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BBC saves ungrateful nation

December 3rd, 2010 Posted in Crime, Culture by

If a group of international financiers got together and set up a competition to host their four yearly contest between rival national teams of currency traders you might get something of an approximation to the wealth and power of FIFA, without the glamour of the World Cup.

We would find it quite odd should the Prime Minister, heir apparent, and his gym instructor cancel their appointments to lobby the governing body, particularly if several members were facing serious fraud allegations.

We would be entirely aghast to learn further that for the privilege of hosting this contest various national laws would be suspended, in secret, to protect the organisers from scrutiny and tax. We would treat the BBC documentary that exposed these problems as a welcome service from our free press.

Were we fans of the finer points of currency trading, the magic of extraordinary rewards from very marginal differences in ability and luck, we might be a bit grumpy. I suspect though we would not be calling for a Parliamentary Inquiry into the English bid as Labour’s Ivan Lewis has done, other than to ask why on earth the PM was involved in lobbying a cartel for a light entertainment opportunity.

Better surely to spend his time looking at what barriers there are to attracting more diverse international investment in the UK business environment? Less of a PR opportunity maybe, unless of course the BBC do a documentary about it.

5 Responses to “BBC saves ungrateful nation”

  1. chris Says:

    How much did it cost and how much further would we hav got into debt?
    More fur coat and no knickers for an exposed Country.

  2. Angela Harbutt Says:

    good point well made.

  3. NIch Starling Says:

    I am split on this.

    I think we all know that FIFA is slightly corrupt. I think what the BBC told us was not a surprise.

    When FIFA object to the evils of the British press, which Sepp Blatter explicitly made reference to in his summing up to delegates before they voted (which was hardly fair), it is clear that FIFA had no objection to sending the World Cup to a country where the press are regularly murdered by state sponsored thugs if they dare criticise anything the government support.

    The problem for me though was the timing of the BBC documentary. Couldn’t it have waited until after the vote ? Couldn’t it have been screened months ago (some of the footage and revelations were not recent) ?

    Yes, we have a free press, but with rights come responsibilities. I think the BBC were irresponsible in their timing and let down England a great deal.

  4. Andy Mayer Says:

    I suspect the answer to ‘months before’ is that if that were possible, leaving it, gave FIFA plenty of time to act on the allegations, the documentary might then have been the inside story behind the action they took. Their choice.

    After would not have been responsible journalism. If FIFA is corrupt then timing the documentary to maximise the chances of a winning bid would be turning a blind eye to corruption. The point of a free press is they are truth seekers not team players.

  5. Roger Greenfield Says:

    Why dont the Europeans and South Americans get together and organise an alternative world cup? Mr. Blater eat your heart out!