Happy Birthday BBC – The Listeners Archive

Forgot to say Happy Birthday BBC – a stately 90 as of a week or so ago – and with all the Savile & DLT stuff (sadly used as a hammer to beat the Beeb with by Murdoch et al as revenge for Levenson & Hackgate) it seems rather muted celebration. Apart from a song by Demon from Blur (woo! err…) there hasn’t been much about it.

That changed this week with two shows about the Listeners’ Archive. The BBC had an ‘amnesty day’ (as if it’s like guns or knives!) for tapes of BBC radio shows back in October  - and uncovered recordings going back to the 1940s, which unlike nowadays where everything is recorded/podcasted etc. a lot of shows weren’t preserved and it’s a rare resource. I hope BBC takes better care of it than they have their archive previously. Nice that Trevor Dann was behind this, he’s one of the Beeb that got podcasting too, met him at a Podcamp aeons ago.

So for the first time in about 2+ decades I listened to a Radio 2 show (I listen to all the other numbers but Radio 2 is verboten from my dial, err, iPlayer) as well as waking up to the 6Music Listeners’ Archive music show. There was plenty of Peel, and even some Kuddly Kenny Everett, Chris Morris’s evil take on Tony Blackburn, and I’d forgotten about the likes of Jack Jackson whose cutups were very much copied by the likes of Jon Holmes and was always on Radio 2 last time I listened, and Chris Evans’s first R1 Breakfast show which I remember listening to. Also Gert & Daisy & Max Miller – OMG!

As you might have guess by the name and many blog posts over the years I’m a complete radio geek, I don’t own a television but I still listen every day. And still record radio and keep shows to answer the comment at the end of the R2 show. It might not be cassettes and microphones now, but get_iplayer and other related systems make it far easier to keep the BBC legacy for future years. Because Auntie might be brilliant, but like any 90-year old Auntie she does seem to lose and forget her marbles, well, shows.

Amazing that even shows back in the 90s weren’t recorded, whereas I hear now there is an open source system that records everything put out in real time. About time! Let’s hope it continues (I’m not holding my breath).

(image from profilebrand.com)

Bernie and the Billionaire, Bread and Circuses

Love this speech from Bernie Sanders, amazingly the first self-described ‘socialist’ in the Senate if Wikipedia is correct. I wish there were more politicians brave enough to say this – sadly the currently corporate funding and lobbying system here and abroad means they’re very unlikely to do so – that system breeds corruption, kickbacks and favours. The results of which we can see in the Murdoch hacking case, where left and right courted the influential staff at News International. While doing so they raised real issues of police corruption, Jeremy Hunt’s complicity in the BSkyB deal, and how in bed the Government and Murdoch was and how much access he and his staff had to ministers and information. And the unsettling feeling that it was Murdoch that was a Kingmaker and deciding who should run the country, not the people.

I’m still amazed that the people at large haven’t woken up to the fact their banks and corporates are stealing their future, their pensions, their savings and benefits. Sadly when they do it might be too late – then again it’s a zero-sum game as society will crumble and even those bankers and billionaires would need very deep bunkers to live in to be safe from all the violence and chaos. Strange the modern rich haven’t learned the past lessons, of Rome and pre-revolutionary France and Russia, but they will…unfortunately before we get there a lot of people are going to be hurt, dispossessed, killed and attacked – I may be a revolutionary in spirit but I’d rather not have the decline that leads up to it. Liberals and right-wingers may tut about the riots, but every politician secretly knows that in a system where the working people feel apathetic and unrepresented by all parties or politicians then trouble will quickly follow. And the people know nothing is done until something happens…it’s a stalemate.

Sadly I fear the 1% or whatever you want to call them won’t learn until again it happens, either like Greece the whole pack of cards falls, like the Roman Empire did – and people will turn on themselves (already happening – see last year’s riots which I think won’t be the last, or rise of domestic violent episodes, or the violent clashes in Greece) or the other scenario is they turn on the people who got them in this mess in the first place. Whichever happens it’s not good for anyone, but while those who are the richest think they have it all scot-free without any responsibility for their decisions and destruction, and place all of the burden on the poor who didn’t cause such market slides in the first place, and while Boris and Dave and even Obama fiddle while Rome burns, these are the only end-games.

Milly Dowler, Soham and News International

Like a lot of people I am shocked by the revelations that News of the World hacked into Milly Dowler’s phone (the murdered Walton on Thames teenager) – but as you can see from this video of the excellent Tom Watson, this is not new. Murdoch’s henchmen and spies hacked into the phones of the parents of the murdered Soham children, as well as politicians and bribed the police for information, and there are hints that these horrendous acts (interfering with the search for a missing teenager and deleting her voicemails, giving her parents false hope and possibly hindering the investigation) and the recent case of the innocent landlord in the Jo Yeates killing, where the Sun and Mirror are in the high court being accused of contempt of court in their dealings.

What can you do? Well you can tell everyone not to buy News of the World, The Sun or other News International papers – as with Hillsborough and Liverpool and the lies they told, a boycott can be successful for 20+ years…and many years ago a similar action against WHSmiths over Gay News was successful.

But even better, hit them where it hurts – their advertisers. Tweet or contact the advertisers mentioned on this list, the child-friendly and socially concious likes of Butlins, WHSmiths, Body Shop and tell them they should be appalled that the paper that campaigned for ‘Sarah’s Law’ played so fast and loose with the law and parent’s worst nightmare, a missing child – and hindered the investigation and broke many laws doing so. And more importantly broke major ethical laws – celeb tittle tattle is one thing, but interfering with the voicemail of someone missing could have been the difference between life or death, who knows what clues they deleted? Or what information might have been there? The implications are truly blood chilling. Tell them you won’t be buying their products while they support News of the World. It sounds like Renault (?) and NPower are already doing that…

I’d like to see Rebekah Brooks and Murdoch and co. in jail actually…for lying repeatedly about the phone tapping, bribery of police officers, and perverting the course of justice and interfering with investigations – and of course the illegal wiretapping/phone use charges especially of government officials and politicians. But I’ll settle for the News of the World being shut down, or sold off, and the Murdoch deal being cancelled…

You can also sign the petition to stop Murdoch getting control of all of BSkyB. Jeremy Hunt has said it’s a done deal, but maybe with enough groundswell over this recent hackgate discovery it’ll get put on hold, or even better stopped entirely. Nice to see that even the Torygraph seems to have mistepped with this frankly piss-poor piece of journalism trying to rake up some ‘pinko-liberal-commie-fags-are-at-it-again!’ story about the BBC – as one commenter said:

‘I would love to know what you think the other side of this story is.
Haven’t heard too many people saying that hacking the poor girl’s phone and misleading her family and the police was a sensible move. ‘

Exactly. Unlike some of the other offences, there isn’t a moral, ethical or legal standpoint that can ever excuse this. Hence why the News of the Screws is fucked.

And how did they get the number? I suspect a police leak – Rebekah Brooks admitted paying off police and the police don’t want that to blow up in their faces, or like Tom Watson said, maybe they are scared of News International too. It’s time to stop being scared and prevent Murdoch getting more control of media in the UK, and stand up against the media corporates…what will be next, murder to get a story? This is Orwellian, and unless MPs and Police and everyone wants to live in a 1984 world where Big Brother watching you is not the State but the Media corporations (and Google and Facebook too). Act now, or otherwise it’s going to be trial by media and lies all the way…

The Jam said it best –

‘Don’t believe it all
Find out for yourself
Check before you spread
News of the world…

Each morning our key to the world comes through the door
More than often its just a comic, not much more
Don’t take it too serious – not many do
Read between the lines and you’ll find the truth’


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