After intense lobbying from charity pressure groups and a crisis of conscience within its Conscience Crisis Management Unit, the BBC has declared that as from today all presenters, guests and support staff must at all times of the year wear not less than fifty badges, ribbons, flags, flowers or buttons representing a diverse cross section of worthy causes.
Spokesperson Shiree Meyer said that there had for some time been an undercurrent of resentment against the ‘fascism’ of being forced to support the chosen cause of the moment, and strong objections from the White Poppy Appeal in the run up to Remembrance Sunday had brought matters to a head.
"People were quite rightly asking why all wear the same thing at the same time, and why some to the exclusion of others," said Meyer. "Why have an entire panel wearing red poppies or pink ribbons but not being seen to support the Lifeboats or Asthma UK? And why only back the RSPCA at Christmas or the National Trust at Easter?"
In an effort to avoid long turnaround times for guests, a tabard with the day's 50 approved organisations will be provided, with a variety of colours and necklines to suit individual taste and an optional paper bag to cover the heads of women over 60 in line with BBC policy. Football managers will continue to be interviewed in front of a panel of logos of commercial banks, which retain their full charitable status.
Asked if the plans were not a further restriction on individual choice, Meyer said that the new arrangements gave presenters and viewers the opportunity to support whichever of the day's represented causes they wished. "The BBC is not going to try to control what you think, after all."