BBC to Cover Up Cost of Absurd Logo Redesign

The BBC has confirmed that the price of its widely-mocked logo redesign will not be made public, due to commercial sensitivity. In Guido’s experience, the BBC has become one of the most anti-transparency public bodies, with almost no FoIs being approved, often with the aforementioned ‘commercially sensitive’ excuse. The argument about commercial sensitivity might be valid before the contract was agreed, after it is completed it is irrelevant. According to figures released in May, the BBC has gone from answering 53% of FoIs – either partly or fully – in 2015, to just 42% last year. By direct comparison, the House of Commons was more than happy to reveal the cost of their most recent logo design to Guido – without any commercial sensitivity claims…

Aside from the BBC’s cost cover-up – which, according to one BBC source undoubtedly means “they’ve spent some outrageous amount on it and don’t want to admit it” – the logo is so absurd it was foreshadowed in one of their own sitcoms, W1A – a sitcom about working at the BBC.

For reference, this is the W1A joke mock logo next to the BBC’s own new Sounds logo

Another day another farce…

mdi-timer 20 October 2021 @ 10:35 20 Oct 2021 @ 10:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Commons’ Font Change Spending Spaff

While MPs fret over the cost of the restoration and renewal project, Guido can reveal thousands have been wasted by the House of Commons on another renovation project: its logo. Appearing on MPs’ order papers and other documents, last month it was spotted the font had undergone a redesign – from serif to sans serif.

Guido promptly put in an FoI which reveals the change cost taxpayers £2,500 plus VAT:

“The updated wordmark that now appears in the House of Commons logo was not ‘redesigned’. Instead, it was bought ‘off the shelf’, with some small changes being made for us. The cost of this was £2,500, excl. VAT. This cost comprises the design agency’s time, including design and consultation.”

Money well spent, Guido’s sure co-conspirators will agree…

mdi-timer 10 June 2021 @ 12:45 10 Jun 2021 @ 12:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour to Publish Just One Year’s-Worth of Shadow Cabinet Press Meetings

Labour is finally set to release information on the shadow cabinet’s meetings with media proprietors, Guido learns, with the data now being collated covering the first year of Starmer’s leadership. Guido first pointed out the transparency black hole from the party back in 2019, after spotting Corbyn’s team had failed to release the data for three years. So much for Leveson…

While Starmer has no choice in releasing the meetings given his current No. 10 transparency push, Guido understands the blackspot from 2016 to 2020 will remain undeclared, given it would be the responsibility of the former Leader of the Opposition’s office, many of whom are now no longer involved with the party. Corbyn’s meetings with Skwawkbox and Novara Media will be lost to the mists of time…

mdi-timer 29 April 2021 @ 14:00 29 Apr 2021 @ 14:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cabinet Office’s Cummings Abuse Cover Up

The Cabinet Office is refusing to release the findings of an investigation it’s concluded into which senior civil servant – with access to their official Twitter account – posted an anti-Dominic Cummings Tweet on the day of his post-Barnard Castle Rose Garden press appearance. Ironically exactly the sort of biased, left-wing civil service culture Cummings was desperate to reform…

An FoI request asking for an update to their investigation has revealed the information regarding the internal investigation, launched in May 2020, does now exist and is held by the department, however they are refusing to release it on grounds that disclosure:

“would be likely, to prejudice the exercise of the Cabinet Office’s functions”

They won’t even say whether the person who Tweeted that the PM’s office were “truth twisters”, and that his defence of Cummings was “arrogant and offensive”, falls below the standards of “proper conduct”.

Unsurprisingly the legal request for information also failed to yield the name of the person responsible, refusing even to say whether that information is held by the Cabinet Office. The release goes on to imply the department’s head of FoI’s believes that releasing the name of the anti-Cummings civil servant would undermine their ability to investigate future acts of improper conduct. Desperate, self-serving obfuscation…

mdi-timer 26 February 2021 @ 09:46 26 Feb 2021 @ 09:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Treasury Compelled to Release ‘Net Zero’ Cost Calculations

Last year Guido reported the news that the Government was refusing to publish the “over 220,000 specified data points… organised over 100 Excel workbooks” it had produced on calculating the cost of a net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 policy. The work, completed in 2019 prompted then Chancellor Philip Hammond to write a letter to Theresa May citing the greater than £1 trillion cost of Net Zero. Despite Hammond explaining it would leave certain industries “economically uncompetitive”, the policy was rushed through with next to no debate in the dying days of the May administration…

Yet now the Information Commissioner’s Office has finally ruled that the Treasury needs to release the underlying cost calculations. It was ruled that the public interest was not given sufficient weight in the Treasury’s original decision to withhold. In a lengthy contemplation of the case, the Information Commissioner’s decision notice, seen by Guido, finally concludes that the public interest favours disclosure” of the cost calculation. The Treasury has 28 days to appeal or put up…

Andrew Montford, Global Warming Policy Forum, which won the decision says:

“This is a major embarrassment for the Treasury. It appears that it cobbled together a few numbers on the back of an envelope, and simply emailed them off to the Prime Minister without a blush. After Parliament’s decision to adopt the Net Zero target without any meaningful scrutiny, and without consideration of the economic and engineering implications, it is becoming clear that the whole project is misgovernance on a historic scale.”

A trillion-pounds is completely off the scale…

mdi-timer 25 January 2021 @ 14:50 25 Jan 2021 @ 14:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour Turns Attack Guns… on Blair’s Downing Street Creation

Rachel Reeves took to Twitter yesterday to decry the Government’s ‘clearing house’ for Freedom of Information requests. Reeves referenced an OpenDemocracy article about a sinister sounding “secretive Cabinet Office ‘Clearing House’ for Freedom of Information requests”. It’s not only Reeves who slammed the clearing house, Labour shadow Cabinet Office minister Helen Hayes chimed in calling it “extremely troubling”. They may therefore both be surprised to discover that the clearing house was established in 2004, dealing with hundreds of requests under Blair, which were sent from departments to the central body

Tony Blair, writing in 2010, recalls in “A Journey” how much he detested the publics Freedom of Information rights he legislated for:

“Freedom of Information. Three harmless words. I look at those words as I write them, and feel like shaking my head till it drops off my shoulders. You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it. Once I appreciated the full enormity of the blunder, I used to say – more than a little unfairly – to any civil servant who would listen: Where was Sir Humphrey when I needed him? We had legislated in the first throes of power. How could you, knowing what you know have allowed us to do such a thing so utterly undermining of sensible government?”

So he created a centralised delaying mechanism to frustrate his own introduction of Freedom of Information rights. Joined up government – as a stitch up.

Whilst Guido has noticed a slow-moving approach to FoI requests, having dealt with the Labour years it’s rich to see Reeves and her Shadow Ministers line up to attack their party’s own creation of sluggish central handling. Do as I say not as we did…

mdi-timer 1 December 2020 @ 13:00 1 Dec 2020 @ 13:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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