegee says:

    I wonder if the internal BBC complaint procedure is as byzantine as the one the public, trying to complain about the BBC, has to suffer?


  15. George R says:

    Some reasons why Melanie Phillips will never be Director General of BBC:-

    “Why the Left hates families: MELANIE PHIILLIPS reveals how the selfish sneers of Guardianistas made her see how the Left actively fosters – and revels in – family breakdown…”

    Read more:–revels–family-breakdown-.html#ixzz2SMUvwtsF