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« The little green book | Main | Is it 'cos he's a green? »
Monday
Jul072014

The BBC's internal contradictions

The reverberations of the BBC's recent announcements on how to deal with the climate change issue continue unabated. Radio 4's Feedback programme recently considered two separate instances related to the corporation's coverage of climate change (audio below). The first of these a "tidal wave" of complaints they had received in relation to Bob Carter's appearance at the time of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report. Interestingly these complaints seem to have been rejected, except in that Carter's funding arrangements were not made sufficiently clear.

Then there was the Lawson/Hoskins event and, as for the previous case, we had some vox pops to illustrate the complaint. Firstly we had someone called Liz Mandeville from Lewes, who turns out to be part of the Transition Towns movement and a director of a community renewables company. Then there was Neil Spencer from Ashreigney in Devon, who turns out to be a former director of a company called Renewable Futures Ltd. Amusingly, the show featured an interview with Alison Hasting, the chairman of the BBC Trust editorial standards committee, who reckoned that:

..the audience have a right to expect that they know where the contributors are coming from; they know their background and they know their status.

There was a particularly interesting section on "false balance" (from 5:30). Hastings said that there was a agreement among a large number of climate scientists that the climate is changing and that there is a manmade element to this. Caveats about the statistical significance of any such changes apart, this is not an unreasonable thing to say, and for a while I wondered if the corporation was simply arguing about what to do with people who dispute the greenhouse effect.

However, the presenter then suggested that Steve Jones wanted people who disagreed that mankind was the main cause of climate change kept off the air; in other words, lukewarmers should not be allowed on air either. Hastings pointed out that there was a wide spectrum of views on the timing of any global warming and disputed that Jones wanted such views kept off the airwaves. Given that Nigel Lawson undoubtedly acknowledges a human influence on climate and given that Jones has complained about his being any airtime at all I think we can say unequivocally that Hastings is dangerously mistaken. Given Jones' documented lack of integrity, I would not be surprised if he had misled her.

Hastings' understanding of the climate debate seems rather sound, based on this brief outing. But how then to explain the extraordinary ruling by her colleague Fraser Steel that Lawson's views are "not supported by the evidence from computer modelling and scientific research"? Steel's hilariously unscientific views about what constitutes evidence apart, the fact that lukewarm views are explicitly supported by the IPCC and by his boss, Alison Hastings, suggest that Steel is somewhat out of line. But then again, when you consider the recent Trust report on impartiality, with its recommendation about avoiding "false balance between fact and opinion", we are left none the wiser.

I think the BBC needs to be clear on who is allowed on air and in what circumstances; what is fact on global warming and what is opinion. At the moment it's anyone's guess.

Feedback sceptics

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Reader Comments (51)

When Steve Jones is involved progress will only be at a snail's pace.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

ask the BBC to define what the scientific consensus agrees about.. (the object of, not how many people agree with it)

ie how can the exclude people who agree with it - ref - Aren't we all part of the 97% now...

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I listened to most of that broadcast. Couldn't finish it as I'd had my limit of BS and a voice that sounded like it was trying to soothe toddlers.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterjoyra

That's quite astonishing hypocrisy from the BBC and Feedback.

From about 4.00 - 5.00 we have Bolton saying

"So when you've got guests on the programme you're saying to programme makers you must research their background, who finances their research and if its relevant you must tell the audience so the audience properly understands where people are coming from "

Then immediately after this we have Liz Mandeville presented as an ordinary member of the public when in fact she is the director of a renewables company!


" If you'd like to get involved, please send an email to feedback@bbc.co.uk to register your interest. We'll email you back with more information on what's required." I will be sending an email when I've calmed down a bit!

Jul 7, 2014 at 1:15 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Barry Woods makes a good point. I now push back on anyone who quotes a 97% or 98% figure. 97% of people quoting the 97% figure cannot name which survey they are referring to or what questions were asked - or, indeed, if any scientists were involved at all.

The same goes for the Beeb. They may all run round claiming to be part of the gang but I suspect they would not be able to agree amongst themselves what they thought they were part of.

Robert Kennedy Jr thinks:

"Ninety-eight percent of the research climatologists in the world say that global warming is real, that its impacts are going to be catastrophic," he argued.

Now which survey was that, I wonder?

Jul 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Alison Hastings does seem capable of rational thought, or at least the words quoted are too few for a serious error to be made. I'll go with the benefit of the doubt for now.

Yet why can so few of her colleagues take the simple logical step of seeing that her words are not incompatible with the magnitude of AGW actually being quite small, or even tiny, as the accumulating evidence increasingly suggests?

Jul 7, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Computer models have become 'facts', I notice...

Jul 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

It is always interesting to hear catastrophiliacs demand to know ones source of funding as if there is some giant right wing conspiracy out there working away in the background as the reason their arguments aren't believed by the wider public.

Bob Carters funding is neither here nor there. The ONLY concern should be whether what he is saying is accurate or not. The very fact catastrophiliacs black dot on funding and not the information presented tells you they know Bob was not telling porkies!

Funny though how we never hear of the backgrounds of anyone who "believes" in the right religion isn't it?

Mailman

Jul 7, 2014 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Not directly on topic but the latest news update on my phone is from the BBC, telling me that a power fault is causing disruption to Eurostar passengers with the result that Sophie Raworth (photo included) is stuck outside the Channel Tunnel.
From which I conclude that in the BBC view of the world their viewers are more concerned about the fate of Sophie Raworth than about the potential effect of this minor inconvenience on other aspects of British or French daily life. What is worse I am haunted by the feeling that the Beeb might have a more accurate opinion of their viewers' interests and that by leading with Sophie Raworth they might just have got it right.
"Ooooh! Did you see that Sophie Raworth! Got stuck in the Channel Tunnel, she did!"
"Yer well, she can get stuck in a tunnel wiv me, any time. Know wot I mean?"
Bread and circuses for the plebs!

Jul 7, 2014 at 2:10 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

What if every time there is any discussion on the BBC about climate change, renewable energy, electricity prices etc, ordinary viewers write in complaing that they are aware that there is a debate about the issues raised, and that the BBCs coverage appeared partial and not balanced.

If they were to receive hundreds of complaints from the general population, about every article that they ran, it might force them to reconsider their editorial position.

I do not know how many people are regular readers of this blog, but if each were to always contact the BBC whenever they ran an article, the BBC may find it inconvenient to be involved with a deluge of complaints since this would be time consuming at a minimum, and they may gain the impression that the public does have concerns about their presentation.

Jul 7, 2014 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

BBC has lost its balance over climate change
by Matt Ridley

The corporation now seems to take its orders from the green lobby and is generating alarm over the environment

"The BBC’s behaviour grows ever more bizarre. Committed by charter to balanced reporting, it has now decided formally that it was wrong to allow balance in a debate between rival guesses about the future. In rebuking itself for having had the gall to interview Nigel Lawson on the Today programme about climate change earlier this year, it issued a statement containing this gem: “Lord Lawson’s views are not supported by the evidence from computer modelling and scientific research.”

The evidence from computer modelling? The phrase is an oxymoron. A model cannot, by definition, provide evidence: it can provide a prediction"

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4140381.ece

Jul 7, 2014 at 2:17 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

joyra, keep listening, it improves at 10min when they get on to "the horny issue of Samantha" and ISIHAC.

Jul 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

if the BBC are not abiding by their charter to be impartial between establishment and outside scientific opinon, then no one at all is under any obligation to fund the BBC.

So, stop grumbling and just don't pay the licence fee

Time to Deny the Establishment Broadcasting Company its funding

Jul 7, 2014 at 2:35 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

sherlock1 : "Computer models have become 'facts', I notice..."

Climatologists use computer models to predict future climate conditions. This is a fact. Ancient astrologers used the Ptolemaic System to predict future planetary alignments. This too is a fact. Whether or not these predictions are accurate and reliable is another fact altogether.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model

Jul 7, 2014 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian M

For the benefit of a poor benighted expatriate please, who or what is Sophie Raworth?

Jul 7, 2014 at 3:13 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

Brian M said:

Climatologists use computer models to predict future climate conditions. This is a fact.

It is also a fact that the models failed to predict "the pause" in global warming. Therefore, in its coverage of climate change, should the BBC remind its audience of the unreliability of climate models every time they are mentioned?

Jul 7, 2014 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy
Jul 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Heard it and was not surprised at the mention of the 'tidal wave of complaints' from scientific illiterates.
Was not surprised either by the failure to mention the passing of Nigel Calder on 'Last Word' the program that followed.
Instead we were treated to the last word from some Russian interpreter, who nobody new and who just happened to do his job for 30 odd years.

Fascinating...

Jul 7, 2014 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

With regard to the computer models that the BBC and the Met Office set great store by, surely every time a climate alarmist appears on the BBC and mentions those models the interviewer/presenter should, in the interests of accuracy, remind the viewers that not only did those models fail to predict "the Pause," they also falsely predicted "the Barbecue Summer" that never was in 2009, they failed to predict in 2010 the coldest December for a century, and just before the floods earlier this year they predicted a drier than normal winter instead of the wettest since records began.

By failing to remind viewers of the failings of computer models the BBC will be guilty of creating a "false balance" between science and climate model making.

Jul 7, 2014 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

it is entirely possible that both 'member of the public' told the BBC of their connections, but the BBC edited it out..

When the Met Office decadal forecast story happened, January 2013 and Roger Harrabin reported that this showed a 'pause of nearly 20 yrs predicted. story went onto the Today program as well with David Shukman

Hilary Gander and Ruth Jarman called into BBC feedback to say how irresponsible it was. (transcript)
https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20130111_fb


They were both very active climate activists, marches, petitions into Downing Street, Hilary being a founder member of the Campaign against Climate Change, Transition Towns,etc This was an organised call into feedback by climate groups, and congratulations for the effort afterwards, on the Campiagn Against Climate change website

the really sad thing is – The activists BOTH told the BBC who they were yet the BBC CUT it out..

So 2 Campaign Against Climate Change Marchers, (both founder members of activists groups) get to be ‘listeners’ complaining about the BBC’s reporting of climate change..

The CaCC even organised a petition, delivered to the BBC DG Entwhistle last September complaining about the BBC’s reporting of climate change (so a lobbyist group, trying to sway the BBC, get the only public feedback.

The CaCC organised its followers to talk to feedback: (also via twitter)
http://www.campaigncc.org/node/1289

CaCC: “On the positive side, it shows that listener complaints can have an impact. Thanks to everyone who contacted the BBC!”

CaCC Petition:
http://www.campaigncc.org/bbcpetition

And the CACC organise their follower to bombard the BBC with complaints:
http://www.campaigncc.org/humphrys

CaCC: “Join us again by raising your voice against Humphry’s misleading statements by completing the BBC complaints form, here http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/#anchor”


Summarised in the comments at Tall bloke's workshop.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/bbc-propaganda-machine-moves-into-overdrive-on-mets-cooler-forecast/comment-page-1/#comment-40794

the GWPF ran an article, about that BBC feedback and Hilary and Ruth
http://www.thegwpf.org/met-office-attacks-bbc-global-temperature-standstill/

Jul 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

David Chappell: "...who or what is Sophie Raworth?" BBC Newsreader http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Raworth

Jul 7, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Mike Haseler: "So, stop grumbling and just don't pay the licence fee"

But Mike, whether or not I pay my licence fee will not change the way I feel about the BBC nor how it performs the role I feel it ought to carry out. Personally, I'd rather not pay for it, but if it meant I could have a say in its conduct I would pay. That said, it is such a monolith and so far up itself I really don't think any external agency or individual could make any difference; and if you just think back on all the scandals of the last few years involving the corporation and/or its employees and management, you will see my case is made.

Jul 7, 2014 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Maybe the real problem is that skeptics don't bother sending in an avalanche of complaints. We just grumble here or some other blog.

Jul 7, 2014 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

"When Steve Jones is involved progress will only be at a snail's pace."

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:36 PM | It doesn't add up...

And his arguments are an empty shell.

Jul 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

The BBC is beyond reform. Personally I neither contribute towards it or have any interest in its output. I don't read the Guardian so I see no reason why I should support its broadcast department.

Jul 7, 2014 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Until the BBC admits that the secretive way it handled the '28-Gate' affair demonstrated blatant bias, things will never change.

Jul 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

I had a bit of a rant and rave at the BBC recently.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/03/08/2013/140329/opinion-bbc39s-farming-show-should-be-about-farming.htm

BBC came on all heavy to Farmers Weekly, who gave them a full page reply.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/06/08/2013/140372/opinion-bbc-hits-back-at-charlie-flindt-column.htm

And then a recent BBC Trust review seemed to back me up quite nicely:
http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/27/06/2014/145274/ten-key-findings-of-the-bbc-rural-review.htm

Jul 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Flindt

Jul 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

"And his arguments are an empty shell."

Sinistral, presumably

Jul 7, 2014 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterVictoria Sponge

For quite some time now I've been of the opinion that complaining to the BBC is futile. It's an organization working against the best interests of society and normal people, it's way beyond the niceties of civil discourse.

Jul 7, 2014 at 7:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Spence

I think this is a real remarkable turn of events. I wrote this: The 'false' balance scythe

Jul 7, 2014 at 8:41 PM | Registered Commentershub

There's now a transcript of Friday's Feedback with Alison Hastings, here:
https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20140704_fb

I've added links to some earlier transcripts which are relevant, e.g., Bob Carter from last year and Lawson/Hoskins from February this year.

Jul 7, 2014 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Today Richard North has an item on EU funding including the BBC - 'Global governance: funding the NGO monster':

'With no fanfare at all, the European Commission has slipped out the 2013 figures for its Financial Transparency System, a searchable database of grant funding to third parties, including NGOs.

The database is a goldmine of information, telling us, for instance, that the EU paid the BBC €6,100,987 last year, Friends of the Earth (in all its incarnations) €4,188,230, WWF €5,344,641 and the RSPB €3,802,544. ...once again it brings to light the huge amount of taxpayer funding going to unaccountable NGOs, and especially (but not exclusively) climate change advocacy groups... '

http://www.eureferendum.com/Default.aspx

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterQuercus

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/andrewlilico/100027585/lord-lawson-the-climate-and-the-bbc-whos-the-real-expert/

This comment (in DT Comments) is really very interesting and argues that Lord Lawson has the expertise
required to take part in these debates.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Listening to the Richard Bacon show today where he has a regular Monday science feature gave him and his two guests the opportunity to mention climate change and climate change denial while they were discussing three different subjects.
One was talking about the newly launched satellite which monitors carbon dioxide, the other was talking about that ridiculous longitude prize and the other subject was about the teaching of science. Very Pavlovian and grist to the mill especially for Bacon who along with the rest of Fivelive seem to relish the opportunity to denounce the "climate change deniers".
Got his nose put out of joint when Dellers appeared on his show a couple of years ago but that's another story.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

A question for UK: if BBC policy forecloses interviews with "skeptics", could complaints be made under the same policy in respect to interviews with NGOs and activists who hold positions more extreme than the IPCC? (In asking this, I don't know whether BBC does such interviews, but I presume that they do so from time to time). It's sometimes interesting to see what happens when one requires organizations to live up to their policies as opposed to merely objecting to the policies.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

I think you have misused lukewarmers here. If you are saying humans are not responsible for the majority of global warming, it is difficult to get even a medium amount of warming, as lukewarmers might conclude based on observational evidence. For example, while Roy Spencer has written about things in the range of 1-1.5c, a level perhaps on the low end of the lukewarmer range, he has also argued for much lower climate sensitivity, based on the idea of 1.2C for doubling of CO2, shrunk be negative feedbacks.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

Vote UKIP and fix the BBC - through privatisation..

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterFairDink

Steve McIntyre,

It is virtually impossible to get the BBC to hold itself accountable to its own standards. When you complain to the BBC trust it's like asking "criminals" to find themselves guilty of a crime. Not least of all is the considerable length of time it tashes the BBC to conduct investigations so that by the time they deliver their verdict the result is pointless because so much time has passed so as to make the origional complaint redundant.

Mailman

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

The BBC has become a sock puppet of vested big green, and a parody of news reporting.

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Andrew Lilico's blog post today in the Telegraph debates who really was the expert in the Today programme Lawson-Hoskins debate. And its not Hoskins...

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/andrewlilico/100027585/lord-lawson-the-climate-and-the-bbc-whos-the-real-expert/

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:52 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Paul, I heard it too. A pathetic love in with Jim Al-Khalili, and the Royal Society being unctuously paraded as the ultimate arbiter of human knowledge and how wonderful science is at self-correcting because of peer-review.

The good news about Richard Bacon is that he's history - although the source leaves room for doubt: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jul/01/bbc-radio-5-live-richard-bacon-leave-victoria-derbyshire-shelagh-fogarty

Replacements suggested to be Dan Walker (ex-Sport) or Tony Livesey (ex-Sunday Sport).

Be careful what you wish for?

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:54 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

British Public Want BBC Licence Fee Scrapped
The BBC Has Lost Its Balance Over Climate Change

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/64363

Jul 8, 2014 at 12:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

Jeremy Paxman, upon leaving the beeb informed us fortissimo and bluntly that, News'light' is organized and run by agitprop teenagers. By implication, unless you were talking about make up and Hello magazine the feeling is, it would be nigh on impossible to partake in any sort of meaningful discussion with the likes of Ms. Alison Hasting.

The young things at the beeb live in a hermetically sealed world of ignoble trendy causes and the doctrinal delusions of the hard left - the green mantras......oooooooh so goodly and fit nicely into flying 270 odd beeb journos and hangers on to Brazil. or 400 or so doing Glasto.

Indeed most of the time, the beeb luverlies they have their fingers in their ears and are singing "la, la, la" at the tops of their voices.

This is why, they don't want intellectual superiors appearing on programmes and showing them up, giving them lessons; not only in general topics of conversation but on the meaning of life and also man made myths and more importantly the political hyperbole behind the scam called man made warming.

Jul 8, 2014 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

"could complaints be made under the same policy in respect to interviews with NGOs and activists who hold positions more extreme than the IPCC?" Steve McIntyre.

As already stated there is one rule for us and another for the BBC but it will certainly worth trying to hold the BBC to it's own standards.Part of the problem is they have no idea or interest in what the IPCC really says. If in doubt, they convince themselves that the report has be toned down for publication, not sexed up. They err on the side of drama.

Jul 8, 2014 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Steve McIntyre: A question for UK: if BBC policy forecloses interviews with "skeptics", could complaints be made under the same policy in respect to interviews with NGOs and activists who hold positions more extreme than the IPCC?

A good question. In theory the BBC have a legal requirement to be impartial. Unfortunately, the only means within the budget of almost all skeptics is to complain to the BBC.

First, you should know that the BBC as an organisation, is full of nepotism and upper class Oxford and Cambridge graduates who see themselves as an elite and as such are are quite contemptuous of us - the viewers and listeners.

Second, whereas the BBC claims to be a "public service" company, it is actually a "politicians service company". So, the only reason it ever responds to listeners or viewers is if it thinks its political master might get upset.

Then we have the problem that the BBC being an "establishment" organisation, only talks to people in the "establishments", whether the Royal Society in science, the big political parties in government, or the big NGOs. Establishment = free access. Non-establishment = excluded.

Then we have the BBC ignorance of what real science is. Their view is that "science" means the views of the predominantly left wing public-sector academics in the establishments. The "boundary" around science is not one of evidence or even qualification instead science is a name describing a self-appointing social group. And then to add insult to injury, because science is evidence based the views of "scientists" are indisputable. So, by this clearly false logic, they deem the views of a social group to be omnipotent. (This is obviously absurd, but remember it is run by the type of people who do media studies: they will just accept what they are told by those clever academics who understand science).

The problem is that whereas you and I can recognise the opinions and views of academics for what they are, the media studies lovies in the BBC haven't a clue what they are talking about. So a very few environmentally active people can pull the wool over the whole BBC.

interviews with NGOs and activists

Unfortunately, the BBC, like much of the media only deals with big well funded (so basically government funded) NGOs.

This is a huge problem for skeptics because we are very individualistic in nature and whilst we might have a lot of activists, we don't naturally form the kind of "consensus organisations" that get funding.

So, the net effect if all this, is that whereas the BBC have a legal requirement to be impartial, the BBC interprets this mainly as being a legal requirement to "be impartial between it's paymasters - the politicians". Only after satisfying its political paymasters does it then views impartiality as being "impartial between establishment organisations". And individuals like us? Who are they?

As for being impartial with the evidence ... the lovies of the BBC don't care about evidence. Evidence is the boring stuff that they are forced to have to mention between chatting to establishment people about how wonderful the BBC is and how great it is that the world has this impartial honest and factual organisation.

Complaints don't work

We've all seen how self-regulation fails. But within the BBC culture of nepotism, contempt for ordinary people like us, disregard for evidence-based science and sycophantic view to establishment academia, there is no argument we can use within the BBC complaints system which has traction except an overwhelming number of complaints that force the BBC to take action.

The future of the BBC
Unlike my generation, my kids don't watch the BBC. Even if we wanted to keep the BBC, I don't think my children will be willing to pay for it. And unfortunately, because of issues like climate, the BBC have forced huge numbers of people to find their entertainment elsewhere.

Unlike the past, where because there was little option other than the BBC, people had to complain to get good TV, these days much fewer of us complain but instead just switch over or go on the internet. And because whole social groups are now habitually switched off from the BBC, the BBC get little feedback from these groups, which allows it self-interest to cause it to focus more and more on the subjects that interest itself.

So, we are now very much in a reinforcing cycle of decline as the BBC gets more and more inward looking in what is undoubtedly a vicious cycle of decline which will inevitably result in the death of the BBC in its present form.

About the only thing I can imagine that might possibly save the BBC is a mass campaign to stop paying the BBC TV charge

Jul 8, 2014 at 10:11 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

While we're on the good or bad that can happen, to or coming out of the BBC, after Steve and Mike's very helpful posts, it's worth recalling Martin A's thread from October 2012, Is the BBC approaching a tipping point?, about possible fallout from the Jimmy Savile affair. My hopes for Lord Patten making a difference, expressed there, will I fear be judged to have been over-optimistic by many! But something remarkable has been happening since, for the good of the country and some of those most unjustly treated within it during my lifetime. This is from the BBC itself yesterday:

One year to start with is 1994. Back then a man called Peter McKelvie was a child protection manager in Hereford and Worcester who was assisting police investigating an influential paedophile, Peter Righton.

Righton had hoodwinked social workers and child abuse specialists during his career rise to become a consultant to the National Children's Bureau.

Now dead, he was ultimately convicted of importing child pornography. But Mr McKelvie believes that what was discovered went much further than that and Righton should have been convicted for far more serious crimes.

For 20 years he says he has been asking himself why leads suggesting links between paedophiles and government were not investigated further by police.

When the Jimmy Savile scandal broke in 2012 Mr McKelvie took his concerns to Labour MP Tom Watson. When Mr Watson raised it in parliament, a police inquiry, Operation Fairbank, was launched to examine the claims.

Officers tracked down seven boxes of evidence from the original Righton investigation and started to go through them. The resultant publicity prompted more calls from members of the public to Mr Watson.

As more information came in, different investigations were launched, the best known being Operation Fernbridge which has been investigating allegations that in the 1980s famous people abused children at a place called Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London.

Meanwhile in Rochdale another Labour MP, Simon Danczuk, was looking into claims that Cyril Smith had abused children with impunity at a residential care home, Knowl View.

It was his evidence to the Home Affairs Committee last week, calling for an investigation into the "Dickens Dossier", that catapulted a series of claims into the headlines.

It was when Simon Danczuk demanded a 'Hillsborough-style inquiry' into this area that I really got the goosebumps.

Steve alluded to the frustration that leads only to complaining on blogs, not doing anything about the cause, but Mike puts a good case that we can't in fact do much. All the same, I agree with Mike that the social media generation will put paid to the license fee. Meanwhile the way injustice is exposed is always to me a surprise. We can I think take courage from this week's events, arising from one of the BBC's most toxic scandals. I pray that the police are fully empowered to see justice done and that any inquiry isn't a smokescreen to prevent that. (Another way in which our experience in the climate area can inform us and help to prevent such abuses, in my still optimistic view.)

Jul 8, 2014 at 12:33 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Nigel Lawson responds to the political censorship of sceptics on the BBC:

'It is hard to imagine a more blatant breach of its charter, which commits it to political balance, or a more blatant betrayal of the people’s trust, on which the continuation of its licence fee depends'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2685405/Ive-banned-BBC-Ex-Chancellor-Lord-Lawson-passionate-climate-change-sceptic-accuses-BBC-bosses-silencing-debate-global-warming.html

Jul 9, 2014 at 7:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Let's look on the bright side. No more Caroline Lucas.

Jul 9, 2014 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterVictoria Sponge

WUWT has just told the story of the latest on Lawson and the BBC in conjunction with this:

Sir Winston Churchill, the WW2 leader of Britain, openly expressed the opinion that his views on NAZI Germany were gagged by the BBC, because his concerns about Germany were not what the BBC wanted the British people to hear.

Basing that on the Telegraph article I first pointed to on BH on 22nd October 2012, on Martin A's 'tipping point' thread, mentioned above.

Lawson and Churchill. The pairing doesn't seem that outlandish as it might once have done.

Jul 10, 2014 at 7:00 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I think we should demand that funding and vested interests be discussed. The sums involved are mind boggling. On the other hand when there was the Heartland stolen documents scandal, what really surprised me was how small their funding was.

On the recent Greenpeace, director taking the plane to work scandal, what surprised me was that he lived in Luxemburg, and I'm not dissing Luxemburg, but it's not known for being bargain basement, is it? I put myself into the shoes of an ordinary person with a direct debit to GP and who suddenly realised they'd been paying for some guy from Luxemburg 's plane commutes to work...

Jul 10, 2014 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterShona

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