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Ofcom: The office of communists

On a long taxi ride through London this afternoon, I spotted an excellent article by Stephen Glover, of the Spectator, on the increasing government control of the UK press via its new ‘watchdog’ regulator (read: Censor). This is a splendiferous bureaucrat body bearing the relatively innocuous and seemingly inexpensive title of Ofcom:

Well worth a read. Let me supply you with a flavour:

Ofcom is the brainchild of an interfering and overbearing government. We have never been closer to state control of the press.

Hey, I could have written that, even in a really bad mood! I like it!

Say what you like about my MP, Boris Johnson, he does still occasionally knock out a magazine with the odd great article. What does surprise me about Mr Glover’s article is not the increasing control of the press from this New Labour Luvvie watchdog, but the parasitic salaries that these busy-bodies have awarded themselves. They are simply incredible:

The first thing we learnt was that the regulator had awarded more than 70 of its staff contracts worth more than £100,000 a year in pay and perks. This was significantly in excess of Ofcom’s earlier estimates. Evidently this new arm of the state will be quite a little gravy train. Lord Currie, the chairman, and, it so happens, a good friend of Gordon Brown’s, will be paid £133,000 a year for a four-day week. Stephen Carter, the regulator&’s chief executive, receives £250,000 a year.

Blimey O’Reilly!

Seventy apparatchiks on more than 100k a year, who do not actually produce anything except government censorship diktats. Incredible. Even Julius Caesar’s Romans would’ve blanched at this proto-imperial excess.

Well done Stephen Glover and Boris ‘The Blonde One’ Johnson for publicising this New Labour larceny and blatant attack on the UK free press. The Speccie will probably get their publication license revoked, as a result. But, heck. It will be worth it. Keep sticking it to them, Boris!

11 comments to Ofcom: The office of communists

  • Paul Marks

    The salaries are fairly normal for this sort of “public sector” job.

    The pages of the “Guardian” (curses be upon it) are full of adverts for jobs (for the national government and local government) that have these sort of salaries. When the government says that the same percentage (or a lower percentage) of government spending is spent on administration than in 1997 it fails to mention that government spending has increased vastly since then (so one can spend much more on admin whilst still saying the percentage of government spending that goes on admin has not increased).

    “Say what I like” about Boris Johnson? Very well: Mr Johnson is the sort of Conservative party “Eurosceptic” who then votes for (euro fanatic) “Ken” Clarke.

    Certainly Mr Johnson will print articles attacking government control (of the press or of other things), but that does not mean he would get rid of it if he were in office.

  • Rob Read

    Paul you need to put BBC scare quotes around any use of the word “Jobs” near the word Guardian…

    Parasite is an acceptable alternative, as is worker in the coercively funded sector of the economy.

  • Verity

    Agreed! No way would Boris Johnson get rid of all this frippery if in office. If his TV personna is anything to go by, he’s a charmer.

    Self-effacing charm only goes so far and doesn’t protect anyone’s liberties. Sorry, Andy Duncan, but Boris has made a hash of The Spectator and he would make a hash of any government post to which he was appointed unless it was the Ministry of Charm. He is too interested in being agreeable and too little interested in the dagger. I’ll vote for someone lean and hungry any day…. if they’re leading my cause …


  • As I said on my blog earlier:
    as long as the content isn’t libelous or perilous to the security of the nation it isn’t anybody’s business how many column inches are used for news or sport or even knockers.

    Boris did well on that World Pop Idol thingy I see

  • Andy Duncan

    Paul Marks writes:

    Very well: Mr Johnson is the sort of Conservative party “Eurosceptic” who then votes for (euro fanatic) “Ken” Clarke.

    Oh cruel, Paul. So cruel! 🙂

    I love Boris, and all the little Borises, and Mrs Boris.

    Love has blinded me, I’m afraid! 😉

    D’you know any good anti-state therapists!

    Oh, my claim to fame is that I burnt Ken Clarke’s tongue once, with a red hot scalding cup of tea.

    Ah, yes. And when I was a medical student, and Ken was Health Secretary, I turned down an article of his for a medical school magazine I was editing. Oh fun. The civil servant who wrote it for him was livid. Most excellent.

    Ok, both not much, in the scale of things, but we Oxfordshire yeomen treasure such things! 🙂

  • It is just a form of outdoor relief for the minor aristocracy of New Feudal Labour “Trevor has been a loyal and obedient servant,My Liege”..” Very well grant him the CRE” Soon there will be hereditary Commissioners just as there are hereditary Dimblebys.But I bet it won’t stop the New Labour Job Mart advertising for stewards and bailiffs.

  • Guy Herbert

    “Soon there will be hereditary Commissioners just as there are hereditary Dimblebys.” This is a long way from a joke: intergenerational social mobility is actually quite low, since people inherit their social attitudes and career interests and goals non-genetically from their parents. We’ve had “public service” families for a while, but as the state and quasi-state expands and diversifies, whole new ethical niches have to be populated.

    There are growing up two related new classes: career regulators and compliance specialists, both of which are essential parts of the extended state, though the latter are represented as helping non-state sectors. I guess that analysis of social origins will show regulators are most frequently brought up among civil servants and academics, and compliance staff are the disappointing children of corporate professionals.

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    Western democracies are turning into feed lots.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Glover’s article doesn’t mention online publishing, but as these parasites look to justify their existence, they are bound to start looking at the Web-based publishing arena. In other words, we may have to deal with them at some point.

  • Rob Read

    “Turning”??? Democracy is a feeding lot! It’s just taken a bit of time for the shirking class “stomach” to expand to cope with the gorging.

  • Verity

    Jonathan Pearce – That was my immediate worry. I think there is absolutely no question that the “robust” British press will capitulate because the government, with the new laws it writes and the enforcers it hires at £100,000 per will make their lives too difficult if they don’t. They will become as the French press, which no one reads. They have the lowest newspaper readership in the developed world.

    So if the press gives in and only publishes what the government wants them to publish and various anodyne commentary columns and leaders, they will, out of jealousy, turn on the blogs and become the watchdogs of the government. Just you wait and see.