By Paul Homewood

Having had the same reply from the BBC as others to my original complaint, I have resubmitted my complaint. As ever, the BBC have tried to fob us off with their first reply, which does not actually address the points raised.

Here is my second complaint:

Your response utterly fails to address my original complaint.

Hansen’s views are not scientific, but political. As such, the views of one American are hardly newsworthy, nor should they influence UK industrial policy. And as they are political, the article should have included balancing pro-mine opinions.

You say“ending the use of coal for electricity by 2025“. This is absurd, as the mine will produce coking coal for steelworks, not electricity.

This article is one of 5 by Harrabin, all of which have been heavily biased against the mine:

6th Jan – Whitehaven coal mine: Govt refuses to call in plans

Harrabin provides his analysis, which is wholly anti mine.

14th Jan – Govt defends Cumbria coal mine green light

This quotes at length Greenpeace and CPRE, both heavily critical of the mine. The only pro mine comment is one solitary unattributed sentence at the end.

23rd Jan – Six questions about the Cumbria coal controversy

Virtually all of this article is devoted to anti mine comments by Islands at Risk, the Fiji ambassador, Oxfam, Greenpeace, the Labour, Lib Dems and Green parties and the Committee on Climate Change.

The only pro mine comment comes from the local MP

30th Jan – Minister rapped for allowing Cumbria coal mine

This article is wholly anti mine, quoting at length Lord Deben and Greenpeace . There is not one pro mine comment.

Throughout this series, I can find no mention by Harrabin at all of the economic benefits of the mine, eg number of jobs created, boost to the local /national economy, increased government revenue, balance of payments, or by how much emissions will be reduced by avoiding imported coke.

Nor have there been any comments at all by the local council (who approved the mine unanimously), the mining company, the local community, steel companies or economists.

This is a gross dereliction of the BBC’s Charter, which requires impartial news coverage and the need to provide audiences with the full facts.

Please treat this as a complaint against all 5 articles.

If anybody wants to follow their complaints up, simply complain online again here.

Remember to include your Complaint Ref No.


February 16, 2021 at 08:45AM