Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Of lesser importance.

It can be quite interesting to read comments left beneath articles in the Mail. Today the paper has headlined a BBC decision to downgrade the newsworthiness of certain members of the Royal Family to "Category 2" - which means that on their death no programme will be interrupted, not even Eastenders.

Some commenters think there has already been a downgrading of newsworthy items, and an upgrading off celebrity, because "William J" points out that  :-
"On the 6 o'clock news yesterday they devoted 12 minutes to Tiger Woods and 2 minutes to the deaths of British soldiers in Afghanistan.
Make what you will of that."
"R, CBD" tends to agree and predicts that :-
"... the BBC now, it would probably give bigger coverage if Cheryl Cole kicked the bucket than it would if Her Majesty the Queen passed away."
And, actually, with the current cult of the celebrity, Mrs R wonders if this would be the case - although possibly not, because they'd want the viewing figures - wouldn't they, otherwise we'd all do as "Vaj" suggests, which is :-
"... we will all tune into Sky News, CNN etc !!!"
"Alex", however turns attention to the decision-makers, namely, "... a group of senior BBC executives, including deputy director general Mark Byford ...", and says :-
"Perhaps I,m being cynical, but did the meeting to decide this change of policy, take place over a weekend at a five star hotel? After all, that,s the way the B.B.C usually spends "our" money, isn,t it? Or will we never find out, because it,s covered by "confidentiality". ..."
Hmm, is there a teeny hint there that, maybe, the BBC has lost it's sparkle, is no longer the  world-class, well-respected organisation it thinks it is, at least not here in Britain? Surely ordinary folk can't have as low opinion of the BBC high ups as they have of some MPs, or have these same influential, opinion-forming, individuals truly forgotten that we in Britain are not isolated from rest of the world, that most of us acknowledge that there are other countries and there are other important people. As "Dot" says :-
If the Prime Minister or the President of the US, whoever they are, should be assassinated, surely that would merit breaking into programmes immediately?
Well, maybe the BBC wouldn't tell us straight away because, according to the Mail, there are lower categories than "2" - presumably 'Category 3' - which includes :-
 "... ‘other notables’, including Muhammad Ali, Lech Walesa, Bob Dylan ... Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope, the Dalai Lama, Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, Sir John Major and Mikhail Gorbachev."
That's just fine say some, those lot aren't in the least bit important, especially not that Thatcher woman - but they don't seem to have spotted  what "Dot" is referring to, which is the names of those individuals who have also been  "demoted" to "lower than category 2", namely (my bold) :-
"... Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Leader of the Opposition David Cameron and the President of the United States Barack Obama...."
Oh dear, that's another newspaper crashing to the floor.


418 said...

It depends what show is being interrupted, shurely. If it's the Winter Olympics, for instance, there is no way anything will interrupt and if it's golf, for instance, then the show will go on and on even if it means disrupting the rest of the schedule. The BBC has its priorities all wrong as usual, but perhaps they do this on purpose to confound their critics: they should not be downgrading royals or anyone; they should simply say that no matter what, some programmes such as tennis or golf (but not association football it seems) will in no circumstances - ever - be interrupted. Makes you glad to pay the licence fee, especially when you see BBC America - apparently not available in the UK - carries paid advertising.

Mrs R said...

I think, in reality, they'd probably put a text across the lower part of the screen.

But, if something terribly unexpected happened to any of the Royals or any of the more 'senior' national or international politicians I'd expect there to be a break in schedule - even for a minute or two - wouldn't you?

Mind you, we wouldn't see it because we rarely watch television!