BBC “talent” were up in arms at the BAFTA’s complaining about the treatment the Corporation was receiving from the government. If I were BBC “talent”, I would be as well. There are few places left in this world where someone can define themselves as valuable and then demand £2.5 million as a salary without proving that value. If the BBC adhered to procurement law, which they don’t, “talent” would have to bid against hundreds for that type of money. The payment of millions to people the BBC deems as Talent, not to mention the uncontrolled handing out of millions to one person by an unelected and ungoverned group of highly paid civil servants is, to say the least, laughable. When these high paid officials screw up, they get hundreds of thousands from a public tax, and toddle off, very wealthy, into the sunset to join a private production company.
The BBC, like the NHS, has some time ago arrived at a point where it would be seen as a joke in most other countries. It wouldn’t be tolerated, and the highly paid workforce with their noses in the public trough would be quietly sent away to the abattoirs for disposal. The BBC like the NHS is very good at avoiding the humane killer. They insist that the BBC is a special case, carrying out god’s work, bringing culture and social stability to the masses. I am at a loss to see how a never ending lineup of antique shows punctuated by Eastenders accomplishes that, but then again I’m not “talent” on a couple of million a year nor one of the myriads of private production companies owned by ex-BBC staff sucking down hidden millions of pounds.
That brings us to the Jimmy Saville affair. All of you I am sure are very familiar with the BBC’s greatest production of “talent”, Sir Jimmy, right? You know they gave him a platform, with our tax money, to go out and entertain the masses with quality programming. He also molested more under-aged children from his BBC perch than anyone else in the world. Any lesser organisation would have imploded on this news. The irresponsible management and work colleagues who allowed this to take place right under their noses would most likely have been gaoled. Or at the very least, lost their jobs, brought before Parliament and publicly shamed. The company would be forced out of business, and its name forever associated with greed, selfishness and the most horrific abuse. Not the BBC! Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the BBC did an “exposé on the years of abuse by their former “talent”. It found, well not much really, but that’s not the point when you control a country’s news flow, and the BBC does. The point is to survive at all costs. Protect inflated salaries and egos. Maintain the ability to bestow on “talent” and outside production companies, the millions of pounds of our money that the BBC management feels they deserve. Also, what about all of those who use the BBC monopoly to further careers and then generate millions in revenue outside the public institution? Look at Jamie Oliver, never on to shirk from self-serving campaigns, and also an individual who has built a sizable personal fortune off of free publicity from BBC platforms. If anyone else had freeloaded on the government and then turned that into millions, they would be on the front page of all the redtops, well, kind of like Blair. But not our Jamie, he uses the publically funded BBC as a conduit through which to funnel money to his private company, and ultimately into his pocket at the rate of £25 million a year. Wouldn’t it be a much more fair situation if he had to share at least 80% of that income with the Corporation? They created him, funding his start with our cash. We deserve a return.
Speaking of BBC talent, how many of those highly paid and talented individuals make it outside the BBC? Not many is the answer. It would be interesting to compare salaries or earnings once talent has been hired by a non-BBC commercial company, to what they made in the fancifully referenced corporation. I would suggest the reason most talent stays with the BBC is they can’t compete and would rather be paid based on their friendship with the Star-chamber and not a private company trying to make money in an increasingly tight and completive market. Much better to leech off the public purse, stay safe and let friends determine what you are worth.
The other indication that the BBC is a club is that “talent” is routinely recycled across their drama platform, not to mention the appearance of the same antique dealers on the 78 antique shows that appear daily. A confession at this point: I do from time to time watch Eastenders. Is anyone else offended when at the end of the 30-minute programme they flash a 0800 number across the screen saying if you have been impacted by so and so’s story you can be helped? Seriously? If anything, that should ring through to a counsellor who can help you recover from the atrocious acting. The wife likes to watch Holby City, a soap based in a fictional NHS hospital, where the staff talk about their nights out and affairs while standing over patients in their bed. Unfortunately, that might be closer to the truth than we would like to think. It’s amazing how many people Holby hire from Eastenders Albert Square. There must be a recruiting office. Stepping into Holby, however, allows Eastenders to climb the socioeconomic scale as they are no longer working class philanders but have moved into the ranks of the middle and upper classes. Unfortunately, their morals don’t receive the same upgrade. Interestingly, there isn’t a demented BBC “talent” in Holby, which has free run of the hospital. That throws into question its authenticity slightly.
Like the NHS, the BBC was a good idea many decades ago. It has grown into a bloated organisation not only concerning the money it sucks out of society, but also, it’s ego and the value it believes that it brings to Britain. The problem with state-supported quasi-commercial organisations is that they demand autonomy to be able to “compete” while at the same time requiring that they are treated as an exception when it comes to how they spend their money and who receives it. The argument for not sharing with us the salaries of some of the highest paid public servants in the UK, or BBC “talent,” is that private companies might try and poach them. Really? Don’t you think if this talent was of the calibre the BBC says, that others would be all over them? I am trying to visualise a member of the BBC talent pool cowering in a corner trying to hide from an ITV scout. If confronted with the potential of more pay, would they refuse to supply a suitor with their salary requirements? “I’m BBC talent, and my salary is a national secret!” Yea right, I’m sure that happens a lot.
Cutting back the BBC to a news organisation, severing the umbilical that allows the opaque flow of millions to “producers” and the made up salaries of questionable talent will tell the tale. If the BBC is as good as it claims, the highly paid producers and talent, unleashed from government oversight, will flourish. Poorly acted drama and repetitive antique shows will proliferate the airways as never before. Conversely, this talent pool may be shown to be extremely shallow, and that the act of diving in may result in a broken neck. Either way, it’s time for the BBC to exit stage left.
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