Thursday 8 August 2013

Lord Clarkson of Top Gear

I love the BBC and have done for a very long time. But now it's very much a grand British institution that has lost its way under poor management - which is much like another struggling stalwart of the British way of life, Lloyd's Bank. The loyal troops on the ground (and the paying customers) are long suffering victims of some of their arrogant and "disconnected" bosses' incompetence.

We are still finding out more all the time about the rate and scale of that BBC incompetence. The "far too easy come" money that went (just as easily) on greasing the various exits of already well over-paid executives is simply astonishing. It ought to be a resigning or dismissal (with no compensation) matter for any high level executive involved in the decision.

But we can at least commend the present leadership for not trying another logo change, and sticking with the one above since 1997. At the time the change of "corporate branding" to the simple thing above, from something not a different was as an ego trip for the DG, and costed estimated to have cost £1m, then £1.7m a year over three years of implementation. At 1997 prices!

We can all envisage the meetings of sincere and intense arty types to discuss and insist on this crucial landmark in our cultural history. I'm terribly sorry, I would have been beastly and taken all but £500 of that out of the main board's salaries.

It is a particular mark of the curious and profound relationship that the BBC has with the licence payers that its own "Logo history" page has been obliged to use content from one of those die-hard nerd sites (sorry, no other words conveys as much in so little) who has being doing the BBC's job for it.

The BBC has also relied on other TV aficionados to turn up long lost recordings of old shows that the BBC management in its wisdom had deleted or otherwise misplaced.

Could anyone have known back in the 70s that the internet would come along and give an extended lease of (commercial) life to just about every recording of anything ever made? The BBC hierarchy has not shown conspicuous prescience in matters of the future at any time since the very early days when it actively engineered that future with its own resources for the benefit of the nation; and the founding visionaries, talent and engineers were replaced by paedophiles, journalists and accountants, who now seem to buy-in just about everything from foreign suppliers.

Clearly there are many at the core of the BBC would also wish that Jeremy Clarkson could have been dumped for his robust and non-PC approach to life,  and broadcasting - but the international sales footprint of Top Gear is simply astonishing. Much to the chagrin of many delicate BBC egos, Jezza & Co have given the entire WORRRRLD what it wants.

Never mind just a Knighthood, maybe Lord Clarkson should be put in charge of the whole thing?