Thursday, November 15, 2007

Why I hate ITV and dictators

I don't actually hate ITV - I hate ITV's owners and shareholders who have spent the past few years talking up their commitment to local, regional and public service programming whilst in practice swinging a bloody great axe and chopping bits of it up. The latest victim appears to be political programming

The dictator I particularly hate this week is President Musharraf. This afternoon I've taken part in a protest at the Pakistan High Commission where I made a speech and then joined the General Secretary of Amnesty International and the head of the UK bar Council in handing in a letter to the Deputy High Commissioner. Did a number of TV and other media interviews.

Pic: (C) Jess Hurd

Earlier in the day we had a 250-strong chapel meeting at The Guardian to discuss the latest progress in the negotiations over 24/7 multi-platform working. There was some welcome for some of the changes we have won and some anger about the company's failure to address others. The long and the short of it is - we're back at ACAS tomorrow.

Tonight I'm off to Acton Town Hall to pay tribute to one of my heroes - Joe Strummer - who died five years ago shortly after he and Mick Jones did an FBU solidarity gig at the same venue. Tonight's Arms Aloft in Acton gig promises to be brilliant.

1 comment:

Tom P said...

Hi Jeremy

I enjoy your blog, but I have to disagree with your line about hating shareholders.

Basically I think we have to make a distinction between 'fund managers' and 'shareholders'.

If you look at who the 'shareholders' are in ITV you will find plenty of public and private sector pension funds. I bet even TU staff pension funds hold shares in ITV as it's a big stock.

But the pressure put on companies primarily comes from fund managers - the City firms that pension schemes hire to manage their money. And as long as pension scheme trustees - many of whom are TU members - simply hand over the money and say 'get me the best return and I don't care how you do it' then you will always get unpleasant outcomes.

That's why, in my opinion, unions must become much more savvy about where their money is invested.