I haven’t quite worked out why the BBC were so keen to keep private the list of participants to the seminar. It may not be sinister or stupid. I am fairly sure that I feel some scruple toward any publication of details of “Chatham House” seminars. I know that one mustn’t ascribe particular remarks to particular participants. And, actually, I don’t think I have ever named the participants at such a gig. I would be inclined to check that they were OK with being named before I did so.
I am pleased that nothing I have heard about the seminar contradicts what I did recall and say about it. I did find the event quite depressing and I was peeved that the possibility of my helping to introducing the BBC and its audiences to all sorts of interesting ways of thinking rationally about climate change were not advanced by my attendance. I did think and did say that reporting on climate change would improve as broadcasters realised that their audiences did not want to do very much about it. I think that has come to pass.
Today the BBC replied to my FOI request with the predictable “Please note that the information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’” So despite the names of the seminar delegates now being freely discussed in the public domain, the BBC won’t confirm or deny that Jimmy Savile was present, let alone comment on who was present at the seminar which resulted in the BBC changing their editorial policy towards climate.
Whose presence shall we ask about then? Dr Mengele? Frankenstein? Elvis?