bbc

Britain’s Rejects

My 72 year old immigrant grandmother died in 2002, prompting a rushed visit to Pakistan. She had specified her wishes to be repatriated to her final resting place when the time came. Growing up we’d always objected to their pipe dream plans to show us the motherland, even going so far as likening it to death, given that we were never short of a cautionary tale or two of what could go wrong if they were not truthful of their intentions. There was always talk of so and so’s kid who’d gone off the rails so the folks took them ‘back home’ to straighten them out. This usually meant a forced marriage but there was always the worry you’d never return.

For 20 years I’d ignored their pleas to at least give them a chance and see what they had built with their own hands, for us, so that we had roots and a place we could always call home. My gran, or dhaadhi as we called her, would look at us in disbelief and shake her head, unsure of how else to sell it to us; the stories she’d tell of exotic fruits abundant in the courtyard, trees grown especially for us, her face wrinkled up in a smile as she recalled the exceptional quality of, as she put it, the juiciest mangoes on God’s green earth and other fruits I don’t know the English word for.

Whilst I love listening to her and seeing her clear delight I wasn’t convinced. I considered myself British, English even, and harboured an unhealthy self hate; I wasn’t above sneering at Pakis. Eager to set myself apart I believed the things white people said about Pakistan and Pakistanis and asserted my Britishness whenever it was required of me. I do cringe whenever I think back to that mindset. I think about the sort of white person who’d get off on hearing my disgust for people like me, the kind to collect tokens and play brown people off each other, dividing Muslims and Hindus for example and profiting off the misery that inevitably follows. Divide rule and conquer works to this day.

It didn’t matter when she died though, I suddenly felt I owed her a trip. Almost immediately I was consumed with guilt that I hadn’t honoured this wish of hers whilst she had been alive but I hoped she knew I was with her for her final journey. Barely six hours after she took her last breath we (my twin, dad, aunt and I) were in business class on a PIA flight bound for Islamabad. It was the first time I’d ever flown and my nerves were shot, I’d barely slept or processed what had happened but the hot cloths and silver service made up for the turbulence a little bit. My dad even let twin and I smoke a cigarette! It was that kind of a day, normal programming abandoned, venturing into the unknown out of a sense of duty and family pride. I tried not to think of her, alone, entombed in a wooden box, along with the rest of the cargo.

We landed at Islamabad airport at 6am. I was hit by the heat, as if I’d walked into a wall of hot air and it would suffocate me, upon exiting the plane. The sun hadn’t been up long but it was already 27 degrees. My thoughts went to my gran and the effect these conditions would have on her lifeless body. We waited for her coffin to be released and clung to each other through the chaos and din of the arrivals lounge, we weren’t in Kansas anymore. Random strange men pawed at our luggage offering to carry it, not being entirely forthcoming about the tip they expected for this service. It smelt funny, and the people were scary, staring at us as if we’d fallen from the sky. An uncle herded us out of the terminal and explained we looked different to regular Pakistanis and they were probably trying to figure out if we were worth anything.

It didn’t feel like a homecoming but the worst day of my life and the natives weren’t exactly helping. I didn’t want my worst fears to be confirmed, that we were easy pickings and could be disappeared, never to return. Dad’s cousin thought we were hilarious, batting furiously at the flies that seemed to throng the air, shrieking at the various creepy critters that had dared to greet us. We were a novelty. Fragile. Typical of desis who’d lost their way. A highly amusing form of entertainment for the locals.

The funeral was as expected; the outpouring of grief par the course but I had never imagined my dear gran knew so many people. I was bewildered by the number of women sat around smoking, a practice that was almost entirely gendered amongst the older generations in Britain. I only ever knew one lady smoker, my granddad’s sister in law and she had a free pass on account of her mental status. Here it just seemed to be a way of life, the chilum, similar to a shisha, was a permanent fixture. Granted they weren’t holding penis shaped cigarettes as they do in the west (cigarettes were originally marketed to women on the basis that women envied the penis and smoking would achieve equality or something) but this was really a sight to behold for someone who’d been brought up in a strict household where women most definitely did not smoke. I was also surprised at the relative freedom my girl cousins had with regards to their personal grooming. We’d been forced to keep our hair long, our eyebrows natural and our sleeves below the elbow and yet my cousins had no such restrictions. It’s when I first started to believe our grandparents were trying to preserve something of our culture in the west, that we were a snapshot frozen in time of an era pre colonialism whereas the rest of the world had just moved on.

They referred to us as the English princesses, for being so vulnerable to the elements. In our hurry to bury dhaadhi according to Islamic law within 24 hours, we’d had to forgo the usual preparations; shots for foreign diseases and the like. Within 48 hours we were struck with a mystery bug that was determined to shoot itself out of both ends and stifling temperatures in the mid 50s weren’t helping the situation, especially when the electricity was guaranteed to give out at least twice a day. I had never felt more miserable in my life and decided there was nothing else for it, we had to go home. Everyone else had other ideas though; we hadn’t given it a chance, we needed to eat more and think about getting better, the airline wouldn’t carry us if we were too sick and for a brief time I was petrified they weren’t going to let us leave at all. Maybe this had been the plan all along.

Fortunately the bug seemed to attack in waves and a day later our uncle took us shopping, we hadn’t come with very much stuff, in my case I didn’t even own more than one pair of salwar kameez. All was going well until we actually spoke to the vendors and my uncle clocked they were hiking up the prices. He said if we liked the look of anything to point at it rather than say anything aloud. I was confused, we’d been conversing in Punjabi but apparently even that sounded different to them and English people could afford to pay more.

I felt personally attacked, not gonna lie. I didn’t belong here, as people were keen to point out with every interaction. I didn’t like the heat, I didn’t like the food, or the people even, they were rude and looked at me the way closeted racists did in England. I didn’t feel safe. All I wanted was a cheese and tomato sandwich and my bed, at home in rainy blighty. I asked for fries on one occasion, thinking there isn’t a place in the world you can’t get fries, and bawled my eyes out when they arrived dusted with chilli powder. In the end, I shook off as much of it as I could and sliced up some tomato and onion for the weirdest chip butty ever. I dreamed of Nandos. I vowed to kiss the ground when I got home and never complain about the cold ever again (delirious or delusional, you decide) and made it my mission to pester the folks at all times, ET had to go home. Eventually, 10 days after the ordeal began we boarded a flight home, excited like you wouldn’t believe I made lists in my head of everything I would drink and eat.

I wasn’t sorry to say goodbye to my dysfunctional country of origin, but I did think of what it might be like, 50 years on. There’s no doubting Pakistan is a hellhole for many reasons but it was made this way. It was a consolation prize given to the victims of the British empire, those who once considered themselves Indian, those of my grandparents generation who would’ve been young children at the time of partition. They’ve seen horrors we can only imagine. They are the product of such horrors. To show humanity you must be shown it and Pakistanis are amongst some of the first to be dehumanised. They are the losers of the empire and all the alliances that followed, between extremists bound by mutual desires for power and control and must be mocked and denigrated in order to maintain the global hierarchy. They are Muslims and they were once proud rulers of India, loved by moderates of all faiths. Their fall from grace is the only lasting legacy for young Pakistan, it simply hasn’t had enough time to recuperate.

Our grandparents were refugees of a kind, the land they occupied was destroyed by the British who busted a dam, destroying everything. Britain promised those people refuge from a disaster of their own creation and so they came, naive to the racism that awaited them. They never accepted they were British, my grandparent’s generations, their hearts were too broken, unable to mend. Such is the life of the stateless citizen. I had tricked myself into believing I belonged in the UK but 9/11 changed all of that. The unspoken hate bubbled to the surface and became impossible to ignore. It’s gotten exponentially worse in recent years, there’s no denying it now. They say we don’t integrate but when we do they want to ban us from getting involved, just look at the furore over the Xmas ads, life is impossible for those of us who do not belong anywhere.

There’s no love lost between me and centrist Sadiq Khan but I felt for him today. We don’t belong anywhere, we only have an idea of what it is to belong somewhere and our place of birth is the nearest we can get to realising it, despite what the racists might say.

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The British government and media are lying to you – grooming gangs are white too

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There are gangs of sexually violent men operating the length and breadth of Great Britain. We’re all aware of Asian grooming gangs, the papers never let us forget but how many of us will admit sexual violence and misogyny is a real problem in the UK and isn’t exclusive to brown Muslim men? I would even suggest the reason it is so widespread among non white communities is because they witnessed systematic abuse of minors by the establishment and national treasures and figured no one cared so felt secure enough to abuse with impunity.

We’ve been repeatedly smacked with the ‘fact’ that Asian grooming gangs are a blight on British society and we must discuss the race and religion of perpetrators because it is important, to deny their ethnicity is to do a disservice to survivors who were selected for their race.

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We’ve been discussing this for over a decade. Nobody is brushing it under the carpet, no one is pretending it doesn’t exist. We are all aware of the devastating impact these monsters have had on their young victims, those kids the authorities were forced to support, when they could no longer ignore the scale of the problem. The very same authorities who ignored the many thousands of victims of Britain’s national treasures, 1300 children violated by Jimmy Savile alone. Stuart Hall even got reduced sentencing because he only had 13 victims compared to Savile, as though it somehow negates the impact on those 13 victims. It calls into question the complete shambles that is British justice. Of course it’s a convenient scapegoat for said authorities to complain they were obstructed by ethnic communities and feared accusations of racism, than admit they don’t actually care about white working class children and probably blame them for getting involved with foreigners in the first place. I saw coppers treat white working class women like this. How many of you are aware of the very real sexual violence problem perpetrated by officers of the law? Ryan Coleman Farrow was jailed mere months for allowing countless rape cases to slip under the radar. Women have actually died from police neglect but they don’t want you to know that, it’s so much easier to blame brown Muslim men, killing two birds with one stone; covering up their own prejudices/lack of professionalism and maintaining racist structures with propaganda.

If MPs and journalists and coppers care so much about victims why aren’t they pushing for tougher sentencing of ALL child sex abusers?

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For example (and please note the race of offenders)

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Is it specifically the gang detail of Asian groomers that is so jarring for the authorities and racists alike? Or could it be they just want British victims for British perpetrators? Perhaps that is why sadistic child abusers like these don’t get much of a reaction.

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I don’t think gangs are a problem for MPs and the mainstream media, not when they are white. The ‘most sickening and callous’ of grooming gangs raped babies and toddlers but the media didn’t make as much of a fuss as they did with Rotherham. Why was that, you ask?

The government and media has manipulated the impression we get of sexual violence and predators in the UK.

The agenda; sex gangs are Asian.

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Like we haven’t been doing exactly that on repeat for more than a decade.

Asians/Muslims haven’t done enough to condemn the attackers. All the victims are white.

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(bonus side effect: divide rule and conquer the brown folk)

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I condemn Asian grooming gangs, I hope they all rot in hell. I wish exactly the same for Britain’s national treasures, the establishment, MPs, football coaches, social workers, vicars, teachers etc, majority of whom are white. I oppose those who would seek to make this an issue of race, deliberately erasing the countless victims of white perpetrators. Perhaps Sarah Champion is just securing the bigot vote for Labour, not that this in any way makes her a sympathetic character but it’s more likely she is part of the cover up that has excused the rich and powerful for numerous historic crimes against children. Royals, both dead and alive, MPs past and present, BBC stalwarts and lesser personalities, all invested in the most depraved of grooming gangs, the one that has coercive power and control and the ability to go undetected for over 50 years. This grooming gang was almost uncovered a few times but the powers that be made it disappear. Every time it threatens to resurface again, a spokesperson for the most powerful sexual predators draws our attention back to Asians.

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Asian grooming gangs are a sure fire propaganda tool. It doesn’t matter what else is going on, this dog whistle on steroids fires all the right bigots into a tirade on sexual violence and supposed injustices when none of these pissants give a toss for victim support any other day of the week.

If you genuinely care about all victims of sexual violence you’ll condemn ALL grooming gangs. Anything less is just bigoted.

BBC: A Predispostion for Propaganda?

I didn’t watch Panorama last night. I didn’t feel like I needed to see where it was going, I had my suspicions the BBC were rooting for something to make a focus of our outrage, a scapegoat. We’re not short of real life monsters threatening our way of life, many of them even had jobs at the BBC but it felt like the scene was being set for a ‘debate’, a distraction from the constant slew of actual things that have been proven harmful, like racism and historic child sex abuse cover ups for example.

I have been on SSRIs for 7 years. I started off on Citalopram and for a very brief time I felt as if I finally had the space to breathe and not feel like I was crawling out of my skin. As the meds settled in my system I became aware of the dulling effect it was having on my reality, something that no doubt worked brilliantly at crisis point but as my mental health improved I felt like it was holding me back, I wasn’t feeling as extremely as I did but I also wasn’t able to laugh as hard as I’d like or think too deeply about anything. I tried to come off them at first but was soon reminded of the reasons I became medicated when the symptoms returned; I was shocked by how intensely bad I felt and unable to function so I saw the GP about an alternative. He referred me to a psychiatrist and after a couple of visits we figured the best thing to do was switch to Sertraline, a drug that many users responded to after Citalopram. It’s hit and miss, prescribing mental health meds. Part of the process to healing is trial and error, you have to try things before you know how you’ll respond.

I was pleased with the change in my mood only a few weeks after I started taking Sertraline. I didn’t feel as foggy or tired and I was less fixated, a benefit of this particular drug which is often prescribed for people with obsessive disorders. It worked for me, I was struck by the fact I could pun again, something in my brain had changed. I spoke to others who weren’t so fortunate with Sertraline and went on to try other drugs but our brain chemistries aren’t one size fits all, we still don’t know enough about mental health to make this an exact science.

Before I became medicated I can’t say I was in favour of antidepressants especially SSRIs. I was even an audience member on a BBC talk show about antidepressants hosted by, I think, Nick Ross and said stuff I’m sure I’d cringe at now if I could remember, it was so long ago. I remember there was a big fuss about Seroxat a while back too, it was linked with increased risk of suicide among teenagers. I really did not want to be the sort of person who took antidepressants, someone who gave in (as people were all too keen to point out to me when I first started taking them), who’d failed or any number of negative variations on this, like I’d let people down or myself or whoever. Sadly, I did not get much of a choice on the matter if I had any hope for survival.

I took the drugs despite all my misgivings and prejudices, I really didn’t want to feel or exist in the way I had for so long, and I was scared I would die if I did. I had been seeing a therapist, sometimes multiple times a week but it just wasn’t enough, I felt I would kill myself probably. I never thought about killing anyone else, I couldn’t bear to be near anyone or more to the point, outside my bedroom even, that I kept locked most of the time. I took the drugs because my nephew was on his way into the world and I felt I owed him a cool aunt. I took the drugs because I’d hit rock bottom but inside me something chose to live. I felt almost embarrassed when I disclosed to the therapist I had started them already. She wasn’t the biggest fan herself and I felt like I was letting her down, like saying your therapy isn’t all that but she immediately said “GOOD” and leant forward to touch my knee. She said she’d never advocate for meds and wouldn’t have suggested I take them but was glad I had come to this decision myself because I really could do with them, these drugs exist because people in my situation need them.

I do not regret for one minute making that decision. I never thought I’d be on them so long, and I never believed they’d do me much good but it’s been 7 years and I am so pleased with myself and how far I have gotten. I recently cut my SSRIs by a third. If there is one thing I can say for certain and you must be aware of this before you go in, withdrawal is a bitch and you must do it slowly. I am aware that I could suddenly feel like I made a rash judgement but for now I’m enjoying being a 3rd less medicated and wondering what it will be like when I reduce them again.

The BBC makes a tenuous link between the many millions of users who safely take SSRIs so they can function in this society and the tiny minority who kill but this can be said of so many things it makes you wonder why they have singled out people who take drugs for their poor mental health. Most people who take recreational drugs for example, do not pose a risk to others but some might react violently. We could say the same about men, right? Most of them tend to adhere to some semblance of law, at least on the surface but a minority kill women and children. Should we point the finger at beards?

Once again, the BBC reminds us how little we should care about it, yet they insist we pay for this propaganda too.

I believe ALL victims of racism

Well who would have thought it in a million years but an Eastenders actress, Linda Henry is facing trial for ‘allegations’ of racism. That’s right, a blonde cockney reject, probably better remembered for her performance in Bad Girls (whatever that’s worth), has been naughty enough to warrant an actual public trial to prove she has been guilty of this actual crime as postulated by law.

I reckon she’s a big fat racist y’know. I say this because I’ve a wedge of evidence supporting my ‘allegations’ of racism against a number of individuals but the police advised me instead to shut down my social networks and threatened me with criminal proceedings for a few words I said regarding all 4 billion men on the planet. Despite the facts, that racism is illegal and that as a victim I have the right to justice (allegedly) I wasn’t acknowledged in this respect. Ms Henry’s victim though, well, the police, CPS etc were convinced they were racially abused enough to warrant taking the case to trial. As anyone who has ever worked in any capacity in the criminal justice system knows, the authorities do not want their success rates affected by your tenuous case. They have to be absolutely certain a crime has been committed and they can prove it in a court of law or else they don’t bother.

So it is with this insider knowledge (both in the legal system and occupying a brown body) that I can say hand on heart, I believe them. I believe every single victim of racism who discloses they have been racially abused. I don’t believe in the race card. I think that was phrase coined by controlling whites to dismiss, deny, gaslight non-whites by discrediting their validity as humans struggling to survive in a white system.

Here’s a radical thought for you: All white people are a little bit racist at least because they continue to enjoy the spoils of empire whilst the rest of us are systematically dehumanised and it is only white people who have the power to change this. White people are ‘deeply offended’ at being labelled a racist but they do not consider it offensive when we are racially abused daily. Where is all the white outrage at the BBCs insistence on pushing the good old days of empire on us whenever it needs to fill up the schedule? Why have they refused to suspend Henry over the ‘allegations’? If one of their brown employees was suddenly suspected of terrorism without evidence would they be afforded the same grace? You’ll have to pardon my mock outrage at the state broadcaster’s blatant racism, but it’s worth noting they are the medium through which bigotry of various flavours is justified. Whether you’re a traveller or a Muslim, good ol’ Aunty Beeb will put the white population straight. Thousands of us are being spoken about as though we are less than human and our lives do not matter, that we can be carted back to the jungle if enough of the whites agree. If there truly were enough white abolitionists among us BBC HQ would be surrounded until they admitted their crimes against humanity.

I have been racially abused, manipulated and cast aside. I know how it feels to know your perpetrator is lying but they will be believed on account of the colour of their skin. This is why I will always believe victims of racism, just as I will always believe victims of sexual violence. Just because the rules are set up to favour those with white skin or male privilege, does not make it the truth because a white western judge or jury says so. Even if Henry is acquitted, it means nothing to me and many thousands more like me.

We’ve got your number, white people. If you look like a racist (white) you probably are.

Big Brother Corporation

We all know the UKIP channel wants to bring back British values, tackling immigration so that Britain’s interests come first, we’ve seen this in their programme scheduling. In the course of one evening, spread across their various channels there was ‘From Jail to Jihad’, ‘The Crusades’, ‘The British Empire’ (looking back over the glory days where they murdered everyone and took everything) and of course unlimited airtime for Nigel Farage and his henchmen, with 16 slots on BBC Question Time alone, whilst the other party leaders have barely managed 15 appearances between them.

Perhaps more insidious still is this constant stream of news and programming that seeks to address the problem of patriarchal violence and abuse of women and girls by fixatedly pointing the finger elsewhere, specifically black and south Asian countries like Nigeria, India and Pakistan. I’ve sat here for 10 minutes listening to BBC News 24 and if I was white and already a little bit racist, well, I’d probably nut the first non-white person I come into contact with. I would at least slam a door in their face. Y’see, the BBC is saying that these men from these foreign lands (with diasporas settled here), they harbour a particular type of resentment for women that is just beyond any of the misogyny we see on our own doorsteps from the white majority. Of course if there is any sexual violence over here then maybe the savages brought it with them.

This could be true.. But it wouldn’t explain Yewtree would it? It wouldn’t explain the many thousands of victims Savile violated. Or any of his showbiz pals implicated alongside him. Heck, let’s not mention the politicians with their numerous victims that apparently had it in for the person who raped and indecently assaulted them and predictably, only conjured a defence to destroy his good name (snort). Of course if he had made advances on them then they ought to be grateful someone so powerful would take an interest in someone beneath them. Well, that’s what happens in Whitehall anyway.

The figures we’ve circulated revealing the true nature of rape, rapists and rape convictions went out of the window when the rich and famous of Great Britain went on trial. Suddenly we were back at square one, where victims lie and their definition of rape doesn’t count as rape rape. 3 years of work down the toilet cos the establishment doesn’t crumble for anyone. The UN report into Britain’s pervasive culture of sexism has been largely ignored.

We get it BBC; you’re Britain, warts and all. You’re the average Brit pissed off that you’re not as wealthy (or feared) as you once were. Instead of remembering it was the banks you were blaming only a few years ago, it’s easier to point the finger at groups of people already marginalised and vulnerable because inciting a few boneheads to attack people smaller than them, in numbers and in privilege and quite often, actual physical size (being as racists and fascists love picking on women, as you have demonstrated yourself) is a much easier campaign than getting your own hands dirty. You’re far too civilised with your stiff upper lip and British stoicism (sociopathy).

This is propaganda. It’s dishonest and deceptive. Yet we’re expected to pay a TV license and we don’t get a choice in the matter. We can be thrown into prison for it. Instead we have to watch whilst the UKIP channel does a great job of convincing British sheep that the grass is greener here and we should let all the other sheep starve in the middle of a desert because they’re ALL rapists and wife beaters and that is something we just do not do.

The next time someone throws communism in China at me as some lazy retort against my political beliefs I will remind them of the UKIP Channel aka BBC aka Ministry of Untruth.

*One episode of Goodness Gracious Me does not make up for 4 years of Farage.

Complaint to the BBC eyeswide

Dear BBC Blah Blah Blah

Dear ms ambreen

Reference CAS-1379184-J1Y6RZ

Thanks for contacting us about BBC News.

I understand that you feel we haven’t devoted enough time or provided in-depth coverage of the Health and Social care bill and the opposition to it.

The political opposition to the Bill culminated in the House of Commons emergency debate on 20 March. Accordingly, the Commons debate featured heavily in our news coverage on the day and was the lead story during our main news bulletins.

The Health and Social Care bill has been one of the biggest UK stories over the past few months and we believe we have afforded it the appropriate level coverage in a fair and impartial manner, allowing viewers and listeners to make up their own minds on the matter at hand.

The time given to each issue or report in the news has much to do with whether it’s news that has just come in and needs immediate coverage, how unusual it is and how much national interest there is in the subject matter. The choice has to be selective and no matter how carefully such decisions are made, news editors are always aware that some people may disagree with them.

We’ve covered this story regularly over many months, both throughout our news broadcasts and in current affairs programmes offering more in depth discussion. You can view examples via the links below:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_9699000/9699477.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_9701000/9701904.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12177084

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17289988

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16933394

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-14779676

Nevertheless, I fully appreciate that you feel that we haven’t provided sufficient coverage of this bill, therefore please be assured that I’ve registered your complaint on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Thanks once again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns.

Kind Regards

Anna Sweeney

BBC Complaints

www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.

The BBC Trust is proposing some changes to the complaints service. Have your say at: http://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/bbc/complaints_framework