Sunday, October 01, 2006

A breath of fresh air

The following submission was received by Pro-Veritas from a verified email account used by BBC Monitoring staff.

For the first time ever, a senior manager at BBC Monitoring has received a round of applause from staff - ordinary staff, not people specially selected for their posterior-licking qualities. The hero of the day was Brian Rotheray, joint head of the Business Development & Customer Relations department. The occasion was a presentation on the outcome of a review of products undertaken in the light of a substantial cut in funding by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, one of the sponsors of BBC Monitoring.

Why was he applauded? We know little about Mr Rotheray, other than that he is a pragmatist who appears to shun hyperbole, propaganda and bullshit in favour of getting on with his job. He has not become known to us through grievances issued against him by his staff, and he seems to have avoided being soiled through membership of Christopher Westcott’s “Culture Club”.

But we don’t think these are the reasons for the applause given to Mr Rotheray. After all, he is a member of Mr Westcott ‘s “Direction” team and must, therefore, take his share of responsibility for the many ill-conceived decisions of that team.

Rather, the answer can be found in everything that Mr Westcott stands for - in other words, everything that is wrong with BBC Monitoring. Ever since that fateful day on 1 April 2003, when he was appointed Director of BBC Monitoring, Mr Westcott has deluged staff with his tedious, vacuous, meaningless yapping about culture and the evil of distrust in his “leadership”. Staff have grown sick and tired of his Pol Potian vision of a “Year Zero” where no one ever questions or complains or criticises but salutes, applauds and curtsies at every opportunity. They have had enough of his double talk, his impatience with anyone who challenges him, his summary dismissal of any idea other than his and his thinly-veiled meanness. They have yearned and yearned for real direction, for real leadership, for someone to tell them exactly what is being asked of them.

Enter Mr Rotheray with his presentation. Concise and full of substance. No propaganda or bullshit. Not one superfluous word. No self-praise. Delivered with modesty, courtesy and humour. And, throughout the presentation, he established a rapport with his audience.

No doubt, this post will upset Mr Westcott and his chief flunky, Peter “The Invisible” Robertson, who will be consumed with jealousy. No doubt also, the cynics will say that our intention is to sow discord within the “Direction” team. That is not our intention but, if our comments do result in discord within “Direction”, then what can we say? Bon appetit?


Anonymous said...

Damning by praise? A devastating new weapon in your armoury.

Stella Doe said...

Praise? That's putting it a little too strongly. To us, everyone in Mr Westcott's team is guilty by association. What we're saying is that staff welcomed the fact that Mr Rotheray "talked business" (i.e. about actual bread and butter issues) without boring the pants of everyone about "culture" and all the other irrelevant nonesense to which we have all been made to suffer recently. Stella Doe, Deputy Chair, Steering Committee, Dissident Majority of BBC Monitoring.

Anonymous said...

This blog has got to be written by the direction team, surely?!?!

Anonymous said...

Actually, although this presentation was one of the better ones, it was highly misleading about the streaming of OSC material. A load of nonsense just like all the other presentations staff have had to endure. I left before the applause.

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