Ofcom, the UK’s broadcasting regulator, has written to all those who made official complaints about Martin Durkin’s Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle. The purpose of the letter I received yesterday is to update complainants on progress with the investigation, but I’m left somewhat puzzled by its contents.
Since the film was first broadcast on 8 March, several hundred complaints have been made to Ofcom. We now learn from Ofcom’s Programme Executive Andrew Morgan that the regulator has:
“…had notice of a substantial complaint about the programme from a group of scientists. We have been told not to expect this complaint in full before the end of June.”
Morgan then goes on to say that complaints will only be considered once the group of scientists have made their submission.
Why will it take this group of scientists until the end of June to file its complaint? It’s not as if there is need of any more substantial research on points of fact. The errors in Durkin’s film have already been highlighted and discussed at length in the media, so do we really need a class action with the imprimatur of a bunch of top scientists?
The danger here is that media attention will have moved on by the time Ofcom come to consider the case, and this will detract from the complainants’ arguments.