Archive for September, 2010

Royal Society revised text is grist to the BBC climate change mill

BBC television and radio news bulletins this morning include the ‘news’ that:

The UK’s national academy of science, the Royal Society, has launched a new guide to the science of climate change.

The guide has been updated partly as a result of complaints by 43 of the Royal Society’s members who were concerned about the tone of its previous guide.

That was a point-by-point rebuttal of arguments put forward by those who doubt climate change is man-made.

But for many members of the Society, it was too strident and did not fully acknowledge areas of uncertainty.

While the BBC is reporting this part of the story, they have emphasised the key point that the climate change lobbyists in the Royal Society and elsewhere expect of them – the assertion that there is ‘strong evidence’ that the changing climate is largely driven by human activity. You can grind your teeth, watch your patience evaporate and shake your head at the sheer wilfull ignorance of it all by reading the new guide here.

Despite being forced to acknowledge the debate is far from settled, the Royal Society has not moved one millimetre from its quasi-religious belief in man made global warming. Despite supposedly being the UK’s leading scientific body, it remains resolutely determined to corrupt science by retaining a collective closed mind on anything that conflicts with their beliefs – regardless of scientific research that contradicts their view.

Nothing has changed as far as the Royal Society is concerned and the BBC’s editorial staff is making sure people understand that by forcing their chosen narrative down our throats in a 15 second soundbite.

Feed-in energy tariff discussion on BBC Five Live

A great return on investment!  Such was the message a short while ago on BBC Five Live as a discussion took place about the use of renewable energy

The discussion became positively gushing when listeners, who do not read EU Referendum and other sensible sources of information, were treated to the ‘revelation’ that by fitting photovoltaic solar panels to their roof at a cost of around £9000 they can benefit from payments worth up to £1000 per year guaranteed for 25 years.

The subtext, as voices became progressively more excited, was clear – Money for nothing! Free money! Fill your boots! Just as it was back in April.  As the presenter and his colleague and guests made clear, fitting solar panels to your roof will only save you around £100 per annum from your own domestic energy costs. That is smaller than very small beer and certainly makes no economic sense for the size of the required installation costs. However, it all becomes worthwhile when you understand that if your solar panels feed surplus power into the electricty grid, the tariff you are paid will generate a healthy return on investment. From an outlay of around £9000 you could reap up to £25000 in tariffs over the course of 25 years.

It goes without saying of course that there was no scrutiny or questioning of the source of the money to pay for this.  It should be no surprise to hear that it comes from you and me, those people who are energy consumers rather than energy generators feeding power into the grid.  We keep being told by the likes of Chris Huhne, and various other parasites who suck at the quango teat, that the era of cheap energy is over.  That is because the cost of our electricity is being driven up dramatically by huge taxpayer and consumer funded subsidies for inefficient energy sources, EU targets on the use of expensive and unreliable renewable energy, and by wheezes such as these lucrative feed in tariffs that make money for:

a) the well off who can afford to chuck £9000 or so into fitting photovoltaic panels to earn feed in payments
b) companies cashing in by fitting the panels on roofs for free in return for keeping the feed in tariff generated

This is the kind of insanity that passes for visionary forward thinking in the bubble of remote and insular politicians and their ilk.  This is the kind of insanity that increases the number of less well off people driven into fuel poverty, as they fund profits for companies and the well off who can afford to cash in on such financial lunacy.  But don’t expect those in the parallel universe inhabited by the BBC to give that a moment’s thought. They just wants us to bask in the faux virtue of paying more to get less in order to ‘save the planet’.

This is a scandal?

It’s been very difficult to blog recently. A sense of hopelessness pervades and the frustration one feels with our distant and self serving political class is increasingly turning to anger. The media is largely complicit in this, faithfully relaying the messages issued from our ‘leaders’ without pausing to scrutinise, question and challenge what they are saying.

So it is that we are spoon-fed such deceitful bullshit as that we have seen published this weekend.  First up is the liar-in-chief, the social democrat (yes, I know, the irony of it) David Cameron.  Writing in his favourite publication, The Guardian, this is what we saw yesterday:

It is not possible to give any worthwhile power back to the people from Whitehall when the vast majority of power is centralised in Brussels.  It is a deliberately misleading promise from a man who knows he is lying, but also knows we are powerless to do anything about it.  Sure, the public might vote the faux Conservatives and their Lib Dem allies out of power, but what will replace them?  Just more pro-Brussels lapdogs who will cede ever more power to the EU and put their own interests before that of the people they are supposed to represent.

In his piece, Cameron tells us that reading Tony Blair’s book demonstrates that ‘factionalism is fatal’.  Presumably that’s why all the main three political parties are now indistinguishable from each other and why Cameron’s Conservatives are enthusiastically giving away more national sovereignty as part of the project to cement the UK as a mere province of the EU.

Not convinced? Consider if you will the meek surrender of George Osborne to EU wishes to have oversight over the UK’s financial sector, putting the EU’s interests before Britain’s – and the craven decision by Theresa May to sign up to European Investigation Orders (EIO) both of which, surprise surprise, give away more power in direct contradiction of Conservative promise to arrest any futher export of control to foreign entities.

Despite this, what does Conservative MEP Roger Helmer determine to be a scandal?  Not the fact Theresa May signed up to the EIOs, in the first place but the fact police forces are complaining the orders could result in more work for them… as he says on his Twitter page:

Talk about missing the point.  Perhaps that is a scandal in itself.

A sense of perspective

Forget William Hague for now.  This subject is far more essential.  Across Europe today there will be plenty of talk about the agreement struck yesterday to beef up supervision of banks in EU member states.  The agreement gives new EU watchdogs a mandate to overrule national authorities (another reduction in sovereignty) and ban risky financial products that were widely blamed for the world’s worst recession in decades.

This will result in the imposition of a European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) and three new European Supervisory Authorities – a European Banking Authority (EBA), a European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and a European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).  But while this is likely to have harmful implications for London as a financial centre, the issues pales in comparison to the essential subject referred to at the start, where EU inflexibility could be a matter of life and death.

The EU’s Renewable Energies Directive (2009/28/EC) mandates a 10% share of renewable energies in transport fuels by 2020.  Earlier this year a report by the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI) presented to the European Commission advised that going beyond a 5.6% share of biofuels in transport fuel could harm the environment.  It suggested that the EU’s current target is only borderline sustainable because indirect land-use change has “an important effect on the environmental sustainability of biofuels”. While the EU takes comfort from the fact the IFPRI argued that current EU renewable energy targets are small enough to safeguard the environmental sustainability of biofuels, events around the world suggest otherwise.

The Food Security Risk Index of 163 countries, compiled by risk analysis firm Maplecroft, shows that a number of countries are at risk of food shortages.  While it lays the blame for a number of weather events at the door of that catch-all bogeyman, climate change, it nevertheless demonstrates that a number of countries could see their populations going hungry due to food shortages.  This comes at a time when the EU needs an increase in biofuel use to meet its arbitrary targets on renewable energy in transport – resulting in a conflict between feeding people and ticking a box on a piece of paper in Brussels.

Already Russia, a major wheat exporter, has banned grain exports until at least next year to protect its domestic needs after a 25% reduction in the harvest due to drought.  This has forced prices up.  Canada has lost over 15% of its harvest due to floods, adding to the pressure on grain supplies.  The Maplecroft report also details that Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to food insecurity because of the frequency of extreme weather events, high rates of poverty and failing infrastructures, including road and telecommunications networks, which decrease both production and distribution capacity.

Despite this, Friends of the Earth research suggests the demand in Europe for more crops for food and fuel (almost certainly a result of the Renewable Energies Directive) is driving a land grab in Africa.  The report ‘Africa: Up for grabs’ explains how agrofuels are competing with food crops for farmland, and agrofuel development companies are competing with farmers for access to that land.  The land grab is not only increasing food supply insecurity for those Africans who are losing their land, it is also resulting in the clearance of forests to increase the amount of agricultural land for biofuel development.  So far an area the size of Denmark has been bought up to service European demand in just 11 African countries.  The consequences could prove fatal.

The wrongheadedness of the EU’s obsession with biofuels as a way of tackling climate change is clear for all to see.  The possible impact on people who would be affected by food shortages is clear for all to see.  But the EU doesn’t care.  It doesn’t want to change its approach because of the perception that would be created by backing down on such a flagship policy.  It would rather people died from avoidable hunger than the EU be seen as having erred.  Don’t believe me?  Permit me to refer you back to the EU’s response previously carried on this blog.  Barbara Helfferich the spokeswoman for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, offered this startling rationale for refusing to back down on biofuels::

“There is no question for now of suspending the target fixed for biofuels.

“You can’t change a political objective without risking a debate on all the other objectives.”

You couldn’t make it up.  Sacrifice the people for the sake of the greater good.  Doesn’t this remind you of the approach of a certain Soviet leader with a penchant for repression and death?  It puts a lot of concerns in our lives into perspective.

Could Jon Snow start media focus on Hague – Myers nepotism?

On the subject of Hague-Myers there is at least one journalist who ‘gets it’.  Who would have thought that the irritating Jon Snow from Channel 4 would be the notable exception to the rule and correctly identify what the real story is here?  It’s a shame he has only done so on his blog.  Perhaps Channel 4 news will be the taxpayers’ champion and investigate further what Snow homed in on:

‘The issue in the Hague matter should have nothing to do with his sexuality. The only question is whether the aide he was “accused” of sharing a hotel room with was hired and employed according to whatever rules govern these matters,’

Snow excepted, the mainstream media in this country is behaving like a weapon of mass distraction.  What other conclusion can we draw when we see a concerted and determined attempt to discuss everything but the questions about Christopher Myers’ appointment as a special adviser to William Hague?

Instead we get the rubbish like this in today’s Guardian – “Does it matter who William Hague shares a room with?”  The paper has invited answers to that sideshow question from no less than Julian Baggini, Shirley Williams, Alastair Campbell, Anthony Seldon, Matt Wells, Mark Borkowski and Peter Tatchell.  What the hell?

The Independent focuses on windbag senior Tories supposedly piling pressure on William Hague over his ‘foolishness’.  Not the foolishness of appointing a completely unsuitable person as a special adviser, oh no.  No, this is the side issue foolishness about sharing a room with Myers during the campaign.  You can see the pattern emerging here.

The Telegraph is no better, with yet more tittle tattle about rumours of Hague’s sexuality, his friendship with Chris Myers and his voting record on same sex marriage and repeal of Section 28 being given their own special section!  If you’re looking for a serious bit of journalism from these overpaid Barclay Brother hacks, forget it.  The nub of the issue is being completely ignored.  How can the media let Hague get away with this assertion made in his melodramatic statement that:

“Christopher Myers has demonstrated commitment and political talent over the last eighteen months. He is easily qualified for the job he holds.”

without asking for evidence of what makes him qualified and probing into it?  Where is the proof to back up Hague’s claim?  Why is it being accepted at face value?  How many other cabinet ministers have a special adviser in their departments, paid for by the taxpayer, who is only four years out of college and whose background is constituency work and driving the new Minister around during the election campaign?  Just what great insight into foreign affairs does Myers possess that makes him a suitable adviser and offers the public value for money?

Thanks to the media it looks like our only hope of getting to the bottom of the issue that matters is Channel 4 news or the Freedom of Information request Guido Fawkes submitted asking for details about Myers’ appointment.  It shouldn’t be this way.  The media is failing us yet again.

Falling EU popularity prompts increased Eurobleating

The EUobserver wesbite reports that according to the Eurobarometer survey carried out in May and published last week, fewer than half of Europe’s citizens (49 percent) think that their country’s membership of the EU is a “good thing” – a seven-year low – while trust in the bloc’s institutions has dropped to 42 percent, six points down compared to autumn 2009. The response of the EU’s bleater-in-chief was all too predictable.

Instead of reflecting on why interference in the everyday lives of Europeans by an unelected, unaccountable and remote political elite is turning the people against the politicians’ project, President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, has blamed member states for not defending the European project during the economic crisis.  This should not be a surprise coming from the man who describes the Euro currency as an “extraordinary success” and pointed to the ‘fact’ that none of the EU countries could have weathered the financial crisis with their national currency alone.  UK anyone?  As delusion goes, this is right up there with the most outlandish claims.

Of course the problem is never that the EU itself is a self perpetuating, overbearing governmental monolith run by and for the political elite.  No, in Brussels the problem is identified as being we are not told often enough or strongly enough how good the EU is for we ungrateful serfs.  Hence Barroso’s idiotic admonishment of the member states for not issuing sufficient fawning propaganda praising all things EU.

If this is an example of what we can expect as part of Barroso’s communication ‘revolution’ to centre communication on the figure of the President, heaven help us.  The content from El Presidente is likely to provide a rich seam of material that will be beyond parody.  If only the stakes weren’t so high or so serious.

Cameron helps with Hague’s strawman over Christopher Myers

Bravo CCHQ and the Tory’s media relations team!  They are successfully keeping our dumbed down press focused on the least relevant element of the William Hague – Christopher Myers story.

They know that if you want to get the press’ attention you just have to keep the story centred on supposed allegations of illicit sex.  Throwing in a message of unqualified support from David Cameron’s spokesman adds to the distraction effort.  The media voyeurs lap it up and it gives the hypocritical hacks a chance to portray themselves as righteous and suitably indignant about such terrible and gossip. Just see the ludicrously sanctimonious Michael White in the Guardian for a fine example of it.

In fact White actually nods to the real meat of this story, but then vacates it swiftly in order to continue his childishly self indulgent war with Guido Fawkes (Paul Staines) with plenty of innuendo of his own for good measure. Yet despite his own comments, White has the gall to talk about the shaming of Fleet Street.  You couldn’t make it up.

Meanwhile, as our fearless press corps swarms around the contrived and overblown emphasis put on the nature of the relationship between Hague and Myers, and Hague’s indulgent tearjerker about heartstring-tugging events in his marriage, the real issue is completely ignored and questions that must be answered are left unasked…

  • Why was Christopher Myers appointed to the position of Hague’s special adviser at the FCO?
  • What specialist knowledge or in depth expertise of foreign affairs does he have?
  • What was the job description and requirements for the successful candidate?
  • Was he better qualified than anyone else for the role?
  • Was the role advertised to give suitably qualified and experienced people a chance to apply for it?

And those are just for starters.  For an open and above board appointment these questions should be easily answered.  But the dogged determination to divert attention away from these questions and keep attention fixed firmly on innuendo about extramarital sexual relations can only mean there was something inappropriate about Myers’ appointment Hague and his CCHQ friends are trying to keep hidden.  There is a rotten smell around this story.

Given the personal friendship between Hague and Myers a reasonable person would be within their rights to deduce that Myers’ appointment was an example of nepotism, of naked political patronage, where the taxpayers were left to pick up the tab for a favour done by Hague for his friend.

This has nothing to do with sexual conduct, orientation, miscarriages or personal tragedy. That is all a smokescreen.  But it does have everything to do with potential unacceptable behaviour in treating the taxpayer as a cash cow so employment can be provided for someone demonstrably lacking in knowledge and experience for the role, for no other reason than they are a mate.  The media is failing us yet again and the political class is laughing at us for being able to abuse the system for its own ends.

Mark Thompson: Much less overt tribalism at the BBC

‘There is much less overt tribalism among the young journalists who work for the BBC.’ So says the contradictory and self regarding Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson in an interview with hard left magazine the New Statesman.  And he’s right.  The BBC is a completely different organisation and there is much less overt tribalism among its journalists.

But that is not to say the tribalism has gone.  Rather the tribalism is, as Thompson says himself, much less overt.  He picked his words very carefully because the tribalism and the bias is still there at the BBC, it is just exhibited in a more subtle and underhand fashion.

The instances of overt bias have been replaced with different phenomenon… bias by omission where only one side of an argument is invited to make a case, and the employment of carefully chosen language to reinforce what BBC journalists consider to be the correct worldview.  Thompson went on to say that:

The BBC is not a campaigning organisation and can’t be, and actually the truth is that sometimes our dispassionate flavour of broadcasting frustrates people who have got very, very strong views, because they want more red meat.’

This of course is utter rubbish.  The BBC coverage of climate change (global warming) is, by the BBC’s own admission, partial. The BBC has long since taken the view that the debate is over and the science is settled and this is reflected in its programming which clearly campaigns for action to be taken to combat what it believes to be man made global warming.  It is easy to find further examples of this approach on topics as diverse as proposed public sector spending cuts, the fawning coverage of Islam compared with the dismissive and contemptuous coverage of Christianity, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.  But then, there is no need to take my word for it, because Thompson conveniently contradicts himself to illustrate how this happens:

I do think the BBC is very much – sometimes, frankly, almost frighteningly so – a values-driven organisation. People’s sense of what’s right and wrong, and their sense of justice, are incredible parts of what motivates people to join. I’m part of that. For me, that’s connected with my religious faith but the key thing is: you don’t have to be a Catholic.

Right, wrong, sense of justice… lots of self serving motivation, but where exactly is the commitment to impartiality and quality that is supposed to underpin the corporation?  Thompson paints a picture of an organisation people join in order to advance their own value set and seek what they consider to be justice, among similarly minded fellow travellers.  The evidence of groupthink is unmistakable.  Yet he wants to leave us with the impression that the bias has been eradicated.  He can’t have it both ways.  The BBC remains every bit as tribal and biased now as it was through the 1980s and 1990s and we still continue to fund, under pain of fine or imprisonment, the lavishly funded ego trip it offers to so many activist journalists.

Iain Dale takes full advantage of Hague-Myers story

It takes a special kind of arrogance to comment on a story that has nothing to do with you directly or in passing, but manage to insert yourself in the story for the purpose of self promotion.  But judging by his latest blog post on the William Hague – Christopher Myers story, Iain Dale has significant reserves of that unwelcome commodity.  How Dale managed to make the story about him and name drop his latest media appearance talking about it is quite staggering.

Perhaps it is worth remembering Dale had few qualms about getting stuck into the lurid coverage over John Prescott and Tracey Temple.  So setting himself up as the moral conscience of the political blogosphere as part of his defence of William Hague is rather hypocritical.  It’s evident Dale also has a major absence of critical faculties given his assessment of Hague’s self indulgent and deliberately emotive statement late this afternoon.  Hague asserted that:

“Christopher Myers has demonstrated commitment and political talent over the last eighteen months. He is easily qualified for the job he holds.”

Dale seemingly accepts this claim without question, even though it is core to the whole issue.  As Guido Fawkes rightly challenges in reply in the comment thread of Dale’s post:

Is this statement true? Was he better qualified than anyone else? What are the talents that Hague considered vital to aid the Foreign Secretary?

Somehow I think we’ll be waiting a long time for a considered response from ‘in the know’ Dale to those central questions. Over time Iain Dale’s Diary has literally become that, a publicly viewable engagement diary where Dale namechecks his meetings and interviews with an impressive list of contacts and his appearances on TV and radio.  The days when Dale used to provide an outsider’s view of what was happening inside the Westminster bubble are long gone.

Now he has worked his way through the membrane to the inside, offering safe tittle-tattle of little consequence.  It’s a shame because it is a great opportunity missed.  That is what makes this a bleak day for political blogging, not Guido’s story.

Is the Guardian embarrassed by perpetrator of Discovery Channel siege?

One has to wonder if the Guardian has an editorial reason for omitting details about why the hostage taker at the Discovery Channel building in Maryland has undertaken his siege.

The current Guardian version of the story provides no explanation for the actions of James J Lee. The Grauniad is only prepared to tell its readers that:

“Lee has a track record of protesting against the Discovery Corporation, although police refused to confirm him as the gunman.”

To find out why and to what end Lee has made protests in the past, the Guardianista will have to revert to other news sources, such as the Washington Post, which in complete contrast to the Guardian is reporting important background information about Lee:

Wednesday, as police tried to get the situation under control, details of Lee were emerging. His MySpace page shows a 43 year old who wanted to meet “environmentalists, scientists, readers of Daniel Quinn, and people who want to work toward a real change.”

Federal officials also confirmed that he was the creator of this Web site, which detail his complaints against Discovery. Among them was this one that seems to be aimed at the overpopulation of the planet: “All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs’ places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.”

Or even the pisspoor Independent, which informs readers that:

According to a story in The Gazette, which covers Montgomery County, Lee was arrested there in 2008 after throwing thousands of dollars in the air outside the building.

Lee said he planned the protest because Discovery’s programming had little to do with saving the planet. He was identified then as being from San Diego, California, although he gave a local address of a homeless shelter.

At the trial, he said he began working to save the planet after being laid off from his job in San Diego. He said he was inspired by “Ishmael,” a novel by environmentalist Daniel Quinn and by former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Could it be the Guardian is a touch embarrassed by the behaviour of one of its fellow eco travellers who has become completely unspooled by the kind of global warming hysteria it churns out via the columns of alarmists such as George Monbiot?

Update: Police have shot and killed the hostage taker.  It is a tragic end, but it has likely saved the lives of those he was threatening.  Just wondering, how long will it be before certain bloggers and environmentalists describe this act of terror as a misguided and desperate cry for help that underlines the urgent need to act now on global warming?

Myers quits but Hague warrants intense scrutiny over appointment

Everyone has a right to a private life, as William Hague said in his media statement a short while ago.  But that does not preclude scrutiny over the questionable appointment by Hague of his close friend Christopher Myers as a special adviser on the government – therefore taxpayers’ – payroll.  Therefore this story isn’t going to go away in a hurry.

Despite Hague’s trademark eloquence and masterful use of language in his statement the fact remains he has not provided the public with an explanation about how Christopher Myers came to be hired as a special adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  There is no evidence Myers was in any way a foreign relations specialist, or even an expert in business and trade, which is what the FCO is being tasked with promoting.  His experience was in constituency matters and acting as Hague’s driver and bodyman during the general election campaign.

So just how did this 25-year-old friend of William Hague warrant the position of special adviser at the FCO?  What special knowledge or in depth expertise did he offer to justify his appointment to a role that should only be open to the brightest and the best?

A smokescreen is being thrown up around this issue by Hague and his media advisers in a desperate attempt to focus attention on the innuendos about a possible physical relationship between the two men.  People should not focus on this strawman being constructed by the spin doctors.  It is nothing more than a sleight of hand.  They want people to focus on the left hand, a very narrow, implied and unfounded allegation that can be easily denied, in the hope people do not focus on the right hand, in which we could find the real wrongdoing that matters to us.

That wrongdoing is the conferring of political patronage – where someone is put on the government payroll for no other reason than they are a friend of a person in a position to hire them.

It is the sort of thing one expects to find in undemocratic fiefdoms run by tinpot dictators.  But such is the power of our political elite these days, it can easily happen here too and we are powerless to do anything about it.  This matter remains one of public interest because until today Myers’ wages were paid from our tax pounds and the matter raises questions over Hague’s judgement and probity.  The fact remains that Hague has questions to answer and his lengthy statement has doggedly avoided going any close to addressing them.

BBC squanders more of our money

The BBC has lost a legal fight to stop publication of a book which reveals the identity of Top Gear’s driver The Stig, according to BBC Online.  The High Court in London refused to grant the BBC an injunction blocking the publication by HarperCollins of an autobiography of former Formula Three driver Ben Collins.  It’s nice to see what passes for priorities at Broadcasting House…

The conundrum is should licence fee payers be more angered by waste of their money fighting such an idiotic High Court case, or that the BBC again demonstrates rank hypocrisy and double standards – fighting as it does for information about individuals and groups to be revealed whenever it suits its purpose, while using every resource at its disposal to conceal information about the BBC’s own editorial practice and employees.

But then, when you’re using someone else’s money and no one will hold you accountable for it, why shouldn’t you engage in such nonsensical pissing contests and childish games to satisfy the egos of a few phenomenally well paid executives?  The BBC.  It’s what they do.

Excitement over Bjørn Lomborg’s conversion is misplaced

Yesterday several media outlets ran with a story about ‘climate sceptic’ Bjørn Lomborg apparently flipping sides in the great climate change debate. The Telegraph raced to the ether with this attention grabbing headline:

Climate ‘sceptic’ Bjørn Lomborg now believes global warming is one of world’s greatest threats

We are told that “One of the world’s most prominent climate change sceptics has called for a $100bn fund to fight the effects of global warning, after rethinking his views on the severity of the threat.” Oh please.

Since when was Bjørn Lomborg ever a sceptic?  He was only ever a sceptic in his own mind.  Whenever he has appeared on TV or radio there has always been a distinct absence of scepticism in his observations and assertions.  There was nothing sceptical about his supposed scepticism.  The fact is Lomborg has always believed in the science presented by the warmists.  His only dissent was the extent to which he agreed with the predictions of catastrophe forced down our throats by environmental lobbyists and special interest groups via the media.  But to the media he was an ideal person to portray as the face of scepticism because he agreed with so many of their articles of faith, reinforcing their underlying narrative.

There are real questions about the science of climate change (global warming to be more precise).  The infamous hockey stick has been debunked but keeps being cited as evidence of man made global warming, even though any data fed into a calculation results in a dramatic rising line.  There are serious question marks over the positioning of temperature measurement stations and the accuracy and validity of their data.  The influence of the Sun is completely dismissed in arrogant fashion.  And despite CO2 levels continuing to rise the extent of Arctic summer ice melt is reducing.  These are just a few of the question marks over the science that Lomborg has ignored.

This story is the equivalent of a misbehaving priest standing in the pulpit on a Sunday morning and proclaiming that he believes in God and that Jesus Christ was sent to be man’s salvation. Nothing has materially changed because the priest always shared the beliefs of his congregation, even though they were opposed to his behaviour. Any celebratory panty-wetting by the Guardianista will be laughably misplaced.

Royal Navy vessel share with French Navy was a Tory plan

When David Cameron came clean about his preferred approach to a referendum Lisbon Treaty, namely not holding a referendum despite promises and assurances, he was able to claim Conservative hands had been tied by the treaty already being ratified by Gordon Brown’s Labour government and other EU member states.

But what will be Cameron’s excuse when the deeply unpopular plan for the Royal Navy and French Navy to share aircraft carriers and integrate operations is confirmed?  After all, as EU Referendum reminds us, this is nothing more than the realisation of a long standing European military cooperation agreement signed by the Conservatives under John Major in 1996.

The 2010 gloss painted on this plan will be the pressing need to reduce public spending in this era of austerity.  But only a fool would buy that line.  Are we to believe Major and Co. knew some fourteen years ago that more than a decade of Labour government was forthcoming and the Treasury would be left empty and liable for billions of pounds in debt, requiring us to resort to such humiliating measures?  Thanks to the reaction of some in the military and the mainstream media, Cameron would rather we didn’t notice this was a plan hatched by Tory wets in government that is about to be executed under this new group of Tory wets, in cahoots with the Eurofanatical Liberal Democrats.

This time Cameron can’t claim he has been painted into a corner by Labour.  This idiocy was Tory in origin and design. And it won’t be a matter of this going ahead just because it’s too difficult to reverse, it will go ahead because this is what cast-iron Cameron and his band of ‘power not principle’ hangers-on want.  Perhaps the vichy Tories will revert to their usual refrain… never again, until the next time.

You can be sure the only thing that will shift here is the line in the sand the Tories keep re-drawing every time they promise absolutely no more European integration, before doing the exact opposite. Maybe this is the reason why Tory MPs like Douglas Carswell struggle with issues such as these and miss the point entirely.

William Hague has questions to answer as Tory mouthpiece starts to circle the wagons

I’m not interested in what goes on behind someone else’s bedroom door. Despite the insipid efforts of the political class, this is still supposed to be a free country and people should be able to act as they see fit within the law. However, following the posts on Guido Fawkes’ blog about the curious pattern of behaviour of William Hague, starting with these questions last week, it is clear Hague has questions to answer.

What qualifies Christopher Myers, a man whose job was simply driving William Hague around during the election campaign, to be added to the public payroll at our expense as a Special Adviser to Hague at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office?  Until we have a definitive answer people can be forgiven for drawing the conclusion that Myers is nothing more than the recipient of patronage as a reward for close friendship, which would be completely unacceptable. It is fair to describe the friendship as close because we have learned Hague and Myers shared a hotel room on at least one occasion.  For those not familiar with this story, this observation by Guido Fawkes puts things into context:

Myers has a second class History degree from Durham University, the Foreign Office press release announcing his appointment describes him as “a lawyer”. If you imagine this might somehow qualify him to assist with treaty negotiations or in matters of international law sadly this is not so. He is not a qualified solicitor nor does he have any experience having only just completed a law course.

Considering that the prestige of the Foreign Office attracts the cream of Britain’s graduates his appointment does seem a strange choice given that Hague could have chosen a foreign policy specialist from CCHQ or the staff of a think-tank. To instead hire an inexperienced, poorly qualified young man over and above more qualified candidates does raise the question: what special talent, unseen by the rest of us, does Mr Myers possess?

All we have at this time is innuendo about the Hague-Myers relationship and confirmation that a twin bed hotel room was shared.  I don’t care if Hague is gay, straight or bisexual. It’s none of my business. It wouldn’t have been an issue if there was just a physical relationship going on between Hague and Myers, save that it would provide us with yet another example of hypocrisy in a politician.  But there is an issue here because taxpayers’ money is being spent on Myers’ salary following his questionable appointment. This makes the story a matter of public interest.  The statement that:

‘Any suggestion that the Foreign Secretary’s relationship with Chris Myers is anything other than a purely professional one is wholly inaccurate and unfounded.’

just isn’t going to cut it.  Meanwhile, against this backdrop we now see Tory ‘insider’ commentariat in the form of Iain Dale, rushing forth in an attempt to shut down the story. Describing the story as “petty and spiteful vilification of William Hague”, the increasingly censorious Dale plays the man rather than the ball by trying to smear Guido in backhanded fashion, by saying:

Guido Fawkes is not a homophobe, but the way he is writing about this allows those who think he is homophobic to confirm their own prejudices.

From Dale we see not one word of query about the suitability of Myers for his job or any question of Hague’s judgement in appointing a man who is plainly less experienced, capable and suitable than a raft of foreign affairs experts who could be providing the Secretary of State with the kind of political advice he might need. The lack of objectivity from Iain Dale is stunning though not surprising.  After all, he raced to the defence of David Laws and opined that the Lib Dem didn’t have a “dishonest bone in his body” and in any case had been “hugely impressive” during his short time at the Treasury.

Dale has simply gone native.  He sees himself as part of the political furniture and is more concerned with making and keeping friends in the Westminster bubble than standing up for probity and honesty.  Rather than being a fearless blogger immune to seeking favour, he is setting himself up as the first line of defence against politicians whose behaviour and actions fall well below an acceptable standard.

Many people find Guido sometimes boorish and distasteful and a sizeable number of his commenters foul-mouthed and abusive. But at least via his blog he tries to deal with matters of public interest, while others try to use theirs as a self serving cudgel to silence criticism and justifiable probing of the actions of our political masters. I know which one I prefer.

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