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BBC Pushing WWF’s Anti Brexit Propaganda

July 16, 2016

By Paul Homewood   




Comrade Harrabin has been up to his tricks again, pumping out WWF’s anti Brexit propaganda:



Farmers and environmentalists alike are facing anxiety as the shadow of Brexit looms over Britain’s countryside.

Some farmers fear their subsidies will be axed, making farming unviable on poor quality land.

Campaigners worry that the new Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom may cut rules protecting wildlife.

A government spokesman said policy changes were impossible to predict, but that long-term nature protection was expected to proceed.

How that will be funded is a different matter. At the moment, farmers get about £3bn a year in subsidies, with the biggest farmers pocketing cheques of £1m.

The grants are mostly given for little more than owning land – but partly for taking care of wildlife.

The Leave campaign ruled out subsidy cuts until 2020. But since successive Conservative governments have sought to reduce farm payments overall and focus funds towards benefiting the environment and rural economy, farmers may expect their payments to shrink in the long run.


Outside influence

The pro-hunting Ms Leadsom represents a largely rural constituency in South Northamptonshire with many farming voters.

But in a speech, she hinted at a change in grants, saying: "Some of the things that would make sense would be environmental trading credits, because at the moment you have farmers who have to do a bit of environmental planning and a bit of farming just to meet the EU requirements.

"It would make so much more sense if those with the big fields do the sheep, and those with the hill farms do the butterflies."

Brexit raises this possibility and many others – because the EU currently exerts a massive influence on UK environment policy.

Standards set in Brussels have led to massive UK improvements in water quality, beaches and the efficiency of appliances like vacuum cleaners.

The head of WWF UK, David Nussbaum, for instance, told BBC News: "We have all benefited hugely by EU rules making sure that we can now swim off the coast with a reasonable certainty that we won’t be swimming in human faeces."

There are demanding standards on air quality, too, which the UK might be ignoring, if left to its own devices. And EU directives have also added an extra layer of protection for birds and habitats.Mr Nussbaum warns: "


‘Mighty battle’

 There will be one mighty battle if the government uses Brexit to try to reduce standards on the environment.

"Why should we in the UK have a worse environment than our neighbours? The most rational negotiating position with the EU is for us to say we will simply accept the body of EU environmental law unchanged."

Keeping the existing framework would leave the possibility that people could continue to take court action against the government if it’s thought to be backsliding on commitments.

The WWF, Angling Trust and Fish Legal, for instance took ministers to court successfully last year after they dragged their feet on cleaning up watercourses.

The farming industry has other priorities following Brexit. The National Farmers Union (NFU) President Meurig Raymond, for instance, said the NFU was embarking it’s biggest membership consultation for a lifetime.

He said: "Many issues need addressing immediately. We need a simpler application process (for grants). There are many uncertainties to overcome – trade agreements, labour, financial support, legislation are all up in the air."


Radical approach

The Country Landowners’ Association are urging "a new food, farming and environmental policy to succeed and better the Common Agricultural Policy".

And on the environmental side, contesting ideas are also jostling to be heard in the post-Brexit land of risk and opportunity.

Should the government, for instance, heed established environment groups like the WWF and RSPB, and continue to plough cash into schemes protecting the current list of farmland species.

Or should it take the radical re-wilding approach proposed by campaigners like George Monbiot, and allow nature to reclaim the heavily-subsidised uplands?

The Conservative Party manifesto committed to "imposing a long-term plan to restore UK biodiversity within 25 years", and a Defra source said work was expected to continue towards that goal. But there may be debate over what restoring biodiversity actually means.

Ms Leadsom has shown herself to a plain-talker unafraid to express controversial ideas. We shouldn’t be surprised if the countryside looks rather different in coming decades.

And there’s a big question too about countryside policy in the nations. They currently run their own subsidy regimes with cash from Brussels, so Brexit will mean huge decisions for them.


Of course there may be big changes in UK farming policies, and many farmers would argue there should be. It is, for instance, generally accepted amongst the farming community that the CAP is a hopelessly unwieldy, bureaucratic nightmare, which often fails to channel money where it is most needed.

For some reason, Harrabin does not think it relevant to mention this. The idea that the UK should be able, democratically, to determine its own set of policies, rather than be compelled to enforce Brussels’ agenda, largely designed to keep the French happy, does not seem to have entered his head.

  1. Patsy Lacey permalink
    July 16, 2016 12:07 pm

    I used to be an avid fan of Countryfile but gave up in disgust after it became another media arm of the EU via the BBC.
    It is perhaps time that DEFA got its act together in preparation for having to take decisions on farming policy instead of merely passing the buck from farmer to EU and vice versa. Apparently their inefficient and ineffective systems are responsible for a backlog of payments of £25 million to thousands of farmers. It is ironic that the biggest bureaucratic organisation of them all, the EU is levying penalties on DEFRA.
    Also of late the heavily politicised RSPB seems more focused on chasing down EU grants than on practical conservation.

  2. BLACK PEARL permalink
    July 16, 2016 12:25 pm

    BBC and other media broadcasters still acting out project fear on Brexit or otherwise, as though there is still a game to be won

  3. Oliver K. Manuel permalink
    July 16, 2016 12:45 pm

    BBC, the EU and the UN foolishly created false “scientific information” to control the public.

    “To know that you don’t know is best; the pretend to know what you do not know is a disease.”

    • July 17, 2016 12:13 am

      Five graduate students and I discovered neutron repulsion in exact rest masses of the 3,000 types of atoms that comprise all matter in 2000.

      Neutron repulsion was:
      1. Presented at the 2001 Lunar Science Conference as the source of solar energy;
      2. Peer-reviewed and published in 2001-2003 in Journals of Fusion Energy & Radio-Analytical and Nuclear Chemistry;
      3. Published with Professors Barry Ninham and Stig Friberg as the cause of solar eruptions and climate change;
      4. Confirmed by a detailed examination of other nuclear properties in 2003 and again published in the Journal of Fusion Energy.

  4. Tim Hammond permalink
    July 16, 2016 12:58 pm

    I particularly enjoyed this section:

    “Standards set in Brussels have led to massive UK improvements in water quality, beaches and the efficiency of appliances like vacuum cleaners.

    The head of WWF UK, David Nussbaum, for instance, told BBC News: “We have all benefited hugely by EU rules making sure that we can now swim off the coast with a reasonable certainty that we won’t be swimming in human faeces.”

    Because let to ourselves, we would just swim in crap. And have rubbish hoovers.

    How will we cope without all those enlightened geniuses in Brussels helping us out?

    • July 16, 2016 1:13 pm

      It is incredible that many countries outside of the EU have dramatically improved their environment over the past fifty years. However, without the EU, we alone would revert to the standards of say 1875, or the Eastern bloc in 1975.

      • AlecM permalink
        July 16, 2016 2:03 pm

        Yup: I fondly remember my childhood when at certain states of the tide I had to wade through fresh turds on Portobello beach near Edinburgh and behind the breakwater at Newhaven!

        The risk of polio? We kids were brave……

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        July 17, 2016 7:05 pm

        When I was at college in Edinburgh “Seeing a friend off to Portobello Beach” was a well known euphemism

    • Stonyground permalink
      July 16, 2016 5:42 pm

      These would be the same bright sparks who think that we can save the planet by using kettles that use half as much energy for twice as long.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        July 16, 2016 11:01 pm

        I’m afraid you don’t understand the omnipotence of the legislators in Brussels, Stonyground.

        The EU Kommissars will rewrite the laws of thermodynamics to mandate that 500 watts of electricity will produce one thousand watts of heat.

        The EU bureaucrats are clever like that!

  5. Derek Buxton permalink
    July 16, 2016 1:32 pm

    Harrabin has never had an idea of his own, ever. He is just a mouthpiece for WWF, Greenpeace and the other people killers. It is strange though that such a one does not complain about the bird mincers supported by the RSPB, another fake green charity

  6. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 16, 2016 2:10 pm

    What has happened to that massive Complaint that went to the BBC, inter alia showing up Harrabin as biased and anti science?

  7. Vanessa permalink
    July 16, 2016 2:32 pm

    I wouldn’t worry. Scotland will NEVER agree to Article 50 being invoked so it will never happen. This PM is trying to find ANY excuse NOT to take Britain out of the EU. Should not be a surprise. Her choice of cabinet ministers looks as if she has set them up to fail. Then she will go to Brussels and eat humble pie and BEG to be taken back into the fold. B…!

  8. Stonyground permalink
    July 16, 2016 5:45 pm

    I don’t think so Vanessa. UKIP are still around, and the government are fully aware that UKIP would win the next election by a landslide if they defaulted on Brexit.

    • Alan permalink
      July 18, 2016 9:22 am

      I think May is a very shrewed cookie. I think is is entirely possible that she may use Sturgeon as a very effective delaying tactic for Article 50, hoping that public opinion may turn i the meantime. “Oh, I know there was a majority wishing to leave, and I really want to follow through on that, and I will – honest, but only after all of the UK agrees” i.e. when hell freezes over. The electorate in the UK, on the whole, are stupid (I am one of them) and tend to believe an awful lot of crap that is fed to them (er, Global warming anyone?) and I can see them being persuaded to stick with Theresa, who will get there…. at some point….. honest.

  9. July 16, 2016 11:17 pm

    We’ve all paid for this WWF anti-Brxit PR campaign, cos it’s being done thru BBC’s Harra
    ..He really doesn’t give a toss about the charter and impartiality
    ..He just uses the BBC photocopier to pump out masses of Greenblob propaganda
    .. whilst gatekeeping against views that challenge the GreenBlob.

  10. ghostwhowalksnz permalink
    July 16, 2016 11:49 pm

    I noticed the byline says BBC environment analyst. Does that mean that ‘journalist’ standards dont apply ?
    But I see he is available for outside work via the Gordon Poole Agency

  11. July 17, 2016 7:25 am

    Despite Cardinal Harrabin’s headline, there is no Brexit anxiety in my bit of the countryside – on the contrary, there is much rejoicing and celebratory merry-making.

    • July 17, 2016 10:32 pm

      Still got my Brexit smile.
      Still got my ‘DECC abolished’ smile.

      Cheer up a Guardian Zombie (Gombie) by greeting them with Good Btrexit instead of Good Morning

  12. S Allnutt permalink
    July 17, 2016 7:33 am

    Harrabin is a graduate in English and therefore is better at creative writing than scientific analysis.

  13. Oliver K. Manuel permalink
    July 17, 2016 7:25 pm

    Yes, catweazle666, they magically made entropy increase as interstellar clouds of hydrogen collapsed into stars and fused:

    H => He => C => O => . . . Fe => neutron stars => black holes

Comments are closed.

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