BBC Bias: Thought for the Day, Brussels style


Today is perhaps a good day to write about BBC bias, not least out of respect for Christopher Booker’s excellent report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation on the systemic bias in BBC coverage of climate change.

Rev Rob Marshall

But my concern today (I write on Saturday Dec 10th) is the Radio 4 Today Programme, and specifically Thought for the Day, which today (sorry — too many todays) featured the Rev Rob Marshall, who appears to be a churchman from Derby, in the East Midlands.  And if today is anything to go by, also a general-purpose knee-jerk Europhile lefty spokesman — but hell, what do you expect from the Church of England these days?

He describes himself as a broadcaster, which I suppose he is.  By the way, I intended to copy him on this blog draft, but I was unable to find any contact e-mail on his web-site.

He started out discussing solitary confinement, and the damage which isolation does to the individual human being (you can see where this is going — with an awful inevitability).  He mentioned the idea of the religious retreat, and the spiritual renewal that can come from setting oneself apart for a short time from contact with the world and its quotidian concerns.  But he added that such religious retreats are (mostly) temporary, and designed to enable the retreater subsequently to re-enter the fray, refreshed and strengthened.

And then, without explanation or excuse, nor indeed with any sense of self-conscious irony, Reverend Rob segued swiftly into David Cameron’s historic veto in Brussels early on Saturday morning, and the “isolation” it entailed for Britain.  Dear reader: pause and reflect.  He compared Britain’s current position with that of a prisoner in solitary confinement.  And he presumably wants to be taken seriously.  His approach could surely have come directly from the European Commission’s Press Office.

Let’s just re-cap.  Britain is one of the world’s top ten economies in terms of GDP and world trade.  We have diplomatic representation in just about every country worthy of the name.  We are members of the UN Security Council; a key member of NATO; of the G7 (or G8) and the G20.  We are the leading country in the Commonwealth, covering 54 countries and over a quarter of the world’s population.  We’re in the Council of Europe.  The OECD.  The World Bank.  Were it not for the EU, we should be a key player in the WTO.  We are a leading country within the “Anglo Saxon economies”, and within the Anglosphere.  We are home to the City of London, arguably the world’s most important financial centre where currencies and companies from around the world are traded.

Indeed the Anglican Church, with all its problems and internal squabbles, is also a global organisation, and (like the Commonwealth) headed up of course by Her Majesty the Queen.  In addition to all that, the UK is even a member (for now) of the EU.

And yet in the estimation of the good Reverend Marshall, we are “isolated”, merely because we choose not to hand over control of our economy, and of our fiscal policy, to foreign bureaucrats.  Because we choose to be an independent and democratic nation.  Which planet are you on Rob?  Don’t you know that being in a minority of one doesn’t necessarily make you wrong, nor does being with the mob always make you right?  Remember Galileo.  Indeed, remember Our Lord (although maybe that’s not too realistic an ask of an Anglican churchman — at least not to one who has the opportunity to pontificate about politics).

Please Rob.  Take some time out.  Think about going on a retreat.  Contemplate eternity, and spiritual verities.  And come back and tell us about them (if you must).  Even on Thought for the Day.  But please — spare us the Europhile politics.

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13 Responses to BBC Bias: Thought for the Day, Brussels style

  1. Mike says:

    Excellent. In no way are we isolated. If I were to remember the ancient joke: “FOG IN CHANNEL, EUROPE CUT OFF” then there would be hoots of laughter from the Lefties.
    I left off being an Anglican clergyman in 1989 when Archbishop Spong consecrated a divorcee. He had, in effect, set himself above the Bible.
    It is a decision which I have never regretted, however hard life got. Now I am a very contented Catholic.

  2. A post script: an eagle-eyed reader tells me that the Good Reverend also runs a PR company: Odd job for a churchman.

  3. Dave says:

    Always an early poster Rob, always a treat. I think this’ll be mentioned somewhere, it makes too much sense.

    I think we should bring back crucifixion.

  4. John Russell says:

    Have you actually read C Booker’s attack on Attenborough and his very informative and not-at-all-sensational final episode of Frozen Planet? Attenborough talks simply about the facts of climate change so far as it’s affecting the polar regions — he doesn’t even get into the causes.

    To call the last episode of Frozen Planet an example of ‘BBC bias’ beggars belief and is clear example of Booker’s and your bias.

    • Booker’s report covers the BBC’s systemic and long-term bias on this issue, which we have all observed. Booker observes that Attenborough was more careful and less dogmatic than the BBC normally is, yet Attenborough’s final episode clearly assumed the fact of global warming, ignored Antarctic cooling and the increase of the Antarctic ice mass, ignored the fact that polar bears have survived warmer condition perfectly well, and failed to mention that the Arctic (northern Russia) was frequently navigable 70 years ago.

  5. Mairin says:

    Were we not isolated when Germany ravaged Europe in the 1940s we somehow managed to hold our own then, I just wish we could spend that £50 million a day given to that fraudelent organisation on this country rather than line the pockets of unelected marxists, and build monolithic buildings to house an unelected President . and the entourage of the unelected Lady Ashton.
    And who elected Markosy to be head of the EU I thought it was a consensus of it’s members. wake up folks not a gun fired and Germany rules OK . and before someone labels me as anti German not so indeed visit German friends there and some of them do not like the way Germany is taking control and despise the fact that placemen have been put in control in Greece and Italy. they are not stupid and pointed out to me that their economy is designed to put them at an advantage over the rest of Europe.
    As for the reverend minority view so why give him air space ? OH of course it’s the supposed unbiased BBC.

  6. neilcraig says:

    Rob os perfectly entitled to hi views. The BBC however, wiyj a legasl requirement to “due balance” is not entitled to broadcast them, alone. We will see if they find some other person authorised to speak for the creator of the universe, to state the creator holds a diametrically opposite view on EU membership.

  7. Mike Spilligan says:

    Yet another excellent posting, Mr H. If I remember correctly the BBC have long had a string of left-leaning Reverends and Rabbis for their token “spiritual” spots, even before that became “mainstream” and before any incumbent Archbishop of Canterbury joined those views.
    I haven’t seen the latest Attenborough offerings, but if the final part did not directly blame “global warming” (as asserted by John Russell at 9:38) it will be the first time that opportunity was missed. Being an addicted radio listener I can say that the BBC introduces this theme whenever it can and it pops up even in the most surprising ways and places. This has become almost endemic and I’ve come to believe that there is some kind of general instruction to all producers and editors to find a way of putting a “reminder” into programmes which have zero relevance to climate.

  8. Phil H says:

    Another question is what do we do about the BBC. Could an independent commitee be set up to regulate their left-wing Europhile bias, with severe sanctions for them if they do not comply?
    Could this commitee have to approve all editorial appointments?
    Whatever the solution they are a disgrace!

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  10. Di Ogenese says:

    The elusive? Rev. Rob Marshall, according to a report of the Ecclesall’s 106th Deanery Synod @ All Saints Totley on the 14th October 2004, was described as follows :

    Rob explained a bit about his background and experience: at one time is was the football reporter for Radio Sheffield. He now works partly for the Archbishop of York, as well as for his own company which provide media officers for Christian groups.

    His job is to be proactive about the media. He has helped develop a much improved Diocesan website ( which gets updated three times a day. He receives all the parish newsletters in the diocese (12 a day). He gets ours too now! I’ll summarise what he said in bullet points:

    In our culture, the basic facts about Christ are becoming a mystery

    2.7 million read a broadsheet each day. 3.8 million read the Sun.

    All most journalists are interested in is personal scandal.

    The church is the parish – that’s where the good stories are.

    One hour after hearing a talk you only remember 8% of what was said.

    There’s a big difference between evangelism and communication.

    Internet use is increasing most rapidly for those aged between 55 and 70.

    Journalists’ rules: No more than 14 words in a sentence; No more than two sentences in a paragraph.

    Press releases should say Who What When Where and Why in the first paragraph.

    No more than 5 paragraphs. Provide digital photos if possible.

    He started to talk about communications requiring a transmitter, a receiver and a medium, but didn’t really get time to develop this properly. To communicate effectively, we have to overcome the background ‘noise’ level – there is just so much information bombarding people these days. We can help, for example, by making sure that out-of-date stuff is removed. …….. [silent mirth]

    A parish audit on communications could include a look at:
    Logo + phrase or slogan (full marks to St Marys).
    Do publications have the same look and feel (full marks to St Marys).
    Website: people new to an area will often google on the name of the neighbourhood (St Marys nul points)

    There’s a new attempt at a Diocesan Newspaper about to be piloted, sponsored by local companies

    Rob finished his talk by plugging a book he’d written with Thora Hird, then giving it away. There may well be some follow-up to this talk, picking up some of the issues in more detail.


    On the aforementioned Public Website of the Doicese of Sheffield, the Office address was given as follows:

    Doicese of Sheffield
    Church House
    95-99 Effingham Street
    S65 1BL

    Telephone: (01709) 309 100
    Facsimile: (01709) 512 550

    and under the heading of “Communications” the following information was made publically available :

    Communications Adviser/Media Enquiries
    The Revd Rob Marshall
    Telephone: (01482) 562455

    The Revd Rob Marshall
    Telephone: (01482) 562455

    The Revd Rob Marshall
    Telephone: (01482) 562455


    According to his “Twitter” account under hashtag of: robmarshall33 , he recently tweeted …

    “rob marshall
    Advent III The Third Advent Candle is lit”

    — Interestingly this may be prophetic in a sense.
    According to tradition and the scriptures :

    The third candle, lit on the third Sunday of advent with the first two, is the Shepherds’ candle. We are reminded that God sent the angels to proclaim His arrival to common man and that He still uses ordinary people today to spread the good news of Christ. This candle is pink or rose and represents God’s love and faithfulness.

    After reciting the “prayer of John the Baptist”

    “We beseech thee to listen to our prayers, O Lord, and by the grace of thy coming enlighten our darkened minds …..”

    Suggested Bible readings are: Isaiah 52:7 and Luke 2:8-20

    Isaiah 52:7 – King James Version (KJV):
    7-How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

    Luke 2:8-20 – King James Version (KJV)
    8-And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

    9-And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

    10-And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

    11-For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

    12-And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

    13-And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

    14-Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

    15-And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

    16-And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

    17-And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

    18-And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

    19-But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

    20-And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


    On his website at , which resolves to another web address, , he is described as being in charge of “The Team” :

    The Team


    Rob Marshall is the Director of 33rpm. He is also a self supporting Anglican Priest, writer, broadcaster and research student. As a former Press Secretary to the Archbishop of York, Director of Comms for the Church of England Diocese of London and Director of Marketing for St Mary’s University College, he has wide and varied experience in the voluntary and education sectors.

    5 Brampton Court
    East Yorkshire
    HU15 1DZ
    United Kingdom
    +44 (0) 1482 562455
    Registered No 4625348
    VAT Number 734590620


    A final quotation from the scriptures seems appropriate:

    Romans 13:12 – King James Version (KJV)
    12-The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

  11. Colin. says:

    I really do not know, or wish to know, the desolate location of these stones that the BBC radio 4 are turning over to reveal these idiots that they promote to meet their UK hatred agenda.
    It is little wonder the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches are in such disarray when such people hold any office in them.
    I only wish I was more positive about the future of the UK when we have such tribal leaders and followers without wisdom.

  12. Gail says:

    Laugh? I cried with it. Again well said! I just love your sense of humour.

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