Please click here for more information about who I am and why I do this.
The text shown after 1), 2), 3) and 4) is copied exactly from the BBC's daily JV Show web page and I acknowledge their copyright of this text.
The "Find out more..." links to web pages referred to by the JV Show web page are available by clicking on the text following 1), 2), 3) and 4).
"Find out more..." text is only included here when it refers to a non-BBC web page link.
You can follow my occasional postings on Twitter at @JVineBlogMan although @TheJeremyVine has blocked me from following him.
I am subject to the BBC's "expedited complaints handling process" (meaning I'll be ignored) for two years from 25/01/12.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Today's show 31/03/11

You will be aware of the old saying: There is no smoke without fire.
This time it is the Daily Telegraph fanning the flames and accusing the BBC of bias:

Are they wrong, or is the Dead Tree Press just ganging up on the BBC? I think your listeners should be told!
The one news organisation that doesn't seem to be covering this story is the BBC. Funny that....

With only two JV shows to go before I switch to 6 Music, let's look at today's trivia...
1) ARE WE PUTTING TOO MUCH SALT ON OUR CHIPS? - Stockport council have a campaign where chip shops hide the salt because we're putting too much on our chips : Stockport ... that'll be in an English nanny state, and the story comes from the Daily Mail. Need I say more? Next...
2) SHOULD WE BE OFFERING EXILE TO COLONEL GADDAFI? - Following the defection of the Libyan foreign minister, should we positively be offering exile to Colonel Gaddafi himself? : Oooohhh, a vote. I am sure that William Hague will be hanging on your every word and awaiting the result with interest, and ready to pick up the phone at 1pm to call Gaddafi and tell him what has been decided. Or perhaps not. Next...

3) TROUBLESOME TEENAGERS - Why are parents so bad a parenting teenagers? : I have no experience of this, so it is of no interest to me. Next...

4) WHY ARE PEOPLE ANNOYED BY DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES PEOPLE? - And finally, ex-prisoners and people with learning difficulties are selling dusters door-to-door in order to turn their lives around. Why is this annoying people? : That doesn't happen around here, and this is not news.
Let me remind you of what you web page says: Jeremy Vine and guests discuss the news headlines and talk to the people making them
I so wish that the Trades Description Act applied to radio programmes as, today, we have only one real news story (Gaddafi, and even that is falling in to conjecture) and I'm pretty sure you won't be having Koussa or Gaddafi on the phone, so could you tell me which newsmakers are you talking to today? Hmmm... that'll be none of them then.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Today's show 30/03/11

Mmmmm..... bacon sandwich....

You know, I will look at your programme in an entirely different way in the future. Yesterday afternoon I received an email from the BBC Complaints Department in which they stated, incredulously, that your show's "editorial team’s story selection is not of huge concern to the vast majority of Jeremy Vine listeners". I'm really not sure what to make of this. Is it simply the case that your listeners could not care less what you talk about? In the unlikely event that that is actually true, it does make some sense and explains my view of your programme as I do have huge concerns about your story selection.

I have lived in the vain hope since 2004 that one day, just one day, you might talk about something that I really, really, really wanted to listen to, but in seven years it has never ever happened. It is true that there have been some stories that have been of passing interest to me but I have really only listened to see how you handled them rather than to gain factual knowledge. I am, I suppose, guilty of listening to the broadcaster instead of the broadcast, but my analytical and suspicious view of the news media (not just the BBC) causes me to listen to every word that is said. Very often it is possible to work out what the real news story is by going on what is NOT said. Hey ho...

Your web page updater has excelled themselves today. To emphasis your selections for today the email story appears four times, parenting appears twice and cricket also appears twice. See below if you don't believe me! This is shoddy work and only goes to show the lack of attention to detail that hallmarks your programme.

Anyway, and ignoring the repetitions....

1) HAVE YOU SEEN THAT EMAIL? - Two young men discuss an ex-girlfriend and then send the email to the girlfriend by mistake. What makes us so fascinated? : No, I haven't, and who are "us"? Not me, certainly. "What can you say?", you asked on Ken's show. My response would be, "Why say anything?". This is not news. Next...

2) ARE THE ARTS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS? - Arts Council announces which theatres, art galleries etcetera get the money and which don't. Given a work of art lasts forever, aren't the arts more important than schools and hospitals? : The BBC page that you link to states "More than 200 organisations that received regular funding from Arts Council England have missed out after 'a series of painful decisions'". The important word in that sentence is, of course, "England" and from that you will know that this story is not of huge concern to those of us that live in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. But then, what is of huge concern to us? Any idea? I thought not. Next...

3) PARENTING: HOW DO YOU DIVORCE AND NOT DAMAGE YOUR CHILDREN? Our parenting season continues; the most important job in the world. Today, how do you have a divorce and not damage the children? : What children? Next...

4) IS THE CRICKET WORLD CUP THE MOST IMPORTANT SPORTING EVENT EVER? And finally, India versus Pakistan in the cricket world cup has been dubbed the most important sporting event ever. We talk to listeners from either side : Ahhh, a sport story. I shall sleep well this afternoon. Zzzzzzz....

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Complaint response 02/03/11 - the second attempt

Email received from BBC Complaints Department which gives some insight in to the target audience for JV's programme and explains why I dislike it so much: I am concerned about what he talks about! I have added my own italics:

Thanks for your further comments about the Jeremy Vine Show which will be fed back to the programme team.

I must reiterate that the Jeremy Vine team hold the ultimate right to decide what stories to cover on any one day. We appreciate that you regularly disagree with their choice; however our audience feedback shows that their editorial team’s story selection is not of huge concern to the vast majority of Jeremy Vine listeners.

In this instance, the programme chose the particular stories on that day as they felt they were appropriate and of interest to the listeners. There were many other stories they could equally have covered.

I’m afraid there's not a great deal else we can say with regards to this topic and we can't be sure we will be able to say much more in future, however we will continue to  register your comments.

Yours Sincerely

Axxxxxx Mxxxxx
Complaints Advisor
BBC Complaints

Today's show 29/03/11

I'm a bit busy today, so brevity is in order...

1) HAVE YOU HAD A GOOD NO-WIN, NO-FEE EXPERIENCE? - The no-win, no-fee industry is being curbed by the government – but were you someone who had a great experience with a solicitor who helped you sue? : I've never this particular service. Next...

2) IS IT FAIR GAME TO DEMONSTRATE AGAINST THE ROYAL WEDDING? The police may get new powers for the Royal Wedding. But if you're a Republican, isn't it fair game to demonstrate against it? : I have no idea nor sufficient interest to even think about it. Next...

3) PARENTING: LIBERAL VERSUS STRICT - After 1.00, our parenting week continues: The most important job in the world. Today, liberal versus strict. Which works best – hard cop or soft cop? : Not being a parent, I have no idea or interest. Next...

4) HAS SUPERGLUE LOST ITS MAGICAL POWERS? - The inventor of Superglue has died. When it came out it was a sensation, but did it lose its magical powers? : As somebody who has used cyanoacrylate adhesives since the mid-1970s I can tell you (a) that it is not nor has ever been magical, (b) it sticks some things together, but not all, (c) it has its limitations, and (d) other adhesives are often superior.

Perhaps you'll be discussing bias in BBC news reports tomorrow....?

Back to work now...

Monday, 28 March 2011

Complaint response 16/03/11 - the second attempt

Email received from BBC Complaints Department, in which Jeremy Browne's surname is spelt incorrectly throughout:

Thanks for contacting us regarding ‘Jeremy Vine’ from 16 March on Radio 2.
I understand you were unhappy with the response you received previously from my colleague.  You also reiterated that you felt an answer was given by Jeremy Brown MP which Jeremy Vine ignored, and you believe the interview ended with a statement from the rescue team which could’ve been put to Mr Brown earlier.
Having listened back to the interview in order to respond to your complaint I can assure you this interview was in keeping with BBC Editorial Guidelines and Jeremy’s own style of presentation.  Jeremy Brown MP, minister of the State Foreign Office was being asked specifically why the ISAR team weren’t given the correct paperwork by the British Embassy in Tokyo upon their arrival, which resulted in them having to come home again.
Mr Brown continually spoke about the huge rescue efforts of the official UK rescue team already in Japan helping the government with their own efforts.  He stated it wasn’t up to the British government to tell the Japanese how they should react in a crisis like this and how they’d asked for proper permission for their official team.  He continued by saying they had to let Japan take the lead in the rescues as they have to manage all of the concerted efforts from various countries.
Jeremy Vine continually had to interrupt Mr Brown as he didn’t answer the specific question asked of him, which was why the team (who had gone to the Tokyo Embassy in London and given permission to fly over as long as the British Embassy produced paperwork upon their arrival) were denied said paperwork by their own country.  As Jeremy stated, Mr Brown was simply stating a lot of very impressive facts about the official rescue team, a lot of things we already knew but still didn’t answer the question.
Eventually, upon the insistence of Jeremy, Mr Brown said they did meet with the ISAR team and tried to assist them.  They tried to then produce the paperwork but the Japanese government, who he understands are extremely tied up at the moment, delayed this and so the team had to return.  He wasn’t attacking the Japanese government, nor did our programme, both of which understood the pressures their government is under.
Jeremy, still unsatisfied as this contradicted the news story, explains very clearly once again that the team had permission by the Japanese Embassy in London as long as the British Embassy in Tokyo produced the correct paperwork on their arrival, but this wasn’t produced.  At this point Mr Brown was given time to state the British Embassy were unaware of their arrival, however the embassy took it upon themselves to produce the paperwork for the group but this was apparently unsatisfactory and they were denied access.
Jeremy states that this meant the news story, which they’ve now been discussing for several minutes, must actually be incorrect as the only thing the Japanese needed was a covering letter from the embassy, otherwise they’d have been granted permission.  In response Mr Brown reiterates the above and then explains further the efforts of the official teams.
In contrast, a second guest is brought on to the programme at this point, Douglas Alexander MP, the Shadow Foreign Secretary.  He states he’s unhappy with the responses from Mr Brown.  Jeremy Vine at this point, to maintain impartiality, then questions Mr Alexander’s points about this.
At the very end of the segment the rescue team do make a statement, but they actually confirm the questioning that was put forward by Jeremy Vine, that the Japanese government were granting permission and it was unfair of Mr Brown to blame them in any way.  They were waiting on the letter from the British Embassy, a request which was refused.
I hope this can go some way to explain the reasoning behind the questions put forward by Jeremy, and explain how they resulted in clearer answers and opened up the story more for the audience.  I hope it can also explain in more detail the previous response you received.
In closing I’d like to assure you I've registered your further complaint on our audience log.  As previously stated this is an internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily and is available for viewing by all our staff.  This includes all programme makers, such as the production team behind Jeremy’ programme and our senior management.  It ensures that your points, along with all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
Kind regards
Pxxxxx Bxxxx
BBC Audience Services

Complaint response 14/03/11

Unsigned email received from BBC Complaints Department, which I cannot help thinking is just a stock answer as I did not accuse JV of being sensationalist in my original complaint. Obviously that doesn't matter:

Thank you for contacting us regarding our recent news coverage from Japan.

I understand you feel our reporting on the Fukushima nuclear facility has been sensationalist.

Whilst we acknowledge your concerns with our reporting on the nuclear facilities in Japan, it’s also worth noting that we have reported accurately on all developments, including comments from the Japanese government and the IAEA, as well as other governments from around the world. In this context some of these statements may have seemed more negative or sensationalist than others regarding the overall situation, but all we have done is fairly reflect and report those opinions.

Whilst there is no doubt that the situation at the Fukushima nuclear facility is grave, we feel that we have provided a clear explanation for our audience about what exactly has happened at the facility to make it more understandable to them, one example of which can be read at the following link:
In the aftermath of this natural disaster as events progress to the clean-up operation, the nuclear aspect remains ongoing and we will continue to report the related facts so that our audience can draw their own conclusions on the situation.

We’d like to assure you we've registered your complaint on our audience log. This is an internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily and is available for viewing by all our staff. This includes all programme makers and commissioning executives, along with our senior management. It ensures that your points, along with all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Today's show 28/03/11

Hi Jeremy,

Many thanks for your email concerning the Budget Day show.

Let's see what delights are on today's menu....

1) ED MILIBAND AT THE ANTI-CUTS RALLY - Was Ed Miliband right to speak at the anti-cuts rally? We also speak to UK Uncut, who occupied Fortnum & Mason : With the TUC march dominating the news this weekend, I am not surprised that you are covering it today. The BBC seem to have turned it in to a massive piece of anti-government propaganda  Even your friends at the Daily Mail are attacking the BBC for their biased coverage of the event. Their latest offering is
 and you'll need to scroll 2/3rds way down the page to see the comments by Peter Hitchen. It is headed "The biased BBC... marching alongside their anti-cut allies" and opens with:

As usual, they didn’t even know they were doing it, but the BBC took sides on the TUC protest, even before it had begun. The Corporation and the TUC instinctively recognise each other as allies. Both depend on public money.

Now, you know very well that I am no fan of the Daily Mail, but Mr Hitchen's piece raises some interesting questions about the BBC's alleged impartiality. I sent you a discussion topic suggestion on Saturday asking you to discuss the BBC's bias in such matters, but my guess is that you are not brave enough to discuss it today and you will maintain the BBC's corporate view of this event. What a shame.

2) WHAT DO WE DO IF ANTI GADDAFI REBELS ATTACK PRO-GADDAFI CIVILIANS? The anti-Gaddafi rebels are making quick progress towards Tripoli. What do we do if they start attacking pro-Gaddafi civilians? : I'm going to buy another two tins of baked beans, just in case. Nothing discussed on your programme today in relation to this topic will change anything. Next...

3) PARENTING: BRINGING YOUR BABY HOME - Our parenting week; the most important job in the world starts today with the day I brought my baby home and didn't have a clue what to do. Should you trust the expert manuals, or your maternal instinct? : Knowing that you were going to run this theme throughout the week I did give some thought about what I was going to write to you today. I could have written chapter and verse about why this is of absolutely no interest to me, but I decided to just say that it isn't, and I will not comment further on it this week.

However, it did occur to me that some of your regular contributors could be dragged in to give their own particular brand of advice in their specialist subjects. For example, the topic of breast-feeding vs bottle-feeding may come up. Now, which regular contributor knows most about milk? Hmmm.... let me think.... Oh, I know. It would have to be George "would you like the cream" Galloway! Go on, call him up, offer him a few quid and I'm sure he'll spout for as long as you will let him on a topic that he knows nothing about. No change there then.

Then you could get George "we're all going to die" Monbiot on the line. He could tell new parents how to start brainwasing their children in to thinking that we'll all be dead by the end of April. The BBC have already created a game about climate change (see
) so that should be a good starting point. I love the line on that page that says "Wherever possible, real research has been incorporated into the game", implying that when not possible somebody has made it up. Again, no change there then.

I'm sure you'll have some ideas of your own for Terry Walton, but I'd prefer if you left Martin Lewis out of this as I have too much respect for him. Next...

4) TRAFFIC LIGHTS IN PORTSMOUTH - And lastly, Portsmouth wants to turn its traffic lights to flashing amber at night : There have been "Part Time Traffic Signals" on roundabouts (in Telford, for example) and on motorway junctions (M6 Walsall) for years, so this is nothing new. Anyway, my nearest set of proper traffic lights (i.e. that control traffic flow rather than just a pedestrian crossing) is nearly 20 miles away. Should I care?
Nothing there for me again, so I won't be listening.

JV's response to Budget Day show question

Yes, I am sorry. Lucky that Ross was there. It slipped my mind that the Speaker vacates his chair for the Budget. I was a lobby correspondent between 1993 and 1997 but possibly did not spend enough time in the House of Commons chamber - one of the problems of modern politics is that most things seem to happen outside it.
It is good to be in touch and as always thanks for keeping us straight.

Best wishes

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Fukushima coverage

(This email sent to both the show email address ( and Jeremy's personal BBC email address)

Now this is interesting piece from Fiona Fox at the BBC College of Journalism...

According to this the Jeremy Vine Show is guilty as charged, I believe. Well, on the days when you could be bothered to find an expert to talk to, that is.

Go on, read it. I did, and I learnt a lot. You may just do the same.

Question about Budget Day show 23/03/11

(This email sent to both the show email address ( and Jeremy's personal BBC email address)

The following comment was posted on my blog by Craig yesterday. Needless to say, I wasn't listening to your show, but a quick check on iPlayer confirms it to be true.

Here's some more JV nonsense! Budget Day, and Jeremy Vine is talking to the BBC's Ross Hawkins. He's just waiting for the Budget to begin and crosses to the Commons to catch the last few seconds of Prime Minister's Questions and hears the PM shouting. "So there we are. Fiesty performance there", says Jeremy, having heard all of five seconds of David Cameron. After PMQs the Speaker traditionally vacates his chair and the Deputy Speaker takes over for the Budget. It's happens every year, and has done so since the dawn of time. Caught Jeremy Vine by surprise though!!: "And we wait to see if the Speaker calls the chancellor. John Bercow's just popped out of his chair for some reason!! I wonder..Oh I see! The Deputy Speaker coming in Ross, is that right?". Yes, that's right Jeremy.

You have probably seen more budgets than I have, but I do know that the Deputy Speaker ALWAYS chairs budget speeches, and I am surprised that you did not.
Would you care to comment?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Discussion topic suggestion

An interesting piece has appeared in your favourite newspaper the Daily Mail today concerning today's TUC march in London:

Ignoring the whys, wherefores, rights and wrongs of the march and the reasons behind it, this article points some accusatory fingers at the BBC (my italics):

"How can this be? How can there be such an enormous gulf between the widespread perception that the cuts are going to be horrendous, and the actual truth that they will only amount to a modest three per cent at the end of five years? The answer has to do with the mendacity of the Labour leadership, the muddle-headedness and bias of the BBC and Leftish newspapers, and the almost complete failure of the Coalition to explain its case and put the cuts in perspective."

"What has been represented by the Government’s adversaries in Parliament, the BBC and the trade unions as a dramatic and dangerous change of course is, in fact, no more than a relatively small but firm and determined touch on the financial tiller. In 2015 public spending will in real terms stand where it did in 2008, after some years of Mr Brown’s massive largesse."

"We can all quarrel about the nature of individual cuts. What we cannot respectably do is to pretend that overall reductions represent an unprecedentedly swingeing attack on the public sector that will take us back to year zero. And yet this is what the BBC has been pretending almost from the day the Coalition was formed. The ‘British Broadcasting Cuts Corporation’, as David Cameron likes to call it, has repeatedly made the highly questionable assertion that the cuts are the biggest for nearly a century."

"Almost every day the BBC blitzes us with heart-rending tales of new job losses in the public sector, not infrequently based on town hall or trade union surveys. Needless to say, there are many fewer stories about the tens of thousands of jobs being created in the private sector. Nor does the BBC often mention that the very same private sector had to make far more swingeing and painful cuts to workforce numbers at the height of the banking crisis two years ago."

"But aren’t many of them desirable savings? Like its in-house newspaper The Guardian (which yesterday ran an idiotic six-page supplement about ‘British society facing death by a thousand cuts’), the BBC seems to be intellectually incapable of grasping that Labour’s decade-long orgy of spending produced waste on a gargantuan scale."

"For the BBC, cuts are an everyday obsession, whereas egregious examples of government waste are a much more occasional interest. The problem, I’m afraid, is that the Coalition has utterly failed to convey to the British people the extent of the squandering of public money that took place under New Labour."
You will understand that I find some pleasant irony that the bastion of the Jeremy Vine Show - the Daily Mail - has taken to bite the hand that it feeds. Errr... that doesn't sound right, but I'm sure you know what I mean.
So, here is your script for Ken's show on Monday morning...
"We read in the Daily Mail on Saturday of the BBC's obsession and bias concerning the coalition government's spending cuts, so we look today at the BBC itself and discuss the bias that appears in most of its news-based broadcasts."
You will, of course, put the argument that the BBC is not biased (which, when you think about it, is a biased viewpoint) and if your listeners agree with you then it could put any myth about BBC bias to rest for a long time. However, if you allow those of us that consider the bias to be endemic to put our views without being ignored or cut off then it should make for a lively discussion. Somehow I don't think you will handle the criticism very well, but let's see if we can raise your blood pressure to that of some of your listeners.
I'd listen to this, and so I look forward to your show on Monday. I'm switching to 6 Music from April 4th so it would be only fair, I feel, for you to discuss something that would be of interest to me in our last week together, don't you?

Friday, 25 March 2011

Today's show 25/03/11

You know, I just love your web pages. They have a unique blend of looking professional but with inaccurate and misleading text. As an example, your front page ( clearly states: "Jeremy Vine and guests discuss the news headlines and talk to the people making them.". I take issue with this on two counts.

First, you rarely devote your show to the news headlines. You may have one or two current news stories, but you will also have discussions on other twaddle that is anything but news.

Secondly, your assertion that you talk to the people making the headlines is rarely justified. It is true that you talk to people involved in the non-news stories, but when it comes to a real news story the first people you usually turn to are not the actual newsmakers but other BBC correspondents or newspaper reporters. If all else fails you call George Galloway for his own special pearls of wisdom. So, instead of hearing from the actual newsmakers all your listeners hear is what a colleague of yours (or a former MP) thinks might have happened, might be happening and might happen in the future. All good for speculation and conjecture, but it does not do much to provide your listeners with hard facts, does it?
I'll give you an example: You will remember your discussion about the "International Rescue" team's problems in getting in to Japan last week. In my mind, it was the IR team that were the newsmakers, but you didn't speak to them. Instead you had a verbal fight with a Foreign Office minister. It was only afterwards that you had contact with the IR team and obtained some crucial information from the newsmaker that could have changed your sparring with the Minister completely.

OK... let's look at today's news headlines and which newsmakers you will be talking to...

1) ARE DELROY GRANT'S SEX ATTACKS ON ELDERLY VICTIMS AMONGST THE WORST IN HISTORY? - Did the fact that a sex attacker chose elderly victims mean that his crimes were amongst the worst in Scotland Yard's history? : In answer to your question: I have no idea, and I have no real desire to find out. I'll grant you that this is news, but somehow I doubt you will have newsmaker Delroy Grant in the studio or on the telephone. From your trail on Ken's show it sounds as though your guest on this topic only has an opinion and is definitely not a newsmaker. Next...

2) HAVE YOU EVER QUEUED OVERNIGHT OUTSIDE A SHOP? - We talk to the man who missed his son's birthday to queue outside an Apple store for an iPad 2. Have you ever queued overnight outside a shop so you're first through the doors for a sale? : In answer to your question: No, I have not. This relates to a story from the Metro (owned by the same company as the Daily Mail), so it really is NOT NEWS. Next...

3) PARENTING: CHRIS EVANS - As we prepare for Radio 2's parenting week, we talk to Chris Evans about being reunited with his daughter : How much preparation is needed, exactly? Do you consider that my licence fee being well-spent in providing a parenting week for people who, like myself, have no children? I don't. Again, this is NOT NEWS and is nothing but an advertisement for the BBC's own programmes. Next...

4) CHEAPEST HOMES IN THE UK - And we go to the street in Burnley with the cheapest homes in the country - a two bedroom house can be yours for £22,000 : This barely scrapes through as a mild-interest news story, but who is the newsmaker?
So, only one proper "news headline" and no apparent sign of talking "to the people making them".
Lies, all lies.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Complaint response 17/03/11

Email received from BBC Complaints Department. Apparently it is acceptable for JV to hyperventilate over news items even when his listeners have no way of obtaining the information that he has and so be able to form their own opinion. Perhaps we should be grateful that we have Jeremy Vine willing to tell us what to think.

Reference CAS-661016-DQ8MYV

Thanks for contacting us regarding 'Jeremy Vine' broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on 17 March.

I understand that you felt the discussion on bullying in the programme was poor as you, and other listeners, were unable to access a video online that Jeremy referred to in the report as it had been removed by Youtube.

Whilst I appreciate your concerns, the video was removed by Youtube after the report had been prepared. It was felt that the report was detailed enough to generate discussion anyway. I am sorry you feel differently.

Nevertheless, we’re guided by the feedback we receive and I can assure you I've registered your complaint on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's made available to all BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Thanks for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

Mxxx Rxxxxxx
BBC Complaints

Today's show 24/03/11

Blimey... your web page was updated by 10:10 today. Somebody must have been in early...

So, today's non-news stories are:

1) ARE HIGH FUEL PRICES CURING OUR ADDICTION TO OIL? - As the chancellor announces a 1p cut in petrol and diesel tax, we talk to people who say high fuel prices are good and we'd better start getting used to them, because they help cure our addiction to oil : I can only suggest that these people preach their message to the jet skiers who are at my local beach every weekend. "I'm completely impartial ... neutral". Ha! No you're not. Next...

2) ELIZABETH TAYLOR - Why did the public adore Elizabeth Taylor in the way they did? : Did they really adore her? I suspect that a good proportion of people under 30 have never heard of her as she has not been in the public eye for over 20 years. I'm the wrong side of 50 and I can honestly say that I have never seen any of her films, and my only knowledge of her is that she was married to Richard Burton and was a friend of Michael Jackson. I don't think that counts as adoration, does it? Next...

3) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TRAPPED IN QUICKSAND? - A boy was rescued on the Dorset coast after being trapped in quicksand. Have you ever been sucked into quicksand or a bog-type substance? : The answer to your question is No. However, I will draw your attention to this story from the 18th of February, just over a month ago:
So, what is the difference between this story and yours? GEOGRAPHY! One is in Wales, and so is of no interest to you, and the other relates to the south of England so is of prime importance. Ah yes, but perhaps you had other supposedly more important stories to discuss that day. Now, let's see...
 - Alternative Vote : Remember this? Newcastle was voted as the UK's new capital city.
 - Lowestoft lollipop lady loses her job : Lowestoft, that'll be in England then, so it takes priority - obviously.
 - Are your wedding plans tearing your family apart? : NOT NEWS!
 - Terry Walton - 'Nuff said.
Perhaps the reason you didn't mention the Anglesey story is that it would have required some research to find, rather than just being spoon-fed your daily stories by the BBC news web site.

4) HUSBAND AND WIFE OVERCOME BREAST CANCER - And finally, the remarkable story of the man who nursed his wife through breast cancer, then suffered breast cancer himself : Good for them, but the only news here is the happening of a coincidence, and they happen all of the time.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Today's show 23/03/11

A valued visitor to my blog yesterday evening wrote the following comment:

"I thought I was the only one who found this show nothing but an ill-informed, sensationalised speculation exercise. I normally turn the volume down low enough so that I only hear the music; thereby maintaining my blood pressure in the safe zone. Keep up the good work!"

My sincere thanks to Feargal The Cat for their input - I could not have put it better myself. You will, of course, be familiar with the words "ill-informed", "sensationalised" and "speculation" as they describe your programme perfectly. You see Jeremy, it really is not just me.

Perhaps if I keep telling you that your programme is rubbish over and over again you will start to believe it. You know, just like you attempt to brainwash me in to believing that your programme has "the best music and latest news", that George Galloway has something useful to say, or that the Daily Mail is a good newspaper. Continual repetition is, apparently, the way to go. Just keep chipping away...

My blog (
) seems to be taking off very nicely, thank you, and I continue to be grateful to those who give up their precious time to read it. It was only last Thursday that I proudly reported the passing of 1000 page views. Less than a week later it has now passed 1400. I'd love to know how many BBC staff read it, particularly members of your programme team!

I probably contribute more to your programme than Terry Walton does and a link to his web site appears on your Radio 2 web page, so it seems only fair that a link to my blog should be there too. You like fairness, don't you, and freedom of speech? And it was your goodself that wrote to me on 10th August last year and said: "I disagree with Stuart's (Maconie) view which is (implicitly) that listeners such as you should not have their opinions aired.". Well, I'm now claiming my right to have my opinion aired, so please put a link to my blog on your web page. I look forward to seeing it there!

Anyway, on to today's drivel... only two today apparently:

1) CHRISTOPHER GRADY'S LIFE SENTENCE: DO YOU HAVE ANY SYMPATHY FOR HIM? - Christopher Grady was found guilty and sentenced for life for the murder and attempted murder of his children. Some people however have some sympathy for what he did. Do you have any sympathy for the man? : The legal process has taken its course, so what is there to discuss? Some people think your radio programme is ill-informed, sensationalist and speculative. Do you have any sympathy for them?

And isn't it about time that this story got an airing on your show? After all, it is from the good-old Daily Mail:


2) THE BUDGET 2011: HIGHLIGHTS, EXPERT ANALYSIS AND COMMENT - George Osborne delivers his second budget. Tune in and catch all the highlights, expert analysis and comment and great Radio 2 music. Plus two economic commentators debate the budget. One says we're cutting too fast and too hard and one says we should cut twice as fast : Oh good... expert analysis. The Budget is of interest to me, but I really do not need the corporate BBC slant that Osbourne can do nothing right that you will inevitably attempt to apply. And I certainly do not need to be told what to think by your contributors. Instead, I shall re-tune to somewhere else for uniterrupted waffle-free and bias-free coverage.

And interesting to hear your mention of budget leaks on Ken's show, and your critcism of two Tory chancellors for putting "spin" on what they were about to announce. I think I should draw your attention to this BBC page from 2005 ( the first paragraph of which states: "Ministers have been asked to explain how Budget details were printed in a London newspaper half an hour before Gordon Brown made his speech.". There is also this BBC page ( where it states: "During former Chancellor Gordon Brown's time at Number 11, he installed a system of briefing for the press around his pre-Budget Statement.". There is nothing like consistency, and that is nothing like consistency.

Budget leaks are, apparently, nothing new. Your mention of leaks by two Tory chancellors only goes to maintain the BBC's corporate view on the current government. Well done.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Today's show 22/03/11

I missed an important anniversary yesterday, which I should have told you about. Yesterday, 21st March, marks the 30th anniversary of the day on which I last purchased (i.e. paid good money for) a newspaper. It was a long time ago, but the same day may also have marked the 30th anniversary of the day on which I first purchased (i.e. paid good money for) a newspaper.

The reason was, of course, the unfortunate sinking of Radio Caroline's ship the Mi Amigo the previous day. For some reason the BBC was strangely silent about the whole event, although the printed press covered it in some detail. It is interesting that the BBC's bias towards other broadcasters is nothing new.

Anyway, it is now 12:05 and only the first story is showing on the web page. How I am meant to write this stuff without the information that your web page gives me? You are upsetting my daily routine.Tsk tsk....

1) ARE FOREIGN STUDENTS KEEPING YOUR TOWN ALIVE? - The government wants to crack down on foreign students, but are foreign students keeping your town alive? : My nearest town only has a primary school, for children aged 3 to 11, and the only foreign children that may go there would be from England. On that basis I think the answer to your question is No. Next...

Yay! The web page has finally been updated at 12:10...

2) LIBYA: THE COST OF MILITARY ACTION - Parliament votes overwhelmingly in favour of the military action in Libya, but can we afford to pay for this war? : I have no idea, but you obviously don't think we can. Next...

3) ROYAL MAIL SHREDDING POST - The Royal Mail has to shred twenty-five million badly addressed items of post a year. But did your letter or package make it through against the odds? : Oooohhh, I like this: "Find out more from this Daily Mail article". Has something changed that you are now giving more credit to your sources? You know, those hard-working journalists who actually research and investigate the news, rather than just talk about it. I think the important phrases in your description of this story are "badly addressed" and "Daily Mail", both of which tell me that this is an utterly pointless discussion. Next...

4) RELIGION AND THE CENSUS - When filling in the Census form, if you're not a particularly devout Christian who doesn't go to church, should you really be putting 'Christian' down on the form? : Should I care? More to the point, what about the Occupation question? What do you put for yours? Journalist? Reporter? News broadcaster? Talk show host? I believe it is against the law to provide inaccurate information.

Related link to this story:


Somebody disagreed with you, and so what did you do? Cut her off, of course.
Be a man Jeremy and take the criticism. It is far too easy for you to cut people off and ignore their emails. Can you work out why I won't go on air with you?
Here's a suggestion: I'll go on air with you provided that I have control of your microphone fader. Let's see how you like it.

Complaint response 16/03/11

Email received from BBC Complaints, which completely misses the point:

Reference CAS-658871-TTXCP8

Thanks for contacting us regarding Jeremy Vine’s show on BBC Radio 2.

I understand you had concerns that Jeremy failed to accept Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne’s explanation in relation to a discussion on the British rescue teams’ efforts in Japan. I also note you feel he didn’t research the topic before conducting the interview.

Political figures and others in positions of responsibility should be given the opportunity both to explain their thinking on matters of public concern and to answer criticisms of it. The interviewer's job is to put the questions likely to be in the minds of informed viewers and to look for answers. While this can lead to forceful and persistent questioning, most leading politicians expect their views to be put under scrutiny and are prepared to respond with corresponding firmness.

Those being interviewed can sometimes significantly influence the style and outcome of the interview by their unwillingness to respond to certain questions. The interviewer’s intention in this situation is not to generate hostility but to persist in pressing for answers to important questions with the proper combination of firmness and civility. While courtesy should always be observed, it is worth noting that politicians are no less professional in handling questions than our interviewers are in posing them, and that the task of informing the public sometimes demands a degree of persistence which would be out of place in ordinary social conversation.

May I also add that we don't engage any interviewer unless we believe they're competent and can meet the specific demands required of them.

Please be assured that I've registered your comments on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's made available to all BBC staff, including all programme makers, channel controllers and BBC senior management.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

Jxxxxxxx Dxxxxx
BBC Complaints

Follow-up complaint lodged on BBC web site:

Thank you for your email. I note, however, that you failed to address my point about poor research.

It was only after the interview was over that Mr Vine revealed that he had had contact with the rescue team and that they had written permission from the Japanese authorities to assist. Had Mr Vine have done some research and had been in possession of this information BEFORE the interview with Mr Browne he could have challenged Mr Browne's statements.

I have just listened back to the interview using iPlayer and again I can only come to the conclusion that Mr Browne had answered Mr Vine's questions before they had been asked, and that Mr Vine only succeeded in labouring the point unnecessarily.

I note your comment "Those being interviewed can sometimes significantly influence the style and outcome of the interview by their unwillingness to respond to certain questions.". Mr Browne was clearly not unwilling to answer any questions. However, Mr Vine failed to ask the relevant question due to his lack of prior research.

I would be grateful for your further comments.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Today's show 21/03/11

Can nobody be bothered to update your web site today? No "Read more here"? No in-depth descriptions ended with an obtuse question?

Oh, hang on, somebody just has at 11:49. Finally I have some material to work with...

1) LIBYA: HAS IT GONE TOO FAR? - When you heard there was going to be a no-fly zone over Libya, did you expect missile strikes and possibly even an attempt to kill Colonel Gaddafi? Has it all gone a bit too far? : "We are looking for reactions to this".... Well, keep looking because you won't find one here. Next...

2) HITCH-HIKING IN A FUEL CRISIS - Lots of drivers don't pick up hitch-hikers. Will the fuel crisis mean you start to? : I've never hitch-hiked, and never would. About 15 years ago I picked up a hitch-hiker, and never would again. Next...

3) BANKING: YOUR MONEY STAYING IN YOUR ACCOUNT - We hear from the fishmonger who says that when he pays money into his bank, he wants it to stay there – not to be invested or gambled with : Has he considered buying his own safe? Does your progamme get more pointless than this? Next...

4) WERE YOUR PARENT'S STRANGERS TO YOU? - Is there one key piece of advice you would give to other parents? The Prime Minister, David Cameron says it's simple; it's spending time with your children. If he can find the time, then surely you can. Were your parent's strangers to you? - Good to see that the infamous Greengrocer's Apostrophe is alive and well at the BBC. In answer to your question: No, they were not. If I had children this may be relevant, but I don't, so it isn't. However, I did spend time with my parents yesterday. Does that count?

Can't you just tell its a Monday ... with only one real news story out of today's four topics. Do ever just stop and think to yourself, "What's the point of my programme?". No? I do. Frequently.

It is only two weeks until I start listening to 6 Music. I can't wait.

Complaint response 15/03/11

This response from the BBC complaints department does nothing other than to confirm my view that Jeremy Vine can say what he likes, when he likes, in whatever manner he likes and is completely immune to criticism of any kind. The man is apparently untouchable!

Reference CAS-655965-ZZQRJ4

Thank you for contacting us.

I understand you were concerned with comments made by Jeremy Vine on 15 March.

No harm or offence is ever intended by our output and we take our responsibilities to our audience very seriously. As a public service broadcaster, we aim for the highest standards in our output but it's inevitable some listeners will find our efforts insufficient at times.

Nevertheless, I can assure you that I've registered your comments on our audience log. This is a daily internal report of audience feedback which is made available to all BBC programme makers and commissioning executives, including their senior management. It ensures that your concerns are considered across the BBC.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

Jxxxx Pxxxxxxx
BBC Complaints

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Discussion topic suggestion


You have often asked me about a topic that I would like discussed on your programme. You rejected my quote from Stuart Maconie's book last year, so how about this one?

"We discuss today what happens when you don't buy a TV licence"

I am deliberately going to avoid the "is it a fee or a tax?" question, and whether the licence fee is justifiable, etc.

My research may be missing some elements, and so there are a lot of questions here. You will need to so some research in to this topic.

The official and much-publicised line on not having a licence is that the TV Licensing Authority (aka TV Licensing, TVL, Capita) will take you to court and prosecute, but they have to do a lot of work to achieve this, and I wonder just at what point the case is filed under "too difficult" and conveniently forgotten..

Retailers of equipment that are capable of receiving television broadcasts are required BY LAW to provide TVL with personal information in the form of your name and address. However, there is no law that says that anybody paying with cash is required to give a correct address, and they cannot be traced through credit card details. Addresses with no TV licence are targetted and investigated by TVL, but how often do they actually do this?

TVL enforces the BBC's statutory obligation to ensure that every address where a television licence is required is correctly licensed, but its agents have no special rights and, like any other member of the public, rely on an implied right of access to reach the front door. The occupants of a visited property may deny an agent entry to the premises without cause and are under no obligation to answer any questions or enter into any conversation. If an agent has evidence that television is being watched or recorded illegally but is denied entry by the occupants so that (s)he cannot verify the suspicion without trespassing, then TV Licensing may apply to a magistrate for a search warrant, but the use of such warrants is rare. The BBC states that a search warrant would never be applied for solely on the basis of non-cooperation with TV Licensing and that in the event of being denied access to unlicensed property will use detection equipment rather than a search warrant.
The assumption by TVL is always "guilty until proved innocent" and in 2008 the BBC Trust launched an enquiry in to intimidating behaviour by TVL.

According to Wikipedia (yes, I know) the law allows a fine of up to £1,000 be imposed on those successfully prosecuted and this figure is frequently publicised by TV Licensing to maximise deterrence. In reality, magistrates rarely impose the maximum fines allowed to them by law. During the year 2005-6, the average fine including costs was approximately £153, so only slightly more than the cost of a licence.

Moving further down the process... let's assume that TVL reckon that you have a working television in your home and one day there is a knock on the door. You open the door and the man from TVL introduces himself. Now, if you were to engage in conversation with him and/or invite him in to your home then they have succeeded in their task and they would attempt to sell you a licence and they may try a prosecution if you refused. However, what happens if you tell him to get off your property and close the door in his face? At that point he becomes no more important and have no more authority than a double-glazing salesman or peddlar of religious virtues. If he leaves quietly then fair enough, but another visit will probably occur. If does not leave and bangs on the door, shouts through the letterbox, etc., then he is then guilty of aggravated trespass. From what I can find ( a person is guilty of aggravated trespass if he trespasses on another's land and carries out any act with the intention of disrupting a lawful activity being carried out on or adjacent to that land. That, to me, describes the banging on the door situation exactly.

So, what happens next? The research I have done suggests: Not Much.

The visits may continue, but by not responding to such visits there is not a lot TVL can do. Warning (almost threatening) letters will also be sent, but they can be ignored.

There is a suggestion that only watching TV broadcasts that are not live (by using iPlayer on a computer, for example) does not require the viewer to hold a TV licence. The same is also said for broadcasts that originate wholly from a non-UK broadcaster and received by means of non-Sky satellite equipment. Has anybody tested this on court? If so, what was the outcome?

I would LOVE to know what the conclusion to all this is, especially as I have read of people who have not bought a licence for 10 years or more.

If you go with this I promise I will listen. However, it will need you to:
 - put your "BBC is sacrosanct" attitude to one side.
 - do some research.
 - report the truth.
 - back it up with real facts.
Reference web sites:
PS Sadly, I don't honestly expect you to take up this suggestion. Go on, prove me wrong.
PPS Sadly, I have a TV licence.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Today's show 18/03/11

Dear Jeremy,

Well, what a 24 hours that was! Following your discussion of a non-existent YouTube video my blog went ballistic as your listeners searched the internet for the video. Searching for phrases such as "jeremy vine bully video" produced some results, with my blog shown somewhere in the first five. My daily readership jumped from 20 to over 200 because of that. A graph from my blog provider is attached.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome my new readers, and I hope that you will find something of interest and/or amusement in my rantings. Details of who I am and why I write my blog may be found in the very first posting, entitled "Please allow me to introduce myself...", and which can be found here:

OK, on to today's pointlessness...

1) LIBYA: NO FLY ZONE - The UN has agreed to a Libyan no-fly zone. Do you back the decision? : Oooohhhh... another vote. Mr Ban Ki-moon will, I am sure, be listening today and awaiting your verdict. I will expect nothing less than to see a squadron of jets from RAF Valley pass over my home sometime shortly after 12:30 today as they make their way to Libya if "Yes" wins the day. Next...

2) SUPPORT FOR JAPAN - We ask for your messages of support for Japan : My message: Good luck, you are doing a great job, and don't speak to, read or listen to the UK media, especially the BBC.
But how do we know they will be listening to these messages, or is it all a waste of your time, and mine?

"I haven't seen anybody shouting or getting angry there ..." - unlike your show then.

A neighbour's son is working in Japan as a translater for the emergency services brought in to Japan to assist with the clear-up operations. He told his mother (my neighbour) yesterday not to pay any attention to the UK media as their reporting has been blown out of all proportion and bears no relation to what is actually happening. So, who should I believe? Him, or you? Next...

3) CCTV OUTSIDE YOUR HOME - Have you installed CCTV cameras outside your home? : No, and I believe that if I did they would contravene local planning regulations. Next...

4) SUPERMOON - A so called "supermoon" will be visible tomorrow night. Does a full moon actually affect people's behaviour? : Hmmm... it makes me howl a bit, but I'd like to keep that private. Is there no more news today? Is this really the best you can do? This story comes from the Metro, which is published by Associated Newspapers Ltd who also publish the good-old Daily Mail. How predictable.

This weekend I would like you to think about what you have achieved this week. It shouldn't take long.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

My reply to JV's email

Hi Jeremy,
Thanks for your email. It is good to hear from you and I am genuinely pleased that you obviously are still reading my missives. I hope that, if nothing else, they give somebody there a laugh from time to time.
As for meeting, well you know where I live. I rarely go to London, other than passing through on the way to somewhere nicer, so any meeting won't be happening there. However, you could always do another of your "on location" broadcasts from the mountains and valleys of Snowdonia where the BBC has two studios local to me. The nearest is in Penrhyndeudraeth and is used by Russell Grant for his horoscopes on Steve Wright's show. A larger TV studio is in Bangor.
I'd be happy to meet you at one or other of these studios, but I would not enter in to any on-air discussion with you. Those of us who do not like your programme by definition do not listen, so any support for my point of view would be lost in the swathes of your "love the show Jeremy" supporters.
I am sorry that I feel like this too, but unlike you I like to make a difference and so will do my best to do something about it. Building the Great Wall of China started with one bloke laying the first brick, and by slowly chipping away at your programme one day, maybe, I might change the way Radio 2 broadcasts to the nation at lunchtime.

An email from the man himself!

I received the following email from Jeremy Vine this afternoon....

We'd love to meet you. I am very sorry you feel like this.
Best wishes

Today's show 17/03/11

A couple of interesting things happened yesterday afternoon...

I was chatting with a neighbour about problems we were both having with our computers, and mentioned that my recent change from Internet Explorer to Chrome had made updating my blog easier. He asked me the subject of my blog, and I told him it was your show. His immediate response: "Oh, I don't listen to him. He's so biased, and rude.". You see Jeremy, it is not just me.

Later on my blog passed 1000 page views. I honestly cannot believe that people take time out of their busy lives to read the rubbish that I write to you everyday, but I am sincerely grateful that they do. You never know but one day I may just get enough followers to make a difference to Radio 2's lunchtime programming and have you banished to somewhere else, like Radio 7, between 2am and 4am, on Wednesdays in months with a W in their name. Of those page views the huge majority (870 as I type this) come from the UK but I also have followers from other countries, including and with the highest count first United States (about 8%), Singapore, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium, Lithuania, Austria, Bulgaria, Spain, New Zealand and Iran! Now, I have no idea as to how accurate these figures are but they are what my blog provider tells me. I think I'll choose to accept them as accurate and apply your rule of True Fact by saying that they must be true because I read it on the internet.

I think it only fair that you put a link to my blog on your web page. After all, I have put a link to your page on my blog! The link is

Right, let's look at today's issues that affect me (allegedly)...

1) FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR PLANT - The Japanese government and nuclear experts are reassuring us that the dangers at the Fukushima nuclear plant aren't that great. Are we being lied to? : ONLY BY YOU, every day between 12 and 2. You are just scaremongering now and adopting the BBC's corporate attitude that nuclear power is dangerous and evil (ref. Do they stop paying you if you don't toe the corporate line?

Following Biased-BBC's suggestion, how about starting today's show with "Atomic" by Blondie? Next...

2) FIRST LOVE - First love: Most of us had one, most of us got over it but some of us were emotionally crippled by it. Have you never been able to get over your first love? : No. This is NOT NEWS. It is just more of the MEANINGLESS TWADDLE that lives in your mind that, for some reason unbeknown to me, you think is interesting. Next...

3) BULLYING - There's a film on YouTube of a fat boy in Australia being bullied. Eventually he breaks and fights back. Is that the way to deal with bullies? (It's been taken off YouTube because it's too violent.) : Great, so you are now talking about something that no longer exists. How are any of your listeners supposed to form an opinion when they can't see the video? I feel another complaint coming on ... the fourth this week! Really, what is the point?

Perhaps you should discuss this YouTube video instead:
Eggheads: CJ gets randomly abused by Jeremy Vine:
To some people that would look like bullying, so you can get off your sanctimonious holier-than-thou high horse right now.

More JV YouTube videos that give an unflattering impression of your goodself:
BBC Election Night 2008: Jeremy Vine's cowboy - - remember what I was saying about you not being a journalist?
Jeremy Vine, the offensive joke and the BBC cover-up - - you should have been sacked for this.
Jeremy Vine - Liz in Medway gets extremely cross about recycling - - hilarious!

It is just such a shame that your flared trousers video is no longer on YouTube. I really wish I had saved a copy. Next...

4) DANGEROUS DOGS - A teenager in Lancashire is mauled by two dangerous dogs. How come the dangerous dogs act didn't get rid of dangerous dogs. Do you have one in your street? : No, we don't. Good to see the Daily Mail continues to provide crap, ooops, I meant material for your programme!

Again, none of these issues affect me, yet you claim that they do. Which one of us lives in the Real World, and which one lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land?

Complaint lodged on BBC web site:

Mr Vine discussed bullying today, and he referred to a YouTube video to make his point. His web page states: "There's a film on YouTube of a fat boy in Australia being bullied. Eventually he breaks and fights back. Is that the way to deal with bullies? (It's been taken off YouTube because it's too violent.)".

My complaint is that I and other listeners were unable to draw our own conclusions on this matter as the video was not available, yet Mr Vine referred to it several times with much hyperbole. There are always two sides to every story, and I fail to see how we the listeners could possibly be objective about this matter without seeing the video concerned.


Email sent at 14:00:

There has been an unexpected benefit in your discussion concerning the bullying video. Due to the video not being available it appears that many people have searched the internet for such phrases as "jeremy vine bully video" and "youtube bully video jeremy vine". The result of this is that they have found and opened my blog. Today's entry has had 85 page views since I published it, with 55 page views in the last hour.

With the apparent growing popularity of my blog I have decided to continue adding to it after 4th April. It is on this day that, finally, the BBC will provide me with some listenable entertainment in the form of Radcliffe & Maconie and 6 Music, and I can't wait.
Thank you for being rubbish. I could not do it without you.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Today's show 16/03/11

Right, let's look at the "issues that affect me" today, ref. your recent Radio 2 jingle...

1) PICKING DAFFODILS - A family are enjoying a trip to a park in Poole. The children are picking daffodils. The police are called, and arrive in a squad car to watch them and then intervene! : Oooohhhh... an exclamation mark. That one character tells us poor listeners exactly what you think of this. Your colleague Jonathan Dunlop in the BBC complaints department wrote to me (Reference CAS-634712) recently and said: "BBC journalists are well aware of our commitment to impartial reporting. They are expected to put their own views to one side when carrying out their work for the BBC.". So what happened to that policy then? Ah yes, I know... He gets out on a technicality BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A JOURNALIST any more! This country would be a much better place without our airwaves being polluted with insignificant stories such as this. Next...

BRITISH RESCUE TEAM DENIED ACCESS TO JAPAN - A row has broken out after a British rescue team were turned back from Japan because the British Embassy won't give them the credentials they need to work in the disaster zone : What are you going to about it then? Shout, scream, stamp your foot, or just nothing?

3) JAPAN IMAGES - Is there something horrible about the way images of the destruction of Japan play out across our screens almost as if they’re entertainment? Is your bloke excited in a way that makes you uncomfortable? : Errr... I don't have a bloke. Is watching this stuff like your show? You know, News Entertainment? And there is nothing like a bit of lunchtime sexism is there Jeremy? My congratulations for maintaining your pathetically low standard. Next...

4) HEALTH SPECIAL: ANDREW LANSLEY MP - We put the government’s changes to the NHS under the microscope — how will it affect you, putting so much power back into the hands of doctors? Is the change worth the upheaval? Are you annoyed this huge policy wasn’t mentioned before the election? The Health Secretary Andrew Lansley will join us : My answers in order: It probably won't, don't know, no. I'm pretty sure that this only affects England too.

Now, which of today's issues affects me? Oh yes, none of them, as usual.


Against my better judgement I listened to part of JV's show today. As part of the British Rescue Team story he interviewed Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne MP. Mr Browne earnt my life-long respect my starting with the sentence "Let's bring some perspective on to this programme". Good man! He then went on to explain in clear and easily understood language the situation regarding this particular rescue team. Vine was having none of it though and accused the minister of not answering the question several times (which, in my view, he had) and went on to exert his self-appointed authority over the minister. Mr Browne was having none of it, and gave as good as he got.

I sent the following emails:

To: The JV Show

Are you deaf?
Jeremy Brown MP has explained the situation perfectly and is a complete star. Why cannot you just accept what he says?
But no, you have to show him who is boss and ask your stupid questions after he has explained EXACTLY what has happened and after he has already answered them.
I loved his line "Let's get some perspective on to this programme". That will never happen.
Why do you hate it so much when somebody criticises you? You should get professional help!

To : Jeremy Browne MP, cc : The JV Show

Dear Mr Browne,

I've just been listening to you on Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show where you gave a concise and perfectly understandable explanation as to why the International Rescue people had been denied access to Japan.

I can only come to the conclusion that Mr Vine chose deliberately to ignore your explanation and instead attempted to impose his biased viewpoint on you and us unfortunate listeners.

My sincere congratulations, and thanks, go to you for being the first person for a long while to put him back in the gutter where he belongs.

To : The JV Show

You just said that you had a call from the rescue team and " ... they did have permission from the Japanese, and they have that in writing ...".

This just goes to prove that you are not a journalist.

A journalist would have asked the rescue team people about this BEFORE tackling the Minister. Even I would have to agree that it would have made your exchange with him more relevant.

But instead you couldn't be bothered to ask the question or do the research and instead attempted to "wing it", failing miserably in the process.

You are a disgrace to Radio 2.

Complaint lodged on BBC web site:

Mr Vine interviewed Foreign Office minister Mr Browne As part of a discussion concerning a British rescue team and their efforts to work in Japan.

Mr Vine asked the minister a direct and plain question, which the minister then answered in clear and understandable language. His reply, in my opinion, answered Mr Vine's question perfectly and exactly. Mr Vine did not accept the minister's response and then attempted to stifle his further contributions by simply repeating the same question over and over again, despite the fact that I and presumably many other listeners already had heard the answer.

After the interview had ended Mr Vine said that he had just had a call from the rescue team and " ... they did have permission from the Japanese, and they have that in writing ...". I take the view that this information would have been more relevant had it been obtained BEFORE Mr Vine spoke to the minister, and would certainly have made the interview more meaningful.

My complaint is that Mr Vine (a) chose not to listen to or accept the minister's explanation of events, (b) failed to research the topic before conducting the interview, and (c) so failed to put this extremely relevant piece of information to the minister during the interview.