Sunday 13 October 2019

ALK on XR and the BBC

A.L. Kennedy, award-winning novelist and regular speaker on Radio 4's A Point of View, has had a pop at the BBC, but her echo chamber has been broken into. Will she listen?

Here's a glimpse on the action:

A.L.KennedyIf you are - like many of us - deeply disappointed by BBC coverage (what coverage?) of XR and examination (what examination?) of climate change issues then you may wish to complain. It's easy, there's a website.
Rob Burley: This tweet makes me feel I must have hallucinated the past seven days. We covered XR on the news and on programmes too. Politics Live did it two days in a row and The Andrew Neil Show gave a big chunk of the show to an interview with XR. Was it all a dream?
David Banks (to ALK): You haven’t been watching the bulletins I have then. They were all over the news. Andrew Neil had them on to his prime time show to discuss the issue.
A.L.Kennedy (to DB): I'd have preferred an even handed journalist. I love the BBC with all my heart but News & Current Affairs have done them so much harm and alarm so many within the corporation. It's another national tragedy.
Will Leader (to ALK): Andrew Neil is probably the most respected and impartial interviewer on TV. He's famous for his research and forensic questioning. XR were exposed for making claims not supported by science.
Duncan Hess (to ALK): The key here, I think, is to maybe watch, or listen to, the output. Break out of
that bubble, the air’s remarkably fresh.
A.L.Kennedy (to DH): Oddly, that's the way I came to my conclusions... And I've lived long enough and traveled far enough to have seen much better.
A.L.Kennedy (to Rob Burley: I wish it had been a dream. But instead it was superficial, mildly to very misleading and less coverage than an average day's celebrity gossip. Media coverage of Brexit is simply gossip pre-spun by No 10. Coverage of a world changing cascade of calamities..? Same old same old.
Rob Burley (to ALK): Your original tweet (“what coverage?”) implied a lack of coverage rather than unhappiness with the nature of it. We can argue that point but it’s a different one.
BlackhandMedia Trust (to ALK and Rob Burley): I finish work at 10am. The BBC News Channel covered XR every hour. I should know I have it on in the background. Tired of ppl posting they do not cover when they bloody did. I am neutral. I dont usually care. But stop lying. They covered it loads.
Brian Toller: You will never cover subjects like this enough for obsessives unless it's the lead on every news, regular one hour specials and a plot line in every drama and soap. Then they'll still ask why it's not on the cake and dancing shows.

I think that last point is spot-on. Despite the BBC bending over backwards to please climate change campaigners over the past decade and more, it's still not enough. Despite XR campaigners being invited onto Question Time, The Andrew Neil Show and Politics Live, it's still not enough. I suspect XR want exactly what Brian says they want and when the BBC gives in they will go on asking for more and more.


  1. AL Kennedy is that weirdo allowed on Radio 4 to pontificate for 15 mins in the Personal View slot - along with other weirdos like sometime heroin and coke addict Will Self (the guy who questioned Mark Francois about his genitalia - imagine the reaction if he'd done that to a woman or a gay). "Lefty liberals only need apply, though we'll let Scruton on once in a blue moon."

  2. XR activism has reached the Anglican church. Rev Andy McCosh has written alternative words to "All things bright and beautiful" - used at one of today's harvest festival services. Here are the new words:

    All things bright and beautiful
    All creatures great and small
    Unless we're more responsible
    We could well lose them all

    A wind of change is blowing
    the warning bells have rung
    Now acid rain is falling
    And climate change begun

    The tree-denuded mountains
    Polluted river beds
    The plastic in our oceans
    Are things that we should dread

    The storms are getting greater
    The floods grow huge and strong
    We can't leave things till later
    As we don't have that long

    The chopping down of forests
    The sacking of our seas
    The blowing of the tempests
    Will bring us to our knees

    We've eyes to see injustice
    And lips we'll use to tell
    If we don't work to stop this
    We could be doomed as well

    The XR message is unrelentingly negative and destructive of society's self-belief. Children have become the battleground for activists to take a pot at almost everyone with predictions of gloom and doom - to the extent that they are denied the traditional wording of an uplifting hymn.

  3. I am currently in the thick of a similar situation with our local paper who has, at best, been 'sympathetic' to XR PR with little actual cautionary reporting. Recently they were very proud of getting a protest crowd out, and asked for opinion. It came back mixed, between 'on XR message', and off. Mine was one of the latter. I have been since 2018 when I read the XR manifesto.

    So the paper decided to do an op-ed on old people trying to spoil things for da kidz. This got me in some further hot water with the local XR acolytes, who were published in all their inaccurate ranting glory last week.

    Credit the paper that they have offered me right of reply, which I am taking, but they unleashed the hounds on me and I am beyond livid.

    Now I know what a BBC ambush interviewee feels like.

    Sadly I, like their victims, do not have security and bunker like Rob and gang.

    The media needs to learn it has responsibilities it appears to have forgotten.

    Ironic as they join the likes of Jess and Angela on their high horses about tonality. When it suits.

    1. I'm rather a fan of local papers, what few of them are left in the shadow of the BBC near-monopoly on local news, but that sounds grim Peter, and grimly familiar. We had a rag like that in Morecambe a while ago.

      The barking of the hounds is getting ever louder and the media is ever more abjectly prostrating themselves at their sharp-clawed paws. The BBC is already running scared of the trans lobby, the Islamophobia lobby and the old eco-warrior lobby, among so many others. These XRated Extinction Rebels are, unfortunately, aiming at a feebly-defended open goal. The BBC is already indulging them.

      Good luck in your tussle.

    2. The image of the BBC as a bent goalkeeper deliberately letting goals in rather describes the situation I think.

      There is very little of democracy left if free speech is binned.

  4. @moonrakin reckons Reach plc Britains biggest newspaper publisher
    have now started a comment-blackout on all articles about XR

    Well XR do tend to get a hammering in online comments underneath newspaper articles.

  5. Dear BBC, You never broadcast any scientific opinion that disputes 'climate change'.

    Dear Listener/Viewer, Thank you for your complaint. It just goes to show that we get complaints from both sides so we 'must have got it just about right'.

  6. Craig (my comments on Mac/Blogger only appear via desktop and at the end of thread), thanks for the good wishes.

    I too value(d) local news, so long as they stuck to advertising fetes and local issues, preferably impartially.

    Ours is the only one in the village, with one in the big town and BBC H&W on radio. All have vied to promote XR, uncritically, from the off.

    I became concerned about their Letters page a while ago over Brexit. Our council is now Lib/Green dominated after Mayhemnacht and I started seeing anonymous quotes and letters published from oddly partisan sources that I called into question.

    Much Robinsonesque huffing and puffing about impartiality and independence, but after the BBC, I can smell a #1degreeofseparation PRasnews punt waved through by complicit editorial in a heartbeat now.

    Crunch day tomorrow. I need to submit by 10am. I wonder if those poised to att... 'reply' again may get a preview and later deadline?


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