Many moons ago, I used to be a BBC FoC. That is, I was father of the chapel (shop steward) of the National Union of Journalists BBC information division branch. There were even in those distant days at least 70 people working in BBC spin (the total last time I counted was almost treble that), but I thus know from personal experience that we were a militant, left-wing, revolting lot. Nothing, I can safely surmise, has probably changed; and now the whole of the BBC NUJ has voted to go on strike over their pensions. Hurrah! That means that we will have four days totally free of BBC bias. But more seriously, there’s a big issue at stake here.

I reported some time ago that the BBC £8.2bn pension fund was run on an “ethical” (code for climate change/greenie fanatic)basis by Peter Dunscombe, who was also then chairman of the Institutional Investment Group on Climate Change(IIGCC). This has the following goals:

The IIGCC Investor Statement on Climate change was launched in October 2006. Asset owners and asset managers who signed the Statement committed to increasing their focus on climate change in their own processes and in their engagement with companies and governments.

Analysis of the BBC fund investment portfolio suggested a heavy emphasis on such “ethical” investments. Of course, BBC journalists no doubt supported this strategy; after all they are, collectively and individually, world leaders in disseminating greenie propaganda. So there’s a delicious irony in this strike. The BBC journalists all no doubt wanted a green investment strategy, and now they have got it. I can’t say with certainty that that’s the reason for the cutbacks that are now underway – I’m not a pensions actuary – but recent reports suggest that such investments don’t yield all that’s expected of them (to put it mildly). As the consequences and the truth hit home, and cut backs have to be made, the BBC propagandists, sorry, I mean journalists, are yelping with pain. My heart bleeds.

Update: The BBC boys and the girls in the NUJ who are worried about their pensions might benefit from a perusal of the latest Pension Fund accounts from 2008. They reveal that on top of the Peter Dunscombe connection to eckowackery, the trustees have put their faith in future investment strategy on an international investment outfit called Hermes EOS. Surprise, surprise, their reasoning is that this will effect:

environmentally responsible investing and to encourage these practices in the course of engagements

And guess what underpins their efforts? Why, it’s the UN’s “Principles for Responsible Investment”. What does this mean? Have a look here. The principles are outlined in publications such as “Launch of CEO Briefing: ‘Demystifying Materiality: Hardwiring biodiversity and ecosystem services into finance'”. In other words, its green fanaticism cloaked in UN verbiage, but meaning that they are all part of the same warmist/biodiversity religious fervour.

As you sow, so shall you reap.

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  1. NotaSheep says:

    If the BBC ‘journalists’ go on strike, the programmes will still need to go out. Can I suggest that B-BBC put forward suggestions for alternative news programme presenters… I am willing to replace Victoria Derbyshire on 5Live for the duration of the strike as I am sure she would not be so disloyal to her colleagues as to cross a picket line.


  2. Martin says:

    My concern is if we the tax payer are forced to pay money into this useless pension plan for these drugged up loons.


  3. Roland Deschain says:

    but recent reports suggest that such investments don’t yield all that’s expected of them

    Au contraire.  They yield precisely what most of us here would expect of them.


  4. Backwoodsman says:

    Well, I supose they can prepare their three daily Coalition bashing stories in advance, before they go on strike.
    Am I alone in not being too concerned that a few people on more than twice the local average wage round here, might have to tell their partners why they no longer get child allowance ?
    Pretty desperate stuff from the unofficial oposition.


  5. George R says:

    BBC-NUJ: propaganda and pension funds.

    These two articles seem to be relevant:


    “Climategate: Mad Sunday”

    (James Delingpole, Feb 2010)

    “Follow the Money: BBC Exposed in Biggest Climate Racket on Planet”

    (by John O’Sullivan)


    “The chairman of IIGCC and BBC head of pensions investment Peter Dunscombe said:
     ‘The credibility of emissions trading schemes would be greatly improved with a robust price signal as well as clear and frequent communication from the regulator on trading data and improved transparency over direct government participation in schemes.’
     “Yes, you did read that correctly: ‘IIGCC chairman and BBC head of pensions investment Peter Dunscombe…”’

    “The BBC is in the Chair of this Carbon Trading driven investment scheme! Now you know why the BBC’s thought police have been censoring climate skeptics shamelessly for years.
     “UKIP’s Member of the European Parliament, Godfrey Bloom was vilified by the warmist press for refusing to back down from his attack on the BBC in the UK’s fine Daily Telegraph, in which he said:
     ‘The BBC has blocked skeptics of climate change for four years now, no debate is allowed on the BBC. It is biased reporting and it is censorship.’


  6. john says:

    I can understand to some extent the appeal of greenery to those of a religious disposition, particularly as traditional Christianity is no longer there to feed their psychosis, and dominance of Islam is still some time away.

    Unfortunately, the religious basis of a greenies world view stops them seeing the obvious fact that ongoing world recession can only lead in one direction. It’s so easy to worry about polar bears, sea levels, and forests when you are well fed and have all of the toys you need. However, as soon as austerity bites, non-businesses pandering to the green fantasy whose incomes are largely from taxes provided by bankrupt governments will be the first to go to the wall, and along with them, the BBC pension fund.


  7. Scrappydoo says:

    They should show the film – I’M All Right Jack. 


  8. Phil says:

    There’s only one ethic involved in the NUJ’s attitude to the BBC’s pension scheme.


    These people want a big fat final salary pension pot regardless of whether their contributions have been sufficient to fund it.


  9. Cassandra King says:

    The BBC pension fund and the beeboids who have been flogging and pimping lies to fill their pension pots?

    I hope the beeboids lose their shirts and I hope they choke on the irony of peddling the green/ethical investment scam so hard for years only to fall victim to it in the form of crappy pensions..hmm…aaaah I have the exact words I am feeling,

     HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA irony can be so ironic sometimes.


  10. AndyUk06 says:

    You can still invest ethically AND enjoy a decent return over the long term.  The BBC has opted for some truly dire options, that unless subsidized in some way will only lead to disappointment in the long term. 

    I often thought that the reasons behind their constant hyping of global warming had to be economic, and not due to any sensitive desire to help suffering humanity.  They are lumbered with severely underfunded pensions that are unlikely to make anywhere near the kind of returns of the market average. 

    Had the BBC just piggybacked the UK/Global markets in a low-cost way, eg through index trackers, along with a modest increase in contributions during the ‘good’ years, then that would have done the job.  Instead they are relying on things that need frenzied hyping, constant scaremongering and hefty government subsidies in order to do well!


  11. John Anderson says:

    My limited experience of public sector pension funds is that their trustees often let them drift deep into deficit – through over-generous pension provisions – before they start raising proper warnings. 

    And once such funds go into the red – the deficit often increases because remedial action is not taken. 

    So a £1.5 billion deficit now could easily grow much larger unless the NUJ strike is faced down.  BECTU,  the main BBC union,  has already agreed to the necessary changes (which are probably insufficient but at least a good start).


    It is not clear how much of the BBC pension fund has gone into greenie investments.   If it is a substantial proportion,  serves them right – but in the end the licence-payers will be picking up some of the tab in terms of reduced BBC services.   Just as they will be next month.


    Another feature of public service pension schemes was that they presumed a continuing high level of employment.  eg that BT would remain the same size,  or in this case that the BBC will always have 20 to 25,000 employees kicking in contributions.

    But this is an obvious trap.   And reductions eventually forced on the public sector outfits merely exacerbate the pension fund deficits.


  12. David Preiser (USA) says:

    I guess the problems with the BBC penions explains why the BBC has censored all news of the massive, severe problems many US states have with their public pensions.  Illinois and California have essentially been bankrupted by them, and New York is nearly there.  And it’s getting worse elsewhere.

    Needless to say this has a drastic effect on Front Line Public Services™.  Is the BBC interested in this parallel?  Zzzzzzzz.


  13. English Pensioner says:

    Surely he is failing in his duty as a trustee.
    I understood the duties of pension fund trustees was to manage ( or arrange for the management) of the fund in the best interests of the potential beneficiaries. If they are not maximising the fund (without taking undue risks) they are in neglect of their duties and could be sued. The trustees of my pension fund were firmly told this in no uncertain terms by the fund’s legal advisor when one of the Trade Unions took a similar “ethical” stance.


    • Phil says:

      Maybe the BBC pension fund trustees foresaw a long future of inflation beating licence fee rises to bring in the cash necessary to offset the corporation’s obsession with deadbeat ‘ethical’ investments.

      Anyway, why do ‘ethical’ people need fantastic pensions? It’s not as if they are going to spend their retirement travelling, eating meat, driving a car or doing any of those expensive things which involve the use of a lot of the world’s limited resources and a high CO2 output.