“Victory for Truth”

I have been riding my conventional bike these days; it is now my winter bike since it is easier to hose down when I return after a run. I do not know how e-bikes respond to a good soaking, and too expensive to replace if it does not.

The morning was dull, and dreich but not in the least cold. The run today, twice out to Guardbridge and back, well it’s nice and flat. Returning on the second leg I watch a squadron of geese cross overhead, heading south for the winter.

Have you seen the dark lines, across the morning sky?

Honking their endless clarion cry,

Or watch the sky turn from grey to gold?

As dawns light magically unfolds?

Not long after I returned home, the rain started in earnest.

It rained and rained, and then it rained,

The daily deluge is now well maintained.

“The BBC admits Syria gas attack report has serious flaws.” The BBC said.

The documentary alleged chemical weapon attack had inaccuracies, the programme dealt with an alleged chemical attack at Douma Syria, in 2018 it included an account of ‘Alex’ a former inspector with the poison gas watchdog, BBC said it had no evidence that ‘Alex’ believed the attack in Douma was staged.

The BBC has admitted that a Radio 4 documentary on an alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma (pictured in 2018), Syria, contained serious inaccuracies

Adjudicators agreed the programme by investigative journalist Chloe Hadjimatheou failed to meet the Corporation’s editorial standards for accuracy by reporting false claims.

Last week – nearly ten months after the broadcast – the ECU delivered its finding that the BBC was wrong to insinuate that ‘Alex’ was motivated to go public about his doubts over the attack by the prospect of a $100,000 (£72,000) reward from the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

No such reward was ever paid, according to WikiLeaks.

The BBC also accepted it had no evidence to back up its claim that ‘Alex’, a highly qualified and apolitical scientist, believed the attack in Douma, which prompted retaliatory missile strikes by Britain, the US and France, had been staged.

In its ruling, the Corporation withdrew the imputation that Mr Hitchens, who has reported on despotic regimes for more than 40 years, shared ‘the Russian and Syrian state views on the war’. 

Welcoming the ruling, Mr Hitchens said: ‘This is a major victory for the truth. The whistleblowers inside the OPCW were always motivated by a strict regard for scientific truth.

‘Far from seeking rewards, they realised that their actions would damage their careers but went ahead anyway. 

‘I do not serve any government, least of all those in Moscow and Damascus. 

‘I am glad the BBC has now made clear that it grasps that my reporting was motivated solely by the search for truth.’

He added: ‘It is astonishingly rare for the BBC to rule against itself. ‘This is a huge development. I hope it represents a wider change of heart in the Corporation.’ 

The BBC for years now has rather than being an impartial state broadcaster had been a propaganda broadcaster for the Westminster government. And even now when all these revelations have been exposed the BBC is still doubling down on the story.

I heard Gordon Brown (former PM) on the television spouting off about how the tragic death of an MP should not threaten our democracy. Sorry Gordon you and your ‘partner in crime’ Tony Blair killed off any democracy that still existed in the UK. The systems are broken, the main media channels now dedicated to publishing and broadcasting Westminster Government, Press Realises. No matter the truth. No longer can the BBC be trusted, and we should all do our own research into what is broadcast by mainstream media. This is a sad state of affairs, and that is the truth of it.

For further reading: the Organization for Propaganda Studies,

Steering Committee

Professor Tim Hayward, Professor of Environmental Political Theory, University of Edinburgh

Professor Paul McKeigue, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics, University of Edinburgh

Professor Piers Robinson, Chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism University of Sheffield


Jake Mason (PhD candidate, University of Sheffield)

Divya Jha (PhD candidate, University of Sheffield)

The Douma Controversy:

Now is the time for transparency and accountability at the OPCW

Stay safe.

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