Christopher Booker’s report this week for the GWPF, The BBC and Climate Change: A Triple Betrayal, paints a damning picture of the BBC’s bias and activities.
Sir Antony Jay, who wrote the foreword and spoke at the launch is a harsh critic of the BBC and benefits from a more than a little insider knowledge. As The Telegraph reports:
He said that when he worked at the BBC, employees were generally anti-industry and saw private profit as distasteful. Many were anti-monarchy, and were suspicious of the Army.
“What I have noticed is that it comes down to values, and the hardest thing to change in an organisation is its values,” he added.
“And these values are behind the BBC’s view on global warming, which is everything the BBC didn’t like – it was about industry, profit, big corporations and that sort of thing.”
Responsible for the BBC’s Tonight programme in the 50s and 60s, after which he left the corporation, he is most famous for his political comedies Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. In his introduction to the report, which is also highlighted by James Delingpole, he says:
“The issue of man-made global warming could have been designed for the BBC. On the one side are the industrialists, the businessmen, the giant corporations and the bankers (or at least those who are not receiving generous grants, subsidies and contracts from their government for climate-related projects such as wind farms or electric cars), on the other the environmentalists, the opponents of commercial expansion and industrial growth. Guessing which side the BBC will be on is a no-brainer, but no one has documented it in such meticulous detail as Christopher Booker. His case is unanswerable. The costs to Britain of trying to combat global warming are horrifying, and the BBC’s role in promoting the alarmist cause is, quite simply, shameful.”
If I too am a harsh critic of the BBC (and I am) it is because I feel betrayed by them. I grew up in a very apolitical household and we never questioned the BBC’s version of the facts. Finding myself now exposed to fairly libertarian viewpoints, I can see the bias, and realise that my own view of world events during my formative years was heavily coloured by the Beeb’s reporting. Here’s how Sir Antony describes the BBC’s reporting:
We were masters of the techniques of promoting our point of view under the cloak of impartiality. The simplest was to hold a discussion between a fluent and persuasive proponent of the view you favoured, and a humourless bigot representing the other side.
[…]…you could have a ‘balanced’ summary with the view you favoured coming last:
not – “the opposition claim that this will just make the rich richer, but the government point out that it will create 10,000 new jobs”
but – “the government claim it will create 10,000 new jobs, but the opposition point out that it will just make the rich richer.”
It is the last thought that stays in the mind. It is curiously satisfying to find all these techniques still being regularly used forty seven years after I left the BBC.
It is entertaining to revisit some of the quotes from the series “Yes Minister”. One might even say, written in the 80s, that they seem prescient to Climate Change, the IPCC processes and Durban; they weren’t written about cAGW, but they so could have been.
“Politicians must be allowed to panic. They need activity. It is their substitute for achievement.”
We must do something.
This is something.
Therefore we must do it.”
“If we cannot refute the arguments in a paper, we simply discredit the person who wrote it. This is called playing the man and not the ball.”
“If people don’t know what you’re doing, they don’t know what you’re doing wrong.”
“No one really understands the true nature of fawning servility until he sees an academic who has glimpsed the prospect of money or personal publicity.”
“The surprising things about academics is not that they have their price, but how low that price is.”
And so it seems.