propagandaa by BBC

james armstrong james36armstrong at
Tue Apr 24 09:06:44 BST 2012

 to BBC Complaints

Farming Today  on  24
 April 2012  broadcast 


“ £400billion is the cost 
to wildlife  caused by agriculture
in Europe”


On a number of levels this statement is extraordinary. 


1  launching a
bombshell figure, £400 billion   without
explaining any arithmetic, as part of one subject feastured 
among others  in a  radio programme  is bad communications and bad form – the form
surely demands some background knowledge by listeners ,some context of
comparative amounts.  The units  of 
‘billions’  used on air needs
something to distinguish it from ‘millions’        


Since wildlife don’t have pockets to carry money , how can
it cost them  cash?


If it is wildlife in Europe ( we
are told that this figure is from the European parliament) listeners might wrongly
assume  Europe
should or is paying this sum . 

Especially when the cost of CAP is
not  itemised in the UK  Budget 

The follow up discussion  focussed on UK
wildlife- with no  UK
cost  announced.


The interviewees  were both 
from groups, NFU and RSPB,  receiving
major CAP grants . So there was no balance.  Noir was this stated, nor were the amounts
revealed -so these were both interested parties and both with an interest
in  increasing the amount of CAP their
organizations receive. The NFU organization receive £30,000, their  members receive an estimated £1billion in UK(my estimate, what is BBC's? ) 
.  RSPB received.£4.8 millionCAP  in 2010. Is
that not relevant in a programme about the cost to wildlife(sic) of agriculture
and about agricultural  environment


5      There was no balance , achieved by
interviewing  someone with an interest in
reducing  the amount of CAP payments..


6Attributing a financial cost
to  ‘wildlife’ and omitting the  financial cost to UK
 listener/ taxpayers/people , is
novel and some might think 'misinformation' in a broadcast to ‘people’ not for  the ears of wildlife. . 


One estimate of the CAP budget for Europe
is euros 450 billion.

Is there not some danger of conflation by any listeners who
know this of  the amount  in the BBC statement in 1 above?  

 The cost of CAP and
environmental schemes to UK
taxpayers is some part of £3.9billion per annum. Only some (small?) part of 15% of
people in UK know this  (The 15% is the
findings of  a Eurobarometer  poll) 
and the 15% is those who have heard of CAP and think they know what it

This broadcast illustrates 
the harmful misinformation spread by Farming Today, and the

Abuse of  public
broadcasting under the secret influence of 
corporate groups.

James Armstrong. 
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