– as does the bias and sloppiness that permeates our tax-funded state broadcaster. The posts above, and the round-up of tidbits below, are just a few of the things that I’ve seen and meant to blog about recently:
- El Reg asks Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster? – the BBC is, as you might expect, betting big and betting wrong…
- Just what we don’t need: After the blessed relief of the disappearance of Neighbours from the BBC, BBC commissions new Aussie soap. I suspect Australia’s indigneous broadcasters won’t be too keen on the tax-funded BBC muscling in on their patch to produce their own anti-competitive Australian TV soap either.
- Nought out of ten for the News at Ten according to the Spectator, when it “devoted only 10 seconds — and a mere voiceover at that — to the latest development in the shambles that is Peter Hain’s funding arrangements (aka Labour’s dodgy donations — the sideshow). I’m inclined to believe this was cock up rather than the usual BBC leftie bias, though it would be interesting to know on what basis they downgraded the story to near oblivion”.
- And lastly, blink and you’ll miss it: Tommy Sheridan’s famous libel victory against the News of the World was trumpeted throughout the UK by the BBC in August 2006. News that Sheridan charged in perjury probe (rapidly replaced with Sheridan vows to prove innocence) has been reported with much less prominence, not even making the TV news in England, at least as far as I noticed. Probably because he’s not ‘a Tory’, eh, Beeboids…
Revealed: the opening lines of the new Beeb Australian soap.
Bruce: “Strewth, fair dinkum hot!”
Sheila: “I blame man-made global warming, and those American bastards.”
Bruce: “Right there, Sheila. Thank heavens Islam has got it right!”
Sheila: “Strewth, fair dinkum hot!”
Bruce: “I blame man-made global warming…”
And so on, ad infinitum. (With apologies to real Australians)
I guarantee the BBC’s excuse for playing down Sheridan’s perjury charge will be that he’s no longer an MSP. As if that mattered.
Five Live breakfast were leading with it on Monday morning, I seem to recall. In fact, I wondered why they were making such a big deal of a story that isn’t really of much interest to the general UK.
And it was on the TV news.
The Register article about the iPlayer covers typical ground. The iPlayer development process they describe is typical in a couple of ways of the sclerotic arteries at the BBC. Of course, much of what went on can be found in many gigantic corporations. However, sometimes even gigantic corporations pay attention to details and strategise in a way that doesn’t happen at the BBC.
I do think, though, that the article exaggerates the significance of the £4.5m spent on it. As part of a £130m budget, that’s not really a big deal. That’s a small, almost expendable amount in the scheme of things. It’s also not such a big deal in Silicon Valley startups, either. A close relative of mine was involved in a remotely similar internet media player startup that went through just about that much money, but with just a handful of people in a couple of years.
I know it’s easy to casually dismiss such a large sum of money, especially when that money is forcibly extracted from the public. It’s not that they shouldn’t spend the money on valid projects (which the iPlayer may have been in a different world), but that they should take greater care when doing so.
Every project like this in a big corporation is going to get input from the divisions it affects. But it works in a very different way at the BBC. It looks like nobody in management thought out the ramifications of each segment of the project beforehand. There are consequences to consider outside of “results”. Of course, when ten different content departments make their views known, the coordinators on the development team just don’t know what to do with it. I’m willing to bet – and a couple of quotes from the anonymous web developer in the article seem to support this – that the iPlayer folks just allowed everyone to pile on the demands without giving them any guidelines or limitations.
Even with simple cross-departmental projects, one simply cannot have a successful coordinated effort without careful planning of the boundaries that must be placed on each department involved. They have to have guidelines and rules set up beforehand, or they will contribute nothing but trouble. Sure, there will be input, but half of it won’t work with what one had planned on doing. Soon enough, after taking into consideration (obligatory now) things that could have been prevented but weren’t considered, the project turns into something else entirely. Which then has to get reorganized, getting more and more ridiculous.
They just don’t think about consequences of their actions in the way that normal corporations do. Even if you have intelligent, competent people working on key parts of the project (and they generally do, in my experience), the coordination between departments is not, um, coordinated. Sometimes, asking certain questions just won’t occur to anyone. It’s just not the way things work, and what seems obvious to an outsider just wouldn’t come up internally.
When the anonymous web developer talks about project teams being run as personal fiefdoms, it’s not because all those BBC employees were petty territorial despots. It’s because the BBC mentality creates the teams that way. It’s the reason why people who write dumbed-down news summaries for children don’t consult with the adult news department. It’s why it’s almost impossible to get useful coordination between marketing, distribution, and getting important information into the end credits of programmes. They’ll just look at you like you missed the memo. It’s why they kept on doing rigged contests and phony phone-ins, pretending to fix it but really not, just shuffling around internally, until someone from much higher up put a stop to the whole thing, after way too many embarrassing moments. The public got a glimpse into that “we weren’t actually doing anything wrong” mentality. Narrative over facts. No thought for the consequences of their actions outside of “results”.
Why does everyone think Guido Fawkes AKA Paul Staines is a neutral. Guido Fawkes is an extreme right winger.
His recent castigation of anti racist campaigner Mr Hain is a sign of what he hates. Hain sacrificed his security against a brutal state to fight for democracy for blacks in south Africa. Fawkes despises him for that.
He joined the Young Conservatives whilst at University.
Here is the real facts about Fawkes
Having joined the Federation of Conservative Students, he described his politics as “Thatcher on drugs”.
Staines worked as ‘foreign policy analyst’ for the extreme right wing Committee for a Free Britain, a right wing Conservative pressure group, alongside David Hart. Staines acted as editor of ‘British Briefing’ a long standing publication that sought to “smear Labour MPs and left leaning lawyers and writers”.
He does the same now but claims he is neutral. Funny how he nevers insults the tories bosses infact seems to let them of the hook. I am sure you can see he is no neutral. He is no neutral but wait the later points are even worse. .
Staines relates of his work with the Committee: in the book
(1998). Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House, 2nd edition, London: Serpent’s Tail. ISBN 1-85242-604-7. —
“I was lobbying at the Council of Europe and at Parliament; I was over in Washington, in Jo’burg, in South America. It was ‘let’s get guns for the Contras’, that sort of stuff. I was enjoying it immensely, I got to go with these guys and fire off AK-47s. I always like to go where the action is, and for that period in the Reagan/Thatcher days, it was great fun, it was all expenses paid and I got to see the world. I used to think that World Briefing was a bit funny. The only scary thing about those publications was the mailing list – people like George Bush – and the fact that Hart would talk to the head of British Intelligence for an hour. I used to think it was us having a laugh, putting some loony right-wing sell in, and that somebody somewhere was taking it seriously. You’ve got to understand that we had a sense of humor about this.”
The CFB invited Adolfo Calero, the Nicaraguan Contra leader, to visit the UK.
What kinf of sickoe works with the contras and supplies gunsot them.
In a November 1984 report the Sandinista government alleged since 1981 the Contras had assassinated 910 state officials; attacked nearly 100 civilian communities; caused the displacement of over 150,000 people from their homes and farms; and damaged or destroyed bridges, port facilities, granaries, water and oil deposits, electrical power stations, telephone lines, saw mills, health centers, schools and dams.
A Sandinista militiaman interviewed by The Guardian stated Contra rebels committed these atrocities against Sandinista prisoners after a battle at a Sandinista rural outpost:
Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off. They were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit. Fawkes must be so proud. So think of that when you read his blog.
What kind of sickoe thinks it is fun to support sick creeps like the contras.
The CFB launched a number of policy campaigns and initiatives during 1988. It also supported the Community Charge (Poll Tax).
In time for the October 1988 Conservative Party Conference, the CFB published a British Foreign Policy – The Case for Reform, featuring a photo on the front cover of Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe giving the clenched fist salute at a meeting in southern Africa. In the pamphlet’s conclusion it stated “The Foreign Office is one of the last of the great institutions to escape the refreshing breath of Thatcherism.” Howe maintained he had not been giving a black power salute.
So now we see why fawkes despises hain. Re,ber he was a foreign policy analyst.. .
Well why do they not report on the 80 tory mps failed declrarations that should fill the next 3 months