Monday, 25 February 2013


Has the BBC taken leave of its senses in their redactions of the Pollard Report?

I was at Balliol with Lord Patten. Chris (as we knew him) was seen many times ccc vvvv xxxx nnnn cccccc nn bb yet we never thought this ,,,,mmmmmmmm despite his obvious propensity for  bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb discreetly.

It was David Cameron in his relationship with ccccccc nnnnnnn who raised more xxxxxxxxxx. He was discovered one vvvv,,, with his finger bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb laughing in mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm and in discomfort.

Ed Balls or Balls up as his friends described him was well known for vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv            vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv with evident relish.

And he thought this picture said it all:

SssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssSssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssSssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss disgusting.d d disgusting.

As all the above shows the practice of redaction makes innocents subject to unjustified speculation because redaction feeds the wit of Merton and Hislop on “Have I Got News For You?” and the fertile imaginations of the rest of us. No wonder Jeremy Paxman’s so frustrated.

It’s hard enough running anything.  People just make it worse. The tensions between indulging creative talent, human ambitions and the tendency that human beings have to cut off their noses to spite their faces makes being a leader one of the most complex tasks that exists.

How does one reconcile the frailties of leaders like Steve Jobs, Ron Dennis, Frank Lowe with the fact that each in their respective fields have been leaders of utterly brilliant business enterprises?

I watched “Moneyball” on Friday – Brad Pitt playing Billy Beane General Manager of the Oakland “A”s a financially strapped Baseball Team who uniquely used data to help recruit a hugely cost effective team in 2002. He broke all the rules of intuition old timers relied on in judging potential. It’s a riveting story of new business models.

As John Henry owner of the Boston Red Socks says to Billy:

“You won the exact same number of games that the Yankees won, but the Yankees spent one point four million per win and you paid two hundred and sixty thousand. I know you've taken it in the teeth out there, but for the first guy through the wall it always gets bloody, always. It's the threat of not just the way of doing business, but in their minds it's threatening the game. But really what it's threatening is their livelihoods, it's threatening their jobs, it's threatening the way that they do things.”

Redaction feels old fashioned too. Some believe it’s saving their jobs but it isn’t.  They should start opening up, telling the truth and changing the way they do things.


  1. Redaction - some years ago I thought I was one of the few who knew the word, because it was handy setting crosswords - communist deed - but in the past few years, since Blair, Campbell, beeb etc it is the mot du jour. Can we seek out the next archaic legalistic word that will get into common usage through the excesses of those in the media spotlight (I've got a couple)?

  2. An excellent post Richard and your point is well made - I'm desperate to hear what Balls-up actually got up to - my imagination is running wild!


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