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Andrew Neil: BBC and Sky are acting as the ‘PR department of Greenpeace’

November 17, 2021

By Paul Homewood


h/t Harry Passfield


The BBC and other broadcasters have become “the PR department of Greenpeace” with their coverage of climate change, Andrew Neil has claimed.

The former BBC and GB News presenter also said British broadcasters had colluded in the “conspiracy theory” that the Kremlin helped Donald Trump to win the presidency of the United States, and refused to tell the truth about the origins of Covid-19.

In a speech to a media forum, Mr Neil took a swipe at his most recent employer, GB News, saying the station had become a “Ukip tribute band”.

Addressing media coverage of the environment, he said: “In covering climate change, we are no longer journalists – we are basically the PR department of Greenpeace. You don’t need to be a global warming sceptic to challenge what’s coming out.”

He also encouraged people to "look at the BBC and Sky" and coverage of the foreign minister of Tuvalu.

"He does a press conference [at Cop26] standing in water to make out his islands are about to go under," Mr Neil said.

“Nobody pointed out there was a report that came out in 2018 which showed, in the last four years, the land mass in his island has increased by 70 hectares. Wasn’t that worth looking at? But, no, we just did it as a piece of PR.”

Speaking to the Freeview Outside the Box conference, Mr Neil said that the BBC, Sky and US broadcasters “peddled, basically, conspiracy theories for two-and-a-half years that Mr Trump had only got to the White House because the Kremlin was behind him”.

He went on: “For the first year or so of the Covid crisis, if you raised questions that there was more to it than just coincidence that Wuhan and Covid were in the same place, you were a sinophobe, a conspiracy theorist, and you weren’t allowed to get on to the mainstream media. It’s quite clear now that Wuhan played a major part.

"If we want to be referees, if we want to be gatekeepers to call ‘the nutters’ to account – and there are plenty on the Right and the Left, the anti-vaxxers and all the rest, we need to get our own house in order.”

The BBC and Sky declined to comment.

‘Biggest single mistake of my career’

Mr Neil also addressed his acrimonious departure from GB News. He has one last television job in him, he said, because “I don’t want GB News to be a full stop in my broadcasting career”.

GB News timeline

Joining the station was “the biggest single mistake of my career”, he said. The launch was a “shambles” and there was a danger that the station will now “just slide into irrelevance and obscurity”.

Asked if GB News had succeeded in filling a gap in the market, Mr Neil replied: “To fill a gap, you have to have an audience.”


The saddest thing here is that Andrew Neil does not appear to have realised that the whole point of GB News has been to challenge this left wing consensus, and it sits badly on him now that he is slagging it off.

Sure, they could have been a lot more professional. But, hey, they are a new start up – does he expect miracles.

It is content that counts, Mr Neil, not slick.

For him to return to the same BBC that he quite rightly criticises surely shows how confused he really is.

After all, what is worst? A genetically biased MSM, or an underfunded, amateurish challenger, who are actually prepared to tell the truth?

  1. Harry Davidson permalink
    November 17, 2021 9:51 pm

    Even the BBC can prove it is always capable of a new nadir.

    • November 17, 2021 10:33 pm

      Harry, it wound me up enough to write a point-by-point rebuttal at Cliscep:

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        November 17, 2021 11:00 pm

        Thanks Jit for putting in the effort. When I saw the article I just sighed and gave up – it was just too much BS propaganda to take on. Who on earth Rachel Schraer & Kayleen Devlin think they are to produce such dross is beyond me.
        As a secondary point I am trying to write a novel at the moment….bloody hard work isn’t it!

      • Ardy permalink
        November 18, 2021 12:37 am

        JIT, excellent repost to the madness but like our ABC, there is no longer any comments section.

      • November 18, 2021 8:06 am

        Ray, you probably know what you’re doing, but I think the best way to make progress is to force yourself to sit down at the same time every day, read back what you did yesterday and edit it, then add more. On good days this might add a few thousand words, on bad days a few sentences or even nothing more than improving the day before’s – but each day gets you closer to the goal.

        When it’s finished, print it, put it in a shoebox, wait 6 weeks, then read it with a fresh eye to see how good it is.

      • Harry Davidson permalink
        November 18, 2021 10:17 am

        Ray, thank you for that reply and I read your comprehensive de-construction of their nonsense. You did it far better than I could have.

        When I first saw it, it was front and centre on their main page, to find it again I had to look well down their Climate page, so perhaps even the BBC realize it’s rubbish.

        Sorry to be late responding, I was working into the not very small hours last night.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      November 17, 2021 11:19 pm

      That link should come with a serious health warning. It contains far more unsubstantiated nonsense than the “stories” it claims to debunk. Then again, what else should one expect of a propaganda site?

      Start with their claim that if the sun’s output changes then we would see the whole atmosphere warming and cooling simultaneously in response. That’s just so far away from reality as to be utter nonsense. No serious climate scientist would ever make such a claim.

      It then continues with RCP 8.5 alarmist exaggerations presented as facts.

      I’ll pick their bit on the great Texas freeze. What they miss entirely is that the problem was caused by a lack of dispatchable capacity as the wind died (far more important than the icing of turbine blades) and temperatures plummeted, increasing demand. That lack of capacity was caused by the subsidies paid to wind that meant that providing once in a blue moon backup capacity was not profitable. Moreover, problems cascaded as grid rationing affecting the electrified pumping of gas from storage to power stations – a problem that would not have happened had gas pumping not been switched from using compressors running off the gas they pump in homage to “saving emissions”. The loss of gas production itself was not the crucial feature – storage should have been able to cope.

      As for the claim about Venezuela, they are completely ignoring the fact that electricity production is dominated by hydro, and mismanagement of the Guri dam in particular has been a notorious source of blackouts across the country. Of secondary importance has been the lack of maintenance at thermal power plants, which left too much dependence on hydro power. There is a first rate discussion of it here:

      I see that back then I was motivated enough to complain to the BBC about their mis-reporting of the situation. It seems they never read my complaint.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        November 18, 2021 12:03 am

        The Venezuelan power situation has gone downhill rapidly in recent years

        Hydro generation…Total……..Thermal (BP World Energy Statistics)
        2014 78.7…………..128.3………49.6
        2015 73.4…………..123.8………50.4
        2016 61.7…………..113.8………52.1
        2017 59.3…………..109.4………50.1
        2018 57.0…………..105.1………48.1
        2019 48.6…………….89.8………41.2
        2020 31.6…………….58.4………26.8

        A renewables failure, in fact? Just mismanagement under Maduro, who blames the frequent blackouts on attacks by terrorists and foreign powers, even as the result is lower oil production and refinery shutdowns.

        It’s still happening –

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        November 18, 2021 9:07 am

        Chart showing more renewables means more expensive electricity.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      November 17, 2021 11:44 pm

      Although on a slightly different topic here is medical expert showing just how ridiculous the BBC reality check has become.
      They really are making themselves look quite ridiculous.

  2. David permalink
    November 17, 2021 10:04 pm

    I am sure that GB news was deliberately sabotaged in the early days. I suspect they are now going the right way with Lembit Opick etc

    • HotScot permalink
      November 17, 2021 10:32 pm

      At least Lembit Opick says the unsayable. It might not be what we want to hear but at lest it’s maddeningly provocative.

      The nice thing about Lembick is that neither the left nor the right like him.

      Personally, I think he’s a twat, but that’s beside the point.

      • Phil O'Sophical permalink
        November 19, 2021 7:17 pm

        Twat by character or by opinions? I have disagreed with him on a couple of issues, but anyone who can say the words ‘Milankovitch Cycles’ on air without being cancelled is ok by me. And he has the merit of skewering some of the excruciating lefty clones on show.

    • November 18, 2021 12:13 pm

      Lets not forget that one broadcaster gets £3 billion a year from TV viewers, all the others get nothing, but at least the BBC does not (yet) spend some of its income attacking its rivals, unlike the Australian ABC.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      November 18, 2021 12:55 pm

      They are still being attacked by the “fat-controllers” who restrict advertising to try to stop GB News and RT. Fortunately, both continue to present non-woke views of the world.

      Andrew Neil’s big mistake was not helping BBC News when it had problems: it is easy to steer in good light and clement conditions…..

  3. jamesrethomas permalink
    November 17, 2021 10:06 pm

    Defund Greenpeace.

    Just their steadfast opposition to Golden rice, a safe GMO food that will help save hundreds of thousands of children across Africa and South-East Asia going blind with half of them suffering a terrible death, makes Greenpeace unfit of deserving any support.
    When coupled with their overhyped environmental scare stories seemingly aimed more at revenue generation than helping anybody, makes them, in my view, a real blocker to any solution to the true issues facing us.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      November 17, 2021 11:35 pm

      It may seem a bit odd but the high priest of climate “science”, Professor James Hansen, agrees with you that Greenpeace should be defunded and recommends people do NOT contribute to them!

  4. cookers52 permalink
    November 17, 2021 10:16 pm

    The BBC have reported as follows.

    The Asian Tsunami was due to climate change (yes they did!)

    The Toddbrook dam collapse due to climate change when it was appalling lack of oversight. I found out within 10 minutes of googling that the dam had collapsed many times before.

    Regularly they report on East Coastal erosion of cliffs made of glacial deposits as climate change.

    They actually believe this, that’s the problem.

    But so do your elected politicians.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      November 17, 2021 10:33 pm

      All of that, along with melting Arctic, Greenland and Antarctic ice, retreating glaciers and so on and so on. Even the greening of the northern tundra and deserts globally are disasters.

    • November 19, 2021 7:41 am

      The BBC last week reported that a North Wales coastal landslip was caused by climate change and sea level rise. The most likely cause was actually relative SEAL LEVEL FALL due to continued positive post glacial isostatic readjustment of the N Wales area.

  5. HotScot permalink
    November 17, 2021 10:17 pm

    Was GB News established to counter ‘left wing’ narrative, or just to report impartially. I rather hope it was the latter.

    Does Andrew Neil now look a bit pathetic? According to the very media he was opposing, of course he does.

    Was he hailed as one of the most savage political interviewers ever to grace the BBC, including Paxo? Damn right he was, and in my estimation he was miles ahead of Paxo?

    Paxo was left wing presenting himself as right wing and was principle in starting the great deceit within the BBC.

    Will Andrew come back? Not a chance, not because he doesn’t have something to say but because he won’t be allowed to say it. He was a BBC rebel so he’ll be a rebel wherever he goes, and that frightens the media.

    He made a mistake. He went from the BBC with their undeniable high standards of production into a ragtag organisation of well meaning amateurs and hoped to make them credible. The whole thing failed to live up to his expectations.

    Sad, but it doesn’t make him a bad bloke.

  6. T Walker permalink
    November 17, 2021 10:20 pm

    Paul – Your first sentence gets to the heart of it.

    I have always been a fan of Andrew Neil., but he has disappointed me with his departure from GB News, which we know was not all his fault.

    It would not have become a UKIP tribute if he had still been on board. Farage would not be there. It was reported that Farage was Neil’s idea (who knows). At least Nigel is highlighting the right stuff.

    GB News is far from perfect but it is the only outfit prepared to give some balance to the MSM.

    Mr Neil – you were needed.

    • Tammly permalink
      November 17, 2021 10:46 pm

      It’s not the only outfit, Talk Radio does a very good job.

      • Jordan permalink
        November 18, 2021 12:27 pm

        I second that Tammly

    • Cheshire Red permalink
      November 18, 2021 2:54 pm

      Nigel Farage is performing extremely well as a broadcaster. Leave aside his politics, without a doubt he’s very good at it.

    • Phil O'Sophical permalink
      November 19, 2021 7:46 pm

      It amuses me to hear ‘Ukip’ used pejoratively, the same way ‘Trump’ is so often reflexively inserted to affirm the writer is obviously a good egg. Telegraph writers use it a lot foolishly, both in accepting the narrative around Trump, and in thinking it will deflect criticism or lend legitimacy to what they say.

      Admittedly there are two possible meanings of ‘Ukip’: shambolic of organisation or far-right in views. The first is obviously true; the latter, the perennial smear, is actually to be welcomed.
      When the choice amongst the panoply of broadcast media is left, far left or extreme left, anyone in the centre looks far right. I hear things with which I disagree, but by and large I hear my own views, something unavailable for many years.

      Still attacking the stuttering start-up and odd technical problems is pathetic, when the objection is really about a challenge to the leftist media hegemony. Neil burnt his bridges then discovered the grass is not to his liking on the other side, and has gone all Violet Elizabeth Bott.

  7. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 17, 2021 10:39 pm

    The Daily Mail may become slightly more palatable (after the notable political shift with the last new editor) as the slightly more reasonable MoS editor is taking over the lead.

    Most of the BBC coverage over COP was anti-science, anti-fact. But no one can challenge it.

    The link Harry has posted above shows just how silly they have become – of course they won’t show hard scientific data and papers and opinion that disagrees with their doom narrative. Just set up a series of straw men with no debate possible.

    The comment on Venezuela’s electricity problems is especially stupid/dishonest:

    ‘He says the claim that renewable energy causes blackouts is “nonsensical…. Venezuela has oodles of oil and frequent blackouts”.’

    The whole point is that they may have loads of oil and gas but that the don’t use it themselves – most of their electricity comes from hydro and they had a policy of going for 100%.

    And a recent paper among others claimed all the warming since 2000 could be attributed to a change in cloud cover, which could indeed be linked to the sun in one way.

    Whilst the paper linked to by the BBC to claim fossil fuel/nuclear power kills more birds is pathetically weak and alone, and the dismissal of renewable deaths is baseless casual PR spin.

    The whole article is so ludicrous that it shames the once trustworthy BBC and it is hard to know where to start and end pulling it apart.

    • Julian Flood permalink
      November 18, 2021 2:23 pm

      “And a recent paper among others claimed all the warming since 2000 could be attributed to a change in cloud cover, which could indeed be linked to the sun in one way.”

      ‘Could be’ is not really good enough I’m afraid: It ‘could be’ dissolved silica from mechanised farming run-off feeding silica-shelled diatoms* for longer in the spring, delaying the dinoflagellate bloom and so delaying their di-methyl sulphide (DMS) output, reducing the availability of cloud condensation nuclei (CCNs) and thus thinning the cloud cover; it could be oil and surfactant pollution suppressing waves (a fairly solid cover of those will suppress wave breaking up to Force 4 winds — personal observation) thereby suppressing the production of salt aerosols ; it could be nitrate run-off from the Haber-Bosch process altering the balance of phytoplankton and reducing DMS; it could be over-fed phytoplankton blooms dying off and stratifying the ocean as they die and release lipids which suppresses wave breaking (oil/surfactant can do this as well), driving the phytos deeper to find nutrients and dissolved CO2 to a point where they exude little DMS and use carbon concentration mechanisms* to use the little CO2 they find there…

      Or it could be all of them, or something else we haven’t looked at yet.

      I can do isotope changes as well, not involving fossil fuel burning at all — well, not much.

      Our world is not ruled by humans, it’s not even ruled by Gaia. Our planet’s goddess is Oceana and she is still veiled from the eyes of climate scientists.

      This margin is too small to explain the entire system of the world…

      Feynman says we are allowed to guess as the first step towards science, but science is not the guess. Computer models are just guesses. Feynman says this about guesses. “Then you calculate the consequences of your guess and compare it to to measurement, compare it to data. If it doesn’t match the data it is wrong.” The computer guesses do not match the data. They are wrong.

      *C4-like process which discriminates much less than C3 against the heavier isotopes of carbon. With obvious implications for attribution of atmospheric isotope changes.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        November 18, 2021 3:24 pm

        Why bother wasting all of our time posting such a load of rubbish in response to your interpretation of a turn of phrase.

        OK, it showed it IS due to the variation in cloud cover, said with as much certainty/credibility as by CO2 – happy?

  8. Ardy permalink
    November 18, 2021 12:39 am

    From what he wrote, it struck me that Andrew Neil just wants to be his own man, devoid of ideology and concrete brained thinking.

  9. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    November 18, 2021 6:27 am

    A good and scientific observation from a man who clearly knows his subject.
    Greenpeace’s Ex-President Reacts to Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thurnberg.

  10. 2hmp permalink
    November 18, 2021 7:52 am

    Among my friends and contacts GBNEWS is picking up viewers fast. You can also tell by the improving quality of advertisers. Some were frightened off by stop fund hate but they were the lily-livered CEOs. They will be back.

  11. November 18, 2021 8:57 am

    I suppose we should really ask the question as to why it has taken so long for someone prominent to stand up and simply say the plain unvarnished truth.

    The BBC in particular is so clearly a partisan mouthpiece for the environmentalists and most of its output relating to the environment is propaganda, not journalism. Climate Delusion® – it’s like the 18th century South Seas Bubble – everyone believes it until the consequences pile up.

  12. Coeur de Lion permalink
    November 18, 2021 9:32 am

    Since the COP26 disaster, I’ve noted a complete absence of climate stories on BBC Radio 4. Even ignorami like Harrabin have a horrid fear – the public will realise that the world is (luckily) continuing to burn coal while the thoughts behind Lord Lawson’s recent article in the Spectator gain traction – it’s a religion not science – decarbonisation will bring an unparalleled economic calamity – and all for UK’s one per cent of global CO2?

    • In The Real World permalink
      November 18, 2021 6:19 pm

      CDL , you said UKs 1% of global CO2 , but don,t forget that about 97% of global CO2 is from natural causes .
      So the UK only puts out 0.03 % of the total .
      And with the atmospheric figure of only 413 parts per million , it means that the UK CO2 emissions is only 0.000012% of the atmosphere .

  13. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    November 18, 2021 9:57 am

    People do attempt to stand up and tell the plain unvarnished truth.
    The trouble begins with the very few who own, fund and control the main stream media.

    People who do not want the public to have access to the truth.
    Look at the work Paul does here.
    Should he not be on the BBC ?
    Another example has been provided above. The brilliant YouTube footage presented by
    Dr John Campbell. Another who should be aired on the BBC.
    But no. We are offered bilge.
    Many attempt to spread good, reliable information and opinions.
    Those that contradict the government narrative are labelled Conspiracy Theorists. As there point of view should be dismissed immediately without further examination.
    What ever your opinion of W. Churchill, he was called a conspiracy theorist because he predicted war and called for the UK to arm itself accordingly.
    Of course he was provided correct in September 1939 so he was no longer dismissed out of hand.
    For many many years we have been lied to, e.g. nuclear power with generate electricity that will be too cheap to meter.
    Governments get away with this due in part to divide and rule.
    England has no opposition party.
    Bozo does as instructed. In the meantime the country is being run down and bankrupted.
    The evidence is in full sight.

    • tom0mason permalink
      November 18, 2021 7:10 pm

      “Governments get away with this due in part to divide and rule.
      England has no opposition party.
      Bozo does as instructed. In the meantime the country is being run down and bankrupted.
      The evidence is in full sight.

      Well said!
      Britain is ruled by a corrupt consensus of political power brokers and crony capitalists.

  14. Harry Davidson permalink
    November 18, 2021 10:23 am

    Andrew Neil looked very good on the BBC where he had the support of dozens of minions. On GB News where he had to do it almost all for himself his stuff looked thin and amateurish. That has not been true of other presenters who are more professional.

    Neil has scuttled back to the BBC because they disguise the fact that he’s not really all that good, and surrounded by people of the left he looks like a man with something to say. On GB News, he didn’t.

  15. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 18, 2021 11:03 am

    R5Live is again the defender/promoter of Insulate Britain/XR this morning, Campbell saying he is impartial/just devil’s advocate is laughable – be consistently supports the nutters and dismisses/rubbishes the skeptics with word and manner.

    • Neil Wilkinson permalink
      November 18, 2021 12:34 pm

      Campbell has become worse over the years, the last straw for me was when he constantly interrupted an interviewee who didnt share his views

  16. REM permalink
    November 18, 2021 12:00 pm

    Today The Times’ editor has given space to a human rights lawyer, who clearly has nothing to gain from it (!), to claim that ecocide should be made an international crime. I bought the Telegraph instead, for today. I now scan the online snippets daily before deciding which, if any, newspaper I will buy. If someone was to have a go at launching just a sports daily again I would look seriously at it. And no, I don’t mean anything like the Daily Sport.

    • Harry Davidson permalink
      November 18, 2021 1:54 pm

      I used to subscribe to The Times, but then came a couple of stories where I happened to know the facts and their reports were completely and ludicrously wrong. They were corrected BTL by various people with links to prove their point. Their reaction? They deleted the posts correcting their errors. I came to the conclusion that their reporting was worthless, and dropped the subscription.

      • tom0mason permalink
        November 18, 2021 7:18 pm

        Main scream media, including British newspapers, have just about NO reporters — people who can dispassionately report on newsworthy events.
        Now all MSM has is opinionated ‘journalist’ who inflect their fantasies on others.

      • JbW permalink
        November 20, 2021 10:48 pm

        But that’s been true for some years. Some of the twaddle I have read about aviation over my career just makes you wonder what other specialities they get wrong as a matter of course. Rather depressing really.

  17. T Walker permalink
    November 18, 2021 12:15 pm

    From Today’s International Man newsletter with Doug Casey on Uranium

    “But cyclically, the public realizes that without mined elements, civilization itself would cease to exist—no tools, no cars, no computers, not even knives and forks. Mining is a business that keeps the world from reverting to the Stone Age.”

    Most of us on here know this, but how often is it stated on the MSM – Never – perhaps GB News

    As Mark Mills said in one his articles – “if you want renewables to fuel the world you had better start digging now.”

    The whole of that short newsletter is interesting. – my wife and I are genetically unsuitable to hold stocks and shares. The ones we have sold have gone through the ceiling and the ones we kept went through the floor. Only ISA’s with mixed results. Is it time to get out now?

    Well worth a read and a watch – sorry for the long link Paul

  18. Ian PRSY permalink
    November 18, 2021 1:41 pm

    Talkradio currently debating the morality of the World Cup in Qatar. Nobody seems to be aware of the preferential terms on which the UK gets natural gas from there. Can HMG afford to offend them?

  19. November 18, 2021 9:17 pm

    ‘Reality checks’ seem to be the province of people who don’t know what the reality is that they’re supposed to be checking.

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