Editorial Independence, Or Unaccountability?

Can somebody please read this update of the BBC Agreement (as in “Charter & Agreement”) and tell me if “Editorial Independence” actually translates into “Unaccountability”?

Continuing Agreement

Concerns have been expressed that the NAO reviews could lead to individual star’s salaries becoming public, or the details of managerial decisions on finance, because the NAO can ask for any information it needs for its audit. The wording of the agreement makes no specific reference to those concerns and no such information has been revealed in previous NAO reports on the BBC.

A Trust spokesperson said: ‘The NAO already have full access to the information they need to carry out reviews of the BBC; today’s announcement confirms and continues that arrangement. In addition it will now enable the NAO to decide which areas to look at, but in an arrangement where it will continue to submit reports to the Trust. We believe that the terms agreed build on the BBC’s existing relationship with the NAO to the benefit of licence fee payers, while preserving the BBC’s independence.’

Editorial Independence

The agreement makes clear that whilst the NAO is ‘entitled to review any BBC decision’ it is not entitled to ‘question the merits of any editorial or creative judgment or policy decision about the way BBC services are made or distributed.’

The Trust will still do its own value for money reviews, in fact the agreement requires it to lay out its own programme of such work each year. The NAO can’t examine the same area as the Trust in the same year.

The NAO will submit its reports to the Trust, which will prepare a response before sending both to the Secretary of State to lay before Parliament.

There’s more at the link. The NAO (or anyone else, presumably, like OfCom) can say what they like, but the Trust will decide what to present to Jeremy Hunt, decide what is value for money, and decide if the BBC can syphon off extra Government/taxpayer cash to spend on the World Service. (Hopefully not for hiring yet another field correspondent to cover the US.)

This sounds like unaccountability by any other name.


B-BBC has already established that the BBC World Service Trust is an organisation that exists mainly to spread climate change lies. Now, the redoubtable EU Referendum has gone a very important step further. The so-called trust is a founding partner of a body called COMplus, which describes itself as a “diverse global alliance of organisations committed to scaling-up the impact of sustainable development communications through partnership and collaboration.” Thus the BBC is a prime mover in shadowy – but highly organised – international efforts to foist the greenie ethos upon us all. To add insult to injury, COMplus, surprise, surprise, is funded by your money, via the Department for International Development (and of course through WST itself).

The scale and modus operandi of this activity beggars belief, and the BBC is in every sense a key component, putting it firmly in bed with the main greenie activists around the world.Look for example, at just one of the COMplus partner organisations, the Television Trust for the Environment (TVE). Naturally, its main goal is to make greenie propaganda (the annual report is a manual about the chilling art). The main outlet is on the BBC World television service; its programmes such as Earth Report reach 172 countries and notch up audiences of 100m plus. Principal funders of TVE include the World Wildlife Fund, Christian Aid, and Oxfam – the usual suspect NGOs who, in their pursuit of climate change nonsense, have become polticial activists whose main aim is to spread the lie that the West is to blame for all the developing world ills. Predictably, TVE is run by one Cheryl Campbell, a former BBC journalist (and greenie fanatic) who was also communications chief of Christian Aid.

Also in on the act is the Reuters Foundation, which, as B-BBC also established in a previous post is the founder of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. This body is run partly by BBC journalist James Painter, a climate change activist who is a model of his type; Goebbels would have been proud of him.

Before the AGW myth was formed, I was not a great believer in conspiracies. But in every stage of investigation of climate change, there’s evidence that this is a propaganda exercise on and unprecedented scale. And the BBC is at the epicentre of it all. It’s no coincidence that men like snout-in-trough and ultra Blairite Stephen Byers are also involved as one of the main cheerleaders for COMplus.

Update: Hat Tip to B-BBC reader Cassandra King, who (I had not seen) had posted on this earlier; also to EU Referendum’s Richard North, who told me last night about COMplus and also ensured that the previous B-BBC postings on WST were linked to his post.


EU referendum’s Richard North leads the way yet again today in exposing that the IPCC 2007 report not only got it drastically wrong about melting Himalayan glaciers and disappearing Amazon rain forest, but also about serious food shortages in Africa. It’s deja vu – all over again! – because the IPCC report depended on inflated claims from a pressure group rather than scientific fact. The BBC, of course, as Richard points out, swallowed the bogus claims hook, line and sinker and in a chart about the impact of climate change, has this about Africa:

Projected reductions in the area suitable for growing crops, and in the length of the growing season, are likely to produce an increased risk of hunger. In some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50% by 2020.

But the BBC’s involvement in spreading these untruths about climate change in Africa goes much deeper and is much more sinister. As I pointed out last week, the World Service Trust, funded predominantly by grants from our taxes by the UK government and the EU, runs a scheme to ‘educate’ African journalists about the dangers of global warming, and to train them how to spread propaganda based on the premise that the West – as the main originator of CO2 emissions – is responsible for virtually all Africa’s woes. The Trust is deadly earnest in its mission, and recently published a lengthy and lavishly produced policy briefing on the topic. This, in the light of Richard North’s revelations, is a tissue of political proopaganda and misinformation. You need to read it it to realise the sheer scale of this lunacy. It beggars belief. Masquerading as ‘research’, it is actually a vitriolic polemic against the West. This is a taster:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) places Africa at special risk from climate change, in part because of its lack of capacity to adapt to changing environmental realities. Sufficient support to enable African governments and citizens to adapt to climate change will be a key ingredient of any successful international treaty. A major policy conclusion of this report is that meeting the
information and communication needs of African citizens should be considered as a critical component of adaptation strategies around climate change. Providing African citizens with the information they need to respond and adapt to climate change is just one component of probable forthcoming debates around climate change in Africa. A central issue is one of environmental justice. African citizens will be among the most affected by climate change but are least responsible for the greenhouse gases that have caused it. They cannot make just demands on the rest of the world, or determine properly their own political and other responses to this emerging crisis, without being informed about its causes and its consequences. African citizens need better information on climate change, but they also need far better ways of communicating their reality and perceptions on the issue to those principally responsible for causing it.

Thus, the BBC is hard at work with your cash, hell bent on a political mission to persuade millions of Africans that a series of cobbled together lies are the truth. Its co-conspirators are the EU and the government.