Guido was not well-versed in the career of Martin Plaut before today, but he can already tell the BBC World Service Africa editor has a penchant for perfect timing. In a Q&A Plaut was asked “who do you hate and why?” His response was, well, rather straight to the point:
As Aneurin Bevan said: ‘No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.’”
£110,000-a-year part-timer Lord Patten has hardly endeared himself to critics by signing off George Entwistle’s £450,000 golden goodbye. But who were the other guilty men and women who helped make the decision?
During this weekend’s episode of Strictly Come Dancing Patten held a conference call with lawyers and two members of the BBC Trust’s remuneration committee, Anthony Fry and Diane Coyle.
Taking a leaf out of her boss’ book, Coyle is paid £70,610-a-year of license fee payers’ cash to work just two and a half days a week for the BBC. And what does she do in her spare time, other than watching Strictly with a glass of red that is? Last year Coyle was an unpaid adviser to none other than Chuka Umunna, helping the two-faced shadow business secretary with his policy review.
Chuka was quick to criticise Phillip Schofield but has been oddly quiet about the former BBC DG…
UPDATE: Coyle has got in touch to clarify that she was actually drinking white wine, not red.
UPDATE II: And here’s the proof:
Hardly a surprise but good news nonetheless that a jury has found former Labour MP Margaret Moran fiddled her expenses to the tune of £53,000. She committed 15 counts of false accounting and six counts of using a false instrument, though the jury were instructed they could not find her guilty due to her mental health. She will be sentenced at a later date…
The Tories have upped the attacks on the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, mainly by pointing out the fact that their funder David Potter is a Labour donor. They have put down an EDM and circulated briefing notes on the troubled group’s finances. Nothing to do with this of course:
While the URL would suggest the that the small Labour/unions story was a last-minute attempt at balance, you can see where the grudge came from. Making party political attacks on the Bureau will have the opposite effect that the Tories want. One way to make the Bureau’s dwindling supporters group stick together is for CCHQ to go for their jugular. The Bureau was imploding by itself…
Spectacularly badly timed:
Dear Lord ███████
Political Speed Dating Event – Thursday 22nd November
As part of Parliament Week 2012 we are holding a ‘Political Speed Dating’ event where a group of 13-16 year olds will have the rare opportunity to chat in small groups with current Parliamentarians.
The session will run at 10.30am to 11.45am in the Macmillan Room in Portcullis House, and it would be wonderful for the students if you were available to participate. We are inviting Members of both Houses from all parties and the event will involve up to 10 Members. We have extended the invitation to several members and I hope that you are able to participate.
Please contact me if I can provide any further information about the session, I hope to hear from you soon.
Education Visits Officer
Houses of Parliament
Well that was pretty poorly worded given the current climate.
An adamant Nads insisted she could handle being trapped in a coffin with 3,000 cockroaches and 5,000 crickets before her bug burial last night, telling viewers: “I’ve got to deliver. Got to win. Nothing’s going to stop me doing it“. Much to Guido’s disappointment she lasted for only four of the ten minutes required to win the challenge. All those people voted for her and then she left half way through…
Nadine has a chance to redeem herself this evening as she prepares to dine on something unpleasant. At least she’s winning the popular vote…
The PM’s shirt is over-starched. Tsk tsk.
Last month Guido reported that the BBC were refusing to respond to a Freedom of Information request asking for the names of scientists who attended the now infamous climate change seminar in 2006, that was convened to decide BBC climate change policy. The BBC Trust admitted that the evidence given at the seminar led to an unprecedented editorial decision to no longer give equal airtime to opponents of the climate change . At the time Guido wondered why the BBC was spending a six-figure sum to keep the names of the specialists who dictated their editorial policy secret? So who was there?
Well if the BBC had their way we would never know, they are still trying to fight the publication of this list, however what is believed to be the complete who’s who has now been acquired by legitimate sleuthing by Maurizio Morabito:
Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
Trevor Evans, US Embassy
Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net
Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
Claire Foster, Church of England
Saleemul Huq, IIED
Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
Matthew Farrow, CBI
Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
Joe Smith, The Open University
Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
Anita Neville, E3G
Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia
Jana Bennett, Director of Television
Sacha Baveystock, Executive Producer, Science
Helen Boaden, Director of News
Andrew Lane, Manager, Weather, TV News
Anne Gilchrist, Executive Editor Indies & Events, CBBC
Dominic Vallely, Executive Editor, Entertainment
Eleanor Moran, Development Executive, Drama Commissioning
Elizabeth McKay, Project Executive, Education
Emma Swain, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual
Fergal Keane, (Chair), Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Fran Unsworth, Head of Newsgathering
George Entwistle, Head of TV Current Affairs
Glenwyn Benson, Controller, Factual TV
John Lynch, Creative Director, Specialist Factual
Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy
Jon Williams, TV Editor Newsgathering
Karen O’Connor, Editor, This World, Current Affairs
Catriona McKenzie, Tightrope Pictures
Liz Molyneux, Editorial Executive, Factual Commissioning
Matt Morris, Head of News, Radio Five Live
Neil Nightingale, Head of Natural History Unit
Paul Brannan, Deputy Head of News Interactive
Peter Horrocks, Head of Television News
Peter Rippon, Duty Editor, World at One/PM/The World this Weekend
Phil Harding, Director, English Networks & Nations
Steve Mitchell, Head Of Radio News
Sue Inglish, Head Of Political Programmes
Frances Weil, Editor of News Special Events
What you might call fair and balanced: the conference was billed as bringing together “the best scientific experts”. Scientists, “scientists” and hippy campaigners, but what the Beeb will be most embarrassed by is the representative from the disgraced Climatic Research Unit who were exposed three years later for manipulating data to fit their arguments.
Emails from Mike Hulme, second on that list, were at the heart of the Climategate scandal.
No wonder the BBC are wasting your money hiding this…
See also: Andrew Montford’s “Conspiracy of Green” for background and Andrew Orlowski’s recent article “FOlA judges: Secret 28 who made the BBC Green will not be named“.
Guido can reveal that during the first six months of this year Lord Patten turned up to his BBC office on average just two days a week. Between January and July £110,000-a-year Patten attended his Great Portland Street office on just 56 days. The BBC have told Guido that Patten is expected to work on Beeb business for three to four days a week, and is required to be on call seven days a week. Overall twelve-job Patten was recorded as working for just 78 days during the period, with the BBC noting that 22 of those were merely attending the odd meeting or answering phone calls from home.
You can bet he’s putting in a lot more hours in now…