What Dave and His Chum Barack Don’t Want You to Know about Green Jobs and Green Energy

Green jobs are a waste of space, a waste of money, a lie, a chimera. You know that. I know that. We’re familiar with the report by Dr Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of the Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain which shows that for every “green job” that is created another 2.2 jobs are LOST in the real economy.

We also know that alternative energy is a fraud – only viable through enormous government (ie taxpayer subsidy) and utterly incapable of answering anything more than a fraction of our energy needs. As Shannon Love puts it here:

Here’s a fact you won’t see mentioned in the public policy debate over “alternative” energy:

There exists no alternative energy source, no combination of alternative energy sources, and no system of combinations of alternative energy sources that can fully replace a single, coal fired electric plant built with 1930s era technology.

Nada.
Zero.
Zilch.

So why are our political leaders setting out quite deliberately to deceive us?

There have many disgustingly revealing stories this week about the dubious practices of the Climate Fear Promotion lobby, but for me the most damning of all was Chris Horner’s scoop at Pajamas Media concerning high level cover-ups by the Obama administration. Like his soul mate Dave Cameron on this side of the pond, Obama finds the narrative about global warming so compelling and moving that he doesn’t want it spoiled with any inconvenient truths regarding green jobs and green energy.

Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has discovered that when two European reports came out – the Spanish one above; and another one from Denmark on the inefficiency of wind farms – the Obama administration recruited left-wing lobbyists to attack them.

After two studies refuted President Barack Obama’s assertions regarding the success of Spain’s and Denmark’s wind energy programs, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to attack the studies.

Via the FOIA request, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has learned that the Department of Energy — specifically the office headed by Al Gore’s company’s former CEO, Cathy Zoi — turned to George Soros’ Center for American Progress and other wind industry lobbyists to help push Obama’s wind energy proposals.

The FOIA request was not entirely complied with, and CEI just filed an appeal over documents still being withheld. In addition to withholding many internal communications, the administration is withholding communications with these lobbyists and other related communications, claiming they constitute “inter-agency memoranda.” This implies that, according to the DoE, wind industry lobbyists and Soros’s Center for American Progress are — for legal purposes — extensions of the government.

We see something similar going on here in Britain. The taxpayer funded Quango The Carbon Trust is continually pumping out propaganda on behalf of the powerful wind energy lobby; as too is the BBC which cheerfully funded a political broadcast (masquerading as a cri de coeur) by Green activist George Moonbat on its The Daily Politics show earlier this week. In December it was discovered that civil servants working for the government had suppressed evidence that wind farms damage health and disrupt sleep.

Do our political leaders think we’re stupid? Or so supine and malleable that we simply won’t mind being lied to if it’s for our “own good”?

Related posts:

  1. Green jobs? Wot green jobs? (pt 242)
  2. ‘Green jobs’ and feed-in tariffs: rent-seeking parasites get their just desserts
  3. Pope Catholic; Obama energy official profits from AGW
  4. Green Jobs. What Green Jobs?

 

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Warmists Overwhelmed by Fear, Panic and Deranged Hatred as Their ‘Science’ Collapses

A sharp-eyed viewer has noticed that when I was debating George Monbiot on TV yesterday and I mentioned that his cherished “peer-reviewed science” had been discredited by Climategate he bared his teeth like a cornered cur. Says my body language expert John Lish:

“It was a quite aggressive and defensive gesture which was noticeable when he was attempting to dismiss you (talking about peer review). A definite body-language sign of being rattled. He’s definitely uncomfortable about what’s occurring and others will have spotted that as well.”

Monbiot isn’t the only one. Consider the paranoid tone of this email from climate-fear-promoter Paul Ehrlich, during an exchange with fellow members at the National Academy of Scientists on how best to deal with the Denier threat: (Hat tip: Marc Morano)

“Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules.”

And consider this tragic response from the editor of the US magazine Skeptical Inquirer when faced with declining readership. Despite its name, the Skeptical Inquirer has tended to adopt a none-too-sceptical position on AGW. This has annoyed one or two readers who have been cancelling their subscriptions in disgust. The editor Kendrick Frazier seems to imagine that this is not a reflection on his editorial policy but on his readership’s ‘false consciousness’ – as he shows in this robust editorial: (hat tip: Philip Thomas)

This is the third SI reader who has canceled his (it’s always a male) subscription over our climate change pieces in the current SI (not to mention the at least six who did so after our first round of articles several years ago). Boy, they don’t want to hear anything they disagree with, do they.

It is clear the anti-GW science crowd have their minds made up, and nothing anyone is going to say, no appeal to scientific evidence, no attempt to place things into an accurate context, no attempt to point out that many media and blog portrayals are not always fully accurate, no facts, no explanations, no attempts to show they themselves are being manipulated, nothing is ever going to change their minds. Very much like the evolution/creationist controversy, except that these are some of our longtime readers.

They do not want to engage forthrightly with factual, science-based statements or arguments. They only want their own views reinforced. There is no attempt at open-minded discussion or even fair argument. Just a determination to maintain their ideological purity and not have it be contaminated with any scientific information and perspective that doesn’t support their presuppositions. They want to draw a don’t-tell-me-anything-I-don’t-want-to-hear cocoon around themselves. Unfortunately, that cocoon is growing ever larger. And they know they are punishing us, because, even more than most publications, which have advertising, we depend mostly on subscription revenue.

Guess we should just go along with the crowd, the lynch mob. Hop on the bandwagon. Slam those damned ignorant climatologists coming up with all that nonsense about changing climate and a warming planet. Who needs science anyway?

All this is a roundabout way of answering one of my editors’ kind suggestions that I respond to this morning’s front page story in which some desperate scientists at the embarrassing, useless and parti pris Met Office have apparently attempted to repair their creaky, wheel-less AGW bandwagon with a hurried new botch job report. Sorry, but I don’t think many of us are going to fall for this nonsense any more.

Monbiot tried it on yesterday with his free two and half minute propaganda broadcast generously funded by the BBC’s The Daily Politics show in which he rehashed all his old arguments (man’s selfishness, rising sea-levels, plight of the poor, wind farms, blah di blah di blah) as though Climategate, Glaciergate, Pachaurigate, Amazongate, Africagate et al had never happened. Now the MET office is having a go.

Sorry chaps, it won’t wash. The debate has moved on. It’s not about “the science” any more. (Not that it ever was). It’s about economics. Politics. Money. The taxpayer versus Big Government.
On all of which, more later….

Related posts:

  1. Green MP Caroline Lucas tries to keep science out of climate science
  2. Panic and fear close their icy tentacles round the doomed Met Office
  3. Climate fear promoter Jo Abbess has a science degree. Well done, Jo!
  4. Climategate 2.0: junk science 101 with Michael Mann

 

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‘Post-normal science’ is perfect for climate demagogues — it isn’t science at all | James Delingpole

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‘Post-normal science’ is perfect for climate demagogues — it isn’t science at all

March 4th, 2010

No it’s OK, I didn’t mind one teeny tiny bit that Matt Ridley wrote an entire Spectator cover story on Climategate and the blogosphere last week without once mentioning the name of the brilliant Spectator journalist who broke the story on his Telegraph blog, and popularised the name Climategate, and got 1.5 million hits in one week, and whose anti-eco-fascist bulletins now have a massive following from readers all around the world who keep sending him emails like ‘Thank you for saving us from the horrors of ManBearPig’ and (I’m not making this up) ‘Someone should put up a James Delingpole statue in Trafalgar Square’. Because if I did it would be really petty, wouldn’t it?

What does bother me, though, is the number of people who imagine that Climategate was only ever just a little local difficulty involving a few men in anoraks at some grim fenland redbrick. Or that the ‘overwhelming scientific consensus’ still stands that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) represents the greatest danger of our time. Or that the integrity of institutions like the Royal Society, the Met Office and the Hadley Centre is not in doubt. Or that there’s nothing wrong or scary or downright suicidal about the Cameron Conservatives’ lunatic green agenda. Or that there must be some truth in this man-made global warming thing — or why else would so many scientists believe in it?

(to read more, click here)

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4 Responses to “‘Post-normal science’ is perfect for climate demagogues — it isn’t science at all”

  1. Manuel says:March 4, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Well, here’s a thought for any Tory planners out there.

    I live in Richmond Park constituency, a seat that the Tories really need to win.
    I also have a profound loathing of Liberal Democrats. I have a special deep hatred for former MP Jenny Tonge and her simpering respect for suicide bombers. I have slightly more respect for her replacement Susan Kramer as one of the few MPs who claim no expenses at all, but I still hate them.

    And this election is a good time not to assume that a Lib Dem vote is just a harmless protest vote for your nice local MP which won’t really matter, because it will. If we’re not careful, whatever that leader of theirs is called may well wield huge and idiotic influence.

    But despite all that, and even though it really could make a real difference, I’m still not going to vote for eco-loon Zac Goldsmith.

    I imagine their planners are assuming that people like me will vote for them anyway, but they’re wrong. This stuff matters.

  2. TP Davis says:March 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    James,

    I’d like to hear your opinion on where the UK ought to be heading in terms of our long-term energy security. I don’t buy the ‘Peak Oil’ fear-mongering, I believe there are quite probably hundreds of years worth of fossil fuel reserves left in the world for us to exploit. Nevertheless North Sea oil production, which underwrote the Thatcher-Blair booms, has been in decline since 1999. Norway, our current main supplier, will go the same way before too long. Other smaller oil producing regions are following suit and in not too many years the vast majority of available resources will be concentrated in a few, far-away, politically insecure countries. And Canada.

    Therefore, I am concerned that our economic and political stability are likely to the threatened by an over-reliance on imported fossil fuels. In light of this, the idea that we must (a) use our fuel as efficiently as possible and (b) develop our generating power through non-fossil fuel means seems reasonable enough. The more we reduce demand, the less we will be subjected to the demands of the oil and gas demagogues in the Kremlin, Tehran, Tripoli and Caracas.

    In my reading of the situation, this is the main reason why de-carbonisation of our economy sits atop our political agenda.

    It is quite possible, I admit, that you are right in terms of the climate change debate.
    I am not about to challenge you because I, like you, am not a climatologist.

    However your polemics run the risk of doing more harm than you realise.

    I am concerned that your anti-climate change rhetoric is blinding us to a very real and potent threat to our future political and economic strength. An inevitable outcome of your attacks against the UK’s de-carbonisation will be a future legacy of an economy hopelessly dependent on a few fossil-fuel rich countries, with no bargaining power, left behind in the global technological race to develop high-yield post-fossil power generation.

    Yours,

    Tom Davis

  3. James Delingpole says:March 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    @TomDavis Tom, in the last six months, I have probably written around 200,000 words about Climate Change. Do you honestly think that given all the time effort and thought I have put into this issue that I would have missed the blindingly obvious point you present to me as though it were some devastating counterargument which undermined everything I have said?

    If AGW isn’t happening – and it most likely isn’t, at least not anywhere like to the dangerous degree the IPCC claims – then it is not the business of “scientists” or politicians to claim otherwise in the name of some greater social good known as “reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”

    What is so wrong with fossil fuels? When they run out we adapt. That’s what mankind does.

    And by the way, have you looked into the efficacy of “alternative energy”? It doesn’t work and it will never work.

  4. Tom Davis says:March 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    James,

    thanks for answering.

    “blindingly obvious point”

    – true. But little mentioned in the media, and worth asking. I asked your opinion on the issue, what is it? Or point me to whereabouts in your 200,000 words you have discussed it.

    “If AGW isn’t happening – and it most likely isn’t, at least not anywhere like to the dangerous degree the IPCC claims – then it is not the business of “scientists” or politicians to claim otherwise in the name of some greater social good known as “reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”

    – My point is the two issues- AGW & energy security- get conflated by histrionic media coverage such as you generally provide. They are separate issues and ought to be treated as such. It just so happens that broadly similar solutions are being proposed for each. I wan’t to know what your opinion is on how we avoid geopolitical checkmate such as I described.

    “What is so wrong with fossil fuels? When they run out we adapt. That’s what mankind does.”

    – agreed. However, isn’t it better to be ahead of the curve? Exactly what type of ‘adaptation’ do you envisage? When should it be implemented? or do we wait until the last last drop of oil runs out before reacting? Again, I can only see your anti-AGW rants muddying the real issue and slowing this process down.

    “And by the way, have you looked into the efficacy of “alternative energy”? It doesn’t work and it will never work.”

    -hmmm, people used to say men couldn’t fly. Then they said men couldn’t fly to Malaga for a fiver. Look at them now.
    Quite a surprising attitude for a Libertarian Conservative! What happened to free enterprise and innovation?

    Tom

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AGW: It’s not about ‘the science’ | James Delingpole

March 2nd, 2010

And it never was about the science, as Sam at Climatequotes.com (”remembering what they will want us to forget”) reminds us with this useful little delve into the Government archives. He shows how in 2003 the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) deliberately set out to mislead the public about the dangers of “Climate Change”. Among the “experts” DEFRA invited to help talk up the threat were our old friends at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

What DEFRA was (and indeed, still is) after was “headline indicators” – ie scary scenarios with which to terrify the public into supine acceptance of the government’s high-tax, high-regulation green agenda. Here is one of its working group’s responses:

7. Socio-economic Indicators (Jean Palutikof and co-workers)

– Indicator 12 (insurance claims) might be extended to include claims for flood damage, using Association of British Insurers’ statistics.
– Indicators 13-16 are OK
– Indicator 17 (lyme disease) should stay (despite criticism) but maybe look at European trends and add a new indicator on the number of notified cases of food poisoning.
– Indicator 18 (human mortality) stays.
– Indicator 19 (irrigation water use) stays, but a new indicator might be added on household water use – taking into account the EA indicator and going back before 1992.
– Indicator 20 (percentage potato area irrigated) – there have been no data since 1995, so this may be dropped.
– Indictors 21 and 22 stay.
– Indicator 23 (forage maize) should be dropped.
– A new indicator should be sought on the sale of air conditioners; maybe there is a trade association.
A new indicator should be sought on sales of beer and soft drinks.

Sam goes on to describe what else the report contains:

The report then moves back into the existing indicators, and on page 28 they show an interesting chart. It is entitled ‘Potential “New” ECN Climate Impact Indicators’. The list contains such things as Frog Spawning date and Bat Activity, and then lists such attributes as climate sensitivity and data availability. Another attribute is worth noting. ‘Public Resonance’ is listed, on a scale of one to three. Some issues are shown to have low public resonance, such as ground beetles, and some high, such as water quality. However one issue, the “Genetic” changes of beetles, does not land on the scale but says: “Low unless hyped up.” Hyped up? Is this a technical term?

Cast your mind back to the early 2000s – not that you need to do much mind-back-casting: the same thing still goes on today – and you’ll remember those press releases regurgitated as news by Environment Correspondents everywhere. You know the kind of thing:

Daffodils will soon be flowering so early you won’t even see them because they’ll already have happened last year.

Bognor Regis: the next Cannes?

Food poisoning to kill more people than hypothermia by 2040

Elephants, monkeys, tigers and vicious new strains of malarial mosquito will swarm in Britain’s jungle zone – formerly the New Forest – by 2050

The correct name for this is not “science.” It is “propaganda.” Or “lies.”

Yet the ‘experts’, politicians, scientists, lobbists, carbon traders, and activists pushing AGW have yet to show the remotest hint of repentance for trying to deceive us in this way. On the contrary, as we’re seeing in the various enquiries into malpractice at Penn State University and the University of East Anglia, the official response has been to try to cover the whole thing up.

This weekend, I’ll discuss this topic in more detail, with the piece I’ve been promising you for ages on Post Normal Science.

In the meantime, he’s something to cheer you up in these dark times. The magnificent Willis Eschenbach at Watts Up With That savaging Warmist scientist Dr Judith Curry for having had the temerity to argue that the problem with the AGW debate lies not so much with the solidity of “the science” as with the failure of scientists to communicate their case effectively.

Here’s a taste. Darn it, this guy is so sound he makes me look like James Hansen:

You think this is a problem of image, that climate science has a bad image. It is nothing of the sort. It is a problem of scientific malfeasance, and of complicity by silence with that malfeasance. The public, it turns out, has a much better bullsh*t detector than the mainstream climate scientists do … or at least we’re willing to say so in public, while y’all cower in your cubbyholes with your heads down and never, never, never say a bad word about some other climate scientist’s bogus claims and wrong actions.

You want trust? Do good science, and publicly insist that other climate scientists do good science as well. It’s that simple. Do good science, and publicly call out the Manns and the Joneses and the Thompsons and the rest of the charlatans that you are currently protecting. Call out the journals that don’t follow their own policies on data archiving. Speak up for honest science. Archive your data. Insist on transparency. Publish your codes.

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‘Global warming’: time to get angry | James Delingpole

February 24, 2010

Heroic, monotesticular UKIP MEP Nigel Farage was bumped off the BBC Question Time panel at the last minute last week. Shame. That particular edition was broadcast from Middlesbrough and it would have been fascinating to hear the audience’s response to the choice things he was planning to say about the closure of their local steelworks.

Here is how he describes it in a letter:

Sir

Corus’ steelworks at Redcar, near Middlesbrough, “Teesside Cast Products”, is to be closed (”mothballed” is the euphemism). It is Britain’s last great steelworks and an essential national resource. Without it, we are at the world’s mercy.

Corus is owned by Tata Steel of India. Recently, Tata received “EU-carbon-credits” worth up to £1bn, ostensibly so that steel-production at Redcar would not be crippled by the EU’s “carbon-emissions-trading-scheme”. By closing the plant at Redcar – and not making any “carbon-emissions” – Tata walks off with £1bn of taxpayers’ money, which it will invest in its steel-factories in India, where there is no “carbon-emissions-trading-scheme”.

There’s more. The EU’s “emissions-trading-scheme” (ETS) is modelled on instructions from the “International Panel on Climate-Change” (IPCC) of the United Nations Organisation. The Chairman of the IPCC is one Dr Rajendra K.Pachauri, a former railway-engineer, who obtained this post by virtue of his being Chairman of the “Tata Energy-Research Institute” – set up by Tata Steel.

UKIP’s leader in the EU’s “parliament”, Nigel Farage, revealed these data in a speech at Strasbourg, on 10th February, and was due to appear in the BBC’s “Question-Time” programme, from Middlesbrough, on 18th February, where the closure of the Redcar-plant was inevitably discussed. Almost at the last minute, his invitation to join the “Question-Time” panel was cancelled, without explanation.

An article, on the subject, by Neil Hamilton, which was due to appear in this week’s Sunday Express, has also been “pulled”.

Yours etc

The Corus scandal has been covered before, of course, by Booker, North et al. What bothers me, though, is how remarkably little traction it has had in the MSM. The sums of taxpayers money being squandered are stupendous; the pointlessness of the exercise beyond all reason; yet somehow – a bit like the fact that thanks to EU regulations on landfill waste disposal we’re now all supposed to put up with having our stinking, rat-infested trash collected just once a fortnight – it’s being treated as yet another of those government impositions about which we’re merely supposed to shrug our shoulders and tamely accept as just another of those things.

The mighty Booker reported on another example of this at the weekend. Gordon Brown has secretly blown another £60 million of taxpayer’s money the nation can ill-afford to spend on “buying carbon credits from the Third World for the use of government buildings and other official purposes – so that our civil servants can continue to benefit from the CO2 emissions needed to keep their offices warm and lit.”

To acquaint yourself with the full grisly details read it here. Alternatively, just torture yourself gently by reading the conclusion:

Thus we pay billions of dollars to the Asian countries for the right to continue emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases here in the West, including the £60 million contributed by British taxpayers to keep our civil servants warm. As a result we enrich a small number of people in China and India, including Maurice Strong, who now lives in exile in Beijing, having been caught out in 2005 for illicitly receiving $1 million from Saddam Hussein in the “Oil for Food” scandal. He played a key part in setting up China’s carbon exchange, to buy and sell the CDM credits administered by the UNFCCC – of which Strong himself was the chief architect.

The net result of all this trading and jiggery-pokery is that, after billions of pounds and dollars have changed hands, with a hefty commission for those bankers and other carbon traders along the way, there is no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions whatever. But at least our political class can continue to work in warm offices and fly righteously round the world on our behalf – while the rest of us foot the bill.

Meanwhile our prospective next prime minister David Cameron has come up with a whizzo new scheme to make our inflated electricity bills even more painful than before:

He said: ” We need to apply gentle social pressure on people to bring down their energy use.

“So just as they’re doing in California, we will make each energy bill come with an illustration of how much energy people’s neighbours are using in comparison to their own usage, inspiring them to consume less in competition.”

The Booker is right. With honorable exceptions – such as UKIP and, on the environment at least, the BNP – our political class seem to have absolutely no understanding of the grotesque injustices being inflicted on their electorate in the name of the non-existent threat of “Climate Change.”

What will it take, I wonder, for these imbeciles to wake up and smell the coffee? Will a hung Parliament do? Or will it have to be bloody revolution?

Related posts:

  1. There is nothing cuddly about the WWF
  2. Why we can all stop worrying about ‘Global Warming’ for a bit
  3. Whoops! CO2 has almost nothing to do with global warming, discovers top US meteorologist
  4. Why money-printing is like ‘global warming’

 

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A message from Spectator and Times columnist Hugo Rifkind: you’re all scum. | James Delingpole

February 22nd, 2010

The Spectator’s resident whimsyist Hugo Rifkind has written many silly pieces in the last few months, mostly on climate change, but his latest surely takes the soggy biscuit.

“I’m not saying anyone who ever posts an internet comment is nuts….” it’s titled. Rifkind spends the rest of his essay, of course, saying pretty much exactly that.

It is, I think I can safely promise, one of the most deliciously annoying and wrong-in-every-way pieces you will read all year.

There is snobbery and arrogance, rendered even more repellant somehow, by the desperate attempts to disguise it with a veneer of faux self-effacement, knockabout vernacular and japesome mirthfulness.

I don’t mean to be abusive here. I’m certainly not suggesting that everybody who comments on an article, ever, is sitting at home in their pants, tinfoil on head, basically being batshit doolally. I’m just saying it worries me. Pretty much any journalist I know would say the same. I know of one who describes the comments below her articles as ‘the bottom half of the internet’, which pretty much captures the sort of distaste we’re talking about here.

A lot of this is pure preciousness. I know it looks like we just knock this stuff out, still half-cut from the night before, but actually there’s a fair amount of effort involved. The last thing any hack wants is some amateur next door lowering the tone. When Leonardo da Vinci painted the ‘Mona Lisa’, after all, he didn’t leave a blank bit at the bottom, on which any passing oddbod was welcome to scrawl ‘BUT WOT ABUOT IMIGRATON?’

There is left-liberal prejudice masquerading as sweet reasonableness:

Comments Britain tends towards the hard right, but does the hard left, too. Comments Britain is uniformly Eurosceptic, even on the Guardian. (Maybe a slim British majority now is, but everyone?) Comments Britain is overwhelmingly sceptical about climate change, but recent polls suggest that, while scepticism is surely on the rise, 75 per cent remain with the boffins. Most of all, Comments Britain is nasty. There’s fury out there, and bile and hate. Out there in the actual world, people just don’t seem to be that nasty. People actually seem pretty nice.

There is an heroic refusal to accept that the internet has any power and significance whatsoever:

So when people tell me of a new, grass-roots momentum in politics, and then tell me that this momentum is web-based, I start to feel both queasy and doubtful. ConservativeHome, LabourHome, all the rest — I often suspect the views expressed in the comments on such sites are actually representative of nobody at all, up to and including the people who are online expressing them. I wonder if they are like the comments everywhere else, or the letters page of the Daily Express, or David Wright. Full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.

Rifkind is not, of course, the first salary-cushioned print journalist to have suffered an attack of the vapours over the frightfulness of the internet. His ideological soulmate at the Independent Yasmin Alibhai Brown has often found herself in similar need of the smelling salts:

I never read the raving racists online but those who do tell me how revolting it is getting out there in the blogosphere. Ugly populism is fast food for the disillusioned.

This has not been my experience of the internet, I must say. Au contraire – without wishing to flatter you too much, you blog-addicted, foaming-mouthed, swivel-eyed loons – I’ve found the comments sections on blogs to be bastions of wisdom, rough-hewn common sense, wit, and often amazingly well-informed insight. And I don’t just mean on my blogs. What I always find equally heartening is when you look up an article online by, say, Polly Toynbee or some crack-papering fraudster from the Met Office and find its inconsistencies and idiocies being torn to shreds by a readership far more intelligent and on the ball than almost anyone in the liberal commentariat.

And this, I think, is the crux of the matter. The main reason so many left-liberals so loathe and fear the internet is that it is a medium that favours the libertarian right. It completely bypasses all those institutions that Gramscian Marxists fought so hard to capture: broadcasters like the BBC, the liberal-dominated print media, the seats of learning. It allows real people to say what’s really on their mind, unfettered by politically correct pieties. It is part of the same grassroots phenomenon that has seen the Tea Party movement flourish in the US and it expresses a wave of public revulsion at the dishonesty and cant of our political leaders, as well as a yearning cry for liberty in the face of growing dominance by the state.

And it’s not going to go away, however dearly Hugo Rifkind might wish it.

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3 Responses to “A message from Spectator and Times columnist Hugo Rifkind: you’re all scum.”

  1. Don Stuart says:February 22, 2010 at 1:20 pmThanks James for flagging up the appalling Hugo Rifkind. I recently took up subscription to the Spectator (back in November) after many years of reading it on line, and have been working my way through many entertaining and informative articles (some by yourself). I was aghast to read one by the aforementioned Rifkind from back in December I think which I couldn’t believe had got beyond the editor. It was written in the most absurdly sixth form leftie rant style and really lowered the quality of the magazine from which ever political view point you stood.

    I won’t lower the tone of this blog by using the ‘C’ word but suffice to say the man is a total ‘Tristram Hunt’.

    Now there’s another name badly deserving of a good verbal duffing up..

  2. Peter Crawford says:February 22, 2010 at 11:47 pmI read the article and also found it pretty daft.

    Your comment about the liberal commentariat is spot on. If you send a letter to a paper politely pointing out an error of fact by one of their star columnists I can assure you it will not be published. They really don’t like it at all.

    The beauty of the internet is that, providing you stick to the rules, there is no editorial pretorian guard to prevent any well informed reader from pointing out that their award-winning writer is talking through his or her backside.

    If Hugo Rifkind thinks this is full of “bile and hate” well…..ahh diddums.

  3. James W says:February 26, 2010 at 3:01 pmNice one.

    Rifkind has the smug self-importance, self-perceived omniscience and self-nomenclatured altruism of one of those dick-head Fabian.

    Fabians of course are well-known for being a bunch of elitist control-freak intellectual snobs, most of whom are simply engaged in a childish personal battle of wits with people they wished they were more like in order to prove their self-worth.

    Rifkind is a beneficiary of nepotism so of course he is always trying to prove how clever he is, with the result of course it consistently makes him look like a fool.

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Broken Britain | James Delingpole

February 17th, 2010

I’ve got another brilliant idea for a TV series. It’s called MPs Walled Up in Scorpion-Filled, Ebola-Ridden, Plague-Rat-Infested, Acid-Drenched, Radioactive Tower Block of Slow Hellish Screaming Death. All right, so the title does give away the premise, slightly, but I’d still watch it, wouldn’t you? 24/7. Done right — with special feature-length episodes devoted to Ed Balls, Harriet Harman, and the Milibands — I reckon it would be more satisfying than Band of Brothers, The Sopranos, Das Boot, South Park, The Simpsons and University Challenge rolled into one. And from me, that’s quite an accolade.

What I shan’t be watching again, I don’t think, is the tame rip-off of my idea currently showing on Channel 4. Tower Block of Commons (Channel 4, Monday) is a ‘social experiment’ in which various MPs are sent to live like council tenants for a week in a grotty tower block. You can guess the trajectory right away: by the end, all the participants will be appalled and astonished to realise just how out of touch they are with Britain’s broken society and will vow to strive harder to mend it.

(to read more, click here)

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Why I’m Cancelling My Kids’ Subscription to The Beano

Why I’m cancelling my kids’ subscription to The Beano

Earlier this week Bryony Gordon reported on how Dennis the Menace had been given a PC makeover.

But kids aren’t stupid. They get it. Witness eight-year-old Jacob Rush, from Ipswich, who noticed that Dennis the Menace now looks more like that sweet little swimmer Tom Daley. He’s slimmed down, his hair has softened, he’s smiling. He doesn’t bully Walter the Softy, who now has a girlfriend, as opposed to that pink poodle Foo Foo. Dennis no longer fires his catapult or his pea-shooter. Gnasher hasn’t tasted human flesh for some time now. Naturally, little Jacob was quite upset by this, and sent off an email to the Beano making his feelings clear. The publishers replied, blaming the new BBC cartoon in which Dennis has been given a PC makeover in order to comply with editorial and content guidelines.

When I read it I believed this excuse by publishers DC Thompson. Having seen the latest issue, though, I’m not so sure. In the third frame of Billy Whizz we have a teacher saying:

“Now it’s safe to have our lesson about saving energy!”

The neighbouring strip – a fairly new one called Super School (including a character evidently ripped off from Viz’s Johnny Fartpants called Stinkbomb!) – ends with a baddy shown huffing and puffing at a wind turbine.

We are told:

“He has to work at a wind-farm for a month to give the country free energy.”

All right, fair enough, you might think. Wind farms do exist (more’s the pity) so there’s no reason necessarily to exclude them from Britain’s oldest and best-loved comic.

But then you look below the cartoon and a little educational screed has been added:

“WIND FACT – A FIFTH OF ALL THE ELECTRICITY PRODUCED IN DENMARK COMES FROM WIND POWER – NOW THAT’S A USELESS FACT FOR YOU!”

Well I’m sorry but that little “Hey we’re all crazy and just having fun here kids” disclaimer at the end in no way mitigates the fact that what is going on here is gratuitous eco-propaganda which has absolutely no place in a children’s comic.

And if we’re really going to “educate” kids about the Danish wind farm experience, mightn’t it also be a good idea to mention how it has been a complete disaster for the Danes – driving their utility bills to ruinously high levels and forcing them to rely for most of their electricity needs (wind power being very erratic) on conventional power imported from their neighbours? Or is that the kind of unpalatable truth that ought to be kept from our dear ones?

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I Hate Weddings; Funerals Are Almost Invariably Better in Every Way

If I’d written the film it would have been called Four Funerals and a Wedding, because personally I find funerals much more fun. Not all funerals, obviously. But the funeral of someone who’s not a close relative and who’s had a good innings can be a very splendid occasion — as I was reminded the other week when I went to Tisbury, Wiltshire, to bid farewell to my old friend John Clanwilliam.

John, you may remember, was the earl I killed last summer during a game of human Cluedo. At Christmas, he died for real and though I shall miss him dearly I don’t think anyone could be too unhappy at the manner of his leaving: a few months after two glorious 90th birthday parties (one in London, one in the country), cheery, well-loved and with all his faculties intact.

I became his friend because my friend Tania — one of his daughters — invariably used to sit me next to him at lunch or dinner when I came to stay. ‘You’re only good at talking to very young people or very old people,’ explained Tania — perfectly truly. ‘And you’re the only person I know who’s as right-wing as Daddy is.’

John and I got on like a house on fire, spending many joyous hours bemoaning the state of modern Britain and winding up Tania who — like so many poshos — has unfortunate Whiggish tendencies. Besides being an ardent Speccie reader, John had the added advantage of having been in the war. It delighted me beyond measure when he declared himself a fan of my Dick Coward books because, I suppose, that’s the audience I most care about: the people who are in a position to know whether or not you’ve got it right.

John’s own war was pretty bloody, though not in the way you might expect. He came from a distinguished naval family — his grandfather the fourth Earl had been Admiral of the Fleet, his father was an admiral — and was educated at Dartmouth Naval College. None of his family is quite sure what happened, though there are suspicions that his ship may have run aground. Anyway, poor John Meade (as he then was) left the navy under a cloud, and didn’t speak much to his family for the rest of the war, which he spent working in a Birmingham munitions factory followed by a short and unglorious stint in the army.

What I love about this particular story is what it says about the resilience of the human spirit. John could have let the episode completely destroy him. Instead, he rebuilt his life — first as an abalone diver in South Africa — raised four children, and gave every impression of being thoroughly happy and fulfilled.

Whenever John turned up you felt that little bit more cheerful, which I’m sure is why so many people turned up to give him a proper send-off. Everything about the funeral service was perfect, from the chosen hymns (‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’) to the sweet tenor rendition of ‘Danny Boy’, to the booming, old-school, fear-of-God dismissal by a former Bishop of Bath and Wells. You felt at once teary and uplifted, in a way I know you’re supposed to at weddings too, but in my experience almost never are.

God I hate weddings. The only one I’ve really enjoyed was my own, because I got to decide on the food and the music and all the speeches were about me. But the idea of forking out perhaps £100 for a present and probably double that on transport and accommodation in order to hang about and get half cut and eat cold bloody salmon (not even wild, probably, but farmed in its own filth and pumped full of antibiotics) on a table next to someone you don’t know while listening to not just an oafish best man, but also the father, and probably some tedious godfather or other giving boring speeches that go on for ever and ever about a couple who are probably going to be divorced in five years fills me with horror.

It’s the trappedness I loathe and fear most. (I have the same problem with dinner parties.) At a wedding you can’t just flit in, enjoy cursory conversations with the old mates you came to see, grab some nosh and then bugger off. You’ve got the church service: an hour, bare min. You’ve got the queuing to say hi to the bride and groom (why?) before you’re allowed your first drink. Then a whole afternoon in a marquee on a table with the sort of people you’d never normally spend even ten minutes with unless you were being paid very large sums of money.

At least with funerals, you don’t go with any high expectations of fun and frivolity — whereas at weddings you do, setting yourself up for almost inevitable disappointment. And there’s an unspoken assumption at weddings that, as a guest, you’re privileged to be there and should be grateful to have made it on to the invitation list, which puts pressure on you to be on your best behaviour. At a funeral, on the other hand, you’re thought to be putting yourself out slightly. The family are touched and appreciative that you’ve made the effort. Also there’s no best man, no sit-down food ordeal, you don’t have to bring a present, and if you do behave badly no one minds or even notices because everyone’s on one of those weird, faintly hysterical, ‘it’s what he would have wanted’ post-funeral highs.

Then there’s death. I don’t think nearly enough of us think nearly often enough about this and what it means. If we did, half the liberal pieties infecting our society would vanish in a trice. For example, there’d be no more squeamishness about ‘passenger profiling’ at airports because absolutely everyone would appreciate — duh — that the needs of millions of free citizens who prefer to take the kind of holiday flight where you don’t end up spread over the Atlantic in a million tiny pieces trump those of, say, a beardie in a dishdasha travelling on a one-way ticket from the Yemen with hand-baggage only who would prefer not to be singled out for a full cavity search.

(to read more, click here)

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One thought on “I hate weddings; funerals are almost invariably better in every way”

  1. Kate McMaster says:17th February 2010 at 6:07 pmWhat a great tribute to your friend, James! I have enjoyed reading your past posts, as well.
    I will be back.

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Husky Rescue, Massive, Midlake

Husky Rescue – Ship of Light (Catskills) *****

I loved their last album Ghost Is Not Real, too, but with their third and latest offering Helsinki’s Husky Rescue have really plumbed the depths and reached the highest heights of exquisite bitter-sweet perfect misery pop. The secret lies in their ingenious combination of Finnish chilliness and melancholy (especially Reeta-Leena Korhola’s frail, beautiful vocals, a curious mix of tenderness and icy distance, which lend every song the vague feel of a deeply sad and sinister children’s story set in a cruel frosty land) with some of the jauntiest, catchiest most perfect synth pop melodies you’re likely to hear all year.

Midlake – The Courage Of Others (Co Op) *****

When people first started talking about the new folk revival about five years ago, I think most of us imagined it would be an even briefer fad than Riot Grrll or Grime. Instead, folk has taken over the world. If you love Fleet Foxes and The Decemberists – and of course you do – then you will be equally smitten by this offering from yet another bunch of sensitive, hippie beardies with a Fairport Convention fixation. Though Midlake are from Texas, they sound much more akin to an expert distillation of the best of the Laurel Canyon folkies, Neil Young and, maybe, Jethro Tull. Twittery flutes, gorgeous tunes, harmonies: what more do you need?

Massive Attack – Heligoland (Virgin) ****

If a new Massive Attack album – even after a wait of five years – is no longer the event it was, that’s probably because their last effort 100th Window was utterly forgettable. Heligoland, though marks a definite return to form. After the first few listens I’m not yet convinced it’s a five-star classic in the Mezzanine mould but that’s possibly because it’s so wilfully understated. But most of our old friends are here: vocals from Martina Topley Bird and Daddy G (as well as Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval and Elbow’s Guy Garvey), plus lashings of the usual boomy, stoner dub. Maybe the tunes will become more obvious with further plays.

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