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Sandy, Mike

Are the Beeb saying that if, say, a Mr Andrew Montford phoned in, they wouldn't regard his climate interests as relevant, and would fail to mention them? Hmm...

Jul 30, 2014 at 5:50 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

SandyS on Jul 30, 2014 at 10:59 AM

It was only when read your last comment that I realised that it wasn't a spoof!

Jul 30, 2014 at 4:58 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Mike Jackson
The thrust of my objection was that these were not just members of the public, the man/woman on the Clapham omnibus, but had some financial or activist involvement in the issues discussed in the programmes they commented on, but they weren't actually presented as such on the PoV. I've no problem with anyone commenting of PoV, but I still think that the BBC were being economical with the actuality. I'd like to think that having brought this issue to their attention and despite their response the BBC might be more open with how they present people.

Anyway that's just my opinion, which I'll present to the BBC whenever I think it's relevant.

Jul 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The problem you've got is that environmentalists are entitled to their opinions as well.
Looked at objectively, the BBC reply to your complaint is quite reasonable. Their reply to your quoted comment ("a "financial interest in keeping Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption sceptics, or as you prefer deniers, off the BBC"."), namely that whether they have or not is "not relevant" makes perfect sense and the writer could equally have replied by pointing out that you are — in effect — attempting to do the same thing.
Whatever we may think of the BBC's position on global warming (or the Middle East, for that matter) or indeed whether it ought to have a position on global warming, we cannot win by objecting to individual members of the public (which is what we all are, regardless of views) from putting their view forward.
Whar we can do is play them at their own game and try to swamp them with the alternative point of view or where, as in the case of the programme referred to by Trefor Jones, a known activist chooses to come on air, "out" him immediately and put him on the spot regarding his views. Heaven knows, we know enough now about their methods and their beliefs and their aims to land a few shots close to the waterline, surely.

Jul 30, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Alex Cull
This is the BBC response to a complaint on the practice.

We understand you felt the programme presented xxx xxxxxxxxx from xxxxx as a member of the public.

We have reviewed the programme and discussed your points personally with the show's Producer and Editor as well as with senior Editorial personnel at Radio 4 and hope to be able to fully address your concerns here.

Listening back, actually the first caller xxx was only giving a personal view on the specific issue of the notion of enforced balance in BBC output and not on the premise of climate change itself, thus her background/interests aren’t particularly relevant here other than demonstrating that she has an interest in the original subject matter of Lord Lawson's appearance on the Today programme and the subsequent complaint uphold.

Whilst the second caller xxxx did mention the Lawson interview itself, his point was in essence on the same issue of balance in that Lawson wasn’t challenged enough in the programme, i.e. again making the point of him being on to fulfil what was described as enforced balance. Again, if xxxx is/was involved in renewable energy himself, it stands to reason that he would have a personal view on the matter, but we don’t feel his contribution was any less valid or relevant to Feedback because of that. And clearly nothing he actually said, nor the fact that he appeared, can possibly have any influence on BBC output, thus it just isn’t relevant that he may have what you describe as a "financial interest in keeping Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption sceptics, or as you prefer deniers, off the BBC".

It's worth adding for context that Feedback receives hundreds of items of listener correspondence each week. These two callers contacted the programme as listeners: they were not representing any particular group and they were not expressing a political view regarding climate change, but an opinion regarding the notion of enforced balance in BBC output, which was the specific subject matter under discussion here. In that context we don't agree that these people could be described as “activitists” in the field hence they needn’t be presented as such in the programme - you mentioned an earlier point by Alison Hasting, thus it's worth clarifying that she said contributor backgrounds should be provided to listeners “if it’s relevant” - it wasn't here. Also, these callers were representative of views expressed by other listeners who contacted Feedback, the point being that clearly we don’t have room in the programme to air every caller's views.

With all the above in mind, the bottom line here was that the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit upheld a complaint about a particular BBC broadcast – Feedback simply discussed the matter and these callers simply gave their brief views on the matter.

Deliberately missing the point is the least worst interpretation.

Jul 30, 2014 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS


Perhaps if defenders of fracking and other heinous practices, when they are wheeled onto the air to be pilloried, were to adopt the habit of greeting callers with "hello XXX, and which pressure group do you represent?", the Beeb might be more careful whom they select...

Jul 30, 2014 at 10:29 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Grumpy Granddad
I have created a discussion thread for this question as we've touched on it several times and there are many facets to the problem.

The true cost of environmentally friendly light bulbs?

Jul 30, 2014 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The true cost of environmentally friendly light bulbs?


For some years now I have been using low energy fluorescent light bulbs as has every else. I have found that the majority of low energy bulbs fitted in our house are used in a short duty cycle, on for a few minutes then off, cycle repeated many times / twenty four hours. The low energy bulbs over our bathroom mirror are an example, only on for a few minutes whilst taking a shower or using the toilet, then off untill the next call of nature. This causes very early failure, (within a few months). I also have a 5W bulb in a security fitting outside the back door which is left on all night, this has not failed in 5 years!

I think the Chinese bulb makers do not take enough care with their design to protect the electronics from inrush current / voltage.

So just over a year ago, I decided to take the plunge into LED bulbs. We were redecorating our bedroom and decided to fit two bed head led lights. They are each 3W fitted in a stainless bullet shaped head, with a flexible stalk to the led head from a wall plate containing the constant current sealed module. These lights nearly broke the bank at £75 each! They give an excellenent narrow beam of light so I and my wife can read easily and without disturbing the other if they wish to sleep.

However just out of warranty, one lamp starting buzzing in the power module and has now become intermittent, light flickering at low rate. I have just ordered a new module @ £14 to repair it.

This is in a device that is claimed to have a 100,000 hour mtbf! It cannot have run for more than 500 hours!

Once again the encapsulated power module is made in China, CE mark == China engineered! If I could get it apart I am certain I would find that the design has been optimised for cheapness and not reliability.

When our beloved masters forced the use of CCFL and LED lamps on us, I wonder did they ever do properly conducted tests on a large sample of manufacturers product, with realistic duty cycles, to obtain a true MTBF.

Is there a published specification for these lights that they are tested against before sale, or is it another free for all jamboree? (I recently bought some Ever Ready branded low energy buls, I was very disappointed to find they were also made in China! )

I am completely in the dark about this



Jul 30, 2014 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy Granddad

As we know from BBC Radio 4's Feedback programme, apparently random concerned citizens (Joe Bloggs from Chichester) often turn out to be green activists.

Biased BBC has an item about yesterday's You and Yours progamme, about fracking, where it seems a caller identifying himself simply as Jake White from London was on the line to speak to Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan. Egan recognised him as a Friends of the Earth legal representative, and said so, then Winifred Robinson confirmed it - she had known who he was but hadn't said anything.

Can't confirm this for myself yet, as have to dash to work and haven't had a chance to listen to it on iPlayer, but... interesting.

Jul 30, 2014 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

It might be worth starting a discussion thread, you may get a lot of input here (judging by the Hint of Panic post).

Jul 30, 2014 at 8:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

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