The BBC regains its honour

23 October 2012

9:02 AM

23 October 2012

9:02 AM

I hope that the entire editorial staffs of the Times, Sunday Times, Sun, Mail, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph (oh and the Express newspapers if they are still around) along with Alastair Campbell, the Parliamentary Conservative Party and Rupert Murdoch are going to be gracious enough to praise the BBC today.

How many other institutions would allow junior staff to carry out a forensic examination of an internal scandal and broadcast it to the world? How many others would allow employees to expose a manager who made a self-serving decision? If you think you could do what Panorama did last night in any other media organisation, ask yourself, where were the journalists in the press warning their employers of the dangers of phone hacking? There were no articles in the tabloids and Murdoch papers exposing mass law breaking by their papers. Even after the scandal broke, investigative journalists on the papers that hacked have not attempted to nail their proprietors and managers for the very good reason that their proprietors would fire them if they did.

As I keep pointing out, whenever we go to work we leave a democracy and enter a dictatorship. We can say what we want about politicians, and never fear that the secret police will arrest us, but if we criticise our managers in private or public sector hierarchies, everyone accepts that our careers will suffer or perhaps be over.


The absence of freedom of speech in the workplace has disastrous consequences. It cannot be said often enough that the interest of organisations – which require robust internal self-examination if they are to survive – and the interests of rent-seeking managers – who want to enforce deference and secrecy to justify their positions – are in conflict. The results of allowing incompetent and acquisitive managers to silence dissent ought to have been evident after the bank crash. Senior staff the Royal Bank of Scotland knew that Goodwin was leading the company to ruin, but they were too frightened to speak out. At HBOS, Paul Moore, the risk manager of the Halifax, was under a legal duty to ensure it behaved prudently. He found that managers rewarded sales teams if they sold mortgages, and mocked and demeaned them if they failed to persuade gullible punters to take the bait. When Moore told James Crosby that his bank’s lending was insanely risky, Crosby fired him, and Moore never worked in banking again. A few years later HBOS collapsed and you, dear reader, had to bail it out.

Compare Moore with his contemporaries. Suppose, they realised that their managers were making catastrophic errors. They lost nothing by staying silent. They kept their jobs and they pocketed their salaries and bonuses. When the bank collapsed, the state did not confiscate their homes and empty their accounts. Because they never caused trouble, they could find another job in another bank. If the state coerced the taxpayer into bailing out the failed institution, they could carry on in their old jobs as if nothing had happened – but now drawing salaries and bonuses at public expense. Within three years of the taxpayer bailing out RBS, 200 of its staff were receiving million-pound bonuses. Speaking out in the public interest brought nothing but trouble. Pursuing your private interest caused you no trouble at all.

We still don’t know what was going on in the mind of the editor of Newsnight when he spiked one of the biggest stories of the year. But it is plausible to imagine that the thought “my superiors may not thank me for broadcasting this” ran through it. If this is the case, his personal interest in advancing his career and the public interest in exposing the abuse of children would be conflict. Now, of course, everyone can see that it would also have been in the BBC’s interest if it had broken the story rather than laying itself open to accusations that it suppressed uncomfortable facts. As I said the interests of organisations and the interests of managers are not always in harmony.

At least at the BBC, journalists on Newsnight can speak out against cowardly editors, and journalists on Panorama can examine a corporate scandal without fear of reprisals. In doing so they help regain viewers’ trust and strengthen the institution.

We ought to be extending anti-managerialism into every private and public hierarchy. To my mind, the crash made the case for German-style worker directors on boards, who might temper the dictators of the boardroom, unanswerable. Beyond institutional change, we need cultural change. Any executive, who cannot take criticism from his or her staff, ought to be a risible figure. Indeed his desire to enforce silence ought to be recognised as a sign that he is unfit to be a manager in the first place. If we understood that, we would know that we need organisations that are more like cooperatives and less like Soviet era bureaucracies.

For the moment, though, I would like everyone who comments here at the Spectator to admit how very wrong they have been about the BBC. I have left plenty of space for you below, so get typing.

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Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Nice blog.

  • Jerry Owen

    The BBC conspired to put Nick Griffin in prison for warning about Muslim Paedophiles. He was not only found ‘not guilty’ in a court of law, he was in fact as it turns out correct.
    Has the BBC apologised to Nick Griffin?. I think not. Shame on the BBC for allowing the cover up of child grooming.
    The BBC deserves every criticism it gets. It’s an organisation with an unusually high level of lefty perverts.

  • les

    nick cohen you cant regain something you never had bbc reporting was always selective and biased normally to the left loving watching them come under the spotlight

  • all the myths

    Eric Gill…nuff said ( for now)

  • Olenka Frenkiel

    It was damage limitation. Panorama didn’t commission it when it was first pitched. Nor when it was pulled back before Christmas last year. It was iTV who broke this story. If they hadn’t done so we would still not know, Savile would still be a hero, the victims would still be unheard and the two BBC journalists who gathered the evidence and had their work inexplicably spiked would be facing the quiet end of their BBC careers. Why? Because they questioned the arbitrary judgement of invisible unaccountable managers who claim falsely to have no editorial role and never to intervene but who regularly dictate content. I hope the Pollard Review will reveal how it all really works. Employees and former employees are gagged by strict confidentiality clauses and are fearful to say what they know. But if this review is to be “robust” “open” and “transparent” I hope they will submit any evidence they have on the interference of “EdPol” (David Jordan’s Editorial Policy department) – without fear that they will be fired for it or sued.

  • les

    nick cohen what a load of verbal diarrhoea pass me the sick bag

  • MikeF

    I notice Lord Patten is now backtracking from his previous defence of the BBC against external criticism and now conceding there are ‘questions to be answered’. The upper echelons of gthe BBC are now acting like rats in a barrel – there is nothing there except self-interest trying to pass itself off as principle. The whole senior management of the organisation should resign – or be forced out – and be replaced by a new regime with a clear mandate to return the organisation to an ethos of impartial public service.

  • Teddy123Bear

    Let’s imagine if it would have been Sky that nurtured and enabled the scum Savile for so many years, while at best ‘averting their gaze – wink, wink nod nod’.

    And if would have been Sky that cancelled a report that would have drawn attention to this scandal, and highlighted their internal twisted culture that allows this kind of thing to go on.

    I wonder what sort of questions the BBC would be asking at every available slot, and what sort of focus they would be trying to attain? Certainly not the focus the BBC have put on themselves, so let’s not kid ourselves, OR BE KIDDED by the likes of Cohen, that the BBC are to be trusted now.

    Having first denied it, then found to be deceiving us, they did what they had to do to try and restore some public confidence. Like a criminal sentenced to community service, and Cohen wants us to think that now it shows integrity.

    They certainly don’t fool me with their attempt to make themselves appear truly repentant, open and honest, especially using it as a diversionary tactic that fails to focus on or reveal just where this internal culture has altered in any way – and what led to that change.

    They can’t – because it hasn’t!

    In just the same way as Thompson admitting a ‘massive left-wing bias’ at the BBC 30 years ago, but avoiding saying just where and how was this addressed – because it wasn’t.

    Rotten to the core and needs to be cast out. Anybody who really believes that what the BBC is doing right now is showing some morality is delusional or just taken in by their act following getting caught out.

  • Skeptic

    ‘At least at the BBC, journalists on Newsnight can speak out against
    cowardly editors, and journalists on Panorama can examine a corporate
    scandal without fear of reprisals. In doing so they help regain viewers’
    trust and strengthen the institution’.

    If this is so why would the editor of Newsnight think that “my superiors may not thank me for broadcasting this”?
    Am I very cynical in thinking that the Panorama was broadcast exactly so that it would generate articles like this one?

  • wesayukdotcom

    What honour??

  • Kevin

    We can say what we want about politicians, and never fear that the secret police will arrest us, but if we criticise our managers in private or public sector hierarchies, everyone accepts that our careers will suffer or perhaps be over.

    This is not a like-for-like comparison. Managers will not arrest us, but anyone who falls foul of the political class may be crushed economically (and may indeed be arrested).

    Take for example the misuse of the Public Order Act for political purposes, the persecution of Christians who would like to use their own homes as a source of income in accordance with family values, the outlawing of Catholic adoption agencies, or MPs’ summoning of the Bishop of Lancaster when he proposed teaching Catholic schoolchildren about their religion.

    I cannot understand how you came to perceive the contrast you attempt to make above.

  • terence patrick hewett

    The BBC are representative of the political left: that is a bunch of state subsidised, communist, shirt lifters. Always have been.

  • wrinkledweasel

    ITV got there first.

    It struck me that the BBC material was more about internecine point-scoring and getting even. It is also about the BBC appearing to do something.

    You say:” At least at the BBC, journalists on Newsnight can speak out against cowardly editors”

    Liz MacKean has taken voluntary redundancy. That is how poisonous the atmosphere is and that is what happens to people who speak out. “Honour at the BBC”? I don’t think so.

  • Mike

    Nick, the BBC studios are a places of work. Under Health and Safety Legislation children are not allowed to wander around a place of work without being chaperoned. Children could have been locked in cupboards or rooms; played with dangerous equipment; injured themselves, become unwell etc, etc and if the BBC had not taken all reasonable precautions, such as providing a competent adult chaperone, theywould have been guilty of criminal negligence.

  • Colin

    Go and take a look at re-runs of Sky News, then ask yourself, quietly and sincerely, if, in fact you actually know what you’re talking about.

    It would appear that anyone who attempted to whistle blow on Saville was ruthlessly crushed over a period of forty years. The fact that this horrific scandal only emerged in the public domain, after his death, makes a mockery of your argument. Had the senior leadership at the BBC stood up to him earlier, who knows how many kids would have been spared the abuse and grinding humiliation ?
    Try and imagine the utter, super decibel, sustained outrage, from the BBC had Saville had been an employee of any of the media organisations you name check in your article.

  • Dr Evil

    So what about the e mails suppressed for “legal reasons”? More arse coverng perhaps?

  • Joseph T Erber

    Cohen is right, but there’s a big “yes..but..?” involved here. It’s good the BBC are doing at the very least what they should be doing (and others fail to do) but redeem it with a fairly inconclusive documentary and nightly talking shops on BBC2? I don’t think so.
    I loathe to get personal but the ever-mercurial Nick could be writing a big anti bbc rant the next day depending on what side of bed he got up on. He can be so right (on the big questions of religion, science, reason etc)..yet so wrong sometimes.

  • grimm

    Cohen’s point about the workplace as a dictatorship is well made. However, I am appalled at his easy (and rather sentimental) acceptance of the Panorama investigation as showing the BBC to be a sanctuary of free speech and enlightened self-critical management. This, coupled with the sneering tone he adopts to BBC critics in his final paragraph, diminishes him as a journalist.

    Without pressure from its rivals and enemies in the commercial media the BBC would surely have ignored the truth about Savile and not just to protect a batch of tribute programmes. The BBC helped to make this sexual predator into a ‘national treasure’. For an organisation so ready to take a PC moralising stance this represents the grossest hypocrisy.

  • Alan

    I always said the path to a Nobel Peace Prize is to kill thousands of people over years, then stop when world attention is on you. It seems the path to a Cohen Integrity Prize is to cover up for a paedophile for years, then stop when world attention is on you.

  • Baron

    since when do you remove postings you don’t like. Baron was under the impression you were a defender of free speech. Shame on you.

  • Judy

    The BBC regains its honour? What a load of twaddle. The Panorama programme is a damage limitation exercise designed to show that the BBC is still an organization of shining integrity in that it investigates its own wrongdoing fearlessly and with rigour. Sadly, you seem to have bought into this. And thus, it should not be subjected to external scrutiny and accountability on the same basis as commercial and other media organisations. And of course it should go on being a national broadcaster financed by a hefty tax (euphemistically called a licence fee) payable by anyone receiving live broadcasting.

    The Panorama programme obligingly hangs out to dry the very person who Entwistle has focused on as the fall guy in this saga.

    But here are some questions Panorama’s narrative of more or less autonomous post holders with incompatible views of what could be broadcast didn’t even raise:

    Every public organization is supposed to have child protection policies. What ones does the BBC have, and what obligations were its staff under to report evidence of apparent abuse of children? Who should they have reported them to?

    As far back as the 30s and 40s, minors contributing to film making or taking part in theatre productions were required to be chaperoned. How come the BBC seems to have had no such policies. with the result that Savile and his friends were free to bring children into their dressing rooms unchaperoned and close the door on them?

    it appears from the Panorama programme that Meirion Jones, the programme maker, began to plan and make the programme from the day after Savile died. In other words, he had stored up his knowledge of Savile’s sexual predator activities against vulnerable young girls for years. Were there any policies that obliged him to report knowledge of child protection risks and abusive behaviour at the BBC?

    There must also be policies and procedures where investigative programmes uncover or pursue evidence of criminal behaviour. Do producers not have to seek legal guidance? Do they not have to report what they find to the police? It appears that this was only partially done. It is very difficult to believe that there was no obligation to report what was emerging up the line and to have the investigation supervised by more than one superior (in this case, Rippon).

    Helen Boaden was apparently an enthusiastic proponent of the Savile tribute programmes. What did she know about what was emerging from the Newsnight investigation, and why did she not seek to have wider discussions of whether the tributes rather than the Newsnight programme should have been pulled. How come she raised only via a hurried informal conversation with the then person responsible overall for BBC TV output the possibility that Newsnight’s programme might have to mean a drastic revision of Christmas broadcast schedules with major tributes to Savile. How come she did not seem to have reported this formally via email,including to the BBC’s legal team?

    As for your suggestion that worker-directors on the BBC Trustees might have played a role in disclosing this morass, what a laugh. There is no evidence that unions have played a positive role in ensuring that sexual abuse of others than their own members gets reported and brought to justice. On the contrary, the teaching union NAS/UWT has been campaigning for years to stop teachers accused of abusing their pupils being identified. Unfortunately they have now succeeded. A Mr Forrest who eloped with a pupil now could not be identified. Had that law been in operation when he did elope, it’s most unlikely he would have been caught in France, and he might well have got away with keeping the schoolgirl with him till she turned 16 and ceased to be potentially of concern under French law.

    It’s certainly not the NHS and social services unions that have been the whistleblowers for any of the more horrendous abuse cases in care and residential homes. They stayed slient like everyone else around the Rochdale scandal. They instead carry out the role of defending the people accused.

    Above all, this is not about the consequences of “managerialism”. It is about the consequences of sloppy and inadequate management, in which rules and procedures for the protection of the vulnerable have been routinely disregarded and in which devious individuals exploit this in order to exercise power over their victims.

    For every major child abuse scandal, going back decades and decades, there always turns out to be a long track record of behaviour that was known but not acted on, or explained away, or evidence collected but not acted on because it was thought not to be strong enough, or because the individual concerned was so powerful and/or well loved that it couldn’t possibly be allowed to see the light of day.

    • Baron

      Judy, the best of the lot, you’re a star.

  • Mike

    Nick, the managers either had duty to investigate the rumours about Savile were wrong in order to protect the reputation of the BBC or investigate them to protect children.The entertainment industry has always included people whose sexual tastes have differed from the average member of the population -remembr Fatty Arbuckle. The blog by a former child actor on how he had to chaperoned and shielded from certain adults suggests that common sense alone should have meant the BBC had a chaperone policy. Adults having sex with children is not new , the ancient Greeks had word for such a child , ” Catamite ” .
    The fact that there is an allegation that Gary Glitter raped a child on BBC premises and Jonathan King worked with or for the BBC indicates massive lapses of judgement. I would suggest that within the entertainment industry , amongst a small minority, there is a culture of promiscuity and under age sex which is tolerated ( Hollywood failed to report Roman Polanski to the police, few have condemned him and a few have even tried to minimise his actions) ) coupled with the fact the children came from working class background rather than professional midddle class back grounds ( whose parents would have had influence ) meant a blind eye was turned .I cannot think the BBC would have ignored the rumours if Savile had molested the children of the DG, senior police officers , lawyers , Home Office officials, editors or politicians. I cannot help but think there is an element of class to this: provided the upper midddle class children of those who run the BBC were safe, who cares about a few star struck working class and lower middle class children?

  • Charlie

    A few weeks ago in a parallel universe, I asked Mr Entwhistle to step aside and I appointed Mr Nick Cohen as acting Director General of the BBC. Nick got a call from Mr Panorama.

    Mr Panorama: We’re going to do a programme about Savile and the pulling of the Newsnight programme.

    DG Nick Cohen; Absolutely not. I absolutely forbid it. Nick Pollard will be….

    Mr Panorama : It will come out that you that you pulled our programme into the pulling of the Newsnight programme.

    DG Nick Cohen: On reflection, go ahead with the programme..

  • Kennybhoy

    Ye gods Maister C!

    Not since your own “Conspiracy Theories Kill” effort have I seen such contrived, convoluted caca!

    Very sad…

  • Barry

    A bit late in the day, in my opinion.

  • Frank P

    Ask the virgins who lost their ‘honour’ to Savile, aided and abetted by the BBC, if they can regain it, Nick. That’s the thing about hymens, they don’t re-grow – even if never breached again. I have heard of transplants – but George’s medical skills don’t stretch to that, I’m sure, as the BBC as a body has been raped and buggered in every orifice.

    As you are one whose ideology needs the BBC as its chief propaganda organ (ha!), you no doubt see George C.Y.A Ostrich-Entwhistle’s lame attempt to stick his finger in the crumbling dyke (no! I don’t mean Greg – but come to think of it…), to prevent the tsunami of public opprobrium erupting from this overdue shake up, as an honourable effort, rather than an effete and bumbling debacle. Dream on.

    But will it put an end to the sexual debauchery that has been promulgated by the media culture warriors in an attempt to destroy out mores, our culture and and children’s innocence and with it marriage, the family and society at large, to make way for Comintern? Your apologist stance indicates otherwise.

    • TheAtheist

      What an incredibly vulgar post! You reek of hypocrisy, sir!

  • Stephen

    The emails available to Panorama excluded those with any reference to senior management. So there could be an email from Entwistle to Rippon instructing him to pull the Newsnight episode and we would be none the wiser despite last night’s Panorama. Where would be the honour in that?

  • Paul Mason

    I will also point out, coincidentally, that it was the Money Programme and Newsnight that broke the Paul Moore story.

  • IanB

    The plain fact here is that people with a privatisation agenda are usng the Saville debacle opportunity to kick Britain’s fantastic Public Broadcasting Service and hopefully damage it beyond repair.

    Rather than speaking of “The BBC”, we ought to recognise that individuals are to blame here and that preserving all the enormous good that the Corporation does is vital. We are in danger of throwing a gorgeous, unique baby out with the filthy bath water which is the Saville Paedophile ring that is clearly about to be uncovered.

    • Rhoda Klapp

      One might bridle at the suggestion that the organisation which showed Savile and his awful clothes and annoying schtick for forty years is actually all that fantastic. Ever watch daytime BBC1? The outfit is living on its largely undeserved reputation. I don’t personally need it to be privatised, I want it to be better, not the smug bien-pensant bureaucracy it seems to be.

      • IanB

        Daytime t.v. is rarely good because it is a barren wastetime in the human t.v. schedule; the viewers simply aren’t there. The BBC’s reputation is stand out when you look through its back catalogue which we can do now; how amazing is that? You’d have to pay for that with Sky et al. Which other broadcaster is doing that anyway? Damn few. And have Sky commissioned documentary attached a camera to the back of a Golden Eagle and filmed it hunting Foxes? I wouldn’t know; I simply don’t hear of programmes on Sky. Sky is a closed book to me whereas that wonderful piece of footage of Mongolian hunter is encountered in the course of ordinary Brits standard viewing patterns, their horizons opened wide by the virtue of public broadcasting.

        The worst you can say about the BBC is that it has been infiltrated by humans who have done the usual things that humans do. The BBC does amazing things and the quality programming across all channels that having strong private and public broadcasting produces, must not be lost in this scuffle over Saville. There must be a reckoning over the activities of Saville and his co-conspirators – his offences against the country need to be put in the right place. But Saville is the story here; the BBC part of it is secondary and to treat the Corporation as a personality and then accomplice is ludicrous, People must be sacked and punished, however loved they are or were by the public but killing the Golden Goose that is the BBC is something we MUST NOT do in the process of “fixing” this problem.

        • Baron

          IanB, who’s suggesting your golden goose should get killed? The talent is unlikely to vanish, and if it’s of that high quality, someone somewhere will snatch it. You like watching Mongolian hunters, eagles with cameras on tails, the someone will produce it, you’ll be able to subscribe to it.

          Instead of the millions paying a license fee netting the BBC £3.5bn on top of what it gets from its commercial operations (over £1.5bn) people like you will fund it. Baron can do without eagles, hunters from Mongolia as well as the agitprop on global warming, the PC stuff on Newsnight, QT, HIGNFY….. He can get more balanced take on such things on the commercial channels, or on the Net.

          Does it not seem fair to you? Why should someone be coerced to pay for something one doesn’t want? You yourself pay often for things you do not want?

    • Kennybhoy

      IanB wrote,

      “The plain fact here is that people with a privatisation agenda are usng the Saville debacle …”You mean just like the BBC and the rest of the left-liberal mainstream media used Hackgate to strike a blow against their commercial and ideological foe? No shit Sherlock!Murdoch & Co and the Beeb have it coming to them!

    • Baron

      where were you then, IanB, when the BBC, in unison, spoke abbout the Murdoch empire rather than the few in it who misbehaved when the hacking scandal broke, ha? The Old Australian accepted there’s something called corporate responsibility, shut down a paper read by more than 6mn people. We should do the same with the BBC, 40 years of covering a pervert should be good enough reason to keep the better bits, sell the rest. If they’re as good as you claim, they should make a fortune in the private domain, people like you will subscribe.


  • MikeF

    If the Panorama programme had taken place immediately after the Newsnight item was pulled then it might have looked like a principled piece of journalism. As it is it looked like belated self-protection by one bit of the BBC against the rest of the organisation – mainly its top management. If this is ‘honour’ it is honour amongst thieves who have stolen and trashed the reputation and integrity of the BBC. This situation is not just the result of what Savile was doing for the last 40 years it is the result of the degradation over the same period of the former public service ethos of the BBC into one of sectarian self-service. The organisation is rotten – in its present form and with its present management – beyond redemption.

  • Tron

    The BBC finally told us that for 40 years they employed and promoted Savile and covered up the fact that one of their biggest stars, and money-makers, was a paedophile. In fact they provided him with vulnerable children to take to his dressing room.
    They told us three weeks after ITV and the national press had already told us !

    Honourable, Nick ?

    • TheAtheist

      Er, how exactly did Jimmy Savile make money for the BBC? I rather think the ignorant should stay out of these debates.

  • Fatcol

    The BBC has a reputation to protect as a public broadcaster. The Panorama programme was a piece of PR in its own way. Before the Savile story broke in other parts of the media the BBC did everything in its power to suppress the story, so, no, this doesn’t strike me as a time to sing its praises.

    • Alefrith

      Spot on I watched it and came away with the feeling that they left a lot out for whatever reason and PR was it’s primary aim.

  • TRAV1S

    What honour? The BBC just regurgitated facts that had already been established by the press.

    Then they claimed they found no evidence of a cover up, even though emails were censored and no members of senior management were interviewed or held to account.

  • Robert Kelsey

    Come on Nick! The BBC was obsessed with the hacking story – way beyond its import (an entire Any Questions dedicated to it I remember). Yet they’ve been pushed into finally doing a proper job on child abuse they facilitated (by gross negligence if nothing else). Simpson is right – this is massive: NI has been quite restrained IMO.

  • zakisbak

    Bollocks Nick.
    It’s such a blindingly obvious case of “We have messed up so appallingly that we must,at least,appear to criticize ourselves” that its glare must have blinded you.

  • DavidDP

    Sorry, but when the Times reported on the Sky/NewsCorp takeover with the most accuracy and objectivity than any other media outlet, I don’t recall you praising it to the skies.
    As for hacking – the News of the World was shut down for the culture of hacking it allowed to develop. I don’t see you suggesting the same for the BBC over the culture it allowed to develop.
    The BBC does not come out of this well. However, unlike those who stopped sending money Murdoch’s way over hacking, I have no choice but to send money to the BBC.

    • TheAtheist

      What is all this tosh about “the culture it allowed to develop”? I didn’t know The Spectator was read by sociology students.

  • Bluesman

    To repeat.

    This affair is not about the honour of the BBC. This affair
    is about the actions of an alleged (and now acknowledged by many including the
    “honourable” BBC) paedophile who acted with impunity for decades
    while employed by the BBC.

    This affair is now about whether anyone in The BBC knew of
    the activities, abetted the activities or took part in the activities; it is
    also about whether anyone tried to cover up the activities. There’s honour for
    you indeed Mr Cohen.

    This is about the commission
    of serious crime and, more especially, the victims of that crime – it has nothing, absolutely
    nothing, to do with the honour of the BBC.

    • Bluesman

      Mr Cohen, did you watch Mr Entwhistle today? To summarise; “I might be responsible but it was all Rippon’s fault”. Aye, there’s honour for you.

  • Colin

    Why are you removing posts that call out the ridiculous and offensive assertions in this piece .

  • Colin

    Go and take a look at re-runs of Sky News, then ask yourself, quietly and sincerely, if, in fact you actually know what you’re talking about.

    It would appear that anyone who attempted to whistle blow on Saville was ruthlessly crushed over a period of forty years. The fact that this horrific scandal only emerged in the public domain, after his death, makes a mockery of your argument. Had the senior leadership at the BBC stood up to him earlier, who knows how many kids would have been spared the abuse and grinding humiliation ?
    Try and imagine the utter, super decibel, sustained outrage, from the BBC had Saville been an employee of any of the media organisations you name check in your article.


  • anyfool

    You can only regain honour if you had it in the first place.

  • Dan

    Great article. Really resonated me as I watch the complete cretins at my organization driving out all the best people.

    • Baron

      so, run it by Baron again, all best people driven out, you remain?

  • LB

    You asking the wrong question.

    How many employers employ a paedophile and let them loose with children, and then cover it up?

    Contrast that with Murdoch’s papers whose crimes are trivial in comparison.

    Time for the BBC to be broken up.

    1. Children’s programs should be removed.
    2. Licence fee from those programs given to the new organisation / company running them
    3. A punitive fine applied. I would suggest 25% of the license fee.

    • Jennifer Cox

      Hysterical nonsense. You’re seriously suggesting that because of the horrific actions of a terrible person thirty years ago children now should be denied BBC children’s programmes? Do you honestly believe that everyone working for CBEEBIES is implicated in the horrors of the past and is subtly grooming children in some way?

      • TheAtheist

        That’s exactly what LB – and, it would seem, most of the other posters here – thinks. Jackboots all over the place!

  • Dominic Allkins

    This is a re-post of my comment on last night’s pulled post – the comments of which have been removed in your re-posting of this blog. Why?

    Nick. You are 100% wrong.

    And one right does not and cannot possibly counterbalance the multitude of wrongs that took place at the BBC.

    If you’d like me to spell it out, the BBC (and some of its people) institutionally and systematically covered up paedophila by (at least) one of its stars – if not actively then passively through passive concealment.

    This is not phone hacking or even being afraid of raising their voices.

    Many people at the BBC knew that Savile (and possibly others) were abusing minors and yet never once made the choice to speak up. The children that were abused have been scarred for life and to draw a parallel between these poor unfortunate people and those who were afraid to stand up to Goodwin, however nasty he may have been, is simply appalling.

    You should hang your head in shame for drawing such a comparison.

    • David Blackburn


      I am sorry that the comments on the original article have been lost. We thought it better to republish the piece once it had been revised and updated rather than edit the original, because it would have been submerged by other pieces published this morning. Apologies for inconvenience and thank you for re-posting your comment.

      • Dominic Allkins

        David – thanks for your response.

  • Harry Johnston

    One big difference between the BBC and those other organisations you’ve mentioned – the licence fee.

    • anotherjoeblogs

      Aunty beeb or Uncle al-beeb must fear the hoi-polloi refusing to pay the licence fee if the opened can of worms is put into the archives with other unmentionables.