Why I owe Aussie QC Raymond Finkelstein a pint | James Delingpole

March 5, 2012

Gratuitous saltwater crocodile picture

Today’s column is dedicated to Raymond Finkelstein QC. Raymond who? Well, he’s the kind of left-leaning activist lawyer I’d normally run a mile from – especially since he’s behind a scary new report which, if implemented, will kill what’s left of freedom of speech in Australia and pretty much criminalise climate scepticism. (H/T John O’Sullivan; Peter Dun)

But as far as I’m concerned, the man’s a total bloody hero and when I come to Oz in mid-April I’d like to buy him a pint. Why? Because thanks to good old Raymond I’m going to sell loads more copies of my book Killing The Earth To Save It: How Environmentalists are Ruining the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Jobs (Connor Court).

Raymond – or Pinkie Finkie, as I’m sure he’d preferred it if I called him, because the Aussies do love a bit of informality, don’t they? – has produced a report on media regulation in Australia so terrifyingly authoritarian it makes the Leveson Enquiry look like a model of balance, sanity and restraint. (According to Mark Steyn – via Jo Nova – the Chinese have been eyeing Pinkie Finkie’s report with gobsmacked admiration, wondering whether they could ever get away with producing something quite so extreme…)

You can read the full 400 pages here, if you’re feeling masochistic. But Australian Climate Madness has a pretty good summary of the key issues of concern, starting with Pinkie Finkie’s proposal to create a new super-regulator called the News Media Council [missed a trick there, didn’t he? surely Ministry of Truth would have been more appropriate] which will impose its idea of fairness and balance not only on newspapers but even on blogs with as few hits as 15,000 a year.

But whose idea of fairness and balance?

It’s an astonishing fact that of the 10600 submissions received by the inquiry no fewer than 9600 were boilerplate submissions from left-wing pressure groups, led by Avaaz “a global civic organization launched in January 2007 that promotes activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, poverty and corruption.” (See Andrew Bolt for further details)

This bias is certainly evident in its attitude to climate change. It cites a December 2011 report by the left-leaning Australian Centre for Independent Journalism on media coverage of climate change policy in Australia. The report – A Sceptical Climate – had found that “negative coverage of government policy outweighed positive coverage by 73 per cent to 27 per cent” and that the preponderance of negative coverage was even greater among Murdoch-owned newspapers.

To which the only sane and sensible response is: “Yeah? And???” Of course a left-wing think tank is going to find climate scepticism objectionable. Of course it’s going to seize every opportunity to have a dig at papers owned by Rupert Murdoch. But had Pinkie Finkie been wearing his scrupulously neutral wig of blind justice – rather than his I HEART George Soros hat – it might have occurred to him that there was a much more plausible reason than media bias as to why the Gillard Government’s carbon tax got such generally negative coverage.

Maybe the carbon tax was just a bloody stupid idea and everyone with an ounce of sense could SEE it was a bloody stupid idea!

Pinkie Finkie, however, takes the view that any newspaper that takes a firm line against an iniquitous, wrong-headed, economically suicidal, unscientifically-based, activist-driven, morally bankrupt new carbon tax system must perforce be in need of stricter regulation.

4.38 However, to have an opinion and campaign for it is one thing; reporting is another, and in news reporting it is expected by the public, as well as by professional journalists, that the coverage will be fair and accurate.

4.39 Nonetheless, there is a widely-held public view that, despite industry-developed codes of practice that state this, the reporting of news is not fair, accurate and balanced.

“Widely-held public view”. Yes, well I suppose it really is “widely-held” if you ignore the fact that 86 per cent of those submissions were the result of leftist astroturfing, much of it – not unlike the Leveson Inquiry – motivated mainly by a desire to get Murdoch.

(Lest you doubt it, here’s what Avaaz said to its mob: (H/T Andrew Bolt)

The media inquiry we fought hard to win is under threat — Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers are working to discredit and limit the investigation into his stranglehold on our media. But a flood of public comments from each of us will set an ambitious agenda and save the inquiry.)

Anyway, you get the idea. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, and all that. We’ve saw in the Andrew Bolt aborigines case that freedom of speech in Australia was already on its last legs, thanks to the way the system has been hijacked by activist judges. If Finkelstein gets his way, this could be the final nail in the coffin.

I personally don’t think it will be. I think the Carbon Tax, the Bolt trial and now this are going to lead to the mother of all political backlashes, and that when it comes to the next general election the avowedly climate sceptical Tony Abbott is going to be a shoo-in.

But let’s allow lefties like Pinkie Finkie and Gillard and Tim Flannery and Bob Brown their hour in the sun because the longer they stay there, the more damage they do and the more damage they will be seen to have done. This is important. (The same applies to Obama’s US; sadly it’s not going to work here, not with Cameron poisoning the wells for Conservatism for ever). If Australia is to get the government it needs (and deserves) it must first experience the full horror of the government it doesn’t deserve. The more easily ordinary people can see just how authoritarian, petty-minded, bullying, meddling and grotesquely biased the left can be when it holds the reins of power, the more enthusiastic they’ll be about throwing the bastards into the croc pit come 2013. (Or sooner, if we’re lucky.)

Related posts:

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  2. Aussie sceptics destroy EU carbon commissioner
  3. Global warming: red-faced climatologist issues grovelling apology
  4. Julian Assange is not a Climategate hero

3 thoughts on “Why I owe Aussie QC Raymond Finkelstein a pint”

  1. Nige Cook says:5th March 2012 at 10:15 pmJames, let me explain: anyone who points out the fact that the emperor’s clothes are threadbare is a menace to freedom of speech and needs to be muzzled. Freedom of speech cannot work in a dictatorship of lefties. You should know that, having seen the struggles good olf Brezhnev had to muzzle dissidents.

    There is nothing illogical for a lying dogmatic orthodoxy to suppress freedom of speech when it disproves the lies. Quite the contrary, it would be criminally insane for them not to try to ban the facts. Fortunately, in England there is no need for a law to be passed by Parliament here, banning a scientific journal’s peer reviewers from permitting publication of facts. They’re sufficiently corrupt that it’s simply not needed. Oz is different…

  2. Finbar says:8th March 2012 at 11:27 pmNow that you’re all sweary, may I call you an obnoxious cunt?
  3. Openwifi says:9th March 2012 at 3:25 pmThis is a bit of a shame:

    http://www.delingpolestudio.co.uk/Design_Portfolio/Pages/WWF.html

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Murdoch, Hackgate, Climategate, the Guardian and the vile hypocrisy of the Left | James Delingpole

August 19, 2011

In the last few months, you can’t have helped noticing, the liberal-Left media, led by the BBC and the Guardian, have been dwelling on the News International phone hacking scandal with a shrillness and hysteria and foaming moral outrage out of all proportion to the nature of the offence.

Am I defending phone hacking or the leaking by police of confidential information to newsapers? Of course I’m not. I think it’s a horrible, grubby practice which must have left all the people who were victims of it feeling soiled and discomfited. But a) as we saw in the cities of Britain last week (and we’re also seeing on the stock markets) there are many problems far more deserving right now of the media’s crusading attention. And b) it’s not as if News International’s imprints which were the only newspapers playing this game. The gutter end of journalism is, of necessity, an unscrupulous, highly competitive business. Tabloid hacks stand or fall on the number of scoops they get over the opposition. It would be stretching the bounds of credulity to claim that other papers, besides those owned by Murdoch, have not engaged in similar dirty tricks.

And possibly not just tabloid ones, either. This is a very important, wide-ranging story which I meant to cover earlier but couldn’t, first because I was on holiday, then because the riots took over as the issue of the hour. It’s a scandal which deserves far wider coverage than it has had so far.

A good place to start is with the excellent Autonomous Mind blog, which has been wondering just how it is that the Guardian seems to be getting so much insider information on the Hackgate scandal.

Throughout the ‘phone hacking scandal’ there was a constant and unscrutinised theme… The Guardian newspaper was accessing or being given access to information no one else but the police had about the investigation, to break new stories and run exclusives.

A story this weekend show the seriousness of such behaviour, with the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigating a claim that an officer on the Milly Dowler murder case gave information to the News of the World newspaper.  If it is right for the IPCC to investigate an officer feeding information to the News of the World, then surely the IPCC should also turn its attention to the raft of stories published in the Guardian that appear to have originated with police sources.

Autonomous Mind is especially suspicious of a Guardian journalist named David Leigh. And he’s not the only one. Guido, too, has been on the case. He points out that, despite recent denials, Leigh confessed in a 2006 Guardian article to having been involved in phone hacking. (Good, noble, phone hacking it goes without saying – because it’s only bad when Right-wing newspapers do it.)

It has now emerged that in 2006 David Leigh admitted in the pages of the Guardian, when hacking was less controversial, that he did it and just as we claimed, he taught his students about it.

There is certainly a voyeuristic thrill in hearing another person’s private messages… unlike the News of the World, I was not paying a private detective to routinely help me with circulation-boosting snippets. That is my defence, when I try to explain newspaper methods to my current university journalism students, and some of whom are rather shocked.

And then there’s the Climategate connection, unearthed by some inspired sleuthing from  Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit.

In February 2010, a couple of months after Neil Wallis of Outside Organisation had been retained by the University of East Anglia to help them strike back against critics, Leigh authored a smear against Paul Dennis of the University of East Anglia, entitled:

“Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks: University of East Anglia scientist Paul Dennis denies leaking material, but links to climate change sceptics in US drew him to attention of the investigators.”

Leigh’s smear began by reporting that Norfolk police had interviewed Paul Dennis (as, presumably, other faculty of the University of East Anglia). However, Dennis had “refused to sign a petition in support of Jones when the scandal broke”. Furthermore, according to Leigh’s apparently disapproving “university sources”, Dennis was reported to have sent a letter to UEA head of department Jacquie Burgess “calling for more open release of data” – suspicious activity indeed. Dennis had also refused to observe the fatwa against communication with climate blogs that were critical of CRU and the Team and had even sent an article on isotopes to Jeff Id.

Leigh’s article disclosed two pieces of information that were not in the public domain.

First, Leigh “outed” Jeff Id by name, occupation and hometown. To that point, “Jeff Id” had been anonymous. His registration at WordPress was anonymous and his gmail account was anonymous. To Jeff’s knowledge, there was no public information that would enable Leigh to identify him. [Update 2.30 pm: A reader points out that Jeff Id had been publicly identified as Jeff Condon in a blog article on Jan 10, 2011. This does not explain all the facts. David Leigh identifies Id as “Patrick Condon, aeronautical engineer” from Illinois and located his telephone number. In addition, there are 34 Jeff Condons on LinkedIn – how did Leigh get to the right one?]

A few days before the article, Leigh had telephoned Jeff. Jeff asked Leigh how he had located him; Leigh refused to say. Jeff expressly asked Leigh not to disclose his personal information, which were then not on the public record. Leigh disregarded the request and then proceeded to “out” him as collateral damage in their smear of Paul Dennis.

Murky enough for you, yet? It gets worse. Note the abovementioned Neil Wallis. Remember who Neil Wallis is? He’s the irascible tabloid hack – deputy editor of the News of the World under Andy Coulson and nicknamed the Wolfman by his terrified staff, who was arrested during the Hackgate scandal. Wallis was the man employed in September 2009 as a £1,000-a-day “adviser” by the Met’s former chief Sir Paul Stephenson, who resigned as a result of the Hackgate scandal. How odd that very shortly afterwards, the University of East Anglia should have chosen to hire Wallis as a flak catcher to defend its reputation after the Climategate scandal.

Steve McIntyre has examined the Climategate connection more thoroughly I have space for here. You can read his inspired sleuthing here, here, here and here. I certainly agree with his assessment that UEA’s decision to recruit a man like Wallis represents a very strange use of public money. Surely, if you were an academic institution of genuine probity your first priority were one of your departments (in this case the CRU) to be implicated in skullduggery would be to investigate the allegations properly, rather than see it as a PR issue to be covered up by a hard man from the world of rock n roll and tabloid newspapers.

What can we conclude from all this? At the very least that the whole business stinks. I wonder, for example, whether it was at Wallis’s instigation that the UEA launched its baseless and vexatious complaint to the PCC about my coverage of its behaviour in the Climategate affair and of its subsequent whitewashes. Perhaps – who knows – he might even have inspired the cynical, junk science hatchet job on climate sceptics staged in collaboration between the BBC and activist scientist Sir Paul Nurse. Certainly it seems that the kind of smearing, conspiring, abuse of power and misuse of public money exposed in those Climategate emails did not come to an end with Climategate. And that the Left-wing MSM – notably the Guardian and the BBC – are at best acting as useful idiots for this shabbiness, at worst as its cheerleaders and co-conspirators.

So what exactly is the difference between the kind of behaviour condemned by the Guardian in the Murdoch press and the kind of behaviour it seems happy to indulge in itself?

Well I’ll tell you a couple of differences: never at any stage have any News International publications boasted about being run by a charitable trust which guarantees their independence and absolute integrity; never have the profits of the News of the World or the Sun been largely dependent on money extracted from the taxpayer and spent on public sector recruitment advertising.

Related posts:

  1. The BBC is at least a thousand times more evil and dangerous than Rupert Murdoch
  2. Greenpeace and The Guardian: yet again, sticking up for the bad guys
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  4. Luvvies for hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty and lazy groupthink

One thought on “Murdoch, Hackgate, Climategate, the Guardian and the vile hypocrisy of the Left”

  1. James W says:21st August 2011 at 3:55 pmI loath the left.

    Really, I do; more than I loath Manchester United or Elton John.

Comments are closed.

The BBC Is at Least a Rhousand Times More Evil and Dangerous Than Rupert Murdoch

Britain has gone completely mad over the Rupert Murdoch/News of the World hacking affair and the contagion is spreading to America fast.

I knew things were bad when I spoke yesterday to a normally reliably conservative US talk radio show. “But they say they may even have hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims,” said the appalled female co-host, as if this were the ne plus ultra of round, unvarnished evil.

Some perspective, please. I too respect and am moved by the plight of the 9/11 dead and their families. And of the murdered English schoolgirl Milly Dowler and of the servicemen who died in the Iraq war. (They too, apparently, may – and let’s stress that word “may” – have been targets of phone hacking by the now-disbanded Murdoch-owned tabloid newspaper the News of the World).

But then, so do you. So does everybody. No one in the world right now is sitting there rubbing his or her hands in glee and going: “Heh heh. 9/11 victims. Murdered schoolgirls. Dead Iraq servicemen. I’m so glad their mobile phones were hacked into by the News of the World.”

Yet you’d never guess this from…

(to read more, click here)

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