BBC misinformation and suppression

james armstrong james36armstrong at
Tue Jun 14 20:04:35 BST 2011

BBC Complaints  (On Your Farm) 
Producer Emma Weatherill 

Presenter Eleanor Goodman                                                                   
12 June 2011


Dear Sirs,      On
Your Farm    Sunday 12 June Radio Four


To-day, Listeners to ‘On Your Farm’ , heard from the farmer
, who is the BBC ‘ farmer of the year’. that his company for which he is
manager, received £400 per hectare under 
an environmental scheme for leaving an insect bank uncultivated in the
field .

The presenter , perhaps by mistake? , said that  listeners may be resentful of the £400,
he  receives helping to  preserve insects. .

But of course the owners of the farm, who we understand are
a corporation , Pilkington Farms,  receive 
tens/ hundreds? of thousands of pounds for the four thousand acre ? hectares?
farm (s) web site list Pilkington Farms  as receiving cheques for £306,000, £428,000
and £1,384,519.for 2009 

If listeners are expected to resent £400 what would their
reaction be to £300,000?

We will never know because to date BBC has kept the secret
of their ‘farmer of the year’! 

If you mention a figure ,which you did,   this should not be one which grossly misleads.  Amazement would be  raised by the larger figure.


Secondly,  CAP
payments are  so important  even definitive  for the 
agriculture economy  and for each  farm , the subject needs extensive, repeated   and detailed investigative coverage by FT and
also  needs a radical voice to counter the
propaganda which organizations like NFU, CLBA and CPRE use so successfully to influence
the BBC (and other media) coverage of 
the subject.    BBC consistently
fail to give such coverage.   Such studied
avoidance can only be a matter of policy by BBC.      


On a related subject, Reform of CAP

a) Fifteen per cent of people in UK
have ever heard or read about the 
C.A.P., the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, and know what
it is.    (Eurobarometer poll 2010)   Yet- 

The 2009 cost of the CAP payments in UK
is around £200 per UK
household.  ( £3.4bn payments, £.0.3bn
cost ,£0.2bn fine-  RPA etc)  

What information has Farming To-day  and On Your Farm been suppressing  every weekday since Britain
joined EEC in 1973?

b) The EU agricultural Commissioner instituted a project to
reform CAP in 2010.

The commissioner said he was surprised at the strength of
the response to an online consultation. . ( For which I read ‘weakness’. ) 

BBC is a public service with programmes devoted to farming,
yet the level of knowledge of CAP is abysmal in UK,
and  how many know they were invited to
send their views about reform to  the EU
commissioner?  This failure to publicise
the call for the public to contribute to the 
reform must represent a serious failure by BBC.




With a view to informing the public in UK
and doing what the EU and BBC failed to do, 

a privately financed grass roots consultation on CAP reform
is being organized in which I am 
involved and  which is expected to
achieve more response in UK
 than received by the mighty EU

Here is an opportunity for BBC to publicise the CAP issue
and expose the  secrecy which has
resulted in the abysmally low knowledge level abut CAP payments in UK.

You will want to know that 
CAP costs taxpayers in UK
£3.9billion p.a. and there is no whisper of cutting this   You will also want to know that the UK
contribution to EU is £10.3bn p.a.of which 40 per cent goes to fund CAP.  Is this news or what? 

Your listeners would like to know that accordiong to
“capreform” website  a Romanian
corporation received a CAP cheque for 220million euros and ,from the Defra
website (now removed) that British Sugar Corporation in UK
in 2009 received a CAP  cheque for
£83million .


Get the details of CAP payments from  www  


There is a sensational news story in the CAP arrangements
and a vital and  interesting ‘farming’
topic awaiting  coverage by BBC
journalists.  Propagandists of course
would wish to  suppress this information.


Yours faithfully,            
James Armstrong, Dorchester 

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