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?