Alison Hastings, ex editor of the Newcastle Chronicle and former member of the Press Complaints Commission, is BBC trustee for England. She is also chairman of the BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee, and as such arguably holds the corporation’s most important position in the adjudication of complaints about BBC bias – in effect she is the final arbiter. One of her most significant tasks over the past fortnight was in the publication of the Steve Jones report into the BBC’s science coverage, the key finding of which by the political activist author was that BBC journalists must work a lot harder in excluding or banishing to the absolute margins the views of those who do not accept that “climate change” has been primarily caused or made worse by the burning of fossil fuels.

In effect, this was a landmark paper, in that it was aimed deliberately at shutting down free speech and honest debate so that those political activists who want a green revolution can have open mike. So how has Ms Hastings – who from her CV casts herself as being robust and fair minded – responded? The deeply disturbing answer is here. First, she tells us patronisingly and confrontationally in her intro that according to the “influential” IPCC’s 1997 report, it is 90% certain that “climate change” is caused by humans (it did not say that, actually, but she is clearly following the “never let the facts get in the way” school of journalism). Then, in the key section of her argument, she states:

He (Steve Jones)identified a real challenge for broadcasters in accurately reflecting the latest scientific thinking, thanks to the peculiarities of scientific debate. That of keeping pace with the evidence, and in particular in taking care when reporting to distinguish between opinion and well-established fact or consensus. This doesn’t mean that BBC reports will not feature people who do not believe climate change exists. And it is emphatically still the case that the BBC must rigorously scrutinise any issues it reports – after all, scientists can get it wrong. But when something moves from opinion to well-established fact, viewers should be aware of this, and the broadcaster must adjust its coverage and its approach to achieving impartiality accordingly. Both facts and opinions have their place in science – indeed any – reporting, but the audience must be clear which is which.

High-sounding words, probably drafted by Ms Hastings herself; but they are an utter disgrace, more so because they have been written by someone who is the key guardian of the standards a taxpayer-funded £3.5bn operation supposedly aimed at generating balanced, impartial journalism. In effect, she has thus sanctioned an intensification of the efforts by Richard Black and his cronies to stifle dissent (exemplified in agitprop such as this); she has elevated the utterances of the IPCC to unassailability, despite evidence like this, which shows the IPCC writers to be nothing more than second-rate agitators; and she has said the opinions of at least 50% of those who fund the corporation (according to the BBC’s own poll!) are those of the madhouse.

BBC accountability? It’s a sick joke.

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  1. Span Ows says:

    “…But when something moves from opinion to well-established fact…”


    There is something seriously wrong at the BBC and – unfortunately – I don’t think it is simple bias.


    • Henry says:

      The sentence about “well established fact” may have been indicative of the whole set of attitudes – attitudes that haven’t faced strong enough scrutiny – that the BBC Trust’s editorial standards people work with.


      Doesn’t sound, to me, like a well-informed, responsible chairman of a standards committee for a rich broadcaster. Sounds more like someone from a pure-arts and journalism background who doesn’t understand science but does understand office politics, and basks in the slightly morally arrogant atmosphere of the BBC


      (Here endeth the Sunday lesson – ending with some slightly mixed figures of speech)


      • Millie Tant says:

        Well, unfortunately, the fundamental problem we have is with scientists not understanding “the science”, or even worse, not understanding Science. Otherwise, we would not be in the state we are on this subject.


  2. John Peters says:

    Orwellian Newspeak from the Ministry of Truth


  3. Span Ows says:

    Anothe rpoint, in that last link, the poll. the question was fixed (was this discussed at the time?)

    “From what you know and have heard, do you think that theEarth’s climate is changing and global warming taking place?”

    See how they link the defunct “global warming” cry with the newer “climate change”, obviously hoping that 100% would agree that the earth’s climate is changing (it is changing but that isn’t what the ‘argument’ is about)


  4. George R says:

    And on shale gas exploration, there is more BBC-Greenie bias.

    Note how this biased BBC-Greenie ‘report’ is based around the Labour Party view.

    And as a 2nd paragraph we are fed an unattributed negative on shale gas  by Beeboid greenie, Ms Rigby, to set the political scene.

    “Shale gas fracking: UK government policy call”


  5. George R says:

    BBC-Greenie hero is back:

    “Rajendra Pachauri is back to tell us: Trust me.The IPCC’s chairman wants us to forget all those scandals about hockey sticks and HImalayan glaciers. ”

    (by Christopher Booker)


  6. ian says:

    From Steve Jones’ Wikipedia entry, I see that he regards private schooling as a “cancer on the education system”, thinks creationist doctors should be barred from practice, and openly opposed the pope’s visit to Britain. No doubt this trained geneticist thinks the English should be sterilised out of existence too (not that we really exist according to the BBC).


  7. George R says:

     BBC-NUJ has shut down open debate on ISLAM, on IMMIGRATION, so why not on SCIENCE too?

     It’s the statist censorship approach which is so attractive to the mentality of ‘political control’ of BBC-NUJ.


    • ROBERT BROWN says:

      Well said George R, that is it in a nutshell. They have shut down debate, the act of complete and utter nazis. The nazis of course were left-wing, and i caught a little of QT on the radio when a female panellist pointed this out and was booed by some of the audience, so there you are, the left do not ‘do’ truth unless it fits their agenda. As for Mr Green, moth enthusiast, amateur climate change guru, he should stick to his own field or go to China and Korea and lecture them. As a geneticist, maybe he should rail against the third world for their rampant birth rate and the muslims for breeding like rabbits. He has NO credibility on climate, just parrots what others spume. 


  8. matthew rowe says:

    “must adjust its coverage and its approach to achieving impartiality accordingly”??
    Sorry impartiality is in the real world neutral is it not ? it cannot be slanted one way or another other wise it becomes a viewpoint and biased !can some one explain this simple premise to the stupid  BBC  woman  !


  9. Foxgoose says:

    Miz Hastings is apparently celebrated as one of the  “Scouserati” – the most influential Liverpudlians on the planet.

    Alison Hastings, media pundit
    Experienced journalist Hastings has a contacts book to die for. The former editor of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle and columnist on UK Press Gazette, she came to Liverpool when her partner, David Fleming took the top job at National Museums Liverpool. Her career has since developed and she has advised the Liverpool city council on PR and been appointed to the Press Review Board and the BBC Trust.

    Apparently nobody has a problem with Miz Hastings being a BBC Trustee – while running her own media consultancy “Alison Hastings Media Ltd” which takes public money for “advising Liverpool Council on PR”.

    Her “partner”, David Fleming, meanwhile earns squillions of our money for spending even more squillions on Liverpool’s museums – when he’s not complaining about “the cuts” :-

    His big speciality has been spending our money on apologising for Slavery:-

    … and promoting “yuman rights”, of course:-

    I wonder how “impartial” Alison manages to be on the subject of public spending excesses.

    I doubt she’s a paid up member of the Taxpayer’s Alliance – somehow.


    • OWEN MORGAN says:

      And this gem is an example of what passes for intellectual rigour in Fleming’s museums:

      ” Africans had a tradition of slaving before the transatlantic trade began. Arab merchants brought goods across the desert to swap for Asante gold, cloth and slaves. There was no stigma attached to slaving for the Asante, it was not racially motivated …”

        So that’s all right, then.


      • Span Ows says:

        “…it was not racially motivated …”

        WTF? Is this person a complete f**ckwit?


        • Cassandra King says:

          A very very very dangerous f*ckwit, a very well connected dangerous f*ckwit, a morally corrupt dangerous and well connected f*ckwit.

          In fact she is one of many identikit politically reliable insiders notable only for their insider status and a complete lack of a moral centre. I wouldnt call them evil but only because I dont think they can grasp the concept of good and evil.

          The common purpose shadow regime and indeed the BBC upper ranks are stuffed with people like her, when David Icke talked about a race of reptiles he surely meant those souless dead eyed creatures now infesting every corner of our national institutions and national life.

          I had the misfortune to have to serve some of these people some years ago and they are scary scary people close up, no soul no, humanity, no life, a bit like a very realistic shop dummy.


          • London Calling says:

            “BBC Trust”? What an oxymoron!

            It’s like that episode in the 1980’s TV series “V”, where Diana gives away she is an alien by feasting on a rat:

            Then they tear the human mask off their leader John (Director General, BBC) to reveal the Common Purpose reptile underneath.

            Underneath all the smooth words and luvvie connections, the BBC are an alien force who want to enslave us. “V” makes more sense describing their behaviour than the “BBC Charter”


      • My Site (click to edit) says:

        Sounds as if they treated them like kings!?


    • Span Ows says:

      Foxgoose, good research! Also, if you follow the first link in the post it goes to the BBC Trustee page “who are we” etc. On the right ahnd side you see thier decalration of interests…she has Mirror Trinity group down (with the disclaimers “less than 5%) but she wa s on the Press Complaints Commission before joing the BBC Trust…

      “Shareholdings of over 5% in any company operating in the same market as the BBC or with a substantial contract with the BBC”…
      Trinity Mirror plc (Less than 5%)


    • ROBERT BROWN says:

      Wel, well, well. Well found, what utter crooks. A pox on them.


  10. Derek Buxton says:

    Another stupid person on the make.  I rather like a caption on TV text news, “all the stories from around the world”, obviously stories in it’s literal sense.  Good of them to admit their output is all fiction, but then we knew that!


  11. Ben says:

    One of the problems in closing down the debate, of course, is that people will be ignorant of, or will totally misunderstand, the debate.  
    Alison Hastings is clearly someone who falls into the ignorant category.  She reveals this in her comment  “This doesn’t mean that BBC reports will not feature people who do not believe climate change exists.”  
    Climate change exists v climate change doesn’t exist is not the debate.   
    The debate is:  
    Is the change benign or catastrophic?  
    How much is mankind’s contribution?  
    Where is the evidence for the huge positive feedbacks which are fed into all climate models to produce the alarming predictions?

    Why, if the science is so compelling do the climate scientists need to indulge in such dodgy behaviour as refusing FOI requests for data and methods; producing dishonest work (Mike’s nature trick etc); promoting baseless scare stories (polar bears, Himalayan glaciers, Amazon, disappearing Maldives etc)  
    Is the policy response of “mitigation” through higher taxes, increased regulation and government backing of inefficient energy-generation technologies appropriate?


  12. VFC says:

    How Jersey’s media, including the BBC, operate.


  13. OWEN MORGAN says:

    Hastings claims that “the frontiers of scientific understanding have always been pushed forward by testing a belief to see if it can be proven.”

    That could hardly be more wrong.  When science is conducted properly, a theory will be tested to see if it can be disproved – something else altogether.   Time and again, claims made by global warming alarmists have been demonstrated to be fallacious.   In a truly scientific environment, that would suffice to discredit them conclusively.


    • RGH says:

      Clearly the non-scientist non-university educated local reporter with left-liberal networking skills does not understand the null-hypothesis nor falsifiability.

      She is operating under the social-science concept of the ‘precautionary principle’ ie if a threat can be imagined regard it as real until proven wrong.

      That is back-to-front. upside down science.

      It is ideological science which cannot be disproved in the time-honoured fashion.

      Climate change is a fact. Global warming might be a fact. Man-made global warming based w.i.p mathematical models is a hypothesis based on the MODELS.

      Post-modern science by consensus.

      Very appealing for badly trained social busybodies and junked up local reporters.


  14. Gerald says:

    I looked through the poll results. I would have struggled to answer many because of the (deliberate) conflation of climate change, global warming and man made in many questions.

    Could I suggest some alternative questions.

    Do you believe in climate change ? – anybody on here who answers no is wrong because it always has.

    Do you believethe world has warmed in the last 10 years – No

    Do you believe the world has warmed in the last 20 years – Yes

    If you answered yes to either of the above how much would you attribute to the influence of man? – now that is the difficult question. The longer the temperature plateau continues while carbon emissions inexorably rise the greater the disconnect would appear to be!

    I wonder if they will continue the questioning using the same questions. Base date would appear to coincide with the “high tide” of pro opinion so must suspect not.


  15. Maturecheese says:

    Time and time again on here I read about various examples of outright bias within the BBC and yet none of it ever appears in the newspapers.  Why is this allowed to continue without any reporting of it in the main stream press?  Surely some of the press is independant?


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      There are occasions when someone in the Telegraph or Mail mentions BBC bias.  They are generally shouted down or dismissed because they are Right-wing, and want the BBC to report only things they like, etc.  The BBC rarely takes heed, unless it’s someone who is flavor of the month like Louise Bagshawe/Mensch.


  16. David Preiser (USA) says:

    That of keeping pace with the evidence…



  17. Jeremy Clarke says:

    “This doesn’t mean that BBC reports will not feature people who do not believe climate change exists.”

    This sentence, in a nutshull, tells me that she just doesn’t get it.

    Yes, there are people who “do not believe climate change exists” as there are probably people who believe that water is, in fact, liquid cheese. But 50 per cent of respondents to the BBC’s own poll “believe that climate change exists” but are not convinced that it is partly or entirely down to man; and even if man is partially responsible for climate change, the likely consequences are far from clear.

    The rest of her preamble boils down to: AGW supporters’ views are based on science and deniers’ views are based on opinions because Professor Steve Jones says so. So there. Yah boo sucks.


  18. Mailman says:

    Here’s the thing. The BBC SHOULD just be reporting the news. It shouldnt be taking sides! If it reported the news it wouldnt HAVE to have guidelines on impatiality simply because all the BBC would be doing is reporting what is going on.

    However, since the BBC is an advocate for Mann Made Global Warming ™, Palestinian rights, multicurluralism, the EU (do you see  a pattern here?) which means it is incapable of just reporting what is going on and instead has to apply its spin to everything. This in turn means that anything it reports is going to be biased towards what ever their favour of the day is.



    • London Calling says:

      The only people who could rid us of these “troublesome priests” are Patten, Cameron, and Hunt, none of whom will lift a finger. Remember that when some apologist turns up canvassing on your doorstep.

      I’ll vote for anyone, repeat anyone, who would cut out this BBC cancer. Looks like I get an all-day lie in next polling day.


  19. Tom says:

    The eco-loon lies and scaremongering which dominate the BBC’s approach to shale gas development is a disgrace.

    The BBC is obviously determined to interfere negatively with this business, without any actual supporting evidence – just rumor and greenie loon “scare du jour”.

    Energy price drops will make those stupid windmills and dumbass solar panels look even more obscene than they appear at the moment 

    I doubt Ms Hastings will ever find the guts to bite the hand…..


  20. My Site (click to edit) says:

    an intensification of the efforts by Richard Black and his cronies to stifle dissent’

    Mr. Black’s latest blog cheerfully notes that he is off ‘for a few weeks’.

    It is just possible that some matters of environmental note may transpire in this time, possibly not on narrative for the BBC’s purposes.

    Hence it seems unhelpful, if not surprising, to find the clean up squad working through already to get rid of any posts – some a few days old – for being ‘off topic’. Dissent duly stifled.

    If what he does is so topically irrelevant, what is the point of his column at all on a £4Bpa ‘news’ medium?

    Ms. Hastings and her colleagues may have a view, but from the system that has brought us a raft of out-of-their-depth makeweights such as Jacquie Smiff and a others who would struggle to reach junior management at a Lidl to the pinnacle of oversight in this benighted country, I am not holding my breath.


  21. Richard Pinder says:

    I thought you needed Observational evidence to turn a Hypothesis into a fact. But according to the BBC it is either Hypothesis to Consensus or Opinion to Fact.
    But then this must explain why although the Royal Society says “uncertainty” and even the IPCC only says “likely”, the BBC which claims to be impartial says “Fact”. They must employ some seriously ignorant and intellectually inferior people at the BBC if they think sceptics deny that the Climate changes. Is this the result of replacing old fashioned meritocracy with diversity at the BBC.