Thursday 28 December 2023

Peak Doom?

 Well, here's a turn-up for the books – the RSPB, a conservation organisation whose status and influence is up there with the National Trust and the Church of England, has come up with 'Five reasons to be cheerful' about the state of the natural world. The world has, says the RSPB, 'every reason to be optimistic about the future of wildlife' (has anyone told St David of Attenborough?). The return of beavers and water voles to British waters and a resurgence of seabird populations on Lundy island are among the reasons cited for this unexpected outbreak of optimism, and it's heartening to hear some good news from the natural world for a change. But the RSPB is not alone in this change of tone: last year's annual report from Butterfly Conservation was also unexpectedly upbeat. Could it be that the conservationists are beginning to realise that the usual relentless bombardment of jeremiads is yielding diminishing, or negative, returns – not to mention the sad fact that it seems to have convinced the more impressionable that the world is about to burn to a crisp and a mass extinction event is going to wipe us all out any day now. Whatever the reason, it's good to have a bit of optimism on that front, and I'm hoping there will be more to come, that at last we might have reached Peak Doom. 
  Some things, however, never change, and prominent among them is the dear old BBC. Back in May 2021 the BBC board commissioned a survey to monitor its output and ensure that impartiality reigned and a wide range of viewpoints was represented. The results are now in, and show clearly that – and I know you're going to find this hard to believe – the BBC feeds its viewers (and listeners) 'a steady diet of woke bias', with slavery (i.e. Britain's historical role in the triangular trade tout court, nothing else) and issues of gender and race (only one attitude permitted) relentlessly overemphasised and shoehorned into all kinds of programmes. Who knew? And here is the BBC's response: 'Cherry-picking a handful of examples or highlighting genuine mistakes in thousands of hours of output does not constitute analysis and is not a true representation of BBC content. We are proud that our output seeks to represent all audiences and a range of stories and perspectives. Across the entirety of our services there will, of course, be occasions when people disagree with or want to challenge what they have watched or heard and we have well-publicised routes for them to do that.' So that's all right then, nothing to see here. The trouble is, I fear, that the BBC is now so completely imbued with woke bias that it sees its own worldview as simple, middle-of-the-road, non-controversial common sense, therefore those who dissent from it can only be crackpots, fanatics or ignorant deplorables. The result is that it simply cannot see its own bias, and, while it continues to exist in its present form, I don't suppose it ever will. 

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