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BBC Meet Extinction Rebellion–To Discuss Editorial Coverage

July 19, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier



Two days ago, BBC One screened a full length documentary on Extinction Rebellion:






The programme was clearly intended to give XR the appearance of being a serious and sizeable organisation. Just note that opening introduction:

“A huge new global protest movement”

XR are very secretive about how many members they have, but the actual numbers involved in protests on the streets have been miniscule. For instance, a protest in Sheffield in April attracted only about 20 people.



Significantly the programme notes state the BBC reporter was with with XR for months leading up to the April protests:

In this timely and powerful documentary, reporter Ben Zand gains access to the most important of the protest groups, Extinction Rebellion. He is with them for four months as they build towards “the rebellion” – 11 days of protest in April during which they take over and occupy four iconic locations in London. 

Yet XR only appeared on the public scene in October 2018, when they held their first protest in London. So Ben Zand patently was not responding to an already existent phenomenon. Instead the BBC wanted him in at the very outset, in order to give them the publicity they desperately needed.

We have already seen how Roger Harrabin has been keen to give unjustified prominence to both XR and the school kids climate strikes, in order to give the impression that they are both widespread, popular movements, and not the Rag, Tag and Bobtail outfits which they really are.



The nature of this hand in glove relationship is made clear, with the news from XR that yesterday they met BBC senior management to discuss the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

BBC meeting

The meeting, organised by Director General Sir Tony Hall, will examine the BBC’s approach to reporting on the crisis and how it can lead the way with a suitably urgent response. The BBC will be represented by Controller of Factual Commissioning Alison Kirkham; Head of Specialist Factual and Natural History Commissioning Tom McDonald; News & Current Affairs Editor James Stephenson; and Director of Editorial Policy and Standards David Jordan.

Representing Extinction Rebellion UK will be: Cofounder Dr Gail Bradbrook; Extinction Rebellion Youth Outreach and Logistics Coordinator Daze Aghaji; Media Tell The Truth Campaign Coordinators Jon Fuller and Donnachadh McCarthy; plus Media and Messaging Coordinator Ronan McNern.

Extinction Rebellion representative Daze Aghaji said: “The BBC has started making an attempt but we’re still nowhere near where we need to be in terms of reporting in the midst of this crisis. I urge the BBC to keep young people and our future in their minds as they think about programming. We must show integrity in the face of the climate crisis, together we must tell the truth about this emergency now.”


This is utterly disgraceful. Why is Tony Hall even prepared for his senior management team to meet this self appointed bunch of eco loons, never mind discuss how the BBC should be reporting on climate change?

Would he be meeting with sceptics who believe that the BBC’s approach on climate matters is already far too extreme, and is failing to give viewers a properly balanced coverage? I think we know the answer to that!

  1. Paul Kolk permalink
    July 19, 2019 11:38 am

    It’s the church of climate scientology. You MUST all believe……..

  2. It doesn't add up... permalink
    July 19, 2019 11:41 am

    Thank you for drawing attention to this. I rather suspected that the BBC XR programme was in fact meant to be a broadcast tutorial in how to become an ecoterrorist, applying Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Now it transpires that the DG himself is a terrorist sympathiser. Surely that is incompatible with his position?

  3. Pancho Plail permalink
    July 19, 2019 11:43 am

    I can only agree. Quite disgraceful. But only just over 11 years to go before they are proved beyond doubt to be charlatans at best.
    On a more encouraging note, the Met Police (Metropolitan, not Meteorological) are not going to give them an easy ride in the next protest.

  4. Athelstan. permalink
    July 19, 2019 12:04 pm

    the beeb joined the kult!

    HMG-EU and their media lackies, when are they going to commence forced drinking of the green poisoned – Kool Aid?

    Who could put it past them, we know that some would, cheering in, inviting catastrophe to the extent of smashing and demolishing the western model.

    “extinction” that is what they would do.

  5. tom0mason permalink
    July 19, 2019 12:06 pm

    If this BBC piece does shout BIAS! then little does.
    It is not a dispassionate report on who and what XR is, it is full blown propaganda!

    Even the promo is propaganda “Ben Zand gains access to the most important of the protest groups, Extinction Rebellion.”

    Ben Zand inflates these easily led idiots to “… most important of the protest groups” — NO! you dork Zand, they are unthinking sock-puppets commanded by dangerous communist idealogs. IMO these people would be better employed cleaning up the environment (beaches, streets, and woodlands), or going to the Scottish islands counting rats, puffins, terns, and sandeels.

    • July 19, 2019 1:57 pm

      Or counting the number of bars on their prison cell doors 😆

  6. Phoenix44 permalink
    July 19, 2019 12:27 pm

    There is clear evidence that the leadership of Extinction Rebellion are not really Greens, but a small number of deluded anarchists intent on overthrowing capitalism. That is the intelligence not just from “official” sources but others I know in private firms who work for threatened businesses.

    To treat what is little more than 10-20 middle-class imbeciles playing at revolution as a serious movement is astonishing. They are extremists with extreme views on what is actually happening to the climate, even if you are signed up to the full IPCC views on Climate Change. So-called Climate Denier have a far better case on climate than these people, yet they are treated by the BBC as if they heroes.


  7. Stonyground permalink
    July 19, 2019 12:28 pm

    “Extinction Rebellion: Last chance to save the world?”

    Betteridge of the day. If a news headline ends with a question mark, the answer to the question is always no.

  8. GeoffB permalink
    July 19, 2019 1:13 pm

    The parliamentary debate on BBC bias was a farce….It was bundled with the TV licence for over 75s. About 5 minutes on bias …the rest on the licence…. conclusion..What a great institution the BBC is, we should be proud .

    • tom0mason permalink
      July 19, 2019 6:46 pm

      As Mr. Osborn made it clear in a budget speech many years ago it’s not truly a license fee but a household tax that goes into the general taxation pot, the BBC then negotiates how much they should get from this taxation.

      By the way the ‘TV Licensing®©’ is not a legal entity, it is just a copyrighted piece of artwork and BBC registered brand name, and it allows the people contracted to collect the tax fee (usually Capita) to use it. Anyone who gets to go to court for ‘tax evasion’ via not paying the ‘license’ fee soon finds this out.

      • Duker permalink
        July 20, 2019 9:52 am

        The Communications Act 2003 specifically calls it a TV license fee
        “363 Licence required for use of TV receiver
        (1)A television receiver must not be installed or used unless the installation and use of the receiver is authorised by a licence under this Part.
        2)A person who installs or uses a television receiver in contravention of subsection (1) is guilty of an offence……etc

        Osborne may well have said what he likes but the reality is spelt out in the legislation not the forked tongue of a former Chancellor

        ‘The Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 define what is a ‘television set.’ The regulations also set out the various types of TV Licence, the criteria for obtaining them, the fees payable for them (including the frequency and amount of instalments) and the different concessions available, including concessions for people who are blind (severely sight impaired), people who are over 74 years of age, people who live in residential care and people who run hotels, guesthouses or campsites.”

      • tom0mason permalink
        July 20, 2019 11:23 am

        That may be so that you consider this a ‘license’ fee BUT the Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Osborn said that it was a TAX and little else. Considering that Firearms licensing fees, Gambling Commission’s operating licence fees, Driving licence fees, Marine licences, Communications licence fees, and therefore British Broadcasting Corporation Television Licence Fee, are all forms of indirect taxation.
        It is at the discretion of the BBC who get reduced charges (blind, over 74y.o., psychologically/ mentally abnormal, etc.) — this was push by G. Osborn as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
        Changes to the law also means that ALL devices (currently made and any in the future) including phones and computers that can receive BBC broadcasts via it’s iPlayer MUST be ‘licensed’. Note that it matters not that you do not watch the BBC, it is that you can receive the signal that matters. (see )
        Also see for a more on the TV ‘license’ tax and what has happened in parliament over the years.

        Also of note is —
        From the government document —

        2. Everyone in the UK who watches or records television programmes as they are broadcast must be covered by a valid TV licence, and, since September 2016, so must anyone watching or downloading BBC content on iPlayer. This includes residential households, businesses, hotels and student accommodation.2 In June 2016, there were just over 26 million licensed premises, with the TV licence fee representing £3.74 billion (78%) of the BBC’s overall £4.83 billion income in 2015–16.


        3 Legacy ICT systems
        Upgrading legacy ICT systems

        16. The BBC has had a long-standing ambition to improve its main TV licensing databases so that they are structured by individual customers rather than households.45 However, this has not been achieved. We asked the BBC and Capita about their failure to deliver improvements to legacy ICT systems. Capita had partly subcontracted the delivery of these improvements to CSC Computer Sciences Limited (CSC).46

        In otherword the BBC desire is to TAX, via the License fee, every individual in the UK.

  9. Adrian permalink
    July 19, 2019 1:18 pm

    Sorry, and who paid for the reporter, the film crew, the management etc etc?

    Oops silly question, all of you who keeping paying their voluntary licence fee obviously.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 19, 2019 1:58 pm

      Hall has said that they might have to consider subscription when the licence fee next comes up for renewal…..

    • Paul H permalink
      July 19, 2019 2:26 pm

      Adrian, please inform us of the way you don’t pay your BBC Licence fee and how you avoid court action. Thanks

      • July 19, 2019 3:23 pm

        Any one can opt out of paying TV Licence

        No TV? Not watching live TV on any channel, or BBC programmes on iPlayer? Empty property? You can let us know here.

      • Adrian permalink
        July 19, 2019 4:59 pm

        I watch amazon and netflix plus, once in a blue moon online catch up services except bbc, after all there is simply nothing, nothing at all, on their channels I would want to watch.

        There is a co-axial cable plugged into your TV, unplug it, job done.

      • adrian permalink
        July 19, 2019 5:03 pm

        Sorry you might need either a ‘smart tv’ or ‘box’ of some variety. There’s an ample choice.

  10. LeedsChris permalink
    July 19, 2019 1:22 pm

    So here’s an idea. If the XR brigade want us, a country that generates 1 per cent of the world’s man made CO2 emissions, to take a lead and reduce our emissions to zero, how about they show leadership? Greens get about 1 per cent of the vote in the UK. What about all green voters and XR people voluntarily ceasing to use all fossil fuels, plastics, cars, computers, internet, take flights etc. Nothing to stop them. Wish the media would challenge them on this.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 19, 2019 1:54 pm

      The bonus of banning them from plastics means we can stop their water supply as it flows through nice blue PVC pipes. And of course they can’t even have renewable electricity – all that plastic insulation on the cables, no,no, no!

      • tom0mason permalink
        July 19, 2019 5:58 pm

        And er, their sewage goes through plastic piping. So they’d better start digging latrines, eh?

    • sassycoupleok permalink
      July 19, 2019 3:01 pm

      Great point, if they are such deep believers, let them lead the way.

  11. Dave Ward permalink
    July 19, 2019 1:27 pm

    “Controller of Factual Commissioning Alison Kirkham”

    She must have the easiest job in the Beeb…

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 19, 2019 1:51 pm

      At the BBC some words must have a completely different meaning…..

      • John Palmer permalink
        July 20, 2019 10:55 am

        The Mad Hatter would feel entirely at home in the Beeb.
        Whatever it is that they’re taking, I want none of it!

  12. Barbara Elsmore permalink
    July 19, 2019 3:29 pm

    See pages 25-29 for the tactics used by ExR to gain recruits to their cause.

    Click to access Extremism-Rebellion.pdf

  13. Ex BBC newsman permalink
    July 19, 2019 4:04 pm

    Mystified that no one in politics appears to be tackling this rapidly unfolding Orewelliopia. EU as a tool for the destruction of democracy is so yesterday. This is where it’s at now and renders all that went before insignifant. This is HUGE and seemingly unstoppable.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      July 20, 2019 9:50 am

      John McDonnell was marching with them yesterday

    • July 20, 2019 11:57 am

      Unless a newspaper or media organisation does a complete about face and goes full on sceptic, this will be unstoppable. But if the antics of XR enrage the public enough, it would be a shrewd editor who capitalized on the vast reserves of good, non alarmist science that can be properly put before the public. Then we might see a return to some sense of proportionality. Of course it might just get colder very quickly, and they’ll just disappear.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      July 21, 2019 9:39 am

      Possibly no mystery. Politicians are behind it.
      Funny how this lot & the school strike mob, have popped out of the woodwork at the same time, along with the media being instructed to change the name from “Climate Change”, to “Climate Crisis”.
      Somebody’s working hard behind the scenes an this.

  14. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 19, 2019 4:51 pm

    When an organisation starts having ‘facts’ and ‘standards’ in job titles, it tells you a great deal.

    Anyway, is anyone surprised – C/File was promoting ultra animal extremists a short while back.

    The BBC is now in the thrall of extremists – be in no doubt.

  15. Tim Crome permalink
    July 19, 2019 6:36 pm

    What’s the F word doing in these job titles?

    “The BBC will be represented by Controller of Factual Commissioning Alison Kirkham; Head of Specialist Factual and Natural History Commissioning Tom McDonald”

    Is it to try and convince the public that, honest gov., we’re telling the truth?

    • Gas Geezer permalink
      July 19, 2019 8:03 pm

      If the BBC say it’s factual then surely it must be true , only a cynic could think otherwise.

  16. Guy Beebe permalink
    July 19, 2019 10:45 pm

    The greatest threat to human civilization is these thinly veiled powerplays, couched in terms of a “Plan to Save the World”.

  17. July 20, 2019 4:57 am

    XR seem more and more to be anarchists, fearless and indifferent to anyone’s pain

  18. July 20, 2019 9:54 am

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  19. Adam Gallon permalink
    July 21, 2019 3:31 pm

    I’ve e-mailed my MP, to ask why this small group, is accessing the BBC this way & if they’re receiving payment from the BBC too. Pointing out that they are being regarded as a potential terrorist group.

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