‘Hide the Pause’: The Latest Great Global Warming Cover Up

June 6, 2015

What’s the most embarrassing and inconvenient truth for the cause of climate alarmism?

Probably the fact that there has now been no “global warming” for 18 years and six months. Not only does this contradict all the doomladen climate models cited in the IPCC’s various reports – none of them predicted the so-called “Pause” – but it also means that not one of the kids in school being fed climate propaganda by their on-message teachers has ever personally lived during a time of global warming.

So it’s quite understandable that – just as they tried to do with the “Medieval Warming Period” and also “the decline” (which proved so troubling to Michael Mann and his pals) – the alarmists are doing their damnedest to write the “Pause” (or, if you will, “hiatus”) out of scientific history.

And now they’ve done it!

Or so the journal Science tells us in a new paper being greeted with a predictably rapturous reception by the usual suspects at the Guardian, the BBC and the New York Times.

Here, for example, is Pravda’s take:

The so-called hiatus has been touted by non-scientists who reject mainstream climate science. Those claims have resonated; two years ago, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change felt the need to explain why the Earth was not heating up as expected, listing such reasons as volcanic eruptions, reduced solar radiation and the oceans absorbing more heat.

“The reality is that there is no hiatus,” said Tom Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina. He is the lead author of a study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science

So that’s it then, is it? Game over for the deniers, now dramatically disarmed of their most powerful weapon by “the Science”?

Er, not quite, no, as this exquisitely damning rebuttal from the Global Warming Policy Forum makes clear.

The thrust of Karl’s paper is this: that far from staying flat since 1998, global temperatures have carried on rising. It’s just that scientists haven’t noticed before because they’ve been looking in the wrong place – on land, rather than in the sea where all the real heat action is happening.

And how did Karl et al notice what everyone else has missed until now? Well, by using a specialised scientific technique called “getting your excuses in early before the Paris climate conference in December.”

Essentially, this technique involves making adjustments to the raw temperature data (sound familiar?) and discovering – lo! – that the sceptics were wrong and the alarmists were right all along.

Karl’s paper makes much of the fact that the methods used for gathering sea temperature data have changed over the years: in the old days it used to involve buckets; more recently, engine intake thermometers. Hence his excuse for these magical “adjustments”. Apparently (amazingly, conveniently), the measurements used since 1998 have been “running cold” and therefore needed correcting in a (handy) upward direction in order to show what has really been happening to global warming. Once you realise this – global warming turns out to be as real and present and dangerous as ever it was.

As the GWPF reports there are several glaring problems with Karl’s paper, starting with the fact that it contradicts all the other surface temperature data sets and also satellite data (which clearly shows no warming post 1998). Also, without any plausible explanation, Karl also chooses not to use the data from the Argo array “that is our best coherent data set on ocean temperatures.” The suspicion naturally arises that this is because if Karl had used the Argo findings, they would have made his paper look ridiculous.

But, of course, accuracy and scientific integrity was never the point of this exercise.

Rather, it’s sole point was to garner quotations like the ones amassed by the Guardian (et al) and relayed to the faithful who will now unquestionably accept it as evidence that their cause is just.

Here below is the rationale for Karl’s paper. The actual science is a sublime irrelevance for, as ever, this is all about politics.

Prof Michael Mann, whose analysis of the global temperature in the 1990s revolutionised the field, said the work underlined the conclusions of his own recent research.

“They’ve sort of just confirmed what we already knew, there is no true ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in warming,” he said. “To the extent that the study further drives home the fact … that global warming continues unabated as we continue to burn fossil fuels and warm the planet, it is nonetheless a useful contribution to the literature.”

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at London’s Grantham Research Institute, said the news that warming had been greater than previously thought should cause governments currently meeting in Bonn to act with renewed urgency and lay foundations for a strong agreement at the pivotal climate conference in Paris this December.

“The myth of the global warming pause has been heavily promoted by climate change sceptics seeking to undermine the case for strong and urgent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ward.

Since scientists began to report a slower than expected rate of warming during the last decade, climate sceptics have latched on to the apparent dip in order to question the validity of climate models.

Last February, US Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told CNN: “The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that – that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened.”

Cruz’s rival for the Republican nomination, Jeb Bush, was using the pause to argue for inaction as early as 2009.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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Terrible News for Climate Catastrophists: The Sahara Is Getting Greener

June 2, 2015

Terrible news for climate catastrophists: the Sahara is getting greener

Good news: the Sahara desert is getting greener because of “climate change.”

Climate change has achieved what Bob Geldof and Live Aid failed to do by ending the drought in the Sahel region of Africa that killed more than 100,000 people in the 1980s, a study has found. Rising greenhouse gases caused rains to return to the region south of the Sahara, from Senegal to Sudan, boosting crop yields since the 1990s and helping the population to feed itself without relying on foreign donations. The study, in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that Sahel summer rainfall was about 10 per cent, or 0.3mm, higher per day in 1996-2011 than in the drought period of 1964-93.

Well, I say “good news”, which obviously it is for the starving Africans scraping a marginal and precarious living on the edge of the desert, and, indeed, for those of us who prefer to see Africa as an economic success story waiting to happen rather than a looming demographic threat.

But I predict that there will some people who are going to take this news very amiss. The sphincter-poppingly furious crew of greenie activists at the George-Soros-funded website DeSmog blog, for example. As Bishop Hill notes, when, a few years back, the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Phillip Mueller produced a paper predicting this very thing, the red-faced greenies of DeSmog rushed angrily to poo-poo it:

It is wild speculation to assert that any recovery in the Sahel is a result of global warming and to dangle the prospect of a future green Sahara is the exact opposite of the message provided by Mueller’s reference on the matter. However welcome the re-greening of parts of the Sahel, it cannot be relied on.

This is how the left rolls, as a very astute Times article once noted in a different but parallel context, when describing how apologists for the European Union enable it to enlarge its powers first by ridiculing their opponents, then by slily – but not apologetically – conceding that they were right all along.

It is at first denied that any radical new plan exists; it is then conceded that it exists but ministers swear blind that it is not even on the political agenda; it is then noted that it might well be on the agenda but is not a serious proposition; it is later conceded that it is a serious proposition but that it will never be implemented; after that it is acknowledged that it will be implemented but in such diluted form that it will make no difference to the lives of ordinary people; at some point it is finally recognised that it has made such a difference, but it was always known that it would and voters were told so from the outset.

I’m very much looking forward to the bit where the greenies get to the final stage of historical revisionism. “But, of course, we knew that global cooling was the real problem and that we were heading towards a new ice age,” all the usual suspects – from the once-distinguished heights of NASA and the Royal Society to the stygian depths of DeSmog – will all chorus. “Why we were all predicting as much as long ago as the 1970s…”

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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Rod Liddle Does His Anti-Foxhunting Dad Dance Again. Oh, Puh-lease

Rod Liddle – the thinking man’s Ricky Gervais – has been doing his Dad Dance routine again. You know the one. It’s where he shows how down-with-the-kids and still-in-touch-with-his-radical-leftist-working-class-roots he is by telling you how utterly he loathes foxhunting and how, instead of giving parliament a free vote on the issue, David Cameron should be making it even more illegal than ever because, like, it’s barbaric.

Rad, Rod. Rad!

You can almost smell the oestrogen and plait-haired armpit sweat of all the hot PETA chicks swarming to kneel in appreciation of Rod’s bunny hugging caringness, can’t you?

But I have to say that as both a longstanding friend of Rod’s and a huge admirer of his writing, I find this particular Dad Dance of his embarrassing and demeaning and I really wish he wouldn’t do it.

When he writes crap like this it’s a bit like Led Zeppelin reforming to do a three month stint at Caesars Palace. (“Stairway to Heaven guaranteed Every Nite!!!“). You just think: “No, Rod. Really. You’re better than that.”

It’s crap because it’s airheaded and fluffy and mawkish and horribly redolent of the kind of Guardianista Liberalthink that, as a rule, Rod rightly professes to despise.

Saying foxhunting should be banned because you think it’s cruel and barbaric is as insightful and thought-through and original as venturing, say, that “The true mark of a civilised country is how well it treats its old/disabled/ethnic minorities/prisoners/delete as appropriate” or that you believe in “social justice” and that everyone should have a “living wage” and that for the sake of “future generations” we should learn to live more “sustainably” and that the “problem with Communism is that has never been really tried”. Or even “today is the first day of the rest of your life”. Or “you don’t have to be mad to work here. But it helps!!!”

It’s crap because it’s such a pathetically obvious piece of virtue-signalling. Next time, Rod, just save yourself the bother and write: “I hate the Daily Mail.” That’ll do you.

It’s crap because it’s so nauseatingly illiberal – in the old-fashioned sense of the world.

Now I’m perfectly aware, having had discussions with Rod on this point that he doesn’t want to belong to any kind of liberal tradition – Classical liberal or Guardianista – because he thinks of himself more as Old School authoritarian left.

So all I’ll say on this point is that I find it a bit disappointing that a man who at periods in his life has not exactly been unburdened with personal vices himself should be so indecently keen to cast the first stone at the weaknesses of others.

If, that is, you consider a desire to go foxhunting a weakness. I personally don’t. I think that wanting to go hunting is the most natural thing in the world because it answers the call of one of our most strongly inbuilt atavistic instincts: without the hunting urge we would never have survived, let alone evolved to the point where people were able to invent football and go to Millwall matches and shout clever obscenities at one another, like some people do for their harmless fun, naming no names, eh, Rod?

And frankly, only someone of the Whiggish perversion would be smug enough to imagine that this instinct is something we have all since evolved out of. Yeah, right. You might as well look at the current goings on in Syria and Iraq and pronounce sagely that human beings are no longer drawn to violence.

But that’s by the by. My biggest objection to the arguments of Rod and people like Rod who think they are being civilised and sophisticated and decent in their opposition to hunting is very simply this: that they are miserable, puritanical kill-joys.

I’m not asking the Rod Liddles of this world to be persuaded by all the sub-arguments for the continued existence of hunting – the ones about conservation and tradition and pest control and so forth – because I know, given their class-resentment-inspired bias and their ooh-I-care-about-furry-animals-me moral preening, they’ll always find counterarguments and because in any case they’re just a distraction from the only argument that really matters.

Hunting is a good and desirable thing because it makes those who do it very, very happy without harming in any way whatsoever those miserable sods who disapprove of it.

If you believe in liberty, if you believe in the primacy and the good of mankind, you could never seriously be opposed to hunting. And yes, it really is that simple.

Read more at Breitbart London

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Green Activists Explain How to Brainwash Kids with Climate Porn

As the Jesuits almost said: “Give a child until he is seven and I will show you the fully indoctrinated, yogurt-weaving, polar-bear hugging eco loon.”

Such, at any rate, has been the message at one of the panel discussions at this year’s luvvie-fest of impeccably correct thinking, the Hay Literary Festival, where a group of “CliFi” authors have been singing the praises of brainwashing the impressionable young through the medium of kiddie-friendly climate pornography.

Climate activists are targeting children through a new range of ‘cli-fi’ – climate fiction – novels which seek to highlight the dangers of global warming.

David Thorpe, author of the book Stormteller, said that children were more open minded and claimed that writers could ‘infect’ their minds with ‘seriously subversive viral ideas’.

He was speaking at the Hay Festival alongside ‘cli-fi’ authors George Marshall and Saci Lloyd.

“I like writing for children because their minds are still forming,” said Mr Thorpe whose novel is set in a coastal Wales ravaged by climate change and rising sea levels.

“They are asking all sorts of questions about how the world is working. Their minds haven’t been tainted by ideological bias, they are still open minded about it.

“You can try to be seriously subversive and try to infect their minds with these viral ideas that they can explore on their own to make it exciting. When I was that age I loved having my mind boggled.”

Saci Lloyd, author of the children’s book, The Carbon Diaries, said it was important to write engaging stories for children while keeping climate change as an underlying theme, so it was not obvious that it was a central topic.

Interesting use of the word “subversive” there in the novel sense of “achingly conventional”. I don’t know how many classes you’ve visited, David Thorpe – quite a few, I would imagine, given my understanding of how assiduously children’s authors court schools in order to have their jottings whacked willy-nilly onto parents’ bills – but what you might have noticed had you been paying any attention is that “global warming” is taught these days as assiduously as the Sermon on the Mount, the parables and the Ten Commandments used to be in the past.

Also on the panel was a chap called George Marshall, author of a book called Don’t Even Think About It: Why our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.

“We need to get climate change out of the rational side of our brain and into the emotional part because that is where attitudes are formed on the basis of our values,” he said.

So if the facts don’t suit you, make stuff up. Yeah, I get it.

Read more at Breitbart London

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From IRA Murders to ISIS Atrocities: Why Gay Marriage Makes It All OK

May 28, 2015

Which is worse:

a) opposing gay marriage


b) abducting a mother of ten in front of her weeping children, suffocating her with a plastic bag, shooting her in the head and burying her in an unmarked grave?

Well, obviously we know the answer is a) because we can see it in the above heartwarming picture, taken during the recent Irish referendum on same sex marriage.

It shows gay rights activist Rory O’Neill (aka drag queen Panti Bliss) sharing a lovely group hug with David Norris (an Irish Senator who lobbied for the 1993 decriminalisation of gay sex) and, of course, with the unmistakably vulpine figure of Gerry Adams, the sinister Sinn Fein president who continues to deny he was ever a member of the IRA.

Aaaahhh. Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and gooey inside?

Well it doesn’t have that effect on me, I’m afraid. In fact, if I’d voted “yes” in the Irish referendum and someone had subsequently showed me that photo, I’m pretty sure I’d want to stick an orange in my mouth, tie a noose around my neck and top myself for the very shame of it.

For, if a picture is worth a thousand words, that particular one is worth more like a hundred-thousand-word book entitled “Absolutely Everything That Is Wrong With The Modern World.”

It refutes, far more articulately and unanswerably than any member of the hapless “No” campaign managed, every one of the arguments advanced by the “Yes” campaign simply by setting them cruelly in the context of the real world.

In this real world, an army of beheading, crucifying, rapist terrorists who slaughter women and children and chuck gay men off high buildings has taken control of another major Iraqi city and of one of the world’s greatest ancient sites (which it will soon no doubt strive to erase from the earth); the global economy succumbs to ever more burdensome regulatory capture by a self-serving cabal of lawyers, technocrats, corporatists and politicians over whom we have less and less democratic control; a mendacious, aggressive and supremely well-funded and well-connected green movement is trying to destroy free markets, drive up energy prices and impose on us one world government in the guise of a nebulous concept called “sustainability”; uncontrolled immigration is rendering many of our countries increasingly unrecognisable; the elderly (and not-so-elderly) are dying, parched, and neglected in their own blood and faeces in a healthcare system no longer fit for purpose; Muslim rape gangs continue to prey on vulnerable white girls with near impunity in towns all over Britain; the Mediterranean is fast reverting to the era of Barbary piracy; Putin is hotting up the Cold War; China doesn’t give a damn; across most of the “free West” defence spending is being cut to the bone is if there were no longer any more causes worth fighting for; in the wake of Prince Charles’s visit to Ireland we learn the happy news that the people who blew up his godfather may have been granted permanent immunity from prosecution. Oh, and the same is almost certainly true of the senior IRA commander who ordered the killing of Jean McConville (the mother of ten mentioned at the beginning) and who – if we are to believe this investigation by the New Yorker – may not be unconnected with the beaming grey-bearded fellow who posed for selfies with Panti Bliss and others at the recent “Ireland goes gay” bullying smug-fest.

Obviously my list of things that are seriously wrong with the world is by no means comprehensive. But it does, I hope, give an indication of just how many serious issues are being swept under the carpet today by a culture which would rather buoy itself up with feel-good gesture politics like the (technically entirely unnecessary) Irish referendum than grapple with the problems that really matter.

Read more at Breitbart London

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One thought on “From IRA murders to ISIS atrocities: why gay marriage makes it all OK”

  1. Sackerson says:29th May 2015 at 7:44 amIgnore the knockers, it’s a piece of cake. Funny, though, to have IRA welcoming PC, they used to shoot them.

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I Totally Take Back Everything I’ve Ever Said about Queen’s Brian May…

Just a quick one: was anyone else as surprised and delighted as I was by Brian May’s performance on BBC Question Time last night?

I’ve been quite rude about him in the past. Yes, that distinctively shimmery, echoey, almost Venusian guitar of his did provide part of the soundtrack to my youth – I seem to remember getting to third base for the first time to the accompaniment of Night At The Opera – but what I’ve never quite forgiven are his politics.

As a countryman and nature lover, for example, I feel every bit as passionately about wildlife as he does. Which is one of the reasons I’m so much in very favour of the badger cull, as I argue in more detail here.

Apart from the Ford Mondeo the badger has no natural predator, so since in the early 1980s legislation made it illegal to kill badgers, their population has rocketed to unsustainable levels. The consequences have been disastrous: TB in both badgers and cattle has soared; hedgehog and ground-nesting bird populations have been devastated; farmers’ livelihoods have been destroyed; vast sums of taxpayers’ money — the figure last year was £100 million — have been squandered; and Britain is now at risk of having an EU ban on all its beef and dairy exports, at a cost to the economy of more than £2 billion a year.

May, on the other hand, has positioned himself at the forefront of the shrill and self-righteous anti-badger cull movement, which unfortunately has attracted the very worst elements of the animal rights movement, and appears to be motivated more by sentiment and cherry-picked data than it does by hard evidence.

But while I haven’t changed my views on badgers, I’ve definitely shifted my stance on May.

Last night, as the panel’s licensed jester – the token celebrity who can ride whatever hobby horses he wishes – he could all too easily have spouted the sub-Russell-Brand drivel we’ve come to expect on Question Time. Instead, he was a model of decency and sweet reasonableness.

This was especially noticeable in his behaviour towards fellow panelist Nigel Farage.

It really ought to have been a very tough evening for Farage. And it certainly began that way. Every question he had from the audience was hostile, starting of course with one about him being “snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive”. Even if you’re not a fan – which I still am – I think it would be hard to deny how well Farage acquitted himself – never showing signs of umbrage taken, cheerfully getting his political points in a way that, ever so slowly, began to win the audience round and earn him some actual claps.

None of this would have been possible, though, without the unlikely support he got from his fellow panelists. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt – most definitely not rhyming slang, on last night’s showing – led the way with some generous remarks. But what really clinched it was Brian May, who absolutely refused to pick on an easy target and instead took the opportunity to deplore the nastiness of politics in general and, by implication, the treatment of Farage in particular.

This, in turn, gave the audience the permission they needed to stop poking the chained up bear with their sticks.

If you haven’t watched it, you should. Question Time at its best. Almost restores your faith in human decency.


Read the rest at Breitbart London

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General Election: What Your Voting Choice Ssays about YOU

Here is a quick reference guide to the political types voting in the general election


You are: a millionaire thespian/stand-up comic/generic luvvie; a social worker; an NHS administrator; a Quangocrat; a civil servant; an Islamist entryist; a school teacher; an activist; Owen Jones

You believe in: the NHS; social justice; hard-working families; Keynesian economics; the tooth fairy; the NHS; that the problem with socialism is that it’s never been tried properly yet; the NHS; equality; even if we taxed the rich at 100 per cent it still wouldn’t be enough; did I mention the NHS?

Favourite books: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists; JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy

Favourite albums: oh, God, something by The Clash, I expect; or maybe D:Ream

You shop at: Tesco


You are: a Welsh social worker; a Welsh NHS administrator; a Welsh quangocrat;  a Welsh civil servant; a Welsh Islamist entryist; a Welsh school teacher (who teaches Welsh – so important for helping Welsh children get on in the world, knowing for example that gwasanaethau means motorway service station, which could come in amazingly handy if say they’re out of petrol on an Autobahn and they chance upon a Welsh speaking German); a Bard; a member of a male voice choir; something to do with Doctor bloody Who which every other employed person in Wales is these days.

You believe in:  “welshing” should be banned because it’s pejorative; the red dragon; the unalienable right of every Welshman, Welshwoman or Welshchild to enjoy – and take pride in – the worst healthcare anywhere in the British Isles or quite possibly the world; wind turbines; pylons.

Favourite books: The Mabinogion; Ivor the Engine; the collected works of Dylan Thomas; Red Dragon by Thomas Harris (Hannibal Lecter was Welsh, look you: played by our Anthony)

Favourite albums: The Best of Shirley Bassey; An Evening with Max Boyce; Treorchy Choir Vol. 3; Barafundle by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.

You shop at: Co Op.


You are: a hedge funder; something in the City; the head of a multi-national corporation; a lawyer; a head-hunter; an offshore wind investor; your job is to find imaginative ways to spend Britain’s eye-wateringly insane foreign aid budget; a Daily Mail reader; just scared, no terrified, of what will happen if Ed Miliband forms a coalition with the SNP and Nick Clegg.

You believe in: better the devil you know; that believing in stuff is all very well but we’re past all that nonsense, don’t you think, these days?

Favourite books: oh, you know, whatever is currently on the bestseller lists

Favourite film: Titanic

Favourite albums: something by the Beatles or the Stones, probably, it has to be really doesn’t it?

You shop at: Waitrose; Sainsbury’s


You are: Scottish; angry; Scottish; a Scottish Islamist entryist

You believe/ believe in: the Saltire; caltrops; persistent spiders; woad; appalling beer; that the problem with fascism – sorry slip of the tongue there, meant communism – is that it has never properly been tried; that by destroying the landscape with wind farms you’ll drive last of the English settlers out; free further education and free healthcare all paid for by the English; using the phrase “Westminster government” and “privatised NHS” at every opportunity, as a substitute for coherent argument; keeping sterling after (inevitable) independence and using it much as the Greeks did the Euro; that an economy almost entirely dependent on London-funded welfare and wind farm subsidies will suddenly thrive after independence; the cheque’s in the post; deep fried pizza.

Favourite books: Mein Kampf; Trainspotting;

Favourite albums: Big Country; Texas; Arab Strap; Mogwai; Bay City Rollers; Rod Stewart

Favourite films: Trainspotting; Braveheart; Ring of Bright Water (especially when the honest, exploited Scottish labourer bludgeons the wee Sassenach otter)

You shop at: the nearest food bank

Liberal Democrats

You are: a teacher; a jellyfish; something in diversity/equality/[“dis”]-ability; professor of gender studies; a therapist; in therapy; in a mental institution; an Islamist entryist.

You believe: depends where you’re campaigning – if it’s a traditional Tory constituency, then obviously, roast beef, warm beer, lengthening shadows on the village green; if it’s a traditional Labour constituency, then the red flag, collective farms, bullets in the back of the neck for class traitors; and if it’s neither of the above, then sorting out that really nasty pothole on Fore Street, free milk and bananas for the primary school and more, subsidised equality and diversity and baking workshops at the village hall.

Favourite books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Arundhati Roy’s The God Of Small Things.

Favourite albums: Whatever the latest in the NOW series is – got to move with the times.

Favourite films: Love Actually; The Girl in the Cafe; The Boat That Rocked

Green Party

You are: an activist; a yoga teacher; an aromatherapist; you run an organic cafe/wholefood store/bicycle repair shop; a poi instructor; a festival caterer; you work for Greenpeace/Friends of the Earth; something in the “sustainability” industry;  currently working at McDonalds waiting to find a more suitable use for your much in-demand Environmental Sciences degree from the University of East Anglia; Dale Vince

You believe: The Earth has a cancer and the cancer is man; Paul Ehrlich’s predictions weren’t wrong, just his timescales; at this rate, all species will be dead by yesterday at the latest; meat is murder; climate change is the worst thing ever and people who deny it should be strung up with piano wire; Wir mussen die Juden aussrotten; bicycles are so lovely, aren’t they? And yurts, and coracles…

Favourite books: anything by Monbiot, he’s just the business.

Favourite albums: Whale Song IV; Dolphin Moods; Chumbawumba; The Levellers; Goa Krusty Trance Classix XVII

Favourite films: An Inconvenient Truth (duh!)

You shop: nowhere if, you can possibly help it. Far better to grow your own or barter. Otherwise Whole Foods.


You are: pretty frustrated, right now

You believe in: Morris dancing; cream teas; sunlit uplands with no wind turbines on them; Agincourt; social stigma; grammar schools; Winston Churchill; Shakespeare; Morris Minors; warm beer and a cheeky fag; mowing the lawn; manners; pubs with horse brasses and shove ha’penny; Albion

Favourite films: Zulu; The Italian Job; A Matter of Life And Death; A Canterbury Tale; Where Eagles Dare

Favourite albums: Vaughan Williams’s English Folk Song Suite played by Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields; Elgar’s Cello Concerto; Jethro Tull’s Songs from the Wood; Traffic’s John Barleycorn Must Die; Led Zep IV

Favourite books: Wind in the Willows (starring the Dear Leader as Mister Toad); The Rats by James Herbert.

You shop: at Aldi and Waitrose.

Read more at Breitbart London

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If Ricky Gervais Really Cared about Giraffes He’d Hunt Them

Comedian Ricky Gervais has decided that because we liked The Office, quite enjoyed a couple of sketches in Extras (the David Bowie one and the Lenny Henry one) and weren’t all driven to suicide by Night At The Museum, we should therefore care what he thinks about giraffe rights.

Gervais takes them so seriously that when he found a photograph of “extreme huntress” Rebecca Francis posing next to the body of a giraffe she had shot, he just couldn’t resist exposing her to the righteous wrath of his 7.5 million Twitter follows, earning the poor woman a string of death threats.

What Gervais clearly doesn’t appreciate – why should he?: his job is making people laugh and hanging out with smug Hollywood liberals, not reading or thinking – is that any intelligent person who really cares about Africa’s wildlife ought to be backing people like Rebecca Francis to the hilt.

If it weren’t for Africa’s game industry there’d be virtually no game left in Africa to photograph, let alone hunt.

That’s because it’s the hunters who significantly bankroll the conservation, breeding and protection programmes that keep the animals from being poached to extinction.

In the game reserves of Africa they well understand this.

Here, for example, is Alexander N Songworna, director of wildlife for the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, pleading with the New York Times’s readership not to meddle with his country’s game industry.

In Tanzania, lions are hunted under a 21-day safari package. Hunters pay $9,800 in government fees for the opportunity. An average of about 200 lions are shot a year, generating about $1,960,000 in revenue. Money is also spent on camp fees, wages, local goods and transportation. And hunters almost always come to hunt more than one species, though the lion is often the most coveted trophy sought. All told, trophy hunting generated roughly $75 million for Tanzania’s economy from 2008 to 2011.

The same is true in Namibia, where permits to shoot black rhino raise $350,000 each – money which goes towards ensuring that there will still be black rhinos for future generations of Gervaises to gawp at and weep tears over.

If Gervais really cared about Africa’s wildlife, he’d put his money where his mouth is – as this fine upstanding hunter from Texas did recently, man up and go and bag himself a rhino. (Or, if he’s too chicken, a giraffe).

I know it’s not necessarily obvious, this paradox that in order to preserve animals it sometimes make sense to kill them. It’s a head thing, not a heart thing, unfortunately, which is why so many people of a liberal persuasion are so doomed never to get it.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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On Those Lovable, Colourful Traveller Folk…

April 10, 2015

This week we heard the tragic story of a retired businessman who killed himself and his wife having told friends he was deeply worried about the fact that his rural neighbourhood had been surrounded, at the local council’s behest, by officially designated ‘traveller’ camp sites.
Which do you think is the most likely explanation for poor John Knott’s radical and desperate measure?

Was it

a) he had a pathological aversion to lovely, colourful people in their brightly painted, horse-drawn caravans with their rich cultural heritage, deep understanding of rural lore and their fine traditions of coloured-headscarf-and-hoop-earring-wearing, crystal-ball-gazing, heather-sprig-selling, fiddle-playing, horse-bartering jollity

b) he was a racist, that’s what he was, a racist who’d been taken in by all those appalling myths about the well-loved Roma people and Irish Traveller folk and is probably the kind of person who votes UKIP

c) he’d retired to what he thought was a rural idyll only to realise that by government fiat about £125,000 was going to be knocked off the value of his property, he’d never be able to leave his doors unlocked, his neighbouring fields would be filled with stagnant rubbish, there’d never be any peace by day or night, and he’d constantly have to worry about semi-literate urchins pilfering his toolshed and defecating in his hedgerows, while their feckless parents badgered him every other day explaining they’d got a bit of gravel left over from another job and did he want his drive tarmacked?

Well, obviously it couldn’t have been c) because under Tony Blair’s hate crime laws that would have constituted an offence which might have landed Knott in prison. So it must have been one of the others, clearly.

But it is slightly odd, don’t you think, that whenever – literally 100 per cent of the time on all occasions, ever – a gipsy/traveller/Roma encampment descends on a particular area, the response of all those living there tends to be less than enthusiastic; and that the longer that encampment manages to stay in place the more frantically desperate the local community grows to get rid of them?

Pure racism, I suppose.

Except here’s a thing. If you go to Ireland, whence many of these ‘traveller’ communities emanate, I think you’ll find that they are not – do correct me if I’m wrong – granted special ethnic status or peculiar legal privileges.

That’s why so many of them have left Ireland (where they own houses: the kind of things they’re theoretically supposed to hate living in because it’s their ‘tradition’) to take advantage of Britain’s more enlightened approach to the “traveller community” – as framed in official documents like this called Planning Policy For Traveller Sites.

Under these planning regulations, local councils are legally obliged to provide sites for traveller encampments.

It explains at the beginning:

“The Government’s overarching aim is to ensure fair and equal treatment for travellers.”

But clearly – you can tell this document was drafted by a Liberal Democrat – “fair and equal treatment” is precisely what these travellers are NOT being given.

On the contrary, they are being granted privileges over and above those accorded so-called “settled” communities. Some of these privileges are official (eg this allocation of “free” land for them to park their vehicles on, regardless of how their new neighbours might feel about this incursion). Some of them are unofficial. (Apparently, for example, you’ll never get the RSPCA intervening where it turns out that stray horses grazing willy-nilly belong to travellers).

This injustice was the subject in 2013 of a private members bill by Conservative MP Philip Hollobone, who in his speech to the House refused to mince his words:

Members may not realise that local residents have told me, on the basis of police evidence, that many distraction burglaries are undertaken by members of the Gypsy and Traveller community. It is a speciality of theirs. Likewise, farmers and rural dwellers are, frankly, terrorised at the theft of, and damage to, farm equipment and rural properties. The idea that these sites could be set up near to long-established communities both within towns and villages is bringing a huge amount of distress to my local residents.

Hollobone can say stuff like that under parliamentary privilege. The rest of us, unfortunately, have to be more careful – not least because there’s a particularly tenacious gipsy grievance lobby ready to pounce on any perceived injustice against their wholly delightful, thoroughly law-abiding and not remotely antisocial, whiny, vulgar, rapacious community of exquisitely dressed and superbly well-educated model citizens.

But it is a bizarre situation we’ve got, isn’t it?

One of the most basic obligations of any government is the protection of its citizens’ property rights. And one of the most basic principles of English common law is that everyone is equal before it.

Yet as regards travellers we have planning laws which flagrantly breach both of the above.

An alien landing from space would marvel at such an arrangement. “These traveller people must be very special to have been granted such privileges,” he might well wonder. “They must bring especial richness and joy and abundance to the communities they visit! They must pay vast sums in taxes to compensate for all the money councils seem to spend on policing and rehousing operations! They must be particularly law-abiding and morally upstanding! Their travelling traditions must be especially reverend and noteworthy for them to be protected in this way!”

“No, no,” you’d have to explain to the alien. “None of your assumptions are quite accurate. It’s more that, well, someone somewhere decided that they ought to be a protected minority whose special way of life needs preserving, even at the expense of everyone else, and no one in authority, not even Conservatives who are supposed to care about the country, has quite had the gumption to change it.”

“But aren’t burglars are also minority with a special way of life lived at the expense of everyone else? Aren’t locusts?” the alien might reply.

“Now you’re getting there…” you could say.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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Why I’d Rather Eat Worms Than Renew My National Trust Membership

One of my favourite National Trust properties is Overbeck’s in Salcombe – the former seaside home of an eccentric inventor with a wondrous subtropical garden. The last time I visited, the nice lady at the entrance asked – as they always do – whether I might consider taking out a family membership.

“Sorry,” I said. “But I’d rather eat worms.”

She probably didn’t want to hear but I told her anyway. For years, like so many parents with younger children in need of distraction, I’d used the National Trust’s myriad glorious properties as the perfect weekend refuge: delicious teas, well-stocked bijou gift shops, historic houses with magnificent grounds to explore and play in. Joining the National Trust clearly made sense – with the added bonus that I’d be doing my bit to preserve the crumbling fabric of England and Wales’s heritage.

Unfortunately, I went on to explain, the National Trust had now been hijacked by left-liberal entryists completely out of touch with this once-splendid organisation’s charitable purpose. No longer, it seems, is the National Trust about preserving the glories of the English country house, connecting us with our past and conserving the 775 miles of coastline it owns.

Rather, it has been turned into yet another progressive activist organisation advancing political causes which are irrelevant to – and often inimical to – its charitable remit.

You could argue that the rot set in when it banned fox hunting on its land. But the moment it really started going downhill was in 2012 with the appointment of its new director-general Dame Helen Ghosh.

Ghosh is a classic beneficiary of the revolving door system whereby time-serving quangocrats with the appropriate politically correct views are shuffled from plum post to plum post regardless of their aptitude for the job.

A career civil servant with no particular expertise in or natural sympathy with heritage issues or the countryside Ghosh is, as Quentin Letts notes in this delightfully catty profile, “more at home in court shoes than gum boots”. She also has a reputation – Letts delicately hints with more generosity than I’m prepared to allow the dreadful woman – for being pretty low-grade and thick.

In other words, she would have been ideal for somewhere grisly and right-on and pointless like the Equality and Human Rights Commission, but could scarcely be more wrong for a charity whose meat and drink is toffs, antique furniture, well-spoken old ladies in tweed twin sets, and oak studded parkland, and whose membership largely comprises small ‘c’ conservatives.

Just how utterly unsuitable for the job she is, Ghosh has revealed in her organisation’s announcement that from now on one of its main priorities will be combating climate change which, it claims, ‘poses the biggest single threat’ to its properties so far.

No, it doesn’t. It simply doesn’t. This is purely an expression of Ghosh’s ignorance and of the misinformation foisted on her by the bien-pensant types in whose company she prefers to spend her time.

And if this were merely a case of a silly woman venturing a foolish opinion, perhaps that would be excusable. Unfortunately, Ghosh’s ignorance and idiocy is being transformed into policy in its vomitously named new strategy document Playing Our Part.

Besides relaxing its objections to wind farms – and if we’re talking about “the biggest single threat” to the British landscape, there’s your badger – the National Trust has announced a “20 per cent reduction by 2020″ of its energy use “with 50 per cent coming from renewable sources on the land we look after.”

Ghosh says:

“We will be meeting our commitment predominately from hydro schemes, and with biomass boilers at a number of our big houses. And we do have the occasional turbine. We do not object in principle to wind turbines in the right place. In sensitive historic environments, wind turbines are not the thing to do, but I think we object to two per cent of all wind turbine applications nationally.”

And almost inevitably, Ghosh agonises that the organisation is too middle-class and wants to make it “more relevant” to its membership.

She wants to move away from country houses and more towards the places like the childhood homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon (because of course, if it weren’t for the National Trust it would have occurred to no private enterprise to turn them into museums, would it?).

“It’s things like the Beatles’ houses in Liverpool or back to back houses in Birmingham. And our visitors are absolutely loving them.”

Absolutely loving them. There’s a phrase that tells you all you need to know. But just in case it didn’t, here’s an even better one.

The challenge, she says, is to persuade people that they did not need to feel awkward “if they didn’t know who George II was.”

Yeah, that’ll be it, Dame Helen. Until you came along, the National Trust was going to hell in a handcart: four million members, almost of all them inexcusably middle class with an unforgivable predilection towards stately homes, denying social justice to all those disenfranchised ordinary folk who feel so alienated by the mention of any historical figure who isn’t Mary Seacole that the thought of visiting a National Trust property makes them come over like Damien in the Omen when his parents try to take him to church.

And if it’s signs of the End Times we’re looking for, I reckon that for our system to have allowed a creature like Helen Ghosh to get her claws on something as cherishably middle class, civilised and quintessentially English as the National Trust must be pretty near the penultimate one. All it requires now is for the ravens to leave the Tower and then that’ll be it: game over.

Read more at Breitbart London

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