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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘tolerance

A Fundamental Problem At The BBC

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I am very close to being the BBC’s biggest fan.  It is a remarkable and entirely unique institution.  Somehow it occupies a place between the state and the people which I can find no comparison for.  It would be easy to define it as some sort of socialist idea but it is genuinely independent from the state.  I do, however, have some concerns about its accountability.  I am very concerned about the way it handles complaints.

No Complaints Accepted Here

I have grown up with the BBC and I trust it.  In fact, I think that it’s done a better job of maintaining Britishness and values of integrity, tolerance, fairness and justice than any UK government of any political complexion.  That’s why the curmudgeons in all political parties turn against it.  I think Jeremy Hunt’s recent attacks and comments were particularly poorly judged.  He hasn’t a had a good start in government at all has he?

I made a complaint to the BBC recently and I am very, very unhappy about the way it has been handled.   The subject is not relevant here.  I shall write about it in future but for now it would distract from my point.  I am horrified to discover that the BBC does not handle complaints itself.   They are outsourced to Capita in Belfast which describes itself as “the UK’s leading outsourcing company…at the leading edge of redefining and transforming services to the public.”  For me that needs a huge pinch of salt, a mountain in fact and even then I’m choking on it.

Handling complaints should be at the very heart of an organisation.  It is the essence of your brand.  There is no more important management function.  Contracting them out is an abdication of responsibility.  More than that, it is a complete failure of integrity, a massive mistake.   If an organisation is truly committed to meeting its customers’ needs it must be as close to them as possible.  This irresponsibility strikes at the very heart of everything I value about the BBC.  I am deeply disillusioned.

If this disastrous decision had resulted in a well administered service then that might be some consolation but not a bit of it.  It is dreadful.  Every bit as bad as any horror story you’ve heard about British Gas, BT or yes, even a bank.  This is the British consumer experience at its very worst.

Not What It Used To Be

In sharp contrast to the rest of the BBC’s websites, try making a complaint online.  It’s like something from the very early days of the internet with clumsy, badly aligned fields and an archaic feel.  I almost expect to hear a modem whistling away in the background.  From a complainant’s point of view it’s quite useless.  You don’t get any option to save a copy of your complaint or email it to yourself.  You don’t even get an acknowledgement once you’ve completed it so you’re left with a completely unsatisfactory feeling of uncertainty.  Did they get it or not?  Will I get a reply?  When?

It gets worse.  Complaints are lost.  They don’t get answered at all.  They certainly don’t get answered within the 10 working days promised.  One answer I received was just laughable in its anodyne, crass simplicity.  It was nothing more than an patronising acknowledgement of what I was “unhappy about”.

Useless

I could go on even further but I won’t.  It does get even worse and it becomes embarrassingly so when Capita start to trot out the oldest excuse of all about “system problems”.  It is an excruciatingly bad, defining example of appalling customer service.  I’d say it takes the biscuit.

All this is the inevitable result of outsourcing your complaints procedure.  That aspect of business that should be one of your most important tools.  What’s worse is that Capita are absolutely useless at doing the job.

It is no exaggeration to say that, for me, this rocks the very foundations of everything I believed about the BBC to the very core.  It is not the organisation I thought it was.  I feel betrayed.  I am “disgusted of Tunbridge Wells”.   In fact,  I am very, very, very disgusted of Weymouth, Dorset.

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The State Of Our Nation

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I am not a racist.  My oldest friend is a jet black Jamaican.  However, on New Year’s Eve, when I drove down from my parents’ house in Hertfordshire to see that self-same friend in Maida Vale I was horrified at what I saw on Kilburn High Road.  Even more so than when I lived there, nearly three years ago, it has been swamped with immigrants.

Right through London there was barely a white face to be seen.  The vast majority of women were wearing hijab.  Nearly every car contained an asian face with what seemed to me to be an unnaturally large amount of headroom.  Muslim culture seems to predominate.  I feel isolated in my own country.

I remember when I attended my son’s graduation at UEA in June, perhaps half the faces that went to collect a degree were oriental.  I don’t care if they paid for the privilege, there are too many of them!  We have lost our balance.

Clearly, immigration has been of great benefit to Britain from the Irish in the 1930s, the West Indians in the 1950s, the Asians in the 70s and now Eastern Europeans.  Our economy and our society have improved because people from overseas have come to live here.  In recent times though we have allowed it to become uncontrolled.  We have failed to manage it effectively.  Many recent immigrants are disadvantaged themselves  because of our weak, irresponsible, open door policy.

If our idiotic politicians cannot see what is wrong then I despair.  They have neglected and damaged our nation through ridiculous adherence to political correctness.  I want my country back.

Islam has become a source of great evil in the world and it is time we reconsidered our patience and tolerance of it.  We have been taken advantage of.  The idea that Sharia law should have any force in Britain is outrageous.  “Multiculturalism” is not only a dreadful word but an idea that is making no sense.  It seems that many immigrants don’t want it either.  When they come here they want to group themselves into ghettoes.  They separate themselves from our national culture.  Some want all the benefits of what Britain stands for without any responsibility or participation.  We will not be a great nation without full and genuine integration between our people.

We see today the premier of Iceland standing up for his people and defying convention.  Whatever the rights and wrongs, it is time we had some of this in Britain but is there a single politician in this country with this sort of bravery?  I can’t think of one.

Unless our leaders can get a grip on what is happening then this is a recipe for Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood”.   God has given us Obama who is clearly a force for good but we need more.  Who in Britain has the intelligence, the courage and the popular appeal to step up to the plate?

Thug Plod On The Loose

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How many weeks on and we still have no progress on the police murder at the G20 protest?  What is the IPCC up to?

Brutal Assault

Brutal Assault

Now, again, we have crystal clear proof of outrageous, unjustified police assault.  It is a huge failure of leadership that the Chief Constable Of Nottingham has not already had the officers concerned in this scandal suspended and charged.   More than that, I believe that his failure to do so is a criminal offence in itself.  He is not just dithering, he is failing in his most fundamental duty – to protect the public.

Our tolerance level for this sort of police conduct is already terrifyingly high.  If he does not act then the Home Secretary should step in immediately.  This is not time for enquiries.  This is time for police thugs to be treated like any other lowlife pig and put in irons.