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Wednesday 19 December 2012

Delingpole – Trouble Down Under

Today is a day like any other for the blogging world of James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, who has latched on to an opinion convenient to him – from Matt Ridley, another climate change “sceptic” – and which quotes with approval another opinion convenient to him, from Nic Lewis, yet another climate change “sceptic”. He is thus reassured that he is “Right About Everything”.

Bit more fair and balanced in Oz

All who dissent from the Weltanschauung of Del Boy are treated to the customary broadside of abuse, and the likelihood of global warming “is now roughly on a par with Elvis being discovered alive and well and living in Bolivia and ready to rush record a new album just in time for Christmas”. Sadly, though, Del’s tirades have not found favour everywhere they have been published.

And one place where the press regulator has passed significantly adverse comment on the Delingpole oeuvre is in Australia, where the country’s Press Council has today passed judgment on an article written by Del Boy and published in The Australian on 3 May this year. In fact, there has not been just one adverse finding, but three, on the piece “Wind farm scam a huge cover-up”.

There were complaints about inaccuracy, and also that the article was grossly offensive, neither of which will surprise anyone in the UK already up to speed on Del Boy and his modus operandi. To this, The Australian deployed a straight bat, and rather like the Telegraph had in the UK: it “responded that the article was clearly an opinion article and it believed the opinions were honestly held by the author”.

This did not stop three aspects of the complaints being upheld: “First, it has concluded that even if the [Government Renewable Energy Scheme] REC scheme has the weaknesses alleged in the article it cannot tenably be described as a ‘kind of government-endorsed Ponzi scheme’”. Del’s used that one over here before now, so no surprise there – except that in Oz some action was taken.

Next? “Second, it has concluded that the claim that a law firm sought gagging orders has been publicly denied by the firm and, in the absence of any supporting evidence, constitutes a breach of the Council’s principles concerning misrepresentation”. Again, Delingpole gets away with that kind of thing here, and the now discredited PCC excused him last time he came up before it.

And just to round things off in true Del Boy style – you’ll love this one – is “Third, it has concluded that the report of the anonymous remarks concerning paedophilia, a very serious and odious crime, were highly offensive ... the level of offensiveness is so high that it outweighs the very strong public interest in freedom of speech. It ... did not require quoting the reference to paedophilia”. Yep, that’s Del Boy once more.

Read the full adjudication HERE. Hats off to the Australian Press Council.

1 comment:

Rob said...

"Delingpole, who has latched on to an opinion convenient to him – from Matt Ridley, another climate change “sceptic”..."

Ah, Matt Ridley. This is Matt Ridley whose masterful skill of analysing strategic risk is often wheeled out by those insisiting climate change isn't a problem. "Matt Ridley, who's great at analysing strategic risk, says it's nothing to worry about" goes the argument. I'd have more confidence in this line of reasoning if it wasn't for the small matter that when Matt Ridley was in charge of Northern Rock his masterful analysis of strategic risk led to, erm, the collapse of the bank.

It's remarkable how Ridley's supporters seem never to mention that.