BBC TENTACLES

My story about Sally Osman contained a major error.  I linked her to the wrong Make Believe organisation – for which I apologise unreservedly. I accept that such sloppiness unfortunately plays into the hands of those who defend the BBC. However, she does now work for Sony Europe, an organisation which is clearly busting a gut to flaunt its green credentials. My general point is that it seems no coincidence that at a time when the corporation is churning out endless green propaganda, a variety of former senior BBC executives are linked to companies which are also mired in green crusading.  That may simply be a sign of the times – after all, support of greenie madness often brings huge financial benefits, not to mention kudos with the political parties who also support it – but I also believe its one indicator among many of the extent to which the BBC has betrayed its core charter by espousing such partisanship.    I fully accept that Ms Osman may not personally support the green creed, but there is absolutely no doubt that her employer does – with a vengeance. WWF, as Donna Laframbois has established, seems to be working systematically to undermine democracy.       

I must apologise also that I inadvertently deleted the previous post. I am not totally familiar with the new WordPress format and hit the wrong button. Ouch!  So I doubly eat humble pie.

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SPRAYING CASH….

The latest greenie wheeze to spend tens of millions of our hard-earned cash is a nutcase scheme to build 100 £200,000 towers to counter the effect of an alleged planetary emergency’ of warming in the Arctic circle. British greenie fanatics now claim the seawater-spraying towers are required to prevent a build-up of nasty methane. The idiots involved previously wanted a fleet of £20m ships built to do the job, but now they say the emergency is so advanced that only the 100 towers will save us. Precise costings, it transpires, have not been carried out – money is clearly no object when you are saving the world from the public purse.

Richard Black, of course, is on the case like a rat up a drainpipe. He admiringly and without qualification outlines the nutty academics’ case, and embellishes the urgency of the story by repeating the greenie mantra that the Arctic ice is vanishing so fast that there will be none left within a few years. This fits with the totally unfounded long-term BBC frenzy on this topic: here, they predicted the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013. But no matter, Mr Black – in your quest so spread alarmism, we know here that any nutter scheme and any distortion will do.

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MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN….

The BBC is turning into a propaganda machine for various causes. I have chronicled the evidence of this carefully on these pages and have become almost bored with the process, so relentless and certain is the progress. Extraordinary in this journey, however, is what has now happened to one of the main propaganda arms of the corporation, the World Service Trust, originally set up in 1999 as a charity in connection with the BBC World Service “to reduce poverty and promote human rights”. Of course, that is and always has been the greenie code for wanting world government, to smash capitalism, drive us all into fuel poverty, and to introduce endless climate change measures; and the real reason WST was set up was that as a separate arms-length charity it could do things that the BBC itself could not.

Now – with sickening inevitability, any pretence at moderation in this battle has been dropped. World Service Trust has become – I kid you not – BBC Media Action. The trigger for the change appears to have been massive new funding from the government. Back in November, it was announced that it would get an extra £20m a year from DFID – adding to the £24.8m it already received from the government, the EU and greenie foundations. At the heart of its new identity is, of course, eco-nuttery. Already, WST has worked extensively whipping up alarm in Africa; now the focus has shifted to Asia, and big dollops of shiny new BBC Media Action cash are going towards:

Climate Asia is a two year project that will provide the first comprehensive study into people’s understandings of climate change across Asia. It will focus on the role media can play to support people affected by their changing environment.

Working in seven countries – Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam – Climate Asia will include a survey of 25,000 people. This will be the largest ever regional investigation into public knowledge and attitudes towards climate change.

The project’s aim is to understand the best ways to use media to provide people with the information they need to build resilience and take effective action on climate change.

This is not just spreading lies; it is Rolls-Royce propaganda being disseminated with deadly venom. The Goebbels-in-chief of this massive exercise in hatred and misinformation is Caroline Nursey, who learned her craft with greenie-liars-in-chief Oxfam. Now she has £45m plus a year to play with.

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WORSHIPPING AT THE ALTAR…

The BBC’s quest to find climate change hype knows no bounds. Here, in alleged news about the collapse of Mayan civilisation, the BBC reporter has constructed his story so that its focus is a warning that the cause was drought. He adds:

The reconstructed droughts are similar in extent to some predictions for the near future of the same region as a result of climate change.

“There are differences too, but the warning is clear – what seems like a minor reduction in water availability may lead to important, long-lasting problems,” Professor Martin Medina-Elizalde said.

Thus, the BBC foists its ruthless and relentless climate change beliefs on the reinterpretation of history and in the construction of warped futurology. This was a tactic pursued with equal fanaticism by Stalinist Russia. Many years ago, I read archaeology at one of our oldest universities, and I saw at first hand the back somersaults which were performed by the country’s Marxist antiquarians in order to meld its past into dialectical materialistic orthodoxy. The BBC’s copy tasters are performing exactly the same task, looking out like hawks in search of their prey any smidgeon of academic garbage that will support their crusade.

You don’t have to search far to find where their heroes in this quest are. Here the BBC warmist priest Mike Amos lauds without qualification the work of the EU’s European Research Council, which is in charge of frittering away billions of pounds worth of Politburo-style research effort. Mr Amos picks out from the Council for special attention Dr Nicole Boivin(speciality – ‘the relationship between human activity and environmental change’), and says:

She is investigating the initial steps to globalisation, with particular reference to the Indian Ocean where some of the first major cross-cultural interactions took place thousands of years ago. Her project employs some innovative approaches, pulling together expertise from a range of disciplines – not just standard archaeology, but fields such as historical linguistics, molecular biology and palaeo-environmental studies.

In other words, the fragrant Dr Boivin, one of the tens of thousands of publicly-funded climate change activists and leeches, is being paid to reinforce the EU – and BBC – globalisation agenda and to re-write history in that pursuit. And the BBC worships at her altar.

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HEART-WRENCHING…

Richard Black has plumbed new depths of partisanship. Here, with vicious claws out and fists flying, he sneeringly attacks the Heartland Institute, an organisation which on meagre resources, bravely tries to take on the climate lobby. For Mr Black – and no doubt the full complement of his cheering BBC eco-nut chums – they belong to a most vile category of existence – they are”of overtly libertarian bent”. Their crime? Some emails suggesting that the Institute tries to raise modest amounts of money to fund its activities have fallen into his greenie chums’ hands. Actually, one of them might be a fake, and there’s a strong suggestion that they were obtained by stealth, if not illegally. But for Mr Black all that’s irrelevant – it’s a cue to parade all of his greenie bile and to make it sound as if the Institute is a criminal gang for daring to suggest that there might be opposition to his views. I love especially his phrasing of this:

It’s probably most notable (or notorious) for holding an annual “climate-sceptic” conference in Washington DC.

This is spiteful, nasty name-calling journalism at its very worst, and he even venomously head-butts the mild Anthony Watts, whose What’s Up With That? website bends over backwards to be decent to everyone in the climate debate arena, including Mr Black.

For the record, Mr Black, and to put things in perspective, these emails show that the Heartland Institute clearly struggles to raise a few million dollars to fund its activities. This was reported sensationally in yesterday’s Guardian, and that, naturally, was enough for you and your genuflecting BBC acolytes to frame this unpleasant, hysterical invective.

By contrast – something Mr Black chooses not to mention – the warmist lobby, according to Jo Nova, has received tens of billions of dollars in the last twenty years, and in short, is funded by jacuzzis-full of government and vested-interest cash, not to mention supported by blizzards of BBC propaganda. The Heartland Institute should be regarded as heroes for fighting against such odds. But for Mr Black that’s all the pretext he needs to start the most unplesant of bare-knuckle fights.

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WHITEWASH

Back in November, the BBC begrudgingly admitted that some of its greenie/current affairs programmes broadcast on BBC World News and made by an outfit called FBC Media (UK) Ltd had been illegally sponsored by influence groups including the Malaysian and Egyptian governments to the tune of at least £18m. This was no small beer, and I sensed it was the tip of an iceberg because also drawn into the net of accepting inappropriate sponsorship was the Television Trust for the Environment, an organisation made up of green nutters who boast about having the largest library of such material in the world and who supply dozens of programmes to the BBC.

As I reported in November, trustee Richard Ayre was duly appointed to investigate. This was a bit like putting a fox in charge of a hen house because not only is he an ex-BBC journalist of 30 years, but also he is a member and past chairman of the militant rights group Article 19, which believes fervently in warmist claptrap. In other words, he’s about as impartial on green issues as his boss, Chris Patten, is about the EU.

Mr Ayre has now published his report. This is what he says:

“A small number of programmes broadcast on BBC World News between February 2009 and July 2011 broke BBC rules aimed at protecting our editorial integrity. These rules ensure that programmes are free, and are seen to be free, from commercial or other outside pressures. Three current affairs programmes were sponsored, which is nota allowed. Three other programmes were partly sponsored by external organisations with a direct interest in the subject matter and this too broke our rules. In one other programme, the financial relationship between the sponsor and the production company was acceptable but was not made clear enough to viewers. In the case of eight other programmes, all of which featured Malaysia, we found that the production company which made the programmes appeared to have a financial relationship with the Malaysian Government. This meant there was a potential conflict of interest, though the BBC was not aware of it when the programmes were broadcast. Nne of the programmes breached the BBC guidelines on impartiality and none of the BBC’s news bulletins was affected.”

So what Mr Ayre has done is nail the production company for all the blame, and to say that’s it. Move along, there, nothing to see, it was only a little localised problem and we have dealt with it, even though it wasn’t us to blame, it was careless, nasty outsiders. Tell me if I am wrong, but this – like most such BBC inquries – stinks of one word: whitewash.

But meanwhile, as I noted in November, TVE has mysteriously vanished from the web without a trace, and the corporation continue to churn out greenie nonsense on a monumental scale, as well as being directly involved in propaganda. I note, for example, that the BBC is working hand in glove with EDF Energy – one of the power giants specialising in spreading hypothermia – in brainwashing kids about climate change and greenie moonshine. And who are among the principal paid advisors of EDF? Why the BBC chairman and his deputy of course.

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REAPING THE WHIRLWIND

Putting the BBC in charge of a project to arbitrate the accuracy of weather forecasting organisations in the UK is a bit like Josef Mengele running research into the science of eugenics. They (from the Trustees down) long since made their collective mind up that man-made global warming is definitely happening, and that the warmist fanatics at the Meteorological Office are therefore to be believed in their fantasist modelling. Nevetheless, Roger Harrabin persuaded his bosses to shell out a bucket-load of our cash on such a project, no doubt spurred on by the corporate missionary zeal to prove wrong the hated “denialists” who dare to question warmist weather orthodoxy. Last month, as the linked report shows, Mr Harrabin announced that his pet scheme was on the verge of going ahead, and he listed an impressive array of weather organisations and forecasters who were poised to take part.

But, as the Mail reports today, they aren’t. If the report is accurate, all of the forecasters on Mr Harrabin’s list who might reasonably called sceptical about warmist zeal – including the impressive but deeply sceptical Jo Bastardi and Piers Corbyn – are instead turning their fire on the BBC for their pre-determined political views on the topic. Independent forecaster David King is quoted as saying the BBC organisation is “factional”.

Irrespective of what actually happens, it does not take a genius to work out that the project will struggle to persuade anyone that it is objective or valid. The BBC has been outrageously partisan on the subject of the weather so systematically and for so long that the corporation’s credibility in this arena is entirely shot. Andrew Montford’s masterful analysis of the warmist hijacking of the Royal Society emhpasises yet again the key role in the spreading of warmist propaganda played by Roger Harrabin – as does Autonomous Mind here. As you sow, so shall you reap.

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BBC: POLITICAL PRESSURE GROUP

Is the BBC a political pressure group? Many, such as Booker, say it is; and I increasingly agree. Today, for example, 101 Conservative MPs – almost half the parliamentary party – have signed a letter suggesting that the government’s subsidy commitment to onshore windfarms is basically bonkers. Autonomous Mind explains why these monstrosities are a shameful waste of taxpayers’ money here – despite the billions spent on wind energy, in times of cold weather, such as now, they contribute only 1% of our power needs. But, damn democracy, ignore the evidence, call in the greenie cavalry, Richard Black is on the case. He’s already made up his mind – backed with quotes from eco-nutter Tony Juniper, the boss of Friends of the Earth – that, in the wake of the tragic departure of “feisty” (BBCspeak for wonderful) Chris Huhne, pressure must be kept up to make sure that the renewables revolution continues. Did he plan his piece as a pre-emptive strike? My guess is that he did. But even if he did not, it shows the BBC up as precisely what it is – a campaigning organisation that is hard-set against the vile ‘Tories’ and in favour of environmental revolution.

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BLACK SUSTAINABILITY

American Thinker neatly nails here the Nazi roots that underpin the insidious moonshine about sustainable development. There’s been a seamless evolution pioneered by actual Nazis who escaped the Nurmeberg gallows in the ideas that say we need to get back to nature and stop doing nasty things with fossil fuels. The heirs of these lunatics are now enthroned in the fascist kleptocracy that calls itself the UN. As their latest assault on the enterprise and economic development that has improved the lives of billions who live on the planet, the sinisterly-named High Level Panel on Sustainability has published today a report which, if adopted by the Rio Summit this year, could lead to the systematic dismantling of civilized living, including the ending of all subsidies on fossil fuel. Richard Black, of course, does not see a problem. He sings the report’s praises with unmoderated enthusiasm, rounding it all off with an ecstatic quote from the Stakeholder Forum, a bunch of eco-crazed nutters who are led by one Felix Dodds, who claims his many credentials include “writing for the BBC website”. How very apt.

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TWITTER YE NOT…

I’m not sure why BBC correspondents are on Twitter. When I was trained to be one, the emphasis was in ensuring balanced reports that gave all sides of a story. Twitter is deliberately designed to push one-sided opinion. Richard Black, however, has been increasing his carbon footprint over the weekend by visiting Washington and he’s keen to tell us all about his excitement via Twitter.

So far, there’ve been two posts…the first is in support of a blog by Bob Park, a retired US academic, who, over many years has been warning – in greenie militant fashion – of the dangers of the population explosion. In the post liked by Mr Black, he admires the way the Chinese have brought down the birth rate (now how was that achieved, Mr Black?) and then takes a hefty kick at the two front-runner Republican presidential candidates for daring to have five and seven children children respectively. They are compared by Mr Park to the peasants in Afghanistan – unlike the great Obama, who has only two. Mr Black is clearly in ecstasy over the subtlety of the venom.

His second herogram is reserved for the Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre, who has told a meeting of energy executives that there can be absolutely no doubt about climate change. Personally, as a trained BBC correspondent, I reach to check my wallet every time a politician tells me there’s a dead certainty about anything. And the redoubtable Donna Laframbois has a brilliant posting here about the economic gullibility of politicians. But Mr Black clearly doesn’t operate with such complexity. He – rather than going to the trouble of filing a balanced report which might have to deal with inconveniences like verifiable evidence – prefers to nakedly and unashamedly puff the words of the deluded Scandinavian by Twitter.

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CHINA "SHOULD ACCEPT EU TAX"

The BBC’s love of the EU is blind and knows no bounds. Here, Richard Black – showing crass ignorance of the laws of supply and demand – bellyaches that the nasty Chinks (his spitefulness makes Diane Abbott look tame, but this is a greenie item, so no holds are barred) are daring to complain about Brussels’ puntive new aviation tax. His breathtakingly naive argument is that Chinky airlines make obscene, nasty capitalist profits so why worry – and in any case it only amounts to a few dollars a ticket – so who gives a stuff? Actually Mr Black, US airlines – never mind China for a second – say it will cost them billions of dollars. But in Mr Black’s lavish never-never land of cash-from-the licence fee will buy my air ticket to Durban or wherever I please, such trifles clearly do not matter.

In the real world of competition and tight margins,a dollar remains a dollar – no matter how devalued it has become under Obama – and this new tax is a pointless, nasty piece of legislation that is one more nail in the coffin of European competitiveness. The BBC should be highlighting its likely negative impact rather than offering such repression an unqualified puff.

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BLIND PREJUDICE…

Polly Toynbee, former BBC correspondent and let-them-eat cake socialist, has framed a tub-thumping Cnut-like expression of the corporation’s sense of self-importance here. Note especially the nasty, venomous, gutter-level disdain she has for any form of broadcast competition, and, of course, Sky. True to form, she has neatly airbrushed out of the equation any consideration of the fast-fragmenting broadcasting environment and the absurdity of a hypothecated cane-the-poor, send-poor-mothers-to-jail broadcasting tax when, on top of Sky, there are dozens of free-to-air satellite channels (that aren’t Sky). And she ignores, too, streaming, which she should well know is in the process of blowing the elitist model of broadcast delivery (under which the BBC was framed) out of the water forever.

Her spleen is also vented – in true BBC fashion – on those who would dare to challenge the idea that the corporation is anything but neutral and excellent in its news coverage and programme content. She cites the Christmas series of Charles Dickens’ masterpiece Great Expectations as an exemplar of quality. Actually, Polly, as Peter Hitchens shrewdly and pithily explains here, it was a travesty of a literary adaptation and the hijacking of one our greatest stories, part of the dumbing down of our morals and our culture hat the BBC rams down our throats on a daily basis. Do her elitist pinko chums outside the BBC really believe this was artistic excellence? I doubt it.

As for claims of the neutraility of news coverage – and that, if anything, it might be too favourable to the Coalition – Ms Toynbee leaves me simply speechless. She, her colleagues-in-arms at the BBC and the Guadianista are clearly blind to the assault on journalistic standards broadcast every day and chronicled on this blog.

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NAKEDLY PARTISAN…

George R spotted this New Year gem in the Mail on Sunday about how the BBC were euphoric ten years ago when euro notes and coins were introduced. Actually, it’s not the first time this classic BBC ‘we love the EU’ material has been used. Glen Owen has probably recycled it from Peter Oborne’s Guilty Men paper for the CPS published in September which I highlighted here. That’s not to denigrate Mr Owen’s piece, it’s great that the MSM is finally waking up to just how biased the BBC has been for so long in its coverage of the EU. And what’s also interesting is that, apparently, a cross-party group of MPs, including Labour’s Kate Hoey and the impressive Philip Hollobone are to meet BBC News chief Helen Boaden sometime soon to discuss the sustained bias in EU coverage. There’s lorryloads of evidence, as this site shows. What’s the guessing though that Ms Boaden will do her usual and deny all? Even though the BBC on this issue – as with AGW and Israel – is so nakedly partisan?

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BBC PENSION FUND HIRES GREEN ADVISERS

The greening of the BBC accelerates unchecked. I hope the 18,000 BBC staff who are in the pension fund are happy how their £9bn of funds are being managed; during the course of the past year, the trustees – who incude eco-nut head of news Helen Boaden – decided to entrust a major strand of the fund management to an outfit called Hermes EOS. This is what the fund annual report says (p15):

Hermes EOS is expected to develop policies on socially,ethically and environmentally responsible investing and to encourage these practices in the course of engagementswhere these will enhance or protect companies’ long-term prospects.

Now I do not claim to be an expert on pension funds, but that strikes me as a declaration that henceforward, management of the trust will be dominated by green principles. The impression is reinforced by the fact that Hermes EOS is listed as a member affiliate of an outfit called Eurosif, which desrcribes itself as ‘a pan-European network and think-tank whose mission is to Develop Sustainability through European Financial Markets’. In my book, that’s corporate speak for EU-related eco-loonery. The boss in the UK is Will Oulton:

Will joined Mercer in May 2010 as Head of Responsible Investment for Investment Consulting across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Previous to Mercer, Will was the Director of Responsible Investment at FTSE Group where he led the development of FTSE’s global sustainability indices and services including the FTSE4Good, Environmental Markets and Carbon Strategy indices. In June 2009, he edited the book “Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World” and in February 2010 was appointed as Vice President of the European Sustainable Investment Forum – EUROSIF.

And there we have it. The BBC has placed its pension fund into the grasping hands of a load of green zealots. Hermes EOS campaigners will be there are every relevant board meeting trying to force companies to adopt green policies, come what may.

The latest balance sheet shows that over the past five years, the fund has grown by just 3.7% against an industry average of 5%.

I’ve reported before that the pension fund has become – like everything else at the corporation – a greenie enterprise. What’s beyond belief is that the whole of the BBC has slowly but surely also morphed into an integrated campaigning machine for the eco cause, and Hermes EOS is now another arm of that effort. If I were a BBC pensioner, I would be afraid, very afraid.

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INFANTALIZED…

Michael Buerk, for years one of the main BBC newsreaders, and now presenter of the R4’s Moral Maze, has long been a trenchant critic of the BBC’s climate reporting. Almost a year ago, he took a direct kick here at the rampant eco-loonery when Peter Sissons savaged the corporation’s espousal of climate alarmism in his memoirs. This week, he’s renewed his attack on the BBC Trustees – along with Harrabin, Black and their crusader colleagues – in a new blog called The Fifth Column. He points out that although he himself does believe in anthropogenic warming, the BBC’s reporting of the issue is a pile of odure. He says:

What gets up my nose is being infantilized by governments, by the BBC, by the Guardian that there is no argument, that all scientists who aren’t cranks and charlatans are agreed on all this, that the consequences are uniformly negative, the issues beyond doubt and the steps to be taken beyond dispute.

There’s much more in his short, punchy essay (hinged on the BBC’s reporting of the Durban summit), all of it brilliantly crafted to say that the corporation’s stance on this topic is indefensible.

The only question now is whether Mr Buerk will be ignored (as usually happens), fired, or someone is paid to ridicule him. My guess is that it will probably be Fiona Fox. She’s got form.

PS: I missed this pre-Christmas piece of naked agitprop from Richard Black attacking those who dare to challenge that nice EU’s punitive new tax on air travel. Jaw-dropping, even by his standards.

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