Archive for July, 2010

Casual anti Israel bias continues on BBC

When it comes to Israeli retaliation for terrorist attacks launched against innocent civilians, BBC journalists either don’t get it, or do get it but have an anti-Israeli agenda to service.

Retaliatory actions by Israel get full coverage from our public service broadcaster as you can see here.

But as always there is only a passing explanation for the action, which is inevitably played down when, by sheer luck, the terrorist attack only causes property damage and fails to kill any Israelis.  There was no report on Friday about the rocket attack.  It was ignored.  Why?  The murderous intent behind the attacks by Palestinian terrorists is completely ignored by the BBC reporter filing the story.

And no opportunity to engage in naked moral equivalence is missed as reports are rounded off with a regular effort to portray the conflict as one sided and position the terrorists as underdogs:

Correspondents say such attacks are almost always ineffective, with rockets mostly landing in open fields.

Oh well, that’s alright then. Presumably that’s why attacks such as these aren’t reported and their impact explained, because the weapons those nice Palestinians use aren’t as effective.

One Thai farmer in Israel has been killed in the past year.

See it’s only one person, so what’s the big deal?

Dozens of Palestinians, some of them civilians, have been killed in attacks from Israel over the same period.

See?  The Israelis are worse.  Those nasty Israelis just launch these raids for fun and kill lots of oppressed Keffiyeh wearing chaps going about their lives.  It’s an outrage isn’t it?  Do you understand?  Palestinians = good, Israelis = bad.  You can trust us on this, we’re the famously impartial BBC for heaven’s sake.  You know that because once in a blue moon we might actually publish an article telling you the Israelis perspective.

That would be the BBC that also fails to put these matters into context for readers.  After all, where was the report about the four rockets and two mortar rounds that were fired at Israel just one week ago?  Or the terrorist team that was intercepted just days earlier as they tried to get into Israel from their supposed ‘prison camp’ to commit another attack?  We have to rely on local media for such information because the BBC can’t be relied upon to present the full picture.

Is it any wonder that we see comments such as these from people whose ignorance of the reality of life in Israel is matched only by their hatred of the Israelis who are determined to hold the line and strike back against their attackers?  People who fail to note that Hamas, which controls Gaza through fear and repression, refuses to engage in direct peace talks with Israel, that even the Arab League supports, citing yet more excuses for maintaining their hateful violence.

Make no mistake, Israel often does things that are wrong or indefensible, things that are rightly condemned.  But it must not be forgotten that the state of Israel has an obligation to combat the continuous threats it faces from people whose only goal is the destruction of Israel and the death or expulsion of the Jews from that land – a land the Jews had inhabited well before the time of Christ.

The madness of Prince Charles

Many people have long suspected that Prince Charles isn’t the full ticket.  He has done nothing to counter that suspicion in a documentary made for US television called Harmony.

Reported by the Daily Mail, in his own words His Royal Highness explains:

‘I can only somehow imagine that I find myself being born into this position for a purpose.

‘I don’t want my grandchildren or yours to come along and say to me, “Why the hell didn’t you come and do something about this? You knew what the problem was”. That is what motivates me.

‘I wanted to express something in the outer world that I feel inside… We seem to have lost that understanding of the whole of nature and the universe as a living entity.’

Perhaps such a self reverential perspective should be expected after a life spent encapsulated in a monarchist bubble, where every whim has been satisfied and as a person one is elevated to an exalted level by the courtiers and hangers on who think the Royals are somehow superior to other human beings.

The real problem is that Prince Charles has sought out and attached himself to a politicially motivated movement – which uses climate change as a rider to achieve political, economic and social aims that do nothing to tackle real environmental issues, such as pollution, deforestation and the recreational destruction of wildlife.

But maybe I am being unfair to Prince Charles by describing this as a form of madness.  Perhaps it is nothing more than plain old conceited arrogance and an inflated sense of self worth.

David Frum shreds Cameron’s Turkey speech

David Frum writing in Canada’s National Post says:

The slap at Israel was bad – the failure to condemn the Hamas government in Gaza even worse – but the real evil in British Prime Minister David  Cameron’s speech in Ankara was the way in which it fed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s delusions of grandeur.

Not only did Cameron make false assertions about Israel and Gaza, but as Frum points out, Cameron’s fact checking about Turkey was wrong too.  It seems that Cameron will continue to just make things up to suit his audience. You can read the piece in full here.

Con-Lib energy policy: Pay much more, get less

Welcome to Britain, a land being dragged back into the 19th Century by a political class determined to enact changes that reverse the progress made over many decades in order to appear virtuous. (Hat tip: EU Referendum).

Chris Huhne, for it is he, has again been talking energy in the Westminster bubble.  As the Telegraph reports, his vision of our future energy provision and energy use means households will see a rise in their annual energy bills of at least £300, while at the same time they will be put under pressure to reduce energy consumption.  The government wants us to change our lifestyles to make it possible for them to impelement their regressive vision of the future.

The lights are not going to go out on my watch…

Huhne told reporters.  He’s right about that.  By the time the lights start going out because of this ridiculous obsession with CO2 and wind turbines – and the nonsensical refusal to put public money into building essential nuclear capacity and resulting variable and unreliable nature of energy generation, Huhne and his fellow travellers will have long since been ejected from office for their incompetence.  Our friends at EU Referendum have suggested an alternative way of dealing with these idiots – while revealing just how high the cost of our energy could go.

When one considers that a substantial number of properties in this country cannot be insultated due to their design, what difference will a smart meter make to them?  While the Con-Lib cabal are eager to invest public money in expensive and inefficient technologies to increase the proportion of power coming from renewables from the current 5 per cent to at least 15 per cent, making our energy mix more unreliable, they refuse point blank to invest in nuclear. 

Investing in nuclear power stations today could bring forward the date when reactors could come on line to fill the gap left by retiring coal and gas fired plants.  While we tilt at windmills, many other countries who do recognise the need for nuclear and are booking up the limited number of specialists who can build the reactors.  We are missing a window of opportunity to look after our interests because our leaders are living out their eco fantasies at our expense.

Huhne, Cameron and the rest of the virtuous circle of millionaires have got it badly wrong.  But they are in good company because their Brokeback partner, Nick Clegg, also gets things badly wrong.  Given Huhne’s acceptance that we have a coming energy gap, let’s just take a moment to recall what Clegg said about warnings of the lights going out:

The Government has spooked everyone into thinking that we need nuclear by saying there’s going to be a terrible energy gap – the lights are going to go out in the middle of the next decade,” Mr Clegg said.

There’s actually no evidence that’s the case at all. They’ve raised the wrong problem in order to push the wrong solution.

The real problem is that our energy mix is not green enough and we’re over-dependent on oil and gas from parts of the world that aren’t very reliable.

And wind turbines that produce only about 25% of their potential generation capacity are reliable??  Such a wrongheaded mindset underlines the dangerous folly we are being sucked into.  Our leaders are doing too little, too late.  The immense cost of this inaction dating back many years are now being passed on to us.  And the best these idiots can come up with is to tell us to pay more and use less power while they look around for places to plant more windmills. 

If these people continue to hold sway, we may as well go out today and buy the new line of low energy, CO2 neutral washing machines shown in the picture above.  But count on it that uber-wealthy 7-home Huhne and his ilk will not have to resort to such measures themselves.

Cameron courts the Islamic street with attack on Israel

Israel can be excused for thinking that with friends like David Cameron it doesn’t need enemies.  It can also be excused for wondering how a man with an Eton and Oxford education can be so lacking in critical faculties. 

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in his desire to cosy up to Turkey and continue the enlargement of the very EU he tries to claim he is sceptical of, has made not one but two false assertions in his speech in Ankara today. The first concerned the flotilla of vessels that aimed to break the blockade of the port in Gaza, about which he said:

The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable.

It was not an attack at all. Israeli defence forces effected a boarding of a number of vessels to inspect their cargo. The crew of one vessel, Turkish nationals, decided to attack the boarding party with a variety of weapons. It was only when this violence continued that the Israeli personnel had to use lethal force to defend themselves.  This is borne out by video evidence.  The distinction is important and Cameron’s assertion is wrong and unjustified.  Then he continued on the Gaza theme:

Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.

The fact is aid and goods do flow into Gaza from Israel.  Israel has attempted to stop certain materials that can have military application from being channeled to Hamas – a terrorist organisation.  Perhaps Cameron has forgotten that Egypt also has restrictions on goods and people crossing its border into Gaza.  If Gaza is a prison camp, then it is remarkably well equipped if overcrowded.  The latest mobile phones, computers and consumer items are all available – although Palestinian profiteers are controlling supplies of some basics in order to drive up prices and increase their own earnings.

Cameron is either ignorant or he is peddling deliberate deceptions to ingratiate himself with the Turks.  Either way the rhetoric only serves in inflame opinion against Israel, which continues to face aggression from groups such as Hamas, countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Iran and their proxies such as Hezbollah.  Presumably Turkish aggression against the Kurds and border incursions into Iraq to attack PKK targets are fine.  It seems on Planet Cameron only Israel should be berated when it stands up to terrorism.

Notably absent from Cameron’s soft soaping of Israel’s opponents was any mention of Hamas’ criminal and terrorist behaviour.  Nothing was said about the Fatah members who were thrown from rooftops in Gaza by Hamas fighters. Nothing was said about Palestinians who fled to Israel for protection and received hospital treatment after being attacked by Hamas members.  No, the only aggressor and party worthy of vilification in that part of the world is Israel and Cameron has demonstrated he will put expediency before honesty.

According to the official record 10,726,614 UK citizens voted for a Conservative government in May.  Instead they got Cameron’s cabal of conservatives in name only. Forget the heir to Blair line. These political pygmies with their own peculiar brand of schoolboy politics are the heirs to David Owen.

Ironically Labour got it right by calling Cameron a chameleon. Unfortunately he changed colour to a pinkish yellow rather than the deep blue conservatives had hoped for. This country swapped one left of centre government for another left of centre government. The Conservative logo was a flag of convenience, nothing more.

One wonders how long the grassroots will stomach this hijack of their party and coup by the Tory wets, whose approach and behaviour handed Blair his triumph in 1997.

Only in Britain

What never ceases to amaze is just how idiotic people described as learned can be.  The Home Office policy which allows for foreign nationals who have been refused permission to remain in Britain to be deported quickly after the decision, has been struck down by another activist judge, Mr Justice Silber.

So what we have in Britain now is a constraint that makes it illegal to quickly deport people who are have been deemed to be present in this country illegally.

Despite having gone through the immigration process and legal system and having been refused permission to stay, the judiciary is preventing people with no right to remain here from being sent home – in order to provide them with the opportunity to continue fighting against the decision at taxpayer expense, until some other judge decides to give them indefinite leave to remain in this country.

The lawyers make a nice pile of cash, the legal aid budget is stretched to breaking point and someone without grounds to come here as an asylum seeker is allowed to stay regardless.  Just to ensure the game continues to be played in the same way, any discussion about immigration is shut down by a political class that is incapable of anything beyond affording itself more control over our lives and engaging in gesture politics.

European Investigation Orders will erode national sovereignty

Remember all those Eurosceptic noises that were made by the Conservative Party in recent years?  Actions speak louder than words and that fact is about the brought into clear focus thanks to the planned forthcoming implementation of European Investigation Orders (EIO) reported in the dead tree press today.

For while the Conservatives chant their mantra about being ‘in Europe but not run by Europe’, they concede to every directive that emerges from Brussels that cement still further the EU’s control over the United Kingdom.  This is evident from the news that Theresa May, the Conservative Home Secretary, will announce she plans to sign up to the European Investigation Order (EIO) – a move that has been identified by Steve Peers, professor of Law at Essex University, as:

“… an attack on the national sovereignty of Member States, which would in effect lose their power to define what acts are in fact criminal if committed on the territory of their State.”

Not run by Europe?  The continuing Conservative deception concerning our relationship with the EU is exposed once again.  Many decent Tory backbenchers have again had the legs cut from under them by the self serving autocrats who hold the whip hand over party and policy.  Why these MPs remain in a party that lies repeatedly to the public passes understanding.

The EIO is an insipid instrument that builds upon the European Evidence Warrant (EEW), but crucially it sweeps away most of the grounds upon which states could refuse a request for mutual assistance in criminal investigations – thereby eroding protections that existed to ensure individuals were treated in a just and fair manner.  As Peers explains in the document linked above:

The combination of these changes [from EEW to EIO] would mean that a person who committed an act which is legal in the Member State where the act was carried out could be subject to body, house and business searches, financial investigations, some forms of covert surveillance, or any other investigative measures within the scope of the Directive as regards any ‘crime’ whatsoever which exists under the law of any other Member State, if that other Member State extends jurisdiction for that crime beyond its own territory. Note that there is nothing in EU law or any other set of rules in this area which restricts a State from extending its extraterritorial jurisdiction over criminal offences.

The effect of all this is to further erode national sovereignty and centralise power outside member states.  The systems of law and order in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively, are being changed without reference to or sanction by the people who will be subjected to police action directed by a foreign power.

For all the fine rhetoric of David Cameron and Nick Clegg, pledging as they have to give people more power over their lives, the reality is people are being ever more tightly controlled by the organs of the state.  The political class has seen to it that we have no legal recourse to prevent this increase of state control and we are sleepwalking into a totalitarian nightmare.

At last, a justification for banning the burqa

Having read and listened to the arguments for and against banning the burqa, nothing had assuaged my unease about the idea of legislating what clothing people can wear.  However, from the pages of the insufferably conceited Guardian, a rationale for coming down in favour of banning the burqa in public places has emerged courtesy of left wing ‘funny man’ David Mitchell…

If Britain decides to ban the burqa I might just start wearing one

If banning the burqa results in Mitchell covering up his permanently self satisfied and smug expression, then maybe it’s a price worth paying.  Now we just need an MP to propose the banning of silence in the hope Mitchell also gives up speaking and spares us having to suffer his annoying whining drone.

Huhne signals extension of Con-Lib energy policy folly

The Sunday Telegraph is among a number of media outlets carrying the frustrating and worrying news that Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, will this week pave the way for a controversial increase in wind turbines – wait or it – in a bid to protect Britain from a looming energy crisis!

If there is one thing guaranteed to precipitate an energy crisis for this country, it is the determination to squander taxpayers’ money on subsidies for wind powered electricity generation, despite evidence showing that carefully selected onshore windy areas where turbines have been put up, barely achieve 20% of the generation capacity they were built to deliver.  It is delusional of Huhne to suggest that Britain can be protected from a looming energy crisis by putting up even more wind turbines that have proved incredibly inefficient at generating power when it’s needed.

Due to its intermittent and variable nature and the propensity for the wind not to blow during times of peak demand (think back to the lack of wind during the bitingly cold winter), wind turbine generated power can never form the energy baseload required to underpin Britain’s electricity needs.  Yet it is the baseload capacity that requires replacement due to the age of the fossil fuel driven power stations and the government’s half baked, EU-driven Low Carbon Transition Plan.

The only stable and therefore reliable form of generating baseload electricity that isn’t fossil fuel based is nuclear power.  It should be a no brainer that this is where government should be devoting its financial resources.  But in a demonstration of ignorance and stunning arrogance in his Sunday Telegraph interview, Chris Huhne has declared that there will be “no money” for state subsidies for a new generation of nuclear power plants.  One can only question the mental state of man because such an approach could be catastrophic for this country.

To compound his idiocy, Huhne went on to praise electric cars, claiming that models such as the Tesla sports car, which goes from 0-60mph in under four seconds, showed that energy saving needs not hamper on-road performance.  Just where the extra electricity to meet the new and additional demand for power for such vehicles will come from, Huhne doesn’t say.  But you can guarantee his beloved wind turbines will fall well short of delivering the required capacity.

The fact is Huhne is a liar. He is just another political charlatan.  For him to declare that onshore wind turbines were “incredibly competitive” in producing electricity is an outright deception.  The generation figures show wind turbines are inefficient.  Added to that the cost to electricity consumers to support the wind turbine feed onto the grid make wind power far more expensive than coal or gas.  Renewables cost more.  When Huhne says:

“We have a tremendous natural resource in the Dogger Bank, which is an enormous shallow area of the North Sea, the same size as Wales.

“It’s relatively cheap to put wind turbines in that shallow area. It’s beautifully windy so it does actually produce a lot of electricity – that is a really important natural resource for us.”

he also omits to mention that offshore turbines are suffering from subsidence and sinking into the seabed and the cost of fixing the problem runs into tens of millions of pounds that will also be met through electricity bills.  So much for relatively cheap. Relative to what, exactly? If there is no government subsidy of nuclear energy then the costs of electricity consumers could more than double in a short space of time.  The investment required to keep the lights on, raised by energy companies on the markets alone, will prove astronomically expensive and be passed on in our energy bills.  Many millions more Britons will be consigned to real fuel poverty as a direct result of Lib Dem intransigence, climate change obsession and fantasy politics.

Huhne, like his boss Nick Clegg, is guilty of ignoring the reality of our situation and using energy policy as a poster boy for their greenwashing of society.  After all, Clegg says there is no looming energy gap in the first place and argues our energy problem is a lack of renewables in our energy mix.  Yet his and Huhne’s policy is to preside over a policy that will reduce the proportion of reliable energy sources in that mix.  It is truly the politics of insanity and we are about to become its victims – and all under a Conservative dominated government.

Update: EU Referendum has more on this supposed ‘march of progress’.

Cameron to kill off the Conservative Party?

Could the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats merge to fight the next election as a single force? asks Paul Goodman on ConservativeHome.  Many people will immediately dismiss the idea as unworkable or unsuitable.  But if there is one thing that David Cameron and Nick Clegg have shown since negotiations commenced to create a coalition government, their hunger for power and authority trumps any manifesto promise and anything akin to ideology.

There is an irony in Cameron’s migration of the Conservatives away from the centre right of politics.  He has long argued that the Conservative Party had to change.  The subtext was that if it failed to do so it would die.  As he said:

“We know we have to change. I stood for the leadership because I’m fed up with hearing that this party is out of touch, backward-looking and lacks compassion”

Cameron rammed his personal vision of necessary changes through without any reference to the people who comprise the party and used it as the opportunity to tear up long held conservative principles, so the party reflected his social democratic mindset – a process that accelerated in stunning fashion in order for him to reach his personal goal of taking up residence in 10 Downing Street.

But now that change process has brought Cameron to the point where he is without doubt considering a merger with the Liberal Democrats, an act that by its very nature will kill the Conservative Party as we know it.  In a coalition electoral merger the centre right conservative policies and principles that have been jettisoned by Cameron, seemingly for convenience, will remain permanently consigned to the bin of history because he simply never believed them.  As Tim Montgomerie has previously argued, to keep the Lib Dems strong enough to play their part in keeping the coalition afloat the coalition will have to move further to the left.  It certainly won’t be allowed to fall apart because Cameron wants to cling to Number 10 at any cost.

For Cameron the Conservative Party was never anything more than a flag of convenience to be used to achieve his personal ambitions.  Now he has reached his desired destination Cameron is showing his true colours.  By openly revealing his barely concealed natural affinity with the centre left values of the Liberal Democrats, Cameron seems ready to cast off the Conservative vessel in favour of a new hulk created jointly with Clegg’s Liberals. He is on the verge of killing off the Conservative Party.

The losers in this – in the short term at least – will be the genuine conservatives who despite everything have clung to the party’s apron strings in the hope that in power Cameron would unveil a genuine conservatism.  It remains to be seen how long many of them will tolerate a government that is demonstrably devoid of conservative values before rediscovering the courage of their convictions.

While Cameron may have perpetrated a confidence trick on a large part of the electorate that thought it would get conservative government if it voted for his party, he perpetrated nothing less than a wholesale fraud on those who loyally trusted in him and campaigned to deliver him to Downing Street.  On both counts there will eventually be a reckoning.

Polanski escapes justice for sex with 13-yr-old

The film director, Roman Polanski, has been freed from house arrest by Switzerland after an extradition request by the United States was turned down.  The Swiss seem to be suggesting there was some kind of fault in the US request.  Polanski can consider himself unjustly fortunate for not suffering the consequences for effectively raping a child. 

Just think, if Polanksi had been arrested in the United Kingdom his extradition would have been a certainty.  Just ask the NatWest Three, Gary Mulgrew, David Bermingham and Giles Darby, who were carted of to the US without so much as a prima facie case being presented to a UK judge.  In contrast, Polanski had been found guilty and fled the day before sentencing.

When people say there is no justice in this world they might just have a point.

Cameron and Clegg’s power give away is a sham

There is a joint communique today in the Telegraph from Cleggeron command, designed to soothe the masses with promises to devolve power from the centre into the hands of the people.

Amidst the reference to the fixing the economy,  improving education, having a first class NHS, law and order and ‘strong communities’, Call me Dave and Little Nick paint this picture of their vision for giving away power to the people:

Whatever the differences that exist between us and our parties, we both passionately believe in giving people more power over their lives. It has become increasingly clear to us that we can be a strong, reforming government if we build outwards from the instincts we share.

But our commitment to give power away isn’t just born of instinct; it has been strengthened by the evidence of the past. For decades, governments have assumed that the only way to make things better is to centralise. Of course, central government has a crucial role to play, but it cannot and should not try to do everything. It’s time for the central state to allow the genius of grassroots innovation, diversity and experimentation to take off.

The whole thing is, of course, a sham.  The Cleggeron tells us that for decades government have assumed the only way to make things better is to centralise.  Despite their fine words, Cameron and Clegg are intent on continuing along the same path.  For the fact is it ‘s impossible to truly devolve power from the centre when you follow a course that centralises power in the EU. 

 The joint speech from the two men was notable for the absence of any reference whatsoever to the EU or Europe in general.  One could be forgiven for thinking that they are somewhat divorced from reality, but they know very well what they are saying is patronising cant.  Their words are carefully calculating and designed to give the illusion of control where very little exists.  They are offering what is not theirs to give, and will remain such until a British government has the sense and conviction to take back political control over the affairs of this nation.

Say one thing, do another.  It is the Cameron and Clegg way.  This is just one of many shams being ‘sold’ to the public.  Thankfully it seems in the comments section of the Telegraph article enough people can see through this shallow promise to expose it for what it is and challenge the notion.  But as we have come to expect from the political class, such observations will be ignored and the politicians will carry on doing what suits them in spite of the wishes of the electorate.

Education professionals undermining our children

In today’s News of the World, David Cameron shares his fears that he will struggle to give his children a decent education because there are so few good comprehensive schools close to Number 10.  As Cameron explained:

“In some parts of the country, there isn’t a choice of good schools,”

This is something that has been apparent to parents for many years.  Why else do parents spend a fortune to buy houses in the catchment areas of schools that do deliver a good standard of education to youngsters?  Why else are decent performing schools oversubscribed by many times for each place?  It’s just another example of Cameron stating the bloody obvious.

But while Cameron laments this state of affairs and gives the impression of standing on a level playing field with other parents, there is a complete absence of an explanation from him about why there are so few good schools.  For Cameron, a political coward who is only capable of facing down his own side, is terrified of admitting there are so few good schools because the standard of teaching is so poor.

And is it any wonder why the standards are so poor when the Chairman of the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), Zenna Atkins, holds views such as this:

every school should have a useless teacher […]

[…] If kids can manage to cope with one bad teacher that’ll be a good learning lesson for them in life – it is not necessarily an absolute disaster.

Why should any schoolchild have to cope with a bad teacher?  Atkins has desperately tried to qualify her comments and wrap them into a different context, but the fact remains the person with responsibility for educational standards has such views.  The teaching unions are just as bad, given they are loathe to let any incompetent teacher be removed from a school.  The interests of children should be of absolute priority, but in reality they aren’t.  The children are expected to cope and if they can’t, well that’s just too bad.

Is it any wonder why the United Kingdom has slipped down the international league tables when it comes to ability in English, Maths and Sciences?

Sir Patrick Stewart – modesty personified

Watching the build up to the British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone usually results in some kind of insight into the stars of the track.  But today the most amusing insight was into a star of stage and scree, Sir Patrick Stewart.

When asked about a conversation he had just had with McLaren’s former World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, the noble Knight told viewers that Hamilton had told him how nice it had been to meet him!  As the moment of hubris dawned on Labour-luvvie Stewart he tried to squeeze in how nice it had been to Hamilton, but it was clearly an afterthought.

It was certainly an amusing prelude to the big race.

Amazongate: IPCC nailed over lies about peer reviewed material

(Original story: EU Referendum)  Christopher Booker of the Telegraph has persisted where other journalists could not be bothered to tread, and ensured a wider audience learns that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an untrustworthy and dishonest organisation.

The story by Booker tonight cements in the mainstream media the information presented by Dr Richard North, which exploded the denials, spin and manoeuvring of the IPCC.  At the time of Booker going to press the IPCC has still failed to respond to the charge that it broke it own rules and should retract a false claim and apologise.  Indeed, Booker’s piece will also result in red faces not only at the IPCC, but also at the politicised World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the BBC, the Guardian and the editorial board of the Sunday Times.

For as Booker tells Telegraph readers in his column this weekend:

It turns out that one of the most widely publicised statements in the 2007 report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a claim on which tens of billions of dollars could hang – was not based on peer-reviewed science, as repeatedly claimed, but originated solely from anonymous propaganda published on the website of a small Brazilian environmental advocacy group.

That statement concerned the claim that “up to 40 per cent of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation”.  The IPCC’s own rules state that such non-peer-reviewed material should only be cited when it has been subjected to rigorous critical appraisal and that:

“each chapter team should review the quality and validity of each source before including results from the source into an IPCC report”.

It is self evident that this did not happen as North demonstrated last week.  Not only that, but the original anonymous claim, for which there was no scientific basis, on the website of the Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM) was embellished so it referred to the wider Amazon rainforest and not just the area within the territorial borders of Brazil.  Why would such a thing happen?  Well, as readers will be reminded, there is big, big money at stake with organisations such as the WWF anticipating a share of a vast carbon credit windfall, paid for by consumers and taxpayers.

This is a common theme in the realm of climate change.  The science is only a means to achieving very profitable financial ends.  But these vested interests benefit from the unwitting assistance of useful idiots such as George Monbiot and fellow travellers who was to see capitalism undermined and wealth redistributed.

We should be grateful for the likes of Christopher Booker.  Having originally carried the news that the reference to the Amazon was not peer reviewed, the Sunday Times came under pressure to retract from those like Monbiot, for whom the story was inconvenient and unhelpful to their activism.  The Sunday Times editorial board caved in and issued a retraction when what they should have done was redoubled their efforts to make the story water-tight by getting their journalists to research and dig for more details. It resulted in the mainstream media again being cowed into silence by those with something to hide.  The days of fearless journalism seem all but over.  It is a terrible indictment on the state of journalism today and the paucity of strong editorial management.

Now the Sunday Times retraction, as Booker points out, requires its own retraction to reflect reality.  The efforts of North and Booker should be applauded.  The outcome is delicious.

Update: EU Referendum has created a comprehensive ‘index’ posting with full details of the story, containing relevant links and background.

The corruption of science

There hardly seems any point going over the arguments surrounding Climategate.  They have been extensively thrown back and forth, challenged, disseminated, scoffed at and critiqued at length.  The issue now concerns the concerted efforts of AGW alarmists to construct a narrative they intend to become the official history of Climategate.

In newspapers, journals and on websites around the world, a dedicated band of committed warmists is playing out the long game to airbrush inconvenient facts from history and embed their beliefs as a given truth.  The latest such effort to circle the wgaons can be found in the Canadian Chronicle Herald in a piece by a professor of geography, Dr Brad Walters of Mount Allison University.  The real Climategate scandal, according to this Zoologist who turned his hand to Environmental Studies, is that controversies over the credibility of climate science have been intentionally contrived.

For him the result of the inquiry by Sir Muir Russell and his ‘on message’ committee was the unambiguous vindication of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.  This casual misrepresentation of the report and ignorance of the limited terms of reference, by those with a vested interest in the money train that is climate science, is par for the course.  Shout loudest and keep repeating the lines to take seems to be the order of the day.  The aim is to convince people who doubt the shaky premise of AGW that everything the warmists believe and say is true.

Thus science has been corrupted to the point where it is now a vehicle for asserting ‘truths’ rather than a process to further investigation and continuous learning.

Climate science has become for many an article of faith that duplicates religion.  The supposed ‘facts’ have been committed to paper and all that is required is for the believers to learn them and repeat them without question.  The language of climate science is nothing more than a creed to be repeated by AGW adherents and accepted by all others.  Just as religion has been used as a tool to control behaviours, so climate science is being used to undermine economic approaches and achieve political ends.  It may not have been the intention, but it is now the reality.

Just as religion asks people to believe in many things that are improbable or defy logic and understanding, so climate science asks people to accept a number of beliefs and ideas as fact.  It requires people to trust in the honesty of a small clique of scientists whose methods and raw data are kept from public scrutiny, and the thousands of derivative scientific hangers on who accept all assertions and reports as beyond reproach and use the published conclusions as the baseline for further ‘research’ to reinforce the narrative.

Not for them the robust requirement of science to check, test and challenge every stage of the process.  No.  Not for them any investigation into where measurement stations are sited, how data is collected, why some samples are discarded and others are not, how ‘corrections’ are determined and applied to the data, etc.  Not for them any investigation into trivialities such as the effects of the Sun, or how other planets such as Mars have become warmer.  That would be to stray from the path.  So how can we rely on them?  And don’t even begin trying to understand how they can abide blatant manipulation of data to arrive at a pre determined conclusion.

This brings us to one supreme irony.  For many years many scientists have challenged many aspects of religions because so many of religion’s claims are based squarely on beliefs.  Now science has followed religion and seems incapable of challenging many aspects of its own, which are similarly based squarely on beliefs.  Clearly the Age of Reason is at an end.

UN appeases North Korea over Submarine attack

The United Nations has once again demonstrated fundamentally dysfunctional it is.  For today the UN’s Security Council has given an exhibition of appeasement to rival all others, by unanimously condemning the sinking of the South Korean warship, Cheonan – but bandying words to avoid blaming the aggressor, North Korea.

In fact appeasement is not the right word.  What the UN did today was nothing short of cowardice.  It backed down in the face of threats of further naked aggression by North Korea if blame for the sinking was laid at Pyongyang’s door.  The mighty international community has been pushed around by the playground bully, caved in and promised not to tell the teacher.  The dead members of the Cheonan crew were killed in the Yellow Sea and have now had their memories disrespected by craven yellow bellied diplomats.

The spin from the talking shop that the supposed condemnation shows the international community has taken a strong stance that no provocations against South Korea will be tolerated is just laughable.  Where is the lack of toleration of North Korea for the provocative act of sinking a South Korean Navy warship, killing 46 sailors?  Don’t do it again North Korea, or else you will be told in somewhat uncertain terms that if you do it again it won’t be tolerated, and that line will continue ad infinitum.  Yeah, that should do it.

No doubt there are some who will rail against this description of the UN’s action as cowardice.  Perhaps they will prefer to call it by its weasely alter ego currently so beloved of politicians and diplomats today, pragmatism.

Tories continue Labour’s obsession with gimmicks

Ahead of the General Election, the Labour Party demonstrated its fetish for celebrity and gimmickry hoping the popularity of entertainers and the famous would rub off and translate into electoral support.  Now the Conservatives are continuing the sad spectacle as ‘Call me Dave’ Cameron takes time out to ‘get down with the street’ by cosying up with the enemy of privacy, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook.

The excuse used for this hobnobbing is that, as ‘Call me Dave’ explained, the Cleggerons plan to use the Facebook social network to ask British citizens for ideas on spending cuts.  The Telegraph goes on to explain that:

The site, which has 26 million UK users, will invite people to submit their ideas for where public money might be saved via a “Spending Challenge Channel” on its Democracy UK page. There will also be microsites specially tailored to focus on key issues open for discussion and debate among the voting public.

What is the point?  Reasonable ideas such as not sending money to the EU so it can be sent back to us minus the massive administration costs, not sending money to countries like India and China which both devote multi million pound sums to their national space programmes, not sending our money to fund the training of overseas trade union activists, not using taxpayers’ money to subsidise wind turbine proliferation that drives up electricity prices and increases the risk of rota disconnections, and so on, will be ignored. 

If it is beyond the wit of Ministers to identify what spending in their departments is not essential and can therefore be reduced or cut without affecting the delivery of necessary front line services, then they have no business being in office.

This is just another attempt to give people the illusion of being able to influence the political class, using gimmicks to distract people from serious scrutiny of the Government and its performance.  It is bad enough that the public is denied a genuine stake in driving policy, it is even worse that we are treated like children by a bunch of paternalist control freaks who think they know best what’s good for us.

Muir Russell’s ‘inquiry’ changes nothing

Despite various journalists and committed climate change alarmists leaping upon Sir Muir Russell’s report to claim that it was a total vindication of their worldview (it wasn’t) and that the team at the University of East Anglia had been completely exonerated of any wrongdoing (they haven’t), nothing has changed when it comes to the settled debate about man-made global warming (it isn’t).

A commenter on the Guardian’s Comment is Free ‘Hacked climate science emails’ section (supposition not fact) puts the situation as it is today into clear context, demonstrating that for all the huff, puff and posturing of Russell’s ‘on message’ Climategate inquiry team, the facts remain the same.  He is not the only one who is FedUpWithPropaganda:

AGW can still be reduced to the following premise, on which it is all based:
That the earth is warming, and it is assumed it must be anthropogenic CO2 because we can’t figure out another plausible cause.. this premise is also made upon the once known ‘fact’ that these temperatures (in magnitude and rate of increase) are unprecedented – illustrated by the now panned ‘hockey stick’ graph that conveniently wiped out the little ice age and medieval warm period because to explain these events would have questioned seriously validity of the conclusion.

This is why words such as ‘hide the decline’ and ‘we must eliminate the MWP’ (instead of establishing it’s extent, you’ll note) are all so very worrying.

Most publications describe a warming trend (a trend that is not in disagreement with most ‘sceptics’), or loss of a species due to warming effects, and then say it’s down to human-induced climate changes – citing a few papers based on few researchers’ opinions.

Still now, nobody has proven to date in a paper that CO2 is causing catastrophic climate change, and yet so many people are utterly convinced it must be true.

Nail, hit, head.  Anthropogenic Global Warming remains nothing more than a hypothesis.  The selective use of data (remember the very limited sample of Yamal tree cores) demonstrates a flawed, perhaps even corrupt application of methods that are simply not scientific, but designed to arrive at a pre determined destination.

The climate is changing.  It always has and always will.  The only constant is the insanity – there is no more fitting word than this – of those who think the Earth’s climate is supposed to be stable, and if it isn’t then it must be down to human activity and can be controlled by a tiny reduction in the overall volume of CO2 in the atmosphere at astronomical cost.  The Russell inquiry was an irrelevance and the scientists need to be held to account.

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