Mr World Service

I don’t know why Bob Geldof got his knickers in a twist over the BBC’s report on aid to Ethiopia. Surely anyone who knows anything about Africa knows that in dealing with emergencies, aid agencies will have to deal with unsavoury characters. Today it is the UN’s World Food Programme that’s in the firing line. It would have been more of a surprise if Band Aid cash hadn’t been siphoned off by rebels. There’s been plenty more written on this here and here.

Anyway, Geldof doesn’t seem much interested in defending his charity and more interested in attacking the BBC – everyone’s favourite target these days. Sad though that he doesn’t understand how it works…

The real story of this sorry saga is the intense systemic failure of the World Service, that cherry on the cake of the BBC’s reputation. It’s a rotten old cherry these days. And I am as bereft as a jilted lover. Of all the taxes I pay, I pay only one gladly – my licence fee. I am Mr World Service.

Oh dear Bob. If you really were Mr World Service, then you’d know that the World Service is funded not by the licence fee but by a grant-in-aid from the Foreign Office.


3 thoughts on “Mr World Service

  1. Useful reminder of that licence fee/FCO distinction, thank you. But actually Bob has lost it so completely on this one that he’d simply retort it makes no difference, it’s still his FOCKING TAXES!!

  2. “Surely anyone who knows anything about Africa knows that in dealing with emergencies, aid agencies will have to deal with unsavoury characters. ” I think you’ve put your finger on it, Geldof is a media person, through and through. He doesn’t know a great deal about Africa.

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