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« Sceptics on Radio 4 | Main | Quote of the day, waste of money edition »
Friday
Oct312014

Political neutrality at the BBC

Michael Marshall, the deputy editor of tweets:

 

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Reader Comments (46)

The BBC has a big impartiality problem with twitter. This twerp's twitter handle says he is deputy editor at BBC Earth, so people subscribe to his tweets because of his job. But then he says all views are my own not the BBCs! So we know his private views which are associated with this twerps job at a taxpayer funded public corporation. How on Earth (pun intended) can this be squared with the BBC's impartiality.
Seems to me the likes of this twerp and Harrabin, Shukman etc can say what they want as long as they say their views are their own! But should they be able to? We are in the absurd situation of watching Harrabin, Shukman etc report "impartially" when they have already said what they really think!
Think this one through BBC!

Oct 31, 2014 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJCob

Michael Marshall is ignorant about climate change! The wheels are coming off the CAGW bandwagon!

The BBC has long been a cheerleader for CAGW. It spends huge amounts of licence money supproting it with very bias broadcasting.

Oct 31, 2014 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

It is true that the Act commits to greenhouse gas emissions of 80 per cent, but Widdecombe is guilty of an important omission. The goal is to cut emissions 80 per cent against 1990 levels by 2050. We have nearly half a century to reach the target and we have already achieved around a quarter of the goal. It is daunting, but it is not as daunting as Widdecombe implies. It is also contestable that the commitment comes "at huge expense". Clean energy costs are falling fast, while the Stern Review and numerous other studies have shown it is more cost effective to tackle climate change risks now than cling to business-as-usual. Finally, the Act provides freedom for governments to respond to economic pressures and ensure decarbonisation is delivered in a way that does not load excessive expense on the economy.

"We have nearly half a century to reach the target and we have already achieved around a quarter of the goal."

35 years left and during the last 4 years since the act was enabled we have been in recession which is the only reason there has been any reduction!!

"Clean energy costs are falling fast"

In reference to what, fossil fuel prices? Lets see the figures in relation to oil!

"Finally, the Act provides freedom for governments to respond to economic pressures and ensure decarbonisation is delivered in a way that does not load excessive expense on the economy."

How he can get away with writing this rubbish is beyond the realms of comprehension.

Oct 31, 2014 at 12:49 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

No shock: idiot employed by BBC.

Oct 31, 2014 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

after the infamous meeting of the '28' the director was clearly set due 'green' at the BBC on this issue .However it was not much of a change of direction given Marshall and others reflect , and always have , how they can be called the other cheek of the arse to the Guardian in their unquestioning support of that which is defined as 'liberal' even if in pratice , its illogical , and liberal .

Oct 31, 2014 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Bish, you could add his previous tweet to the post - "The Greens deserve to be in the Leaders debate. Same number of MPs as UKIP"

Hmm, for how much longer is that statement going to remain true?

Oct 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

There's one thing me and the SNP can agree on ... and it's BBC bias.

But the problem with the BBC is not that they have idiots like this ... it is that they don't have anything but idiots like this.

In other words, I would rather hear from people like this however stupid their views, than not hear at all from anyone with any views. But this minuscule minority view now being pushed by the BBC is very very very very far from the ideal where the BBC represents the vast majority of the "silent majority" who no longer believe in their eco-doomsday non-science.

Oct 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Shock: BBC Frappuccino luvvie has no clue about climate.

Oct 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

It is not the first time that Anne Widdecombe has been mauled by one of the BBC elite. This is what she had to say about Fiona Bruce. "For years we have endured insults. Behind the scenes Fiona Bruce, normally the most courteous of broadcasters, called me a “flat-earther” to my face."

Oct 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterColin Porter

BBC Earth..WTF is that? Everytime I see that huge BBC News studio (filtered news) I think and say...WTF is that.

Interesting to be able to view RT UK ..cannot find on Freeview yet.Will try FreeSat later. RT seemed to change to a bunch of shrill wimmin of late...couple of them are good (non shrill).

Oct 31, 2014 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-Expat Colin

Opportunity to see Channel Four's views tonight at 19.35. Unreported World: India's electric dream.

Oct 31, 2014 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

The second tweet in particular sounds a very serious matter because this person has gone beyond expressing a view and is now very clearly and publicly politicing for a particular party. As such, it would be intolerable if this person were allowed to make any statements at all about the environment or any green issue in the run up to any election.

I have therefore made my first complaint to the BBC in quite a few months.

(I'm sure this second tweet appeared after my first comment above - when they were merely breaking their charter on a policy measure and not overtly campaigning for a particular political party)

Oct 31, 2014 at 1:39 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

While I have a lot of time for Ann Widdicombe, a lady who is forthright and clear in her views and constant in her opposition to the green psychosis, with the best will in the world and I hope she will forgive me for saying this but - Ann is not a mainstream big noise is she?


Marshall, this BBC gimp is a frothing, foaming alarmist dork. to boot he is a poor communicator and observer and a journalist - not at all. Ms. Ann Widdicombe. bless her cotton socks retired from politics in 2010, she holds no candle for Dave's social democrats, in fact they are about as far from Ms. Widdicombe's political opinions as are Red ED's Communists, if Marshall deems attacking Widdicombe is a clever feint and smearing the Conservative party in one fell swoop - then clearly he's not to clued up on the current political scene up at Westminster - is he?
Secondly, and highly illuminating, a shaft of light beaming through dark clouds - having a go at Ann Widdicombe - an easy target - displays admirably Marshall's and by association the BBC's utter and comtemptible desperation.

Attacking such targets - how low can they go?

Oct 31, 2014 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

The question here is whether or not Michael Marshall is expressing his own personal opinions or expressing his views as deputy editor of BBC Earth (is this the new - yet another bloody naturalist - TV show). If it's the former then he's done nothing wrong.

The truth is, is that the BBC presenters, producers etc come across as largely an elitist bunch that view the problems of the world as being down to the poor peasants over-breeding and expecting more than they ought to have, especially given the greater entitlement of the bright folk at the BBC.

The BBC needs to be broken up and shrunk down. It has only token sports coverage, loaded science documentaries, political documentaries (that even my wife - once a fan - admits are very biased) and overpaid presenters like Fiona Bruce. The irony of it all is that it is we, the peasants that pay for their inflated pay, are starting to wonder in the age of pay-per-view, telecommunication contracts and free-to-air specialist broadcasters, why the hell are we paying for something that tries to do the same thing and less well.

Oct 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered Commentercd

The BBC makes no attempt to be impartial about climate change and provides plenty of evidence that the bias starts with the BBC Trust. When the future of the charter is in the balance, the corporation will not find much support here.

Oct 31, 2014 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I've just sent out a press release** ... to my local paper(s) and to guess who ... the BBC.

In the press release I say "I agree with Alex Salmond that the BBC are biased".

I very much enjoyed writing it!

**If I can find the money I'm standing in next year's election.

Oct 31, 2014 at 2:33 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

MikeHaseler

There's one thing me and the SNP can agree on ... and it's BBC bias.

But the problem with the BBC is not that they have idiots like this ... it is that they don't have anything but idiots like this.

In other words, I would rather hear from people like this however stupid their views, than not hear at all from anyone with any views. But this minuscule minority view now being pushed by the BBC is very very very very far from the ideal where the BBC represents the vast majority of the "silent majority" who no longer believe in their eco-doomsday non-science.

In a 'free market' of ideas he would be in the same situation as most people. He's not, like all of his ilk, he gravitates to The BBC and finds a receptive home there. A home that I am forced to fund under pain of a prison sentence. The whole concept of The BBC is totally unsuitable for the 21st Century. They can have a 'party line', as any organisation can, just not one I am forced to pay for.

Oct 31, 2014 at 2:33 PM | Registered Commenterbh3x2

The usual confection of mainly out of date and discredited factoids. We're down to 1.4% of global CO2 emissions, so a ~50% exaggeration is about par for the course. As I had to point out to "Richard North", the Grid are not exactly brimming with confidence about the ability to cope with a cold snap this winter, and are carefully massaging the assumptions so as not to frighten the horses too much.

Oct 31, 2014 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

bh3x2: "In a 'free market' of ideas he would be in the same situation as most people. He's not, like all of his ilk, he gravitates to The BBC and finds a receptive home there."

Well said. If there were a free market of views as you put it, then there would be some balance - and indeed I'd rather listen to some comic I disagree with who is funny, than one I agree with who is not (now show). [Erratum, it's not that they are not funny, its that the funny thing is that they are funny even if they often talk pollocks]

"The whole concept of The BBC is totally unsuitable for the 21st Century."

I'd be interested to hear alternative ideas. In general the BBC feels to me to be "bloated", inward looking and basically anti ordinary people, anti commerce, industry, engineering and pro-green, pro-academia and pro "establishment".

In particular I think the public funding of the BBC has completely distorted the political debate in Britain in favour of the BBC's own "green", "establishment" views and it is only because the internet now effectively bypasses the BBC that alternative views have finally got a hearing in the UK.

So, I would probably favour a significant reduction in size of the BBC from its current 4 TV channels and masses on radio to a single TV channel and perhaps 1-3 radio stations. The remaining stations would be privatised.

As I would scrap the renewable taxes on electricity I would probably reallocate this money (with a reduction) for the BBC and scrap the licence fee altogether.

Oct 31, 2014 at 2:58 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Corrupt journalists working for a corrupt media. Corruption, ignorance and reactionary dogma like climate obsession go together like white on rice.

Oct 31, 2014 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Any grown-up who has a Twitter account should remember the old adage, "Don't do or say anything that you don't want to read in the Daily Mail over breakfast the next day".

What disgusts me most about people like Marshall is the twin assumptions inherent in their Twitter/Blog/Facebook pontifications. Firstly, that everyone they know thinks the same as they do, and will nod sagely at their speakyourbrain missives. Secondly, in the unlikely event they are ever questioned as to inappropriateness, their superiors will back them to the hilt because they all think the same as well.

Todays elite really don't recognise they are a sneering elite at all. They have ben taught they are rebels. Rebels with expense accounts and £100K jobs. When in face they are the modern jean-wearing equivalent of the old-school tie brigade.

All 'Damn good eggs!"

Oct 31, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

I thought people might enjoy this, a downgrade by one of the rating agencies of Breeze SA, a German / French windfarm operator. It shows higher maintenance costs than expected and lower wind yields. What a shock, eh?:

"Fitch Ratings-London-31 October 2014: Fitch Ratings has downgraded Breeze Finance S.A.'s (Breeze 3) class A and class B bonds as follows:
EUR287m class A (XS0294895999) downgraded to 'B' from 'B+'; Outlook Stable
EUR84m class B (XS0294895726) downgraded to 'CC' from 'CCC'

The downgrades are based on the drawdown of the class A debt service reserve at the October 2014 payment following significant underperformance of the wind yield in 2014. In addition, the class B has been downgraded to 'CC', indicating that default of some kind appears probable, as the deferred principal balance has now reached EUR18.4m and is increasingly unlikely to be fully repaid by the final maturity in 2027.

KEY RATING DRIVERS
Operation Risk: Weaker
The key operational risk is a rise in maintenance and repair costs above budgeted amounts as the turbines age. In 2012 the company materially increased the operating cost projections recognising the inadequacy of the initial assumptions. Positively, in 2013 and 1H14, actual expenses have been in line or even below budget. Breeze 3's average turbine age is nine years. Unexpected technical failures may become more frequent and hence may further jeopardise Breeze 3's ability to service debt, particularly if the failure coincides with weak wind yield.

Revenue Risk- Volume: Weaker
The project continues to suffer from weak wind conditions, which are the main driver of the project's tight liquidity position. Fitch's base case and rating case energy production assumptions are 15% lower than the original P50 and P90 projections. Furthermore, the variability of wind yield during the year, coupled with the uniform principal repayment amount at the April and October payment dates, results in the company being unable to service the class B notes at the October payment date.

Revenue Risk - Price: Midrange
The wind farms are remunerated through fixed feed-in-tariffs embedded in German and French energy regulations. Limited exposure to merchant prices (approximately 7% of generation capacity in 2023 increasing to 30% in 2026) over the past three to four years of the debt term is mainly a result of the shorter period over which French tariffs are fixed (15 years from the commencement of operation compared with 20 years for German projects).

Debt Structure: Class A - Midrange; Class B - Weaker
Debt service payments on class B are deferrable and are fully subordinated to the payment of interest and the repayment of principal of class A. The amount currently deferred on class B is EUR18.4m of principal and EUR4.7m of interest. The borrower will not be in a position to pay back this amount, or possible future additional deferred amounts, unless energy production consistently and materially exceeds the historical average. Further the class B debt service reserve account (DSRA) has been fully drawn since 2009. The class A DSRA remained fully funded until the most recent payment date in October 2014, when EUR1m had to be withdrawn to make the class A debt service payment in full. Once drawn, class A debt reserve cannot be replenished as long as class B deferrals remain outstanding.

Financial Metrics
The projected Fitch rating case average DSCR is 1.11x and 0.79x for class A and class B, respectively, deteriorating marginally as turbines age and Fitch assumes lower availability in the later years. In Fitch's base case, class A and B DSCRs average 1.24x and 0.88x.

Peer Group
The closest peer is CRC Breeze Finance (Breeze 2) rated 'B'/Stable for class A and 'CCC' for class B. Breeze 2 has similar rating drivers.

RATING SENSITIVITIES
Negative: The rating could be downgraded as a result of weak wind conditions leading to a further draw down of class A DSRA, a material decline of the turbines' availability and/or a lasting increase in O&M costs above current expectations.

Positive: Wind yield at or above Fitch's base case expectations enabling the project to repay the deferred class B principal would lead to an upgrade.

TRANSACTION SUMMARY
Breeze 3 is a Luxembourg SPV that issued three classes of notes on 19 April 2007 for an aggregate issuance amount of EUR455m to finance the acquisition and completion of a portfolio of wind farms located in Germany and France, as well as establishing various reserve accounts. The notes will be repaid from the cash flow generated by the sale of the energy produced by the wind farms, mainly under regulated tariffs.

Breeze 3's financial underperformance is primarily driven by the shortfall of the wind resource as feed-in-tariffs are fixed and technical availability meets Fitch's expectation of 96%. Furthermore, operating cost increases, as turbines age, draw on liquidity. Breeze 3 has recently revised its repair budget to take account of the increase in expenses. Operating costs now seem largely in line with the budgeted amounts.

Fitch's base case projections assume production in line with the Fitch-adjusted P50 estimates (544,367 Mwh p.a.) and further assume declining revenues as wind farms roll off their fixed feed-in-tariffs from 2022 and plant availability falls consecutively in addition to moderate expense growth. While cash flow available for debt service would be sufficient to fully service class A debt without drawing on the class A DSRA, class B debt service can only be partially met.

Fitch's rating case scenario, which represents a moderate downside scenario, uses Fitch-adjusted P90 production assumption (498,560 Mwh p.a.) and assumes operating expenses 10% above that of Fitch's base case. Due to the seasonal production and the uniform debt service requirements, the semi-annual DSCR profile shows significant differences between the spring and the autumn payment date. Coverage falls below 1.0x for class A at the autumn payment date, which results in the gradual drawdown of the class A DSRA and would ultimately lead to payment default in 2021 as the class A DSRA is exhausted.

The 'B' rating on class A indicates that material default risk is present, but a limited margin of safety remains. Financial commitments are currently being met. However, capacity for continued payment is vulnerable to deterioration in the business and economic environment."

Oct 31, 2014 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterstun

It's not just the lack of neutrality - it's the complete fabrication. There was nothing in Ann Widdecombe's article that showed ignorance of climate change, and nothing in James Murray's blog that said she was ignorant about climate change.

Oct 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

MikeHaseler wrote:
"In general the BBC feels to me to be "bloated", inward looking and basically anti ordinary people, anti commerce, industry, engineering and pro-green, pro-academia and pro "establishment"

On the way home yesterday afternoon I was listening to a R4 'science' program where they were discussing the moon and how its potential resources could be used.

Rather than concentrate on the potential to advance mankind that the minerals there could provide (with the
difficulty of getting them), the default position was that the moon had to be 'protected' from 'exploitation'.

God save us from these b****y lefties.

Oct 31, 2014 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterNial

You might be interested to read the BBC own guidelines on social media then make a complaint. You may think that the BBC would bury complaints but change does not happen without evidence, perseverance and the intelligent use of all available channels.

BBC guidelines:

Blogs and Microblogs

“You may wish to consider forwarding or "retweeting" a selection of a person's microblog entries/posts or "tweets". This is very unlikely to be a problem when you are "retweeting" a colleague's BBC "tweet" or a BBC headline. But in some cases, you will need to consider the risk that "retweeting" of third party content by the BBC may appear to be an endorsement of the original author's point of view.

It may not be enough to write on your BBC microblog's biography page that

"retweeting" does not signify endorsement, particularly if the views expressed are about politics or a matter of controversial public policy. Instead you should consider adding your own comment to the "tweet" you have selected, making it clear why you are forwarding it and where you are speaking in your own voice and where you are quoting someone else's.”

Social Media Guidance

“d. You shouldn't state your political preferences or say anything that
compromises your impartiality. Don't sound off about things in an openly
partisan way. Don't be seduced by the informality of social media into
bringing the BBC into disrepute. Don't criticise your colleagues. Don't reveal
confidential BBC information. Don't surreptitiously sanitise Wikipedia pages
about the BBC.”

Summary of Main Points

• The personal use of the internet by BBC staff must be tempered by an awareness of the potential conflicts that may arise.

• There should be a clear division between "BBC" pages and "personal" pages.

• On Social Networking sites, you should be mindful that the information you disclose does not bring the BBC into disrepute.

• For example, editorial staff should not indicate their political allegiance. Non-editorial staff should make their role clear if they wish to engage in political activity.

• It may not be appropriate to share BBC-related photographs, comments and videos. Offensive comment about BBC colleagues may be deemed a disciplinary offence.

• BBC staff are free to edit online encyclopaedias (such as Wikipedia) but should be transparent about doing so. You may respond to legitimate criticism of the BBC but not remove it.

• Blogs, microblogs and other personal websites which do not identify the author as a BBC employee, do not discuss the BBC and are purely personal would fall outside this guidance.

• New and existing blogs, microblogs and other personal websites which do identify the author as a BBC employee should be discussed with your line manager to ensure that due impartiality and confidentiality is maintained.


Make A Complaint to the BBC here

BBC article:
How to complain on Twitter


Use the company's Twitter handle and company name within your tweet to ensure the message can be seen by as many people as possible
Make the tweet short and to the point and try to sum everything up in one message
Do not be rude
If you do not get a response point this out in your follow-up tweet
Ask friends, family or someone with a lot of Twitter followers to retweet your complaint to get more attention
Do not give away any personal information

Oct 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterChairman Al

" Same number of MPs as UKIP "

Strange that in the Green's case I always confuse that 'number of MPs' (just ONE was it Mikey?) with a member the Monster Raving Loony party, with the possible difference being that Lord Sutch was properly entertaining.

Oct 31, 2014 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

As a lefty I agree that the Greens should be in the debate. The more the merrier, especially as they may hold the balance of power (with the SNP and LibDems). But I question his use of Twitter to disparage anyone else at all. Twitter doesn't allow for nuanced criticism, just yah boo sucks.

And the BBC needs to justify it's continued existence with innovation - not quality.
Plenty of media companies do quality but few take risks.
The last innovative thing by the BBC was toddler TV (Tellytubbies) in the 1990s.
Nothing they have done in the last 15 years has demonstrated a need for a state subsidy. Nothing they have done has been different to the commercial sector.

Smaller and braver like the National Theatre is the way forward for state TV.

Oct 31, 2014 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

"Ho Ho"

Oct 31, 2014 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

If the leadership of the BBC took its charter, and the guidelines listed above, seriously, this chap would surely be due a reprimand and a caution if this is his first offence. But it seems that it may not be. He should, therefore, be further down the road to being sacked. Sadly, none of this is likely to happen. The BBC is a decadent organisation burdening our society through the de facto tax of the licence fee, and poisoning the well of public information that is replenished by the mass media.

Oct 31, 2014 at 4:27 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

We need to plug this view before the lights go out:

We have BBC Live (every day), we now have BBC Earth. When will we get BBC Neutral?

Oct 31, 2014 at 5:02 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

"BBC Earth"

Is he making a bid for Monty Don's job? The phrase makes no sense otherwise.

Oct 31, 2014 at 5:25 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Michael Marshall (who he?) is more profoundly ignorant of the climate than Anne Widecombe who currently lives very close to the village of the same name on Upland Dartmoor in Devon

Dartmoor is considered to be one of the best climate laboratories in Europe as its history has been well documented and much of the evidence of past climate change can still be seen today.

Here is an article on the changing Dartmoor climate. Basically: Warm to cold: Cold to Warm: Warm to cold; Cold to Warmish.

http://tiffinomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/A-change-in-climate-was-the-main-reason-for-the-unsustainability-of-Permanent-human-settlement-on-Dartmoor-at-the-end-of-the-Bronze-Age.pdf

tonyb

Oct 31, 2014 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

Marshall is behind the times. Widdicombe has not been an MP since 2010 - and he's even further out of date on .'global warming'.

Oct 31, 2014 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterosseo

stun

The downgrade of corporate bonds usually leads to an increase in the interest rate the corp has to pay to their bondholders as a result of the increased risk of holding said bonds. As instability rises bold rate can increase rapidly leading to a default.

Oct 31, 2014 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Wrong.there is private view vs BBC output .it's his own private Twitter account & he is entitled to say Green loony things if he wants to. His tweets don't cross the line between private views and impartiality of BBC official output. He's not a star so his BBC job does not give his private view a free platform. Likewise it should also be possible someone else in his dept to tweet pro-UKIP views. Neither of them should be made to hide behind fake profiles
However it would be different if he was using the BBC airwaves as a platform for his own political views which is what some others do.
- HOWEVER today's Feedback on Radio 4 (which was secretly privatised & sold to Greenpeace a few years ago) was a different thing after 2 weeks of resisting they did their foot stomping 5 minute report 9.30-14.30min

it's not fair ! UKIP gets more coverage than us and they get more time on Question time *
.. the 2015 Party leader debates SERIOUS ERROR ! by BBC management by saying UKIP are the fourth party
that's outrageous. We've been the 4th party for a long time we are the one that's had 1 MP for ages !
(totally ignoring the truth that UKIP's opinion poll rating is 5 times more than the Greens and that the Greens are support is almost entirely limited to a few liberal university towns
* Of course The Green Party has a voice on both Question Time & Any Questions EVERY WEEK : the Dimberlby brothers)
This is the 6th or 7 th time that Feedback has given 5 minutes to Green activists. but even when the BBC was doing its best smother UKIP's existence by giving it no coverage at all there was no similar segment on Feedback ..Indeed in June when UKIP became too popular to ignore Feedback ran " is the BBC responsible for some of UKIP's recent successes by giving the party too much coverage"
- To be fair there is an INTERNET petition of 80K signatures "BBC News stop the news blackout of the Green Party"- but how much credibility can it have ? probably done at university freshers ball after students had had a few drinks" etc. cos of course the BBC did report the Green party conference in Birmingham etc and there is no news blackout

Oct 31, 2014 at 7:37 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

It is utterly disingenuous of the greens to claim parity with UKIP on the basis of "same number of MPs".

Greens: one MP. Represents Brighton which the greens are running into the ground. Likely number of MPs after general election; 0

UKIP: one MP. After 20 November very likely 2 MPs. Likely number of MPs after GE; at least into double figures.

Oct 31, 2014 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

His work doesn't concern the UK "BBC Earth is a brand used by BBC Worldwide since 2009 to market and distribute the BBC's natural history content to countries other than the United Kingdom. BBC Worldwide is the commercial arm of the public service broadcaster."
Do they do climate hyperbole ?
I only found this Is this the end of autumn as we know it? Catch this year's autumn leaf spectacle, because it may not be back (what did you expect greens who don't think truth is enough ? )

Well there is an interesting story where they admit 1998 coral well recovered in 15 years instead of the 100 "scientists said"

Oct 31, 2014 at 9:45 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Not too long ago a sub-editor at BBC News had to resign because of an anti UKIP tweet. Now UKIP have a big group of complainers and so was able to raise the issue to the appropriate level of notice, but the principle still stands - you cannot be disparaging of a political party and retain your credibility as an impartial service. This guy simply has to go and it shouldn't take lots of complaints as the case is prima facie.

Oct 31, 2014 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

Nial said:

On the way home yesterday afternoon I was listening to a R4 'science' program where they were discussing the moon and how its potential resources could be used.

Rather than concentrate on the potential to advance mankind that the minerals there could provide (with the
difficulty of getting them), the default position was that the moon had to be 'protected' from 'exploitation'.


Well, in fairness to the BBC and the Greens, I would also be against putting wind farms on the Moon! If that is what the speakers on Radio 4 had in mind when they talked about protecting the Moon from "exploitation" then they do show some, albeit very faint, signs of common sense!

Oct 31, 2014 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Robert Christopher Oct 31, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Take a bow sir!

Oct 31, 2014 at 10:19 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

stewgreen " Wrong.there is private view vs BBC output .it's his own private Twitter account & he is entitled to say Green loony things if he wants to. His tweets don't cross the line between private views and impartiality of BBC official output."

Stew, like many civil servants and others the BBC have a legal duty to be impartial. They have a right to support a political party but when they start effectively campaigning for one party, they have certainly crossed the line beyond what is acceptable. But to do so on a twitter account where they are clearly posting BBC work material is rightly seen as the BBC itself promoting one specific party.

That is not acceptable. The choice for him is simple:
1. work for the BBC and keep quiet about his political views.
2. Leave the BBC and be free to express his views where he is not legally required to be neutral
3. (possibly) Ask to be transferred to an area within the BBC where his political views cannot conflict with his journalism - although I was going to suggest children's TV - but on reflection even children's TV needs to be politically neutral.

Oct 31, 2014 at 10:20 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Yes Mike, he should take "BBC " off his Twitter description - I would guess that since he is a new boy at the BBC he hasn't realised that
.@Chairman Al I think you maybe look at an old version of BBC Guidelines, but the new ones are that different

- For example, editorial staff should not indicate their political allegiance. Non-editorial staff should make their role clear if they wish to engage in political activity.
- Should not post derogatory or offensive comments on the Internet. ( calling Widdy ignorant is derogatory)

- Blogs, microblogs and other personal websites which do not identify the author as a BBC employee, do not discuss the BBC and are purely personal would fall outside this guidance.

from more details
All BBC staff should be mindful of the information they disclose on social networking sites. Where they associate themselves with the Corporation (through providing work details or joining a BBC network) they should act in a manner which does not bring the BBC into disrepute.

Mike you said "like many civil servants..." he is editorial but non-editorial are exempt "Non-Editorial Staff are free to engage in political activity, in line with the Section 15 of the Editorial Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest. However, on social networking sites, when they identify themselves as BBC staff members they must make clear that they are not a member of editorial staff. "

Oct 31, 2014 at 11:36 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The BBC is not accountable for any views expressed. They are a corporation, it's in the name.. Anyone else who wants to believe there is any sort of accountability from these talking heads, are deluded fools.

Nov 1, 2014 at 5:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterSparks

The real point about Ann Widdicombe is that she is recalling that she was one of only 5 Conservative MP's who opposed the Climate Change Act when it was voted 6 years ago.

That very fact shows that she knows more about climate change than the rest of parliament, Michael Marshall and the BBC put together.

Nov 1, 2014 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

MikeHaseler, "but on reflection even children's TV needs to be politically neutral."

You clearly haven't seen the Green Balloon Club. Green Party propaganda for pre-schoolers.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/green-balloon-club

Today's students don't vote Green because they are inexperienced and naïve.
It's because they were raised on green "ethics" since they were weaned.

Nov 2, 2014 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Oct 31, 2014 at 11:36 PM | stewgreen
"he should take "BBC " off his Twitter description"

Likely wise. And having acquired his followers on the back of the association already, no real pain for the gain. If maybe a bit cynical.

BBC Guidelines probably allow for that too. But I do tend to crank an eyebrow at quoting BBC rules by the BBC, of the BBC for the BBC. They can be self-serving at times, even when obeyed. Which often they are not.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/may/23/bbc-news-stupid-social-media-tweet-jasmine-lawrence-ukip

'I would guess that since he is a new boy at the BBC he hasn't realised that'

Guessing can be good. But a more experienced estimate could perhaps suggest an editor should be aware of professional impartiality?

And anyone missing this, as already mentioned above, must have been living in a cave. A bit more detail:

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/may/22/bbc-editor-election-coverage-ukip-twitter

Maybe a special one only current or aspiring BBC employees inhabit?

Nov 3, 2014 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJunkkMale

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