The Today programme does more of the same with a Guest editor

I thought the idea of a Guest editor was to get stories covered and views across that the BBC usually ignores. It turned out yesterday the aim was to do even  more of what they usually do, with a Guest editor effectively accusing the BBC of not  being elitist Euro climate change consensus enough.

We had to have the mandatory “Climate change theory is right” slot with no-one putting any other view. Lord Deben was given an unchallenged opportunity to explain weather, climate and the world as he wished, with no difficult or interesting questions.  We were told that the problem with the UK government is it does not spend enough on flood relief, whilst urging the government to spend more on overseas aid at the same time. In the flood relief interviews there was no probing on dredging, the EU Water Directives, the priorities of the Environment Agency or any of the other relevant matters which could have illuminated the current crisis or offered us a better answer. The  Guest editor Mr Sheen gave up all pretence of being an independent and fair minded editor with his remarks on poverty and the funding of Wales.

I predict that over the week of Guest editors no-one will speak for England or follow up stories relevant to England and Englishness,  no-one will state the Vote leave case and most will seek to downplay the pivotal importance of the forthcoming EU referendum. No-one will seek to address the sloppy and uncritical approach to the vast panoply of EU law and administrative decisions which characterises Today coverage.

Yesterday’s programme was a particularly poor one. Roll on next week when we put these Guest editors behind us.

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146 Comments

  1. Richard1
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I didn’t hear it but it is no surprise. The BBC must be challenged – and ministers should be taking the lead – if they are to retain the right to funding through a poll tax they must be required to be balanced on all key issues of public policy. it may well be the majority of BBC employees (though not all) are left wing and that will inevitably affect their own presentation of news. We can live with that, but it is essential the Corporation is obliged to provide balance by allowing different views to be heard. On many key issues, Brexit, the euro, overseas aid, ‘austerity’, global warming etc, we need much more of the alternative view.

    • getahead
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      The BBC would appear to be in the pay of Cameron’s Tories and (I hear) the EU. Certainly I can see no difference between Tory policies and BBC propaganda.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Really? You can’t have been listening to discussions on any of the following issues in recent years: ‘austerity’; welfare reforms; cuts in subsidies to ‘green’ energy; attempts to get EU reforms; school reforms; attempts to get value and service for patients in the NHS; Justice for England, etc etc

        • Jerry
          Posted December 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          @getahead; @Richard1; Bias is always in the eye of the beholder, thus the right always thinks the BBC is biased to the left, the left always think the BBC is biased to the right, whilst the centre always complain they never get a proper hearing either way. I jest of course, but only ever so slightly!…

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

            Not at all, the BBC and indeed most current Tories are all hugely biased broadly to the left. They are prop EU, pro open door immigration, pro ever more taxes, pro warming alarmism, pro ever more regulation and pro magic money tree economics. So wrong on every issue (whether you call it left wing or not) it is just wrong and hugely damaging.

        • Paul Perrin (@pperri
          Posted December 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          Instead of arguing over whether the BBC is left or right – just scrap it.

          In a judgement of Solomon we will see who really thinks it is bias against them – anyone wanting it retained is clearly actually satisfied, whatever they say…

  2. Mark B
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The sooner that organisation is either wound-up or put on to subscription only the better.

    People will then be free to choose who provides their propaganda much like they get to choose who the providers are of other former State run services.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I have just been reading the EU’s water directives. As far as I can understand them – and they are written in awful English! – they seem to suggest that there is a River Basin Plan which gets rid of pollution and calls for a co-ordinated approach with ecology and flood management all taken into consideration along with citizen interest.
    This would mean that the traditional way of doing things – which has worked well where I live in the Fens – is now to be replaced with exciting new ideas. Dredging and looking after the dykes doesn’t seem to be that important any more. That is why we had flooding last year in Whittlesea Mere and in the Waldersea.
    I have a friend who was on the Water Board for a number of years. He tells me that the management of rivers is now in the hands of people who really do not know – or who do not visit – their rivers at all They are full of ideas about ecology, theme parks and tree planting. They do not want to spend money on dredging. Vast new estates are springing up in King’s Lynn on what is a flood plain to consume excess water.
    Please tell me he is wrong!

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Mike

      I fear you may be right.

      Many housing projects, road improvements, new railways, and river maintenance now all fall into the same delay box.

      Bat surveys, newt protection, bird conservation, wild flower meadows, badger runs, hedgehog trails, set aside on farms, all seem to take priority over human need for food, accommodation and infrastructure.

      I am all for sensible conservation, but unfortunately none of the above pay any tax to fund this protection.

      Thus us humans pay for our own delay in attempting to resolve some of natures problems.

      We add to our problems of course, with an ever growing population !

      • Bernard from Bucks
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        “Bat surveys, newt protection, bird conservation, wild flower meadows, badger runs, hedgehog trails, set aside on farms, all seem to take priority over human need for food, accommodation and infrastructure.”
        .
        Except. of course, when it comes to constructing HS2.

  4. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I remember the last time the role of guest editors on the “Today” program came up. There was much consternation on this blog on what PJ Harvey decided to cover. However a year or so later, one of her points, that we do not get entangled in neo con foreign wars is accepted as being very much common sense here.

    JR could you please explain to us, as to how it is possible for a government agency which is very much in the news at the minute, can spend taxpayers money on sponsoring a gay pride march in Bristol?

  5. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Wiggins today…similar drivel. Suits? Didn’t wait for crisps to get a mention.

    Floods…hearing now that money wasted on Climate anything could have been used for area defence. Pity that common sense is not available off the shelf? Hope the victims of this awful mess can get those fools in Westminster brought to book…rid of also!

  6. Antisthenes
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    The bias of the BBC is obvious to those of us who have a modicum of common sense and know that for every story there is more than one side to it. Nobody likes their opinion challenged but it often is and we accept that is how it should be as it makes for a fairer and balanced society. What the BBC and other left wingers are attempting to do is shut down debate so only their ideology and agenda is the one society follows. This and the PC movement is blatant propaganda and tyranny and needs to be stopped. How that is achieved when the bulk of the population are dullards and do not recognise that they are being manipulated and are left leaning themselves(thanks to the culture of entitlement and dependency that the left have also engineered) is difficult to see.

    I do believe that the left have won the ideological battle and we will have to live under the consequences of that until the full magnitude of what we have accepted is exposed. Exposed it will be as it has been so many times before but not before considerable damage has been done and we have have all been considerably impoverished and deprived of our civil liberties. Left wing ideology having proved every time it has been practised by the state to be unworkable and dangerous to democracy still remains attractive to the people. Why? Are we that stupid, gullible and credulous? I see no other explanation.

    • hefner
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      How can you say that “the left has won the ideological battle” when since the mid-1980s with Mrs Thatcher and all the subsequent Prime Ministers, we have had a rather liberal economic policy, which despite the continuous criticisms by some on this blog does not borrow much from anything Marxist. The path has clearly been on the right side of the road. It is at times very frustrating to see people here wanting to drive so far on the right that they will finish off in the ditch.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        One proof that the left have won the ideological battle is that to make the Conservatives electable David Cameron and George Osborn had to move the party to the left. We may not like it but we have to give them credit for it. Churchills they are not but probably are the right Conservative politicians for these times as long as we have the likes of John Redwood to stop them moving too far left.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Socialism plays on human emotions. It also uses emotive subjects to champion in order to push through their agenda under the radar. Take race discrimination. We all agree that people should not be discriminated against because of the colour of their skin but, since when it is not also racism to promote, as government of all parties now do, one race over another ?

      The Left do not actually care about equality, and all the rest of the stuff they come out with. All they care about is power. Once they have power they can then set about the task of doing what they really want and set up a Socialist State. And in the modern Tory Party, they seemed to have succeeded.

    • Jerry
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      @Antisthenes; “The bias of the BBC is obvious”

      Bias is always in the eyes of the beholder though, what are your opinions with regards Ch4 News and Sky News?

      Also please do explain how the BBC can be biased to the left when left wing political activists complain that the BBC is biased to the right, both left and right wing activists making such claims whilst citing the very same programme content…

      • Edward2
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Even those in high positions within the BBC say the BBC is biased towards a Guardian style culture.
        It’s a newspaper which nearly all BBC job vacancies are advertised and over 80% of BBC staff have as their daily paper.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        All of the media is biased which is inevitable because that is how all of us are. However the BBC is a special case as it was founded on basis that it would be completely impartial (how it was expected that would always be the case mystifies me as bias was bound to creep in given human nature). What makes the BBC bias so pernicious is because it has a disproportionate share of the media market and is highly influential and it is using our money to spread it’s left wing propaganda.

      • Handbags
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        How many left wingers do you know who think the BBC should be abolished?

        Left wingers complaining about the BBC is a smokescreen that’s all.

        It’s a bit like inviting Nick Griffin onto Question Time – it’s not genuine impartiality – it’s a set up designed to deflect any criticism.

      • Bob
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry

        “left wing political activists complain that the BBC is biased to the right”

        Ever noticed how it’s always the lefties that support the BBC and the righties that question it?

        That is the acid test.

        • Jerry
          Posted December 30, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          @Bob et al; Except you (and all) are wrong, as I point out, but don;t allow the facts to get in the way of your politically biased right wing rants!

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            How can you call that short post by Bob a right wing rant?
            Truly Jerry you need to get a grip.

          • Handbags
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

            If the BBC was impartial then the weight of complaints would be equal on both sides – and they plainly aren’t.

            You’re a left winger defending the BBC – point proven.

          • Jerry
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            @Handbags; Is that a fact or just your right-wing opinion, care to site the actual figures from the BBC (Trust)?…

  7. majorfrustration
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    agree – a waste of time and total self indulgence by the BBC – likewise today.

  8. agricola
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    It would seem from your description that “Guest Editor” is like some pre-op form of sedation. I have no problem with climate change, it happens like night and day and has done for millions of years. It is the new found religion of its’ cause that I take exception to. The thought that a few coal fired power stations can compete with the sun is crass. Government solutions are a proven recipe for de-industrialisation and ensuing poverty via high energy costs using quack pseudo technology.

    All you have said about the Environment Agency is born out by the suffering of various parts of England. The EA should be subject to an audit of performance, but bare in mind it is an agency of government and not a cut out for government responsibility. To date both, in matters of the environment, appear unfit for purpose due no doubt for their adherence to bizarre EU dictats and political charities such as the RSPB.

    Where government has proved itself neglectful and incompetent which in this case is via the EA it should foot the bill from that slush fund they call the overseas aid budget.

    • stred
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Re the EA’s adherence to charities , such as the RSPB. I have always liked birds of the feathered kind and watch them, feed them and always had one as a pet. However the RSPB, rather like the NT has come to be dominated by what could be called posh Greens. They get to the top via the civil service, attending EU training courses, are usually nobled upon retirement and continue spouting rubbish, while counting expenses. Just listen to their contibutions to the climate change debate if there is any doubt, starting with Lord Prescott of Wind Turbine.

      But the really dangerous ones are those such as some silly old twitcher who was actually chosen to lead the EA. When she went to see the Somerset Levels, she was heard to say that she disliked the drainage pumps and would like them dismantled. Her main objective was protection of the habitat, not farmers or their land. It is hardly surprising that only people with similar views can succeed at the EA, and that turning the East Anglia back to salt marsh is their objective. Last time I went for a walk on the banks of the river near Burnham on Sea, the last storm surge had come to within a foot of the top. Success next time perhaps.

      On the subject of guest editors, I hope that Alexander Armstrong will be one of them. This Christmas we listened to him choosing records on Classic FM, and doing the adverts too. Then he was doing his quiz show on BBC 1 and later going around Rome’s ancient sewers on BBC4. I had bought my bird his excellent LP of songs and I think he was on a cooking programme next morning, before I flicked it off. We wikied him and he really is some talent, with a music degree from Trinity. Perhaps that is why he seems more balanced than some other of the others and might make a more interesting programme. It may be the answer to the BB/EUBC. Close it and make it the AABC.

  9. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Sheen seemed to think that as ‘only’ 0.7% of GDP was ‘spent’ by the government on foreign aid the remaining 99.3% was ‘spent’ on the British people.
    Today, although I only heard the last hour, was like a soft focus party political broadcast for Corbyn and the Labour party. McDonnell and Corbyn were both featured. No balance at all was even attempted as Rory Stewart was hussled through his brief contribution on the floods because they were short of time. There then followed a report from Rivington Pike where surprise, surprise Andy Burnham was just taking a walk and got in on the act.

    • Mark
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Evidently they conveniently forgot the money spent on our net contribution to the EU and other non-aid international organisations, and the migrant remittances financed by welfare payments.

  10. alan jutson
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Expect more of this sort of so called discussion as we get closer to the referendum.

    All things EU are good.

    All things not EU are bad.

    More taxation and more spending good.

    Less taxation and less spending means more Austerity.

    Its the same mantra we have had for years, but it will be increased to an even higher level to try and ensure a remain vote.

  11. Kenneth
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    You can usually tell when someone have been radicalised by BBC-speak.

    They mouth the slogans but when you challenge them they crumble as all they have are the slogans without the logic to back them up.

    It certainly affects me, as I often slip into BBC-speak, so it must affect others.

    Try this test: someone says that thousands of jobs will be at risk if we leave the eu. Then ask them “why?”

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Kenneth this is true. Far too many people just soak up the propaganda and simply regurgitate it unthinkingly.

      I just love picking these people apart.

  12. Ian Murray
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I decided instead to share the time until 9 a.m. between Radio 3 and Test Match Special. Either is far better for one’s blood pressure.

  13. JoolsB
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    John,
    Talk about the pot calling the kettle. It’s true, they will never mention England but then why should you expect them to speak for England when none of your colleagues, our elected ‘representatives’, can bring themselves to, the majority of whom wouldn’t have a job if not for England? Most of them cannot even bring themselves to say the ‘E’ word let alone speak up for it!
    Maybe it’t time to start having a go at them.

  14. Vanessa
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The BBC is one of the most criminally biased State broadcasters in the world and it is high time it was broken up into small companies and sold off. OR made to go down the route of subscription. If it is as wonderful as it says it is then that would be workable for them. At least Channel 4 does not fleece us every year.
    Taxpayers buying a licence should think twice before renewing this and give the BBC a bloody nose. Also they should be aware that they are paying for the world to watch shows on the IPLAYER which those who live in other countries do NOT pay for. It’s a great con for the British people.
    I know a BBC employee and if I ever mention how biased the BBC is he cannot see it ! I suppose if you live in a treacle well then all you see is treacle !

    • Dennis
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      “Also they should be aware that they are paying for the world to watch shows on the IPLAYER …”

      No they are not – it is blocked for those outside the UK unless one hacks around it which can cost with a VPN which can designate a UK IP address.
      I’m surprise that JR doesn’t know this.

    • Bob
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      @Vanessa

      ” think twice before renewing this and give the BBC a bloody nose.”

      I haven’t paid the Licence Fee for many years now, and several of my friends and relatives have also become refusniks.

      At first my kids were not happy at not having TV, but they quickly found more productive ways to spend their time. They now tell me how sad it it when they visit friends who sit glued to the box watching the brain rotting garbage for hours on end.

    • Qubus
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Whilst I am in agreement with the general tenor of your remarks, I do not think that it is possible to watch the BBC programmes abroad; radio, yes.

  15. forthurst
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    There is a certain appeal in the EU Water Framework Directive, that of primitivism. It’s all very well saying rivers should be able to revert to their natural courses, but what about the rest of the artificial manmade landscape?

    Surely our blessed isle was populatated, once, more by deciduous trees than migrants and do they really need brick houses to live in; we used to manage very well with caves and such crude shelters we could construct with our bare hands. Isn’t it far healthier to have to go out and hunt for food when we are hungry; that way surely, fatties will become a thing of the past. Those adventurous enough could take to their dugout canoes and head for Brussels where it is rumoured there is an abundance of nicely fattened troughers and euroloons.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I am not surprised. The BBC, under its current DG, is as much a propaganda organisation as it is a news and entertainment organisation. Indeed it is evident that not only news but entertainment too, from drama to soaps to comedy to chat shows, are used to promote a variety of causes. These curently include man made global warming, the virtues of the EU and why the UK should vote remain, feminism, anti meat eating and pro vegan messages to name a few that immediately spring to mind.
    My wife also reminds me that, from time to time, the BBC likes to remind us of the virtues of insects as part of your diet.

    We know, from the BBC`s unsuccessful attempt to supress the evidence of a meeting it held c 2006 to push the CAGW agenda (when Hall was previously DG) that heads of department are briefed on the line they must take. That meeting was attended by editors of various BBC departments including, IIRC, news, drama and comedy. It seems to me that nothing has changed.

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Well it is the BBC what did you expect? You might also add that the BBC are always asking for yet more government and government “investment” but always neglecting the fact that governments can only “invest” by taking the money of others who would have invested rather more efficiently in general (or borrowing off their backs thus deferred taxation).

    Further their endless talk of “austerity” when in fact the state sector has huge amount of fat that could be cut and indulges in activities that are largely pointless (or worse still) positively harmful to the population and the economy. Not least of which is the endless propaganda they fund.

    Perhaps their best joke of all is that the BBC is “accountable” to licence fee payers.

    The NHS, to the BBC, is of course wonderful and the envy of the World.

    This on top of all this we have the usual agenda from the BBC of:-

    Global warming catastrophe/alarmism & proven science drivel with no sensible questioning of this.

    The endless pro EU agenda.

    The pro open door immigration stance, and what a huge benefit it is and if you think it should be more selective immigration you are a racist mate.

    The magic money tree economics and the general view that government should get bigger and bigger and should regulate and tax more and more.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      To redress the balance we could have some sensible guest editors for a change perhaps even some with a knowledge of engineering, real science, real economics, business and real history:

      Say Jamie Whyte, James Dellingpole, Bill Cash, Matt Ridley, David Starkey – but the BBC staff are all so institutionally “BBC Guardian think” they might all die of shock.

      The BBC is also a great fan of the ECHR and ECJ and indeed more and more over paid lawyers and court levels in general – again a hugely damaging agenda for the economy.

      One problem we have is that the Tories currently have a BBC think lefty leadership. Thus the BBC can pretend they are in the middle when in fact they, the Tories, Libdims, SNP, Plaid Cymru the Greens are all way to the left of what works best for the people in general.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Roger Harrabin, BBC propagandist in chief, on the catastrophic global warming religion is appallingly unscientific and absurdly biased. Needless to say he is an arts graduate (English, Catz. Camb.) so perhaps he can be excused for not understanding the impossibility of predicting the climate in 1oo year times a chaotic system and we do not even have most of the input data.

        One reporter at the BBC on the issue even thought “positive feed back in global warming” was a good thing, perhaps it is for a reporter. Clearly he had a very good grasp of basic science. Yet more endless tosh on the issue today no wonder all our children are taken in with BBC, schools and the exam syllabus (well not mine anyway).

        • hefner
          Posted December 29, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          For somebody with a physics background, you should know that one realisation of a chaotic system can certainly not make a prediction of the weather over the British Isles in 100 years. What about 100 realisations, what about 1000 realisations, what about 10**n realisations. What about applying a statistical treatment, getting mean, median, standard deviations (assuming normal distributions) or more sophisticated statistics if non-normal distributions are obtained (those with “black swans”)? What about looking at what proportion of these 10**n realisations sit in the different parts of the slow manifold? And if the overwhelming majority of the realisations sit in the part of the manifold corresponding to a rather disturbed climate, why not report it?

          For a scientist, you seem to have a very unscientific way to handle questions.

          • stred
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 12:40 am | Permalink

            Hef, You seem to know a ot about chaos theory. Woud you agree that is is not viable to predict, without a series of sucessive positive resuts? My keyboard has been disabled and it took 10 minutes to write this. Missing letter and exttra all the way.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

            They cannot predict the accurately the climate in a month of even a weeks time, as is very clear. The climate in one month affects the climate the month latter, so how can they predict it in 100 years time?

            Anyway they do not even know the Suns output in 100 years, the population, what energy systems we will have, what volcanoes we will have, what impacts we may suffer, what crops we will be growing, what natural evolution of plant will occur …… anyone who takes their predictions seriously is deluded.

            What would they have predicted in say 1800 for the year 1900?

            It is not the same as tossing a fair dice and predicting the average score after millions of throws. You misunderstand the nature of the problem.

            One person’s invention in say crop production, genetic engineering or nuclear energy might change everything. How on Earth could they predict that?

        • Yosarion
          Posted December 29, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          Are you sure he was a reporter and not a correspondent as many have the title of, the reason being, Reporters, report facts, correspondents like the ones who have occupied the Middle East Dept for over a decade, always seem to put their own spin on things.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Well the Guest Editor was an “Actor” what did you expect. “Actors” are invariably left wing and very rarely have anything much sensible or remotely “thought through” to say – unless it has been written for them. They deal mainly in immediate gut feelings and appeals to irrational emotions. Try listening to a few of them on the Desert Island Discs archive they are nearly all very similar – dodgy musical tastes too usually I find.

      Even when they have some good lines to deliver (written by some one else) they usually do it in an artificial, over dramatic & theatrical manner with silly irritating pauses and over modulated voice. Rather like Robert Preston in fact.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    No-one will be surprised with the position the BBC takes on any issue concerning the EU , climate change or left wing-middle of the road politics . They abuse their role in the media and should be held to answer ; so far they have not shown any inclination to change .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed they distort the whole of UK politics. They describe lefties like Cameron as “centre right” he is way to the left in size of the state terms and other issue of what would work best.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        The absurd line taken by the BBC forces the whole of UK politics and nearly all the parties in the UK to over regulate, over tax and endless bloat government. Thus hugely damaging the economy and everyone’s standards of living (other than some bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers, the feckless and similar).

        Endless money spent encouraging people (and whole families) never to even learn how to work. Many more in pointless or parasitic jobs like green crap energy and tax planning.

  19. Tad Davison
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    This is just par for the course. The BBC creating a situation to make it seem as though they are being even-handed when the have an ulterior motive. But I’ll hand it to them, they’re crafty.

    The levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are said to be at a record high, and that is causing climate change. It is also said that the science is settled on this issue. If that is the case, it begs the question (as John has quite rightly said in the past), why are we still paying stacks of money to research it?

    I am reminded of one of many exchanges I had with the former Lib Dem MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, a couple of years ago when we discussed the matter of the Earth’s climate. According to the media, rainfall in the UK was at its highest since 1766, so I baited Mr Huppert by asking what might have precipitated that earlier event, as the industrial revolution hadn’t even started. He incautiously wrote the following:

    ‘Dear Tad,

    Thank you for writing to me. Records of rainfall only started in 1766, so there is no way of knowing the rainfall levels prior to that in a comparable way. It is not that 1766 was especially wet!’

    I thought sod it, he’s not getting away with that one, so I got back to him:

    ‘You may be aware of the great storm of 1703 which obviously pre-dates 1766, and was said to be the most devastating ever to hit Southern England. Barometric pressures were very low and might not have been beaten since, even by the Hurricane of 1987. The 1703 event couldn’t possibly be attributable to man-made climate change.’

    Over the holiday period, I saw a Cornish grape-grower and wine-maker on the telly who demonstrated how it is now possible to produce his goods competitively. It might have been useful for the news programme to also say that wine was routinely made in Britain prior to the time of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 due to its warm, balmy climate. And places like Greenland were free from snow and ice and set to the plough!

    Warm air can hold more water vapour than cold air – that’s a scientific fact. That the Earth is warming causing heavier rainfall due to man’s intervention rather than a naturally-occurring cyclical change, is much less certain. But when the BBC wants to get its own message across, as with the EU, they will twist things and construct programmes in such a way as to skew it their liking. We should be on our guard, especially in the run-up to the EU referendum.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Bob
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      @Tad

      “naturally-occurring cyclical change”

      According to Patrick Moore (Greenpeace founder) CO2 is not a pollutant but rather a giver of life.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0Z5FdwWw_c&t=1m40s

      Our polluted air has more to do with the govt convincing us to convert to diesel fuel.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Bob, highly recommended!

        Tad

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Great post, Tad.

      What I will like to add, is that the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere stands at a whopping 0.03%. There is more Argon in the atmosphere than CO2. CO2 is nothing but a trace gas. Even if doubled it would still be less than Argon.

      The whole thing is a SCAM !!! And those that support it should be locked up.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Mark,

        Jeremy Corbyn’s own brother, Piers, backs you up, and he is a very highly qualified man. He was on the BBC’s ‘This Week’ some weeks ago, and George Galloway’s ‘Sputnik’ on RT. Both are worth watching, if you haven’t already seen them and Lord Lawson said that Piers Corbyn ‘frequently attends GWPF events.’. That’s another site that’s well worth a visit.

        In one broadcast, Piers Corbyn spoke about how one cannot get funding for research into global warming, or one has funding withdrawn, if it is likely to lead to the conclusion that climate change is a con. He says he’s fortunate in that he is independently funded, so they can’t touch him. So much for the settled science!

        If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is nepotism, or corruption by another name. We have to break this dominance by vested interests who promote their own agenda and deny others their say, or their way, when it is the correct thing to do. I am baffled that so many people are either oblivious to it, or too scared to speak out against it for fear of losing their own position. Integrity should know no compromise.

        Tad

      • stred
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 12:49 am | Permalink

        Greens have moved on to water vapuor, being unpredictabe and not researched enough, the subject is closed.

        • stred
          Posted December 30, 2015 at 12:52 am | Permalink

          This took 10 mins, wit wrong etters apppearing and constant repeta attempts at speling. we ae beind knobed. I am sober.

  20. The Active Citizen
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    JR, thank you for your forthright journal entry.

    It is of course important to remember that the BBC continues to make or commission good television programmes.

    However its’ News and Current Affairs Dept long ago ceased to be fit for purpose. There isn’t the remotest attempt at real impartiality and I suspect that most of its journalists and editors wouldn’t even understand how far wide of the mark they are. Guest or resident editors – it matters not.

    In fact, put aside impartiality for a moment and let’s just ask ourselves whether anyone at the Beeb understands what ‘News’ really means. You probably don’t have time to see most TV news output JR, but from what I can see it’s a combination of emotive drivel about non-news pieces, and has almost no factual news content.

    Regrettably the BBC News & Current Affairs output is so bad that we must start again. What is needed is a root and branch reform, beginning with the supposedly academic depts teaching journalism in our country. A Parliamentary committee should lay down what impartiality really means in black and white. This needs to be codified for teaching and for actual news output and put into the BBC’s Charter, with penalties for non-conformance.

    All existing news staff should undergo compulsory retraining. Those that will never make the grade (regrettably this includes many household names such as McNaughtie, Humphries, et al) will just have to go and plough their trough elsewhere.

    And if you want a fine example of political interviewing, I suggest Andrew Neil to front the Today programme. Like him or loathe him, he gives almost everyone a hard time. He might set a good example to the younger BBC News staffers.

    What is really tragic about the erosion of editorial standards at the Beeb is that this affects and influences journalists and editors at other mainstream media. When journos on newspapers and radio – and at Sky, CNN, France24, and other TV broadcasters – see the Beeb coming out with such nonsense, they naturally think that this is the standard to aspire to.

    If the BBC could be returned to a basic standard of impartial reporting, I’m sure we would see an improvement in all other media, including internationally.

  21. NickW
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Any influence the BBC propaganda departments might have depends on the number of people who actually watch the Today programme.

    The BBC audience is self selecting to the extent that those who know that they are being fed BBC propaganda and don’t like it don’t watch it.

    The BBC figures for programme audiences are not credible, and nor are their figures for those who simply refuse to buy a licence because of biased programming and obscene salaries.

    The BBC is engaged in digging it’s own grave; we should quietly allow them to get on with it.

    The polling organisations could do some useful work in providing alternative and accurate audience figures and measuring the influence of a BBC which is no longer capable of fulfilling its charter requirements regarding impartiality.

    In the meantime politicians need to make it clear that it is they who govern the Country, and not the BBC which is too large, is completely out of control and no longer serves any useful purpose.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      You really need to ask who does the BBC provide programming for? To me it cannot be for anyone else but the metropolitan liberal elite. I can go for months on end without watching any of its output. A case in point is the comedy program “Citizen Khan”. If you think it is a load of “right on” PC dross pay a visit to some a of the websites for British muslims and see what people there think of it. Despite it now being in its fourth series, it just about seems to manage to offend everybody except the BBCs commissioning editors.

      • NickW
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        To sum up; the BBC makes programmes for itself; programmes which massage the smug egos and self righteous pomposity of the liberal elite that staff it. The audience doesn’t matter, what matters to the programme makers is the approval of their senior management.
        They cannot make programmes for anyone else because they have no knowledge of anyone else; a state of affairs which continues because they will only recruit those in their own image. The policy of only advertising posts internally or through the pages of the Guardian is quite deliberate.

  22. margaret
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Climate change is happening John.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Margaret, it always has and it always will. There is not a thing we can do about it. It is being used as a tool for taxation, world government and for the EU to turn the UK into a large theme park whilst France and Germany continue to enjoy the spoils.

    • Bob
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      “Climate change is happening”

      Yes margaret, it started about four and a half billion years ago and has been a continuous process, and the idea that mankind can keep it in stasis through taxation is for the birds.

    • Barbara1
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Climate change has always happened, Margaret.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Of course climate change is happening. The climate has always changed and always will. It is absurd to think of c02 concentration as some king of thermostat that mankind can control.

      If however you mean “catastrophic, irreversible, run away, firery hell on Earth, global warming” as pushed by the BBC, Cameron and the Libdims, then no it is not happening and there is no reason to think it ever will.

      No change at all for 17 years despite increasing co2 levels and 0.7 C increase in the last 100 years is actually remarkable stable (and entirely consistent with normal and historical variations). It can go up and down by 100 degrees in a day in some places after all.

      Anyway slightly hotter is, almost certainly, a net good. Higher co2 also gives more plant and crop growth.

    • matthu
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      When last was it NOT happening, Margaret?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Yes. But it has been going on for millions of years and will keep going on changing long after we are gone. Or do you deny that there was ever an Ice Age ?

      Which reminds me, why do we not press all these climate scammers more over this ?

      • Margaret
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        You obviously havn’t read any of my past posts when I talked about being in an interglacial period and the rapidity of recent change . You havn’t thought about extra water on the earth’s surface diluting salinity until it cannot retain the heat . You havn’t thought about the self same dilute sea water freezing more easily taking us nearer and nearer to the next ice age. Some on here profess in a mistaken way ( as all they talk about is metaphysics) to want science to lead .. well now here is your chance to listen to the majority of scientists.

        • Bob
          Posted December 30, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          @margaret

          “well now here is your chance to listen to the majority of scientists”

          Would that the much vaunted 97% of carefully selected respondents to a poll who greed with the AGW mantra? and the “scientists” from CRU whose shenanigans were exposed by the “climategate” emails?

          Science is not about consensus or computer models based on “selected” data, which has been proven about as reliable as the famous Michael Fish pronouncement.

          Problem is Margaret that when politicians and vested interests get together with self righteous (self serving) celebrities and left wing activists to tell us that the science is settled and that our children will never see snow in their lifetime, I become skeptical.

          Follow the money!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Exactly.

    • Margaret
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      No arguments there below , but I don’t want my grandchildren to suffer because a few people though they knew it all.
      Think of Pascal’s Wager and how it can be applied

      • Bob
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        @margaret

        “Think of Pascal’s Wager and how it can be applied”

        Indeed, AGW has adopted the characteristics of a religion, not to be challenged.
        #28gate

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 30, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Margaret, please do a YouTube search for ‘Tim Ball – The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’. Watch it from beginning to end, then come back and tell us if your views have changed. And that’s just one scientist of many.

      Tad

      • Margaret
        Posted January 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Tad I work in science , medicine , selling their own stuff , drug companies ..corruption every where , one article will not change my mind.

  23. Dennis
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I thought everybody was complaining that the BBC always sets up opposing views such as getting the spherical Earth hypothesis opposed by the flat Earthers and would hope the BBC would stop that nonsense.

    Now that they have, all complain!

    • Mark B
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      But they do not allow people like Lord’s Hesltine and Debden to be challenged on their views.

    • Bob
      Posted December 30, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      @Dennis
      97% of scientists once agreed that the Earth was flat.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and you can see it is round just by looking at the horizon from a hill. Also the moon, the sun and the stars are round, so why would the earth be likely to be flat? People just do not think.

      • Margaret
        Posted January 2, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Well that has exploded lifelogic’s argument about science ruling then rather than the art and philosophy of science.

  24. Martyn G
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I find this from Cicero apt:
    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious, but it cannot survive treason from within. For the traitor appears not as a traitor but speaks in accents familiar to his citizens and wears their face and their arguments. He appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation and works secretly to undermine the pillars of the city, infecting the body politic so that it can no longer resist.”
    Seems to fit the BBC quite well, along with many in government and public office across the nation.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Martyn,

      There’s a very long list to whom that might apply – Heath, Major, Howe, Clarke, Heseltine, Blair, Brown, Clegg, Farron et al. Their toxic pro-EU message is fed to us by certain elements from the MSM of which the BBC is possibly the worst offender. I’d like to see the BBC brought to heel long before the date of the EU referendum so we get a balanced debate, not something that is slanted and skewed. This really is the watershed moment, and we cannot afford to have plotters and schemers in such powerful positions of influence.

      Tad

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Indeed plus Major and ratter Cameron.

  25. Atlas
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Does the phrase “trendy-lefty” summarise it?

  26. K Moore
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    The agenda seems to be to blame the recent floods 100% on climate change. the elites response will be to build more windmills and burn more jet fuel flying to far flung ‘climate conferences’. They have quite literally gone mad.

    A review of weather records will show similar amounts of rain fell long before ‘climate change’ was invented. Another inconvenient truth for the alarmists.

    What has changed is that we have compacted much ground, built many new houses in unsuitable places and failed to maintain rivers and culverts etc. Dr Redwood is right to put the need to control immigration at the heart of flood prevention and dismiss building more windmills . It must be Christmas.

  27. Jerry
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    “I thought the idea of a Guest editor was to get stories covered and views across that the BBC usually ignores.”

    I had always assumed that these R4 Today ‘Guest editors’ were used so that real editors and journalist could have some time off over the festive period, with many of their broadcast packages seemingly pre-recorded beforehand. But yes I take your point about the usual pro EU content, just as we get equally biases content from the other broadcasters, when was the last time you wrote a dairy about the bias that is found on Ch4 News for example – perhaps that will come once the BBC has been neutered next year…

    Broadcasters should be balanced, so should their programmes, as indeed should individual packages within, stop bashing just the BBC all the time, as tax payers and retail consumers we pay for all broadcasting channels, not just the BBC – when was the last time you wrote a dairy entry about the left wing bias often found on Ch4 News for example, never mind that some programmes/presenters on Sky News tend(ed) to be somewhat biased towards the right?

    “I predict that over the week of Guest editors no-one will speak for England or follow up stories relevant to England and Englishness,”

    Now there is a thought, perhaps we need a BBC England radio station, rather than nine national radio stations, but then I thought this was meant to be the United Kingdom, not the dis-United Kingdom!

    Reply I do not see any need to write about bias at the Mirror or Guardian or C4 etc as I do not have to pay a poll tax to maintain them.

    • Jerry
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      @JR reply; Except that ITV, Ch4 or Sky etc. (nor most printed commercial news-stand publications) are solely funded primarily by subscriptions -if at all, meaning they carry paid for adverts that we as consumers fund via a ‘poll tax’ added onto the cost of our purchases, often on essential items and food.

      I have no problems in making the BBC TV subscription based per se [1], just so long as all other broadcasters are also solely reliant on adverts and/or subscriptions, preferably on a channel by channel basis thus without problematic cross channel funding (because that will more directly allow people to withdraw funding from channels that in their opinion air biased of contentious content – people should not be made to fund such content by way of their sports channels etc, in for that matter nor should they be forced to fund say football when all they want to watch is rugby, motor racing or World Tiddlywinks competitions.

      Also the TVL fee is no more a “Poll Tax” than the VED is, don’t use a TV to receive/watch broadcast content, no need to pay the ‘tax’, don’t use a car on the public highway, no need to pay the tax and as your complain today was about the content of the R4 Today programme, content no one has been forced to pay for since the abolition of the radio licence in early 1971. So being ‘forced’ to pay to listen to such content is some what a moot point!

      [1] although PSB needs protecting as FTA content, perhaps by way of a cross the board surcharge upon all subscriptions, nor does the BBC need to be the provider. I also seem many problems attempting to make the majority of radio subscription only, although not impossible – perhaps that is why governments and broadcasters want a DAB switch over

      • Edward2
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        You say we can avoid paying for the BBC by not having a TV or radio or not owning a car or motorbike in the case of VED, then you say we cannot avoid paying for commercial broadcasting companies because we buy things they advertise.
        There are millions of products available which are not advertised on TV which can be substituted.

        Bizarre pedantic arguing by you Jerry

        • Bob
          Posted December 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2

          “Bizarre pedantic arguing by you Jerry”

          And ITV doesn’t send snoopers around to your home to peek through the window to make sure you’re using the products which they advertise.

          • Jerry
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; “ITV doesn’t send snoopers around to your home to peek through the window to make sure you’re using the products which they advertise.”

            You point was what Bob… Commercial TV and their customers, the advertising agencies/departments (not the viewers), do their ‘snooping’ [1] by way of market research companies and loyalty card schemes etc. How else do you think they know if a the current or recent adverts for baked beans or what ever has been a success of an expensive waste of money.

            [1] and often a dammed sight more personally intrusive that just asking if you have a TV licence

          • Bob
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            “advertising agencies do their ‘snooping’ by way of market research companies and loyalty card schemes “

            You’re kidding, right Jerry?

            You would rather they came into your home and rummaged though the larder, and then fine you £1000 if you hadn’t bought the right brands?

          • Jerry
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; The TVLA only want to know if you have a TV installed so quite why would they ‘rummaged though the larder’ (try actually quoting the law, not your misconceptions), nor what programmes you watch, just as the Police only want to know if you have VED (and insurance) when using the public roads, they do not normally want to know from were you came and what your destination is, unlike your beloved advertising industry.

            The average market research company, via their snooping, want as much personalised information as they can possibly get by way of their research. These market research companies, especially those behind the loyalty cards, almost certainly know more about their subject (the retail customer) than the customer understands about their own lives, and in the case of loyalty cards this very personal information is not even anonymised -and you don’t call that ‘intrusive snooping’?!

          • Bob
            Posted January 1, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

            @Jerry

            “why would they ‘rummaged though the larder’ “

            Take a deep breath and read the comment before responding.

            It was you who complained about businesses conducting market research – so I posed the question whould you prefer them to act as TVL do?

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; OK Bob, have it your way, let’s keep this about watching TV, as you obviously do not have the capacity to debate a principle, just an exact point of law…

            You take about the TVLA “snooping” to detect those defrauding the BBC, try hacking a Sky TV set top box, being discovered and not ending up in court of law on the count of defrauding BSkyB!

            Oh and I was not complaining about businesses conducting market research, I was pointing out that the fact that we all pay for bias found on commercial and subscription channels in the same way as people like you claim that we have to pay for biases found on the BBC, It was you whop brought up the issue of a snoopers charter, no doubt to try and obscure the fact that you either don’t understand the issues or (more likely) simply wanted to try and sow confusion.

          • Bob
            Posted January 2, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

            Oh dear Jerry, the only one who’s getting confused is you.

            You can surely see the difference between being prosecuted for hacking a Sky box and watching Sky TV without paying the BBC.

            I am intrigued by your apparent agenda, you said in the past that you have no vested interest in the BBC or TVLA; so what motivates you to support such an anachronistic and undemocratic system as the TV Licence with such vehemence?

            I notice too that you are very shy about your political affiliations, is this because it might shine some light on your otherwise inexplicable love for the BBC TV Licence?

        • Jerry
          Posted December 30, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; “Bizarre pedantic arguing”

          No more than people like you, or indeed our host, singling out about 3% of the BBC’s total output whilst ignoring the fact that everyone regardless of whether they own a TV and pay the TVL fee (never mind have a use for a TV, such as the blind) are funding biased content on the commercial and subscription channels.

          By complain is not because people like you complain about bias, there might very well be bias, it is the fact that constantly turn a blind eye to any bias other than alleged bias from the BBC.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

            You remain blind to the unique powerful position the BBC has in the UK media market and even more blindly refuse to accept the BBC has a charter that requires it to provide a balanced output.
            But I realise you are not for turning

          • Bob
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry
            Are you suggesting that business should not be allowed to advertise their products on TV?

            How about advertising hoardings, sandwich boards, internet or leaflets? they also cost money.

          • Jerry
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “You remain blind”

            Whilst you are blind to the facts because of your all consuming political hatred of the BBC. Oh and all broadcasters have a duty to be balanced and unbiased, not just the BBC, as I’ve pointed out.

            @Bob; “How about advertising hoardings, sandwich boards, internet or leaflets?”

            Duh?! The issue is about having t pay for (supposed) biased broadcasting by way of TV (and radio) adverts, subscriptions or mandated viewing licences…

            I’m asking for a level playing field nothing more and nothing less, and as such I have no problems if the BBC was converted into a subscription service (as long as PSB content is protected), sorry to say but I strongly suspect that those on the right who criticise the BBC want nothing like a level playing field. Attacking the TVL fee, claiming that people are being forced to pay for bias, is a straw man argument because commercial & subscription TV advertising that the consumer pays for by way of the check-out is also funding bias.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

            I like the BBC Jerry so your rude accusations are wrong as usual.
            I just wished it operated its business in accordance with the charter it is supposed to abide by.
            The charter is far more strict than anything which applies to other broadcasters.
            It takes fixed corporate positions on plitical issues instead of informing its license payers of both sides of issues.

          • Jerry
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “I like the BBC”

            Sorry but I find that very hard to accept, you don’t have a single good words to say about the BBC, whilst also not having a first clue as to what PSB is, why it is important, and why it is all but impossible in this age for any ‘commercially run broadcasters to carry such content – unless funded by some form of statuary charge upon the viewer.

            “I just wished [the BBC] operated its business in accordance with the charter it is supposed to abide by.”

            You are entitled to your opinion, even if it is factually wrong for a good 97% of the BBC’s output. On the other hand I just wish that all broadcasters would carry out their regulated business as they are supposed to, be they the BBC, commercial or subscription broadcasters and that is what separates our two opinions – think about what I’m actually been saying, not just how to have another rant against the BBC.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            I’m sorry you find it hard to accept Jerry but then you either refuse to accept what most say on this site.
            And I do have a first clue about PSB thanks Jerry
            I’m sorry you will no doubt find that hard to accept as well.
            But I cannot help you with your problem.
            And no rant Jerry just my opinion.
            Which I am entitled to make without personal abuse from people like you.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “And I do have a first clue about PSB thanks”

            Sorry but I find that very hard to believe, otherwise in this age when commercial TV can not provide proper PSB [1], you would support both the BBC (as provider of last resort) and the TVL fee (as funder of last resort).

            [1] as they did before the advent of tens of multiple channels since the early 1990s, all broadcasters/channels competing for the limited incomes from the advertising industry.

            “Which I am entitled to make without personal abuse from people like you.”

            Then conduct yourself in the way in which you wish others to treat yourself. A good start would be to perhaps stop doubting the personal politics (never mind their professional ethics) of anyone who supports or works for the BBC..

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2016 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            Off on another issue again Jerry
            This time your obsession with PSB
            Off topic and avoiding the actual debate.
            And I’m sorry you are sorry.
            I have never doubted the personal politics of people who support or work for the BBC
            Whatever doubted means.
            Back to my original point that even the BBC themselves have said they accept the corporation has a left leaning culture.
            Which inexplicably you refuse to accept.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “This time your obsession with PSB”

            It is not an obsession, it is at the fundamental core of the whole BBC funding issue, what the BBC should be and why it needs to be funded by statute. Thanks for once again proving that you have zero understanding of the actual issues.

            “Back to my original point that even the BBC themselves have said they accept the corporation has a left leaning culture.”

            As is Ch4 (Despatches and News) for example but you do not seem worried about that, nor do you seem worried about the numinous examples of right-wing bias found on all channels (including the BBC…), you are simply obsessed at supposed left-wing or pro EU bias from the BBC, and as such you ARE casting doubt onto the professionalism of those who work for the corporation, despite the fact that 97% of its output is not political nor biased. Innuendo being as good as direct accusation, and indeed, sometimes more so.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 2, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            I am concerned about blatant bias in broadcasting Jerry.
            But we are concerned here with the BBC and it’s method of gaining funding.
            As I said before even the BBC have stated that they accept they have a left leaning culture.
            But I presume you refuse to accept that.
            And do cut down on the rudeness Jerry
            No need for it old boy.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately Sky and ITV are just as bad as the BBC, and Channel 4 is worse.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      True.

      It’s happened since journalism became a post graduate career. When writers worked their way up without going to university they weren’t indoctrinated in leftism at universities.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Most modern entertainers and journalists have been through university. Hotbeds of leftist indoctrination.

        • Jerry
          Posted December 29, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          @Anonymous; “[universities] Hotbeds of leftist indoctrination.”

          So have many, if not most, who run large companies and corporations etc, should we then assume that the majority of such companies are not hot beds of capitalism but leftist indoctrination – perhaps they are, perhaps that is why such companies favour remaining in the EU, makes you think!…

          • Edward2
            Posted December 29, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            It varies depending very much on the courses taken Jerry.
            Business studies or engineering degrees are still unaffected by cultural marxism whereas as media studies or sociology or ppe are different.

          • Jerry
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Some of the most criticised journalist (from those on both the left and right) are not the ones with degrees in ‘Media Studies’ as you seem to be claiming but those whose degrees -or none- were in anything but, even from those areas that you claim are “still unaffected by cultural marxism”.

            But if you are correct why do so many right wing journalist still manage to emerge (with their ‘Media Studies’, how to be a hack, degrees) from such Universities and colleges of Marxism indoctrination?! Could it be that they simply have far more open minds, unlike people like you Edward, of course some will allow their writings to be politically dogmatic left, others will do likewise with right wing dogma, whilst the majority will be neither – simply allowing their writings to follow the facts to were ever they lead, not to were they wish them to lead?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            If you are claiming media people in the main have science or engineering based degrees you are wrong
            The vast majority have arts based degrees.
            Your politics be it left or right is up to you provided you have an open mind.
            Sadly it seems they got to you early on.

          • Jerry
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “science or engineering degrees”

            But those are simply your “Cheery picked”, Lifelogic style, degrees to try and prove your failed point, even more so considering how many people with science or engineering degrees are peddling AGW and renewable energy myths born out of undiluted leftist thinking.

            “Your politics be it left or right is up to you provided you have an open mind. Sadly it seems they got to you early on.”

            Talk about the utterly filthy pots and pans trying to call the kettle a little dusty!

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            I have to say you’ve argued so long I have forgotten what point you were originally trying to make Jerry.
            Bored but also I am baffled by your final sentence.

  29. Anonymous
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I no longer trust the BBC and can bear to watch (or listen) to little of its output.

    Rather than reflecting reality and opinion it forms it.

    The worst of its bias is subliminal. In what it calls entertainment.

    We need to get away from the convention of playing the ball and not the man. If an unelected actr

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I no longer trust the BBC and can bear to watch (or listen) to only a little of its output.

      Rather than reflecting reality and opinion it forms it.

      The worst of its bias is subliminal. Hidden in what it calls entertainment.

      We need to get away from the convention of playing the ball and not the man. If an unelected actress, actor or comedian tells the little people that they must cut down on consumption to save the planet then it is important that their own consumption is scrutinised.

      It must be demanded that they walk the walk in a truly meaningful way before they are allowed to lecture others on how they should behave.

      Ms Thompson must be told that she should give up her worldly goods to the extent that she is reduced to a modest semi, located in a modest vicinity with modest belongings before she can tell the rest of us how much we should use (or how many newcomers we must share our street with.)

      And that goes for the rest of the celebrity hypocrites from whom ordinary people have absolutely nothing to learn about green living and frugality.

      The greatest strength of the anti-traditionalist Left is that they are protected by the traditionalist aversion to the ad hominem (except when it comes to Nigel Farage !)

      (Sorry about the truncated version of this comment – butter fingers !)

    • Jerry
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Anonymous; “Rather than reflecting reality and opinion [the BBC] forms it. The worst of its bias is subliminal. In what it calls entertainment. “

      And you mean that the rest of the broadcast, film and print media industry doesn’t?!

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        The American produced shows aren’t nearly so affected – which is probably why their box sets are so popular.

        But yes. You are right. I gave an answer earlier in this thread.

        Media/entertainment people nowadays have nearly all come up through university rather than through the gritty trade route. The none science based degrees are often infused with cultural marxism.

        • Jerry
          Posted December 30, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          Anonymous; “The American produced shows aren’t nearly so affected – which is probably why their box sets are so popular.”

          Give me a boxes set of Ken Loach films, that whilst I might not agree with his politics do make me think, rather than a boxed set of American produced dross that simply re-enforce the “All American ideals” in every scene, even when being critical of the own country.

          Not that I would call such boxed sets of dross biased, unlike how many on the right would call a boxed set of Ken Loach films.

          “The none science based degrees are often infused with cultural marxism.”

          See my reply to Edward2 above.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            Ah Ken Loach the king of cultural marxism.

          • Jerry
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Ah Ken Loach the king of cultural marxism.”

            Perhaps, or just -for some- an unwelcome mirror upon society and its ills. Subjects such as homelessness (“Cathy Come Home”), child neglect and abuse (“Kes”), or political/corporate failings (“The Price of Coal” and “The Navigators”) etc, are they all really just examples of cultural Marxism and thus their messages can and should be totally disregarded?…

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            Yes Jerry they are examples of cultural marxism in action.
            His solution to all society’s ills was a socialst revolution.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “His solution to all society’s ills was a socialst revolution.”

            That reply actually says far more about you, and your politic views, than it doers anyone else. No where in the films I cited does Mr Loach put forward a “solution”, he simply highlights the issue at hand. Edward, have you actually ever bothered to watch any of his work, I suspect not…

          • Edward2
            Posted January 2, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            You suspect wrong.
            I’m correctly telling you what ken loaches political solutions were.
            He gave many interviews.
            I expect you were not listening as usual.

  30. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    It is foolish to imagine that the BBC will abandon voluntarily its present partiality and bias. Those who run and those who operate from it are well aware of the agenda they are promoting, and they believe they are unassailable, a law unto themselves. It has fatally corrupted the definition of balance, and is rotten to the core. It was given too much power and has abused it. Why have we not seen the Balen Report for example, and later ones into other aspects of its conduct?

    It may be it is right in its view that it is untouchable, we hear that Mr Whittingdale thinks this and that but nothing is done which makes a blind bit of difference. Hall gets a soft time when questioned and oozes Establishment oiliness, he has too many friends in government. He talks about its ‘soft power’ and gets resounding support from Cameron.

    It appears to me that the BBC, instead of responding positively to the valid criticisms, becomes more blatant in its behaviours, probably taking the view that now is the time to move for even more power so as to strengthen its ‘negotiating’ position.

    However, it is incapable of reform, changing its governance will make almost no difference, if small pieces are cut off it will, like a worm, merely grow the pieces back again. It must be broken up, it is a malevolent monopoly. Anything with claimed value can be sold and if as good as claimed will be bought. What cannot be sold should be closed as clearly valueless and not worthy of subsidy.

    As for ‘news’, if the state considers it needs a public service broadcaster it should be strictly restricted to reporting fact, not opinion. Announcements by government should be clearly seen and described as such, in the style of the old public information films so government will need to rethink its own view on how the public is informed. Other media outlets, not subsidised, can do the opinion pieces.

  31. Maureen Turner
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of all the EU Referendum propaganda we can expect over the coming months from LibLabCon SNP Greens etc., re the wonders of being a member of this club by far the most concerning to the Leave campaign should be BBC News as its reach goes into every sitting room in the land and no doubt it will run endlessly with the disasters that could befall us should we depart.

    For decades our public broadcaster has been indulged by various governments to put on air its own left-wing ideology and it does so relentlessly by ensuring most political discussion programmes are peopled by left wing guests. A rather odd factor is that the audiences for QT and Any Questions come over as rabid lefties with panellist holding a
    contrary view regularly being howled down which hardly makes for interesting debate.

    It’s sad this once revered UK broadcaster has given up on its Royal Charter’s requirement that news coverage and political debate remain impartial. I read recently that the EU is
    giving the BBC £ 7 million to the Remain campaign to help fight their case (can’t vouch for the source) but as they are annual recipients of EU money it sounds more than plausible.

  32. lojolondon
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, I believe it was a year ago that you published FOI figures that showed the Environment Agency, with a budget of £1 Billion, had managed to spend £980 m on conferences, TV adverts, etc. and only spent £20m that year on dredging the rivers. So the EA avoids doing the only job they have, much preferring to engage in multiple non-key activities all year round, and then be sure to appear on TV to publicise the resulting disastrous floods as ‘proof of climate change’. This of course, with complete collusion of the Biased BBC.
    Seeing the pattern repeat once again, I wonder if you have access to the latest figures, and any information as to whether there has been any improvement in this area?

  33. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Sheen is a great actor, but why on earth do the BBC think we should be interested in his political views ? Simply because he is famous and reliably left-wing I suppose. It seems an odd idea. He doesn’t even live in UK.

    • Qubus
      Posted December 31, 2015 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      You might not have thought much of Sheen, but in comparison with Mr Clegg’s wife he was fantastic. How can an alleged international, successful lawyer be such a patronising, giggling shambles? It really makes one wonder about these so-called professionals.

  34. Original Richard
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    As a “public service broadcaster” paid for by a lcicence fee on every TV in the country the BBC should be forced by the courts to provide both sides of any discussion in every news or current affairs program.

    For instance, it should not be acceptable for the BBC to have a discussion on the EU/Brexit with only Mr. Heseltine and Mr. Clarke taking part.

    Or for no representative of UK taxpayers taking part in programs/discussions on the government’s spending plans.

    Or for the same people presenting and being interviewed week after week. In one political Radio 4 program the presenter one week is the interviewee the following week and vice versa.

    • Jerry
      Posted December 29, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      @Original Richard; All broadcasters should be forced to provide both sides of any discussion in every news or current affairs program UNLESS they derive all their funding solely by way of a subscrip0tion customer base and broadcast encrypted. Why should someone buying baked beans or what ever fund what they might consider ‘biased’ simply because such items are advertised on paid for broadcast slots.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 30, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        Because Jerry, you have a real choice which newspapers you may decide to buy and you can decide to pay to watch sky.
        With the BBC if you want to watch any live tv or radio you first have to pay their tax.
        You also can choose to buy beans which are not advertised on TV.

        • Jerry
          Posted December 30, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; “With the BBC if you want to watch any live tv or radio you first have to pay their tax.”

          You are totally wrong about radio, that has not had a licence since 1971, nor do you need a TVL to access digital radio via a Freeview type receiver so long as you do not connect a TV set or monitor, just a audio amplifier (exceptions and inclusions apply, as has been confirmed by the TVLA).

          “You also can choose to buy beans which are not advertised on TV.”

          You really do not have a first clue as to how the adversing industry works, nor how market (label) branding works, thus the retail customer has very little or no choice beyond perhaps being a Tom or Barbara Good and taking to the “Good Life” up in them hills, or at least their allotment and garden!

          • Edward2
            Posted December 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

            OK so radio is free at the moment.
            You do not know my industry background Jerry so your rude accusations are so very wrong.
            I find you are arguing yourself into a big hole
            There is no logic or heart in your writing
            Beans can be bought from the recent new supermarkets or thousands of corner shops for a fraction of the price of major TV advertised brands.
            Your argument that consumers have no choice is idiotic

          • Jerry
            Posted December 31, 2015 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “You do not know my industry background Jerry so your rude accusations are so very wrong.”

            I know enough to know that you either have no knowledge what so ever or you do not have as much understanding as you think you do, or should have if you actually working in marketing or retail. Also, for that matter, you do not know what my background is either.

            “I find you are arguing yourself into a big hole
            There is no logic or heart in your writing”

            More filthy pots and pans whispering about the fact that the kettle appears to have a speck of dust on it!…

            “Beans can be bought from the recent new supermarkets or thousands of corner shops for a fraction of the price of major TV advertised brands.”

            That just shows how little you really understand about the relationship between brand-named, supermarkets etc. and their own label products etc, not just in the food industry either.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

            More pedantic nonsense from you Jerry heaping onto previous nonsensical arguments.
            But adding more personal abuse.
            Do you talk to people in public face to face as you do on here?
            Your beans argument has given much merriment when relayed to industry friends who are involved in the industry.
            So at least for that thanks.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            @Edwards2; “More pedantic nonsense”

            Only because your don’t have a clue about what you attempted to pick an argument about, pedantic to you perhaps, but to the very root of the issue – the relationship between multi-brand/label companies and how much the public know of such trading relationships – without that knowledge how can consumers avoid buying the products of ‘Company A’ because they disprove of their adversing strategy (in this instance buying advert slots from a biased broadcaster) and switching their purchases to “Company B” who doesn’t – which is after all what you and others claimed people could do. The same problem exists with own label brands, who is the actual supplier, how can the consumer know if they are buying a product made by a ‘bias supporting advertiser’, there being nothing but -perhaps- a private code placed upon the product that only the supermarket, their suppliers and agents can read.

            “Your beans argument has given much merriment when relayed to industry friends who are involved in the industry.”

            If they do actually work in the industry (be that broadcasting, advertising or retail supply) then they were laughing at you Edward, not me, assuming that you relayed the full discourse…

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2016 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            Are you trying to say in your obtuse post that there are no beans on sale which are not advertised on TV or radio?
            Because I can give you examples of brands which are on sale that have never been seen or heard on TV or radio.
            So how do they force purchasers to contribute towards commercial TV or radio as you claim if none of their purchase price goes to anty TV or radio company?

          • Jerry
            Posted January 2, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            Edward2; Only “obtuse” to you, perhaps…

            “I can give you examples of brands which are on sale that have never been seen or heard on TV or radio.”

            So can I, but that is not the issue, who manufactures them is, not what the carried branding is.

            Once again Edward you prove that you do not have a first clue as to the issues you pick arguments about, stop digging!

          • Edward2
            Posted January 2, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Answer my question.
            How does a customer who buys a tin of beans that are made by a company who do not advertise on TV or radio, contribute to the revenues of TV or radio companies ?

  35. Margaret
    Posted December 29, 2015 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    You should listen to Radio 3 . A better European theme pervades.

  36. Margaret
    Posted January 2, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why you try to categorise arguments or put the source of argument in right left or centre, simply challenge or discuss every individual discussion on its own merits. A competent philosophy lecturer of mine always said don’t try to debate one thing because it is perceived as belonging to category , for example , ‘they are right so think this or that.’ Take it away from the clutter and see how it stands alone , then reintroduce it and observe how it impacts on issues around.

    • Margaret
      Posted January 2, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      grammar: discuss every individual issue.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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