Friday, November 21, 2008

I have written to Sir Michael Lyons today:-

Safeguarding Trust

I was perplexed to hear your apparent dismay today regarding management failings at the BBC over the Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand incident. The fact is that Jonathan Ross wasn't sacked for gross misconduct, and you yourself seemed against the notion in your recent evidence to a Parliamentary committee. Surely people at all levels should be prepared to take responsibility, and until this is the case we can expect little real improvement?

Unfortunately the Trust is guilty, to an extent, of hypocrisy. When I pointed out to the Director-General, in March this year with copies to yourself and to the Trust, that a very senior BBC children's TV manager had knowingly deceived the public, the Trust went on to praise BBC management in glowing terms. On 9 May 2008 it reported inter alia that:-

* BBC management and staff have been energetic about putting right the wrongs of the past

* The Trust's independent evaluation shows significant progress by the BBC in putting its house in order

and the Trust reached a conclusion that "Overall, and on behalf of licence fee payers whose interest and investment in the BBC we have a duty to represent – we are satisfied that the public can be justified in maintaining its confidence in its BBC."

As far as I am aware the person concerned is still in post and has not been censured for the deception, which occurred after the BBC Safeguarding Trust training course.

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