Why are we still feeding our soldiers into the Taliban mincing machine? | James Delingpole

19th August 2009

The type of warfare all soldiers most loathe and fear is the type where you can’t shoot back. Every “Tom” relishes a firefight. It’s why he (or she) joined up. What takes its toll – as it did in Vietnam, and is now doing in Afghanistan – is the nerve-shredding anxiety of going out day after day on patrol knowing with near-certainty that somewhere on your route is the IED which is going to kill or maim you or one of your mates.

Talk to any politician who supports our Afghan engagement, and they’re quite likely to confide privately that the relatively small few deaths our military has suffered in Helmand is an acceptable price to pay for its front line role in the war on terror. I disagree. Sure the number of soldiers killed so far is quite small (we lost twice as many for example in the Fifties Cyprus “Emergency”) but what should concern us at least as much is the figure the MOD won’t give us: how many soldiers are being blinded, or losing arms or legs (sometimes both), or being otherwise maimed. The blessing of modern medical technology is also its curse: so long as they get to you in time, the military’s doctors can now enable you to survive the sort of wounds that given the choice you might not want to survive.

Why are we still feeding our soldiers into this Afghan mincing machine? I don’t mean “Why are we there?” – that’s a separate debate. I mean why are we adopting a strategy which seems to require tactics absolutely 100 per cent guaranteed to ensure that month after month (perhaps less in winter, when the fighting season stops) we get soldier after soldier coming back from Afghanistan, either in a coffin or crippled for life?

Reading the background to each new fatality is like experiencing Groundhog Day. Time and again it’s the same story: soldiers patrolling on a limited number of fixed (and easily recognised) patrol routes – “mowing the lawn” as it’s known – are either ambushed by the Taliban or blown up by one of several IEDs. During the evacuation of the casualty, another IED – cunningly placed for just this eventuality – takes out the rescue team. Carnage.

To lose one or two soldiers in this way might be considered unfortunate. But when you repeat the same mistake again and again, the phrase “Lions led by Donkeys”  comes to mind. And also “lambs to the slaughter.”

Don’t ask me what our exact strategy should be in Afghanistan. I don’t know. But whatever it is, as Richard North’s superb Defence of The Realm blog never tires of pointing out – simply cannot be one which requires our men on the ground to sacrifice their lives so unnecessarily. Obviously, we need more helicopters (to avoid the mined roads), more IED resistant vehicles (MRAPs) and as Gen Sir Richard Dannatt says today, more comprehensive surveillance. We also need many more men: a Coalition force level of at least 500,000 reckons an experienced former senior officer of my acquaintance.

What we most need, though, is understanding from our political leaders (less Brown, perhaps, who is beyond redemption, but at least from the coming Tory government) that this Afghan engagement is not something which can be brought to any even vaguely successful conclusion through half-measures.

Lt Col William Pender (rtd) nailed the problem exactly when he wrote to the Telegraph earlier this week:

The fundamental question, both for the Government and for Nato (if it is to remain a meaningful alliance), is whether defeat of the Taliban and establishment of a stable, long-term democracy in Afghanistan really is a vital interest.

If it is vital, then since national security is the prime duty of any government, whatever it takes in manpower – but primarily willpower – from all Nato member nations, must be allocated to fulfilling this aim. If this means putting economies on a war footing – fine.

If, on the other hand, these aims are merely desirable rather than vital – and with governments led by politicians with no personal military experience, and more concerned with interest rates, credit crunches and unemployment – why, let them say so. Then the nations that contribute combat troops can resign themselves to long-term attrition of their soldiers committed to an unwinnable war.

Or as one of the Toms sweltering out in Helmand might more succinctly put it: “Either **** or get off the pot.”

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  4. The lesson of Arnhem and Afghanistan: heroism is no substitute for strategy

 

No. 6 in Total Politics Media Blogs? Moi???

To my enormous surprise I’ve been voted number six most popular journalist blogger by the Total Politics website. Blimey! I thought to do well in these things you had to send round-robins to everyone on your internet mailing list urging them to vote – which I didn’t – so I can honestly say I’m gobsmacked. And delighted. And very proud to be part of such a winning team.

I think I’m right in saying (and I’m not going to double check in case it turns out not to be true) that we Telegraph bloggers had more names in the top 40 then any other organ. Leading us is the mighty Ben Brogan (number 2, only beaten by the excellent Spectator Coffee House), with boy Ed West fast up the rails at 24, the doughty Gerald Warner at 27, Bruno Waterfield at 31 and Ambrose Evans Pritchard at 39. My theory as to why this might be so? Because we’re all so ****ing sound, that’s why.

Anyway, thank you to those out of 1500 voters who nominated us. You have brightened my day and suddenly made it seem all worthwhile. Now all we need to do is change the government, change the country, change the world. Then we’ll be sorted.

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‘Dark Energy’ Reminds Us: Consensus Has No Place in Real Science

18th August 2009

So Dark Energy might not exist after all? Good. I’m delighted to hear it. Not that I have anything personal against this mysterious substance which until very recently scientists believed made up three quarters of the universe. (In fact if it does exist, I want some in a jar in my office. It sounds pretty cool).

No, the reason I’m pleased is because it shows the healthy, normal process of science in action.

Dark Energy was invented by cosmologists “to fit Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity into reality after modern space telescopes discovered that the Universe was not behaving as it should.”

“According to Einstein’s work, the speed at which the Universe is expanding following the Big Bang should be slower than it actually is and this unexplained anomaly threatened to turn the whole theory upside down. In order to reconcile this problem the concept of dark energy was invented”.

“But now Blake Temple and Joel Smoller, mathematicians at the University of California and the University of Michigan, believe they have come up with a whole new set of calculations that allow for all the sums to add up without the need for this controversial substance.”

“The research could change the way astronomers view the composition of our Universe.”

Or then again, it might not. Let’s just be grateful, shall we, that Temple and Smoller have been free to publish their research, without being vilified by the rest of the scientific community, risking their funding being withdrawn and being described as “dark matter deniers.”

As Aussie geology professor Ian Plimer points out in his excellent Heaven And Earth – global warming: the missing science, the row over whether Anthropogenic Global Warming does or doesn’t exist has led to a widespread public misconception about the process of science. It is not a static belief system but an ongoing learning process.

“Science is married to evidence derived from observation, measurement and experiment. Evidence is fraught with healthy uncertainties and scientists argue about the methods, accuracy and repeatability and veracity of data collection. If the data can be validated, then this body of new evidence awaits explanation. The explanation is called a scientific theory. This scientific theory must be abandoned or modified if the evidence is not repeatable or if the evidence is not coherent with previously validated evidence. With new evidence theories are abandoned or refined. A scientific hypothesis tests a concept by the collection and analysis of evidence. Hypotheses are invalidated by just one item of contrary evidence, no matter how much confirming evidence is present. Science progresses by abandoning theories and hypotheses and creating new explanations for validated evidence.”

In short, science is not, never has been and never should or can be about “consensus”. There is no consensus on dark matter. Anyone who claims that there is one on climate change or Anthropogenic Global Warming is living on another planet.

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Why I’m Richer for Being Poorer

The joy of making do.

Who’d have thought that scrimping and saving and eating leftovers could be rewarding? James Delingpole explains why he doesn’t miss his old, affluent lifestyle as much as he thought he would.

James Delingpole graphic

The best fishcakes I’ve ever eaten were the ones I had the other night. This had less to do with their culinary sophistication – just a bit of leftover cod, some mash, a little parsley from the garden, a sprinkling of flour and some salt and black pepper – than with how they made me feel. With each mouthful, I thought, ‘This is nice. This reminds me of when I was a child in the 70s.’ More importantly, it made me think, ‘Gosh. Aren’t I brilliant? I wonder how much money I’ve just saved?’

How different things are from two or three years ago. Back then, it would never have occurred to me to use up that paltry half dish of sorry-looking leftover fish. I would have said, ‘There’s barely enough to feed one there, let alone two,’ and slung it in the bin. And why not? Back in those days there was money to spare…

No, don’t worry. This isn’t another of those pieces arguing how wonderful it is, how chastening and good for the soul that we’re currently in the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Speaking for myself – and I’m sure for most of you too – I’m finding the new austerity pretty grim. The daily gnawing anxiety; the cheeseparing; the constant ‘no you can’t have that’ to the uncomprehending children; the rows; the lack of holidays. This is not the life I spent the past 25 years working so hard for.

But this is not going to be a wallowing-in-misery piece either. If there’s one thing I have learnt amid all the teeth-grinding worry, it’s how remarkably adaptable the human spirit is. Sure, I’m not totally happy, but I don’t think I’m any less happy than I was when I had more money. Life hasn’t got significantly worse; it’s just different. Instead of enjoying the ‘lifestyle’ of a 90s professional, I’ve now gone back in time to experience the scrimp-and-save world of my grandparents.

(to read more, click here)

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How The West Was Lost (ctd): the Burkini | James Delingpole

August 16, 2009

The Burkini. You’d think it was a joke invention: a bit like the grotesque “Mankini” so hilariously sported by Sacha Baron Cohen on all those posters for Borat. What, after all, could be more absurd than melding the not-notably-sexy Muslim dress – the Burka – with the kind of achingly seductive kit worn by Brigitte Bardot in And God Created Woman?

But no, the Burkini is for real. It was designed by an Lebanese Australian Aheda Zanetti to enable women in thrall to extreme Saudi-style dress codes to go swimming on beaches and in public baths without incurring a beating or instant divorce from their characteristically tolerant and cosmopolitan menfolk.

“Practical and stylish,” is how they’re described on a BBC website. Hmm, up to a point. Practical if your primary goal is to protect yourself from box jellyfish stings; stylish, maybe, if your points of comparison are a gorilla outfit, or a Barbara Cartland pink dress, or a tent. But I do think we should be wary of viewing the burkini  in terms of a fashion story or an amusing novelty, when it also represents something more sinister. I’m sure the designer didn’t intend this, but the Burkini has become yet another weapon in the Islamist assault on Western cultural values.

When most of us think of militant Islam, we tend to think in terms of suicide bombs on London buses, planes flying into Twin Towers and 19-year olds getting their limbs blown off by Taliban IEDs. But as any extremist Imam could tell you, there are at least two ways in which a good Muslim can further the ongoing struggle to convert the whole world from the House of War (that’s the non-Muslim world) to the House of Islam (ie global submission to the will of Allah): one (see above) is by poison or the sword; the other is by honey.

So the Burkini is part of the honey campaign: all those parts of the Islamist war on the West that have nothing to do with killing people. This campaign includes everything from schoolgirls fighting legal battles (with the help of one Cherie Blair) to fight for their inalienable right to go to school dressed like a sack, to Muslim supermarket workers trying to dictate the terms of their employment (refusing to sell alcohol), to the ongoing campaign (apparently endorsed by our own Archbishop of Canterbury) for certain civil decisions in the Muslim “community” to be made under Sharia law. The goal is to establish the view that Islam is a religion should be allowed to trump everything, including the cultural norms of any non-Muslim society in which its adherents find themselves living.

Why should we care if women want to dress up in burkinis? Well we shouldn’t. It’s a free country. Where we should worry very much is when, in the name of weasel concepts like “tolerance”, “respect” and Multiculturalism, the wider society is bullied into adopting similar “Muslim” (ie Saudi-style, Wahhabist) dress codes too.

The Sunday Telegraph has provided three examples of this dangerous trend:

Croydon council in south London runs separate one-and-a half-hour swimming sessions for Muslim men and  women every Saturday and Sunday at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre.

Swimmers were told last week on the centre’s website that “during special Muslim sessions male costumes must cover the body from the navel to the knee and females must be covered from the neck to the ankles and wrists”

There are similar rules at Scunthorpe Leisure Centre, in North Lincolnshire, where “users must follow the required dress code for this session (T-shirts and shorts/leggings that cover below the knee)”.

In Glasgow, a men-only swimming session is organised by a local mosque group at North Woodside Leisure Centre, at which swimmers must be covered from navel to knee.

This is outrageous. A public swimming pool is not a mosque. It is a secular, leisure facility designed for (and funded by) the local community. If parts of that community feel unable to use those facilities for religious or cultural reasons, well that should be their problem and no one else’s. I dare say naturists object to the trunks/bathing costume dress code operated by local public baths, too. But I don’t think any of us would think that constitutes an argument for introducing special “Nudie” hours at local swimming pools, fun though that might be.

As I remember from my days living in East London (at the much lamented Haggerston Leisure Centre), it’s quite maddening when, after a hard week’s work, you suddenly find you can’t go for a Saturday evening swim because the pool has been set aside for the purposes of religious apartheid.

But apart from being annoying, it’s an absolute disaster for social cohesion. The reason for home-grown Muslim suicide bombers is that British Muslims are constantly encouraged to think of themselves as being different and apart from mainstream British society. Heaven knows it’s a message they hear often enough from their Imams. Is it really something they should be hearing from their local councils and swimming baths as well?

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Posted on 16th August 2009Author jamesCategories BlogTags , , , , , ,

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Reason no 12867 why not to vote Tory: the NHS | James Delingpole

14th August 2009

Britain’s National Health Service is an embarrassment to the Western world and the only thing that puzzles me more than President Obama’s admiration for this creaking, archaic, quasi-Stalinist, state-health-allocation relic is our future Prime Minister Dave Cameron’s.

At least President Obama has the excuse of being a Socialist. Dave Cameron is a Conservative. Supposedly. Yet listening to the Today programme this morning as his dreary, Pooterish Health Spokesman Andrew Lansley officially and emphatically distanced himself, Cameron and the Tory party from Dan Hannan’s “negative and distorted” view of the NHS, one did yet again find oneself asking the question: “Why the **** should we vote for these Blairite pantywaists? Does any of them – Hannan excepted – have a clue what are meant by ‘Tory values’?”

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Stephen Hawking would not have been left to die by the NHS | James Delingpole

August 14, 2009

Gosh, I’m not half enjoying all the horror stories American Conservatives are using to try to sabotage President Obama’s plans for universal healthcare. I particularly like the one about the Death Committee (do they mean NICE?) which sits to decide whether or not our elderly are to get life-saving treatment. But I fear the one about Stephen Hawking was pushing it a bit.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the Land of Freedom needs NHS-style universal healthcare like it needs an Ebola pandemic or Al Gore. But if you’re going to fight a propaganda war, I do think it’s important not to give ammunition to the other side. Choosing Stephen Hawking as your poster boy to ‘prove’ that President Obama’s healthcare proposals will be a disaster is probably not a good idea when a) he’s one of Obama’s “deep” admirers and is about to get feted by him at an award ceremony and b) when what you claim about him isn’t actually true.

No of course – contrary to the claim in a US business magazine – Professor Hawking wouldn’t have been allowed to die by the NHS if he had been British. We know this because he is, er, British and was being treated by the NHS for his Motor Neurone Disease long before he got famous writing the world’s most unread bestseller and became easily rich enough to afford private.

But I’m still not sure what this proves. The fact that Professor Hawking was not left to die by the NHS seems to me in no wise to demonstrate that our stagnant, creaky, wasteful system is not ripe for an overhaul. In one of the parallel universes possibly envisioned in his Brief History Of Time (don’t know: never read it; I’ve done War And Peace, though, which is a corker), it is quite possible that one Britain is running a much cheaper and infinitely more effective, Dan-Hannan-approved Singapore style health system; and that another Britain is abrim with splendid, clean, MRSA-free hospitals run by stern, buxom matrons and paid for by philanthropists who can afford to do so because of the splendidly low tax regime of a prime minister who very obviously isn’t Dave Cameron.

We just don’t know, do we?

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Bloody Marvellous Aussies Kill Carbon Emissions Bill

Hurrah, hurrah and thrice hurrah for Aussie common sense.

Australia’s Senate – the Government’s upper house – has just voted by 42 to 30 to defeat the cap and trade legislation bill proposed by their premier Kevin Rudd.

Why did those Senators reject Rudd’s scheme, despite their prolonged drought and their bush fires? Well some – the green ones – did so because they didn’t think its emissions cutting targets went far enough. But the majority did so – duh – because they didn’t want their coal-dependent heavy industry hamstrung by still more pointless taxation and regulation, their consumers fleeced and their economy ruined in the middle of a thwacking great global recession. And, in at least the case of Senator Steve Fielding, because they’d done their research and discovered that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a figment of Al Gore’s imagination.

Having consulted scientific experts including Ian Plimer [whom I interviewed in the Spectator a few weeks back and whose views are neatly summarised here] Sen Fielding was inspired to visit the US to assess at first hand what evidence the Obama administration was using to justify its radical Waxman Markey cap and trade measures. He was not impressed and issued a challenge, emailing graphs to one of the US president’s energy advisers showing that, despite rising CO2 levels the globe has not warmed in over a decade.

He concluded: “Until recently I, like most Australians, simply accepted without question the notion that global warming was a result of increased carbon emissions. However, after speaking to a cross-section of noted scientists, including Ian Plimer… I quickly began to understand that the science on this issue was by no means conclusive….As a federal senator, I would be derelict in my duty to the Australian people if I did not even consider whether or not the scientific assumptions underpinning this debate were in fact correct.”

Or, as another Aussie senator, more succinctly put it when criticising Rudd’s climate change bill: “It is a dog of a plan.”

Where Australia leads, we can but hope and pray, the rest of the world will follow – especially Obama’s would-be Socialist One World Government (formerly known as the USA). While it’s true that Nancy Pelosi managed to railroad the Waxman Markey cap’n’porkbarrel’n’trade bill through the US House of Representatives, it looks set to have a much tougher ride in the Senate. Especially given the growing strength of feeling among US voters that cap n trade is no more than a massive scam which will enrich one or two green vested interests – Al Gore’s, for example – while impoverishing ordinary Americans to no useful purpose whatsoever.

Here, is what the latest Gallup polls say:

“The number of Americans who say the media have exaggerated global warming jumped to a record 41 percent in 2009, up from 35 percent a year ago. The most marked increase came among political independents, whose ranks of doubters swelled from 33 percent to 44 percent. Republican doubters grew from 59 percent to 66 percent, while Democratic skeptics stayed at around 20 percent.”

“What’s more, fewer Americans believe the effects of global warming have started to occur: 53 percent see signs of a hotter planet, down from 61 percent in 2008. Global warming placed last among eight environmental concerns Gallup asked respondents to rank, with water pollution landing the top spot.”

“Another recent Gallup study found that, for the first time in 25 years of polling, more Americans care about economic growth than the environment. Just 42 percent of people surveyed said the environment takes precedence over growth, while 51 percent asserted expansion carries more weight. That reverses results from 2008, when 49 percent of respondents said the environment was paramount and 42 percent said economic growth came first. In 1985, the poll’s first year, 61 percent placed a bigger priority on the environment, while 28 percent ranked economic growth highest.”

One Response to “Bloody marvellous Aussies kill carbon emissions bill”

  1. Gods Church in Australia says:May 30, 2010 at 1:24 pmMany Christian people in Australia do not approve of the beliefs of Ian Plimer because he is a former Humanist of the year and a believer in the ungodly theory of Evolution. He is also sympathetic to Roman Catholic ways. After al, Teilhard de Chardin is the author of the Piltdown Man fraud.

Sixto Rodriguez: the rock’n’roll Lord Lucan | James Delingpole

12th August 2009

The ‘rags to rags’ story of Sixto Rodriguez, the ‘Latin Bob Dylan’ who is back in the spotlight after 40 years in the wilderness

Sixto 1970

 

No one in the half-empty bar of the London business hotel gives a second glance to the man with the long black hair, heavy Roy Orbison shades and leathery orange features like an Apache Indian. But in the parallel universe I can so easily imagine, things look very different indeed.

Instead of the sweet looking girl – his daughter Regan – to mind him, this man is surrounded by suited heavies with radio receivers in their ears. Instead of jabbering German tourists ignoring him completely, the lobby is dotted with fans, rubberneckers, surprised passers-by doing double-takes, perhaps even the odd would-be groupie. And instead of the Barbican Thistle, we’re in the swankiest hotel money can buy: if not the Ritz or the Dorchester then somewhere ultra chic designed by Philippe Starck. What else would you expect of a Sixties musical legend?

‘Oh My God,’ people are murmuring in this parallel universe. ‘Is that him? Is that Rodriguez? Is he playing in London? Why didn’t someone tell me? How do I get tickets? Do you think maybe he’ll give me his autograph?’ The alternative Rodriguez lazily surveys the scene like some jaded emperor, the novelty of being worshipped and noticed having long since worn off. It has, after all, been nearly 40 years since the release of the album that first made his name: Cold Fact, the psychedelic folk album, which everyone recognises as a defining classic of high Sixties/early Seventies pop.

Except it didn’t quite turn out that way, and I want to commiserate. I’ve come to hear, straight from the horse’s mouth, the extraordinary, heartbreaking tale of how Sixto Rodriguez made one of the most underrated masterpieces in rock history, disappeared off the map, then emerged from oblivion decades later to find himself finally almost famous and being hailed retrospectively as ‘the Latin Bob Dylan’. Swedish film-maker Malik Bendjelloul, who is making a documentary about the singer, justifiably calls the saga ‘one of the greatest rock ’n’ roll stories of the last 30 years’.

‘Excuse me,’ I say, walking up to him (slightly nervously because he’s never done a face to face interview with a British journalist before, so no one is quite sure what to expect). ‘Are you –’, but before I can say another word, Regan steps forward and whisks me to one side. ‘My father’s really not happy right now,’ she explains. ‘This could be difficult. You just want to ask him a few questions, right? No photographs.’

‘Um, not quite,’ I say. ‘That’s the photographer you can see over there. And look, if your dad’s not in the mood, then maybe we shouldn’t do it. I mean, it’s a fantastic story he has to tell. A fairy tale, almost.’ Regan nods. ‘I’ll see what I can do.’

Disappointed and mildly irked, I loiter in the lobby to await the Emperor’s verdict.

‘My story isn’t a rags to riches story,’ Rodriguez says. ‘It’s rags to rags and I’m glad about that. Where other people live in an artificial world, I feel I live in the real world. And nothing beats reality.’

(to read more, click here)

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Wind Farms: Will Paxo Ride to His Brother’s Rescue?

On telly Jeremy Paxman is a terrifying figure: combative, irascible, impatient, contemptuous and ungenerous. (For an example of the latter, do check out how he begins his interview with right wing US commentator Ann Coulter – who promptly wipes the floor with him). But in real life he is an absolutely sweetheart. On several occasions I’ve watched him compere charity quizzes and prove himself to be such a cuddly, good-natured, double-cheek-kissing, borderline luvvie I wondered whether perhaps he suffers from Jekyll/Hyde syndrome. Either that or the Paxman you see on TV is some kind of evil killer replicant version of the real Jezza, with all the human qualities removed.

It’s this nice, sensitive side of Paxman, I hope, which will ride to the rescue of his brother James – currently fighting a valiant campaign to prevent a wind farm blighting a beauteous stretch of Devon overlooking Dartmoor national park. Presumably the brothers get on (I’m way too scared to ring up and ask, in case the evil TV replicant answers the phone) and go to stay with one another. In which case, Jezza will surely have been to his brother’s Dartmoor pad, noticed the region’s rugged magnificence, and been struck by the fact that what the area really doesn’t need is nine wind turbines on 120 foot high sticks dominating the horizon and quite removing all sense of the natural from the landscape. And will thus be compelled to lend his weight, as a public figure, to this tremendously worthwhile cause.

Or will he? Paxman is an ostensibly bright man. But unfortunately there are an awful lot of ostensibly bright people who have been taken in by Al Gore’s Man Made Global Warming Myth, in much the same way as many global “intellectuals” were seduced in the Thirties (and Forties, Fifties, Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, Nineties and Noughties if your name’s Professor EL Hobsbawm) by Josef Stalin. Even more unfortunately, Paxman works for the BBC where to question the Al Gore version of “climate change” is about as career safe as it would have been for an ambitious SD officer in Nazi Germany to start championing the human rights of Jews, gypsies and homosexuals.

A bit like the Queen, leading BBC interviewers have to adopt a guise of impartiality so it’s not always easy to know what they really think. (Actually I lie, it’s pimpsqueak: they’re tree-hugging pinkoes, every man Jack of them). When I Googled to find what Paxo’s views are on “climate change”, all I could find was a piece he wrote in the BBC’s in house magazine Ariel, in which he lambasted his employers for their ecological hypocrisy.

He wrote: “It strikes me as very odd indeed that an organisation which affects such a high moral tone cannot be more environmentally responsible.”

“The BBC’s environment correspondents, even the makers of series like Planet Earth, are trapped in a bizarre arrangement in which they travel the globe to tell the audience of the dangers of climate change while leaving a vapour trail which will make the problem even worse.”

How are we to interpet this? The charitable interpretation is that he is not taking a stance on “climate change” per se, merely on the inconsistency of the BBC’s attitude, viz: ‘If you really believe all this green drivel you’re spouting, at least show some kind of intellectual and moral consistency.’

What makes me fear that Paxo is very much part of the problem not the solution, however, is his apparent belief in ‘carbon credits’. Elsewhere in the article, he complains that BBC staff are being forced personally to fork out for the cost of carbon-offsetting the air-, land- and sea-miles for all their BBC junkets to the Olympics, Glastonbury, and God knows where else. He speaks as if, somehow, this were a bad thing; as if – heaven forfend – it ought to be the licence-payer who ought to be funding these carbon-offsets.

“Come off it, Jeremy!” as I’m sure his killer TV replicant would say under different circumstances. There are varying levels of credulousness and air-headed stupidity among warmists. But only the really thickest of thick actually believe that paying fifteen quid so that some bloke in India can plant a mango tree so as to carbon-neutralise the cost of your eco-junket in Copenhagen is anything other than silly, pointless and redolent of the Emperor’s New Clothes.

Still, here is the perfect opportunity for Paxo to prove me wrong. Go on Jezza! Come out for your bro! Speak up against the wind farm menace! Otherwise, it may be that I shall be forced to distrust anything you say on any subject ever again, for I will know that you are not the  questing, intellectually fearless empiricist you claim to be but, well frankly, that you’re just another of Al Gore’s useful idiots.

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