Oh dear dear, sounded like heckling on BBC R4, Any Questions?

Posted: June 7, 2013 by tchannon in media, Politics

Any Questions? is long running weekly public discussion program held in front of an audience around the country where there is a panel who take questions, usually high profile politicians, maybe a spoiler.

Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate and discussion from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth Wales with Secreatary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson MP, Peter Hain MP, Leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Woods & commentator James Delingpole.

I happened to turn on the radio right at the end of a broadcast, instant double take, someone was in full flight about wind turbines, hecklers audible, end of program announced by Dimblewit who sounded amused.

That is all I know.

[UPDATE] from comments we get a first hand report of what was really going on, good stuff

alun says:
June 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm

I was actually in the audience that night.


I’ve managed to find the BBC R4 web page.

Those with access can perhaps recount what transpired. Maybe it was Delingpole speaking, didn’t sound too keen on Wales being filled with follies.

Post by Tim Channon

  1. alexjc38 says:

    I listened to the whole thing; yes it was Delingpole at the end, getting in a good tirade about wind farms, against a background of the audience howling and baying.

    Other highlights: Peter Hain talking about “upside down weather” proving that climate change is happening in front of our very eyes, Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru invoking the “97%” meme, various other gems that I can’t recall exactly but which will probably end up in my transcript.

    The programme started with polite praise for the tranquil beauty of the local countryside, ended with shouting, heckling, abuse and chaos!

  2. tchannon says:

    Oh lovely 🙂
    Talk about a dire place to host the show, that is hardcore green.

    Note: Any Answer? follows I think tomorrow, phone-in, letters, emails. Going to be lively too.

  3. James was prevented from speaking by a mob in the audience. The mood of the room though had been anti wind filly, with the other speakers. Buffo seems to think the hecklers were actually an anti badger culling protest against Owen Patterson who finished speaking just before James. So it probably gave the wrong impression.
    ..Badgers were not discussed.

  4. ..A wind ‘filly’ is a bit like a wind ‘folly’ but can generate more horse power.

  5. tchannon says:

    Ah the badger matter. For readers in far flung places the UK has a conflicted between badgers and farm cattle over tuberculosis infection of the cattle (other problems too). This has been rumbling on for many years.

    Inoculation of the cattle is not wanted because it produces a positive on testing for TB causes other troubles. Restricting the badger range is one option, hence talk of a cull, or inoculating the badgers, a difficult and expensive operation.

    Very recently an okay was given for a cull in two areas of the country hence this has brought out the anti crowd. A cull in the UK, well you can imagine how guns are viewed by the authorities.

  6. alexjc38 says:

    @ fenbeagle, “wind filly”, I like it! Although they behave a bit like clapped out old nags when the wind drops – “nags” in the horse sense but also in the “do as we say, anyway” sense, maybe..

    Yes, I sensed that it was mainly Patterson the crowd was howling against, although things got a bit lively at the end and it was difficult to make out exactly what was being shouted at whom (although some of the words were definitely uncomplimentary”!) Some things might be clearer when listening to it again on iPlayer, I think.

  7. tchannon says:

    So those out at sea “folie de la mare”?

  8. alexjc38 says:

    Re the badgers, I remember Monbiot was having a go at Defra’s Ian Boyd about it (and also Sir Mark Walport, the new govt. Chief Scientific Adviser, over bees/pesticides), a few months ago in the Graun.

    As Fenbeagle says, there was no specific question about badgers during the programme, but yes I’d agree that was what much of the shouting could have been about, thinking about it now.

  9. Zeke says:

    inre wind fillies

    Is Fenbeagle ungrateful for wind turbines? Is he looking this great free renewable energy gift horse* in the mouth?!

    * Some restrictions apply. See actual experience for effectiveness and details. Local results may vary. Renewable energy terms are from government reports and therefore not subject to real world physics. “The pursuit of our Climate Change Act target – to reduce Britain’s CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 – would cost us all £124 billion by 2020, or £5,000 for every household in the land: not just to build tens of thousands of absurdly subsidised wind turbines, but also for the open-cycle gas-fired power stations needed to provide back-up. To guarantee the same amount of power from combined-cycle gas-fired plants would cost £13 billion, barely a tenth as much [according to Prof Gordon Hughes].” ~Christopher Booker

  10. Stephen Richards says:

    tchannon says:

    June 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    So those out at sea “folie de la mare”?

    Ah, that would be the ‘foal de la mare’ then Tim?

  11. tchannon says:

    ‘foal de la mare’

    Chuckle. All originating in a typo.

  12. Bloke down the pub says:

    Re. the badgers, check out the Matt cartoon in the Telegraph on the 7th.

  13. Geoff Cruickshank says:

    Can the wind fillies produce enough energy to warm us in this colt weather?

  14. michael hart says:

    Question time always strikes me as pure pantomime. Everybody takes it in turn to boo, and clap ecstatically. I’m surprised the BBC don’t hand out rotten tomatoes to the audience.

    Watching it is painful. Being there would be a nightmare.

  15. Graeme No.3 says:

    Zeke says:
    Reluctant as I am to query Professor Gordon Hughes, I think that he is overstating the emission reductions available from wind turbines. I agree with his cost ratio for emission reductions, but I only calculate that amount of wind turbines achieving 36% reduction. It may be that my figure for OCGT emissions is higher that he expects from newer designs.

    I may have made a mistake, but not that big a one as those who think wind turbines are the answer to anything except enriching their operators. For the record I feel that in the absence of more hydro/pumped storage to absorb the variations in turbine output, that a figure of 3% of nominal capacity of the turbines is the most that is likely to be achieved.

  16. michael hart says:

    my mistake. I’m confusing the radio with the TV.

  17. tchannon says:

    m. Actually as I recall from memory there is little difference between showing ugly mugs and listening to them except one lot are on best behaviour “for the camera”. The television version is just a copy of the radio but with one major difference: the range of venue is far more restricted and therefore so is the audience. This also messes up some of the loudmouths, personages who refuse to travel.

    I find listening much safer, not stuck a pin in myself since I stopped the television version. More expensive on effigies.

  18. Fanakapan says:

    Interesting also, that Fracking was barely mentioned, but it was obvious that both Hain, and the Welsh Nationalist biddy, are vehemently opposed to the possibility of 20 years of gas self sufficiency.

    Its a pity that Labour dont seem to be reassessing their position vis a vis the great warming scam, it suggests the only choice in 2015 will be Loony Left, or Rabid Right

  19. Zeke says:

    Graeme No.3 says:
    June 8, 2013 at 11:51 am “Reluctant as I am to query Professor Gordon Hughes, I think that he is overstating the emission reductions available from wind turbines. I agree with his cost ratio for emission reductions, but I only calculate that amount of wind turbines achieving 36% reduction. It may be that my figure for OCGT emissions is higher that he expects from newer designs.”

    Since the 80% reduction is from the 1990 baseline I imagine it is open to various outcomes. I personally thought Prof. Hughes should have included the 200bn already spent on the worthless wind turbines.

    The Climate Change Act gives the agencies of government broad powers to adjust trace levels of Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Ozone (O3) and three groups of fluorinated gases (sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs)) to a previous “baseline” so some of it comes out of all of your other industries, such as agriculture, cattle and dairy farms, transportation, refrigeration, sewers, and manufacturing. And did they mention you are using too much water as well?

    At least Gordon Hughes has pointed out the cost of 13 bn for the open cycle plants – 1/10th of the cost of power generation with renewables. Even open cycle plants are not necessary without the worthless wind turbines, though.

  20. Graham Green says:

    Delingpole’s performance was poor by any standard.
    He’s dressed it up in his blog with bravado but the fact is that he thinks he is a lot smarter, faster and harder than the evidence supports.

    It seemed to me that he childishly wanted to get his ‘clever’ lines out like “yoghurt-weavers” vastly at the expense of delivering an intellectual response and he just came across as vacuous and childish.

    The upshot was that the crowd beasted him.

    Delingpole is the Harry Redknapp of climate skepticism – he wants to be the story rather than being content to represent the team. (I think I’ve been unfair to Redknapp here).

    I urge Delingpole to stay clear of public and especially live performances which he’s just not good enough to pull off.

    The man does us no good.

    There is a clear message here: stick to the facts, concentrate on the science and the data. Gags and insults will achieve nothing – how many properly funny people had a go at Thatcher and failed?

  21. tchannon says:

    Having only heard the last minute that is my impression.

    I agree the political field is hard. Dellingpole should notice he is still ugly, if my point gets across, brevity with a pith, the one liner from in this case Churchill.

  22. Sparks says:

    alexjc38 says:
    June 7, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Monbiot wants to see a complete cull of sheep from the countryside regardless of the poor badgers. This is one person who should not be taken seriously.

  23. michael hart says:

    The pressures of being a professional journalist, I guess. They have to try and make everything as ‘interesting’ as possible.

    IMO, those who might formerly, and condescendingly, described themselves as “serious” journalists have themselves gone more tabloid-style in recent decades. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, eh? But they don’t like to shout about taking a leaf out of Rupert Murdoch’s book. Yes, I mean you, the BBC.

  24. Alun says:

    I was actually in the audience that night.

    Firstly, the audience were actively encouraged to ‘participate’ by a nice man who came on and explained how everything would work before the programme started.

    Whilst the majority there were undoubtedly pro-wind and other renewable energies, the really loud heckling was from a small group of anti-wind farm campaigners sitting in the same row as me four or five yards along.

    Then, on the last question, and completely out of the blue, a man with white hair suddenly stood up and started raving against Owen Patterson for his badger cull policy. He was actually next in line to ask a question but, realising the programme was about to end and he wouldn’t be called (and probably having sat there getting tense for most of the programme), just blew up. We later found out he had come from Derbyshire specifically to ask about badgers.

    By the way, in the flesh, by far the most sincere and normal person on the panel was Leanne Wood from Plaid Cymru.

  25. tchannon says:

    Thank you Alun for clearing up the mystery. Makes sense.

    A normal person on the panel?

    So who is Leanne Wood?

    This site is in English.