Does the BBC punish the old and ill?

The Tony Blackburn story continues to confuse and alarm.

So, where are we now. Well, Tony’s in St Lucia on a family holiday. After the holiday he’ll be back fighting fit.

Tony Blackburn insists he was never interviewed in 1971/1972 regarding the accusation against him.

Paperwork insists he was interviewed. Those behind that paperwork are now all dead.

The recollections of a not yet dead QC are that on a different occasion he was interviewed.

So, it’s looking like it’s the paperwork of dead people plus the memories of an alive person, versus the memories of Tony Blackburn.

I’m not for one moment suggesting that Tony Blackburn is deliberately lying. I can’t see why he would do that. What could be gained?

But is it possible that he really can’t remember being interviewed (twice) about the accusation? And, if his memory had completely failed on this, for whatever reason, would he be as adamant as he currently is that he was never interviewed? Is it possible that not being able to recall something might trigger an emphatic denial akin to that he has made and continued to stand by?

If memory failure and confusion led to him giving faulty evidence to the inquiry, why then does the BBC’s Director General sack him?

Are we really in an era when we sack people for memory loss and confusion?

tony+wifeyIndeed, it seems that Tony was initially offered the chance to resign. But resign over what? Resign for daring to say that to the best of his recollection he was never interviewed in 1971/1972?


Surely the BBC has a duty of care to its employees. If Tony has ‘medical’ reasons why he can’t remember being interviewed 45 years ago, then why penalise him by taking his job away from him?  Where’s their duty of care?

Indeed, how and where else does disagreeing with counter evidence lead to such treatment?

Wouldn’t it have just been easier to have simply dismissed his evidence and gotten on with other aspects of the inquiry rather than punishing him for daring to disagree? Indeed, under what employment law do you instantly dismiss somebody for the evidence they give to an inquiry?

I lean – dramatically – to believing that Mr Blackburn is sane and was never interviewed, but let’s just pretend for a moment that it is all a sad memory loss and him not being able to recall events.

It is and remains a mysterious disgraceful and disgusting unacceptable over-reaction to sack him.