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.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I'm still here...!

I have to admit that the temptation to resurrect this blog has been overwhelming of late.

It was back on the 13th February this year that the Savile/Newsnight story came to light, and I suggested it as a story that Vine might (not) like to cover (
). The comment from "Anonymous" (there's a surprise) makes interesting reading now: "The Jimmy Saville story is just a newspaper attack on the BBC, there's no actual basis to it. ... Are you accusing Peter Rippon, Newsnight Editor of lying? Can you substantiate that?". Amazing what comes out in the wash, isn't it? And I wonder if Anonymous stands by his/her comments!

And all the while he was banging on about phone hacking and Murdoch I kept reminding him that Mirror Group Newspapers were also worthy of his attention (
). Of course, Vine kept his "Murdoch only" selective journalism filter very firmly in action and it is only now that the Mirror's activities have just started to appear on the BBC news radar.

Interesting too that Vine now says "You can follow me on Twitter" rather than "You can contact the show via Twitter". Sort of suggests that this line of communication is one-way only now, doesn't it? From him to "us", that is. I wonder, did I have an influence here?

I'm still waiting for somebody - anybody - to come on here and tell us all why the Jeremy Vine Show is a wonderful thing. I suspect that we'll all be waiting a long time for that to happen.

I send my very best wishes to you all. Maybe one day I might bring the blog back, even if only occasionally, but I have to say that it was not until I stopped the daily updates that I fully realised how much time and effort I was devoting to it. My views on Vine's programme have not changed one iota but I cannot help but feel that the time I spent writing the blog every day is better spent running my business.

Never say never!


Oh, and I love the show Jeremy!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Your comments...

Please feel free to leave your comments - good and bad - about Mr Vine's Fantastic Wireless Programme here. I'll do the same when I hear something particularly cringeworthy...!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The result of my second appeal...

Just received by email, and with no indication of where it has come from or who sent it.

Application of the expedited handling procedure at Stage 1

The complainant appealed to the Editorial Standards Committee following the decision of the Head of Editorial Standards that the complainant’s appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration by the Committee.

The complaint
Stage 1

The complainant wrote to the BBC regarding BBC Audience Services’ decision to apply the expedited complaints procedure to his complaints concerning the Jeremy Vine radio show, its website and Mr Vine’s Twitter feed.

The complainant wrote on numerous occasions between January 2011 and January 2012 complaining about various aspects of the Jeremy Vine show, the website and the Twitter Feed. BBC Audience Services replied to each of these complaints.

BBC Audience Services then wrote saying that the complainant had submitted dozens of complaints over the past 17 months about the Jeremy Vine show, its output, the website and Mr Vine’s own Twitter account, and that these complaints revolved around three recurring themes: his disagreement with the selection of items on the show and alleged bias by Jeremy Vine; the website updates; and Jeremy Vine’s right to use his Twitter feeds in the way he chose. On each of these issues the BBC had provided the complainant with a clear explanation of their policy and they could not continue to devote such a disproportionate amount of scarce time and resources to responding to these same complaints.

BBC Audience Services said that, in this context, they had applied the expedited complaints procedure. This meant that for the next two years they would not reply to complaints from the complainant submitted directly to production teams or via the central BBC Complaints Unit which related to the Jeremy Vine show unless new and substantive issues raising questions of serious editorial breaches were raised.

The complainant replied seeking clarification about the alleged “dozens” of complaints he had submitted over the past 17 months. He said his records only covered 12 months so he asked the BBC to explain the “dozens” reference. He also asked what constituted a complaint – did this include emails to the show directly, to Jeremy Vine at his BBC email address and/or his Twitter account?

Appeal to the BBC Trust

The complainant escalated his complaint to the BBC Trust saying that he wished to appeal against the decision to subject his complaints to the expedited complaints procedure.

The complainant said that he had sent 19 complaints during the past 13 months, and therefore had sought clarification as to how the BBC concluded that he had submitted “dozens” but had not received an answer to this point. He also questioned what constituted a complaint and explained why the failure to update the programme’s website in a consistent and timely manner was highly problematic for him as a listener. In a series of letters he outlined his argument that Jeremy Vine’s Twitter feeds ran contrary to BBC guidelines, particularly his decision to block him from accessing his account. Finally, in response to the BBC’s claim that they had provided countless explanations of their policy on these key issues, he said that the responses from the BBC frequently missed the point of his complaints.

The Trust’s Senior Editorial Strategy Adviser replied on behalf of the Head of Editorial Standards.

She explained that the Trust did not adjudicate on every appeal that was brought to it, and part of her role was to check that appeals qualified for consideration by the Trust (or one of its complaints committees) under the Complaints Framework. The Head of Editorial Standards had read the relevant correspondence and considered that the appeal did not have a reasonable prospect of success and should not proceed to the Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee.

The Senior Editorial Strategy Adviser said that the Head of Editorial Standards did not feel the BBC had a case to answer concerning its decision to apply the expedited complaints procedure in relation to complaints about the Jeremy Vine show.

She said that the Complaints Framework Annex B, Expedited Complaints Handling procedure, states:

“The BBC needs to be able to ensure that its complaints procedures are not abused by vexatious complainants or otherwise by persons making repeated complaints which are without substance.”

There were a number of criteria which may be relevant but the Head of Editorial Standards’ view was that the following two were the most significant:

“The complaint recipients should consider whether to make use of the expedited procedure where a complainant has a history of persistently and/or repeatedly making complaints which:
(a) Are repetitions of substantively identical complaints that have already been resolved; and/or
(b) Although within their remit, are shown on investigation to have no reasonable prospect of success.”

The Head of Editorial Standards noted that the majority of the complaints submitted by the complainant concerned the editorial choice of subjects and the treatment of them on the Jeremy Vine show, and it was clear from the BBC’s guidelines that this was a matter for the BBC and its creative teams. In this context, BBC Audience Services were necessarily eventually supplying the complainant with near-identical responses irrespective of the specific complaint about choice of item as these issues were a matter for the BBC staff concerned. In this context the Head of Editorial Standards believed it was reasonable to view the complaints as falling within the terms of the procedure as set out above.

The second major recurring complaint about the inconsistent updating of the website was also a case where the Head of Editorial Standards could not see how the BBC could have responded differently or was likely to do so in future to a similar complaint. The BBC had said that it could not guarantee that every website would always be updated at a specific time, priorities and resources necessarily dictating these matters. Again this was clearly a matter for the BBC to exercise its judgment over its priorities. The Head of Editorial
Standards therefore did not believe an appeal against the application of the expedited procedure on this matter had a reasonable prospect of success.

The Head of Editorial Standards had noted that the BBC had repeatedly said that Jeremy Vine’s Twitter account was a personal one, and that they were happy with its relationship to the show, and that he was not in breach of the appropriate BBC guidelines. Here too the Head of Editorial Standards could not see their response changing, or that there were grounds to consider that there had been a breach of the guidelines. In this context in seemed to the Head of Editorial Standards reasonable to conclude that the complainant’s main complaints had become “repetitions of substantially identical complaints” with “no reasonable prospect of success” as the guidelines covering this procedure required. In this context the Head of Editorial Standards could see no reasonable chance of success if this complaint was pursued to appeal.

The Head of Editorial Standards noted that one of the complainant’s complaints had led to a change to the web page and she assured the complainant that under the expedited procedure his complaints would still be read and if there was a matter of substance then the complaint would be handled as normal, including acceptance of a need for a clarification or correction if necessary. It would not be ignored.

Finally the Head of Editorial Standards noted that the BBC had suggested that there had been dozens of complaints over 17 months and the complainant had said that he had made 19 complaints during the past 13 months. She appreciated that this difference concerned the complainant but it did not seem to her to make a material difference to the essential issue which was that the BBC were expending resources on replying to similar complaints on which the complainant had already had an answer and knew the BBC’s position, and on which he had no reasonable prospect of success.

The complainant requested that the Committee review the decision of the Head of Editorial Standards not to proceed with the appeal. He said that some of his complaints fell into a fourth category which the Head of Editorial Standards had ignored (factually inaccurate, speculative and biased reporting) and made further comments on those categories of complaints which she had identified. He concluded by requesting that his complaints should no longer be subject to the expedited complaints procedure.

The Committee’s decision

The Committee was provided with the complainant’s appeal to the Trust, the response from the Senior Editorial Strategy Adviser on behalf of the Head of Editorial Standards and the complainant’s letter asking the Committee to review the Head of Editorial Standards’ decision. The Committee was also provided with the Stage 2 response from the Editorial Complaints Unit.

The Committee noted the complainant’s contention that some of his complaints fell into a fourth category, that of allegations of factually incorrect, speculative or biased reporting. The Committee agreed that, however the various complaints were categorised, the fact was that they were largely repetitive with no reasonable prospect of success.

The Committee also noted the complainant’s statement that he would not make any further complaints relating to “late web page updates” if the appeal against the application of the expedited procedure were allowed.

Taking into account the nature and frequency of the complaints made by the complainant, the Committee was satisfied that the decision not to accept his appeal against the application of the expedited procedure was correct.

The Committee therefore decided this appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration.

So, I’m still on the naughty step then.
My appeal has been beautifully cherry-picked, in particular when they wrote:
The Committee also noted the complainant’s statement that he would not make any further complaints relating to “late web page updates” if the appeal against the application of the expedited procedure were allowed.
I also stated that I would not complain about the programme’s editorial decisions if my appeal was allowed, but they missed that. Should have gone to SpecSavers, perhaps.
I’ll stew on this for a while and decide what to do.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

There is no more... again

I've tried the new format for a couple of weeks now, and I have to say that I am having some issues with it.

The main one is just finding the motivation to write stuff about news from several days ago. I had been hoping to catch up on last Thursday's and last Friday's JV programmes over the weekend but a busy schedule has prevented me from doing so. It is now Tuesday morning and I feel that the relevance and impact of writing stuff about a programme broadcast five days ago is lost. I had hoped that the "catch up" format would work, but - and to be honest - I can make better use of my time!

I guess my heart just is not in this thing any more and so for that reason I have to regrettably say again that there will be no more daily updates.

The blog will remain in place as a testament to what has gone before, and I will update it from time-to-time if I hear JV being particularly banal and also when the BBC choose to communicate with me directly.

I'm very sorry about this, and I thank you sincerely for all of the support and encouragement that you have given. It really is appreciated very much.

Vine was recently interviewed by the Radio Academy (you can hear it here: and a few weeks ago the chap doing the interview was actively seeking questions to be asked of the man. I sent a few, but they were not used. Instead, Vine preaches to the converted about how good he is, how good his programme is, how he can do no wrong and while still happily wallowing in the fame of the Gordon Brown "bigot" thing from two years ago. Listening to him talk with such attitude really annoys me.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

More Twittering...

I have had an interesting exchange of emails today with Paul Smith of BBC Audio and Music concerning my old mate Jeremy Vine’s use of Twitter. Mr Smith has chosen to engage with me and is ignoring my placing on the “expedited complaints handling procedure” list, which is very good of him. For that reason alone I have been careful with my words as I do not wish to destroy this particular link in to the inner workings of our beloved BBC as it may prove of use in the future should he continue to respond in a like manner. Mr Smith’s BBC biography can be read here:

Dear Mr Smith,
There follows a transcript of a recent Twitter exchange between Jeremy Vine and Tom Watson MP. This brief exchange tells me more about Mr Vine and his personal views than any other source I have ever found. It could be argued that having such an apparently cosy relationship shows bias on his part, and following this exchange it came as no surprise at all to hear that Mr Watson was to be a guest on Vine’s programme today.
tom_watson ‏ @tom_watson : If you worked at NoTW and don’t believe @rupertmurdoch’s account, please contact me: “Rupert Murdoch betrayed us”:
Jeremy Vine ‏ @theJeremyVine : @tom_watson Your book title is best so far this year, T. We’re ready for you in the studio whenever you want to come on @BBCRadio2
tom_watson ‏ @tom_watson : @theJeremyVine thank you. I’d be delighted.
Jeremy Vine ‏ @theJeremyVine : @tom_watson Have emailed producer to remind him to fix date. Know you’re busy. Have good weekend.
Chuck Finlay ‏ @ChuckFinlay : @theJeremyVine @tom_watson Jeremy, get a room…this snivelling in public is embarrassing!

However, I am unable to respond or comment because Vine has blocked me from following his feed. At least I would not have suggested that they “get a room”.
The following tweet came from former MP Lembit Opik in which he almost begs to be a guest on the programme to discuss his new book. Mr Opik appeared to do exactly that a few days later (5th March).
@theJeremyVine Jeremy, hope you’re well. My book on future of Lib Dems and its leadership is out tomorrow. Your listeners may be interested?
I find the details of Mr Vine’s relationships with his programme guests fascinating!
Your comments on this and my other recent email would be appreciated.
Many thanks!

I received the following reply 3 hours later:

Hi there,
Thank you for your note. Although I don’t think this exchange is ideal, it is worth pointing out that no guest can be booked by the presenter without the express permission of the editor. I have spoken to the editor, and although Jeremy, as a journalist can, and does make suggestions, the editor turns down the idea as often as he accepts it. Tom Watson may have wanted to appear to talk about his book, but the programme also wanted him to appear following the select committee report of yesterday. Tom Watson had been sought by several BBC and non-BBC outlets, and I am satisfied that it was the correct item to carry, and there was no undue prominence of the book.
I didn’t hear the Lembit Opik item, but the editor tells me he received offers of Lembit from several sources…not principally Jeremy, and decided that he would be an interesting guest for one of the programmes.
The exchanges you have sent are public, and I think if anyone had anything to hide here, they would not use twitter.
Paul Smith

I responded straight away:

Many and sincere thanks for your prompt reply. It is very much appreciated.
Both today’s and my email of 26th April are nothing more than illustrations of the reasons why I would like to fully follow and engage with Mr Vine’s so-called “personal” Twitter account, which I am still blocked from doing so.
Your explanation of the procedures in place to book guests is gratefully received, and I take it from this that when Mr Vine wrote “We’re ready for you in the studio whenever you want to come on” on 28th April (last Saturday, four days before the report was published) that this was NOT necessarily a “done deal” and the offer of air time was not guaranteed. If that is indeed the case then I hope you understand why I, and presumably others, have misinterpreted an apparently open invitation to attend at Mr Watson’s convenience.
For balance, I would hope that similar invitations were sent to other members of the select committee, Louise Mensch for example, but these have not appeared on Mr Vine’s Twitter feed.
Again, I would ask for your comments on my email sent on 24th April, with particular reference to the BBC’s definition of word “personal” and the use of a personal Twitter account by somebody (the producer) other than the account owner.
I remain extremely grateful for your responses to my emails.

Only 20 minutes later came this:

Louise Mensch has appeared on several other BBC outlets and another member of the committee was on Today this morning. But Tom Watson has been driving forward the phone hacking aspect of the story, so I would expect him to be prioritised, although today would be the appropriate day for him to appear rather than any of his choosing.
‘Personal’ is what JVs account is…it’s not controlled or set up by the BBC. But sometimes material from it is interesting, and Jeremy is happy for us to use the comments sent to him directly. Twitter is about personal engagement, and Jeremy likes to indulge in public debate with some people which he is in control of.
As I said, we are moving to a position where we will use BBC accounts for comments, but that is taking time to achieve as the audience find presenters own personal accounts more attractive. 

I had the last word though:

Quote: As I said, we are moving to a position where we will use BBC accounts for comments, but that is taking time to achieve as the audience find presenters own personal accounts more attractive.
Please be aware that this particular member of your audience absolutely disagrees with the latter part of that statement for the reasons that I have outlined previously.
Again, many thanks for your responses. I shall now await the outcome of my appeal to the BBC Trust.
And that was that. The definition of the word “personal” I learnt many years ago is obviously completely wrong, and I also seem to have completely misunderstood everything to do with the BBC and its use of Twitter.

Silly me.

30/04/12, 01/05/12 and 02/05/12

I've got some catching up to do, and a convenient break in work-related matters allows me some time to do so, so best get on with it...

Monday produced this load of old rubbish...

1) KHALIL DALE - A British aid worker Khalil Dale is beheaded in Pakistan. He has been described as a gentle man who lived to help others in war zones : Absolutely tragic, but what did your discussion change? Anything? At all? Let me guess... Next...

2) RECESSION - We’re joined by BBC Business editor Robert Peston. We ask “is it possible to talk ourselves into a recession?” : The answer to your question is "Yes" and the BBC will be leading the campaign to do so. You said on Ken's show about Peston: Does he have to have that gleam in his eye as he talks about the recession? The answer to that question is also "Yes", simply because he is paid by and works for the BBC. Like you, it is his job to do so. When the figures were released and the floodgates opened at the BBC as you searched frantically for someone to talk down the economy. I can only guess the jubilation when the BBC found a fellow doom monger by the name of Raymond Moan (yes, really), a building supplies businessman from Northern Ireland. Mr Moan was used on every news broadcast from then on with the BBC ignoring anybody with a different view, as usual. Next...

3) RED KITE - Have you been attacked by a red kite? : I was hit by one in a park when I was a child. I cannot remember the colour for sure, but I think it was blue and yellow. Oh... that kind of kite. No, I've never been attacked by one of those. You said on Ken's show when talking about Pomeranians: I don't know what size of dog that is. Is that not the kind of basic information that you would need to discuss this topic? Were you winging it (pun intended) again Jeremy? And from my knowledge of birds of prey, of which we have many around here, the behaviour and description sound more like a buzzard to me. Next...

4) MISSILES - Residents who live in flats in the East End have been told that they could well have an air-to-air missile on their roof to protect the Olympics : East End of where? Oh, you'll be talking about that there London. There was a classic Jeremy Vine open-mouth-and-insert-foot moment on Ken's show when you said: Surface to air is a bit of a misnomer as they will be on top of a block of flats. How is that a misnomer? It is an entirely accurate description. Was this the second time in one programme when you did not have a clue what you were talking about? Sounds like it to me! And can I have a missile on my roof, please? Target coordinates: W1W 2NY.

On to Tuesday then...

1) FORDS - A man is swept away to his death while attempting to drive through a ford during yesterday’s heavy rain on the Berkshire - Hampshire border. Have you got into trouble while attempting to cross a ford? : No, and I loved the video clip on the BBC news page you linked to which clearly showed a water depth gauge. Radio about stupid people, by stupid people, for stupid people. There is no charge if you want to make that your programme's new slogan. Next...

2) HATE - Astronomer Sir Patrick Moore whose fiancée was killed by a Nazi bomb in World War 2 says it’s still OK to hate the Germans. Find out more in this article from the Daily Mail : The Daily Mail... what better mouthpiece of the sewer press is there to stir up a bit of racial hatred? And what better mouthpiece of sewer radio is there to further promote it than your programme? You said on Ken's show: Amazing how recently the Germans were still bombing London. The last German air raid on London using conventional bombers (not V1 or V2 rockets) was on the 29 January 1944. That'll be 68 years ago. Is that what you count as "recent"? How are they getting on in Mafeking? Next...

3) COMMUNIST MANIFESTO - It’s May Day, International Workers Day. As the Communist Manifesto, the second biggest selling book of all time, is re-published, we ask whether Communism has any relevance in 2012 : It has as much relevance to me as it has always had: None at all. Needless to say, I did not listen but it was obvious from your Twitter feed that somebody called Daniel Frazer was mightily upset with what you were saying. For the benefit of my blog readers I'll repeat what he said here (
, my emphasis):

@theJeremyVine Of all the trash I have heard from the BBC your show today has to be the worst. Railroading Catholicism with Nazism and Capitalism, leaving Communism as the one true haven. No mention of grinding poverty in Socialist states, no mention of forced famines or gulags. No! just standing behind that Nazism had concentration camps so they were the only evil. What is a gulag or Siberian banishment if not a death camp? You are an abhorrent figure, willingly rallying and distorting the truth about the Communist manifesto and Capitalism. By playing Internationale today will you play Die Farne Hoch on the anniversary of the Munich Putsch? The anthem of a lot less brutal regime in Europe at the time? You do indeed fit the billing to partake in the worst waste of public money in all history, with your red brethren at the BBC. It is just that you and your show will end up in the cesspool of history.

He makes some good points! Next...

4) CANNABIS - And finally, Holland starts to close some of its “coffee shops” to tourists. Did you only go to Amsterdam for the cannabis? : I've been to Amsterdam only once and I was only there long enough to change trains, and I've never had anything to do with cannabis.

And finally, on to today...

1) PRESCRIPTIONS - A new report finds 1 in 6 patients are being given inaccurate prescriptions. We talk to someone about the day they spotted a serious error in their prescription : I rarely have prescriptions, and that has never happened to me. However, I do always check to see I have been given the correct stuff before using it. Obviously I am not a member of your Target Audience. Next...

2) RUPERT MURDOCH - Is Rupert Murdoch unfit to run a major international company? We talk to Tom Watson, hot from the MPs' Select Committee report, who says he clearly is : More Murdoch ... YOU LOVE IT! I have no view on Murdoch's competency to run his own business, but I find it interesting that you have Watson on your programme today. A couple of days ago this interesting little tête-à-tête appeared on your Twitter feed:

That all sounds a bit cosy to me. Anyway, it seems Watson might be in trouble (
 as in his book (the one whose "title is best so far this year") he revealed the committee's findings before they were published. I'd bet that you don't ask him about that. Next...

3) MAYORS - 10 towns and cities vote tomorrow on whether they should have mayors. Do you want a mayor for your city? : My nearest city already has one, thanks. Oh, you've missed out the important words "in England". Deliberate misinformation again Jeremy? Next...

4) ROY HODGSON - The new England manager is already being ridiculed for his speech impediment. What makes people think it's ok to ridicule someone with a speech defect? : Who? Oh, this is to do with sport. How boring. It is better to have a speech defect and talk sense than to talk rubbish perfectly, don't you think? You would know.

The Jeremy Vine Show - always ready to talk to (and pay) Labour MPs but please do not call us biased!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

26/04/12 and 27/04/12

It is a wet and very windy Sunday afternoon here in North Wales, and with any outside activities cancelled for the day an opportunity arises to send you my comments on the last two programmes from last week.

But first, here is some other stuff...

Jeremy, have you ever heard of a political party called UKIP? If you have then you are probably unique at the BBC as our favourite state broadcaster seems to be doing their best to not just ignore UKIP but almost to deny its existence. There was an interesting article about this phenomenon by Michael Heaver in The Commentator a few days ago (
 which rightly said: Perhaps I'm just a troubled, paranoid young man. But if the Green Party were outpolling the Liberal Democrats nationally, I think that the BBC would be absolutely all over the story. Mr Heaver is, in my view, absolutely correct. So how about you include UKIP when a relevant topic for discussion occurs? Or did you get the "no UKIP" memo from the BBC's Director of Bias too?

Some BBC news:
BBC launches inquiry into payments to MPs
The BBC has launched an inquiry which could lead to a ban on MPs being paid to appear as guests on programmes. The move would affect dozens of politicians who are regularly rewarded for their broadcasts, earning up to £200 plus expenses for a turn on Radio 4's Any Questions or more than £500 for BBC One's This Week.

I have tried my best to find out how much Galloway et al are paid to patronise your listeners... ooops, sorry, I mean... to make a valuable contribution to your programme, but have failed on every attempt due to the unique way in which the BBC is funded and so won't tell the very people who fund a darned thing about how OUR money is spent. A ban on MPs being paid could be interesting. The appearance of a Tory MP on your programme is a rare thing already so that situation will probably not change, but if a ban means that Balls or Prescott are not called upon to give us the benefit of their wisdom on the price of brussel sprouts then so be it. My hope is that only those MPs who are passionate on their subject will appear - for free - and that will nicely separate the motormouths and rent-a-gobs from those who are actually trying to improve the land in which we live. Perhaps you need to update your MP "speed dial" list?

I know you don't do it, but I would like to go back to a couple of recent discussions on your programme...

The first was on 18th April when you were bemoaning the decline of local newspapers. Well, Mr Murdoch Snr has identified the culprit for their demise: The BBC. He gave his views as part of the Leveson Inquiry last week (
Leveson Inquiry: Murdoch rounds on BBC News website
Rupert Murdoch has used his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics to reflect on the threat posed to newspapers by the internet. The head of News Corps singled out the BBC News website as a significant threat to local news websites throughout the UK.

So there we go, it is the BBC's fault. I knew it all along. Although only three minutes long, it is a an interesting interview. No wonder the BBC have him down as Public Enemy Number One.

The second was last Wednesday, 25th April, and the discussion on bus lanes and cyclists. Just out of curiosity I listened to the discussion on iPlayer in the hope that somebody might have given you some grief. I knew that you would have John Griffin from Addison Lee as a studio guest, but your other guest was something of a surprise choice. Now I know that you make a pretence of not ramming your own views down your listeners’ and studio guest’s throats and that you usually gets somebody in to do that for you, and it appears that last Wednesday was no exception. So what happened then? Did you do a quick scan down your speed-dial favourites list to find a fellow cyclist? And really, was there nobody else available other than Rent-A-Gob Peter Tatchell? Now Tatchell may or may not have interesting views on all sorts of matters (he was last on your programme talking about the Bahrain F1 race) but I never had him down as an expert on all things cycling. And I was correct! The item turned in to the usual JV Show two-against-one discussion (and I use that word in its loosest possible sense) with you putting words in to Griffin’s mouth, which he had to deny. Tatchell added little other than some hare-brained ideas and presumably collected a completely unjustified payment cheque when he left. This was nothing other than an ambush wrapped up in some very obvious London-only bias.

Moving on to last Thursday then...

1) ZIGZAG ECONOMY - As we fall back into recession we’re told the economy is zigzagging. If you think about your business or employment prospects are they up one day and down the next? : With the BBC celebrating the return to recession, I am going to tell that my employment prospects remain unchanged at non-existent, but that my business still seems to be going nicely. Next...

2) ABORTION - Are you somebody who had an abortion when you were young and now can’t get pregnant or left it too late? Find out more in this article from the Daily Mail : I've never had an abortion, but I can't get pregnant. Other than read the Daily Mail, what should I do? Next...

3) GORDON BROWN - Rupert Murdoch said that Gordon Brown declared war on his company when The Sun declared war on the Labour government. Whatever was said or wasn’t said, does part of you think - good on Brown for taking on the power of Murdoch : More Murdoch? What a surprise! Not even the smallest part of me thinks that. Perhaps Brown only did it to annoy Tony Blair (
), but I notice that Murdoch is still around and Brown has vanished in to justifed obscurity. Next...

4) I LOVE WHERE I LIVE - “I Love Where I Live” continues with love letters to the place you call home. Today we reach Scotland, the highlands and islands, the glens and the great cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh : Nice place, although I've not been there since 2009.

And then there was Friday's offering...

1) WAKING THE WORKSHY - The head of the government’s Troubled Families programme Louise Casey says council officials may need to turn up at people’s homes at 7am to get parents and children out of bed. Do bureaucrats need to wake up the workshy? : There is no mention of waking people up on the news page you link to but it does say: David Cameron says he is determined to "get to grips" with tackling England's most troubled families by pledging a network of troubleshooters. Ah, England ... bless. Not Wales then. Next...

2) SIERRA LEONE - The former Liberian leader Charles Taylor is found guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone : Good. Next...
3) I LOVE WHERE I LIVE - We head to the South of England for the last day of "I Love Where I Live," your love letters to the place you call home : I used to live there, and I'm glad I don't anymore. I loved the way you informed us that the South of England streches from "Southend to Penzance". I'm not sure the proud people of Cornwall will have liked that, I think they prefer the term "West of England". Next...
4) FLANNELS - The decline of the flannel. Is it no longer an essential accessory in the bathroom? Find our more in this article from the Telegraph : I still have many and use one every day, but.... errrr... oh, hang on... nearly nodded off there... what was the question again?
What have I learnt from the BBC in the past few days? Well, Penzance is in the South of England (you, last week). "April showers" will last until May (BBC weather forecast this morning). Simon Cowell has an "unauthorised autobiography" out (news report on the Danii Minogue upset). And Billy Bragg was born in 1957 but was a "teenager throughout the 1970s" (Johnny Walker this afternoon). Perhaps accuracy is over-rated.
The Jeremy Vine Show - Oh God, it's back on again tomorrow...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Twitter plot thickens...

I received an interesting follow-up email from BBC Audio & Music today in response to my query concerning Jeremy Vine's use of Twitter sent a couple of weeks ago. This is what it said (my emphasis):
Sorry for my slow response, I wanted to check a few things with the JV programme.
Like a number of freelance presenters and journalists, Jeremy Vine does run a personal, non BBC, twitter account.  People do tweet directly back to him, text the studio, phone the studio, email the studio and tweet to BBC owned accounts.
The comments you hear on air are selected by a producer and passed to Jeremy, based on their content. It’s not true that the responses back to Jeremy’s account play a major part in the show…by far the biggest response is by email and text.
Sometimes the producer (not JV) will judge a comment via twitter is useful in the debate and pass it through to the studio.
Jeremy is aware of our guidance on personal use of social media, and his comments on twitter are within that guidance, and I, and others, will advise him from time to time about twitter.
Twitter is a new phenomenon, and adapting guidelines etc. does take time and often leaves a few grey areas. You’ll have noticed BBC news people like Robert Peston have tweet accounts too…and many of those are ‘BBC’ owned. But, the way the accounts are labelled and who owns them does, I admit, vary across the corporation. We are tidying this up  bit by bit, but it is taking a little time.
I hope this explains the situation.
The writer has obviously gone to some trouble to get his facts straight, but I feel that he has been given misinformation by the JV program staff. Old habits die hard!

I am pleased to have it confirmed that Vine is freelance and not a BBC employee. I always suspected that this was the case, but had no proof.

This was my response to the email:

Very many thanks for your reply, and for taking the time and trouble to investigate further - it is very much appreciated. Unfortunately, it does not explain the situation!

The only Twitter account that I know Jeremy Vine has is @theJeremyVine. I can only assume that the BBC-owned Twitter account that you refer to is @BBCRadio2, which I have never heard mentioned in connection with Mr Vine's programme.

Mr Vine uses his "personal" account to tweet about his favourite football team, cycling in London and a whole host of non-BBC related topics, but this is also the same Twitter account that he promotes heavily in connection with his Radio 2 programme. For example, this is what he said yesterday (25th April):

 - During his daily promotion on the Ken Bruce show at 11:30 : "Phone number 0500 288291, you can email, we're both on Twitter @R2KenBruce and @theJeremyVine"
 - At the start of his programme at 11:59 : "The phone number is 0500 288291, you can also email and if you have an account on Twitter I'm there as @theJeremyVine"

You will note that in both of these promotions there was no mention of texting, and based on previous experience I have absolutely no doubt that other similar promotions of @theJeremyVine were made during the programme. You will also note his promotion of Ken Bruce's Twitter account, which has as its description:
The official twitter account of the real Ken Bruce. You'll find my words here typed by my own fingers . On air weekdays 0930-1200 BBC Radio 2. Despite his claims to the contrary, am I to take it that Mr Bruce's account is "personal" too?

You kindly wrote:
Sometimes the producer (not JV) will judge a comment via twitter is useful in the debate and pass it through to the studio.

So, just to be clear, Mr Vine's "personal" account is monitored by a BBC producer and cherry-picked for good comments - is that correct? If that is the case, perhaps you would be good enough to explain the BBC's definition of the word "personal", as I am now completely baffled..

Mr Vine reads and attributes comments from Twitter on air, and a quick check of tweets to his account (by searching for @theJeremyVine in Twitter) reveals Twitter to indeed be the source, almost word for word.

As you have mentioned, I could choose to communicate with his programme by email or text, but both of these mediums are relatively cumbersome and lack the immediacy and convenience that Twitter provides to me.

I have no issue, or interest, with the comments that Mr Vine makes on Twitter. We live in a land of free speech and he is entitled to his opinions. However, that same free speech is denied to me simply because he has chosen to block me from being able to respond to his invitations to contact his programme (not Mr Vine himself). This amounts to nothing less than censorship on Mr Vine's part.

All I want is to be able to communicate with a BBC radio programme that I fund by buying a TV Licence every year.

Again, I thank you sincerely for your email, but I cannot help thinking that whoever you spoke to at the JV programme has not been entirely accurate with their responses.

As well as defining "personal", would you care to comment further?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

23/04/12, 24/04/12 and 25/04/12

I've been busy over the last couple of days so I have missed my daily updates. However, I'm off to the dentist (only a check-up) soon so find myself with an opportunity to do my thing. Let's start with Monday...

1) MARINE LE PEN - The biggest surprise of the French elections is that one in five voted for the national front candidate Marine Le Pen. What accounts for the rise of the far right in France? : It is well-known that the BBC finds any political view other than left of centre to be totally abhorent. Like London, I view France as a place to get through as quickly as possible on my way to somewhere much nicer. And my interest ends there. Next...

2) BLINDNESS IN ONE EYE - A diplomat loses an eye in a vicious attack. Are you someone who has had to cope with just one eye? : How awful, but I have not been that unfortunate. Next...

3) CARE WORKER - A family secretly film their mother being slapped by a care home worker. How can this happen in a care home that’s been rated ‘excellent’? : I've no idea, but I note that "All five main care workers filmed by Jane Worroll were sacked" so hopefully it will not happen again. But then this was all just a promotion for Monday's edition of Panorama, wasn't it? Next...

4) I LOVE WHERE I LIVE - All this week Radio 2 wants to hear why you love where you live. We will be hearing your 1 minute love letters about your town, village or city : Yeah, whatever.

So that was Monday. Sounds dire. Was Tuesday any better?

1) POSHNESS - Conservative MP Nadine Dorries says that Cameron and Osborne are “arrogant posh boys” who “don’t know the price of milk”. Does poshness matter anyway? : Ah yes, a good old-fashioned Jeremy Vine Show Character Assassination. It's been a while since you did one of those. I take it that this was as one-sided as all of the others? Aside from that, is a bit of name-calling really "news", especially when bearing in mind the current legal matters entangling Peter Hain (
) and Jack Straw ( and Next...

2) MEAT THEFT - There’s been a rise in the theft of meat both from supermarkets and from the ‘back of lorries’. Is this something you’ve witnessed? 
Find out more from the Financial Times: No. And the link you provided is hidden behind a "pay wall". You may wish to waste my TV licence tax money on a subscription, but I do not. Next...

3) CLAIRE SQUIRES - Claire Squires ran the marathon to raise money for the Samaritans in memory of her brother. She collapsed and died near the end. Since then, thousands of people have donated money in her memory : Tragic. Did you discuss banning marathons? If not, why not? Next...

4) LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE - Radio 2’s homage to every nook and cranny and of the UK continues. Today, ‘I Love Where I Live’ moves to Wales and Northern Ireland. There’s still time to write your one minute love letter, to where you live : Is there really. Great.

And while I'm at it, I may as well dismiss today's show as well...

1) RUSSELL BRAND - Did you see Russell Brand give evidence on drug abuse to MPs yesterday? He called for people to have more compassion for drug addicts, but were you somebody who said what right did he have to be there in the first place? : Who? Oh, him. My answers are no, and no. This is a former Radio 2 colleague you are talking about here, have you no respect? Me neither. Next...

2) BUS LANES & CYCLISTS - The man that runs one of Britain’s biggest cab firms says that minicabs should be allowed in bus lanes and cyclists should be made to pay road tax : I have no idea where my nearest bus lane is, in England probably, but your Twitter feed is full of references to your endeavours with a bicycle around London, so I fail to see how you could possibly conduct an unbiased discussion on this topic today. Your BBC colleague Stuart Hughes launched a Twitter attack on the minicab company concerned and this has been fully documented elsewhere ( and and this, if nothing else, illustrates perfectly the kind of bias that permeates through the BBC when somebody there uses their position to further their own views. As for me, one day many years ago I was stopped at traffic lights on the Euston Road in London and a cyclist rammed in to the back of my car. I got out and the cyclist picked himself up off the road and said "Sorry mate, I didn't see you". What he meant was he wasn't actually looking where he was going. The rear bumper and boot lid on my car were both dented, but the cyclist's bike appeared to be undamaged. I know that because he then rode off at high speed and left me with the repair bill. I'll leave you to guess what my view of cyclists is ... can you manage that? I'll listen to this on the iPlayer later as I hope that the chap from the minicab company gives you some grief. Next...

3) MURDOCH - Rupert Murdoch gives evidence at the Leveson Inquiry today as his son leaves cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt’s career hanging by a thread : Murdoch appears at Leveson, and you are all over it like. Yet back in January (25th) you chose to ignore the evidence given by the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror and our beloved BBC. Bias, bias, bias! Any news reporter worthy of his trade would give equal coverage to ALL of the news organisations involved, but you only choose to report on Murdoch. Your choice, or a directive from On High? Next...
4) LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE - ‘I Love Where I Live’ heads to the middle of England today. We hear your one minute love letters to the place you love : WTF?
And at 12:08 the Off switch does its job.
It was interesting to hear Chris Evans's comments this morning on the forthcoming repeat of 2DAY. "We loved it, you loved it", he said. That is not my recollection of last year's disasterous day when hordes of R2 listeners found that other radio stations are available. And your beloved newspapers slated it too. But the BBC always know best, don't they?

The Jeremy Vine show - telling you the news that WE want you to hear

Friday, 20 April 2012


Good afternoon. Here is the news from the BBC:
Clock change could leave teenagers more sleepy
Teenagers can suffer severe sleep deprivation when the clocks change, say researchers at the University of Surrey. As this study was small, nine students in total, Mrs Bower says further research is needed.

A survey of just nine students? Thank goodness the BBC brought this to our attention.
BBC Signs Dancing Deal with AvonBBC Worldwide Consumer Products has signed a deal with Avon to produce the first range of fragrances based on Dancing with the Stars, the global brand of BBC One’s “Strictly Come Dancing” series.

Mmmm... Eau D'Sweat sounds delightful. Put me down for a few bottles.
BBC staff 'could strike over Jubilee weekend'
BBC staff are to be balloted for strike action that unions warn could disrupt coverage of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June.
Will we miss the Queen's Jubilee? BBC staff balloted for strikes which could threaten coverage of celebration
They are demanding an increase of  2 per cent above the Retail Price Index rate of inflation, which is currently 3.6 per cent.
As you BBC people say: Other broadcasters are available, and free ones at that. Any chance that they could go on strike permanently? They could all be sacked then.
Pupil, 12, takes BBC to task over ‘dumbed down’ current affairs
Lachlann, who is in year seven at the private Loretto School in Musselburgh, aired his concerns that Newsround, the 40-year-old news programme, is celebrity news-heavy and “does not give you the in-depth news”. He explained his desire for a greater focus on current affairs, suggesting that the Newsround editors were underestimating the audience and said there was a need for a children’s news programme aimed at the 12-16 age group.

Good for him! I wonder what he thinks of your programme.

And finally, more "news" aimed at children:
'Fracking' for gas to carry on, leaving people angry
A controversial way of getting gas from underground will start again, even though some people argue it's not safe. The government reckons it could be also be used in power stations in future, which would mean the UK wouldn't depend on getting expensive fuel from other countries. But some people think fracking could pollute water and others say tidal energy and wind energy are much better options.
Go on BBC, keep ramming one side of the argument down their throats. Impartial? No. Unbiased? No. Sensationalist? Yes!
I've just had a quick listen to yesterday's show and you going on about Twitter. Some quotes from you:

"Email sounds old fashioned" - Yet it is the ONLY form of immediate written communication that I can have with your programme (i.e. NOT YOU personally!) because that is what YOU personally have decided. I have absolutely no desire to interact with YOU, but I would like to interact with YOUR PROGRAMME.

"You can tweet me at @theJeremyVine" - No, I can't, because you have blocked me from doing so.

"Here is the Radio 2 guide to Twitter" - Yet no mention of blocking. How odd.

"Tweet from somebody called Kristian, with a K, Webb, and there's a swear word in here so I won't read it: Kindly f*** off you imbecile. You've got all the intelligence of a cancerous polyp. That's a message from him to me" - Have you blocked him? One thing I have never done is resort to such language. All I have done is challenge and question what you do with a genuine desire to discuss, but you block me for daring to do so. Checking through other tweets to you yesterday I see that I am not alone in being blocked by you. Am I one of the "lunatics" that you mentioned?

Anyway, enough of your hypocrisy and blatant double standards, let's look at what I am missing today...

1) BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX - Given the violence and unrest in Bahrain is it right that the Grand Prix goes ahead? : Sport (allegedly), in a country I have never visited, and with Tatchell in the studio to share his wisdom with your listeners. Let me know if and when this discussion, or Tatchell's actions, change anything, will you? I'll be asleep in a corner, somewhere. Next...

2) PICKPOCKETING - A crime survey suggests that there has been a serious increase in pickpocketing. We give you Radio 2’s guide to how to protect yourself from being pickpocketed : I was pickpocketed on a packed Paris RER train a few years ago, simply because of my own stupidity. Rest assured, it will not happen again. Next...

3) HOSEPIPE BAN - Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink, or rather, don’t use your hosepipe! Martin Lewis tells us how to save water and save money : There is no hosepipe ban here. Having a water meter (by choice) and knowing that I am paying for every drop concentrates the mind wonderfully and we just do not waste water. Two rainwater butts helps too. I don't think I need to listen, do I? Next...

4) STANDING - David Cameron says children should stand up when their parents enter the room. Is this a Tory leader out of touch or a return to good old-fashioned manners? Fing out more in this article from the Telegraph : Fing? Do you actually read the pages you link to? The Telegraph article clearly states: The Prime Minister made the remarks in a speech praising the return of “real discipline” to British schools. He said reforms to the education system would lead to “fantastic outcomes” like children who observe the old-fashioned practice of rising in the presence of an adult. Having listened to you just after 12:00 today you seem to be under the illusion that Cameron would like to see this in family homes which, according to your source, is incorrect. Again, you are just making this stuff up, aren't you?

The Jeremy Vine Show - News Entertainment at its best