Friday, 30 November 2012

Press Regulation Backed By Statute

Ooh that will work. If only the banks and financial services industry were regulated by a statutory regulator, the credit crunch and mis-selling scandals could have been avoided.

What? The Bank of England and the FSA regulate those industries? Something must be done.....


Friday, 16 November 2012

How Wonderful, What An Honour

So I disagreed with Peter Hitchens' description of Coventry (I'm a Coventry Kid) as a sad city on Mr Hitchens' Mail Online clog. Mr Hitchens replies to my comment and refers to me as "Brian" from Coventry. That's ironic when in today's Daily Mail the following article from Michael Seamark and Sam Greenhill appears. If one scrolls down, one finds the emboldened words

The ‘prestigious’ Trust-administered Orwell Prize for political writing was handed to a journalist [Johann Hari in 2008, actually] who turned out to have made up his ‘award-winning’ articles;

Isn't that the same prestigious Orwell Prize that Mr Hitchens deservedly won in 2010? I feel honoured to be accorded similar quotation marks around my name by him.

One question remains (and what is wrong with asking questions?):

If someone was a member of the International Socialists between 1969-75 when the International Socialists had a policy of unconditional support for the IRA, does that mean he supported that policy at a time when about 400 members of the British security forces were murdered by the IRA and its allies as part of the Northern Ireland "Troubles"?

Monday, 12 November 2012

BBC Funding - A Radical Alternative

Instead of the £145.50 colour television licence required to watch television in the UK and NI, I propose that the BBC will be funded by the National Lottery - still run on its behalf by Camelot.

The money presently raised by the National Lottery for good causes will be allocated from taxation on a matched-funding basis depending on how much the National Lottery raises annually. But here's another radical change: on each lottery ticket tick boxes will be printed next to categories of causes, thereby enabling the ticket buyer to choose how the National Lottery matched-funding is to be allocated instead of the Great and the Good Jellabys  picking their pet guinea pig projects.

The £145.50 formerly spent on the licence will be available for spending and will more directly and efficiently boost the economy and employment.

BBC Management Changes

In a robust rebuttal of concerns about the year's salary payoff to the resigning DG, the popular Chairman of the BBC Truss said, "It's my money and I can spend it how I want."

The problem with the BBC, apart from its self-love and complacency, is one shared by all bureaucracies, namely the number of  people doing jobs they can't explain to their Grannies.

The BBC should get back to its core strengths, ie following what the the Guardian prints and cutting and pasting Labour Party press notices.  It should learn  that "investigative journalism" means more than reading the "Notes to Editors".  As everyone who has seen any film about journalism knows, facts have to be checked and confirmed from several sources.

I'm impressed that Tim Davie, the acting DG, has already displayed the ability to grasp the reins of the old donkey. Funny that he can do this without having a journalistic background.

Perhaps this classic song and dance routine from Mary Poppins should be renamed "Step Aside".

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Value For Money At The BBC

A corporate headhunter was paid a total of £189,000 inc VAT (how quaint of the BBC to pay tax) to identify as the best candidate for BBC Director General its former "Head of Vision". Incurious George lasted a mere 54 days in post, or £3,500 per day or 1,298 colour licence fees.

It's been the cheapest telly for the BBC for over fifty years. Certainly better VFM than £22 million for the The Voice "talent" programme.

Update: It has been revealed that George Entwistle will receive a year's salary (£450,000) for his voluntary resignation after 23 years at the BBC. Doesn't everyone?

What job is being lined up for him? Royal Opera House Chairman, National Trust Chair, Picker /Packer (must speak Polish)?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

A Few Thoughts On The US Presidential Election

No change, but better than how the PRC does it.

I read a lot of comment articles which said that the Hispanic vote will be crucial in the 2016 election and after. Perhaps, but not for Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico who aren't allowed to vote for anyone. Just like every other resident of America's colonies or "territories" as the Washington Empire-haters describe them. Puerto Rico is allowed a representative in Congress who can only vote as long as it doesn't affect the decision.

I wonder if the US will admit Puerto Rico as the 51st state following its recent non-binding referendum on the question. If so, PR will have three or four Electoral College votes. On the subject of the Electoral College, it's possible for a candidate to gain the Presidency with only about 25% of the votes cast by concentrating on winning in several over-represented states with 50% + 1 votes cast. That's Democracy Folks!