The Website of the BBC Young Pioneers

The Song of the Pioneers

The people’s flag is brightest red - it helps us earn our daily bread
Though skinflints mock and Tories jeer - the licence fee’s not really dear
The licence fee! The licence fee!
It pays the bills for you and me!
From single mums in Bethnal Green - for expense accounts and limousines

If they don’t pay the licence fee - it’s jail and chuck away the key
For posh school fees and winter sports - we need to add a few more naughts
Our pensions are inflation free - all paid for by the licence fee
The licence fee! The licence fee!
Don’t take away our licence fee!
A hundred and thirty odd quid a year - will keep the red flag flying here!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

The end of King CRUDD?

As consumers get more and more of their entertainment and information from the ever widening range of new media, and redundancies loom at Britain's major broadcaster - could the age of CRUDD (Communist Rhetoric Underpinned by Dubious Didacticism) finally be coming to an end?

A BBC Pioneers special report asks - could this be the end of King Crudd?

For nearly forty years following the second world war the intellectual and political powerhouses of Britain were fuelled by CRUDD.

Britain's huge reserves of CRUDD were dug up by a tough and dedicated band of workers, slaving in hazardous conditions with little more than a typewriter or TV studio - and little reward at the end of a hard shift except the satisfaction of seeing massive piles of CRUDD dominating the political landscape as far as the eye could see.

An old NUJ hand reminisces exclusively to BBC Pioneers about those golden days:-

"...everything ran on CRUDD in them days. Radio, TV, Newspapers, Nationalised Industries - even whole cities like Liverpool, Birmingham and most of London - it were enough to mak yer proud.
The big CRUDD pits were t'Daily Herald, before it went, t'Mirror, t'Grauniad and biggest and best of all, t'Beeb.
Tha' were two Beeb pits, the old Broadcasting 'ouse were more traditional and then t'new TV Centre with all automation an' such, they 'ad the best qualtiy CRUDD by far. "

Old Beeb Pit No. 1 -Broadcasting House

New Beeb Pit No 2 - TV Centre

"...Tha' were plenty of half decent stuff from the north, but quality were a bit mixed, tha' were even more from t'Russia and such but it were crude and not a patch on the Beeb stuff. Beeb CRUD burned clear and bright and kept you warm for years 'til that bloody woman an' that Murdoch came along - and we started hearing about privatisation, north sea gas,Sky TV, alternative energy an all t'other rubbish. "

"...Some o' the lads and lasses that dug the stuff were legends.
Tha' were "Big John" Humphrys
and "Gentleman Jim" Naughtie who'd be on the Toady shift at four in the morning and staggering out of the taxi afterwards with their throats parched and their fingertips bleedin' from the keyboard. "

Jim & John at the CRUDD face

"...Then tha' were Polly who could shift as much CRUDD as any man. "Two Shifts" Toynbee we used to call 'er, she'd think nowt of putting in a full shift at t'Grauniad and then clocking on at t'Beeb for another - sometimes she'd get back t' Tuscan villa at the weekend barely fit to crawl down to the trattoria."

Polly shifting her CRUDD

"...and there were the posh uns like "Jumbo" Marr, who was in t'management at t'Indie pit while 'e were still a kid but couldn't keep away from the cameraderie of the CRUDD face at t'Beeb."

Now, however, with other sources of politcal energy ever more easily available from the widening range of new communications media, demand for the old product is falling and there is even speculation that the age of CRUDD could finally be drawing to a close.
As circulations have fallen, there have already been hard times at the Guardian and Mirror pits and The Old New Statesman just managed to struggle on with a new owner. Finally the biggest and deepest CRUDD mine of all is under threat and redundancies loom at the Beeb.

In the houses lining the crowded little streets of Shepherds Bush, Islington and Camden, the womenfolk/significant others turn their pale anxious faces to the doors as they wait for news of their menfolks' jobs.
Will there still be food on the table at the River Cafe next week? What about January's skiing? Will the nanny's car have to go?
Some have already had the bad news; in "Gentleman" Jim Naughties' cottage, his wife sluices the grime of the days work from his massive, sinewed body and a tear splashes into the jacuzzi:-

"Don't fret lass, we're not finished yet - summat'll turn up you'll see, Tha's still call for the old stuff in some places. Some of the young'uns wi' facial hair are goin' to try Cuba and ah've heard tell there's even work for us old'uns in North Korea"

"But Jim, I've heard all they get there is one room and a bowl of pickled cabbage a day."

"Aye, It'll be hard to start with luv - but once we get our party cards, 'appen it'll be just like t'Beeb again, you'll see."

But for many redundant BBC staff, there may be a glimmer of hope. BBCP has exclusively obtained a leaked draft press release of a possible agreement between the corporation and one of China's biggest importers and recyclers of western rubbish.

In return for a reasonable fee China's multibillion turnover Fat Bung Corp will take over all contractual employment and pension obligations of scrap redundant BBC employees and guarantee to recycle redeploy them into roles, no less productive or rewarding than their previous ones, in one of its rubbish tips environmental renewal centres. The company feels that the rewarding nature of the work, combined with the opportunity to experience first hand the political system they have long admired will prove an attractive and stimulating career development for all those involved.

Redeployed BBC staff enjoy their new roles

Saturday, 20 October 2007

BBC Pioneers Educational Services

The University of the Closed Mind

Professor Horror-Binge

Following the enormous success of our parent organisation in the field of adult education, we at BBC Pioneer Productions are proud to offer, at considerable expense, for an audience expected reach at least double figures:-

The University of the Closed Mind

Supported by a huge number of independent minded, free thinking, world acclaimed, Party funded academics, this series of programmes will explore the scientific issues the Party thinks you should be worrying about at any specific time.

Our first programme will be an introduction to the most serious threat our planet has faced since the great Bird Flu epidemic of 2006:-

Man Made Global Warming
Global Warming
Climate Change


Professor Horror-Binge, BA Oxon (Eng Lit), will use his lifetime study of Climate Change to explain in a reasoned, logical and scientific argument the way that life on the planet will soon be virtually extinguished by soaring temperatures and/or flooding and/or hurricanes and/or desertification and/or melting/thickening ice and/or weakening/strengthening ocean currents and/or pestilence, insurrection, starvation and mass death on a hitherto unimagineable scale.

A hand picked team of The Party's most loyal and devoted science workers have laboured with Party workers from other countries for years to produce incontrovertible proof of all the above, so conclusive that The Party has declared that all further scientific endeavour in this field will now cease.

The Professor's talk will outline the fundamental truths of Climate Change and deal with the petty, irrational and frankly childish arguments of the pathetically few deniers who have yet to benefit from the Party's re-education programme.

Proposition A - global temperatures are rising :-
Extensive examination of global temperature records over millions of years shows that the planet is heating at unprecedented rates.

Deniers claim:-

It was warmer in Roman times - they grew grapes in Yorkshire and the Vikings named Greenland because they had fertile farms there.
It was also much colder in England in the 1700's they lit bonfires on ice on the Thames

Professor Horror-Binge's response:-

After extensive world-wide investigation - I've come up with an answer to the first point from my colleague, BBC Business Editor and son of prominent Party Member, Robert Peston. Robert knows a lot about what small businessmen get up to and thinks that all those posh Roman villa owners in York probably lied about where their wine came from to avoid import duty. Also Eric the Red, who discovered Greenland, was known to be a bit of a real estate promoter on the side and was probably trying to flog off some bits of icy tundra with a dodgy brochure. Isn't it typical that doubt should be cast upon the efforts of The Party's most eminent scientific workers by the corrupt machinations of petty capitalists. Shame on them!

As far as the bonfires go. Where's the photographic evidence? These sketches were drawn by the journalists of the time - who ever believed anything a hack told them? You people are so gullible.

Proposition B - Carbon Dioxide causes global warming :-

Antarctic ice core samples show a relationship between global temperatures and CO2 levels.

Deniers claim:-

The samples show temperature increases about 800 years before CO2 level rises.

Professor Horror-Binge's response:-

Well, frankly, what's 800 years in the millions of years of our planet's history.

Also I've spoken to the world's most famous ever scientist, Professor Emeritus and Nobel prize winner Lord Albert Gore, on this and he points out that way back, before his two term presidency and even before he invented the internet, he and his old buddy and namsesake Al Einstein once sat around in Al's Post Office and chucked around some ideas about time and space moving forwards backwards and every darned which way sometimes.

He also points out, sometimes you've gotta lay it on a bit thick to prove a point.

Proposition C -Global warming is accelerating:-
It has reached a critical tipping point requiring immediate action.

Deniers claim:-

In that case, why do the temperature records show no increase since 1997?

Professor Horror-Binge's response:-

When scientists start to study these things, they have to choose reference points to start and end the data they collect.
If they choose random points they run a serious risk of not achieving the goals the Party has set for them.

They might end up with any old garbage - and how the hell would you use that to extend your research grant and keep your family out of the gulag?

Also, come to think of it, now that the Party has declared that all further research is terminated, we'll probably bin the data after 1997, so there won't be an argument really - will there?

Proposition D - A consensus of all the world's scientists have agreed on Climate Change:-
More than two thousand have signed the IPCC report.

Deniers claim:-

Many world renowned climate scientists disagree with the conclusion and the IPCC signatories include more government functionaries than real scientists - also several prominent scientists have asked for their names to be removed.

Professor Horror-Binge's response:-

Don't argue with me about what constitutes a consensus pal - I've got an English degree.

In any case, I think you'll find the consensus is growing stronger by the day, as our colleagues persuade the dissenters to recant. Do you happen to have any names and addresses by the way?

Next week's programme:-

Is climate change denial a peversion or a mental disability?

Friday, 19 October 2007

We Know where you live

We at the BBC Pioneers website would like to expand.

In order to keep up with modern media trends, we need a Director of Culture, a Director of Vision, a Director of Diversity and maybe even some production staff as well.
Obviously these sort of people don't come cheap and we need a new business model to fund this exciting new expansion.

In line with current thinking, we intend to outsource the execution of the plan but unfortunately Capita Plc really have too much on their plate to help out right now.
We have therefore, in a spirit of Pan-European collaboration, widened our search throughout our EU neighbours and received a promising proposition from the Crapitano Bros of Corleone in sunny Sicily.

Their proposal is closely modelled on that of our major UK competitor, but has the advantage of minimising the bureaucracy and paperwork associated with their system.
Basically, the Crapitano proposal consists of recruiting a team of operatives who will creep up to your house at night and peer through your curtains.
I has proved remarkably easy to recruit these enthusiastic and highly motivated individuals who are more than happy to carry out their duties in return for a modest share of the proceeds because of the intense personal satisfaction they derive from their work. The only equipment they require apparently is an official ID card, a digital camera and a box of tissues each.
If Crapitanos' operatives find you using your PC, they will ask you for ten pounds in cash. If you refuse, they will chuck a brick through your window and return one week later for another collection attempt. A carefully structured incentive plan will then be implemented including keying your car, abusing your family and setting fire to the premises with the sum to collected to be doubled on the occasion of each visit.

It is important to note that the ten pounds is payable, whether or not you have ever viewed our website. This ensures that our plan to become the dominant force in UK multimedia entertainment can proceed without undue delay and we can offer you the wide range of information and entertainment we consider suitable for you.

Eventually we plan be become a world force in multimedia, TV, radio, publishing, education, real estate and possibly also (in collaboration with Crapitano) lap dancing clubs, betting shops and massage parlours.

We will be starting our collection programme in London NW12 and gradually expanding throughout the UK as resources ande recruitment allow. We won't need expensive TV and press advertising since we feel that news of our unique incentive programme will quickly spread by word of mouth.

Our image building consultants have however come up with a logo and slogan which encapsulate our business mission:-


Thursday, 18 October 2007

The ultimate reality show - "BBC Celebrity Lifeboat"

Yes folks BBC Pioneer Productions has developed the reality show format of the century!

The Beeb already has the talent, the show costs nothing at all and audience satisfaction is guaranteed.


1. The Beeb has to save around £2 billion and get rid of 3000 staff.
2. They've already asked them to justify their jobs by reapplying for them.
3. The unions want a fair system.

Let them compete to keep their jobs on prime time TV with the audience deciding who stays and who goes.

Hire Simon Cowell, Alan Sugar, Andrew LLoyd-Weber and Sharon Osbourne as impartial judges of renowned and impeccable integrity - and let the viewers have the last word.
People who wouldn't normally be seen dead watching reality shows will be glued to the screen as:-

-Kirsty and Paxo, on unicycles, shout at a cowed Tory politician in one corner while Spangles Kaplinsky and Marr attempt synchronised news reading and tango dancing in the other

Meanwhile - Naughtie sings the "Red Flag" in an operatic tenor while Wossy gets his tackle out again with Four Puffs and a Piano.

Just imagine, if you will Simon's one liners:-
"Kirsty love try a new bra and wash the hair next time"

"Andy mate, are you sure - with those ears?"
"Spangles dear, bit less skin and don't try so hard
"Jeremy - my spaniel can sneer better than that"
Ah! The drama, the tension, the tears and the tantrums!
- and, at the end of the show you have the sublime pleasure of making that premium rate call, knowing that you're getting rid of your pet hate and saving a couple of hundred grand of your licence fee at the same time.

It would almost make the licence fee seem worth it.
In a gesture of stupendous magnanimity - BBC Pioneers are offering this priceless programme concept free to the first BBC executive to email us.
Failing that, we may just have to run our own competition in the blogosphere.

Please - not me guv!

The Beeb's US correspondent Matt Frei has obviously heard about the pending job cuts!

He's got a full page self promoting hagiography on the website.

Quote - "No politics this week, just pure self-indulgence. I apologise but, if you can't deal with that, stop reading now - and remember suckers you're still paying for it anyway."

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Don't panic brothers!

Right on cue - the brothers are manning the barricades.

In today's Old Trot New Statesman, the NUJ's Jeremy Dear (presumably unrelated to A Darling) explains that it's all about "keeping the gravy train on the track defending quality journalism".

It'll be great to see all your favourite bien pensant BBC journos out on the streets with their placards living out the fantasies they've had ever since the miner's strike.

Probably not much chance of fisticuffs but it would be nice to see Paxman heave a brick at Mark Thompson's limo.
In a twenty years time an ancient Humphrys or Marr might br reminiscing about "the battle of Shepherd's Bush".
".......Ah remember when tha were TV studios all t'way from t'Bush to White City - and now nothin' but derelict transmitter masts as far as a man can see ........etc,etc"
Ah well - we can dream.

Mixed metaphors - rats and gravy trains.

To those of us who aren't enthusiasts for compulsorily funded entertainment, the prospect of a massive BBC strike is about as worrying as a walk out at the Inland Revenue.

Problem is though, the last two mighty Stalinist job-creation monoliths of the BBC and NHS won't finally crumble without a traumatic backlash.

Rats may leave sinking ships but their pointy, yellow litle teeth will cling on to the door handles of a comfortable gravy train until somebody prises them off.

It's going to need a couple of re-runs of the Thatcher/Scargill scenario to shake 'em off and I can't see "call me Dave" in the Maggie role.

On the other hand, maybe there's stuff goes on the playing fields (and behind the bike sheds?) at Eton that stiffens the soul - we shall see.