Scroll down to the item you want. A : B : C etc
A The BBC admits that it’s reporting is biased in favour of the EU and is part-funded by them.
B THE BBC has sent 407 people to cover this weekend’s Glastonbury festival, almost as many as it flew out to film last year’s Beijing Olympics.
C UK Independence Party forces apology from the Today Programme
D IMPARTIALITY is and should remain the hallmark of the BBC
E Corporation’s £100m loan from EU bank By Graeme Wilson
F Subject: BBC Bias exposed!
G BBC part funded by the EU fb.me/128itmsoG
Who were the SECRET 28 who ended all climate debate at the BBC?
The BBC pension fund has some £8 billion invested in ‘Green’ activities. When the Global Warming bubble bursts it will devastate their pensions.
Who were the SECRET 28 who ended all climate debate at the BBC?
‘Campaigners, NGOs, communications types – and scientists’
Far from the Jimmy Savile scandal, the director of BBC News Helen Boaden took the witness stand in London today.
A squad of Beeb legal staff, including two barristers, crammed into a small court room to support the £354,000-a-year news chief against her opponent, a North Wales pensioner who was accompanied only by his wife. The case is a six-year freedom of information battle in which the BBC is refusing to disclose who attended a seminar it held in 2006.
This seminar is historically significant. The BBC’s global reputation for news reporting stems from its unshakable impartiality; even in wartime its commitment to maintaining evenhandedness has occasionally enraged British politicians (and sometimes servicemen). Following that 2006 seminar, however, the corporation made a decision to abandon impartiality when covering climate change – and that’s according to the BBC Trust. This was an unprecedented decision for the BBC in peacetime.
On what basis was this made? In June 2007, the Trust, which governs the gigantic publicly-funded broadcaster, published a report with the gnomic title From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel [PDF]. That document gives us this clue:
The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on anthropogenic climate change].
Blogger Tony Newbery was curious as to the identity of these “scientific experts”, and filed a Freedom of Information Act request, as he outlines here in an introduction to the saga.
The BBC merely confirmed to Newbery that the seminar took place but not who attended. Rather surprisingly, the “best scientific experts” – who you may think would want the world to know who they are – have not volunteered the information. This baffled our blogger.
“Advising such a body − or in the BBC’s words, providing training − at a formal seminar with a title such as ‘Climate Change – the Challenge to Broadcasting’ can in no way be considered to be a private matter of the kind that could reasonably fall within the scope of the Data Protection Act,” he argues. “It is a very public act and those involved could hardly be unaware of this. It is a very long way from the kind of privacy concerning medical records or personal finances that the Data Protection Act is intended to safeguard. It is unreasonable for anyone who embarks on such an exercise to expect to be anonymous.”
The BBC disagreed and, at great expense, continues to refuse to disclose the names of the participants. All we know is that in Boaden’s words, the 28 “external invitees” were “representatives from business, campaigners, NGOs, communications experts, people from the ‘front line’, scientists with contrasting views and academics”.
To cut a long story short, and fast forwarding to today, Newbery’s probing has reached an Information Rights Tribunal; the case heard is titled Tony Newbery vs the BBC and the Information Commission.
‘Individuals wanted to share their views, but didn’t want it widely known that they were there’
The corporation has refused to hand over the requested information, defending its inaction using two arguments: one is that the refusal is justified for the “purposes of journalism”, the other is that the attendees of a meeting held under the Chatham House Rule must not be named. [A more usual interpretation is that no quotes, statements etc can be individually attributed to such people – Ed*]. Newbery maintains that the BBC, as an organisation bankrolled by the public and operating under a Royal Charter, must reveal its guest list as a matter of legitimate public interest. Boaden took the witness stand at shortly after 10am today.
The two BBC arguments appear to be contradictory, Newbery argued. The BBC insisted that the details of the seminar “cascaded down” the organisation but Boaden claimed on the witness stand that there was no information to disclose: “There was no collective note,” she said. This is a paradox that needs unraveling.
Boaden explained that she had approved of the 2006 meeting in order to broaden the experience of Beeb hacks so that “journalists remain curious and are up-to-date”.
“The seminars bring together individuals who want to share their views but don’t want it widely known that they’re there,” said Boaden. She added it was unfair to disclose the list of participants because they could not speak frankly if they were identified.
The BBC’s director of news said she was particularly impressed by the testimony of a representative of the insurance industry at the 2006 seminar. For Boaden, this attendee’s belief that cost of climate change will increase carried enormous weight. This is an odd statement: since profit-seeking insurance companies pocket revenue from premiums, they materially benefit from the higher premiums that accompany predictions of catastrophic climate change. Without the warnings of catastrophe, there is no need for higher premiums, so it’s not an impartial observation.
Boaden confirmed there was no record of the meeting at the BBC at the time of Newbery’s enquiry nor had she kept any notes. Anyone who had, she surmised, had kept them as personal memoirs.
When it came to a cross examination by Newbery, David Marks QC, the presiding tribunal judge, threw a thick protective cloak around the BBC’s star witness, refusing to allow the blogger to pose many of his questions to Boaden directly. As a result, most remained answered.
“If the BBC had no record of what was said,” remarked Newbery, “the first part of the Chatham House Rule doesn’t apply. I can’t request it. It doesn’t exist.”
The judge sternly reminded Newbery that any line of enquiry that allowed the identity of the attendees to be inferred should not be allowed. Marks also stepped in where he thought Boaden may not have been able to answer. Marks even intervened to prevent one line of enquiry very germane to Newbery’s case: the blogger wanted to know if the attendees were there in a private or public capacity.
”It could be both,” mused the judge. “I’m reluctant to allow Ms Boaden say anything about this. I doubt if she can add anything to what is a submission by you. You’re under a severe warning from me not to go anywhere near the question.”
The Beeb’s climate change seminar had been organised by the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme (CMEP), established by activist Joe Smith and BBC reporter Roger Harrabin. CMEP received funding from the hardline green organisation WWF and the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It later transpired that £15,000 was also received from the University of East Anglia – the institution at the heart of the Climategate scandal. (Smith explains CMEP on his own blog here, pointing out that attendees were typically invited in a private capacity.)
The tribunal hearing was a surreal occasion, particularly as the Savile sex scandal has put the corporation’s opaque decision-making in the spotlight. What is not in doubt is that a journalist’s confidential sources should remain confidential and beyond the scope of Freedom of Information requests. Hence the exception for journalistic purposes in data protection legislation.
But is this an appropriate comparison? Was this seminar journalism or policy-making? With its six-year legal battle, conducted at great expense, the BBC has effectively made “the best scientific experts” into anonymous sources, and handed an arsenal of ammunition to its critics.
But it was about to get even more surreal.
The second witness on the stand was another BBC executive. After she had finished, I asked her for the correct spelling of her name. She reeled and stepped back a pace, then emitted the universal signal of distress for Beeb bosses in trouble: rapid eye blinking. A member of the legal team rushed over asking if they could help me. I repeated that I hadn’t caught her name, and would like to spell it correctly. The flunky provided it as the executive looked on. Phew.
A member of the legal team spelled the name of the BBC witness
for me with the witness, Frances Weil, standing by my side.
The case continues, but like Boaden, I had other pressing matters to attend to. We’ve asked for how much the bizarre six-year saga has cost you, the telly licence payer. ®
Comments cannot be posted on this story for legal reasons. However, as usual readers can contact the author via the link at the top of the story.
*Chatham House guidance:
Q. Can participants in a meeting be named, as long as what is said is not attributed?
A. It is important to think about the spirit of the Rule. For example, sometimes speakers need to be named when publicizing the meeting. The Rule is more about the dissemination of the information after the event – nothing should be done to identify, either explicitly or implicitly, who said what.
F Subject: BBC Bias exposed!
The freedom of information request shows that over the past 10 years, the BBC has spent £335,000 with the Labour Party, £295,000 with the Liberal Democrats and just £96,000 with the Conservatives.
None to UKIP of course. —————————————————————————————————————————-
the references eg 2006-58 refer to items in Brave New Europe?
The BBC’s Royal Charter charges it with reporting in a neutral, balanced and non-political manner. Jonathon Chapman, however, described as a ‘senior BBC World News reporter’, told the Malta Press Club: “The UK media is broadly sceptical [about the EU] so we try, in Brussels, to break that cycle of scepticism. The BBC’s job is to reflect the European perspective … make news less sceptical. That’s why the BBC has such a big bureau in Brussels” (ref. 2006-58).
So, it’s the BBC’s job to ‘make news’ that puts a positive spin on the EU and suppress any news that reflects badly on the EU. Well, that may well be one reason why their limited reporting of the EU is either very positive or benign. Precious little of significance that does not obsequiously support the EU Agenda is ever broadcast in the UK from their ‘big bureau’.
The BBC has now admitted to receiving considerable loans (£250m +) from the European Investment Bank – whose remit is to fund activities that further the EU Agenda. How will the BBC repay such a ‘loan’? It has all the appearance of a loan that will not have to be paid back. So why would the EU ‘loan’ so much money to the BBC? One can readily speculate that it is for the BBC to ‘make news’ that promotes the European Agenda and censor any adverse criticism (ref. 2006-58).
If so then it is surely a dreadful breach of their Royal Charter.
The BBC and ITV steadfastly refuse to critically question ministers – and other politicians – about the EU. Items within this pamphlet and their effect on the UK and our culture, are never broadcast or critically discussed.
Why? Well, your BBC has now, at last, publicly admitted that they’re politically and religiously biased but are quite unrepentant (ref. 2006-58).
The Metropolitan Police have had a dossier (since March 2007) alleging a prime-facia case of ‘Malfeasance and Breach of Royal Charter’. The MET has declared that it does not intend to investigate this. You can speculate for yourself just why the MET has chosen not to investigate this self-evident breach of the law and Royal Charter.
It should also be noted that the BBC recruits excessively from the readership of the left wing Guardian newspaper, the very left wing Oxbridge Broadcasting Societies and Common Purpose graduates.
2006-80 BBC now openly admit that they are politically and religiously biased as well as squandering tax payers money.
Tuesday 13 March 2007
Scotland Yard alerted to EU Funding of BBC
MEP Asks: Is it Bribery, Corruption, Fraud or Malfeasance?
The Metropolitan Police have today (13 March) received a bundle of papers from Ashley Mote MEP, Independent, SE England , detailing the tens of millions of euros received by the BBC over recent years.
He has invited Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Yates, Director of Intelligence at Scotland Yard, to review the BBC’s sources and application of funds, excluding the license fee. The police have been asked to examine the evidence linking the EU as a source of these funds with the BBC’s open support of the EU in its editorial coverage, contrary to its obligations under the Royal Charter.
Recent correspondence between the BBC’s management in Brussels and the MEP has revealed a prima facie case for investigation, Mr Mote claims. The documents show that the BBC’s senior management has, over many years, accepted money from the EU and its institutions in exchange for which they have enforced an editorial policy of positive support of the EU, contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the charter.
The BBC’s Royal Charter has the force of law. It requires balance in the reporting of news and current affairs. All strands of opinion on political matters must be given a fair hearing and roughly equal air time.
Solid proof exists that this is not the case, Mr Mote says. He has told Scotland Yard that evidence of bias has been collected by professional media analysts for Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who has funded research into BBC coverage of the EU for many years.
“My focus has been on the money”, Mr Mote says. “We now know that the BBC has in recent years borrowed tens of millions of euros from the European Investment Bank, an institution of the European Union. The correspondence shows that the BBC gained these large sums of public money from the EIB on terms that would never have been available commercially. It also acquired funding from other parts of the EU’s web of institutions, again on less than transparent terms and – sometimes – for the vaguest of reasons.
“The purpose of these soft loans and other funding is clearly intended to further the cause of EU federalism – in effect to ‘buy’ BBC support. Some might argue that it is bribery and corruption, others that it is fraud. At the very least I suggest malfeasance – a deliberate act knowingly undertaken against the public interest”, he wrote to DAC Yates.
Notes to Editors:
For further information, call Ashley Mote on 07836 220223
The full text of the letter from Ashley Mote MEP to DAC John Yates at New Scotland Yard follows:
BBC Malfeasance – A Case for Investigation?
You will recall my letter of 20 February offering to provide you with evidence of the BBC’s commercial and editorial activities which conflict directly with the Corporation’s legal obligations under the Royal Charter. There appears to be a prima facie case of malfeasance.
This letter and the enclosures represent the evidence accumulated in recent months. If, having considered it, you need any further information I will of course attempt to provide it.
In a nutshell, the case is this: the BBC’s senior management has, over many years, accepted money from the EU and its institutions in exchange for which they have enforced an editorial policy of positive support of the EU, contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the Royal Charter.
The Charter, which has the force of law, requires balance in the reporting of news and current affairs, although it has to be admitted that the obligations to maintain balance set out in the present document are much watered down from those in the original of some 80 years ago.
Nonetheless, even the present Royal Charter makes it clear that all strands of opinion on political matters must be given a fair hearing and roughly equal air time.
Solid proof exists that this is not the case. That evidence can be obtained from Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who has funded research into BBC coverage of the EU over many years. I have no doubt he will gladly make it available to you, together with any other relevant evidence you might find helpful.
You might also find a recently published book instructive – Can We Trust the BBC? by Robin Aitken. Mr Aitken worked for the Corporation for 25 years. His book describes numerous horror stories of bias and political prejudice, many of them quietly buried by past generations of BBC management.
This letter and enclosures concern themselves mainly with the other side of the coin – to be precise, the provision of substantial sums of EU money on less than commercial terms and for questionable motives.
I have also taken the liberty of enclosing background reading – for example the BBC’s internal attempt to put right an acknowledged lack of balance in EU editorial policy.
The BBC receives an annual funding of approximately £2.7 billion from the public through the licence fee system. This obliges members of the public to finance the BBC simply because they own a TV set.
As this is a legally enforceable poll tax, the public can expect the BBC to comply scrupulously with the terms of its Royal Charter. The governors have a duty to satisfy themselves that all activities of the BBC are carried out in accordance with the highest standards of public accountability.
It is arguable that they have not complied with such obligations. When reporting on the EU, the BBC routinely demonstrates a commitment to UK membership which at times amounts to little more than pro-EU propaganda.
Furthermore, the BBC has openly admitted that their reporting of EU activities is biased. Why else have they taken steps to redress the balance by appointing internal investigations and commissioning reports on the subject?
Some brief points from the evidence follow, specifically:
a) Article 7(1)(e) of the Royal Charter requires the governors “to ensure that any comments, proposals and complaints made by viewers and listeners of the Home Services are given due consideration and are properly handled by the Corporation”. Lord Hutton’s report on the death of Dr David Kelly clearly showed that the BBC did not comply with this Article when dealing with complaints from Alistair Campbell.
Furthermore, the BBC has on numerous occasions refused to consider complaints from viewers and listeners about coverage of EU affairs, despite the Charter obligation for complaints to be given due consideration. Refusing to accept complaints is not an option, and unlawful.
b) Article 7(1)(f) requires the governors “to ensure the treatment of controversial subjects with due accuracy and impartiality”. The BBC clearly supports Britain ’s membership of the EU and the abolition of the £ sterling in favour of the euro. The statistical and documentary evidence is overwhelming and readily available, as mentioned above. Much of the statistical evidence has been gathered for Lord Pearson by Minotaur Media, an independent monitoring organisation.
Some Minotaur Media research findings have been reported on the Global Britain web site. Other websites also support the view that the BBC has its own agenda, particularly on the EU. In addition, scores of anecdotal newspaper articles have pointed out the BBC’s bias towards the EU.
Despite all this powerful evidence to the contrary, and its own internal enquiries, the BBC continually refutes complaints about its lack of balance in reporting EU news and current affairs. At times its denials border on calling black ‘white’, or insisting that the Emperor really is wearing clothes.
c) Rod Liddle (ex Editor, Radio 4’s Today programme) wrote an article about the Welsh National Assembly and the Scottish Parliament in The Spectator of 10 May 2003. He stated that the BBC’s attitude was…
“the result of institutionalised political correctness, every bit as corrupting as institutionalised racism. It is result of seminars and workshops (I remember them well) where journalists are instructed time and time again that the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly are bloody important and don’t you dare suggest they aren’t”.
Such editorial ‘guidance’ in the reporting of these institutions meant that the BBC was directly and specifically supporting the EU’s policy of breaking up the UK into regions which could be more effectively controlled by Brussels. Such a policy was contrary to the BBC’s obligations under the Charter, and its implementation more propaganda than news.
d) The BBC’s governors recently set up a review body under the chairmanship of Lord Taylor to examine whether or not the BBC was biased in favour of the EU. Their main finding was that the BBC was biased in favour of the EU “but that this bias was not deliberate”. The report confirmed that bias existed in the BBC, again contrary to its obligations under the Charter.
But to claim that it was not deliberate was an absurd conclusion bearing in mind the overwhelming contradictory evidence. Since when, for example, was the setting up and management of the seminars referred to above not “deliberate”? Since when were such events “accidental”?
e) The BBC has in recent years borrowed tens of millions of euros from the European Investment Bank, an institution of the European Union. These borrowings and other funding are detailed in the enclosed correspondence with the BBC’s team which is permanently based in Brussels (next door to the European Parliament building).
The correspondence also shows that the BBC gained these large sums of public money from the European Investment Bank on terms that would never have been available commercially. It also acquired funding from other parts of the EU’s web of institutions, again on less than transparent terms and – sometimes – for the vaguest of reasons. Indeed, as you will see, transparency in all of these dealings is notable by its absence.
The purpose of these soft loans and other funding is clearly intended to further the cause of EU federalism – in effect to ‘buy’ BBC support. Some might argue that it is bribery and corruption, others that it is fraud. At the very least I suggest malfeasance – a deliberate act knowingly undertaken against the public interest.
I write, therefore, to invite the Metropolitan Police to review the BBC’s sources and application of funds, excluding the licence fee. Further, to examine the evidence linking the EU as a source of these funds with the BBC’s open support of the EU in its editorial coverage, contrary to its legal obligations under the Royal Charter.
E From Ashley Mote MEP
I am making the following letter public at this time because the House of Commons is debating the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter this week.
Matteo Maggiore Esq
Head of European Policy
Rue Wiertz 50
cc: Michael Grade, Chairman of the Board of Governors, London
cc: Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, London
11 July 2006
We failed in our attempt at a meeting last month, when you tried to change the time you originally proposed for our discussion on the relationship between the BBC and the EU. I promised to write to you instead.
First, let’s deal with the answers you gave to my questions of 31 January, the most important of which you chose completely to ignore.
The figures quoted in your reply of 8 May are merely a rehearsal of the figures quoted in answer to a written question in the House of Lords in June 2004. They bear no relation to known financing of the BBC by the EU and some of its various institutions. But you must know that already. So the question arises…why did you attempt to minimise the sums involved? Does the BBC have something to hide?
I referred in my original letter to the 40.4 million euros provided by the European Investment Bank in 2002, and the 96.46 million provided by the same source the following year. These sums were in the form of loans, and are listed as such on the EIB website. In addition to these loans to BBC subsidiaries, another 240 million euros has been ‘loaned’ by the EIB to other broadcasting and production units in the UK since 1989.
Several questions arise: on what terms of repayment, over what period and at what rates of interest? Are these soft loans – meaning will they be written off quietly in a few
years time because you know (and the rest of us can make an intelligent guess) that the BBC will never be in a position to repay such sums and is not expected to do so. Even the EIB’s own website admits they were made under the “most favourable of terms…financing capital projects according to the objectives of the Union “. It goes on to declare that one of its objectives is to “contribute towards the integration of member countries”!
Within the UK , of course, strictly speaking these loans also raise questions of probity. Are licence-payers’ funds at risk? The BBC’s so-called “Information Unit” has apparently claimed elsewhere that these were loans to BBC Worldwide, which it says is a separate company, the implication being that it has nothing to do with the BBC and licence-payers.
This claim raises another question – is not the BBC the guarantor of last resort? Can it be shown that this is a stand-alone commercial company and that repayment would not be sought from what is, in reality, the parent – ie, the BBC as constituted under British law?
The comments of the “Information Unit” are doubly suspect since that department has itself been sub-contracted to a commercial company, Capita, which has extensive connections with the Blair government and numerous contracts with government departments. Hardly a reliable source of objective information…especially when Capita’s BBC Information Unit tries to suggest in correspondence that these loans were not actually loans at all. They claim that the BBC merely enjoys EIB loan facilities.
In any case, the BBC uses BBC Worldwide as its distribution channel for the sale of its programmes around the world. So to suggest that the two are somehow separated in law is to ignore reality. The BBC brand is a world-famous asset of the British people, and the fact that one part of it has received a soft loan from the EIB has profound implications.
But let us consider the purposes of these loans. The 96 million euros was ‘loaned’ to build a digital broadcasting centre in London . Note London . Not Timbuktu , or Saigon. London . The digitising of the BBC’s services in the UK was a demand made on them by the British government whose declared aim has been for some time to close down the use of analogue channels for TV broadcasting.
The previous year’s 40 million ‘loan’ was for the co-production of television programmes in London . Now why make these loans to BBC Worldwide when all the benefits were lodged in the UK ?
Even if we stretch a point and include in our considerations the BBC’s World Service, which again is separate from BBC Worldwide, we find that the BBC uses reporters based all over the world but funded from London by British licence-payers. Yet, in your letter of 8 May you admit the BBC’s World Service received another £1.4 million into its Trust fund, this time directly from the EU.
In these cumulative circumstances, how can the BBC possibly continue to claim that its news and current affairs broadcasting complies with the terms of its Royal Charter? It is the publicly stated objective of the European Investment Bank “to further the objectives of the EU…”
Millions of UK licence-payers have a huge problem with this interference in their right to objective, balanced reporting. Lord Pearson of Rannoch has been tireless in his efforts to have the output of BBC news and current affairs analysed objectively and tested against what might be expected under the Charter. The distortion his researchers have demonstrated over several years is undeniable. It is gross,
For some considerable time the BBC has conducted a systematic and persistent policy of stifling criticism of the EU, it has been in clear and permanent breach of its own Charter, and it continues shamelessly to ignore, let alone address, any of these issues. With the tacit support of the British government, and its dependency on EU funds, it has become a brazen supporter of the European ‘project’, bought, paid for and tied up in financial ribbons.
I offer merely two examples of blatant bias out of thousands. A recording of the first is still to hand. A mere ten days after the EIB loan, the BBC’s economics editor Evan Davis (who really ought to have known better) broadcast a series of supposedly objective interviews and “news” reports from around the member states about the prospects for the euro. The tone and content of this programme were obviously a not-so-subtle acknowledgement of the loan. Objective and balanced it was not.
During the signing of the Nice Treaty, and within the hearing of several bystanders, the BBC reporters on the scene were instructed not to record or report the significant demonstrations against the treaty going on all around them. Such entirely legitimate opposition was literally whitewashed out of the event by BBC editorial controllers.
Journalists – and not just those reporting for the BBC – are given financial inducements by the EU to attend plenary sessions in Strasbourg . They have transport, accommodation, camera crews and editing facilities provided at no costs to themselves. The same facilities are provided more permanently in Brussels .
Perhaps the last word should come from one of the BBC’s own. Jonathon Chapman, described at the time as a ‘Senior BBC World News Reporter’, told the Malta Press Club in March 2004 : “The UK media is broadly sceptical [about the EU] so we try in Brussels to break that cycle of scepticism. The BBC’s job is to reflect the European perspective…and make news less sceptical (emphasis added). That is why the BBC has such a big bureau in Brussels .”
What say you to that?
Corporation’s £100m loan from EU bank By Graeme Wilson
The Tories attacked the BBC last night after it emerged that it has a £100
million loan deal with a European Union bank set up to promote European integration.
MPs said the disclosure would alarm licence fee payers and raise questions about the BBC’s impartiality in reporting events in Brussels. (????? realy!)
The BBC confirmed last night that it had borrowed £25 million under the deal
with the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg. A spokesman said it had
recently submitted an application to borrow the remaining £75 million.
The EIB was created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, which set up the European
Union. It proudly declares that its mission is to “finance capital investment
furthering European integration by promoting EU policies”.
Philip Davies, a Tory MP, said: “Many people already believe there is a pro-EU
slant to a lot of BBC reporting. There are bound to be more questions about the
corporation’s impartiality when it is borrowing from a bank set up to promote
But the claims were rejected by Mark Thompson, the BBC director-general, during
an appearance before the Commons culture, media and sport select committee.
“This relates to various technical projects,” he said. “I can give an absolute
assurance that I have no doubt that the BBC’s impartiality is unaffected by
A BBC statement said the money was being borrowed by BBC Commercial Holdings,
the company that handles the corporation’s commercial activities. BBC Worldwide
used the money to buy commercial rights for programmes.
“The loan carries no editorial obligation for the BBC, it relates only to the
BBC’s commercial subsidiaries. If it did, we would not be able to enter into
such a loan agreement.”
Yes, we are biased on religion and politics, admit BBC executives
By PAUL REVOIR Last updated at 22:23pm on 22nd October 2006
BBC executives have been forced to admit what critics have known for years –
that the corporation is institutionally biased.
The revelation came after details of an ‘impartiality’ summit called by its
chairman, Michael Grade, were leaked.
Senior figures admitted that the BBC is guilty of promoting Left-wing views and
an anti-Christian sentiment.
They also said that as an organisation it was disproportionately
over-represented by gays and ethnic minorities.
It was also suggested that the Beeb is guilty of political correctness, the
overt promotion of multiculturalism and of being anti-American and against the
During the meeting, hosted by Sue Lawley, executives admitted they would happily broadcast the image of a Bible being thrown away – but would not do the same for the Koran.
Muslim leaders later condemned this approach.
Ishmail Farhat of the Muslim Association of Britain said: “We don’t support this
kind of action or abuse. If they are respecting all religions – then they should
treat all religions the same.”
The BBC executives also agreed that the BBC should broadcast an interview with
Osama Bin Laden, despite the offence it would cause.
Even one of the BBC’s most senior journalists, political pundit Andrew Marr
admitted that the corporation was unrepresentative of British society.
He said: “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly-funded, urban
organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people.
“It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better
expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”
BBC ‘diversity tsar’ Mary Fitzpatrick claimed women newsreaders should be
allowed to wear what they liked on air and went on to say this should include a
She spoke out after criticism was raised of TV newsreader Fiona Bruce wearing a
necklace with a cross on it.
‘We may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness’
The BBC’s Washington correspondent Justin Webb also accused his own employers of being anti-American saying they treated it with scorn and derision and “no moral weight”.
He revealed that he had got deputy director general Mark Byford to secretly help him to “correct” it in his reports.
Business presenter Jeff Randall said he complained to a senior executive at the
BBC about the corporation’s pro-multiculturalism stance.
He claimed he was told: “The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism, it believes
in it and it promotes it. ( and this is being neutral? ed) ” He told how he once wore Union Jack cufflinks to work and was rebuked with: “You can’t do that, that’s like the National Front!”
One senior BBC executive admitted that the summit had opened people’s eyes to
how biased the BBC had become.
He admitted: “There was a widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.
“Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC’s culture, that it
is very hard to change it.”
The BBC is believed to be taking a more critical look at itself because it fears
if it does not, its regulation could be removed from its board of governors and
handed over to the independent regulator Ofcom.
D http://scotlandonsu nday.scotsman. com/opinion. cfm?id=987322007
Scotland on Sunday – Opinion –
Sun 24 Jun 2007
Last updated: 23-Jun-07 00:59 BST
Long-suffering viewers must be freed from biased BBC
‘IMPARTIALITY is and should remain the hallmark of the BBC as the leading provider of information and entertainment in the United Kingdom… Far from
being imposed on the BBC, impartiality has been conceived by the BBC.” And to think they said comedy was dead in Broadcasting House, that the corporation could no longer craft good humorous material. That po-faced soundbite was
funnier than any one-liner from Fawlty Towers.
This complacent, mendacious drivel is the first of 12 ‘guiding principles’ that form the conclusions of a report entitled ‘From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel:
Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century’, published last week by the BBC. It is the kind of Big Lie that (momentarily) defies rebuttal by its sheer audacity. The BBC is a global by-word for partiality: its bias is notorious,
relentless and institutionalised.
This report stemmed from the famous seminar held by the corporation last September, when the dam of complicity burst and senior broadcasters, like alcoholics in a support group, publicly acknowledged the bias endemic at the
BBC. Andrew Marr stated that the BBC “is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias, not so much a
party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”
Jeff Randall, former business editor, revealed that a senior news executive had told him: “The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it
promotes it.” Executives, faced with an imaginary scenario for the satirical programme Room 101, admitted they would permit a sketch in which a Bible was
thrown into a dustbin, but would not sanction similar treatment of the Koran.
With the genie out of the bottle, it was time for the corporation to embark on a white-washing exercise. Last week’s report was the result. Cleverly picking up
on Marr’s ‘cultural’ bias, it disarmingly admitted the BBC had allowed itself to be hijacked by Bob Geldof, Bono and the Live 8 concert hype at the time of the Gleneagles summit in 2005. However, there is definitely no party-political bias.
So, what about James Naughtie’s notorious slip, on the Today programme on March 2, 2005, when he asked: “If we [sic] win the election, does Gordon Brown remain Chancellor?”
The BBC may have fallen out with Labour over Iraq, but that was a tiff in a basically indissoluble marriage. Ask former BBC director general John Birt, now a Labour peer; or his immediate successor, Greg Dyke, a Labour Party donor; or anyone who has ever listened to the corporation’ s output. Robin Aitken, author of the book Can We Trust The BBC? and a former staff member, has testified: “In 25 years I met only a smattering of Tories in the oganisation. ” It is a fair bet they were technicians or other non-editorial staff. Otherwise, cronyism rules, as anybody who saw long-discredited Labour luvvie Kirsty Wark shrieking down Alex Salmond on Newsnight will be painfully aware.
Yet Marr was right to identify the main thrust of BBC bias as cultural. The BBC pursues a social agenda regardless of reality or even ridicule. At the time of the first Countryside March, The Archers script had the everyday country folk in
Ambridge making no mention of it, but discussing a Gay Pride march instead. The BBC report admits that a producer who proposed a Newsnight investigation into de facto abortion on demand was denounced as being “anti-abortion”. The BBC’s manic Europhilia is reflected in the fact this sturdily ‘independent’ broadcaster received a loan of £25m last year from the EU’s European Investment Bank, whose goal is to promote European integration.
After last year’s seminar, a senior BBC executive said: “There was a widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness. Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC’s culture that it is very hard to change it.” BBC staff live, eat, drink and sleep with like-minded liberals. They know no other views. The corporation is beyond
reformation. Nor should reform be attempted.
Instead, the recently renewed Charter should be torn up and the corporation sold off. Then it will not matter if all its newsreaders are women wearing hijabs, with a giant poster of Gordon Brown as backdrop to the news. BBC news reports refer insinuatingly to “Iranian state television”; but we are watching biased reporting on British state television. We are being charged a fee of £135.50 a year to have our news distorted and our values trashed.
Imagine if you wanted to shop at Harvey Nichols, but you had to go to Jenners first and pay them £135 for a permit to enter their competitor’s premises. By what right does the BBC act as gatekeeper to all 196 other television channels?
That is an infringement of Article 10 of the European Convention, guaranteeing free access to information across frontiers.
Yet the tyrannical corporation broadcasts Orwellian advertisements warning of raids on the homes of those who have not paid their licence fees. Feckless single mothers sent to jail are effectively political prisoners.
The corporation’ s pompous prating of “public service broadcasting” is risible: EastEnders, River City – that says it all. The BBC’s total disconnection from reality is typified by its claim, quoted above, to be “the leading provider of
information and entertainment in the United Kingdom”. In the week ending June 10 it had 27.4% of the television audience for its terrestrial operations and a further 2.1% for its other channels. A figure of less than 30% is only “leading” because there are so many other channels splitting audience figures.
The BBC’s own report to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2005 revealed research showing that, if the licence fee were abolished, 58% of viewers (14 million households) would opt out of all BBC television, leaving the
corporation with £1.2bn in revenue instead of its current £3bn. It cannot happen soon enough. Auntie has degenerated into a vicious old crone: she is no longer welcome in our homes.
C UK Independence Party forces apology from the Today Programme
Following revelations that the BBC Trust will be holding an enquiry into pro EU bias on the corporation’s flagship morning news the UK Independence Party has received an apology from the Today programme for its failure to include the party in its coverage of last months EU summit.
In response to a formal complaint from UKIP, Gavin Allen the Deputy Editor of the programme wrote, “we should have included a contribution/contributions from UKIP. Europe is at the heart of what your party stands for and listeners would reasonably have expected to have heard your take on the treaty and/or key debates. I’m sorry we didn’t offer them that…it was on balance a mistake not to have done so across the fortnight as a whole. Once again, apologies for that”.
Party leader Nigel Farage said, “The BBC are having a rough old time of it, they traduce the Queen, they cheat children and now they have been forced into an apology for their obvious anti UKIP and Eurorealist bias”.
“Isn’t it about time that the whole question of the BBC’s charter be revisited?”, he asked. “It is remarkable that when these mistakes happen they always happen in the same direction, in the words of Anthony Jay the former BBC journalist, ‘we were anti-industry, anti-capitalism, anti-advertising, anti-selling, anti-profit, anti-patriotism, anti-monarchy, anti-Empire, anti-police, anti-armed forces, anti-bomb, anti-authority. Almost anything that made the world a freer, safer and more prosperous place, you name it, we were anti it”.”
B http://entertainmen t.timesonline. co.uk/tol/ arts_and_ entertainment/ tv_and_radio/ article6591261. ece
June 28, 2009
BBC sends over 400 staff to Glastonbury
Jo Whiley is part of the BBC team at Glastonbury
THE BBC has sent 407 people to cover this weekend’s Glastonbury festival, almost as many as it flew out to film last year’s Beijing Olympics.
There are so many on the corporation’s payroll that it has had to block book hotels within a 10-mile radius of the festival. The BBC sent just 32 more to cover the Olympics.
The camera crews and presenters were joined by a clutch of senior corporation executives, who earlier this week were forced to disclose their expenses and earnings. They received free passes to attend in a “work capacity”.
One of the executives at the festival, Mark Byford, the deputy director-general, routinely charged the licence fee payer £240 a day for a chauffeur to pick him up each morning at Waterloo station.
Another executive, Alan Yentob, the BBC’s creative director, once hosted a Glastonbury festival reception at his nearby country home, paid for by the licence fee. Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, was also at Glastonbury this weekend.
The cost of coverage, excluding any fee paid to the organisers of Glastonbury, was estimated by one BBC source at £1.5m. “We really don’t want anyone making unfortunate comparisons with Beijing,” he said.
Philip Davies, a Conservative member of the Commons culture committee, said: “It’s yet another example of how the BBC is bloated.
They send people to these events in quantities that any other broadcaster could only dream of. It seems totally unnecessary.”
Television audiences for the festival on BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4 reach a fraction of the number achieved by Wimbledon, where the men’s final attracted 12.7m viewers last year. There will be 111 hours of television coverage across these minority channels and the BBC’s interactive service, known as the “red button”. This compares with 3,050 hours coverage for Beijing.
On radio there will be more than 60 hours on 6 Music, Radio 1 and 5 Live.
This weekend the BBC confirmed in a statement that it has sent 27 television and radio presenters to Glastonbury, fronted by Jo Whiley, the BBC Radio 1 presenter, and Mark Radcliffe, the Radio 2 presenter.
They are supported by a 68-strong editorial team and 160 technicians. The BBC has sent a further 18 staff to work on interactive content and employed 130 contractors to provide technical support and security.
Their presence is a boon for the local hotel trade. At the Wessex hotel in Street, Somerset, where prices range from £40 to £160 a night, the BBC has booked all 51 rooms. “They come here every year and have already booked ahead for next,” said Judy Juvy-Churches, the manager. “It’s great for business.”
The corporation has booked out all nine rooms at Meare Manor near Glastonbury for one of its lighting teams, at a cost of £100 a night.
At Mullions hotel in Street all 19 rooms have been booked, with prices ranging from £59 to £109 a night. At the Shrubbery hotel in Shepton Mallet the BBC has booked six out of seven rooms. The remaining one has been booked by Carol Ann Duffy, the poet laureate.
A spokesman for the BBC said: “Our coverage of the festival is not comparable with the Olympics. We are the official broadcast partner to Glastonbury and are responsible for all broadcast infra-structure and transmission. Our pictures will be used around the world.”
Last week the corporation was forced to reveal under freedom of information legislation that its top 50 bosses are paid a combined total of up to £13.6m, with most of them earning more than the prime minister. Many will be at Glastonbury. Lyons, Byford and Yentob have all been given free passes to attend in a “work capacity”.
Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP who has campaigned for greater transparency for the BBC, said: “In these times the BBC should be reconsidering its priorities.”
A The BBC admits that it’s reporting is biased in favour of the EU and is part-funded by them.
. Jonathon Chapman, described at the time as a ‘Senior BBC World News Reporter’, told the Malta Press Club : “The UK media is broadly sceptical [about the EU] so we try in Brussels to break that cycle of scepticism. The BBC’s job is to reflect the European perspective…and make news less sceptical (emphasis added). That is why the BBC has such a big bureau in Brussels .” more from Ashley Mote MEP and Graeme Wilson
In the words of Anthony Jay the former BBC journalist, ‘we were anti-industry, anti-capitalism, anti-advertising, anti-selling, anti-profit, anti-patriotism, anti-monarchy, anti-Empire, anti-police, anti-armed forces, anti-bomb, anti-authority. Almost anything that made the world a freer, safer and more prosperous place, you name it, we were anti it”.”