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The beginning of the end for the BBC?

June 27th, 2005 | No Comments | Categories: Uncategorized |

Today the sale of BBC broadcast to “an Australian business consortium” was finalised (subject to government approval).

I’m against the idea of selling off any public services, but some of the quotes in the article above are particularly disturbing –

“But new owner Creative Broadcast Services has agreed to a one-year moratorium on compulsory job losses.”

and

“As well as a moratorium on compulsory job losses, Mr Thompson said the consortium had also agreed to protect workers’ contracts for three years, continue to recognise unions and offer a “broadly comparable” pension scheme.”

one year? what kind of bogus short-termism is that? ‘it’s OK, we’ve sold you down the river, but you’ll have your job for a year’.

And I’m not sure what the second quote means – does that mean they’ll recognise the unions for three years or permanently? And what’s a ‘broadly comparable’ pension scheme? I really don’t like the sound of this at all.

Compounding this is that the sale was for £166 Million, even though “BBC Broadcast has contracts with the BBC up to 2015, worth over £500m.”

Why are British public services sold off in this way? I so cannot understand it. For some reason, the government/governing bodies seem to think that to sell of a public service we have to give the investors 10 times what they’d get in any other low-risk investment, and then make sure that even that low risk isn’t there. If these morons are going to try and play at being in business, the least they could do is make those who are making the money shoulder some of the responsibility and risk.

It’s like these insane PPP schemes where the investors are guaranteed super-high annual returns on their investment, so if they bollocks up the job, the government has to bail them out via the terms of the contract. How else are Jarvis still in business? How else did the contractors get away with putting lifts in Coventry’s PPP hospital that are too small to get a hospital bed in???

It makes no sense whatsoever, and it’s ruined my day, given that our last hope is that the government blocks it. Sadly given their track record on getting things right, there’s about as much chance of that happening as there is of Blair admitting that the slaughter of tens of thousands of Iraqis is illegal and he really out to be up in the Hague on war crimes charges.

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