Who is going to replace David Dimbleby as the next host of BBCQuestion Time?
If your answer is “I’d rather suck out my eyeballs with a vacuum cleaner and fill the sockets with acid than give a damn about that noisome dross” then congratulations – you have the measure of possibly the grisliest political TV programme in the entire world, with the exception of the insanely left-wing Australian version Q&A which, amazingly, is even worse.
Question Time, for curious non-British viewers who’ve never had to endure it, is supposedly the blue riband of British political TV.
Each week, a panel of MPs plus a token real-ish person has to sit in front of an audience carefully selected for its left-wing bias in order to answer dreary, dumb-arsed questions invariably demanding the renationalisation of the railways, the beatification (prior to full sainthood) of the NHS, or asking why it is that the government isn’t spending more money on everything. Plus there’s usually a boring local one about the bus service in Dumfriesshire or the badger cull or the cottage hospital which is on the verge of closing.
Governments will need to take account of the information and its accelerating trend as they plan future defences to protect low-lying coastal communities.
The researchers say the losses are occurring predominantly in the West of the continent, where warm waters are getting under and melting the fronts of glaciers that terminate in the ocean.
“We can’t say when it started – we didn’t collect measurements in the sea back then,” explained Prof Andrew Shepherd, who leads the Ice sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (Imbie).
“But what we can say is that it’s too warm for Antarctica today. It’s about half a degree Celsius warmer than the continent can withstand and it’s melting about five metres of ice from its base each year, and that’s what’s triggering the sea-level contribution that we’re seeing,” he told BBC News.
So it’s over, right? The Warmunists were right, the deniers were wrong and global warming is a super serial crisis we need to deal with NOW not the day after tomorrow…
Germany, epicentre of global environmentalism, is losing faith in the green dream. Its energy minister has admitted that it will fall some way short of its 2020 climate targets and that voters are weary of the renewable energy projects which in Germany alone cost taxpayers around €25 billion per year.
Voters across Europe have lost faith in politics partly because of “unachievable targets” on renewable energy, said German Energy Minister Peter Altmaier, who rejected calls from a group of other EU countries to boost the share of renewables to 33-35% of the bloc’s energy mix by 2030. […]
“Germany supports responsible but achievable targets,” Altmaier said from the outset, underlining Berlin’s efforts to raise the share of renewables to 15% of the country’s overall energy mix.
But he said those efforts also carried a cost for the German taxpayer, which he put at €25 billion per year. “And if we are setting targets that are definitely above 30%, that means that within a decade, our share has to be more than doubled – clearly more than doubled,” Altmaier pointed out.
Rather than cutting emissions of the greenhouse gas by 40 percent compared with 1990 levels, Europe’s largest economy will manage reductions of just 32 percent, said the annual climate report for 2017 signed off by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet.
The shortfall of eight percentage points translates into around 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) pumped into the air annually.
These are shocking admissions from the country which has probably done more than any other to advocate for “clean energy”. Germany had set itself the ambitious target of becoming completely independent of fossil fuels in a scheme known as Energiewende.
Publishing giant Penguin Random House has announced that its authors are no longer to be chosen on literary merit but according to a politically correct quota system “taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability”.
This is mad, stupid, and insulting. But not nearly as mad, stupid, and insulting as the decision by the Mslexia Short Story Prize, a literary competition for women authors, to sack one of its judges Lionel Shriver as a punishment for daring to criticise the new policy.
Shriver (who, despite her misleading first name, is a woman) is the American-born, UK-resident novelist best known for her bestseller We Need To Talk About Kevin.
She also has a column in the Spectator which this week she used to mock Penguin Random House’s new diversity policy.
I’d been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell and promote fine writing. A colleague’s forwarded email has set me straight. Sent to a literary agent, presumably this letter was also fired off to the agents of the entire Penguin Random House stable. The email cites the publisher’s ‘new company-wide goal’: for ‘both our new hires and the authors we acquire to reflect UK society by 2025.’ (Gotta love that shouty boldface.) ‘This means we want our authors and new colleagues to reflect the UK population taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability.’ The email proudly proclaims that the company has removed ‘the need for a university degree from nearly all our jobs’ — which, if my manuscript were being copy-edited and proof-read by folks whose university-educated predecessors already exhibited horrifyingly weak grammar and punctuation, I would find alarming.
What do you say to a graduate with a first class degree in gender studies?
If your answer was “I’ll have that with a large fries and a McFlurry and an extra large Coke, sweetheart,” I’d seriously question your judgement.
What kind of self-respecting employer, let alone one of the world’s leading fast-food emporia, would be so blinkered and self-destructive as to give a valuable job to someone whose only training consisted of whiny self-pity, resentment, divisiveness, navel-gazing, and entitlement?
Sorry gender studies graduates, but there it is. And the same goes, I’d say, for about 90 per cent of the other graduates from 90 per cent of the courses at 90 per cent of universities in Britain (and beyond): you’ve wasted your time; you’ve been sold a pup; you’ve borrowed all that money on the basis of a false prospectus. Employers just aren’t interested in your crappy degree.
Dear President Trump,
It is being reported in the UK media that you have grown tired of Prime Minister Theresa May’s “school mistress” tone.
Join the club, Mister President. You only have to put up with her briefly, at events like today’s G7 in Quebec. In Britain we have to endure her pretty much 24/7 and she’s a national embarrassment. The last thing we’d want you to think is that she is in any way emblematic of English womanhood; or indeed of British conservatism.
Theresa May is what we call over here a frost. It’s not about you: she’s like this with everyone. Anyone who has had dealings with her will tell you the same. She’s prim, distant, cool, earnest, faintly disapproving. And don’t be misled by the slinky fashion she sometimes affects – the leather trousers, the flashes of (admittedly very well-turned) leg, the designer leopard print shoes: it’s an aberration, not a reflection of some inner funster just waiting to burst out. No one has ever accused Theresa May of being fun. Because she isn’t.
UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has declared war on crony capitalism.
He won’t get any credit for this – not while we are (quite justifiably) hating on his dog’s vomit-pool of a government for its despicable failure in implementing Brexit. But he should because what he’s saying is important.
Here is what he told the Policy Exchange think tank:
Economic power has been concentrated in the hands of a few and crony capitalists have rigged the system in their favour and against the rest of us.
Over recent decades, debt has fuelled growth in an unsustainable fashion – indeed growth has been built not just on irresponsible levels of borrowing but an unsustainable approach towards natural resources.
‘Our politics, culture and regulatory models have worked against innovation, indeed have been pushed in that direction by powerful incumbents.
‘Many of our fellow citizens, especially those without the qualifications and connections to work the existing system, have seen less and less value placed on their work and themselves.’
Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the now-swimsuit-free Miss America, would very much like you to know that she isn’t just a pretty face. She also has a degree from Stanford and spent a year studying Virginia Woolf at Oxford.
Even so, let’s pause and ponder for a moment which elements on her CV got the studio executives most excited when considering her for her jobs on TV.
a) ‘Hey! She majored in “Organizational Behavior”!?! And she’ll be just great at explaining to our viewers the true significance of all that mopey, suicidal, proto-feminist stream-of-consciousness in Mrs Dalloway and To The Lighthouse!‘
b) ‘She’s blonde. She’s got a great body. She’s smoking hot. And by the way, did I mention that she’s blonde? With a name that makes her sound like she might even be Swedish, like in all the porn movies?’
Well, I’m no Miss America. (You need to be seriously brainy to be one of those these days. Apparently). But if I were to hazard a wild flying guess, I’d say the clincher wasn’t Carlson’s mammoth intellect.