Archive for February, 2010

Al Gore hurricane propaganda debunked

The cover of Al Gore’s latest literary climate alarmist effort, ‘Our Choice’, is designed to give readers the impression that huge super-hurricanes would be a consequence of a continuing rise in carbon emissions.  Unfortunately for Gore the latest research on hurricanes published in Nature Geoscience, debunks his unscientific assertions.

The published report concludes that the rise in hurricane frequency since 1995 was merely part of a natural cycle, and that several similar increases have been recorded previously, each followed by a decline.  As the Sunday Times reports:

“We have come to substantially different conclusions from the IPCC,” said Chris Landsea, a lead scientist at the American government’s National Hurricane Center, who co-authored the report.

He added: ”There are a lot of legitimate concerns about climate change but, in my opinion, hurricanes are not among them. We are looking at a decrease in frequency and a small increase in severity.” Landsea said he regarded the use of hurricane icons on the cover of Gore’s book as “misleading”.

Al Gore never lets the facts get in the way of a bit of lucrative climate alarmism.  So it will be interesting to see whether this research will be ignored as Gore continues to scare people into ‘fighting’ climate change using methods that increase the number of dollars in his bank account.  This is what happens when science is corrupted to suit the agenda of politicians and get rich quick scam artists.  The science is not settled, the science is not robust.  We only have opinions and theories advanced as fact.

What will also be interesting is the response, if any, from Kerry Emanuel, whose 2005 report in Nature magazine (basis of so many unsupported claims in the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report) is continually cited by Gore to support his claim that CO2 increase results in an increased number of more powerful storms.  Will Emanuel take this like a scientist or try to defend his 2005 position as a given truth?

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How European justice is dispensed to British citizens

One of the primary functions of a nation state is the protection of its citizens.  Membership of the European Union destroys that capacity and leads to unacceptable injustices.  This disturbing issue is brought into sharp focus today with news of Friday’s release from prison in Hungary of British citizens Michael Turner and Jason McGoldrick.

Both men were accused of fraud after their Hungarian company folded with claims that they owed creditors £18,000.  Hungarian prosecutors used cross-border European arrest warrants to have Turner and McGoldrick detained then extradited from the UK.

When they lost their extradition fight in the UK they were sent to Hungary where they were handcuffed and imprisoned, without any charges being made and without any opportunity to seek bail.  They spent 116 nights in limbo, incarcerated in Hungary.  Their experience is not yet over.

The disgrace is that a British court, bound by European Law, put those two Britons into a situation where they were deprived of their liberty despite an absence of any evidence that prosecutors had a case against them.  Although they are currently out of the cells, Turner and McGoldrick have had their passports taken from them and must remain in Hungary until they are due to report to a Hungarian police station on 8th April.  To us this is an injustice.  To Europeans this is how our judicial system should operate.

This is what it means to be at the heart of Europe.  This is what Brown and Clegg crave and what Cameron refused to fight off.  This is what the European style of justice forced upon us by our craven political elite means for ordinary people.  It is just another example of how we are but serfs to the great power of the EU.  We are owned by our masters in Brussels.

The United Kingdom has no place in such an anti-democratic, injudicious and unjust entity.  But we do not have democratic politicians any longer, just self serving sell outs focused on their own vested interests.

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The 2% Tories get twitchy

It is just one poll, but it continues a recent trend and panic is setting in among the natives on ConservativeHome.  Having failed to recognise the problems within the Conservative Party and having accepted David Cameron’s unprincipled approach for the sake of party unity and the hope of beating Labour, the polls have many of them frit.

How they must wish Cameron had not capitulated to the EU and meekly accepted the Lisbon Treaty, and instead put this country first by saying ‘no matter what it takes the Conservative Party will ensure the people will decide if we remain signatory to Lisbon.  The wishes of the British people must be respected’.  He would be 20 points ahead now and talking with Sam about the curtains they would have in Number 10.

ConservativeHome

The tension is starting to increase as the realisation dawns that far from being the party’s greatest asset, David Cameron could be undermining its chances of removing Labour from office.  Consider this comment from Mike Thomas in response to a concerned commenter:

Cameron was elected on one member, one vote by a margin of 2 to 1.

He has delivered record Euro and Council election results.

Look around you, look at the mess of Labour’s interference in every facet of our society, the economy and the public services.

You want factionalism now? Utterly barking mad howling at the moon.

It’s election time. Get loyal or get out.

Cameron looked good and sounded good when he was elected.  His team did a good job during the leadership campaign of presenting him as an EU sceptic, a tax cutter, a cutter of unnecessary public spending and the man most likely to appeal to floating voters.  On the basis of a few of Cameron’s beautifully delivered speeches, he won the leadership.

Since then he has ditched his EU scepticism, refuses to commit to tax cuts, is shying away from taking an axe to huge discretionary public spending and is turning floating voters off.  He is speaking to the issues that matter to him, rather than the issues that matter to all of us.

He didn’t deliver record Euro and Council results.  They were handed to him by voters who signalled they were sick and tired of Labour.  They wanted a genuine alternative, a party that would unpick the knots of divisive social policies, open door immigration, high taxation, ever increasing state control and instrusion into our lives.  Their votes were not so much pro-Conservative as anti-Labour.  But they are finding all that’s on offer is a ‘tinkering around the edges’ of Labour’s destructive agenda rather than a radical shift towards better and smaller government.  Perhaps the real irony today is that as reports put the Tory lead at only 2%, Cameron is increasingly recognised as only 2% Tory.

It wasn’t factionalism that disaffected Tories wanted, it was an open conversation and a Conservative Party that talks to conservative values which can help this country to recover from Labour’s destructive administration.  That is not ‘barking at the moon’ madness, but perhaps Team Cameron see it as such.  The problem is Cameron is not in love with the Conservative Party, he is in love with the prospect of power.  He is not driven by a desire to represent and serve, but by a hunger to win.

Three heads, one mind

The Conservatives I’ve spoken with ‘get it’.  They are frustrated bey0nd belief by a leadership that refuses to listen to the grassroots and that has its own agenda.  But for the sake of unity and a desperation to see Labour out of Downing Street, they have held their tongues. Like many voters, they can see Cameron shed conservative principles in an counterproductive attempt to court votes, when the country needed him to do the opposite.

Voters want politicians who have the courage of their convictions and explain why what they’re offering is beneficial.  Margaret Thatcher was very unpopular with many people, but respected because even when people disagreed with her she maintained a principled conservative approach.  That is why they kept electing her.  But the Cameron psychology is to run at the first sign of the opposition.  Instead of tearing to pieces the shallow and useless agenda of Labour and the Lib Dems, Cameron chose to follow them into the centre ground and tear to pieces those in his own party who urged him not to.

I do not want Labour in power.  I hate Labour, what it stands for and what it has inflicted upon this country.  But the Cameron Conservatives are not offering anything that’s distinct from the centre ground consensus view.  On the issues that matter most to people the Tories are backtracking or dialling down their messages.  The Conservative agenda increasingly does not match the voters’ agenda.  The result is what you see in the polls this week.

What these polls also demonstrate is that party politics does not serve the interests of the electorate.  Instead of furthering democracy, party politics is slowly strangling it.  The only three parties with any chance of taking power are indistinguishable from each other on the major issues – and all of them want ultimate power to reside with the European Union.  This does not benefit voters.  But improving the lot of voters is not the aim of the party machines.  For them the only thing that matters is the game, the winning or losing, the war of soundbites and who can elicit the biggest laughs when point scoring in the House of Commons.

When this is the way of things and the needs of the country are ignored, does it really make any difference who occupies 10 Downing Street?  Whether it’s Brown, Cameron or even Clegg, the only changes that will be made are cosmetic.  The best hope for this country within the party political sham is if a genuine conservative wrests control from Cameron and offers a truly conservative alternative.  But as I cannot see that happening, politics will become ever more irrelevant to ordinary people and as a millstone around our necks its weight will only increase.

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Fisking David Skelton, Modern liberal Conservative, on the Tea Party movement

It is interesting to see the ConservativeHome write up of the Freedom Association’s ‘Tea Party’ event in Brighton today.

While the comment thread has largely focused on the merits of Dan Hannan MEP’s speech and a of revision of Reaganomics, one comment stood out and the second paragraph of it is worthy of particular attention for what it tells us about the Cameron Conservatives.

It was a contribution by the ‘progressive’ Tory Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Durham, David Skelton:

The ‘tea party’ movement is the kind of very right wing fringe movement in US politics that we could do without replicating in the UK. I have blogged about it here:

Skelton’s  dismissal of the ‘Tea Party’ movement as a ‘very right wing fringe movement’ and his rejection of an equivalent movement taking hold in the UK is exactly the kind of Cameroon, party line consensus rubbish that has come to characterise Cameron’s chosen ones, the elite tier of the Tory party.

The link takes us to Platform 10 (the self styled home of the Cameroon Modern liberal Conservatives who are apparently changing the way politics works in the UK) and reveals the kind of narrow minded defence of the rotten, big government, centralised political system in this country that is normally the preserve of Labour and Lib Dem talking heads.  It is worthy of a fisk, so I’ll begin…

So the British version of the ‘Tea Party’ movement was apparently launched in Brighton today.  Seemingly, most of that delightful seaside resort responded with indifference at this apparently ‘historic’ event.  Personally, I’m pretty alarmed that the most crankish part of an increasingly crankish Republican Party (see my post here about the rightward drift of an already right wing GOP) seems to want to replicate itself over here.  The last thing we need is a British version of the tea party movement.

Personally I’m not interested in getting them out and flopping them on the table to be measured, but it seems important to Skelton.  So perhaps he should have read more carefully the ConservativeHome write up which mentions the venue was standing room only, and a commenter who explained the speech had to be interrupted to allow more people to be squeezed in.  It hardly seems to be evidence of indifference.

Do not be deceived either by Skelton’s attempt to tag the Tea Party movement as a ‘crankish’ extreme element of the Republican Party, because it’s a red herring.  The movement protested against wasteful tax and spend by the Bush administration before Obama was elected and far from being part of the Republican Party, actually declined requests by the from Republican National Committee Chairman to speak at one of their protests.

Why is a British version of the Tea Party movement ‘the last thing we need’?  The only possible explanation is that authoritarians like David Skelton resent being told by the public that wasteful spending and the accumulation of public debt has to be reversed.  I’m sure voters in North Durham will be delighted to learn the man campaigning to represent them doesn’t like being told by them what they might prefer.

The first reason I don’t like this idea is that it is an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction from the election campaign to come.  While we should be resolutely and absolutely focused on the election, some members of the Party  seem to think that their time is better spent on British ‘tea parties’.  It seems like a very curious sense of priorities on the part of the ‘tea party’ organisers to me.

How very democratic of Mr Skelton.  It’s not a new idea to take politics out of an election campaign, but to articulate it so openly is certainly a new one on me.  It might be lost on Skelton, but the grassroots of his party might feel more strongly about attempting to make government accountable to the wishes of the electorate than simply trying to put the arses of CCHQ stooges onto the green benches in the House of Commons.  While Skelton might think this a curious sense of priorities, many other people will note his lack of principle and attentiveness to the concerns of taxpayers.

Secondly, the entire ‘tea party’ movement in the States is driven by a near hysterical anti Government agenda.  There is no coherent theory of Government in the tea party movement.  There is no acceptance that Government is necessary and can be a force for good.  The American tea party movement is driven by a divisive, shrill, simplistic view of politics that is driving moderate Republicans like Charlie Crist out of the GOP.  This is just the kind of politics we do not need in the UK.

Government is unpopular because it is treating voters with contempt.  Having sought a mandate from the people, the Obama administration is now pursuing its own agenda that sees it manipulating the free market economy of the USA and storing up a damaging debt mountain.  The coherent theory of government among Tea Party activists is representative democracy and accountability.  Note the word ‘moderate’.  It is the new code for ‘consensus’, one of the guys that can be relied upon not to be adversarial or rock the boat too much.  It’s the new model politics of the post-democratic age.

To say the Tea Party activists do not accept that government is necessary is plainly false.  What they want is the government to follow the wishes of the people that elected it.  If Skelton can’t understand that then the First Class Honours degree he was awarded from the world renowned politics faculty at Hull seems to have been wasted on him.  Skelton clearly feels that politics cannot be simplistic.  Presumably that’s why the Conservatives reserve candidacies for those who seek to make it more complex and disconnected from the people MPs are elected to serve.

Thirdly, look at the nature of the tea party movement in the US.  They are driven by the hysterical and frankly at times delusional agenda of Fox News presenters like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, as well as various right wing shock-jocks.  The Times talks of a “dark underbelly” at the heart of the tea party movement, crystallised by the utterly offensive speech by Tom Tancredo at the start of the tea party convention in Nashville last month.  Conservative  journalist Jonathan Kay turned up at the tea party convention and was shocked by the “toxic fantasies being spewed from the podium”, including the thoroughly horrific and offensive ‘birther’ movement, which was well represented at the convention.

What about the issue at hand?  Why the attack on people who have absolutely no bearing on a British equivalent of a Tea Party movement?  No exploration of American politics by a centre ground drone is complete without the obligatory sneering at Fox News.  It is hardly a surprise that Skelton has reached for the smear template and homed in on one ignorant speech to paint all Tea Party activists with the same brush.  All movements have their share of ignorant fanatics, including the Conservative Party.  Perhaps Skelton, despite his stellar qualification, cannot tell the difference between a membership organisation turning up for a convention and a loose association of individuals who are committed to lower taxes and better government that has attracted some unsavoury hangers-on to a large rally.

Kay argued that the US tea party is “dominated by people whose vision of the government is conspiratorial and dangerously detached from reality.”  Of course, any movement that looks to Sarah Palin as a potential President surely fits the definition of being “dangerously detached from reality.”

Running out of things to say, Skelton has built a strawman, called it Sarah Palin and set about attacking it.  While Skelton might scoff at anyone who gives Palin the time of day, he seems incapable of grasping that she is at least talking to the issues that concern people yet are being ignored by the kind of politician he is so eager to become.  The kind of politician that believes they know what is best for us.  The kind of authoritarian and paternalist career builder who feels it is beneath them to be accountable to the people they are supposed to represent.

Fox News, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh et al can keep their right wing conspiracy theories.  The tea party movement is something that British politics can absolutely do without.

On the contrary, a Tea Party movement or similar is needed in this country more now than ever before.  Only a big government centraliser could describe a protest against rising taxes to fund unnecessary debt and wasteful spending as being something politics in this country can do without.  Sadly for real conservatives in North Durham, the man selected to be their candidate is not a conservative at all.

David Skelton’s campaign blog site has the web address www.voteskeltonforchange.blogspot.com.  A more honest description would be ‘vote skelton for less government accountability, fiscal and economic responsibility and a rejection of the notion that people should organise themselves outside the party political consensus to demand their voices be heard and their wishes be followed’.

Skelton is just another in a long line of wannabe machine politicians, uttering all the right noises for the party leader in an unthinking and unquestioning manner while ignoring the agenda of the voters.  He is an example of the Modern Conservative Party that David Cameron is finding out is a very tough sell.

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EU propaganda continues in its UK house journal

Another left leaning academic puts ideology before historical fact in the EU’s UK house journal, the Guardian, today.  This time it’s the turn of the co-director of LSE Global Governance at the London School of Economics, Professor Mary Kaldor, who argues the EU needs to return to its roots.

Apparently she feels Europe ‘has spent too long besieged by regulation culture and market obsession, forgetting its original purpose: peace’.  She then recites the often stated raison d’être of a Europe-wide supranational entity, saying:

From the beginning, the EU was a peace project. It was designed, initially, after Europe’s great civil war, to prevent another war on European soil and later to overcome the cold war divide. Indeed, a huge achievement of recent years has been the peaceful integration of the new eastern members.

The reality is very different.  The European project did not stem from a desire to secure peace after World War II.  It could not have done because the moves to construct a federal Europe pre-dated Hitler and the war.  A federal Europe was always about social revolution and control.  It was supported by the corporatists and powerbrokers who saw an advantage for themselves from dictating how everyone on the continent should live.

Despite its origins in the 1920s and 1930s, the federal vision for Europe did not make any real headway.   But after 1945 what better way could there be for the federalists to secure the tacit support of the populations of nation states, that had been ravaged by war, than to declare that the proposals for a union of European states would prevent war happening again? The Europe of the time did then what it does so well now, taking every opportunity to make a case for centralising control.  For every problem that exists the stock European answer has always been that ‘we need more Europe’.

Mary Kaldor is just continuing the legend constructed by the revolutionaries and the powerseeking bureaucrats.  But the fact is Europe is besieged by regulation culture and market obsession because that is why it came into being.  Kaldor is spinning the propaganda and delivering the liturgy of federalism because she is committed to the goal of a post-democratic age where power will reside in the hands of the self anointed elite rather than the people.

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Voting entitlement for prison inmates

Following recent focus on the ban on prisoners being allowed to vote, which has been covered here before, the government sneaked out a written answer to a question from Don Touhig MP on Thursday.

He asked if the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) plans to bring forward legislation to change the law which prevents prisoners from voting in general elections.  Michael Wills MP, a Minister of State at the MoJ, wrote:

The Government have recently undertaken the second stage consultation on this issue. We are currently considering the responses. The Government will then consider the next steps towards implementing the judgment in legislation.

Given that a significant majority of people in this country oppose the notion of prison inmates participating in the democratic process after offending against society, it will be interesting to see the consultation responses and the government’s next move.

In all probabaility the government will cave in to the European Court of Human Rights rather than represent the wishes of the voters who sent the MPs to Parliament.  That would show the real nature of what is supposed to be representative democracy in this country.

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The emasculated Conservatives have no worthwhile message

When one examines David Cameron’s performance it is clear that seldom has there been such a concerted effort by a politician to go vote chasing by telling people what he thinks they want to hear.  But rarely has such an effort been accompanied by such a dogged refusal to listen to people and understand what they really want and what they really think.  It is a combination of unappetising qualities that gets treated with contempt by voters – and it is now being translated into falling polling numbers for the Conservatives.

That is not to say a Conservative win will not occur, but it is being made harder as people focus on the next government and doubts about Cameron amplify.  The Conservative Party is saddled with a leader who does not carry the people with him.  The Cameron project has been so focused on ‘decontaminating’ the party it has ignored what matters to the people its candidates are standing to represent in Parliament.  Cameron is still firmly rooted in 2005 and still possessed by a zeal to change the party.

He was completely convinced that what the Conservatives stood for was the problem, so he set about dismantling the core principles of conservatism and focused his efforts of aligning policies closer to those of the party’s opponents.  He is still following that strategy today.  However the problem was never the policies, it was the people.

Too many Conservative MPs had an unreasonable and selfish sense of entitlement.  They did not prioritise the needs and desires of the people they were supposed to represent and they did not understand the social shifts that were taking place in the country.  Although these Tories stood on a platform of appropriate and popular policies it was their personalities, combined with an electoral willingness to give Labour more time to deliver what they had promised, that saw them lose the last General Election.  This explains why a majority of people supported Conservatives policies presented to them by pollsters, but many rejected them as soon as they were told they were Conservative policies.

Whether by accident, organic change or design, the people within the Conservative Party have changed.  They are more socially aware and conscious of the things that matter to people.  This was already happening before 2005 and has continued since.  Consider the work of Iain Duncan-Smith and a multitude of selfless candidates who are working tirelessly in their constituencies to make a real difference to residents.  This was the progress and change needed by the Conservative Party.  You know it has happened because voters were prepared to listen to what the Conservatives had to say again.  Regardless, this is the kind of comment being uttered in the upper echelons of the Tory hierarchy:

“We are up against a useless prime minister who everyone loathes, including his own cabinet,” one senior figure said. “And yet he is back in serious contention. That really takes some doing.”

Yes it does.  And the reason for it is simple.  David Cameron’s transformation of the Conservative Party has seen him discard policies that made it a viable alternative to Labour.  The Conservative Party under Cameron has ceased to be conservative.  As voters have arrived at the conclusion that Labour has failed them and gone in search of an alternative, they have realised that Cameron is not offering one.  They now see that Cameron has turned the Conservative Party into Labour-lite in an attempt to win votes and therefore all that’s on offer is more of the same, just with different faces.

One veteran Tory is blunt. “The leadership appear to be concerned that it is slipping away. They have to look confident with bold ideas for the future and our existing policies. But there do not appear to be any grand sweeping ideas for the future. They’re too nervous to propose them.

“We also don’t seem to have the confidence to talk about our existing policies. We never talk about our inheritance tax policy [to raise the threshold to £1m]. If that is our policy we should be ramming it down people’s throats. If we do not do that Labour will ram it down our throats on their terms.”

People will pore over the policies and ask, where is the change, where is the major difference?  There is no grand sweeping idea because the ideological differences between the parties have been eroded.  Adversarial politics has given way to consensus politics, which does not provide for alternatives.  Where there are differences they are on relatively trivial issues, such as the one highlighted, Inheritance Tax.  The political battleground has moved from major ideological differences to nuance, and from competence to a beauty contest.  Where exactly does this address what people want and what people think?

Cameron is showing he has little to offer that is different.  He has hollowed out the party and now has no worthwhile message for a country in a mood for significant and lasting change.  That’s why the polling numbers are on the wane.  The frustration among grassroots Conservatives is palpable, but the election is too close for them to criticise their leader.  The party is conservative but suffers from a leadership that isn’t.  If you want evidence of the disconnect, witness it here:

But the Cameron circle insist they have a clear strategy focused relentlessly on change. “The key message is, do people want five more years of Gordon Brown as their leader or do they want a new leader who is energetic?” one source asked.

Energetic, but to what purpose?  What about talking to the issues that matter to people, rather than the relentless pursuit of power for its own sake?

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Orlando Zapata Tamayo dies in Cuba and BBC shames us

Orlando Zapata Tamayo was arrested in Cuba in 2003.  His crime?  He dissented from the party line of Cuba’s political elite, led by Fidel and Raul Castro, and was imprisoned after being found guilty of disrespecting authority.  He was sentenced to three years in prison.  However, because Tamayo continued in his attempts at political activism, his sentence was increased to 25 years (some reports say 36 years).  He suffered appalling conditions and repeated beatings which led him to begin a hunger strike lasting 85 days and ending with his death.

Not only does Cuba reject democracy, it denies people such as Orlando Zapata Tamayo the basic human right of freedom of speech.  Political opponents and trade unionists who dare to oppose the proscribed communist dictatorship have their liberty taken from them and while in prison they are subjected to torture and inhumane treatment by the authorities.  The Cuban Human Rights Commission says there are about 200 political prisoners in Cuba, people who just want to be able to have a say in who governs them and how.

Despite these facts there are some people who lionise Cuba’s dynastic leadership because it thumbs its nose at the United States.  They see Cuba as a plucky underdog fighting against the Americans, who maintain a trade embargo against the island nation because of the nature of the dictatorship.  They push from their minds the human rights abuses that prevail in Cuba in order to statisfy their anti Americanism.  It is easy to point to individuals like Ken Livingstone and deride them for their myopic stance.

But when the taxpayer funded state broadcaster, the BBC, engages in this kind of behaviour it is an altogether more serious matter.  It is not just bad taste to witness the BBC to use the death of a political dissident such as Tamayo as an opportunity to air a video report by Matt Frei, one that displays barely hidden admiration for Cuba masqerading as wonderment at the ‘initiative’ shown by Cubans affected by the US trade embargo.  It is stomach churning listening to Frei, in the final seconds of the clip, when he talks about a 1950’s Buick car that continues to run only because it now contains parts gathered from around the world, opine:

‘Call it the triumph of persistence over adversity. A bit like Cuba itself, some might say.’

What kind of warped editorial meeting determined this clip, with that line, should be linked to the news of Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s death?  Matt Frei’s comment offers encouragement and succour to a regime that allows and facilitates the brutalisation of people who just want freedom, yet the BBC choose to equate those sentiments with today’s news.  Sadly such a mindset is all too common at the BBC and it represents the triumph of moral relativism over what is decent and just.  For me such a crass display of naked BBC politicking shames this country.

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More climate change idiocy in the Guardian

Mark Lynas describes himself as a freelance writer working full-time on climate change.  A fairer description would be an unthinking believer in AGW who gets more column inches published in mainstream media than scientists and ordinary people who question the theory of AGW.  For someone who is working full time on climate change Lynas displays a breathtaking lack of understanding of AGW scepticism.  Writing in the Guardian today Lynas articulates the new angle being taken by the man made global warming advocates by saying ‘True climate sceptics must stop the war on science’.

This suggests that sceptics are fighting science, which is wrong on so many levels I hardly know where to begin a rebuttal.  The strapline of Lynas’ article reads: ‘David Davis and fellow honourable sceptics of climate change should distance themselves from the extremists and put forward their own proposals for mitigation’.  Herein lays the problem.  But we’ll come back to that in a moment.  The Lynas piece follows the well worn path of playing the man instead of the ball and advancing the usual tissue of assertions impervious to all the evidence:

Contrary to popular assumptions, most climate scientists are sceptics. Not about the basic physical principles of greenhouse gases, obviously – which are undeniable to everyone except the aforementioned trolls and Delingpoles – but certainly about almost everything else.

Unable to defeat the arguments of the sceptics, Lynas is now trying to redefine what a sceptic is in order to build a strawman that he can pull apart later.  It’s pretty desperate stuff.  He also does all he can to undermine the numerous individual bloggers who have exposed fundamental flaws in any number of AGW assertions when he offers up this little gem, that neatly rewrites history and airbrushes facts in a manner of which Stalin would be proud:

Only this week, a paper on sea level rise was embarrassingly retracted from the journal Nature Geoscience thanks to flaws uncovered after rigorous fact-checking not by ignorant Telegraph bloggers but by diligent fellow climate scientists. Note also that the Himalayan glacier error was sparked not, once again, by the denial lobby, but by glaciologists who knew from their own research that the disappearance of all Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was virtually impossible.

He then takes off on a literary ramble which finally ends with him couching the whole warmist v sceptic debate in terms of the political left v the political right.  Very original.  the way his concludes his piece takes us back to the ‘problem’ I mentioned earlier, which becomes all too apparent as you read on:

Here’s my suggestion: true sceptics on the right should convene a process, perhaps in collaboration with free-market thinktanks such as the Adam Smith Institute, to formulate carbon mitigation proposals of their own. A war against science can never succeed. Shooting the messenger is just dumb. If you don’t like the solutions the greens have come up with, try proposing some of your own.

Mark Lynas shows in that one paragraph that he doesn’t get it.  Like his fellow warmist drones, he spends too much time pontificating and not enough time listening.  The whole basis of AGW scepticism is that there is no evidence that man’s emissions of Co2 are causing the planet to warm.  So why focus on CO2 reduction?  Why spend an astronomic sum of money in an effort to be carbon neutral when it is only guesswork that has people thinking CO2 is harmful to the planet?  This is not a war against science.  As the Wall Street Journal explained, sceptics ‘don’t doubt science – they doubt unscientific claims cloaked in the authority of science’.  That is something Lynas would prefer his readers not to understand.  As EU Referendum points out, this shows the warmists are wedded to their lies.

There is a sense of alternative reality when it comes to the likes of Lynas.  What on earth is the point of asking a sceptic to devise a solution to something when there is no evidence it’s a problem?  It is nonsensical.  It is like a sceptic saying they do not believe hitting their knee with a hammer will cure a sore throat because there’s no evidence the sore throat is caused by their knee, and the warmist responding by saying the true sceptic would therefore hit their knee with something else instead.

The idiocy of Mark Lynas’ thinking underlines the intransigent position adopted by global warming campaigners.  Unless they have a bogeyman to attack that enables them to demonstrate their virtue, they are lost.  Now the green lobby has got its teeth into the politics of CO2 it won’t let go, even though deforestation and pollution of land, rivers and seas represent a genuine threat to the environment.  They are only interested in posturing, the political fight and feeling superior, not protecting the planet.

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Our new man in Washington, João Vale de Almeida

OK, the news is days old, but nevertheless, meet our new ambassador to the United States.  He is João Vale de Almeida, a Portuguese national Citizen of Europe and career EU bureaucrat.  Having served the EU for five years as head of the private office of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso he was most recently the EU’s Director General for External Relations.

João was appointed by the most powerful woman in Europe, the never-elected-to-any-office former Chair of Hertfordshire Health Authority and first European Union High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Ashton of Upholland – better known as Catherine Ashton, or Mrs Peter Kellner of YouGov.

This is the man who will represent Britain’s interests in Washington, particularly in matters of trade.  Trade is of course one of a number of areas where the EU decides what’s best for Britain.  As a nation state Britain cannot be trusted to strike its own trade deals with the US because there might not be any benefit for countries such as Germany and France.

The problem for the aforementioned Baroness is that the appointment has annoyed the French and the Swedes because there was no real consultation by the directorate.  Accusations of a failure to consult with member states and a lack of transparency about the appointment have seen Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt write a letter of protest to Puppet Cathy.  However, now that Puppet Cathy is safely in her job and doing the bidding of her puppet masters in the European Commission, she is feeling quite assertive and is not very willing to be held to account by a mere national foreign minister, replying thus:

“Understandably, member states want to be as involved from now on as possible. A couple of member states have raised this with me. We have dealt with it, it’s done,”

Shut up already, Bildt.  It’s done.  End of.  This is the classic EU way.  Cath has settled in quick, eh!  It must be such a relief to the Eurocrats that David Cameron has dispatched his special federalist envoy Ken Clarke to Brussels to promise that if the Conservatives win the UK general election the EU can continue operating in this manner unhindered.  Brussels can rest easy.  Whoever takes control of the Westminster Parliament will be on message and their comms are set to ‘receive’.  There is no need for the EU to even pretend to be democratic or representative any longer.

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Tories reassure EU about future government

From Bruno Waterfield in the Telegraph we hear that:

Ken Clarke, the shadow Business Secretary, is to hold secret talks in Brussels with Jose Manuel Barroso to assure the European Commission President the EU has nothing to fear from a Conservative government. 

The two-day visit to Brussels, which begins on Tuesday, by the most pro-EU member of David Cameron’s cabinet-in-waiting is seen by European officials as a signal that a new Conservative administration will work with the EU executive rather battling against it.

All very cosy.  What does this mean for the average Briton?  It means that the consensus loving Cameron Conservatives:

  • Will roll over to new EU demands and implement more EU laws
  • Will leave the Lisbon Treaty in force to remain at the ‘heart of Europe’
  • Will preside over further erosion of British national sovereignty
  • Will continue to preach localism while exporting governance to the centralised EU
  • Will deny the British people any opportunity to vote on Lisbon or EU membership
  • Will ensure no mainstream party offers voters an alternative to EU rule over Britain

For real democracy to take hold in this country we need the collapse of the party political system.  Party politics is not only corrupt and self serving, it is deliberately cementing anti-democratic governance.  David Cameron’s real vision of the post bureaucratic age is not direct democracy or even the proper execution of representative democracy.  From this evidence it can only be the same as Gordon Brown’s and Nick Clegg’s – namely the dawn of a post democratic age where the political class and related elites rule us rather than serve us.

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Global warming: A tissue of assertions impervious to evidence

So says George F. Will in the Washington Post.  It is one of the best descriptions I’ve yet seen, and when you consider the dogged determination of fanatics like Dr Vicky Pope (head of climate change advice at the Met Office) to convince us that black is white, probably one of the most accurate too.  In his entertaining op-ed Will points out among other things that:

Last week, Todd Stern, America’s special envoy for climate change – yes, there is one; and people wonder where to begin cutting government – warned that those interested in “undermining action on climate change” will seize on “whatever tidbit they can find.”  Tidbits like specious science, and the absence of warming?

Touché!  It’s worth reading the whole piece.

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EU being encouraged to impose a Tobin tax

So says Professor George Irvin on his blog, Political Economy 101, on the EUObserver website.  If anyone is trying to understand the mindset of those who stalk the corridors of power, dispensing economic advice to political leaders, then a read of Irvin’s blog is instructive.

Irvin is worried, worried I tell you.  His worry stems from a nervousness that Gordon Brown, Nicholas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and other EU leaders might be cooling in their support for a Tobin tax.  For Irvin this is a crucial issue because he sees that there are widespread plans for what he describes as ‘swingeing’ budget cuts in many EU member states, possibly accompanied by rises in VAT.  Left wing, Keynesian, big government socialist Irvin tells us:

A Tobin tax (also known as a ‘Robin Hood Tax’) would be a fairer and more effective money-spinner than raising VAT. Such a tax was first suggested in 1971 by the American Keynesian economist, James Tobin, and was designed to slow down the volume of  speculative currency dealing by traders—what Lord Turner has recently termed ‘socially useless’ activity.  Although the idea was rejected by the Commission in 2002, much has changed since then; most particularly, currency speculation has risen by several orders of magnitude.

Do you see how he tries to give the impression of the Tobin tax being a good thing by equating it with the positive perception of Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to the poor?  Cynical doesn’t begin to describe it.  Irvin wants the EU to implement a union-wide Tobin tax.  He explains that the foreign exchange trade in euros is estimated to be worth nearly US$300tr (€220tr) per annum.  A 0.1% tax on euro trading would raise over €200bn a year—and that’s based on a tax rate of £1 per £1000, one-tenth the rate originally proposed by Tobin, or roughly double the size of the EU budget.  He wants European leaders to be seduced by the euro signs in their eyes and the thought of treasury coffers swollen to bursting with all this lovely cash.

But this is less Political Economy 101 and more Room 101.  These trillions of euros are not just sloshing around like a cork on an ocean.  This is money that funds pensions, facilitates mortgages and loans, enables business start ups and enables businesses to make money from their investments.  Listening to George Irvin, it might appear that skimming a tiny percentage off the top of currency dealing hurts no one and benefits everyone.  But stripping €200bn a year out of the private sector will impact all of us, not just the bankers.  Costs will rise and that increase will be passed on to consumers.

There will be less money for investment, hindering our economies.  Our pension pots, already plundered by wasteful government, will be reduced still further.  The only difference between raising VAT and imposing a Tobin tax will be the blurred line of sight between emptier wallets and the government that hoovers up the money.  People’s resentment will be focused on the higher cost of goods and services provided by businesses, rather than governments who brought it about.  Irvin argues:

We need a Tobin tax. Why should ordinary citizens be made to pay for the financial sector’s gambling debts? After all, currency speculation is just another form of gambling.

This is complete crap.  It’s nothing more than an excuse for government to make a power and money grab.  Consider the motives of the Tobin tax’s biggest advocates.  When ones stops and consider the billions and billions of pounds that have been spent wastefully by the UK government alone, why are budget cuts such a bad thing?  Why shouldn’t governments live within their means?  Far too much money, instead of being spent efficiently on well structured front line services, has been squandered with little if any benefit to taxpayers.  Think of the billions that were overpaid in tax credits and left unrecovered, the billions spent on military equipment completely unsuitable for the kind of conflicts our armed forces have been committed to, the billions handed over to special interest groups and for the creation public sector non-jobs that add no value to public services.  When Irvin asks rhetorically of a Tobin tax ‘why not?’ none of these reasons surfaces.

That is because none of this matters to the likes of George Irvin and his ilk.  The name of the game is ensuring government has ever greater control of our money and determines how it is spent.  It is an ideological objective to reduce the ability of the individual to enjoy any measure of choice or financial freedom.  Big government knows best in Irvin’s world and we must leave it to the political elite to tell us what is good for us.  The problem is a Tobin tax makes us all poorer and is an inadequate substitute for effective banking regulation.  This is the most blatant example of political opportunism, which would enable governments to cover up decades of economic incompetence by levying a huge tax to plug the gaps – again at our expense.

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A question for Dubai about Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Since 20th January the newspapers and TV news bulletins have been full of the latest reports and theories about the people who allegedly killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior military commander of the Hamas terrorist group, at a hotel in Dubai.  Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was the founder of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, an entity that has carried out hundreds of attacks and suicide bombings mainly targeting Israeli civilians.  I chose not to cover the story because it was being done so well elsewhere and I had nothing to add to what was being written.

But for me there is a question that needs to be answered.  All the focus has been on the hunt for ten men and one woman who travelled to Dubai using fake British, Irish, German and French passports, with hours devoted to the origin of these passports and how they had been used fraudulently.  Dubai is pulling out all the stops to find the people it believes are Israeli Mossad agents.  That seems reasonable enough, after all a murder was committed.  But it seems to be nothing more than a passing observation that Mahmoud al-Mabhouh himself flew into Dubai from Damascus, Syria on 19th January, using a fake passport.  He was travelling under the name Mahmoud Abdul Raouf Mohammed.

So the question is this: While Dubai is hunting for what they believe to be 11 or more Israelis, what are they doing to investigate how Mahmoud al-Mabhouh – well known throughout the region as a Hamas commander – was able to waltz into Dubai posing as Mahmoud Abdul Raouf Mohammed and have they started investigating the origin of his fake passport and how it came to be in his possession?  I would hate to think that Dubai is less interested about the covert movement on their territory of a known Arab terrorist responsible for hundreds of atrocities than a group of people assumed to be Israeli who allegedly killed him.

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The David Cameron factor

ConservativeHome

ConservativeHome tells readers about the latest YouGov poll for the Sunday Times.  We have the most profligate, incompetent, divisive, economically illiterate and spiteful government in modern times, yet the Conservatives with David Cameron as leader are incapable to pushing beyond the lower end of the 40% range.

Cameroons will deny it, but this is the result of Cameron’s ‘centre ground’ triangulation.  This is the result of abandoning conservative principles and policies that are appropriate remedies for the problems Labour has inflicted on this country.  David Cameron brought this on himself by listening to advisers who have no love of the Tory party.  The stagnation can be traced back to his capitulation over the Lisbon Treaty, where after tough words he showed himself to be another cowardly snake oil salesman by meekly accepting Lisbon lock, stock and barrel.  That, in addition to the discriminatory candidate selection process, was the reason I resigned from the party.

In all likelihood the Conservatives will still win the general election with a working majority because they are ahead in key marginals.  But these polls are evidence that there is no widespread enthusiasm for Cameron’s brand of Conservatives.  A Conservative election victory will be the result of being the least disliked party rather than the most preferred.  A vote for the Conservatives because they are not Labour is no ringing endorsement.  Rather than saving the Conservatives, as the Cameroon narrative would have it, Cameron has actually inhibited them.

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Take a second look at Labour said Gordon Brown

So I did and I am grateful for the delusional one’s urging.  For I remembered that Gordon Brown’s Labour government wants to impose a so called Tobin tax on bank transactions and for political cover is trying to get the world’s other major economies to follow suit.  I was reminded that the Association of British Insurers thinks the scheme is ridiculous, describing it as unworkable and counter-productive.

I was also reminded of the ‘Labour way’ by Brown’s refusal to listen to any dissenting voice and ignore any criticism.  Brown was pressing ahead regardless because of the desperate state of the UK economy that has been wrecked by Labour’s financial mismanagement.  He was claiming the world’s top economies were close to agreeing this international levy on banks and that a deal could be thrashed out during a G20 summit in June.  It reminded me that Brown’s great delusion is that he saved the world and that he is some great economic brain that all other nations turn to.

Naturally I wondered if I was the only one with doubts about Brown’s supposed brilliance.  But then I stumbled across reports that those wonderful Canadians are opposed to Labour’s global bank tax plan for the world’s major economies.  As the Wall Street Journal explained, the Canadian’s decision to go public with their opposition is in part based on irritation that Mr. Brown is painting a picture of a global consensus, one that exists only in Brown’s mind.

Having been invited to take a second look at Labour and being reminded of Labour actions such as throwing open Britain’s borders to mass immigration to help socially engineer a “truly multicultural” country, repeated raids on our pension funds, the refusal to give us the promised referendum on the Lisbon Treaty… not to mention the record £1.2 trillion public debt run up with nothing to show for it, decline in education standards, increase in violent crime, surge in the size of the welfare state, record number of economically inactive UK citizens, lies about the evidence for the invasion of Iraq, criminalisation of ordinary people with over 3000 new crimes created etc, I think Gordon Brown has made a huge mistake.  All he has done is ask people to remind themselves of the spite and incompetence that has characterised the Labour party.  That should secure a well deserved Labour defeat at the polls (unless David Cameron snatches defeat from the jaws of victory).  Cheers Gordo!

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Does EU rely on newspapers for Zimbabwe intelligence?

Some background for you.  Senior Assistant Commissioner Winston Changara and Assistant Commissioner Thomsen Todd Jangara were Zimbabwean police officers.  The first man, Winston Changara, was a member of the Police Protection Unit where he spent 24 years as one of Robert Mugabe’s most trusted bodyguards until his death in 2006.

The other man, Thomsen Todd Jangara, was a Chief Superintendent when he led the crackdown on members of the opposition MDC at a prayer meeting in 2007, where Morgan Tsvangirai was among a number of people arrested and viciously assaulted while in police custody.  He is still serving and is now an Assistant Commissioner in Harare.  Ironically Tsvangirai is in hospital in South Africa this week for surgery to repair facial injuries received in that assault.

The Financial Gazette of Zimbabwe published a story in January this year (site search not returning a result) where they confused the deceased Changara with the very much alive Jangara, declaring that he was dead.  This would not have been much of an issue apart from the fact Jangara’s name was on the EU sanctions list as a key member of the Zimbabwean regime.  As a result of the article, the EU removed Jangara from its sanctions list, recording him as deceased.  The brutal thug Jangara remains a serving police officer and happily explained to South Africa’s City Press:

‘They mistook me for Winston Changara (Mugabe’s bodyguard). The Gazette however wrote that Tomsen Jangara had died, so the EU people took it from there and included me among other dead people that have been removed from sanctions,’

Mistakes do happen.  But it is staggering that the EU would accept at face value a throwaway line in a newspaper that was not corroborated anywhere else, and would do so without any further attempt to confirm the information before removing Jangara’s name from its sanctions list.  How hard can it be to check if an Assistant Commissioner of police is alive or not?  This is EU incompetence writ large.  The question has to be asked, what other action has the EU taken on the basis of uncorroborated local media reports in Zimbabwe or elsewhere?

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Don’t report facts inconvenient to my beliefs and propaganda

From the Jo Abbess school of climate censorship we see this laughably cackhanded attempt to criticise the media for reporting climate related information that contradicts the worldview of AGW’s true believers.  All credit to the Washington Post for being such good sports and publishing the almost tearful complaint of one David Hilfiker from Washington.  In its own way the letter is comedic gold.  How else can you describe a complaint that includes a caveat that undermines its own argument?

The Feb. 15 front-page article “Missteps weigh on agenda for climate” was infuriating, a perfect example of why so many Americans still don’t believe in the coming crisis of global climate change. Read closely, your article was technically accurate, but the language and placement of information gave the impression that the overwhelming scientific consensus on global climate change might be in danger. (my emphasis in bold italics)

Wonderful stuff.  Now we can see that many Americans don’t believe the AGW hype because the facts contradict the claims of the warmists and undermine confidence in the IPCC’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).  Who can blame them?  One wonders if Hilfiker was similarly minded to write and complain about publications that claimed on their front pages that there is an increasing number of more destructive hurricanes than before because of mankind.  Perhaps he wrote in and corrected nonsensical claims that the Arctic sea ice will completely disappear, despite the extent of ice recovering and increasing.  Somehow though, I doubt it.  So what were the main bugbears of David Hilfiker?  Here, he can explain for himself…

What are these recent shocking revelations? Buried on Page A4 are:

– An obvious typographical error in the report — that Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035, rather than 2350.

– Attributing to a climate advocacy group the claim that up to 40 percent of Amazonian forests could react drastically to a slight reduction in precipitation. In fact, the claim was made by a respected climatologist, whom the advocacy group appropriately cited.

– The IPCC’s erroneous claim that 55 percent of the Netherlands is below sea level. The figure included land that’s above sea level but at risk of flooding. But the reference was only in a background note and hardly challenged the science of global climate change.

Bless.  If only it was that simple.  The Himalayan glacier issue is not simply a matter of a typo, it was that even the 2350 date was not subject to peer review and was made with no supporting evidence.  It carried the same weight as a drunk in a pub taking credit for the tennis skills of Roger Federer.  The claim about the Amazon had nothing to do with climate change, but was concerned with the effects of deforestation and fire, as made clear by the author who condemned his reports use for the purpose of propaganda.

The Netherlands story was evidence of a clear distortion made to make the risk of flooding appear worse than it really was.  As we are seeing in every AGW supporting comment, it finishes with a defence of the errors and claim that this doesn’t change the science – while offering no evidence that transforms the theories into facts.  Hilfiker, demonstrating a complete lack of self awareness of the hilarity of his deluded position ends by saying:

The real focus should have been on how climate-change deniers rely on bits of irrelevant information to distort the “debate” on a threat that is as near to certainty as science gets.

Perhaps the real focus should have been on how climate-change campaigners rely on unsupported claims and attributing naturally occurring events to the impact of man on the environment to distort the ‘debate’ on a threat that is in reality nothing more than a theory supported by increasingly discredited scientific ‘evidence’.  David Hilfiker is a shining example of the kind of unthinking, agenda driven drone who clings to the man made global warming narrative.  Having snatched a free ride by jumping on the man made climate change bandwagon, he is now distraught to find it isn’t going to his desired destination.  What was that destination?  Hilfiker explains on his website:

As long as profit maximization, the sanctity of private property, and distribution solely by supply and demand remain the unexamined bases of our economic system, we will not be able to feed the hungry or prevent ecological destruction.

Among those who ardently hope and work for change, there is a different opinion.  Many believe that without a fundamental re-orientation in power relationships no change will be possible.  It is power, they say, that determines the course of society; until those who rule society are replaced, we cannot expect justice or sustainability[...]

[...] We do not have much time left before environmental catastrophe overtakes us.  We won’t find environmental balance unless we deal with injustice.  The current economic system cannot bring either justice or sustainability.  The economic system will not change until we change its assumptions.

Unless we begin to think differently, we will not act differently.

Is anyone surprised?

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When it comes to climate science economists are still dismal

What never ceases to amaze me is the number of economists who have transformed themselves into world authorities on climate science and psychology.  Moreso than any other specialism, economists seem to possess a curious certainty that the climate is changing and that man is causing it.  It seems that tired of being specialists in what is known as the dismal science, many economists are trying to position themselves as actual scientists.  All too often the result is the kind of unthinking fanaticism and intolerance usually found in a religious convert.  A case in point is this ill-mannered rant by Jeffrey Sachs in yesterday’s Guardian.

Like many others of his ilk, Jeffrey Sachs had an eye to the main chance and jumped onto the passing climate bandwagon with the intent of pursuing a political agenda.  It is because Sachs’ interest is in political outcomes that his abusive op-ed is devoid of any coherent scientific argument.  It is  nothing more than a lazy rehash of tired and discredited claims designed to fill some column inches.  The thrust of Sachs’ piece is that people sceptical of anthropogenic (man made) global warming, or AGW, are horrid creatures doing the bidding of nasty lobby groups:

The global public is disconcerted by these attacks. If experts cannot agree that there is a climate crisis, why should governments spend billions of dollars to address it?

The fact is that the critics — who are few in number but aggressive in their attacks — are deploying tactics that they have honed for more than 25 years. During their long campaign, they have greatly exaggerated scientific disagreements in order to stop action on climate change, with special interests like Exxon Mobil footing the bill.

Sachs’ first paragraph hits the nail square on the head.  That is the root of the argument of the rapidly growing counter consensus.  But, you may wonder, what on earth does Sachs mean by this claim of tactics honed over 25 years?  It all becomes clear two paragraphs down.  It is just the latest variation on the theme of playing the man and not the ball:

Today’s campaigners against action on climate change are in many cases backed by the same lobbies, individuals, and organisations that sided with the tobacco industry to discredit the science linking smoking and lung cancer. Later, they fought the scientific evidence that sulphur oxides from coal-fired power plants were causing “acid rain.” Then, when it was discovered that certain chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were causing the depletion of ozone in the atmosphere, the same groups launched a nasty campaign to discredit that science, too.

It isn’t just pathetic, it is sad in its juvenile desperation.  Many AGW sceptics are frustrated that governments and organisations, such as preening Sachs’ own Earth Institute, fight a faux battle against CO2 while ignoring the real environmental damage caused by a range of different types of pollution and destruction of natural resources such as the rainforests.  As for Sachs’ argument that climate change will hit poor people more than the wealthy, people should ask themselves how the expensive ‘solutions’ proposed are any different.  The cost of the solutions will still be disproportionately borne by the poor.  But of course, they are beneficial for the industrial vested interests that Sachs supports.  As always, follow the money when people try to enforce changes on the rest of us.

What is noticeable about the piece is that is maintains a theme consistent in other such polemics, arguing simply that we must trust the science.  This continues despite the science being steadily discredited as every act of scrutiny throws up evidence of unsupported claims, or data manipulation, or inaccurate record keeping, or arbitrary adjustments or wildly overstated projections based on flawed computer models.

While asking Guardian readers to trust the science, Sachs is careful not to cite any specifics.  The reason is clear.  Sachs knows that any specifics will be scrutinised and there is a high probability that what he asserts will be similarly discredited, destroying his argument and whatever credibility he thinks he has.  So it is that the AGW campaigners are now restricted to crude generalisations and implorings that the underlying science is sound – when it is anything but – and repeated attempts to undermine their opponents with ad homines attacks rather than arguing points of science.  The game is up but they will not go down without a fight because money, power and influence are at stake, so the battle continues.

It seems almost ironic that we should describe Jeffrey Sachs as a ‘dismal scientist’.  The description of economics as a dismal science is generally attributed to Thomas Carlyle who gave economics that nickname in response to the assertions of Thomas Malthus, who predicted that starvation would result as projected population growth would exceed the rate of increase of food supply.  Sachs’ Earth Institute concerns itself with, among other things, overpopulation of the planet.  The parallels between Sachs and Malthus are extraordinary and the description of Sachs as a dismal scientist could not be more fitting.

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Shane Greer rants to show Total Politics is not biased

It’s certainly the day to be listening to BBC Five Live.  After being treated to the Winterton eruption this morning on the Stephen Nolan show, listeners to the ‘Drive’ programme had the truly memorable experience of having their hearing assailed by the Executive Editor of Total Politics magazine and ‘one of the UK’s most prominant (sic) political bloggers’ Shane Greer.

You would have thought that being invited onto the show to discuss Winterton’s ridiculously pompous outburst, Greer would approach the subject in a calm and analytical fashion.  Not a bit of it.  In his determination to disprove unfair allegations that Total Politics is biased to the Conservatives, the little terrier hurled invective and insult about the elderly Tory.  In fact, Greer so warmed to his task his hatchet job turned into a rant that saw him continue to speak rudely over presenter Peter Allen.  One wonders whether Greer’s schoolboy politics approach to discussion live on radio was an attempt to impress his boss, the political uber blogger and aspiring Conservative Parliamentary candidate Iain Dale, who earlier in the day rounded off a blog post about Total Politics’ recent interview with Winterton by observing:

Sadly for Sir Nicholas, it was the other story which was picked up by the press.

More evidence of Total Politics’ Tory bias. Haha.

Perhaps Tory supporting Greer wanted to curry favour with Tory high command which, with an election campaign unofficially underway and suffering an onslaught of class-related attacks from the hypocritical, well heeled, champagne socialists over at Labour, has put transatlantic distance between the party and Winterton.

Interestingly it is not often that Peter Allen gets riled up, but Greer succeeded in irritating the presenter to such a degree that a dressing down was forthcoming and Allen was forced to defend Winterton from the attacks because the man was not on air to do so himself.  So irritated was Allen, he concluded his chat with Greer by asking him if he was a member of any political party, in the hope of exposing a cover Cameron’s back motive for the ad hominem assault on Winterton.  Greer surprisingly mumbled something about not being so now, which given his Conservative loyalty was something of a turn up.  But that little puzzler was put to bed a short while ago on Greer’s Twitter account as the youthful one helpfully explained to his followers ‘Have just renewed my Party membership! Can’t believe I forgot’.  Hopefully ‘Dave’ will forgive him his transgression.

Shane Greer doesn’t need to worry.  No one could deduce from his performance that Total Politics is biased or a Tory stooge rag.  It’s a balanced and well written organ.  However, listeners might consider that the magazine’s Executive Editor is a rude and arrogant little whelp with the manners and media skills of a badly behaved chimpanzee.  Which when you think about it is probably a more damaging indictment of being accused of being politically partial.  I’m not sure if Iain Dale and David Cameron will be as delighted as Greer hopes.

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