SAVE THE BBC?

BBC 3

Davina McCall* is urging people on Twitter to sign a petition to Boris Johnson to stop persecuting the BBC, although I suspect that it’s Dom Cummings who is behind it the plan to sell off both Channel Four and the BBC.

The comments on her post are interesting. Let’s say she’s not having much luck.

One of the reasons people cite is the fabulously high salaries paid to presenters from the licence fees. Of course, that is just the presenters… and that is just salaries.

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A little out of date, but you can bet they didn’t go down in the interim…

There are also a wagon or two load of management types on salaries that would make your eyes water and your wallets bulge, but who also seem to feel that their bottoms are simply too precious to risk sitting on seats that the ordinary people might have sat on… and so they have chauffeur-driven limos, or private hire cars to take them from London to Manchester or Cardiff. And, when for some inexplicable reason, they are obliged to go to New York, they avail themselves of first-class seats at our expense.

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I’ve never been a tv watcher. Not when I was a kid; not when I was a teen, and not as an adult. Indeed for a long time, I didn’t even have a tv set in the house. Then eleven years ago, I had an op which needed some recovery time and my mum bought me a tv, which I didn’t really want.

I watched a bit of tv out of boredom and found most of it turgid. Indeed, one night I flicked through literally dozens of channels trying to find something to divert me, and the best I could find was the turgid “On the busses”.

But as my friend, Danny, so well known on the blog as our voice on America, will tell you, I did kinda get hooked on box sets of trashy tv detective stories like “Murder She Wrote”!

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Ye gads, how we laughed about it.

Anyway, after a couple of months I was in fine fettle and back to doing all the things I’d done before (like mainly running after Munguin). And Munguin employed me to write this blog.

The tv was forgotten and my life began over again.

In 2013 (I think), I heard, through reading blogs, the kind of nonsense the BBC was churning out about the independence debate, and I thought “not on my money, mate”. I cancelled my licence and removed the ariel leads from the set. (To begin with, I got letters, then visits from Crapita, but they eventually gave up after I explained in English … then, fearing they had not understood, French, and finally in Gaelic, that I HAVE NO TV. “Je n’ai pas de télévision” and “Chan eil telebhisean agam” if you ever need it…)

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They sent people around to the house and I told them to go away… or something like that. Eventually, they got sick of me and gave up, or more likely lost my files.

I’ll never pay a tv licence to the BBC again.

I’m not saying I would never watch a BBC programme because I’m sure that there are some decent ones, but it would be so rare that it would work out extremely expensive.

I’d be interested to know how you feel about:

The BBC in general;

Paying the licence fee as an obligation, regardless of how little of the BBC’s output you consume;

Mr Cummings’ proposals to scrap the licence and make it pay to view.

*I had absolutely no idea who she was, but someone informed me she used to interview people as they were thrown off some tv show.  Nice job…

RANDOM THOUGHTS

This is a sharp reminder that intelligent people do change their minds when incontrovertible facts are presented to them. We need to present these facts as clearly as we can and then be ready to welcome, with open arms, the people that they convert.

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As predicted by some, this morning three Tories crossed the floor of the House of Commons and joined the Labour MPs who, over the last couple of days, have left the Labour Party.

This raises some questions.

Is it a flash in the pan or is it the beginnings of a reshaping of British, or rather, English politics. (There are no Scottish MPs involved and politics in England and Scotland are very different, the one from the other.)

If the independent group grows, as some predict it will, and its numbers overtake the number of SNP members, will it become the third largest group in the Commons, and entitled, in place of the SNP, to a front bench place and automatic questions at PMQs?

And should that happen (which it may well not) what should the SNP’s response be?

And, do Munguinites think that it should be compulsory for members who were elected under the banner of a party and that party’s manifesto, to stand down if they leave that party regardless of which parliament and which party?

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Thank goodness they voted Tory.  Because, if this is strong and stable, I don’t think I could have withstood weak, wobbly and chaotic. (Note to self, look up the definition of chaotic.)

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Billy the Bigot is in a bit of a snit at the BBC, until recently, seemingly his close and trusted friends.

It seems that the story he gave about being invited on to the BBC’s Question Time shows has been denied most fulsomely by that august British institution’s management. And our Billy Boy isn’t happy about being called out as a liar.

He’s has been going back through his diary and has tweeted: “I sat down and looked up all the Q.T shows I was on and got all the dates and people who were on panel and I’m so tempted to blow the lid on BBC again… 4 times NOT EVEN CLOSE, if BBC want to start I’m ready”.

Oh, the joys to be beheld when besties fall out.

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GET DOWN TO THE AIR RAID SHELTERS, FOLKS. IT SEEMS THE BEEB THINKS WE’RE BACK IN THE WAR

Seriously, just how inappropriate was showing footage of WWII while the newsreader was announcing that Brussels had said that the agreement they eventually got from the British Government was the one that they would be sticking with?

I wonder if the BBC are predicting a third world war, or if the producer was simply pissed out of his head.

STRONG AND STABLE LEADERSHIP…HO HUM

So, sort of summary of what the Home Secretary said today:

“The cabinet is united. We’re going to leave the customs union but be in a customs union but outside a customs union leaving us free to make trade deals but also not free so we can align with the EU but also not align with it so there can be an Irish border but also not.”

(Credit to  1h1 hour ago)

 AAmber
Ho hum….
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Well, there’s a thing. She complains that people go to England and receive treatment from their NHS, but then she goes to South Africa, takes (possibly illegal) drugs, collapses and has to have paramedics come out to treat her.
Ho hum.
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All over England, yesterday, there were protest marches about the funding shortage in the NHS. And tens of thousands of people marched on Downing Street. Apparently, the BBC gave the matter very little attention. (I say apparently because I’d rather eat my foot than watch the BBC.) However, according to Ajmpol ❄️ #FBPE on Twitter:

“Amazing. The BBC may have ignored them, but the NHS marches were the third item on the main German TV evening news (ARD). Long report. Also mentioned that is expected to exacerbate the problems.”

The British Broadcasting Conservatives (BBC) seem to be trying to withhold or at least downplay that kind of information.

Ho hum

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Ho hum.

HAS ANYONE AT THE BBC READ THE LIST OF RESERVED MATTERS?

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In short, there is nothing that the Scottish government can do to stop this loss-making semi-nationalised company closing a large part of its network of branches in Scotland, even though it promised that it would never leave a town without a bank.

RBS was 73% owned by the British government at the end of 2015 (the latest figures I could find). If the British government wishes to do something about the closures, it is the major shareholder. Despite the fact that he will have to sell the shares at a massive loss, Philip Hammond is intending to do just that.

Getting rid of the 62 branches in Scotland along with 197 branches of NatWest in England will make it a leaner operation and more attractive to buyers. So, maybe this has been done in collusion with Hammond, given he represents the largest shareholder.

To the best of my knowledge, the Scottish government has no shares in the company.

It’s a great pity that the Unite Union and the BBC couldn’t work that out for themselves.

NO SHOW WITHOUT MUNGUIN

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Munguin, being a modest animal, failed to notify me that he had been invited to have a run over the bridge before the queen opens it officially.

So, without any forewarning, I was summoned to “bring round the Rolls” today at lunchtime (just as I was about to enjoy my bread and cheese) and to chauffeur himself to Queensferry, whereupon he said a few words…

“OK, home, Tris”.

I’m willing to bet that her majesty will be far less inspired in her choice of words next week.

It was worth the trip though. The bridge is fantastic, more beautiful than photographs show it to be. It was sad that the BBC radio news at 5 pm  had it so far down in the running order (behind a company in the Netherlands that is making gas from stale bread, would you believe?), and even then, chose to highlight that there had been delays (erm, what did they expect?) and that a van had broken down. I wonder if there were a new bridge over the Thames, they would have been so negative.

Anyway, here are Munguin’s souvenirs for those of you not so privileged to be invited to be there on the first day.

 

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There was a build up of traffic en route…

 

 

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… then it came into sight.
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Unlike the old bridge, it will be a motorway, but with no walkway. The 40mph restriction is only in force for the next few weeks, while people come to stare. In future, the speed limit will be 70 mph.
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It has side wind protection, so you can barely see the other bridges when you are on it.
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From under the bridge…
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Munguin chose to say a few words with the backdrop of the three bridges.
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I think he’d nipped off into the bushes to relieve himself here. (Champagne does that to one.)

 

JAMIE AND HIS TWEET

This week we’ll find out if the have tipped Scotland into recession. Time to take off the table and start listening.

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So it seems that the Scottish economy grew at 0.8%. Hardly a startling figure, it has to be admitted, but it compares very favourably with the UK figure of 0.2%.

Of course, as always with these figures, it has to be remembered that both Scottish and English governments have input. In fact, that majority of levers for controlling the economy are held at Westminster. But the unfortunate tweeter, Jamie, was happy enough to blame an expected (by the Tories) downturn on the SNP, so it’s not unreasonable to expect him to now praise them for a performance from which his Tory counterparts in Westminster might well learn something.

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And, just in the passing, we note from the illustration that the Scottish National health service has done so well that even the BBC had to admit that the rest of the UK could learn from it. Take a bow, Shona Robison. I’m not sure that Jeremy Hunt can share in that praise.

And since we are commenting on the news, it would be remiss of Munguin not to mention that the so-called (by Murdo Fraser, tweeter of this parish) her majesty’s Eleven has been found guilty (by her majesty’s supreme court) of trying to stuff her majesty’s treasury for rather a lot of tax. She must be particularly hurt by that, Murdo, with them being almost family!

It’s not been Rangers’ finest 24 hours. They lost 2-0 to Progres Niederkorn, a small team in the Luxembourg league. Part-timers, Niederkorn had never won a match in European competition before.

Maybe it’s retribution for stealing all that money from their most important supporter and Granny, Liz.