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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Today's show 14/06/11

It is 10:30 and I am taking a bit of a gamble today in that I am going to guess a couple of news stories that you won't be covering today. So here goes...

The first story concerns Dear Old Auntie BBC herself, bless her. The BBC is in the news (or should that be "in its own news"?) today following the announcement that Television Centre in West London is to be sold (
). There is a chance that you might actually cover this story and ask the usual banal questions, such as "What are your memories of Television Centre?" and "How will the closing of Television Centre affect you? - We want to hear your views" or perhaps "Are you proud of what the BBC has achieved at Television Centre?". My answers to those questions, by the way, are: I've been past it a few times on the train; It won't; and I couldn't care less. But it is not this BBC story that I have in mind, it is this one...

BBC hires 'chair champion' to tell MediaCity staff how to use seats
The BBC has employed a 'chair champion' to help staff moving to Salford Quays choose their seats - and learn to sit on them.
A BBC spokeswoman ... said: "Every BBC staff member is given training on how to use their chairs as part of their health and safety training exercise. It is standard practice for inductions to new buildings."
Councillor Karen Garrido said: "What a waste of money. I can't believe we need to teach people how to sit on their chairs. They aren't children."

My own views coincide with Councillor Garrido's, so I reckon that this is a worthwhile topic for discussion today if only to justify the BBC's waste of our licence tax money. I also reckon that you won't go anywhere near it. The bigger question is, of course, if staff from BBC news are included in this and they are soon to be sitting securely in their new chairs, how will we listeners ever hear what they are saying?

My second suggestion for a topic that will not appear on today's show is, again, Ed Miliband and his current difficulties. It is odd, but not surprising, that the BBC are treating this with a "move along, nothing to see here" attitude, and I suspect you will do exactly the same. Even your favourite "newspaper" - The Daily Mail - have jumped on to this particular journalistic bandwagon with this story (
) with:
And the award for champion political gurner goes to... Ed Miliband!
A good effort by them, considering who they are, but it pales in to insignificance compared with this site where there are 14 pages of photos taking the mickey out of poor old Ed. He told us yesterday that "being in government is not like ordering a pizza". Perhaps he'll soon be telling us that "life is like a box of chocolates". He's been in your studio ( so you must have some sympathy for him, surely? I'm sure he would love you to come to his defence.

It is now 10:48, so I'll stop now until your web page is updated so we can see what you ARE going to waste your listeners time with today.

11:35 and I've just listened to your trail on Ken's show. I was losing the will to live after a couple of minutes and it was a good job that there was not a sharp knife nearby, otherwise the temptation to End It All Now may have been too great. Your geography really is atrocious, isn't it? I've never been there but even I know that Spitalfields is an area of East London, and it is only down the road from you!

So, and without getting too suicidal, let's look at today's gibberish...

1) GOVERNMENT U-TURNS - As David Cameron’s government announces 2 more u-turns, on NHS reforms and bin collections, we ask: is this a sign of a listening government or a government that hasn’t thought through any of its policies? Jeremy talks to Christina Pattison, columnist for the Independent, and Christina Odone, writer for the Telegraph : Aaaahhhh... more boring and blatant government bashing. Well done! And you are talking to two professional journalists too, whose views I would not give any credance to at all. Even better! Ken suggested that reappraising new information and forming a new opinion could be a sign of strength, not weakness, and I would concur with his view. However, that doesn't make for good old-fashioned confrontational radio, does it? So, have you never changed your mind about anything? Do you always make the right decision first time, and then stick to it with no regrets? The evidence suggests otherwise, I'm afraid:
 Pot, kettle and black Jeremy, pot, kettle and black. Next...

2) BODY LEFT TO ROT - A family left the dead body of their mother to rot in their home for up to 6 months. Jeremy talks to agony aunt Barbara Want : Not really the kind of thing I want to listen to while eating my lunch, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that viewpoint. Somebody, somewhere must be your mythical Target Audience, but it certainly isn't me. You said on Ken's show that "... the papers are turning this in to a benefit fraud story ..." yet the BBC news page you link to today says Grandmother's corpse kept in Wirral benefits fraud. Are you lumping your very own BBC News Department in with the papers now? Either you, or they, have got something wrong here, but I'm not sufficiently interested to care. Next...

3) INFLATION - A Radio 2 listener says that inflation is stopping him and his wife from having a baby. What is inflation stopping you from doing? Jeremy talks to listener Andy Denton : Errrr... listening to your programme. Well, it is a good as a reason as any. Next...

4) CHILDREN SELLING LEMONADE - Finally, an unsupervised 6 year old who sold lemonade outside their house was robbed. We look at the rights and wrongs of children selling things in the street. Jeremy talks to broadcaster Rachel Agnew and journalist Karen Kay. Find out more in this Daily Mail article : Hooray for the Daily Mail! Again, instead of talking to the people that matter (the Food Standards Agency, for example) you are talking to other journalists. They know little about anything else, so what specialist knowledge can they possibly bring to this discussion. My problem is that I have to calculate a Bollocks to Truth ratio when listening to or reading anything that a journalist or broadcaster attempts to tell me, and to do that I need accurate information and not just what the journalist wants to tell me. You will remember the story about Accrington Women's Institute attempting to give away home-made cakes in their local library. Unlike you, I did some research in to this and so I now know that the Food Standards Agency's view on the selling of home-made food products is quite clear and unambiguous, and from that I know that a child selling lemonade in the street is not illegal, as you suggested on Ken's show. It is all down to research Jeremy - you should try it some time.

No sign of the BBC or Miliband then. My prediction was correct and I shall award myself a Gold Star.

UPDATE: Just listening to Murray Walker making an embarrassing fool of himself. My long-held respect for him has just evaporated. Could you tell him this, please?

UPDATE 2: Email sent to Murray Walker's agent Arena Entertainments:


I see from your web site that you represent Murray Walker. I have had a life-long affection for him and what he does, gaffes and all! However, I have just listened to Mr Walker on Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show
Unfortunately I am at a complete loss to understand what on earth possessed him to get involved in such juvenile coverage of a serious news story. I feel that his standing as a much-respected sports commentator was eroded by his appearance on this programme, and my admiration for his work has just completely evaporated.
Without using the "Oh, it was just a bit of fun" response, I would be grateful for Mr Walker's views in order that my respect for him can be at least be partially restored.
Thank you.


Stonyground said...

I heard today's trailer and JV wibbling like an imbecile about government U turns. 'Ooh if they were in a car rally they'd be going around in circles'. Not a big fan of the government, but them modifying their position after some consultation with effected parties is a good thing. Remember Labour with their fake consultations, after which they pig-headedly went on and did what they were going to do anyway because they know best? So if Labour were in a rally they would take a wrong turn, refuse to admit it and finish up hundreds of miles from the finish line.

When the government backed down over selling off the woodlands there was an anti-sell off campaigner on the radio, very pleased with his succsessful campaign, slagging the government for doing a U turn. I suppose there's no pleasing some people.

What exactly did Murray Walker say?

Radio2LunchtimeLoather said...

Thanks Stonyground, I really appreciate your comments!

I can only suggest that you take a listen to the iPlayer here and start at about 9 minutes in.