Thursday, October 27, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Had Nelson lost ? We'd be where we are - EUnuched
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Power politics vs Powderpuff politics!
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Excellent letter from the Yorkshire Post 7-10-05
Friday, October 07, 2005
Wake up England! This means censorship.
BBC boss denies trying to fire Humphrys By Tom Leonard (Filed: 07/10/2005)
The BBC director-general became embroiled in a public row with one of the corporation's former senior correspondents yesterday over claims that he and his chairman, Michael Grade, had wanted to sack John Humphrys for making unflattering remarks about Labour leaders in an after-dinner speech.
Mark Thompson took the rare step of issuing a statement to all BBC staff in which he dismissed as "preposterous" a report in the New Statesman magazine that depicted the episode as one of several examples of the corporation's management kowtowing to Downing Street in the wake of the Hutton Report.
The article, written by the magazine's editor, John Kampfner, a former BBC journalist, claimed that Mr Grade had put pressure on the director-general and several other executives to fire Humphrys.
He had been angered, added Kampfner, when Mr Thompson had decided merely to issue the Today presenter with a mild rebuke.
Mr Grade has not responded to the claims. However, John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport committee said it was "likely" that both BBC bosses will be questioned about the affair next Tuesday when they are due to give evidence to MPs.
In an e-mail to staff, Mr Thompson said that the claims were a "malicious attempt to undermine" the BBC's journalism. He said Mr Grade had never ordered him to sack or punish Humphrys, as they had still been awaiting a full transcript of the presenter's speech to communications experts.
Mr Thompson said that suggestions that the BBC was muzzling its journalism in an effort to keep the government happy was "completely false and, indeed, utter nonsense".
He rejected claims that the BBC board had decided it should "go soft" on politicians in the run-up to the renewal of its Royal Charter.
"The whole idea that I or any other senior figures of the BBC could phone up giving instructions to people to go soft on the government is preposterous," he said.
But Kampfner stood by his story, telling Radio 4's World at One that he had a number of senior sources and was not pursuing a vendetta.Personally, having listened to JH over the years, I have little sympathy for his position, Jack DeManio was the last unbiased presenter of the Today programme in my view, and rumour has it he was fired because he was doubtful about our joining the Common Market, plus ca change!