BBC Technology chief sacked for 'misusing hospitality'
From The Register
Despite an assertion that the matter was unrelated to the impending sale of BBC Technology - expected to go for more than £100 million - the fact that misusing hospitality has been publicly given as the reason for Ms Wilson's dismissal is highly unusual, and has been recognised as such by the media organisation.
What is BBC Technology?
BBC Technology provides products and services such as media communications, Internet solutions, and consulting services to the BBC, other broadcasters, platform owners, content owners and government organizations. BBC Technology - founded in 2001 - hosts the BBC's homepage, which officials boast is Europe's most visited site.
Why are the management privatising BBC Technology?
From BECTU Report
The benchmarking process had led to the conclusion that the BBC was spending roughly 2% more on IT and telephony than it believed was necessary, as a proportion of its overall income.
Why does it matter?
I am more than happy for BBC Technology to be 2% less efficient than the industry norm when I consider the excellent services that they provide. the BBC are always at the forefront of championing the provision of free, universally available services like the "Listen Again" service and the BAFTA Award winning "Dark House".
We currently pay £116 a year for all of the BBC services. In comparison I pay £420 a year for my Broadband Connection. I would gladly pay an extra £5 a year on my license fee to keep BBC Technology publically owned.
A recent BECTU poll showed that 84% of staff polled are against the privatisation.
I predict that BECTU will not put up much of a fight against the privatisation and that the BBC will be slowly dismembered and sidelined until it is no theat to its political and commercial enemies.
Not surprisingly, then, Rupert Murdoch and his political cronies have begun to lay the groundwork for an all-out assault on the BBC and the annual fee. While they will probably not be able to eliminate it, their endless attacks, slanted polls, and political pressuring may well result in a lessening of the amount the BBC gets annually, thus weakening the BEEB as a 'public' competitor to all private interests, but especially to the multi-channel Murdochian news and entertainment network BSkyB.
All this must be viewed through the prism of what otherwise appears the oddest of couplings: Rupert and Tony Blair. Blair first became Prime Minister owing in large measure to the endorsements of the traditionally right wing Murdoch press. It now seems apparent that Blair made a devilish pact years ago to garner Murdoch's support, despite their obvious political differences, and Murdoch is now collecting his payback on the instalment plan.
Couple this scenario with the BBC's controversial Iraq War reporting, the drama over reporter Andrew Gilligan's accusation that the Blair government "sexed up" the WMD dossier, (which led, in turn, to the suicide of weapons expert and BBC source David Kelly,) and the Blair government's resultant assault on the BBC -- and the interests of Blair, Murdoch and the American right-wing can be seen to merge.
Part of the Blair animosity toward the BBC is that he is in partnership with Murdoch, and this is in part Murdoch's war with the BBC.
Thus Blair and his then-mouthpiece Alastair Campbell went to war against the BBC with two aims: one, to distract attention from whether the nation and the world was deceived on the road to war against Saddam; the other to soften up the BBC for Rupert down the line, and reduce British broadcasting to what one Labour Party renegade, Claire Short, has termed "the sort of commercially dominated, biased news reporting that controls the US airwaves."
Don't sit back and ignore this fight. Argue for a whole BBC with your friends, family and workmates. Who knows maybe we can make a difference.