I am very disappointed at the BBC’s decision to end its contract with the Met Office. A middle finger to this decision.
The Met office is the most accurate forecaster, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. It has made some infamous cock-ups, but generally it is brilliant. In its 93 year relationship, the BBC has relied on information the Met office provides for its weather output.
All vital services will remain using the Met office for its forecast relating to Britain. Every service in their right mind will use this forecast but the average Briton who watches BBC News may get an inexperienced service provided by say, New Zealand. The BBC states that it has been forced to open up the contract to the wider market. I do not have anything against New Zealand but why would a nationally focussed service be opened up to the world. With its 93 year relationship, there is a bond which will be lost. Surely over their long history, the Met Office have built up an expertise for our unique weather pattern. This severing is ridiculous in terms of its practicality but I must admit I feel a certainly sentimentality at this loss.
The BBC will still use the Met Office when there is a severe weather warning issue and I believe for its shipping forecast. So it appears to me that they are making this ‘forefront’ decision based on external pressures. Or most probably, knowing the BBC, internal pressures, from one department to another and back, in order to appease external forces. This seems to be another nail in the coffin – albeit a small one.
The BBC needs to watch its back – from its own hand which is reaching behind to stab itself.
An act of privatisation? Hhhmmmm. I am going to say it is. The government still will fund the Met Office to continue. It needs to. The BBC is publicly funded not through tax but a tax in sort, the licence fee. This chipping away of the historical connection leaves ministers to raise questions as the charter is up for renewal. I believe external pressures have forced the BBC to ‘open up’ and pay (with our money) a possibly mediocre service. Perhaps this will add to a list of reasons to scale it down. Competition is not always best.
I am tired so I haven’t proof read this. I hope there are no mistakes!