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Wednesday 11 May 2011

No-One Wants To Work There – Or Here

Full disclosure time: I once got a relocation payment. It was well over twenty years ago, and in today’s money would be worth something between seven and eight thousand notes. It was a private sector organisation doing the relocating, but then, so what? Staff get moved around by public and private sector alike: it’s a universal thing.

This should be borne in mind when viewing the latest attempt by the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre to keep the BBC’s relocation of several hundred staff from London to Manchester high on the news agenda. And of course it’s not new news, but the continuation of Dacre’s obsession with putting the boot into the Beeb.

The latest chapter in this saga of obsession, by Paul Revoir (crazy name, crazy guy!?!) is titled sneeringly “It’s swish up North: Welcome to the ‘billion-pound’ state-of-the-art BBC HQ ... just a pity no-one wants to work there”. So, as “no-one wants to work there”, it should be a short article, then.

Sadly, this is not the case. Revoir concedes that 390 staff are already moving to the new site, and that the Beeb may transfer another channel there, on top of the channels and divisions already moving. And so the quoting of “grants up to £8,000”, which matches my estimate, is made, and the total cost of that relocation, well into eight figures, is trotted out. But Paul, “no-one wants to work there”, remember?

In fact, the piece reveals that the total number of folks moving is 825, and then tells that another 500 to 1,000 may move. So the BBC may get rather better value out of this new complex than first expected, although this does not fit the agenda and so is not mentioned. Instead, the relocation payments are pored over time and again, even though “no-one wants to work there”.

Given the tone of the article, it might be thought that nothing of any note would be produced at the new site. But such a conclusion would be wrong: BBC Breakfast, Radio 5 Live, BBC Sport (all of it) and many children’s shows will be produced in Manchester. But how can that be, as “no-one wants to work there”?

Or could this be another agenda-driven smear, from a paper whose editor, at his ranting and bullying worst, makes his underlings give the impression that “no-one wants to work there”?

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