Magazine article The Spectator

When I Am King

Magazine article The Spectator

When I Am King

Article excerpt

A Church of England official has issued an apology to the descendants of Charles Darwin for the Church's 'anti-evolutionary' fervour towards his Origin of the Species.

I wonder if in about 150 years' time the BBC -- presuming it still exists which I won't let it do, I promise, once I've become your emperor -- will make similar amends for having been wrong about absolutely everything from Israel, Europe, Islamism and multiculturalism to women, children, animals and, above all, global warming.

'God, what a bunch of complete and utter ****ers we all were, ' their apology could say as it floats in shimmery holographic form over icy London streets dominated by minarets, wind turbines and huge packs of semi-domesticated polar bears.

'We could have contributed something useful or interesting to the climate-change debate. Instead we gave you Earth: The Climate Wars (BBC 2, Sunday).

None of you will have seen it because you'll have been watching Tess on BBC1, either going, 'Phwooar, I wouldn't mind a bit of that stuck on my relentlessly turning tragic wheel, ' if you're a man, or 'hurry up and die, bitch!', if you're a woman. So what, fortunately you'll have been spared some rather dreary propaganda for the anthropogenic global-warming lobby, funded by you the licence-fee payer, and masqueradering with typically BBC disingenuousness as objective truth only reached after much soul-searching, research and hard thinking.

It's the last part I objected to most. Every five minutes we had to have shots of presenter Dr Iain Stewart pulling faces and staring contemplatively at old news footage and scratching his chin. This demonstrated he was not just some eco-nutter pursuing an agenda but an ordinary bloke who could definitely be trusted because he was a proper, actual scientist -- a doctor of geology at Plymouth University, no less.

But I've done TV myself and I know how these things work. Right from the commissioning stage -- especially if, as here, it's three hours' worth of expensive prime-time -- you know exactly which way your programme's going to go. But you're told to hide this as much as possible because TV execs have this obsession with perceived balance and with the idea of documentaries being a 'journey'.

Stewart's conclusion by the end of episode two was that the debate on global warming is over, GW is mostly our fault, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a nutcase on the extreme fringes, probably in the pay of Big Oil. This is what Al Gore said in An Inconvenient Truth. In fact, it's what the green lobby always says, because it's much easier to win an argument by closing down the debate than by engaging with your opponents' objections, point by awkward point. …

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