Readers' letters - July 24

Obscene pay reflects BBC's judgement

Tuesday, 25th July 2017, 6:16 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:33 pm

It comes as little surprise to find the once great institution of the BBC being dragged further into controversy with recent events.

The obscene salaries paid to mediocre personalities is a sharp reflection of its judgement and its sense of balance.

The disparity between gender pay is offensive to the many millions of women who buy their TV licences with their hard-earned cash.

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The BBC’s feeble excuse that it is a competitive industry and they have to compete with other companies is nonsense.

Who cares who presents Match of the Day?

I could name half a dozen recent presenters of the programme who have done a decent job on less than a third of Lineker’s salary, so what are we exactly paying for?

More than 22,000 people pay their licence fee every year to cover Radio Two presenter Chris Evans’ annual salary. No more needs to said about that.

We live in an age of greed and a complete lack of empathy with the poor and needy.

These bland personalities on our radios and television, most of them millionaires many times over, bleat on constantly about government policy, immigration, welfare cuts and the like and usually take every photo opportunity to be seen holding a hand or wiping away a tear, before it is instantly posted on bland book, dull tweet, or insta-boring gram.

These people should take their lead from the great philanthropists of the past who gave back real help to the needy in the form of homes, medicine and public parks. Perhaps Chris Evans should stop giving rides to under-privileged kids in his classic cars and give them some cash instead.

Recent revelations have thrown up many questions and no doubt many PR men are being hired to give the most sincere answers.

Cameron Fleming

via email

SOCIETY

I’m not a far right extremist

On July 7, this newspaper knowingly and willingly lied about me.

In an article about Rachel Booth, pictured, a dinner lady who was suspended from work for attending an anti-extremism march, The Lancashire Post called me a “far right extremist”.

This isn’t the first time this kind of blatant lie has been told about me, and I’ve started to do something about it.

I drove to the office of the Post, and I spoke to the news editor, Emma Pearson.

She told me that, in her view, I am a far right extremist.

When I asked for an example of anything I’ve said over the years that could make me either an extremist or far right, she had nothing.

To her credit however, she offered me a right to reply. I accepted this offer.

In claiming that I am a far right extremist, this news team did two things.

First off, they told an untruth.

In 2010, the head of the Police’s Domestic Extremist Unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Tudway, confirmed that the English Defence League (EDL) was not a right-wing extremist group.

When I spoke to Emma Pearson, she told me that being the former leader of the EDL is what made me far right.

Where is the journalistic curiosity and integrity?

The police have special units that examine the actions and behaviour of political groups in Britain.

This is their job, and they confirmed that what I have been saying for the last 10 years is neither far right nor extremist.

I am discussing a political ideology and expressing legitimate concerns.

Journalists, however, have no justification in their claims and appear happy to push a false narrative.

And this brings me to my second point.

In making these claims, journalists are creating a social environment where people get fired and suspended from their work for using their right to freedom of speech and assembly.

This is not fair.

While it’s great that this newspaper is providing coverage of the story and the injustice done to Rachel, I don’t believe the reporters and editors are aware of how they contributed to this problem in the first place.

By demonising people with genuine concerns about a religion and ideology, and not understanding their experiences living in working class and multicultural areas, the media is complicit in the unfair treatment and discrimination of ordinary, decent people.

Media coverage has helped expose this story, but it would never have happened if it wasn’t for the press perpetuating this lie that huge numbers of Britain’s working class are far right racists. We’re not.

This is a great opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past, and I’m grateful I was offered a right of reply. I suspect that the readers of the Lancashire Post share many of my concerns – whether it’s related to grooming gangs or violent crime in certain communities.

If news editors and journalists stopped referring to normal people as far right extremists, and instead focused on the facts and fairly represented the people they write about, then open and polite discussion will be possible again.

With a fair press, we can address serious issues without viciously attacking one another, using slurs and smears, and causing people to lose their livelihoods.

Tommy Robinson

via email

travel

People will lose their homes

Re: Proposed HS2 railway.

Our Government is borrowing billions each year just to keep us afloat, yet they clearly don’t think we are skint enough to turn down the building of HS2 which will plunge us even deeper into debt.

The prime factor of course is the money involved. Not only the money this largely unwanted rail link will cost taxpayers at a time when we can ill afford it, but the money to be made by investors and contractors, and the benefits to those at lower levels with fingers in the pie.

They all preach that this rail link is needed, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

It is not needed.

Is it really worth spending billions on a rail link that will take you to London 20 minutes faster? Those behind this mad scheme flippantly disregard the fact that many people will have their lives disrupted and lose their homes (many of them only recently built) and miles of beautiful countryside blighted by this profanity.

Jean Norfolk

via email

entertainment

Money wasted on celebrities

After watching on TV, the salaries being paid to some of the so-called personalities, I, along with many more viewers, will be shocked and asking why? Every viewer in the country should be asking: “Why is all this licence money being wasted on people whose main job is to read off an autocue”?

Dave Croucher

Address supplied