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Lord Lawson Banned on BBC (only government approved spokesmen allowed to discuss science)

Posted By Joanne Nova On July 10, 2014 @ 3:01 am In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

The evidence for man-made climate change is now so overwhelming and convincing that the BBC has written to a Green politician to apologize for airing alternate views (the dumb punters might get the wrong idea, eh?). The head of the BBC complaints unit told the Green politician it would not happen again.

Well obviously, it doesn’t help the United Kingdom to allow riff raff like the former Chancellor of the Exchequer to present his views — unless he agrees with the doctrine, of course. How could anyone expect listeners who are merely doctors, lawyers, teachers, and businesspeople to be able to understand a debate this complex?  (Only certified government approved scientists, and BBC journalists have the mental ability to understand the nuances of an argument which uses large numbers, like 97%). Henceforth, British voters must be shielded from alternate views. Repeat after me: there is a consensus.

The nub of the matter is that the Lord Lawson says he’s banned on the BBC. The BBC, of course, says he’s not. But there is this odd official decision: “The ruling found a false balance was created in that the item implied Lord Lawson’s views on climate science were on the same footing as Sir Brian Hoskins.” And there is that training for 200 senior managers on how to not insert “false balance” into stories. In other words — it doesn’t matter how logical or well informed you are, if you speak against the approved line of thought, the BBC must make sure the audience knows your views are less worthy. (For BBC audiences, I presume the new policy will be hard to tell  from the old one).

The Lawson-v-BBC story is that once-upon-a-time he was invited to speak on the Today program quite often, but since he became an outspoken and influential skeptic, there was only one invitation in February 2014, and that might be all there ever will be. Lawson founded the hugely successful GWPF in 2009, and wrote a best seller on the topic of climate change, but wasn’t asked to talk on the BBC flagship radio program until February this year. It was a civil debate with the scientist Sir Brian Hoskins– chairman of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change.  (Transcript here.) At least that’s how it seemed at the time. But for weeks afterwards the complaints raged:

Following the programme, on February 13, all hell broke loose.

The BBC was overwhelmed by a well-organised deluge of complaints — many of them, inevitably, from those with a commercial interest in renewable energy, as well as from the Green Party — arguing that, since I was not myself a scientist, I should never have been allowed to appear. 

Ceri Thomas, head of programmes for BBC News, pointed out that, after six weeks of flooding, ‘this was the first interview on Today with a climate change “sceptic” ’, and that as a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, I was well qualified to discuss the most cost-effective policy response to the flooding.

But the orchestrated complaints continued and it now seems, from widespread leaked reports which the BBC has nowhere denied, that poor Mr Thomas has been over-ruled.

The head of the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit, a Mr Fraser Steel, whose qualifications for the job are unclear and whose knowledge of the complex climate change issue is virtually non-existent, has written to a little-known but active Green Party politician called Chit Chong to apologise for the fact I was allowed to appear on the programme and to make clear this will not happen again. 

Among the reasons given in Mr Steel’s letter for upholding Mr Chong’s complaint and over-ruling the BBC’s head of news programmes is the mind-boggling statement that: ‘As you have pointed out, Lord Lawson’s views are not supported by the evidence from computer modelling.’ 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk
The former Conservative chancellor said the BBC was “overwhelmed by a well-organised deluge of complaints” following that programme because he was not a scientist.

The complaints, including one from Chit Chong, a low-energy expert, were upheld by the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit.

Lord Lawson wrote that Fraser Steel, head of the unit, apologised to Mr Chong “for the fact I was allowed to appear on the programme and to make clear this will not happen again”.

Lord Lawson added: “However useful computer models may be, the one thing they cannot be is evidence. Computer climate models are simply conjectures.

“The fact is that, on this issue, the BBC has its own party line (indistinguishable form that of the Green Party) which it imposes with quasi-Stalinist thoroughness.”

The BBC Trust issued a progress report earlier in July saying the corporation should not give equal air time to climate change sceptics.

It was also revealed that BBC journalists are being sent on courses to stop them inviting so many cranks onto programmes to air “marginal views”.

The spokesman said: “Nigel Lawson has not been banned and nor is there a ban on non-scientists discussing climate change. The BBC is absolutely committed to impartial and balanced coverage, whatever the subject, and would not bow to pressure from any quarter whatever the story.

“This ruling found a false balance was created in that the item implied Lord Lawson’s views on climate science were on the same footing as those of Sir Brian Hoskins.

Read more: Telegraph

Public funded television inevitably becomes a mouthpiece for public funding. Could it be any other way?
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