Posts Tagged 'Contradiction'

Roger Helmer reveals his strategy for withdrawal from EU

Readers may recall the recent exchange of views and comments on this blog between AM, readers and arch Tory ‘Eurosceptic’ Roger Helmer.  In his reply to reader comments Helmer told commenter ‘Jones’:

‘Many of the commentators have a point.  But I’m not sure that they have a strategy.’

The exchange has started to raise questions about the nature of Euroscepticism among Conservative politicians, belonging as they do to a party that claims to be against further integration yet whose MPs and MEPs consistently vote in favour of measures that enable it.

So it was that a few days ago, back on Helmer’s own website, his comment about a strategy was raised by commenter ‘Dead Dog Bounce’, who asked Helmer about his strategy for withdrawing Britain from the EU.  The comment and Helmer’s response are shown below:

So there we have it.  Roger Helmer’s strategy for enabling Britain to exit the EU is…  a tribal faith that a government led by his Tory friends might be more likely to see sense on Europe than any other party.

At this point it is appropriate to give way to Dr Richard North of EU Referendum who reminds us of the Tory standpoint on this country’s involvement in Europe:

The Tories have a vision of a political Europe which has not changed in over seventy years when it was articulated to the War Cabinet on 20 July 1940 by Duff Cooper, the then information minister.

The bones of this was a “united Europe”, a Europe “united by goodwill and in friendship, not by force and in terrors, a Europe based upon some federal system … a Europe in which armaments will be pooled and trade barriers will be broken down, and in which each nation will be allowed to conduct its own affairs in its own way with the same kind of freedom as each state in the American Union possesses”.

And of course, sitting above the States in the American Union is a powerful federal government with a President at its head.  No matter.  Let’s focus on facts.  The Conservative Party was in government and signed the Single European Act in 1987.  The Conservatives were in government and signed the Treaty on European Union in Maastricht in 1992.  These were the treaties that made it possible for Labour to subsequently sign the treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon.

Having opposed the Lisbon Treaty the Conservatives soared in the opinion polls.  After David Cameron and William Hague had long said if the treaty was signed by Labour they ‘would not let matters rest there’ they reversed their position and their poll lead dropped, resulting in the dismal coagulation between the conservatives in name only and the Lib Dems.  Matters have not only been allowed to rest there, the Conservatives have accelerated the rate at which powers are being transferred to Brussels – a point made by Helmer himself.

Despite the absence of any strategy to achieve Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, Helmer nonetheless continues to state his position is that this country would be better off out of the EU.  His comments on that are indisputable.  However his support of faux Eurosceptics – the Europlastics – clearly contradicts his stated position.  It defies reason that Helmer can hold the view he professes while endorsing the position of people who by their voting record demonstrate continued support for the EU project and who only wish to see reform, not withdrawal.  It’s enough to make one wonder if Helmer’s lack of strategy is itself part of an altogether different strategy.

Against the backdrop of this reality the great man clings like a limpet to the trappings of Toryism, licensed to articulate some dissent now and again as long as he doesn’t go too far and stirs up anything like genuine opposition to Tory Europhilia.  This needs to be made clear to all genuine Eurosceptics who labour under the misapprehension that most Tories who claim to be Eurosceptic really are.  The evidence shows the overwhelming majority of Conservative ‘Eurosceptics’ are nothing of the sort.

Tory Euroscepticism another example of the Henry Smith syndrome

This should really have been covered yesterday, but better late than never.  A valuable piece was published on Witterings From Witney yesterday, taking a high level look at the voting records of Conservative MPs who use the term Eurosceptic to give the impression they are opposed to being governed by the EU.

As WfW explains, the term Eurosceptic is useless and even the Guardian’s content partner website makes the point that there are different kinds of Eurosceptics.  After examining the voting records and unpicking the definition of ‘Eurosceptic’ WfW makes clear to readers that:

It would seem to me that not only do we need to redefine the term ‘eurosceptic’, but that we also need to redefine just who amongst our MPs really is anti-EU!

Exactly right.  What we have here is an extension of the Henry Smith syndrome, where some MPs try to have it both ways and convince people of differing mindsets that they embrace their viewpoint.

Only by exposing MPs who claim to support the public view – that we should be an independent, self determining nation, yet who like Chris Heaton-Harris vote in favour of deeper integration with the EU  – can the public have any idea whether they are voting for someone who agrees with their views or not.  As such we should take every opportunity to highlight the duplicity of MPs who say one thing and do another. It is time to out them.

We haven’t a clue… starring Rotherham Council

When you consider the huge sums being spent by local authorities on their ‘fight’ against climate change, you would expect them to have a full understanding of their aims and what they expect to achieve.

They do things differently in Rotherham.  It is the town where everyone matters, but evidence that informs their actions does not.

An AM reader has kindly brought to our attention this Rotherham’s FOI response to a local greenbelt campaign group (posted on their campaign website) which asks a number of reasonable questions about  Rotherham Council’s consistency and understanding when approaching the issues of ‘climate change’ and ‘reducing carbon emissions’.

Rotherham Council proposes to build 12,750 new homes from 2012-2027.  But the impact of this would surely undermines their stated environmental policy. So the campaign group wanted to understand how Rotherham’s policy proposals of building on large swathes of scenic greenbelt land can be reconciled with their climate change and carbon emissions efforts.  The FOI response below shows just how vacuous and dogmatic Rotherham Council’s position is.

Asked if concreting over greenbelt land will result in an increase in CO2 emissions Rotherham MBC’s official response is that they do not know.  Incredible.

This begs the most obvious question.  If all they can cite is a graph and a generic link to the Met Office website, should they be spending massive amounts of taxpayers’ money on the fight against evil CO2 in the first place when their growth agenda contributes to increasing urbanisation which counteracts it?

HRH The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales has again delved into the realm of spin and distortion as he took another opportunity to criticise AGW sceptics.  This time it was in a speech at one of his favourite institutions, the European Parliament (Hat tip: EU Referendum).

After offering some very reasonable observations about the destruction of rainforests, Charles enjoined environmentalists to stop honestly describing the things they want people to stop doing and pointing out that living environmentally-friendly lives means giving up all that makes life worthwhile.

Instead His Royal Highness wants the environmentalists to sell their view of an eco utopia by engaging in spin in the manner of his new initiative called Start, which aims to promote the benefits of supposedly sustainable living.  He is quite open about using PR and marketing techniques to hide the unpalatable truth and focusing on an illusory and contrived vision, as he made clear saying:

“As one advertising executive put it to me, we are ‘making it cool to use less stuff’.

Achieving the environmentalists’ outcome still requires people to give up things that make life enjoyable and worthwhile.  But of course, it is much easier for fabulously wealthy people like Charles, who will still enjoy the trappings of a fantastically privileged and taxpayer funded life of patronage and comfort.  A man whose call for such a vision would have a dramatic negative impact on ordinary people for whom day to day living involves accounting for every last penny and making daily choices such as paying a bill or having something more nutritious than value beans and chips for dinner.  But what else can we expect from a man whose only ambition in life, apart from becoming King, was to be Camilla’s tampon and whose world includes taking a white leather toilet seat with him wherever he travels.

Then it was on to delivering this swipe at AGW sceptics in typically idiotic and cack handed fashion:

I have to say, this process has not exactly been helped by the corrosive effect on public opinion of those climate change sceptics who deny the vast body of scientific evidence that shows beyond any reasonable doubt that global warming has been exacerbated by human industrialised activity. […]

[…] I would ask how these people are going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they failed their future.

I wonder, will such people be held accountable at the end of the day for the absolute refusal to countenance a precautionary approach? For this plays a most reckless game of roulette with the future inheritance of those who come after us.

Question. If as Charles claims the evidence shows ‘beyond any reasonable doubt’ that mankind is stoking global warming, why on earth is he criticising people for refusing to countenance a ‘precautionary approach’? With all due respect, how can we take seriously someone who makes such contradictory comments within moments of each other?

Actually, stuff the respect.  Respect is something that should be earned and the only thing Charles is earning is my enduring contempt.  Small wonder so many people want the Monarchy to skip a generation because the prospect of this doddery old fool being King is just so disturbing.  No qualification other than an accident of birth has provided him with a platform and all he does is spout ideological nonsense from a strange world that is divorced from the real one.

Government vs Met Office forecast row heats up

The saga of the ‘private’ Met Office forecast to the Cabinet Office for early winter has taken a new twist.

Many people have submitted Freedom of Information requests concerning the Met Office forecast supplied to the Cabinet Office in October 2010, looking ahead to the winter, after the Met Office published temperature probability maps showing they believed the winter would be warmer than average. The Met Office, via Roger Harrabin, put out its side of the story just after New Year with Harrabin stating that:

In October the forecaster privately warned the Government – with whom it has a contract – that Britain was likely to face an extremely cold winter.

However, this claim seems overblown when compared with the Cabinet Office’s view of the forecast. The Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude, has responded to a Parliamentary question about the forecast with a written answer published on Friday. The question and answer read:

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what account his Department took of the October 2010 Met Office forecast of a mild winter in preparations across Government for the winter of 2010.

Mr Maude: The Met Office provide the Government with regular updates throughout the year to inform short, medium and longer term planning. In late October, the Met Office advised that temperatures during November and December were likely to be average or colder. This information was shared with Departments as part of a wider review of winter preparedness.

‘…were likely to be average or colder.’  That in no way reflects the Harrabin claim that the Met Office predicted it was likely Britain would face ‘an extremely cold winter’.

The Freedom of Information responses to the public and the media are still pending. But the parliamentary answer shows the government and the Met Office are peddling different stories and that only the full release of the unredacted forecast will determine who is telling the truth.  In the meantime, get comfy and reach for the popcorn while the rats scuffle in their sack.

Lies and deception from Europhile hypocrite Hague

Despite my best efforts, words cannot express the simmering fury that rose in me today as I read William Hague’s article in the Sunday Telegraph.

Rarely has such an eloquent and articulate individual compromised so many positions of principle in such a short space of time, before going on to write articles such as today’s fatuous, hypocritical cant that utterly misrepresents reality and actively seeks to deceive the public. Spin is not a word that adequately describes what Hague has written. A pack of lies is the expression that springs to mind.

Here’s how Hague opens his piece:

The disillusionment of British voters with politicians has many causes: expenses scandals, economic pressures and the failures of the last Labour Government.

But high on the list of such causes is the sheer undemocratic arrogance with which a European treaty of huge significance – the Lisbon Treaty – was rammed into law two years ago with no mandate of any kind from the people of this country.

Immediately one can see where Hague is going with this. And as sure as night follows day, he does.  He launches the standard partisan party political attack on Labour for ratifying the Lisbon Treaty without the promised referendum. But then, in an extraordinary defence of the EU goes on to say that Labour’s actions were: ‘a very grave blow to the European Union’s democratic credentials in this country’.

Straight away Hague has drifted off into some parallel reality. The EU is fundamentally anti democratic, by design. It is structured to ensure ordinary people throughout the member states are incapable of derailing the wishes of the political class. But Hague’s use of language is carefully crafted to give the impression the EU is democratic and we only think otherwise because of Labour’s actions. This is pretty cynical and untruthful stuff. Wee Willie then goes on to say:

I would have dearly loved to hold a referendum on that treaty after a change of government: sadly the ratification of Lisbon by all 27 EU states last autumn made that impossible. But I have always been determined that this flagrant denial of democratic choice to the people of Britain would never happen again.

At this point the cat’s sixth sense triggered his decision to flee through the door, the TV remote went airborne and a low rumbling roar ascended from deep inside, gaining pitch and volume as the anger erupted in response to the naked lies in that short paragraph.

Nothing, I repeat, nothing prevented the Tories from keeping their promise to ask the British people if they wished to be bound by the provisions set out in Lisbon. David Cameron had said time and again that if the treaty was ratified he would not let matters rest there, but he would not elaborate about what that meant.  A significant proportion of the electorate believed him.  The ratification could have been withdrawn citing the will of the British people. But Cameron, Hague and the rest of the sopping wet social democrats masquerading as conservatives revealed that not letting matters rest there meant letting matters rest right there.

In fact, they metaphorically plumped up the cushions and brought the treaty a cup of tea. They said it was impossible to do anything. This is a lie. They could have tackled the issue but chose not to. They wanted to appear ‘constructive’ for their friends in Brussels. As for Hague being determined that it would never happen again, this is what we have heard every previous time and the lie has already been exposed since Cameron slithered into Downing Street. This comes to the fore as Hague shamelessly postulates that:

The current system we have for these kinds of decisions is, quite simply, now morally bankrupt. It must change.

It is our firm belief and our policy that no more powers should be moved from Britain to the EU but that is not enough – if any Government ever again attempted to change the EU Treaties to transfer further powers the British people must rightfully have their say.

Bullshit. Sorry, there is no more suitable word for it. What is the reality behind these fine words?

Consider, George Osborne’s backing and approval of the EU’s new oversight plan for financial services which removes power from the UK and relocates in with the EU in Brussels. Let’s not forget Theresa May signing Britain up to European Investigation Orders (EIO). Do you recall being asked to approve any of the powers in this article that have been handed to the EU on Cameron’s watch?  And let us not forget the key fact that even with Cameron’s pathetic and meaningless ‘Referendum Lock’ we are having more and more laws are being imposed on the UK and Hague and his little chums are not lifting a finger to stop them. Next up on the export manifest is control over policing and justice, which the EU will be handed in the near future.

There really is no point reading any more of Hague’s Janusesqe waffle, where he delves into hypothetical technical matters about how the useless European Union Bill will supposedly stop more powers heading east, while the examples above show that in practice it is a con trick that makes no material difference. Hague has written his piece, there is no facility for leaving comments, and so he remains in the Westminster bubble contenting himself that his job is done and we have bought into his supposed Eurosceptic outlook.

And they call this a democracy.

Disgraceful efforts to make capital from mass murder

One expected consequence of the shocking mass murder of people at the political surgery of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson is the  frankly disgraceful attempt of some to make capital out of the attack to shamelessly further their own political agenda by attributing responsibility to people that had nothing to do with it, but whom they wish to undermine nevertheless.

This has manifested itself with various tweets and blog posts laying blame for the attack at the doors of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the US Republican Party in general,and the disparate Tea Party movements around the US. Biased BBC and the Telegraph’s Toby Harnden examine this with two must read posts that provide some much needed context.

Another expected consequence of such a terrible criminal act is kneejerk responses that paint an inaccurate and unfair picture of the American people. Comment that asserts some kind of British moral superiority as a result of the tragedy, then suggests the outlook of the American people calls into question if we can describe America to be a democracy. This is what I want to look at in more detail.

One example that particularly stands out for me is a post from Conservative activist Chris Hawes. It suggests not only a lack of knowledge but the absence of any self awareness of our situation in Britain.  I’ll explain. Hawes briefly tours the US political scene and notes the polarised landscape, then goes on to suggest to readers that the Democrats and Republicans in the US:

‘truly hate each other in a way that is totally alien to us in Britain,’

This is an insult to the Americans that stems from complete ignorance of American politics. I know from personal experience that Hawes’ claim is way off the mark. It is true to say that the Democrats and Republicans frequently hate what each other stand for politically, but unlike here in the UK there exists a sense of unity borne from the shared experience of being part of the great American nation.

Hawes then incredibly goes on to add 2+2 and make 7 when he opines:

Going back to this specific incident, Gifford was at a public meeting called “Congress On Your Corner” where she was actively responding to her constituents and doing her job when she was gunned down. The assailant didn’t appear to be interested in asking a question and getting a response from his Congresswoman – in short, participating in the democratic process – but intent on assassination.

All of this together makes me wonder whether America can truly be called a democracy any more. Democracy requires consensus and acceptance of the democratic process – if an opponent is elected, they have the mandate to govern until the next election. Violence should never be part of political rhetoric; reasoned debate is foundation of democracy. If polticians have to be concerned about being attacked if they support an unpopular motion (even if it is only unpopular amongst a certain demographic), democracy is failing.

I’m sorry, but that is utter nonsense. Since when has an act of terror or the act of a mad man/men denoted that a nation might no longer be democratic? The murderous incident was perpetrated by a man who clearly has psychological issues, was rejected for military service (which takes some doing) and harboured violent intent to government and while possessing a hatred of the law.

The target of the attack, Rep. Giffords, was the kind of Democract who appealed to a large number of Republicans, being (as Harnden points out) a deficit hawk, someone who voted to lift the ban on guns in Washington DC and who voted against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. If anything, Rep. Giffords created more anger among Democrats than Republicans, which is why a blogger at the left wing DailyKos blog said that Giffords was ‘dead to me‘ for failing to back Pelosi.

Hawes is also wrong to suggest democracy requires consensus. In fact, consensus undermines democracy because it stymies healthy adversarial politics which provides people with political alternatives. Consensus has been used by the political class to ensure the voting public is presented with nothing more than an opportunity to change the faces of MPs while leaving the direction of the country unchanged.

The piece goes on to say that violence should never be part of political rhetoric. Yet the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems in this country have all been guilty of it. Remember all the talk in recent elections of decpatitation strategies and George Osborne referring to the attempt to defeat Ed Balls as a castration strategy? In a nation where guns are a way of life, gun related metaphors can only be expected, even if they appear unseemly in countries like ours that have been disarmed through legislation. But the metaphors are not an incitement to murder politicians with whom people are dissatisfied or that political opponents hate each other personally.

Hawes then says that if politicians have to be concerned about being attacked for supporting a particular line then democracy is failing. This line in particular really rankles. Democracy is failing, but not for the reason he offers. Look at Britain. With all three main parties singing loudly from the same hymn sheet on the central political issues of the day, such as the being governed by the EU, taxation, state interference etc. the electorate is being denied democratic alternatives. The people we have asked to serve and represent us are ignoring us.

No number of letters to MPs and Councillors, campaigns, petitions, demonstrations and marches to signal our discontent or insistence in a change of direction by our representatives have any effect. The political class is determined to tell us what is best for us and impose it upon us regardless of what we think. That is what is subverting democracy and needs to be tackled, not the act of a lunatic.

The attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords, resulting in the death of at least six people, was horrific. It was the act of a deranged man or men. But it should not be used as an excuse by media outlets or individuals to build strawmen to knock down, further agendas or seek to make political capital. Such behaviour is disgraceful.

I feel nothing but sympathy for the families and friends of those whose lives have been cruelly snatched from them and I hope Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of that maniac who are being treated in hospital make full, swift recoveries.

BBC spins that Met Office got winter right, just kept it secret from public

This is a potentially huge story with a nasty smell of conspiracy about it. There appears to be a concerted effort to whitewash serious failings at the Met Office, with the assistance of a senior climate change propagandist at the BBC who is fully bought in to the Met Office’s warmist agenda.

The Telegraph reports today that: ‘The Met Office knew that Britain was facing an early and exceptionally cold winter but failed to warn the public, hampering preparations for some of the coldest weather on record.’  The article goes on to say:

In October the forecaster privately warned the Government – with whom it has a contract – that Britain was likely to face an extremely cold winter.

It kept the prediction secret, however, after facing severe criticism over the accuracy of its long-term forecasts.

October? That is the same month that this temperature probability map was published – for public consumption:

There is absolutely no logical or rational basis for the Met Office publishing the probability map above, yet ‘secretly’ telling the government a completely different story. The Met Office not only published the map, it had meterologists speaking publicly about the map and setting an expectation of a very high probability of warmer than average winter, as I will explain…

It is bad enough that this story is being spun at all because it completely torpedos any remaining credibility the Met Office has.  But there is another important dimension to this that raises serious question marks about the story, and that is the involvement of the Met Office’s fellow warmist traveller, Roger Harrabin, environment analyst at the BBC and far from impartial commentator on climate change matters.  The language used by Harrabin, who is quoted in the Telegraph article from comments he made to the Radio Times, smacks of a concerted attempt to muddy the water, shift attention from the central issue and prepare the way for the BBC to give the Met Office a clean bill of health at a future date. Consider:

The trouble is that we simply don’t know how much to trust the Met Office. How often does it get the weather right and wrong. And we don’t know how it compares with other, independent forecasters.

Can we rely on them if we are planning a garden party at the weekend? Or want to know if we should take a brolly with us tomorrow? Or planning a holiday next week?

In a few year’s time hopefully we’ll all have a better idea of whom to trust. By then the Met Office might have recovered enough confidence to share with us its winter prediction of whether to buy a plane ticket or a toboggan.

In the first paragraph Harrabin is paving the way for a BBC comparison of the Met Office with independent forecasters. This despite Piers Corbyn being banned from placing bets on long range weather forecasts because he kept beating the bookie with odds set by the Met Office itself. There is also substantial evidence of independent forecasters such as Corbyn, Joe Bastardi and others winning business from clients who had dispensed with the Met Office offering due to poor accuracy.

The language in the second paragraph is telling. The central issue has been the Met Office failings in seasonal and long range forecasting. Harrabin however selects examples of short range forecasting, where the Met Office is not as weak simply because the weather patterns are already upon us and therefore much easier to forecast. However, there is even a question mark over that ‘nowcasting’ as Bournemouth would happily testify.

The third paragraph is exactly what I would write if I was trying to buy the Met Office some breathing space. This is a standard defensive communications technique.

  • Give people the false impression there is no existing evidence with which to make a comparison and so suspend the onslaught
  • Give people the false impression that forming a judgement now would be unreasonable
  • Set an expectation that it will take a few years to establish whether or not there is actually an issue with the Met Office’s forecasting

Harrabin’s words are not what one would hear from an impartial and unbiased observer. They are the words of someone who is trying to head off a critical appraisal. This assessment is validated by the next section of Harrabin’s comments:

Why didn’t the Met Office tell us that Greenland was about to swap weather with Godalming? The truth is it [The Met Office] did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October. But we weren’t let in on the secret. “The reason? The Met Office no longer publishes its seasonal forecasts because of the ridicule it suffered for predicting a barbecue summer in 2009 – the summer that campers floated around in their tents.

This is a masterclass in the selective use of language. Harrabin is not saying ‘the Met Office claims’ or ‘people suggest’. He actually declares that it is the ‘truth’ that the Met Office suspected we would have an exceptionally cold early winter. This is almost subliminal. Believe. It’s true. Harrabin seems to be reverting to Neurolinguistic programming in order to assist the Met Office.

Nowhere is there any proper examination of the startling claim that the Met Office correctly predicted the cold winter and kept it ‘secret’. The reader is enjoined to accept it because Harrabin says it is so. Is this what a journalist should be doing and does this stand up to scrutiny?

If the government was truly in receipt of this secret forecast, why was no action taken to increase the stock of spreading salt, given local authorities had stockpiled less salt than last year? Is the Met Office actually saying the government was so determined to keep a weather forecast to shield the Met Office from ridicule that it deliberately withheld information needed by the local authorities? The implications are huge. It would be a national scandal that would undermine the government.

By way of further evidence about the lack of preparation following the Met Office’s ‘secret’ forecast to government, we need look only at the budget for the Winter Front allowance. If the government knew that the cold snap was coming as per the Met Office line, why were no steps taken to adjust the budget? The budget for the whole 2010-11 winter has already been exhausted and we are only just into January. In addition, the £40m Winter Fuel Payment budget has also been wiped out with over £100m of extra benefit payments made. Again, why no pre-adjustment to the budget?  The point here? Is the government guilty of a dereliction of its duty to the UK’s most vulnerable citizens despite being in receipt of ‘secret’ information from its own meterological department stating that it would be exceptionally cold?

Another question to ask yourself is this: Does it seem reasonable or probable that the publicly funded meterology department of the UK provided the government with a secret forecast about exceptional cold, at the same time it was publishing the opposite forecast to the public, but did so because it was previously ridiculed for getting seasonal forecasts wrong? And that the government conspired to keep it secret, took no action to prepare to keep the highways clear and maintain a safe driving environment and let its Winter Fuel Allowance budget be used up with only a fraction of the winter gone?

Where is the logic in the Met Office thinking it would avoid ridicule by telling the public on its own website that there was a circa 80% probability of a warmer than average winter if it was actually predicting the exceptional cold as it claims to have told the government? This nonsensical merry-go-round is compounded by the final word in the Telegraph piece where a Met Office spokesman says:

In late October we informed the Cabinet office that there were early indications of a cold start to winter. Following public research we were told that a monthly outlook would be of more use which is why we now have the 6-15 day and 16-30 day forecast on our website.

Is it not curious that there is no mention of the temperature map above which was (and still is) on the Met Office website? Or that there is no acknowledgment that:

Helen Chivers, Met Office forecaster, insisted the temperature map [now not referred to] takes into account the influence of climate factors such as El Nino and La Nina – five-yearly climatic patterns that affect the weather – but admits this is only a “start point” for a seasonal forecast. She said: “The map shows probabilities of temperatures in months ahead compared to average temperatures over a 30-year period.

The stench of deceit surrounding the Met Office, it’s disgraceful self serving effort to mislead the public and apparent attempt by a publicly funded BBC journalist to distort the facts is overpowering. There now needs to be an independent inquiry into this whole matter. A Freedom of Information request is being submitted to ask for this secret October forecast.

Monbiot, global warming, idiocy and spin

There are two cracking, ‘must read’ posts today that take George Monbiot to task over his stance on global warming. These will be posts worth bookmarking for future reference, given the wonderful assortment of quotes and other material…

First up we have Dr Richard North at EU Referendum who argues that Monbiot is plumbing new depths of stupidity, insisting in the loathsome Guardian that the “unusually cold winters” are caused by global warming – Total Eclipse of the Moonbat. The post contains numerous warmist quotes about winter weather that they are now contradicting.

Then comes Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That? who exposes the flaws in Monbiot’s claims when using NASA GISS to prove to his readers that warm pocket weather patterns elsewhere cause cold in England – Australia’s white summer, Monbiot’s red fury. The post shows how data is used selectively to map temperature and is fundamentally unreliable.

CRU climate scientists, their models, and crystal balls

A superb blog post at Not A Sheep about one of those expert climate change predictions from the University of East Anglia’s lavishly funded and globally respected (stop sniggering) ‘Climatic Research Unit’. Enjoy.

This is the CRU of Climategate infamy and the predicition is one you won’t find the warmists talking about because with all this extra snow and record cold in the northern hemisphere they have now completely reversed their narrative to fit around current observations. No matter what the weather is, for those with a vested interest it’s a sign of “climate change” / “dangerous climate change” / “extremely dangerous climate change“.

But at the heart of it all appears to be nothing more than a financial and political objective rather than any environmental concern.

But that doesn’t stop people like Vicky Pope at the Met Office continuing to play the game. We saw plenty of coverage of her comments about warming continuing albeit more slowly. But where was the coverage of the views of a knowledgeable and high performing meterologist who predicted this and believes it is not man but nature causing the changes in climate? The man to read on the subject is Joe Bastardi (click to enlarge).

Guardianista inadvertently makes case for UK not assisting Ireland bail out

Deirdre Duffy (left) is a PhD candidate and researcher in social policy at the University of Nottingham. She is also co-editor of the blog Human Rights in Ireland, which is part of the Guardian Legal Network.

This of course in the eyes of the Guardian makes her suitably qualified to talk about economics in a piece on Comment is Free and declare that the UK is little better than Ireland economically, posing the question ‘Ireland has received a media bashing over its economic policy – so why is the UK replicating its mistakes?’. Ms Duffy goes on to say:

Call me cynical, but it doesn’t look like the UK is doing much better than its neighbour. It’s true, Ireland’s in trouble. And yes, it’s going to cost us all. As the Guardian reported, the cost to the UK taxpayer of bailing out the Irish economy will be in excess of £7bn. Not only this, but other EU countries such as Portugal already fear Ireland’s toxic debt will have a contagion effect. But in many ways, the UK is in a worse situation.

Though Ireland’s debt is undoubtedly huge (£90bn), it’s a drop in the ocean compared with both the UK’s current national debt (£950bn) and the total personal debt of UK households (£1,457bn). Estimates suggest that by 2015, the average debt of every household in the UK will amount to more than £70,000 – almost three times the current national average household income. At present, 1,753 people in the UK are made redundant daily, while 787,000 people have been unemployed for more than 12 months. In 2009, a property was repossessed every 10 minutes. Every four minutes, someone in the UK is declared insolvent.

The rest of her piece is typical Guardian big statist exercise in economic illiteracy where she decries Irish spending cuts that, if they had not been made, would have actually resulted in that country’s national debt being even bigger than it already is.

But in the segment quoted above Duffy makes a valuable point. For if as Duffy says the UK is in a worse situation than Ireland and our national debt dwarfs that of our celtic neighbour, what business does the UK have finding at least £7 billion (probably through additional government borrowing) to contribute to the EU mandated bail out fund? Surely that is the kind of economic insanity she is trying to rail against.

All it shows is that people like Deirdre Duffy don’t think things through. They put all the dots on the page but mentally they are incapable of connecting them to see the picture in front of them. But then, that is why they hold the ludicrous ideological positions they do and why they are writing in that pisspoor paper to begin with.

Is this NASA’s climategate?

On the Big Government website is a report that the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is suing NASA for not turning over certain records withheld since CEI sought them in freedom of information requests submitted in August 2007 and January 2008.

The question being asked is what is NASA trying to conceal in records and documentation pertaining to climate change and global warming? Already some information that has emerged is contradicting commonly held beliefs about NASA’s work on climate. As Big Government explains:

Despite NASA stonewalling CEI has already learned, for example, that NASA does not, contrary to widespread media and pressure group claims, have an independent temperature data set. Instead, as NASA told USA Today in an email, despite its serial, breathless press releases trumpeting some new temperature high, it actually is just a modeling office, which also (for unknown reasons, possibly extra attention and importance, or mere advocacy)  cobbles together some US data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) with that of the Climatic Research Unit’s temperature history. You may recall how CRU withdrew its claim to a temperature history data set after ClimateGate led to an admission it actually lost its data.

Handled correctly this has the potential to become a big story. And with a Republican majority in the House of Representatives pledging an array of investigations into US government policy on the environment and climate, some are already scenting blood in the water.

All people want is the truth and the facts. But the politicisation of the environment and the furtive behaviour of those who provide the only information governments will pay attention to – because it conveniently fits with the aim of being seen to be taking action on something – has eroded trust and is thankfully leading more people to question what they are being told.

The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia – home to Phil Jones of Climategate fame – was exposed as utterly useless and untrustworthy, and subsequent ‘inquiries’ proved to be nothing more than whitewashes by interested parties, could this be NASA’s turn to come under a sustained spotlight?

When are spending cuts not spending cuts?

When it comes to Government announcements concerning the economy, be it a statement, the budget or a comprehensive spending review, a good rule of thumb is to wait until the dust settles and the facts emerge before rushing to comment.

The mainstream media doesn’t have the luxury of time as they have copy deadlines, so reproducing press releases and soundbites about George Osborne’s spending review without analysis is the order of the day – not any different to any other day when you think about it. But some blogs, that look beyond the headlines to look at the detail, can be relied upon to give us the story straight.

So, step up the ever reliable and news-breaking EU Referendum.

As Dr Richard North makes clear, public spending is not being cut at all in this spending review. The ‘cuts’ are to nothing more than reductions to forecast spending. The top line figures are completely clear. Public sector spending in 2010-11 remains as forecast at £696.8 billion. In 2014-15 public sector spending is now forecast to be £739.8 billion. That is an increase in public spending between now and then on £43 billion. How is this a spending cut?

What we are seeing is a massive redistribution of spending. It is a smoke and mirrors exercise. As EU Referendum makes clear, money will be spent on servicing existing and additional debt and patching some of the massive blackhole in pensions.

Tax increases will account for much of the additional spending. But the fact remains the state will not be shrinking, it will be bigger. The question now is, when will the media and the markets realise this? When that is answered, perhaps this damnable coalition managerialist spin operation in Downing Street will be asked how an increase in public spending of £43 billion is a spending cut.

It seems clear the ‘new politics’ is no different from the old.

The rise of the Tory Euronutters

Remember all those siren voices who for the last four years have been telling conservatives not to worry, because David Cameron is really a Eurosceptic?  After all, he took Tory MEPs out of the EPP-ED didn’t he?  For some curious reason they seem to have adopted a low profile in recent weeks, or changed their tune to explain that on the EU, Cameron is being force to play a bad hand dealt to him. Actually it’s not curious really.  Cameron has removed his sceptic mask and therefore their certainty has been smashed against the rocks and their arguments have been holed below the waterline.

Thanks to Cameron’s silence and inaction over the essential core issue of this country’s relationship with the EU, the arch Europhiles are growing in confidence and employing Cameron’s own enthusiasm for ‘nudge’ theory against him to usher him in their preferred direction.  With Cameron’s mask now off, we can expect more of what we saw last night, where a headline in the Guardian boomed that ‘Chris Patten predicts David Cameron return to mainstream European centre right’, following Fat Pang’s interview on BBC’s The Record: Europe. When asked whether it would be a good idea to rejoin the EPP grouping in the European Parliament, Patten said:

Maybe one day. I wouldn’t want to provoke any crisis just at the moment – not that it would be a big issue, slight question of storm in teacup I think. But one day, yes, I’m sure it would be a sensible thing to do, but I wouldn’t give that huge priority just at the moment.

Classic nudge.  The reason for it is not just Patten’s obsession with being totally subservient to the EU, but that now there is quiet certainty that Cameron is really a Europhile.  This has been evinced by his recent comments and actions, such as scrapping his promise to negotiate the repatriation of political powers from Brussels to Westminster.  Sovereignty doesn’t matter to Cameron.  Matters are being left right there.  As a result we about to see the visible rise of the Tory Euronutters.  People in the Patten and Ken Clarke camp will now ramp up their efforts to drag the UK even deeper into the anti democratic EU, centralising real power in Brussels and only devolving trivial matters to local communities.

As people see more of Cameron’s autocratic and controlling manner, they will come to understand his desire to move the Tory MEPs out of the EPP and into a grouping he effectively created, was about increasing his own power and nothing to do with ideology.  Cameron likes to be in charge and what better way than to have his minions sitting in a group where he pulls the strings?  Voters who gave their support to the Conservatives, in the belief that the power of the EU over this country would be eroded, have been conned and in time will come to realise it.  There will be a reckoning.

SpeedSpike GPS speed cameras won’t improve safety

So speed cameras are about to become even more sophisticated.  The PIPS Technology ‘SpeedSpike’ system uses a satellite positioning system and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to track vehicles and it has now been tested in England.  It begs the question, just how much taxpayers’ money has been spent on developing and deploying the various forms of speed cameras that have raked in over £1billion in fines since Labour came to office?

The problem is speed is a factor in only a minority of accidents.  In 2006 figures showed that excessive speed was reported as a factor in just 15% of all road accidents and in 26% of crashes where there were fatalities.  So while hundreds of millions of pounds are spent on systems that can generate revenue, where is the investment in reducing the 85% of all road accidents where speed is not a factor?  Perhaps the attraction of SpeedSpike is its reliance on many more ANPR cameras, which enables the police to store images of vehicles and drivers for up to two years and could be used in any future effort to conduct real time tracking of individual vehicles or people.

What is being done about the defective vehicles being driven on our roads? What about the increasing prevalence of drug-driving? What about banned or unqualified drivers who still get behind the wheel? What about the need for more road safety education for children? What about the extent of dangerous driving, where among other things we see all too often drivers tailgating, not paying attention to the road, manoeuvering without looking properly, undertaking and going through traffic lights that have turned red?

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the government is more interested in fining motorists and imposing penalties that can raise money for often minor speed transgressions in otherwise safe conditions, rather than addressing flaws in road design, road conditions, making driving tests more rigorous and improving the overall standard of driving.  Having more traffic police on patrol would deal with the problems that speed cameras self evidently cannot.  The financially motivated, one dimensional approach to road safety where technology is set to record and fine drivers who exceed limits that are often set unrealistically low for modern vehicles and conditions, has to come to an end.

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Media polls pushing The Clegg Supremacy

For those of us who recognise this election campaign for what it is and how little its outcome will change things, the news that a BPIX poll for the Mail on Sunday puts the Liberal Democrats in the lead is absolutely hilarious.  On the strength of 90 minutes of well rehearsed television, the carefully chosen questions and meticulously structured answers have seen the opinion polls sent into a frenzy of wild responses.

The media is at the heart of this as it talks up style over substance and goes through its three step coverage model that, as this blog suggested yesterday, mirrors th Bourne trilogy of films.  We are now deep into part two, The Clegg Supremacy.  Such is the desperation of many voters to get rid of Gordon Brown, and many other voters to avoid the volte face shenanigans of David Cameron, the ‘great ignored’ of the electorate are now seemingly throwing their support behind the ‘great ignored’ of the political bubble, Nick Clegg.

Despite only a fraction of those entitled to vote actually watching the Leaders’ Debate, all pollsters are seemingly finding Liberal Democrat support surging ahead.  It is often said that a country gets the government it deserves.  Well, Britain is looking likely to get just that, because so many voters are so disconnected from the political process they are telling opinion polls they would vote Lib Dem despite having no idea what exactly they would be voting for.  Consider this…

  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons say we have too much EU and they want less.  The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is deeper integration into the EU with more powers handed to Brussels.
  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons want illegal immigrants prevented from entering the country and deported when discovered. The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is an amnesty allowing over 1 million illegals to remain.
  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons want to keep the Pound and reject the Euro.  The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is to scrap the Pound as soon as possible and make the Euro our currency.
  • Polls repeatedly show most Britons want less taxation.  The Nick Clegg/Lib Dem policy is to reduce income tax a little and increase indirect taxation by a lot, so we all pay more to the Exchequer.

Despite these examples, voters appear to be flocking to the Lib Dems because a small sample audience and the massed media corps tell them that Nick Clegg won the Leaders’ Debate and is oh-so-different from Brown and Cameron.  You couldn’t write a sit com this funny.  If voters knew what the Lib Dems stood for, Clegg poll ratings would be sliding rather than increasing.

The crucial point this makes is that the media desperation to fill space results in the political class being able to dumb down politics, to such an extent that people can be encouraged to support parties on the basis of style and presentation instead of substance.  That’s why voters are getting behind the Lib Dems despite their small collection of policy variants being the most unpopular on offer and their tactics being the nastiest of the lot.  But as long as the media gets to fill space and has something new to write, these inconvenient facts will be airbrushed from the coverage.

Update: His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer, makes a similar point on his blog.

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Vince Cable admits Lib Dem claims are made up

Many people tired of Labour and the Conservatives offering the same core policies on major issues are taking a look at the Liberal Democrats to see if they can deliver something different.

Certainly the rhetoric coming out of Fib Dim HQ in Cowley Street is attention seeking.  Also, the smooth media ride being experienced by ‘economic sage’ and ‘Chancellor for all seasons’ Vince Cable has been allowing the Lib Dums to secure airtime they simply don’t deserve.

But it seems Cable’s media bubble – and consequently his usefulness to the Lib Dim campaign – is slowly being burst.  As this blog mentioned last week, The Sun ran a piece called Unstable Cable, focusing on a number of his flip flops.  Things have not improved for St Vince this week, thanks to Jon Sopel on the Politics Show.

ConservativeHome carries the transcript of one exchange that exposes Cable’s ‘Tory VAT Bombshell’ as just the latest example of dishonest Lib Dem campaigning.

JON SOPEL: I mean let’s leave aside whether or whether not there is a black hole in the Tories’ finances. Leave that to one side. You don’t know factually, that they are going to raise VAT. That is your conjecture.

VINCE CABLE: It is a conjecture and it’s a reasonable assumption and I wouldn’t claim anymore than that.

JON SOPEL: And that £389 is a rough figure plucked –

VINCE CABLE: It’s a ball park estimate of what it would require in order to fill that gap, and it seems a reasonable way of expressing that argument.”

JON SOPEL: Would you rule out raising VAT?

VINCE CABLE: No, I don’t. It’s something –
JON SOPEL: So therefore your position is no different to them.”

Yet another flip flop from Unstable Cable.  How long will it be before the BBC finally realises that lionising Vince Cable will make them look even more idiotic to their radio listeners and TV viewers?

What we have here is yet more lies told to the public by one of the main three parties.  But while all the parties are guilty of spin and outright deceit, the Lib Dems are particularly reliant on such an approach and are by far the nastiest and most vicious campaigners of the three.

This is why they deserve to be ruthlessly exposed for what they are, no matter where the story originates.  And while Nick Clegg is an incompetent and spiteful little prat, the more cerebral Cable is by far the worst offender and deserving of special attention.

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Media catches up with Vince Cable flip flops

It’s nice to see someone in the media finally pointing out the inconsistent nonsense articulated by Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesman (he prefers ‘Shadow Chancellor) Vince Cable.  The Sun has stepped up to the breach where other newspapers choose not to tread, with a piece called ‘Unstable Cable’.

Sadly for The Sun, the paper gives the impression that Cable has only just been exposed as a flip flopping, self important windbag.  It is something political observers in the blogosphere have been pointing out for a considerable time. Even this blog recently pointed out the Fib Dims are making Cable central to their election campaign, because of the cult of personality that has grown up around him due to the easy ride he gets in the press.

But at least Murdoch’s tabloid is finally shattering the illusion of Cable being some kind of economic genius, as it tells its readers:

LIB DEM deputy leader Vince Cable is today exposed as a hopeless “flip-flopper” who cannot make up his mind on what’s best for the economy.

Wobbly Mr Cable – who triumphed with viewers in TV’s Ask The Chancellors debate last week – has been caught out making a series of embarrassing U-turns on key policies.

Better late than never.  The piece is headed with a nice graphic, scanned by ConservativeHome, that gives just one example of the scattergun pronouncements of the supposed economic sage.

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