The BBC and journalism


             I have felt sorry for “the senior Conservative of the Thatcher era” ever since the Newsnight programme alleged that he  had committed  paedophile crimes, inviting people to trawl the internet to find out more. His friends could not protest his innocence, for fear of naming him when they knew he was innocent.

             The Savile case and the “senior Conservative of the Thatcher era ” case have one thing in common – very poor journalism. If you are going to intervene  in the exposure and apprehension of serious criminals, you need to get your facts right, you need to have evidence with witnesses, and you need to put the accusations to the accused to see what the defence is going to be. Apparently in the Macalpine case the BBC failed to check that the person accused by their one witness was the correct person, failed to find any supporting evidence for the accusations, and failed to ask the accused what he thought of it. Meanwhile, with the Savile case, there was a failure to unearth all the evidence from a multitude of witnesses, and to produce a programme which delivered the weight of evidence now thought to be out there.

             Some  Conservatives feel particularly unhappy about the way this has been treated. Of course the treatment of the wrongly accused is the worst feature, but they are not happy that in a fairly unsuccessful attempt to disguise his name the Conservative party was accused of harbouring a paedophile in the Thatcher era. Some Conservatives will ask why the unnamed person had to be described in this way. Would the BBC have said a senior figure of the Callaghan or Wilson era, if the dates had been different, or were they as often seems the case, out to attack Margaret Thatcher?  Would they have constantly repeated the word Labour, if the senior figure had been from that party, or sufficed themselves with a general word like politician? Why, in the North Wales abuse cases, did the BBC not constantly refer also to Clwyd Council, the  Council responsible for the childrens’   homes? Clwyd was certainly not a Conservative Council. Why did  they not add the Labour party label to a very nasty set of incidents if they thought the fact that it was a national Conservative government mattered? Why didn’t the unpublished Clwyd report into the abuse crisis become a matter of interest, as well as the wide  ranging enquiry ordered and published by Conservative Ministers?

           I like to think that Ministers and senior Councillors of any colour would wish to let the police and prosecuting authorities get to the bottom of any hateful crime, without fear or favour.All decent Conservative and Labour people condemn child abuse as one of the worst crimes. The BBC should be careful about trying to give a party gloss on crime, especially when it gets the accusations wrong.

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  1. backofanenvelope
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Do you ever watch “Have I Got News for You”? Just watch their little eyes light up if a chance comes to slag off Margaret Thatcher. It’s what the BBC does, especially in their radio and TV light programmes. They can’t help themselves.

    • Fred
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      John – stop crying – you have only got yourselves to blame. The BBC hates the conservative party and you all roll over and take it. Get a spine. Fire Patten and Entwhistle. This is the perfect moment as the BBC have shown their true stripes. Then put someone else in charge who has a brain and can push back against all the lefty bias.

      • Paul H
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink


        • Fred
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          You will never have a better chance than now.

          Here are some suggestions:

          – Separate news from all that entertainment stuff. It has a separate channel so leave it there. Like Sky news or France 24 or Russia Today or CNN.
          – Make news a non-profit organisation. And make it compete with other news organisations.
          – Make all of the money from BBC Worldwide come back to the tax payer and not to the BBC. Or let them go commercial.

    • stevie
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Come on John. Shrug off the cowardice. The mainstream have lost the culture war for the last 2o years, but this is extreme.

      The BBC have dragged the UK perception of what is right and wrong way to the left of the mainstream. It is time to fight back. The BBC is a cancer on society. It must be cut out.

      Sending people to jail for having a TV is grossly immoral, but this is what the BBC means. That is its reason d’etre.

      When the police were tagged with institutional racism in the 90s, the BBC jumped on board and included it in every broadcast for 20 years. It is clear now that the BBC was infested with (some-ed) paedophilia and even the creator of childline was unwilling to speak out. What a cancer.

      Now, this immorality have perpetuated a complete breakdown of any sort of standards. It is time for decent people to stand up and say No More.

      Do the people’s representatives have the courage to speak up against a mighty government TV poll tax?

  2. The Oncoming Storm
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    This was the “Respectable Left’s” version of the whole “Party when Thatcher Dies” set, they saw a chance to use Lord MacAlpine to get in a dig at Lady Thatcher and its come back to bite them hard.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The BBC has behaved appallingly in this matter.

    But the BBC staff cannot help themselves, that is how dim lefty art graduates are and usually “think”.

    Thatcher bad, Murdock bad, fake green tosh good, republicans evil, enforced equality good, more immigration always good. any one who disagrees or points out the disaster that is the EU is labelled a racist or a child molester.

    The words Daily Mail or Daily Mail Reader are the punch line to about 10% of the “jokes” on radio 4 “comedy” with the usual sneers at anyone who points out the insanity of wind farms and the like.

    Doubtless Cameron’s man Lord Patten is cheering it all on.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      It is right and funny to laugh at Daily Mail readers who take this newspaper as a serious source of political comment and unbiased news. Nazi gold, the obsessive dieting being a threat to our youth. Turn to page 50. The latest diet. UFO’s and right wing fantasy that single mothers are to blame for the banking crisis.

      • Nicholas
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        But the collective trendy left can be parodied in exactly the same way but generally aren’t. So it ought to be right and funny to laugh at them too – but the BBC never does. Please identify to me a comedian on the BBC who regularly indulges in jokes at the Labour party’s expense? For the opposite, comedians who lampoon “the Tories” or Thatcher, one must ask which one doesn’t?

        • davidb
          Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Actually the Now Show is much better. It digs both sides. The News Quiz is usually un-listenable however.

          • Cassandrina.
            Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            For years the BBC have refuted the idea that their “comedy” radio programmes use canned laughter, yet the inventor of such a tool was a BBC employee, who died a few years ago.
            The Now show is getting better but no funnier, the News Programme under Toxic Toksvig and her loony left team constantly paper the walls and edit the laughter. People actually laugh before the punch line is stated.
            As for BBC “award winning comedy” mantra, these awards are self imposed and certainly not national let alone international.
            Question Time is another travesty of bias, while Gardener’s Question Time I listen to for the knowledge AND the humour, and I am not a gardener.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          As I have asked before with no response. Name a funny right wing comedian. Clarkson? Jim Davidson? You will have to do better.

          • Janice Street Patter
            Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            Harry Enfield.

          • Max Dunbar
            Posted November 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            Mainly dead you will be relieved to know.

          • StevenL
            Posted November 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            Clarkson is a ‘ladsmag’ journalist, not a comedian. I’m not sure what his political views are but I think you will find that a great many people, right across the politcal spectrum find him entertaining.

          • A different Simon
            Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            Roy “Chubby” Brown ?

            Thing about comedians is that they are nobodies family pets .

            They will offend all of us sooner or later if we listen to them long enough so we just have to get over it .

            In general I THINK I take the point I THINK you are trying to make .

            Ben Elton was a great left wing comedian , can you recommend anyone fit to lace his boots ?

            P.S. Saw a newsreel of Michael Foot as a young man yesterday when he was acting editor of the Evening Standard during WWII and it was electrifying . Amazing presence and charisma but with substance and intellect .
            Defending liberty and freedom of the press when it really needed to be .

            The current breed masquerading as left wingers are a real let down . Numpties like Ed Balls don’t deserve to be handed the baton .

          • Cassandrina.
            Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

            The BBC Director responsible for Comedy is on record (audio) that they “constantly search for right wing comedy”.
            Such a comment from a left wing institution is to say the least misleading.
            They may occasionally take on some right wing comments and jokes but only to “show balance”.
            Lets face it telling the whole truth or being self critical is no longer in the BBC DNA as the last two paedophile fiascos’ reveal.
            Listen to the Radio 4 Feedback programme to understand how they self aggrandize themselves and give disengeneous statements to mute real criticism.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, but it has no more nonsense in that the Guardian or on the BBC indeed rather less. In the comment section SIMON HEFFER, PETER HITCHENS, QUENTIN LETTS, RICHARD LITTLEJOHN and ANDREW PIERCE are quite sensible in general. I do not read it very often however.

      • Alte Fritz
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Daily Mail? Lefties’ house journal!

      • Ludwig
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Bazman – are you a parody of the unthinking Left?

        • Bazman
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          The lack of comments on my post regarding the minimum wage and the working poor other related points shows where the fantasy lies. Middle class dead heads protected by their social security system which is little more than an arse kissing chain. Ram it.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        Bazman – “It is right and funny to laugh at Daily Mail readers…”

        If you want to. But most certainly not by the publicly funded BBC who categorise it as far right and thus dismiss the views within its pages – hence the democratic deficit in this country.

        At least 5 million readers which should (by BBC rationale) translate into 5 million votes for the BNP (it doesn’t do that for the Tories as it happens.)

        I wish the DM wouldn’t resort to stories about crystal skulls, Mayan prophecies or its general bitchiness about cellulite, wrinkly knees and crinkly bums etc.

        They even got me feeling sorry for Cherie Blair.

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

          Oh. And another thing – it now turns out that BBC journalism is no less laughable than Daily Mail journalism.

    • ciconia
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      ‘…lefty art graduates’; you could include many teachers, career politicians and academics too.
      I don’t suggest this to insult these people; most of us start off life with a strong feeling for fairness and socialist idealism. Life in the wider, usually private sector world usually brings a bit of balance.
      The BBC would seem to be incurable- overtly liberal left, anti Israel and uncritical of the eu, painting Britain as a pariah dog. Anyone may may quite rightly hold these views; but the BBC is supposed to be balanced. The sadness is they probably think they are. We need less opinion and more fact. ‘He said’, ‘they said’, not the broadcaster’s personal opinion, or the latest line from the Independent/Guardian.
      Like many legacy organisations, if we set up a public broadcaster today, it wouldn’t look like the present BBC. Somehow we need to dispose of this license fee funded monster and return to a basic public service broadcaster, perhaps in the interim funding any additional BBC services by subscription.
      Not sure how we address the balance issue. A start might be to have limited tenure jobs where news and current affairs are involved. Say 50% go, top to bottom, every three years. We might also try to balance the free humourous party political broadcast element from panel shows.
      Otherwise all we can do is look for balance by following other broadcasters as well.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps 80% of the jobs should go to people who have never before worked for the state sector, charities, the bbc or academia just to reflect the real world – perhaps a ban a lawyers too, as there are clearly far too many of them?

      • Bazman
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        You mean as you become older you become more right wing and this is revealed in small minded spiteful ways that are perceived as being the correct policy for the country, but would in the real world need a police state to be implemented which would be an absurd attack on personal freedoms. This combined with a blind belief that the free market can cure all ills despite much evidence to the contrary. Any questioning that is put forward is tried to be avoided by personal attacks or ignoring the question. Which points and question have I ignored before you start? Or attacks on the spelling and grammar of the post. It’s all a bit difficult to use your usual ploys of dismissing the poster on the internet as you would in the pub isn’t it? This idea that all of us live in some sort of vacuum like the super rich and the super rich have any other interests other than their own is for the birds. lifelogic supporting Bill gates stranglehold on the computer and software market as he does a lot of work for charity is a peach. Have I told you to ram it yet? No I haven’t. Ram it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic–Agreed except that you are out of date in your reference to mere Equality, meaning that Equality these days is no longer nearly enough. It has to be nothing less than Identity now. The fewer children borne by (sophisticated?) White American women, by reason of their putting off child birth for as long as possible to be more like men and to well beyond when Nature intended, was a major reason Obama got back in.

    • Timaction
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      How true this comment is. The BBC is always to the left of centre in its news, political shows and increasingly documentaries. When I heard David Attenborough quoting the Climate Change religion in one of his recent documentaries it all got too much. I have made written complaints on many occasions to the BBC about its political bias. All I ever get back is banal statements defending its impartiality, when it’s clearly not. I stopped watching its news, Question Time, Newsnight etc as I was always shouting at the television over their obvious left wing audience, and those chosen to speak on any given subjects. They actually sneer at anyone who is not on left wing message.
      Climate change, mass migration the EU, Labour, Human Rights all things loved by this organisation. It should be privatised and made to pay or give the public a choice if we want to watch this nonsense for £145 a year!

      • David Ashton
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Last week in the case of Newberry versus BBC regarding a FOI request, the judge David Marks QC stated that the BBC should be regarded as a “private organisation”. I’m happy with that; let’s remove the enforced tax and float it on the market.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          They are always telling up its our BBC but we cannot even know who goes to climate exaggeration/stitch up/indoctrination meetings.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps you should send the BBC all the scientific literature you have to show they why you think climate change isn’t real. After all it’s not like you based your entire view on climate change on the rants of journalists rather than real science.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          Climate change is real and always has been. The BBC only need to look real temperature records to see that that the changes this century are not significant and do not in any way predict some many made hell on earth.

          Anyway the solutions they push wind and AV do not even work on a first base analysis. Even if you do believe the carbon pollution disaster religion.

        • Timaction
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          Please explain how 0.034% CO2 in the Earths atmosphere, a naturally occurring trace gas and essential for plant life is the cause of climate change? There have been many recent releases of data showing no world increase in temperature in the last 15 years. Volcanoes, our oceans and animal life produces more CO2 than the whole of mankind but you can’t tax or have carbon trading on those!
          The intensity of the Sun does cause changes in the jet stream that impacts weather and climate over time. Hence lots of rain this year (Sun spots).
          There has and will always been climate change over time but it had nothing to do with mankind when the dinasaurs walked the earth or in times prior to the industrialised world.
          Climate change is based on false projections on a failed computer model.
          Take a look at “Watts up with That” on the net.

      • Cassandrina.
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        I am afraid you are only one of hundreds of thousands of British citizens that complain to the BBC and get the usual handout from interns and electronic reply services. There is never a real name attached or department.
        Their complaint system is deliberately 19th century.
        Patten’s first priority should have been the restructure of the complaints system, followed by the removal of Thompson and Boaden and the installation of an OUTSIDE media reforming professional with a mandate to install his/her own task team.
        I have been saying this for over one year, yet only now after Savilegate is it becoming more obvious.

  4. The Prangwizard
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    The BBC is incapable of reform, and almost everyone agrees it is institutionally biased on a whole range of issues.
    The time has come for the existing News and Current affairs in particular to be broken up and dissolved and entirely new organisations set up for each of the constituent nations of the UK.
    These must be, by statute, entirely independent of each other, and self financed. Existing management, journalists and staff, given their proven political bias over many years, would be barred from applying for any new posts for say two years and everyone would need to resign from and renounce any political affiliations.
    The BBC Trust should also be dissolved and not replaced.

    • David Kelly
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Existing BBC management, ‘journalists’ and staff should be fired and barred permanently from applying for such jobs (or any public sector jobs) for the rest of their lives. Yes, they’d have to go out into the real world and find real jobs, if they’re capable of finding something useful to do.

    • Expat
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right. This blatantly biased organisation should be thoroughly cleansed and, in particular, the existing political reporting/investigative staff should be dismissed.the BBC at present is the publicity arm of the Labour Party; the situation just cannot go on.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        Is Cameron an arm of the Labour party too I tend to think so?

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      I dread to think what we would end up with in Scotland. Probably more of the dire parochial stuff we have at present with extra footie.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Unless you want the BBC to become like Sky News there’s no point in selling off the BBC.

      • MrDavies
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        The BBC can be what they want when we are not forced to by law to pay for it.

      • James Sutherland
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        “Unless you want the BBC to become like Sky News there’s no point in selling off the BBC.”

        That would certainly be a great improvement, though there is a lot more to the BBC than news – indeed, much of the problem seems to stem from it being a colossal monolith, completely unmanageable as well as unaccountable. The NHS seems to work much better subdivided into more sensibly-sized entities (a few hospitals at a time, each serving a particular area or specialty), perhaps the BBC should go the same way? Separate out news, drama, online services etc into legally distinct entities, with their own management, funding and accounts.

        Then, for one thing, there would have been no conflict of interest between the news company documenting a suspected paedophile who happened to work for the entertainment company, just as the police wouldn’t balk at investigating a paedophile who worked for part of the NHS.

      • Cassandrina.
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        The internet has removed the mandate of the BBC to be the monopolistic public broadcaster of news in the UK.
        Its a bit like the church suddenly discovering that the printing press was placing their education and knowledge empire in great danger and trying to fight it. Canute also comes to mind.

  5. Liz
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    My thoughts entirely – the BBC handling of this story,and not just Newsnight, was driven all along by their political opinions – hatred of Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative party. Opinions they should not have and certainly should not show so blatently or at all. The fact that nobody from top to bottom in the BBC could see this and allowed this bias and innuendo to go continue is like the Ash virus – contaminating their entire new output. I would not think that Newsnight could continue in its present form.

  6. Mike Hogan
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I wonder now when they will apologise for all the fabrication of lies and distortions with reference to climate change?

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      They will claim credit for having helped solve the “non problem” by their great foresight and early intervention perhaps?

  7. James D
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Yes, it’s striking how they played not-naming-the-individual in such a way as to defame the Conservative Party. It would be very very interesting were the party to sue the BBC for libel.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Well the Conservatives can try to sue the BBC but the BBC would then have to present in open court all the evidence …etc)Let’s not forget if the BBC wins the libel case because it was in the public interest to broadcast this story then many people will consider all of the allegations against the Conservatives completely true. This will be very bad for the Conservatives.

      Reply Nonsense – there is no evidence in this case, as the BBC and their former witness have stated clearly, and apologised. Why can’t you accept they made a dreadful error?

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood – The point I try to make later is that this untruth is now in the public psyche and will affect election polling.

        • James Sutherland
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          “this untruth is now in the public psyche and will affect election polling.”

          That’s a risk – which is why, I think, it must be fought much more aggressively. Stamp out the lies, drag the BBC into court and humiliate them over it, with careers ending for it to leave absolutely no doubt in the public’s mind.

          Anything less risks letting people think “well, maybe it wasn’t actually proven, but if there wasn’t a bit of truth in it, why did Newsnight get away with it?”

        • zorro
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          I do find it peculiar that Lord McAlpine has not acted earlier on these rumours as they have been floating around for nearly two decades.

          I also find it incredible that in the last 30 years it appears that Mr Messham has not bothered to look at freely available pictures of Lord McAlpine on the Internet to confirm whether he was the individual alleged to have abused him. He has alleged that the police told him that the individual he talked about was Lord McAlpine so that statement needs to be looked at closely.

          I just find it bizarre that he never looked, or that no reporter confirmed it with him. Could they actually be so useless?


  8. Paul
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    And yet the BBC spent thousands in order to pursue cases like this:

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      I was about to comment on this case but then saw you had already done so. The circumstances surrounding it are extraordinary. I hope that the pensioner who brought the case is able to appeal the decision.

      In essence the BBC is concealing the names of attendees at a meeting which appears to have determined its editorial line on the issue of “global warming” – namely to suppress any opinions contrary to the view that we are all guilty and are all[l] doomed unless we do as we are told. It followed publication of an IPPR paper recommending that in future communications on the subject should take it for granted that the CAGW hypothesis was true; it preceded the passing of the Climate Change Act.

      It looks like a BBC cover up. That suspicion can be confirmed or demolished if the BBC publishes the names – but it refuses to do so.

      • forthurst
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        “I was about to comment on this case”

        ditto, here. The Register’s reporting on this case has been quite outstanding although, it has been suprisingly hard to find comparators, for some reason.

        I believe that, although as deemed by the Judge, the BBC is a ‘private’ organisation, albeit paid for by a poll tax, and not therefore subject to public disclosure from a FoI request, Lord Patton, as Chairman of the BBC Trust, should invite the BBC to publish the names of those world class ‘experts’ who were invited to suggest to journalists how to report stories on ‘climate change’ before they had occurred. It is also rather odd that the BBC felt that by not disclosing the ‘expert’ attendees at this seminar(s), they were either protecting ‘journalistic sources’ or that they were conducted under the ‘Chatham House Rule’; these look like category mistakes; maybe the BBC simply aren’t very bright?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Since when can FOI requests be used to find out who goes to events.

      • Mark
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

        There have been FoI requests concerning the diaries of politicians.

      • David Price
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        The BBC used FOI to get a list of people who had declined Queen’s honours and they regularly report on who did what and where. In fact the BBC is quite happy to use FOI in pursuit of what they consider newsworthy and in the public interest.

        If you go to the BBC website and examine it’s mission and values ( you will find this as the first value;

        “Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest.”

        As I understand it an individual raised an FOI request because the BBC refused to declare who had been involved in the setting the agenda on BBC coverage of AGW to be non-independent and far from impartial. This has nothing to do with divulging news sources, it is about establishing the credibility of the BBC which has adopted a biased policy on a topic when they should in fact be completely impartial.

        If the BBC had held the meeting to ensure they remained impartial and independent a rational person would expect the BBC to flaunt the group of experts who arrived at such an objective policy, but they won’t – hardly transparent and trustworthy behaviour is it. For all we know they could have simply consulted the great flying spaghetti monster

  9. Nina Andreeva
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Sorry but you are always going to get conspiracy theories and witch hunts like this if the public at large believes that establishment always protects its own (or at least looks the other way), no matter how serious the crime.

    Its not too long ago that a former ambassador, the late Sir Peter Hayman, caused questions to be raised in the Commons that he had received an easy ride from the police, until the evidence became so obvious that he was eventually jailed for paedophile offences (he left his briefcase containing child pornography on a bus) . Here is an extract from Hansard as a reminder as to what went on. The two MP’s mentioned who pursued the matter , Stokes and Dickens, were Conservatives by the way …

    To stick to the topic is not a case of “yellow journalism” like this an excellent reason for getting a rid of the licence? Its hardly a surprise that the ex DG has gone to the “New York Times” who used to employ Judy Miller who (produced-ed) all those stories for Cheney about Saddam’s WMD.

  10. bryan
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    The phrase “a senior consevative in the Thatcher era” was repeated seven times on the six pm news on the day the story broke and again on the local news in our area (Wales) one can only assume that there was a general instuction to insert the phrase as frequently as possible.

  11. Epigenes
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Lord Ashcroft is going to sue the BBC according to press reports.

    Here is my prediction: The case will not go to court and Lord Ashcroft will be paid substantial damages from licence payers. Mr Redwood’s party will do absolutely nothing and the BBC will continue as the Labour Party Broadcasting Corporation which is what it has been for decades.

    • Paul H
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink


      Cameron won’t tackle the BBC’s anti-Conservative bias because he suffers from the same problem.

  12. Pete the Bike
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Why does Cameron not start the Saville public inquiry into the BBC and widen it’s remit to the whole lefty beeb culture and whether it should be funded by tax slaves or stand on it’s own merits? That would give them pause for thought.

    • David Kelly
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      That would require Cameron having a backbone and some guts. It’s more likely that England will win the next World Cup and I’ll win the Lotto on the same weekend.

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Pete ,

      “Why does Cameron not start the Saville public inquiry”

      No politician is going to kick of an inquiry into high level paedophilia because they are afraid of where it will almost certainly lead .

      Whilst I sympathise with Lord Mc Alpine if he is innocent , I am far more saddened by the real tragedy which is the way vulnerable children have been treated . Unacceptable , all children are precious .

      I’m more angered by obvious cover ups like Le Haut de Gaurenne childrens home on Jersey than possibly false accusations .

      The journalistic media as a whole has let society down by not outing paedophiles before . The BBC in particular for destroying Jerry Sadowitz’s career with them after he claimed Saville was a paedophile in a stand up sketch in 1987 .

      The only logical conclusion is that the establishment (British , Belgian , Portuguese , European) tolerates , reluctantly or otherwise , paedophile behaviour in it’s members .

      Such a character defect certainly makes people easier to control and tow the line .

      Just look back at the subsequent child porn cases involving officers involved in the Soham child murder case . Ask yourself whether it was coincidence that they were assigned or whether they were there to determine whether anything needed to be covered up .

      • zorro
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        These issues are very important and raise very significant, wide ranging points which affect the political and judicial establishment. A different Simon mentions some important points. This issue is not going away and will not be allowed to go away this time. There have been too many missed opportunities and too many occasions where it appears unbelievable that Savile was not dealt with judicially. There will be a temptation to lump everything on him. That will not work either…..

        There must be a thorough, independent investigation of any allegations which affect the higher ranking members of society and any perverse influence which they may have exercised over others.

        Lord McAlpine has finally stated that he will deal with these issues legally. This can only be welcomed as the allegations would be completely intolerable for any innocent man to bear even for one minute. Thankfully, the legal system allows this redress.

        Interestingly, there have been few legal actions taken previously on this type of issue by other people who have been tainted with accusations of this nature. I must admit that I do find this perplexing. I know that legal action can be expensive, but this sort of accusation, if untrue, must be nipped in the bud. If I was accused of any such crime in the written media, there would be no threats just action.


      • A different Simon
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        John and Crew .

        Congratulations for not censoring my post .

        Please let’s do everything possible to elevate the value and sanctity of children in our society .

        Thanks !

  13. simon_c
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    They were in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position. But reducing the number of potential people by saying they were a cabinet minister was just wrong. It would have been bad enough to say “senior political figure from the 80s”

    And yes, you would have hoped that the BBC would stand up the evidence better than just one person’s memory of something 30 years ago.

    • Little White Sqibba
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      “They were a cabinet minister”
      How many is that?

    • forthurst
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      “They were in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position.”

      No they weren’t, they could either have undertaken a proper journalistic investigation and consequently named a name if any such emerged out of the mists of misunderstanding and misallegation or they could have kept quiet. They did neither; they were guilty, as JR alleges, of “very poor journalism” for which, bearing in mind, their huge resources paid for by us, they have no excuse at all.

      • zorro
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        I suspect that their inability to deal with the Savile issue clouded their judgement on this one.


  14. Electro-Kevin
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    The BBC just had to get “Thatcher, paedophile and Tories” broadcast in the same sentence.

    Truth doesn’t come into it. Paedophilia (to the BBC) patently doesn’t matter. Being forced to make public apologies are clearly worth the risk when it comes to smearing the Tory party.

    The whole point of this was to hang child abuse on Thatcherism. (Never mind that Savile is alleged to have abused children in the Blair era too.)

    The BBC’s mission is to engulf the Tory party in no-smoke-without-fire to deflect from its own shortcomings and is likely to have succeeded. The public are thinking that ‘the Tories were at it too.’ They will not retract from the broader allegation. Mission accomplished in the wider context.

    This isn’t just poor journalism – it’s politically motivated and deliberate. This is:

    A) A direct result of recruiting BBC personnel through The Guardian and people from leftist backgrounds

    B) A direct result of those people believing in the increasing sexualisation of children below the age of sixteen and not thinking that Savile had done anything wrong. They concealed it all from the British public knowing that there would be a backlash if it got out. “They’re not ready for it – yet.”

    The BBC is biased and is inimical to democracy in the UK. It has hatred of Conservatism.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Paedophile is the very worst of accusations to level at someone. The impetus for this was political bias at the BBC.

      After recent events I feel morally justified in refusing to pay my licence fee.

      Imagine how Guardian readers would feel if told that they were forced – on pain of imprisonment – to pay a licence fee to Fox News for owning a TV set.

      • zorro
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Let us see what happens…..I wonder if Operation Ore will be re-examined and perhaps the 100 year notice on the Dunblane incident.


    • forthurst
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      “Paedophilia (to the BBC) patently doesn’t matter.”

      As exemplified by rather than investigating serious and credible allegations of paedophilia in the north of England, they tried to get the messenger, the BNP, locked up by infiltrating a journalist into the organisation to trap them in an act of ‘thoughtcrime’ which, as we know, is rather more serious than raping children, except when conducted by ‘Thatcher era’ Tory politicans.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Well said. The BBC Secret Police has nothing to learn from the Stasi it would seem.
        Any number of children would appear to be expendable as long as the Left can score points off Thatcher or the BNP.

      • zorro
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, these allegations have been borne out by subsequent investigation to be well founded and there have been successful prosecutions which pose some very deeply concerning questions to the local community.


  15. Acorn
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    A government with any “cojones” would take this moment to break up the BBC and sell it off except for a Radio 4 type public service broadcaster. Its circa twenty “Services” / channels, could easily be separated into a few commissioning channels. A lot of the 23,000 staff could form their own production companies and join the other 150 odd TV production companies in the UK already like Aardman; Hat Trick. The BBC has become more like the Civil Service than the Civil Service and spends £3.8 billion a year doing it.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      A Conservative Government breaking up the BBC after the BBC claimed the Conservative party contained paedophiles would make it look like the Conservatives is trying to hide something.

      Reply: Why? Independent enquiry has found there is nothing to hide.

      • Bob
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        You’re a goddam commie, boy.

        • Bob
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink


          Can you get another moniker please.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      A lot of the 23,000 staff already have there own “companies” I understand.

      • Cassandrina.
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        25,500 contract including with senior management such as John Simpson et al. This has been going on for at least 15 years.
        They say they have now dropped this scheme, but where is the structured monitoring and accountablities of it?
        Patten has said very little if anything on this.

  16. terry sullivan
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    it was covering allegations about savile, dunblane, charles lynton, senior scots politicians and police, and freemasons

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Terry ,

      I don’t think it is all fiction .

      The network gets extremely wide and will certainly not be restricted to historic members of a single political party .

      The Jeremy Thorpe murder case showed that such defendants can finger so many important people that any court case would collapse .

      No senior politician is going to risk lifting the lid of such a can of worms .

      So much as in the Saville case where society made Saville unassailable , the establishment makes establishment paedophiles unassailable .

      Collectively they have too much to lose .

    • zorro
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Who was investigating ‘Charles Lynton’ (I know who it is)….? The BBC?


  17. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I refer you again to the revealing article published in the Daily Mail in January last year by Peter Sissons, who wrote: “In my view, ‘bias’ is too blunt a word to describe the subtleties of the ­pervading culture. The better word is a ‘mindset’. At the core of the BBC, in its very DNA, is a way of thinking that is firmly of the Left………………………………..But whatever your talent, sex or ethnicity, there’s one sure-fire way at a BBC promotions board to ensure you don’t get the job, indeed to bring your career to a grinding halt. And that’s if, when asked which post-war politician you most admire, you reply: ‘Margaret Thatcher’.”
    I attach the link for more insights from the inside at the BBC.

  18. John
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    A common thread in all the recent BBC woes has been Helen Boaden, the head of BBC news for over 7 years.

    She has presided over (and been personally involved in):
    – The Saville mess.
    – The MacAlpine mess.
    – The Balen report on anti-Israeli bias (hidden from FOI at a cost of £300k and rising).
    – The secret 2006 Green seminar that set the BBC’s Global warming agenda (hidden from FOI at a cost of £100k min and rising).
    – The bizarre case of Nasareen Suileman and the 21/7 bomber’s friend.

    No doubt if she is ‘pushed’ it will be on an enormous pension for the rest of her life (current salary £354,000 pa.)

    Such hardship.

    • Kenneth
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I agree about Helen Boaden and I suspect that her time is now up. However, it’s far more wide-sweeping than one person – the bias is embedded in the culture of the BBC.

      Only a major clear out of dozens of senior managers would have any effect and even then I am not sure this would be enough.

      The problem is entrenched. Terms such as “poverty”, “right wing”, “racism” etc have been corrupted and redefined by the BBC.

      On a BBC radio show “Thinking Allowed” BBC Radio 4 24th October 2011, 12:15am, the BBC’s Laurie Taylor, says: “How do Fox News get away with it in the UK?”

      The next episode of the same programme was subtitled: “Is tradition under threat from capitalism, or are we overly negative about the cultural impact of globalisation?”

      I sincerely believe that the problem is so entrenched that BBC staff do not know they are being biased. I don’t think they would understand the irony of a programme that lambasts right-wing bias in one broadcaster while demonstrating it own left-wing bias.

    • Cassandrina.
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      The BBC are now reporting that Helen Boaden was not involved with the McAlpine fiasco – that she was asked to stand aside from it, by whom is not revealed as usual.
      Subtext is that the existing BBC management always wanted her to be DG which is probably why after Thompson left they completely undermined the new DG installed.
      He was a naive victim of the BBC bubble culture who should have known better after 23 years in the institute, but also Patten is at fault for not understanding the BBC culture and for choosing him without giving him considerable and open support.
      I am convinced the past new DG is a nice and honest man as his Stasi intorrogration with Humphries proved. But it needs a single minded maverick with great reforming powers to reform and restructure the amorphous mass that is the BBC and bring it into the 21st century.

  19. English Pensioner
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Murdoch did the right thing in winding up the News of the World.
    The BBC has committed far greater crimes in my view, and Cameron should take the opportunity of winding it up. It was relevant when there was no other broadcasters, but is now failing in its mandate and there are plenty of other broadcasters who would be prepared to take over some or all of the BBC’s activities, particularly if they were supported by the huge subsidy from the licence payers.

    • Bob
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      @English Pensioner

      You read my mind.

    • Mr. Frost
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Entirely correct.

      When will the Tories use this opportunity to do the correct thing and break up the current BBC and give us an entirely new independent state broadcaster that we can trust or privatise it.

      Personally I would prefer the latter. However, if we are going to force people to pay the tv tax at the point of gaol then it must be impartial and must be as small as practicable.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Murdoch wound up News of the World because the sponsors refused to place adverts in a newspaper linked to phone hacking, specifically hacking the phone of a murdered child.

      By comparison the BBC’s actions are minor as they have not elected the same outrage from the general population.

      • Mark
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

        If you consider the false allegations against Lord MaAlpine are “minor”, I assume you think the Moors murders were just a children’s tea party. The allegations include multiple murders, as well as brutal sex offences. It is hard to conceive of a more damaging set of allegations short of genocide.

      • Mr. Frost
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        Yes. That’s the private sector working properly. However, the BBC can ignore private citizens as it has the power of the state behind it.

        We do not need a BBC anymore.

      • Cassandrina.
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I suggest that your statement on public indifference to the two BBC acts on paedophilia issues is not based on good research and facts.
        Much like Newsnight.

    • Tedgo
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Now that the digital changeover is complete, the BBC should become a subscription only service, none compulsory of course.

      To prevent damage to other TV channels no advertising would be allowed. They should sink or swim on their ability to attract subscription payments.

  20. JohnOfEnfield
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The BBC has overreached itself.

    I now only watch or listen to the BBC news to check their agenda for the day & compare and contrast this with the rest of the news available. Current Affairs programmes are a travesty. Question Time on TV & Radio mere propaganda.

    A state news monopoly with over 60% of the market is an anachronism. It will become worse as Murdoch and others dis-invest from the UK.

    Technology will shortly remove the need for anyone to pay a TV license fee, I am planning my “escape” as I write. Youngsters with their video smart phones and various forms of IPTV (Internet Video) are already “free”. Parliament MUST ensure that the BBC doesn’t succeed in creating a new tax revenue stream based on these technologies. Broadcasting is being rapidly replaced by Narrow-casting – these are fundamentally different technologies and require fundamentally different mindsets and the British Broadcasting Corporation must be allowed to die with the technology it was founded upon. (Even now it has far to great a presence on the web, strangling at birth anyone trying to create a business there).

    How the BBC then conducts itself during its death throes is moot.

  21. JohnOfEnfield
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink


  22. Robbie
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The BBC is way past its time. Bureaucratic, biased and bigoted and now clearly shown to be full of incompetents. To hear entweasal say he wasn’t consulted or informed about the apology to be done on newsnight…he found out from the internet… on top of his feeble defence for not knowing why the original newsnight report was pulled proves everything about the ability of the BBC management, and GE is the cream of the crop!! Its the blind leading the blind.
    The BBC take £3.5 BILLION of our money every year, and that money could be better used in the economy. The fat cat failures at the top are now going to spend a significant amount of this on legal fees and defamation and compensation payments. It should be spent on redundancies resulting from the breakup of the BBC. The head of channel 5 got it spot on, the BBC is too cumbersome and overmanaged to be effective in the modern day. Their senior managers are so stupid they call for their hordes of bosses to manage as the private sector would and they interpret that as sacking people on a whim and treating their front line staff as dirt…. thats actually how little they know about proper management.
    The BBC must be broken up, it’s far to big an empire and the trust and the executive bosses cannot control the beast it has become.

  23. sandy winder
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Surely there can’t still be people arguing that the BBC is not guilty of blatant left-wing bias? If the BBC had been private company (like News International) it would have been attacked without mercy by the left wing with demands for it to be nationalised. Just like the NHS the BBC can cover up and even commit as many crimes as it chooses and nothing will ever be done to stop them. They have so many influential allies and power for that.

    • Daniel Thomas
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      There are plenty of people arguing that the BBC is not guilty of blatant left-wing bias, David Cameron is one of them.

      He is on record as saying that the BBC is a much loved British institution, the envy of the world and it should continue to be funded out of general taxation.

      • Wonky Moral Compass
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        He says similar things about the NHS and he’s wrong about that too.

  24. NickW
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    It appears to me that the BBC were making a crude blackmail attempt on the Government with the implied threat that if there was to be too close an inquiry into the sordid dealings at the BBC; the BBC would take the lid off the (non existent) wrongdoings of Senior Tories.

    The BBC is quite clearly an utter disgrace and I find it increasingly astonishing that parliament is unable to enforce the BBC Charter or even ensure that the BBC complies with the criminal law.

    Every person who pays the licence fee is aiding and abetting serious crime; the BBC takes no sanctions against employees using drugs and turned a blind eye to child abuse.

    The BBC appeared to be proud of the fact that “edgy comedy” was the product of cocaine abuse, (They actually made public the link between edgy comedy and drugs), and they continue to see no reason why their staff should actually obey either the written law or the unwritten standards of civilised behaviour.

    • NickW
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      And I forget to mention the unadulterated hypocrisy of an organisation which implicitly supports socialism whilst at the same time refusing to pay the taxes on which a welfare society is dependent.

      What the BBC’s actions reveal is that they think that employee and employer taxes are too high; why else would they avoid paying them? How then, can they justify their campaign against the non existent cuts in Government spending.

      • Cassandrina.
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Hypocrisy seems to be everywhere at the moment.
        Do not forget that this second Newsnight fiasco was promoted before broadcast by a Labour MP (Tom Watson), and a left wing senior journalist tweeting about the forthcoming revelations regarding a senior political figure of the Thatcher government involved in paedophelia in North Wales.
        Parliamentary privilege and tweeting seem to be undermining justice and the law will need reinforcing to curtail both of these circumnavigations.

    • zorro
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      ‘the BBC would take the lid off the (non existent) wrongdoings of Senior Tories’…It would be very foolish for the BBC to take the lid off the wrongdoings of innocent people. If they are rich and powerful, surely they will sue for large damages. Surely the BBC would be exercising an empty threat? The same would, of course, apply to any politician of any flavour.


    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Given that all the problems you mentioned apply to just about every other media organisation there’s no reason to single out the BBC.

      Also by your logic everyone who advertises on these TV channels is aiding and abetting serious crime.

      • Johnnydub
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        “There’s no reason to single out the BBC. ”

        You really can’t take off your blinkers can you – the other TV channels are voluntary – the BBC is paid for by a compulsory tax …

  25. Rtd Colonel
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Could we also ask why the Balen report paid for by the tax payer cannot be released? The BBC does hate cover ups and ‘institutional’ isms of all kinds – what could they possibly have to hide? At least when this most ineffectual, “no-one brought it to my attention”, DG has finally negotiated his golden goodbye and done the ‘decent’ thing as editor in chief(!??) We have the opportunity to put in a complete outsider with sweeping powers to cleanse the unrepresentative ‘community’ that is the BBC – funny how Harriet doesn’t rail against that unfairness!” Suggest we start with the BBC Trust and the aptly titled Fat Pang

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      The Supreme Court stated the Balen report is outside of the FOI act so there’s no reason for the BBC to release it. The FOI requests for this report were rejected by every court in the UK; except the Information Tribunal which can’t hear appeals from the Information Commissioner and produced a judgement consider flawed on a matter of law by the High Court.

      • Bob
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        What is your relationship with the BBC, The Guardian and The Labour Party?

      • outsider
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 4:13 am | Permalink

        You make an interesting argument uanime5. If the BBC is not forced to make policy information public under the FOI laws then “there is no reason for the BBC to release it”. This implies that none of the reports recently ordered by poor Mr Entwistle as a result of political/public disquiet should be made public. Do you really believe this?

  26. Andy
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    This whole business is a complete disgrace. Sorry John but this all starts with what Tom Watson did at PMQ’s. He started this, but was careful not to name Lord McAlpine. The BBC took up his comments with glee and the reason for that is not very difficult to fathom. It conveniently diverted attention from the actions of Sir Jimmy Savile.

    Newsnight produced a piece which did not stack up in any shape or form. The allegations made by Stephen Meesham, and which he has withdrawn and apologised for, should have been treated with a great deal of caution. A couple of telephone calls and a swift look at the Waterhouse report (available on the National Archives website) should have set alarm bells a ringing. But the opportunity to smear Conservatives was just too good to miss.

    I have long felt that the BBC should be broken up and this episode merely underlines the point.

  27. N
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    When will Cameron dismantle the BBC ? Without this we are looking at the end of any form of right wing politics in out nation, the BBC will destroy us.

    If Cameron does nothing I fear he want’s his party to die.

    • Bob
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      “If Cameron does nothing I fear he want’s his party to die.”

      His actions would indicate that he is working for someone other than the British people.

  28. Bedd Gelert
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    “Would the BBC have said a senior figure of the Callaghan or Wilson era, if the dates had been different, or were they as often seems the case, out to attack Margaret Thatcher? Would they have constantly repeated the word Labour, if the senior figure had been from that party, or sufficed themselves with a general word like politician? ”

    I’m a big fan of the BBC, but on this particular point you are bang on the money. I don’t want to see the BBC abolished, but even I have long given up believing that they are ‘impartial’ and politically ‘neutral’.

  29. Major Frustration
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Time for a sort out. Patten should go, as Chairman he has been a waste of space. Bring in a new Chair and clean the stables out.

  30. PaulD
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Someone on the Guardian (where else?) tried to answer this by claiming the Thatcher association is relevant because her government deregulated children’s homes.

    Readers are supposed to think “Ah I understand now. That’s what happens when you let Tories loose on vulnerable children. They get hold of the keys then b**ger all the kids.”

    Apart from the absurdity of it, I’m not even sure if they did deregulate children’s homes.

  31. johnfromcamberley
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    The way I see it is this.

    The BBC has come in for a lot of criticism over its handling of the Savile affair.

    The BBC, which sees itself as vastly more than merely a common broadcaster, has a massive, but fragile, corporate ego, and, therefore, is acutely sensitive to criticism.

    The BBC has a corporate mind-set that results in it seeing the majority of its critics as politically right-oriented.

    The McAlpine-Newsnight case gave the BBC an opportunity to achieve its immediate goals, by deflecting criticism away from itself AND by discrediting the Right by associating the Conservative Party with paedophilia. As such, it was just too good to throw away. And as such, the Newsnight people (really to be seen only as “useful fools”) , so excited about the chance it offered to regain favour within the BBC, applied a lower level of editorial control to the construction of their broadcast than professional judiciousness would otherwise have dictated.

    In that sense, therefore, the McAlpine broadcast is an integral part of the BBC’s response to Savile, and needs to be treated as a symptom of the greater illness within the corporation.

  32. Selohesra
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    BBC bias has been going on for years – a lot of the blame should lie with he Tories for being unkeen or unwilling to confront it

  33. Steve Garner
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    A good post John but I think you’ve missed the most fundamental question which is would the BBC have run such a poorly researched piece at all if the alleged abuser had been a Labour politician?

  34. Woodsy42
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The BBC is long past being not just unfit for purpose but actively destructive. We need a politically independent news channel on TV and radio, paid for by a very small licence or general taxation. Everything else, all the BBC services, should go commercial or subscription. The BBC do have some excellent skills in drama and entertainment and their technical side is world beating, these people will easily find work in the commercial sector.

  35. The Prangwizard
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I have watched BBC Chairman Entwistle on Sky and elsewhere this morning. The following is what I posted elsewhere last month about him after Savile. My view hasn’t changed, indeed it is reinforced. It is astounding that he has shown no interest in Newsnight since and knew nothing, or says he knew nothing about the latest fiasco. Hadn’t read the papers, etc., etc.. It is beyond all reason. He must be sacked.

    ‘How he got to the top I don’t know, but then I do of course. I’m sure we all recognise the worst kind of Manager here. He’s certainly not a leader. He said he’d never mix with the ‘shop floor’, because he didn’t want to be thought of as interfering. He always consulted his divisional managers to find out what was going on.

    I can imagine his meetings. He won’t be ask probing questions, he’ll be seeking assurances that all is well. If someone brings something to his attention or is seeking guidance, is he not type who will say that he has full confidence that that person concerned can handle things without his intervention, but ‘let me know if you need any support’. Classic ‘it’s your problem’, leaving him able to drop his staff in it at any time to avoid blame himself. Avoiding conflict throughout his career, he has always kept his bosses happy, said the right thing, gone along with the latest trend.

    Now however he’s at the top, but instead of showing decisive leadership, he sets up reviews, classic avoidance technique. He doesn’t want to get his own hands dirty.

    He is shown to be negligent and incompetent. Surely he lost all respect and authority. He was heartily laughed at. He must resign now, or be sacked. Did Patten appoint him? So, can the (words left out) Patten be allowed to stay? They all look after each other in their disengaged arrogance.

    The mould must be broken, and by that I mean the BBC must be broken up.’

    Reply: Indeed, you woudl have thought both Mr P and Mr E would have taken a close interest in the standards of journalism at Newsnight after the last errors.

  36. Found it
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    At last I’ve found where the English version of the tea party lives!

  37. formula57
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Words are cheap: actions count. I no longer pay the BBC poll tax license fee and rejoice in my present moral superiority but feel shame for having in past years unwittingly and unknowingly having funded paedophilia.

  38. Rick Hamilton
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Just imagine an oppressive dictatorship where before being allowed to buy any independent newspaper, you were obliged to subscribe first to a ‘public service’ newspaper supervised by a government-appointed ‘trust’, whether you wanted to read it or not.

    This is exactly the situation of the BBC and broadcasting.

  39. Skynine
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    How much longer can the BBC push its left wing agenda. They are keen enough to try and link paedophilia with the Tories while in reality it lies with organisations (named) (of the left-ed)

  40. Kenneth
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I have always thought that reforming the BBC can only happen from within itself as no politician – or anyone else – has the power to do this.

    Now the BBC has a one time chance to do just that.

    No doubt it will publicly beat itself up about poor journalistic standards (quite rightly).

    However, will it – at last – face the “the senior Conservative of the Thatcher era” problem? That is, the visceral political bias against conservative politics.

    Stuart Prebble (formerly from ITV) has been commissioned to investigate BBC impartiality. I sincerely hope that he will include this Newsnight report as part of his investigation.

    One simple question he may want to ask and hopefully answer: why was Mrs Thatcher’s name used?

    However, this is dangerous territory for the Conservative Party. Although PBS is not the BBC by any stretch, I do wonder what affect the proposed funding cut to PBS by the Republicans had on the presidential election. The BBC may develop a canny knack of turning itself from villain to victim. Remember: the BBC has the cameras, the microphones and studios.

    I blame the messenger.

  41. Robert Eve
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    What do you expect from the BBC John?

  42. Neil jennison
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    When is the government going to do something about the state funded, left wing mouthpiece that is the BBC?

    It hasn’t been an impartial and trusted news provider for over 30 years.

    It is joke and an expensive joke at that. I pay well over £100 a year to hear leftist drivel climate change bullshit presented as fact.

    I have had enough.

  43. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I suppose this could mean an increase in my licence fee to pay damages awarded against the BBC, or even awarded against individual BBC employees but then paid by the BBC.

    That doesn’t seem right to me.

    • Jagman 84
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Let them pay any damages by forfeiting their salaries and pensions. It they wish to play politics at the public’s expense, hit them where it hurts!

  44. REPay
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    The BBC has institutionally vilified the Thatcher Era for years. The 1980’s, a period of refocus and national renew, has always been portrayed. It was only natural that the BBC would try to right the wrongs of the Savile affair by going for a Tory. The man of the people balanced by a Thatcherite toff. This organization looks accident prone. In this case its institutional bias led it badly astray…

  45. disillusioned
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    You say “if the dates had been different”, yet the accuser is stated as 51 years old, entered the carehome at 13 years old and left at 18 years old having been abused through most of this period. By my reckoning this period is 1974 to 1979. Which party was in government from 1974 to 1979? Labour- so why is it not quoted as the Wilson years or the Callaghan years? More BBC institutional bias

  46. junius
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    What utterly amazes me is that the BBC can legally be described as a ‘private’ organisation.
    What other ‘private’ organisation is individually compulsorily funded by individual citizens , let alone to the tune of £3, 6oo,ooo,ooo each year. This extraordinary impost, simply for the right to watch television, ( and even if one chose not to watch a single programme from the payee), has long been an outrageous anomaly.
    It occurs to me to me that this method of payment which denies me the right to watch any television at all unless I pay a particular ‘private’ broadcaster a substantial sum of money is an abuse of Human Rights . Could this not be tested in the Courts ? This exaction has become more and more obnoxious over the years as this ‘private’ company has broadcast an increasingly overt left -wing political and social output.
    It was possible at one time to defend the BBC’s cultural output as epitomised by BBC Radio 3. However even this has become, as one commentator said, ‘ a down-market Classic FM ‘.
    Our Navy has been decimated, the Army progressively so. Our legal system has been totally over hauled ; even the Foreign Office has had to some extent reform. The only institution that has remained as extravagant, as bureaucratic, as self-satisfied and apparently untouchable as it ever was is the ineffable BBC.
    It is time it was examined minutely, taken apart and either abolished or re-assembled with its few essential parts on a vastly reduced budget. Parliament really must act before the beleaguered and disenchanted taxpayer finally flips and refuses to pay up.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Firstly your confusing a private organisation funded by the state and a state organisation. The latter is controlled by the state, the former is not.

      Secondly you don’t have a human right to watch TV so any legal case will fail.

      • junius
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        You are misinformed. The BBC is not funded by the State . It is funded directly by individuals. The fact that it is meant to be independent does not mean that it is a private organisation . It is a public service organisation which owes a peculiar duty directly to us , its paymasters.
        Secondly, are you saying that the State has a right to deny me the opportunity to view television of my choice ? At present I am denied that opportunity unless I pay a particular broadcaster ( whose output I do not trust and do not wish to view ) a large sum of money each year.

      • Mark
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

        Prisoners seem to have the right to a TV in their own cell, unless they are being punished:

        • zorro
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

          Excellent, uanime5 has just identified an excellent spending cut in the prison budget!! You see, the longer he frequents this site, the more likely he is to come up with spending cuts. It’s just taking some time…… 🙂


      • outsider
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

        Actually, uanime5, I think there is quite a lot of confusion here. For instance, the European Commission seems to have a much wider classification of public bodies that even embraces some utilities, such as private suppliers of water or sewerage. For some purposes, I recall, the BBC is a state body for accounting purposes.

        Although I regard the licence fee as good value for money but have some difficulty about a “private” body having a right to charge me whether or not I want its services. Do you not think that is a bit Alice-in-Wonderland?
        Once upon a time, properties with no main drains or sewerage were still charged the “rate” for them but that was abolished long before such services were transferred from the state to the private sector.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    As another “senior Conservative of the Thatcher era” is now the Chairman of the BBC Trust maybe he’ll sort this out, not.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Mr Cooper. The current Chairman of the BBC Trust has a record of botching jobs ever since he lost a safe Tory seat in Bath in 1992.

      His record of ineptness includes the Governorship of Hong Kong and EU Commissioner (commissionaire would have been more appropriate) and subsequently he’s been influential in the appointment of the hapless BBC Director General. His Lordship should be kicked out of public life permanently.

      Lord Reith must be spinning in his grave.

  48. Gewyne
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why the BBC is allowed to make popular programmes that sole intent is to chase market share and not to cater to niche/education/underrepresented sections of the public.

    They should not be competing head to head with commercial stations – Radio one could be sold of and ran privately and make money as well as keep jobs (we currently spend £50 million a year on this station so it can compete against commercial stations – ironic that people prefering to listen to it state it is because it’s ad free !).

    Shows like Eastenders, Cbeebies station, the production crews/shows could be sold and shown on commercial channels – the BBC could be a sounding board for shows and content that when popular can be sold helping to fund the BBC and producing/training production crews and helping the TV/Film/Radio industry a lot more than it does at present.

    The BBC should then concentrate on niche shows/education doing programmes that commerical stations cannot do because of lack of audience numbers – surely that is why we give them £3billion a year to spend – if they want to chase market numbers then we should be allowed to stop funding them.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      If the BBC started making “niche shows/education doing programmes that commerical stations cannot do because of lack of audience numbers” you can bet people like you would be complaining that the BBC is wasting money on programmes that very few people watch.

      Also if people listen to radio one because it’s ad free then they won’t listen to it, or any other radio station, if it’s no longer ad free.

      • Mactheknife
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

        Why dont you go and whinge on the Independant web site like you normally do ?

        • Edward
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Its a far too right wing for him, Mac

      • Gewyne
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        What a strange thing to say – I would be delighted if the BBC made niche items, because that’s what I believe they should exists for, under represented parts of the population not catered for by the more main stream commercial stations (as it is not profitable).

        “Also if people listen to radio one because it’s ad free then they won’t listen to it, or any other radio station, if it’s no longer ad free.”

        Of course they would listen to it – as it would be the best provider for the content that they want, but with ad’s. BBC have a advantage going head to head with commerical stations.

        If you are genuinely ok with this then you should be supporting a compulsory licence funding all the stations.

  49. Terry
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Why has the BBC never been properly censured? The Conservatives are constantly under attack from the inherent bias displayed by “journalists” within the organisation. Yet nothing was done to clip their wings even during the Thatcher years.

    I abhor, in particular, Question Time, when the rent-a-leftie mob in the audience and those on the panel, always have the floor without the perpetual interruptions, from Dimbleby. Why are the lefties permitted to rant on and on whereas a Tory is interrupted in very short time? The BBC interviewers act in a similar fashion and that is to prevent the sound argument of conservatism from being heard. And this is BBC democracy?

    It’s just as well they don’t invite me as I would definitely tell that champagne socialist to shut up and let ME finish. In fact, ditto that for Newsnight for their journalists act in the same ignorant manner.

    After the debacle of the past month is it not time to dump the BBC and its management, in particular and put into its place, a non-biased DG and crew?

  50. Muddyman
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    This is now standard form for the BBC. When will some move be made to break down its monopoly and sell off all but the basic service?.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      It’s not a monopoly if other TV stations are allowed to make TV programmes.

      • Edward
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        The BBC is quite plainly a monopoly, as I am forced by law to give it over £140 per year. I cannot opt out if I dislike its output, like I can with Sky TV for example.
        And I have to pay them my money if I want to watch any other stations apart from the BBC.
        Where there is no choice there is a monopoly.

  51. David John Wilson
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I fail to see how anyone can interpret this debacle as being evidence of BBC political bias. Evidence of BBC incompetence yes but there is no need or reason to bring politics into it.

    What really worries me is the amount of air time the BBC devotes to examining issues like this. As an independent broadcasting enterprise it spends far too much time examining itself in public. This really comes to a head when a change is made to its management structure. BBC journalists need to realize that internal BBC matters that interest them are of little interest to the general public.

  52. Jeff Todd
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Just shut them down; if the Tories are to have any chance at the next election, this biased monstrosity must be obliterated. The BBC has shown itself, countless times, to be beyond any reform.

    Use “Climate Change” as an excuse; no BBC = lower emissions.

    Let’s be honest, £145.50 of over-taxed electric/gas/petrol/diesel is not only a lot more useful around the house than a £145.50 TV License, but also a long overdue tax break.

  53. Tad Davison
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I am heartily sick of the BBC, and they deserve any censure that comes their way. They are less than impartial, and that bias runs right through the corporation.

    I tried to comment on local radio on the welcome announcement from IDS last week on limiting child benefit – something a great many people have been calling for. It isn’t right that people keep having kids, and expecting everybody else to pay for them, but because it is a popular Tory measure, there was not one word about it from the mid-morning presenter. The same person who once described David Cameron on air as ‘a Toff’ without even a rebuke from the management.

    I also wanted to comment on a certain senior Labour party MP who was forced to resign through fiddling his expenses – again, not one word of my e-mail was read out.

    I also wanted to highlight and emphasise the wholly negative comments made by the local Labour candidate during a studio discussion for the Police Commissioner’s job, who only targeted the local Tory. Again, nothing was said, but there was plenty on Nadine Dorries going to Australia and having the party whip withdrawn!

    And I have e-mails going back years, where anything remotely anti-Tory is treated far more sympathetically that anything that knocks the Labour party. Indeed, he and I have exchanged words, in writing, on this very issue on a number of occasions, so I have the evidence.

    And we are forced to pay for this lop-sided Socialist mouthpiece through a compulsory licence fee whether we like it or not, and personally, I don’t! I resent it most bitterly.

    My political opinion was forged in the industrial unrest of the 1970s, where I saw first-hand how elections for union positions were rigged in favour of ‘the preferred left-wing candidate’. These people never change. They are insipid, and will use any trick in the book to manipulate things to their own advantage. I just worry that people are either crazy or stupid enough to believe their BS, and not see through it.

    Tad Davison


  54. Neil Craig
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps being legally committed to “balance” & not wholly corrupt, the BBC will, from now on, always talk about the “deficit brought about by leading politicians of the Blair/Brown era”

  55. Phil
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I have just watched the Newsnight prog in question and surprise, surprise, Paul Mason’s take on the saga.Bearing in mind the total lack of of rudimentary investigtion what infuriates me is that he linked Thatcher to this and had the gall to ask if the Tories were going to put their house in order along the lines of the BBC. He pointed the finger at the Tories at least a dozen times and guess what? never once mentioned that the Authority in charge of the scandal was run by Labour.I live in the faint hope that he will walk the plank along with whoever signed off on televising it. Was Boaden in the frame by any chance?

    • s macdonald
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      I too have noted that despite Clwyd Council being mentioned frequently, not once was its political stance mentioned! And if they were so incensed by institutional child abuse, why not a mention of Operation Ore and (poosible failure to follow up on these allegations-ed)

  56. Mr. Bubbles
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely shocking story. I can think of few worse things to be falsely accused of than being the leader of a paedophile ring. The BBC, through sloppy journalism – they didn’t even show their only witness a picture of the man in question?! – have not just destroyed this man’s name, but also potentially his life.

    A commentor above says they can’t see how anyone can come to see this as being politically motivated. On the contrary, I fail to see how the repeated use of the phrase ‘a senior Conservative of the Thatcher era’ is anything other than a politically motivated attempt to link the concept of paedophilia with Mrs. T in the public mind.

  57. Neil Bradbury
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    It’s a fact that BBC has had historical bias to the Conservative Party.

    Former BBC DG Mark Thompson said so :-

    “BBC Director General Mark Thompson has admitted the corporation was guilty of a ‘massive’ Left-wing bias in the past.

    The TV chief also admitted there had been a ‘struggle’ to achieve impartiality and that staff were ‘ mystified’ by the early years of Margaret Thatcher’s government.”

    The problem is it’s been like this for so long that it’s hard wired into their DNA. How does one change that?

  58. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Your views are traditionally correct John.

    But in most cases the law conceals rather than exposes the truth.

    And social media is beginning to grow up as a force for truth. I understand its problems but I also understand it’s power and its potential. It’s proving to be a very powerful force in the PCC elections. Those who doubt that and wish to understand more should look at Pru Jupe’s page on facebook, read the posts and comments from other contributors and understand that before posting I used my contacts to check the likelihood of what was being said being true.

    The law usually doesn’t reveal truth John. People want to know the truth and there are new methods for finding it out.

  59. Sue Doughty
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that the victim appears to believe he had been told the man who abused him was a Tory grandee. Why would a perpetrator ever tell the victim the truth like that? He wouldn’t, he would tell the reverse of the truth. So they should now be looking at Labour grandees of that era.
    Stupid Newsnight! Heads must roll, the whole Newsnight team out and replaced with ones who have seen the perils.

  60. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    It’s time to tell Chris Patten to get rid of this bias or go. And we can add pro EU bias. Often, putting a pistol at the head of the top man is the only way to get things done.

    • Bob
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      @Lindsay McDougall
      Chris Patten getting rid of EU bias?
      That’s a cracker!

      • Bernard Juby
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        He’s a UK traitor, having pledged his loyalty to the EC as a Commissioner – as are all other such COMMISSIONERS DRAWING A HEALTHY PENSION FROM THEM;

  61. Alte Fritz
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I like Mr R’s comment about Clwyd Council also. Why does the BBC not comment on its colour? Why does the BBC not comment on the political complexion of Rochdale Council (Labour dominated) which has now made the town best known for organised sex grooming.

    It is pretty disgusting that the BBC politicises such things. I never thought I would say this, but I wonder whether it ought to be broken up. It looks to be past its sell by date and going off.

  62. Monty
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    The BBC has been quietly festering for years. This is what happens when you set up a corporation, endow it with taxpayer funded premises and capital equipment, and give it carte blanche to tax the public. It become ripe for capture by factional interests, who proceed to use it as their senior common room.

    This is merely the most recent and publicly obvious example of BBC controversy. They have also spent hundreds of thousands in the courts to prevent the publication of the Balen report into biased BBC coverage of Israel/Palestine, and another cover-up of the panel they consulted to underwrite their stance on AGW. Not to mention their world-renowned extravagance.

    You can’t mend something so irredeemably rotten, it needs to be dismantled.

  63. lordclifton
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    According to his interview with Humphrys on Radio 4’s Today Entwistle had no idea about the Newsnight “senior conservative” story until after the show had gone out. I find this quite extraordinary. As the most senior person in the country’s principal media outlet does he not have access to the internet where the story was being trailed all day (and previous days?) in advance of the Newsnight scoop? Did none of his staff mention it to him? And all this in the middle of the BBC’s Savile fiasco? And where is the Head of News in all this? Did she not bring the imminent breaking story to his attention? I was prepared to give Entwistle the benefit of the doubt over Savile as it didn’t happen on his watch and I’m not usually one to call for heads to roll at the drop of a hat. However, this latest episode means Entwistle and Boaden are not fit for purpose.

  64. bryan smiley
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Why aren’t the Conservative party doing something about BBC bias against them.This has been going on for decades. Do something !

  65. They Work for Us
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Let us be rid of Patten and Entwistle and replace them with people with proven success else where. ie not left wing luvvies.

    Part of the brief of these newcomers should be that the BBC needs to demonstrate its impartiality politically and scientifically. BBC staff need to understand that scoring cheap political/ partisan points or uncritical support for man made global warming will be career limiting.

    We need proper BBC Science reporters who are science graduates and actually understand the science. We suffer from arts graduates employed as science correspondents who do not understand the Science and at best read an “Executive Summary of an Executive Summary of a detailed report. This use of this type of “Executive summary” is how the IPCC managed to con politicians into taking measures that are akin to supporting the fable of the Emperors (green) New Clothes.

    As you said last night, what people want is cheap and abundant energy at home and to make our industries be more competitive and to grow. People did not ask to be signed up to the faith based green mysticism (which is not supported by proper scientific evidence).

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Given that the scientific consensus is that climate change is real having more scientists won’t change anything. It’s amazing how many climate change deniers believe that scientist don’t support climate change when scientific studies provide the evidence that climate change is real and is happening.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        One would have to be stupid not to accept that climate doesn’t change, it has been doing so for the last few billion years (in fact since the creation of Planet Earth), the question is “Can man effect or control climate”, so far there has been NO proof that man can. It is no accident that those who once talked about Man Made Climate Change now only talk of Climate Change and only produce very selective evidence, often of only a couple of hundred years – which in terms of the Earth’s natural history is like a pin-pick on a dart-board…

      • Johnnydub
        Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        Normally the hugely state funded scientists find that Climate change is in thier opinion happening, and there are lots of scientists without the financial tie-in saying that it isn’t…

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

        Maybe the “population explosion in the third world coming here” deniers could meet the “climate change” deniers over a cup of fair-trade tea and sustainable biscuits to sort out their differences.

      • Mark
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

        We all know the climate changes. Many of us know that climate models that forecast future changes are simply wrong. They have been falsified on grounds of physics and chemistry, as well as experimental evidence.

  66. alan jutson
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    What more do you expect, any reason for bashing a Tory.

    Now Two Labour MPs involved in the expenses scandle, one of whom could not appear in Court recently because she is “stressed out”, not a whisper.

    Time for a serious look at the BBC who’s standards of reporting are getting lower and lower.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Sky News also didn’t report on this MP. Does this mean Sky’s standards of reporting are getting lower and lower?

      • David Price
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Yes they did, a very simple search of Sky’s site reveals the situation involving the two Labour MPs is reported on the Sky web on the 2nd, 3rd, 8th and 9th of November 2012.

        I see you standards of accuracy are the same as ever.

        • zorro
          Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          He’s trying his best…..;-)


  67. Barry
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Just been listening to John Humphreys demolishing George Entwistle, and thinking so this is what the BBC has come to. I wouldn’t trust him to organise a piss-up in a brewery.

    • Mark
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:45 am | Permalink

      At least Humphrys had the professionalism to do his job.

  68. uanime5
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps now is the time for anonymity of the accused in rape and child abuse cases until they’ve been charged with an offence. This would prevent many miscarriages of justice.

    In any case I suspect that the BBC described the accused as a Conservative MP from the Thatcher years because most of the time that they were an MP was during the Thatcher years and they belonged to the Conservative party.

    Reply: Your errors get more unacceptable. Even the BBC did not say the man was an MP!

  69. David Langley
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    We desperately need an impartial broadcaster who really understands and knows what the main issues facing the British public are. My main problem with the BBC is that they continually seem to present important topics like the EU Project with commentators who are technically ignorant of the true legal and substantive facts. There ought to be some tests of who can parade views on topics with important legal and actual historical facts. They seem to be oblivious otherwise of the fact that they report the news not make it.

  70. Max Dunbar
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Is Entwhistle’s pension boosted by his short tenure as Director-General?

  71. NickW
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Copied from the Telegraph, following Entwhistle’s resignation.

    “Mr Entwistle has already stopped all Newsnight investigations, and any dealings with the Bureau for Investigative Journalism which prepared the report on North Wales child abuse. The “not for profit” body is funded by David and Elaine Potter, who made their fortune with the Psion technology company and previously donated to Labour. Yesterday it apologised for “failings” but did not suspend anyone involved.”

    The BBC bought the programme from an openly Labour supporting Production Company, which made the vilest accusations possible against a Tory politician which were broadcast without being checked and without the Director General’s knowledge.

    Unless we see some very rapid and very serious responses from the highest levels of Government Entwhistle’s head will not be the last to roll, the politicians will be forced to face the music too.

    This is a national disgrace.

  72. Monty
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink
    Given that the scientific consensus is that climate change is real….

    I think you mean the BBC consensus is that AGW is real, and no dissenting views are to be given airtime. And the BBC is currently fighting a court case, using license- payers money, to maintain the secrecy of their decision to adopt this policy. Because they don’t want us scallies finding things out.

  73. Monty
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink


    “In any case I suspect that the BBC described the accused as a Conservative MP from the Thatcher years because…” they needed to skirt round the inconvenient fact that the young victim was entrusted to the care of a Labour council social services department at the time he claims to have been delivered to his tormentors with the full knowledge of their staff.

  74. MrDavies
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is corrupt, biased and a threat to our democracy. It’s time your government decided to scrap the licence fee and put an end to their political dominance.

  75. gordon-bennett
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Time to put Norman Tebbit in charge of the beeb.

  76. Mactheknife
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    It is clear what has happened here. The BBC under massive pressure for its failure to air the Savile allegations then went on the offensive and overcompensated for its failure. No doubt some left wing media studies graduate in the Beeb thought that by bringing these unsubstantiated allegations forward they would be given a pat on the back and all would be forgiven in the Savile debacle. This has backfired spectacularly and as I write this the DG has fallen on his sword. There should of course be many more that do the same, but I sincerely doubt it.

    The time is now right for the government to put the BBC house in order with some action. The publics money is being used to fund the institutaional leftism which is apparent in numerous programs from news to comedy. The continuous stream of left wing propoganda from their pet causes Europe, environmentalism, immigration etc is nausiating. A thorough house cleaning is required.

  77. John Bracewell
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    There seems to have been an agenda in the way the ‘senior Conservative of the Thatcher era’ story was handled. After the BBC got a rightful mawling over the Savile Newsnight non-program, it needed to divert attention and regugitated an old story which appears to have had no new information come to light, because it involved the government, if in a roundabout way. The smokescreen story has blown up in their face and the BBC is now in serious trouble. It has long since forgotten its origins and its supposed impartiality, and has become a mammoth corporation which is too large to manage properly. It needs reviewing and restructuring for modern times and its favoured position needs to be axed, the licence fee having to be paid by anyone who wants to watch TV even if they do not want to watch the BBC is archaic nonsense and the BBC’s insistence that it must c0mpete for market share whilst not being subject to market forces because of its subsidy from the state (us) is ludicrous. The only bits that should be subsidised are the educational content, drama and natural science programs, the rest, like News, quizzes, comedy and light entertainment should be subscription based, then those programs would stand or fall on their merits when people subscribe if they like them.

  78. Richard
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Firstly Lord Macalpine has behaved very bravely in his actions in the last 24 hours has been totally vindicated. Regarding the BBC, the way it has conducted itself on this issue is a total disgrace . The Newsnight victim they interviewed is blameless , but the BBC should have performed very basic checks including whether the accused was alive/dead, verified a picture of the accused and also saught to interview the accused for his story. Even a child would have performed better. If they had done that Im sure they would have realised immediately the accused was totally the wrong man. Overall in my view the BBC appear to have tried to USE this story as a very crude and nasty stick to beat the tories with, while conveniently deflecting the story away from them and Saville etc. The internet is a problem in the way that it is being abused by anonymous individuals who peddle unproven rumours/gossip about politicians. However reading these sites they also contain highly damaging ‘unproven’ stories for Labour. Would BBC journalists have done the same to Labour I ask myself. My answer – No.

    We need urgent changes to the BBC. At the top they need someone who can get a grip of what’s going on and change the heart of it’s organisation. Politically to make it more balanced/fair minded towards the Conservatives and less a perpetual mouthpiece for Labour and the left. In terms of culture I’m also reminded of reading Jeff Randall’s experience as ex-BBC business editor who accused the corporation of being biased, left wing and virulently anti-business. It’s a shame that Jeff couldn’t run the BBC and change it for the better. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a main broadcaster who didn’t always view conservatism, business and free enterprise as dirty words !

    • Edward
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      An excellent post Richard

  79. Gary
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    Silly me. I don’t have a TV, and when I searched the net for some context to this sordid accusation, another name kept coming up.

    The main reason I threw out the TV was not so much party bias but establishment bias, the grating jingoism and warmongering of ALL TV channels.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Warmongering on Neighbours? I must have missed those episodes.

  80. peter davies
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    You couldn’t make this up I’m afraid. The BBC harboured Saville for years it seems when many of their own employees and management knew/suspected/should have known what he was like. What kind of organisation, had they had some sort of suspicion would allow someone like Saville to carry on in shows like Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll fix it?

    And we know they did, because the Head of Children In Need kept him away.

    As you quite rightly say their emphasis on (a senior member of the Thatcher era) when a few phone calls and a little bit of investigation would have been enough to realise that this would not be a wise thing to publish could have avoided all this – the innuendo used in this case was a total disgrace.

    Just imagine the field day by the labour party and BBC if it had been Newscorp or Sky behaving in this manner.

    My feeling is that the whole organization has become too big and too stuffed with lefties with their own socialist agendas to push and no longer serve the needs of the whole country – something many have known for a long time

    An independent publicly funded corporation must stay above partisan politics and report things as they are, not pretend to be neutral whilst throwing in their little innuendos.

    I hope Lord MacAlpine’s legal team hold them to account and uncovers individual management and clears them out. The whole management structure needs looking at and even a look at whether the BBC is just too big.

  81. GeoffM
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    At the time of writing the police have arrested a man in Cambridgeshire in connection with the Savile enquiry.

    This has been annouced on the BBC news…


    Look at the text news (red button) and hidden away in World (not UK) news is reference to the man being Wilfred De’Ath – a former producer at the BBC.

    Funny how that significant fact has not been referred to by the newsreader.

    I wonder how long before the text news is altered.

    Reply: Mr De’Ath denies the charges categorically.

  • 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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