Extract from warmwell democracy page
Sept 8 2004 ~ Independence of the BBC?In the Independent today Director General Mark Hudson ".. is phlegmatic about the increasingly active role played by the BBC governors and is reconciled to the fact that there may be "bumps" along the way. "This is going to be a different relationship than for previous DGs," he said, adding that two of the last four director generals were dismissed by the governors."
There may well be bumps if the BBC tries actually to earn its reputation for being objective and uninfluenced by the powerful.
The "two posh ladies" referred to by Greg Dyke in the Observer, it seems, were those who bayed most loudly for Mr Dyke's removal. They are still BBC Governors.
Baroness Sarah Hogg served as head of the Prime Ministerís Policy Unit between 1990 and 1995.
Dame Pauline Neville-Jones DCMG, is a career diplomat who served in various diplomatic missions. She was the deputy secretary to the Cabinet office before becoming Head of the Defence Secretariat of the Joint Intelligence Committee. She is the former managing director and head of global business strategy for NatWest Markets and chairman of NatWest Markets France. She became vice chairman of Hawkpoint Partners Ltd., the corporate advisory arm of NatWest Bank. She is chairman of the Information Assurance Advisory Council and also currently the chairman of the Qinetiq group plc ( UK privatised military research/services company)
A QinetiQ webpage says, "... Although information operations are traditionally considered a military activity QinetiQ also develops information campaign strategies that can benefit governments, businesses and other organisations."
Dame Neville-Jones is a member of the Bilderbergs, the group of rich, powerful, and influential people from around the world who meet behind closed doors with no press releases and no available information on topics discussed.
See also The BBC and the Propaganda model By Alex Doherty
http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,14173,1318659,00.htmlBBC governor under fire for Iraq contracts
Antony Barnett, public affairs editor
Sunday October 3, 2004
The BBC chief who played a pivotal role in how the corporation covered the Iraq war and the David Kelly affair, stands to profit out of a firm with lucrative military contracts in Iraq.
Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, a BBC governor, emerged as one of the main figures in the feud between the BBC and the government in the fallout of the Hutton inquiry into the death of weapons scientist Dr David Kelly, being blamed personally by former-director general Greg Dyke for his sacking.
Neville-Jones, a former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, took an unusually active role in the Kelly affair, criticising Andrew Gilligan's reporting and also expressing unease about Kelly's expertise.
Now it has emerged that Neville-Jones chairs a company providing military equipment for US Humvees and Black Hawk helicopters, both of which are used in Iraq, leading to calls for her to reconsider her position as a governor.
Documents from Companies House reveal that Neville-Jones earned £133,000 last year as chairman of Qinetiq, the privatised research arm of the MoD.
The company recently bought two US defence firms that have intimate ties to the Pentagon and multi-million-dollar contracts supplying the US forces in Iraq.
The company's accounts also disclose that Neville-Jones owns £50,000 worth of shares in Qinetiq which are held through the controversial US fund the Carlyle Group.
The fund is known as the 'Ex-Presidents Club' because of the number of former world leaders it has employed, including President Bush's father and former Tory Prime Minister John Major.
Following Qinetiq's move into the US defence market, the company hopes to float on the stock market, a move that would probably see the value of Neville-Jones's shares rise.
Neville-Jones, who sits on the BBC's programme complaint committee, has always declared her chairmanship of Qinetiq, but backbench MPs are now calling on her to consider her position as governor.
Former defence minister Peter Kilfoyle said: 'The fact that she has such a financial interest in the armaments industry and firms involved in Iraq appears to be a real conflict of interest. She should have stepped aside when it came to discussing military issues.'
Labour MP Llew Smith, Labour MP said: 'It is completely inappropriate that someone so senior in the BBC should be leading a firm making huge profits from the misery caused by the invasion of Iraq.'
Neville-Jones was personally blamed by Dyke for leading the boardroom revolt against him after Hutton criticised the corporation for failing to correct its reporting over the WMD dossier.
It emerged in the Hutton inquiry that Neville-Jones sent BBC chairman Gavin Davies a note expressing her unease that Gilligan may have exaggerated the status of Kelly, who killed himself over the scandal.
Qinetiq was formed out of the part-privatisation of the MoD's military research arm. The MoD still owns 51 per cent of the company, which announced last month that it paid £160 million to buy US firms Foster-Miller and Westar.
Foster-Miller makes bomb-disposal equipment and armour for military vehicles and aircraft. This year it boasted record profits, thanks to a $7m contract with the US Marines to provide armour for Marine Humvees in Iraq .
Westar works closely with the Pentagon on many US military operations. It made components for US Black Hawk and Apache military helicopter that allowed them to fly through sandstorms in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Qinetiq admits its success in buying the US firms was helped by the British decision to stand by Bush. Qinetiq's chief executive Sir John Chisholm said: 'It is an undeniable fact the US and UK find themselves shoulder to shoulder in Iraq which creates a halo effect that is beneficial to UK companies seeking to enter the US market.'
It is not the first time that Neville-Jones has faced criticism over her commercial interests. After leaving the Foreign Office, she joined former Tory Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd at National Westminster. The bank's investment arm worked with Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic to privatise the country's telecoms industry. Both had meetings with Milosevic in Belgrade in 1996 on Serbia 's foreign debt and the privatisation of state assets.
Although there is no suggestion of wrongdoing in the deal, it was attacked for presenting Milosevic with a £625m windfall a year before his campaign to drive Kosovan Albanians from their homes. At the time, the Serbian leader was facing down huge protest demonstrations in Belgrade.
A spokeswoman for the BBC said: 'The board of governors is responsible for ensuring the BBC acts only in the public interest and is impartial in its news coverage. The board operates a well-established conflicts of interests process. It is a matter of public record that Pauline Neville-Jones is chairman of Qinetiq.'
She said governors only have to declare shareholdings in firms with which the BBC trades.
∑ Additional reporting: Solomon Hughes