ofcom Very many congratulations to Mauizio for finally breaking the logjam and making some progress at last on the ‘Great Climate Change Seminar Mystery’. But now the work really begins.

At the moment it is hardly possible to pick up a paper or listen to a news report without being told that trust in the BBC has been severely damaged. This is both true and particularly sad when the Corporation is just approaching its ninetieth anniversary. Impartiality and accuracy are the characteristics that established the BBC as the world leader in its field even in times of political turmoil, war and social unrest. As John Bridcut made clear in his ‘Wagon Wheel’ report, this reputation for integrity is the core of the BBC brand and if it is damaged that endangers the whole edifice.

We now know that someone within the BBC told Bridcut, when he was researching his report, that a seminar ‘with the best scientific experts’ informed a major editorial decision on how climate change was to be presented to the public at a crucial moment in the battle to persuade the public to take anthropogenic global warming seriously. And make no mistake, the BBC is not just a source of information, like Wikipedia or the reference section of a library, it is a major opinion former too. How the BBC decides to portray current affairs really matters and has an enormous effect.

The names on the list that Maurizio has published in no way justify the claim made in the ‘Wagon Wheel’ report. It is not enough for the BBC to merely make an apology and a correction at this late stage; much, much more is needed if the organisation’s reputation is to be restored.

What the Saville scandal has shown us is that there is a culture of deceit and of turning a blind eye to unwelcome problems at the BBC which extends back over decades. The BBC must be forced to institute a proper inquiry into why Bridcut was misinformed and then tens of thousands of pounds in legal costs were committed to keeping the affair under wraps, just like Saville’s appalling behaviour.

That is the next task.

As a first step I have asked the BBC’s Litigation Department to confirm or deny that the list Maurizio has found is the one that I requested at the hearing a fortnight ago.

44 Responses to “Are these the BBC’s ‘best scientific experts’?”

  1. Agreed that the work has only just started. But even the first step sounds a lot of fun. The squirming in the Litigation Department is a joy to imagine. Many thanks and congratulations, Tony.

  2. If they used that “scientists” line in court, wouldn’t that be perjury?


  3. Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability (thanks to George Galloway; it’s good to direct those words to someone who truly deserves them).

    Very well done for doggedly pursuing this matter; little do they know it, but you are doing the people of this country an enormous service.

  4. Extremely well done for lasting the pace. This certainly wouldn’t have come out without your long running saga.
    When I read the list, my immediate thoughts echoed your headline here: “Best scientific experts”?!
    Along side the ” next task” or coming from it, they will have to be persuaded to, again, review their approach to climate science reporting.

  5. Perjury? That must be why Helen Boaden’s written evidence recused itself from that statement about the scientists.

  6. First time commenter here.

    I am full of admiration for your tenacity, and delighted that people of your calibre are on the side of reason
    in this struggle against the agenda based activists.
    This is another nail in the BBC coffin.

  7. Well done ~Tony N and Maurizio to reveal “How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in’t.”

  8. I bet you’re relieved you don’t have to go through an appeal. Thank you for what you have done.

    You are one of the heroes of this story (and not forgetting your wife).

  9. Very well done Tony – and it exposed exactly what we’d all imagined it would; the BBC’s claims were will o’ the wisps.

  10. Well played from start to finish, Tony. Kudôs to thee and to Maurizio. You both deserve medals.

    “…[L]ittle do they know it, but you are doing the people of this country an enormous service.” –AngusPangus

    Yes, AP. The world may benefit from Tony N and Maurizio’s tenacity.

  11. I’d read all of Andrew Orlowski’s reports, so wanted to thank you for your efforts.

  12. […] is endangered not served by those who seek to confront the dominancy, but by those who seek to obliterate criticism. If the vast majority are on the side of the overwhelming truth, then publicity examining […]

  13. You walk tall today.

  14. Great result and well done for your tenacity. Sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant. I look forward to this story being taken on by the mainstream media.

  15. Tony very well done. The world needs more people like you that are prepared to push and push to get the truth. The irony with the way the list has come out is that it is even more damaging to the BBC than if they had just given you the list months ago. Now people will view them with even more mistrust about everything they do.

  16. File the APPEAL from the Commission decision. It was a travesty anyway. Although the Appeal will technically be on the basis of the record below, the underlying fact that the persons attending were anything BUT the scientific “experts” alleged will colour everything. And the journalist exemption is a thin reed, given that NONE of the attendees (except perhaps Harrabin!) could actually be called journalists.

    And it cannot hurt that the names on the list were actually previously disclosed: the Been HAD TO KNOW THAT, but kept it quiet. There is a mighty fine line to tread, there: that they honestly did not know that the attendee list had previously been disseminated. Emails about THAT might be a useful FOI request!

    And ask for your costs on a full indemnification basis as if you were a new-call barrister.

    AND file another FOI request tomorrow for the amount this travesty has cost.

  17. Thanks for all your efforts. The BBC really has shown itself to be a crummy outfit.

  18. If you get no joy from the litigation dept just pursue the appeal.

    They will be forced to admit the info is in the public domain (and therefore correct), and look stupid.


    Fight the appeal with everyone knowing the info is in the public domain (and therefore correct), and look even more stupid.

  19. Tony; A great breakthrough well deserved. I hope the light at the end of the tunnel looks brighter tonight for you and you good lady.

    We await developments with interest, and look forward to reading about them here.

  20. TonyN,

    I have some thoughts that may be better expressed confidentially.
    Could you please email me because I don’t have your email address.

  21. Congratulations – you are a dog with a very well deserved bone :^)

    The links now being made between Climategate emails and the Secret List are astonishing even to me as someone who followed the first scandal very closely.

    What I think many of our international friends underestimate is the influence of the BBC both here in the UK and globally using BBC World Service et al – it’s massive.

    And if as many of us suspect, they’ve indulged in behaviour very similar to those exposed by Climategate emails – Jeez.

    To coin an old in-joke ‘its worse than we thought’

    Yours in admiration.

  22. I note that the BBC are now shifting their position to minimise the reliance on the words ‘best scientific experts’ – see http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/bbc-trust-report-author-john-bridcut-unfazed-by-uncovered-deception/

    I wonder where that leaves your investigation?

  23. Very well done.

    ps you have a broken link:

    “As John Bridcut made clear in his ‘Wagon Wheel’ report,”

    I would like to read the Wagon Wheel report.

    Keep up the good work.

  24. It may be of interest to note that some BBC defenders seem to be developing a response to the 28-gate issue by claiming that there was never any claim that the meeting at which ‘top scientists’ advised the BBC to alter their balance on Global Warming actually contained any ‘top scientists’.

    And therefore, by implication, there was never a need to have any specific direction or external advice to justify the loss of balance. The BBC just decided that they were quite at liberty to decide that there was no need to present both sides of the argument.

    http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/bbc-trust-report-author-john-bridcut-unfazed-by-uncovered-deception/ refers.

    I suggest that this raises the whole question of BBC impartiality again. It was raised initially when the BBC started supporting the green activists, and this rejection of impartiality was justified by reference to this meeting, which was painted as some kind of special independent due-diligence check which the BBC performed before taking the unusual step of ignoring their Charter duties in this area. Now that this ‘check’ has been exposed as a straightforward lie, the original request for justification of the BBC’s actions must surely be re-submitted to the Trust?

  25. Tony I bet you have your hands full at present, but it has occurred to me, and many others no doubt, that the BBC’s pension fund bears some looking into again in the light of these revelations and the conflicts of interest it creates. If the Pension fund has invested heavily into a “carbon free future” then it would be impossible for journalist to undermine their own future pensions by being objective about climate change.

    The Savile affair has been a catalyst for change, now we need to ensure the real rotten core of the BBC is exposed for what it is.

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