Sunday, 23 August 2015

The BBC has dropped the Met Office after 93 years - excellent!

There may be trouble ahead...
My pleasure at the Met Office's come-uppance is mainly derived from the fact that the first commercial negotiations I had as a BBC employee back in the late '90s were with the Met Office - or, rather, with the Met Office and the BBC department tasked with protecting the corporation's interests in any dealings with it. There's a lot I'd like to tell you, but I can't - let's just say that, at the time, the relationship between the two entities (i.e. certain sections of the BBC and the Met Office) struck me as worryingly cosy. I left the first negotiating meeting in an absolute rage, which has not wholly abated in the intervening sixteen years. Yes, I was carpet-chewingly angry.

Even though my boss at the time didn't want to use Met Office data and the manager of the BBC's biggest website had refused to feature weather information when he discovered that the BBC wouldn't countenance him using any other provider, I ended up having to give in. It still rankles. By then, I'd spoken to several alternative, much cheaper weather data providers, but was told that using them was out of the question because they were foreign, and that foreigners couldn't possibly understand "our" weather (bit racist, but what the hey). Interestingly, the same argument has now been put forward by the Tory MP Andrew Bridgen: "...the public will need to be convinced the new forecaster can accurately predict the fickleness of the British weather, especially if it’s a foreign provider." Don't worry, Andy - I'm convinced!

The people I dealt with during those negotiations are long gone (both, coincidentally, under a bit of a cloud - though not the same one). But (and many others)n have another serious issue the Met Office - namely it's utterly brazen propagandising effort on behalf of the climate warmist cause. I'll leave it to experts to provide chapter and verse, but the seemingly deliberate perversion of science in favour of an unproved theory was evident in a whole series of hilariously mistaken predidctions (who will ever forget the "barbecue summer" of 2009, which turned out to be incredibly wet and horribly cold, or the winter of 2010 which was supposed to be 2ºC warmer than average, but turned out to be the coldest since records began in 1659?) Despite universal derision, they kept relying on computer models based on the inevitability of rising temperatures - and were eventually forced, having repeatedly made utter fools of themselves, to give up long-term forecasting altogether.

This all reminds me of a recent advert for trainee BBC weather presenters, which contains the greatest non-sequitur in the history of such adverts:
Do you want to share your passion for the weather by presenting weather bulletins? Do you have a disability?  


  1. I suppose the disability is wanting to present the weather forecast at all - especially among men. The crop that presents them now often seems to have been largely chosen for qualities other than their rugged masculinity.

    That said, there appears to be an assumption being made today that the decision to axe the Met Office has some connection with its obsession with 'man made global warming' (sic), but I doubt that. I'm sure the BBC is as wedded to that nonsense as the Met Office.

    My guess is that this is happening because of the BBC's war with the government over money. It may even be a strategy to knock a chip off the government by leaving the MO struggling financially.

    In any case, it can't hurt the quality of the forecasts. For my area they are a laughing stock - substantially wrong more more days than they are right and frequently subject to a degree of rewriting that would have stunned Winston Smith.

    Good riddance, Met Office. Could you be persuaded to take Harrabin with you? He might as well be on your team because he's no bloody use to anyone else.

    1. As well as Harrabin, what about Sopel, Mardell, Pienaar, Easton and... well about 25 others?

      I suspect (although I don't know) that the Met Office has simply run out of powerful director-level support inside the BBC - either that or, as the BBC probably funds the Met office, it's deliberately trying to present the government with a problem (i.e. how to keep the Met Office going).

      Personally I'm more concerned about the threat of test cricket moving from Sky to BT Sport - I demand that the government does something!