10. Nov, 2017

10.11.17...BLAME THE BEEB


I have often been asked why my "go to" source for news and information is the BBC.

My answer is provided by the political allegiances of those who ask. Those on the left invariably accuse it of bias towards the right and those on the right invariably accuse it of bias towards the left. What better qualifications could there be?

This stands in stark contrast to an editor like Paul Dacre who would surely be offended if it was suggested that the Daily Mail supported any but the Conservative Party.

However, the search for impartiality creates its own pitfalls and dilemmas. Earlier in the year a radio debate was staged over the validity of Climate Change and global warming.

Now even as the most fervent of deniers will surely admit, 97% of the scientific community accept the thesis, which would  put him  into the flat-earther class of intellectual minorities.

The arguments for climate change were given from the overwhelmingly specialist point of view. The case was clearly argued from an unbiased source, based on stated evidence. Then came the problem. In the interests of balance the producer presented the deniers' point of view but gave it as much prominence as the former despite it being from such a minority's angle.

And who was invited to give that opposing point of view? A highly qualified, climate scientist, basing his scepticism on a life time of meticulous research in his chosen field? An individual with no personal axe to grind? No, none other than ex Conservative chancellor, Nigel Lawson!

Nigel Lawson! A caricature of the white, middle class male whose wealth is based upon profits from a capitalist system powered by fossil fuels! What an unbiased expert!

So Nigel, there you are about to take off on a plane with all your nearest and dearest, but there is a problem. The aircraft has been surrounded by a hundred employees of the airline. Ninety-seven of them are either pilots or flight engineers. They refuse to move stating that in their collective professional opinion, the aircraft is in no condition to fly and is downright dangerous.

Don't fret, however, Nigel, you need not miss your flight. The remaining three employees assure you that the aircraft is perfectly safe and that the others are exaggerating the danger for their own (unstated) ends. After all the three should know what they are talking about. Have they not worked at the airport for years...as baggage handlers?

The demonstrators are eventually removed and the aircraft cleared for take off. So, Nigel, whose advice will you take...that of the of the 97% highly qualified aviation experts and stay on the ground or that of the unqualified 3% and take off into the wide blue yonder?

Your preference for taking a chance on minority points of view certainly explains much about your career as Chancellor of the Exchequer and of those of your establishment Climate Change denying cronies!