Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tory MP Rob Wilson Slams Patten Statement
“A Cynically-Timed” Attempt to “Cover Lord Patten’s Back”

Tory MP Rob Wilson is not very happy with the BBC Trust statement:

The BBC Trust’s statement is a cynically-timed attempt to kill a growing story and cover Lord Patten’s back.

The issue has never been whether or not Nick Pollard judged that Mark Thompson was unaware of the Savile allegations while he was Director-General of the BBC. That is not what he wrote in the Pollard Inquiry report. The issue is whether there was, as Nick Pollard concluded, ‘no reason to doubt’ that Thompson knew nothing of the Savile allegations.

Having acknowledged the existence of Helen Boaden’s testimony that she informed Thompson that Savile had been investigated for sexual abuse, a direct contradiction of Thompson’s version of events, both the BBC Trust and Pollard continue to stand by his finding that there was zero reason to doubt Thompson’s account. The only logical implication of this is that they regard Helen Boaden, then the BBC’s most senior female executive, as an inferior and less credible witness than Mr Thompson.

This is a baffling, indeed worrying position that neither Pollard or the BBC Trust have attempted to explain. They must do so without delay. If they are right, it raises serious questions about Ms. Boaden’s fitness to continue as the BBC’s Head of Radio.

Until Pollard and the Trust fully address the issue rather than try to dodge it, it will remain apparent that the Pollard Review contains a major error which Mr Pollard freely acknowledges in his unguarded private conversations, but shamefully refuses to own up to in public.

It appears, despite a terrible 12 months, the BBC Trust has learnt nothing about openness and transparency and continues to behave like an organisation accountable only to itself.

Newsnight are on the case. Lets hope there’s not another cover up…

Another BBC Whitewash From Patten
Nick Pollard Sorry for “Genuine Conversation”

Nick Pollard has written to the BBC Trust to apologise for telling a journalist that his report into the Jimmy Savile scandal was flawed and that he made ‘a mistake’ by not including key evidence that Mark Thompson had been told allegations about Jimmy Savile were going to be made by Newsnight in December 2012. Pollard admits the tape that Guido published this morning was genuine and that he regrets getting busted:

It has taken 10 months for the BBC Trust to finally kick into action after the flaws in the report came to light. And it’s still murky…

Four trustees, whose identity we did not know, have met in secret and concluded that though ‘a mistake’ has been made, it’s best to just ignore it:

“The unanimous conclusion of the four Trustees is that they are satisfied that Nick Pollard properly weighed all the evidence that was available to him and that the conclusions of his report are robust. They remain confident that Nick Pollard conducted an independent, fair and thorough examination of the issues raised by the dropped Newsnight investigation.

While the Trustees did not consider that the recording undermines the conclusions of Nick Pollard’s report, they agree it would have been preferable for a reference to Helen Boaden’s legal letter to have been included. They also felt it was regrettable that Nick Pollard had decided to try to correct the record through an off-the-record conversation with a journalist, rather than raising this point directly with the BBC, who commissioned the report.”

Yet Nick Pollard himself confessed that he had not “properly weighed all the evidence that was available to him” and this statement does not address the fact that the BBC Trust have been aware of the flaws in the Pollard Report for ten months and were only forced into acknowledging the problems after threats to make the tape public. £3m spunked up the wall in a flawed report and still Patten is trying to save his arse.

Patten Laments Loss of Trust in BBC (With a Straight Face)

Lord Patten has surfaced in the comfort of the Guardian. Writing about the BBC governance shake up, Fat Pang claims:

“People clearly love and value the BBC’s programmes; we know this because they keep watching them. But it’s not enough for people to love the BBC’s content. They also need to have faith in the way it is run. There is no doubt that events over the past year – Savile, the McAlpine Newsnight, the failed Digital Media Initiative technology project and the excessive severance payments to senior managers – have rattled that faith.”

Yes, licence fee payers are also rattled that for ten months the Chairman of the BBC Trust has been complicit in a cover up.

Exclusive: The Tape Lord Patten Does Not Want You to Hear

Lord Patten yesterday threatened legal action against anyone publishing this audio recording. Guido is regardless publishing the bombshell tape recording of Pollard Review chairman Nick Pollard confessing that he made a ‘mistake’ by excluding key evidence about former BBC chief Mark Thompson from his final report in the the Jimmy Savile cover up at the BBC:

This what Lord Patten said at the time of the report’s release in December 2012:

“Neither I nor my colleagues intend to get involved in the next few hours, days, weeks, in an exegesis about the report. As far as we’re concerned the report is an excellent account of what happened. We’re totally in support of the recommendations, and that as far as I am concerned is that.”

Two months later it was revealed that key evidence had been left out of the report. Despite knowing all of this Patten told Parliament in October “I am saying that Nick Pollard did a report that was well received and well regarded, not least because it was so blisteringly honest about some of the failures in the BBC”, adding “I have no reason to suppose that we shouldn’t accept that report.”

When the BBC spends £3 million of licence fee money on an inquiry into a matter as serious as the Savile Sex Abuse scandal, and the inquiry chairman rings a journalist to tell him that he got part of his report wrong, it is undeniably in the public interest that licence-fee payers are told about it. Part time BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten has known of Pollard’s error for months. Yet he appears to have done all he can to avoid addressing it and has shown no willingness to inform the public of it. Someone has some explaining to do…

Monday, December 9, 2013

Time Running Out for Patten to Save Face

Pompous part time BBC Trust Chairman is having a terrible Monday morning. As Guido reported in yesterday’s Sun, the chairman of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has weighed into the growing Pollard Review shambles. John Whittingdale says:

“Lord Patten previously told us he was relaxed about it but having listened to the tape recording he’s shifted his position. The committee would now like to see the exchange of letters between Patten and Pollard. Then we will decide if further action is necessary.”

James Harding is quiet too. Now Rob Wilson has given Patten an ultimatum. This morning Trevor Kavanagh reports:

“BBC boss Lord Patten will today be given 48 hours to come clean over claims that top executives knew Jimmy Savile’s reputation as a rampant sexual predator. If he fails to respond, Tory MP Rob Wilson has told me exclusively that he will release taped evidence that ex-BBC chief Mark Thompson was personally warned about a Newsnight investigation into the allegations.”

Tick tock, tick tock…

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Five Live Censor Tim Montgomerie for BBC Criticism

The deeply unpleasant Radio 5 presenter Sam Walker got her knickers in a right twist earlier when Tim Montgomerie of the Times was on her show. Reading out left-wing hackette Samira Shackle’s Twitter handle, so listeners could find her online, gobby Walker point blank refused to do the same for Monty:

“Now if you’d like to follow Samira on Twitter she is @samirashackle. If you want to follow Tim then bad news because yesterday he retweeted someone slagging off the BBC so I’m not going to tell you his address. But now is not the time to refuse to give out Tim Montgomerie’s Twitter address although I am not going to give out Tim Montgomerie’s Twitter address for now is the time to open your ears, put up your feet settle back, as we Chart The Week.”

Here is the offending Tweet that Tim had dared to push:

The former editor of ConHome told listeners: “I can’t remember Sam retweeting someone who was rude about the BBC.” The delightful Walker hit back “Well you better look back through your timeline Tim,” giving Monty the final word “I better hadn’t I. I didn’t know we were being censored, weren’t allowed free speech but I will behave much better from now on.”

The paranoia is getting to them.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Patten Emerges: Pressure Turned Up on BBC Chairman

As Guido revealed in the Sun on Sunday, part time BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten was dragging his feet after being played a tape recording that proves the £3 million Pollard Review into the Jimmy Savile cover up was deeply flawed and that evidence had been excluded by ‘mistake’. Completely coincidentally Patten has woken up and this morning’s Times reports that he has sent the recording to Pollard for comment. Patten’s nemesis smells blood.

Philip Davies is keeping the pressure on. Guido hears he has written to the former Tory MP “for the avoidance of doubt” in order to “impress upon you and your fellow Trustees again” the “very serious nature” of the situation, and questions why it has taken Patten and the BBC trust “nine months to address it, this material having originally surfaced in the Sunday Times on 24 February.” Guido particularly enjoyed this line:

“I can see that it must be difficult for the BBC Trust to accept what has gone wrong here, but I would like to remind you that when you gave a speech in Turin on 22 September about the BBC you said it must “embrace the need for openness and honesty when things go wrong.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.”

Patten knows what is at stake here. This cover up has already forced out one BBC Director General and blighted the subsequent career of another. The good Lord has been dodging this issue for as long as he could, but it is looking increasingly like that tactic has ended in failure…

Monday, December 2, 2013

Patten of Cover Ups at BBC

As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, part-time BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten is involved in a cover-up of a cover-up. The Beeb spent £3 million of licence fee-payers’ cash investigating the Jimmy Savile scandal and why a Newsnight exposé of it was shelved. It later emerged the Pollard Report did not contain the key piece of evidence that Mark Thompson was told about the allegations the show was preparing to make. This we already know, and Lord Patten continues to claim the report was all above board despite two weeks ago being played a tape recording of Nick Pollard admitting his report is deeply flawed and that he made “a mistake”. Despite this, Patten is dragging his feet with this new evidence. Perhaps he’s distracted by one of his other ten jobs. Stay tuned, there is more to come this week…

Friday, November 29, 2013

Video Says No

Labour’s digital strategy is still having some pretty unfortunate teething problems. For some strange reason they have had to take down this week’s big video by Miliband guru Arnie Graf from YouTube. At the time of going to pixel it is marked as private:

youtube_private_video

Guido understands it was BBC News boss James Harding who intervened over the use of BBC Parliament footage. Doh!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cry Baby Bruce Turns on Today

Lots to talk about at tomorrow’s big strategy day at Labour HQ. Mainly how to whine, sorry win. Bargain basement strategist Bruce Hawker’s cry baby tactic is on display again this morning. Here is more of his wisdom, as told to Progress:

“Utilise social media as a strong alternative means of disseminating your message. It is also a very effective medium to lampoon and expose media bias. And enlist their competition to expose bias.”

The Labour press team has been noticeably more whiny over the last few days, calling Times editor John Witherow a “Tory mouthpiece”. As Guido pointed out last week, this is a deliberate shoot the messenger strategy.

Now they are going after that well-known bastion of right-wing bias, the Today programme:

Strewth! It’s going to be a long 18 months with all this moaning…

Graphic via The Australian.

Seen Elsewhere

Establishment Times Chums Appeasing Tory Europhiles | UKIP
Andrew Pierce v Owen Jones | MediaGuido
Last Person the Leave the EU Please Turn Out the Lights | Speccie
Porn Without Borders | The Local
Why Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves | Nick Wood
North Korean Heavies Target Ealing Hairdresser | Standard
Tax Cuts Make Us All Richer | Alex Brummer
Sex, Booze and Power Play | Sophy Ridge
Deferential Democracy is Dead | Douglas Carswell
Clegg’s Taxpayer Funded Strategist | Sun
Farage is Still a Politician | Times


new-advert
Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)


Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads