The BBC pits six lawyers against one questioning blogger, Tony Newbery of Harmless Sky, who was making an FOI request for the 28 names. In the process, the judge demonstrates he has partisan views on climate change.
Via Dr. Benny Peiser at The GWPF
As expected, the BBC has won its legal battle against blogger Tony Newbery. Newbery wanted the list of “scientific experts” who attended a BBC seminar at which, according to the BBC Trust, they convinced the broadcaster to abandon impartiality and take a firmly warmist position when reporting climate change.
When the Beeb refused to divulge who these people were and who they worked for, Newbery took the corporation to an information tribunal. Now the names and affiliations of the 28 people who decided the Beeb climate stance – acknowledged by the Corporation to include various non-scientists such as NGO people, activists etc – will remain a secret.
The other lay judge, former Haringey councillor Narendra Makanji, appears to have strong views on climate-change skeptics, as he tweeted here this year: “Michael Hintze who dines at no 10 is backer of Global Warming Policy Foundation, climate change deniers fronted by Nigel Lawson.” We asked the Information Commissioner’s Office how a lay judge with such partisan views on climate change came to oversee hearings so closely coupled to the subject of climate. Campaigning lay judges would not normally be appointed to sit on such a case, a spokesman noted, and concerns would be legitimate grounds for appeal.
–Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 9 November 2012
Newbery writes about the affair:
Andrew Orlowski of The Register has written a very accurate and fair account of happenings at the Central London Civil Justice Centre last Monday. This was the first day’s hearing of my appeal against the Information Commissioner’s decision that the BBC were correct to refuse a request for the names of the ‘best scientific experts’ who attended their seminar entitled ‘Climate Change – the Challenge to Broadcasting’ in January 2006. This expert advice was cited on page 40 of the BBC Trust’s excellent report ‘From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century’ as the authority for a very important editorial decision.
I’ve written about this very strange seminar here and many other times at Harmless Sky.
Bishop Hill writes:
Tony Newbery has lost his FOI claim for the details of the attendees at the BBC’s climate change seminar. The decision was issued in an extraordinarily short period of ten days (it normally takes four weeks).
Andrew Montford has written a 26-page guide to the seminar saga, and the subsequent Freedom of information battle: you can buy it in ebook format here for ~75 cents.
Footnote: Given that the BBC is publicly funded, and has denied public disclosure of the information which by law should be public, this list of 28 won’t likely stay secret very long. In every organization, there’s usually a few people with a conscience. As we’ve seen in Climategate, it only takes one. – Anthony