Sunday, 14 February 2010

................................................TAXI TO SEOUL PLEASE......

There is no doubt in my mind that the purge on excesses in the House of Commons was desperately required, and this should be followed by a clamp down on the behaviour of members of the Lords, but we should not stop there.

In times of real hardship we have to look at every single thing that we can trim to reduce costs, downsize and save people money they no longer have. Traditionally of course, this has fallen disproportionately on the poor. Libraries, Community Centres, Leisure Centres, Benefits, Pensions... typical examples of cuts that have been made in the past when we have been in a mess.

But, in this new age of Freedom of Information, and an ever more demanding poor, we need to look at how we spend money a little farther up the socio-economic scale.

I was interested in an article on the salaries and expenses of the top people at the BBC. Amazingly, the number of people in the organisation being paid more than £100,000 a year has risen to 400.

I link to an article I read in the Independent, but I’ll just give you a little taste of some of the most ridiculous claims that leapt off the page at me. This is how they spend the £3.6 billion they collect from us in licence fee:

Mark Thompson, Director General, who earns £664,000 a year, has claims ranging from 57p for a parking meter to £5,616 spent through the BBC's central bookings system for a flight to Seoul. You can get return flights to Seoul with Expedia for (at the time of writing) £470. So he wasted over £5,000 of our money because he could. There was no one to say “NOOOOO”;

Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, included £38.48 for a "sympathy gift for a key presenter" and £1,254 on six nights at Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles. Also she spent £2,392 on taxis through the BBC central bookings service and £106 through expenses. Lunch with a presenter and agent cost £161. It must be bloody hungry work at the BBC, or was that “thirsty” work;

Eric Huggers, director of future media and technology, spent £7,514.80 on a flight to Seoul last year. (He should speak to Mark, his boss, and save us all some money.) He also spent £4,984 on taxis between July and September. There were 13 fares that totalled more than £100 each. The biggest single fare was £627.37. What? Over £600 on a taxi? Was that him coming back from Korea?

These are a few of the joke expenses that you and I are paying for while pensioners, paying the licence fee, shiver and go hungry. Meanwhile the quality of programming goes down and down and down. They say over and over that they need that kind of money and they could go elsewhere in the private sector and get more.

I say that that is complete nonsense. If they could get more elsewhere then that is where they would be. They try to make us think that we are the lucky ones, getting their talent for a mere fraction of what they are worth. Besides, with advertising revenue stretched over more and more channels, and getting thinner due to recessionary cutbacks, ITV and their likes are shedding staff.

But if I’m wrong and they could indeed get more, then what I say is bye bye.... Don’t let the door hit you in the butt.


PS... What the hell is going on in Seoul that all these inordinately important people need to attend?


  1. It is totally ridiculous in light of all the garbage that you get on all of the BBC channels. I find myself almost exclusively watching ITV 3 for shows produced in the 70s and 80s. As for the BBC news coverage it is terrible, so bad in fact that I have taken to watching STV at least there we get a Dundee/Tayside bulletin, the BBC local news is fine if you live near their offices on the Clyde or if you have a Labour Party agenda that you like to have reinforced.

    Lets be fair, however, if we are going to cut the fat back there are more useless organs than the BBC that could do with some trimming. The Royal Family jumps immediately to mind, more recently air-miles Andy who spent £1.5million on flights in three years in his role as business something or other (travel expenses under £10,000 are confidential and exempt from FOI laws-good eh!!). He claims he needs to because its the only way he can get about like from London to Newcastle. Yet he finds time for two hours of pilates each day, can’t see him doing that in the royal helicopter can you? Also of course there is the cost of his useless daughters, we spent £2 million refurbishing a suite of rooms in St James for them, not to mention their security costs. I wonder if Andy included that when he thought the modern Royal family was worth the money?

    Then there is the House of Lords with its £300 a day attendance allowance and all those second homes they only have to go to one day a month. The Royal Opera and Ballet are another one and ludicrously expensive works of art like Diana and Actium and so on.

  2. Time to scrap the BBC and save us all £4Bn. When autocue readers admit to getting £192K a year you know it's bloated and overpaid. A tv tax is ridiculous in 2010. Especially when it pays for all the EU, global warming, multicultural rubbish with a massive bias towards Labour.

  3. Ah yes Munguin. You are right. So much needs cutting from the budget of these things at the top. We Scots don't use the House of Lords for our legislation so I don't see why we pay for it at all. The things in the English capital city that is so far away over terrible transport for most of us, are also a waste of our money. A waste of the English population's money too.

    The great waste that is the Royal Family. A monarch who reigns in, I think, 16 countries but is paid for by the UK. Why can't we have a turn at not paying? She and her family could go live in Canada and we could get the odd visit.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, when the Queen dies we should get rid of this bunch of self important palace dwellers.

    I saw the article you refer to where Andy says he's worth it. I read about it costing the taxpayer £2 1/2 million for an apartment to be done up for one of his daughters at St James's Palace.

  4. Anon: You'd think that the management would go for it. Then they could be private and sell advertising and then the executive would all be given HUGE pay rises and they could look around and see if they could find an airline that would charge them £10,000 to fly to Seoul. Maybe they could have a plane made out of gold.

    Big headed self important prats.

    What is it about the arse of managers that doesn’t fit the sort of cabin seats that working class arses fit on?