Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Greenpeace Gets A Free Pass

So Greenpeace yesterday mounted another stunt to draw the worlds attention to themselves an environmental concern, this time jumping on the BP-bashing bandwagon.

Sadly for the eco-warriors BP’s poor financial results took a lot of the limelight away from their acts of trespass and economic vandalism. The BBC did cover it, though, but only gave a brief mention to the reasons for the protest with a vague reference to the company’s environmental practices. I suspect that at least a few of those engaged in the stunt would regard all oil companies as the shopfronts of the devil, and thus their appreciation of the details of climate science and petro-chemicals is about as refined as their understanding of how the retail arms of oil companies are run: as Iain Dale pointed out, many forecourts are small franchised businesses such that yesterday’s efforts would have had a proportionately greater impact on struggling small traders than on any faceless multinational.

A BP petrol station, minding its own business

A BP petrol station, minding its own business.

Talking of the BBC, it displayed its usual moral relativism in its coverage of the events, describing the Greenpeace mob as “activists” (as opposed to what … “inactivists”?)

I appreciate the Beeb tends to avoid pejorative or loaded language when reporting on many issues, especially sensitive political ones, but there has to be a limit. I believe that, in a civilised nation, you don’t try to change the law by breaking it – that way lies anarchy.

Trespassing on someone’s private property and closing their business, just because your political opinions – like voices in your head – drive you to do so, is crossing the line, and should not be given such implicit endorsement from a respectable institution like the BBC, and one which sets the tone for reporting by many other outlets. Report it, yes, but sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade; or, to put it another way, report the facts.

Perhaps those of us who oppose the compulsory TV licence fee should trespass in Television Centre, maybe dig some allotments, and see how long the BBC continues to forgive such “direct action” as mere fluffy “activism”.

Who knows, perhaps we could learn from Greenpeace and other campaign organisations and register as a charity to get some tax breaks!


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