People rightly got very angry when MPs were found to have abused the expenses system, but I am constantly bemused at the lack of public anger over the expenses "incurred" by senior BBC bosses. These people are public servants too, yet are quite happy to trouser inflated salaries and then fleece the licence fee payer by abusing expenses.
Take Roger Wright, for instance. He's the controller of BBC Radio 3. Now that really must be a hugely challenging job. Mr Wright is on a salary of £200,000. Last year he claimed more than £7,000 in taxi fares, compared to only £4 for an underground ticket. In 2009 he claimed £3,561 for 11 nights in a top class London hotel (£323 a night) so he didn't have to go home after each night of the Proms. No doubt he then got a taxi from that top London hotel to his office each morning, and then from his office to the Albert Hall.
The BBC says that "as this is the peak holiday season in the capital, rooms can be expensive". Er, complete rubbish, actually. Presumably he knows in advance he is attending the Proms and can therefore book in advance. I could name him a dozen hotels where he'd be able to get a room to befit his status for well under half that amount. MPs, I think, have a limit of £140 a night on hotel stays in Westminster. Shouldn't the same apply to other public servants, like Roger Wright? Or is the controller of Radio 3 considered more important than an MP?
I'll tell you what, if the station manager of Classic FM has to stay in London overnight, I bet his private sector bosses wouldn't approve a £323 a night hotel stay. Or a £7k taxi bill.