I’ve written recently about the the BBC’s lack of coverage of the key issues of the Tory dismantling of the NHS and the attack on the disabled and other vulnerable groups. Based on the inescapable conclusion that there has been collusion between the BBC (not limited to that one organsiation, but as a publicly-funded body it’s the only one subject to the FOI Act), I’ve just submitted the following Freedom of Information Act request to the BBC:
To: British Broadcasting Corporation
Subject: Freedom of Information request – Discussions or meetings between BBC executives or editorial staff and DH/DWP
Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,
Under the Freedom of Information Act, I require the following:
1) Dates & times of any meetings or telephone conversations between
BBC executives and/or editorial staff and representatives of the
Department of Health and the Department for Work & Pensions since 1
2) Names of the personnel involved in such meetings/conversations.
3) Copies of any emails received by the BBC from the two named
departments or any entity acting on their behalf during the same
There is much more information I’d like to ask for, but as the cost-limit to an individual FOI request is £600, I’ve tried to keep it quite narrow so the BBC can’t simply reject it on the grounds that it will cost more to provide the requested information.
If I have dates of meetings/discussions, then the process will begin of trying to tie up those dates with key steps in the progressive attacks on the NHS and on the vulnerable, and to see whether the BBC gave proper coverage to them. If not, then I can focus new requests on the details of specific meetings. The email details, if they are provided, should also prove extremely illuminating.
If I get the information I’ve asked for, it’s very likely that I’ll need help with that task of matching meetings and events, since I also have to get on with the mundane task of earning a living – so if you’d be up for a few hours work on it if and when we have the information to work with, please give me a shout!
And I’ll just end on the following note: the matters I write about are my particular bugbears (some would say obsessions!). If you have one or more of your own, don’t just sit on them and stew. Get informed and get involved – and use what tools are available to maintain the pressure on those who should be doing better and are not. It may be that this request doesn’t reveal anything useful, but maybe it will. And the FOI Act is one of the better ways we have of holding those responsible for society-altering decisions to account – and just possibly making them pay, albeit after the fact, or perhaps even to block their next steps in dismantling our social structure.