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BBC staffed by people ‘whose mum and dad worked there’, says Nadine Dorries

BBC

BBC staffed by people ‘whose mum and dad worked there’, says Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries has labelled the BBC an institution riven by bias and staffed by people “whose mum and dad worked there”, despite Boris Johnson urging colleagues to dial down culture war rhetoric.

In an outspoken appearance at the Conservative conference, the new culture secretary condemned what she called “groupthink” in the BBC and arts more widely because of a predominance of privately educated people reliant on nepotism.

She also explicitly linked the BBC’s next licence fee settlement to its ability to attract a more socially diverse workforce, and what she called “an impartiality problem”.

“The perspective from the BBC is that they will get a settlement and then we’ll talk about how they’re going to change,” Dorries told a live edition of the Telegraph podcast Chopper’s Politics at the conference in Manchester. “But my perspective is, tell me how you’re going to change and then you get a settlement.

“We’re having a discussion about how the BBC can become more representative of the people who pay the licence fee, and how it can be more accessible to people from all backgrounds, not just people whose mum and dad worked there.”

Dorries faced criticism in 2013 for employing two of her daughters as staff in her parliamentary office at a cost of up to £80,000.

Her latest comments came after two senior Conservative figures expressed concern on Sunday evening about the central role played by “woke issues” on the conference’s opening day. A cabinet minister told the Guardian Johnson had warned colleagues he was not keen on pursuing a culture war, after No 10 was stung by the row over the England football team taking the knee, in which some ministers appeared to condemn the gesture.

Several senior figures have ploughed on regardless, however, including Dorries. The party co-chair Oliver Dowden used his conference speech to condemn what he called “woke aggression”, claiming the Labour party has “woke running through it like a stick of Brighton rock”.

Michael Gove, who heads the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, used his speech to condemn what he called “a militant left who want to denigrate our past and divide us in the future”.

In her interview on Monday, Dorries claimed that criticism of her surprise appointment to her new job was “total, pure, leftwing snobbery” and that people who criticised her bestselling novels were “insulting 2.4 million people” who bought them.

Saying the arts were dominated by people who went to private school or “have a connection with the BBC”, Dorries said: “What really infuriated me was all these people who were criticising me were those people … who found themselves where they were through a privileged background, through nepotism and whole other reasons.”

Dorries said the BBC in particular had “a kind of groupthink” that excluded people from working-class or northern backgrounds, adding: “If you’re only taking people from one kind of background you end up in a groupthink scenario.”

The BBC made no comment in response, but said it was the first broadcaster to measure socioeconomic diversity; that of its entire workforce for whom there was data, 11.5% went to private schools; and that it was investing heavily in recruiting people from a broad range of backgrounds.

In contrast, 60% of the cabinet in which Dorries serves attended private schools.

Dorries denied the idea she was seeking a culture war: “I don’t want to go to war with anybody. Where it’s quoted is with my relationship the BBC. And that’s not the case. I don’t want to go to war. But what I want to do is to have constructive dialogue with the BBC: how are you going to change?”

Asked if there would still be a licence fee in 10 years, Dorries replied: “Will the BBC still be here in 10 years? I don’t know. You can’t look into the future. It is a very competitive environment.”

She dropped a strong hint that she would like to press ahead with the proposed privatisation of Channel 4. “Channel 4 is in a good place at the moment, but if Channel 4 wants to grow and it wants to be successful, then it needs to change,” she said. “One of the obvious ways of doing that is for Channel 4 to privatise.”

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NSCDC To Deploy 30,000 Officers For 2023 Elections

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has disclosed that it will deploy 30,000 operatives to ensure peace during the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Commandant- General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday,

He said the operatives would be deployed nationwide to maintain peace.

He said the NSCDC has perfected plans to deploy all resources needed to provide security during the election.

“The corps is poised fairly, and ready to apply all the arsenals needed to provide security and safety for the elections.

“We have an operations department of over 30,000 personnel but then we will also deploy others when the time comes.

“Normally we have the bulk of our people in operations and those who are in operations partake in election processes,” he said.

Audi said that the corps had also perfected plans to begin seminars and workshops in October to discuss the preparedness of the organization towards the general elections.

“We want to tell our people that if you go and involve yourself by becoming partisan you are on your own.

“There are certain things we have introduced in our Standard Operating Procedure — that once you go partisan and you are caught, you will face sanctions and you are on your own.

“So we are ready to partake in the election like I said because we are apolitical and we are going to provide a level-playing field for all citizens to be involved in the elections and exercise their franchise.”

Audi said that the NSCDC partook in election activities because it’s a member of the Inter-agency, Consultative Committee on Election Security.

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NSIA Not Stakeholder In Nigeria Air- F.G

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has declared that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is not an investor in the Nigeria Air project.

Sirika made the clarification in a statement issued by James Odaudu, his special assistant on public affairs, on Saturday.

The minister had listed NSIA as part of the local investors with stakes in the national carrier.

He said the NSIA is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, adding that the error was made during his media briefing.

“We wish to clarify that the Authority (NSIA) is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, being a government establishment,” Sirika said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the equity ownership structure of Nigeria Air stands as Ethiopian Airlines 49%, Nigerian private investors (SAHCO, MRS and other institutional investors) 46% and the Federal Government 5%.

“The public, especially the business community and the media, should please note”, the statement added.

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Nigerians Not Ripe Enough To Bear Arms- NSCDC

Nigerians are not ripe to be allowed to bear arms.

This is according to the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi who made the observation when he attended the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.

“I strongly disapproved of it. Even now that there is no law in existence, you still have proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the hands of people.

“It has to do with civilisation and education.

“Even in Europe and America where they have that law where virtually everybody once you can drive can have arms, they are trying to control it now because of how some events unfold.

“In the world, especially in Europe and America, somebody will just wake up and just go to a school and open fire on kids. You know that is madness.

“And so for me, I don’t think we are there yet to allow citizens carry arms” , he said.

 

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