Monday, 20 September 2010

Another day, another rejection

You may recall that I recently applied for the post of Head of BBC North, on the assumption that as Peter Salmon, the current postholder, refused to actually move to the North, there was a vacancy.

Unfortunately (for me), Mr. Salmon has had a partial rethink, according to the letter I received from the head of the BBC, Mark Thompson (and full marks to him for replying to my teasing and for standing up for the BBC recently):

Dear Dr [Vole]
Thank you for your email.
BBC North's objective is to serve and represent audiences across the whole of the UK. It will deliver locally made, high quality content for every platform using the latest innovations in technology. BBC North will also lead the way in training and developing local talent, building on the rich mix of skills and experience already available in the North of England. It will also renew and forge new partnerships with organisations across the North of England to bring the BBC closer to the public. 
Peter Salmon is leading the BBC's move to the North and already spends a considerable amount of time in Salford. In the short term he will be renting a flat in Salford Quays, due to existing family commitments. This means he will not take up any other relocation assistance from the BBC when he moves at a later date.
When Peter does travel to and from Salford, he travels by train in standard class. 
Best wishes
Mark Thompson

I think the move to Salford is a great idea, for the BBC and for the area, which sorely needs economic regeneration, even at the cost of serving lattés to southerners in designer glasses. As long as it doesn't become a kind of Siberian gulag for the unfashionable bits of the BBC, it should be a cultural eye-opener for the nation's media and a mark of confidence in the North.

Until recently, the Irish government tried to rebalance the economy away from Dublin (which has dragged half the entire country's population into its environs) by posting government departments to different towns and cities. I thought this was a brilliant idea - Ireland's a small place, and the e-revolution means that we're never far away from each other in practical terms - but it failed because snobby civil servants and their political masters missed the bright lights, the cosy bars and easy access to bribes meetings with 'opinion formers'. Now there's no economy anywhere in Ireland of course, so the decentralisation push has run into the sand.

On the subject of Ireland's politicians, decide for yourself whether - on the basis of this clip - the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) is drunk in charge during this 8 a.m. interview last week.

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