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« Subscriber orders | Main | Tony's first reaction »
Tuesday
Nov132012

28gate media coverage

We are starting to get some media coverage of what is becoming known as 28gate.

The Register covers the story here

Questions abound this morning on Twitter about the ability of the BBC Trust to maintain its duty to transparency. The BBC's legal strategy entails the indiscriminate application of its FOI derogation "for the purposes of journalism" - this effectively rewrites the 2000 Act, and redefines the BBC as a private body. The trust is surely aware of this; it has a small mountain of correspondence on the subject. But it has yet to enquire, let alone pronounce on whether this is healthy - or legal.

And the Spectator here.

Delingpole here.

Melanie Phillips here.

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Reader Comments (74)

Andrew O covers derogation, quite rightly, but this for me is the central point:

as suspected, climate campaigners Greenpeace are present, while actual scientific experts are thin on the ground: not one attendee deals with attribution science, the physics of global warming. These are scarcely "some of the best scientific experts", whose input could justify a historic abandonment of the BBC's famous impartiality.

Well said indeed. Even when they've repented the bending of FOI this is the absolutely key point to grasp. Step forward Nic Lewis?

Nov 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I'm merely pointing out although this is a "climate" story - it's actually much bigger. It's about much more than impartiality too; it's about who gets to ask the BBC questions.

What Newbery has revealed is a corporate strategy to redefine the BBC's description under the 2000 Freedom of Information Act as a private organisation - expanding the "purposes of journalism" derogation to encompass almost any kind of query. Apparently the BBC Trust is oblivious to this strategy - if it isn't, it doesn't seem to be aware of the implications down the road.

The tactic (eg Newbery v BBC) may look irrational, but as a strategy there are quite substantial payoffs in the long term. It may be cynical, and it is ethically and legally dubious, but it has enormous benefits. If the BBC is ultimately accountable not to the public / citizens / license-fee payers / bloggers but to friends in Parliament and journalists, then the short-term investment in lawyers may be considered a wise one.

As I wrote in the second story:

the political class is also drawn from the same elite as the media class, an ever-diminishing gene pool

I have received a few emails "friends of the BBC" who realise the risks: that in the long-term a BBC only accountable to politicians (who can't resist meddling, or show-boating) is one with its independence fatally compromised.

This is a far greater long-term risk to the BBC than a handful of bloggers.

Nov 13, 2012 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Orlowski

If the BBC are a private organisation for FOI, then they are a private organisation when it comes to funding.

They cannot have it both ways. Either they are accountable to those who pay for them, or they not and we should not pay for them.

Nov 13, 2012 at 3:07 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Andrew: I strongly agree about the limited gene pool. As Andrew Neil has said with justified passion, the grammar-school generation got to the top and kicked that ladder from underneath them, so social mobility went down the toilet. For an interesting perspective on that kind of thing from the US, which I've only just seen, see Joel Kotkin and his video with Reason TV. The name was new to me but not the idea of an elite deeply uninterested in the aspirations of real people.

However, I am a climate nerd for a reason, in that I believe that the general public's scepticism since Climategate has now joined forces with an even deeper shift of mistrust in the BBC, for the first time in my lifetime. This will I believe be the undoing of the inner circle you rightly see. But everyone must have the right to describe the elephant in the room the way the strange animal presents itself to them, given the blindfolds the best of us are forced to wear :)

Nov 13, 2012 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Thank you Andrew Orlowski for your cogent posts (your three posts on the trial mailed yesterday to my MP -Dominic Grieve- and Whittingdale with covering remarks) and thank you Tony Newbery for your persistence.

This case offers a perfect example of The Big Lie
"“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Dr Goebbels

Nov 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Bish, is there any knowledge who made the list of 28 socialists specialists to be invited? And more importantly, who (at BBC) approved that list?

Nov 13, 2012 at 3:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJean S

Andrew Orlovsky is on the right track.

This particular incident, and climate change in the media/government is but one facet of the problem. The problem itself is: unaccountability. It rears its head over and over again in all the things that impact on our daily lives. The BBC is simply the most obvious example of it because of its unique position: supposedly funded by us.

It is, simultaneously, funded by us (under pain of prison sentence) yet not accountable to us.

We live in a democracy yet the people who rule us are unaccountable to us. They are untouchable. Nothing bad ever happens to them. They succeed and they are rewarded. They fail and they are rewarded.

They pretend to want to know what we think but tell us we are bigots or small-minded or little Englanders or deniers when we do. We are too stupid to understand. Yet, amazingly, we are almost always right; two recent examples being the meltdown of the euro and unrestricted immigration.

Nov 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Superb coverage of the list etc over at WUWT.

Nov 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

Am I the only one who has noticed that there are thirty names on the list of "twenty-eight experts"?

Nov 13, 2012 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterjc-at-play

The scandal is far wider yet than confirmation of the ingrained left wing Guardian reading cultural bias and censorship of climate scepticism, which lets face it is well known and detailed in Peter Sisson's biography 'When One Door Closes' and confirmed by Michael Buerk. It is the sinister revelation that a policy of subliminal messaging was formally accepted and established across the board from comedy to soaps to CeeBeebies.

The introduction of an official propaganda policy in what is a compulsorily funded, supposedly impartial and trusted state broadcaster is as repugnant and malignant as ever it was in Soviet Iron-Curtain Occupied Eastern Europe in the 50's. I suspect this is the aspect the BBC were even more anxious to conceal than the embarassing list of 'scientific experts', and has devastating implications for the restoration of public trust.

Nov 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Jean S: "is there any knowledge who made the list ..... to be invited"

That was my question last night but now I am tending toward the idea that it was just a seminar that was used retrospectively to cover an agenda already in place - hence the need to cover-up the fact that it did not include the necessary expertise to inform correctly. So why the heavy BBC presence you might ask: to expose them to 'The Message' no doubt.

What we are looking for is not the scribe to the inviter of the wannabes but the mason who directed the stone-carver of policy.

The cover-up gets them every time.

Nov 13, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

I just wrote to my MP. Help yourselves to any bits of it if you don't have time to compose your own.


Dear Mr Heath,

Firstly congratulations on your appointment to Defra. I am sure you'll be the most competent minister the beleaguered department has seen for decades, if ever. May badgers and Ash dieback be the worst things you have to deal with. I thought you came across very well on the subject of the badger cull on Radio 4.

Now to my point. I have a very specific question, that is:

Should the BBC be allowed to override its Charter requiring it to provide due balance?

The BBC Trust has stated that it “held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus” on anthropogenic climate change.

It now emerges that this policy decision was formed after a meeting of journalists and activists, with only three scientists present, only one of whom I have heard of (I have spent quite a lot of the last two years educating myself on climate science)

Is it OK for the BBC to brush aside its charter on the say so of vested interests in a secret meeting? The BBC has spent a six figure sum trying to conceal who was at the meeting. The list of attendees was found on the Wayback Machine by a sleuthing blogger...It was historically on a BBC site!

A further thought: Perhaps if the BBC is to retain public trust it should not resist embarrassing FOI requests on the basis that it is a private company and answerable to no one?

I would very much like to know what, if anything, you intend to do about this?

Yours sincerely

Lilith

Nov 13, 2012 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterLilith

Has there been any reaction from Green Peace yet? Since they had two senior figures at the BBC meeting they knew perfectly well that it was not a meeting of impartial experts and they went along with the attempt by the BBC to deceive the British people.

Surely it is high time for Green Peace to offer an abject apology for their role in this scandal.

Nov 13, 2012 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Jean S:

is there any knowledge who made the list of 28 .. specialists to be invited?
It shouldn’t be too difficult to construct a likely “family tree” of invites. Some bodies had to be there to add weight e.g., the presence of May for the RS and Hulme for the climate establishment mean that “some of the best scientific experts” cannot be considered an outright lie.
The IBT’s remit to push third world interests means at least one bod from each continent, and some may have needed a “minder”/ translator. Hence the Ethiopian and his “Advocacy Director” from Tearfund (which is church based, and may have been pulled in by the CofE lady) and the Chinese activist and his Greenpeace boss. The Venezuelan film maker and the guy from the US Embassy (shades of John le Carré) may have been just to make up the right number of continents, while cutting down on travel expenses. (May covers the Antipodes).
The “hands-on” scientists are all working in fields which provide good alarmist copy (melting ice sheets, ocean acidification) but of course they can tell us nothing about the likelihood of the alarmist scenarios occuring. My granny in Southsea could do just as good a job of telling you what a mess a 20 foot sea level rise would make. One CBI representative, one MP, one man from the ministry (IBT’s paymaster) one green oil man, one insurance salesman, and as many NGOers with Asian names as you can round up. The partridge in the pear tree is surely Joe Smith’s co-author, the fragrant Harvard-educated travel agent.
With all that varied BBC creative talent on hand, I don’t know why they didn’t just launch a Green Reality Show on the spot. And to think I’ve been trying to satirise the Climate Seminar. I give up.

Nov 13, 2012 at 5:40 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Dear Lilith,

For the record it was the BBC, not the BBC Trust, which organised this meeting with the IBT.

See http://www.ibt.org.uk/all_documents/dialogue/Real%20World%20Brainstorm%20update%2030Jul08.pdf

And the list of names found by Maurizio Morabnito had been posted on the IBT site, not on the BBC site.

See http://omnologos.com/full-list-of-participants-to-the-bbc-cmep-seminar-on-26-january-2006/ and click on "This list has been obtained legally".

Nov 13, 2012 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterCassio

Thanks Cassio, I hoped someone would fix any mistakes for me :-)

Nov 13, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterLilith

Andrew O is right – but only partly so. Yes, the BBC, while proclaiming its honesty, transparency, impartiality, adherence to the highest standards, etc, is meanwhile actively seeking to subvert all attempts to question it and to hold it to account. Meanwhile, no less cynically, it flip-flops between being a public body and a private one according to how best it can circumvent honestly put questions. Characteristically, it is simultaneously prepared to lavish unspecified sums on m'learned friends in order to sustain the fiction of its high-minded purposes.

But surely the real scandal here, one that dwarfs the Savile debacle, is not just that it felt justified in adopting a 'line' on climate change when its charter obliges it to report the news and no more, but that this 'line' aggressively encouraged the more or less systematic dismantling of the British economy at a cost that beggars imagination.

As an aside, it has always struck me as particularly baffling that the likes of Helen Boaden, to say nothing of the hapless Entwistle, never seem to have understood that their lavish pay-packets and inflated self-importance depend entirely on the continued growth of the very edifice they seem so determined to undermine, to wit the global economy. But then perhaps, at heart, they don't really understand anything much beyond how to smirk at the supposed confusion of their enemies.

Nov 13, 2012 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Lilith:

In order to spare your worthy MP, Mr Heath, further anguish, can I answer your question on his behalf?

You ask:

'I would very much like to know what, if anything, you intend to do about this?'

The answer, sincerely offered, is simple:

F••• All.

He is an MP, after all. So he necessarily has rather weightier matters to contend with than tiresome questions from his constituents.

Nov 13, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

There is more to this than a calculated misleading policy on AGW/climate change. There is the question of BBC governance.

Somebody or some group evidently decided to spend a lot of money to cover up something that they wished to remain secret. Clearly they did so knowing that the exposure from the publication of the attendees would be damaging given the purported purpose of the meeting. The sum involved seems to be unknown but large, which would mean that the decision to spend this money ought to have been made by somebody of high status.

Good governance means that expenditure should be properly controlled and used only for the purpose for which the organisation exists, not to obfuscate poor management decisions.

We need to find out who made the decision to take this course and how that decision meets the requirement of BBC governance rules.

Nov 13, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterEpicure

I would be intrigued to know who fed the line that "The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus" to the BBC Trust for inclusion in the FROM SEESAW TO WAGON WHEEL report?

(which can be found here http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/review_report_research/impartiality_21century/report.pdf)

Nov 13, 2012 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Has the BBC covered this scandal yet? There doesn't seem to be anything about it on their website so far. That is also true of the Guardian. Perhaps they should convene meetings to decide what line to take.

Nov 13, 2012 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

ssat
"I am tending toward the idea that it was just a seminar that was used retrospectively to cover an agenda already in place"

Just what I was pondering. Which leads to another question. Was there a diktat from on high that made bias a matter of policy or was there just a creeping groupthink?
I tend towards thinking it was something in between. I doubt that there was a memo sent to every employee but a "consensus" high up would soon filter down to the plebs. It only takes a few "noes" to suggestions of including a sceptic in a discussion programme for everyone to get the message.
For most people in the media of course no persuasion to toe the eco line would be necessary.

Nov 13, 2012 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

I thought this was an interesting link from one of Delingpole's commenters

http://www.kentishtowner.co.uk/2012/11/13/ich-bin-kentishtowner-martin-plaut-bbc-journalist-author/

Just retired from the BBC

Have a look at "who he hates and why" Very well balanced. I would be just as affronted by it if he was talking about Labour.

Nov 13, 2012 at 6:24 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

The BBC's problems are far more widespread than their supporters admit. About half an hour ago I was watching the news on BBC1 and their coverage of the Corby by-election was quite interesting. They seemed to be fairly objective in reporting on the Labour and Conservative campaigns (I'm afraid I've already forgotten what they said about the Lib Dems) but any pretence at objectivity disappeared the moment their reporter described UKIP's campaign.

All he said was that UKIP were campaigning hard among people who were worried about immigration and who had turned against mainstream politics. There was no mention of UKIP's core policy - leaving the EU which opinion polls show is shared by about half the population. The subliminal message was that UKIP was the party of closet racists and cranks who are definitely not part of the mainstream.

In other words it was yet another case of the BBC pushing its own agenda.

Nov 13, 2012 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

I wonder if the Beeb's legal representatives have presented their invoices yet? There would be quite a strong case for withholding payment, surely, as the list they were claiming could not be revealed turns out to have been in the public domain for some time...

Nov 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Nice to see the denizens of this place all over the blogs this pm. Blimey but it's tiresome trying to get some of the objectors up to speed wth the argument. I really don't want to argue 97% or scientists know best or fifteen years no warming with a whole bunch of them, a bunch who never seem to take the trouble to read what I am saying. Which is that the question here is not of radiative physics but of BBC policy. Which it is bcoming clear to me comes from government. Oh, not the cabinet or the coalition or labour, but the actual government, activists at DFID funding activists at IBT inviting all their mates to come and spout their agenda to the BBC at public expense and get the whole of the monolith onside even down to the kids programmes. Every part of the chain paid for by us. BBC push the policy and suppress the debate so no contrary voice is heard. Government, that is the departments again, not the MPs, get a free ride in implementing policies agreed with NGOs and transnational bodies with no reference to any idea of democracy at all. Is it a conspiracy? Well, I have always recoiled at that word, but now I am coming round to it. Perhaps because I am a swivel-eyed loony.

Funny thing is, none of it works in terms of getting the public aboard. People, ordinary people, are getting more sceptical than ever.

Nov 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

a surprising name on the list is the chap from the usa embassy - diplomat or spook? I cannot see why the BBC are in bed with the US govt - perhaps this is why they fought so hard to keep the list from being published .

Nov 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterjj

rhoda:

Nice to see the denizens of this place all over the blogs this pm.
I’m surprised no-one’s started a thread at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/NF1951574
which is specifically about the BBC as an institution (and not individual programmes).
I can’t do it, as I don’t receive BBC programmes, and haven’t watched it since the days of Bill and Ben, Flowerpot Men.
jj:
I suggested a reason (or two) at 5.40PM
1) the le Carré theory: the Cousins insisted on being kept informed; or
2) they needed one representative from each continent, and it saved on travel expenses to take the US embassy’s tame green.

Nov 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

jj@7:22

If you hadn't noticed... there is a very active clique of AGWers stateside and Mr. Obamah is a fan - especially if he can use "it" to crank on extra taxes across the board - since his extra taxes on the rich won't pay the bills and and it's ideologically convenient.

The BBC has a significant presence stateside too - the coverage being quite alarmingly partisan and littered with bias by omission - examples of which I have seen first hand and been temporarily rendered speechless by until W-T-F finally made it's way through my vocal tract.

The BBC has reported broadcast environmental stories that I have first hand knowledge of so appallingly that after 20 years of it my first reaction now is to disbelieve until corroborated and to look for the "fix" or the fabrication/ lie.

Nov 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Sadly Bish, I think news coverage is notable by its absence. Type "tony newbury bbc" or "tony newbury foi" into Google news and it is a pretty thin single page of results with just the usual names providing coverage.

Hopefully diligent investigative journalists are just taking the time to research and check their facts before hitting publish...

Nov 13, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

jj@7:22

If you hadn't noticed... there is a very active clique of AGWers stateside and Mr. Obamah is a fan - especially if he can use "it" to crank on extra taxes across the board - since his extra taxes on the rich won't pay the bills and and it's ideologically convenient. (edit) The power drunk and agenda'd up Federal Agencies have been active since the late 60's and their extremist and scary agendas and the real damage they've done do not get as much attention as they truly deserve. Read Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods for evidence or Elisabeth Nickson's latest....

The BBC has a significant presence stateside too - the coverage being quite alarmingly partisan and littered with bias by omission - examples of which I have seen first hand and been temporarily rendered speechless by until W-T-F finally made it's way through my vocal tract.

The BBC has reported broadcast environmental stories that I have first hand knowledge of so appallingly that after 20 years of it my first reaction now is to disbelieve until corroborated and to look for the "fix" or the fabrication/ lie.

oops double popped there for some reason.

Nov 13, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Registered Commentertomo

If Danny Dyer star of Cult Football Hooligan movie The Football Factory and modern Costa Del Crime 1980s British Gangster flick The Business, Is quite rightly allowed at the BBC to express his opinions on UFOs and the Existence of Extra Terrestrial Alien Life forms.

If hes allowed his right to Free Speech by the British State Broadcaster .Then why does that not extend to those who wish to challenge the Scientific Concensus on Climate Change.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qgr7s

The BBC is not scarred by ET or allowing Nick Griffin on Question Time or allowing Louis Theroux to stay with the Phelps Family and the Westboro Baptist Church Cult .So why is it scared by Climate Change Deniers?

Nov 13, 2012 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

I think these revelations are of importance for use of BBC products in other countries as well.

Other countries have similar non interference rules and I don't see, how a broadcast of a BBC climate change product can further be justified given this new information.

I think complaints to TV regulators and repective ministries are the best way to prevent the public from being exposed to non compliant programs.

Nov 13, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrom NZ

It is clear that the BBC Trust`s description of the nature and purpose of the seminar was wrong. Presumably that was obvious to all the BBC managers who attended it. But did any of them speak up[\/], blow the whistle?. Not that I am aware of.

Now look at the BBC names on the list - they include Entwhistle, Boaden, Mitchell and r[]Rippon. They include Unsworth and O`Connor, now in Acting management roles for news and Newsnight. While they are in post, you are unlikely to hear a single squeak from the BBC. They all have too much to lose[a] - perhaps everything. The stakes could hardly be greater.

Nov 13, 2012 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

The chances of this being picked up by the MSM a virtually zero unless it can be hung directly onto the BBC's current travails. If evidence at a FOI tribunal is given under oath, then I would suggest that someone makes a complaint of perjury sooner rather than later. Knacker paying a visit to Ms Boaden's residence may finally get a few more outlets interested, especially if they have been tipped off in advance. It is unlikely that the Met will follow up on it, but even if the other news organisations pick up that a complaint of perjury has been made, they might prick up their collective ears and start looking at it in more detail.

If that can be done, it might even knock Ms Unsworth off her feet before they are properly under the table, as she may be seen as being part of the problem.

Does anyone have contact with David Rose of the Daily Mail? Likewise, that sad remnant of a once proud newspaper the Express has a strong anti-CAGW stance. Some people do read it!

Nov 13, 2012 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlec J

Just catching up, what a bombshell!

Great job Maurizio.

Andrew Orlowski makes some great points about this being much bigger than the climate story. Will Tony Newbery appeal the awful decision made by the judiciary? The issue of public transparency should not be left to lie. Will the BBC be prepared to defend a costly appeal which would now wholly focus on whether the BBC should be regarded as a public or private entity?

Nov 13, 2012 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterChairman Al

Melanie Phillips has picked up the story; I don't think she will be invited back to Question Time any time soon.

Nov 13, 2012 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTony Windsor

Got a link Tony - I could only find this:

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Section 50)
Decision Notice
Date: 23 February 2011
Public Authority: British Broadcasting Corporation
Address: 2252 White City
201 Wood Lane
London
W12 7TS

Summary
The complainant requested the total amount paid to Melanie Phillips and Joshua Rozenberg in 2009 and 2010 by the BBC and/or independent production companies working for the BBC. The BBC stated that the requested information fell outside the scope of the Act because it is information held for the purposes of journalism, art or literature. The Commissioner’s decision is that the requested information is genuinely held for the purposes of journalism. Therefore the BBC is not obliged to comply with Parts I to V of the Act.

http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2011/fs_50359727.ashx

Nov 13, 2012 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

As has been said already the BBC executives present at the 2006 seminar were high ranking execs, these people could not be away from their desks for a day and a half (all at the same time) without the approval of the DG Mark Thompson. The possibility that Thompson approved so many senior execs being away from their desks invites the question; were they approved or were they in fact selected by Thompson. Add in the fact that each of them has risen to even higher rank within the beeb and that terrible word conspiracy has to be mentioned.

Nov 13, 2012 at 9:37 PM | Registered CommenterDung

dung - "that terrible word conspiracy has to be mentioned."

I think "chumocracy" fits the bill ok.

(hat tip Graeme Obree discussing corruption in the governing body of world cycling:

“The problem we have is that it’s not a democratic organisation, it’s autocratic, it’s almost an old boy’s network,” he told Scotland on Sunday. “A chum-ocracy."

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/obree-calls-the-uci-a-chum-ocracy )

Nov 13, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

The BBC’s Climate Change Meltdown
Richard D North
24 March 2006
24th IEA CURRENT CONTROVERSIES PAPER


"Meltdown was an indication that the BBC is likely to treat climate change as
something too awful to allow broadcasters to risk the public being given
appropriately complex information and insights about it."

Now I wonder where Richard North could have got that idea.

Nov 13, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

The other Richard North.

"Neglecting the other delicious members, and focusing on the BBC, it seems we have a situation where the state broadcaster is a corporate member of the Media Trust which, in turn, is a member of the International Broadcasting Trust, which is paid by the Government (DFID) to lobby the … er … BBC about climate change. And so the circle closes."

Nov 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

not banned yet is correct - this really hasn't yet made it into the MSM (make sure you spell Newbery correctly though!). It's just the usual suspects - Delingpole, Orlowski, Phillips, preaching to the converted.

Nov 13, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Martyn,

That's a good quote. I was thinking earlier that perhaps the BBC were not prepared to give us the unvarnished facts because too many of them were advocates or downright incapable of being honest but I'd sooner pick Richard D North's paternalist nanny idea.

They won't give us it straight, uncertainties and all, because they know the public too well and don't think we can be convinced. The potential risk is too high, a room is filled with 60 people who largely agree we must mend our ways (and for some it certainly is religion and 'saving' people) and that the BBC is the vehicle to to effect that change. Noble cause corruption.

Nov 13, 2012 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Chairman Al -

Issues that make us question the conduct and judgement of the BBC Trust are far more serious for the BBC than scandals below Trust level. There's no Trust to step in and vow to "clean things up", with "a new broom", etc. If the Trust is failing, and failing hard, Parliament steps in.

Agouts -

It's the most interesting part of the story for me - and we don't know yet. There is now enough evidence to establish that FOI PoJ derogation was being used strategically. This, carried out long enough, would ultimately redefine the BBC as a private organisation, undoing its designation in the 2000 FOI Act, and irrevocably sabotage the "ultimately answerable to you" proposition.

So, what happened? Who approved it? Has BBC Legal Dept gone rogue? Or was it approved by the Exec Board? And what did the Trust know? If it emerges that the Trust was alerted to the FOI policy, and did nothing, then Tony Newbery is right in his latest blog that "this is only the beginning".

Nov 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Orlowski

The story has reached the Italian media. An article in Il Foglio is headed “The BBC which is falling to bits” and promises an editorial comment tomorrow.
Il Foglio is described as “conservative”, which, in Italian terms, means that it’s somewhere to the right of the BNP.

Nov 13, 2012 at 10:56 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Thanks Paul, plus apologies to Tony.

Odd isn't it? Cast iron case of the Beeb telling porkies and covering them up yet nobody is interested? Weird.

And, as an ironic btw, Melanie Phillips is giving it some space, yet the Beeb bounced an FOI for her fees where "The Commissioner’s decision is [was] that the requested information is genuinely held for the purposes of journalism."

I wonder if she even knew of the request? If she wants to give them a poke in the eye she should publish the info. on her site

Nov 13, 2012 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Also be aware that the BBC pension fund is also part of the picture -

http://biasedbbc.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=hotair&action=display&thread=897

"...The man responsible for looking after the fat pensions of the boys and girls at the BBC is a climate change fanatic, and he is part of an international group of investment managers who bust a gut to invest in ‘climate change’ schemes. He’s called Peter Dunscombe, and he runs the £8.2bn corporation pension fund, advising trustees on a day-to-day basis about their investments. Mr Dunscombe, who addresses conferences about ‘ethical investments’, is also chairman of the Institutional Investment Group on Climate Change(IIGCC), which has 47 members and manages four trillion euros’ worth of investments; yes, four trillion. Their goal is to find as many ‘climate change’ investment opportunities as possible:"

and

http://www.climategate.com/follow-the-money-bbc-exposed-in-biggest-climate-racket-on-planet

Nov 14, 2012 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered Commentertckev

Richard North here

http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83332

Nov 14, 2012 at 12:31 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

The BBC has a significant presence stateside too - the coverage being quite alarmingly partisan and littered with bias by omission - examples of which I have seen first hand and been temporarily rendered speechless by until W-T-F finally made it's way through my vocal tract.

I have to agree with tomo on this. I actually read a lot of the "oh woe, the BBC is partisan!" shock with a bit of incredulity. Is it really NOT that obvious to all you on the other side of the pond how biased they are and, IMO, have always been (I have been aware for maybe 30 of my 44 years on this planet)?

Of course, I am quite shocked myself that a website such as this, with a proprietor such as the Bish, that would actually qualify as a capitalist in the US (well, former US) could come out of the UK, so at least there is progress! :)

Anyway, this is the end result of any state-run media. They did not "become" compromised, they started out that way, but maybe with just enough legitimate reporters that all seemed well. There is only one thing that can come from any government controlled press: a desire for more government, which necessarily leads to otherwise progressive bias, i.e., collectivism.

Sigh, even with our so-called freedom of the press* written into the Constitution, the bias has become a joke over here.

Mark

* I say "so-called" because "the press," or most of the major media outlets in general, are owned by only a handful of very large corporations, which ultimately depend upon large government for existence.

Nov 14, 2012 at 4:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark T

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