Order, order, order in the house! get me out of here!

A COUPLE of things so riled me last week my blood pressure started rising rapidly again. The first was Sally Bercow, the Speaker’s wife, on Britain’s Celebrity Big Brother.

Coming after a failed attempt to get elected as a Labour councillor and posing provocatively for the cameras in a sheet, is there nothing this self-obsessed wannabe won’t do in her quest for celebrity status?

And this silly woman will continue to be silly because popular media shows will convince her to carry on in the hope she’ll go completely over the top.

But this is no way to “advance her career”. What she is doing is demeaning her husband and his High Office as Speaker. Something which his many opponents, in view of his own casual attire and attitude, believe he hardly needs assistance with.

Strictly Come Dancing with former MP Anne Widdicombe? Celebrity Big Brother with former MP George Galloway? No wonder those in Parliament lost our respect long ago with so many MPs playing to the cameras both inside and out. (And now their spouses too.) Churchill, along with a clutch of others, must be turning in his grave.

The other item of irritating news was that Mark Thompson, the BBC’s Director-General, is again threatening cuts to BBC programmes – the amount of drama broadcast has already sharply fallen, down by 630 hours on 2010.

Now, the BBC gets £3.5 billion in licence fee revenue. What ARE they doing with it? Perhaps if they hadn’t spent millions on redeveloping Broadcasting House and the move to Salford (which nobody wanted), that may have helped. Likewise, if they used public transport instead of spending thousands on taxis …
Basically, they have too many staff earning far too much. Too many managers. Too many radio stations. And too much extra stuff with little or nothing to do with basic broadcasting. Food recipes on line? Personal money guides? Pension advice? Cut! Cut! Cut!

The BBC pays 52 of its “stars” over £250,000 each – Graham Norton an estimated £2m a year – while senior executives have accrued multi-million pension funds.
And what about Thompson? Last year, he earned £838,000. Does this really give him the right to do as he pleases?

“It’s as if Thompson is standing with a kitten in his hand,” commented one TV executive, “and saying, ‘If you don’t give me what I want, Mr Tibbles gets it.’ ”
Maybe Mr Tibbles shouldn’t be the only one …

Photo credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Nora Johnson’s novel, The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available at Amazon in paperback and as eBook. Profits to Cudeca

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