The sad death of Private Eye | James Delingpole

October 3, 2012

Hislop: “Loaded? Landed? Got a few spare acres? I can make you £££!”

In the latest issue of Private Eye I’m described as a “batshit anti-environmentalist.” I suspect this may have been a typo for “batshit mad“, which is what they called me last time they wrote about me. (According to that particular story, I was the Telegraph’s most popular blogger – ha! eat your hearts out Tebbo and Hannan! But apparently this is only because I’m so barmily out-there I attract all the world’s lunatics. Or some such).

Anyway, it goes almost without saying that I am delighted to be celebrated in this way. To be namechecked in the Eye means, more or less, that you’ve made it. I first arrived (allegedly) about two decades ago when “James Delingpole” was featured in a column called “Telegraph Rhyming Slang”. I rhymed with “fill up a hole.”

What does bother me about the “batshit” reference, though, is the context. It’s in a feeble item about a lengthy investigation I wrote for the Mail On Sunday into perhaps the biggest public health scandal of our age: the various serious health problems from depression and insomnia to high blood pressure, anxiety and heart trouble caused by living near a wind farm. (It’s do with the Low Frequency Noise. I’ll cover this issue more fully in a separate blog, as part of my Wind Industry Big Lies series).

Anyway, the item in the Eye concerned an illustration of a wind farm which appeared to have been photoshopped or otherwise doctored. You can either believe the truth – which is that while the sky was indeed darkened by the designers to give it more visual impact the duplication of the wind tower in the illustration in the online version (though not the more important printed version) was an accident. Or you can believe the climate alarmist version promulgated by a couple of activists on Twitter, which is, essentially, that this was a sinister and deliberate attempt by an evil, right-wing newspaper to blacken the name of wind farms using the latest image-alteration technology.

Whichever version you go for it really doesn’t matter.

All you need to ask yourself is this question: which is a crime more worthy of exposure by Britain’s best-known satirical magazine?

a) a newspaper runs a slightly misleading picture on its website


b) In the name of “saving the environment” an overmighty, corrupt and mendacious industry – with the support and encouragement of the Coalition government – is laying waste to the British landscape, killing wildlife, devastating property values, ruining people’s health, driving up energy bills, hurting the economy, destroying jobs, and contributing to some of the 2700 excess deaths per annum from cold. But not, unfortunately, making the blindest bit of difference either to “climate change” or Britain’s “energy security.”

I mean really I don’t want to tell Ian Hislop his job. Maybe, under his glorious editorship Private Eye has changed its remit slightly, so that instead of defending us ordinary people against the lying, greedy, ruthless Establishment Hislop now sees the Eye’s job being mainly to cover up for vested interests and to hide the truth.

But just in case Private Eye still thinks of itself as a satirical magazine with any kind of claim to the moral high ground, isn’t it rather missing a trick here?

The wind farm scandal, I would have thought, is the story with everything: members of the Royal Family – such as the Duke of Gloucester – behaving badly; troughing toffs from Earl Spencer to Sir Reginald Sheffield bt siphoning money from the poor into their overflowing coffers; a veritable spider’s web of vested interests connecting everyone from the Prime Minister’s father in law and the deputy Prime Minister’s wife to Tory spivs Tim Yeo, Greg Barker and Lord Deben; plus, as you’ll see from my Mail piece, threats of violence, vandalism, lies, official cover ups and truly mindboggling stupendous wastage of taxpayers’ money.

Maybe, now he’s a celebrity and well-paid-up member of the BBC establishment, Hislop feels too grand for such muck-raking. Maybe he’s worried he might upset some of his swanky friends. Maybe he’s too busy making documentaries to find time properly to understand the issues involved. (Though you’d have thought it would be easy enough for him to get a briefing from his colleague Christopher Booker).

If any of this is the case, perhaps he should consider retiring from the editorship. After all, in its heyday Private Eye provided a very useful counterblast to the idiocies of the age. It would be a terrible pity if all it ended up doing now was to act as their cheerleader.

Related posts:

  1. Climategate: where is Private Eye?
  2. Radio Free Delingpole: Popes and Puppies
  3. Wind Farms: the death of Britain
  4. When are we going to stop blaming private schools, universities and ‘elitism’ for the failures of state education?


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