LISTEN: Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns, talks to Jon Gaunt about BBC pay

Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns, was interviewed by Jon Gaunt yesterday on about BBC pay packets and the licence fee.  Continue reading

Kemi Badenoch MP: "I believe that the vote for Brexit was the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom"

Kemi Badenoch, the newly elected MP for Saffron Walden, gave her maiden speech in the House of Commons yesterday. And what a speech it was. Here is just one paragraph:  "I believe in free markets and free trade. But there is more to conservatism than economic liberalism—there is respect for the rule of law; personal responsibility; ​freedom of speech and of association; and opportunity through meritocracy. Those freedoms are being subtly eroded in an era when emotion and feeling are prized above reason and logic. It is those freedoms that I will seek to defend during my time in this House." Continue reading

We have won one battle, but the war isn't over yet

The Government announced earlier this week that vaping should be allowed in offices and enclosed public spaces  in order to “maximise” access to safer alternatives to smoking. This is good news and follows on from our report last year on the vaping policies of councils, and the way councils treat their members of staff who vape.  The Government has also said that it will use our impending exit from the European Union to look again at the Tobacco Products Directive, with regard to electronic cigarettes. Again this is good news and one of the aims of this campaign is to get those restrictions removed.  Continue reading

BBC pay revelations highlight why the licence fee should be scrapped

We now know that Gary Lineker, apprentice Socialist and presenter of Match of the Day, earns somewhere between £1,750,000-£1,799,000 a year. Chris Evans earns even more. On the flip side, I can't believe how the BBC is getting away with paying Andrew Neil so little (£200,000-£249,000) in comparison to someone like Huw Edwards, who gets paid £550,000-£599,000 a year. There is also a perceived gender pay gap. On his LBC show yesterday, Iain Dale asked Theresa May if Gary Lineker was worth ten Claire Baldings. That is a question that's going to hang around for a long time.  Continue reading

BBC PAY REVELATIONS HIGHLIGHT WHY THE LICENCE FEE SHOULD BE SCRAPPED

We now know that Gary Lineker, apprentice Socialist and presenter of Match of the Day, earns somewhere between £1,750,000-£1,799,000 a year. Chris Evans earns even more. On the flip side, I can't believe how the BBC is getting away with paying Andrew Neil so little (£200,000-£249,000) in comparison to someone like Huw Edwards, who gets paid £550,000-£599,000 a year. There is also a perceived gender pay gap. On his LBC show yesterday, Iain Dale asked Theresa May if Gary Lineker was worth ten Claire Baldings. That is a question that's going to hang around for a long time.  The BBC, in its defence, says that it operates in a competitive market place, and has to pay its talent competitive rates of pay. Lord (Tony) Hall, Director-General, has stated that the BBC pays much of its talent below market rates.  The BBC published all of this information yesterday in its annual report because it was forced to by the Government. Kicking and screaming is an apt phrase to describe it. It is right, though, that the corporation has been forced to do this. It is a publicly funded broadcaster, and if you want to watch live television in the UK, you must pay £147 a year to the BBC, irrespective of whether or not you consume BBC content. During an interview yesterday morning, ahead of the report's publication, I was asked if I thought that I got good value from the BBC. (You can hear my response, and listen to the full interview, by click on the image below) Continue reading