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The Migration of the Skeptic

qedcon | October 16, 2018

Naturalist Sir David Attenborough definitely presents this short documentary on the migration of the Skeptic. This spoof was originally used to open QED 2018.

Written by Matt White, Michael Marshall, and Mike Hall
Directed by Matt White
Edited by Deniz Kavalali
VFX by Joe Pavlo
Audio post-production by Offset Audio
Featuring Adam Diggle as the voice of Sir David Attenborough

November 12, 2018 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

News Media Gave Blanket Coverage To Flawed Climate Paper

Global Warming Policy Forum – 07/11/18

A week ago, we were told that climate change was worse than we thought. But the underlying science contains a major error.

Independent climate scientist Nicholas Lewis has uncovered a major error in a recent scientific paper that was given blanket coverage in the English-speaking media. The paper, written by a team led by Princeton oceanographer Laure Resplandy, claimed that the oceans have been warming faster than previously thought. It was announced, in news outlets including the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Scientific American that this meant that the Earth may warm even faster than currently estimated.

However Lewis, who has authored several peer-reviewed papers on the question of climate sensitivity and has worked with some of the world’s leading climate scientists, has found that the warming trend in the Resplandy paper differs from that calculated from the underlying data included with the paper.

“If you calculate the trend correctly, the warming rate is not worse than we thought – it’s very much in line with previous estimates,” says Lewis.

In fact, says Lewis, some of the other claims made in the paper and reported by the media, are wrong too.

“Their claims about the effect of faster ocean warming on estimates of climate sensitivity (and hence future global warming) and carbon budgets are just incorrect anyway, but that’s a moot point now we know that about their calculation error”.

And now that the errors have been uncovered, Lewis points out that it is important that the record is corrected.

“The original findings of the Resplandy paper were given blanket coverage by the media, who rarely question hyped-up findings of this kind. Let’s hope some of them are willing to correct the record”.

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

New BBC documentary ‘Dangerous Dynasty’ ignores the West’s role in destabilizing Syria

By Neil Clark | RT | October 16, 2018

The new BBC2 documentary, ‘A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad’, should be contrasted with the 2010 BBC4 series ‘Syrian School’, which eschewed neocon propaganda and allowed us to make our own minds up about Baathist Syria.

Whatever happened to objective film making? Why does everyone today feel that the film or program maker must take sides and not just show us things as they are?

These thoughts were uppermost in my mind when watching the first episode of the 72 Films production, ‘A Dangerous Dynasty’ last week.

You could say the title was a bit of a giveaway. If you were expecting to see a balanced, intellectual analysis of Baathist rule in Syria, providing historical perspective, and putting the ‘House of Assad’ in some kind of regional context, you’d have been very disappointed.

We weren’t even two minutes in before a voice-over declared: “Many have wondered how this former eye doctor [Bashar Assad] and his British-born wife ended up running a regime of committing war crimes, of gassing their own people… Understand their saga [the Assads] and you will understand how their country now lies in ruins.”

Really? The ‘House of Assad’ had ruled Syria for over 40 years without the country being in ruins.

The descent into the abyss began in 2011. We can argue till the cows come home about ‘who fired first’, as anti-government protests swept the country, but even if we do blame the Syrian authorities for initiating the violence seven years ago, there’s no getting away from the fact that the conflict which developed was deliberately stoked by powers hostile to the Syrian Arab Republic.

These powers were desirous of either regime-change or keeping Syria permanently weak and divided for geo-strategic reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with concern for human rights.

To blame all the bloodshed on the ‘House of Assad’, as ‘A Dangerous Dynasty’ does, is ahistorical nonsense and ignores the pernicious role that the US, France, the UK, and their regional allies have played in destabilizing Syria and keeping the fires of war burning.

“We have to ask ourselves how does this mild-mannered eye doctor end up killing hundreds of thousands of people,” one commentator says in ‘A Dangerous Dynasty’, as if Bashar, who had originally planned to devote his life to the noble cause of medicine,  just got up one morning and said “Right, now I’m going to kill hundreds of thousands of people.”

The reality is that the Syrian president was faced with a foreign-backed attempt to destroy his country. He reacted with great force, but just look at how neighboring Israel responds when rockets are fired in from Gaza, or how the US responded after 9-11. Imagine how the White House would react if foreign-backed jihadists took control of parts of the US and beheaded captured US soldiers. Do we think the US president would have said to the ‘rebels’, “Hi guys! Let’s sit round the camp fire together and sing Kumbaya”?

The program had unpleasant undertones of Arabophobia, promoting the narrative that Arabs, and in particular Arab ‘dictators’ who don’t show sufficient subservience to Western elites, cannot be trusted.

It reminded me of an interview with Syria’s deputy ambassador to the UN and a US neocon on BBC’s Newsnight, in the lead-up to the Iraq War, which I wrote about for the Guardian.

While the neocon was treated with great deference, the Syrian representative was treated with withering contempt and “Why should we believe YOU?” condescension. ‘A Dangerous Dynasty’ had much the same tone. Sinister music was played whenever a family photograph of the Assads was shown to make it clear we understood that these were ‘the baddies’.

We were told that Bashar’s mother was “tough and manipulative.” His father Hafez “has extraordinary eyes that seem to look into your soul.” Assad Sr. was “an old fashioned dictator.” Female soldiers had to bite off the heads of snakes and male ones kill puppies to show their obedience. In one segment, we were told that Hafez al-Assad was like a crafty hamburger seller from the bazaar who removes the meat after you’ve paid your money. “He didn’t trust anybody… he lives in a world of conspiracy and paranoia. His whole worldview was conspiratorial,” an American envoy complained.

But didn’t Hafez had good reason not to trust anyone – least of all American governments? Just look at what the US did to Iraq and Libya. Gorbachev trusted the Americans and believed promises that there would be no NATO Drang nach Osten following the disbanding of the Warsaw Pact. Today, NATO troops are on Russia’s borders.

Arabophobia can also be seen in the surprise expressed that Bashar Assad, is “civilized” and “well-mannered” in his personal interactions. As if Arabs, can’t do ‘civilized’ and ‘well-mannered’.

Ironically, probably the most nuanced view in the whole program came from Sir John Sawers, the former head of MI6, who was a British diplomat in Syria in the 1980s.

“It was a socialist military dictatorship, but actually there was a live-and-let-live approach. It was a tightly controlled society but one where Western diplomats could move around fairly freely. If you didn’t bother the Syrian regime they weren’t going to bother you,” Sawer said.

No one disputes that Hafez al-Assad was a ruthless leader, but while the words ‘regime’ and ‘dictator’ were repeated ad nauseam, there was nothing in the program about the advances that Syria made under Assad and his son in the years 1970-2011. The way Christians and other religious minorities were protected by the secular government was ignored. Ditto Syria’s very generous support for the dispossessed and stateless Palestinians, which made them a target.

The book ‘Parting Shots’, published by the BBC, includes a letter written by Sir James Craig, British Ambassador to Syria in 1979, to UK Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington. Craig admits he doesn’t like the Baathists. But he also says “all I have said against them could be said against a hundred other government is this naughty world.” He then goes on: “And there is this, above all, that can be said for them: ever since they came to power, and long before, they have devoted a preponderant part of their energy to the cause of the Palestinians, to which they are called not only by self-interest but by the ties of kinship, neighbourliness and compassion.” Sir James said he found “a distinct spark of nobility” in their “obstinacy” on this issue.

If we go back eight years, a much fairer picture of Syria was shown on the BBC in ‘Syrian School’.

This was arguably one of the best documentary series ever shown on British television. It didn’t preach and it didn’t tell us what to think. It simply showed us what everyday life was like in Syria – the good and the bad.

Max Baring, who worked as director-cameraman on the program said: “Syria is a country where, from poetry to politics, you can have an intellectual debate. You can re-imagine the world there in a way that we seem to have lost in the West, where even the credit crunch hasn’t dented the orthodoxy of Liberal Capitalism, where ‘The X-Factor’ seems now to have become the cultural pinnacle.”

You don’t have to be a diehard supporter of ‘House of Assad’ to acknowledge that life was (and is)  better under the ‘dynasty’ than under the medieval head-choppers of ISIS and other associated fundamentalist ‘rebels’, who the enemies of Baathist Syria seemed quite happy to support – either directly or indirectly. As my fellow Op-ed columnist John Wight correctly pointed out last week, “Not one Western journalist denouncing the Syrian government would have dared to set foot within so much of an inch of militant-held territory, knowing that if they did they would be peremptorily abducted, tortured and slaughtered.”

Shamefully, it’s “the Syrian regime” that ‘Dangerous Dynasty’ blames for the rise of hardcore jihadist terrorism. The neo-con endless war lobby, who set the Middle East on fire, gets a free pass.

The second episode of the hatchet job will be shown this Tuesday. I think I’ll take a bath (no pun intended), instead. Looking further ahead, I’ve an idea (which I’ll give them for just £10K), for the program makers for their next series. How about doing one about another father and son, who both launch wars in successive decades against the same country? The father, who was a millionaire, was director of his country’s intelligence services. The son sold his illegal war on a pack of false claims about a country possessing weapons it didn’t have, with the invasion leading to a million deaths and a refugee crisis of Biblical proportions.

‘Junior’ also invaded another country where conflict is still raging today, and under the pretext of fighting a ‘War on Terror’ introduced a surveillance state and established a detention camp where people were held indefinitely without trial. The title of the series: ‘Dangerous Dynasty: The House of Bush’.

Over to you, 72 Films.

October 16, 2018 Posted by | Film Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

African Penguin Decline – BBC Fake News

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | October 16, 2018

As we found out last week, the directive has come down from on high at the BBC to ramp up climate alarm at every opportunity they get.

The memo has evidently been received in the BBC newsroom, who broadcast this flagrantly dishonest piece yesterday about African penguins on Outside Source (at about 51 minutes in):

image

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bnl4gy/outside-source-15102018

Unfortunately the programme expires on iPlayer tonight, but this is the full transcript:

 Presenter:

The next report is about the African penguin population and how it’s rapidly declining. Conservationists are saying their habitat is being hit by rising tides caused by climate change.

And it’s interesting that since that report by the UN last week on climate change, so many different organisations have been coming forward to emphasise the importance it has on their work.

Reporter Eliza Philippides reporting from S Africa:

Boulders Beach, home to one of the 28 African penguin habitats. These birds can only be found in S Africa and Namibia. But their survival is under threat, and one of the reasons is there is not enough fish in the sea.

Faroeshka Rodgers, Section Ranger of Simon’s Town:

The African penguin have to swim far distances to find food, but in the past that was not the case. We suspect this could be from commercial trawling or over exploitation of the food sources of the African penguin.

Eliza Philippides

In just three years the number of breeding pairs has dropped by a fifth. Here at Boulders Beach the rangers are encouraging the penguins to use artificial nest boxes, hoping to increase their chances of breeding successfully.

This colony is the only place in the world where people can swim freely with these endangered birds. As a result they get millions of visitors every year.

Stabilising the population and increasing penguin numbers is a priority here. The aim? That children can see the African penguin in the wild.

And, apart from a brief interview with a tourist, who could not believe how close she got to the critters, that was it!

There was not a single mention of climate change or sea levels or tides from either the rangers themselves, who are the experts, or from the BBC’s reporter, Philippides.

So why did the presenter even mention it at the start, never mind fail to even acknowledge the very real and obvious problem  of over fishing?

Surprisingly nobody mentioned either the very real threat to the penguins well being caused by “millions of tourists getting close up”. But apparently “letting children see them” is more important.

As for sea levels at Simon’s Town, they have been rising gradually at 2.14mm/year, and have actually fallen during the last decade:

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=430-061

Simon’s Bay has wide, sandy beaches, with plenty of rocky outcrops. The idea that an increase in sea level of less than an inch a decade could make the slightest difference to the penguins’ nesting sites or general welfare belongs on Jackanory, not a supposedly serious news programme.

Simon’s Bay

The African penguin population has been declining sharply since the early 1900s,

and the reasons are well understood and have nothing to do with climate change, as the Organization for the Conservation of Penguins explains:

Breeding no longer occurs at 10 localities where it formerly occurred or has been suspected to occur. The present population is probably less than 10% of that in 1900, when there was estimated to be about 1.5 million birds on Dassen Island alone. By 1956 the population had fallen to roughly half that in 1900, and had halved again by the late 1970s, when there was an estimated 220,000 adult birds. By the late 1980s the number had dropped to about 194,000 and in the early 1990s there was an estimated 179,000 adult birds.

Given an annual rate of decline of about 2% per year, there is considerable concern about the long-term viability of African Penguins in the wild. By the late 1990s the population had recovered slightly, and in 1999 there was an estimated 224,000 individuals. The African Penguin is now classified as Endangered by the IUCN, and is listed in Appendix II of CITES and the Bonn Convention for the conservation of migratory species.

The reasons for the significant decline in the African Penguin populations are well known. Initially, the decline was due mostly to the exploitation of penguin eggs for food, and habitat alteration and disturbance associated with guano collection at breeding colonies. These factors have now largely ceased, and the major current threats include competition with commercial fisheries for pelagic fish prey, and oil pollution. Other threats include competition with Cape Fur Seals for space at breeding colonies and for food resources, as well as predation by seals on penguins. Feral cats are present and pose a problem at a few of the colonies. African Penguins also face predation of eggs and chicks by avian predators such as Kelp Gulls and Sacred Ibises, while natural terrestrial predators, such as mongoose, genets and leopard are present at the mainland colonies.

It is obvious that BBC presenters have been told to get a plug in for climate change, whenever news items like these come along, regardless of how tenuous or outright incorrect the link may be.

October 16, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA? BBC PANORAMA RELIES ON QUESTIONABLE RESEARCH

Global Network for Syria | October 16, 2018

A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic claimed to show how chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian Government as part of a deliberate military strategy. Yet there are serious concerns over the investigation’s reliance on ‘broadly impartial’ sources — who are not named — and consequently the reliability of the report’s findings.

The Panorama programme is called ‘Syria’s Chemical War’ and was first broadcast on Monday 15 October on BBC One at 20:30.

Yesterday’s BBC Panorama programme was notable for its omissions. It was not clear, for example, whether evidence backing the claims of 106 uses of chemical weapons came from Syrian rebel sources. Given that sources are not named, the BBC may be relying on evidence from groups that are widely regarded as favourable to the opposition, such as the White Helmets, the Syrian American Medical Society, or the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations.

The investigation ignored the interim findings of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the Douma incident, which contradict the BBC’s conclusions. The OPCW found no evidence of the use of prohibited weapons in Douma and did not rule out that chlorine cylinders found at the site may have been planted.

The programme showed former OPCW staff saying that not all of Asad’s stocks destroyed under OPCW supervision were necessarily accounted for. It neglected to point out, however, that the OPCW reported in 2014 that it had been unable to visit two sites where chemical weapons were stored and that both these sites were in rebel-held territory deemed unsafe for inspectors to visit.

The programme also claimed to detect a pattern of Asad using chemical weapons in the final stages of sieges. But the report did not address questions raised by numerous military experts who ask why Syrian Government Forces, which were already winning the war, would deploy chemical weapons of limited usefulness, risking severe reprisals by the US-led Coalition.

There are further concerns regarding the lack of reference to Islamist fighters, who have used chlorine canisters as part of their “resistance”, and who have butchered not just Christians and Alawites but also hundreds of the civilians living under their control, as documented by the UN.

The war in Syria is complex, with many different layers to the conflict. It is crucial that any future investigation includes historical and geopolitical context, objective analysis, transparency about sources, and, at the very least, an acknowledgement that there are different points of view.

Peter Ford, former British Ambassador to Syria
Dr Tim Anderson, University of Sydney
Lord Carey of Clifton
Baroness Cox
Lord Gordon of Strathblane
Dr Michael Langrish, former Bishop of Exeter
Lord Stoddart of Swindon

Contact: carolinecox1@outlook.com

October 16, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 3 Comments

After 70 Years of Abuse, a Definition of Anti-Palestinian Racism

Is this where the fight-back begins?

By Stuart Littlewood | Dissident Voice | October 10, 2018

What is the matter with the Palestine solidarity movement? Since 1948 (and before that, even) the Palestinians have been viciously abused and dispossessed while the perpetrators and their supporters have continually played the anti-Semitism card.

Bemused spectators have been bored witless by the long and ludicrous propaganda campaign to vilify Jeremy Corbyn, bully the Labour Party into accepting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism as a cornerstone in their code of conduct and stifle discussion of Israel’s crimes against  the Palestinian people. The expected riposte never came.

Anti-Palestinian Racism

Now Jewish Voice For Labour, of all people, have struck back with a useful looking definition of Anti-Palestinian Racism which they decribe as “hatred towards or prejudice against Palestinians as Palestinians”. In a document faintly mocking the pronouncements on anti-Semitism they suggest that manifestations of anti-Palestinian racism might include the denial of Palestinian rights to a state of Palestine as recognised by over 130 member countries of the United Nations and blaming Palestinians for their own plight under brutal military occupation and lock-down. Here’s how they put it:

Contemporary examples of anti-Palestinian racism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination and nationhood, or actively conspiring to prevent the exercise of this right.
  2. Denial that Israel is in breach of international law in its continued occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  3. Denial that Israel is an apartheid state according to the definition of the International Convention on Apartheid.
  4. Denial of the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba and of their right, and the right of their descendants, to return to their homeland.
  5. Denial that Palestinians have lived in what is now the land of Israel for hundreds of years and have their own distinctive national identity and culture.
  6. Denial that the laws and policies which discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel (such as the recently passed Nation State Law) are inherently racist.
  7. Denial that there is widespread discrimination against Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories in matters of employment, housing, justice, education, water supply, etc, etc.
  8. Tolerating the killing or harming of Palestinians by violent settlers in the name of an extremist view of religion.
  9. Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Palestinians — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth of a Palestinian conspiracy to wipe Israel off the map.
  10. Justifying the collective punishment of Palestinians (prohibited under the Geneva Convention) in response to the acts of individuals or groups.
  11. Accusing the Palestinians as a people, of encouraging the Holocaust.

I am not sure how Palestinians, as genuine Semites living there for thousands of years, will react to No.5 which claims their homeland is “now the land of Israel”. Despite being illegally occupied by an apartheid entity most of whose members have no ancestral links to the ancient “land of Israel” it is still Palestine.

For decades activists have been telling the Israel lobby to look in the mirror and address their own racial hatred towards the Palestinians. You must truly hate people to deny them their freedom and even their right to return to their homes and livelihoods. Why has it taken so long for such a simple and obvious weapon to be produced? Doesn’t it make you wonder about the true agenda of those in charge of Palestine solidarity? And why has it taken a group of Jews (bless ’em) to do it?

The question now is how best to deliver this somewhat delayed riposte. It might have been best delivered while the iron was hot, at the height of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt and media onslaught. Many activists wanted Corbyn to turn on his tormentors and tell them to mend their own vile attitude towards Palestinian Arabs before daring to smear others with accusations of  anti-Semitism.

On the other hand it will benefit from careful honing, cool planning and the massing of pro-Palestinian support to make the hit really count.

For reasons we know only too well our politicians won’t adopt it as eagerly as they embraced the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism. But it is at least a starting point in the fight-back especially if deployed by a coalition of genuine pro-Palestine groups and the BDS movement as the centrepiece of their new, combined campaign strategy.

Lies, damned lies….

Meanwhile I hope all those who allowed themselves to be suckered by the Israel lobby will hang their heads in shame when they read this report by the Media Reform Coalition: Labour, Antisemitism and the News – A disinformation paradigm.

The Executive summary says that an analysis of over 250 articles and news segments from the largest UK news providers (online and television) showed:

  • 29 examples of false statements or claims, several of them made by anchors or correspondents themselves, six of them surfacing on BBC television news programmes, and eight on TheGuardian.com
  • A further 66 clear instances of misleading or distorted coverage including misquotations, reliance on single source accounts, omission of essential facts or right of reply, and repeated assumptions made by broadcasters without evidence or qualification. In total, a quarter of the sample contained at least one documented inaccuracy or distortion.
  • Overwhelming source imbalance, especially on television news where voices critical of Labour’s code of conduct were regularly given an unchallenged and exclusive platform, outnumbering those defending Labour by nearly 4 to 1.

In all, there were 95 clear-cut examples of misleading or inaccurate reporting on mainstream television and online news platforms, with a quarter of the total sample containing at least one such example. On TV two thirds of the news segments contained at least one reporting error or substantive distortion.

The report points to “a persistent subversion of conventional news values”. Furthermore, coverage of Labour’s revised code of conduct during the summer of 2018 often omitted critical discussion of the ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism promoted by the IHRA and wrongly described it as universally adopted. “We established through background case research that although the IHRA is an international body with representatives from 31 countries, only six  of those countries have, to date, formally adopted the definition themselves.

  • In spite of a call for local authorities to adopt the definition by the UK’s central government in early 2017, less than a third of councils have responded and several of those have chosen not to include any of the controversial examples contained within the working definition.
  • Several high-profile bodies have rejected or distanced themselves from the working definition, including the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (a successor to the body that drafted the original wording on which the definition is based) and academic institutions including the London School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Mainstream academic and legal opinion has been overwhelmingly critical of the IHRA definition, including formal opinions produced by three senior UK barristers and one former appeals court judge. Virtually none of this essential context found its way into news reports of the controversy. Instead, the Labour Party was routinely portrayed by both sources and correspondents as beyond the pale of conventional thinking on the IHRA definition.“

Which all goes to show that Britain’s mainstream media has a hill to climb to get back its self-respect.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bias – The New Impartiality

By Kit | Off-Guardian | October 8, 2018

Impartial: n. not partial or biased, treating or affecting all equally.

That’s the dictionary definition of the word “Impartiality”. Up until very recently, it was not a complicated or controversial concept in any way. But these days meanings are rather more fluid than they used to be. Free speech doesn’t necessarily involve being able to speak freely. Democracy doesn’t necessarily involve voting.

And “impartial journalism” doesn’t necessarily involve being impartial.

At least, according ITV’s political editor Robert Peston. Speaking at the Cheltenham literature festival, he’s quoted in the Guardian as saying:

Impartial journalism is not giving equal airtime to two people one of whom says the world is flat and the other one says the world is round. That is not balanced, impartial journalism.”

You see, under the OLD definition of “impartial journalism”, a representative from each side of a political issue would be given equal air-time to make their case and present their evidence to the public. The people watching at home, being informed, would then make their own decision as to who was more likely correct.

But that’s not TRUE impartiality anymore, according to Robert.

[impartial journalism is about] weighing the evidence and saying on the balance of probabilities… this is the truth. It is the role of a journalist to say, ‘we’ve got these two contradictory arguments, I’m now going to advise all of you which is likely to be closer to the truth.’”

Under Robert’s new and improved version of “impartial journalism”, one side would get more air time because they are probably right. The other side, the wrong side, would get some time to make their case, but afterwards a friendly (and “impartial”) servant of the state would tell all their viewers to ignore it. That it had been declared officially wrong by the powers that be, and all good citizens should disregard it entirely.

This is, of course, nonsense.

Journalists aren’t interpreters, nannies, teachers or parents. They’re not priests or scientists or experts. They are not there to make our decisions for us, wipe our noses or check under our bed for monsters. It’s not their job make sure we don’t get frightened or to keep us from getting confused or to save our souls.

Television news has a simple task: Provide an unbiased, open and honest platform to supply the public with information.

Robert’s words attack this very idea, instead turning the news into a means to enforce state-sanctioned consensus through emotional blackmail and manipulative corporate virtue-signalling.

This follows a disturbing trend, a direct flow from no-platforming on campuses, to calls to shut down RT or banning Alex Jones from social media. It can all be read as one thing: a direct, media-driven push toward state-backed censorship under the guise of protecting the public. Enforcing a one-sided consensus under the false-flag of a sacred duty to “truth” or a hallucinatory public virtue.

Whatever mask it wears – whatever veneer is layered on its surface – the solid body of the issue is still the same: censorship.

Media corporations, both public and private, deciding amongst themselves what viewpoints are fit to air, and which opinions should be frozen out.

Ask yourself: Who gets to decide whether or not an opinion is fit for public consumption? To whom are they accountable? On what grounds is that decision made? What other issues would fall victim to this new meaning of “impartial coverage”?

It was widely reported that Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite. Would the people defending him from those charges be rejected, declared “officially wrong”, and filed away alongside flat Earthers?

How about people who believe the West is enabling fascists in Ukraine in order to undermine Russia?

Or people who thought Hillary Clinton was a dangerous warmonger?

Or people who claimed Saddam had no WMDs?

Or people who support Palestine?

Or people who voted for Brexit?

Scottish Independence?

Donald Trump?

How many political issues would be safe from the BBC’s new mandate to be “impartial” by picking a side? How often in the past has the official state-backed position been shown to be nothing but a pack of lies?

The truth doesn’t require a shield. The truth isn’t fragile or vulnerable or soft. It doesn’t need guards to protect it, a filter to clarify it or a marketing campaign to promote it. The truth doesn’t need a bullhorn to blare it out or censorship to prop it up. The truth is a lion, not a lamb.

You know what happens when you split equal time between the flat-Earth and round-Earth arguments? The flat-Earther loses. Because an impartial viewing of the evidence proves them wrong.

Propaganda is fragile. A false consensus has fault lines. Lies can be torn down by the gentlest of winds. The truth always wins a fair fight.

That’s the real reason the mainstream media are so desperate to stack the odds.

October 8, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

BBC Ignores Widely Publicized IPCC Problems

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | September 26, 2018

The BBC recently issued a document telling its journalists how to approach climate stories. That document treats the findings of a UN entity known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as gospel.

The “best science on the issue,” it says, is expressed by the IPCC, “which drew on the expertise of a huge number of the world’s top scientists.

Cripes. Out here in the real world, it’s 2018. But the last decade may as well not have happened as far as the BBC is concerned. In the bubble in which BBC bureaucrats reside it’s still 2007, the year Al Gore and the IPCC were each awarded half of the Nobel Peace Prize – not for their scientific prowess, but for their role in raising the alarm about climate change.

The world was more innocent back then. The InterAcademy Council (IAC) – an international collection of science entities – wouldn’t strike a committee to examine the IPCC’s internal workings until two years later.

The release of the IAC’s August 2010 report should have been a game changer. After all, the report identified “significant shortcomings in each major step of IPCC’s assessment process” (see the first paragraph of Chapter 2).

The New Scientist magazine considered the report so devastating it called for the resignation of the IPCC’s chairman in an article titled Time for Rajendra Pachauri to go.

The Financial Times similarly ran an editorial that urged Mr. Pachauri “to move on.”

Geoffrey Lean, then Britain’s longest-serving environmental correspondent, said the report revealed the IPCC to be an “amateurish, ramshackle operation.”

Louise Gray, environment correspondent for Telegraph, began her account with these words: “In a damning report out earlier this week…”

Over at the Daily Mail, writer Fiona Macrae called it a “scathing report.”

Environmental studies professor Roger Pielke Jr. thought the report “remarkably hard hitting” – and was quoted by the Associated Press saying the IPCC might be redeemed via this flavour of “tough love.”

A headline in the London Times declared: This discredited science body must be purged. Two others – in India and America – used the word “slams” when characterizing the IAC’s conclusions.

Precious few improvements have occurred since then. Being a UN bureaucracy, the IPCC is essentially a law unto itself, an entrenched culture with no meaningful oversight mechanisms.

But the BBC wouldn’t know that. Because rather than performing due diligence to determine how much progress has been made since 2010, the BBC chooses to behave as though the IAC report doesn’t exist. The IPCC’s fall from grace simply never happened.

September 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

BBC’s climate change ‘facts’ are fiction

By Harry Wilkinson – The Conservative Woman – September 22, 2018

In order to avoid giving ‘false balance’ to the climate alarmists at the BBC, I thought it would be a good idea to fact-check their new internal guidance on climate change. This is their totalitarian memorandum aimed at stamping out free scientific discourse, on the basis that certain facts are established beyond dispute.

The problem is that these aren’t, and the BBC is guilty of repeatedly failing to describe accurately the nuances of climate science and the degree to which certain claims are disputed.

The crucial paragraph reads:

‘Most climate scientists regard a rise of 2 degrees C as the point when global warming could become irreversible and the effects dangerous. At current rates, we are on track for a rise of more than 3-4 degrees C by the end of the century.’

There are so many things wrong with this short statement.

That global warming can be somehow ‘irreversible’ is pure propaganda; the climate has always been changing and it always will. The briefing later describes the idea of catastrophic tipping points as a ‘common misconception’, so they have comically failed their own test right at the start.

A temperature rise of more than two degrees is not inherently dangerous either. The majority of economic impact studies put the cost of climate change by the end of the century at between 1.5% and 3% of world GDP, but these studies often make the inaccurate assumption that either no or little adaptation will take place.

In contrast, even the IPCC has admitted (p.15) that the cost of reducing emissions (‘mitigation’) to meet the 2oC target may be up to 4% of world GDP in 2030, 6% in 2050 and 11% in 2100.

These numbers do not incorporate the benefits of reducing our emissions, which are primarily the avoided costs of climate change. But given that a certain amount of warming is already ‘baked in’, it looks almost certain that this ‘mitigation’ will actually be far more expensive than not doing anything. If warming actually turns out to have a positive effect, the gamble will have failed even more spectacularly.

The IPCC has openly admitted that its cost forecasts come with incredibly optimistic assumptions that immediate mitigation takes place in all countries, that there is a single global carbon price, and that there are ‘no additional limitations on technology relative to the models’ default technology assumptions’. With no carbon capture and storage (CCS), they predict the total mitigation cost rises by a staggering 138%. The bad news is that CCS is currently failing to deliver, and few now expect it to play a significant role in reducing emissions.

Given the record of economic forecasts, all these predictions should be taken with a pinch of salt, but on the available evidence it appears we are sleepwalking into spending trillions of pounds to achieve only a negligible reduction in global temperatures.

The father of the two-degree target, veteran climate alarmist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, has admitted the number is entirely fabricated: ‘Two degrees is not a magical limit; it’s clearly a political goal’.  He nonetheless celebrates its cynical effectiveness at motivating international political action.

Other prominent climate scientists, such as Hans von Storch, have been much more critical of this approach. Storch reflects on how scientists have become political sermonisers in a way which damages science as a whole: ‘Unfortunately, some of my colleagues behave like pastors . . . it’s certainly no coincidence that all the mistakes that became public always tended in the direction of exaggeration and alarmism.’

The statement that we are on track for ‘more than 3-4 degrees’ is an even more blatant distortion of the scientific evidence. Earlier this year, Peter Cox of the University of Exeter announced the results of his latest study which ruled out higher levels of warming. He concluded that ‘climate sensitivity’ would be in the narrower range of 2.2-3.4oC, thus ruling out warming of 4 or 5 degrees by 2100. His voice adds to a growing consensus that climate sensitivity will be lower than previously estimated. Does the BBC now consider him a climate denier too? 

Quite surreally, the document also describes the statement that ‘climate change has happened before’ as a ‘common misconception’. How much longer before the BBC renames itself The Ministry of Truth?

Estimating the current and future impacts of climate change is a complex and contested enterprise, but the BBC would rather you didn’t know. ‘The science is settled’ they say, so move on. This climate memorandum is nothing less than propaganda presented as fact by controller Fran. There is a critical debate to be had, so inquisitive people had better look elsewhere.

September 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

The BBC’s Naive View of the UN’s Climate Machine

Big Picture News | September 24, 2018

SPOTLIGHT: Bureaucracies put their trust in other bureaucracies.

BIG PICTURE: A few weeks back, Joanne Nova perfectly captured the position of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) regarding the scandalous UN entity known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

A recent internal document gives BBC journalists advice about how to report on climate matters. In Nova’s words, it declares that the “IPCC is God, can not be wrong.”

The document’s exact words:

What’s the BBC’s position?

  • Man-made climate change exists: If the science proves it we should report it. The BBC accepts that the best science on the issue is the IPCC’s position, set out above. [italics added]

Well, here’s the problem. The IPCC does not do science. The IPCC is a bureaucracy whose purpose is to write reports.

The primary function of those reports is to pave the way for UN climate treaties. A set of facts need to be agreed-upon by all parties in advance, so that negotiators can start from the same page.

IPCC reports get written by government-appointed scientists, according to predetermined guidelines. Portions of IPCC reports then get re-written by politicians, bureaucrats, and diplomats (in effect, this is an unofficial round of negotiating, in advance of the official negotiations that take place later).

International treaties are political instruments. The IPCC exists to make climate treaties possible. The ‘science’ involved has therefore been selected and massaged to serve a political purpose.

Let’s ditch the naiveté. How likely is it that experts appointed by governments that have spent billions fighting climate change, would conclude that man-made climate change doesn’t exist?

TOP TAKEAWAY: Journalists are part of a system of checks and balances that help keep governments and large organizations honest. The BBC is a huge bureaucracy. The geniuses running it have declared another bureaucracy – the UN’s IPCC – a font of scientific truth. How pathetic.

LINKS:

September 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Imagine if the BBC Were Honest

By Craig Murray | August 30, 2018

The BBC refuses to answer my Skripal questions to Mark Urban on the grounds they have no legal obligation, instead giving a “statement”. That correspondence follows below. But I want you first to imagine a World in which the BBC and Mark Urban were honest and independent, and imagine these were the answers to my questions:

1) When the Skripals were first poisoned, it was the largest news story in the entire World and you were uniquely positioned having held several meetings with Sergei Skripal the previous year. Yet faced with what should have been a massive career break, you withheld that unique information on a major story from the public for four months. Why?
My interviews with Sergei Skripal were on a strictly off the record basis and I felt honour bound not to mention them until I could obtain his permission.

2) You were an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment together with Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, who also lived in Salisbury. Have you maintained friendship with Miller over the years and how often do you communicate?
I had not heard from Pablo Miller for decades, since I left the army.

3) When you met Skripal in Salisbury, was Miller present all or part of the time, or did you meet Miller separately?
I did not meet Miller.

4) Was the BBC aware of your meetings with Miller and/or Skripal at the time?
Yes, with Skripal.

5) When, four months later, you told the world about your meetings with Skripal after the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you said you had met him to research a book. Yet the only forthcoming book by you advertised is on the Skripal attack. What was the subject of your discussions with Skripal?
A book on Russian intelligence.

6) Pablo Miller worked for Orbis Intelligence. Do you know if Miller contributed to the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump/Russia?
I don’t know.

7) Did you discuss the Trump dossier with Skripal and/or Miller?
No.

8) Do you know whether Skripal contributed to the Trump dossier?
No.

9) In your Newsnight piece following the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you stated that security service sources had told you that Yulia Skripal’s telephone may have been bugged. Since January 2017, how many security service briefings or discussions have you had on any of the matter above.
That was my only contact with the intelligence services on this matter.

Does anybody imagine that, if those were indeed the answers, Mark Urban and the BBC would not freely give those answers, and show up their accusers as “conspiracy theorists” with no foundation?

If those were the answers, they would be shouting them from the rooftops.

And indeed the BBC statement, while refusing to answer the questions directly, does give responses to questions 1, 4 and 5 which are along the lines of this outcome were they behaving honestly, though their phrasing does not carry conviction, especially on 1.

The questions the BBC has refused to address at all are all those related to Pablo Miller, UK intelligence services and the Steele Orbis dossier on Trump/Russia. That is an extremely telling omission. Their attempt to issue a statement rather than address the questions individually, is a deliberate ruse to disguise that.

On a balance of probabilities measure, I am willing to take the BBC’s refusal to answer these very specific questions as strong evidence that the Skripal case is indeed about Miller, Steele, Orbis and the Trump/Russia dossier. Furthermore the BBC knows that and is deliberately concealing the truth, and instead broadcasting evidence free nonsense about Russian agents, knowing that to be untrue. If that were not the case, it would take the BBC quite literally two minutes to give the answers above. There would be no downside for the BBC in giving those answers; indeed they would be vindicated to a sceptical public.

I asked you to imagine those answers were true. In asking us to imagine a better world, John Lennon told us “its easy if you try”. Sadly I find it is not easy. It is not easy to imagine a world in which Mark Urban is not a morally repugnant lying shill for the security services, that takes a very great deal of effort.

Here is the BBC statement and ensuing correspondence:

From: Matthew Hunter
Sent: 29 August 2018 09:42
To: ‘is’
Subject: BBC Newsnight

Dear Mr Murray,

Matt Hunter in the BBC News Press Team.

I understand you contacted Mark Urban on Monday with regards to meetings he had with Sergei Skripal. Some of the information you’ve requested we are not obliged to share as it is held for purposes of journalism, but I can provide you with a more general response regarding Mark’s meetings with Mr Skripal.

Mark Urban met with Sergei Skripal on a number of occasions last Summer in Salisbury and last spoke to him on the phone in August, 7 months before the poisoning. Mr Skripal agreed to speak to Mark to assist with his research for his latest book on post-Cold War espionage, it was not discussed with Mr Skripal whether the information would be used for the BBC ahead of the book being published. The relevant information gained from these interviews informed Newsnight’s coverage during the early days after the poisoning. Mr Urban reported his meetings with Mr Skripal on BBC Newsnight once the details of the book were made public in keeping with the understood terms of the interview. Mark Urban’s line managers were aware last year that he was working on a book and more specifically from 5th March this year that this work had included interviews with Mr Skripal.

I hope these details help clarify the situation.

Please note that all future journalistic enquiries should be made through the BBC Press Office (press.office@bbc.co.uk).

Thank you for your enquiry.

Best wishes
Matt

Matt Hunter – Publicist
BBC News & Current Affairs

——–

From: craig murray [mailto:craigmurray@mail.ru]
Sent: 29 August 2018 14:23
To: Matthew Hunter; Mark Urban
Subject: RE: BBC Newsnight

Dear Mr Hunter,

Thank you for your email. This is an important matter, which interests a great many people, as I am sure you are aware, and which has caused some damage to the reputation of the BBC.

You state that ” Some of the information you’ve requested we are not obliged to share as it is held for purposes of journalism”. My questions were not couched as an FOI request so that is a redundant provision, even if your broad interpretation of the FOIA were correct, which I dispute.

Your email then proceeds on the basis that you should not reveal anything unless you are legally obliged to do so. That seems a very strange stance for a public broadcast body to take. Whether or not you are legally obliged to do so, can I ask you to give the answer to these questions to Mr Urban, or in each case an explanation for why you refuse to give an answer voluntarily, even if legally unobliged.

What is at stake here is the BBC’s reputation for open and honest reporting, and this particular case has done a great deal to increase public distrust in the BBC. All of these are fair and relevant questions which have simple answers. Kindly address them individually.

My questions to Mark Urban:

1. When the Skripals were first poisoned, it was the largest news story in the entire World and you were uniquely positioned having held several meetings with Sergei Skripal the previous year. Yet faced with what should have been a massive career break, you withheld that unique information on a major story from the public for four months. Why?
2. You were an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment together with Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, who also lived in Salisbury. Have you maintained friendship with Miller over the years and how often do you communicate?
3. When you met Skripal in Salisbury, was Miller present all or part of the time, or did you meet Miller separately?
4. Was the BBC aware of your meetings with Miller and/or Skripal at the time?
5. When, four months later, you told the world about your meetings with Skripal after the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you said you had met him to research a book. Yet the only forthcoming book by you advertised is on the Skripal attack. What was the subject of your discussions with Skripal?
6. Pablo Miller worked for Orbis Intelligence. Do you know if Miller contributed to the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump/Russia?
7. Did you discuss the Trump dossier with Skripal and/or Miller?
8. Do you know whether Skripal contributed to the Trump dossier?
9. In your Newsnight piece following the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you stated that security service sources had told you that Yulia Skripal’s telephone may have been bugged. Since January 2017, how many security service briefings or discussions have you had on any of the matter above.

I look forward to your response,

Craig Murray

———-

From: Matthew Hunter
Sent: 29 August 2018 15:09
To: ‘craig murray’
Subject: RE: BBC Newsnight

I’m afraid we have no further comment beyond the statement provided earlier.

Many thanks,
Matt

———–

From: craig murray
Sent: 29 August 2018 18:22
To: Matthew Hunter
Subject: RE: BBC Newsnight

Oh, so it was a “statement” rather than a reply to my questions.

May I ask you who drafted the statement, who approved it, and who was consulted on it? The statement, incidentally, does not constitute journalism, so you do have a legal obligation to answer those questions.

Craig

August 30, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Skripals – When the BBC Hide the Truth

By Craig Murray | August 27, 2018

On 8 July 2018 a lady named Kirsty Eccles asked what, in its enormous ramifications, historians may one day see as the most important Freedom of Information request ever made. The rest of this post requires extremely close and careful reading, and some thought, for you to understand that claim.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

1: Why did BBC Newsnight correspondent Mark Urban keep secret from the licence payers that he had been having meetings with Sergei Skripal only last summer.

2: When did the BBC know this?

3: Please provide me with copies of all correspondence between yourselves and Mark Urban on the subject of Sergei Skripal.

Yours faithfully,

Kirsty Eccles

The ramifications of this little request are enormous as they cut right to the heart of the ramping up of the new Cold War, of the BBC’s propaganda collusion with the security services to that end, and of the concoction of fraudulent evidence in the Steele “dirty dossier”. This also of course casts a strong light on more plausible motives for an attack on the Skripals.

Which is why the BBC point blank refused to answer Kirsty’s request, stating that it was subject to the Freedom of Information exemption for “Journalism”.

10th July 2018
Dear Ms Eccles
Freedom of Information request – RFI20181319
Thank you for your request to the BBC of 8th July 2018, seeking the following information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000:
1: Why did BBC Newsnight correspondent Mark Urban keep secret from the licence payers that he
had been having meetings with Sergei Skripal only last summer.
2: When did the BBC know this?
3: Please provide me with copies of all correspondence between yourselves and Mark Urban on the
subject of Sergei Skripal.
The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of
‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you. Part VI
of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters
is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”. The
BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or
information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.

The BBC is of course being entirely tendentious here – “journalism” does not include the deliberate suppression of vital information from the public, particularly in order to facilitate the propagation of fake news on behalf of the security services. That black propaganda is precisely what the BBC is knowingly engaged in, and here trying hard to hide.

I have today attempted to contact Mark Urban at Newsnight by phone, with no success, and sent him this email:

To: mark.urban@bbc.co.uk

Dear Mark,

As you may know, I am a journalist working in alternative media, a member of the NUJ, as well as a former British Ambassador. I am researching the Skripal case.

I wish to ask you the following questions.

1) When the Skripals were first poisoned, it was the largest news story in the entire World and you were uniquely positioned having held several meetings with Sergei Skripal the previous year. Yet faced with what should have been a massive career break, you withheld that unique information on a major story from the public for four months. Why?
2) You were an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment together with Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, who also lived in Salisbury. Have you maintained friendship with Miller over the years and how often do you communicate?
3) When you met Skripal in Salisbury, was Miller present all or part of the time, or did you meet Miller separately?
4) Was the BBC aware of your meetings with Miller and/or Skripal at the time?
5) When, four months later, you told the world about your meetings with Skripal after the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you said you had met him to research a book. Yet the only forthcoming book by you advertised is on the Skripal attack. What was the subject of your discussions with Skripal?
6) Pablo Miller worked for Orbis Intelligence. Do you know if Miller contributed to the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump/Russia?
7) Did you discuss the Trump dossier with Skripal and/or Miller?
8) Do you know whether Skripal contributed to the Trump dossier?
9) In your Newsnight piece following the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you stated that security service sources had told you that Yulia Skripal’s telephone may have been bugged. Since January 2017, how many security service briefings or discussions have you had on any of the matter above.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Craig Murray

I should very much welcome others also sending emails to Mark Urban to emphasise the public demand for an answer from the BBC to these vital questions. If you have time, write your own email, or if not copy and paste from mine.

To quote that great Scot John Paul Jones, “We have not yet begun to fight”.

August 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment