So the BBC have decided not to play Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead on the Radio 1 Chart Show this Sunday )it currently looks like it will enter the Top 40 at number 3). It will broadcast a “short clip” during a news item explaining why it is in the charts.
The BBC issued this statement:
The BBC finds this campaign distasteful but does not believe the record should be banned. On Sunday, the Radio 1 Chart Show will contain a news item explaining why the song is in the charts during which a short clip will be played as it has been in some of our news programmes.
Ben Cooper, The Radio 1 controller said on his blog:
Nobody at Radio 1 wishes to cause offence but nor do I believe that we can ignore the song in the chart show, which is traditionally a formal record of the biggest selling singles of the week. That in turn means that all songs in the chart become an historic fact.
I’ve therefore decided exceptionally that we should treat the rise of the song, based as it is on a political campaign to denigrate Lady Thatcher’s memory, as a news story. So we will play a brief excerpt of it in a short news report during the show which explains to our audience why a 70-year-old song is at the top of the charts. Most of them are too young to remember Lady Thatcher and many will be baffled by the sound of the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz.
There are two sad things about this whole row. First is that if the Tory press, namely The Telegraph and The Mail, had not run this story on their front pages the whole campaign would not have been so successful.
Second, and this one really is the killer, If you’re over 21 you won’t even listen to the chart show! Here’s a test, if you’re over 21 do you even know what’s number 1? Me neither.
The whole issue with Thatcher is not something you can understand unless you were there. Sure everyone will have a view but only those of us that lived through it will understand the strength of feeling that has led to this whole row in the first place.
The BBC, like the lion has taken the coward’s way out but it looks like a decision made by the scarecrow – who didn’t have a brain. And what’s it all over? Well an iron woman rather than a tin man but both were missing the same thing!
David Cameron is again facing pressure to explain how the state controlled RBS, of which the tax payer is the majority share holder, can pay its CEO Stephen Hester a whopping £963 000 bonus on top of his £1.2 million salary. London Mayor Boris Johnson and Labour Leader Ed Miliband both called the bonus’ “bewildering.”
In an interview with the BBC Boris said, “I find it absolutely bewildering because RBS occupies the same status in the economy as Gosbank did in the Soviet Union: it’s a state-owned bank,” he told the BBC. This is not a free-booting, private sector, risk-taking enterprise, this is a state-owned concern that taxpayers have had to step in and bail out. The idea that this is not in the control of the government seems to me to be far-fetched. Stephen Hester is an able man probably doing a difficult job and his contract must have been drawn up, I guess, when he was appointed in 2008 under Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown. I do not know what they were thinking of when they drew it up that way, but it certainly seems to me to be right that the government should step in and sort it out.”
When asked what he would have done as prime minister, he said: “I think a state-owned bank should be run on public sector lines.”
Ed Miliband said, “This is a terrible failure of leadership by the prime minister. For months he’s been promising action against excessive bonuses, excessive pay, and now he’s nodded through a million pound bonus for Stephen Hester. He’s also been lecturing shareholders about how they need to show they can get a grip on executive pay. He’s the biggest shareholder in RBS. He owns 83% of it through the biggest government, and yet he has let this bonus happen. He’s got to come and explain why he’s done this.”
- Johnson attacks ‘bewildering’ bonus for RBS chief (independent.co.uk)
- Stephen Hester: RBS boss ‘should turn down his £1m bonus’ says Jeremy Browne (dailymail.co.uk)
- National News: Miliband accuses PM over RBS bonus (coventrytelegraph.net)
- You: Anger grows over RBS chief’s £900,000 bonus (guardian.co.uk)
- Britain braced for weekend cold and snow (thetimes.co.uk)