Thursday, 30 October 2008

BBC Shocker! (no - not that one)

These are not good days for the BBC - I'm not going to dwell on the Brand - Ross business, it's been done to death already, (although as resignations go up the chain, I will be interested to see if Gordon Brown goes). Unsavoury though that was, no-body died, - the arms industry is a different story.

The BBC's Top Gear programme is taking part in the MPH motor show which opened today in London, and the owners of the show, Clarion events, bought up the DSEi, ITEC and LAAD arms trade show earlier this year - see here

Campaign Against the Arms Trade have called on the BBC to recognise the level of public opposition to the arms trade saying "Clarion owns arms fairs which have cheerfully invited officials from brutal regimes such as China, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. Involvement with this trade is not an option for any company that cares about its reputation". In as much as the BBC has any reputation left. Protests can be hoped for - and expected.

No surprises that the programme in question is 'Top Gear' of course. This is a show, paid for out of the license fee/broadcasting poll tax of all of us, which glorifies speed and petrol burning and will no doubt have led indirectly to the deaths and injuries of many at the hands of boy racers trying to emulate the presenters (not to mention the climate change impact). The fact that it is apparently so popular is a slap in the face to all green-minded people in the land. I tuned into the Television Awards programme last night to see Clarkson hurtling down some highway holding a Bill Oddie mask in front of his face to fool the speed cameras as the show won an award for best factual programme (!).

Which leads me on to my 'Daft comment of the week'. A host of possible contenders here, even without considering Palin and co as the US election reaches its climax. No, my choice is an excerpt from Manchester Evening News' TV editor Ian Wylie, who in a half page eulogy to the show claimed that 'there can scarcely be a TV viewer in the country who isn't excited about the return of Top Gear'.

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