Before I begin, I must admit to being partisan. I’m a
fan of the Beeb, always have been. I trust and value the news reportage. I enjoy the dramas and panel shows. I even have faith in the documentaries, in spite of recent faux pas. Yes, ok, I would like to wave bye-bye to Strictly..., Eastenders and most of the modern sitcoms (Citizen Kahn? Honestly!), but I appreciate that my views are not shared by all, so fine; I like the BBC.
There we have it, my partisanship on show for all to see. For all
that, I am fully prepared to admit that there have been a number of monumental cock-ups of late, and that the BBC should have to take the flack for these goes without saying. What galls me is this continuing national obsession with the removal of jobs.
As a writer, I am my own manager and if I miss a deadline for a
client I expect to not be paid... Being a money-grabbing freelancer, I make sure that this never happens! However, should I make an error, I would not expect to have to go and find some other form of work. In the case of the current BBC ‘crisis’, as in the case of oh-so-many political scandals, I see little point in
slaughtering the sacrificial lamb for a misdemeanour that they are best suited to remedy... And before the harangue begins, I realise that ‘misdemeanour’is trivialising a very serious matter, but the point remains.
The BBC Director General is nudged into jumping, then the head of news, Helen Boaden, and her deputy, Steve Mitchell, ‘step aside’, leaving junior members of the corporation to pick up the pieces. When a person’s position is undermined so completely that their role becomes untenable, such as the case of Andrew ‘PC
Pleb’ Mitchell, then of course they have to go, and I think that few of us mourn their passing. However, in a sensible world, it surely would be logical for the experienced lamb to help resolve the outstanding issues before making their way towards the abattoir? Or, at the very least, to delay their journey to the great green retirement village in the sky, until a suitable replacement has been found.
When a person makes a mistake, they should deal with the consequences. However, one mistake, regardless of size, does not nullify years of experience and I would rather see problems thoughtfully and carefully resolved by a person who knows what they are doing, rather than rushed through by people struggling under the additional pressure of a new job that has hastily been dropped on their shoulders while the pertinent points are lost in the fray.
As Sue Perkins so succinctly Tweeted; ‘Well done attack dogs, you have your man. And when your braying stops we might be able to hear the REAL issues being discussed...’
Up to this point, we have seen three people lose their livelihoods (albeit just for a temporary period for two of them) while the victims at the heart of the story – those who were abused as children – have been more or less ignored. The moral? Let people who know how, do their jobs while everyone else focuses on the issues that matter.