It's easy to have a pop at Auntie Beeb, but they're not the only organisation with some serious thinking to doby Stuart Maconie / July 28, 2017 / Leave a comment
The fallout from the Great BBC Pay Disclosure, 2017 did not include the atomic pulse wave of righteous ire at the corporation’s profligacy that the right wing press must have hoped for. That particular lobby surely yearned for something the MPs’ expenses scandal (and the tsunami of moral outrage that followed)—revelations about the baroque duck houses on Radio 2 presenters’ country piles, perhaps, or at the very least, designer garments to be rent in shame on the steps of Broadcasting House.
Egged on by the BBC’s many and various enemies in Fleet Street, the government had demanded that the corporation disclose the names and pay of everyone earning more than £150,000. This was one of the conditions required for the guaranteed continuance of the license fee in a new royal charter (Cameron wanted to merely ‘out’ any on-air talent earning more than £450,000 but Theresa May, perhaps still tipsy with power at this point, cut the limit to £150,000 when she became PM).
Whatever sanctimonious guff was trotted out about ‘transparency’, the actual logic was transparent to all. The very notion of the BBC gnaws daily at the vital organs of many on the right, it being “a standing rebuke to the idea the state can’t get anything right and everything should be left to the market,” as Jasper Jackson pointed out in the New Statesman. This particular bit of faux-naif bullying from Downing Street and its friends in the Fourth Estate was intended to embarrass the BBC and render it less lovely in the eyes of the nation. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way.