An Open Letter to Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC

Mr. Mark Thompson,

Director General,




Dear Mr. Thomas,

Thought for the Day, Dec 10th

I write to complain about your “Thought for the Day” slot on the Today Programme on December 10th, with the Reverend Rob Marshall, on two grounds:

1   It was entirely political, with no religious or spiritual content.  A churchman whose blog suggests that he is more interested in left-wing politics (and football) than in matters of faith was permitted to hijack this traditional religious slot for partisan political purposes.

2   Given that it was political, it totally failed to offer any sort of balanced perspective, and thus it was (in my view) in breach of the BBC charter.

I object both as a licence payer and as a politician.

The Reverend Marshall is a rather curious kind of churchman.  In addition to being a political blogger, it seems he also runs a public relations company.  That should not preclude him from appearing on Thought for the Day, but it does not mean that he should be free to politicise it in such a blatant (and, as it happens, naïve) manner.

I am sure that you are sick to death of complaints of left-wing bias at the BBC, but incidents like this show how justified such complaints are.  Could I suggest that in the interests of balance you should perhaps invite the Reverend Peter Mullen,  Rector of St Michael, Cornhill and St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in the City of London, who I am sure would be both more spiritual and more balanced.

Yours sincerely,



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1 Response to An Open Letter to Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC

  1. Mike Spilligan says:

    Having read your earlier posting on this subject it would seem that you have a watertight case for complaining, though I wonder if the “typical” Today listener would have noticed the overall failure to meet the generally assumed objectives of this “slot”. They must be used to such non-sequiturs.
    I expect that you will (eventually) get a reply out of the BBC’s Bumper Book of Excuses. It must have about 10,000 entries.
    May I respectfully point out that the greeting of “Dear Mr Thomas” will not help you here. I know, it’s just the kind of thing that happens when one is so very busy.
    Best regards; MS.

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