Monday 12 November 2012

The Inevitable BBC Post - feel free to skip...

As it happened, in the hour before the hapless George Entwistle stepped out of Broadcasting House to announce his resignation as BBC Director General on Saturday night, Radio 4 had broadcast an edition of Archive On 4 devoted to the founding father and first DG of the BBC, Lord Reith. Thus was ninety years of BBC history neatly bookended by a giant and a pygmy.
 But the giant Reith was also a full-blown megalomaniac, who created the BBC in his own  megalomaniac image - and the megalomania survives in the institutional DNA of the Corporation. Having worked for a (mercifully) few years inside the BBC, I  must say that I have never encountered  an organisation with such delusions of grandeur, so unshakably convinced of its manifest destiny and its innate, self-evident superiority, despite all the human evidence to the contrary seated around its meeting tables (which is where most BBC staff seem to spend most of their time). Megalomaniac organisations are fine so long as they are dominated by personalities and talent, however maverick (some newspapers still fit this image), but the BBC has become over the years an organisation so dominated by structures, by faceless management, navel-gazing  and endless bureaucratic procedures that it rewards mediocrity - hence the rise of Entwistle to the top - while stifling originality and creativity. And of course it continues to pat itself on the back - insisting that it is still has the public's 'trust', whatever that means - even as it falls apart. Clearly the BBC is in need of a radical shake-up; incredibly, those who appointed him thought Entwistle, the 'insider's insider', was just the man to do the job. Only the BBC could delude itself on quite such an epic scale.


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  2. I once was asked to observe as a piece of equipment was tested to destruction, it was designed to withstand four hours of this treatment, it withstood five minutes, bits flew off in one direction, lumps in another, pieces imploded with a tremendous din and many sparks lit the chamber and died. The test cost an absolute fortune and as it was a piece of kit from a military aircraft the entire shebang was bankrolled by you and I.
    The designer, standing next to me, gave one of those shrugs that said 'it's only money.' He worked for one of those organisations that, Like the BBC is funded by the taxpayer, from the other side of the firewall.

    The BBC firewall is constructed of hubris, smugness and hypocrisy. Here's a stick to beat the nice lady with. Perhaps then she will cease demanding money under false pretences.

  3. Nice one Malty - the signatures should have built up nicely by June I reckon...

  4. Could be worse. Think of Fox News

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