Wednesday 24 August 2011

Freeview? Pah!

SkyTV offers most of the sports that the BOF wishes to watch. This, from their website today, is what they charge for it:
If you already have Sky TV, add the Sky Sports Pack for just £20.25 extra a month

This is what TopUpTV, the commercial arm of freeview, has to offer this morning:
Sky Sports 1 or 2 on their own will now be £24.99, while Sky Sports 1 and 2 together is still great value at £33.99
Quite what "great value" means under this banner is hard to tell. 2 channels for £34 compared to 4 channels for £20 indicates anything but good value. A starter package of Sky+ with Sky Sports costs £31.75 a month, still less than just 2 sports channels on Freeview.

Freeview is owned by another of those sprawling companies with an illiterate made-up name - Arqiva (sic) - as well as the terrestrial TV channels. The company's biggest shareholders are investment funds. We have, therefore, a national broadcasting system with the word free included in its name which is actually there to make a profit. Given that the government has decided that Freeview will soon be the only way to see TV other than satellite, it would be interesting to be reminded at which point we were told that the entire method of delivery of our TV systems was being privatised. The BBC used to output their own signal. Now, it appears, they are in the hands of privateers. 

Privatisation by stealth is an underhand, corrupt and damaging process. Why is there no fuss?

Tuesday 9 August 2011


Not long now (perhaps it has already happened) before these become the Flies Riots, as in Lord of the Flies. What price a ghastly distortion enabling Boris to be Piggy?

Miss BOF is away, we're happy to say

Businesses in the department store Whiteleys, on Queensway in London's Bayswater, have been asked to close their doors for evening trade tonight. It's perhaps no coincidence that there's a JD Sport on the first floor.

One proprietor, a BOF if ever there was one, professed a situationist desire to accept another reality on the second floor, proposing an immediate email to customers telling them that, given its discrete entrance, the establishment would most definitely be fully open this evening. His staff hung resolutely to reality one and, being a fair and honest man, he accepted that his own reality, number two, had been vetoed.

Parents all over London tonight are caught in the horror of doubting honesty and fairness in their own teenage children.

"Where are you going, sweety?"




"OK. Who are you going with?"



"Are you going to say which ones?"


"Please don't go rioting and looting, darling..."

jam today

Memories of riots gone before have looted shops properly looted in them. Clapham High Street, all those years ago, had the targeted shops emptied - and they didn't need bbm to do it.

This is the Peckham Tesco this morning (courtesy of BOF junior). Check the shelves and the number of bottles still on them. They speak of casual vandalism, not full-scale riot.  Given that only the bottom shelf has been emptied, you have to wonder how old these people were...

It seems to the BOF that they should have their sweets taken away from them - or their Tweets, at least. The Chinese can help with this. Delivery is quick and discreet.

time to topple taffy

The BOF would love to claim John Humphrys of Today on BBC Radio 4 as one of his own, an unrepentantly boring old fart, but he is not that thing. He is a disruptive and irritating curmudgeon whose interviews now go nowhere because of his belligerence.

What is the point in hammering the Home Secretary with a repeated question about whether she is bringing the army in to quell the riots? There can only be one answer at this early stage, the answer no. Why bring it up in the first place other than to cause fear, panic, and sensationalism?

It's time that the Welsh WindyBago was sent out on the streets to test his mettle in the real world instead of the comfortable construct of the studio. The pomposity of his on-the-spot reporting would have no place in Croydon or Tottenham. The BOF would be fascinated to hear what happens if Humphrys tries his repeat-the-same-question-over-and-over-again technique with the men in balaclavas.

Alternatively, he could retire without fanfare. Now there's a thoroughly unmodern thought.