Quote of the week

what a thing to say

“Not long ago, to question multiculturalism … risked being branded racist and pushed into the loathesome corner with paedophiles and climate change deniers.”

Michael Buerk, presenter of the BBC radio program the ‘Moral Maze’, said this on 9 February while introducing a debate about multiculturalism in the UK.

BBC iPlayer link (20 seconds in).

Michael Buerk

Michael Buerk has presented The Moral Maze, a lively ethical dilemma discussion forum, since it began in 1990. Since 1998 he has also presented The Choice, in which an individual explores how they coped with a personal dilemma. He presented The Ten O’Clock News and 999, both on BBC One. He began his journalistic career with the Thomson Newspaper group in 1967 and went on to work on The Daily Mail.

Michael joined the BBC in 1970. During his subsequent years as a foreign correspondent, which included a four-year posting to South Africa, he reported from 53 countries. He has won numerous awards including Radio Broadcaster of the Year, the Royal Television Society’s Journalist of the Year and the BAFTA News Award.

Michael has now also won the CCG Quote Of The Week! What a burk.

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6 Thoughts on “Quote of the week

  1. Andy on 16/02/2011 at 1:14 pm said:

    There has been a bit of clarification on this issue from Prof Richard Tol
    (via Delingole)

    Dear Prof. Dr. Tol

    Thanks for contacting us regarding ‘The Moral Maze’ broadcast on the 9 February.

    We’re sorry if you were offended by Michael Buerk’s opening statement:

    “Not long ago to question multiculturalism, the precepts or the policies of successive governments, risked being branded racist and pushed into the loathsome corner with paedophiles and climate change deniers.”

    Michael was certainly not comparing climate change deniers with paedophiles. He was simply saying that paedophiles and climate change deniers are two such examples of groups of people who are generally viewed as being in a ‘loathsome corner’ albeit that they are completely disconnected in every other way.

    Michael was making the wider point that from time to time there are ideas in society, like multiculturalism and climate change, that become orthodoxy and to challenge those ideas is to be seen to be beyond the pale.


    From the same article, the great man himself, Prof Beddington, is suggesting that society become more intolerant of “climate sceptics”.

    In closing, Beddington said: “I’d urge you—and this is a kind of strange message to go out—but go out and be much more intolerant.” He asked his audience to forgive him for what appear to have been unscripted remarks, adding: “But it is a thing that has been very much at the forefront of my mind over the last few months and I think we need to do it.”

    This will no doubt be encouraging words for NZ Scientology Blogs who can now promote their brand of eco fascism with the blessing of the UK chief scientist

  2. Alexander K on 17/02/2011 at 10:56 pm said:

    There is a considerable body of opinion that Mr Beurk was using irony. I am waiting to see if he actually makes a definitive statement one way or the other, but his original comment, like much else to do with climate and the reasons for it changing that is broadcast by the alarmist/warmist BBC, was quite shocking.
    The UK government’s chief scientist, Sirf John Beddington, is quite definte that it’s quite correct and proper to be supportive of homosexual behaviour but that ‘Deniers’ are beyond the pale and should be allowed no credibility whatsoever. I find it interesting that he is a population biologist and is convinced, like all good Marxists, that there are too many people on the planet. A scary man who seems to almost be a throw-back to the Euginicists!

  3. Alexander K on 17/02/2011 at 11:00 pm said:

    Sorry about the mis-spellings. Research has it that most people don’t worry about such things, but when I make spelling mistakes, they irritate me!

  4. Australis on 18/02/2011 at 3:14 pm said:

    If Beddington is a population biologist, what is the source of his absolute confidence in climate scientists who specialise in “detection and attribution” of global average temperature change in the earth’s atmosphere? He clearly has no expertise in this field, and can only offer his personal impression of the published papers – or say “I’ve been told…..”

    According to the IPCC AR4, most of the “specialsists” in this field are computer modellers. They should therefore be strong theorists, but are probably very weak on hard data.

  5. Andy on 03/04/2011 at 8:23 pm said:

    This issue has been resurrected with Michael Buerk’s latest comments via the Mail and Standpoint mag.
    It seems that he is generally supportive of Peter Sisson’s views of the institutional bias of the BBC

    Michael Buerk has launched a withering assault on the BBC’s ‘creed of political correctness’.

    The veteran presenter accuses staff at the Corporation of an inbuilt ‘institutional bias’ and warns that they read the left-wing Guardian newspaper as if it is ‘their Bible’.

    Reviewing a memoir by his former colleague Peter Sissons, Buerk endorses his view that the BBC is warped by the prejudices of its staff.



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