Saturday, 12 October 2013

Giles Dilnot and the BBC: Beware of "little people"

It was never our intention at TV Licensing Watch to write about anything other than BBC TV Licensing™ and the activities and abuses perpetrated by contractors operating under the trademark umbrella of the BBC concocted TV Licensing™. However, something happened this week which has given us much to think about and is the reason for this somewhat off-mission blogpost.

That something happened on TV Licensing Watch’s Twitter account. It was an exchange of Tweets between TV Licensing Watch and BBC journalist Giles Dilnot. Since we know many ex-BBC we were able to accurately predict the approach and arguments that Giles Dilnot would deploy against TV Licensing Watch. So it proved. As the exchange of Tweets continued and, shall we say, “developed”, it quickly became apparent to us very early on in the exchange that it was very likely to become interesting.

The starting point was a Tweet from Giles Dilnot’s @reporterboy Twitter account which we happened upon. The Tweet concerned had the claim that the BBC is “independent”. We had the temerity to challenge the claim. We are “little people” and we had the temerity to challenge BBC journalist, the “great” Giles Dilnot. The ensuing Twitter exchange proved as illuminating for us as it may have done for him. TV Licensing Watch are of the opinion that the BBC is not independent. The reason is the Royal Charter granted to the BBC by Government and Crown. It seems obvious to us and to any sensible person that the granting of anything by Government and Crown is an act of political patronage and that such political patronage is reliant upon total compliance with the terms and conditions dictated by Government and Crown. After all, if you were Government and Crown wouldn't you expect something in return from the entity to which political patronage has been granted and conferred?Therefore, the entity to which a Royal Charter is granted is politically dependent and is consequently not independent, cannot be independent and can never be independent for as long as such political patronage exists. That is obvious to any sensible person but seemingly not to Giles Dilnot who, it seemed to us, propagated and propagandised an illusory notion of BBC ”independence” through a Twitter account of his. It also seems pretty self-evident to us that the revenue raising mechanism that funds the BBC, the BBC television licence fee, a television access tax levied by the BBC solely for the BBC is itself an act of political patronage granted and conferred by Government and Crown. The BBC is hardly likely to act in any non-compliant way that would endanger the political patronage from which it derives so much benefit. So it seems to us that any notion the BBC is “independent” is nonsensical as it would be to any sensible person.

Perhaps what proved most illuminating for us at TV Licensing Watch and no doubt other critics of the BBC who witnessed the exchange of Tweets was the manner in which Giles Dilnot dealt with someone whom he believed to be a “little person”. The “little person” who had the temerity to challenge Giles Dilnot was “wrong” had to be crushed no matter what. The fixation, obsession even, that Giles Dilnot seemed to have about whether or not critics of the BBC have inside experience and knowledge of the BBC and whether or not those critics of the BBC are journalists. Having carefully reviewed our entire Twitter exchange with Giles Dilnot we were obliged to come to the conclusion that if critics of the BBC are not BBC or ex-BBC and additionally they are not journalists then seemingly those critics can have and never have any knowledge or understanding of internal BBC processes or journalism and the art of reportage. Taking Giles Dilnot’s line of argument to a logical conclusion it seems that according to him, people outside the BBC know nothing, can discover nothing and are incapable of making judgments for themselves from the massive quantity of information beyond the direct control of the BBC. Information by the way which is now publicly available on many diverse media sources. However, if they are not BBC, ex-BBC, journalists or informed of something by BBC journalists acting as journalist gatekeepers through the BBC’s editorial processes then they can know nothing. Of course, we at TV Licensing Watch could not agree with and can never agree with such implied assertions regardless of who asserts them. We pointed out that journalism is not necessary and that journalist gatekeepers like him and BBC journalism are really no longer needed. Unfortunately, Giles Dilnot did not take the hint and continued to press us, harass us even, to admit that we are not BBC, ex-BBC or journalists. The issue was Giles Dilnot’s claim about “BBC independence” whether we at TV Licensing Watch are journalists or not is irrelevant diversion from the issue in point.

Over many years we at TV Licensing Watch have had extensive dealings with accredited journalists in our professions and more recently as bloggers and Twitter. Our experiences and dealings with journalists has been somewhat mixed to say the least. We are aware those of journalists who dealt with us have been. However, of one thing we are pretty certain, as a journalist, Giles Dilnot comes across as one of the most arrogant, conceited and patronising we have had to deal with so far. Doubtless there may be journalists with those “attributes” in more abundance than Giles Dilnot but we have yet to deal with them and hope we will never have to. He came across to us as a BBC supremacist so utterly convinced of the journalistic supremacy and infallibility of the BBC and its editorial processes that in dealing with him we are reminded of Pride and Prejudice, in particular, Elizabeth Bennett’s rejection of Fitzwilliam Darcy’s first proposal of marriage. To paraphrase Jane Austen and apply it to you BBC journalist Giles Dilnot, “ . . . as you Tweeted your character unfolded to us . . . your arrogance, your conceit and your patronising disdain for the abilities and capabilities of people outside the BBC. In fact, we had not known of you for very long, Giles Dilnot, when we decided you were the very last person in the world we could ever be prevailed upon to respect as a journalist.” Unlike Pride and Prejudice there will be no reconciliation and no happy union. Predictable, but never mind, planet Earth still revolves and still orbits the Sun.

Apparently, the BBC has 8,000 BBC TV licence funded journalists. We sincerely hope that the other 7,999 are not arrogant, conceited, patronising disdainful BBC supremacists like Giles Dilnot. If they are, may we point out that the BBC and BBC journalists have nothing to brag about when the BBC’s own journalism is repeatedly shown up in academic study, the mainstream and social media to be very suspect, deeply flawed, factually inaccurate, agenda diversionary, agenda omissive, socially divisive, politically loaded and biased, so much so, that it makes it the object of much public scrutiny and scorn as a consequence. That being the case we will take no lectures about non-existent BBC independence giving rise to excellence in journalism from Giles Dilnot nor anyone else at the BBC. Especially when the journalism concerned is funded by television licensing regime enforced in the courts.

The central theme of our recent blogposts has been and remains exercising the right to remain silent when Capita TV Licensing™ door to door filth visit on behalf of the BBC. Arguably there is now yet another powerful motive for exercising the right to remain silent when faced with people seeking information on behalf of the BBC. If BBC researchers and journalists expect information, interviews and on street vox pops from people we hope the people they approach will from now on exercise the right to remain silent and let their silence be the signal that they disapprove of the BBC. Remember how BBC journalism and its journalists are funded by BBC television licence revenue. Remember also that the BBC television licence is evidence of a politicised BBC which is not as independent as people at the BBC such as Giles Dilnot like to pretend but a BBC dependent on political patronage from both Government and Crown.

It was apparent to us from very early on that we at TV Licensing Watch and Giles Dilnot were never going to agree about anything on Twitter, or anywhere else for that matter, so Giles Dilnot’s decision to block TV Licensing Watch from his Twitter account for allegedly being “rude” was as welcome to us as it was inevitable and expected. Suffice to say that Giles Dilnot’s assertion that the “BBC is independent” meme caused so much mirth to us “little people” here that we had to conclude that anyone with such a capacity for making people laugh should not be working at the BBC as a journalist at all but should be working in a circus as a clown trying to make people laugh. Arrogant, conceited, patronising but still a clown. Then it dawned on us that BBC journalism has become pretty much a joke anyway. The fact that BBC journalism and BBC journalists such as Giles Dilnot are funded by a BBC television licence fee enforced through the courts by Capita TV Licensing™ which in 2012 alone resulted in 155,135 successful prosecutions of 181,880 people who did not exercise their right to remain silent quickly stopped all mirth.

After blocking TV Licensing Watch, Giles Dilnot did go on to Tweet to his Followers that he “did not know what he (we at TV Licensing Watch) thinks . . . “ and “ . . . a hatred of us”. So it seems that all that BBC journalistic training about being able to assess and report on the alternative viewpoints of others was wasted on him. He is wrong about the hatred, by the way, but defend his right to express that opinion. His use of “us” when referring to the BBC betrayed rather more than he realised. It seems that as far as Giles Dilnot is concerned, the BBC is not the problem everyone else is, especially if he has reason to believe he is dealing with “little people”. This seems to be the case even though the BBC expect, demand even, that those who are the problem, the “little people”, continue to fund the BBC without question. We believe we sensed what can only really be described as an overweening sense of entitlement from Giles Dilnot. First we had to kiss his arse because he is a journalist and second we had to kiss his arse because he is at the BBC. That somehow, the “little people” of the UK owe him and the BBC a guaranteed living. It probably emanates from the “endless cash machine” (Lord Patten of Barnes, BBC Trust Chairman) revenue stream of the BBC television licence revenue which funds the fundamental cocooned remoteness and social detachment “them” and “us” attitude betrayed by Giles Dilnot which seems so prevalent in the BBC. It reminded us of the description, “a submarine without a periscope”, applied to Gamelin’s headquarters at Vincennes during Nazi Germany’s 1940 conquest of France in ITV’s The World at War. Judging from Giles Dilnot's behaviour, attitude and conduct “a submarine without a periscope” seems equally to apply to the BBC.

So, Giles Dilnot and the BBC, beware of “little people”.

The value of domestic cctv surveillance and handheld video camera can prove invaluable in gathering evidence of the serial abuses and misdemeanours perpetrated by employees of Capita Business Services under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ to make an audio-visual record of those dealings in their entirety covertly or overtly with cctv and handheld video cameras.

For people who have not exercised their right to remain silent, TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has had the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ and have received a summons as a consequence to contact a licensed law practitioner if: there is the slightest discrepancy between the actual situation regarding viewing habits and/or what actually happened during the interview compared with what has been written on the TVL178 Record of Interview self incrimination form.