IT IS abundantly clear that the establishment will do all it can to shut down anybody who challenges its control of the media narrative, as Ofcom’s continuous vendetta against GB News shows.
The latest example is Ofcom’s finding that GB News broke impartiality rules in an interview with Reform Party leader Richard Tice. The regulator found that Mr Tice was not ‘sufficiently challenged’ on his views and ‘the limited alternative views presented were dismissed’.
If GB News are guilty, why has Ofcom consistently failed to take any action against the BBC, who often breach the same rules?
Take Roger Harrabin’s campaign against the proposed Cumbria coalmine a couple of years ago. When the controversy over the plan was at its height in early 2021, Harrabin wrote four articles over the space of a month, all grossly biased against the mine. Below is an excerpt of my complaint to the BBC at the time – the BBC headlines are in bold:
January 6 2021 – Whitehaven coal mine: Govt refuses to call in plans
Harrabin provides his analysis, which is wholly anti-mine.
January 14 – Govt defends Cumbria coal mine green light
This quotes at length Greenpeace and CPRE, both heavily critical of the mine. The only pro-mine comment is one solitary unattributed sentence at the end.
January 23 – Six questions about the Cumbria coal controversy
Virtually all of this article is devoted to anti mine comments by Islands at Risk, the Fiji ambassador, Oxfam, Greenpeace, the Labour, Lib Dem and Green parties, and the Committee on Climate Change. The only pro-mine comment comes from the local MP.
January 30 – Minister rapped for allowing Cumbria coal mine
Again this article is wholly anti-mine, quoting at length Lord Deben and Greenpeace . There is not one solitary pro-mine comment.
Throughout this series, I can find no mention by Harrabin at all of the economic benefits of the mine – jobs created, boost to the local/national economy, increased government revenue, balance of payments – or by how much emissions will be reduced by avoiding imported coke.
Nor have there been any comments at all by the local council (who approved the mine unanimously), the mining company, the local community, steel companies or economists.
This series of propaganda pieces culminated with an article devoted to a letter to the government from the US climate activist James Hansen, with the prejudicial headline ‘Boris Johnson “risks humiliation” over coal mine’.
There was no attempt by Harrabin to challenge Hansen’s views. Nor were any alternative views offered. In other words, everything GBN was guilty of applied equally to Harrabin.
Naturally the BBC’s in-house Executive Complaints Unit rejected my complaint. Ofcom did not even respond when I referred it to them.
This was just one complaint. You could write a book about all the other instances of BBC bias. So much for even-handed justice!
Ciaran, another storm in a teacup
THE Met Office are so desperate to exploit every bit of bad weather that they are now prepared to lie about it.
Following Storm Ciaran last week, they claimed it had set records for the lowest central pressure for both England and Wales in November – 953.3 and 958 hPa (hectopascal) respectively.
A quick check of their own archives shows that Dolgellau in Wales went much lower in November 1865, when pressure of 944.8 hPa was measured. Many lower figures have been recorded in England in other months, for instance 933.2 hPa in December 1886. Given that the Met Office ignored the 1865 measurements, I have no confidence at all in their ‘record’ claims for England either.
The storm itself highlighted just how hysterical the country has become every time there is a bit of bad weather. Hundreds of schools were shut, amber warnings issued, commuters advised to work at home and claims bandied around of 100mph winds in the south of England. I even heard claims that Ciaran was the worst storm for 40 years.
In the end, it was just another typical autumn storm in Britain, although to be fair the Channel Islands were badly affected, something I do not want to diminish. The strongest gusts reported on the mainland were 71mph in Langdon Bay, near Dover, and 68mph on Bodmin Moor. Sustained winds were much lower there, 38 and 32mph respectively, which would be classified as a Near Gale.
These winds were mere breezes compared with the 122mph recorded on the Needles just last year.
In less exposed places away from the coast, winds were much weaker. Sustained winds at Gatwick, for instance, peaked at only 19mph, a Fresh Breeze on the Beaufort Scale!
Ciaran certainly did not compare to the Great Storm of 1987, which brought sustained winds speeds greater than 75mph for more than an hour in large parts of southern Britain, and a gust of 120mph in Gorleston, Norfolk.
Video footage of Ciaran showed a few saplings uprooted, and pictures of waves breaking over promenades were common. Otherwise images of the storm’s ‘fury’ were few and far between.
Laughably, a major incident was declared by the authorities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight but it was later downgraded as the area managed to dodge ‘the full extent of the forecast weather’. I guess the whole country did as well for that matter!
Are we as a country getting neurotic about the world around us? Is it something to do with the authorities’ obsession with controlling our activities? Or is it all part of the plan to keep us all cowed and scared, willing to hand over freedom in return for protection from the elements and any other bogeyman?