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David Keighley

BBC media action ‘spends 500k on climate alarmism’.

BBC media action ‘spends 500k on climate alarmism’.

BBC Media Action   has spent an astonishing £500,000 on a cod survey in Asia that is designed to spread alarm about climate change among some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Its methodology is so laughably inept that it doesn’t bear a moment’s scrutiny: how can lay respondents know with certainty (as the survey asked them) how much local climate has changed?

For the uninitiated, BBC Media Action was set up in 2011 to work alongside the BBC World Service in delivering desirable change in developing countries. It claims to be an ‘independent body’, but  is funded  by taxes because much of its money comes from  the Department for International Development and the EU. Further, at least half its board of Trustees is actually nominated by the BBC. The current chairman, Peter Horrocks (a former editor of Newsnight)  is also in charge of the BBC World Service broadcasting operation.

News-watch has been investigating Media Action (and its predecessor body, the World Service Trust)  for several years. News of the Asian surveywas posted  two months ago on the News-watch website, and it has also been noted that its activities were likely to be intensified with the influx of £20m of funds from backers such as the EU – and also because the World Service is expanding massively. The goal is to double the audience in five years.

That may well presage more of the Asian style surveys.  If so, it will amount to blatant climate change alarmism on an unprecedented scale.

Most appalling s is that Media Action is deliberately targeting vulnerable young people, with the effect of inculcating a hugely negative worldview and a deep loathing for capitalism. The Asian report is full of unmitigated gloom and threatens famine, drought and disease on a massive scale. Despite the mental damage it causes, targeting the impressionable young has always been regarded as legitimate by those with extreme political causes because – like Prince Charles – they believe they are ‘saving the world’ and that validates any tactics, no matter how repugnant or morally questionable.

John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Commons media and culture committee, the main parliamentary BBC watchdog, professes that he is ‘astonished’ that the survey was authorised and claims it is a waste of money. But with respect to this very fair-minded man, it seems  that he and his committee colleagues have been fast asleep on their watch.

The reality is that Media Action works as it does because it has the backing of the highest levels of the BBC. Here’s the evidence:

Alison Hastings,  the Trustee who chairs the editorial standards committee (ESC),  the internal editorial watchdog, issued a Trustee statement four years ago which, in effect, said that those who disagree with climate change alarmism would get only very limited exposure because there was a ‘consensus’ that they were wrong.

Diana Coyle, the current Trustees deputy chairman, who is hoping to become the next chairman, is a stakeholder advisor to EDF Energy, a company which is working systematically to harvest as much cash as possible from the government for renewable and green energy provision.

Richard Ayre, a colleague of Ms Hastings on the ESC, was a career BBC journalist before becoming a quangocrat. He is also is a former chairman (2003-5) of a body called Article 19. This fights for freedom of expression, but like many such leftist organisations, also has a major climate change alarmist agenda. Its website declares:

At the national level, greening the economy will include improving fiscal policy reform, reducing environmentally harmful subsidies, employing new market–‐based instruments, and targeting public Investments to “green” key sectors.

Finally,  the most recent recruit to the ESC and the Trustees.Is Nick Prettejohn, His career is in the financial services sector, and he has recently also been appointed chairman of Scottish Widows Group. His new company website states:

Fundamentally SWIP believes that strong climate policies from governments are the essential pre-requisite to addressing climate risk. Without strong climate policies we will fail to mitigate climate change.

So, to recap. The BBC has been caught red-handed spending half a million pounds on a project specifically designed to spread climate change alarm and panic among some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

But, chilling as this is, the evidence is not actually hidden, nor is it new. It is going on blatantly in broad daylight, aided and abetted by Trustees who are seemingly hell-bent on a climate change crusade.

So when is  Mr Whittingdale, and his committee going to wake up and intervene? The BBC itself won’t change because the rot is in the inside from the very top downwards. The only hope is that Parliament will act with the teeth it sadly only sometimes bares.  BBC Media Action   has spent an astonishing £500,000 on a cod survey in Asia that is designed to spread alarm about climate change among some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Its methodology is so laughably inept that it doesn’t bear a moment’s scrutiny: how can lay respondents know with certainty (as the survey asked them) how much local climate has changed?

For the uninitiated, BBC Media Action was set up in 2011 to work alongside the BBC World Service in delivering desirable change in developing countries. It claims to be an ‘independent body’, but  is funded  by taxes because much of its money comes from  the Department for International Development and the EU. Further, at least half its board of Trustees is actually nominated by the BBC. The current chairman, Peter Horrocks (a former editor of Newsnight)  is also in charge of the BBC World Service broadcasting operation.

News-watch has been investigating Media Action (and its predecessor body, the World Service Trust)  for several years. News of the Asian surveywas posted  two months ago on the News-watch website, and it has also been noted that its activities were likely to be intensified with the influx of £20m of funds from backers such as the EU – and also because the World Service is expanding massively. The goal is to double the audience in five years.

That may well presage more of the Asian style surveys.  If so, it will amount to blatant climate change alarmism on an unprecedented scale.

Most appalling s is that Media Action is deliberately targeting vulnerable young people, with the effect of inculcating a hugely negative worldview and a deep loathing for capitalism. The Asian report is full of unmitigated gloom and threatens famine, drought and disease on a massive scale. Despite the mental damage it causes, targeting the impressionable young has always been regarded as legitimate by those with extreme political causes because – like Prince Charles – they believe they are ‘saving the world’ and that validates any tactics, no matter how repugnant or morally questionable.

John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Commons media and culture committee, the main parliamentary BBC watchdog, professes that he is ’astonished’ that the survey was authorised and claims it is a waste of money. But with respect to this very fair-minded man, it seems  that he and his committee colleagues have been fast asleep on their watch.

The reality is that Media Action works as it does because it has the backing of the highest levels of the BBC. Here’s the evidence:

Alison Hastings,  the Trustee who chairs the editorial standards committee (ESC),  the internal editorial watchdog, issued a Trustee statement four years ago which, in effect, said that those who disagree with climate change alarmism would get only very limited exposure because there was a ‘consensus’ that they were wrong.

Diana Coyle, the current Trustees deputy chairman, who is hoping to become the next chairman, is a stakeholder advisor to EDF Energy, a company which is working systematically to harvest as much cash as possible from the government for renewable and green energy provision.

Richard Ayre, a colleague of Ms Hastings on the ESC, was a career BBC journalist before becoming a quangocrat. He is also is a former chairman (2003-5) of a body called Article 19. This fights for freedom of expression, but like many such leftist organisations, also has a major climate change alarmist agenda. Its website declares:

At the national level, greening the economy will include improving fiscal policy reform, reducing environmentally harmful subsidies, employing new market–‐based instruments, and targeting public Investments to “green” key sectors.

Finally,  the most recent recruit to the ESC and the Trustees.Is Nick Prettejohn, His career is in the financial services sector, and he has recently also been appointed chairman of Scottish Widows Group. His new company website states:

Fundamentally SWIP believes that strong climate policies from governments are the essential pre-requisite to addressing climate risk. Without strong climate policies we will fail to mitigate climate change.

So, to recap. The BBC has been caught red-handed spending half a million pounds on a project specifically designed to spread climate change alarm and panic among some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

But, chilling as this is, the evidence is not actually hidden, nor is it new. It is going on blatantly in broad daylight, aided and abetted by Trustees who are seemingly hell-bent on a climate change crusade.

So when is  Mr Whittingdale, and his committee going to wake up and intervene? The BBC itself won’t change because the rot is in the inside from the very top downwards. The only hope is that Parliament will act with the teeth it sadly only sometimes bares.

Photo by ToastyKen

BBC complaints ruling: ‘Is major threat to free speech’

To the Guardian and presumably its diminishing band of readers, the issue of climate change alarmism is settled. We are all going to fry and they know it beyond doubt. They have an army of correspondents who tell us so.

Many disagree strongly, but the Guardian is entitled to its views. That’s the reality of a free press:  a newspaper can choose its own editorial policy, no matter how biased or against the odds.

Not so the BBC. It’s governed by a Royal Charter which dictates that on matters of public controversy, it must be even handed and balanced in its coverage of events.

But it appears that any pretence of this has gradually been abandoned by the liberal elite that now run it – as the latest ruling by the Corporation’s head of complaints, Fraser Steel has vividly and chillingly shown.  The Corporation is now acting like its own version of Big Brother, dictating what we should think about key issues of national and international debate. And guess what? Its army of publicly-funded staff are uncompromisingly pursuing a leftist agenda.

Back in February, Lord Lawson – who became so concerned about climate change alarmism that he has set up the Global Warming Policy Foundation – appeared on the Today programme to react to the appallingly cack-handed official response to the Somerset floods. Many believed they had been greatly made worse by the Environment Agency’s green and alarmist approach to flood management, and Lord Lawson said so. That in itself was a miracle – for once, the Today programme allowed an opponent of its worldview to put a different perspective.

On the programme with him was Sir Brian Hoskins, a well known alarmist, who is so fervent in his views about the topic that he believes that billions of pounds must be spent on combating the environment dragons he sees in every temperature change. He is also hugely active in pursuing his cause, a one man-band of propaganda who has huge resources behind him, regular unchallenged access to BBC microphones, and the ear of government.

After the programme, one Chit Chong, a member of the Green party, wrote to the BBC and complained that allowing both men too put their views was totally unfair, because  a consensus of scientists believed that Lord Lawson was wrong and Sir Brian was ‘right’. He argued that the BBC had given too much airtime to Lord Lawson’s views. The greenie warrior stated that the Corporation had, in effect, legitimised the illegitimate.

Enter Fraser Steel, the BBC’s complaints chief. And in jaw-dropping, nakedly Orwellian fashion, he has now ruled that Chit Chong was right. According to a leaked report of his findings in – surprise, surprise, the Guardian – Mr Steel has said that Lord Lawson’s views on climate change alarmism  ‘are not supported by computer modelling and scientific research’ and ‘this was not made sufficiently clear to the audience’.  He reportedly concludes:

“I don’t believe this was made sufficiently clear to the audience… it is important to ensure that such views are put into the appropriate context and given due (rather than equal) weight.”

If this is true, let’s not mince words. What this means is that because the BBC has decreed that climate change alarmism is proved by ‘consensus’, Lord Lawson, and those who doubt the BBC’s alarmism,  should not ever be given equal airtime to put their case, if at all. And it also raises the ludicrous prospect that before any such broadcast involving an opponent of alarmism, there should be editorial comment that such views are not supported by consensus.  So in future, this, in effect, is what must happen (if Lord Lawson is ever asked to appear again, which now must be in doubt):

John Humphrys: “With me now is Lord Lawson. I have to tell you first that the BBC has decided that the point of view he is expressing is not backed by scientific facts because a consensus of scientists tell us that this is the case.  Now Lord Lawson, what do you think about this matter?”

This, surely,  is a chilling assault against the concept of free speech.  It’s hard to discover anything about Fraser Steel or his background because the BBC website says nothing about him other than that he is head of the complaints unit. But what we now appear to have in place have is an army of BBC bureaucrats armed with a set of  cock-eyed, right-on rules; they use their own brand of prejudice in measuring every damn piece of BBC broadcasting  to see if it measures up to the Corporation’s Own Version of The Truth.

Europhile Quango Queen ‘Backed by Cameron for BBC top job’

Europhile Quango Queen ‘Backed by Cameron for BBC top job’

With perhaps wearying predictability, another major Europhile is firmly in the frame to become as successor to Lord Patten as BBC chairman.

It’s rumoured that she is Diana Coyle, the current deputy chairman, an economist who has written books on the topic and also worked in the Independent newspaper as a commentator.  Interviews for the job take place next month.

Ms Coyle is married to Rory Cellan Jones, the BBC’s staid technology editor and her career over the past decade has been as a quango queen. Like so many of these figures, she also serves – without a breath of irony – on the Competition Commission.

Few people will have heard of Ms Coyle, but she has been a BBC governor since 2006 and, according to the Guardian, has become a strong favourite to become chairman because David Cameron wants a woman in the role and also because she is seen as a safe pair of hands.

Could the real reason be, however, that he actually wants someone who will be totally on his side in his stated position that membership of the EU is good for the UK?

Certainly, Ms Coyle avidly shares Lord Patten’s enthusiasm for the EU.   She wrote in the Independent when Blair-Brown battle about the UK’s euro membership was at its height:

The defenders of sterling are, in the main, a group of elderly men with more stake in their past than in our future. They clothe their gut anti-Europeanism and Little Englandism in the language of rational economic argument[1].

The following year, Ms Coyle was equally vehement in her dismissal of the idea that an inflationary boom in Ireland was caused by the euro. She maintained that it was only Eurosceptics who supported such views[2].

It may therefore be assumed, that, as a Europhile,  like Lord Patten, she supports the EU in its climate change alarmism policies. This is evident in a book she wrote in 2011, The Economics of Enough. This is an account of an interview she gave about her work:

Diane Coyle, author of The Economics of Enough, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future and the ideas in her book. Coyle argues that the financial crisis, the entitlement crisis, and climate change all reflect a failure to deal with the future appropriately. The conversation ranges across a wide range of issues including debt, the financial sector, and the demographic challenges of an aging population that is promised generous retirement and health benefits. Coyle argues for better measurement of the government budget and suggests ways that the political process might be made more effective[3]

What is also striking is that Ms Coyle, alongside Lord Patten, is an advisor to EDF Energy, which like other energy companies, is perpetuating climate change alarmism so that it can line its pockets with green energy and renewable government subsidies.

That, of course, chimes with the BBC’s own agenda. Her long-time BBC Trust colleague is Alison Hastings, who has decreed that the promulgation of climate change alarmism is compulsory for all BBC journalists.

One thing is certain about Ms Coyle if she does land the chairman’s role.  She won’t be pressing for any significant changes in the BBC’s journalism.  She has already declared:

“I’ve always valued the BBC, not least as the best provider of news coverage in the world. Its impartiality and comprehensive coverage underpin its vital civic role.”

Given that the BBC Trustees are supposed also to be watchdogs in terms of standards, that’s a terrifying expression of complacency.

 

[1] Independent, 8 April 1999

[2]  “IMF verdict on Ireland to disappoint euro-sceptics”, Independent, 7 August 2000.

[3] http://www.econtalk.org/archives/_featuring/diane_coyle/

Photo by R/DV/RS

Paxman ‘Shows BBC decline’

Paxman ‘Shows BBC decline’

So, it’s good night from him, then. Jeremy Paxman has ended his marathon quarter century stint as presenter of BBC2’s Newsnight.
Though he achieved some palpable hits – famously, his devastating interrogation of then home secretary Michael Howard – I think he never really delivered in his perceived role of Inquisitor General of the Corporation, a mantle he assumed from Sir Robin Day. In reality such skewerings were extremely rare; in those 25 years only half a dozen stand out. Sir Robin once said – on the anniversary of his 25 years at the BBC – that it seemed to him that he began his career as the fierce Torquemada and ended up as the ever-so-’umble Uriah Heep; that, too, is the fate of Paxman.
Actually the Newsnight Paxman has presented for so long is seen by many to be both discredited and a spent force. It amounts now to little more than a very expensive vanity publishing exercise by the 8,000-strong £1 billion-a year BBC news division. Newsnight is set-piece, very expensive, old-style television, launched in 1980 when there were only three television channels. The rest of the world has moved on in the way it uses and consumes news. It’s very rare that those set-piece interviews yield anything new because our politicians are now trained to the nth degree in dodging bullets.
This staleness is compounded by a long decline in standards. The utter fiasco of Newsnight’s failure to report the Savile affair, and its downright nasty, incompetent an inexcusable accusations against Lord McAlpine are clear evidence of this. Add to that the continued decline in the programme’s average viewing figures, from well over a million each night to around d 600,000 (at times as low as 320,00) and its sectarian colonisation by ex-Guardian journalists – the editor is Ian Katz, a former deputy editor – and the picture of its inadequacy and decay is complete.
It’s the BBC pretending it is engaged in serious investigative journalism of record when in reality Newsnight as it is now does little more than bounce back at the Corporation its own warped left-wing view of the world –on a whole raft of issues such as immigration, climate change and the EU.
And many believe Paxman bears a major responsibility for this. This became clear when back in 1999 News-watch undertook he task of monitoring the BBC’s coverage of that year’s European elections. It was a very different political landscape: William Hague was the then very eurosceptic leader of the Conservative Party, Tony Blair was his all-powerful general electoral nemesis and UKIP commanded only 7% of the vote.
In the BBC’s coverage, what stood out – in an election which Hague eventually won with 36% of the national vote against Labour with 28% – was that the whole event was regarded as a turn-off. There were very few items on any of the BBC’s programmes and those that were broadcast viewed the issues involved mainly through the lazy and biased prism of Conservative splits, even though by that time the vast majority of both grassroots and parliamentary members were united in being massively eurosceptic. News-watch dubbed this ‘bias by omission’ – a failure to report the key issues because the BBC was so pro-EU that it did not think they were important or interesting.
Paxman stood out in our survey because in one of the very few Newsnight election items, on the day of the vote, he leaned to camera, and to the accompaniment of footage showing a battery of deserted polling stations, declared that it had been, and I quote, ‘an outbreak of narcolepsy’.
True, turnout was only 24%, but 10m Britons had actually voted, and the irony of his remark was seemingly totally lost on him. Did no one ask a simple question? Perhaps no one had voted because Newsnight itself and the BBC as a whole had not bothered to make the election interesting. Paxman’s smug talk of sleeping sickness epitomised the massed battalions of the news division’s lethargic and biased approach to the EU.
They were so much in favour of continued membership and ridiculing or ignoring the withdrawal and sceptic lobbies that they failed to put effort into making the key areas of policy, procedure and debate interesting for viewers.
That attitude persists. They might now occasionally discuss ‘Europe’ and ‘withdrawal’ but only through the BBC’s own highly-sectarian lens. There is massive bias by omission, and as a result, many of the British public are woefully under-informed about the true nature of the EU project.
Paxman, John Humphrys apart, has been for at least two decades the most powerful individual journalist at the BBC. Instead of fighting for change, and editorial integrity, he settled for the comfort of the journalistic equivalent of pipe and slippers. In the end, he became totally part of the fabric of a once powerful but now decrepit, outmoded and totally discredited programme.

Photo by dullhunk

BBC Glastonbury Extravaganza: Why and at what cost?

BBC Glastonbury Extravaganza: Why and at what cost?

Headline of the week about the BBC is that they are sending 300 staff to cover the Glastonbury festival to deliver around 80 hours of coverage on their main channels on television and radio.

Heading the junket are those brilliant broadcasters Fearne Cotton and Lauren Laverne. Several newspapers have focused on the story because the total is higher than the 272 being sent to cover the World Cup in Brazil.

Actually, the total at Glastonbury for the BBC is probably significantly more because almost certainly there will be a further freelancers and contractors supporting the Corporation presence.

This type of story is not really new. Back in 2009, it was noted that there were more BBC workers at the festival than there had been at the Beijing Olympics the previous year, at an estimated cost to the corporation of £1.5m. What price today?

Those who usually attend include the BBC’s creative director Alan Yentob.  He has held a reception for festival goers at licence-fee payers’ expense at his nearby Somerset home.

The BBC claims with customary intransigence that every one of their contingent is needed because this is a ‘major cultural event’.

Says who?  Well, of course, the BBC itself. Over the years the corporation’s massive presence there has elevated awareness of the festival to stratospheric levels.

And why?  The event actually accommodates just 135,000 people and costs £210 for a ticket, so it’s not exactly mass market. And this year’s headline acts – who include Dolly Parton and Robert Plant – are not exactly at the cutting edge of musical innovation or taste (though obviously enjoyed by many).

So the real reasons probably lie elsewhere. Is it that the BBC likes what Glastonbury stands for? The festival started life as an icon of the drug-taking counter-culture and the suspicion must be that in the BBC’s collective eyes remains at its centre. And – probably more crucially – it’s also a platform for charity sponsors who share the BBC’s values on issues such as climate change alarmism. One of them is Greenpeace, which says:

“This year there will be a new centrepiece the massive  Aurora the giant polar bear!… a messenger from the Arctic reminding Festival goers that it’s an area under threat like never before. Attendees can hear her stories, and join in with the children’s workshops where everyone is welcome. All around the field are Greenpeace campaigners who can bring Festival goers up to date with their campaigns like the Arctic, giving the facts about things like fracking, flooding and even what’s behind the climate chaos that threatens us all.”

Major eco-activism is thus centrally on the agenda, including terrifying children and telling us that we are all going to die. That’s exactly the propaganda that the boys and girls at the BBC love spreading so much, and is endorsed at the highest levels.

Meanwhile, as saturation-level Glastonbury and Brazil football coverage looms, the 8,000 strong BBC news division continues to practise bias by omission over news issues that truly matter. This weekend, the EU has announced a new health and safety law framework that, as many commentators note, will usher the dawn of both a Draconian new regime and severely further erode national sovereignty. So what do the battalions of BBC news staff make of this alarming new development? On the BBC website, there’s not a peep.

Photo by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer

Selective Leaking: BBC knocks down its own UKIP Aunt Sally

Selective Leaking: BBC knocks down its own UKIP Aunt Sally

One of the ways that the BBC defends itself against criticism is to say that viewers have complained in ‘record numbers’ against particular aspects of programming.

It’s particularly effective because it creates a smokescreen of the Corporation’s own making and largely within its own control that generates newspaper headlines in the BBC’s favour.

And here, the BBC’s house organ, the Guardian has dutifully bitten, with a story that trumpets that there has been a ‘record number of complaints’ about the BBC coverage of recent elections because it gave too much coverage of UKIP that was too often biased in favour of its leader Nigel Farage.

The trigger  has been perhaps that the Daily Mail, among others, claimed earlier this week  in an editorial  that BBC coverage of the recent elections had been seriously biased against UKIP.

The vehicle of the release of this supposed barrage of complaints  against the BBC’s UKIP coverage was  BBC’s own programme Newswatch, in which the BBC’s own political editor, Nick Robinson was ‘challenged’ to explain why so much coverage was carried.

How very cosy.

The News-watch that runs this site is actually carrying out a properly objective study of the BBC’s election coverage. It’s a massive task that will take at least two months, and will analyse line by line what was actually said about the case for EU withdrawal  on eight of the leading news and current affairs programmes, including R4’s Today, World at One, PM and The World Tonight.

One thing that is already sure is that in the past, News-watch surveys have shown that BBC coverage of the withdrawal case has been seriously biased because over thousands of hours of programming, there has been no effort to explore properly the issues involved.  At the same time, as the Civitas paper shows, the BBC has sought to enlist academic legitimacy to their coverage efforts, which News-watch has demonstrated are deeply flawed.

This Guardian/Newswatch  exercise mentioned above is much more crude: in reality, the BBC setting up its own Aunt Sally (the fake spectre of too much UKIP coverage), with Nick Robinson riding to the rescue to knock it down.

Photo by (Mick Baker)rooster

Caught red-handed: BBC anti-withdrawal bias

Caught red-handed: BBC anti-withdrawal bias

The BBC swears until it is blue in the face that it is not biased against the case for withdrawal from the EU, and that it reports the campaign fairly. It engaged at vast expense Stuart Prebble, a former BBC trainee, and long-time chum of BBC Trustee David Liddiment, to write a highly questionable academic report that said so.

But this is a big fat economy with the truth, as events at the end of the European Parliament election campaign have revealed graphically.

First, as Guido Fawkes has adroitly revealed, Jasmine Lawrence, one of the roster of editors of the BBC News Channel, has let slip in her (now deleted) Twitter account the BBC’s corporate derisive view of UKIP.  They are ‘sexists’ and ‘racists’.  And second, the BBC complaints bureaucracy has been forced to admit that the May 18 News Review Radio 4 programme seriously misrepresented the views about UKIP of Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens.

Mr Prebble, it will be recalled, penned his ‘objective’ report about BBC EU output for his chums at the corporation against a background in which John Humphrys, one of the corporation’s most high-profile presenters, and Mark Thompson, a former director general, were thinking privately (and eventually admitted publicly) that despite outward protestations of fairness, the corporation’s EU coverage was in fact deeply biased against those who supported withdrawal.

Mr Prebble went out of his way to pour a massive bucket of cold water over research by News-watch – conducted over more than 15 years – that showed beyond doubt that what Mr Humphrys and Mr Thompson thought privately was true.  He pointedly ignored statistics taken from sustained monitoring of the Today programme by News-watch that showed that less than  0.004% of programme time was taken by ‘come outers’ talking about their case, together with transcript analysis which emonstrated that interviews with eurosceptics focused relentlessly on the negative and rarely, if ever, touched on the actual arguments against the EU.

News-watch has consistently shown that the reality of the corporation’s EU coverage is that it is, and always has been, pro-EU and has often been venomously negative against those who want to leave.

The Peter Hitchen episode shows how deep and pervasive this hostility actually is. The full account of what Mr Hitchen wrote and what the BBC broadcast is up on Biased BBC. He was quoted in News Review on May 18 as saying that UKIP was ‘doddery’, ‘farcical’ and ‘very unclear about its goals’. The quote came in a newspaper review sequence which contained a torrent of anti-UKIP comments, including that they were racists.   Mr Hitchens’ comments were taken completely out of context from a much longer item in a way which even the most novice reporter would have known was gross misrepresentation.

The BBC is actually going to broadcast an apology (something that very, very rarely happens). This shows how crass the journalism was, but it doesn’t deal at all with the main issue. As Mr Hitchens points out, they routinely do this with his views on such topics. And as New-watch research shows such negativity fits with the BBC’s overall pattern of anti-withdrawal reporting.

Miss Lawrence and her twittering is a different matter. This was a middle-ranking BBC news executive, who tweeted:

#WhyImVotingUkip – to stand up for white, middle class, middle aged men w sexist/racist views, totally under represented in politics today—
Jasmine Lawrence (@journomummy) May 21, 2014

The ‘Why I’m Voting UKIP’ Twitter tag was actually set up as a vehicle for those who want to pour vile opprobrium on both UKIP and the case for withdrawal. It is filled with venomous invective that shows the nastier side of political ‘debate’.  That Miss Lawrence felt it appropriate for an ‘objective’ BBC senior staff member to comment there defies belief. It is surely a disciplinary matter.

But hang on!  This is the BBC that both routinely villifies EU withdrawal, and believes beyond doubt that manmade climate change is a serious threat and that it must report the debate about such matters accordingly, suppressing comment from those who disagree.  Perhaps, in that deliberately anti-capitalist climate,  Miss Lawrence automatically assumed  that espousing withdrawal is racist, and that this gave her permission to go into attack dog mode. The BBC have been saying so for at least 15 years, and much of the other media is joining in, so what’s wrong with that?

Photo by shawncampbell

BBC Plugs Sham EU ‘Debate’ About EU Presidency

BBC Plugs Sham EU ‘Debate’ About EU Presidency

A frequent problem in the BBC’s coverage of EU issues, as John Humphrys has accepted, is a failure to present the full facts:  bias by omission.

If the BBC collectively doesn’t like an aspect of UK policy – such as the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ – there is a relentless editorial focus against it. No stone is left unturned by BBC reporters in finding opposition to the measure, and correspondents take every opportunity to fire barbs against it.

But the Corporation is in favour of the EU project as a whole, and News-watch research has shown that its stance regularly leads to both bias by omission and distortion.

This was definitely the case in coverage of the so-called ‘debate’ held on Thursday night (May 15) by the EU featuring leaders of five groups in the European Parliament.  The BBC billed it online as the political equivalent of the Eurovision song contest.  And though words of caution were buried in the small print of the reports, the concerted aim was clearly to project the event as a triumph of EU democracy.

Gavin Hewitt, the BBC’s Europe editor, trumpeted in the beginning of his article that this was part of the ‘EU’s election race’ and that the debate featured ‘five candidates for Europe’s top job’- the presidency of the European Commission.   He also faithfully reflected the EU’s claim that this was a ‘great debate’ and gave the clear impression that it was part of the May 22 elections for the European Parliament.

Mr Hewitt further suggested that the exchanges – between the five leaders of  the pro-EU groupings in  the European Parliament – were a key event towards the ‘election’  not just of MEPs, but also to the EU’s top political and administrative job, the presidency of the  EU Commission.

FACT 1:  the poll to elect MEPs on May has nothing to do with the presidency of the EU Commission. Some in the EU want this to change, but there is little prospect of this.

FACT 2:  the next president of the European Commission will most likely be chosen by the Council of Ministers when they meeting in Brussels at the end of June.  In theory, the appointment could be blocked by the European Parliament, but this is most unlikely.

FACT 3:  the European Commission, which in effect drives the EU legislative process (though the European Parliament can recommend some changes), is not and never has been elected.

FACT 4: Was this a debate anyway? As even Gavin Hewitt noted, all the participants agreed that the way forward for the EU was further integration.

The ‘debate’ on Thursday night might therefore be regarded as nothing at all to do with ‘democracy’, but rather a cynical and blatant PR exercise to distort or disguise the real nature of how the EU operates.

Gavin Hewitt must know this – and indeed, his report contains hints that this is the case – but he projected instead above all else that this was both part of the European elections and would have an impact.  He ignored and down-weighted the key facts.  It was thus a classic case of bias by omission.

Photo by Cédric Puisney

BBC charter must not be renewed until pro-EU bias ends

BBC charter must not be renewed until pro-EU bias ends

Lord Pearson of Rannoch, initiated an hour’s debate in the House of Lords about biased BBC coverage of the EU. His main demand was that the BBC Charter is not renewed until the bias is rectified, and his key point that despite repeated assertions to the contrary the BBC simply does not cover the withdrawal perspective fairly or adequately.  The debate can be read in full here: Click here

The peers’ collective words on this vital topic have gone unreported – especially by the BBC. Lord Pearson of Rannoch referred centrally in his contribution  to a News-watch report that said that says that the BBC’s Prebble report (which gave the corporation’s EU coverage a virtual clean bill of health) was unprofessional and ‘incestuous’.

Lord Pearson asserted in conclusion:

“So I ask the Government not to renew the BBC’s charter until they are satisfied that it is capable of fulfilling it. This afternoon, I have dealt only with the BBC’s coverage of the EU. Similar criticisms could be made of its coverage of immigration and manmade climate change, at least. In conclusion, I trust that the Government will ensure that the BBC’s editorial freedom is preserved, but with that freedom must come the fulfilment of the great ideals of its charter. I beg to move.”

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BBC  in new World Service Propaganda Push

BBC in new World Service Propaganda Push

Be afraid, be very afraid.

James Harding, the director of BBC news and current affairs, has delivered a speech in which he has said the BBC’s ambition is to double the reach of the World Service in the next eight years: He stated:

“Internationally, Sir Howard Stringer has been looking at how we can take the BBC’s global audience of roughly 250 million people to 500 million by 2022. He will report his findings next month. It has made me feel extremely privileged and proud to see the way in which the return of the World Service to licence fee funding has prompted us to reaffirm our commitment to delivering news to audiences of need around the world, to commit to a protected and, preferably, growing budget and to explore how to deliver more of the World Service’s journalism to audiences at home.”

To be sure, the World Service is enjoyed by many, and is thought by some to deliver an important United Kingdom perspective on world events.  But in recent years, it has transmuted into something very different:  an integral part of the ‘development culture’ which sees providing aid and services to the developing world as a mission founded four-square on liberal political objectives.

Sweeping claims – what evidence is there to support them? The framework is actually well established and not hidden, as we have previously noted on this site. The World Service operates hand in glove with its charitable arm BBC  Media Action, an organisation which its website shows works flat out with NGOs and other sundry agitators around the world (under the guise of working for ‘human rights’). It attracts bucket loads of cash for its objectives from both the EU and the government Department of International Development. Among its main aims is  to spread the primary ‘climate change’ message, essentially that we are all going to die unless we stop burning fossil fuel and mend our wicked capitalist ways.

In that respect a main cheerleader alongside Mr Harding is BBC Trustee Richard Ayre, a former BBC news executive who was also for many years involved in Article 19, an international campaigning organisation which sees as a major part of its goals the enforcement of international environmental law – in essence, the climate change agenda.

An example of this work by the BBC’s Media Action arm  is this survey. They have set in train an ‘education’ project across six major countries in Asia which is about spreading the word about ‘climate change’ and aims to trigger people to take action against it.  What this means in practice is that the BBC are providing propaganda tools to reach and terrify schoolchildren on a massive scale. In Nepal, for example, young kids are being systematically trained as militant activists.This is described as foillows:

Project: “Child Voices: Children of Nepal Speak Out on Climate Change Adaptation” by Children in a Changing Climate and Action Aid.

Objectives:The purpose of the project was to make children’s concerns heard, and to persuade decision-makers to incorporate children’s adaptation needs into policy-making.

Target Audience: Target audiences included local communities for awareness raising; local decision-makers, NGOs and UN agencies for advocacy; and policymakers for policy change.

Project Design: Poor children in rural and urban areas of Nepal were supported to make short films about how climate change is being experienced by their communities. Making these films allowed children to explore how the changing climate is impacting them and their families, how they are coping, and what they need in order to adapt.

Communication: Messages centred on the need for advocacy on children’s adaptation needs.

Partners: Children in a Changing Climate is a coalition of leading child-focused research, development and humanitarian organisations

Channels & Formats: The films were shown in local communities, featured on TV and are available online. A report was also produced based on the findings of the participatory video project.

Impact: The use of participatory video (1) helped children in Nepal better understand climate change impacts (2) helped prioritise their adaptation needs, and (3) helped advocate for change. The children successfully used their videos to gain adaptation funding, for example for a bridge to help children get to school during the monsoon season. At the national level, the report and videos supported an ongoing dialogue with the government on child rights and climate change where it was agreed that children need to be a priority group in Nepal’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).”

Of course, anything that genuinely improves the lives of the poor is Nepal is to be welcomed; the bridge was no doubt needed. But they also desperately need access to cheap energy and fuel, the most effective way of ending deprivation – and the climate change  movement does not want that; they insist that the only acceptable energy generation is via vastly expensive ‘green’ schemes.

So what Mr Harding actually means when he talks about World Service expansion  is that BBC journalists are gearing up to indoctrinate ever-larger audiences with BBC-NGO values that include as a central component climate change alarmism.

Photo by R/DV/RS