JAW -DROPPING

Following up my post yesterday about Roger Harrabin’s partisan antics, eagle-eyed B-BBC reader John Horne Tooke found this gem, about our Roger’s chairing of the Environment Agency’s annual conference in November. This body, of course is chaired by former Labour culture minister, Chris Smith, who long since abandoned his marbles in his zeal for the green creed. The report of the conference is so jaw-dropping about Mr Harrabin that it deserves to be quoted almost in full:

As students and police clashed outside the Environment Agency’s annual conference got confrontational as its chairman attacked the Government for gagging the chairman and cutting its funding.

Against a background of police helicopters and loudly protesting students the Environment Agency annual conference yesterday (November 24) started with an attack on climate change scepticism and coalition cuts.

The event’s chair, the BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin, tore into the coalition Government and the apathy he perceived around cuts as well as the climate change movement.

Mr Harrabin, who opened as well as chaired the event in central London, introduced the agency’s chairman Lord Chris Smith saying he’d been gagged: “His words will have been edited in his head otherwise he’s facing the sack.”

The presenter also criticised Caroline Spelman, the secretary of state for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), over the cuts to her department which described as ‘the very worst’.

He said: “Everything is being cut and there’s widespread support for what is happening, everyone seems to be persuaded that cuts are the only way ahead.

“And DEFRA, from the greenest government this country has ever seen, has some of the very worst cuts floods and biodiversity are challenged even more than they were before.

“I hear talk in DEFRA of a lack of confidence, a lack of a sense of direction from a lot officials they don’t quite know where this is all going.”

Mr Harrabin also branded reports of plans to sell of Forestry Commission assets as ‘extremely controversial’.

So let’s get this straight. Mr Harrabin is levering his position as an “influential” environmentalist to earn extra money (up to £10,000 a pop, according the agencies with which he is registered) in chairing government conferences…a role which he uses as a platform to spout what looks like naked, unqualified anti-government, greenie propaganda? Of course, I’m relying on the report on the Edie site to reach my conclusions, and he may have been misreported, or reported out of context. But if only a fraction of what is in the account is correct, then what Mr Harrabin has become is a fully-fledged taxpayer-funded political activist. That squares with what Autonomous Mind and James Delingpole have also noted in terms of Mr Harrabin’s relationship with the Met Office. How does all this fit in with the BBC’s so-called impartiality?

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27 Responses to JAW -DROPPING

  1. NotaSheep says:

    IF true then this would make Roger Harrabin’s position as a journalist at an unbiased news organisation untenable, however as he works for the BBC I am sure he will be fine.

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  2. London Calling says:

    Iis clear in Harrabin’s mind, being an environmental journalist and spouting green nonsense are one and the same thing. He’s surrounded by people who spout the same green nonsense. He breathes in nonsense, he exhales nonsense. People feed him nonsense, whilst other seek out his nonsense and pay him well for it. How could it all be untrue? Its so “succesful”…

    Harrabin must go. He is a political activist corrupting the BBC’s mandate to report news impartially.  

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  3. hippiepooter says:

    Quite.  Meanwhile, while looking for a Tory Coalition Government response, the tumbleweed keeps blowing.

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    • Backwoodsman says:

      Not entirely ! Its fair to say that Defra’s number is largely up. With clowns like hilarity ‘veggie’ benn in charge , defra continued a long tradition of making life as difficult as possible for farmers, irrespective of the increased costs that this incurred, which natuarally end up costing the taxpayer more money.
      Defra / Environment agency also pandered to every special interest lobby out there, in line with veggie benns’ personal predilection. ( For a classic case, see the Seahorse Protection Society ( membership 3 people) getting the Environment Agency to hold a closed conference, to prohibit anchoring in a ruddy great chunk of the Dorset coast.)
      Spelman is showing encouraging signs of sorting this mess out. Don’t write her off yet !

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      • Tom says:

        Well, over the next few weeks The Environment Agency is being hauled up for lying to an MP, breach of it’s statutory powers, breach of contract and a list of over 20 items of clear and unequivocal wrongdoing in relation to it’s poisonous meddling in hydroelectric power schemes.

        Making life as difficult as possible eh? It’s going to take more than Mister Harrabin to dig them out of this mess.

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  4. hippiepooter says:

    From the EDIE report:  “Lord Smith, a former Labour MP, started his talk saying: “You should never believe anything you hear from journalists.”  
     
    It sounds like a well good smack down from Lord Smith for Harrabin.  The repercussions that should follow from Mr Harrabin’s outrageous behaviour are clear and obvious, but it seems the Minister Caroline Spelman doesn’t wish to suffer a BBC hate campaign against her.

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  5. Natsman says:

    “You should never believe anything you hear from journalists.”

    Or politicians, “scientists”, marxists, socialists, greenies, or peers of the realm, for that matter.

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  6. Guest Who says:

    How does all this fit in with the BBC’s so-called impartiality?’

    Well, it appears one must look deeper, and, er, more obscurely, perhaps to a genetic level?

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  7. Phil says:

    It’s a disgrace that the BBC employs such a fanatic as its environmental correspondent but it might be useful to leave him where he is.

    As the public loses whatever little interest it ever had in Harrabin’s wacky beliefs there’s a possibility he’ll start to sound ever more hysterical and outlandish in his eco-claims. That would be a good thing. 

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    • Guest Who says:

      One can see your point, but at risk of incurring the wrath of the forum, I’d prefer to have a BBC that functions properly rather than one that lumbers on simply messing everyone’s lives up with inaccuracy and disinformation… at an enforced, ‘unique’ ± £4B a yr, inc. pay perks and pensions.

      I do find the environment of great importance and great interest, both as an ex-science grad and engineer, but also as an environmental campaigner and parent.

      The future is not being well served by the current crop of PPE/media/studies types dominating government and the media, and I want them shown for the unqualified numpties and/or social engineering false prophets they are ASAP… and then out on their collective ears.

      So the rest of us can get on with making the world a better place whilst still generating a living through sincerity, honesty, hard work and skill… as opposed to the box-ticking, target-meeting, bonus-addicted parasite classes dragging us all further into the mire rigging things to fit a utopian world view.

      Just got back after driving to the latest ‘Vine Show’ ratings sh*t-fest, so apologies for my mood being still a smidge vexed and colouring my faith in certain ‘professions’.

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  8. Millie Tant says:

    You’d have to be a mug to have read about Harrabinboid’s antics and still believe that he is a mere reporter or an impartial reporter.

    Just another example of what the Beeboid Corporation gets away with day after day while loudly proclaiming its impartiality and getting by on its past reputation for quality and reliability.

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  9. Tom says:

    What’s clear is that many BBC folk tagged with “reporter” or “analyst” are no such thing in any way and are advocates/activists who are cynically and fraudulently pulling on that mantle in an cynical and entryist attempt to portray themselves as independent and “balanced” reporters.

    It’s been said a lot here, but these guys (Black + Harrabin and the others) are shedding their (taxpayer sponsored) camouflage and strutting their activist dogma is brazen style, confident that they won’t lose their green priest sinecures.

    This has to stop.      

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  10. Daniel Smith says:

    I’m interested in the odd choice of words Harriban used  
    “His words will have been edited in his head otherwise he’s facing the sack.”  
    A case of projection of his own editorial practises?

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  11. Millie Tant says:

    Has anyone e-mailed Helen Boaden to ask her her current view about impartiality genes in light of what has been uncovered about her Harrabinboid “news reporter” and what she is going to do about the same Binboid?

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    • Guest Who says:

      Sadly, it has been rather widely reported… and not denied (notably by the coven of ‘accuracy’ vultures who lurk around looking for a stray typo most of the time), that Ms. Boaden and her ‘complaints’ crew are rather proud of the fact that any emails that get through the labyrinthine systems already in place to dissuade licence fee payers from expressing any view on their enforced ‘service’… are filed in a very special place, usually bottom right of the screen, without ever passing in front of her fluttering lashes. Hugs, Hel :*

      So Mr. Harrabin, and his antics, are really in pretty perfect company.

      And as I operate on the basis that you simply work up the accountability tree until you get satisfaction, I hold Mr. NaughtieMarr and his coalition of the spinning wimps responsible.

      See you next election, Jezza.

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      • Millie Tant says:

        I wasn’t thinking of the awful useless obstructive complaints system which makes me grind my teeth but of e-mailing her directly. All Beeboids have their own email address, so [email protected] is hers. I am assuming it would end up in her office, rather than the complaints department. So, even if there’s a filter system in her office, at least a personal assistant would read it and maybe pass it to her to see for herself.

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        • Guest Who says:

          Apols, i was thinking of such as this:

          http://www.medialens.org/alerts/10/100708_bin_and_bypass.php

          Don’t bother emailing complaints to BBC head of news Helen Boaden. She was at the launch evening for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford last Monday night. Discussion turned to protest groups and lobbying outfits which email their views to senior editors. Boaden’s response: ‘Oh, I just changed my email address.’ So much for the Beeb being accountable.” (Elliott, ‘Media Diary – Helen the hidden’, The Independent, November 26, 2006; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/the-tossers-who-could-win-for-the-tories-425799.html)

          If those who Aunty is more often than not in tune with can’t get through, one has to wonder at the chances of any poor sod who is forced to pay their salaries and is simply unimpressed with what is garnered in return.

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          • Millie Tant says:

            I wonder. The Beeboid Corporation follows a standard format for its e-mail addresses and they are all allocated one. But she might have changed arrangements for incoming mail, so that she does not read them all herself. It’s common enough for minions to read incoming e-mails for grand and important people.  But I expect – and hope – the minion would still be someone who works closely in her own office.

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            • Guest Who says:

              Agreed. Can’t hurt. Worth trying.

              However, I remain unimpressed at a culture where one professess access but secretly share a smug secret that one is above actually addressing legitimate concerns, all tacitly endorsed to the very top.

              It’s the worst of boxtickocracy. It just hope Mr. NaughtieMarr MP can get through.

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  12. Craig says:

    There’s a little more on this remarkable story here:

    The atmosphere at the conference was somewhat strained following comments made by chair Roger Harriban about Lord Smith’s ability to criticise government policy on environment. Environment secretary Caroline Spelman, who also spoke at the event, was non-plussed by the BBC environment analyst’s remarks regarding the former Labour MP.

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  13. Dr A says:

    Relax everyone. Don’t you know? Impartiality is in Harrabin’s blood. Nothing to fear….

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  14. toddy 357 says:

    daniel smith says I’m interested in the odd choice of words Harriban used.so iam. Lord smiths been gagged whats his private life got to do with all this.

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  15. Craig says:

    The Edie report was correct. Roger Harrabin did say what they say he said. The video of his opening speech to the Environment Agency can be watched here. The relevant bit begins at 4.23.

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  16. John Horne Tooke says:

    “Its never been busier for me”.
    “..what I think is the really monumental challenge our generation will face”.

    Another video on Harrabin not being impartial. He knows he is being videoed but could not give a toss about imaprtiality.

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  17. Martin says:

    I see Harrabin now as the village idiot and just like the local idiot he has the face of a fool runs around saying stupid things and is generally ignored by most people.

    No one takes thing mong seriously, most of the time he’s just muttering away to himself.

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    • Guest Who says:

      Usually, as the name suggests, ‘the village’ is restricted to just one.

      Only the BBC, uniquely, seems to have managed to install several… at great cost.

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