Read the headline to this post…it came from Guido Fawkes before the Newsnight programme was broadcast.  Who knew eh?

This if anything, proves absolutely that George Entwistle failed utterly and completely to get a grip of his news team.    Ian Overton editor of the London-based Bureau of Investigation working for Newsnight, claimed : “We’ve got a Newsnight out tonight about a very senior political figure who is a paedophile”.

This immediately hit the headlines and the man who was to be named contacted the BBC and told them he would start legal action against them if they named him.

The BBC then backed down…..they now claim they had no intention of naming him.

But this all shows that this was big news….with potentially massive and damaging consequences for the BBC if it all went wrong.

Where was the DG?  Why  was he not all over this like a rash?  Wouldn’t you be….especially for an organistaion whose whole existence is based upon the trust invested in it by the Public….the trust that gives it authority and credibility when reporting.

Here are some of the headlines before the programme went out…including the threat to sue the BBC if they named the man….If I was the DG I might have taken note!

Senior political figure threatens to sue BBC over paedophile claims …
However Iain Overton, editor of the London-based Bureau of … Newsnight out tonight about a very senior political figure who is a paedophile”.
Newsnight To Out A ‘Senior Political Figure’ As Paedophile
@iainoverton. Iain Overton. If all goes well we’ve got a Newsnight out tonight about a very senior political figure who is a paedophile.
Explosive Newsnight in Pipeline – Guy Fawkes’ blog
Bureau of Investigative Journalism hack Iain Overton has been working … out tonight about a very senior political figure who is a paedophile.— …

It even made it onto this military forum...and you can see the effect the revelation has on the way people speculate…..and that’s all driven by the BBC….


Here is one comment from that forum after the show had been aired:

‘Well that was a halfhearted waste of 15 mins, if they don’t have the evidence to name him and nothings changed in years then what was the point of the story? to smear the Tories and take a bit of heat off the BBC and Saville? and now we have everyone looking at the older Tories as if they’re all paedos.’


Lord McAlpine might well have a good legal  case….the Tories also.


And Channel 4 knew…….

Michael Crick, a former Newsnight presenter and now a political correspondent with Channel 4 News, later said: “[A] ‘senior political figure’ due to be accused tonight by BBC of being paedophile denies allegations and tells me he’ll issue a libel writ against the BBC.”

Entwistle has allowed this to run out of control and his news team to smear the Tories.

Entwistle can’t  remain.   He has lost all credibility and after his grilling with Humphrys he has lost all authority.




Roger Harrabin slides seamlessly into Black’s place:


roger harrabin@RogerHarrabin

Asking if climate change caused Sandy is like asking if gravity caused an old house to collapse when it did. Ex NYT http://nyti.ms/TKJPnz


This is amusing too:

roger harrabin@RogerHarrabin  DfT consults on plan to increase single carriageway lorry speed from 40 to 45 or 50 “to boost economic growth and cut congestion.

Aniol Esteban @aniolesteban  @RogerHarrabin do they plan to increase number of oil spills to boost economic growth too?

roger harrabin@RogerHarrabin  @aniolesteban Earthquakes and volcanoes also boost economic growth. The Philippines mud slide was good for builders and undertakers.

Aniol Esteban @aniolesteban @RogerHarrabin all in all illustrating the absurdity and dangers of growth-driven policies (which disregard environment/society)



Harrabin is one of the founders of the CMEP (No link because they don’t run a website….they wish to keep their thoughts and advice secret presumably…..which is why the BBC refuse to divulge who attended CMEP meetings that influenced BBC coverage).  The CMEP  which was created to ‘guide’ what the rest of the media said about climate change….er…to ensure the correct message…no,  the most accurate information, was purveyed to the Public in order to inform their opinions and actions.

The problem is an ignorant public who don’t understand…and don’t want to understand because of the ‘ideological wax’ in their ears.

He founded it with Joe Smith….who said:

I see the work of the 100 months campaign as being a political device, and I see any definition of ‘dangerous climate change’ as a political act not a scientific fact.

And here are some of his latest thoughts which illustrate perfectly just how political their message is and how science takes a back seat:

‘…..Luntz took an about turn and presented anyone that would listen with line that is designed to work for people who have ideological wax blocking their ears: ‘don’t get het up about communicating science – talk about clean American energy and jobs in a new efficient, competitive economy’.
An interview with Luntz in in the Daily Beast quotes him thus: “It doesn’t matter whether it exists or not (climate change, man made)… What my position is on that issue and what anyone’s position is actually doesn’t matter when it comes to legislation.”

Putting aside the science he spotlights  “the economic benefits, the health benefits, the national security benefits…”

But how could that policy and political debate move forward with a broad base of support? On another occasion Luntz argued that if you want to talk about climate impacts and actions – you must locate them – very locally. ….worked subtly to suggest that acting on climate change can also bring some very positive local and personal outcomes.

But my point is: lets not get stuck on the science. Climate change is a vast and widening body of investigation and debate: science is now barely the half of it, and in terms of political outcomes it is not the thing that counts.
On the whole the relevant voices should come not from the science community but rather from technology, design, social sciences, industry and the arts.
For their part, most journalists need to work harder to expand their contacts book and also their sense of the scope of the issue.  It can be done.
….a heretical thought: might it simply not be useful or necessary to worry about the fact that nearly half of the UK population may be ‘uninformed about and uninterested’ in the science of climate change?
Skip taking people through the detail, and get them on to talking about the ‘doing’.
we’ve already invested too much in ‘communicating climate science’ and not enough in debating the politics of global risks of all kinds – whether they be environmental, economic or military.
(never mind the facts….carry on anyway)
Institutions (The BBC certainly does already) need to support these practices.
(isn’t this science acting as propagandist….working towards a political end rather than merely providing the information that others then use to decide policy)
I see the work of the 100 months campaign as being a political device, and I see any definition of ‘dangerous climate change’ as a political act not a scientific fact. That doesn’t make it any less urgent. Indeed politics is the right place for urgency once the science has provided a pretty robust risk analysis (it has).
I’m going to start a swear box – I’ll put £1 in every time I find myself thinking ‘crisis’ instead of opportunity.

Our buildings, streets, vacuum cleaners, electricity networks, sewage plants, trouser presses and mobility systems have all grown up in an age of low cost coal, oil and gas. But along with glorious freedoms the era of cheap fuel has brought with it hidden ugliness and cost. Drafty, damp and cold housing for many of the poorest and oldest; miserable and time consuming commutes in routine traffic jams; unrepairable products that break down when a small component fails; the collapse of businesses and loss of jobs as low cost freight constantly undermines locally rooted economies.

The goal of ‘global sustainability’, of integrating environment, society and economy sounds something like pursuit of a ‘global Sweden’. In other words a stable democracy, robust economy, generous welfare system, food on the table – perhaps plenty of cycle lanes and argon filled triple glazed windows.
It sounds like an imaginary place a long way away. But its not just that it doesn’t sound plausible – with apologies to Swedes – it doesn’t sound all that attractive either. My guess is that a more sustainable global society is going to be far more messy, argumentative and diverse than the formal rhetoric of sustainability implies.
Terms like climate sceptic, denier and contrarian have served to cluster anyone with some good questions about climate change science and policy into a discrete group. This has solidified into an identity.

er…..he uses the term himself….
‘And if I’m to read this as suggesting that climate contrarian voices are having a very good run of it I’d agree with that too.’

Entwistling In The Dark

You almost, very, very nearly feel sorry for George Entwistle when you hear him being given the 5th degree on the Today programme this morning.

Very nearly but not quite….he is the Director General and yet he was like a rabbit in the headlights, almost clueless.  A pretty poor performance for a man who has reached such heights in management.

He seems to lack entirely the necessary political antenna that detect a storm brewing.

The BBC are pouring all the blame onto Newsnight.  It was a programme that failed entirely to carry out what you might call ‘due diligence’.  But….was it just Newsnight?

Wasn’t it the whole of the BBC’s News organisation that went after the ‘leading Conservative Thatcher era politican’?

That is a highly political phrase and one they must have known would set the dogs running…..they must have known that Tom Watson’s own revelation would have made people try to identify the politician…but instead of standing back and fact checking the BBC dove right in along with the rest of the media in a tabloid like frenzy.

That is not what the BBC is for surely….if anything it is there to stand above the fray and not chase headlines.  If it is to maintain the Public’s trust then it must do that with incredible rigour.

A rigour that it is apparent is lacking in both their journalism and in senior management.  The  BBC haven’t questioned how Steve Messham was able to identify said politician, nor have they questioned Tom Watson about the sources of his information, nor did they question the politician.

As soon as Entwistle heard the phrase ‘a leading Conservative Thatcher era politician’ he should have been tracking this story immediately.   It is obviously a political bombshell…and if the BBC get it wrong, as they have,  it will blow up in their face.

Entwistle failed, the systems to ensure such obvious ‘bombshells’ were brought to his awareness failed and his journalists failed.


What is interesting is that Tom Watson remains silent….he hasn’t either confirmed or denied that Lord MacAlpine was his target, the man possibly revealed by his ‘intelligence’.


He did tweet this early yesterday:

I see the pushback has begun in some sections of the media. The same people who dismissed the hacking allegations.Suspect they’ll regret it.—
(@tom_watson) November 09, 2012


Which is somewhat irresponsible…a politician playing games with people’s reputations.

He was sent a letter by Rob Wilson MP demanding he act more responsibly and not to spread unsubstantiated rumours, but he claims not to have received it:


Hello @robwilsonmp – I’ve had a number of media calls about a letter you’ve sent me. I’ve not received it. Please could you email it me?


Though Guido and the rest of the web have


Watson in PMQs said:

“The evidence file – used to convict paedophile Peter Righton – if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring. One of it’s members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former Prime minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad. The leads were not followed up, but if the files still exist, I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it, and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and Number 10″.

That is  different  to Steve Messham’s claim.

The BBC should be banging on Watson’s  door asking questions….questions they should have asked long ago…..who are his sources, is Macalpine the man he believes to be that ‘senior aide’…and why have you not said anything since.

Until Watson reveals if Macalpine is or is not that man you have to assume that Watson is playing a purely political game…one which the BBC has played along with unfortunately.

Time to put up Tom or shut up.










I caught a rather interesting debate on BBC Today @ 7.50am this morning concerning that BBC favourite, Windfarms!

 “This week one of the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturers announced it was cutting 3,000 jobs around the world. Chairman of the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change Lord Deben and Dr John Constable, Chairman of the Renewable Energy Foundation, discuss the matter.”

If you get a chance, give it a listen and contrast the treatment afforded to Dr Constable to that given to Lord Deben. (The former John Selwyn Gummer, natch). Gummer gets to insert his eco-alarmism at several points without interruption or challenge whereas Constable is clearly attacked for DARING to suggest that we should NOT be subsidising these whirling grotesqueries.


I see Entwistle has been all over the BBC this morning as Newsnight incompetence becomes the story yet again!

A BBC Newsnight report in which an abuse victim accused a former Tory politician of sex abuse should “never” have been broadcast, BBC director general George Entwistle says. He gave an unreserved apology to Lord McAlpine after it wrongly implicated him in abuse at care homes in Wales.

Yeah, and of course, there is the proverbial ongoing detailed investigation as to what went wrong at Newsnight. I can save them a lot of time and money. It is the innate BBC bias and hatred of ANYTHING or ANYONE  related to the Thatcher years that clouded their judgement over the “Senior Conservative figure in Thatcher Government” story they pushed out with apparent relish. Now the consequences loom and their is silence from the comrades at Newsnight. I watched it last night and it was a horror show, did you see it?

The underlying problem for the BBC  is that it continues to believe it has “the trust” of the British people whilst in fact all it ever does is systematically betray that trust. The BBC is institutionally BIASED and this manifests itself in all sorts of ways. Rather than pretend it is unbiased, it should embrace the left wing bias that pervades it. However at the same time, it should uncouple itself from enforcing us to fund this bias and make its own way in the world under its own financial resources. Let those who want leftist news pay for it.


Andrew Marr’s Dangerous Idea

Andrew Marr some time ago presented us with his programme on British History…..The Making of Modern Britain.

In the course of this programme we learnt that Darwin’s ideas on the survival of the fittest and the British invention of the concentration camp led to the Nazi ideal of the ‘Aryan Superman’ and the concentration camps in which 6 million Jews were killed…..as the Independent puts it….‘Indeed, it is hard not to avoid the conclusion (watching Marr) that the British Empire was simply a dummy run for the Third Reich, and that, had they known what was coming, many of our grandparents might merely have concluded that “Adolf went a bit too far”.’

Shame someone who presents himself as a historian should get the simplest facts wrong:

‘The first concentration camps were found in Cuba under Spain’s “Reconcentrado” Policy 1896-97. Shortly after similar concentration camps were used by the British in the Second Boer War in Africa around 1900.’

Not only on Wikipedia but in my schoolboy Penguin ‘Dictionary of Modern History’.

He also fails to mention why most of those Boer civilians died in the camps…because the Boer Commandos attacked and cut off the trains bringing in supplies of food and medicine.  Bit inconvenient for the narrative of the nasty Brit and the plucky Boer.

Never mind.  The real truth is out……

The Spanish are obviously now the ones to blame for the Holocaust.



We Brits can relax.  The Empire was Great.




A Warm BBC Welcome For The Green And Radical Left

Woman’s Hour  (about 21 mins in) presented us with an interesting guest…Hilary Wainwright editor of …..Red Pepper …. a magazine of political rebellion and dissent, influenced by socialism, feminism and green politics.….who or what is her hero?……’OCCUPY’.

Shame the BBC didn’t tell us exactly what Red Pepper represents…..unlike all those ‘right wing’ think tanks or pressure groups they always find time to so label making sure that you are in no doubt as to the ‘agenda’ behind their words.

What is interesting is that look who is one of Red pepper’s inhouse writers….Jeremy Hardy…..the BBC’s favourite lefty comedian…or one of them.

What does he say of interest…oh yes…..‘Competition is not healthy.‘.…I’ll let you read it….it’s not even the stuff of 6th form debating societies.



Interesting article here on the BBC and how it has handled Savile and now McAlpine.

Worse still, just as this scandal began to die down, Newsnight has embroiled itself in a sexual abuse scandal.

Last week the show ran a segment that featured allegations that a well-known Conservative British politician had been a part of notorious pedophile network that operated in Wales in the 1970s. The segment didn’t name the politician — apparently out of legal fears — but the name of the suspect soon spread online.

On the surface of it, it looked like Newsnight’s attempt to remind the British public that they were the most important TV news show in the UK — and unafraid to ask serious questions about the British establishment. However, the show set off a storm of speculation that even British Prime Minister David Cameron had to admit verged on a “witch hunt”.

The scandal gained another dimension today when The Guardian announced that the man many had assumed was at the heart of the scandal — former Margaret Thatcher aide Lord (Alistair) McAlpine — was innocent of these and had been the victim of mistaken identity.

Lord McAlpine, who now lives in Italy, has apparently had throngs of reporters outside his villa for weeks, and has been forced to leave his home because of the media frenzy. He has now issued a lengthy statement that goes into some detail in its denial of the accusations, and his lawyer has told the BBC that they are considering legal action against the BBC as well as a number of Twitter users who had named him.

The man who accused McAlpine has now apologized for inferring the Lord was involved, and conceded it was a case of mistaken identity.

For the BBC, and Newsnight in particular, this was a big chance at redemption. And, rightly or wrongly, it looks like the show was rushed. It really appears that the BBC blew it.



The BBC could, and perhaps definitely should, be in big trouble.  They went into battle against the Conservative Party armed with what they hoped would be something that would deliver the killer blow to not only the Tories’ reputation but even perhaps Lady Thatcher’s.

Throughout the day starting from their most prestigious news programme, Today, they have been pushing a line that ‘the Internet’ is to blame for the libelling of a Tory politician and that the internet is a threat that needs to be controlled in some way.

Even the Guardian doesn’t buy that saying that the politician.……
‘ has been the subject of persistent smears, which resurfaced following the Newsnight allegations about a senior Tory.’

Quite clear….the BBC have helped to inflame the situation.
The BBC in reply said….. ‘that the Newsnight investigation “set out to explore alleged failures in a child abuse inquiry. An abuse victim had serious allegations to make and deserved to be heard. We broadcast as much information as we had but made clear we did not have enough evidence to name new individuals.” ‘

Watching the Newsnight programme you would come to only one conclusion …that they were out to ‘out’ the Tory politician…and that had been the intention until he contacted them and warned them that his lawyers would be in touch.…..again and again they tried to bring the figure of the ’leading Tory politician’ into the programme….the programme had one target….that politician.

What is absolutely incredible is that the BBC and its prime time investigation programme hadn’t contacted this politician to allow him to have his say on the programme.

Along with Labour’s Tom Watson they have put enough information into the public domain to allow people to make ‘educated’ guesses as to the politician’s name….Labour going so far as to demand to know if he is a ‘Lord’ will he be kicked out of the House of Lords.

That clearly narrowed the field greatly in identifying him.

That politician has spoken out today and made a statement denying any connection what so ever to the abuse…and denounced his ‘trial by media’ and his ‘defaming by innuendo’:
‘It has additionally become apparent to me that a number of broadcasters and newspapers have, without expressly naming me, also been alleging that a senior Conservative Party figure from that time was guilty of or suspected of being guilty of the sexual abuse of residents of this children’s home.
It is obvious that there must be a substantial number of people who saw that I had been identified in the internet publications as this guilty man and who subsequently saw or heard the broadcasts or read the newspapers in question and reasonably inferred that the allegation of guilt in those broadcasts and newspapers attached to me.
Even though these allegations made of me by implication in the broadcast and print media, and made directly about me on the internet, are wholly false and seriously defamatory I can no longer expect the broadcast and print media to maintain their policy of defaming me only by innuendo.’

Tom Watson still has his own ideas  in a letter to the PM:

‘Your advisers will tell you to be wary of “opening the floodgates”. They are wrong. Their decorous caution is the friend of the paedophile. Narrowing the inquiry equals hiding the truth. That is the reality and it is not what you want.

‘The hacking scandal was about the police failing to follow clear leads of wrongdoing by powerful people. They could do this because politicians turned a blind eye.
This is potentially worse. Some of those powerful people involved in a cover up may well have been – and could still be – powerful politicians.

I’m not going to let this drop despite warnings from people who should know that my personal safety is imperilled if I dig any deeper. It’s spooked me so much that I’ve kept a detailed log of all the allegations should anything happen.
As I type this blog post, I’m half-smiling about how insane all this appears. It sounds like I’ve taken leave of my senses.’



Only now, this evening,  have the BBC realised what trouble they could be in…on 5Live Drive (18:40) they brought in Roger Laughton, ex-BBC and ITV, and he said they needed a lawyer not a commentator.

Steve Messham, the victim of abuse, has come forward and made a statement that he had wrongly identified the politician  and he now apologises for that.

You have to ask, as the BBC should have.…wasn’t the evidence a bit thin?   Too thin to even mention the Tory ‘link’ considering the seriousness of the claim……certainly far too thin to name the man…..and yet that is precisely what they had intended to do.

Newsnight admitted there was no new evidence, and what there was, was not enough to provide any proof…but what has changed is the Public’s attitude.

Really?  What does that mean?  That we should be able to name anyone we like and accuse them without regard for ‘enough evidence’ just because the allegations are so serious?

Any faith you might have had left lingering in the back of your mind that the BBC was a trustworthy and accountable organisation would have been shattered had you listened to the Today programme trying to pass the blame onto ITV, Phillip Schofield and the Internet for the irresponsible and libellous naming of names and encouraging the fervid public interest in what is mere gossip and the subsequent trashing of a man’s reputation.

They asked how is the main stream media changing with the coming of the Internet and the Internet’s ability to adversely damage reputations by making mistaken identifications of people as criminals.

Will the values of the Internet prevail they ask?  A strange question really….did journalists on Newsnight report pub gossip as news previously?  No, hopefully. So why should they be reporting internet gossip as fact….unless it suited them to do so?  With the prospect of taking down a big beast of the Tory Party and ‘contaminating’ Thatcher as well they threw caution to the wind.

Mark Easton tells us that real political power is shifting from the judicious, professional MSM (that’s an interesting admission in itself…where power really lies)…..politics by the rushing Internet mob, politics by Facebook, where there are no rules, no referee and no standards,  rarely adds up to rational politics as in the ‘real world’.

He goes on to say that the reason the MSM doesn’t act on Internet gossip is their deep professional and ethical (!!??) concerns about adopting the values of Cyberspace…..but it is edging that way…no kidding….did he not watch Newsnight?

That in fact makes the case for the BBC’s existence….that we need a news source that is highly trustworthy, accurate and accountable.  That is the ideal…an ideal that the BBC shamefully fails to live up to….but without such a reliable and honest news source democracy is unworkable…the rule of the mob with the loudest voice is not a recipe for a just and happy land.

Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
George Washington
United States – September 17, 1796

The problem with the BBC’s line is that it wasn’t the internet that raised this matter to such heights recently….the same names have been on the internet since the 1990’s….it was a Labour politician and the BBC in parallel, both with vested political interests in smearing the Tories, who raised this story to the heights it has reached.

Newsnight as said, mentioned the ‘leading Tory’ again and again, the BBC website headlined the phrase again and again, its news broadcasts also repeatedly made the link.

And all without any evidence and no new information at all.

So we have one of Britain’s major political Parties and Britain’s flagship broadcasting organisation launching an attack on another political party in the hope that it’s reputation will be severely damaged.

You might, rightly,  conclude from all this that the Internet is not the problem….it might be the wild west and in places completely bonkers but it is more than balanced by bloggers and other sources who publish material with integrity and honesty…..unlike the BBC who have so far managed to retain the aura of respectability and honesty in their news reports whilst in fact being highly political and shaping the news to fit their own ideological agenda.

If you have ever read any of the blogs or forums that name these politicians you would have no trouble in deciding not to take any notice of them in the slightest…they are more than evidently in the realms of fantasy and conspiracy theories.

The trouble with the BBC is that people still trust it.  That trust though must be rapidly evaporating as scandals like Savile, and in particular their handling of those revelations, and now this attempt to smear the Tories, catch up with them.

If there is to be any inquiry the one that is of most importance is one that would look into the politicisation of the BBC and the effect that that has upon democracy and the political debate and subsequent policies that are taken by politicians influenced by media pressure.

Today ironically the BBC also talk about Leveson and the need for an independent Press regulator…independent of the Press of course…if ever there was a time, firstly for a Leveson style inquiry for the BBC, but also for a regulator independent of both BBC and government, this is it.


A Biased BBC reader notes;

“Besides the BBC’s usual practice of making Israel always look bad, it is interesting to note how when there is a news story that inescapably shows Israel in an absolutely positive light, the BBC does its best to not report it. The recent Melcom building collapse in Ghana resulting Israel’s quick dispatch of an expert rescue team is a good example.

Here is what the Ghanans themselves say in praising Israel’s efforts:

The BBC’s story totally ignores Israel’s heroic efforts, which had earned the praise of Ghana’s President. There is only one reference to an Israeli rescue team being present, but you’d have to look very hard to find it, buried deep within the article directly under the heading, ‘Bad concrete mix’: