This morning on tv he was rabbiting on about systems and processes. And saying that he hadn't vetted the Newsnight report because no-one had mentioned to him it was going to be broadcast. A real jobsworth and beaurocrat. I knew about the Newsnight report and I rarely watch BBC and almost never Newsnight. Why on earth didn't he consider it his responsibility to make sure he knew what was going on, particulalry with all the furore of the Saville fiasco.
In reply to DNS:
I didn't hear the radio 4 interview, but why is John Humphrys quoted as saying "Let it settle down. I am not going to gloat. I do what I do. I did what I did"? Was he actually trying to give the guy a push or something?
In reply to SARS: He certainly comes across as a bureaucrat. Seems to me he took an easy way out - I don't suppose he'll be left short of a bob or two - but to not have known what was about to happen on Newsnight when the rest of the world did seems almost wilful.
> (In reply to jonny taylor) Anyone who can't give Humphries a good verbal slap doesn't deserve high office.
> The man is an ignorant little bully and it is an occasional source of much pleasure when he encounters someone who turns the tables on him.
I share your distaste for Humphries. He demeans and trivialises the level of political debate in this country.
Having said that he did a good job on Entwhistle. It is utterly baffling to me how, having already been in front of a parliamentary committee and been accused of a lack of curiousity, and facing what had been described as the biggest crisis in the BBC's history the DG didn't think that being kept informed of developments on this issue should be an absolutely key focus. I understand he can't be checking every news channel and all BBC output but shouldn't he have appointed somebody to do this for him and report back daily if not hourly?
In reply to Postmanpat: Death wish perhaps? A long time ago someone else in a similar high profile job (Peter Parker/British Rail) was asked what the main attribute for the job was and he replied something like 'ability to tolerate pain.'
I suspect Entwhistle doesn't have it, and he will now be mightily relieved. It would be nice to think the costs of recruiting his successor would be deducted from his severance pay...
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
Also, any thoughts on the year's salary as a payoff? I've thought hard about this trying to come up with a justification and I really can't. I know this sort of thing is par for the course in this sort of job, but even by those standards it just seems obscene. The guy was in the post for two months, so it's not like he has years of experience to pass on in a handover to his successor. The temptation to go for the conspiracy theory and see it as buying his silence is almost overwhelming.
Interesting also that it is described as payment "in lieu of notice" when the official line is to insist that the guy resigned of his own accord without any pressure.
> Interesting also that it is described as payment "in lieu of notice" when the official line is to insist that the guy resigned of his own accord without any pressure.
his contract probably states that after handing in his resignation he is still required to work for 6 months. While it could be reduced by mutual consent he doesnt really have the motive to do so.
The extension to a year is curious since would have thought the six months would have been long enough to deal with the main inquiries.
> I agree, but does this sort of affair not come under gross misconduct?
ermm, why would it?
Now if he had gone on newsnight himself and made the claim possibly but since neither he, or anyone on the beeb, did then I am struggling to see why it would be counted as gross misconduct. Incompetence perhaps.
> (In reply to jonny taylor)
> I suspect he was paid to go.
"Suspect"? He is being paid to go.
Two things I don't understand, one why pay him twice the amount his contract states for termination. Secondly, he was already a BBC employee, if he can't handle the workload with the promotion he should have been put back where he was or made redundant on his old salary.
It's a ridiculous waste of money and out of proportion with almost anything in the public or private sector.
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
Agreed. John Simpson made the same point this morning.Somebdy in that position should be able to fight his /her way out of any difficulties like this.It comes with the territory.
> ermm, why would it?
> Now if he had gone on newsnight himself and made the claim possibly but since neither he, or anyone on the beeb, did then I am struggling to see why it would be counted as gross misconduct. Incompetence perhaps.
I believe that as Director General, he is also Editor in Chief which means that he is basically responsible for the output of the BBC. The Newsnight production team should have known they had crossed a line and he was responsible for ensuring this.
You could argue on the same basis that Rebecca Brookes should not have lost her job when she was the Editor of The News of the World when phone hacking was going on. Whether she knew about it is irrelevant. It shouldn't have happened on her watch and the same goes for the DG of the BBC. He is paid £450k to take that responsibility.
In reply to EeeByGum: I didn't get the 'I didn't know about it defence'..
Of course the head delegates decisions.. but its still your responsibility who to and how much you delegate. Its pretty scary that this wasn't red flagged. and Although NN didn't name the Lord in question it undoubtably caused the shit storm which led to him being named.. even saying in the afternoon 'we will name a senior tory politician'..
> (In reply to dissonance)
> I believe that as Director General, he is also Editor in Chief which means that he is basically responsible for the output of the BBC. The Newsnight production team should have known they had crossed a line and he was responsible for ensuring this.
Yes. Although he can't check the editorial standards on everything before it is aired - in a situation like this where the standard has been questioned he should have made a stand much sooner. By not immediately disciplining the editorial team at Newsnight he effectively approved their standard.
With 23 years at the BBC you expect him to get 6 months redundancy notice but I know if I disagreed with the board where I work the best I could hope for is 4 weeks pay in lieu of my resignation.
In reply to Submit to Gravity: It becomes slightly clearer. If he'd have been sacked, he'd have been entitled to the full 12 month salary, and wouldn't have had to bother with the tiresome inquiry co-operation thing. My guess is that he sat still and said give me the money, and I'll play nice, or sack me and give me the money anyway
> Boris Johnson has had a real go at Auntie today - along the lines stop the internal hand-wringing and woe, and put your efforts into a grovelling, cowed, full-weight apology to MacAlpine.
wonder if he has the evidence for his allegations particularly about them passing info on. Strange how different his attitude was around the phone hacking, its almost like he is politically motivated.
Plus maybe i am missing something but surely resignations count for a tad more than apologies. Although i can see why he prefers a few words rather than action.
It was also curious seeing the culture secretary saying that people shouldnt be named without a criminal investigation. That would be a couple of weeks after her attacking the beeb for pulling the show on saville which named him without the criminal investigation etc.
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
The nice man wasn't up to the job. He should never have been given the gig in the first place.
As someone said today - he had the leadership qualities of winnie the pooh......
I'm sure on reflection GE realises this.