Why Should We Listen to Benedict Cumberbatch on Syrian Refugees?

Come to that, I wish all luvvies would just shut up and do what they’re supposed to do – in other words, act.

Simon Schama’s powerfully cogent argument on Question Time the other week, where he explained that if you don’t want to house them all in your guest bedroom you’re basically a Nazi — I thought I might pay the scalps a couple of hundred quid or so to see Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet at the Barbican.

Apparently the really exciting bit isn’t anything he does as the Dane but rather Shakespeare’s rarely performed postscript where Hamlet comes back to life in the terrifying form of a preening, hectoring Old Harrovian luvvie to berate the groundlings for their uncaringness. ‘A pox on the politicians!’ this apparition is wont to declare, more frightful than anything glimpsed earlier on the battlements of Elsinore. And even if you didn’t have a strong view before on those Syrians, you will by the time the collection bucket is rattled menacingly beneath your nose. Simply seeing Cumberbatch, all quavery and exquisitely modulated and indignant, is enough to dispense any doubt. As Homer Simpson almost once said: ‘Luvvies. Is there anything they don’t know?’

Well I can answer that. No there isn’t. I’ve learned from the newspapers, from the TV and social media that there’s not a single problem in the world, great or small, for which the luvvies don’t have the definitive answer.

Ever been struck by the fact that from Jane Austen adaptations to Poldark to Pointless, there aren’t nearly enough black and ethnic minority characters on TV? Well you’re bloody right. Former New Faces and Tiswas star Sir Lenny Henry says so. And it’s not about ‘tokenism’, God no. It’s simply about ‘driving up quality’.

What about ‘ravishing’ — is that a world we should still use? Not according to highly principled linguistic arbiter and sometime Scottish comic Frankie Boyle. He has been looking into its root derivation and was appalled by what he discovered: it’s a bit ‘rapey’, he once warned his nearly two million Twitter followers.

Drilling for oil in the Arctic? ‘A monumental act of selfishness and greed,’ says Emma Thompson — and she should know: she once played Harriet Pringle in the BBC TV adaption of Olivia Manning’s Fortunes of War. Opposite Kenneth Branagh no less.

Fracking? Only the worst thing ever. Just ask the experts, like Dame Vivienne Westwood, who thought up the genius idea of putting safety pins and lots of extra zips, accessorised with dog collars, on outfits worn by people like Sid Vicious in the late 1970s.

Women’s pay inequality? An absolute blooming disgrace. Never mind the fact that in the West, women below the age of 40 are on absolute wage parity with their male counterparts — Emma Watson knows there’s still something scandalous going on, as you totally would if you’d been Hermione Granger in no fewer than seven Harry Potter movies.

Read the rest at the Spectator.

How Green Activist Scientists Rigged the EU Pesticide Ban Which Has Cost Farmers and Businesses Billions

“‘Victory for bees’ as European Union bans neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for destroying bee population” read a front page headline in the Independent last year.

It was the culmination of an intense burst of campaigning by left-wing pressure groups Avaaz, Change.org, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, BugLife and the Environmental Justice Foundation which erupted from nowhere last year.

One minute, no one had heard of “neonicotinoids”. The next, it suddenly seemed as though everyone knew for certain that this pesticide was responsible for the “colony collapse” devastating the world’s bee populations and that therefore it should be banned by the EU as a matter of urgency.

Among those who lent their weight to the campaign were the fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett, the National Treasure Stephen Fry and dozens of activists charmingly and amusingly dressed in bee costumes. The impression given was that this issue was an absolute no brainer on which the jury of the wise, decent and informed had long since delivered their verdict: anyone who spoke up in favour of these evil chemicals was clearly nothing more than a science-denying bee-hating bastard in the pay of Big Pharma.

So why, almost instantly, did I smell a rat? Well apart from the obvious clue – any campaign involving Vivienne Westwood is, by definition, stupid, silly and wrong – there was also the matter of the unseemly haste with which these campaign groups were trying to force the legislation through. And the fact that the bully-mob tactics being used here were so redolent of the ones I’d seen elsewhere used by environmentalists to justify their scientifically dubious campaigns against everything from the forestry industry to the harmless trace gas carbon dioxide.

Green on the outside, red on the inside: that’s what these Watermelon campaigns are really about. So, with the help of investigative journalist Richard North, I began looking into the true story behind the ban.

What we found was appalling if not altogether surprising. The ban – heavily opposed by Britain’s then-Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – had rather less to do with proven necessity than it did with political horse-trading.

Indeed, the scientific evidence for justifying the ban seemed flimsy to the point of non-existence.

How then, could all these celebrities and campaign groups and environmental activists and EU apparatchiks and progressive media outlets (from the Guardian and the BBC to Huff Po) have been persuaded otherwise? On what kind of science were they basing their claims?

Well, now thanks to a happy internet leak we have our answer. It turns out that the “evidence” was cooked up at the suggestion of a cabal of activist scientists working for a supposedly neutral and independent environmental organisation called the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Read the rest at Breitbart London

Related posts:

  1. Herod orders top UN scientists to investigate mysterious infant slaughter in Judaea
  2. Australia counts the cost of environmental lunacy – and plots its sweet revenge
  3. The real cost of ‘global warming’
  4. Climategate: Science Museum’s green propaganda backfires