Comic Suffering

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The BBC. The pinnacle of British Television, apparently, has once again been found engaging in less than attractive and less than ethical operations. No, I am not talking about the cover up of Saville’s paedophilic past (allegedly), but the discovery that the corporation, funded by the tax payer through the licence fee, is trying to prevent a programme airing that reveals the sinister discovery that Comic Relief used donations given by the generous British public, totalling around £610.03 Million, in order to help the less fortunate has actually been  invested in an arms company. An arms company that needs war, needs violence, needs destruction in order to remain financially viable.

According to The Telegraph (or the Torygraph as some of you may call it), “The (panorama) documentary is understood to examine how the charity allegedly invested £150 million of its funds for up to eight years, before handing the money to the causes for which it had been raised”, allegedly into an arms firm as well as a tobacco firm. Furthermore, The Daily Mirror reports that “More than a dozen senior BBC executives have ruled themselves out of making decisions about the Panorama programme as a fresh conflict-of-interest crisis threatens to engulf them”. Seemingly attempting to orchestrate a cover up in order to prevent donations decreasing and another humiliating scandal.

This coming after Newsnight controversially scrapped a Jimmy Savile abuse investigation in 2011. The BBC, as it stands, is down the creek without a paddle.

Some further figures given by The Telegraph include the discovery that “by the end of last year, the charity was allegedly sitting on £261million in a mixture of shares, bonds and cash. The six-month investigation also explores how staffing costs at Comic Relief have allegedly almost doubled from £7.1million a year in 2008 to £13.5 million by 2012”. The Daily Mirror added that “The Mirror found a project to sell Ramsay-branded cooking sauces has lost the charity £800,000”.

Comic Relief’s explanation? Well they say that their operating costs “have gone up in order to generate more funds” and costs were covered by corporate sponsors and Gift Aid claims from HM Revenue and Customs…We can assure the public that Comic Relief takes the issue of managing money very seriously indeed and we publish full details of the approach taken on our website”. Yes, and I am next in line for the Throne.

Tony Hall responded by saying that “The thing I learned when I was last in the BBC… was that when you have a programme which is controversial, and right to be controversial, making big claims, and right to be making big claims, you shouldn’t set a transmission date,”. Shouldn’t set one or shouldn’t have one at all, Lord Hall?

Surely it is time for another public inquiry to be held into this shameful and unethical use of funds meant to go to those who need us most? Two polls for you today;

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/10393457/BBC-shelves-Panorama-expose-of-Comic-Relief.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/panorama-probe-comic-relief-investments-2474694

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