Biased BBC reader Alan asks the question; “Why is Robert Peston so successful?”

“It’s because he is so supremely interesting and stupendously intelligent. Or so so he tells us.

In the Sunday Times Peston says he is setting up an organisation to provide inspirational speakers to schools…great thinkers from the worlds of business, politics, sports and journalism amongst others.

He is annoyed that it is public schools such as Eton that seem to get the most speakers….’To my amazement these incredibly confident kids implied that they were doing me a favour by inviting me (to speak)….they took it for granted that the most interesting and brainy people (er like himself?) would talk to them.’

Peston has created ‘Speakers for Schools’ to get more speakers into state schools….oh and with the evil Tories putting up the price of further education and mass unemployment this is ‘more important than ever.’

Seems a harmless enough story with a well meaning Peston……only who decides who the speakers are….do they have to be ‘on message’….and what is that message….say for example on climate change?

Consider how many other organisations the BBC is closely involved with which push a message.

The CMEP (Cambridge Media Environment Programme) co-run by Roger Harrabin or the Science Media Centre….also part run by BBC staff….or Futerra or the New Economics Foundation…or indeed the
UEA and the Tyndall Research Centre.

Organisations that aim to channel information to other media organisations, politicians and businesses about climate change and its presentation. They seek to become the main sources for that information.

Is that really OK or slightly sinister? If the main source for information about climate change comes from a pro climate change body that can hardly be good. The BBC is in effect taking control of not only its own output and what appears in it about climate change but is also able to control and influence what other media organisations and politicians broadcast or decide.

 Here is what the BBC’s favourite ‘communications agency’, Futerra, tells then about presentation:

‘Forget the climate change detractors. Those who deny climate change science are irritating, but
unimportant. The argument is not about if we should deal with climate change, but how we should deal with climate change. Create a trusted, credible, recognised voice on climate change. We need trusted organisations and individuals that the media can call upon to explain the implications of climate change to the
UK public.’

The BBC does block dissenting voices…especially ones that are popular and credible…such as David Bellamy….but is happy to have David Attenborough promote AGW.

The BBC has decided the issues surrounding climate change are no longer in doubt….it is merely a matter of presentation. The problem is that the public, the vast majority of which do not believe in AGW, are ‘sceptical’ because they are too stupid, ignorant and confused as Harrabin helpfully points out…..

‘Private Virtue, Public Good
Roger Harrabin
Published 15 May 2006

Facing up to climate change is often framed by government as an issue of personal responsibility. What if the public rejects this view, asks Roger Harrabin Who should take action to stop climate change – the government or the public? What if we took public opinion at face value? What if people are genuinely confused by the baffling notion that emissions from their central heating may be contributing to the drought in East Africa?  So as No 10 longs for public consensus on climate change and detects signs of growing voter concern, public ignorance and confusion still abound. And there is no sign that the scientific debate is about to stop. This is not an equation we can expect the public to master on its own.’

What other organisations does the BBC run to promote its political and social ends? Its ‘Real world Brainstorm’ conferences in which it aims to get other organisations to work together with a certain ‘vision’?

Of course there is John Humphrys and his part ownership of the polling company ‘YouGuv’….who knows what other activities BBC employees get up to when not doing the day job. And not forgetting the World Service which openly admits it aims to influence politics and societies.

Somewhat beyond the remit of informing, educating and entertaining us.”

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  1. My Site (click to edit) says:

    Exclusive extract from Peston’s speech:


  2. Pavlov's Cat says:

    I think it’s a good idea.

    I for one was started down the path of Libertarianism on hearing the old Fabian and socialist Lord Fenner Brockway  speak whilst I was at school

    Probably not what was intended, but there you go


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      Likewise, I was attracted to the right after becoming aware of the violent hate-filled anti-democratic actions of UAF and similar organisations.  


  3. My Site (click to edit) says:

    This made me laugh.

    Old_Holborn Old Holborn Robert Peston advising on public speaking is like Stephen Hawking lecturing on the 100m Olympic hurdles
    If from humble beginnings Mr. Peston seems to have doen well. And credit for that. But one can’t help notice the baggage acquired en route which, lucky for him, was a near guarantee of being invited into the BBC fold.And that is the creepy part to this. Because one can be sure that, above all, fealty to the hive mind will be a main criterion for progressing.


    • Umbongo says:

      Humble beginnings? Not so.  Peston is the son of lefty economist and peer Maurice Peston.  Apparently Robert was sent to comprehensive school (his parents sacrificing their son’s education to their principles) but turned up at Oxford.  I wonder if Maurice pulled every string available for his offspring a la Miliband pere.

      Being securely in the political class Peston appears to be immune from the law eg dropping market sensitive information into the public domain (Lloyds takeover of HBOS).  And, oh yes, (what irony, given the depths the BBC plumbs) he’s a founder (maybe the founder) and trustee of the Media Standards Trust.  The MST’s trustees http://mediastandardstrust.org/about/people/ are – rather like those of the Young Foundation – largely bien pensant lefty members of the political class – what a surprise!


      • My Site (click to edit) says:

        Ah. Tx.

        In which case, this indocrination wheeze rather sounds no different to any other ‘get ’em young effort from this end of the social meddling spectrum.

        I do wonder if the various rats are starting to diversify their employment portfolios now various writings are large on walls.

        Not content with vast salaries, there is also no recognition of the value this publicly-funded profile gives them not just in terms of earning potential but also (undue) influence.



  4. cjhartnett says:

    Because he`s Maurice Pestons son!
    Simplicity is genius...Ron Greenwood said that!


  5. John Anderson says:

    I dealt with Maurice Peston back in the early 1970s while at a course at the Civil Service College.   Most of us thought he was a condescending prat.

    We each had to write a paper – I wrote one showing that the financial risks of the Concorde project were immense,  it should be cancelled.   He was horrified,  denied all the realities,  thought the project would be a huge success.

    End result – Concorde sold NO planes – the BA and Air France planes were given to them free   The British aircraft industry was effectively neutered by throwing all the eggs in the Concorde basket – when there were other possible strategies,  including alliance with Boeing.   

    The concept of “opportunity cost” is important in economics.  But not to bigots like Lord Peston.

    His son seems to display similar arrogance.


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    In the Sunday Times Peston says he is setting up an organisation to provide inspirational speakers to schools…great thinkers from Common Purpose.

    There, fixed that for you.


    • TheGeneral says:

      Yes and how he said it was :-
      ” Errr…. I am….errr……setting….( long silence )……up….an…….
      .….organisationtoprovide……..errr………( long silence )……..in………..spir…..errr…..rationalspeakers…..to….errr…..errr ….sch…..oools”
      What a bloody weirdo. Only the BBC could give a job as a broadcaster to someone who not only cannot construct a sentence but goes to sleep in the middle of it.


      • Roy Stirred-Oyster says:

        Peston has claimed that his speech pattern is his way of dealing with a stammer. 

        So, as the beeb has to reflect errr… diversity, Pesto’s irritating speech patterns equal another tick in the box for them.


  7. Roy Stirred-Oyster says:

    DP, I made this observation recently in Another Place:


    Incidentally, what would the holder of such a position be called?

    Grand Master/Wizard/Indoctrinaire?

    Would the initiation ceremony include reading passages from the Grauniad? (having ensured that the inductee held a current TV Licence, of course….)


  8. Martin says:

    Peston is a nobody, the only reason he got scoops was because he was Gordon Brown’s personal arse cleaner.

    Since the Tories came to power Peston hasn’t had one single scoop. 

    He’s just a twat.


  9. ian says:

    Peston is definitely 19th degree Common Purpose.