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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Free speech and freedom of expression: Differences across the Atlantic

Sou | 8:29 PM Go to the first of 41 comments. Add a comment
You could get giddy trying to keep up with all the contradictions at Anthony Watts' anti-science blog, WUWT. Barely a day after all the WUWT-ers were up in arms that Daily Kos didn't allow a couple of deniers to post a very lengthy, internally inconsistent, denier manifesto under an article, Anthony Watts is proud to say that he doesn't support "free speech" after all. Or perhaps I should say freedom of expression. Not in the UK at any rate.

Ian Wolter's prize-winning artwork of climate science disinformers, Anglia Ruskin University. Photo: it's all over the internet so I don't know

UPDATE: See below. You'll enjoy it :)


Christopher Monckton took issue with a work of art from a student at a university, and threatened to sue (archived here). In fact he's claiming he is still going to sue, even though the university apparently caved in to his threats [No, it didn't - see update and my comment below - Sou]. It must be about the first success that Christopher has had out of zillions of times he's threatened a law suit. I guess Anglia Ruskin University wasn't familiar with Christopher's history in this regard and all his mock "threats" of legal action at the slightest provocation (and without any provocation, too).

You might have read about this - deniers all over were up in arms. What happened was that a student, Ian Wolter, won the 2015 Sustainability Art Prize awarded by the Cambridge School of Art and the Global Sustainability Institute, for this two metre high artwork, memorialising six of the UK's climate science deniers:
  • Christopher Booker
  • James Delingpole
  • Nigel Lawson
  • Christopher Monckton
  • Owen Paterson
  • Melanie Phillips


Here's a photo of the full length of Ian Wolter's prize-winning work:

Ian Wolter's prize-winning artwork of climate science disinformers, from Anglia Ruskin University. Photo: it's all over the internet so I don't know


Christopher wrote about how he went to the University with threats. He even claims to have got the police involved, arguing the artwork constituted a death threat. I doubt the police would have taken him seriously, but according to Christopher, the University did. Christopher claimed the University removed the web page and removed the art work from display. [No, it didn't - see update and my comment below - Sou]

Thing is, according to this news report, the artwork was only going to be on display until mid-May in any case. It states down the bottom: "The work is made of plywood and will be on display until the middle of May".

Christopher would have known this, so he had to hurry so he could have his moment of fame. (It was on the university's facebook page that it would only be on display until the 16 May, which has already passed.)

So Christopher could well be doing nothing more than grand-standing and taking credit for something that would have happened anyway. It wouldn't be the first time and I doubt it will be the last that he's done something like that.

Christopher wrote about the plywood piece of art:
Now, to put a victim’s name on a tombstone while the victim is still alive is to make a death threat, the nastiest and most repellent form of hate speech.
A tombstone? A death threat? Sheesh. He does have tickets on himself, doesn't he. It's a memorial - to remind those who see it of who it is who actively campaigns to make the world too hot for humans (and lots of other species). Christopher even went all Nazi and wrote:
I have recently been reading Richards’ masterly three-volume history of the Third Reich. The first volume deals with the perplexing question how that monstrous regime came to be. 
Now he's comparing an art student with the Nazis. But it was under the Nazi regime that freedom of expression suffered (along with much, much worse). Does Christopher really want to go there?


Making up stuff again


Christopher is not the most honest person at the best of times. He's a showman and clownish entertainer. At one point he wrote:
The poisonous air of palpable menace remains. Dr Roger Pielke Jr., a scientist who has taken a gently sceptical view on some aspects of the climate question, has recently announced that he can no longer conduct climate research, because he fears for the safety of himself and his family.

Nope! That's not why Roger said he quit climate work. He doesn't say why he quit, but he refers to "incessant attacks and smears". I wouldn't mind betting the final straw was his sacking from Nate Silver's new website. That lost Roger a lot of credibility and deservedly so. (See here for his dumb behaviour with John Holdren, too.)


Not happy that he "won", Christopher is still going to sue


Or so he claims (again). Is this another empty threat? I'd guess so. He's not got a leg to stand on I'd have thought. And didn't first time around. His posturing is all for show. He wrote:
I might have been tempted to leave the matter there, given that the “University” had had the sense to take down its press release and, eventually, the tombstone too. However, the shysters’ letter indicates a cast of mind I don’t like the smell of. I’m preparing a detailed report for the police in Cambridge, for under English law the tombstone and the press release together constitute – at minimum – conduct likely to cause a breach of the Queen’s peace, contrary to s.1, Justices of the Peace Act 1361, the most commonly-cited provision of English criminal law in the magistrates’ courts.
I’m going to have these wretches prosecuted: not the student, who is manifestly not adult enough to understand the seriousness of what he has done, nor even the dreadful “Dr” Aled Jones, who is arguably too blinded by Marxist prejudice and too ignorant of the true science behind the climate scam to think rationally at all.
But an outfit that describes itself, however implausibly, as a “University” ought at least to have made some attempt to behave like one, and not to have made death threats by way of press releases. It should have kept the peace. Now it will reap the whirlwind.

Christopher didn't publish the contents of the letter that indicated "a cast of mind I don’t like the smell of". Perhaps he's not sure that his sense of smell is the same as that of his followers.


UPDATE


I've just been informed by the artist, Ian Wolter, that the University did not cave to Christopher's threats. His work was on display to the end of the show (16 May I believe). And there were no police involved, which is not a surprise at all. (If Christopher goes to the police each time he says he does, I'd not be surprised if he's not on some list as a vexatious complainer.)
Sou 11:00 pm 20 May 2015 AEST


Here is a link to the press release, which is live - (h/t Leo Hickman on Twitter)
Sou 3:54 pm 21 May 2015 AEST

From the WUWT comments


Most comments were from people who decided that freedom of expression only applies to them, not to anyone with whom they disagree.  But as the discussion wore on it became clear that there are a few people at WUWT who aren't as supportive of Christopher's latest publicity stunt. Perhaps he doesn't have as many fans at WUWT as Anthony would like to think. (Anthony is in awe of the British, especially someone with a title, even if it was only a new title and never earned by its holder.)

The article and discussion are worth reading if you want to better understand the weird world of science deniers. Then go and read Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians, if you haven't already done so. It's slow to download, but worth it. You'll not often be given such an excellent example of the theory at work. Christopher Monckton can be seen in the "dirt-bag, scum-bucket politican" described in the passage:
...suppose you are a completely unethical, dishonest, power-hungry, dirt-bag, scum-bucket politician who will say whatever he has to say to get elected. Whom are you going to try to lead, high RWAs or low RWAs? Isn’t it obvious? The easy-sell high RWAs will open up their arms and wallets to you if you just sing their song, however poor your credibility.
In the comments you'll see many parallels with the "right wing authoritarian followers".


Against Freedom of Expression - the following WUWT-ers do not support freedom of expression. They are in the majority.

Jenn Oates  is against freedom of expression
May 19, 2015 at 8:08 pm
Go get ’em. :)

climatereason is also against freedom of expression and thinks that artwork should be against the law. He's from the UK and probably knows his proper place in the social hierarchy there.
May 20, 2015 at 12:50 am
The work is made of plywood so what it will be used for next in order to demonstrate its sustainability is an interesting question. Answers on a postcard….
The artist appears to have imagination and some talent. It would be good if he used it in a less intimidating manner. The artist is presumably young and naïve and has been indoctrinated with a one sided view of climate change. He will be affected by police action. How about he publically apologises and agrees to listen to sceptical arguments as an alternative?
The University ought to know better however and can not promote this sort of nonsense. I note that any legal action is going to be aimed directly at them.
tonyb

Tony also picks up on the fact that this is nothing more than a publicity stunt. I wonder who'll get the more favourable publicity - Ian Wolter or Christopher Monckton?
May 19, 2015 at 8:30 pm
Fantastic Christopher! What great publicity it will be to expose these ratbags.
Well done on getting to No1 too.

inMAGICn  - it never ceases to amaze how many people who favour a "small guvmint" leaning blog want to go running to the guvmint when they have a complaint.
May 19, 2015 at 8:51 pm
I think you should go ahead and sue the lot of them.

ATheoK
May 19, 2015 at 8:59 pm
Excellent Call Lord Monckton. Force that pseudo elite mockery of education to face up to their elitist notions backed with their dire threats. 

kokoda is a subservient laddie, a wonderfully docile right wing authoritarian follower
May 19, 2015 at 9:34 pm
My short list of the most courageous, intelligent, and historically important people in the last 2 centuries are: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Dwight Eisenhower. However, I am now adding Christopher Monckton of Brenchley to that list. 


Jack says to "get ready", but I don't think he expected the "howling" would come from WUWT
May 19, 2015 at 8:48 pm
Get ready for the plaintive howling of artisitc freedom. So long as they are trashing your reputation that is art, but when you protest that is suppression of art. Hypocrisy, they name is global warming.


In favour of freedom of expression - these are some of the comments from people who didn't approve of Monckton's actions.


Manos is from the USA, where freedom is highly valued (and the attitudes of serfs and vassals are less common)
May 19, 2015 at 9:14 pm
I find the art in ill taste. Having said that, as an American, this speech would be 100% protected in the the US. I am able to hold both thoughts at once. The best way to deal with speech you don’t like is with more speech.
Alex  is only in this section because he replied to Manos. He is against freedom of expression and said so below - and in many more comments (getting increasingly irate each time.) He is correct that there are limits to free speech. However it's not very likely that this student artwork would be regarded as crossing the line.
May 19, 2015 at 9:40 pmYou are BS. Try that in the US and you would likely end up in court. Free speech does not mean you can say anything you like without repercussions. I suggest you do something like that for Obama and we will see how easy it will be for you to travel by plane.

Manos retorts with:
May 19, 2015 at 9:53 pm
An artistic tomb stone wouldn’t be actionable in civil court and would not be investigated criminally in the US. I’m disappointed that a web site that I like and support as fact based is willing to turn to the weapons of the thuggish enemies of real science. How boorish.

Rod McLaughlin
May 19, 2015 at 9:15 pm
Monckton is trying to use the leftist concept “hate speech” against the left, and not doing a very good job of it. Freedom of speech implies no sanctions against hate speech. Death threats are not hate speech, they are violent criminal offenses. Writing someone’s name on a fake tombstone is a lame joke, not a death threat.

Roy Denio
May 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm
Couldn’t agree more. The whole concept is a lame joke and not a real threat. Monckton needs to grow some skin.

wickedwenchfan is a hard core denialist, and a strong supporter of freedom of expression:
May 19, 2015 at 9:54 pm
Sorry Mr Monckton, but you fail to explain where the actual death threat is in this stunt. What in the press release connected the tombstone with your name on it to an incitement to kill you? Perhaps it can be interpreted that way, but it can also be interpreted as: ‘ years from now how will we remember these people?’ When speech or writings can be interpreted in different ways, then I think freedom of speech should apply. Just because you find their view erroneous, tasteless or even offensive, does not give you the right to prosecute them for saying it. In effect you are reacting to fear of one kind of tyranny by imposing your own.
Unless this was clearly an actual death threat, I think you are severely over reacting.

Steve allows that the United Kingdom does not have the same freedoms as in the USA.
May 19, 2015 at 9:57 pm
Although it is only my opinion as a fellow American, I second the view of Manos. When speech leads to prosecution, persecution, violence, or anything but more communication, there is equal potential for mischief in every case. I am a confirmed Anglophile and Moncktonphile, but on this, I believe the UK, Europe, and Lord Monckton have gotten it wrong. I am not critical of Monckton for using the laws of the UK to address an obvious violation of those laws, but I prefer the U.S. system of vigorous, free discussion, in which only explicit threats are illegal. It’s messy and causes me much angst, when I read the opinions of some of my fellow Americans, but I think it is still best to have an almost totally free flow of ideas in which the best can come to the top and the others can be revealed to be inadequate. I grew up in the Southern U.S. in the 1950s and I saw the separate accommodations for black and white. I think virtually completely free expression (plus some exceedingly stupid racists who killed 4 young girls in a Birmingham church) caused the transformation that occurred in the U.S. on the issue of race. I am not claiming these issues are solved and much work remains, but if we had been prosecuting each other every time someone perceived a threat, progress would not have been as rapid. Right ideas eventually prevail, and I would even suggest that the “university’s” stupid post will do Lord Monckton’s position much more good than his prosecution of them.

richard verney wonders what all the fuss is about. The answer: Christopher Monckton of course. And Richard is from the UK - so not all deniers in the UK see themselves as right wing authoritarian followers. Good to know.
May 20, 2015 at 1:47 am
I must confess that I struggle with the concept that a tombstone is a death threat.
Were the builders of the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt threatening death to their Pharaohs?
Were those who were drawing up plans of the state funeral of Margaret Thatcher issuing death threats against her. We have come a long way, in the UK, since the time when the mere talk of the death of the King was seen to be plotting the death of the Kind and hence viewed as treasion as, for example, the fate that befell Anne Boleyn
Death comes to us all in the fullness of time, and there is nothing in the tombstone itself that seeks to hasten the demise of any of the named individuals.
If the tombstone carried a date (detailing the date of death Eg 6th July 2015) then arguably that might be different. It could be a prediction (or in climate science speak a projection) or possibly an incitement to bring about the demise of the named individuals by the chosen date. However, as far as I know no specific future date of death is mentioned.
It is simply a matter of poor taste, and not at all funny. In my opinion, it is a typical childish leftist stunt, but that does not make into something more sinister. i do not consider that the artist deserves the attention that he/she has received from such an purile and infantile waste of space. It reminds one of the other ill judged tombstone that was in the press recently which may have played a role in the demise (in the political sense) of the labour party or its leader .

The real sceptics? - there were not many real sceptics in evidence. Here are comments from two, though I could be wrong about the first:


Bulldust is the first to show some insight (maybe or maybe not), he picks up on the Nazi reference and is possibly referring to Bickmore’s First and Second Laws of Monckton
May 19, 2015 at 8:25 pm
So Monckton’s Law is a double Godwin? Or is that a reverse Godwin?

On the other hand, he might not know about Barry Bickmore's Laws of Monckton. He was just as likely to have been referring to Christopher's admonition:
And if you are tempted to cite Godwin’s “Law” to the effect that he who calls his opponents Nazis has lost the argument, let me cite Monckton’s Law in return: those who cite Godwin’s Law confirm ipso facto that they are active supporters of today’s Fascists. 

spaatch discovered what I did, that the artwork was only displayed till the sixteenth of May:
May 19, 2015 at 8:45 pm
“And the tombstone is now gone too”
It’s gone not because of Monckton’s actions, its because it was only to be on display until the middle of May!
And a press release is still up too!
http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/content/journalists-names-memorial-those-who-denied-climate-change-university

41 comments:

  1. A thread called (miscalled) "mending-fences" on wuwt shows monkton at his best:

    "Monckton of Brenchley says:
    July 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm
    Mr Eschenbach continues to be entirely unreasonable. I shall not reply to him further.

    Mr Svalgaard will likewise not tempt me to make any replies here. The matter of his conduct is now with my lawyers for their advice and will in due course be drawn to the attention of his university.

    Both these two have unjustifiably maligned Dr Evans in the most unpleasant and unjustifiable terms. That is a shame.
    "
    and more recently:
    The unspeakable BBC parks its tanks on my lawn - at wuwt
    “Now that Auntie has parked her tanks on my lawn, I’m going to park mine on hers. Mine are bigger, and they serve the cause of truth, justice, and the British way. Perhaps, once the existing corrupt organization has been purged and the red-blooded Marxists replaced with blue-blooded capitalists, we can have Top Gear back”."

    he doesn't want non-aligned running the BBC just those he follows

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. death wishes (threats - probably not) watts has allowed published on his "home on the internet"



      Rachelle Young says:
      March 26, 2009 at 8:52 pm
      I would be content to see all three of them freeze to death or be eaten by ‘endangered’ polar bears


      Chemist says:
      April 28, 2009 at 4:48 pm
      I’ll be the one to say it: I hope they die so that their deaths will draw attention to the truth of this issue. If they succeed, then it will be just another propaganda



      Daniel L. Taylor says: May 5, 2009 at 6:51 am
      …Maybe I’m just a cold hearted SoB, but in my opinion they need to freeze to death on that ice. The world needs to see the headline “Global Warming scientists …
      I’m sorry, but if the deaths of everyone on that ice survey team helps raise awareness of and opposition to the global warming political train wreck then so be it. It needs to happen.

      On a widly read blog comments such as these are "wrong"

      Delete
  2. Pretty sad if they gave into his bullying tactics.
    I believe the the only worthy reply to the threat of litigation by his Lordship is the Private Eyeism (TM)


    "We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram".

    R the Anon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And with the mention of Private Eye (TM) things come full circle for it appears that Private Eye's forerunner was 'The Salopian' edited by amongst others Christopher Booker who went on to be the initial editor of Private Eye itself.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_Eye

      Delete
  3. That BBC piece is classic Chris. Nobody would find the character of Lord Monckton, who has singlehandedly seen off both the BBC and the RAF believable, were he depicted in a novel. He seems unable to construct a single sentence without inserting a self-aggrandising exaggeration, misrepresentation or falsehood.

    From the BBC piece, our hero is confounding the enforcement vans using secret technology

    They tried doing drive-by shootings, using the same vans. However, we again detected Them trying to detect us. Frankly, it wouldn’t have mattered what vans They’d [sic] used. We have the technology. We’re used to defending our property. Once our yacht – a magnificent Flying Fifteen was sent to the bottom of Loch Rannoch and stove in by two RAF Chinooks flying far too low one night and clouting the masthead.

    We installed certain devices and, when the RAF police arrived to take our complaint, we showed them a picture of a Tornado fighter flying just 50 feet above our North Lawn. It had been taken from 3000 feet above the lawn. They went white. “How did you get that?” they asked. “We have the technology,” I replied, “but I’m not telling you how we did it.” They still don’t know.


    You'd think the sinking of a yacht by the RAF would have made at least the local news, no? And what was the mysterious surveillance device that so terrified the oldest air force in the world? A drone?

    our view to our three-acre garden opposite, with its mature trees in fresh summer leaf, was not obstructed. But, as you say, parking in Edinburgh is a nghtmare, and George Street, just behind the Residence, is said to be the most profitable in the world for parking operators.

    As it happens, I am familiar with the street pictured in the accompanying photo, its in the Edinburgh New Town, and assuming it is really Monckton's house he is being as disingenuous as ever. His view over 'his' 3 acre gardens (which are worth squillions on the open market) are over the Queen Street park, an anachronistic feature of the New Town, these areas are enclosed parks, in between the tenements, to which only owners of the surrounding properties are given keys as a privilege of residing there. And if he's flying drones in City Centre Edinburgh, he is in deep trouble.

    The gift that keeps on giving ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Monckton pantomime continues.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/10/19/hamster-wheel-interviews-monck/

    ReplyDelete
  5. This whole episode just seems to be a fantastic illustration of art immitating life. What could be a better ending than Moncton complaining and threatening to sue? Almost makes you think he was in on it from the beginning?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Monckton of Brenchley.

    One of these things is not like the others.
    One of these things just doesn't belong.
    Can you tell which thing is not like the others
    By the time I finish my song?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've added an update.

    I've just been informed by the artist, Ian Wolter, that the University did not cave to Christopher's threats. His work was on display to the end of the show (16 May I believe). And that there were no police involved, which is not a surprise at all.

    Do you think the artist and the University have grounds for a defamation suit against Christopher Monckton? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great artwork. Deserves wider recognition and permanent display somewhere prominent. Perhaps a major London railway station?

      Well done Ian Wolter. Wish I'd thought of something like that.

      Delete
    2. All it really lacks is the addition of a few more of those deserving names...

      Delete
    3. bill

      You know, if I had one criticism of this work...

      :-)

      Delete
  8. When I was a young'un in a small Pennsylvania town, there was a little old lady across the street from my best friends house with some issues. She would regularly come out on her second floor porch to rant at the gathered children for making noise. Then she would call the police on us, claiming we were 'disturbing the peace' or some such rot.

    The local police, needless to say, were not pleased to be repeatedly called out because children were playing. Eventually, they responded to one of these calls by arresting and fining _her_ for $25, under a 200-year old law still on the books:

    For being a 'common scold'. :)

    Her complaints ceased after that. I consider it a shame that someone hasn't applied a similar law to Monckton by now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect there is no need to use such a law against Monckton because, with a few exceptions, his threats are empty ones. The spat about the graph, in which he threatened just about everyone he could think of (including, perhaps, himself) with legal action, doesn't seem to have amounted to actual writs being served. His method is to write windbag letters to university vice-chancellors asking for Professor X or Dr Y to be sacked for some vague behaviour not in keeping with an academic.

      Even some of the legal cases he did take part in he has a hard time telling the truth about. As someone said about his erstwhile political boss, Monckton is "snarling, thin skinned and aggressive", or at least that is how he comes across.

      Delete
    2. Has someone ever kept a tally of the number and identity of universities that Monckton has pestered with respect to the purported misbehaviour of their academics?

      Delete
    3. KR, that story is awesome. I know about those old laws, but hadn't heard about one of them being used.

      Delete
    4. Monckton tally: Barry Bickmore's:
      https://bbickmore.wordpress.com/lord-moncktons-rap-sheet

      Re Threats: people may find this amusing:
      Ed Wegman, Yasmin Said, Milt Johns Sue John Mashey For $2 Million.
      Also, watch the rabbit scene in Monty Python and Holy Grail.

      Delete
    5. Amusing indeed, John!

      Delete
    6. Thanks for that John. I haven't been to Barry's for a while and I'm pleased to see that he's been updating.

      When one sees it all together Monckton's behaviour comes across as rather, erm, unusual...

      Delete
  9. Mr Monckton is obviously a piss-poor student of history if he can't distinguish between a tombstone and a memorial. And given that the artwork much more closely resembles the latter than the former, the implied intent is one of maintaining the lives of those mentioned rather than extingishing them.

    Frankly I'm with the majority of the Denialati on this one, as I always am in these sabre-rattlings of Monckton's - I think that he should take the university to court. The inevitable result would be a dismissal of the complaint, with vindication for the artist and much more tinfoil-hat material for Monckton and his cronies.

    It must be great being Monckton's lawyers - getting paid to do all this groundwork for suits that never go to court...

    On a completely unrelated matter, what is it called when one agrees and colludes with one's publisher to disseminate through the media falsehoods that are calculated to promote the sale of one's product?

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    1. Bernard, I'd say, er... To∫∫er is so far gone with the D-K that he probably perceives himself as being able to do the same job as a fully qualified barrister. That's why all these threats go nowhere. He's hardly going to pay someone else, and he's too busy making noise (or, too lazy) to do the legal work himself.

      Delete
    2. I don't think Christopher uses his lawyers much. He gets his "clerk" to write threatening letters, not his lawyers. His "clerk" has a remarkably similar style of writing as Christopher himself.

      https://archive.is/ZST7q

      In the article at WUWT, Christopher didn't say his lawyers were involved as far as I can tell. Only that he was intending to prosecute. Which of course he can't. The worst he could do is sue - and I very much doubt he'd be successful.

      https://archive.is/5sSSV

      Delete
    3. Yes, I've always thought his use of a "clerk" as transparent. I think he's a bit of a fantasist.

      Delete
    4. I didn't check, but if one of those is the article I'm thinking of, his "clerk" gives himself away at one point by speaking in the "wrong" voice. Both the "clerk" and Monckton subsequently continue on as if nothing untoward had happened.

      Delete
  10. It strikes me that we're all great friends here, and that "Mr Monckton" sounds so formal, so perhaps we should consider the friendly intimacy of a first-name basis.

    Of course "Christopher" itself is cumbersomely formal, so perhaps we can go with the modern liking for 'Topher. The popular spelling variant Toffer subtly disguises the nature of the diminutive, and I've always liked to doff a hat to Mr Monckton's penchant for linguistic anachronisms, so for mine the name To∫∫er is perfect for the fellow.

    Eh what... tally ho and all that.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Lest anyone be confused it's an 'ef' sound - really. As evidence I proffer the wonderful bible reading by Alice Tinker on the Vicar of Dibley:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJpoOlCbBrw

      (Oh how I wish for the episode where David Houghton hosts Mr Monckton - erm, To∫∫er - and both give Geraldine her come-uppance...)

      Delete
  11. You are free to say what you want, and I am free to ignore it
    This applies to publishers as well as individuals

    ReplyDelete
  12. From my sampling of British tombstones (as seen on mystery dramas on the tele) a companion tombstone would be for a married couple.

    So those who would declare that what-is-more-obviously-a-monument...

    quoted as "Lest We Forget Those Who Denied"...

    that has a "constant stream of engine oil" running over it...

    is a tombstone...

    would be further suggesting for the six mentioned...

    joint occupancy and a joint marriage.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As far as I can see the only person who might find himself in legal jeopardy is Monckton, who is claiming death threats have been made when none have been. The University and the artist both have grounds for a complaint.

    But then UK law is a peculiar thing and usually works on the principle that the person paying our learned friends lots of money wins.

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  14. Lest we forget those who denied,
    The poisonous air of palpable menace remains
    Above 400 parts per mission.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Bert from ElthamMay 21, 2015 at 7:58 AM


    There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

    Oscar Wilde

    ReplyDelete
  16. So if someone were to, you know, pie Monkers, would the jolly old load of BS seek the death penalty?

    That's the best that I can come up with, you know, in a public forum.

    http://ww2.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/news/slick_artwork_commemorates_journalists.html

    To which The Load replies:

    "Looks as though the offending press release is back up again. In that event, the “university” has sealed its doom, legally speaking."

    Of course, the press release may never have been down, but with The Load and his droppings, we now know that the exact opposite of whatever The Load said is the actual truth.

    Monkers is way past Bonkers!

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  17. Wow! It's been years and years since I've seen anyone mention "The Authoritarians"!

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    1. This time I'll get the link right. Fingers crossed.
      I know everybody interested in climate has seen this video but for those who are unfamiliar with Monckton and his bullshit here's the Australian public broadcaster's (ABC) famous interview with the lying twit via The Hamster Wheel

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w833cAs9EN0

      Delete
  18. I've now added a link to the press release - in the "Update" above.

    Christopher was blowing a lot of hot air (as is normal). The press release was taken down for a short bit while they investigated his complaint, but put back up again as soon as it became clear who Christopher was and that his "threat" was nonsense and his complaint was baseless.

    The press release first went up on 29 April and was reposted on 1 May.

    http://ww2.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/news/slick_artwork_commemorates_journalists.html - 1 May

    Original copy from one of those redistribution sites - dated 29 April

    http://www.noodls.com/view/BD97A08C3B961DE83DB92752A80462CA4DCB3025?2731xxx1430321039

    ReplyDelete
  19. Our friend To∫∫er might like to thrust his chin forward and take some of his dreadful libellers and assaulters to court. As John Mashey and now Prof Rabbet have noted, it's a successful* enterprise:

    http://rabett.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/falling-out-of-clown-car-down-stairs.html

    [*When I say "successful", I mean it in the same way that there is no such thing as a 'greenhouse' effect, and if there was a 'greenhouse' effect it's not due to CO2, and if it is due to CO2 well atmospheric CO2 is not increasing, and if atmospheric CO2 is increasing humans aren't causing it, and if they are causing it then temperature is increasing due to natural causes, and if it isn't due to natural causes the climate sensitivity is less than 1°C, and if climate sensitivity is closer to 3°C or more then warming is good for us anyway, and if warming isn't good for us then it's too late to do anything about it now, and if it's too late to do anything about it now it's all the scientists' fault for not telling us about it in the first place.]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard J.,

      That's the best version of that Gish Gallop I've ever seen.

      It's certainly framed poster worthy, probably too much for a t-shirt though.

      It needs a name or title, perhaps Climate Contrarian Creed (or just go for Denier Dogma), or turn it into the Ten (or however many items are in that list) Commandments.

      Delete
    2. Everett, you obviously meant to write: 'Climate Contrarian Screed' :-)

      Delete
    3. The Climatecontrarianscreed.

      I like it!

      :-)

      Delete
    4. "That's the best version of that Gish Gallop I've ever seen."

      Seconded.

      Delete

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