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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Today's show 01/03/12

I have a quick update on my appeal to the BBC Trust concerning the treatment of my complaints by the "expedited complaints handling procedure", meaning that they are completely ignored. I sent an email to the BBC Trust Editorial unit asking for an update and had a reply by return which said: "We are still considering your appeal, and will write again within the next two weeks to update you.". How odd, don't you think, that my appeal had to be on printed paper (because the BBC said so) and had to be received within 20 days (because the BBC said so) but the BBC can take as long as it likes to respond (because it suits the BBC) and only uses email to communicate with me (because it suits the BBC). Aren't double standards great?

Have you ever heard of Baroness Jenny Tonge? Do you know what happened to her yesterday? It is in several papers today, and was all over the internet yesterday. The BBC chose not report anything until this morning (
), yet the resignation of James Murdoch was reported minutes after it was announced and was all over the radio news bulletins I heard. Double standards again? I think so and I have no doubt that the BBC would have covered the Tonge story as promptly as they did with Murdoch had she been a Tory peer.

More double standards: You spoke about Joyce's brawl at Westminster last week and you were very keen to distance yourself from too much detail due to the possibility of legal action against him. Yet if I look through the BBC news pages for "Rebekah Brookes", for example, I can find all sorts of stories about her as the BBC seemingly find her guilty until proved innocent for all manner of crimes against humanity, including looking after an old horse (
) and allegations that it was in a "poor" state on its return ( That last story in particular wreaks of utter desperation by the BBC to rubbish Brookes and includes yourself if your tweets are anything to go by:
Did today's Sun frontpage send Rebekah Brooks a coded signal that the game is up on the #horse?
Rebekah Brooks horse "has died" - circumstances not suspicious.
Rebekah's #horse may be the equivalent of the duck island in the MPs' expenses scandal: superficially meaningless, but a devastating symbol
I am no fan of Brookes but is this really a "devastating symbol"? Remind me, what planet do you live on?

There seems to me to be a simple BBC rule in force here: If a person is connected to Murdoch or the Tories then publish what you like, and to hell with them and the consequences.

So let's see if you can include some double standards in today's show...
1) TAX CUT - With the budget only weeks away, a number of campaigns want to see different taxes cut. So today we ask: if there was room to cut one tax, what would it be? Cut VAT, cut fuel tax or cut the 50% tax for the rich? : That's easy ... scrap the BBC TV Licence Tax, but that will be out of bounds today - as usual. I'd love to see taxes cut and the introduction of a flat rate income tax that applies to everybody rather than the staggered system we have at the moment. This would be far simpler to administer but we probably won't be seeing that any time soon, and you won't be discussing that today apparently. Unfortunately, and despite me running my own business, I cannot see me being troubled by the 50% tax rate now or in the future. You need to remember that this rate was introduced by Gordon Brown in April 2010, just weeks before the general election ( but somehow I suspect you will ignore that and you will allow this to turn in to an attack on the current government. There are, of course, ways around paying 50% tax and your BBC colleagues have done this ( and
). Your talking today will, of course, not change anything but as somebody who earns £1million a year, which one would you like to be cut? I think we should be told. Next...

2) HOMS - With the Syrian army continuing its bombardment of civilian areas in Homs, we talk to somebody who says it’s time the West did something to help and someone else who says we should leave well alone : A "somebody" and a "someone". Great. Next...

3) DAVY JONES - The lead singer of the Monkees, Davy Jones, has died. We talk to people who say how much they loved him : Sad, but I was not a fan and I certainly did not love them. As one who grew up during the Monkees heyday my abiding memory is that The Monkees TV series (when first broadcast in the 1960s) was utter shite from start to finish. My sister enjoyed it though ... perhaps it was a girl thing. Next...

4) DAVID RATHBAND - PC David Rathband was blinded by the killer Raoul Moat. Last night he committed suicide. How do people cope after the trauma of sudden blindness? : I have huge sympathy for PC Rathband and can, I think, understand why he chose to take his own life. There is nothing that you or I can do to change that, but I have to remind you that it was only three weeks ago (15th February) that you discussed "SUDDEN SIGHT LOSS - We discuss sudden sight loss and meet a man who went blind overnight". I chose not to listen then, and will do the same today.

Oooohhh... you resisted Murdoch's resignation ... well done!

The Jeremy Vine Show - live from Planet Zaaarrrggg, every day

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