Populism and Fascism ‘Are Not Even Related – That’s Just a Smear’

Steve Bannon
Getty

‘Fascism’ is just a ‘smear’ used by the media to discredit ‘populism’, Steve Bannon has said in a wide-ranging interview in the Spectator.
Bannon – former senior advisor to President Trump and former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News – was talking to interviewer Nick Farrell, who asked him what he thought of claims that “populism is the new fascism.”

‘This is all theoretical bullshit. I don’t know. Populism, fascism — who cares? It’s a media smear of the populist movement.’

Donald Trump, I suggest, can’t be a fascist, as he does not want to replace democracy with dictatorship, nor is he left-wing, as was fascism.

‘The bigger threat we have got than socialism is state-controlled capitalism, which is where we’re headed, where we have big government and a handful of big companies. That’s what you’re seeing in technology right now with these massive companies. It’s the biggest danger we have.

Interviewer and interviewee were brought together by a shared interest in Mussolini. Neither shares his politics but they both find the Italian dictator “fascinating.”

Mussolini was perhaps the reason Bannon granted me an interview. It turns out he likes a book I wrote about the dictator years ago.

‘How many guys have you interviewed who have read your biography?’ he asked. ‘Am I the first?’

Had he really read it? ‘I have, definitely … I haven’t read all the old biographies but it’s the only modern one that treated Mussolini as … one of the most important figures of the 20th century. You put the juice back in Mussolini. He was clearly loved by women. He was a guy’s guy. He has all that virility. He also had amazing fashion sense, right, that whole thing with the uniforms. I’m fascinated by Mussolini.’

Bannon was speaking to Farrell on his European tour, where he has been speaking at a series of sell-out events and reporting on the recent Italian elections which Bannon described as “the most important thing happening politically in the world right now”.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Donald Trump Is So Right to Wage War on Wind Farms…

Donald Trump is not a fan of wind turbines, as he has hinted occasionally on Twitter.

But there’s a very powerful lobby which would like us to see wind turbines as being clean, eco-friendly and vital for the planet’s future. So if President Trump is to crush this bloated, parasitical industry as it deserves he’ll need some serious fire support.

This piece by Matt Ridley is a big help. It convincingly demonstrates that wind turbines are even more of a monstrous stupidity than any of us had hitherto imagined.

It starts with a quiz, whose answer may surprise you:

To the nearest whole number, what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power in 2014, the last year for which there are reliable figures? Was it 20 per cent, 10 per cent or 5 per cent? None of the above: it was 0 per cent. That is to say, to the nearest whole number, there is still no wind power on Earth.

Yep. All those views blighted; all that wildlife sliced and diced; all those billions of dollars of subsidies wasted – in order to produce a form of power so inefficient and triflingly irrelevant that it still supplies not much more than 0 per cent of the world’s energy consumption.

This isn’t something you ever hear from renewables industry lobbyists who would like us to believe that wind is the future:

Nationwide, wind provided 5.6 percent of all electricity produced in 2016, an amount of electricity generation that has more than doubled since 2010. Much of the demand for new wind energy generation in recent years has come from Fortune 500 companies including Home Depot, GM, Walmart and Microsoft that are buying wind energy in large part for its low, stable cost.

But then, so many and varied are the half-truths, distractions and outright lies put out the wind industry that in any other sector half of these reptilian scumbags would be behind bars by now for selling a false prospectus.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

How I Totally Crushed the Ocean Acidification Alarmist Loons

Delingpole
Meet Dr Phil Williamson: climate ‘scientist’; Breitbart-hater; sorely in need of a family size tube of Anusol to soothe the pain after his second failed attempt to close down free speech by trying to use press regulation laws to silence your humble correspondent.
Williamson – who is attached to the University of East Anglia, home of the Climategate emails – got very upset about some articles I’d written for Breitbart and the Spectatorpouring scorn on his junk-scientific field, Ocean Acidification.

In my view Ocean Acidification is little more than a money-making scam for grant-troughing scientists who couldn’t find anything more productive to do with their semi-worthless environmental science degrees. The evidence that Ocean Acidification represents any kind of threat is threadbare – and getting flimsier by the day.

But if, like Williamson, you are being paid large sums of money to conduct a research programme into Ocean Acidification, you’ll obviously want to defend your mink-lined, gold-plated carriage on the climate change gravy train. So first he wrote a long, earnest defence of his income stream in Marine Biologist.

Then, when no one cared, he made a formal complaint about one of my articles to the UK press regulatory body IPSO. And to judge by the punchy tone of this piece he published in Nature before Christmas, he fully expected to win.

Tragically, though, he just lost.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Project Grief: Remain’s Dirty Politicking Has Hit an All-Time Low

The morning after a senseless tragedy which has appalled the whole of Britain I’d like to ask you a simple question:

Is there any depth to which you will not stoop in order somehow to snatch victory in this EU referendum?

The answer I’m getting from some of you is: “Nope. None.”

Here’s Alex Massie in the Spectator. Having generously acknowledged that “Nigel Farage isn’t responsible for Jo Cox’s murder. And nor is the Leave campaign”, he then suggests that no, actually, they were.

But, still. Look. When you encourage rage you cannot then feign surprise when people become enraged. You cannot turn around and say, ‘Mate, you weren’t supposed to take it so seriously. It’s just a game, just a ploy, a strategy for winning votes.’

Let me precis for you, Alex, what you’re trying to say in your oh-so-subtle way: “Vote Leave. Vote Fascism. Vote Murder in the Streets.”

Here, is the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee playing a similar game.

First the disclaimer:

There are many decent people involved in the campaign to secure Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, many who respect the referendum as the exercise in democracy that it is.

Now the inevitable “but…”

But there are others whose recklessness has been open and shocking. I believe they bear responsibility, not for the attack itself, but for the current mood: for the inflammatory language, for the finger-jabbing, the dogwhistling and the overt racism.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Feed Jessica Valenti to the Sharks: She Has Fought for It; She Has Earned the Right

Except, on this occasion, it’s not a gay, attention-seeking bitch (or “modern feminism’s Voldemort”, as he’d probably prefer to style himself) who is trashing the sisterhood but one of their own – a journalist called Emily Hill, who argues that what was once a “genuine crusade against genuine prejudice has become a form of pointless attention-seeking.”

Needless to say, the girls with the scowl, the nose-rings and the unshaven armpit hair are unimpressed.

Says Lucia Lolita:

I’m taking this as satire. It gave me a good laugh.

Sniffs MirandaDobson:

Utterly generalizing and narrow minded. It’s articles like this that show why we still need feminism.

And a saucer of milk for AliceS:

It’s good of the Spectator to publish undergraduate essays.

What most annoys them, I imagine, is that the article is grounded in pesky facts:

Read the rest at Breitbart.

IPSO: A Great New Way for Bullies to Muzzle the Press

Censored concept

One of the fundamental principles of English common law is that you are innocent until proven guilty. And rightly so, for imagine how unfair it would be if any old loon with an axe to grind had only to lodge a trumped-up complaint with the relevant authorities in order to have you punished for no reason whatsoever.

Actually, though, this cruel and capricious system exists in Britain. It’s called the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) and, as might be expected of the bastard offspring of the Leveson inquiry, it’s doing an absolutely first-rate job of empowering bullies and curbing freedom of speech in order to assuage the spite of that small but vocal lobby of caught-red-handed luvvies, lefty agitators and failed hacks which thinks our press has got too big for its boots.

Not that you would necessarily guess this if you went to Ipso’s website. Its Editors’ Code of Practice seems reasonable enough (‘The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information…’) and, scrolling down its list of rulings, what you find in the vast majority of cases is the phrase: ‘The complaint was not upheld.’ This would suggest that Ipso is both judicious and restrained.

Or so you’d think till you become the subject of one of its investigations. This happened to me recently. I can’t give you the exact details but suffice to say that I’d written something so uncontentious and easily verifiable that I might have written, ‘The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.’ Yet still, a political activist decided he had sufficient grounds to complain about this. And rather than tell him where to go — as five seconds on Google would have enabled their salaried and presumably time-rich staff to do — Ipso decided it was meet and right to make this imaginary problem my problem.

When I replied to their query with a link to a scientific website clearly showing that the sun does rise in the east and does set in the west, I thought that would be an end to it. But no. Mr Activist hit back with an even longer screed, vigorously disputing that the evidence I had provided said what I claimed it did, and demanding recourse.

‘Could we perhaps offer to remove these parts in the online version?’ suggested the newspaper’s readers’ editor diplomatically. ‘No!’ I said. ‘He’s trying it on and there’s a point of principle here. Correcting mistakes is one thing. But censoring stuff for the crime of being true? No way.’

Now, of course, I have every confidence that, when this issue is eventually resolved, Ipso will come to the only sensible conclusion. But by then it will be too late — for I will already have been forced to waste hours dealing with the kind of red-crayon complaint which, in more sensible times, would have been dealt with simply by allowing the ‘reader’ to present his case in the ‘letters to the editor’ section.

This is what Mark Steyn means when he says: ‘The process is the punishment.’ He’s referring to the far more onerous, costly and time-consuming legal case in the US that he is fighting with climate scientist Michael Mann, but when it comes to the way Ipso is being used the principle is much the same.

These activists needn’t care what Ipso’s eventual ruling is: by that stage they’ll have won regardless. Unlike in the law courts, they will have successfully intimidated and inconvenienced their enemies while incurring no financial risk. Not that money is a problem for them anyway because, quite often, making these complaints is what they are paid to do. Bob Ward, for example, a serial complainant who most recently brought an Ipso case against the Mail on Sunday for saying something he didn’t like about Arctic sea ice, has a lucrative job at the Grantham Institute, among whose raisons d’être is to make life impossible for climate sceptics.

For the journalists on the receiving end of this punishment by process, though, it’s a different story. Christopher Booker, for example, now sometimes finds himself wasting days on end fending off complaints brought by activists passing themselves off as concerned readers. One case cost him 12 solid days in lost work. He has the facts on his side and is confident of eventual victory. But even when Ipso finds in his favour, the hassle of making his defence (unpaid) will amount to the equivalent of a fine worth many hundreds of pounds.

Now, we all have our problems in this increasingly overregulated world, so I don’t expect you to shed too many tears for the plight of the freelance journalist. But what should definitely worry you about this use of Ipso is its effects on freedom of speech.

Consider Andrew Gilligan, the brave and brilliant scourge of Islamist skulduggery (from the Trojan Horse affair to Lutfur Rahman), who now has to set aside ‘a day or two’ each month just to deal with Ipso complaints. His newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph, is happy to build these costs into its reporting budget. But for some publications, the inconvenience and expense is so off-putting that they simply give up and pursue less obstreperous targets. These complaints wear people down and stop them reporting.

This is just the sort of thing that wiser heads warned would happen at the height of the Hacked Off hysteria. Weren’t Leveson’s recommendations supposed to protect us from bullies, rather than enable them?

From The Spectator

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Rod Liddle Does His Anti-Foxhunting Dad Dance Again. Oh, Puh-lease

Rod Liddle – the thinking man’s Ricky Gervais – has been doing his Dad Dance routine again. You know the one. It’s where he shows how down-with-the-kids and still-in-touch-with-his-radical-leftist-working-class-roots he is by telling you how utterly he loathes foxhunting and how, instead of giving parliament a free vote on the issue, David Cameron should be making it even more illegal than ever because, like, it’s barbaric.

Rad, Rod. Rad!

You can almost smell the oestrogen and plait-haired armpit sweat of all the hot PETA chicks swarming to kneel in appreciation of Rod’s bunny hugging caringness, can’t you?

But I have to say that as both a longstanding friend of Rod’s and a huge admirer of his writing, I find this particular Dad Dance of his embarrassing and demeaning and I really wish he wouldn’t do it.

When he writes crap like this it’s a bit like Led Zeppelin reforming to do a three month stint at Caesars Palace. (“Stairway to Heaven guaranteed Every Nite!!!“). You just think: “No, Rod. Really. You’re better than that.”

It’s crap because it’s airheaded and fluffy and mawkish and horribly redolent of the kind of Guardianista Liberalthink that, as a rule, Rod rightly professes to despise.

Saying foxhunting should be banned because you think it’s cruel and barbaric is as insightful and thought-through and original as venturing, say, that “The true mark of a civilised country is how well it treats its old/disabled/ethnic minorities/prisoners/delete as appropriate” or that you believe in “social justice” and that everyone should have a “living wage” and that for the sake of “future generations” we should learn to live more “sustainably” and that the “problem with Communism is that has never been really tried”. Or even “today is the first day of the rest of your life”. Or “you don’t have to be mad to work here. But it helps!!!”

It’s crap because it’s such a pathetically obvious piece of virtue-signalling. Next time, Rod, just save yourself the bother and write: “I hate the Daily Mail.” That’ll do you.

It’s crap because it’s so nauseatingly illiberal – in the old-fashioned sense of the world.

Now I’m perfectly aware, having had discussions with Rod on this point that he doesn’t want to belong to any kind of liberal tradition – Classical liberal or Guardianista – because he thinks of himself more as Old School authoritarian left.

So all I’ll say on this point is that I find it a bit disappointing that a man who at periods in his life has not exactly been unburdened with personal vices himself should be so indecently keen to cast the first stone at the weaknesses of others.

If, that is, you consider a desire to go foxhunting a weakness. I personally don’t. I think that wanting to go hunting is the most natural thing in the world because it answers the call of one of our most strongly inbuilt atavistic instincts: without the hunting urge we would never have survived, let alone evolved to the point where people were able to invent football and go to Millwall matches and shout clever obscenities at one another, like some people do for their harmless fun, naming no names, eh, Rod?

And frankly, only someone of the Whiggish perversion would be smug enough to imagine that this instinct is something we have all since evolved out of. Yeah, right. You might as well look at the current goings on in Syria and Iraq and pronounce sagely that human beings are no longer drawn to violence.

But that’s by the by. My biggest objection to the arguments of Rod and people like Rod who think they are being civilised and sophisticated and decent in their opposition to hunting is very simply this: that they are miserable, puritanical kill-joys.

I’m not asking the Rod Liddles of this world to be persuaded by all the sub-arguments for the continued existence of hunting – the ones about conservation and tradition and pest control and so forth – because I know, given their class-resentment-inspired bias and their ooh-I-care-about-furry-animals-me moral preening, they’ll always find counterarguments and because in any case they’re just a distraction from the only argument that really matters.

Hunting is a good and desirable thing because it makes those who do it very, very happy without harming in any way whatsoever those miserable sods who disapprove of it.

If you believe in liberty, if you believe in the primacy and the good of mankind, you could never seriously be opposed to hunting. And yes, it really is that simple.

Read more at Breitbart London

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Everything Is Getting Worse; Stranger in My Own Country; etc.

There was a letter to the Daily Telegraph last weekend which depressed me more than anything I’ve read in ages. It reported the visit by a social worker to an elderly woman who made her a cup of tea. The young social worker was shocked by what she saw. Not only did this bewildered old woman insist on using leaves rather than a bag but she first poured some hot water into the pot, swirled it round, then wasted it by putting it straight down the sink. Here, clearly, was evidence that grandma was incapable of looking after herself and should be put into care immediately.

This put me in mind of another experience I had recently. I was having dinner with a group of friends in an upmarket London pub and we all wanted our burgers cooked medium rare. ‘They won’t allow it,’ said a local friend in the know. ‘We’re under Westminster Council jurisdiction, here.’ Sure enough, when the time to order came we had to beg and plead with the manager for our burgers not be overcooked, as local health laws now require.

It also reminded me of my recent adventures with my dentist, a clearly bright, well-spoken girl in her twenties of, I’m guessing, Pakistani extraction. She obviously knows all her stuff but I can’t stand her. The problem is that she has the most appalling dental-chair-side manner. She’s officious, patronising, fully bought-into the NHS programme, whereby every patient is a statistic rather than a real person. It seems never to have occurred to her that the way you address an educated, middle-aged country gent might need to be slightly different from the way, say, you speak to a porcine 15-year-old chav.

Also, she gives off these truly horrible politically correct vibes. Some of the most interesting and enjoyable conversations of my life are the ones I have with people of different races and cultures about where they come from and how the world looks from their perspective.

For example, the other day, coming back from Naples in Florida to Miami airport I had the most amazing chat — so good that I recorded it on my iPhone — with a black Caribbean naturalised American. He told me how he and his fellow black Caribbean émigrés absolutely hated being called ‘black Americans’ because he considered black Americans to be no-good welfare scroungers, whereas his own lot, he insisted — he was originally from Dominican Republic — were incredibly hard workers who just wanted to get on, and simply couldn’t be doing with the identity politics game.

‘What, all Caribbeans? What about the Jamaicans?’ I asked. My friend explained the tragedy of the Jamaicans: that they used to be the hardest working of the already very hard-working Caribbean islanders, but then Bob Marley had come along and introduced them to a) ganja and b) the concept that by working hard they were playing the white man’s game.

But my friend didn’t care about such political issues. His all-time favourite president, he said, was Ronald Reagan because he was good for immigrants and the economy. He also liked Clinton because of his way with the ladies. He was agnostic about Obama — and certainly didn’t feel any bond with him because of his skin colour.

Then he told me about his childhood growing up on a farm in Dominican Republic, in the saddle for up to 15 hours a day, making his horse stronger for racing by training it in rivers and in the sea. And about his children whom he had deliberately brought up to be ignorant of Spanish because he thought (mistakenly, he realised, in the light of how the southern USA has gone) that they would assimilate better. They were now both officers in the US Navy, one a doctor, one an engineer, clearly destined to join the upper middle class.

And you know how the conversation all began? I told him how horribly burned I’d got on the beach the first day. ‘I don’t expect you’ve ever had sunburn,’ I said. Perhaps I’m maligning my scary young dentist woman, but I can just imagine her glaring her disapproval at such a patently demeaning and racist line of inquiry. She probably thinks I’m Colonel Blimp.

I haven’t quite turned 50 yet and I really still don’t feel that old but when I encounter young people like the dentist girl it makes me feel about 80. And it’s not a good feeling, let me tell you. It gives me an inkling of how my beloved late mother-in-law felt on her final visits to hospital, when the staff would impertinently insist on addressing her by her first name (which they got wrong, by the way). And of how people of a certain generation feel when they innocently use an old-fashioned word like ‘half-caste’ or ‘coloured’ only to have all their offspring squirm with embarrassment, on account of how such phrases simply aren’t used any more.

Not so long ago, I tweeted one of my most oft-retweeted tweets. It went something like: ‘You know how 20 years ago, we looked at the dumbed-down education system and said to ourselves: “When this lot grow up, we are fucked”? Well now they’ve grown up.’

It was popular, of course, because it’s true. I don’t want to slag off the young completely: a lot of them are still great. But I do very much fear that thanks to a combination of several generations’ deliberate dumbing down of education by the Gramsciite left, widespread cultural indoctrination in the politically correct values of the state, and the arrival of a wave of immigrants who (through no fault of their own) are unfamiliar with what Britain is and what it ought to be, people of my generation and older are increasingly doomed to feel like strangers in our country. I’ll save two bullets for my revolver: one for the social worker; one for me.

Read the rest at The Spectator

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One thought on “Everything is getting worse; stranger in my own country; etc”

  1. GaryPoyssick says:27th March 2015 at 1:29 pmNaples???? I am so sorry we did not get a chance to meet!!! That is close to me!!

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Comedian Frankie Boyle Is a Bully and a Politically Correct Coward. Wish I’d Never Stood up for Him

‘Outspoken comic Frankie Boyle has called on the BBC to sack “cultural tumour” Jeremy Clarkson.’

Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this opening sentence from a recent news report?

Clue: it’s that first word. In order to qualify as ‘outspoken’, surely, you need to be the kind of person who fearlessly, frequently and vociferously sets himself in opposition to the clamour of the times.

Does demanding that a public figure lose his job for some mildly sexist/racist/homophobic/ableist remark fit into that category? Hardly. In the current climate it’s about as heroically contentious as, say, a private school prospectus that promises ‘We believe in educating the whole person’; or a sign at a Co-op declaring its commitment to social justice, diversity and sustainability; or a Conservative Prime Minister declaring that three letters — NHS — are engraved on his heart.

The only mildly interesting aspect of the statement is that Frankie Boyle is not, contrary to all impressions, a junior policy co-ordinator at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, nor the head of diversity at a firm of chartered accountants, nor yet the health inequalities, disability and lesbian affairs officer at Strathclyde council. Amazingly — don’t laugh, because it really ain’t funny — Frankie Boyle is one of Britain’s most successful comedians.

Read the rest at The Spectator

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David Cameron, Renewable Energy and the Death of British Property Rights

Big Wind blows nobody any good

Small Hydro: damn near as bad as Big Wind

As David Cameron may have learned when he read PPE at Oxford, property rights are a cornerstone of our liberty, our security, our civilisation. Wiser political thinkers than Dave have long understood this.

Here’s the Virginia Bill of Rights, precursor to the US Declaration of Independence:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Here’s Samuel Adams:

The Natural Rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; second, to liberty; third to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.

And here, most trenchantly, is the philosopher who inspired them, John Locke:

Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience,…

Time for a revolution, then, for the theft of our property rights is exactly what is happening to us now under our notionally “Conservative” prime minister and his increasingly desperate and damaging attempts to position his collapsing administration as the “greenest ever.” I’m thinking especially of the ongoing renewables scam.

The wind farm industry is surely the worst offender. Some vexatious twerp complained the other day about my claim that wind farms reduce property values by between 25 per cent and 50 per cent. Actually, if anything, I’m understating the problem here. I know of cases where properties have been rendered unsaleable by wind farms. But whatever the exact figures, I think those of us not in the pay of Big Wind or trotting out propaganda for the preposterous and devious Renewable UK would all agree that the very last thing we’d want on our doorstep would be a wind farm and that we certainly would never dream of buying a property near one. QED.

Since not a single one of the wind farms blighting Britain would have been built without state incentives (in the form of Renewable Obligations Certificates, Feed In Tariffs, and legislation which makes it very hard for communities to prevent wind farms being built in the area) we can reasonably say therefore that wind farms represent a wanton assault by the state on property rights. We expect such confiscatory measures “for the common good” from socialist regimes. But from a Conservative-dominated Coalition it’s a disgrace.

But it’s not just the wind farm industry which is complicitous in this scam. There’s a fascinating cover story in this week’s Spectator about the UK hydro power industry which turns out to be very nearly as damaging, unpleasant, slimy and untrustworthy as its nasty elder brother Big Wind.

This came as a surprise to me. Like many of you, probably, I’d thought till I read it that hydro-electric power represented the acceptable face of “renewable” energy. Not according to Pippa Cuckson, though, who reveals it to be yet another taxpayer-subsidised boondoggle for rent-seeking scuzzballs, which produces next to no electricity and which – just like wind farms – causes immense damage to wildlife (in this case fish rather than birds or bats).

But the bit of Cuckson’s expose that particularly interested me was her anecdote about Nottingham Angling Club – which in 1982 forked out £150,000 for the fishing rights to a one and half mile stretch of the river Trent above a weir which is now about to be converted to hydropower. The quality of their fishing will almost certainly diminish. And there are stories like this from all over the country. Whether its wealthy fly fishing enthusiasts who’ve paid a fortune for a prime stretch of river in Hampshire or Dorset, or an ordinary working man’s club like the one in Nottingham, people are going to suffer as a result of this state-sponsored drive for renewables. Again, as with wind power, the only reason these hydropower schemes are going ahead is because of the government subsidies and incentives for those canny or cynical enough to get in on the scam. So again, what we have here is a clear case of the state arbitrarily confiscating people’s property rights because of its desire to be seen paying lip service to the green religion.

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One thought on “David Cameron, renewable energy and the death of British property rights.”

  1. Peter Messenger says:6th September 2012 at 7:07 pmIn case you don’t get to read the thread, I thought this might be of interest in the campaign. Good luck btw.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100179427/owen-paterson-minister-of-sound/#comment-642240966

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