BBC Environment Editor Lets The Green Cat Out Of The Bag


Roger Harrabin is the BBC’s in-house green activist-in-chief. He gets very upset when you mention this (journalists at the Beeb being obliged to be strictly impartial) – despite the fact that he has form a mile long – but just occasionally he can’t help giving the game away as he did this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. (Listen from 2:39:10)

Reporting on the latest round of UN climate talks in Bonn this week, Harrabin said:

“We’re trying to change the entire global economy….”

Then swiftly he corrected himself:

“…or at least the UN’s trying to change the entire global economy.”

Too late, Roger. The game is up! We know where your sympathies lie. Not, given the assiduous and uncritical way you report on every environmental scare story going, that there was ever much doubt on this score.

The incident calls to mind the similar Freudian slip back in 2005 when, in the course of an interview with Labour treasury minister Ed Balls, Today’s not-noticeably-right-sympathising presenter Jim Naughtie was heard to say:

“If we win the election does Gordon Brown remain Chancellor.”

Like Harrabin, Naughtie quickly corrected himself:

“If you win the election.”

But the damage had been done. As Lord Tebbit commented at the time: “How often a slip of the tongue betrays the true thoughts in the mind of the speaker. We could all see the shape of the cat in the bag, but Mr Naughtie has now let it out for all to see.”

Well I think we can all now see very clearly that Mr Harrabin’s cat is a particularly repellant shade of green. If I had an animal that looked so wretchedly unhealthy, I think I’d want to do the kind thing and get it put down.

(H/T Glen Bishop)