Journalist partisans for nuclear power.


The betrayal of balanced debate.

I've never really shared the opinions of journalists.  But one has to put up with that.  No doubt it is folly to complain now.  This is just to put on the record my opinion of their folly and failure to protect the public interest.  The conviction that they are simply not doing their job properly was brought home to me by their propaganda for more nuclear power stations.


They are the idol of the journalist Christopher Booker.  And he has the run of the right wing press, The Telegraph, The Times, The Mail and I don't know what else.  I even heard him intoning reverently for nuclear power on a UKIP CD. 


It just needed a wind turbine, in France, to catch fire for his conditioned reflex: nuclear power.  

(You'd be really worried if a nuclear power station caught fire, and it has happened.)


When a wind turbine blade fell off, his colleague Peter Hitchens broke out into a carbon-copy ritual denunciation of wind power. One of his choice metaphors was of hamsters on treadmills. 

This was apparently in step with the nuclear industry's wish for the government to cut back on this, the main  energy competition unfolding at present (tho not in the future, given the progress of research into photovoltaic cells). 

I also saw a nuclear energy spokesman's denial of this threat to rivals (in 2010 in The Guardian).  But he didn't deny, indeed made clear, that they would be handing the waste over for the government to look after (for the next few geological eras).


Hitchens’ column did a plug for "Chris Booker’s" new energy book.  Two other journalists for The Mail, Tom Utley and Max Hastings came out for nuclear power, falling on the "Green fanatics" like so many unqualified dominoes.

Before the end of 2010, two more Mail dominoes were spotted (note the pun), one of them Richard Littlejohn, following their party line against turbines. These authorities want to forbid wind-driven turbines for turbines driven by mass exterminatory nuclear fuels.

Our knowledge of the Greens today - stereotyped as “beards and sandals” (for instance in about the first entry of The Mail's so-called science blog) - is a bit like our knowledge of the Gnostics in the classical world: we know of them thru the attacks of the censorious established church.

The worst of it is you don't see the case made by experts (Walt Patterson and Jonathan Porritt come to mind) for alternative energies and conservation and the phasing out of nuclear power.  In 2010, Greenpeace brought out such a plan but I haven't noticed the mainstream media giving it any attention.  I think they are reduced to local supporters trying to engage small audiences.


In The Mail, blog moderators seem indistinguishable from censors, as to my criticisms against atomic fission.

Quite apart from anything else, such ignorance is annoying in its arrogance.


Even The Guardian has its intemperate nuker in Georges Monbiot. 

At least since The Independent was rescued by new owners, there have been pro-nuclear editorials.  And a particularly feeble assessment of a so-called consultation over a new nuclear power station.


One comment will give the tone: on top of everything, the public were concerned to hear that a wind turbine might fall on the existing nuclear power workers there.

The last straw, indeed!


The pro-nuclear Ben Goldacre’s assessment of an EDF consultation was that if you scare people enough with unemployment, they will be pro-nuclear.


The worst example (that's been admitted) seems to be The Sun, whose owners told a former editor to leave out the Liberal Democrats, who were the one significant and most vociferous force against more nuclear power. 

That is until they joined the Tories in coalition in 2010.

A Sky News interviewer kept prodding the new energy minister, Chris Huhne, about nuclear power, including subsidies for it.

Huhne had to point out the obvious that nuclear power has been on the go for a long time and didn't deserve subsidies.  Wind turbines were an infant industry, and therefore given some help to get on their feet. 


At the Lib Dems’ first party conference in power, for the first time, the lobbyists were there in force, setting out their stalls. Whatever happened to integrity (not to mention economic democracy)?

The Tories, Labour, UKIP, the BNP remain zealously pro-nuclear.

As to the scientific community (I'm not talking about the odd zealot), who forgot their doctrinal neutrality to become the false prophets of a nuclear utopia, that turned into a Frankenstein monster, what happened to them?
Each nuclear power station produces thirty tons per year of extremely high grade nuclear waste, says Michio Kaku (Physics of the Impossible).

Between the Two Cultures of the humanities mandarins and the scientific neutrals, to quote Eldridge Cleaver: Those who say, don't know, and those, who know, are'nt saying.

Abandoning standards of honesty.

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The media in Britain are what they have become in America: too much centralised control by reactionaries who can fabricate with impunity.
One national broadcaster even won a court case to the effect that they didn't have to tell the truth, because it was not enforced by law, only offered as a guideline.


This degradation set-in when “a real media man,” Ronald Reagan took over the White House.  In 1987, he abolished the Fairness doctrine, that required broadcasting both sides of a debate, including controversial issues of public interest.  He vetoed the attempt of Congress to maintain the status quo of fair play.


So, here was a man, elected on a platform that “big government makes little people,” who made sure that big business makes people small. Deregulation of local autonomy led to corporate centralisation of the media as just another business without public obligations. Information monopoly misleads and closes-in the public's horizons.
A notable result was the compliance of US broadcasters over the second Iraq war, ignoring any dissenting voices.



Judging by Noam Chomsky, the American media are as conformist as the British.  Here, the simulated battle between Left and Right goes on like the big-enders versus the little-enders, in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.  Their partisan propaganda merely serves the ends of a survival tribalism.

Life's a scramble and it will be for hundreds of years yet (HG Wells).


We could start going in the right direction again with good and wise laws against cheating in general (including the pandemic of fraudulent election methods), laws against lying (the Fairness doctrine in broadcasting) and laws against stealing (like the Glass-Steagall Act) that Presidents Reagan and Clinton repealed.

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader called President Barack Obama's loan guarantee for more nuclear power stations a monumental mistake.

The complaint was made that fairness was an excuse to harass the Right. No doubt they would not welcome a more even playing field. In other words, nothing must impede the darlings of fortune. Doesnt everyone just snatch their opportunities, anyway? No doubt, fairness is too often a mirage. Unfortunately, such a mind-set brings countries to their knees, as the 2008-9 credit crunch has demonstrated.



Richard Lung.

22 december 2010.
Minor addition, 2 january 2011.

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