Random BBC Strike Quotes

Published on 23 May 2005 in , , ,

With today’s strike at the BBC naturally being a story I’m interested in, I thought I’d keep an eye on the press and websites for some interesting quotes.

I was rather hoping for some renta-quote politician with a renta-quote view, but that didn’t seem to happen. None the less, here’s a few I picked out during lunch, and this evening.

There’s no deliberate message or order to this – they’re just ones that caught my eye.

The skeleton staff has the added complication of the unions refusing to

talk to BBC crews about major stories of the day; instead, the BBC is

likely to have to buy footage from Sky or ITN.

Media Guardian: Strike Brings BBC to standstill

And true to their word, the only interview you saw with a union leader on News 24, was one borrowed from Sky News. Later on in the day, the channel started using clips from the union leaders speech outside Television Centre.

Perhaps in a tit-for-tat mood, Mark Thompson would only allow himself to be interviewed by the BBC skeleton crews, leading to the ITV News Channel using BBC interview footage.

Just before 8.30am a car arrived from LBC carrying 200 croissants to

feed picketing workers outside BBC Television Centre in west London.

Media Guardian: Wogan and Fogarty cross BBC picket lines as strike hits TV and radio

We’re sorry this messageboard is closed today due to industrial action

by some BBC staff.

Message on the Five Live Message Board

Among the live programming that could be affected is coverage of the

opening day of the Chelsea Flower Show, a move no doubt calculated to

bring the gardening nation to its knees.

InformITV: Gardening output threatened by BBC strike action

There’s a strike! What are we going to do without Alan Titchmarsh?!

Lloydje: There was just a report about it on the BBC One News at 10. He

also said that there could be disruption for the Live Oasis Concert

planned for Radio One.

Anthony Haines: Great news! At least something good will come of this.

Comments on the Digital Spy Forums thread, ‘BBC – Interrupted Services’

The veteran leftwinger, wearing a "fight for our BBC" badge, said that the behaviour of the BBC’s management was "very stupid" and said the root cause was Lord Birt and his meddling at Downing Street, where the

former director general acts as an adviser to Tony Blair.

Media Guardian: Benn pledges support on BBC picket line

If the licence payers went on strike (didn’t buy a licence) they would

be fined by the courts. Do the same rules apply to BBC strikers?

Strike all you want as long as you are back in time for Doctor Who!

I think it’s only fair that the staff at the BBC should strike. Only

instead of the black screens and dead air could we have the Test Card

and some of that lovely music!

I blame the programme schedulers – with all the recent series being

nostalgic about the 1970s, it was bound to rub off on someone.

The BBC considers that its own 24-hour strike is the most important news

of the day, ahead of yet more violence in Iraq and the worsening AIDS

crisis in Africa (35% infection rate in an area I visited last week)

among much else. What does this say about the BBC’s and (I am ashamed to

say) our priorities?

Five of many comments by BBC News users on the Have Your Say discssion about the strike

As dawn broke today, BBC Television Centre had the look of a deserted

ship, a steel and glass monolith with scarcely a soul going in and out.

Evening Standard: Today is cancelled at deserted White City

What a lot of incompetent strikers. They can’t even give us a single day

of blank screens.

This is London message boards post

And the final word goes to the Guardian’s leader… It was the only paper I saw to mention the BBC in their leader column, although I only looked at those with a decent online presence.

No amount of righteousness on the picket-line should distract from the

truth that the BBC has a duty to trim the fat.

… But this is an unnecessary strike. The director general, Mark Thompson,

has not made a compelling case for the scale or speed of the 4,000 job

cuts. Nor has he shown how they will lead to better programme making. Mr

Thompson should get back to the negotiating table and the strikers back

to work.

Guardian Leader: Resume Normal Service