The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is made up of 13 aid agencies, which are leading UK registered humanitarian charities that fulfil certain criteria, such as the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief.
The Committee decides when to launch a combined appeal in times of extreme need in the world.
In short, the DEC is a bit like the Queen Mother figure of the aid agency world.
Up until now, no one has questioned its impartiality. The DEC declares an emergency appeal and the BBC, and other broadcasters, launch an appeal. (Indeed, the BBC normally mobilise a real "Queen Mum" type national treasure figure to present the appeal, like Stephen Fry or Jill Dando when she was alive.)
Except now, with Gaza.
The DEC has declared an appeal for the acute humanitarian disaster in Gaza.
But Mark Thompson, BBC Director General has refused to broadcast an appeal on the grounds that it might compromise the "impartiality" of the BBC.
What a numpty!
Even ITV and other broadcasters have now agreed to broadcast an appeal.