by RAY FLEMING
THE BBC Trust - successor to the Board of Governors - yesterday announced its findings about the refusal of the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, to show the joint-UK charities TV appeal for humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Israeli assault on Gaza. There had been widespread criticism from the public and much of the media of Mr Thompson's refusal which was made on the grounds that to show the appeal would put in question the BBC's impartiality in a continuing political controversy. The Trust said yesterday that it had decided not to overrule Mr Thomson's decision - but added that this was not a judgement on whether he was wrong or right but simply a view that he had handled the matter correctly. Process not principle! The validity of this conclusion will need further assessment when the full text of it is available but the first reaction must be surprise at the Trust's limited view of its responsibilities. According to its website the BBC Trust, inter alia, “works for the public which owns and pays for the BBC...keeping in close with the public and being aware of their expectation of the BBC...representing the interests of licence fee payers and carefully assessing their views.” The BBC received more than 30'000 representations from the public about the Gaza appeal, most of them urging that it should be shown. How far did the Trust take into account these views when deciding that Mr Thompson had acted correctly?