You would need a heart of stone NOT to chuckle at this;

Lord Patten faced demands to quit or be sacked last night as civil war tore through the BBC. The chairman of the BBC Trust was given an ultimatum after being accused of ‘fundamentally misleading’ Parliament over the scandal of excessive pay-offs to Corporation fat cats. But the defiant former Conservative Party chairman said he had ‘no concerns’ about the allegations made by former director general Mark Thompson.

What fun watching them tear themselves apart. It’s not just Patten that needs to go though – it is the entire rotten corrupt smug self indulgent empire of the BBC.

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59 Responses to BBC AT WAR – WITH ITSELF.

  1. Lobster says:

    Now is the time to buy shares in popcorn companies!


  2. Guest Who says:

    Maybe this weekend the BBC high command might take pause to reflect on how this has worked out for, say, the Australian Labor party.
    But being shown lessons in trust, transparency and of course dignity by sack-based rodents, or ferrets even, can be another path, yes.
    I was a bit worried that the PAC inquiry might be just another SOSO whitewash, but with this much self-inflicted blood in the water even MPs loyal to the cause might feel pretending they have ‘got it about right again’ is a knackered nag a bit dangerous to hitch to in face of all evidence.


    • Richard Pinder says:

      The list of people and subjects that the BBC needs to censor increases as the BBC management faces three Government Committees in future months.

      The Public Accounts Committee, the Media, Culture and Sport Select Committee and the Science and Technology Committee are all asking for information about financial mismanagement, corruption, cover-up, management attacks on whistleblowers, left-wing bias, paedophilia and the censorship of climate science, scientists and scientific debate by environmental activists masquerading as BBC journalists.


  3. Guest Who says:

    Of course it is worth reminding ourselves that this is not the first time this has happened.
    But the last was Pollard, which was nicely internal and through the filter, with £2M of our money used for little snippets to get blacked out that didn’t suit, or not even included by Mr. Pollard as he evidently felt it didn’t really matter when Hugs, George, Ted & Alice had memory failures, got more than astoundingly uncurious or contradicted each other.
    Maybe the PublicAC should look at that invoice too?


  4. Peter Grimes says:

    “What fun watching them tear themselves apart. It’s not just Patten that needs to go though – it is the entire rotten corrupt smug self indulgent empire of the BBC.”

    You forgot ‘grossly overpaid’!


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘You forgot ‘grossly overpaid’!
      If Monday’s inquiry gets any coverage (suspecting the BBC may feel it’s not newsworthy… (c) A. Journalist), this aspect may soon be higher up the general public’s awareness levels than before. Or the BBC’s finest feel comfortable with them knowing.


    • Ian Hills says:

      ….and ‘under-taxed’.


  5. Doublethinker says:

    On PM last night there was an interview in which the interviewee , a ‘retired’ ex BBC chap called Marsh , explained that because the BBC executives were on such large remuneration packages there had been a need to get cost under control and slim down the management structure. But because of their large remuneration it needed a big pay off to PERSUADE the managers to go.
    There we have one of the major problems with the BBC, and with public sector in general, if the BBC was slimming down, then by definition these posts were redundant and the managers didn’t have a job, so why the the BBC have to give them license fee money to PERSUADE them to go? Why not just give them a redundancy notice as would happen in the private sector and the minimum they were entitled to? The BBC and much of the public sector live in a very different, cosseted world to the private sector, who have to pay for the generous salaries, packages and pensions that the public sector get.
    Of course its good that we are now beginning to see the poor management at the BBC brought into the open. Hopefully this latest in a long line of BBC scandals, will result in some resignations , without pay offs and a further loss of trust in the BBC by the public. The prize resignation being that of Patten, who should be replaced by someone who has no liberal left loyalty to the BBC, and can be given the remit of cutting the BBC down to size.
    It is probably too much to hope that the BBC can be got rid of in one go, but a start can be made in weakening the Corporation and its monopoly position, which it consistently shows itself to be unworthy of.


    • JimS says:

      I think you will find that exactly the same things happen in the private sector. The problem is that the ‘top’ people get to write their own contracts or sit on each others ‘remuneration’ committees. They make comparisons with each others ‘packages’ as if there was an open market with free movement of ‘labour’.
      Just imagine if these posts were filled by competitive tendering or ‘Dutch’ auction, we would soon see the real rate for the job then.


    • Wild says:

      Living off everybody else is what the Left do. The desperation of the BBC for another Labour “administration” is motivated entirely by their bottomless sense of entitlement.


    • Ian Hills says:

      Like bad pennies, redundant fatcats always turn up. In some quango or fake charity.


  6. George R says:

    “BBC personnel chief drafted e-mail she [let’s name names: Ms Lucy ADAMS] denied seeing”


    • Wild says:

      “BBC personnel chief drafted e-mail she denied seeing”



      • Corran Horn says:

        We’ll I’m going to guess the reason she denied seeing the e-mail she drafted is because what she saw was the draft and not the sent message, that’s how their logic works. It’s the same kind of argument Bill Clinton made about the Intern he didn’t have sex with.

        So the normal disingenuous answer to questions we have all come to expect from the BBC.


    • Guest Who says:

      Ah… but… in the wonderful world of BBC Clintonian semantics and pedantics, is it technically possibly she dictated it verbally but then did not have sight of what she had uttered?
      Or something.
      That astounding uncuriosity and selective Alzheimers outbreak seems to have been joined by Villageidiotism.
      One presumes having all three near ensures a top tabel slot and £300kpa market rate ad infinitum in the unique gilded corridors of the world’s most unaccountable public sector media monopoly?


    • Derek says:

      Hmmm hmmm hmmm

      all the BBC now hmmm hmmm

      “I closed my eyes, drew back the curtain
      To see for certain what I thought I knew
      Far far away, someone was weeping
      But the world was sleeping
      Any dream will do”


  7. John Anderson says:

    I don’t think they will get away with just one hearing.

    I hope this show runs and runs. And bring in the Savile stuff against Thompson.

    What would really make them squirm – given that someone is lying – is to make them give evidence on oath ? Too good to be true, I suppose, but misleading Parliament has always been a pretty serious offence. People used to get sent to the Tower for it ?


    • Wild says:

      The entire function of the BBC is disinformation – they simply have to decide on what line they are going to take a) It is a few rotten apples b) It is management that is fault everybody else is fine c) It is a Tory plot d) It is of no importance let’s talk about something really important [whatever is in The Guardian this week] instead d) Blame Murdoch.


  8. RCE says:





  9. nofanofpoliticians says:

    Maybe they’ll both get toasted (Thompson and Patten that is) but possibly on different grounds. They should do, and others too. They should be fired for gross negligence or some such other similar reason and not take any compensation at all.

    Thompson for what he knew about Saville, Patten on the grounds of knowledge and lying about the over-payments stuff.

    Of course, the PAC are more interested in the over-payments thing, it would appear, although there may be some rogue questions about Saville, given that Thompson will be present.

    Part of Patten’s problem is that he just doesn’t give his role as Chairman of the Trust enough time. That is the perception at any rate. How can he? He has so many other roles as well, 10 or 11 at the last count.


    • Arthur Penney says:

      It’s like a wasp landing on a nettle – at least one of them is going to get stung and you’re hoping it’s both.


      • nofanofpoliticians says:

        Yes indeed, I hope its both. I saw in the weekend FT this morning (£) that the Royal Charter expires in 2016.

        I hadn’t focused on that previously, but with all these recent scandals and possibly more to come before then, the BBC negotiating position would be very weakened.


        • John Anderson says:

          I want the scandals and controversies to continue for a long time – right into the Charter Review. Arguments about BBC bias are a bit vague for many people – arguments about prolific financial waste and inefficiency in a bloated monololy gets through to people more easily.


          • Guest Who says:

            And the irony is, thanks to the efforts of all from Humphrys of a morn to Paxo at bedtime, one other thing the public is attuned to is the guys at the top being held to account and found very wanting.
            And the BBC steering around another bunch in what seems a series without end is starting to filter through.
            Even the lowest watt bulb in even the most faithful BBCphilic firmament must surely have the odd flicker of doubt when they look at what they are on and will never see again, versus what too many got ensuring that… they’ll never see it again. As Nixon showed, the unforgiveable part is getting caught.
            May even explain why the Flokk seem grounded at present (well, other than the odd… very odd… one running around shouting at bridges or cycling avatars).


        • Richard Pinder says:

          The chairman of the Media, Culture and Sport Select Committee John Whittingdale has said that the BBC had a “failure of management at every level” and that there was “something fundamentally wrong with the BBC management structure”, he has also said that the Government and the BBC should discuss an alternative to the licence fee, the Committee is holding further sessions with the BBC later this year and beyond, including issues relating to the BBC’s Charter which further developments will ensure it will expire permanently in 2016.


  10. Phil says:

    The BBC is not alone in the public sector in being extremely generous when paying people off.

    In 2000 my sister’s husband was given nearly £40,000 redundancy money from the civil service after 4 years working for them.

    The next year my sister was given £12,000 redundancy money after 22 years in a private sector job which paid about as much as his.


  11. Hopefully somebody will ask why, after being leaked a document, that could blow the lid off of the child abuse cover up the BBC decided to BURY IT?


  12. Alex says:

    Couldn’t agree more David. It would seem the BBC can do whatever it likes with zero accountability. Any other organization would have been put to sleep years ago.


  13. George R says:

    So, a next instalment is when Thompson is at the Public Accounts Committee on Monday.


    • Guest Who says:

      And it looks like that carpet is just too lumpy to ignore what has been swept under it all this time.
      ‘does informing The Trust Unit (under Nicholas Kroll) equate directly with informing The Trust?’
      An interesting question (yes, I know, FOI exempted) for any expedited and seeing it upheld on appeal by the Trust. Because of course all communication with the Trust actually goes in and back out, anonymously, via the Trust Unit. So stuff a licence fee payer tells them may get editted out, and actual Trust decisions of course are only as accurate as what is passed back. With total control and secrecy, who knows any different?
      And speaking of ‘Oh…that memo….’
      The Alzheimers outbreak persists. Or possibly Mr. Yentob has the goods on a few high-placed folk.


  14. johnnythefish says:

    Report on BBC TV news yesterday about the declining water vole population.

    Explanations offered: last year’s ‘extreme weather events’ plus longer term the predatory American mink having them for breakfast, dinner and tea.

    Ah, yes, the mink. Not native to the UK. Bit of a mystery how they come to be out and about in our waterways then, eh, BBC? Didn’t notice you trying to offer any kind of explanation, anyway. Perhaps the memory of this little event from 1998 has faded somewhat, even though it’s still on your own website:

    Animal rights group claims responsibility for mink release

    ‘Robin Webb said the animals rights group’s actions were justified as the mink on the farm were all going to be killed for “fur coats that nobody needs”.

    He denied that the mink will destroy the local ecosystem: “As they are territorial animals, you’re not going to get packs of mink running around for a long periods of time. They’re not going to wipe out entire species.”

    Welly well well-well, 15 years down the line and it looks like the cuddly little minkies have had a damn good go at doing exactly that.

    Meanwhile ‘conservationists’ say action needs to be taken before it’s too late. What kind of action? Who knows. Maybe a cull? Hmmmmm, too sensitive. Maybe hauling in Mr Webb for an ‘environmental crime’? Oo-er, mustn’t even go there. Tell you what, how’s about a few hundred more windmills and illegal fracking protests? Aye, that should do it, get climate change fixed and that’s the water vole sorted.

    Hang on in there, Voley, help is on its way!


  15. George R says:

    ‘Daily Mail’ Comment:-

    “Can Patten survive?

    “What a sorry mess. In evidence to a Westminster committee, Lord Patten and the ineffectual BBC Trust insisted they had been kept in the dark about the preposterous six-figure payoffs lavished on senior managers.

    “Mark Thompson, who was director general at the time, insists this is ‘untrue’ and that Lord Patten and head of HR Lucy Adams had been ‘fully briefed’ about the severance packages of ex-deputy DG Mark Byford (almost £1million) and marketing chief Sharon Baylay (£390,000).

    “Plainly, somebody – though in the viper pit of the BBC it is hard to know who – is not telling the truth about this gross misuse of licence fee payers’ money.

    “What is clear is that, if lame duck chairman Lord Patten is found to have misled Parliament, he cannot survive until his planned 2015 departure date. ”


  16. Mike says:

    Given that the hated Murdoch when confronted with evidence of unacceptable behaviour from his minions did the honourable thing and closed down the NoW can we now expect Lord Patton to do the same with the BBC? Or will someone hand the noble Lord a glass of whisky and a revolver? Or rather a GPMG to take loads with him.


    • John Anderson says:

      I wouldn’t mind someone splashing a custard pie across Patten’s smug face, on camera.

      A real bonus if the “someone” were a member of the Committee.


  17. John Anderson says:

    The Public Accounts Committee is of course the most senior Commons Committee. Monday will be its 3rd hearing on the BBC shenanigans. And they are all being called to sit together because the Committee is sick and tired of people trying to pass the buck one to another.

    I would expect the Committee to be well primed for this hearing – with the National Audit Office furious at being misled – as Sue Cameron said this morning, there will be blood on the carpet on Monday.

    Hopefully it will be really bloody and tempestuous. So that it gets banner headlines about the total scandal the BBC has made of golden goodbyes.

    Isn’t schadenfreude fun ?


  18. Dave s says:

    Nothing much will happen. The liberal ascendancy cannot afford a mess here. Perhaps Patten will go. He looks expendable.
    It will be given minimal media time and be over in a few days. Couple of weeks at the most.
    This is all about control. Control of the message and control of us.
    It is going to take a deal more than this to dislodge the rotten generation that rules us.
    As for the Cameron clique they will do nothing to disturb the BBC. They are very much it’s creation.


  19. uncle bup says:

    “We’d lost the plot. We’d got bedevilled by zeros on salaries.”.
    Call Me Tony Hall.


  20. John Anderson says:

    Main headline on front page of the Sunday Times :

    “Ministers to axe failing BBC Trust

    Pay-off fiasco signals the end”

    Keep it coming !


  21. George R says:


    “BBC bosses were aware of payoffs, says Mark Thompson.
    Former director general to appear before MPs as row between corporation grandees grows increasingly bitter.”


    • John Anderson says:

      Amazing ! – comments on that story in the Observer, the Guardian’s bedmate, were closed about one hour after the story was posted on the website.

      “Open and transparent”, eh ?


      • Guest Who says:

        ‘comments on that story in the Observer, the Guardian’s bedmate, were closed about one hour after the story was posted on the website.’
        Speaks volumes and it would be funny if it were not tragic, and a sorry indictment of a very, very skewed system where total control of narratives are in the hands of very few carefully selected by an unrepresentative even fewer.
        OT(ish) but this thread coincides with a post I just read that I think worth sharing on this very point:
        Early pulls is a nasty and overt demonstration of power, but this thread also highlights who seems to have power when there is little evidence of representation.
        The only time the BBC or Graun seem to get the numbers are with issues like Syria, Savile or 10:10, and then they have to pull the plug when they don’t like where things are heading.
        Otherwise they appear to feed off each other based on a audience of… not a lot.
        Propaganda backed by censorship has poor historical precedent.


      • You are right!

        The 19 comments on the site were less than complimentary to the BBC. None rabid but clearly unhappy with the BBC. So what did the Observer do? Shut down any more comments.

        Now what does that say to you about the Observer’s (Guardian’s) relationship with the BBC?

        By the way the “pulling the plug” is not uncommon. When the BBC News Website does it HYS and the responses are not going the way the Beeb likes it. Its quickly shut down.

        There was one on home grown Muslim Terrorists (and it didn’t take a genius to work out what was being wriiten). It didn’t get past more than 50 comments before the plug was pulled.


  22. George R says:

    “BBC Payout Row: Someone Is Telling Porkies.

    “The former director general directly contradicts the chairman of the BBC Trust and both can’t be telling the truth.”


    • Guest Who says:

      I have a lot of time for Mr. Paterson, and if he is on this case it may well be headed for more profile than I had feared the BBC had tried to arrange.
      They’ll try and spin it as ‘Murdoch revenge’, but the bald facts are without question, and this time, Lord Patten will struggle to claim he, and the BBC only ask them.
      ‘Both men cannot be right.

      Someone, ultimately, is telling porkies.

      If it’s Mr Thompson his reputation will be shredded.

      If it’s Lord Patten, the BBC will soon be looking for a new Trust chairman.
      My only niggle is that even Mr. Paterson seems to have been teased into equivocating with childish language.
      It’s not ‘porkies’. It’s flat-out, pre-meditated… lying.

      From the very top of an entity that demands all defer to it on the basis of…. trust.
      And no amount of astounding uncuriosity or selective Alzheimers is going to explain this all away.


  23. George R says:

    “Governance – one of the BBC’s best-ever farces.
    “MPs must get to the issues that have turned the BBC into a version of ‘The Thick of It.'”

    By MARGARETA PAGANO–one-of-the-bbcs-bestever-farces-8803404.html


  24. John Standley says:

    From the Indie article:
    “It’s not perhaps the best defence but the BBC was leading the charge into the digital world, and was competing for the top talent. ”

    Leading the charge into massive over-spending on developing the iPlayer, squandering £100 million on the Digital Media Initiative, all safe in the knowledge that the shareholders, sorry, TV Tax payers had no say in the matter.

    Trebles All Round!!


  25. “The BBC is required to deliver duly impartial news by the Royal Charter and Agreement and to treat controversial subjects with due impartiality. The Trust is committed to making sure that the BBC fulfils this obligation.”

    The above is from the BBC TRUST website.

    Surely we must give the role to Ofcom. The BBC is not impartial and “the Trust” (however you want to view that word) has proven to be overpaid and underperforming.