George Monbiot is cwoss. Weally, WEALLY cwoss. And I don’t blame him one bit. God it must be an awful thing when you’ve squandered half your career acting as cheerleader for a cause which, on closer examination, turns out to have been a complete load of cobblers. Hugh Trevor-Roper’s humiliation after the Hitler Diaries is surely as nothing to what poor George – Britain’s second-most-famous Old Stoic after Perry Worsthorne – must be experiencing now.
I’m afraid I don’t read his Guardian columns as often as I used to. Pre-Climategate, they were a great place to go trolling for Moonbattisms which I could then post up on this site and expose to mockery. But these days there just isn’t time. There are so many bigger stories to report on the collapse of the AGW scam that really Monbiot’s views on the subject are about as relevant as a cavalry trooper’s would have been after the invention of tank warfare.
So I quite understand why a man in as desperate a position as George’s has to grab what few crumbs of consolation he can. That’ll be why he’s got so terribly excited about a blog I wrote the other day – and then spiked – about an orchestrated campaign by a green pressure group to get sympathetic individuals in over 200 constituencies to send letters to their local Tory candidate testing him on his environmental correctness.
I called this “eco-bullying” and “stalking”, as I believe it is. Of course free individuals are perfectly entitled to write to their prospective parliamentary candidate on whatever subject they wish. I have no objection to that. What I do very much object to is concerted campaigns by pressure groups. Since my moles at Tory HQ tell me lots of very similar letters to the one I quoted were received by Tory candidates all over Britain, using similar phrasing, I don’t think this was an accident.
Here’s what the letter to one prospective Tory candidate said:
I was concerned to note the results of a survey of 140 Conservative candidates for parliament that suggested that climate change came right at the bottom of their priorities for government action.
I hope you can reassure me that you recognise the importance and success of climate change action by the UK government at home and internationally.
Can you clarify that:
You accept that climate change is caused by human activity
Do you support the target to achieve 15% renewable energy by 2020?
Do you support the EU imposing tougher regulation to combat climate change
Perfectly innocuous on its own, yes. But really quite worrying in the context of a green campaign to bully Conservatives into adopting an essentially unConservative position: supporting a policy, backed by no solid scientific evidence, which will involve raising taxes, destroying industry and increasing regulation. That is why I wrote up the story.
And why did I pull it? (And it really was my decision, no one else’s. In fact I got a huge bollocking from my bosses for having done so because it is not Telegraph policy to pull blogs). Because I made a stupid mistake, that’s why. When I posted up the letter quoted above, I neglected to remove the sender’s name and address. This was careless but not, I promise, vindictive. And I deeply regret any distress or hassle which may have been caused to the person I named. When I read some of the comments below my blog and realised what I’d unwittingly unleashed, I removed the person’s name from the blog; then later, all the comments pertaining to the person; then later, I pulled the blog altogether – embarrassed, ashamed and rather wishing it would all go away. Thanks to Monbiot it hasn’t. But what I would really like to say to the person I named is: I’m sincerely, totally and unreservedly sorry. (And if it’s any consolation, you should see some of the hatemail I’ve been getting from Monbiot’s Guardianista chums).
Then again, I can’t pretend I’m not glad that Monbiot brought it up. a) because it has given me a chance to make the apology I know I should have made earlier; b) because the story about the green campaign to co-opt Tory policy is far too good to have deserved spiking and c) because it enables me to point out what a truly despicable piece of work Monbiot is.
The way he chose to report this story was something like this: evil global warming denier James Delingpole deliberately singled out a totally innocent person who had made an innocent green enquiry to his Tory candidate and deliberately printed his address so as to expose this innocent person to danger and ridicule.
If that’s how Guardian readers want to see me, that’s fine. I’m never going to convert them. And frankly as Islamists love death and Americans love Coca Cola so I thrive on the hatred of Guardian readers.
But can Monbiot really be so warped and twisted as to have believed the version of events he printed? Can he really believe that even the nastiest journalist would deliberately single out some member of the public who’d written a letter whose politics he disagreed with and then exploit the power of the media to make that person’s life miserable? Does he not think that with Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri, Phil Jones, Michael Mann, the Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt, the Prince of Wales, Lord Stern, James Hansen, Keith Briffa, Yvo de Boer, Mark Lynas, Carol Browner, Van Jones, Bob Ward, Sir John Houghton, Zac Goldsmith, Pen Hadow, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, William Connelley and, yes, G. Monbiot I haven’t got more fitting targets for my disgust and venom?
Monbiot, you apology for a columnist, you are as over as the dinosaurs. As finished as the Medieval Warm Period. Your cause is lost. Give up now and become a teepee maker instead. They’re very popular in your part of Wales, I gather.