Licence Fee Freeze Is "Like Waterboarding".

John Simpson, the BBC’s World Affairs Editor, has compared the licence fee freeze to “waterboarding”.

In a letter written to Ariel, the BBC’s own in-house newsmagazine, the BBC’s own in-house newsmagazine Mr Simpson says that only “far-right idealogues” and the “Murdoch empire” think the BBC should share the pain being endured by the rest of the public sector. It’s not fair that B-BBC doesn’t get full recognition there too.

“Our income will shrink year on year for seven long years, by amounts that are unknown because we can’t tell how high inflation will be over that period of time. It’ll be like waterboarding. As our head is pulled out of the bath, we’ll be so desperate that we can’t be certain what compromises and deals we might be tempted to make. We will be at the government’s mercy.”

Perhaps he should volunteer to be waterboarded to see if he changes his mind?

Hat-tip: Tim at ConservativeHome

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36 Responses to Licence Fee Freeze Is "Like Waterboarding".

  1. Rueful Red says:

    What a smug creep Simpson is.  He definitely does look better in a burqa.

    I’m just wondering – will the no-increase licence deal mean that the Beeb will start advocating a low-inflation economic strategy now that that’s very much in the Beeb’s interests?  That would of course put it at odds with Labour. In the circumatances I’m almost ready to tell George Osborne to let the printing presses roll….


  2. prpw says:

    John `so out of touch with reality I told the world I was the one who liberated Afghanistan’ Simpson says: `…we’ll be so desperate that we can’t be certain what compromises and deals we might be tempted to make. We will be at the government’s mercy.”

    He seems to think it should be some other way ? That the BBC should be in some unique position within the universe whereby it alone just needs to tell the government how much it thinks it’s worth and needs to function, and the Government just says fine and automatically signs a blank cheque for our hard-working genius broadcasters ?

    WTF ? And this supposed deeeeeep-thinking senior journalist with his vaunted experience of international affairs thinks there is a valid and appropriate comparison to waterboarding ??  WTF ?!?


    • Asuka Langley Soryu says:

      To be fair, he only claimed to’ve liberated Kabul, not the whole of A’stan.


    • ltwf1964 says:

      We will be at the government’s mercy.”  

      excuse me,but wasn’t that the case from 1997-2010?



  3. Ian E says:

    The BBC being water-boarded – now that thought is indeed ‘delicious’!


  4. Martin says:

    Simpson is a fat turd.


  5. George R says:

    Horrible thought: imagine Hippo Simpson wallowing and wiildly throwing mud dangerously from left to right.

    (With apologies to Ms. S Flanders’ father)


  6. Billy Blofeld says:

    “Our income will shrink year on year for seven long years, by amounts that are unknown”

    Oh the fucking pain of it hey John.  Wonder if he knows what it has been like in the private sector during the last 3?

    Which also explains how the BBC can talk so nonchalantly about recessions – they just don’t get what it is like to deal with financial insecurity.

    A tiny bit of pain will do the BBC no end of good – they might start to realise what it is like for ordinary people in this country <<<< scrub that last line.  I’m getting carried away.


  7. George R says:

    I find that Mr. Simpson doesn’t make arguments, he simply puts forward his political assertions as truth; he pontificates by his mood, not by reason; using plentifully the phrase: ‘of course’, but beware:  there is no ‘of course’ about his next world-weary assertion he is trying to pass off as truth.

     He’s only really interested now in about how huge his pension will be. And for the 66 year-old, it will be huge, as all top pensions are at BBC-NUJ.


  8. Phil says:

    Simpson has obviously applied some of that famous BBC news department ‘analysis’ to the BBC’s financial situation.

    What else can explain his absurd outburst?


  9. Buggy says:

    Surely the whole point of being a state-funded organisation, is that you ARE at the Government’s mercy”: that’s where your money’s coming from, twerpo.

    Not really a surprise that Simpson thinks that the BBC should just carry on under its own rules and just present the bill to the state for rubber stamping, no questions asked. I’m just surprised that he doesn’t think the corp. should apply for charitable status, too.

    (FWIW, if Simpson would kindly submit to being annually waterboarded on primetime telly in return for his salary, then I’m sure we could come to some arrangement. And maybe he would stop being such a hyperbolic twat into the bargain.)


  10. Asuka Langley Soryu says:

    Great. I wonder what intel. it’ll elicit on the BBC-Islamist alliance.


  11. Dick the Prick says:

    I don’t even understand the analogy. The man’s barking!


  12. Phillip Law says:

    Fucking, fucking, classic.


  13. killemallletgodsortemout says:

    “We will be at the government’s mercy.”

    Squeal, Piggy, SQUEAL!


  14. Stuart says:

    What an outrageous comment coming from self-absorbed, self-satisified journalist stuck in an organisation that is equally as selfish.


  15. Roger C says:

    Good to see Guido has picked this up too.


  16. D B says:

    Further John Simpson…  
    “Having to wait for a table at The Ivy is like having one’s fingernails pulled out.”  
    “When Ireland closed its favourable tax status for luvvies like me it was worse than being sent to work in Siberian salt mines.”  
    “Being a self-important pompous arse who does very little to justify his grandiose title and huge BBC salary is like having electrodes attached to genitals.”


    • D B says:

      Bit missing from above quote: “Being a self-important pompous arse who does very little to justify his grandiose title and huge BBC salary is like having electrodes attached to genitals. But very lucrative nonetheless, thanks licence fee payers.”


    • Backwoodsman says:

      Simpson & toenails Nobinson remind me of a pair of old queens having a good girlie bitch session. 
      And FFS, which of these clowns thought having outed sex pest Prescott, talking about how many freebie trips to China he’s made, would do anything for the bbc’s reputation for integrity ?


  17. james1070 says:

    What is Mr Simpson talking about. The greed, the arrogance, the self entitlement. Mr Cameron is saving the Licence Fee payer some money. To save the Licence Fee payer some more money he should have halved the cost of the licence, every year, for the next six years.


  18. DJ says:

    Yes, indeed: the BBC’s income is going to fall in real terms over the next few years… sort of like being a middle-income taxpayer for the past few years then.

    But wait…isn’t the BBC full of people constantly explaining how they’d totally pay more taxes, if only they could? They keep implying that some guy who works 60 hours a week is a Nazi for objecting to paying the rent for a Somalian smackhead to live in Kensington, but now their ox is being gored? Tragedy!

    Maybe that’s the answer: let’s not call it a cut, let’s call it a levy to fund the Euro Campaign for Multi-Cultural Eco-Justice.


  19. Natsman says:

    I think that it may be something to do with Colonel Gaddafi farting at him some years back – anyone remember him talking about the incident?  Rancid camel meat gas could have that effect…


  20. ap-w says:

    I loved his insight into the difficulty of not knowing what inflation might be for several years while your income shrinks. Mr World Affairs Editor, welcome to the, er, real world. And you can just imagine the crapstorm there would be if Boris Johnson used the phrase “waterboarding” like that.


  21. Beeboidal says:

    Stunning arrogance from John Simpson. Easy solution, John. Cut all the crap and the fat salaries and the BBC will cope easily. One small point

    It’ll be like waterboarding. As our head is pulled out of the bath,’

    As far as I am aware, waterboarding doesn’t involve a bath. but the highly paid BBC man making ridiculous analogies probably knows better than me.


    • james1070 says:

      He was probably refering to his public school days, when the kids used to flush his head down the toilet.


  22. Paddy says:

    My Business has shrunk every year for the last seven years mostly caused by legislation cockups and ineptitude  by the previous government. I have had to shed over 50% of my staff just to keep my head above water. Only now  can I see light at the end of the tunnel.
    This government is not interferring and tinkering like labour and apart from the new equality legislation they have left my business alone and allowed me to rebuild. This year is the first year I have taken on staff for a very long time.

    My business survives today because we have ‘cut our cloth to suit’.

    These feather bedded spoilt bastards at the beeb have got to wise up and smell the reality.

    Their hated Murdoch has had to shed hundreds of staff at News Int to avoid being uncompetitive. Most businesses I work with have had to make drastic cuts.

    If someone was to guarantee my income for seven years with an increase due to population increase I’d take their hands off.

    Given such security you could streamline your business and invest in long term efficiencies with the secure knowledge that projects with over 2 year payback periods would still be viable.

    They need to identify their core purpose and concentrate on that. Cut the crap out get rid of pointless non jobs and compliance tits. Concentrate on quality content dont try to compete and queer ITV’s pitch but offer supplemental and alternative products.

    Do they really need BBC 4 radios 6 and 7 and the biggest bloody online website in the world. Do they really need more than 100 staff at any event?

    Do they need a symphony orchestra when their are plenty of other orchestras available?

    Whats the point of Radio 3 and how much money is wasted on operas based on the miners strike?

    Let rich patrons pay for the art scene, if it has intrinsic value it will survive if set free. If it cant survive then maybe thats a sacrifice we have to pay. We’ve already  decided to share our weapons with the snail eating surrender monkeys. I know I personally would rather have an independant defence than more conceptual ballet.

    The money sloshing around in the beeb is nothing short of disgusting. When useless imbeciles get paid  more than 95 grand to read off a sheet on an unwatched news channel you know that they’ve lost the plot.

    They say they pay market rates but what they dont understand is they are the market. Nearly half the broadcast media jobs in the UK are with the BBC. They set the price.

    Pay realistic wages

    Reduce obvious waste

    Invest in efficiencies.

    Get rid of deadwood staff

    Concentrate on your core and the viewer listener reader will end up with a better product.

    So a bunch of lazy cosseted bastards may have to work a little bit harder and mabe a few hours longer well welcome to 2010 you trust fund trotskyist twats


  23. Natsman says:

    Yes, that should be prescribed reading for all BBC staff, and Parliament as well.


  24. Rueful Red says:

    I agree with every single word that Paddy’s written.  Wish I could put it so clearly.

    If things are going to be so tight at the Beeb, maybe they could take a leaf out of the book of the US state-funded broadcaster and run a fund-raising telethon – “Beeboids in Need”. It would give everyone a much better idea of how much people would be prepared to pay for it voluntarily.  There would of course be interactive games, sponsorships etc, along the lines of

    – guess the weight of a bag of cocaine
    – who’s in the burqa?
    – guess which beeboid hasn’t fathered a child out of wedlock, but thought he had?
    – sponsored readings from the Balen report 

    and so on.  Just a thought.


  25. mwapw says:

    I thought that our population was increasing at a rapid pace due to the word that mustn’t be mentioned – some reports say to 70+ million by 20something.  Surely these new households wil be paying the telly tax and provide far more income than mere inflation?


    • John Anderson says:

      The licence is paid PER HOUSEHOLD. 20 years ago there were some 21 million UK households,  so 21 million TV licence fees.

      By 2007 there were  26 million or more TV households,  20% increase on top of the steady increases in the licence fee over and above inflation.   I would not be surprised if this rose towards 30 million – more people staying single,   increasing student numbers,  break-ups etc.

      So the BBC is far less pressed for funds than whiners like Simpson pretend.   Plus – they will be cutting S4C spending,  plenty of scope for rationalising World Service spending,  some one-off costs like the move to Manchester will not be repeated.

      If the BBC really set about things,  they have some excellent property assets in London they could sell.


  26. Guest Who says:

    I reckon Mr. Simpson is a must for the next Golf ad…

    ‘It’s nothing like a sane person’s comment’

    “You’re hired! When can you never stop?”


  27. kitty shaw says:

    Important things for our nation
    Defence 10% cuts, hell we are even selling our soul to the French just to make ends meet and put planes on aircraft carriers.
    Police 20% cuts, crime is bound to rise
    Prisons massive cuts, lots more criminals released early or never sent to jail
    The brightest in our land most able to contribute success to our nation to be lumbered with 50,000 pounds of debt plus interest to be paid over 30 years unless they skive and take less successful jobs or escape off abroad. 
    Yet the BBC fat cats only have a freeze in the poll tax licence fee! And demographic change means they will probably hardly feel a reduction if at all.
    The liberal coalition government has lickspittled to them in the most nauseating way, yet the BBC still claim to be hard done by, I would laugh if it weren’t so serious.