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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘TV

The Public Sector Pay Scandal

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There are very few things in politics that are simple.  This is an exception.  The principle, implied by Panorama, that no one in the public sector should be paid more than the prime minister seems very sensible to me.

I already knew that BBC senior executives enjoy vastly overinflated pay but the fact that Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, gets £838,000 per annum is shocking.   It is particularly hard to take after the absurd spectacle of the Pope’s visit.  The leader of a very minor church, presently mired in appalling scandal, has enjoyed a bonanza of free, round the clock, TV, radio and internet promotion.  I didn’t know but it turns out that Mark Thompson is a rabid Catholic.  He has a nerve to run his own private campaigns at our expense!  This is too much!

He is at the top and is the very worst of a deeply depressing list of excess and vanity.  I am sure that many of these people are very able and skilled in their profession.  If and when they choose to go into the private sector they may well make millions.  While in the public sector, every single one of them should be very grateful for the privilege to serve.

The argument about market forces, put forward by the leader of Liverpool City Council, is just a weak excuse.  If he really believes it then he needs to think again.  Believe me, real market forces will sort this out, no problem.  We will still get the very best in senior positions if we recruit properly.  Successful people will seek to make their name in the public sector first, in prestige positions, then move on to make their fortune.

I say increase the prime minister’s salary to £250,000.  These gestures of senior politicians cutting their own pay are meaningless and impress no one.  Make that the maximum that anyone in the public sector can earn.  Enforce it immediately.  All salaries to be trimmed to that level from 1st October.  I see everything in favour of this and nothing against.

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Cannabis Is Medicine

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It seems to be coming of age.   This is the first ever TV commercial for medicinal cannabis.  This ad first ran on FOX 40 in Sacramento, California in August.  Times are changing.   The truth will out!

Written by Peter Reynolds

September 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm

A BBC Preservation Order

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TAKE NOTICE

This noble institution should be preserved.

It is not perfect but it is better than any alternative.

It contributes enormously to the culture of the nation.

It is our BBC

This notice should be nailed to the door of Broadcasting House and all BBC premises.  Damaging or cutting off parts or branches of the institution is not allowed.  Adequate space must be given to the institution’s roots which must not be interfered with.  Severe penalties will be applied to anyone who knowingly or recklessly damages the institution in any way.

Then David Cameron, Nick Clegg and a heavyweight team need to take Mark Thompson aside and give him a good talking to.   We want to preserve the BBC and its unique qualities but we need a hard pruning of dead wood and unproductive growth.  Preserving the roots and fundamental strength are the most important objectives.   Cutbacks in the right places will stimulate stronger new growth elsewhere.

I agree that Sky should contribute towards those commercial channels that it broadcasts free-to-air.  It ties viewers into its subscription packages because they are comprehensive.  This is gives it an unfair advantage throughout the market, as does its coverage and bandwidth.

Sky is a parasite on traditional TV companies.  Its unfair advantages have enabled it to develop the best user interface and experience in the market.  Even so, it is expensive and has a reputation for appalling customer service.  Its relationship with Newscorp means it is part of a monstrous media empire which requires much more regulation in the interests of consumers and the community at large.  It should be required to invest more in original programming and production.  If necessary, a new media tax should be introduced to enforce appropriate investment and safeguards.

The BBC’s biggest mistake is the level of executive pay.  There is no justification at all for anyone in the BBC to earn more than the Prime Minister.  It is public money.  Anyone unhappy with this should resign today.  No one is indispensable.  The BBC has always been the best in its business at bringing on new talent.

The Licence Fee should remain unchanged.   It is fantastic value for money and shows just how expensive Sky is.   The BBC Trust should be strengthened in its primary role as regulator and it should enforce cost savings, efficiencies and executive pay.  It should also ensure that the BBC becomes more responsive and closer to its audience.  Its complaints and feedback system is fundamental to this.  It needs to be brought back in house and given real priority.  See here.

Britain adores its BBC.  Let’s ensure we preserve it and allow it to flourish.