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HomeBBC WatchThe whiff of a witch-hunt over the BBC and Lord Lawson

The whiff of a witch-hunt over the BBC and Lord Lawson


Last week I reported on Ofcom’s first impartiality ruling against the BBC. The BBC did not get its wrist slapped for its anti-Brexit bias, for which there is reams of evidence, or for its anti-Israel bias that continues apace. It was too much to hope that it would be for its unremitting climate change doom-mongering. What no one – even sceptical us – would have predicted was that Ofcom would castigate the BBC for not being biased enough.

But it did – with respect to climate change scepticism. A dangerous sceptic such as Lord Lawson must not be allowed on the BBC without being well and truly publicly slapped down. The BBC in the form of Justin Webb, the fall guy, was out of order for not dealing with him.

I wrote as much, condemning Ofcom’s judgement too on the grounds of the position Lord Lawson had voiced. Ofcom’s insistence that he had made an inaccurate statement that Justin Webb should have rectified was simply wrong.

This invited a hostile tweet from one Bob Ward, a hardy climate change activist who has form in such matters, and who accused me of being ‘ill-informed’ by providing a link that did not answer the main points in my post.

So what he thinks I got wrong I don’t know. Is it that he believes that anyone who thinks like Lord Lawson should not be given airtime by the BBC while inaccurate climate change alarmism can be given free rein? If so, I wonder what he thinks (generally) about freedom of speech and BBC impartiality.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation’s rebuttal – which I linked to – covered the point about extreme weather in its official response, and it seems fair to say that Bob Ward and Ofcom are the ones misrepresenting the IPCC on this front and not Lord Lawson.

Needless to say Ofcom, Bob Ward and the BBC are all singing from the same hymn sheet as the ignorant and insolent environmentalist whom Radio 4’s Feedback programme chose to highlight at the start of its most recent edition.

Feedback’s presenter Roger Bolton reported on the Ofcom ruling, which he gleefully acknowledged as ‘a failure of BBC journalism’. Bolton was on fine form. He laid down the law in his introduction about how wrong Lawson had been, and immediately cut to these uncredited words:

‘They don’t wheel on the flat-earther when they talk about planetary science, they don’t wheel on the creationists when they talk about evolution, why do they give a voice to someone like Lord Lawson?’

You would have been forgiven for interpreting this as the official Ofcom judgement but it turned out to be the thoughts of a listener demanding that Lord Lawson be ‘no-platformed’.

It was par for the BBC course. Their vilification of Lawson goes back years, as David Keighley reported here, and on this site here and here and here again in 2018.

Lord Lawson is at the fulcrum of the BBC’s biased approach. In that context, the Ofcom ruling is doubly egregious, especially as it has provided zero evidence to back up its claims. For the climate change lobby, it’s tantamount to a declaration of victory for their massive campaign against Lord Lawson, in response to which the BBC repeatedly apologised and grovelled. That, clearly, was never going to be enough. They wanted Lawson’s head on a platter. They got it. By damning the BBC for even giving airtime to Lord Lawson Ofcom delivered it to them.

The Today programme at which the ruling was directed had featured three speakers from one side – Al Gore, their own environment analyst, Roger Harrabin and Peter Stott, head of the Climate Monitoring and Attribution team at the Met Office. Lord Lawson’s was the sole sceptical voice. Yet he attracted the combined ire of campaigners, Ofcom and the BBC.

Do we detect more than a whiff of a witch-hunt here – designed to vilify and no-platform anyone who disagrees with the climate change alarmists and the national broadcaster?

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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